[Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] Welcome Swallow]

To: "" <>
Subject: [Fwd: [BIRDING-AUS] Welcome Swallow]
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 12:08:51 +1100
I forgot to send this on to birding-aus, but this gives me chance to add
that the Ancient Greek 'xenos' in Gould's scientific name 'neoxenos'
means both 'stranger' and 'guest'. A hospitable people, then and now.

As so many of our birds were given their official monickers by Gould,
it's always worth checking the Handbook. 
Anthea Fleming
--- Begin Message ---
To: Trevor Quested <>
Subject: Welcome Swallow
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 11:51:10 +1100
Trevor Quested wrote:
> Help please,
> I was asked by an American birder how did the Welcome Swallow get its
> name?
> I don't know and wondered if others could help me please.
> Trevor Quested
> Sydney, Australia
Good question, Trevor.
John Gould named the Welcome Swallow, which he first met in Tasmania.
'The arrival of this bird in the southern portions of Australia is
hailed as a welcome indication of the approach of spring'. (Handbook,
vol.i, p.107).
I knew an Englishman once who always called it the 'Welcome Home
Swallow' to express his conviction that the name was ridiculous in the
first place, and unnecessary because it was 'identical' with the true or
English swallow. In this he was of course mistaken. He didn't believe in
Dusky Moorhens either.
I have always thought Welcome Swallow was a good name. Last week the
local ones were feeding their newly fledged young in flight.
Anthea Fleming in Ivanhoe (Vic)

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