American Ornithological Society Will Change the English Names of Bird Species Named After People

“There is power in a name, and some English bird names have associations with the past that continue to be exclusionary and harmful today,” says president. “The time has come for us to transform this process and redirect the focus to the birds, where it belongs,” says CEO.  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  media@americanornithology.org CHICAGO (November …

Species Limits and Taxonomy in Birds

How we determine what entities we call species has major impacts on ornithology at many levels; the units used in every field of scientific research and that are the focus of conservation and legislative planning are the result of this data-driven process. Once species limits are decided, the scientific and English names that we use …

Aves mexicanus

One of the curious traits shared by birders and professional ornithologists is an abiding interest in bird names, both common and scientific. With respect to common (English) names, I have previously highlighted attempts at standardization in the 1830s (here), one recognizing a woman (here), one that is obscure and obsolete (here), a recent name change …

The Story of O(ology)

After a seminar last week, my colleague Jannice Friedman, a botanist, asked me if ‘oology’ was really a word, as it had appeared on one of the speaker’s slides. So, she asked, what is the ‘o’ that ‘ology’ (the study of) has been tacked on to? I explained to her that oology (or oölogy) is …