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Thread: Scientific Naming??

  1. #1
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    Default Scientific Naming??

    I don't mean to rock the boat, especially being a newbie but it was suggested in my last post that I include the scientific name of my subject(s). Is this really necessary? I taught science for nearly 30 years, including biology, chemistry and physics and understand there are times when the Latin scientific name may be of importance, but I imagined this site was more focused on the enjoyment and sharing of what for most is a fascinating hobby. I'm moving out of the country in a couple weeks - my bird books are packed and the necessity of tracking down a name that I'll immediately forget is a bit of a nuisance.
    For me there are more important issues. For example, yesterday I showed a number of photos I took of Splendid Fairy Wrens in my yard to an avid, long time bird watcher. Someone had told me previously that the females had NO blue on the body. After an hour of looking at my pictures and comparing with those in 2 different bird books Ian discovered the female had a unique coloration around the eye and we concluded that the female DID in fact have blue tail feathers, yet all the variations of sex, maturity, etc fall under the same scientific name. For me this was more important than a tag of 2 unremembered Latin words.
    Please understand, I love having found this site and getting an opportunity to share my photographs with others and hope to continue to do so for years to come.

    John

  2. #2
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    Default

    John,

    Retrieving the scientific name is easy. Click on the Useful Links at the top of the page. Currently the only link is to the Christides & Boles 2008 spreadsheet. From there search for the species common name and you can then copy & paste the scientific name into your post. No need to go near your field guides.

    We are hoping that this site will go beyond just photo sharing and will become a valuable educational & information resource. I for one enjoy learning and trying to guess the meaning of the Latin words before looking them up.

    Quote Originally Posted by John in Alice Springs View Post
    For me there are more important issues.

    Please understand, I love having found this site and getting an opportunity to share my photographs with others and hope to continue to do so for years to come.
    What is important to you may not be important to others. We are trying to cater for all members here.

    I hope you will remain a member & share your images for many years to come too.
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

  3. The following 2 users say thank you to Geoff Gates for their reply:

    David Stowe (05-11-2011), Heyn de Kock (10-11-2011)

  4. #3
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    Default

    Although for most species it's not an issue, some people use different common names for species. Some people call some fairy wrens simply 'Blue Wrens' and many fairy wren species are blue, so if it's a photo of a female that is being posted or a young male, the scientific name can be helpful in showing which blue wren is meant.

    I don't have an issue with it, but having studied in the environment field, I was strongly encouraged to use scientific names, for birds in particular. Plus I personally find it interesting, although I certainly understand that it's not everybody's thing. If I don't have a bird book in hand, a quick google search of the common name usually brings up the scientific.
    Reposts welcome =)

    Blog- Close Encounters of the Bird Kind. Updated 28/05/2014 "Courting Cuckoos"

  5. The following 2 users say thank you to Rebecca Zanker for their reply:

    David Stowe (05-11-2011), Heyn de Kock (10-11-2011)

  6. #4
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    Default

    Thanks for your input John, as others have said, scientific names come in handy for pin pointing the exact bird you are looking for when doing a search of the site and this makes it a great resource for those who may be researching a bird and its habits. Can be a bit of a chore sometimes to find and include the scientific name but overall it helps with the cohesiveness of the site and its value to those who may have a more in depth/scientific/environmental interest in birds

  7. The following user says thank you to Paul Randall for their reply:

    Heyn de Kock (10-11-2011)

  8. #5
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    Default

    Whilst strictly speaking there is only one, formal common name and scientific name, various common names are thrown about depending on whom you speak to and where they live. If we use scientific names it helps to remove any confusion about what species we're referring to. It also helps with site searches when looking for material as mentioned and there are also those of us who enjoy learning the various scientific names and trying to decipher their meanings.

    Like Bec, I've also got formal training in Conservation and Land Management and the use of scientific names was not only encouraged but was required as it formed part of the curriculum on which we were assessed and having the scientific names on this site helps to increase the scientific and educational value of the material presented by our members.

    As Geoff's mentioned you can easily download the C&B checklist and simply copy 'n' paste the name from that if you don't want to drag out the books!

  9. The following user says thank you to Richard Hall for their reply:

    Heyn de Kock (10-11-2011)

  10. #6
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    Default

    Great points made by the contributors to this post; I totally agree that the posting of Scientific names is important and definately adds to the scientific value of this site, Feathers and photos is so much more than a photography forum! On this note I was approached by ARKIVE a while ago regarding using some of my images of Carpenterian Grasswren, they wouldn't have been able to find them, contact me and use them for this amazing resource if scientific names weren't used....

    For everyone that thinks that it's a hassle or time consuming to add the scientific name, they are readily available on the net. If you have the computer skills to post an image it will take you a few seconds to find a scientific name, copy and paste it --probably quicker than looking through a guide and typing it
    Aus list 632 (Powerful Owl, Callala Bay, NSW, 01-05-2014, finally thanks Matt!)
    Year list 159 (Powerful Owl, Callala Bay, NSW, 01-05-2014)

  11. #7
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    Great point Heyn although I'd strongly recommend the use of a field guide to many of the people on this site.

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