Date: 3/26/18 1:24 pm From: Diane C Louie <dclouie...> Subject: Re: [JERSEYBI] This is why Purple Finches are called "purple" even when they aren't
Catesby published the 1st edition of his Natural History 1729-31
which includes Purple Finch, so perhaps Gmelin brought forward Catesby’s
English name into the scientific name. And both may have been referring to the “classical”
use of “purple”.
One article mentions that each of the 160 subscriptions to Catesby’s Natural History was handprinted
so that no two are alike. The effect of time on the paint pigments/paper might explain why
some Catesby Purple Finch prints appear reddish vs. purplish as seen on my computer monitor?
Diane Louie, Madison
On Mar 26, 2018, at 12:34 PM, B.G. Sloan <bgsloan3...> wrote:
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.