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AOU-NACC Proposals 2021 (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Indeed, but the fact remains that just as German names for all birds in the world are made by German speakers, English names for birds will generally be made by English speakers, and the major taxonomies are all now more or less curated / maintained by Americans, for better or worse. Though IOC does have a more international team behind them, the principals are largely Americans, no?

And regarding this point, the thought occurs that with Ms Rasmussen is a major figure at IOC, perhaps this is reflective of an attempt to remove an eponym from both lists simultaneously?
Of course, but I've been called a racist and a xenophobe for pointing this out in the past during 'conversations' over the creation of new, non English names.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Of course, but I've been called a racist and a xenophobe for pointing this out in the past during 'conversations' over the creation of new, non English names.
There is a lot of water between recognizing that English speakers decide English names, and saying that using non English words for birds is unacceptable, that we must stay with existing English words and not add any newly adopted terms to the lexicon. This topic gets beaten to death over and over, no need to rehash it.

I do think that an interesting topic is the increased coordination between IOC and Clements/NACC/SACC. It does also appear, for better or worse, that global taxonomy is increasingly being guided / coordinated by Americans.
 

johnallcock

Well-known member
I've seen Stejneger's Stonechat (while in Japan lol), but don't really care what name they give it. It's not like Stejneger's provides some key bit of identification trivia in its name: At least Japanese provides information on where it can be found geographically. Plus, the bird, outside of vagrants to North America and ?Britain? pretty much only hangs out in non English-speaking parts of the world, so it's not like you can accuse this move of imperialism or something. Neither Brits nor Americans have some sort of special rights to the naming of this bird.
But does the name Japanese really provide much information on where it can be found geographically? Japan represents only a small part of the species breeding range. Why not provide the species with a name that is more representative of the overall distribution, maybe Oriental Stonechat or Eastern Stonechat? Or, as this is mostly a non-English speaking region, maybe consult with native languages in the region to see what name they would use?
 

johnallcock

Well-known member
Why just Asia? I had a family member who was worked, tortured and ultimately starved to death in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and I'm far from unique in this. On a less political note, it does seem silly to name anything other, than a genuine endemic species, after any place.
Sorry Andy, I didn't mean to offend. I was referring to Asia as this is an Asian species and the Japanese empire was located in Asia and the Pacific. You're right that many people of non-Asian nationalities were also affected by this imperial past.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Japanese is not politically sensitive however. World War 2 ended over 70 years ago, and the Japanese government is a western style democracy and first world country, that isn't oppressing anyone (at least anymore than is happening in every other first world country) at the moment. Japan is a current name used by the country as well (unlike say...Siam). And it actually lives and is widespread in Japan. Unless you are also arguing that we remove all geographic names in there entirety from bird checklists?

And suggesting "oriental" as a name, which does have some racial bias associated with it, is hilarious.

Now, if you want a Asian bird whose Japanese-derived name should be challenged, you really should be arguing for renaming Mikado Pheasant, a Taiwanese endemic named after a emperor of a nation which subjugated the island for a chunk of there recent history
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
There is a lot of water between recognizing that English speakers decide English names, and saying that using non English words for birds is unacceptable, that we must stay with existing English words and not add any newly adopted terms to the lexicon. This topic gets beaten to death over and over, no need to rehash it.

I do think that an interesting topic is the increased coordination between IOC and Clements/NACC/SACC. It does also appear, for better or worse, that global taxonomy is increasingly being guided / coordinated by Americans.
At a regional level, there are not that many checklists that are updated as regularly as the NACC/SACC. Plus, Brits gave up when they decided to no longer make regular taxonomic updates to the BOU checklist.

Sorry British birders, but when BOU decided to accede taxonomic authority to IOC, you effectively gave up having a voice at the table.
 

Markus Lagerqvist

Well-known member
But does the name Japanese really provide much information on where it can be found geographically? Japan represents only a small part of the species breeding range. Why not provide the species with a name that is more representative of the overall distribution, maybe Oriental Stonechat or Eastern Stonechat?
After a lot of discussion on a Swedish name, "Amur Stonechat" (amurbuskskvätta) has beed adopted and is now already well established in the birding community.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
And suggesting "oriental" as a name, which does have some racial bias associated with it, is hilarious.
Can you tell me how, perhaps I'm naive?

Edit: I see now, good Lord, they actually outlawed the word but this article actually throws some common sense at it!! I'll bet that most of the people behind this kind of thing, are actually white?


Anyway, I'll leave this for others to debate, the 'cancel culture' that exists on this site has already seen me banished from Ruffled feathers but I'll leave you with a great quote from the article.

'“White people like to tell Asians how to feel about race because they’re too scared to tell black people.”..........
 
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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Sorry Andy, I didn't mean to offend. I was referring to Asia as this is an Asian species and the Japanese empire was located in Asia and the Pacific. You're right that many people of non-Asian nationalities were also affected by this imperial past.
No prob John, just pointing out that many people suffered at the hands of the Japanese, not just other Asians.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Can you tell me how, perhaps I'm naive?

Edit: I see now, good Lord, they actually outlawed the word but this article actually throws some common sense at it!! I'll bet that most of the people behind this kind of thing, are actually white?


Anyway, I'll leave this for others to debate, the 'cancel culture' that exists on this site has already seen me banished from Ruffled feathers but I'll leave you with a great quote from the article.

'“White people like to tell Asians how to feel about race because they’re too scared to tell black people.”..........
I don't myself have a problem with the term, just the idea that anyone would think oriental is somehow more politically correct than Japanese. I don't think I have ever heard anyone suggest the term Japanese was somehow problematic (although I HAVE met someone who thinks Mikado Pheasant is).
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I don't myself have a problem with the term, just the idea that anyone would think oriental is somehow more politically correct than Japanese. I don't think I have ever heard anyone suggest the term Japanese was somehow problematic (although I HAVE met someone who thinks Mikado Pheasant is).
This is honestly, the first time I've heard this about the word 'oriental', madness.
 

Paul Clapham

Well-known member
At a regional level, there are not that many checklists that are updated as regularly as the NACC/SACC. Plus, Brits gave up when they decided to no longer make regular taxonomic updates to the BOU checklist.

Sorry British birders, but when BOU decided to accede taxonomic authority to IOC, you effectively gave up having a voice at the table.

This isn't entirely accurate. Sure, the British List is now based on the IOC taxonomy. However it does preserve some different English names. The spreadsheet I have from their site has columns headed "British (English) vernacular name" and "IOC World Bird List international English name". Many of the differences are trivial things like "Robin" versus "European Robin" but there's also some like "Bewick's Swan" versus "Tundra Swan".
 

Paul Clapham

Well-known member
This is honestly, the first time I've heard this about the word 'oriental', madness.

Well, the word "Asian" is used to refer to ethnic groups too, different ethnic groups in different parts of the English-speaking world but in all cases it's possible to use it in a pejorative sense. There's a lot of birds called "Asian X"...
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
At a regional level, there are not that many checklists that are updated as regularly as the NACC/SACC. Plus, Brits gave up when they decided to no longer make regular taxonomic updates to the BOU checklist.

Sorry British birders, but when BOU decided to accede taxonomic authority to IOC, you effectively gave up having a voice at the table.
We gave up using English, I'll concede that much.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Well, the word "Asian" is used to refer to ethnic groups too, different ethnic groups in different parts of the English-speaking world but in all cases it's possible to use it in a pejorative sense. There's a lot of birds called "Asian X"...
You can say the same about so many words, 'Yank or Yankee' for one, should that be banned too? When Americans refer to English folk as 'Limeys', that's not intended as a compliment either, at this rate, we're going to end up with a compendium of about fify, words we can use!
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
After a lot of discussion on a Swedish name, "Amur Stonechat" (amurbuskskvätta) has beed adopted and is now already well established in the birding community.
Excellent choice - the Amur River drainage is huge (looked up: at 1,855,000 km², 5 x the size of Japan!) and covers a good chunk of the species' core breeding range. And for UK birders, has a wonderfully remote feel to it - you see one, you know it's come from incredibly far away.

I think I'll start using it :giggle:
 
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johnallcock

Well-known member
I don't myself have a problem with the term, just the idea that anyone would think oriental is somehow more politically correct than Japanese. I don't think I have ever heard anyone suggest the term Japanese was somehow problematic (although I HAVE met someone who thinks Mikado Pheasant is).
Oriental literally means 'from the east' - the equivalent of Boreal ('from the north'), Austral ('from the south') or Occidental ('from the west'). It is used in a large number of bird names for species occurring in eastern Asia (stork, plover, scops owl, skylark, etc.). I've never heard it considered incorrect in these cases, although I can see that it could be used in a pejorative sense for human populations.

I agree with you about Mikado Pheasant, but the case I was referring to involved adopting a bird name for a new species (S. stejnegeri), not renaming an existing species. I don't see any clear reason for naming the species Japanese - sure, it occurs in Japan, but it also occurs in many other countries and Japan is only a small part of the range. I am aware of cases where the name Chinese has been avoided on the basis that the species is not endemic to China, but that rule seems not to apply to the name Japanese. If it is ultimately combined with przewalskii or another taxon (as suggested above), the name Japanese would become even less appropriate.

It is also a source of potential confusion in the future. For example, I think a lot of people assume that Japanese Sparrowhawk is confined to Japan as a breeding species because of the name. The name Japanese Tit for Parus minor also confuses a lot of people seeing a resident breeding species in southern China and I think is hampering the understanding of taxonomy and distribution. Why not take the opportunity to avoid this confusion at the time the split of S. stejnegeri is adopted?
 

david kelly

Drive-by Birder
You can say the same about so many words, 'Yank or Yankee' for one, should that be banned too? When Americans refer to English folk as 'Limeys', that's not intended as a compliment either, at this rate, we're going to end up with a compendium of about fify, words we can use!
Andy, according to most yanks I’ve met British and English are interchangeable. In my view that means you can refer to USAians in whatever term you choose. I am British but I am certainly not English
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
Any thoughts for new names for Dartford Warbler & Sandwich Tern? 😂

Or (for Americans) Cape May Warbler (which I gather is a rarity at Cape May?)
I've actually seen one at the hawkwatch in Cape May.

Palm Warbler seems a much larger misnomer, IMO. They breed in the boreal forests.
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
I don't myself have a problem with the term, just the idea that anyone would think oriental is somehow more politically correct than Japanese. I don't think I have ever heard anyone suggest the term Japanese was somehow problematic (although I HAVE met someone who thinks Mikado Pheasant is).
Well, I've spent a lot of time in Korea, and they have a lot of issues with calling widespread things Japanese. For example, what the world knows as the Sea of Japan, the Koreans call the East Sea. Phalacrocorax capillatus, which is known as Japanese Cormorant on the Clements Checklist, is called Temminck's Cormorant in the Korean field guides.

As to "oriental", I was told it's considered inappropriate since the designation "orient" is directionally relative to the colonial powers from Europe.
 

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