I'm not familiar with specific proposals by the AOS, but two ornithologists wrote an op ed in the Washington Post <https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/04/american-bird-names-colonialism-audubon/> a few days ago that seems to call for the elimination of all eponymous bird names. They give as examples Bachman’s sparrow, Townsend’s warbler, Bendire’s thrasher, Hammond’s flycatcher, and McCown’s longspur. I'm not sure I followed the logic for eliminating all the others since only some of the names seem to have objectionable roots, but the authors seem to be saying more broadly that eponymous names reflect colonialism, racism, and inequality and should be eliminated. Their website, which includes a table of the names they have identified, and by & for whom each bird was named, is here <https://birdnamesforbirds.wordpress.com/>.
Alexander Wilson bought a farm in Ovid & the possibility that Wilson's Warblers seen now might be direct descendants of ones he spotted has always tickled me. I don't pretend to understand all the arguments but given that these ornithologists (at least so far) have not listed anything objectionable about Wilson, I'm not sure why that name would need to be abandoned. Or maybe they are suggesting only names they have identified as problematic need to go? The language they use is more sweeping, however - I'm not entirely sure of the scope of their proposal. Not taking sides here, just trying to clarify the facts. And a bird report: Armitage Road was reasonably birdy this morning with both the Mourning Warbler and the Prothonotary Warbler singing continually and relatively easy to spot. Cerulean warblers and a Northern Waterthrush were singing less consistently and invisibly since they were further from the road. Also several Redstarts and Yellow Warblers, plus a surprise Hooded Warbler, singing well east of the bridge on the south side of the road. Non-warblers included persistently singing Yellow-Throated Vireo, Wood Thrushes & Veeries, and a Black-Billed Cuckoo. Thank you Dave Kennedy for the careful description of the spot favored by the Mourning Warber, and suggesting there might be a Hooded! Alicia P.S. The Pileated Woodpeckers that had been in the nest just west of the bridge have fledged and were not hanging around the nest tree while I was there. On 6/5/2021 5:37 PM, Robin Cisne wrote: > What names are you referring to? It's my understanding that what we > used to call an Oldsquaw is now properly called a Long-Tailed Duck. > Are there other birds whose names are being changed? The quotation > below is from Wikipedia, but similar commentaries are found in other > references: > > "The English word /*squaw*/ is an ethnic and sexual slur > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_slurs>,^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-Vowel-1-1> ^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-NMAI-2> ^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-AIM-SC-3> historically > used for Indigenous North American > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas> > women.^ <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-BNews1-4> > Contemporary use of the term, especially by non-Natives, is considered > offensive, derogatory > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypes_of_Native_Americans>, > misogynist <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogyny> and racist > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism>.^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-Vowel-1-1> ^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-NMAI-2> ^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-AIM-SC-3> ^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-BNews1-4> ^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-Hirschfelder-5> ^ > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#cite_note-AICRJ-6> > > The word is not used among Native American > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Americans_in_the_United_States>, > First Nations <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Nations>, Inuit > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuit>, or Métis > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9tis> peoples." > > > Surely ornithologists and amateur birders alike don't wish to > perpetuate ignorant and disparaging slurs. > > > > > On Sat, Jun 5, 2021 at 5:26 PM Carl Steckler <simmshil...@gmail.com > <mailto:simmshil...@gmail.com>> wrote: > > First it was statues, then military bases. > Now the target of the woke crowd are birds. > The American Ornithological Society is thinking about changing the > names of some birds because they have a past that some call racist. > > Common people there is no room for political correctness in bird > watching, > > Or did I just miss the memo? > > Please don’t let this hysteria ruin our hobby. > > There may be scientific reasons to change the name but unit for > political reasons. > > Birding is and should be open and available to every person, period. > What is next, ABA verses Audubon? > -- > *Cayugabirds-L List Info:* > Welcome and Basics > <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME> > Rules and Information > <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES> > Subscribe, Configuration and Leave > > <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> > *Archives:* > The Mail Archive > <http://email@example.com/maillist.html> > Surfbirds <http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds> > BirdingOnThe.Net <http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html> > *Please submit your observations to eBird > <http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>!* > -- > > -- > *Cayugabirds-L List Info:* > Welcome and Basics <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME> > Rules and Information <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES> > Subscribe, Configuration and Leave > <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> > *Archives:* > The Mail Archive > <http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html> > Surfbirds <http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds> > BirdingOnThe.Net <http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html> > *Please submit your observations to eBird > <http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>!* > -- -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --