It is still listed on the American Ornithological Union's on line
check list http://www.aou.org/checklist/birdlist47.pdf as Purple
Gallinule, so that is about 300 million people that call it that. To
confuse things even more, if you do a species search on Birdlife
International's site for P. porphyrio, you come up with a common name
of Purple Swamp-hen. So I reckon call it what you like, because no
matter what you call it, there are millions of people out there who
will say you are wrong.
The experts say that keeping the mind active in later life will help
lessen the risk of the onset of dementia. If that is true, anyone who
is into birding will never suffer from dementia. Though some people
On 14/12/2006, at 3:01 PM, Peter Shute (NUW) wrote:
I wasn't questioning the use of the name. My brain has only been
birding for a month or so, and I hadn't heard that name before. I
guessed it was an older name and I was just trying to get an idea of
how many people might still call it that. Any idea when the newer
name came in? Who decides what common names are official, anyway?
Not sure how old my "What Bird Is That" is, but it calls it Purple
Swamphen. At least 20 years old, I think.
On Thursday, December 14, 2006 1:39 PM michael hunter wrote:
"Purple Gallinule" is embedded in my half century old birding
brain, it was probably in "What Bird Is That", the only bird-guide I
used in those days.
You are probably correct, if not pedantic; refer to Carl
Clifford's posting to birding-aus on 13/12/06, ie yesterday, and my
reply to him which will follow. Common names are common names, and
most Australian birdos know what "Purple Gallinule" refers to in the
local geographical context. The new scientific name is probably a
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