bird feeder

  • xtrasystole

    Senior Member
    France
    Hummingbird feeder: 'une mangeoire pour oiseaux-mouches' or 'une mangeoire à oiseaux-mouches'.

    (It's funny: To me, 'une mangeoire pour oiseaux-mouches' sounds better than 'une mangeoire à oiseaux-mouches', while 'une mangeoire à oiseaux' sounds better than 'une mangeoire pour oiseaux'). Go figure...
     

    Albert 50

    Senior Member
    Canada: French and English (bilingual)
    Hi again

    We have bird-feeders in our back-garden/back-yard, and we call them "mangeoire à oiseaux".

    It is interesting to me that most Europeans when translating "hummingbird" usually use the term "oiseau-mouche" which is perfectly acceptable. However, as a bird-watcher by avocation, in Canada we have always used the word "colibri". There are several species that are native to parts of Canada but all are called "colibri". A humming-bird feeder (which is usually red since bright colors attract hummingbirds) is called a "mangeoire à colibris"...

    I can't tell you which term (oiseau-mouche or colibri) is best but I think that the dictionaries show both are used. I prefer the latter and it is common among ornithologists in Canada. The opposite is probably true in Europe (where they are no native hummingbirds, incidentally)...

    Cordialement
    Albert
     

    xtrasystole

    Senior Member
    France
    To me (but I am not at all certain) colibris are a subspecies of hummingbirds/oiseaux-mouches, a subset of the family.

    Please correct me if I am wrong...
     

    Albert 50

    Senior Member
    Canada: French and English (bilingual)
    The relationship between different species and sub-species of birds is a complicated affair. You may be right - i.e. that one is a sub-species of the other....

    I've always thought that "oiseau-mouche" and "colibri" were simply synonyms of one another though "oiseau-mouche" seemed to be "un terme un peu plus familier" compared to the other. Farmers in Quebec tend to call these beautiful little birds "oiseau-mouche" (some only weigh two grams) but bird-watchers more often say "colibri". At any rate I think both terms are fine... (To my knowledge the most common species in Canada is the "Colibri à gorge rubis". To call it "oiseau-mouche à gorge rubis" sounds well... a little heavy).

    Cordialement
    Albert
     

    xtrasystole

    Senior Member
    France
    Also, I agree that 'colibri' is a much prettier word than 'oiseau-mouche'.

    You've been very convincing, Albert. From now on, I will use 'colibri' instead of 'oiseau-mouche'.

    Kind regards :)
     
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