(CNN) The American Ornithological Society is the latest organization to shed a problematic name from the past.
The organization has announced it is renaming the McCown's longspur, a little prairie bird native to the Southwest and northern Plains that originally was named after Confederate Gen. John Porter McCown. The bird will now be known as the thick-billed longspur.
A change long in the making
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How did a little bird get to be named after a Civil War figure in the first place? McCown was an amateur birder who kept regular records of birds he saw in his travels, so it's not surprising one of the new species he came across was named after him.
However, in an age when people are confronting just how much weight a name can carry -- whether it's a football team, a celestial body or a snack food -- that kind of problematic association could definitely offend and alienate a lot of people, as well as attract criticism.