Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:13 AM
I am translating the book "Parrot and Olivier in America" by Peter Carey into the Czech language. The author uses many zoological terms, especially those related to birds. I have found many of them in various dictionaries, encyclopedias etc. But I have come across one which seems a bit strange to me. The main character's name or rather nickname is Parrot. He is looking at his friend's engravings (copperplates) depicting birds and is angry at him that he sells such works of art just for fifty cents a piece:
"On a low bench in a corner by the door there were more plates, higgledy-piggledy, not even protected by a sheet of paper. I took the uppermost one which happened to portray, by chance, a spoonbill parrot."
Further on the "spoonbill parrot" is described in the following way:
"He who is sometimes called the Parrot then left the meeting and returned with a coloured etching of a bird he was not prepared to name, allowing only that it had been seen in the lands of Texas, and although it was commonly agreed to be very like a spoonbill parrot, its colourings were another matter, being carmine at its head to sulphur blue at its tail, and as luminous as a phoenix or some beauty in a myth."
I have found that a "spoonbill" could be a kind of wading bird (or a fish), but I have found nowhere that it could also be a parrot. Is it a kind of author's mystification, the main character's mistake, or does any of you know a "spoonbill parrot"?
Thank you very much for any opinions, advice and help
Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:34 AM
Because of the carmine, first a Flamingo came to my mind, though it's more or less pink and has no blue tail. And at least the beak is a bit parrot-like.
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.
Posted 27 April 2011 - 12:55 AM