To: Stephen Ambrose <>
Subject: names
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 01:27:27 +0000
To continue in the lighter vein - a pair of Pied Imperial-pigeons nested in a 
tamarind beside our house.  We called them PIPs and their nestlings the 


On 24 Jan 2017, at 10:50 am, Stephen Ambrose <> wrote:

> 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: Re: [Birding-Aus] 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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