Re: Common Names

Subject: Re: Common Names
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 11:36:51 +1000
S Cooney wrote:

> Hi all,
> OK, on a birding mailing list I guess this has probably been done
> before,
> hopefully not done to death.  There could be 400 keen birder's all
> rolling
> their eyes as they read this or bin it!  But I'm new to the mailing
> list so
> forgive my insolence.
> My point of view is this,
> In my pre-birding days, when Silver Gulls were just seagulls, I always
> called Xenorhynchus asiaticus  a Jabiru.  Imagine my surprise when I
> looked
> through my first field guide and couldn't find this fine bird!  Was I
> making it up?  Perhaps it only existed in the dreaming?  And what was
> this
> Black-faced Stork anyway?
> I think that the aboriginal names for our birds are some of the best
> common
> names we have for birds.  Names like Kookaburra, Galah, Emu are all
> preferable to the purely descriptive names like Yellow-tailed Black
> Cockatoo.  Such a glorious bird as this should (and probably did) have
> a
> far grander name than the one we have given it.
> I would be interested in what other people think, if no-one responds
> then
> I'll know that this has run its course and all the words that need to
> be
> typed have been typed.
> Regards,
> Stuart.
> Stuart & Sam Cooney
> The Sanctuary
> Gembrook, Victoria
> Australia

  Hello Stuart,

Others may have more of an idea on this but I think the problem is that
there is a another stork in South America called the Jabiru. I suspect
that "jabiru" is not the aboriginal name for the bird but is a native
South American name that was used by white settlers for our "jabiru"
because it looked similar to the South American bird.

Please feel free to correct me if I've got details wrong as all this
came off the top of the head.



Michael Todd,
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Newcastle,
Callaghan, N.S.W., 2308, Australia

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