Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus)

Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus)_13

Again, from Wikipedia:

The Southern Bald Ibis is known to be a relatively quiet bird. This species in particular has been noted to make a weak gobbling sound. This is refers back to their old Afrikaans name of “Wilde-Kalkoen”, otherwise translated as “wild turkey”. This bird is most boisterous in the nesting areas and in flight. It projects a high-pitched keeaaw-klaup-klaup call, resembling that of a turkey’s.

OK. It gobbles, so it’s like a turkey. Except, it’s like a turkey that makes a high-pitched “keeaaw-klaup-klaup”, which I’ve never heard a turkey do. That aside though, think about this …

The bird’s name in Afrikaans translates as “wild turkey”. This means that the following must have happened.

* Sometime in ancient history: Europeans go to Turkey and see a guinea fowl, which was actually imported from Africa.
* Sometime in the 1500’s: Europeans go to North America and see a bird that they believe to be related to the guinea fowl (it’s not) and name it after Turkey, the country.
* Sometime in the 1600’s: Europeans go to Southern Africa and, frankly, don’t treat the natives very well.
* Sometime in the 1700’s: Europeans in Southern Africa start making people speak Dutch, but it doesn’t take, and Afrikaans starts to form.
* Sometime in the 1800’s: Afrikaans replaces Malay as a primary language (due to forced schooling) and the old words get lost.
* Sometime after that: Someone points to a bird and says “What’s that?” in Afrikaans. Since it doesn’t have a name in Afrikaans yet, someone who knows what an American Turkey is hears its noise and names it after a North American bird, which is named after a Turkish bird, which is actually an African bird that is entirely different from this particular African bird.
* Sometime after that: It gets written down that way and we’re stuck with it forever.

The Europeans have some things to answer for, is what I’m trying to say here.