To: 'michael hunter' <>, "" <>
Subject: names
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 08:34:00 +0000
Anyone can use any name they like and in general in Aus, people will understand 
Jabiru as that animal. And yes it seems like a nice and distinctive name. But 
yes the Jabiru is a particular species, a South American Stork and who are we 
to steal the name? Also the Magpie is a particular species, a sort of crow of 
the northern hemisphere that sort of vaguely resembles our magpie (complicated 
by that there are many other closely related crow species also called as a type 
of magpie). There are many other examples. Our species of stork and our species 
of magpie are different from the others, so must have a different name. The 
problem with Jabiru is that it is even thought to be an Australian name or even 
of aboriginal origin. It isn't, so I reckon we should not perpetuate this. If 
we are willing to accept magpie as a group name (given that it is already used 
in that way) and use it for our bird, even though it is of another family, then 
it would be slightly less silly to accept Jabiru as a group name and use it for 
our stork. However the problem relates to that, as far as I know, Jabiru has no 
use as a group name (for a selection of stork species) on which we could 
sensibly call it the Australian Jabiru (by analogy to Australian Magpie). Is it 
any more like the true Jabiru than the other storks? Sure it seems like a nice 
name that has been miss used and widely used but that is all it is.  It is not 
about confusing them in the field, it is about the absurdity of having a book 
about storks, that has two quite different birds both called Jabiru. So sorry 
Michael, unless you have been to South America you are yet to see a Jabiru. But 
I won't mind if you still call it that. I know what it is, only because you are 
talking about Australia. And yes I had never seen a Magpie until the first time 
I had a holiday outside of Australia (2009) and visited Asia. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of 
michael hunter
Sent: Monday, 23 January, 2017 5:27 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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