I know of 2 world bird lists that are regularly updated (there are probably
others), Clements, and the IOC list. My own preference for the IOC list is
that the BOU have adopted it (mostly) for the basis of the British List.
Regular updates are published on the website www.worldbirdnames.org
Clements is also regularly updated but I am not certain who looks after this.
It is used as the base of the list of birds on the ebirds website
From: PHILIP J STRAW <>
To: John Penhallurick <>
Cc: 'Birding-aus' <>; ;
'EuroBirdNet' <>; ;
" ksu. edu" <>; 'Bulletin Board for
Ornithologists working with Neotropical Birds' <>;
Sent: Tuesday, 21 August 2012, 1:53
Subject: Re: [OB] To all users of my website worldbirdinfo
Your efforts have provided a very valuable resource, I am sure many people
access it even if they don't acknowledge it. Personally I am generally too busy
even to read emails that are not work or shorebird related.
You have gone to great lengths to provide several taxonomic lists but I am not
sure who uses which of those you provide. Presumably everyone has their own pet
list, which to some extent defeats the purpose of trying to standardise the
order and use of names. Taxonomy is being continuously reviewed and hard to
keep up with. Peters, Sibley-Munroe and Gill (1995) are all out of date
according to others who switch between giving birds new names and reverting to
original descriptions/Latin names.
One worthwhile effort is to tidy up common names that can be utterly confusing.
Recently Gill and Wright edited an update on behalf of the International
Ornithological Congress (IOC Beijing) a great deal of effort went into
standardise English bird names:
Birds of the World:
Recommended English Names
Frank Gill & Minturn Wright on behalf of the International Ornithological
One name I see extensively misused, I think mostly by North Americans (although
Wetlands International have also taken it up) is Far Eastern Curlew instead of
Eastern Curlew. Just one example. BirdLife International need to follow the IOC
recommended lists, and so should be all.
It would be good to see a similar move for scientific names. In the mean time
one could use the latin names used by Gill and Minturn (above) but I will steer
clear of such a suggestion. Bird classification may never be agreed on while we
John, at least you got me to respond, even if it is not what you need.
Vice Chairman, Australasian Wader Studies Group
Consultant Avian and Wetlands Ecologist
Avifauna Research & Services Pty Ltd
P.O. Box 2006 Rockdale
NSW 2216, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 9597 7765, 61 2 9567 9743
Mob: +61 (0)411 249 075
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