I assume that the name change was proposed to match with what had been the
traditional name for the European species (B. oedicnemus). However, looking
up both the Howard and Moore (H&M) Checklist of the birds of the World and
Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW3), this species is called the Stone
The species listed as Thick-Knees in the former of these references (the
more recent list) are:
Senegal Thick-knee (Burhinus senegalensis)
Double-striped Thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus)
Peruvian Thick-knee (Burhinus superciliaris)
The three others listed below (including the 2 Australian species) are again
Stone Curlews (though these are all Thick -knees in HBW3). Note H&M has a
very different approach to the use of dashes in common names.
Two other species of African distribution are respectively called:
Water Dikkop (B. vermiculatus)
Spotted Dikkop (B. capensis)
The South Africans know how to allocate a great name.
From: L&L Knight <>
To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Thickknees/UQ
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 20:00:54 +1000
You will find that the Bible, in the form of Shorebirds, refers to the
birds in question as Bush Thick-knees, as I suspect, does the The Clements
Checklist of Birds of the World. If you have a look at
http://www.oceanwanderers.com/Shorebirds.html that there are a group of
other species that also rejoice in the moniker of Thick-knee - the:
Senegal Thick-knee (Burhinus senegalensis) Range: central Africa
Double-striped Thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus) Range: C America, Northern
S America, Caribbean
Peruvian Thick-knee (Burhinus superciliaris) Range: coastal Peru, S America
Great Thick-knee Esacus (Burhinus recurvirostris) Range: India, Malaysia
Beach Thick-knee Esacus (Burhinus magnirostris) Range: from southern
Malaysia through Australia.
You have to admit that the group in birds look nothing like curlews, and I
don't think they have any special affinity for stones, so I don't know why
they should be saddled with the name Stone-Curlew. If they weren't part of
an international complex, I would have thought the name weeloo would have
been more appropriate.
As for the night heron, I would think that rufous is more descriptive than
On Friday, April 6, 2007, at 04:53 PM, Greg wrote:
'Stone-curlew' is the 'official' common name ending for both species in
Christidis and Boles 1994. 'Rufous Night Heron is 'officially' Nankeen
It is interesting that so many people have picked up on 'Thick-knee' and
'Rufous Night Heron' as they were only ever proposed official names as far
as I am aware. Usually people fight for decades against the new names.
I don't mind 'Rufous Night Heron' as it is more accurate but it was
rejected as people considered that 'Nankeen' had a more interesting ring
to it. Nankeen used to refer to a rufous colour but now refers to a yellow
colour. The Nankeen Kestrel was proposed to be called the Australian
Kestrel and this has stuck with some people too despite it being retained
as Nankeen Kestrel. I think that the problem arose because a field guide
was published at the time that these names were being bandied about.
Anyway that is my understanding of what happened. Brain's trust please
correct me if I am wrong?