Headline, January 22 2024/ ''' BIRDS -JUSTICE- BARDS '''



OH - LOOK, IT'S A BIRD ONCE KNOWN AS COOPER'S HAWK. The American Ornithological Society will strip away names linked to ''racists'' or to anybody else. 

The American Ornithological Society, the organisation responsible for standardizing English bird names across the Americas, announced recently that it would rename all species honoring people.

Bird names derived from people, the society said in a statement, can be harmful, exclusive and detract from '' the focus, appreciation or consideration of birds themselves.''

That means Audubon's shearwater, a bird found off the coast of the southeastern United States, will no longer have a name acknowledging John James Audobon, famous bird illustrator and a slave owner who adamantly opposed abolition.

The Scott's oriole, a black-and-yellow bird inhabiting the Southwest and Mexico, will also receive a new name, which will sever ties to the 19th century U.S. general Winfield Scott, and oversaw the forced relocation of indigenous peoples in 1838 that eventually became the Trail of Tears.

The organization's decision is a response to pressure from birders for redress of the recognition of historical figures with racist or colonial pasts.

The renaming process will aim for more descriptive names about the birds' habitats or physical features and is part of a broader push in science for more welcoming, inclusive environments.

'' We're really doing this to address some historic wrongs,'' said Judith Scarl, the organization's executive director, Dr. Scarl added that the change would help ''engage even more people in enjoying and protecting and studying birds.''

Advocates of this change believe that many English common names for birds are ''isolating and demeaning reminders of oppression, slavery and genocide,'' according to a petition in 2020 that was addressed to the ornithological organization.

The petition was written by, Bird Names For Birds, an initiative founded by two ornithologists to confront the issue of these birds names, which it describes as ''verbal statues'' reflecting the values of their eponyms.

But some birders, while expressing sympathy for the cause, said that they were unsure that this was the right route to take. '' I'm not super enthusiastic about it, but neither am I super disappointed about it,'' said Jeff Marks, an ornithologist at the Montana Bird Advocacy.

'' We'll lose a little bit of knowledge about some key people in the history of ornithology, and that saddens me,'' Dr. Marks said. But maybe in the scheme of things that's just not that big of a deal.'' 

Jordan Rutter, a founder of Bird Names For Birds, said the petition had been inspired by what became a widely reported encounter in New York in 2020, when a white woman falsely reported to police that Christian Cooper, a Black Birder, was threatening her.

'' It wasn't a wake-up call,'' Ms. Rutter said, but it brought ''long known but not highlighted issues in the forefront of the bird community.''

The encounter in New York's Central Park led to the creation of Black Birders Week, an annual campaign to celebrate the lives and careers of Black birders, which then inspired an avalanche of similar initiatives in the sciences against the backdrop of a nationwide racial reckoning.

In 2021, the Entomological Society of America began the Better Common Names Project to change the names of insects deemed inappropriate or derogatory.

Astronomers have also advocated for the renaming of major telescopes that they say alienate people from marginalized backgrounds.

In birding communities, pushes to move away from problematic bird names have produced mixed results. The Birds Union and the Chicago Bird Alliance recently changed their names to avoid an association with Audubon.

But the board of directors of the National Audubon Society voted to retain its name this year, saying that the mission of the organization transcended the history of the person.

In 2022, the American Ornithological Society announced the formation of an ad hoc committee to determine how to address controversial names. Members of the committee met every two-weeks for months, discussing topics such as the importance of name stability and how to determine the criteria for changing a bird's name.

This month's announcement is the culmination of that effort. In its statement, the American Ornithological Society committed to changing all birds names derived from people's names and assembling a diverse group to oversee the process, which it said would include input from the general public.

More than 100 avian species across the Americas will be given new names.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Birds, Names, Justice and Times, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Katrina Miller.

With respectful dedication to all the Birds of the world, the Birders the world over, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See You all prepare for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - [for every subject in the world] : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter X !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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