Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Name game

Expand Messages
  • erpfromca@aol.com
    This message may seem off-topic (and long) to some, however, since it concerns the language we use to communicate in this forum, I think it is in-bounds. For
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 3, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      This message may seem off-topic (and long) to some, however, since it
      concerns the language we use to communicate in this forum, I think it is in-bounds.
      For example: If I were to report here that I found an early-arriving
      Buff-bellied Pipit in the Central Valley, I suppose many folks out there would be
      scratching their heads trying to figure out what I was talking about.
      The issue is the set of recommended English common names for birds as
      summarized in the recent publication, Birds of the World: Recommended English Names
      by Gill and Wright. This is the culmination of an effort begun over 15 years
      ago by the IOC.
      Personally, I applaud the effort and would love to see the AOU adopt these
      names wholesale (barring some remaining taxonomic differences). Does anyone
      know if the AOU has or is considering this?
      For those who have not delved into this, below are most of the changes that
      we, in California, would regularly encounter if we want to buy into this.
      Besides a few clunkers, I'm pretty happy with most of the changes.
      Firstly, the insulting moniker, ‘Common’ has mostly been reserved for those
      species that really deserve it: Ring-neck Pheasant becomes Common Pheasant,
      Rock Pigeon becomes Common Pigeon and European Starling becomes Common
      Starling.
      In several cases, a simple ‘American’ has been added to the names of our
      birds: American Black Swift, American Cliff Swallow, American Bushtit, American
      Yellow Warbler.
      There are just a few that will really take some getting used to: Eared Grebe
      becomes Black-necked Grebe, Northern Shrike becomes Great Grey Shrike, and
      American Pipit is now that Buff-bellied Pipit.
      The Brits clearly won the day with our Bank Swallow becoming Sand Martin and
      Black-bellied Plover now Grey Plover, but I think both names are an
      improvement.
      Among the ‘Common’ birds that got new names, the Great Northern Loon was
      clearly a compromise and Northern Raven is an improvement. The skua vs jaeger
      battle must have required another compromise since only the Pomarine made a
      switch to become a skua.
      I AM bit confused about why the Rough-legged Hawk is now simply a Roughleg,
      when every other Buteo on the planet gets to be called a ‘hawk’ (or at least
      a buzzard)?
      Just wondering if others have thoughts on this.
      Here’s hoping a Two-barred Crossbill shows up in California this winter…
      Ed Pandolfino
      Carmichael
      Sacramento County



      ************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
      http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kimball Garrett
      Birders, Ed Pandolfino s thoughts on the recent Gill and Wright (G&W) book Birds of the World: Recommended English Names haven t elicited any public
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 6, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Birders,

        Ed Pandolfino's thoughts on the recent Gill and Wright (G&W) book "Birds
        of the World: Recommended English Names" haven't elicited any public
        responses (for which many may breathe a sigh of relief). And this
        certainly isn't the forum to debate the book's merits. But (before the
        thread is mercifully closed), I thought I'd add a couple of comments
        (after all, the name changes do affect the California bird list).

        As for the AOU Committee on Classification and Nomenclature (which is
        meeting in Laramie this week, so anything could change): they have been
        lobbied to adopt all of the G&W English name changes -- either
        wholesale, or considering each individually. [They will certainly not
        adopt any of the G&W species or genus-level taxonomic changes other than
        through their usual approach of considering each change individually and
        require multiple published studies]. My sense (though only those on the
        committee can speak for that committee) is that there is resistance to
        any blanket adoption of all the G&W names (after all, who, with a
        straight face, could agree to "Roughleg" or "Angel Tern"? And I still
        recoil at the gagogenic term "whitestart"!!). But the publication of
        G&W is an important event, and the project was sanctioned by the
        International Ornithological Congress and deserves serious
        consideration.

        The G&W book has been reviewed in several journals, with reviews ranging
        from brutally scathing to generally supportive (but with reservations
        about many particular choices). See Steve Howell's review in Western
        Birds 37(4), 2006 (which is more an example of the latter)

        Bottom line: the jury is still out, but I don't think it is reasonable
        to expect the AOU to adopt all of the suggested changes; taxonomic
        committees in other countries and continents are probably even more
        resistant to wholesale adoption of the names.

        I have written up a complete (I think) list of all the changes that
        affect California birds, and can post that on CalBirds if people would
        like to see it (and if the listowners are OK with it).

        KLG

        Kimball L. Garrett
        Ornithology Collections Manager
        Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
        900 Exposition Blvd.
        Los Angeles CA 90007
        (213) 763-3368
        (213) 746-2999 FAX
        kgarrett@...


        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf
        > Of erpfromca@...
        > Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 8:43 PM
        > To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [CALBIRDS] Name game
        >
        > This message may seem off-topic (and long) to some, however, since it
        > concerns the language we use to communicate in this forum, I think it
        is
        > in-bounds.
        > For example: If I were to report here that I found an early-arriving
        > Buff-bellied Pipit in the Central Valley, I suppose many folks out
        there
        > would be
        > scratching their heads trying to figure out what I was talking about.
        > The issue is the set of recommended English common names for birds as
        > summarized in the recent publication, Birds of the World: Recommended
        > English Names by Gill and Wright.
      • Kimball Garrett
        Birders: I have uploaded a file (under the new folder name Gill and Wright Name Changes ) to the file folders on the Calbirds yahoo groups site. This file
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 6, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Birders:

          I have uploaded a file (under the new folder name "Gill and Wright Name
          Changes") to the file folders on the Calbirds yahoo groups site. This
          file contains a list of the English names that differ between current
          AOU (ABA area only) and Gill and Wright's new recommended list of
          English names of the birds of the world. I've also highlighted the few
          cases where taxonomy differs.

          A couple of disclaimers:
          (1) This list may be incomplete
          (2) The spelling change from "gray" to "grey" is not included (G&W adopt
          "grey" for the published list, but state that such spellings will vary
          depending on the particular sort of English used in a given country).
          (3) You will note that a large number of changes involve the elimination
          of hyphens used by AOU. This creates problems with alphabetizing, but
          G&W evidently were not concerned by this. For example, a storm petrel
          will be indexed under "P" for "petrel," even though storm-petrels
          (properly indexed under "S") and petrels are in entirely different
          families.

          -- Kimball

          Kimball L. Garrett
          Ornithology Collections Manager
          Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
          900 Exposition Blvd.
          Los Angeles CA 90007
          (213) 763-3368
          (213) 746-2999 FAX
          kgarrett@...
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.