Thick-knees & names

To: "Birding-aus \(E-mail\)" <>
Subject: Thick-knees & names
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2007 13:27:12 +1000
Hi Greg,

Interesting answer and probably right. Except that Greg appears to have 
overlooked the earlier recommended names list. It is the changes and the 
various independent books that have caused some confusion.

The 1978 list had Rufous Night Heron, Australian Kestrel and Thick-knee (note 
NOT "Thickknee") and yes it is its ankles not its knees that are thick but 
similar anatomical error occurs with Red-kneed Dotterel and Black-shouldered 
Kite. The error occurs because humans are unusual in walking on our full foot 
so that the ankle is close to the ground. In most mammals the ankle is about a 
third of the way up the leg, however in birds the ankle appears about halfway 
up the visible part of the leg and the knee is not visible and close to the 
body. As for the shoulder, birds are unusual in that when the wing is folded 
the wrist is sort of above the real shoulder and looks sort of like a shoulder 
but it isn't.

The 1994 list (C&B) had Nankeen Night Heron, Nankeen Kestrel and Stone-curlew, 
(note NOT Stone Curlew, as it is not believed closely related to Curlews).

I had thought that Nankeen referred to the upperparts of both the kestrel and 
the NH. Was curious to see the other comments.


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