A time of racial justice drives new push to rename birds
By Matt Mendenhall in BirdWatching May 2022
This summer’s movement for racial justice and atonement finally spurred Mississippi to remove the Confederate symbol from its state flag, Washington’s NFL team to change its racist team name, NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from its events, and statues of Confederates and other racist historical figures to be taken down. And those are just a few examples of changes we’ve seen in the realm of sports, corporate brands, and other institutions in the last two months.
Will the names we use for birds be next? The practice of naming species after people was common in the 1800s, when white naturalists honored their friends, family members, or colleagues (often other white naturalists) with eponyms — birds or other animals or plants named in their honor. FOR MORE
Picture: Spirit in the Sky: Sprague’s Pipit
Header photo credit: Jean Cassidy