Renaming all North American Birds
This is by far the dumbest thing I have seen in birding ever. Seriously, is there nothing conservation related you can spend your time on? Outreach to under-represented groups? NACC proposals to update NA taxonomy?
Also your proposal to change common names would perhaps be taken a bit seriously if you didn't include numerous spelling and related errors...
Next: renaming the American continent, as America was named after Amerigo Vespucci (aka Americo Vespucio): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerigo_Vespucci
Who are these people?
They don't propose renaming all american birds, just those named after white people. Do you seriously need to make clickbait titles even on birdforum?
Personally I have noticed this weird tendency to have bird names in English after people and not the birds themselves a long time ago and consider it absurd. Does everything need to be a little memorial to someone? In Czech, there are a few similar outliers, but most birds are named after some feature of theirs, which is muchore logical. Moreover, that's also more likely to be stable in time.
I am not personally bothered by the fact that the names come from "white people", but having a bird named after a confederate general is outrageous and that really needs to be changed. We have also removed all references to Stalin from all our naming systems .
Ross’s Goose to Pygmy Snow Goose
Ring-Necked Duck to Ring-Billed Duck
Steller’s Eider to Siberian Eider (Duck)
Barrow’s Goldeneye to Mountain Goldeneye
Gambel’s Quail to Sonoran Quail
Clark’s Grebe to Yellow-Billed Grebe
Cory’s Shearwater to European Shearwater
Buller’s Shearwater to New Zealand Shearwater
Audubon’s Shearwater to Caribbean (Tropical Atlantic) Shearwater
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel to Ubiquitous Storm-Petrel
Leach’s Storm-Petrel to North Ocean Storm-Petrel
Brandt’s Cormorant to Pacific Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant to Littoral Cormorant
Cooper’s Hawk to Aggressive Hawk
Harris’s Hawk to Pack-Hunting Hawk
Swainson’s Hawk to Grasshopper Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk to Iron Hawk
Ridgeway’s Rail to Western Rail
Wilson’s Plover to Thick-Billed Plover
Whimbrel to Whimbrel Curlew
Hudsonian Godwit to Muskeg Godwit
Baird’s Sandpiper to Long-Winged Sandpiper
Kittlitz’s Murrelet to Glacier Murrelet
Scripps’s Murrelet to Gray-Black Murrelet
Craveri’s Murrelet to Baja Murrelet
Cassin’s Auklet to Blue-Steel Auklet
Bonaparte’s Gull to Boreal or Tree-Nesting Gull
Sabine’s Gull to Xema (Tundra) Gull
Ross’s Gull to Pink-Hued Gull
Franklin’s Gull to Pothole Gull
Heermaan’s Gull to Mexican Gull
Forster’s Tern to Marsh Tern
Vaux’s Swift to Small-Billed Swift
Rivoli’s Hummingbird to Majestic Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird to Chaparral Hummingbird
Costa’s Hummingbird to Desert Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird to Pacific Hummingbird
Lewis’s Woodpecker to Great Basin Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker to Eastern Red-Capped Woodpecker
Williamson’s Sapsucker to Ponderosa Sapsucker
Nuttall’s Woodpecker to California Woodpecker
Sprague’s Pipit to Shortgrass Pipit
Couch’s Kingbird to Gulf Kingbird
Cassin’s Kingbird to Mountain Kingbird
Peewees renamed Contopus
Olive-Sided Flycatcher to Olive-Sided Contopus
Say’s Pheobe to Peach-Bellied Contopus
Hammond’s Flycatcher to Canopy Flycatcher
Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher to Scissor-Tailed Kingbird
Fork-Tailed Flycatcher to Fork-Tailed Kingbird
Cassin’s Vireo to Olive-Sided Vireo
Hutton’s Vireo to Kinglet Vireo
Steller’s Jay to Black Crested Jay
Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay to Interior Scrub Jay
Clark’s Nutcracker to Alpine Nutcracker
Bewicks Wren to Shrub Wren
Townsend’s Solitaire to Rocky Mountain Solitaire
Bicknell’s Thrush to Atlantic Nightingale-Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush to Boreal Nightingale-Thrush
Bendire’s Thrasher to Straight-Billed Thrasher
LeConte’s Thrasher to Mohave Thrasher
Smith’s Longspur to Tree-line Longspur
McCown’s Longspur to Dakota Longspur
McKay’s Bunting to Island Snow Bunting
Louisiana Waterthrush to Stream Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush to Fen Waterthrush
Prothonotary Warbler to Golden Swamp Warbler
Swainson’s Warbler to Pocosin Warbler
Tennessee Warbler to Spruce Warbler
Lucy’s Warbler to Sonoran Warbler
Nashville Warbler to Blue-Gray Headed Warbler
Virginia’s Warbler to Great Basin Warbler
Connecticut Warbler to Eye-Ringed Warbler
MacGillvray’s Warbler to Brush Warbler
Kentucky Warbler to Understory Warbler
Kirtland’s Warbler to Jack Pine Warbler
Cape May Warbler to Tiger Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler to Flame-Faced Warbler
Palm Warbler to Wagging Warbler
Prairie Warbler to Scrub Warbler
Grace’s Warbler to Mountain Pine Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler to Fir Warbler
Canada Warbler to Shady-Woods Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler to Black-Capped Warbler
Morelet’s Seedeater to Northern White-Collared Seedeater
Botteri’s Sparrow to Semi-Desert Warbler
Cassin’s Sparrow to Southern Plains Warbler
Backman’s Sparrow to Palmetto Sparrow
Baird’s Sparrow to Northern Plains Sparrow
Henslow’s Sparrow to Tall-Grass Sparrow
LeConte’s Sparrow to Wet-Grass Sparrow
Nelson’s Sparrow to Disjunct Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrow to Great Basin Sparrow
Harris Sparrow to Taiga Sparrow
Bell’s Sparrow to Chaparral Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow to Willow Sparrow
Abert’s Towhee to Sonoran Towhee
Tanagers to Piranga
Scott’s Oriole to Yucca Oriole
Brewer’s Blackbird to Pasture Blackbird
Cassin’s Finch to Inter-Mountain Finch
Lawrence’s Goldfinch to California Goldfinch
Dangerous and senseless to censor history. For explorers and those whose findings can never be truly theirs, it's been almost the sole acknowledgement of discovery to plant your name on what you've found.
Named places and things are no different than the signature at the bottom of a card, and the fact that something is named is simply proof that the information was gifted to the world.
Brave new world we live in...
@andy: still not nearly all birds :) Some of the non-white-people proposals are actually things that were bugging me for years and make perfect sense, such as Ring-necked Duck. And Tanagers really need to be completely redone, too many things are called "Tanager", even from different families!
Cory's to European Shearwater is a bit silly though, that's too "america-centric" name.
I mean if you're going to rename all North American 'tanagers' to Piranga, then what's the point of having Scarlet Piranga, Summer Piranga, Western Piranga, etc. Why not just go all the way and call them Piranga olivacea, P. rubra, P. ludoviciana, etc?
There's no such thing as a perfect bird name, as long as we all know what the names Scarlet Tanager or Song Sparrow or Ring-necked Duck refer to, then what's the problem? I do think Palmetto Sparrow and Dakota Longspur are wonderful names, though 8-P
For me the main problem here is that the English nomenclature is typically two words with one being more general and the other one describing a sub-type and that makes it look like genus and species, which it monumentally isn't though. I mean in Czech, we still suffer from the fact that the taxonomy shifted a lot in the 150 years since the Czech binomial names were standartised, but we at least started with genus-species names.
The whole bird name thing has been done a few times on here already ... ;) The latin binomial is there for accuracy ...
I agree some of those proposed new names do look quite fun (not that we have to change them). Also a handful of specific examples (eg the quoted McCown's Longspur) could be renamed for reasons given.
I looked up Montezuma. During the Flower Wars tried to get as many people for human sacrifice as he could (wikipedia).
Not all, but this would be a significant destabilization of current common names. If it was just 5 or so I wouldn't have titled this that way. Also presumably this list is rather incomplete. After all, if Hudsonian is problem, so is American for the same reasons, since both ultimately derive there names from European explorers
There have been a few suggested names over the years I have been fine with...someone over in the taxonomy forum suggested renaming all the new world vultures to condor, so you would have Turkey Condor, Black Condor, King Condor, etc besides the current California and Andean. I rather like that. And Painted Whitestart is a lot better name than Painted Redstart. But most of these are just as bland or uninformative as a the original.
We had a big attempted re-naming of English bird names here in the UK a few years ago, including trying to impose some Americanisms (“Winter Wren” for our sole Wren species, anyone). Hardly any are used. In many cases “Common”, “Northern”, “European” or “Eurasian” was simply tacked onto the common name - I still can’t remember which of those was applied to our (the real) Robin, but I always preferred Not BB’s “Northern Orange-breasted Robin-chat”.
Anyway, no reason why you Yanks shouldn’t suffer in your turn ;)
My immediate response is that no two word name should ever be replaced by a three word name ....
(It's tempting to use every single one of the emojis available on my right to accompany the above statement of fact, but I shall resist that temptation and leave each to their own...)
Is this just people with nothing better to do in Lock-down? Or as a result of the Black-lives-matter campaign - which I wholeheartedly support. But this is just change for changes sake. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The only one I ever liked from the 'change' over here is Rosy Starling.
It is again an example that taxonomy is not science. Bird names and genera are artificial creations, which prompts surprisingly many people to changing them at a whim.
I only support formally recognizing Caspian Tern as a Carrot (Tern), because it is in everyday use in many languages. ;)
Without wishing to be offensive, what these latecomers to birding are doing, is akin to a Brit, arriving in America and changing all the rules to Ice Hockey. Birding has already become politicised recently, I hope it's a trend that dies, very quickly.
How is the progress of renaming all Parulidae from Warblers to else, since they are not Warblers Sylvidae?
Also, not solved for many years is renaming Acrocephalidae, Phylloscopidae, Cettidae and Locustellidae from warblers to something else, because they are not related to Sylvidae. Locustella could be renamed Grassbirds, which actually is quite suitable.
As there is no good reason to change something just for the sake of change, the same can be said about not changing anything for the sake of keeping things as is, without even contemplating changes or improvements. Some people seem to counter-push their agenda, against an agenda, and complain that the ones started the name changing have an agenda. Talk about hypocrisy.
There are many good reasons to change bird names. For example, a Grey heron over here is literally a Blue heron. In the early days it was a Grey heron as well, so I would vote for a change immediately.
Some names are just confusing (Black-tipped cotinga for example).
Other names are spot on and don't need change (most of them).
Okay, can we at least get Agressive Hawk? That's just so cool!
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