re: vernacular names

To: Goodfellow <>
Subject: re: vernacular names
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 21:16:12 +1000
Goodfellow wrote:
> Official bird names are fine as shorthand, but like most shorthand
> terms
> they have limitations. [snip] 

> For most visiting birdwatchers I use the official name for Australia's
> only native stork, occasionally the scientific name (which is quite
> poetic), or Jabiru (Australasian)!.   But with my Kunwinjku relatives
> I call the bird Djagana, a stable bird name if there ever was one,
> considering it like the rest of the language has been used for
> thousands of years.
Good one Denise, I'll try to remember it. Am I right in remembering
someone in the Top End call this stork 'Policeman Bird', because you
always see two together?
Because it was the first name I ever learnt for it, I still call the
official Grey Fantail 'Cranky Fan.'  That's what my Dad called it. I
still say Yellow Bob too, not Robin, in every day speech - another of
Dad's. He was digging out the driveway at our holiday house, and he said
'Look OUT, Yellow Bob, you fool!' as it dived in under the descending
spade to snatch a grub. 

I've met quite a few knowledgeable birders who have never known what's
meant by Cranky Fan. I think this is sad. 

Anthea Fleming in chilly Ivanhoe (Vic). 
Expected minimum 8 degrees tonight, and heading there already.

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