To: Steve <>, 'Michael Hunter' <>, 'Tony Russell' <>
Subject: "Jabiru"
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 20:14:57 +1100
I've heard many people use Hylacola and Calimanthus, and say they prefer them.  
Those names predate my introduction to birding, and aren't the main names used 
in my field guides, so they just confuse me.

I'm not sure of the history of all these name changes, but rather than being 
"pseudo", I wonder if people's preference for names is usually determined 
simply by what they're called when they first encounter them.  It's hard enough 
learning one name, without having it change every few years.

I always say Superb Fairywren, or just fairywren, never Blue Wren or just wren. 
 Those names also predate me.

What's a PB?

Peter Shute

From:   On 
Behalf Of Steve 
Sent: Monday, 30 November 2009 8:01 PM
To: 'Michael Hunter'; 'Tony Russell'
Subject: "Jabiru"

Well said Michael. There's nothing more annoying than a scientific name
masquerading as a common name. We managed to get rid of the Myzomelas,
Hylacolas and Calimanthuses. How did Gerygone survive?
Steve Murray

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Michael Hunter
Sent: Monday, 30 November 2009 6:30 PM
To: Tony Russell
Subject: "Jabiru"

      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
      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
     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
      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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