American Birding Podcast



Hawaii, Heard-only, Cats, and [‘]Okina[s]

Certain topics inevitably arouse the passions of ABA members. Should Hawaii be admitted to the ABA Area? Should heard-only birds count? Outdoor cats, anyone? And, as the latest issue of Birding once again attests (James Hill, “Details, Details,” p. 16), we birders sure get fired up about the proper care and handling of bird names. 

12-4-01-01 [Hawai'i 'Elepaio]A little while ago, several of us on the staff of Birding got into a conversation about the very matter. Should we write Hawaii Elepaio, with no [‘]okina[s], as the American Ornithologists’ Union does? Or should we continue to render it Hawai‘i ‘Elepaio, as per longstanding editorial policy at Birding?
Left: Photo by © Jack Jeffrey. 

We had terrific fun with the conversation, and we veered off onto some wonderful tangents. But at the end of the day (it was a long conversation…), we hadn’t come to any consensus. Hence, a straw poll: elepaio or ‘elepaio? You tell us. Seriously. We’d love to hear from ABA members about this matter. Here’s your chance to influence editorial policy at Birding. Go for it!