lumps and splits

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: lumps and splits
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 12:25:08 +1000
g'day all,
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...."
"'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 birdwatchers...... "
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.

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