Have you seen any Field Plovers lately? Blue Nutcrackers? Day Owls? These are all alternate common names of North American birds. Richard Banks has assembled a complete list of outdated English names of North American birds along with the current official names for those species, and it makes a great resource to find out what early authors meant, as well as just fun browsing. You can read it at Obsolete English Names of Birds and their Modern Equivalents.
If only there was a similar resource for North American plants.