McCown’s Longspur becomes Thick-billed Longspur

After several years and multiple petitions, the American Ornithological Society (AOS) finally renamed the McCown’s Longspur.

Last week, the AOS announced that going forward the bird will be known as the Thick-billed Longspur.

Thick-billed Longspurs are birds of wide-open spaces, the shortgrass prairies at the center of the North American continent. The gray, white, chestnut, and black males deliver a delightful flight song while parachuting toward earth on up-stretched wings and fanned tail.

The name change represents the first time the 137-year-old society has altered a name with a Confederate past.

The bird was originally named after Confederate Confederate Gen. John Porter McCown, who fought for years to maintain the right to keep slaves, and also against multiple Native tribes.

While appreciative for the name change advocates say much work remains. Bird Names for Birds, counts 149 additional existing names that warrant changing.

The information contained in this article was sourced from the following articles. To read the full articles, which contain a lot more information, click on the links.

The Washington Post: A small bird sheds its Confederate past with a new name

Science Magazine: In reversal, ornithologists yank Confederate general’s name from bird

CNN: A bird named for a Confederate general officially has a new identity

The photo used in this article was taken by Andeansolitaire. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. The photo has not been edited.