BBC story - capitalising bird names

To: "'Mark Stanley'" <>, <>
Subject: BBC story - capitalising bird names
From: "SeanDooley" <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 07:52:01 +1100
Hi Mark,

This is a pet peeve of mine, (and one that has been discussed before on this
forum so I won't go into the debate about why we should capitalise bird
names). While I don't specifically know why the BBC have gone down the
lower-case path, I do know that they are not Robinson Crusoe in this, and
that this is the standard in the publishing world. 

I had to make a strong representation to my publisher to maintain
capitalisation of bird names in my books The Big Twitch and Anoraks to
Zitting Cisticola. I have never been successful when writing for other
publications such as The Age. Even Australian Geographic, which prides
itself on accuracy when it comes to the natural world refuse point blank to
stray from the standard lower-case approach. More than one editor I have
dealt with has privately admitted they would prefer to use capitalisation
but are bound by the house style. And thus readers will never know that when
they read the line "A little penguin popped its head out of the water next
to the boat" whether the bird in question was the species Eudyptula minor or
whether it was a small penguin of indeterminate species.

Sean Dooley

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Mark Stanley
Sent: Tuesday, 3 January 2012 10:58 PM
Subject: BBC story - capitalising bird names

I noticed that the article in the link supplied by David uses lower-case
letters for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper's name and I recall this issue being
raised before on birding-aus.  Has anyone found out why the BBC takes this
approach? I have asked them myself but not very hopeful of a response.

Mark Stanley

Message: 3
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 07:47:44 +1000
From: david taylor <>
To: " Aus" <>
Subject: Project to save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; CHARSET=US-ASCII

This is worth waching


David Taylor

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