Scientists Are Renaming Dozens Of “Offensive” Bird Names

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The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is taking a significant step to redefine bird names in the US and Canada, removing human names and focusing on bird characteristics. This move aims to create a more inclusive environment for bird enthusiasts and ornithologists, moving away from historical associations.

The AOS will replace human-centric names with descriptive and evocative alternatives that reflect bird traits, behaviors, and habitats. This change is part of the evolving landscape of conservation, inclusivity, and respect.

The decision follows controversy surrounding names linked to individuals with racist and genocidal histories. Ornithologists and scientists support this move to focus on birds themselves. The renaming project will prioritize descriptive names that provide insights into bird appearances, behaviors, songs, or habitats. Species names considered derogatory or culturally inappropriate will also change, aligning with inclusivity and respect.

The renaming process will involve experts and the public, making ornithology and bird-watching more accessible to all. This initiative signifies a commitment to inclusivity, respect, and a stronger connection with the natural world.

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