The Plumage Pages

Some fortunate folks have been endowed throughout history with the awesome responsibility of ascribing common names to newly discovered avian species. Often, perhaps too often, these eloquent souls went above and beyond the call of duty in describing the palette of colors confronting them. That’s why we nature lovers have to go above and beyond to interpret just what these names actually mean. Here is our growing list of some of the most fascinating descriptors of color in avian plumage.

Mouse over an image to see which colors are described in the linked post that follows.

vermilion, orangesulphur, sulphury, brimstone, yellowbuff, buffy, tawny, nankeenrosy, roseate, rose, salmon, coral, pink
emerald, tourmaline, berylline, malachitecerulean, azure, ultramarine, indigo, blueviolaceous, purple, amethyst, lilac, lavender, indigovinaceous, vinous, claret, wine
rufous, rufescent, rusty, rust, ferruginousfulvous, fuscous, fawnplumbeous, saturnine, glaucous