Date: 3/26/18 9:35 am From: B.G. Sloan <bgsloan3...> Subject: [JERSEYBI] This is why Purple Finches are called "purple" even when they aren't
I've been reading responses to my initial question and looking some stuff up. I think I've come up with a plausible reason as to why Purple Finches are called "purple" even though they are not purple.
The bird was originally described by Gmelin in 1789. Part of the scientific name assigned to it was "purpureus"...Latin for "purple". Back in the day, a lot of colors we consider "reddish" were considered to be in the purple color spectrum. That shifted over time and now we consider some of these colors to be in the red color spectrum.