FW: [canberrabirds] Crested Shrike-tit - names

To: "" <>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Crested Shrike-tit - names
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2018 00:08:19 +0000

These days, you will find that different books vary, in some details, both in the spec ies they recognise and in the English names they use.  It is a good idea, if you are interested in names, to read the introductory section of any book where you might find an explanation for the approach taken by the author on those matters.  See Australian Bird Guide p1 and the Hermes book p28.


The COG list follows the Birdlife Australia Working List of Australian Birds (WLAB).  That list is different in some respects from global lists known as ‘IOC’ and ‘Clements/eBird’.  WLAB is designed for the research and conservation purposes of BirdLife Australia (BLA), and derives from what is accepted by BirdLife International (BLI).  The relevant global list can be found in the 2 volumes published (2014, 2016) by BLI and the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW).


BLA is in the process of aligning both taxonomy and English names more closely with HBW/BLI as a basis for ongoing conservation work.  This is the reason for the splitting of the Crested Shrike-tit and the consequential new English names.  The split is not recognised as yet in IOC for example.


A further complication is that some publishers insist on, or strongly prefer, use of a particular taxonomy or set of English names.  If a book that follows IOC is published next year you might find ‘Crested Shrike-tit’.


Individual views on taxonomy or the best English name to use are something else.   


From: Alison <>
Sent: Friday, 20 July 2018 7:44 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Crested Shrike-tit


Thanks Philip,


However, the latest Field Guide to the Birds of the ACT , published in 2013, already lists this as the Eastern Shrike-tit.




From: Philip Veerman
Sent: Friday, 20 July 2018 2:07 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Crested Shrike-tit


Well since you ask everyone. Names are important but they are just labels. What matters is whether we understand the intent. Shrike-tit is one of those many annoying group names for something that is not a shrike nor a tit. But in our context that is what we call them. It is better than a translation of the genus name “Little Falcon”. The name doesn’t need any more than that, as there is nothing else called Shrike-tit. For whatever reason, the “Crested” was added and it is a good obvious feature, although an unnecessary extra word and nicer than uninspiring geographic descriptors. Curious to note that Cayley’s book (1932) used Eastern, Northern and Western Shrike-tits as though they should be regarded as different species. Although I had long since forgotten that. I wonder is there any basis to go back to regarding them as separate species again. The differences are trivial and they are geographically isolated. To me they should be the same species and I doubt that their behaviour differs in terms of how they react to a reflection.


I for one have never had any need for these names. It was 1981 when I was last in the range of a Northern Shrike-tit and I never have and likely never will be in the range of Western Shrike-tits.


In our area Crested Shrike-tit = Shrike-tit = Eastern Shrike-tit.  Although if anyone uses the latter, it won’t be instantly obvious.




From: Mark Clayton Sent: Friday, 20 July, 2018 9:37 AM  To:
Subject: Re: FW: [canberrabirds] Re: Spotted Pardalote attacking window


What has taken everyone so long, I have been calling them Eastern, Northern and Western Shrike-tits for years?!



On 20/07/2018 9:20 AM, Geoffrey Dabb wrote:

Excellent capture, Lindell.  (Soon to be ‘Eastern Shrike-tit’.)


From: Lindell Sent: Thursday, 19 July 2018 8:44 PM        To: Paul Taylor           Cc: Canberra Birds
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Re: Spotted Pardalote attacking window


Looks like the Crested Shrike-tit can be added to the list. This female was admiring (not attacking) herself in the window of my car last time I was at Diddam's Close to admire her!



Mawson ACT


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