Willy Fantails

To: "" <>
Subject: Willy Fantails
From: Geoff Ryan <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:32:48 +0000
Surely it is more sensible to change anachronistic and confusing common
names even if it upsets our possessive addiction to those names in common

I know several people who still insist on calling the Australian
Black-necked Stork a Jabiru. The up-coming generation of birders will not
thank us oldies who refuse to adopt sensible common names. I grew up
calling White-faced Herons - 'Blue Cranes'; Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes -
'Bluejays'; Rufous Whistlers - 'Eechongs' and still have trouble not
calling Magpie Larks - 'Peewees'. I am glad more appropriate and less
confusing common names have been adopted for these species.

Common names listed in Field Guides and species lists are not just used by
parochials but by international birders - the less confusing and ambiguous
the better.

I'll probably be using the name Willy Wagtail up until the day I die but
hope that the more sensible choice of Willy Fantail has replaced Willy
Wagtail on the adopted lists of common names.

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