Indigenous names for the Jabiru / BNS

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Indigenous names for the Jabiru / BNS
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 14:10:40 +1000
I would like to see a list of indigenous names that the various Aboriginal groups had for the Aussie Stork. It is quite possible that one of them would fit the bill of providing a suitably iconic name for our attractive wetland overseer.

Regards, Laurie.

On 19/11/2009, at 2:01 PM, Alistair McKeough wrote:

Yes, it has.

In brief and from memory, Jabiru is a South American name and there is
another bird bearing that nomenclature so the international types want it

I think Jabiru is a wonderful name and the lament the ridiculous suggestion that any purported confusion with some overseas species nobody in Australia
gives a hoot about is sufficient reason to change it.

Pee Wee. Jabiru. Wonderful stuff and nomenclature I will personally continue
to use.

2009/11/19 Peter Shute <>

I think this has been discussed here several times before, so a search for
jabiru and satin in the archives might tell you all there is to know.

Peter Shute

-----Original Message-----
From:  [mailto:
 On Behalf Of 
Sent: Thursday, 19 November 2009 2:21 PM
To: Greg & Val Clancy
Cc: birding aus
Subject: Re: Re: [Birding-Aus] One arm point and beyond(dampier peninsula,
near Broome

G'day Gret,

That's pretty interesting. I've not known about the origins behind the name Jabiru. I've always assumed it was an Aboriginal name, it certainly sounds
like it could be an Aboriginal word.

How was the proposed new name of Satin Stork arrived at? Sorry if this is common knowledge, but I'm not very up to date on the process associated with
how names are decided.


Greg & Val Clancy <> wrote:

Hi Gary,

I read you post with interest and noted that you hate using the name
'Black-necked Stork'.  The neck is actually black, with a blue-green
sheen, and although probably not the most appropriate name for the
species it has been in use in Asia and Australia since at least the
late 1880's.  The bird books that I used when starting out birding
many years back all called it "Jabiru' and that is what I knew it as
for many years.  Having recently completed my PhD studies on the
species I am now a strong advocate for not calling it "Jabiru'.  The
reasons for this are: it is not a Jabiru - a Jabiru is a South
American stork species which has only a few similarities to our
elegant bird; 'Jabiru' is a Tupi-Guarani name for the species which
means 'swollen neck', referring to its habit of inflating its bald
neck pouch, very different to our slender necked species; the south
American bird has precedence over the name which is also its generic

When I hear or read the name 'Back-necked Stork' I visualise the
beautiful, elegant bird that it is I don't lament the loss of a
totally inappropriate name for Australia's only stork species.
However if 'Black-necked Stork' is too much to bear you will be happy
to know that when the New Guinea and Australian populations of this
species are separated out from the Asian populations, which is likely
in the future, the name 'Satin Stork' will,

hopefully, be applied to our birds.  This name received support from

Birds Australia Common Names Committee but it will only be with
widespread acceptance that it will become 'set in stone.'  So far I
have received a

large amount of support for the name. I hope you will also support it.

Greg Clancy
Coutts Crossing

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