Goshawk takes Gallinule

To: Peter Shute (NUW) <>
Subject: Goshawk takes Gallinule
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 16:12:49 +1100
It is still listed on the American Ornithological Union's on line check list 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 will say...


Carl Clifford

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
                                                    relatively recent


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