RE: Common names

To: Alexandra Appleman <>
Subject: RE: Common names
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 08:29:02 +1000
At 14:21 10/08/98 +1000, you wrote:
>But wait, there's more!
>Having just returned from Central West Queensland (home of the
>Pisswhopper) I have watched the bunfight over common names with
>some amusement.  At Barcaldine we found a bird list for a property 
>near Aramac which had us wondering far into the night.  Can anyone
>offer the REN for the following (locally) common names?
>       hopping johnny
>       coffee duck
>       buln buln
>       white headed water hen
>       black magpie
>I've looked in 'Leach' (that dear little Australian Bird Book with
>the green leather cover) but have been unable to find them.
I've just referred to an excellent little book I picked up as a remainder
some years ago "The Illustrated Dictionary of Australian Birds by common name"
by J.D. MacDonald, and it has the following:

buln-buln - recorded by Gould given by Yarra natives to lyrebird; given by North
as a name for Barnard's parakeet, meaning not known;

[this illustrates the problem with common names, they can mean quite
different things
in different places, but within your area I see no problem with using them]

black magpie - popular name give to white-winged chough by early colonists;
it didn't mention the others.

and Glen, your Dragoon-bird is the buff-breasted pitta, oops, Noisy Pitta!


Peter Woodall
Uni Qld

Dr Peter Woodall                          email = 
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy             
School of Veterinary Science & An. Prod.  Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland              Fax   = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072             WWW  =
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)


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