To: <>
Subject: terminology
From: <>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 13:02:44 +1100

G’day all,


This is NOT criticising anyone, it is something that has been annoying me for a long time. I nearly brought it up at the member’s night in January but thankfully sanity prevailed and people opted for Geoffrey Dabb’s entertaining productions over what would have been a very dry (but possibly animated) talk by me.


I was looking through the bird photos in COG’s photo gallery and noticed…”Black Honeyeater….Rare vagrant”, then came across Yellow-tufted Honeyeater….”Rare visitor” so I then had a look at the Painted Honeyeater. It is listed as “rare, breeding migrant”.  What has annoyed me for a long time is the term “Rare vagrant”. I did actually manage to come across a record of an “uncommon vagrant” in a recent COG Annual Bird Report. Can anyone tell me of a “Common vagrant”? To me the term should be either “Rare” or “Vagrant”, the two words to my way of thinking just do not go together. By saying “rare” for the three species I have mentioned means their status is very similar when plainly it is not, with the Yellow-tufted being far more common in the local area that the other two species. Generally most of the birds termed as “rare vagrant” are not rare in the true sense, they are just vagrants ie birds that have for some reason have turned up well out of their normal range and only do so on rare occasions.


We need to look at a whole lot of our terms when discussing our birds locally. Michael Lenz’ note this morning about “DY” is another case in point.


Now that I have opened Pandora’s Box, let me see/hear your views.




PS my next pet peeve is just what constitutes Australia’s birds, but more on that at a later date…………………………….!!


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