Whats in a name

Subject: Whats in a name
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 20:49:13 +0200
Hi Michael and others,

here a slight diversion from the jabiru thread. You mention the
Black-shouldered Kite. To my knowlegde all "Black-shouldered Kites"
have different english names since split:

Australia: Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris, Australische Grijze Wouw)
Europa (Asia?): Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus, Grijze Wouw)
New world: White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus, Amerikaanse Grijze Wouw)
(Dutch names thrown in for fun)

And I'm happy with that since this makes it easier for a world birder
to communicate and to keep a world list. It is difficult enough with
countries like New Zealand (Kingfisher).

Actually the other way around is even more confusing when keeping a
world list: different names for the same species in different regions
or bird books. Like Pintado Petrel (South African name for Cape Petrel
in Sasol (1995)) and what about Yellow-bellied Sunbird (apparently an
older name?). Olive-backed in the rest of the world.
While keeping my world list I even came across birds with different
English names and different genus names, still being the same species.

I would have no problems with one worldwide authority naming birds
(and keeping track of splits and lumps worldwide but thats another


Simon Plat
The Netherlands
Quoting michael hunter <>:

Hi All,
          A great hobby-horse of mine is the re-naming of "Jabiru", (or even
Australian Jabiru,) to "Black-necked Stork".
          How prosaic can a name like Black-necked Stork be for such a
magnificent beast, how unimaginative and boring for such a beautiful
bird.(Jabiru is a Portugese name for stork, and given to a South American
species, but only pedantry can excuse not using the name in Australia and
Asia, where the species do not overlap).
         There are several examples of different birds in foreign lands
having the same name. Black-shouldered Kite is one, the African/Eurasian is
similar with a different scientific name, but both are called
"Black-shouldered Kite", please contribute any others.
Michael Hunter
Mulgoa Valley
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge


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