Subject: Blackface
From: "Peter Ewin" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 14:48:37 +1000
The main difference between Maori and aboriginal names is that I think there is only one Maori language (though with different dialects) so most things would have the same name across the whole of NZ. In Australia, there were many different language groups and so Rakali might be correct for one part of its range, but will be totally different in another part. For example Emu are called by Maraong by the Gundungurra people of the Blue Mountains, while the Tharawal from around Wollongong call it Birribain. Also some things have different names depending on the sex.

I also think that the rodents were changed to try and change the stigma attached to Rats, and for most species (the Water Rat being an exception) it has not been widely utilised. I could be wrong here, but I think this would take even longer to get accepted for birds.

From: "michael norris" <>
To: "Tim Low" <>
CC: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Blackface
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 14:14:49 +1000

Hi Tim

Full support with minor reservations. My comments are INTENDED to assist rather than complicate the matter.

Reservations: terms of reference for a BA or whatever group should recognise possibility of regional/State names: the Blackie might refer to different species in Victoria and WA. Also species could be lumped - most of our Ravens are, to me, just that. Anyhow I've got a strong feeling that quite a few are hybrid Australian/Little Ravens.

I hope that names used in the past 100 years or so would considered, e.g. Diamondbird for Pardalote and Warbler for Gerygone..

Also names used by the Aboriginal groups. NZ has Maori names for many birds and 10 years ago ANCA produced "Australian Names for Australian Rodents". At least one of those - Rakali for the Australian Water Rat - is coming into use widely in Victoria despite resistance by some mammalogists and linguists who have told me that throughout southern central Victoria there is no known Aboriginal noun beginning with "R".

But then down here we invaders have learned to live with "Kangaroo"!

Michael Norris
Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife

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