RE: Publishing conventions re bird-names.,

To: "Bob Green" <>
Subject: RE: Publishing conventions re bird-names.,
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 11:45:52 +1100 gives some guidelines they used in
preparing a list of the World's bird names in English

I quote:

An important rule adopted at the outset was that the words of an official
birds name begin with capital letters. While this is contrary to the general
rules of spelling for mammals, birds, insects, fish, and other life forms (
i.e., use lowercase letters), the committee believed the initial capital to
be preferable for the name of a bird species in an ornithological context,
for two reasons.

   1. It has been the customary spelling in bird books for some years;
   2. Because it distinguishes a taxonomic species from a general
   description of a bird. Several species of sparrows could be described as
   "white-throated sparrows," but a "White-throated Sparrow" is a particular
   taxonomic species.

On 01/01/2008, Bob Green <> wrote:
> There is some interesting discussion on this point on Wikipedia
> It also poses a few other questions, alright we agree that common names
> should be capitalized but what to we do with alternative names?
> My thought is that we should always use capitals, for both names not just
> the first eg Little Eagle as opposed to the seemingly increasing use of
> Little eagle. We have a published standard of Aust. bird names and should
> adhere to it (soon to be updated upon the new release of Christidis &
> Boles).
> We don't talk about birds being seen floating in botany bay or near the
> sydney opera house or seen at the cricket at the mcg, so why treat animals
> differently.
> So much confusion can be avoided, rather than looking back at someones
> published records and trying to work out what all of these little, black,
> brown, singing, masked or pied bush birds were.
> Bob Green
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