vernacular names

Subject: vernacular names
From: "John Leonard" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 00:45:22 +0000
Syd Curtis asks why we shouldn?t use common Australian names for birds instead of international English ones, for example Jabiru and Crested Hawk for Black-necked Stork and Pacific Bazas.

I?m all for local names but these two examples are very badly chosen. Jabiru is a Tupi (a Native American people from Brazil) word for the South American stork, Jabiru mycteria. Why this is supposed to be a vernacular Australian name escapes me; it?s just a mistake.

Similarly with Crested Hawk, it isn?t a Hawk (either an Accipiter or a Buteo). Baza is word from one of the languages of India, I think, and is a very useful term for the five spp of Aviceda, an distinctive sub-family of raptors, found from Africa to Australia.

John Leonard (Dr)
PO Box 243, Woden, ACT 2606, Australia

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