Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 44/2 | 2007 | 119-123

  About "Milan royal", the French name of the Red Kite
Van Den Abeele, B.

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Article summary

This article looks at the etymology of the French name of the Red Kite : Milan royal. It shows that the adjective, “royal” does not imply real (the real kite) but rather the literal meaning of royal. Various old texts by zoologists and falconers (15th to 18th centuries) demonstrate that the Kite was a species hunted by the royal falconers, giving it this name. As well, the Kite was badly regarded in the medieval period up until the time of Buffon. This was because it was impossible to train for hunting in flight; thus, the medieval French term for Kite, “escoufle” was an insult, which can be found in medieval symbolism.

Articles on the same species

Milan royal
Milvus milvus

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