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Like most Southeast Asian languages, Thai has a general name for the largest wading birds which spans several different families. นกกระสา nók krà-săa 'largewader (bird)' is popularly used for Ardea great-herons (except for egrets) in the Ardeidae, and also for the storks (Ciconiidae), cranes (Gruidae), and ibises (Threskiornithidae). However, in modern ornithological Thai the name has been restricted only to the Ardeidae and Ciconiidae species. The name also has an old alternate spelling, นกกะสา nók kà-săa; and is found in other regional languages (compare Lao ນົກກະສາ nōk ká-săa and Khmer ក្រសារ krɑsaa).
All of the other Ardeidae species (including the egrets) are นกยาง nók yaaŋ, which we render as 'heron'. Popularly, the name also occurs as นกกระยาง nók krà-yaaŋ or นกกะยาง nók kà-yaaŋ, incorporating the old wildlife prefixes กระ- krà- or กะ- kà- (as also seen in the 'largewader' name). This is another old regional name (compare Lao ນົກຍາງ nōk nyáaŋ 'largewader; egret', and also irregularly ກະຢາງ ká-yàaŋ 'pondheron').
Popularly, egrets may be distinguished as นกยางขาว nók yaaŋ kʰăaw 'white heron' (Lao ນົກຍາງຂາວ nōk nyáaŋ kʰăaw). Other colours used in popular names have been incorporated in several of the ornithological names for bitterns (see table).
Heron calls are loud and distinctive and renditions are often used in Southeast Asian names for herons. In Thai those used in the names below include: แขวก kʰwàeek (nightheron) and กรอก kròaak (pondheron). Northern Thai also has ขวาก kʰwàak (greatheron).
Other ornithological general names include:
นกยางไฟ nók yaaŋ-fai 'fire-heron' (Ixobrychus bitterns)
นกยางกรอก nók yaaŋ-kròaak 'noisy-heron' (onomat.) (Ardeola pond-herons)
นกยางโทน nók yaaŋ tʰoon 'solitary-heron' (Ardea egrets)
Cò is a general name for storks (excluding adjutants), ibises, and certain types of medium-sized ardeid. Its scope includes the egrets but excludes the great herons and some night herons and bitterns. Attempts have been made in the ornithological naming to bring Vietnamese names into conformity with the scientific taxonomy.
เสวย sà-wĕuuy is a royal register verb 'to eat' or 'to attain'. As an ornithological heron descriptor this is an unusual revival of a recording in an old bilingual dictionary: ยางเสวย yaaŋ sà-wĕuuy "royal species very good for the table" presumably meaning 'a heron fit for the king to eat'.
นกกระส nók krà-săa 'largewader (bird)' is popularly used for Ardea great-herons (except for egrets) in the Ardeidae, and also for the storks (Ciconiidae), cranes (Gruidae), and ibises (Threskiornithidae). However, in modern ornithological Thai the name has been restricted only to the Ardeidae and Ciconiidae species.
The name นกยางโทน nók yaaŋ tʰoon 'solitary heron' for the two Ardea egrets is paralleled in Northern Thai นกขวากตน nók kʰwàak ton 'solitary greatheron' reported for Ardea cinerea. Currently, ornithological 'solitary' heron names are known only for these three species.
Kokokan 'kok-kok bird' is an Indonesian name for small herons and bitterns. It is a reduplicated version of the similar sound kok used in blekok 'pond heron'. Unmodified, kokokan is used in (29) for Ixobrychus cinnamomeus, suggesting the other kokokan names in (29) are extensions.
Nightherons are named after their distinctive loud calls. The same basic call is rendered here variously as kuak, kuak-kuak, kuar, kuaran, kowak, etc. A corresponding name in early Javanese is guwo.
Pucung is originally an old general name for any of several small herons and bitterns. Unmodified pucung has been especially identified with Butorides striata since the early 19th century. Principally in Malaysian, the name has been relatively recently extended to refer to any birds called 'heron' in English.
Blekek (also written belekek) 'kek bird' is the Javanese version of Malay berkek or berkik 'snipe'. Indonesian blekek has been recorded for various kinds of birds hunted as snipe, including true snipe and dowitchers (Scolopacidae), painted snipe (Rostratulidae), and as here, small herons (Ardeidae)
Blekok (also written belekok) 'kok bird' is the old name for Ardeola speciosa on Java, where only that one species of pond heron normally occurs, but the name has always been used for vagrants of other species as well. Blekok is extended as a general pond heron name for ornithological Indonesian in (30).
Bangau 'stork' is a widely used general name for large wading birds. In Malaysian bangau has principally come to refer to any birds called 'egret' in English, but earlier records include any mostly-white herons as well as great herons and storks. In addition, bangau is popularly used for cranes (Gruidae), the extralimital flamingos (Phoenicopteridae), and (especially in Indonesian) for adjutant storks (Ciconiidae). Bangau has also been extended as a general 'stork' name for ornithological Indonesian in (30).
Kendi 'watercarafe' refers to (originally South Asian) water containers whose shapes or modes of use suggest certain round-bodied, long-billed birds. Aside from its use as a descriptor for certain egrets in Ardeidae, kendi also serves as the base for Malaysian names of curlews and whimbrels (Scolopacidae). The derived form sekendi is used for ibises and spoonbills (Threskiornithidae).
Pucung is originally an old general name for any of several small herons and bitterns. Following an early ornithological extension, Malaysian pucung now may refer to any bird called 'heron' in English. Pucung was inserted into all ornithological Malaysian Ardeidae names (except those for egrets) in (24), a practice continued by most subsequent authorities.
Several loud heron calls are traditionally said to resemble the sounds made by cattle or buffalo. Lembu 'cattle' in the name for Ardea sumatrana refers to the perceived similarity in sound rather than a physical association with cattle. Kuak, the verb 'to make cattle noises', is conventionally written the same way as kuak, one of the onomatopoetic names for Nycticorax nightherons.
Kuntul (variously written kuntul, kontul, kontol, kundur, kutur, koto, kuntuk) is an old Indonesian, Javanese and East-Coast Malayan general name for egret. Unmodified kuntul may be popularly used in Indonesian for any egret, but refers especially to the largest species, Ardea alba. Optionally besar 'large' may be added to reinforce that identification.
Mostly from Robinson (& Chasen) 1927-1939 v1-4; additions from Madoc 1947 (et.seq.), and Glenister 1951 (both mostly names copied from Robinson)
中国鸟类种和亚种分类名录大全（修订版） 郑作新 著 科学出版社 北京 2000年
A Complete Checklist of Species and Subspecies of the Chinese Birds (Revised Edition) by Cheng Tso-Hsin, Science Press, Beijing 2000
中国鸟类分类与分布名录 主编：郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2005年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of China Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2005
中国鸟类野外手册（中文版）约翰・马敬能、卡伦・菲利普斯，合作者：荷芬奇，翻译：卢和芬 湖南教育出版社 长沙 2000年
A Field Guide to the Birds of China (Chinese translation) by John MacKinnon, Karen Phillipps, in collaboration with He Fen-qi, translated by Lu Hefen, Hunan Jiaoyu Chubanshe (Hunan Educational Press) Changsha 2000
世界鸟类分类与分布名录 主编：郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2002年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of the World Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2002
世界鸟类名称（拉丁文、汉文、英文对照）第二版 郑作新等 科学出版社 北京 2002年
Birds of the World (Latin, Chinese and English Names) 2nd ed. by Cheng Tso-Hsin et al, Science Press, Beijing 2002
中国鸟类分布名录 第二版 郑作新 科学出版社 北京 1976年
(Checklist of the Classification of Birds of China 2nd edition by Cheng Tso-Hsin, Science Press, Beijing 1976)
香港及華南鳥類（第六版）（翻譯成中文及重新修訂） 尹璉、費嘉倫、林超英 香港性徵特區政府新聞處政府印務局 1994年
Birds of Hong Kong and South China (6th edition, translated into Chinese and newly revised) by Clive Viney, Karen Phillipps, Lin Chaoying, Hong Kong Govt. Press 1994
Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore / Senai Jenis-Jenis Burung di Singapura / 新加坡野鸟目录 by Lim Kim Seng Nature Society (Singapore) 1999
Danh Lục Chim Việt Nam (In lần thứ hai) (Checklist of the Birds of Vietnam) Võ Quý, Nguyễn Cử, Nhà Xuất Bản Nông Nghiệp, Hà Nội 1999
Chim Việt Nam Nguyễn Cử, Lê Trọng Trải, Karen Phillipps; Nhà Xuất Bản Lao Động - Xã Hội, 2000
นกในเมืองไทย รศ. โอภาส ขอบเขตต (Birds in Thailand, Assoc. Prof. Obhas Khobkhet), in 5 volumes, Sarakadee Press, Bangkok, 1998-2001
Senarai Nama-nama Burung Semenanjung Malaysia dan Asia Tenggara by Ismail, Abdul Rahman, Perhilitan (Jabatam Perlindungan Hidupan Liar dan Taman Negara, Semenanjung Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur 1981
(List of the Names of Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Southeast Asia by Ismail, Abdul Rahman, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 1981)
Previously online version of: Senarai Nama-nama Burung Semenanjung Malaysia dan Asia Tenggara by Ismail, Abdul Rahman, Perhilitan (Jabatam Perlindungan Hidupan Liar dan Taman Negara, Semenanjung Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur 1981
List of the Names of Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Southeast Asia by Ismail, Abdul Rahman, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 1981
The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 - Non-passerines by Wells, David R., Academic Press, London 1999
A Field Guide to the Birds of West Malaysia and Singapore by Jeyarajasingam, Allen and Alan Pearson, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999
The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 2 - Passerines by Wells, David R., Christopher Helm, A&C Black, London 2007
A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore (second edition) by Jeyarajasingham, Allen, Illustrations by Alan Pearson, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2012
A Field Guide to the Birds of Java and Bali (second edition) by MacKinnon, John, Gadjah Mada University Press, Yogyakarta 1990
Danh Lục Các Loài Chim ở Việt Nam (Latinh, Việt, Pháp, Hán) Trần Văn Chánh 2008-2009