To: "Tony Russell" <>
Subject: "Jabiru"
From: "Michael Hunter" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 19:30:26 +1100
I presume Tony that you are aware that about twenty five years ago, a self-appointed, un-Australian committee (PBs mainly) changed our best local bird names to intellectualised bland boring hard-to-remember or greco-roman non-colloquial misnomers to wrestle with. Unfortunately, many of the younger generation (ie under sixty) of Oz birders have been suckered into acceptance. Delightful though it is to roll off the tongue,( like "Jabiru"), once taught to pronounce it, "Gerygone" smacks of the pseudo. I am sure that Linnaeus would not have approved of semi-scientific semantic bastardry like "White-throated Gerygone". If distinguishing Australian species from their Northern Hemisphere DNA-different look-a-likes was the name of the game for the name changers, how come our taxonomically discrete Robins weren't changed to Petroids or something. The most commonly used name for Malurus cyaneus is "Blue Wren". I'm not sure that Australians were ever strong on fairies, and apart from checklisting, I don't hear "Superb Fairy-wren" very often. A rose is a rose. If popularising birding is at all a priority in Australia, the more descriptive and less precious Australia's common bird names should be.

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