They’re going to change the common names of all birds named after people

November 2, 2023 • 9:15 am

The American Ornithological Society has issued a Diktat that all common bird names derived from a person’s name, or “eponyms,” are going to be discarded and replaced with descriptive names.  The Latin binomials or “scientific names”, however, are not going to be changed. Below is the order from on high; click on headline below to read:

The Diktat:

  • The AOS commits to changing all English-language names of birds within its geographic jurisdiction that are named directly after people (eponyms), along with other names deemed offensive and exclusionary, focusing first on those species that occur primarily within the U.S. or Canada.
  • The AOS commits to establishing a new committee to oversee the assignment of all English common names for species within the AOS’s jurisdiction; this committee will broaden participation by including a diverse representation of individuals with expertise in the social sciences, communications, ornithology, and taxonomy.
  • The AOS commits to actively involving the public in the process of selecting new English bird names.

The AOS argues for these obligatory common-name changes for two reasons. First, a bird named after a person doesn’t describe the bird (“Gambel’s quail“, for instance, might be more descriptively called the “brown-capped quail”, which tells you a bit about its appearance). Second, the real reason can be seen in a fuller statement here:

 Until recently, changes to English common names were mainly considered when necessitated by scientific evidence, such as newly described or revised species. In its decision-making, the committee has upheld the principle of stability as the primary criterion to ensure that bird species’ names are meaningful and understood by their users.

Recently the committee revised its Guidelines for English Bird Names (AOS NACC 2020) to allow changes to English bird names that were derogatory or offensive. These guidelines were expanded in response to a proposal (Chesser and Driver 2020) to change the English name of what is now known as the Thick-billed Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), which had formerly been named after an individual with strong ties to the Confederacy and who is perceived today by many as a symbol of slavery and racism. The English name of this species was changed unanimously by the NACC to reflect the bird’s physical description and remove its association with a harmful historical figure (Chesser et al. 2021).

In 2020, reflecting the heightened awareness of systemic racism and the need to address these injustices across society, there was a public petition to the AOS to change all English bird names that were named directly after people (i.e. eponymous names) because several of the honored individuals are identified as symbols of racism and colonialism. The AOS initially approached this difficult issue through efforts led by members of the AOS Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  This group engaged with various interest groups through listening sessions and hosting a Community Congress to bring together perspectives from across the ornithological community. There was broad recognition that all English bird names should be evaluated to determine if they align with principles of inclusion and social justice. However, the challenge has been in establishing criteria to determine which names are exclusionary, harmful, or offensive, or recognize historical figures who do not merit honoring and, therefore, should be changed (Winker 2022).

In 2022, the AOS ad hoc English Bird Names Committee was tasked with the considerable challenge of recommending the criteria for determining which bird names should be changed and how best to implement the process of changing them. After more than a year’s work and careful deliberation, the committee has produced a detailed report recommending that the best course of action would be to change all English names within the AOS’s jurisdiction that were named after people.

That saves a lot of work, doesn’t it? You don’t have to pore through all eponyms and make a subjective judgement about which individuals were bad. You just change all names to obviate the problem.

In other words, the main reason is that some birds were named after people who we would now judge as immoral.  John James Audubon, for example, had slaves, and that’s enough to deep-six the name “Audubon’s warbler,” which will presumably become the “yellow-rumped warbler.”  But why change all names? I don’t buy the “more descriptive” reason. As related above, that’s not how the change happened. If there wasn’t a movement to change names of birds named after bad people, there would be no movement to eliminate eponyms in toto. My guess is simply laziness on top of virtue signaling: if you change all eponyms, you eliminate the peril of having to judge a bird named after a person who could later have been found to do bad stuff, or, if morality changes, what we now consider innocuous will someday be bad. It saves the trouble of arguing which “honoree” was good or bad.

What do I think about the new plan? I’ve written about bird names several times before, and you can see my views at these links. In brief, I’m adamantly opposed to changing the scientific names of birdstheir Latin binomials (e.g., no change for Peucaea aestivalis, the scientific name of Bachman’s sparrow,  although the common name is already on the execution list because John Bachman was a white supremacist).  Changing scientific names would throw the literature into deep confusion. And, in fact, the International Committee for Zoological Nomenclature has refused to change scientific names except in very specific circumstances, like if they discover the species was described earlier under a different name.

What about common names, the subject of this post? I don’t feel nearly so strongly about that, and thus about this new proposal, but I did weigh the upsides and downsides of changing common names.


  • Describes the bird better
  • Avoids honoring bad people and supposedly creating “harm”. This will make birding more “inclusive”.


  • Erases history; even bad people should be remembered, though not honored. We don’t censor history books to eliminate bad people, so why bird names?
  • Impedes communication; the Northern Cardinal might be changed to the “pointy-headed red bird”, which is more descriptive, but people wouldn’t know what it was.
  • In countries that don’t have English as the common language, the names will be already be different, and they will not change when the eponyms are changed in the U.S.
  • The act is performative and accomplishes nothing towards alleviating social injustice. Presumably the idea is that, for example, having birds named after slaveholders is said to be harmful to African-Americans, and eliminating such names would bring into ornithology minorities who were offended by birds named after bigots.
  • The acceptance of this mass action will justify future performative acts in science (my definition of “wokeness” is, at times, “the creation of purely performative actions or statements in the cause of social justice”).

But I have never heard of a single person who has been harmed by a bird named after a racist, and I doubt that renaming ALL birds with eponyms would increase the diversity of birders. Changing such names makes you feel virtuous and look virtuous to others, but is purely for show. As I said in this morning’s New York Times in an article about the changes (see below; you can find the article archived here):

Mr. Cooper mentioned the Wilson’s warbler, a canary songbird with a characteristic black cap. Changing the name to something “like black-capped warbler,” he said, would give birders a better idea of what to look for.

But to Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago who is an avid birder, the need for more descriptive names did not seem pressing. Performative acts like this “are really deeply injurious to science,” he said. “We cannot go back through the history of science and wipe out everybody who was not a perfect human being.” Dr. Coyne added that the effort to update so many names would be better invested in something more impactful to society, such as teaching underprivileged children about birds.

One correction: I’m not really an “avid birder”, and told Ms. Miller that while I love birds and look for interesting ones in new places, I don’t keep a life list or travel to see more birds as true birders do.  But I also said that I do love ducks, so I suppose I am an avid “ducker”. Miller told me she got her Ph.D. at Chicago and was well familiar with Botany Pond and its ducks!

At any rate, the downsides seem to outweigh the upsides, and the biggest issue for me is that this act is not only performative and ineffectual, but will make it easier in the future to do other performative stuff, something that is hurting science. (Look at how, for purely ideological reasons, people are starting to deny that there are just two sexes in humans AND in other animals!)

Click to read the NYT report or go to the archived link to see more.

A few quotes from the article against and in favor of the new Diktat:


“We’re really doing this to address some historic wrongs,” said Judith Scarl, the executive director of the American Ornithological Society. Dr. Scarl added that the change would help “engage even more people in enjoying and protecting and studying birds.”

I don’t believe that at all!

Carlos Daniel Cadena, an ornithologist at the University of the Andes in Colombia and a leader of the English Bird Names Committee, expects the changes to entail a slight learning curve but also present a new opportunity for the public to bond over birds.

“It’s going to be a level playing field where we all need to learn together,” Dr. Cadena said.

Will this really make people throughout the world bond over birds? I doubt it, because bird names are given NOT in English in non-Anglophone countries like Colombia.

CON:  Me, I suppose, and these folks:

“The idea of changing a bunch of names is, to many people — myself included, originally — throwing out a lot of history,” said John Fitzpatrick, an ornithologist at Cornell University. He said that he initially felt bird names should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis but that further discussions convinced him that “there is no formula by which we can figure out which names are good enough.”

That’s a good point. Why change every bird named after a person? The ISZN already recommends not giving animals offensive Latin names, though it doesn’t enforce it as far as I know.

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.”

Yes, it’s not that big a deal—except that it promotes the use of performative acts in science.

So it goes. I’m just thankful that mallards are not named after a person!

Duckling in Botany Pond

59 thoughts on “They’re going to change the common names of all birds named after people

  1. Hopefully there will be no renaming of the infomous Wasserman test. As a Wasserman I refuse to be offended.

  2. So I wonder if this will extend to the Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)? Named descriptively–its coat resembles, as much as any bird plumage could, the coat of arms of Lord Baltimore, which is also the Maryland state flag. So it’s sort of indirectly named after a person. I followed some of the links and couldn’t find a list of common names on the chopping block. Of course when I was first learning to identify birds, it was still just the northern oriole, merged with Bullock’s oriole. Maybe they’d call it the northeastern oriole? Or mid-Atlantic oriole?

  3. FYI, this seems to be a recurrence of the attempt by early 19th century radical reformists to completely revise bird names for political reasons.
    The response to this earlier attempt culminated in the adoption of the first international “Rules for Zoological Nomenclature” in 1842, the precursor and model for all subsequent codes of nomenclature. (For the philosophical debate and the expediencies of such a move, see “Species, rules and meaning: The politics of language and the ends of definitions in 19th century natural history”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 27(1996): 473–519.)

  4. My family occasionally plays a game we call Real Bird/Fake Bird. We sit around with a large bird book. Whomever is It thumbs through it and pronounces the common name of a bird. It might be a real species or one made up on the spot. The others are each required to say if it’s a real bird or a fake one. It’s more fun than it sounds, especially in instances such as my mother refusing to accept the name of a bird that sounds preposterous to her: “I don’t care what it says in that book! THAT is a pretend bird!” Once my daughter in law tried to pass off “Bahama mama sparrow,” conflating a real bird and a cocktail. Much hilarity. We quickly realized that we could gain an advantage by adding a well-known ornithologist to the name of any sort of bird: Audubon’s cardinal, Wilson’s hooded owl, Bachman’s turnstone.
    We did a similar thing once with a seed catalog and vegetable varieties. My “big-ass slicer” tomato fooled no one.

    We’re not going to get a book with the “new” names!

  5. This change in “common bird names” affects the official common English names, many of which were assigned on the basis of features obvious only on the examination of the bodies of dead specimens. Thus one “common name” of a common bird is “red-bellied woodpecker “. The redness of the belly is hardly ever something you even glimpse on a living bird. And a lot of the fuss recently was about names of the birds grouped as longspurs. Again, this is a descriptive feature not visible to observations of living birds. Many “common names” are checklist names. Common names which existed before official common names were often genuinely descriptive, and many have survived as official common names. But many common names which were descriptive were wiped out when official common names were first set. And it’s official common names that included eponymous names. Making the official names “inclusive” is going to matter largely to people for whom the business of inclusivity is a business, not to people interested in watching birds.

  6. Scarl added the change…”Will engage even more people in enjoying, protecting, and studying birds”
    JAC: “I don’t believe that at all”

    Here we have the new epistemology of post-modern, post-enlightenment, post-scientific method, critical theory in which it is simply Dr. Scarl’s opinion versus Dr. Coyne’s. Dr Scarl gives no research reference to support her opinion that these changes are required (in fairness maybe there is one and if so I apologize) but she does have the power of the pen apparently…hmmm…power struggle…where have I heard that before?

      1. Right. Sorry I was not clear: I tried to imply but maybe I should have been more explicit, that the burden is on Dr Scarl to support a change, not on you to continue the current state…unless of course she provides a legitimate study result…then the two claims would need to be hashed out.

  7. There are several signature moves for when a thing is done purely for Wokery. One being to provide a hyperbolic Rationale about how this move will help cure under-representation. They want to do good They especially want to be seen doing good!
    As if the name Audobon’s Oriole was why some are inhibited from being involved in ornithology.

    But this is the hill I want to die on: Please do NOT change the funny and sometimes offensive names of birds! I love my Blue Footed Boobies, Woodcock, and Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler! I can seriously believe that its names like those that draw people into the field.

  8. It’s easy to imagine that in 100-200 years people from our time will be canceled because they committed the egregious acts of eating meat from animals that were slaughtered and driving vehicles that contributed so much to pollution.

    1. I actually rather doubt that, Greg. If there is a tribal fight over global resources after de-industrialization, people will be eating each other. Eating farm animals will seem nostalgically genteel by comparison.

      The horses and oxen that replaced “polluting” personal motorized vehicles will have been eaten long before.

  9. Goodbye, Steller’s Jay. Is our beloved Douglas Squirrel next? Mammals, they’re coming for you! And then… . Oh no. Our fish! Insects! And then on to the plants. A crusade with little purpose.

    At least the binomials are safe—for now.

  10. “… this committee will broaden participation by including a diverse representation of individuals with expertise in the social sciences, communications, ornithology, and taxonomy.”

    What possible expertise could the first two of those groups of people bring to a committee aiming to create new names for birds?

    1. Surely you jest, Jonathan. The first two groups will be running the show. The ornithologists and taxonomists are just there to help the other two spell the words.

  11. I can imagine the CCO (Confederacy of Confederate Ornithologists) coming up with their own set of names: Stonewall’s warbler, Sharpsburg-shinned hawk, Bonny Blue bird, Stars and barred godwit.

  12. Publishers of field-guide books will be delighted by these name changes; they will result in a huge raft of newly revamped bird books to sell!

  13. This is so completely stupid and unnecessary. What’s the bet if you went around on the streets, most people wouldn’t know the names of the birds in the first place! Even in the cases when they do, I doubt most people will know who the bird is named after let alone what things they did during their life.

  14. I guess, what with religion losing market share, (at least some) people must find something else to waste their time on.

  15. Why stop at birds? Should we change the names of stars? What about bacteria? I for one would be very disappointed if the anti-fungal bacteria keanumycins ceased to be called as such.

  16. Hi Jerry, here is a comment I sent to Doug Gill:

    The article notes that older birders and ornithologists are likely to oppose this move. I qualify, and yes, I strongly disapprove. This is part of a broader movement to erase the names of people who historically have made important contributions to various subject areas. It says that we should forget them, and that we should not worry about erasing history.

    I followed that with this expansion:

    Hi Marin,

    Thanks for sending this; I didn’t know about it.
    I hope I made it clear that my opinion isn’t just from perspective as a birder, but also as a professional biologist. From a selfish perspective, I would like to hope that something I’ve contributed will outlive me — that I will be remembered — for at least a few years. But the ahistorical perspective implies that I should be motivated only by any reward I can reap (joy of discovery? promotion? salary?) while still alive , or maybe not even that long. I happen to think that we should know the names Darwin, Huxley, Dobzhansky, Elton, etc.,, and know what they contributed to our science and culture. Should we also bury Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln?

    The evil men do lives after them; the good is oft interr’d with their bones.
    — Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

  17. I agree with everything you say, this is completely wacky. We Brits are usually renowned for our eccentricity and (relatively) harmless battiness, that even applied to Darwin; he used to play music to earthworms to see what effect the vibrations would have. Good to know it’s gaining ground over there. (Here I exclude dangerous wackiness like Trump, Ken Hamm and NRA members, you guys are much better at that kind of wacky, although we did get close with Boris Johnson.)

    Here in the UK we don’t have many birds that are named after people, I could only think of the Bewick’s swan off the top of my head, so I looked through my bird app and, excluding rarities, vagrants and no-British-show-so-far-birds, I could only find two others: Cetti’s warbler and Cory’s shearwater. So I don’t suppose it would be worth us changing the names, although looking on Wikipedia Cory was an American naturalist so maybe this will apply to us anyway. Ohh…! Just had a horrible thought: will we have to stop saying Jenny wren?

  18. The Iron Law of Woke Projection predicts a bird named after – perhaps – George Floyd.

    Because that thing everyone did in the past is flawed and wrong, but woke gnosis illuminates the nuanced way to do it, namely, the naming of things.

  19. While there is currently no drive to change the official names, I’m sure it will come. As with Mount Everest, the issue is There, and the urge to climb it will be irresistible. Other organisms will also face renaming, including insects. Say goodbye to scaptia beyoncea, the horsefly named after Beyonce because of its golden butt. (Really, how did this escape controversy for so long?)

  20. Two comments: “official” common names are a funny thing– I’m not sure why we have them. I like vernacular names a lot, as it’s interesting to find out how people communicate about nature. In Jamaica, hawk moths are called “bats”, and bats are called “rat bats”; that second name is fascinating and appropriate. A Jamaican student once referred to introduced Bufo marinus as “bullfrogs”, and I started to correct him, but I caught myself. The American and Australian English names differ– marine toad and cane toad– why shouldn’t Jamaican English have its own vernacular name?

    The second comment is that the groups that care about official common names are very much set upon worldwide uniformity (which of course is the point of scientific names– they’re the same everywhere, subject only to taxonomic freedom of thought). The AOS is going to have to convince the BOU, BirdLife Australia, Lynx Edicions, etc. to adopt their principle of no patronyms.


    1. It is indeed interesting how people communicate about nature, and also interesting what they notice. The much-loved lapwing Vanellus vanellus, has two good vernacular names, reflecting what strikes people. The flight of the bird is striking—-a kind of flapping lapping. So indeed it is well called a lapwing. And its cry is indeed peeWIT! peeWIT! So it is well called a peewit. Long live these vernacular names!

    2. I agree, compared to the diversity and individuality of many unofficial common names, the “official” common names (which are often straight translations of the Latin names) are often boring. I think common names, by definition, should change according to the desires of the current users. I think those who propose to change the Latin names should put their efforts into changing common names instead. After all, most people who might be offended by a scientific name will never even know, much less use, that name.

  21. Sounds to me like a great opportunity to also address the tremendously confusing practice of having birds in the Americas named after vaguely-related European species based on only a superficial resemblance. I’m looking at you, American Robin!

  22. Con: changing bird names to avoid “offense” reinforces the psychological state of heightened suspicion, fragility, sensitivity, and resentment for minorities and the general public. “If you think it’s racist, it is.” “If you think it harms you, it does.” “What doesn’t kill you, makes you weaker.”

    These are not mentally healthy messages. They lead to the creation of problems which are brooded over, and undermine the ability to understand and accept truly minor slights with resilience, strength, perspective, and good grace.

  23. I have no problem with this project if it results in more people paying attention to birds… but this strikes me as hominid word-play that will not result in any real concern about or movement on the threats faced by birds across the world: window strikes, feral cats, habitat destruction, monocrop farming, pesticide use, over-fishing, and on and on.

  24. Notice how any as yet unspecified replacement name is pre-approved, as an official committee and consortium of Official Name Checkers who know the best names for things will make sure the new name will exceed all expectations of names, being modern, and in keeping with the times, and especially not old names.

    Yet, there is no reason to expect any name change to be acceptable – unless (sarcasm/) any Exclusionary, Colonial sin can be found or any other thing can be construed as a sin (/sarcasm)- by the unspecified operating philosophy – which is likely the dialectic (Hegel).

  25. Well, what about the extreme sexism in naming species based on the appearance of male birds? Black-throated Blue Warbler, and many others. No female should allow those names to stand!
    Just think about how many more women who will become interested in birds if we eliminate those sexist names.

    1. I suppose there might be something to that, but I was meaning to propose New Improved bird names, starting with :

      White-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

      –> [dialectical alchemy ]–>

      The “Supremely Intelligent Writing” Sparrow – named for :

      Julia “Supremely Intelligent Writing” Serano

      Notice : xir name “Julia Serano” is not used, so the sparrow is sublated – a higher level of understanding.

      Inclusive of Queer Biologists, making biology Diverse.

  26. The wasted/misdirected effort is vaguely objectionable because I care about pursuit of effectual social justice. That time and willpower could be fruitfully harnessed. I say vaguely because, eh, people waste and willpower time in many ways. One person plays backgammon, another decolonizes bird names. It takes all kinds…

    I’d rather species weren’t named after people at all, in the vernacular or the binomial. It’s mildly distasteful at best and hubristic and/or pathetic at worst.

    Why brand a lineage of critters with the name of a friend? It’s kinda non-sequitur-ish. “Your colleague died so you named a bird after them? That’s… well, I’m sorry for your loss.” It’s just strange. It doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you should do with a person’s name or memory.

    I would kindly reject the “honor” were it offered to me and would mildly resent it were it nonconsensual. In fact, were I the plausible recipient of such an honor, I’d probably publicize my strong desire not to be so honored. Same with buildings, chairs, prizes, charities, etc. The main sentiment aroused by proper-namification of these things is fleeting embarrassment at our species’ tremendous egotism.

    Tangentially: are there any cases of spite naming? Has anyone named e.g. a parasite after somebody they dislike? “Blitherman’s Corkscrew Eyeworm” or similar?

    1. “… effectual social justice.”

      How is that different from, simply, “justice”? Or “cosmic justice”, perhaps?

      Can a person on an island be “just”?

      Spoiler : those are Thomas Sowell’s ideas.

      1. I only mentioned it because the OP did. It’s a pretty ephemeral distinction given that all justice implies social dynamics.

        Still, since you asked: in my mind, “social” justice connotes using ad-hoc political groups & the legislative process to raise the unlucky/downtrodden out of poverty/addiction, curbing the excesses of capitalism, and pursuing, as much as is possible, the ideal of E pluribus unum (which I’d much prefer to be on all American money than any invocation of a deity).

        Unqualified “justice” seems broader to me. It entails also the entire judiciary & its machinations, wide-ranging epistemological questions about the meaning of life (see your “cosmic” variety), revanchism, etc. It’s a porous distinction, but I feel there’s some vague utility to it.

          1. What? I don’t follow.

            I think I entirely missed the thrust of your original question, because I have no idea what this reply means. Sorry.

        1. How is “One out of many” a social-justice concept? It just means one federal state comprising 12 to 50 as time went on and Manifest Destiny unfolded as God intended. I suppose it accounted for the Civil War where Two out of 34 was just not on.

          1. You have to read a bit into it.

            Yes, it’s actually about federation, but it can also be read as, e.g., “We’re all in this together,” or, more to the point, “This is a collective endeavor.”

            It thereby suggests that the union requires input from the federation’s constituents (at least, it does to me). In other words, if we want to keep the “one” together, a certain level of contentment and well-being in the citizenry is probably in order, hence the social justice.


            Whatever you do (or don’t) bring to it, there’s more actual meaning in E pluribus unum than in IGWT, and it’s doubly better in my view since it doesn’t invoke or implicitly laud superstitiousness.

  27. Well, we can’t just fold the Audubon’s Warbler into Yellow-rumped, we still need to distinguish it from the Myrtle Warbler. None of that will affect the thousands of Californians who refer to them as “Butter-butts”.

    Will we eventually have to change e.g. Common Raven to avoid the derogatory slur “common”? And doesn’t “Black-capped” use racially-charged language?

  28. If they change Wilson’s Warbler to Black-capped Warbler, as you mentioned, that would mean the bird is now named for the MALE of the species. Hardly a good solution as far as FEMALES are concerned.


    Erases history; even bad people should be remembered, though not honored. We don’t censor history books to eliminate bad people, so why bird names?”

    As a teacher who lives in Richmond, Virginia, I’ve encountered this argument before, usually in regard to statues, but I’m afraid I find it wanting. The distinction between remembering and honoring is pointed out here, and I think it’s an important one. But it’s also crucial to recognize that naming a species (or building a statue) is an act of honoring, not remembering.

    When I taught my history students about the Dred Scott decision, I did so by assigning reading about it and discussing the reasons for and consequences of the Supreme Court’s actions; I did not assign them to visit Roger B. Taney Middle School in Maryland. Naming that school for Taney was honoring him; learning about his Dred Scott opinion was ensuring that he and his actions were remembered by my students.

    Winfield Scott’s role in the Trail of Tears should certainly be studied by Americans, but there is no reason for him to be honored in the common name of an oriole. That name doesn’t teach anyone about his military record, his political career, or his treatment of the Cherokee, nor does it teach anything about the bird. If the name “Scott’s Oriole” serves no historical or scientific purpose, why then should anyone insist that this act of honoring him be perpetuated in every field guide?

      1. Since the AOS decided on the current names–the ones you wish to keep–I’d say they should also be the ones to decide whether to continue using all those names or not. And they have decided.

        I understand that you object to their decision. I’m simply pointing out that one of your stated reasons for objecting (“Erases history”) does not hold up, and that your own categorizations of “honoring” and “remembering” actually argue against your reasoning.

        1. The AOS is getting rid of ALL birds named after people, not just bad people. That doesn’t make any sense, particularly, as David Hillis has pointed out, you simply can’t give descriptive names to all birds, since may (like little brown ones) all look the same.

          And even other Anglophone organizations, including me as a person, don’t have to abide by the changes. No, you didn’t show that “erasing history” doesn’t hold up; of course it holds up. And, had you been familiar with what I’ve written on this topic, I said I don’t object so much when a name is used to honor a person whose life had a net negative effect on the world.

          Finally, Lou Jost has argued convincingly that naming birds after people can have salubrious effects on birds and ecology.

          This discussion is at an end now.

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