[birdswa] names

To: "" <>
Subject: [birdswa] names
From: Martin Cake <>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 07:50:14 +0000

Clements changed the name for leucocephalus back to Pied Stilt in 2006, so 
presumably there would be no argument from the Americans.

Pied Stilt was also certainly in regular Australian usage in the 80s and was 
the name I first learnt. See for example the Readers Digest complete book.

But note BirdLife Aus currently adopt the split (in WLAB v2), so your two names 
scenario would also mean re-lumping it, not just renaming it. So much for 

You say under this scenario both names could be used, but surely this move 
would really confuse rather than clarify the question of what is 'the 
Australian name' for this bird.

Sent from my iPhone

> On 31 Jan. 2017, at 12:28 pm, Frank O'Connor <> wrote:
> *** For those on the birdswa email list, you won't have seen the earlier 
> discussion on common names, but most of what I say below is WA related so I 
> have included you. ***
> As John Graff and others have said, the 'white-headed' stilt in Australia is 
> the Banded Stilt, not the 'Black-winged' Stilt. The Black-winged Stilt has 
> black on the back of the head and the neck. Both have the (sub) specific name 
> of 'leucocephalus' with different genera which to me is strange to have both 
> in the same family.
> The IOC (and others?) has split the Black-winged Stilt and gave it the name 
> White-headed Stilt. This doesn't just occur in Australia but through quite a 
> lot of South East Asia (if this includes Indonesia, Moluccas, Sundas, 
> Phillippines, etc?).
> From BirdLife Australia's perspective, we are trying to come up with names 
> for every taxa. It doesn't matter whether you regard it as a full species or 
> sub species. A first pass was done for the sub species but it needs revision. 
> White-headed Stilt was heavily discussed by the English Names Committee. 
> There was strong resistance to using White-headed. Black-necked and several 
> other names were discussed. Pied was initially mentioned but there was 
> thought that this was a common name in North America. When this was found to 
> be incorrect, Pied Stilt became our decision as it has long been called Pied 
> Stilt in NZ. We do prefer existing names, as long as they do not clash. We 
> hope that IOC and others will also adopt this name.
> And so if 'leucocephalus' is not split, then the species name is Black-winged 
> Stilt and the sub species name is Pied Stilt. Both can be used in the 
> Australian context. They are both defined in the WLAB (Working List of 
> Australian Birds).
> This is also the case for Western Ground Parrot. BA mostly accepts HBW / BLI 
> and they do not split WGP. So the species name is Ground Parrot, but you can 
> correctly refer to Western Ground Parrot and Eastern Ground Parrot as these 
> are the names for the sub species. Without the split, the scientific name is 
> a trinomial rather than a binomial.
> Martin Cake has correctly pointed out that this has not been done for some 
> names in common use such as Kimberley Flycatcher, Paperbark Flycatcher, 
> Western Fieldwren, etc. They haven't been discussed by the ENC. I would hope 
> that when we do that they will be changed.
> The concept here is that if the sub species is later regarded as a full 
> species, that the common name should not need to change. This is much easier 
> than it sounds though, especially when there are multiple sub species, and 
> when some of the sub species are overseas, and when several of the sub 
> species would become the split. As Martin correctly points out, the WLAB does 
> not have a means of grouping sub species.
> Martin has asked about names for the western sub species of Australian Raven 
> and Scarlet Robin which might be split. This has not been discussed by the 
> ENC, and obviously we would take other people's opinions into account if we 
> know about them. Western Raven would be unlikely to be an option, as ravens 
> occur through most continents and so Western would not really work. Western 
> Scarlet Robin might be an option (as we have Western and Eastern Yellow 
> Robin) but that would need the nominate form to be changed to Eastern Scarlet 
> Robin or something.
> _________________________________________________________________
> Frank O'Connor                          Birding WA 
> Phone : (08) 9386 5694               Email : 
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