Whats in a name

To: "michael hunter" <>, "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Whats in a name
From: "Greg" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 15:31:30 +1000
As I am presently putting the finishing touches to my PhD thesis on the
Black-necked Stork I had been avoiding the temptation to enter the naming
debate but as the stork's name has been raised (AGAIN!!) I feel I must reply.
Michael you are able to call the Black-necked Stork "Jabiru' or even
'Policemanbird' if you like but please, when communicating with others,
particularly those learning the 'accepted common names', don't create more
confusion than is already the case.

The people who imposed 'Black-necked Stork' on us are no longer with us so
it is no point blaming current 'authorities'.  The name 'Black-necked Stork'
has been applied to the species in India since at least 1890 (Hume 1890) and
in Australia at least 1900 (Campbell 1900).

I agree that the name is not popular but to call our bird 'Jabiru' is akin
to calling our Emu an 'Ostrich'.  Because Black-necked Stork is an unwieldy
word with little colour I recommended that our birds (Australia and New
Guinea) be called the 'Satin Stork' when the species is finally split from
the Asian birds and this name has been accepted by Bird Australia. It won't be
happening in the upcoming Christidis and Boles as more genetic work is
required but initial results indicate that there are two species.

Without wanting to be rude (to the Jabiru) it is not that similar to our
stork and is certainly not as beautiful.  Our birds are closer to the
Saddlebill Stork of South Africa so maybe we should call our birds
'Australian Saddlebills' - no, just joking!!!

Greg Clancy

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