This reminds me again of my hobby horse..the dislike of
Schodde and Mason's name "Kalkadoon Grasswren"
Who should decide the "Common" name for a bird ?
The academics can argue about the splits but surely the
finders of the bird should have an input for the "Recommended English
Name" for their bird ?
Helen Horton (who with Bill first recorded the bird) posted on
this Newsgroup (22/05/00) a preference for the name Ballara.
I quote Helen
"...If there is ever a species of falcon,
akin to the Peregrine, discovered, Kalkadoon would be a good name for it...."
"...it's always best to use a plumage or anatomical,
distinguishing feature for a species name..."
"...personally, I see nothing wrong with remaining
with the name of the locality where it was first seen -- it's a pleasant word,
moreover. Ballara was the name of a small town -- no longer there...."
I have already posted on these pages the workings of the
1994/5 RAOU REN committee which sought, received, summarised
the views of all interested parties and democratically came up with the current
list which is used by Birds Aust in the RAOU Monograph No2 "The
Taxonomy and Species.....(Christidis and Boles)"
Birds Australia president Graham Harrington was reported in
Galah (the BA Newsletter) ,No 45, July 2000,
"Tensions can arise between different sections of our
membership, such as between professional ornithologists and recreational
The responsibility of Bird Naming is extremely vague and I
hope that Birds Australia will remember that the recreational birdwatcher
should be able to contribute where possible.
I would hope that if Christidis and Boles do accept the
various splits, that BA cast around for the views of Birdwatchers what should be
the accepted Common Names !
I note that "The Australian Bird Environment Fund of the Bird
Observers Club of Australia" was one of two sponsors of Schodde and Mason's "The
Directory.." I hope that does not infer that BOCA accept unreservedly everything
printed in that publication.
Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.