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Bird Names To Change

By Mic McCarty, Board Member and Field Trip Coordinator

Clark's Nutcracker

There will soon be no more Clark’s Nutcracker or Townsend’s Warbler. All common bird names that are eponyms or deemed offensive will be changed.

The changes include 152 English names within the North American Classification Committee region and 111 additional ones covered by the South American Classification Committee.

The first focus will be 70-80 species in the U.S. and Canada.

According to The American Ornithological Society, "There are many considerations for what makes a good name. For example, stability is important to the usefulness of names; the longer a name has been in use, the more likely it will be remembered, recognized, and attributed correctly.

"If a name is derogatory or conjures ill feelings for people, however, it detracts from the focus, appreciation, or consideration of the birds themselves. The AOS Council is committed to addressing such potential barriers to engaging a wide and diverse set of audiences in our shared enjoyment and study of birds."

For more detailed information go to the pages below.

eBird News page: AOS Announces Plan to Revise Eponymous Bird Names—What Does That Mean for eBirders? Read more.

American Ornithological Society (AOS) Council Statement on English Bird Names. Read more.


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