Proposal (91) to South American Classification Committee


Change the English name of Oceanodroma hornbyifrom "Ringed Storm-Petrel" to "Hornby's Storm-Petrel"




Since 1936, Oceanodroma hornbyi has had a checkered history in the use of its English name. It has been called:


Hornby's Petrel by Murphy (1936), and Hellmayr and Conover (1948)


Hornby's Storm-Petrel by Alexander (1963), Johnson (1967), Harrison (1983), Araya and Millie (1991), Carboneras (1992), Ridgely and Greenfield (2001)


Ringed Storm-Petrel by Meyer de Schauensee (1966, 1970), Koepcke (1970), Sibley and Monroe (1990), AOU Checklist (1998), Ridgely et al. (1998)


Ringed (Hornby's) Storm-Petrel by Blake (1977), Clements and Shany (2001)


Hornby's (Ringed) Storm-Petrel by Jaramillo (2003)


Hornby's Storm-Petrel/Ringed Storm-Petrel Dickinson (2003)




Bourne and Harris (1968) criticized the change of name from Hornby's Storm-Petrel to Ringed Storm-Petrel (Meyer de Schauensee 1966) and among other things stated: "While it is perhaps understandable that some people may object to eponyms commemorating English admirals, the series of descriptive names for seabirds recently introduced by certain authorities on South American landbirds are rarely either shorter or more helpful for identification than the established names, and we are sorry to see them changed."


Herewith, I quote part of Eugene Eisenmann's reply in the same article: "I agree that it may be helpful for authors to give alternative names in the case of some sea-birds, especially those with a wide distribution in areas where other names may prevail. But Ringed Storm-Petrel for a little-known, exclusively South American, bird seems a useful name, not only being shorter than "Hornby's," but actually diagnostically descriptive - something rarely practicable.  O. hornbyi is the only storm-petrel combining a whitish collar about the neck and a dark chest band."




Eisenmann's comments continue to be as valid today as in 1968.  More so, as 10 species of storm-petrels occur in the range of O. hornbyi.  The equivalent in Spanish of Ringed Storm-Petrel is used in Chile and Peru. Consequently, I am at a loss to explain why some authors continue to use Hornby's Storm-Petrel, which is not diagnostic. In this case, it would be truly a loss if Ringed Storm-Petrel, a descriptive name, is changed to a patronym.




It is time to standardize a name. I propose that Ringed Storm-Petrel be retained as the English name for Oceanodroma hornbyi by SACC. This name is well known by seabird observers, at least in Peru, and is diagnostic as mentioned above. Therefore, I recommend a "NO" vote on the change to "Hornby's."



Alexander, W. B. 1963. Birds of the ocean. Second edition. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, p. 60.

American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Lawrence, Kansas, p. 688.

Araya M., Braulio, and Guillermo Millie H. 1991. Guía de campo de las aves de Chile. Cuarta Edición. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, p. 70.

Blake, Emmet R. 1977. Manual of Neotropical birds. Spheniscidae (penguins) to Laridae (gulls and allies). Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1: 131.

Bourne, William R. P., and Michael P. Harris. 1968. The name and breeding-place of Hornby's (or the "Ringed") Storm-Petrel, Oceanodroma hornbyi. Condor, 70: 283.

Carboneras, C. 1992. Family Hydrobatidae (storm-petrels). In Handbook of birds of the world (Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott, and Jorgi Sargatal, Eds.). Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, vol. 1.

Clements, James F., and Noam Shany. 2001. A field guide to the birds of Peru. Ibis Publ. Co., Temecula, p. 12.

Dickinson, Edward C. (Ed.). 2003. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 3rd Edition. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, New Jersey, p. 78.

Harrison, Peter. 1983. Seabirds: an identification guide. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts, p. 277.

Hellmayr, Charles (=Carl) E., and Boardman Conover. 1948. Catalogue of birds of the Americas and the adjacent islands in Field Museum of Natural History, .... Part I, no. 2. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser., 13: 103.

Jaramillo, Alvaro. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Johnson, Alfred W. 1967. The birds of Chile and adjacent regions of Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. Platt Establecimientos Gráficos S. A., Buenos Aires, 1: 108.

Koepcke, Maria. 1970. The birds of the Department of Lima, Peru. Livingston Publishing Company, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, p. 24.

Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1966. The species of birds of South America and their distribution. Livingston Publishing Company, Narberth, Pennsylvania, p. 22.

Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1970. A guide to the birds of South America. Livingston Publishing Company, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, p. 18.

Murphy, Robert Cushman. 1936. Oceanic Birds of South America. MacMillan Co., New York, 2: 741.

Ridgely, Robert S., and Paul J. Greenfield. 2001. The birds of Ecuador: status, distribution, and taxonomy. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York, 1: 110

Ridgely, Robert S., Paul J. Greenfield, and Mauricio Guerrero G. 1998. Una lista anotada de las aves del Ecuador continental. Fundación Ornitológica del Ecuador, CECIA, Quito, p. 4.

Sibley, Charles G., and Burt L. Monroe, Jr. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven and London, p. 330.


Manuel Plenge, January 2004




Comments from Stiles: "NO. Regarding the proposal to stay with "Ringed" rather than "Hornby's" by Manuel Plenge (i.e., against changing), I find his arguments -descriptive and diagnostic, Spanish name - quite persuasive. As there have been so many switches and double usages in the recent past, I don't see that either name has a clear claim to precedence, the priority of "Hornby's" being effectively negated by the superiority of "Ringed". Hence I'll go with the better name and vote NO."


Comments from Zimmer: "NO. Reasons presented for use of 'Ringed Storm-Petrel' are convincing to me."


Comments from Robbins: "NO. Eisenmann's rationale seems reasonable to me, hence I vote "No" to changing the name."


Comments from Stotz: "NO. I can't see any reason for using Hornby's Storm-Petrel. Although I know that some are unhappy about Eisenmann's names, and particularly his tendency to replace patronyms with descriptive names, I still personally see Eisenmann's codification of names for both Central America and South America as the logical starting point for English names, before that you have very irregular attempts to provide English names for species. So besides Ringed being a good descriptive name, I see it as having "priority" since it has been used in almost all of the literature since De Schauensee 1966."


Comments from Jaramillo: "NO. The only attachment I have to Hornby's is that it is the first name I learnt for this species. Otherwise I have no issue with using Ringed, particularly due to its descriptive and useful nature."


Comments from Nores: "NO. No estoy de acuerdo en cambiar el nombre de Ringed Storm-Petrel a Hornby’s Storm-Petrel para Oceanodroma hornbyi. Las razones dadas por Manuel Plenge son convincentes y pienso que no es necesario cambiar un nombre adecuado."