Reconsider the proposal for Ocotero (aka “Olive Warbler”)

Reconsider the proposal for Ocotero (aka “Olive Warbler”)

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Elsa Alvear started this petition to American Ornithological Society

The currently-named Olive Warbler (Peucedramus taeniatus) is neither olive-colored nor a warbler. A great many birders and scientists do not like this ridiculous name. In April 2019, Alexander Lin-Moore from Yale University submitted a proposal to the American Ornithological Society - the body that regulates English common names of birds - to change the common name of P. taeniatus to Ocotero. As soon-to-be Dr. Lin-Moore explained in his proposal, Ocotero is: “a name already commonly used throughout much of its range in Mexico and northern Central America. Ocotero is derived from ocote, a common Spanish term for various species of Latin American coniferous trees in the genus Pinus, which comprise a major and essential component of the habitat of P. taeniatus.” The petition included a great many examples of other similar name changes accepted by the AOS, including  birds such as the Ocotero that were monotypic (the only species) in their families that had similar name changes, birds whose names did not reflect their appearance or habitat, etc.

Sadly, the AOS rejected this sensible proposal on  June 30, 2020. Some have suggested it was to maintain the status quo, avoid a non-English name for a bird that is from the Americas... i.e., not English, and/or to not honor the more apt name given to it by the local people of color who share its location.

The procedure to request an AOS name change is, admittedly, not via popular petition. But since the within-rules process was denied, we are calling on AOS for a reconsideration. Please sign this petition and add your voice to those who have been calling for this sensible name change for this beautiful little bird - a name that will also honor the local people who share its range.

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