American Ornithological Society Announces Bird Name Changes

By Quinn O’Hara

The American Ornithological Society has announced they are working on a list of bird common names to adjust in favor of ones that do not connect them to exclusionary, harmful, or unsavory individuals and ideas of years past.

Every animal has a two-part Latin scientific name to make the communication of ideas easier as well as transcend language barriers. They also have a common name which could come from the name of a person, a descriptor of the animal, or any other idea deemed suitable. 

The initiative will begin in 2024 and start with a preliminary list of 70-80 species of birds native to the U.S. and Canada. There may be more birds added to the list once the initial group of bird names have been changed.

The AOS hopes their new project will encourage more people to get interested in birds and ornithology, as well as put the harmful biases of the past behind them.

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