[CT Birds] Southbury Rough-leg

Arthur Shippee ashippee at snet.net
Fri Jan 24 17:12:04 EST 2014


Morph as a word.  In the senses we mean, it's really quite recent -- hardly older than me.

1)  Oxford Eng. Dictionary, Supplement (1987), Morph (4):  "variant form of an animal produced by genetic differences or (in later use) one of several forms exhibited by an animal in the course of its life cycle."  The citations there show morph = "variant form" to be a 1955 coining by JS Huxley;  by 1970's, it's used of a stage in the development of, e.g., aphids.  

2)  This is from the Greek word, where "morphê" means shape or form as it appears, and this English use is a good one.  (Much better than "phase" which strongly suggests one stage in a life cycle.)

3)  Webster's:  which one?  It's not a copyrighted name, so this could refer to just about anything.  (It's not in the Merriam Webster 2nd, which lacks the word altogether.  Original OED has it only as a short form of morphew, a skin disease.)

4)  "Dimension"?  Does it give an example?  This seems very odd to me, and in fact hard to understand.

For a permanent form of a subset of a species, "morph" seems to me linguistically the better coinage than "phase."

On Jan 24, 2014, at 3:12 PM, Don Hopkins <ctbesg at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi Patrick , Your though sounds good but , Webster's Dictionary morph is  a dimension . R.T.P , R.Taylor as do Brown and Amadon ,all use the term phase to describe coloration . It seems that birders have a tendency to screw up a lot of things . Like chord to describe the tip of the wing , when it is the width of the wing .          Regards , Don  
> 
> Donald A. Hopkins 
> CT Bald Eagle Study Group 
> Windsor, CT  USA 
> email: ctbesg at yahoo.com
> web: http://ctbesg.tripod.com/
> 
> 
> 
> On Wednesday, January 22, 2014 11:43 AM, Don Hopkins <ctbesg at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 
> Hi Patrick , Which is the right terminology morph or phase ?           Don
> 
> Donald A. Hopkins 
> CT Bald Eagle Study Group 
> Windsor, CT  USA 
> email: ctbesg at yahoo.com
> web: http://ctbesg.tripod.com/
> 
> 
> 
> On Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:05 PM, "Comins, Patrick" <PCOMINS at audubon.org> wrote:
> 
> Light morph Rough-legged Hawk hunt in both sides of the Cassidy Road at the Southbury Training School,,,also a harrier.
> 
> Patrick Comins, Meriden
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
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