Wild Birds of Sark in Sarkese

In this SNDO section, we present all of the known Sarkese names of wild birds, living, breeding or occasionally visiting on the Island of Sark. Some of these Sark Norman names of birds are the very first known authentic Sarkese vocabulary intentionally recorded in the past, such as “òčét“, guillemot, “bárbělote“, puffin, “ǧiłot“, young gull, written down already in 17th century, thus occupying an important position in the history of the Sark Norman language.

Most of the authentic bird names in Sarkese were recorded in the 2nd half of the 20th century, chiefly thanks to Francis Rountree, M.B.E, an enthusiast ornithologist, and later on Patrice Brasseur, a Norman dialectologist, and their local Sarkese-speaking consultants. As some of the names were not recalled by the last speakers in the 21st century, we should be forever grateful for the commendable activities of the two gentlemen in this field. These names, which would have been otherwise forgotten and lost, are included in the presented list of names of birds.

Apart from proper names of birds, separated into three sections (marine birds, larger birds and smaller birds), we provide some basic vocabulary related to birds in Sark Norman. It should be noted, that the generic word for bird in Sarkese, “uézě“, is rarely applied to small birds, especially songbirds, which are often called “měsôn“, birdies, originating in the old Norman name for sparrow. Apart from songbirds, we distinguish another subgroup of birds of the Alcidae family, known collectively as “pinguîn” in Sarkese, including puffins, guillemots and razorbills. The birds of the genus Corvus are called by most of the last speakers simply “cǒrbîn” without any distinction.

Čike mô bazike antůr lz’uèzyò / Basic vocabulary

Uézyò marîn é pinguîn / Marine Birds and Alcidae

Uézyò sòvaje / Larger Wild Birds

Měsôn sòvaje / Smaller Wild Birds