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.
From: Birding-Aus On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, 23 January, 2017 5:27 PM
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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