Plurals of Birds

To: "'Jill & Reg Oakley'" <>, "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Plurals of Birds
From: "Tony Russell" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 16:05:57 +1030
In my view there's no reason for birders to invent some sort of special or "s-less" plurals for birds. The English language provides adequate rules for expressing singular and plural forms of names and nouns, with just a few weird exceptions like aphid, dice, etc.
For birds, I put the "s" on. Sounds ridiculous and incorrect to me to say anything other than "two crows" or "five albatrosses" or ' ten ibises" or " four magpies".  However, I expect some pseudo academic pedant will come up with some "scientific rationale" for saying two crow or four magpie. As if things aren't complex enough already.
Ho hum.


-----Original Message-----
From: [ On Behalf Of Jill & Reg Oakley
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 3:36 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Plurals of Birds

There is a discussion of collective nouns for birds going on. Perhaps there could be a discussion of how plurals of birds are formed. That is, when you are talking about more than one bird when do you add the " s " and when do you leave it off. (Two grasswren or two grasswrens).
Unlike most areas of human activity there just seems to be no consensus amongst birdwatchers about this.  Is there an authority?  Dictionaries don't seem to be much help.
Reg Oakley
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