To: michael hunter <>, "" <>
Subject: names
From: Greg and Val Clancy <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 07:21:44 +0000
Hi Michael,

You mentioned the 'J' word.

The name Black-necked Stork was not imposed on us in recent decades, it is 
and was the official common name of the bird in India and Australia as early 
as the end of the 19th century.  I, like you, thought that some taxonomist 
in the 1970s imposed this long and boring name on us when the Australian 
indigenous name 'Jabiru' was so much better. However as you state 'Jabiru' 
is not an Australian indigenous name.  It is a Tupi-Guarani name of South 
America which means 'swollen neck'.  This is because the real Jabiru has a 
bald head and neck and swells its neck in display.  Our slender necked birds 
never have a swollen neck, except maybe when a large eel is being swallowed. 
I learnt the bird as 'Jabiru' and still called it by that name in 1972 when 
I saw my first wild bird near Grafton, NSW.  To call our beautiful bird 
'Jabiru' is like calling our 'Emu' an 'Ostrich'.  They are related species 
but are quite distinct.  So Michael when you see a Black-necked Stork flying 
over you can always say to yourself 'there goes a Jabiru' but when treating 
the species in publications, correspondence and at group meetings it is 
always best to use the correct names as it otherwise may cause confusion and 
we should teach younger birdos the correct names.

You might be happy to know that the 'Black-necked Stork' is likely to be 
called the 'Satin Stork' in Australia and New Guinea when we can get more 
genetic work done to prove that the race australis is genetically distinct 
from the nominate race asiaticus of Asia.

"A rose by any other name".  I am sure that if you saw your first 
Black-necked Stork and hadn't heard the incorrect name of 'Jabiru' you would 
still have been enthralled.  I am captivated by the species despite its 


Dr Greg. P. Clancy
Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
| PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
| 02 6649 3153 | 0429 601 960

-----Original Message----- 
From: michael hunter
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2017 5:26 PM
Subject: names

   Once again a few academics, mostly not Australian, if not Un-Australian, 
are foisting otherworldly names onto us Aussie birders.

  Common names , NOT ENGLISH names, for Australian birds are names commonly 
used by about 99% of Australian birdwatchers for our birds. It is appalling 
that colourless English names like Black-necked Stork have been inflicted on 
us by a few pseudo-academics who are presumably incapable of memorising 
Scientific names.  Jabiru may be the common name of a South American Stork, 
but changing the official “common” name for any birdwatcher witless enough 
to confuse the two in the field was an amazing arrogance. One justification 
was that people reading birdguides will be confused in not justified.

   These people are meddling with our Australian common names, which are , 
or were, spontaneous non-scientific vernacular.
   Among many examples, “Jabiru” and “Torres Straits Pigeon” had romantic 
(in the broad sense folks) connotations lost in the bland generics we are 
told to use instead. As a youth my first sighting of the legendary Jabiru 
was very exciting, and stimulated a life-long interest in Birding.  Seeing a 
Black-necked Stork would not have.

  “Willy Fantail”   They must be joking.



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