To: michael hunter <>
Subject: names
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:35:20 +0000
When I asked the question on Facebook most replied that they called the bird 
‘Jabiru' even though some were aware of the official name.  A Bininj grandson 
in Gunbalanya wrote “Yeah at top end area we called it jabiru big name but 
aboriginal name its DJAGANA”.  And he’s right, as far as Kunwinjku and related 
peoples are concerned - in my experience they all use ‘Jabiru’, as do most of 
the people I guided over thirty years.

Much of Australia's avifauna (and other fauna) is known by European names, 
although there is no close taxonomic association. And ‘Bandicoot’  is the 
common name of a genus of Asian rodents.  I don’t see anyone calling for these 
names to be changed.

Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
043 8650 835

On 23 Jan 2017, at 3:56 pm, michael hunter <> wrote:

>   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.
>         Resist.
>                Michael
> <HR>
> <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
> <BR> 
> <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
> <BR>
> </HR>

<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU