Re: Common Names & RAOU democracy

Subject: Re: Common Names & RAOU democracy
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 15:14:17 +1000
I can't believe people are getting hot under the collar about this.  I've
been seriously birding for about 30 years, that is from childhood, and have
seen "official" names come and go.  I'm sure those "elder statesmen" (or
statespeople) out there have seen many more.  I'm sure a quick look at the
early two volume Slater, let alone that old treasure "What bird is that?",
would provide some examples.

There must be some standardisation.  Can you imagine the confusion among
beginners if all four current field guides used different names.  Lets face
it, if someone in a group described those things whizzing overhead as
Swifts and someone else as Needletails I doubt pandemonium would break out.
Likewise the old Spurwing Plover and the newfangled Masked Lapwing.
Afterall, names are about communication.  An agreed upon list of common
names makes a hell of a lot of sense.  Pick up almost any bird magazine or
journal, if that is your want, and you will almost certainly see the
accepted names in use.  It is a little arrogant of us to claim the name
Crested Hawk when the rest of the world describes the genus as Baza's and
there are other crested birds of prey out there.

Lets get all of this into perspective.

David Geering

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