AOS D&I Committee Welcomes All to the Community Congress

Thank you for your interest in the Community Congress on English Bird Names webinar! This discussion is open to the entire birding community, irrespective of your background, affiliation, or Society membership status. The AOS Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee recognizes that the timing of the Community Congress presents a challenge for some, due to a conflict with #NENHC2021, the joint annual meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists and the Wilson Ornithological Society at the Northeast Natural History Conference, scheduled for 15–18 April, as well as those who have competing school or work obligations. After an information gathering and planning process that took longer than originally anticipated, we identified an event date and time that would work for most panelists. We reached out to leadership of the Association of Field Ornithologists and Wilson Ornithological Society to alert them to our proposed date and explain the scheduling challenges we were facing. We did not intend to exclude ornithologists or community members active in our partner societies nor AOS members who would be participating in the #NENHC2021 on 16 April. However, we acknowledge that the scheduling of the Congress came across as insensitive to the efforts of our fellow ornithological societies, and we apologize for not acknowledging the conflict at the time we announced the Community Congress. 

If you’re unable to attend the live webinar, you can still be a part of the conversation! We encourage you to use our Q&A submission form to post questions in advance for our panelists. In addition, we’ll record the webinar and post a link to this English Bird Names blog. We hope that all who are interested in the naming of birds will view the recording of the Community Congress and join us in these ongoing discussions regarding English bird names. Further, the blog is one of the many resources in which we hope to continue a conversation about bird names with all who use and appreciate them for their reach and impact.

The Community Congress is an opportunity for anyone who has an interest in birds to learn about and engage with different perspectives on naming. Please join us!


The AOS Diversity and Inclusion Committee


  1. Thank you American Ornithological Society for hosting this important discussion and for making a recording of the webinar available afterwards.

    As just a bit of arcane clarification, the Association of Field Ornithologists and the Wilson Ornithological Society will be holding their joint annual meeting *at* the Northeast Natural History Conference, 15–18 April. The Northeast Natural History Conference is an annual event sponsored by Eagle Hill Institute. (

  2. I understand the main interest will be in name changes for American species. Will there be scope for suggested names for African, or other region’s bird names. I was the person largely responsible for changing the name of Spheniscus demersus from Jackass penguin to African Penguin and believe that where possible name changes should provide distribution and or ecological information. I have in the past motivated for a change from Hartlaub’s Gull to Benguala Gull. Hartlaub’s never saw the species alive and it is largely endemic to the Benguela Current Marine ecosystem. Is this the sort of approach that is being thought of?

  3. Can you point me to some background information on this topic? I had not realized there were diversity and inclusion issues around naming species. Thanks!

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