Willy Fantails

To: Dave Torr <>
Subject: Willy Fantails
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 21:15:58 +0000
When we visit the UK we use such names with "Jingo"added in front - eg
"Jingo Kingfisher", "Jingo Heron".  It's easier than trying to remember
which ones have the suffix "Common" and which are "European".   Which
raises the thought: post Brexit will the latter be banned in the UK?

Having segued into politics it is good to see that Bird-a-Day are
celebrating tomorrow's HUGE! Incredible!!! Disaster!!! by having the 2017
slogan "Make Birding Great Again" with the logo of a Trumpeter Swan!


Martin Butterfield

On 20 January 2017 at 07:58, Dave Torr <> wrote:

> 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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