Four letter codes for Oz birds??

Subject: Four letter codes for Oz birds??
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 23:14:01 +1000 (EST)
You might want to consider a code longer than 4 letters. I suspect any
4 letter code will require many exceptions which has its drawbacks.
I don't know about five letter codes but its easy to come up with a six
letter code with simple rules and only a few exceptions.  For example:

1. Birds with one-word names are abbreviated by taking the initial
letters of the name:

    LOGRUN Logrunner
    MALLEE Malleefowl
    EMU    Emu

2. For two-word names, take the first two letters and the last letter
of the first word and the first two letters and the last letter of the
second last word. Hyphenated words are always treated as separate words:

    LIELOT Little Lorikeet
    BUHHEN Bush-hen
    ORECHT Orange Chat

3. For three-word names, take the first two letters of each word:

    CHBICU Channel-billed Cuckoo
    NOGIPE Northern Giant-Petrel
    NANIHE Nankeen Night Heron

4. For four-word names, take one letter each from the first three words, then
the first two letters and the last letter of the fourth word.

    BBPKIR Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher
    CBQTHH Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush
    BBSPEL Black-bellied Storm-Petrel
5. Except for these birds which are abbreviated thus:

    BUFQUL Buff-breasted Button-quail
    CMGWEL Chiming Wedgebill
    WHBWRO White-browed Robin
    WHBWWO White-browed Woodswallow

The codes these rules generate can be found in taxonomic and alphabetic
order at:

If you want to experiment with codes - try:
It lets you see the clashes a code generates.

John Shipman's discussion of codes for US birds is worth reading:

Andrew Taylor

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