Uniquely, the present series will present in one place the vernacular names of the almost ten thousand birds of the world in about fifty languages. It should thus serve as a valuable reference work and source of information that has been scattered through field guides, scientific journals, coffee-table volumes and across the internet, often buried under all sorts of other data.The compilations will draw on official or other generally recognized authority wherever possible, and alternates are given where space permits. While the very fact that such extensive lists may, just by their existence, in future carry some authoritative weight in standardization of bird names, that is not its primary purpose, which is to present in a more useful format the nomenclature that is already in use.
John T. Burridge is a semi-retired (whatever that means) chemical engineer and technical writer, and has been a lifelong environmentalist and birder. His engineering mentality has made an obsession of his attempt to bring some semblance of order to the chaotic world of bird names. He received his undergraduate education in Canada, with degrees from Queen’s University and Concordia University, and did his graduate work at California State University with master’s degrees in linguistics and German, including work at Kenyatta University in East Africa. A former resident of Germany, France and Switzerland, he presently birds on the northeast coast of North America and is looking forward to full retirement on the west coast of Mexico where he can pester a completely different set of birds.