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What Bird Names Would You Change?

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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 15:37   #101
Richard Klim
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Mew Gull

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Originally Posted by fugl View Post
Agreed not a very euphonious name, but it is an interesting one, since "mew" is simply an archaic word for "gull".
Dutch for Gull is Meeuw (and German is Mwe).
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 16:36   #102
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that makes it more interesting, granted!
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 17:56   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Klim View Post
I'd prefer a return to the evocative eponyms that have been suppressed in several Eastern Palearctic species names...
  • Severtzov's (not Chinese) Grouse
  • Temminck's (not Japanese) Cormorant
  • Hume's Groundpecker (how can such a characterful species be reduced to 'Ground Tit'?!)
  • Severtzov's (not White-browed) Tit-warbler
  • Kozlov's (not Tibetan) Babax
  • Pre David's (not Plain!) Laughingthrush
  • Sukatschev's (not Snowy-cheeked) Laughingthrush
  • Biet's (not White-speckled) Laughingthrush
  • Prince Henri's (not Brown-cheeked) Laughingthrush
  • Ludlow's (not Brown-throated) Fulvetta
  • Hodgson's (not White-throated) Bushchat
  • Theresa's (not Afghan) Snowfinch
  • Adams's (not Tibetan) Snowfinch
  • Roborovski's (not Tibetan) Rosefinch
  • Kozlov's (not Tibetan) Bunting
I agree that they sound nice but the regional names are more helpful in a wider context and I believe that some folk associate the old names with colonialism?

From Europe I like Bluestart (Red-flanked Bluetail) and Nun Goose (for Barnacle Goose). Many European bird names are more logical than the English equivalent but there are some funny ones from Hungary like 'Underpants Buzzard' for Rough-legged Buzzard as well as the politically incorrect 'Gypsy Duck' for Ferruginous Duck (skin colour!) and it always makes me laugh when I hear people say 'gbics' (= shrike), which is pronounced 'gay bitch'
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 18:42   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csanchez7 View Post
Ok, so we'll call our sparrows buntings... however, we get to keep using warblers because... well, quite frankly... ours are so much nicer. So the old world birds get to be 'Sylvias' or 'Acros' or whatever you are already calling them. Plus, all your warblers are a heterogeneous hodgepodge of different bird families, anyways, so it makes perfect sense to me to make a big rehaul.

Don't you like the ring of Dartford Sylvia or Clamorous Reed-Acro or even Cetti's Cettia?

Carlos
C'mon guys, you can call your birds anything you want - I just wish you'd sort out your fannies and pants.....it's just wrong
And H - Zeledonia all the way for sure!
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 18:42   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Klim View Post
I'd prefer a return to the evocative eponyms that have been suppressed in several Eastern Palearctic species names...
  • Severtzov's (not Chinese) Grouse
  • Temminck's (not Japanese) Cormorant
  • Hume's Groundpecker (how can such a characterful species be reduced to 'Ground Tit'?!)
  • Severtzov's (not White-browed) Tit-warbler
  • Kozlov's (not Tibetan) Babax
  • Pre David's (not Plain!) Laughingthrush
  • Sukatschev's (not Snowy-cheeked) Laughingthrush
  • Biet's (not White-speckled) Laughingthrush
  • Prince Henri's (not Brown-cheeked) Laughingthrush
  • Ludlow's (not Brown-throated) Fulvetta
  • Hodgson's (not White-throated) Bushchat
  • Theresa's (not Afghan) Snowfinch
  • Adams's (not Tibetan) Snowfinch
  • Roborovski's (not Tibetan) Rosefinch
  • Kozlov's (not Tibetan) Bunting
Agree we should retain the commemorative names. I seem to recall Ben King being behind a bit of a push on the move to the politically correct yet ultra-bland new names. This extended to his names for the Philippine endemics and may have included Azure-breasted (Steere's) and Whiskered (Koch's).

When I go to Tibet, I'll be searching for Roborovski's and Koslov's, not Tibetan..and Tibetan..

cheers, alan
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 19:52   #106
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I'm sure I read it on BF that "Common" gull was because they supposedly frequent commons, not because of their abundance.
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 20:16   #107
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I have never subscribed to the name of Wallcreeper!...It sounds like a pseudonym for a pair of Rock-climbers boots!....

A bird this enigmatic and majesterial, should have a name more akin to it's sheer beauty, how about... the ''Crimson-Spectacle'', Butterfly-bird, the ''Crimson Marvel'' (perhaps sounding a bit too much like a cartoon action hero?), the ''Crimson-gorge gripper'' (perhaps too sensitive a name for those that need it? ), the Scarlet-grail or just Crimson-flutterwing.....anything but bloody Wallcreeper!

Ps...I've included a shot of the ''poor man's Wallcreeper''...
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 20:43   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewis20126 View Post
.....(Koch's).
Careful if you ask where to find this one Pete will explain
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 20:57   #109
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Common/Mew Gull

Quote:
Originally Posted by fugl View Post
My understanding has always been that "Common Gull" & "Common Sandpiper" were so named because, unlike most other gulls and sandpipers in the UK, they were "common" inland as well as on the coast.
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Originally Posted by halftwo View Post
I'm sure I read it on BF that "Common" gull was because they supposedly frequent commons, not because of their abundance.
Yet another theory...

Greenoak 1997 (British Birds: their Folklore, Names and Literature):
Quote:
Common Gull
...it would seem that the word 'common' refers not to the frequency of occurrence but is used in the Middle English sense of having no distinguishing features.
Alternative British names listed by Francesca Greenoak...
  • Mew, Sea Mew (Scotland), Maa, Mar (Kirkcudbright), Sea Maw, Sea Mall (Scotland), Blue Maa (Shetland), Small Maa (Shetland), White Maa (Orkney), Winter Mew, Winter Gull, Gow (Aberdeen), Cob, Sea Cobb (Kent, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk), Annet (Northumberland), Coddy Moddy, Winter Bonnet, Barley Bird (S Devon), Seed Bird (Roxburgh, Teviotdale), Green-billed Gull.

Last edited by Richard Klim : Thursday 1st December 2011 at 21:38. Reason: typo.
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 21:38   #110
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I get so confused by all these birds named after people I actually prefer descriptive names.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Klim View Post
I'd prefer a return to the evocative eponyms that have been suppressed in several Eastern Palearctic species names...
  • Severtzov's (not Chinese) Grouse why not Sichuan Grouse?
  • Temminck's (not Japanese) Cormorant all Koreans would agree.
  • Hume's Groundpecker (how can such a characterful species be reduced to 'Ground Tit'?!) well, it is a Ground Tit! But when I saw it it also pecked the ground quite vigorously. But why to involve Hume is beyond me.
  • Severtzov's (not White-browed) Tit-warbler Its white brow is definitely not the defining feature that strikes you in this bird. I also think it and the even better Crested deserve something better than Tit-Warbler. As they are "long-tailed tits", why not Jewel-Tit?
  • Kozlov's (not Tibetan) Babax
  • Pre David's (not Plain!) Laughingthrush - confusing; it is boring-looking!
  • Sukatschev's (not Snowy-cheeked) Laughingthrush - confusing
  • Biet's (not White-speckled) Laughingthrush - confusing
  • Prince Henri's (not Brown-cheeked) Laughingthrush - confusing
  • Ludlow's (not Brown-throated) Fulvetta - the alternative name is plainly wrong, so Ludlow can keep that one.
  • Hodgson's (not White-throated) Bushchat - look at it it's a Stonechat!
  • Theresa's (not Afghan) Snowfinch - hey, give Afghanistan a break.
  • Adams's (not Tibetan) Snowfinch - as I have seen two species called Tibetan Snowfinch, this one can stay.
  • Roborovski's (not Tibetan) Rosefinch - rosefinches... I won't see them anyway.
  • Kozlov's (not Tibetan) Bunting - alright then.
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 21:40   #111
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Wow. I haven't had a chance to check this thread for a few days...superb response. Love the "small gulls" and "big gulls" idea, Chocolate-headed Gull, Greenishlegs and Orangelegs.

Guillemot and Black Guillemot have always annoyed me too. I prefer Greyish-Legged Guillemot and Orangey-red-Legged Guillemot.
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 22:56   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Klim View Post
Dutch for Gull is Meeuw (and German is Mwe).
Didn't 'seamew' come from Old English?
MJB
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 22:57   #113
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Let's protect Bare-faced Go-away Bird!
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The fuzziness of all supposedly absolute taxonomic distinctions - Stephen Jay Gould (1977) "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History".
Species and subspecies are but a convenient fiction - Kees van Deemter (2010), "In praise of vagueness". Biology is messy
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Old Thursday 1st December 2011, 23:29   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halftwo View Post
I'm sure I read it on BF that "Common" gull was because they supposedly frequent commons, not because of their abundance.
Yes, that's an alternative theory. Here's a reference for it:
Okill, Dave (2004), "English names for Western Palearctic birds", British Birds 97(7): 348-9
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Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 02:40   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bongofury View Post
Wow. I haven't had a chance to check this thread for a few days...superb response. Love the "small gulls" and "big gulls" idea, Chocolate-headed Gull, Greenishlegs and Orangelegs.

Guillemot and Black Guillemot have always annoyed me too. I prefer Greyish-Legged Guillemot and Orangey-red-Legged Guillemot.
You could call some of them murres like we do. I find it really odd to call something by just one single name when there are other species with the same name -
guillemot, sparrow, whitethroat, redshank etc. There seem to be an awful lot of examples
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Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 03:29   #116
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I'm not generally one for changing names for the sake of it. I love local names and the variations that occur, much to the annoyance (and to me, endless amusement) of purists who want all vernacular names standardised.

I would echo Richard Klim's sentiments on many of the evocative old names which have bizarrely been changed for reasons I simply cannot fathom.

Having said all that, I'd be tempted to change a few names which are just plain boring: here in Aus we have a Brown Falcon, a Grey Falcon and a Black Falcon. Another name for the Australian Hobby is Little Falcon. Descriptively accurate they may be, but they are very dull names. Similarly we also have a Brown Honeyeater, A Grey Honeyeater, a Black Honeyeater, a Yellow Honeyeater and many others that are purely descriptive of how they look. what I'd love to see for this large family (just for fun you understand) are names like the sort of brilliant names given to North American Wood Warblers. With adjectives like 'Prothonotary', 'Magnolia', and 'Parula' they would seem infinitely more exotic!

Having said that, I would never change the name of the Yellow Oriole (which is Green) or the Figbird (which is a largely yellow coloured oriole) to Yellow Oriole; I like illogical and idiosyncratic names. The more the merrier.
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Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 11:21   #117
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Quote:
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Don't you like the ring of Dartford Sylvia or Clamorous Reed-Acro or even Cetti's Cettia?

Carlos
Where's my big spikey stick?

Chris
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Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 11:25   #118
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..........As they are "long-tailed tits",
.......... and, as they are not Tits, why not Longtailed-tit ( I've been using that for a while now ).

Chris
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Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 19:48   #119
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I would not change any bird names. We all know what species with the names we have so why change things. I remember seeing Mew gull some years ago in Suffolk Bird Report and thinking " what the hell is a mew gull". It took me 20 years to stop calling dunnocks , hedge sparrows , so I am going to be dammed if I am going to start calling them hedge accentors.

Leave bird names alone so we all know what we are talking about.
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Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 22:05   #120
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Originally Posted by Bowland Birders View Post
Careful if you ask where to find this one Pete will explain
Luckily I've no need to see another one.

a
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Old Saturday 3rd December 2011, 11:02   #121
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Anything with Oleaginous, Guttulated etc in it gets my vote for change.

Chris

p.s. ....or 'White-winged' when they only have white wingbars.

C
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Old Saturday 3rd December 2011, 15:27   #122
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Quote:
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Anything with Oleaginous, Guttulated etc in it gets my vote for change.
Here are a few other rudimentarily anglicized monstrosities for your list:
fasciated
falcated
pileated
and, of course, our old friend (semi)palmated.
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Old Monday 5th December 2011, 11:55   #123
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.......... and stuff like :-

Lunulated Antbird - ??????
Wing-barred Antbird + Manakin - the bars aren't anything like wings!
Undulated Antpitta - flopping Antpittas up and down will get you arrested. And rightly so.
Crescent-faced Antpitta - birds don't have faces, particularly ones shaped like Croissants.
Flammulated Bamboo Tyrant + Flycatcher - setting fire to birds is deffo out of order.
Eye-ringed Tody Tyrant - Eyes ringed or eye shaped rings all over its body????????????
Flame-templed Babbler - Zoroastran Babblers? What will they think of next?


...... and finally Alectrurus tricolor. Don't tell me you didn't think exactly the ame thing as I did 'cos I won't believe you.

Chris
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Old Monday 5th December 2011, 12:46   #124
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.......... and stuff like :-

...... and finally Alectrurus tricolor. Don't tell me you didn't think exactly the ame thing as I did 'cos I won't believe you.

Chris
And what are you thinking about Rupicola peruvianus

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Old Monday 5th December 2011, 13:07   #125
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...... and finally Alectrurus tricolor. Don't tell me you didn't think exactly the ame thing as I did 'cos I won't believe you.
On a related subject, this paper published online a couple of days ago sounds like an extremely hazardous piece of research...

Last edited by Richard Klim : Monday 5th December 2011 at 16:26.
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