Sydney is about as far south as you’ll see a Pacific Baza but these oddly named birds still come through Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital from time to time.
The Baza is a small bird of prey, distinguished by a crest on its head, dark blue-grey wings with lighter-coloured feathers on its face.
When recently asked if I’d like one to train for the show I jumped at the chance. I often search through lists of Aboriginal names when choosing a name for a newly arrived bird as the lists are either descriptive of the species or can provide the actual names that the Aboriginal people use for the birds. “Nangaw” is an Aboriginal name for the Powerful Owl and so that is how I named her. Our six Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos each have an aboriginal name which represents the sounds that they make. With the Baza, I decided to keep with the Australian theme but made it a bit more modern. I thought of all the nicknames that my friends have including “Shaza”, and “Waz” and it occurred to me that the Baza came with an inbuilt Aussie name. Thus, our Pacific Baza came to be known as “Barry” or “Baz” to his friends.