Say goodbye to America’s racist birds

Say ‘see you later’ to the Scott’s Oriole, a black and yellow bird native to the southwestern United States. This bird isn’t going anywhere – but its nickname is about to end, along with the terms for many other birds named for low-income individuals. -Fantastic history.

The American Ornithological Society, an organization dedicated to the understanding and conservation of birds, announced that the renaming effort will begin next year, with the initial focus on 70 to 80 birds found mostly in the United States and Canada .

“Names have power, and some English bird names are linked to a past that remains exclusionary and harmful today,” said Colleen Handel, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and president of the society. release, “We need a more inclusive and engaging scientific process that focuses on the unique characteristics and beauty of birds.”

In the release, the society set out three guidelines for naming birds in the future: first, all birds named after people within its jurisdiction will be renamed, with “other names considered offensive and ostracized. ” Second, the society committed to establishing a diverse committee of experts to determine new common names for the species. Third, the Society said it would actively involve the public in determining new names for the animals.

The Society took action following the creation of a petition by bird names for birdsA group that wants to change the common names of birds whose names they say have “objectively terrible pasts” Website, The petition called on the Society to address the naming issue and received over 2,500 signatures. society kicked it out english bird names project to consider the matter; The ad hoc committee established to make recommendations to the society published them Here,

“As scientists, we work to eliminate bias in science. But there has been historical bias in how birds are named, and who can name a bird in their honor,” Judith Scarll, the society’s executive director and CEO, said in the same statement. “The exclusionary naming conventions developed in the 1800s, steeped in racism and misogyny, don’t work for us today, and it’s time we changed the process and focused on birds where they belong.”

Naturalism in North America went hand in hand with colonialism, as Western scientists continued to classify and classify creatures across the continent over the past few centuries. Perhaps no naturalist had a greater influence on American ornithology than John James Audubon, whose legacy of slave-ownership and data-mistakes Still struggling.

The animals are dubbed and re-dubbed with regularity. Last year, the Entomological Society of America decided that Northern Giant Hornet will be the new name For V. Mandarinia, so-called murder hornets that had established themselves in the Pacific Northwest. (The wasp was formerly known as the Asian giant hornet.) The society also l. Unequal Common name is “spongy moth” change its former nameWhich also included a slang term used for Romani people.

But the society also noted the need to rename three unnamed species: the flesh-footed shearwater, the Eskimo curlew, and the Inca pigeon, whose names are “widely believed to be given in error,” according to this answer. The name” appears to indicate that the American endemic species arose from a profound confusion of the geographic locations of the historical Inca and Aztec cultures. Better late than never to correct a geographical misnomer.

Flesh-legged shearwater, whose legs don't look like flesh at all.

Most of the surnames being snatched up belong to old-time white people like Winfield Scott, John Bachman, Thomas Bewick, Thomas Say, Meriwether Lewis, William Gambel, George Wilhelm Steller (also the name of the extinct Steller’s sea cow), Alexander Wilson, and many others. , William Cooper… You got the idea. Some were ornithologists, some were Confederate generals. Some were female – for example, Anna’s hummingbird is named after a courtier of Queen Eugenie of France.

The American Ornithological Society chose to remove all names from these birds, rather than split hairs or feathers over which namesake did what and why, and whose actions fall within the changing window of morality and ethics in the intervening decades or centuries. are acceptable through. The committee’s recommendations say as much, noting that (1) “We found the case-by-case approach difficult,” (2) “nickname names are poor descriptors,” (3) “respectful words The usage itself reflects the exclusion of “scientific participation.”

It would be better to let the birds speak for themselves, and identify them their Attributes—Not the works of dead or living people.

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(TagstoTranslate)Common names(T)Audubon(T)John James Audubon(T)Ornithology(T)Thomas Say(T)Meriwether Lewis(T)Winfield Scott(T)William Gambel(T)Bird Names for Birds(T) )V . Mandarinia (T) Thomas Bewick (T) Anna Hummingbird (T) Environment (T) Black Lives Matter (T) Colleen Handel (T) US Geological Survey (T) Georg Wilhelm Steller (T) Birdwatching (T) Bird (T) Alexander Wilson(T)John Bachman(T)Eugénie(T)William Cooper(T)Judith Scarll(T)L. Disper

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