To: "'COG Lists Manager'" <>, <>
Subject: Koel
From: "Mark Clayton" <>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 14:40:18 +1100

Hi David and all,


I am sorry to take so long to answer this but a health problem has had me focused elsewhere.


I think that today’s email from Geoff Bowen in the UK to the chat-line sums thing up pretty well and I am doing much the same as him with my world bird list. You will not get two taxonomists to agree completely on the different species so it is up to each individual to choose which taxonomy they want to follow. With the original version of the CSIRO list, and in this revised edition, we followed the taxonomy as cited in the references listed in the front of the book with some alterations as per the recent scientific literature. In the first edition Dick Schodde had the final say on what was the correct taxonomy and in the revised edition, Terry Chesser (then Curator at the ANWC) and Ian Mason were the authorities. No doubt the new ANWC director, Leo Joseph, will have his own ideas on what is what. A thing to keep in mind with all taxonomic lists is that they are out of date the minute they are published, unless someone out there in the ether keeps a computerized copy up to date the minute something is changed.


Also I hope your reference to the Oriental Skylark should actually be to the Oriental Reed-Warbler. Thanks for pointing this out. Indeed it is incorrect and is certainly not found in the ACT. We used an MS Word program to do the shading and it had a horrible habit of moving the shading around by itself. I know that the “original” document was correct on my pc prior to it going to CSIRO Publishing (it was independently checked by staff members from NSW NPWS and the Federal DEH). Unfortunately at the last minute, and when I was away, some fairly drastic changes were made to the manuscript (that I wasn’t happy with) and it appears to have been done on an older, incorrect, version, then sent to the publishers. Unfortunately these things do happen and most of the corrections up until about 9 months ago can be found on the CSIRO Publishing website.


I have had a few queries off line as to what list people should use in Australia. As I said above that is a personal choice. If people want to use Christidis and Boles then by all means do so. The only point I will make is that the ANWC is the Federal Governments official vertebrate (except fish) museum so technically what the ANWC publishes should be taken as “the list”. No doubt many will disagree – again personal choice.


I can’t think of too species at present that need either a scientific or common name change on the ACT list other than Australian Painted Snipe, Rostralula australis and the scientific name for the cuckoos change from Chrysococcyx to Chalcites. I will pass on any others that I come across. There are other names for Australian species that could have changed.


I hope this answers your queries. No doubt it will also start the ball rolling as a discussion topic!






ps I am NOT a taxonomist!


From: COG Lists Manager [
Sent: Sunday, 4 February 2007 6:04 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Koel


One of the many great achievement of Mark Clayton and his colleagues in producing the volume Clayton, M, Wombey, JC, Mason, IJ, Chesser, RT & Wells, A 2006, CSIRO list of Australian vertebrates: a reference with conservation status, 2nd edn, (CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Vic.) is updating the species list of birds, and the English name for some where the species is not changed but an English name change is warranted. Some of the changes were published a couple of years ago in Shodde & Mason's Directory - though passerines only there.

Name changes of species that we have in the ACT that I spotted when Mark's book was published, updating Christidis & Boles 1994, are:

- Pacific Koel - was Common Koel - different species

- Australian Reed Warbler - was Clamorous Reed-Warbler - different species

- Australian Pipit - was Richard's Pipit - different species

- Horsfield's Bushlark - was Singing Bushlark - different English name tho same species

- Eurasian Skylark - was Skylark - different English name tho same species

Any other changes to the ACT birds, Mark?

Also ... I wonder if the mention of the Oriental Skylark as being a vagrant/accidental in the ACT is a typo, or if there is a local record not generally known about?

And another also:- I note that Milburn (and many others) refer to the Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus as Pacific Swift, but HANZAB and Clayton et al. do not follow suit. Considering that its range includes not only the Pacific but also India, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Mongolia, inland China, not to mention SE Asia and Western Australia, perhaps Fork-tailed is preferable?


At 08:55 2/02/2007, Paul Fennell wrote:

Wots a Pacific Koel then?  I thought they were seldom pacified.
Paul Fennell
Database Manager
Canberra Ornithologists Group
0407 105 460
02 6254 1804
25 Pickles St Scullin ACT 2614

From: Mark Clayton
Sent: Thursday, 1 February 2007 8:27 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Koel
Evening all,
At 20 past 8 this evening a Pacific Koel was calling very close to my Kaleen yard.
Cheers, Mark

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