[CT Birds] Writing about birds. A question.

COMINS, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Fri Dec 11 18:21:46 EST 2009


I am a proponent of capitalization with the reasoning that there are standardized proper names, which isn't the case for other taxa.   I also like it because it can distinguish between a Little Gull and a little gull such as a boney or a Yellow Warbler vs a yellow warbler such as a Pine Warbler.   Sure you can use Latin names, but since the AOU has given them agreed upon proper names, it saves us the trouble.   I know of many who disagree, including state and federal agencies, but I will stick with this convention.  It can get tricky as Jay and Roy mention, but that is one of the things Google is good for.

Patrick Comins, Meriden
________________________________________
From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org [ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of jaybrd49 at aol.com [jaybrd49 at aol.com]
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 5:41 PM
To: rmharvey at snet.net
Cc: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Writing about birds. A question.

 Roy:

You are correct. However, only those of us who are birders capitalize the names of the birds. In general practice, animal names are usually not capitalized unless they include proper names like Connecticut warbler, American bald eagle., Audubon's shearwater, etc. Then, of course, there are exceptions with respect to the hyphenated names such as Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner from the tropics or Green Violet-ear.  And, how about Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will's-widow? Why would we expect any rational thought from an organization that came up with the name Northern Beardless Tyrranulet. The name is longer than the bird!

Jay Kaplan
Canton





-----Original Message-----
From: Roy Harvey <rmharvey at snet.net>
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Sent: Fri, Dec 11, 2009 5:15 pm
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Writing about birds. A question.


The American Ornithological Union (AOU) standardizes the capitalization of the
common names on the checklist.

http://www.aou.org/checklist/north/index.php

I think they change their minds now and again, but not so much for the birds we
get here in CT.

I generally try to follow it when assembling the daily report, though I am sure
I mess it up often.  A couple of tricky ones: Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck.  It seems like when there is a hyphen in the first
part the second word is not capitalized, but in the last part the second word IS
capitalized.  But I think you really need to look each one up.

Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT


--- On Fri, 12/11/09, Boletebill <boletebill at yahoo.com> wrote:

> From: Boletebill <boletebill at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [CT Birds] Writing about birds. A question.
> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
> Date: Friday, December 11, 2009, 4:35 PM
> I probably should know this but I
> don't. When writing about birds for the public what are the
> conventions for capitalization?  Which are correct?
> 1. I like bald eagles.2. I like Bald Eagles.3. The Bald
> Eagles is our symbol.4. The bald eagle is our symbol.5.
> Another favorite is the red-shouldered hawk.6. Another
> favorite is the Red-shouldered Hawk.7. Another favorite is
> the Red-shouldered hawk.
> Bill Yule
>
> "For those who hunger after the earthly excrescences called
> mushrooms."
>
>
>
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