Ray Turner's picture

Long-tailed Tit

Observed: 30th September 2011 By: Ray Turner
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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LTT1 1

Great little birds these I just love them. They were the subject of my first ‘study’ as opposed to just watching; long time ago now, I was about 15!

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Ray Turner's picture

Pedants Unite

Just as a matter of interest iSpot wants to give the common name for A. caudatus as Long-Tailed Tit. I have overridden this as I believe the convention is the second word in a hyphenated word should only be capitalised when both names are those of birds "... to signify the taxon belongs to the family of the second word ...".
Gill F.& Write M. (on behalf of the the International Ornithological Congress) Birds of the World Recommended English Names Helm 2006 p8.
e.g. Eagle-Owl.

Then A. caudatus should be as I have given it: Long-tailed Tit. Has this changed and I am once again out of date? Does anyone know (care)? ;-)



ophrys's picture


I do agree and do care, yes. It should certainly be a small letter after the hyphen. However, to correct that and so take over the ID, as I have seen done on here, is surely unnecessary!


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Beagle's picture


"... the hyphen is not an ornament but an aid to being understood, and should be employed only when it is needed for that purpose."
Fowler's Modern English Usage
I understand that the bird belongs to the family of tits and I agree with ophrys: it seems an unnecessary syntactical correction. Regards