It was a Sixth Former studying English literature, as well as Latin, who adverted to a tendency whereby common words for living things change over the centuries. A hog has become a pig (except in America), an ass has become a donkey, a hound has become a dog—and a fowl has become a bird.
And, since he was doing A-level Italian as well, he wanted to know why the modern Italian word for a bird—ucchello—is so different from the Latin avis. Surely, he said, it is usual for modern Italian words to retain a similarity to their Latin origins.
This merited a consultation of the Italian etymological dictionary: which revealed that this was not a change but an evolution. avis in Latin was replaced by the diminutive avicella, which becomes aucella, by a contraction present in classical Latin: a bird catcher is auceps.
aucella, with a change of gender, becomes uccello.
And this is the word to be found in some of the Romance languages:
In others, with a neglect for niceties, the Latin word for a sparrow, passer, came to be used:
Classical Latin does not have many other names that we know for wild birds:
owl: bubo or noctua
barn owl: strix