The American Ornithological Society changes the names of birds that are named for a reason – e.g. Historically – offensive. The new rule has understandably caused backlash: the company has been looking for new names for hundreds of species, but will first focus on renaming 70-80 in the United States and Canada. He writes Watchman. According to plans, the company will already find new names in 2024
Birds whose names are considered offensive or exclusionary.
These are, for example, names from the historical past: Townsend’s bird got a new name – John Townsend was a naturalist and ornithologist who collected the skulls of indigenous people by stealing them from graves. There are similar arguments about Speak Lewis, named after explorer Meriwether Lewis after the Lewis and Clark Expedition (cancel culture now sees Lewis as an example of Indigenous oppression and white privilege).
“There is power in a name, and some English bird names have associations with the past that remain exclusionary and harmful today,” said Colleen Handel, president of the Ornithological Society, in support of bird name cancellation culture. According to them anyway: Instead of “exclusive names,” birds need a name that describes them better.