Turkey Talk and Jabiru

To: "'Anthea Fleming'" <>, <>
Subject: Turkey Talk and Jabiru
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2019 16:11:20 +1100
Well that "Our stork was called policeman bird because it always appears in
pairs"... is a new idea on me and seems to me to be an obscure reason. The
book by Ian Fraser and Jeannie Gray says of the name of Black-necked Stork:
"Australian Mycteria, a real Gouldism, used by him in 1848 from the then
genus name; Policeman-bird, a lovely folk name for its tall, still posture
while hunting, and apparently stern visage...." I think that a better reason
than going in pairs. I see a parallel in that name policeman bird to the
name Adjutant Stork for the military connection for that other and
particularly ugly species of stork.  


The black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is a tall long-necked
wading bird in the stork family. It is a resident species across the Indian
Subcontinent and Southeast Asia with a disjunct population in Australia. It
lives in wetland habitats and certain crops such as rice and wheat where it
forages for a wide range of animal prey. Adult birds of both sexes have a
heavy bill and are patterned in white and glossy blacks, but the sexes
differ in the colour of the iris. In Australia, it is sometimes called a
jabiru although that name refers to a stork species found in the Americas.
It is one of the few storks that is strongly territorial when feeding.

Taxonomy and systematics

First described by John Latham as Mycteria asiatica, this species was later
placed in the genus Xenorhynchus based on morphology.[3] Based on
behavioural similarities, Kahl[4] suggested the placement of the species in
the genus Ephippiorhynchus, which then included a single species, the
saddle-billed stork...................................

(see e.g. other extracts below found on a quick search for Mycteria). I did
not know the word "Mycteria".

The Australian Mycteria. Mycteria Australis.
Artist: Joseph Wolf (1820-1899)
Engraver: Joseph Smit (1836-1929)
Image Size: 350mm x 260mm
Condition: Minor toning on sheet edge as usual, otherwise in good condition.
Technique: Lithograph, with original hand colouring.
$A 750
Stock Number: ZSBJW BI AA 004 (LPK) (C103)
Modern common name Asian black-necked stork

Modern binomial name Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus

First described Lichtenstein, 1819

Distribution WA, NT, QLD & NSW

Josef Wolf (1820-1899)

Born and educated in Prussia, Wolf was apprenticed to a lithographer at the
age of sixteen, but after three years he returned home to work on a series
of small, detailed bird drawings. This album of drawings brought Wolf
recognition from book editors and museums in Frankfurt and Darmstadt. After
working as an illustrator on commission, Wolf enrolled at the Antwerp
Academy in 1847 to study painting. In 1848, he moved to London where he soon
established himself among the leading naturalists and wildlife artists. In
1856, Gould and Wolf traveled together through Norway to study and sketch
birds including ptarmigans, golden eagles, and ospreys. Gould included
Wolf's depictions of game and water birds and birds of prey in his, The
Birds of Great Britain (1862-1873). Among Wolf's other great achievements
were his illustrations for the London Zoological Society's The Zoological
Sketches (1856-67) and D.G. Elliot's The Life and Habits of Wild Animals
(1874). Wolf became the most famous ornithological artist during his time.

Title:The Australian Jabiru (Mycteria Australis.) Young Male.
Artist: George French Angas (1822-1886)
Engraver: Joseph Wolf (1820-1899)
Image Size: 180mm x 115130mm
Condition: In good condition.
Technique: Lithograph, with original hand colouring.
Stock Number: GOANIA 001 BI AA (GGN) (B008)
One of only a few lithographic illustrations of an ornithological subject by
the colonial artist George French Angas and superbly lithographed by one of
the most famous of natural history artists of the C19th, Joseph Wolf.

Modern common name Asian black-necked stork

Modern binomial name Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus

First described Lichtenstein, 1819

Distribution WA, NT, QLD & NSW

George French Angas (1822-1886)

Painter, lithographer, engraver and naturalist, fourth child and eldest son
of George Fife Angas, a merchant and banker. As the eldest son he was
expected to join his father's firm, but some months in a London counting
house proved a disillusioning experience. In 1841 he took art lessons for
four months from Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, a natural history painter and
lithographer, and armed with this instruction set out to see the world. He
began in the Mediterranean publishing, A Ramble in Malta and Sicily in the
Autumn of 1841.......Illustrated with Sketches Taken on the Spot, and Drawn
on the Stone by the Author, the following year.

Angas's father had established the South Australian Company in 1836 and had
large areas of land as well as banking interests in the province. George
French sailed for South Australia in 1843 in the Augustus, arriving in
Adelaide on 1st January 1844. Within days he had joined an exploring party
selecting runs for the South Australia Company. They traveled through the
Mount Lofty Ranges to the Murray River and down to Lake Coorong and Angas
sketched views of the countryside, native animals and the customs and
dwellings of the Narrinyerri people. Later he drew scenes on his father's
land - 28,000 acres in the Barossa Valley - and accompanied George Grey's
expedition to the then unknown south-east as unofficial artist.

 In July 1844 Angas visited New Zealand. Guided by two Maoris, he traveled
on foot and by canoe through both islands, painting portraits of Maoris and

Angas's father died in 1879, leaving a vast estate from which George French
received only a annuity of 1000 pounds. In 1884 he went to Dominica on a
collecting expedition, finding shells, moths, butterflies and birds. Dogged
by rheumatism and neuralgia during his last years, Angas died in London on 4
October 1886.

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Anthea Fleming
Sent: Thursday, 28 February, 2019 2:32 PM
Subject: Turkey Talk and Jabiru

Our stork was called policeman bird because it always appears in pairs...
Anthea Fleming

On 28/02/2019 9:52 AM, Philip Veerman wrote:
> The word Jabiru has been carried forward and is now used in northern
> Australia to refer to more than just Australia's only native stork. If we
> accept and consider the meaning of the word and take the investigative
> to substitute it for the name, Ross's quote below becomes: "if someone
> reports a swollen neck in Kakadu there's not much doubt about what they
> actually saw." Which strikes me as odd. I don't know for sure but I
> that there will be many people who think Jabiru is an aboriginal word. I
> think that is sad, as surely such a distinctive big bird will have genuine
> aboriginal names that we could have used. Another old name is
> Policeman-bird, which has some sense for its appearance and is perhaps no
> more silly than Apostlebird.
> Philip

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