Mynas agin

To: "'Geoffrey Dabb'" <>, <>
Subject: Mynas agin
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 16:26:22 +1000
No surprise that ‘Myna Bird’, a form that, curiously, has now come into use in Australia for the Common Myna. I wouldn't think that curious or in any way wrong. They are both Mynas and as most people don't know the word Myna to be a bird, they are called "Myna birds". In Australia we only have one member of the group, so in general parlance, that term is adequate and definitive. In that context as a generality 'Myna Bird’ is a perfectly reasonable name, no less than Magpie, etc. In the USA I expect the Myna species most familiar there or indeed the only one well known would be the Hill Myna Gracula religiosa, because as you say it is a species often kept in North America, as a cage-bird. I think it acceptable to refer to a tree as a gum or a wattle and be entirely certain that I am correct, when I don't know the species and indeed the particular species is of no relevance to what I am communicating. As for journalists getting it wrong, well that is another whole issue and nothing new there.  
-----Original Message-----From: Geoffrey Dabb [ Sent: Monday, 16 April 2012 3:12 PM     To:
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Mynas

I am all for a bit of freehand name-using, and getting away from some of the more cumbersome labels.  However, Mark is correct in pointing out that departure from a name that is to be preferred in the interest of avoiding confusion can, well, cause confusion.  I have a paper file somewhere from years ago of correspondence with the Canberra Times about this same ever-newsworthy species.  Not only was a photo of the Noisy Miner once used, but on another occasion a photo of a Hill Myna Gracula religiosa, a species often kept in North America, as a cage-bird.  The cage-bird is often known in the US as a ‘Myna Bird’, a form that, curiously, has now come into use in Australia for the Common Myna.      

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