To: 'Denise Goodfellow' <>, 'michael hunter' <>
Subject: names
From: Stephen Ambrose <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 01:20:59 +0000
Just to add a lighter side to this debate ...

I remember the late Dominic (Dom) Serventy, running a bird identification
course at the Eyre Bird Observatory around 1981 - one of the last times the
renowned and aging ornithologist was able to run such a course or excursion.
At the end of the first day of bird-watching, the course participants
gathered around to produce a list of birds seen or heard that day. One of
the species on the list was the Western Gerygone. A bird-watching rookie in
attendance asked how to spell "gerygone" correctly, upon which Dom
responded, "W-A-R-B-L-E-R."

Stephen Ambrose
Ryde, NSW

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Denise Goodfellow
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 2:35 AM
To: michael hunter
Cc: birding-aus
Subject: names

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
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