Identifying bird groups in need of a name change

To: Birding-Aus Aus <>
Subject: Identifying bird groups in need of a name change
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 14:14:46 +1100
The International Ornithological Congress (IOC), which is made up of members from some 50 countries, has drawn up a list of "Recommended English Names" for the worlds birds and it is available as hard copy, "Birds of the World; Recommended English Names: Ed. Frank Gill & Minturn Wright, pub. Princeton University Press and online at: The on-line version is regularly up-dated. The IOC English names list has come about after much debate and consensus by the members of the congress, who repres

The IOC is made up of some 200 of the worlds most eminent Ornithologists, the Australian representatives to the IOC are; Walter Boles, William Buttemer and Michael Clarke and Australia is also represented by Senior Members, Prof. Jiro Kikkawa, Dr. Ian Rowley and Dr. Richard Schodde.

I admit that many English common names are confusing and inappropriate, but as standardised names, everyone knows what they are. Some though, do have a certain charm (the thought of seeing a Festive Amazon (Amazona festiva), particularly if accompanied by a pair of Parus major, makes me weak at the knees). There is a case for many changes, so as to simplify and clarify common names, but it should be done through the proper channels and with international agreement. You can't just run off plucking names out of the air and start using them willy-nilly. The state of English nomenclature is confused enough as it is, no need to add to the confusion. If there enough support for changing a common name, have it put up to the IOC by one or more of our local representatives.


Carl Clifford


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