To: <>
Subject: terminology
From: "martin butterfield" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 15:06:53 +1100
An interesting topic is obviously developing here, which I shall watch with interest from afar.  Thus far I have no firm view on whether vagrants to Canberra should also be described as 'rare,' in this area (Harvey's point and comma) or whether the first word should only be added if they are rare in their native area (which is how I interpret Mark's comment).
I am not sure if the following sticks to birds or introduces a mammal (horse, hobby) or fish (herring, red) to the debate.
Of more interest to me in terms of terminology is where birds are described as common, on the basis of the official list, but which are very rarely reported.  For example the ABR for 2002-03 describes satin flycatcher as "common, breeding migrant".  How come it is only reported 10 times?  Perhaps it is common in a very restricted habitat which (these days) few people go to (and even less complete reports for).  What about rufous songlark which in that year was reported a whole 16 times or skylark reported 10 times?

 -----Original Message-----
From: [
Sent: Friday, 11 March 2005 2:17 PM
To: ;
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] terminology

I take Harveys point about putting in a comma but I feel he has missed my point. 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.  As I said, can anyone show me a listing anywhere for a common, vagrant?  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…..!!



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