Old bird names - Blue-jay (One arm point thread )

To: brian fleming <>, birding aus <>
Subject: Old bird names - Blue-jay (One arm point thread )
From: Gary Wright <>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 20:11:25 +1030
Hi Anthea

You have got me started now!  Hopping Jennys were Babblers.  I don't know
now if they were white browed or chestnut crowned that we were seeing.  My
defense is I was only tagging along with my big brothers(yes, bird nesting)
and we had Cayley's What Bird is That?  We called Weebills Tom Tits and
Boobooks, Mopokes.   I can't remember any others, but my brothers may be
able to. Neither of them have gone on to be birdwatchers, although one comes
out with me sometimes.  I didn't get back into birdwatching myself from
early 60's til 1989, when I was mesmerised by a satin bowerbird male at
Pebbly Beach and had to immediately drive to Bateman's Bay to get a field
guide.  Graham Pizzey's guide at the time and one of the great things about
that book, besides the lovely writing and details about birds was the many
variations on names that he gave for each species.  So,,lots of the
colourful  local names.

I repeat standardised English names are good, I just don't like how the
colour has gone out of some of the names and they have become so flat and


2009/11/19 brian fleming <>

> When I was a kid 'Blue Jay' could be a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike
> - also called 'Summer Bird'.
> I didn't know Choughs then - I think they were classed as 'Black Magpie'
> along with Currawongs.
> In Broken Hill I had to describe Apostle-birds to a local. She said "OH,
> you mean Lousy Jacks!"
> And there are respected ornithologists who don't even know the Grey
> Fantail's REAL name - 'Cranky Fan'!
> Anthea Fleming
> Gary Wright wrote:
>> Hi Greg
>> Like Alastair I personally like all of the old names, like Blue Jay(white
>> winged chough), but I accept  having standard English names so we don't
>> have
>> to use  scientific names is a good thing.  I like the name Satin Stork as
>> I
>> think it is beautiful and descriptive of the bird.
>> Gary
>> 2009/11/19 Greg & Val Clancy <>
>>  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 name.
>>> 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 the
>>> 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
>>> Ecologist
>>> Coutts Crossing
>>> NSW

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