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What Bird Names Would You Change?

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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 13:00   #1
bongofury
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What Bird Names Would You Change?

First of all, this is meant to be a light-hearted thread

A few birds spring to mind that don't really fit their name. For a starter, Common Redpoll isn't the most common locally, the same as Common Gull. Then there's Tree Sparrow, which should probably be Hedge Sparrow, but not to be confused with the Dunnock's nickname.

How about Grey Wagtail, should that be Grey-But-With-A-Bit-of-Yellow Wagtail?

Finally, Barnacle Goose. What were those Victorians on
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 14:16   #2
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For rather silly amusement I would rather like to change a few common names within the Phalacrocoracidae. Given that I already have some rather childishly amusing imagery conjured by the name Rough-Faced Shag I would suggest:

1) Great Shag should be an alternative name for the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
2) Red-Faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax urile) should also have an be changed to/ have the alternative name of Red-Faced Shag [actually checking online I find this may already exist as a valid alternate]

I would also suggest Ghost Gull for Mediterranean Gull - this is a personal thing simply because they always seem so pale and buoyant drifting by against the grey clouds down here on a winters day.

More seriously the name I find most inaccurate is Marsh Tit - I have never seen them in a marsh and for me they are one of the archetypal birds of good quality old broad-leaf woodland habitat. Although all tits can be seen in woodland Marsh Tits always seem more tied to this and less to hedges gardens etc. I would happily see Marsh Tits renamed as Wood Tits.

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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 14:38   #3
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I would switch Hooded Oriole and Scott's Oriole. The Scott's has a hood and the Hooded doesn't. First time I see them every year I say -- "Oh there's a Hooded, wait no it's a Scott's".
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 14:49   #4
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Garden Warbler - it's not really a garden bird is it? Not sure what alternative though?
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 15:02   #5
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Gulls for me... there'd be two only Big Gulls and Small Gulls.

Or if I'm not allowed that, then I'd change Black-headed Gull to Gnache-headed Gull. At least that way I'd get my chocolate fix every day

D
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 17:15   #6
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How about "Dirty Stinking Sparrow" for the House Sparrow, as that pretty much sums up the attitude of many of my countrymen towards this bird (but not mine, I hasten to add)?
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 17:32   #7
Cristian Mihai
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Black-headed Gull to Brown-headed Gull or Common Gull (I suppose it is the most common gull in Europe). But I don't have any idea how to change the name of the Common Gull...
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 17:38   #8
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Gulls for me... there'd be two only Big Gulls and Small Gulls.
D
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 17:58   #9
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Change purple sandpiper to rock sandpiper or even, with Bongofury's comments on the Barnacle goose in mind, to barnacle sandpiper? Well, it takes a certain of imagination to call their breeding plumage purple, and in winter they are usually among the barnacles on the rocks.
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 18:21   #10
birdboybowley
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But what would you then call the already-named Rock Sandpiper....??
How about Not-so-Common Gull for Larus canus?
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 18:27   #11
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 18:38   #12
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Shouldn't some Latin names be changed? melanitta nigra (common scoter)
would be better with black scoter m. Americana?
Aquatic warbler?
Fudge duck should also become the proper name for ferruginous duck
Buteos should be buzzards
Greenish warbler doesn't fit because most phylloscopus I've seen are greenish!

Last edited by birding maniac : Saturday 26th November 2011 at 18:43.
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 18:42   #13
Allen S. Moore
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But what would you then call the already-named Rock Sandpiper....??
I'd better stick to Barnacle Sandpiper then. I'm glad that I thought of an alternative! You can tell that I've never been to western North America or where ever else they occur.

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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 18:57   #14
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First of all, all those non-related Flycatchers, Warblers and Sparrows could do with a bit more imagination. For starters tyrant, monarch, flyrobin are available for a number of flycatchers. Maybe someone can come up with a good name for the odd Stenostira assemblage (Flytit is probably to silly?)

Warblers... let's start with calling the American gaudy ones "Parula" (now the scientific name has been toppled...). Some of the Sylvia species can be whitethroats, but maybe calling the rest of them Sylvia is a solution. Sardinian Warbler is a very silly name (especially as S. sarda is Marmora's Warbler!): Mediterranean Sylvia maybe (Lesser Blackcap would do for me). As the Locustella's are now Grassbirds, we might consider renaming them (silly for Savi's, savvy for Lanceolated!) I admit Grasshopper Grassbird does not work well either. Grasshopperbird then?

The whole American Sparrow/Tanager/Bunting/Cardinal assemblage will have to await the final call of the DNA-sequencers. Surely the Piranga tanagers can become Cardinals? As there are not too many sparrows in the Old World, I would even allow the continued use of the word sparrow – I am gracious like that!
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 19:14   #15
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As the Locustella's are now Grassbirds, we might consider renaming them (silly for Savi's, savvy for Lanceolated!) I admit Grasshopper Grassbird does not work well either. Grasshopperbird then?

The whole American Sparrow/Tanager/Bunting/Cardinal assemblage will have to await the final call of the DNA-sequencers. Surely the Piranga tanagers can become Cardinals? As there are not too many sparrows in the Old World, I would even allow the continued use of the word sparrow – I am gracious like that!


If species of Locustella are grassbirds, what about Tawny and Little Grassbirds in Australia. Have they been proved to be closely related?
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 19:51   #16
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If species of Locustella are grassbirds, what about Tawny and Little Grassbirds in Australia. Have they been proved to be closely related?
I believe they are in the same group, yes... (not the same genus though!)
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 19:59   #17
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following on from the big gull-little gull post... for waders here in the UK we normally see them in winter in non-breeding plumage so it would be much easier with grey plover, grey sandpiper, grey shank. Only three to remember and we can go home happy from the mud.

Until recently I would have voted for jack snipe to be renamed imaginary snipe as everyone else saw them but me.
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Old Saturday 26th November 2011, 23:40   #18
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Chaffinch should be renamed 'Scuttlefinch', as that's what I've been calling them for years. 'Wallcreeper' is now 'Walltoaster' (due to bad French pronunciation making it 'oualle-grille-pain') 'Great Grey Shrike' is 'Captain Excubitor' and all Western forms of Yellow Wagtail are henceforth called 'Squeaky Birds'.
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 00:03   #19
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Stick-dick for Woodcock......
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 01:44   #20
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How about Inland Gull instead of Common as I almost never see them at the coast.
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 08:11   #21
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How about Inland Gull instead of Common as I almost never see them at the coast.
How about Reedlichtieburdy for European Robin? (Sorry, it's an Arbroath joke)
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 08:28   #22
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I've always rather liked Dutch bird names, many of which could surely be absorbed directly into English usage. Some of my favourites...
  • Topper = Scaup
  • Kwak = Night Heron
  • Meerkoet = Coot
  • Strandloper = Sandpiper
  • Watersnip = Snipe
  • Wulp = Curlew
  • Stern = Tern
  • Oehoe = Eagle Owl
  • Hop = Hoopoe
  • Pimpelmees = Blue Tit
  • Koolmees = Great Tit
  • Baardman = Bearded Tit
  • Grasmus = Sylvia warbler
  • Zanger = Warbler
  • Tjiftjaf = Chiffchaff
  • Snor = Savi's Warbler
  • Spotvogel = Hippo warbler
  • Pestvogel = Waxwing
  • Boomklever = Nuthatch
  • Boomkruiper = Treecreeper
  • Huismus = House Sparrow
  • Kwikstaart = Wagtail
  • Vink = Chaffinch
  • Putter = Goldfinch
  • Appelvink = Hawfinch
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 08:41   #23
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A double renaming to save time - both Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff to be renamed WillowChiff, thus reducing posts in the Bird ID Forum by about 50%
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 08:53   #24
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Old Sunday 27th November 2011, 08:54   #25
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Since they're not at all closely related to the 'original' Old World vultures and may not even belong with other Falconiformes at all, I'd re-dub all New World Vultures (other than Condors) Turkey-Vultures. This would also have the bonus that we could drop silly qualifiers like 'Cinereous' and 'Monk' for what to me will always be 'Black Vulture.' The American version would thus become 'Black Turkey-Vulture' whilst Turkey Vulture itself could become 'Common' or 'Northern' Turkey-Vulture. Admittedly Lesser/Greater Yellow-headed Turkey-Vulture would be a bit of a mouthful, but we already happily cope with longer names,
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