Re: Bird Names

Subject: Re: Bird Names
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 21:55:11 +1000 (EST)
On Mon, 15 Jun 1998, Susan Myers wrote:
> (can't be bothered remembering new names)? I think it's such a shame that
> we can't assign better names to robins, babblers, magpies,etc all of which
> have no relation whatsoever to the European species after which they were
> named a couple of centuries ago

There are also possibilities for using aboriginal names for the species-part
of common names (rather than the genus/family part).

For example, the naming of the White-lined  Honeyeater is very
uninspiring.  There are 8 other White-something Honeyeater species and
many Honeyeater species have some sort of white line.

The Gagudju name for the species is Bindjanok.  Bindjanok Honeyeater would
be a much better common name in my view.  I'm not worried that it (I
assume) has other aboriginal names elsewhere in its range.

Its congener the Yellow-spotted Honeyeater is another good candidate
for a similar renaming.

[ The Gagudju name comes from Ian Morris' book "Kakadu National Park".
I don't like the book's format but Ian's knowledge of Kakadu, its wildlife
and its traditional owners is amazing ]

Andrew Taylor

P.S. If anyone has a copy of the 1968 book "Bird song: Acoustics and
Physiology" by Greenewalt,  which they are willing to sell, please
e-mail me.

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