Which ornithologist has the most African birds?


Originally in Birdman – “Birding in Tanzania” with James Wolstencroft

“Who was the most popular ‘African’ ornithologist of all time?” Posted: 07 April 2011.
On August 14 2010 Keith Betton produced an alphabetical list of the 288 bird species on the African list currently bearing names in English that commemorate a person.

He rightly thought this might be of interest to at least some members of the African Bird Club.
The ABC is currently based within the “Emerald Triangle” an enclave of conservation-business interest in eastern England. Here, ‘strangely’, can also find the home base of both the Oriental Bird Club and the Neotropical Bird Club.

Keith added: “Clearly there are many others that have a person’s surname [only] in their scientic name”.
Sadly women, especially indigenous African women, e.g. Levaillant’s putative Hottentot servant girl-with-a-difference Narina (as in Narina[‘s] Trogon), if she ever existed, seem to have become almost entirely lost and forgotten.
I suppose that there’s a ‘Lesson’ in this for all of us [please check: René Primavère Lesson – for he’s “the beau” who suggested Narina’s existence in the first place]!
Anyway the winners of this close-run contest are (or rather were) either:
Wilhelm Rüppell with at least eight birds named after him or … Sir somebody or Captain somebody Shelley with six.
However, unfortunately for the British (or more accurately the English) they fielded at least two Shelley’s in Africa, so the winner is, without any doubt, that long-lived German:
Wilhelm Peter Eduard Simon Rüppell (1794 – 1884).
A fabled zoologist, explorer, collector and author for whose family name the English seemingly prefer to write: Rueppell.

Appropriately at this blogging moment, a Rüppell’s [ or Black-tailed] Robin-chat Cossypha semirufa intercedens (Cabanis) is singing its-heart-out. Just outside in the lush tangle right beside my window. This particular individual, a virtuoso and a half, one individual in a very handsome species (in a fabulous genus and family) which must be one of the most greatest mimics in the [bird] world, sounds as if he is incorporating an imitation of a Green Hylia’s twin call note “peee-peee” – it’s like an old-fashioned [pre-World War II] mafioso automobile horn. However this is a West African forest species and doesn’t occur anywhere near Arusha. So very suddenly I realise it must be an imitation of one of those standard Nokia message alerts.
What would Wilhelm have made of that?
Meanwhile my little own iApp’s [Singing] Cisticola Cisticola (cantans) pictipennis (soon to-be-split at least by MacBook-users) remains skulking (in a wood-pile in the foreground) still waiting for that perfect african moment.

Keith’s List of Names:
Abbott’s Starling
Abdim’s Stork
Alexander’s Swift
Allen’s Gallinule
Anchieta’s Barbet
Anchieta’s Sunbird
Ansorge’s Greenbul
Archer’s Buzzard
Archer’s Lark
Archer’s Robin-Chat
Ash’s Lark
Audouin’s Gull
Audubon’s Shearwater
Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle
Baillon’s Crake
Baird’s Sandpiper
Ballman’s Malimbe
Bannerman’s Sunbird
Bannerman’s Turaco
Bannerman’s Weaver
Barlow’s Lark
Bates’s Nightjar
Bates’s Paradise-Flycatcher
Bates’s Sunbird
Bates’s Swift
Bates’s Weaver
Baumann’s Greenbul
Beaudouin’s Snake-Eagle
Bedford’s Paradise-Flycatcher
Bennett’s Woodpecker
Berthelot’s Pipit
Bertrand’s Weaver
Blanford’s Lark
Bocage’s Akalat
Bocage’s Longbill
Bocage’s Sunbird
Bocage’s Weaver
Boehm’s Bee-eater
Boehm’s Flycatcher
Bolle’s Pigeon
Bonaparte’s Gull
Bonelli’s Eagle
Bonelli’s Warbler
Botha’s Lark
Boulton’s Batis
Bradfield’s Hornbill
Bradfield’s Swift
Brazza’s Martin
Bruce’s Green-Pigeon
Buller’s Albatross
Bulwer’s Petrel
Burchell’s Courser
Burchell’s Glossy-Starling
Burchell’s Sandgrouse
Cabanis’s Bunting
Cabanis’s Greenbul
Carp’s Tit
Carruthers’s Cisticola
Cassin’s Flycatcher
Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle
Cassin’s Honeyguide
Cassin’s Spinetail
Cetti’s Warbler
Chapins’s Flycatcher
Chapin’s Apalis
Chapin’s Mountain-Babbler
Chaplin’s Barbet
Chubb’s Cisticola
Clapperton’s Francolin
Clarke’s Weaver
Cory’s Shearwater
Cretzschmar’s Babbler
Cretzschmar’s Bunting
Crossley’s Ground-Thrush
D’Arnaud’s Barbet
Delegorgue’s Pigeon
Dickinson’s Kestrel
Doherty’s Bushshrike
Dohrn’s Flycatcher
Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar
Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-Weaver
Dorst’s Cisticola
Dunn’s Lark
Dupont’s Lark
Dybowski’s Twinspot
Eleonora’s Falcon
Elliot’s Woodpecker
Emin’s Shrike
Erckel’s Francolin
Finsch’s Flycatcher-Thrush
Finsch’s Francolin
Finsch’s Wheatear
Fischer’s Greenbul
Fischer’s Lovebird
Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark
Fischer’s Starling
Fischer’s Turaco
Forbes-Watson’s Swift
Forbes’s Plover
Fo’sx Weaver
Franklin’s Gull
Fraser’s Eagle-Owl
Friedmann’s Lark
Fuelleborn’s Boubou
Fuelleborn’s Longclaw
Gillett’s Lark
Gosling’s Apalis
Grant’s Bluebill
Grauer’s Broadbill
Grauer’s Cuckoo-shrike
Grauer’s Scrub-Warbler
Grauer’s Warbler
Gray’s Lark
Gray’s Malimbe
Grimwood’s Longclaw
Gurney’s Sugarbird
Hall’s Giant Petrel
Hartlaub’s Bustard
Hartlaub’s Duck
Hartlaub’s Francolin
Hartlaub’s Gull
Hartlaub’s Turaco
Harwood’s Francolin
Hemprich’s Hornbill
Heuglin’s Bustard
Heuglin’s Francolin
Heuglin’s Masked-Weaver
Heuglin’s Wheatear
Hildebrandt’s Francolin
Hildebrandt’s Starling
Hinde’s Pied-Babbler
Holub’s Golden-Weaver
Hume’s Owl
Hunter’s Cisticola
Hunter’s Sunbird
Jackson’s Francolin
Jackson’s Hornbill
Jackson’s Widowbird
Jameson’s Antpecker
Jameson’s Firefinch
Jameson’s Wattle-eye
Johanna’s Sunbird
Jouanin’s Petrel
Kemp’s Longbill
Kenrick’s Starling
Kittlitz’s Plover
Klaas’s Cuckoo
Kretschmer’s Longbill
Lagden’s Bushshrike
Laura’s Wood-Warbler
Layard’s Warbler
Leach’s Storm-Petrel
Levaillant’s Cuckoo
Levaillant’s Woodpecker
Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse
Lilian’s Lovebird
Livingstone’s Flycatcher
Livingstone’s Turaco
Loveridge’s Sunbird
Ludwig’s Bustard
Luehder’s Bushshrike
Mackinnon’s Shrike
Marmora’s Warbler
Matsudaira’s Storm-Petrel
Maxwell’s Black Weaver
Menetries’s Warbler
Meves’s Glossy-Starling
Meyer’s Parrot
Montagu’s Harrier
Monteiro’s Bushshrike
Monteiro’s Hornbill
Moreau’s Sunbird
Moussier’s Redstart
Mrs. Moreau’s Warbler
Nahan’s Francolin
Neergaard’s Sunbird
Neumann’s Starling
Neumann’s Warbler
Newton’s Fiscal
Newton’s Sunbird
Oberlaender’s Ground-Thrush
Oustalet’s Sunbird
Pel’s Fishing-Owl
Peters’s Twinspot
Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike
Petit’s Sawwing
Preuss’s Swallow
Preuss’s Weaver
Prigogine’s Greenbul
Prigogine’s Sunbird
Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco
Pringle’s Puffback
Pulitzer’s Longbill
Puvel’s Illadopsis
Rachel’s Malimbe
Radde’s Warbler
Reichard’s Seedeater
Reichenbach’s Sunbird
Reichenow’s Firefinch
Reichenow’s Woodpecker
Retz’s Helmetshrike
Richard’s Pipit
Roberts’s Prinia
Rockefeller’s Sunbird
Ross’s Turaco
Rouget’s Rail
Rudd’s Apalis
Rudd’s Lark
Rueppell’s Bustard
Rueppell’s Chat
Rueppell’s Glossy-Starling
Rueppell’s Griffon
Rueppell’s Parrot
Rueppell’s Robin-Chat
Rueppell’s Warbler
Rueppell’s Weaver
Sabine’s Gull
Sabine’s Spinetail
Salvadori’s Eremomela
Salvadori’s Serin
Salvadori’s Weaver
Salvin’s Prion
Sassi’s Greenbul
Saunders’s Tern
Savile’s Bustard
Savi’s Warbler
Schalow’s Turaco
Schlegel’s Francolin
Schouteden’s Swift
Sclater’s Lark
Sharpe’s Akalat
Sharpe’s Apalis
Sharpe’s Pipit
Sharpe’s Starling
Shelley’s Crimson-wing
Shelley’s Eagle-Owl
Shelley’s Francolin
Shelley’s Greenbul
Shelley’s Starling
Shelley’s Sunbird
Sjostedt’s Greenbul
Sjostedt’s Owlet
Sladen’s Barbet
Souza’s Shrike
Speke’s Weaver
Stark’s Lark
Stierling’s Woodpecker
Stresemann’s Bush-Crow
Stuhlmann’s Starling
Stuhlmann’s Sunbird
Swainson’s Francolin
Swainson’s Sparrow
Swierstra’s Francolin
Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel
Swynnerton’s Robin
Sykes’s Warbler
Temminck’s Courser
Temminck’s Lark
Temminck’s Stint
Tessmann’s Flycatcher
Tristram’s Starling
Tristram’s Warbler
Tullberg’s Woodpecker
Turati’s Boubou
Turner’s Eremomela
Upcher’s Warbler
Ursula’s Sunbird
Ussher’s Flycatcher
Verreau’sx Batis
Verreau’sx Eagle
Verreau’sx Eagle-Owl
Victorin’s Scrub-Warbler
Vieillot’s Barbet
Vieillot’s Weaver
Von der Decken’s Hornbill
Wahlberg’s Eagle
Wahlberg’s Honeyguide
Waller’s Starling
Weyns’s Weaver
Whyte’s Barbet
Willcock’s Honeyguide
Williams’s Lark
Wilson’s Phalarope
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
Woodhouse’s Antpecker
Woodward’s Batis
Xavier’s Greenbul
Zenker’s Honeyguide

Thank you very much “gentlemen” – all of you, and especially Keith Betton, for going to the trouble of compiling this “list of honour”.

Yet I do wonder:
“Will it be the same in a hundred years?”

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