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Bird code systems: The AOU Check-List
This page is an older version of the author's writings on
bird nomenclature systems. Please see the
The best way to represent the name of a bird is to spell it out,
and to conform (where possible) to the names standardized in the
current edition of the American Ornithological Union (AOU)
Check-List of North American Birds.
However, using the AOU standardized names has some drawbacks:
- For computer applications requiring bird names to be
encoded for storage, typing a full name is prohibitively
- The AOU does not address the common problem of
representing imprecise identifications such as "duck sp."
or "large falcon".
- A system for retrieval of sight records must be able to
handle exotics (e.g., escaped waterfowl) that are not
included in the AOU Check-List.
Next: Bird code systems: AOU Numbers
See also: Overview of systems for encoding bird names
Previous: Design goals for bird code systems
John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2005/02/02 23:34:18