I think most languages have their own names for at least the local birds -
so English name is perfectly accurate in Aus (and UK, USA etc) whereas the
common name for House Sparrow in French is "Moineau domestique" (see
Interesting that the "domestique" (=House) is not capitalised....
On 14 April 2013 11:57, Robert Inglis <> wrote:
> In the name of pedanticism............
> There must be a better label than “English names”. Personally, I prefer
> “common names”.
> Or should we only capitalise/capitalize the English versions of bird
> common names?
> It would seem that some non-English speaking (as a ‘first’ language)
> birdwatchers also capitalise bird common names. For example my copy of
> “Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa” lists common names in a number of
> languages and they all capitalise the names. That is, to maintain the
> pedantic theme, except for the Zulu names which all start with one, two or
> three lowercase letters immediately followed by what looks like the actual
> name headed by an uppercase letter. I don’t speak or understand “Zulu” (I
> barely understand English these days and that is certainly often the case
> when it is written) so I can’t comment on that form of spelling and format.
> Of course, that version of that field guide was published in 1984, before
> “texting” and “SMS” so it also has punctuation and the text uses complete
> Do, for example, German, Japanese, Spanish (but to name a few)
> birdwatchers refer to “English names in their everyday birding
> Just to make it clear, I always capitalise (but rarely capitalize) bird
> Common Names.
> Bob Inglis
> Sandstone Point
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