Goshawk takes Gallinule

To: <>
Subject: Goshawk takes Gallinule
From: "Peter Shute (NUW)" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 11:04:10 +1100
On Monday, December 18, 2006 8:27 PM Geoffrey Dabb wrote:

If you don't mind my saying, this medium is not well-adapted to
dealing with a whole lot of separate issues, most of which could be
addressed by a bit of book research.

Very true. I think in future I'll start new threads for separate issues. Once you lump them together you're kind of trapped into maintaining the now irrelevant subject lines and it gets very confusing for people, particularly those who read the list as a digest I think.

3.  Birds Australia recommended that in Australia 'Purple Swamphen'
should be used as a new common name for P porphyrio.  See the
Supplement to 'The Emu' for May 1978.  The vehicle for formalising
that decision was the Christidis & Boles list which contained the new
'recommended names' - published by Birds Australia in 1994.  If you
want to know more about common names issues I suggest you get a copy
of the C&B list and read pages 4-5.

Thanks, I'll try to find a copy of that book. I think my nearest available copy will be in the Victorian State Library, so I've entered the details in my diary, ready for my next visit - any time in the next year or two (sigh).

You suggest the 70's was the time for these changes. With Calley calling them Swamphens at least as early as 1963, there must have been some early adopters. I wonder when he started calling them by that name.

I only came into this because someone said that P p melanotus was
'purple'. In my view that is a misapprehension, probably arising from
the common name, which was developed with different subspecies in
mind.  I said P p MELANOTUS because that is the relevant (eastern
Australian) subspecies.  Other subspecies have different colours and
some are even purple.

I think in the earlier discussions people were really talking about whether it had a different coloured front, irrespective of what that colour should be called. In the museum the front and back seemed the same.

I made a big effort on the weekend and managed to drag myself out to look at one (again, sigh). Certainly recognisable from the books showing blue or purple or whatever, and definitely more contrast in the colours than in the museum. Someone suggested sunlight may bring out the colours.

My initial reaction that I needed to read more books was right. I bought the Slater field guide on the weekend, and the heading for that page is "Gallinules". If I'd had that book when this thread began we wouldn't be having this conversation. The word is also used in the handbook section of my Simpson and Day, but I didn't check there. So I should read what I already have a bit more thoroughly too.

Peter Shute

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