Collared Sparrowhawk - specific name

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: Collared Sparrowhawk - specific name
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 13:08:07 +1100
Philip, Hugo and all,

I must stand corrected on my earlier post about "cirros" being an Americanisation. As Philip quotes from HANZAB, the insertion of an "h" is an error in translation from the Ancient Greek. After looking at a couple of Attic language sites and running "cirrhos" through their translators et now looks like words such cirrhosis are also wrong. There you go, you learn something new every day, but then you have to find room to cram it in.


Carl Clifford

On 14/12/2006, at 10:40 AM, Philip Veerman wrote:

Hello Hugo,

About 20 to 15 years ago I delved into this, certain that cirrocephalus is correct and that cirrhocephalus makes little sense, not that I know anything about that language. See HANZAB intro to the species, that says "but the insertion of the first aitch was incorrect." Then I don't understand why they persist with the error. Seems silly to me. Also I noted that most of the early texts used cirrocephalus and that cirrhocephalus came in later. It then appeared for no reason that I can think of to have been frequently copied thereafter. I asked Dr Richard Schodde about it all those years ago and I'm sure he said he has seen the original description and that cirrocephalus is the correct spelling. I tried pushing the issue for a little while but not a lot that can be done with that. I wrote to Stephen Debus after he did the summary article on the species in Aust Bird Watcher sort of complaining that he had not clarified the issue and error as it would have been a good opportunity to do so. Stephen is normally so reliable and accurate in such things. Maybe he thought it was not an issue. In a moment of weakness or maybe because I have not personally seen the real evidence, I too used the wrong spelling in my Canberra Birds book.


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