Tag Archive | etymology

ἰβυκτήρ: one who begins a war-song


I mentioned in a previous post that I was unaware of the origin of the name Ibycter, first used by L.P. Vieillot in 1816 and applied to I. americanus in 1834.

Well, Catherine Scott and our good  friend Odessa Cadieux-Rey (a scholar of ancient Greece and Rome) found the answer. The word ” ἰβυκτήρ” (Ibukter) means “one who begins a war-song” in Cretan.

The war song: 

I could not think of a cooler and more appropriate name for these loud and in-your-face birds.


Seems they are always beginning war-songs…