Thanks very much. I'll not do it again -st
Great Ostrich picture Jim! Tannin
As you've probably gathered, I seem to have side-tracked myself onto Australian political history tonight. No matter, I'll be back to the birds again soon enough. We will knock them into shape bit by bit. Enough work here to keep us both busy for quite a while though! Tannin
I've been a bit quiet lately. Just today, I picked up the last two volumes of HANZAB - the down under equivalent of Birds of the Western Palearctic. There is volume 7 still to come in a couple of years or so, but I've now got all six - which is actually 7 as volume 1 is big enough to come in two volumes!
So I'm sitting here flicking through random entries and admiring them - they really are a magnificent resource - and ruefully pondering the size of my credit card bill! :( Tannin
HANZAB says they are split, Jim. Let me take care of that. Tannin
Do you have anything on genus Myioceyx? Google has virtually nothing. All I know is that it is the African Dwarf Kingfisher, and that it is sometimes included in family Alcedinidae. Roberts (SA bird list) doesn't mention it, so I guess it's tropical. If you have something, go right ahead and adjust River kingfishers as appropriate.
Going birding, eh? Enjoy! -- T
Ha! You are supposed to be out birding! Take a look at Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds. Go right ahead and add, change, tinker, whatever you think. I particularly want to hammer out something by way of a guideline for taxonomy. I'm working on a general introduction to bird taxonomy & the changes and different lists and stuff now. Tannin
It's a massive darn thing! I found two or three sites hosting it, but it took a lot of cut and paste and search/replace to get it laid out with the family names. It doesn't have order names yet either, but that's a job for another day. It's not copyright, by the way - it can't be, as it's just a list, as opposed to a creative work. I'll take a crack at adding the passerines a little later, and maybe try to condense the 9 existing pages back to about 6 ot 7. Or maybe not - I'm not sure.
Nice to hear that you found some interesting birds. I rarely have anything interesting to report by way of unusual species - I think there is a name for my particular sort of birdwatcher that I can't remember, but essentially I like to sit somewhere and watch birds (almost any birds, even sparrows) going about their daily business, trying meanwhile to work out exactly what they are doing, and why. In particular, I watch flight: I grew up on aeroplanes and aerodynamics (a family background thing), and I never tire of trying to visualise the ever-changing combinations of pressures and airflows and turbulence involved in even the most mundane and routine parts of flight. As you can imagine from that, I go into raptures over the astonishing skills of a seabird, an eagle, a swallow, or most of all that amazing low-speed acrobat, the Grey Fantail. (I'm sure he has a second-cousin in every country - there is always a role for an on-the-wing insectivore that specialises in the standing triple loop with backflip.) Tannin
Jim, I'm getting confused by the passerines in List of birds - the ordering seems very strange to me, and I'm having trouble finding things. To show you what I mean, in a second I'll post the Australasian list in ... er ... User:Tannin/scratchpad. Take a look and see if that ordering (allowing that many of them won't be familiar to you) looks familiar. Tannin
- And your order looks strange to me!
- Damn! I was afraid of that.
- I took the list of birds from a 1980 world checklist. I can't comment on the exclusively southern groups, but the order of paleoarctic groups remains the same in the "Birds of the Western paleoarctic", the BOU and most European lists.
- The revised order is Sibley/AOU? again. I'm not happy with the deletion of Turdidae. Even Sibley's North American field guide keeps that family. taxonomy is a mess!
- Sure is! In the interest of simplicity, I'd be happy to switch to Sibley ordering across the board, but that's no answer either as the orders and families don't line up. Yesterday I started looking at HANZAB, Roberts, and the British lists to see if I could make sense of them side by side. (I'm sure that better men than me have driven themselves to drink doing this.)
- There are aspects to the A/NZ/Antarctic list that, if at all possible, should be preserved. I'm thinking, for example, of the juxtaposition of the Maluridae, Meliphagidae, Pardalotidae & Petroicidae (Oz wrens; honeyeaters; pardalotes, thornbills and gerygones; and Oz robins) - these are all each-other's closest relatives, and the group is at the heart of the great corvid radiation that also produced so many other passerines worldwide. Undoubtedly, the other regional lists have similar things to teach us.
- Anyway, I'll continue studying the several lists side by side and, though it doubtless won't produce any clear and simple answer, if nothing else it's a great way to force myself to think a little harder.
Excuse me, I expressed myself badly. My S-A comment above was not a serious proposal so much as an expression of frustration! At least SA is (a) complete and (b) not 20 years out of date. I agree entirely that we should reflect current understandings, not try to set them. We should aim to be at the current edge of scientific understanding, not in front of it. (Especially as, failing a crystal ball, we don't know where that understanding is going to be in, say, five years time anyway!) Nor should we be behind it. Now if I could lay my hands on the BOU list, so as to be able to look at it side by side ...
By the way, I can't believe how cheap BWP is. 250 pounds - wow! That's about $500 for the nine volumes. The seven HANZAB volumes are $395 or $495 each! (I guess that's largely because of the smaller print run.) At that price, I'm seriously thinking about ordering a set.
I think these discussions are very useful, Jim. Eventually we can edit them into a concise, rational article that will be a very useful Wikipedia entry. By working through this stuff and writing it up, we can head off potential disagrements later. Tannin
yes, yes, when I have the time, I will gladly work on adding to the bird species. Is there a template? Kingturtle 18:02 Apr 14, 2003 (UTC)
Apparantly you know something about birds :) There's a suppossedly extinct large woodpecker of the Southern (east? west?) United States, that recently they've gone looking for, and found some tantalizing clues - have no idea what the name of the bird is however, might you know? ~ender 2003-04-15 01:24 MST
- Ivory-billed Woodpecker- they haven't found it. Couldn't reply to your talk page, no link, jimfbleak 11:10 Apr 15, 2003 (UTC)
- Thanks, got it.
- ~ender 2003-04-19 00:05 MST
Not at all, Jim. I get them mixed up too. Actually, it has an odd sort of symmetry to it: the Menuridae are, after one of the northern crows, the next largest passerines of them all, while the Maluridae are, after the hummingbirds and a few other very tiny creatures, the next-to smallest. Throw in their closest relatives, the Meliphagidae which occupy all of the sizes in-between, and confusion reigns!
By all means throw your 2c in on the southern birds - even if you get bits wrong, it will still serve the purpose of waking me up to things I'm missing. (Or should that be your 2p?) I tend to wade into turgid detail and forget to look at entries as a whole. I bet you there are entries where I've completely skipped important stuff like size and colouration and diet - so go right ahead and stick that stuff in. Even if it's wrong it should at least remind me to check on it. Tannin
Did you get to read my question at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Birds (family taxobox example) yet? Kingturtle 06:09 Apr 19, 2003 (UTC)
I'm not really full bottle on the waterbirds, Jim. I don't think any of the contentious ones are in my area anyway, so I imagine that its best if you make your own judgement on that one. If in doubt, I usually find that [Don Roberson's list] is a good, middle-of-the-road resource. Not official in any way, but reasoned and practical in his outlook. Hand on a tic, I'll see what he has to say. Hmmm ... Nothing much.
See what you make of my addition to Anatidae. Essentially, it's a cop-out! But a practical way of dealing with the issues, perhaps.
In a moment I'll dive into HANZAB and see if their account offers anything useful.
My own choice of particular ones to do species accounts of boils down to 50% "favourite birds" or "read something interesting about these last week", and 50% of picking up a random field guide, letting it fall open at a random page, and flipping once or twice till I hit one that seems like a good starting point, I'm afraid - which is why most of mine are species somewhere in the middle of the list!
PS: magnificent weather here. I've been out the last two days running. Today I went to a local bird sanctuary hoping to see my favourite Marsh Harrier. She was nowhere around, possibly cleared off because of the drought - there isn't much left of the swamp, I walked across 90% of it without even getting mud on my sandals. But lots of other things of interest there: among others a family of Satin Flycatchers, many very beautiful old Candlebarks (Eucaluptus rubida), and as a bonus, a mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos that came out to feed in the dusk. We see roos only moderately frequently, but today there were lots and we got a good look at them. Seeing as we have a relative from Bournemouth (sp?) staying with us who hasn't seen one in the wild before, that was a great way to end the day. :) --T
PPS: We now have at least one species account: Freckled Duck. Also, take a look at Talk:Anatidae. I've been doing some digging. Kingturtle has chipped in with a US summary too. Now you have to sort them all out! Tannin
You don't have to, but the easiest way to make a redirect (such as from dabchick to little grebe) is to simply replace the current article title in the URL to the article title you want to make a redirect from. Hence, the URL should read wikipedia.org/wiki/Little grebe and you replace the little grebe with Dabchick. It'll bring you to an empty page. If you really want to list the synonyms on the talk page and fill it in from there, you can, but there is an easier way. Tuf-Kat
- Don't worry about it. I did it an even more difficult way for a month or two: including a link in the article, previewing and opening the link in a new window to make the redirect. Of course, I occasionally forgot to remove the link after using it, making a self-redirect... So, don't feel too bad. Tuf-Kat
Jim (and any others reading here), I haven't tried to work out the best way to go about getting at the crow problem yet. The trouble, it seems to me, is that there are about three or four seperate meanings to cover:
- (i) Crow, narrowly defined to mean birds that are always called "crow": i.e., include the Little Crow, exclude the Australian Raven, and similarly with equivalents elsewhere.
- (ii) Crow, as in all members of the genus (narrowly defined) (UK or Oz style)
- (iii) Crow, as in all members of the genus (widely defined, as by SAM). (Huge!)
- (iv) Crow, as in all members of the Corvid half of the passerines that are related to crows. (i.e., perhaps 2000 species!)
- (v) Crow as in the unversal lay usage here in Oz - i.e., any big, black bird: crows, ravens, White-winged Choughs - 95% of Australians think they are all "crows". Hell, I call Australian Ravens "crows" myself, most of the time.
At some stage before too long, I intend to do an entry on (iv), presumably to go under Corvidia. After I've got that straight in my head, I imagine that the other meanings might make more sense. (There, that should be vague enough to confuse anyone!)
Hi, Jim. I just had a whole stack of stupid edits and page moves done to me after I had spent many, many hours preparing a series of entries, and I'm heartily sick of it. These people never contribute anything of substance to the fauna entries, and I'm tired of buggerising about with trivial nonsense when I have real work to do. Please take a look at Talk:Spinifex hopping mouse, and then cruise on over to the mailing list and speak up. Time we sorted out this capitalisation nonsense out once and for all. Tannin 19:25 Apr 26, 2003 (UTC)
How many pages have you copyedited Jim? I've copyedited many thousands and know a thing or two about English grammar and correct capitalization. That said, please read this. I'm willing to compromise. --mav
Sorry in advance for my mean response to your mean email to the mailing list. --mav
Jim, thankyou for adding your voice. I think it really did make a difference. Mav has now made a very handsome compromise offer, which I think we should accept with good grace. Essentially, the idea is that in the bird and mammal entries, the specialists (you, me, Kingturtle, Steve, anyone else that wants to join with us) should determine the appropriate capitalisation but we must agree to always make a lower case redirect to the entries.
I think that this is an excellent solution, and support it wholeheartedly. We will have a few days of work in front of us sorting all the redirects out, but we will knock that over in no time. I suggest that we do nothing further at this stage, and allow time for the decision to become a formal one rather than jump right in and start making changes immediately.
Of course, Mav alone does not have the right to decide policy any more than you and I do, but I think that the reality of the situation is that Mav's compromise (or something very like it) will be generally agreed to. Best -- Tannin 12:56 Apr 27, 2003 (UTC)
Hi Jim. Nice to see you are still at the coalface :) I'm still knee-deep in Australian mammals today, but I'll be back to birds before too long. I might try my hand at drafting an addition to the Wikiproject a little later on tonight, setting out the capitalisation recommendations. Tannin
- PS - that Northern Pintail of yours is a bird of extraordinary beauty. Not often I want to travel very far, but I think I'd walk a lot of miles to see that one in real life. Tannin
Please take a look at my edit to Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds, Jim, and add/correct whatever seems to need it. (Should we do a concise guide to other naming conventions, such as the right way to write binomial names? Anything else?) Also, I've started on the tedious job of sorting out the names and redirects now, just a few at a time. I'll do a few each day until they are all consistent. Time to switch back to making new entries in upper case, I think. (So long as we remember to make the redirects.) Tannin
Yes, we need to move the whole lot back to the correct case, I think. It would look really bad to have half the entries one way and half the other way. But no hurry. I'm on broadband, so it's easy for me to do most of it. I'd suggest only moving existing entries as you happen to come across them. That's essentially what I'm doing tonight, moving an entry, then stopping to copyedit, add a taxobox, expand, whatever. It will take a while.
Oh - I forgot to mention: if you come across a page you can't move because the destination page has an edit history, just list it on my user talk page and I'll take care of it. Or post to the list and ask to be made a sysop so you can do it yourself. Tannin
Hi Jim, thanks for your image of the American crow. I finally got round to looking at it. I have used an image for it already thanks, see what you think?
Is there a standard rule that calls for setting names of birds in capitals, writing Northern Crested Finchjay instead of northern crested finchjay? Note that Wikipedia custom is that the article title must begin with a capital (I think that's in the software) but the rest of the title is not capitalized unless there's some special reason, such as a proper noun. In links, it is not necessary to capitalize the first letter, so if the title of an article appears as Umbral calculus the link can say umbral calculus with a lower-case "u" and it still goes to the right place. Michael Hardy 17:54 Apr 29, 2003 (UTC)
Jim, I've moved a good many entries back today. I think I've done all the crows & ravens, the penguins, geese, owls, grebes, puffins and awks, some of the falcons, and a few others I forget. Hoolie Doolie you've done a lot of entries! I'm not even a quarter way through yet, unless I've just happened to start with the families that have most articles written already. Along the way, I've been doing a bit of minor copyediting to almost everything, and paused once or twice to write something longer ... er ... can't remember where ... Little Penguin was one, Southern Boobook another. And Tufted Puffin. This leads me to the main point I ought to mention:
There are several entries where the title doesn't match up with the body text. Swift was one. The title was appropriate for the swifts in general, the text all about the Common Swift. So I moved that to Common Swift, which leaves swift as a redirect, but swift ought to be an entry introducing and listing the various different swifts. I didn't feel up to writing one tonight (I'm bushed), so I just left it for the time being. You are probably aware of these already, but we will need to take a look at these and sort them out eventually. Anyway, I hope that I haven't done anything horrible to your articles - sing out if you see anything you don't like. Tannin
It doesn't help that in the UK where there is only one common member of each of these groups they are invariably referred to by just the one-word name. Yes. We do the same thing, but in reverse. To me, swallow means Welcome Swallow, magpie means Gymnorhina tibicen, wren means Superb Fairy-wren, and so on. No matter, we can work through these one by one. It was the same with kangaroo (more or less fixed now) and magpie (which I think you fixed a month or so ago.
I've had a cold and been off work for a few days (better now), so with nothing else much to do, I've been making a start on sorting out all the upper and lower case names, moving articles, and so on. Haven't seen so much as a sparrow in the flesh for almost a week. We have a pair of hobbys ("hobbys? hobbies?) live nearby, but these are the Australian Hobby, Falco lingipennis, and there is one that lives at Soverign Hill, the preserved & restored gold mine from the 19th century days when Ballarat was the largest city in Victoria. (I live about 5 minutes walk from there). One morning last year, I pulled up outside my shop and there he was, sitting happily on my TV aerial. Now I always look, just in case he decides to come back.
Ahh! I see that F. subbuteo is a rather different bird. Elegant indeed! This page has a picture of the Australian one, rather drab by comparison, and often looking rather scruffier than the one in the picture. Wonderful in motion though, like a seabird. Seeing as you are doing swift I'll make a stub to start with at hobby (bird). Tannin
No problem, Jim. I think I did all the renaming yesterday in the thrush department. (We ran into a conflict there at some stage, with a looping redirect, which confused me considerably for a while, but is fixed now.) (At least I think it was in thrushes. Maybe one of the other European families.) Anyway, I'll keep clear of the thrushes tonight so as tou give you some elbow room. I plan to (I think) finish off the renaming of the non-passerines tonight. We are nearly there now.
BTW: Remember that page you thought no one would have the slightest interest in - Accentor? Well, while I was renaming stuff there I got curious as I thought I'd seen the family name on the HANZAB list. And, sure enough, there are Dunnocks in New Zealand. Introduced, of course. Tannin 05:18 May 2, 2003 (UTC)
Jim, when you get a moment, take a look at Buzzard for me please. In particular, check me on common names, spelling, the hyphenated ones ("Xyz Honey-buzzard" vs "Xyz Honey Buzzard", for example). I'm a long, long way from home with these, and feel the need of a second look from someone that maybe knows them better than I do. You might want to adjust Common Buzzard post-move, too. And finally, should the page explain what a "Honey Buzzard" actually is? I haven't the faintest idea - never seen one. Thanks. Tannin 09:37 May 2, 2003 (UTC)
- duplication of the Buteo species. Why not make it "other species with buzzard in the name"? I did wonder about that. On the other hand, if you are looking for a bird called "Xyz Buzzard" but you don't know which subfamily it belongs to, you only have to look in one place. Sort of 50/50, I think. By all means, change it if you like.
- My preference would be to keep the Honey Buzzard and hyphenate the rest. OK. Let's do that. We better make redirects from the unhypenated form too, when we write those entries up on day.
Hi Jim, thanks for the positive comments. I will, I think have to remove the images I have used in the Corvus submitions that I have made so far as even though they are highly modified from the original, they are never the less derivatory images. I will only add an external link to an image at the bottom of the page in future rather than negotiate this minefield anymore. Cheers, Steve nova 20:59 May 3, 2003 (UTC)
Hello. When you create a page could you highlight the title word or title phrase the first time it appears? If the article is titled "Northern crested finchjay" then it might begin by saying:
- Three distinct species of northern crested finchjay are known to inhabit Middle Earth.
Michael Hardy 21:37 May 3, 2003 (UTC)
Jim, it occurs to me that Western Marsh Harrier might be better moved back to plain Marsh Harrier and describe both the Eastern and the Western ones. There is no rule says we have to have "one entry = one species", after all. (Like you, I had thought there was only one until the other day: we tend to say "Marsh Harrier" or "Swamp Harrier" interchangably here, which I now realise is wrong, but it doesn't lead to any confusion in a local sense, as we only have the one species. Apparently the Eastern Marsh Harrier is regularly claimed as a vagrant sighting in the extreme north of Oz, but the claims wind up being disallowed as it's very difficult to tell them apart visually, and EMHs look just like particularly old and pale Swamp Harriers. Or we could cover all three in the same entry under the title "Marsh harrier" (lower case), with redirects from all the appropriate spots. I can do the Swamp Harrier (of course), and I've found a little bit about the EMH on the web, so I'll leave it up to you to decide which way is best and put it into action. (At your leisure - there is no particular reason it needs to be done today.) Tannin 07:16 May 4, 2003 (UTC)
Are there any introduced birds in Oz that aren't a pest? Yes there are several! The acclimatisation societies of the 19th and early 20th centuries were incredibly stupid and irresponsible: they introduced just about everything that would walk, slither, fly or swim. (Or just sit in the ground and flower, of course.) From there, there are essentially only three possible outcomes:
- The introduced species is unable to compete with the natives, and is unable to establish itself as a self-sustaining breeding population. I can't think of any examples right now (they don't appear in Australian field guides, for obvious reasons) but there were a great many of these, possibly a hundred or more.
- The natives are unable to compete with the introduced species, and the native species die out, or suffer a range restriction, and the introduces species becomes a pest. Many examples: House Sparrow, Blackbird, Common Myna, Common Starling, Rock Dove, one of the American ducks (I forget which one), and probably others I have forgotten about. Also (of course), the rabbit, Red Fox, cat, pig, House Mouse, Black Rat, pig and (surprisingly) Donkey.
- The introduced species and the natives are more-or-less evenly matched. The newcomers establish a breeding population but are unable to drive the natives out, and they all wind up living in a comfortable sort of balance. Examples include the Greenfinch, Goldfinch, and Tree Sparrow; in mammals, you could probably count the camel and the Brown Hare, plus three or four species of deer. If only they were all in this third category!
We don't have any tits here, presumably because they fell into category (i) above. I should imagine that there would have been pairs of several types released any number of times in the late 19th/early20th century - the acclimatisation society types were more gung-ho than Rambo,. (And one trusts that their ghosts now sit in a very warm place smelling the sulphur and reflecting on their errors.) There is a New Zealand Tomtit, but that's one of the Petroicidae and completely unrelated.
Tit (bird), Titmouse, or one of the others? Well, up to you really, we don't have any here, so I'm hardly entitled to an opinion. I guess I'd nearly go for chickadee for the simple reason that I dislike entries in the form Species (bird). That doesn't seem like a very good reason though!
And yes, right now I'm really enjoying doing some mammals, and learning a great deal that I didn't know as I go along. I was particularly pleased with Numbat: what an extraordinary little creature! I must try to get some illustrations: pictures of the young playing are real pin-up poster stuff. One day I'll go to WA and see some for myself. Tannin
My pleasure, Jim. I think we have got nearly all of the bird ones now. I'm still mostly doing mammals this week, as you will have seen, but I'll come back and do some more birds before too long. I'll run an eye over the new seabird sections a little later, see if I can sensibly add anything. Tannin
Not a problem. :) You're welcome. -- Zoe
Run your eye over species if you are feeling bored, Jim. I still aim to do something to tidy up the meandering stuff at the bottom - all that Darwin stuff is only marginally relevant - but I've more or less said most of what I wanted to say there now, I think. Tannin (I replied on my talk page. Tannin)
I don't think anyone noticed, Jim. I do tend to write great long things that no-one reads. :( But I'll give you 10 to 1 that if you requested it by mailing to the list there would be a consensus in favour and no fuss, controversy or bother. I've only been here since December myself, and I'm by no means the "youngest" of the sysops. On the other hand, it's no big deal. In practice, the only thing that makes a day-to-day difference from being an ordinary contributor is that you can delete pages with history to make room for moves. (With appropriate care to preserve the history, of course.) Thankyou for tidying up after me in species, by the way. Tannin