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Eponymous Names Changing


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On 11/11/2023 at 9:38 AM, Charlie Spencer said:

The Nov. 8th 'Life List' podcast includes an interview with Ad Hoc committee member Alvaro Jaramillo.  He's one of the regular panel on the podcast but in this episode, he's acting as a guest and insider on the topic.  The episode is a deep-dive (70 minutes) with lots of Q&A about the committee's processes and decisions.

 https://lifelistpodcast.com

Thanks for the link, one more podcast series for the queue.

Also, Alvaro made a passing comment about a possible Stellar’s Jay split at the ~44 min mark

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  • 3 weeks later...

Trivia question: Which birds on the ABA list have personal names in the origin their names but are not directly named after people?  E.g., Carolina Wren, named after Carolina, named after King Charles I.  There are also ABA birds whose names include parts that originated as human nicknames (not things that sound like human nicknames).

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On 11/2/2023 at 9:13 AM, Zoroark said:

I filtered the current ABA list of birds based on apostrophes, and these 117 are those that came up:

To get the list close to 80 birds, I have to remove all birds that aren't Code 1 or 2, which reduces the list to 82:

This still ignores a handful of birds like Blackburnian Warbler, although you can remove the Chuck-will's-widow.

The Baltimore Oriole is debatable, but that's the only one I hope they don't change.

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31 minutes ago, Jerry Friedman said:

Trivia question: Which birds on the ABA list have personal names in the origin their names but are not directly named after people?  E.g., Carolina Wren, named after Carolina, named after King Charles I.  There are also ABA birds whose names include parts that originated as human nicknames (not things that sound like human nicknames).

I think most of the place names are going to be left alone, even though a few of them are also dubious (e.g. Cape May Warbler) or overly specific. Otherwise, what about all those "American" birds?

Edited by Zoroark
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3 hours ago, Zoroark said:

I think most of the place names are going to be left alone, even though a few of them are also dubious (e.g. Cape May Warbler) or overly specific. Otherwise, what about all those "American" birds?

Yes, my trivia question was which names those are.  I must admit I hadn't thought about "Cape May"--or "American".

Edited by Jerry Friedman
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15 hours ago, Zoroark said:

I think most of the place names are going to be left alone, even though a few of them are also dubious (e.g. Cape May Warbler) or overly specific. Otherwise, what about all those "American" birds?

Some recent name changes (past several years) have used place names; we now have Mexican Violetears, for example, and another "Mexican" one that doesn't come to mind right now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw much well-reasoned criticism of the justifications for making the changes.  With a couple of exceptions, I didn't see any reasons to not make them.  Maybe I missed them.

One exception was the old 'rewriting history' argument.  Removing an honorific is NOT rewriting history, no more than removing a plaque or a statue.  Deciding someone's actions are no longer worth public merit isn't in the same league with removing him or her from all records and jaiing those who dare speak the name.

The other exception was one that assumed all honorific names were given to acknowledge each individual's work in ornithology.  This overlooks the names given for other reasons entirely. 

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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