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AOS to discard patronyms in English names (1 Viewer)

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I object to the name 'America' on the same grounds? Can we get rid of that too?
I would guess that the "directly named" part would protect bird names with locations with them. Otherwise say goodbye to Louisiana Waterthrush - Louis the 14th caused far more death and pain than Audubon or Wilson ever did.

But there are some fair questions here. Is it specified whether the Gunnison Sage Grouse is named after the county in Colorado or the Army Officer who surveyed a railroad through most of its range? What about Montezuma Quail? Hudsonian Godwit? (now we know why the Whimbel split didn't happen!) Is there an "authority" that designates whether this is "directly" named after a person or secondarily?
 
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I am curious about where they will eventually draw the line - presumably the AOS is not going to try to change the name of Blyth's Reed Warbler, Pallas's Bunting and other rare vagrants.
 
"The AOS commits to changing all English-language names of birds within its geographic jurisdiction that are named directly after people (eponyms), along with other names deemed offensive and exclusionary, focusing first on those species that occur primarily within the U.S. or Canada."

Shall we add the Pygmy-owls to the list? The boobies?
 
I am curious about where they will eventually draw the line - presumably the AOS is not going to try to change the name of Blyth's Reed Warbler, Pallas's Bunting and other rare vagrants.

Those are in their checklist, so I don't see why they would be excluded.

I'm curious where they draw the line taxonomically. Attwater's Prairie-chicken. Thayer's Gull. Wayne's Black-throated Green Warbler. Do subspecies get a pass?
 
I think an appropriate response from the rest of the world would be to comb the histories of birds to find those that have previously included a patronym (or matronym) and add it to whatever they are called currently. In addition, obviously, to continuing to use the names AOS is faffing about with.

John
 
Those are in their checklist, so I don't see why they would be excluded.

I'm curious where they draw the line taxonomically. Attwater's Prairie-chicken. Thayer's Gull. Wayne's Black-throated Green Warbler. Do subspecies get a pass?
The AOS checklist does not include subspecies or provide English names for them.
 

So, we've had several threads on the topic of changing English names. But as the AOS seem to be about to make sweeping changes to remove patronyms from birds in their area, it might be good to have a thread dedicated to the changes. Some of the species will have alternative names which are already in use and the change will be easy. Others will be more challenging to find a suitable replacement.

They're starting with species with ranges "primarily within the USA and Canada". By my reckoning, there are 92 species (using IOC taxonomy) which have a patronym and can be found in the US/Canada.

Rather than have another argument about the merits of removing patronyms or not (let's save that for one of the many threads on the topic). Why not let us have some fun and come up with/predict some of the new names that we will have to become familiar with.

Here is a list of the species I've come up with:

Ross's Goose
Steller's Eider
Barrow's Goldeneye
Gambel's Quail
Vaux's Swift
Rivoli's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
Ridgway's Rail
Clark's Grebe
Wilson's Plover
Baird's Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
Wilson's Phalarope
Sabine's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Ross's Gull
Franklin's Gull
Heermann's Gull
Cabot's Tern
Forster's Tern
Kittlitz's Murrelet
Scripps's Murrelet
Craveri's Murrelet
Cassin's Auklet
Wilson's Storm Petrel
Leach's Storm Petrel
Tristram's Storm Petrel
Murphy's Petrel
Cook's Petrel
Cory's Shearwater
Buller's Shearwater
Newell's Shearwater
Audubon's Shearwater
Brandt's Cormorant
Cooper's Hawk
Harris's Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
Lewis's Woodpecker
Williamson's Sapsucker
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Strickland's Woodpecker
Say's Phoebe
Hammond's Flycatcher
Couch's Kingbird
Cassin's Kingbird
Hutton's Vireo
Cassin's Vireo
Bell's Vireo
Steller's Jay
Woodhouse's Scrub Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
Bewick's Wren
Bendire's Thrasher
LeConte's Thrasher
Townsend's Solitaire
Swainson's Thrush
Bicknell's Thrush
Sprague's Pipit
Cassin's Finch
Lawrence's Goldfinch
Smith's Longspur
McKay's Bunting
Botteri's Sparrow
Cassin's Sparrow
Bachman's Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
Harris's Sparrow
Bell's Sparrow
LeConte's Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow
Baird's Sparrow
Henslow's Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Abert's Towhee
Scott's Oriole
Audubon's Oriole
Bullock's Oriole
Brewer's Blackbird
Bachman's Warbler
Swainson's Warbler
Lucy's Warbler
Virginia's Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler
Kirtland's Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Audubon's Warbler
Grace's Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Morelet's Seedeater

And here is a link to a Google Sheet where I'll keep track of ideas people come up with: AOS renaming
Shouldn't Montezuma Quail be on this list as well? Or would it be considered primarily a Mexican species? In which case a few other things like Morelet's Seedeater should be excluded as well.

And what about Bachman's Warbler? It's bad enough that it's extinct, but wouldn't changing the name essentially erase it from history?

As others have said I find the whole thing to be ridiculous and deeply patronizing, but since the decision's been made, what about Strip-mine Sparrow for Henslow's? Black-and-burn or Black-and-orange Warbler for Blackburnian? Fine-streaked Sparrow for Lincoln's? Suburban Hawk for Cooper's?
 
Bachman's Sparrow

As one of those species that is restricted to the pine forests of the SE USA, an alternative name that is already in use is highly appropriate here

Proposal: Pinewoods Sparrow
Bachman is actually a "problematic" person and the alternative name is great.
 
Ok, I'm going to start off with Ross's Gull

I think this one has an elegant solution, and propose the name Rosy Gull. We end up with a very similar name phonetically, while introducing a descriptive element.

Your suggestions are well in line with the Swedish names!
  • Ross's Gull - rosenmås = Rosy Gull
  • Wilson's Plover - tjocknäbbad strandpipare = Thick-billed Plover
Although Bachman's Sparrow is called palmettosparv = Palmetto Sparrow
 
It also gives the impression that they don't know how to solve a problem or that they don't agree among themselves to solve certain problematic names. A kind of ornithological revisionism
I'd say there's a general argument against eponyms, no matter who the birds are named after, which is they say nothing about the birds themselves. But this post wasn't about pros and cons, sorry!
 
Bachman's Sparrow

As one of those species that is restricted to the pine forests of the SE USA, an alternative name that is already in use is highly appropriate here

Proposal: Pinewoods Sparrow
French : Bruant/Bruantin des pinèdes, which is the translation of your proposal
 
One more departure from the WGAC and major world lists.

Cabot's Tern is not accepted by AOS, so you can strike that off the list.
I'm keeping it for now as it could easily be adopted in the future (even if the AOS won't have it on their first round) and so would need a new name (see also Audubon's Warbler).
 
Another note on the list above - Strickland's Woodpecker is endemic to Mexico so wouldn't be covered (at least right away?), and there are a number of other species which don't meet the qualification of being primarily in the US or Canada (at first glance Morelet's Seedeater, many of the seabirds, Couch's Kingbird, etc.
Thanks, removed Strickland's- don't know how it got there.

I've kept the others though, while the AOS will be sticking with the predominately US/Canada species for now, we don't have to. If anyone has any suggestions for new names for the vagrants, we can add them too.
 
Swainson's Hawk to Grasshopper Hawk seems like a no-brainer. Not sure if there's any other species that already have a colloquial alternate name. Other than Jackpine Warbler for Kirtland's Warbler, but not sure if they'll choose that out of confusion with Pine Warbler.

Worth noting that the other example I know of where a committee chose English names from scratch, with public input, is North American odonates, and the results were fantastic (North American Odonata | University of Puget Sound). I have high hopes for some great new names for North American birds.
 
Your suggestions are well in line with the Swedish names!
  • Ross's Gull - rosenmås = Rosy Gull
  • Wilson's Plover - tjocknäbbad strandpipare = Thick-billed Plover
Although Bachman's Sparrow is called palmettosparv = Palmetto Sparrow
I like the Swedish name for Baird's Sandpiper too- gulbröstad snäppa = Golden-breasted Sandpiper, although a slight revision might be needed to tone down "gold" a bit.
 
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