To: <>
Subject: terminology
From: Harvey Perkins <>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 14:46:55 +1100
At 2:16 PM +1100 11/3/05, <> wrote:
I take Harveys point about putting in a comma but I feel he has missed my point.

I didn't miss your point (I don't think) - just didn't have time to address the issues adequately...

In the species I have noted, the Black Honeyeater should ONLY be listed as a vagrant, it is NOT a rare bird. In this case I don't think we need the word "rare" to describe it, "vagrant" gives a more than adequate description.

I agree entirely that "vagrant" alone is all that is necessary. (In an ACT context!)

However, in the ABR decriptions there is an attempt (perhaps wrongly) to provide for every species a term for abundance and another for residential status (these are both my terms by the way - I am not a member of the rarities panel and may be somewhat out in what is my interpretation). With regard to the abundance or "commonness" descriptor, I'm sure it is pertinent only to the ACT situation, not the status of the bird Australia-wide. Hence in the ACT, the Black Honeyeater is indeed rare, and it is a vagrant.

 As I said, can anyone show me a listing anywhere for a common, vagrant? 

That does indeed approximate oxymoron status. (though one could perhaps envisage an extraordinary situation where there is a short-term influx of birds that for some reason are forced well out of their normal range - Oriental Pratincoles last year in NW Aust comes to mind but doesn't really fit the bill...)

If, for example, we had a Night Parrot suddenly turn up in Canberra, then I would be prepared to accept a definition of "rare, vagrant". I know there are also variations on what is considered rare - birds of preys versus honeyeaters for example - the term is relative. This could be an interesting topic?..!!

Interesting to a minority of us perhaps!

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