New Zealand Oystercatchers

To: Peter Ewin <>,
Subject: New Zealand Oystercatchers
From: Sav Saville <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 20:21:20 +1200
Hi all,

This all might be prefaced by "don't get me started". English/common bird names in New Zealand are a shambles! I guess we have every right to call our endemic birds what we like, but New Zealanders have a host of uniquely NZ names for birds which are not unique to NZ! Hence Black Shag, White Heron, (as if the other "herons", Little and Intermediate, were not white!!?), the well known Lesser Knot, Siberian Tattler, Large Sand Dotterel, and last but by no means least Australian Red-necked Avocet!! etc etc

It is all rather embarassing, but I should at least defend Heather and Robinson since all they did was use the official OSNZ names, from the OSNZ Checklist. As others have pointed out, us kiwis are holding our breath for a new Checklist (due any time after 2003 sic) but it is likely to be a very long breath, and I for one am not at all certain that the recognised common names will change at all.

In the meantime, in an attempt to get some semblance of normality into the naming of our birds, and keep up with the trends of international taxonomy, you might try the "Official" New Zealand birders checklist on our website at:


Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
23 Duke Street
New Zealand
Tel +64 6 323 1441

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