- Written by Brandon Drennon
- BBC News, Washington
Several bird species in the United States and Canada will be given new names based on their habitat or characteristics rather than human names, the American Ornithological Society announced.
After years of controversy, the association ended up removing all human names of birds, including those associated with people with a history of racism.
Their goal is to create a more inclusive environment for birding fans.
Between 70 and 80 birds will have their names changed.
“The exclusive naming conventions developed in the 1800s, clouded by racism and misogyny, don’t serve us today. We need to transform this process and focus on the birds where they truly belong.” The time has come to redirect our efforts,” said the association’s CEO. said Judith Karl in a statement.
Birds to be renamed include the Wilson’s Warbler and Wilson’s Sandpiper, named after 19th century naturalist Alexander Wilson.
In 2020, the American Ornithological Society (AOS) renamed the bird named after Confederate General John P. McCown the bill-billed longspur.
The AOS has announced that it will create a new committee to oversee the assignment of new bird names.
“This committee will expand participation by including representation from a diverse range of individuals with expertise in social sciences, communications, ornithology, and taxonomy,” AOS said in a statement.
He added that the public would also participate in this process.
The group said these “significant decisions” were taken to change harmful and exclusionary English bird names.
Earlier this year, the National Audubon Society, a bird conservation group, decided to keep the name despite calls for a change.
James John Audubon, a famous American naturalist and wildlife illustrator, also owned slaves and held “harmful attitudes toward blacks and indigenous peoples,” NAS acknowledged.
The association said in a statement in March that the decision was made “following a lengthy process in which the name was considered in light of the namesake’s personal history.”
“The name goes far beyond the work of one person and represents a broader love of birds and nature, and a non-partisan approach to conservation,” said Susan Bell, director of the association. It became,” he said.