Willy Fantails

To: Geoff Ryan <>
Subject: Willy Fantails
From: Dave Torr <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:58:55 +0000
I suspect our "new" names will become established about the same time as
the Poms (and I am one so I can say that) stop calling Blackbird, Starling,
Kingfisher etc as though they were the only representatives of their family
in the world!

On 20 January 2017 at 07:32, Geoff Ryan <> wrote:

> Surely it is more sensible to change anachronistic and confusing common
> names even if it upsets our possessive addiction to those names in common
> use.
> 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.
> Geoff
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