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Dozens of ‘Offensive’ Bird Species To Be Renamed Because Of Racism

via Pixabay License

The American Ornithological Society will rename over a hundred bird species in the U.S. and Canada due to concerns that their current names are offensive and exclusionary.

The move comes after birders expressed discomfort with names connected to historical figures involved in racism, oppression, slavery, and genocide.

“There is power in a name, and some English bird names have associations with the past that continue to be exclusionary and harmful today,” Colleen Handel, the society’s president stated.

“We need a much more inclusive and engaging scientific process that focuses attention on the unique features and beauty of the birds themselves,” she added. “Everyone who loves and cares about birds should be able to enjoy and study them freely—and birds need our help now more than ever.”

“We’re really doing this to address some historic wrongs,” Judith Scarl, executive director of the American Ornithological Society said.

The society aims to create a more inclusive and engaging scientific process and will rename the birds based on their habitats or distinct features.

“We’ve come to understand that there are certain names that have offensive or derogatory connotations that cause pain to people, and that it is important to change those, to remove those as barriers to their participation in the world of birds,” she continued.

The renaming process will begin next year and is expected to affect 70 to 80 bird species.

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