Re: birding-aus Common names

Subject: Re: birding-aus Common names
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 16:07:11 +1000
At 12:05 29/07/1999 +1000, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>Here's a nice big can of worms ripe for the opening.
>What do people think of the issue of capitalising common names as opposed to
>not e.g. Red Kangaroo as opposed to red kangaroo?
>It varies considerably between publications, even from the same publisher!
>Some examples of magazines that capitalise: Wingspan, Nature Australia,
>Australia Wildlife; some who don't: BBC Wildlife, Australian Geographic,
>Geo. It differs between books too: Reader's Digest Encyclopedia of Wildlife
>doesn't but Reader's Digest Complete Book of Aus Birds and Aus Museum's
>Mammals of Australia does.
>It seems to be more common in bird circles and perhaps in Australian
>Certainly it is not standard to do so in scientific literature (Emu
>Any thoughts on the pros and cons, likes and dislikes?


A couple of points, its not JUST the Emu that uses capitals for bird
names, its also Ibis and Ostrich to name two that I've dealt with recently.
Agreed that its less common in mammal journals.

I prefer capitals because they reduce the chance of confusion, is it just
a little crow or The Little Crow, is just another of those brown honeyeaters
or THE Brown Honeyeater, etc.


Dr Peter Woodall                          email = 
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy             
School of Veterinary Science & An. Prod.  Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland              Fax   = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072             WWW  =
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)


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