The information below includes the date and a brief description of each significant change, a link to the relevant page, and that page's new version number. Neither minor spelling corrections nor additions to the references are noted on this page.

Archives of ‘What's New’ Items

The updates for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 have been archived separately.

2017 Additions and Subtractions

Based on scientific names.

2017 Discoveries and Splits (29)

  1. Tenggara Swiftlet, Collocalia sumbawae
  2. Christmas Island Swiftlet, Collocalia natalis
  3. Plume-toed Swiftlet, Collocalia affinis
  4. Ridgetop Swiftlet, Collocalia isonota
  5. Grey-rumped Swiftlet, Collocalia marginata
  6. Drab Swiftlet, Collocalia neglecta
  7. Satin Swiftlet, Collocalia uropygialis
  8. Choco Screech-Owl, Megascops vermiculatus,
  9. Napo Screech-Owl, Megascops napensis, and
  10. Roraiman Screech-Owl, Megascops roraimae.
  11. Southern Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Megascops usta.
  12. Santa Marta Screech-Owl, Megascops sp.
  13. Fine-banded Woodpecker, Geocolaptes taeniolaema
  14. Tatama Tapaculo / Alto Pisones Tapaculo, Scytalopus alvarezlopezi
  15. Hornbill Friarbird, Philemon yorki
  16. Moluccan Myzomela, Myzomela simplex
  17. Baliem Whistler, Pachycephala balim
  18. Maghreb Magpie, Pica mauritanica
  19. Asir Magpie, Pica asirensis
  20. Oriental Magpie, Pica serica
  21. Charlotte's Bulbul, Iole charlottae
  22. Cachar Bulbul, Iole cacharensis
  23. Banasura Chilappan / Banasura Laughingthrush, Montecincla jerdoni
  24. Ashambu Chilappan / Travancore Laughingthrush, Montecincla meridionalis.
  25. Mediterranean Flycatcher, Muscicapa tyrrhenica
  26. Ashambu Sholakili, Sholicola ashambuensis
  27. Eastern Slaty Thrush, Turdus subalaris
  28. Gray-crowned Ground-Sparrow, Melozone occipitalis
  29. Cabanis's Ground-Sparrow, Melozone cabanisi

2017 Lumps (0)

2016 Additions and Subtractions

Based on scientific names.

2016 Discoveries and Splits (68)

  1. Middendorf's Bean-Goose, Anser middendorffii
  2. Sula Cuckoo-Dove, Turacoena sulaensis
  3. Sultan's Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia doreya
  4. Flores Sea Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia macassariensis
  5. Tanimbar Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia timorlaoensis
  6. Enggano Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia cinnamomea
  7. Barusan Cuckoo Dove, Macropygia modiglianii
  8. Lesser Violetear, Colibri cyanotus
  9. Russet-naped Wood-Rail / White-bellied Wood-Rail, Aramides albiventris
  10. Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Cymochorea socorroensis
  11. Ainley's Storm-Petrel, Cymochorea cheimomnestes
  12. Gray-faced Petrel, Pterodroma gouldi
  13. Eastern Cattle Egret, Bubulcus coromandus
  14. Yellow-billed Egret, Mesophoyx brachyrhyncha
  15. Plumed Egret, Mesophoyx plumifera
  16. Great White Egret, Casmerodius albus
  17. African Great Egret, Casmerodius melanorhynchos
  18. American Barn-Owl, Tyto furcata
  19. Cyprus Scops-Owl, Otus cyprius
  20. Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus bairdii
  21. Sooty Woodpecker / Southern Sooty-Woodpecker, Mulleripicus funebris
  22. Puerto Rican Parakeet, Psittacara maugei
  23. Sula Pitta, Erythropitta dohertyi
  24. Sulawesi Pitta, Erythropitta celebensis
  25. Sangihe Pitta, Erythropitta caeruleitorques
  26. Siao Pitta, Erythropitta palliceps
  27. South Moluccan Pitta, Erythropitta rubrinucha
  28. North Moluccan Pitta, Erythropitta rufiventris
  29. Louisiade Pitta, Erythropitta meeki
  30. Bismarck Pitta, Erythropitta novaehibernicae
  31. Coopman's Elaenia, Elaenia brachyptera
  32. Northern Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Nesotriccus incomtus
  33. Tan-capped Catbird, Ailuroedus geislerorum
  34. Ochre-breasted Catbird, Ailuroedus stonii
  35. Spotted Catbird, Ailuroedus maculosus
  36. Huon Catbird, Ailuroedus astigmaticus
  37. Black-capped Catbird, Ailuroedus melanocephalus
  38. Arfak Catbird, Ailuroedus arfakianus
  39. Northern Catbird, Ailuroedus jobiensis
  40. Pilbara Grasswren, Amytornis whitei
  41. Sandhill Grasswren, Amytornis oweni
  42. Rusty Grasswren, Amytornis rowleyi
  43. Admiralty Islands Cicadabird, Edolisoma admiralitatis
  44. Chestnut-throated Flycatcher, Myiagra castaneigularis
  45. White-cheeked Monarch, Symposiachrus malaitae
  46. North Island Robin, Petroica longipes
  47. Pacific Robin, Petroica pusilla
  48. Aden Lark, Calandrella eremica
  49. Northern Red-capped Lark, Calandrella williamsi
  50. Sykes's Short-toed Lark, Calandrella dukhunensis
  51. Highland Rush Warbler, Bradypterus centralis
  52. Aceh Bulbul, Pycnonotus snouckaerti
  53. Tarim Babbler, Rhopophilus albosuperciliaris
  54. Dark-eyed White-eye, Zosterops tetiparius
  55. Gray-brown White-eye, Zosterops ponapensis
  56. Chinese Blue Flycatcher, Cyornis glaucicomans
  57. Chinese Rubythroat, Calliope tschebaiewi
  58. Himalayan Thrush, Zoothera salimalii
  59. Sichuan Thrush, Zoothera griseiceps
  60. Campina Thrush, Turdus arthuri
  61. Amazonian Thrush, Turdus debilis
  62. Canebrake Wren, Cantorchilus zeledoni
  63. Isthmian Wren, Cantorchilus elutus
  64. Santa Marta Wood-Wren, Henicorhina anachoreta
  65. Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch, Fringilla polatzeki
  66. Merida Brushfinch, Atlapetes meridae
  67. Black-fronted Brushfinch, Atlapetes nigrifrons
  68. Blood-red Tanager, Piranga haemalea

2016 Lumps (2)

  1. Caribbean Coot, Fulica caribaea
  2. Four-colored Bushshrike, Telophorus quadricolor

Current Totals

As of May 31, 2017, the TiF list contains 10898 species in 2404 genera, 252 families, and 46 orders.

Comparison with IOC list, version 7.1

As of May 31, 2017, the TIF list contained 10898 species. The differences between the TIF and IOC lists involve over 270 species (102 species removed, 172 species added, compared to IOC 7.1). Of the 102 species on the IOC list that I have not included, about 75% are New World species that neither of the AOU committees has accepted. I will eventually reconsider both these and the extinct species. Adding all of the extras would bring the TIF list to 11000 species, 172 more than the IOC 7.1 list (10828).

IOC English Names

Although I started with the Howard-Moore list, I am now using the IOC list as a baseline. Every species gets an IOC-style name. That doesn't mean its the only name, or that it exactly matches the IOC name. Four percent of the species have two names. This usually happens because of differences between the IOC name and the AOU name (NACC or SACC). In such cases, I usually give the IOC name second, even in cases where I think the AOU name is stupid (E.g., redstarts for the Myioborus whitestarts). A few other non-IOC names have also been retained.

Some IOC-style names don't exactly match the true IOC name due to differences in taxonomy. For example, IOC recognizes two species of Laniisoma—Brazilian Laniisoma and Andean Laniisoma. In this case, I currently follow SACC taxonomy which has only one Laniisoma. However, their English name is entirely different (Shrike-like Cotinga). Keeping in mind that the species has been known as the Elegant Mourner, I added the IOC-ish English name Elegant Laniisoma.

The IOC-style names have been fully Americanized (gray, not grey; AOU-style hyphenation). I'm also a little more aggressive than AOU in adding hyphens to break up two-part names that don't scan well. I also favor hyphens when it makes the “last name” of the bird clear. Hyphens greatly improve the results when sorting bird names by last name. I know some people fight flame wars about it, but to me, bird names that differ only in hyphenation and/or American vs. British spelling, such as Grey Pileated Finch and Gray Pileated-Finch, are essentially identical (and are the IOC name).


Stephen Nawrocki has updated his enhanced excel spreadsheet of the TIF world list to Version 2.79. Numbering now matches the csv files.

Four lists are also available in csv format. Three of the lists use the TiF species list for that area. The ABA list has been modified to match the ABA species list.

The ABA list includes only ABA species, but in TiF order. The AOU and South American lists have a slightly different species list than the AOU's corresponding lists.

May 2017

May 31, 2017

Corvida: The Corvida tree has been updated based on Moyle et al. (2016). Their arrangement makes a bit more sense to me that the previous one, based primarly on Aggerbeck et al. (2014), Jønsson et al. (2016), and Marki et al. (2015). I like the biogeography a bit better and some families that seemed a bit odd together are no longer together. I'm hoping the changes are more progress than churn. A fuller discussion of the changes is in the taxonomic section of the Corvida I page. Some changes to Passerida based on Moyle et al. may have to wait until I am done with summer travel.
[, Corvida I 3.02]
[, Corvida II 3.03]
[, Corvida III 3.02]

Red-eyed Vireos: The Red-eyed Vireo complex has been slightly rearranged now the nuclear data is available. See Battey and Klicka (2017).
[Vireonidae, Corvida I 3.02]

Whistlers: The Baliem Whistler, Pachycephala balim has been split from the Yellow-throated Whistler, Pachycephala macrorhyncha, where it had moved from Australian Golden Whistler, Pachycephala pectoralis (see Andersen et al., 2014b; Beehler and Pratt, 2016).
[Pachycephalidae, Corvida I 3.02]

Pica Magpies: After reading Kryukov et al. (2017) and examining the treatment in the HBW-Checklist (del Hoyo and Collar, 2016). I have implemented the following splits. The Oriental Magpie, Pica bottanensis, has been split into Himalayan Magpie, Pica bottanensis (monotypic), and Oriental Magpie, Pica serica. Moreover, the Eurasian Magpie, Pica pica, has been split into Maghreb Magpie, Pica mauritanica (monotypic), Asir Magpie, Pica asirensis (monotypic), and Eurasian Magpie, Pica pica (all other subspecies).
[Corvidae, Corvida III 3.02]

May 4, 2017

Leptasthenura: It has been brought to my attention that Sylviorthorhynchus has priority over Leptasthenura. I now follow H&M-4 in putting Des Murs's Wiretail, L. desmurii, and the Tawny Tit-Spinetail, L. yanacensis, in Sylviorthorhynchus. The division between these two sister species and the remaining Leptasthenura Tit-Spinetails is quite deep (Derryberry et al., 2011).
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.04]

May 1, 2017

CSV Files: The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.08.

April 2017

April 29, 2017

Bulbuls: Based on Manawatthana et al. (2017), Charlotte's Bulbul, Iole charlottae (inc. perplexa) has been split from Buff-vented Bulbul, Iole olivacea, and Cachar Bulbul, Iole cacharensis, has been split from Olive Bulbul, Iole virescens. Moreover, the subspecies lekhakuni and cinnamonomeoventris have been transferred from Gray-eyed Bulbul, Iole propinqua to Olive Bulbul, Iole virescens while myitkyinensis has moved the other way, from Olive Bulbul to Gray-eyed Bulbul.

The scientific name of Olive Bulbul has been corrected to Iole viridescens and the scientific name of Buff-vented Bulbul has been corrected to Iole crypta (see H&M-4).
[Pycnonotidae, Sylvioidea II, 3.03]

April 28, 2017

Penduline-Tits: The Penduline-Tits (Remizidae) have been rearranged based on Ball (2014) with some assistence from Barani-Beiranvand et al. (2017).
[Remizidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.10]

April 14, 2017

Melanerpes Woodpeckers: Based on Navarro-Sigüenza et al., I have rearranged the Melanerpini woodpeckers. I have also separated some of Melanerpes into Centurus, as recommended by Navarro-Sigüenza et al.

They recommended some further splitting of Centurus into three genera. The position of the Gray-breasted Woodpecker, Centurus hypopolius, is ambiguous, and whether a two or three genera version works best depends on the position of C.hypopolius. Navarro-Sigüenza et al. think is is most likely the basal taxon in Centurus, and recommended putting it in a monotypic Zebrapicus, dividing the rest between Centurus and Tripsurus. However, Zebrapicus is a junior synonym of Centurus and cannot be used for the Gray-breasted Woodpecker alone. As there is no available name, and although the division they suggest is tempting, it is not all that deep, I have not adopted their division of Centurus into three genera.
[Picidae, Piciformes 3.07]

April 8, 2017

Swiftlets: Based on Rheindt et al., the Glossy Swiftlet, Collocalia esculenta, has been split into 8 species:

  • Tenggara Swiftlet, Collocalia sumbawae (sumbawae and sumbae)
  • Christmas Island Swiftlet, Collocalia natalis (monotypic)
  • Plume-toed Swiftlet, Collocalia affinis (affinis, elachyptera, vanderbilti, oberholseri, cyanoptila)
  • Ridgetop Swiftlet, Collocalia isonota (isonota and bagobo)
  • Grey-rumped Swiftlet, Collocalia marginata (septentrionalis and marginata)
  • Drab Swiftlet, Collocalia neglecta (neglecta and perneglecta)
  • Glossy Swiftlet, Collocalia esculenta (all other subspecies)
  • Satin Swiftlet, Collocalia uropygialis (uropygialis and albidior)

[Apodidae, Apodiformes, 3.07]

Tapaculos: I've added Alto Pisones Tapaculo as an alternate name for Tatama Tapaculo, Scytalopus alvarezlopezi.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.03a]

Crombecs: The Crombecs have been rearranged based on Huntley and Voelker (2017).
[Macrosphenidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.09]

Turdus Thrushes: It is clear from several sources (e.g., Voelker et al., 2007; Nylander et al., 2008; Cerqueira et al., 2016; Avendaño et al, 2017) that Turdus subalaris and Turdus nigriceps are not close relatives. IOC has split them for a while, and I do so now. Slaty Thrush, Turdus nigriceps, is split into Eastern Slaty Thrush, Turdus subalaris, and Andean Slaty Thrush, Turdus nigriceps. I'm not fond of the names, but that is what IOC and the HBW Checklist (del Hoyo and N.J. Collar, 2016) use.

Avendaño et al. (2017) have made a closer study of the Black-billed Thrush complex, including all the relevant subspecies. As a result, I have split Tepui Thrush, Turdus murinus, from Black-billed Thrush, Turdus ignobilis, and lumped Amazonian Thrush, Turdus debilis, into Black-billed Thrush, Turdus ignobilis. Further study may show that T.debilis deserves recognition as a separate species.
[Turdidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.11]

March 2017

March 11, 2017

Tapaculos: The “Alto Pisones” Tapaculo has finally been described by Stiles et al. (2017). I have added it to the TiF list using their suggested English name: Tatama Tapaculo, Scytalopus alvarezlopezi. It seems to be sister to the Ecuadorian Tapaculo / El Oro Tapaculo, Scytalopus robbinsi.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.03]

March 10, 2017

Screech-Owls: I've split some of the Screech-Owls based on the genetic data in Dantas et al. (2016) and discussion of vocalizations in König and Weick (2008). The Vermiculated Screech-Owl, Megascops guatemalae has been split into

  • Middle American Screech-Owl, Megascops guatemalae,
  • Choco Screech-Owl, Megascops vermiculatus,
  • Napo Screech-Owl, Megascops napensis, and
  • Roraiman Screech-Owl, Megascops roraimae.

Note that I include centralis in M. vermiculatus.

The Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Megascops watsonii has been split into

  • Northern Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Megascops watsonii, and
  • Southern Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Megascops usta.

Finally, the undescribed Santa Marta Screech-Owl, Megascops sp. has also been added to the list. All these changes have led to some rearrangment of the Screech-Owls.
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.07]

Wood-Wrens: The Santa Marta Wood-Wren, Henicorhina anachoreta, has a new primary name, Hermit Wood-Wren due to a recent SACC decision (SACC #743).
[Troglodytidae, Certhioidea, 3.02a]

March 8, 2017

American Sparrows: I've changed the family name from Passerellidae (Cabanis and Heine 1850-51) to Arremonidae (Lafresnaye 1842) for priority reasons.

Based on Sandoval et al. (2017) and the HBW BirdLife Checklist (del Hoyo and Collar, 2016) I have split Gray-crowned Ground-Sparrow, Melozone occipitalis, from White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Melozone leucotis (inc. nigrior) and with the assistance of Sandoval (2014) split Cabanis's Ground-Sparrow, Melozone cabanisi, from Prevost's Ground-Sparrow, Melozone biarcuata (inc. hartwegi). I have also rearranged Aimophila, Kieneria, and Melozone using information from Sandoval et al. (2017).
[Arremonidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.04]

March 6, 2017

Asian Barbets: I've corrected the English Psilopogon duvaucelii (Blue-eared Barbet) and Psilopogon australis (Yellow-eared Barbet), which I had inadvertently switched.
[Megalaimidae, Piciformes 3.06]

March 3, 2017

CSV Files: The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.07.

Muscicapidae: Based on Robin et al. (2017), the Nilgiri Blue-Robin, Myiomela major, and White-bellied Blue-Robin, Myiomela albiventris, have been separated in the new genus Sholicola. I have changed the primary name to Sholakili to reflect this (note that Blue-Flycatcher would lead to a name conflict). Also, I have accepted the split of Ashambu Sholakili, Sholicola ashambuensis, from White-bellied Sholakili, Sholicola albiventris (Robin et al., 2017).

Gould's Shortwing, Brachypteryx stellata, has been placed in the monotypic genus Heteroxenicus. The new position on tree comes from Price et al. (2014). Note that Robin et al. (2017) put it in a different place in the tree. Both also disagree with each other and Sangster et al. (2010) concerning the placement of Calliope. I've put a question mark next to both Calliope and Heteroxenicus to reflect this uncertainty. I also note that although Price et al. (2014) is mostly consistent with Sangster et al. (2010) concerning Muscicapidae, Robin et al. (2017) has a rather different topology.

Finally, the scientific name of the Blue-capped Rock-Thrush has been corrected to Monticola cinclorhyncha (not cinclorhynchus). See H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014).
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.10]

February 2017

February 21, 2017

Leiothrichidae: Due to priority, the genus name Dryonastes Sharpe, 1883 has been replaced by Pterorhinus Swinhoe, 1868.
[Leiothrichidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.05a]

February 20, 2017

Norfolk Ground-Dove: The Norfolk Ground-Dove, formerly Alopecoenas norfolciensis, becomes Alopecoenas norfolkensis. The old name had been supressed by the ICZN. The new name is due to Forshaw (2015).
[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.05]

Pellorneidae: The genus Laticilla has been moved based on Price et al. (2014). They found L. burnesii closer to Napothera and Rimator than to Malacocincla. The primary English name of these two species has been changed from Prinia to Grass-Babbler (Rufous-vented Grass-Babbler and Swamp Grass-Babbler).
[Pellorneidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.05]

Leiothrichidae: The recent paper by Robin et. al (2017) has been an excuse for reconsidering all of Leiothrichidae. I had previously used a broad Turdoides. This has been rearranged and divided taking Price et al. (2014) into account. I have separated Acanthoptila, Argya, Chatarrhaea, Kupeornis, Malacocircus, and Phyllanthus from Turdoides. This result is similar to H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014) and the HBW BirdLife Checklist (del Hoyo and Collar, 2016), except that three species have been placed in Malacocircus based on Price et al. (2014).

In the Garrulax clade, I have separated Stactocichla from Leucodioptron. The structure of Dryonastes remains uncertain. It includes Babax, Pterorhinus, and Rhinocichla.

Based on Robin et al. (2017), the Kerala Laughingthrush, Trochalopteron fairbanki, and Black-chinned Laughingthrush, Trochalopteron cachinnans, have been moved to Montecincla. Further, there are splits:

  • The Black-chinned Laughingthrush, Montecincla cachinnans, has been split into Nilgiri Chilappan / Black-chinned Laughingthrush, Montecincla cachinnans, and Banasura Chilappan / Banasura Laughingthrush, Montecincla jerdoni.
  • The Kerala Laughingthrush, Trochalopteron fairbanki, has been split into Palani Chilappan / Kerala Laughingthrush, Montecincla fairbanki, and Ashambu Chilappan / Travancore Laughingthrush, Montecincla meridionalis.

Also based on Robin et al. (2017), Laniellus has been moved and I've separated the genera Chrysominla, Sibia, and Siva from Actinodura.
[Leiothrichidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.05]

January 2017

January 27, 2017

Ant-followers: Based on Isler et al. (2014), the phylogeny of Pithyini has been adjusted. Further, the Lunulated Antbird and White-throated Antbird have been moved from Gymnopithys to the new genus Oneillornis (Isler et al., 2014; type lunulatus) to avoid merging Gymnopithys and Rhegmatorhina.
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 3.02]

Manakins: The genus name of the White-crowned Manakin has been changed to Pseudopipra (Kirwan et al., 2014b) from Dixiphia. Kirwan et al. note that Dixiphia is a junior synonym of Arundinicola d'Orbigny, 1840.
[Pipridae, Tyrannida I, 3.02]

Bristlebirds: The bristlebirds have been rearranged based on Marki et al. (2017).
[Dasyornithidae, Basal Oscines, 3.06]

Australasian Wrens: The Maluridae have been slighly rearranged based on Marki et al. (2017). This only affects Stipiturus and Malurus. I have also recognized 2 subfamilies: Amytornithinae and Malurinae.
[Maluridae, Basal Oscines, 3.06]

Pardalotidae: The Pardalotidae have been rearranged based on the comprehensive analysis of Marki et al. (2017). I've another subfamily: Pachycareinae (Schodde and Christidis, 2014). The genus Crateroscelis has been eliminated. The Rusty and Mountain Mouse-warblers have joined Origma and the Bicolored Mouse-warbler is now in Sericornis. Some minor adjustments to the species tree have also been made.
[Pardalotidae, Basal Oscines, 3.06]

January 26, 2017

Honeyeaters: The Meliphagidae have been rearranged based on Marki et al. (2017). Although the overall structure has not changed, Marki et al.'s analysis of almost all the Meliphagidae has lead to considerable moving about of species.

Based on divergence dates, the tribe Prosthemaderini has been merged into Acanthorhynchini.

There are six changes at the genus level. Two genera have been merged into others: Trichodere has been merged into Phylidonyris. and Microptilotis has been merged into Oreornis. I have added four genera: The Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Lichmera lombokia, has been separated as "Lichmera", which is surprisingly not close to Lichmera. The Plain Honeyeater, Pycnopygius ixoides, and Marbled Honeyeater, Pycnopygius cinereus, have been separated as "Pycnopygius". The Short-bearded Melidectes, Melidectes nouhuysi, and Long-bearded Melidectes, Melidectes princeps, have been separated as Melionyx. Finally, the Gray Honeyeater, Conopophila whitei, has been separated as Lacustroica. This results in a gain of two genera.

I have also separated two species: The Hornbill Friarbird, Philemon yorki, has been split from Helmeted Friarbird, Philemon buceroides (IOC split this some time ago), and the Moluccan Myzomela, Myzomela simplex, including rubrotincta and mortyana, has been split from Dusky Myzomela, Myzomela obscura.
[Meliphagidae, Basal Oscines, 3.05]

January 23, 2017

Mudnesters: The scientific name of the White-winged Chough is now Corcorax melanorhamphos, not melanoramphos as the ICZN has resolved the controversy over the name (Opinion 2380). In the same decision, they conserved the family name Corcoracidae over Struthideidae. [Corcoracidae, Corvida III, 3.01c]

January 16, 2017

Potoos: White et al. (2017) have clarified the relations between the potoos. I have adjusted the position of the Northern Potoo, Nyctibius jamaicensis.
[Nyctibiidae, Strisores I, 3.02]

January 14, 2017

Booted Eagles: Based on Lerner et al. (2017), I've adjusted the position of Indian Spotted-Eagle, Clanga hastata and Legge's Hawk-Eagle, Nisaetus kelaarti. Although it is fairly basal, some uncertainty remains concerning the closest relatives of the Crowned Eagle, Stephanoaetus coronatus.
[Accipitridae, Accipitrimorphae, 3.02]

Woodpeckers: Based on Fuchs et al. (2017), Chloropicus and Geocolaptes have been rearranged. I have not subdivided either genus as the species in each seem fairly closely related. I have split Fine-banded Woodpecker, Geocolaptes taeniolaema, (including hausburgi) from Tullberg's Woodpecker, Geocolaptes tullbergi. Fuchs et al. (2017) have noted some other possible splits, but I find those splits less compelling in the absence of closer study.
[Picidae, Piciformes 3.05]

January 4, 2017

Weavers: The weavers have been rearranged based mainly on De Silva et al. (2017), with some help from the barcoding results of Sonet et al. (2011), who did not provide a tree. Raty did, but cautions that the barcoding data is quite limited and that the result has has no real statistical support. Indeed, when compared to De Silva et al. (2017), there are some odd placements. Nonetheless, I have treated close relationships as having some meaning. When combined with traditional taxonomy, this has allowed me to regroup Textor (formerly the African Ploceus). Keep in mind that I previously restricted the name Ploceus to the Asian species. The two Madagascan weavers are separated as Nelicurvius, with some of the African Textor being moved to Malimbus. Although Sonet et al.'s data indicate that the Golden Palm Weaver is close to Nelicurvius, I have considerable doubts about this and have retained it in Textor.

I have merged Pseudonigrita into Philetairus as they are closely related as shown by the time calibration in De Silva et al. (2017, Fig 2). I have separated Pachyphantes from Textor and placed it near Quela based on the barcoding data. I have also merged Brachycope into Euplectes, again based on the barcoding data, and merged Anaplectes into Malimbus based on De Silva et al. (2017).

The tree in De Silva et al. (2017) encouraged me to acknowledge the split of Aldabra Fody, Foudia aldabrana, from Comoros Fody, Foudia eminentissima.

I have also removed the alternate English name African Golden-Weaver from Southern Masked Weaver, Textor velatus and removed the hyphens from Masked and Golden Weavers.
[Ploceidae, Core Passeroidea I, 3.04]

January 1, 2017

Spotted Flycatcher: Based on Pons et al. (2016), the Mediterranean Flycatcher, Muscicapa tyrrhenica (including balearica) has been split from Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata. See Viganó and Corso (2015) concerning identification of balearica. There is some possibility of a further split into monotypic species, which would probably be named Balearic and Tyrrhenian Flycatchers.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.09]

December 2016

December 15, 2016

Higher Taxonomy: I have made some changes to the sequence of bird orders as a result of Suh et al. (2015) and Suh (2016). Suh (2016) makes the case for a hard polytomy at the base of Neoaves. I think there is still some information there, and the sequence I use reflects this. As a result, Mirandornithes has been moved to follow Opisthocomiformes (Hoatzin) and Charadriiformes now follows Ardeiformes. See the text for more information.
[The 46 Orders, Paleognathae, 3.01]

There are still some inconsistencies in the website resulting from the latest changes. These should be straightened out by the beginning of the year. If you see any after that, please let me know. I also hope to make some changes based on Moyle et al. (2016) soon.

December 11, 2016

Mousebirds: Based on Suh et al. (2015) and Suh (2016), the Coliiformes have been moved to a basal position in Afroaves.
[Coliidae, Afroaves I, 3.02]
[Afroaves II, 3.06]

Trogons: The position of the genus Apalharpactes has been adjusted based on Oliveros (2015).
[Trogonidae, Afroaves III, 3.02]

December 10, 2016

Lavivora Robins: Zhao et al. (2016) analyzed DNA from all 6 Lavivora species. I have rearranged Lavivora based on their analysis.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.08]

December 9, 2016

Eurylaimides: I have adjusted the order of the Eurylaimides based on Selvatti et al. (2017). The Sapayoa is now the basal branch. Smithornithidae has been rearranged and I've added subfamilies to Philepittidae and Eurylaimidae.
[Eurylaimides, Passeriformes I, 3.02]

Pittas: I have rearranged the genera based on Selvatti et al. (2017). Moreover, based on Irestedt et al. (2013) and Collar et al. (2015), I've further split Northern Red-bellied Pitta, Erythropitta erythrogaster, into

  • Philippine Pitta, Erythropitta erythrogaster (including yairocho), inspeculata, thompsoni, and propinqua),
  • Sula Pitta, Erythropitta dohertyi,
  • Sulawesi Pitta, Erythropitta celebensis,
  • Sangihe Pitta, Erythropitta caeruleitorques,
  • and Siao Pitta, Erythropitta palliceps.

Moreover, Southern Red-bellied Pitta, Erythropitta macklotii, has been split into

  • South Moluccan Pitta, Erythropitta rubrinucha (including piroensis),
  • North Moluccan Pitta, Erythropitta rufiventris (including cyanonota, bernsteini, and obiensis),
  • Louisiade Pitta, Erythropitta meeki,
  • Papuan Pitta, Erythropitta macklotii (including finschii, aruensis, kuehni, loriae, digglesi, and oblita),
  • and Bismarck Pitta, Erythropitta novaehibernicae (including extima, splendida, and gazellae).

[Pittidae, Passeriformes I, 3.02]

October 2016

October 21, 2016

English name changes from IOC 6.3:

  • Auckland Merganser, Mergus australis, becomes New Zealand Merganser.
    [Anatidae, Anseriformes, 3.02a]
  • Snow Mountains Quail, Anurophasis monorthonyx, becomes Snow Mountain Quail.
    [Phasianidae, Landfowl, 3.05a]
  • Russet-naped Wood-Rail / White-bellied Wood-Rail, Aramides albiventris, becomes Russet-naped Wood-Rail / Rufous-naped Wood-Rail.
    [Rallidae, Gruae I, 3.03a]
  • Pomarine Jaeger / Pomarine Skua, Stercorarius pomarinus, becomes Pomarine Jaeger. (I've left Arctic Skua as an alternative for Parasitic Jaeger as it is in wide use and not a simple substitution of Skua for Jaeger.)
    [Stercorariidae, Charadriiformes, 3.04b]

Scientific name changes from Schodde and Bock (2016):

  • Australian White Ibis, Threskiornis moluccus, becomes T. molucca.
    [Threskiornithidae, Ardeae, 3.05a]
  • Purple Gallinule, Porphyrio martinicus, becomes P. martinica.
    [Rallidae, Gruae I, 3.03a]
  • Brazilian Tanager, Ramphocelus bresilius, becomes R. bresilia.

Barn Owls: Based on Aliabadian et al. (2016), the American Barn-Owl, Tyto furcata (both North and South America, and Hawaii) has been split from Common Barn-Owl / Western Barn-Owl, Tyto alba (Europe, Africa, and the Middle East). Its English name has been simplifed to Western Barn-Owl. The Eastern Barn-Owl, now named Tyto javanica instead of Tyto delicatula, now includes all subspecies from Pakistan and India through Australia and into the Pacific.
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.05]

Scops Owls: The Cyprus Scops-Owl, Otus cyprius, has been split from the Eurasian Scops-Owl, Otus scops, based on Flint et al. Zootaxa (2015) and Robb et al. (2015).
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.05]

Dinopium Flamebacks: The Red-backed Flameback, Dinopium psarodes, has been split from the Black-rumped Flameback, Dinopium benghalense. Fernando et al. (2016) makes the strongest case for the split. Note that the race jaffnense from northern Sri Lanka remains a subspecies of Black-rumped Flameback, Dinopium benghalense. There seems to be a stable hybrid zone between them. Fernando and Seneviratne (2015) and Freed et al. (2015) have more information on this.
[Picidae, Piciformes 3.04]

Chaffinches: The Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch, Fringilla polatzeki, has been split from Blue Chaffinch, Fringilla teydea, based on Suárez et al. (2009) and the analysis by Sangster et al. (2016b).
[Fringillidae, Core Passeroidea II, 3.05]

September 2016

September 17, 2016

Herons and Egrets: I've made a number of changes in the heron family. Besides some rearrangement within Nycticoracinae and Ardeinae, I've transferred Least Bittern to Botaurus from Ixobrychus based on Päckert et al. (2014, Fig. 3); transferred White-eared Night-Heron to Oroanassa from Gorsachius based on Zhou et al. (2016); and transferred White-backed Night-Heron to Calherodius from Gorsachius due to general uncertainty about its affinities.

Further, Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, has been split into Western Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, and Eastern Cattle Egret, Bubulcus coromandus based on differences in plumage and DNA (Raty barcode tree). Intermediate Egret, Mesophoyx intermedia, has been split into Intermediate Egret, Mesophoyx intermedia, Yellow-billed Egret, Mesophoyx brachyrhyncha (Africa), and Plumed Egret, Mesophoyx plumifera (Australasia) based on differences in breeding plumage (HBW/BirdLife). Finally, Great Egret, Casmerodius modestus, has been split into Eastern Great Egret, Casmerodius modestus, Great White Egret, Casmerodius albus and African Great Egret, Casmerodius melanorhynchos, based on differences in breeding plumage and except for melanorhynchos, DNA.
[Ardeidae, Ardeae, 3.05]

September 5, 2016

New World Vultures: The New World Vultures have been rearranged to match the phylogeny in Johnson et al. (2016).
[Cathartidae, Accipitrimorphae, 3.00c]

August 2016

August 28, 2016

Sandpiper-Plover: The alternate English name (Diademed Plover) of Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Phegornis mitchellii has been removed. I have also corrected some text that should have been changed when the plovers were rearranged in version 3.01.
[Charadriidae, Charadriiformes, 3.04a]

August 21, 2016

Sandpipers: The Willet, Tringa semipalmata, has been split into Western Willet, Tringa inornata, and Eastern Willet, Tringa semipalmata, based on Oswald et al., (2016). I have also made some adjustments to the order of the Tringinae to better reflect available phylogenies.
[Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes, 3.04]

Gulls: The Gray-hooded Gull / Gray-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus, has been split into the Gray-hooded Gull, Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus, of South America and the Gray-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus poiocephalus, of Africa. Given et al. (2005) found that C. poiocephalus was more closely related to Hartlaub's Gull, Chroicocephalus hartlaubii than to C. cirrocephalus. They noted this relationship could be an artifact of introgression, but they did not have any evidence to that effect.
[Laridae, Charadriiformes, 3.04]

August 15, 2016

There haven't been any updates lately as I've been on a birding trip to South Africa. This was my first trip to Africa and added 377 or so species to my life list (the exact total depends on some splits I'm considering).

July 2016

July 10, 2016

Cranes: The genus Grus has been split into three genera: Leucogeranus, Antigone, and Grus, as in H&M-4. Further, the deep division between the crowned cranes and the rest is recognized by putting the crowned cranes in subfamily Balearicinae. AOU recognizes at least one more genus (Anthropoides).
[Gruidae, Gruae I, 3.03]

Leach's Storm-Petrel complex: Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Cymochorea socorroensis, and Ainley's Storm-Petrel, Cymochorea cheimomnestes, have been split from Leach's Storm-Petrel, Cymochorea leucorhoa. Besides the references listed in the AOU proposal, Adams et al. (2016) and Bicknell et al. (2012) are useful when considering the Leach's complex. For a bit more discussion, follow the link below.
[Hydrobatidae, Ardeae 3.03b]

Toucans: Following the 57th supplement to the AOU list, the English name of Black-mandibled Toucan has been removed from the Yellow-throated Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus).
[Ramphastidae, Piciformes 3.03a]

Bulbuls: Aceh Bulbul, Pycnonotus snouckaerti, has been split from Orange-spotted Bulbul, Pycnonotus bimaculatus, based on Eaton & Collar (2015).
[Pycnonotidae, Sylvioidea II, 3.02]

July 9, 2016

Violetears: The Green Violetear, Colibri thalassinus, has been split into Mexican Violetear, Colibri thalassinus, and Lesser Violetear, Colibri cyanotus based on Remsen et al. (2015). [Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.06]

Wood-Rails: Following the 57th supplement to AOU list, the English name of Rufous-naped Wood-Rail / White-bellied Wood-Rail, Aramides albiventris, has been changed to Russet-naped Wood-Rail / White-bellied Wood-Rail. AOU NACC has also changed the name of Gray-necked Wood-Rail to Gray-cowled Wood-Rail. SACC uses Gray-necked, and I continue to use that also.
[Rallidae, Gruae I, 3.02a]

Shearwaters: The scientific name of the Pink-footed Shearwater has been corrected to Ardenna creatopus (was creatopa). According to H&M-4, creatopus is invariable.
[Procellariidae, Ardeae 3.03b]

Blue-crowned Motmot complex: Following AOU supplement 57, the English name of Blue-crowned Motmot, Momotus coeruliceps, has been changed to Blue-capped Motmot, and Blue-diademed Motmot, Momotus lessonii, has been changed to Lesson's Motmot.
[Momotidae, Afroaves III, 3.01a]

Psittacara Parakeets: Based on Olson (2015), the extinct Puerto Rican Parakeet, Psittacara maugei, has been split from Hispaniolan Parakeet, Psittacara chloropterus.
[Psittacidae, Basal Australaves 3.05]

Skylarks: Following the 57th supplement to the AOU list, the English name of Sky Lark has been removed from the Eurasian Skylark, Alauda arvensis.
[Alaudidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.08a]

Bishops: Following AOU supplement 57, the English name of Orange Bishop has been removed from the Northern Red-Bishop, Euplectes franciscanus.
[Ploceidae, Core Passeroidea I, 3.03a]

Pseudosaltator: The Rufous-bellied Saltator, Dubusia rufiventris, becomes Rufous-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Pseudosaltator rufiventris due to SACC Proposal #722. [Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.04]

July 8, 2016

Coots: Following AOU supplement 57 (2016), the Caribbean Coot, Fulica caribaea, is now treated as a color morph of American Coot, Fulica americana. There was never strong evidence these were separate species.
[Rallidae, Gruae I, 3.02]

Larks: When separating Darod Lark, Calandrella daaroodensis, from Blanford's Lark, Calandrella blanfordi, I had missed that eremica belongs with daaroodensis. Since eremica has priority, Darod Lark becomes Calandrella eremica. Since the resulting species occurs on both sides of the Gulf of Aden, Darod Lark is no longer an appropriate name, and no name seems to be in use, I'm calling it Aden Lark. In sum, Darod Lark, Calandrella daaroodensis is replaced by Aden Lark, Calandrella eremica.
[Alaudidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.08]

Wrens: Saucier et al. (2016) found that the Plain Wren, Cantorchilus modestus, is actually three species: Cabanis's Wren, Cantorchilus modestus, Canebrake Wren, Cantorchilus zeledoni, and Isthmian Wren, Cantorchilus elutus. The split of Canebrake Wren had previously been advocated by Kroodsma and Brewer (2005). See also Mann et al. (2006).

The Santa Marta Wood-Wren, Henicorhina anachoreta, has been split from Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Henicorhina leucophrys. See Caro et al. (2013) and SACC proposal #700. The Gray-breasted Wood-Wren complex is rather complicated and I think it is likely there will be future splits once the complex is better understood.
[Troglodytidae, Certhioidea, 3.02]

Bush-tanagers: Klicka et al. (2014) found that the Yellow-green Bush-tanager, formerly Chlorospingus flavovirens, was a tanager, and not part of the sparrow genus Chlorospingus. However, they did not include enough tanagers in their analysis to determine its affinities. This has now been remedied by Avendaño et al. (2016), who found it is sister to the Blue-and-gold Tanager, Bangsia arcaei. As a result, the Yellow-green Bush-tanager is now Bangsia flavovirens.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.04]

June 2016

June 9, 2016

White-eyes: Cornetti et al. (2015) found that the Small and Large Lifou White-eyes are fairly closely related (closer to each other than to the Silvereye). So I have moved the Green-backed White-eye, Zosterops xanthochroa, and Small Lifou White-eye, Zosterops minutus, to a position near the Large Lifou White-eye, Zosterops inornatus.
[Zosteropidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.05]

June 7, 2016

Blue Flycatchers: The Chinese Blue Flycatcher, Cyornis glaucicomans, has been split from Blue-throated Blue-Flycatcher, Cyornis rubeculoides. Note that the subspecies klossi seems to belong to the Hainan Blue-Flycatcher, Cyornis hainanus. See Zhang et al. (2016).
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.07]

June 6, 2016

Northern Storm-Petrels: Although there is no change to the linear order, I've adjusted the Hydrobatidae species tree to take Sausner et al. (2016) into account.
[Hydrobatidae, Ardeae 3.03a]

Black Sunbird: The species name Black Sunbird, Leptocoma sericea, has been changed to aspasia. It was originally named as Cinnyris sericeus (Lesson, 1827), a junior homonym of Cinnyris sericeus (Bechstein 1811), so the next oldest name aspasia must be used instead.
[Nectariniidae, Basal Passeroidea, 3.01a]

June 5, 2016

Striolated Puffbirds: The Striolated Puffbird, Nystalus striolatus, has been split into Western Striolated-Puffbird, Nystalus obamai, and Eastern Striolated-Puffbird, Nystalus striolatus. See Whitney et al. (2013e) and SACC #617 and #679.
[Bucconidae, Piciformes 3.03]

Thrushes: Based on Alström et al. (2016), the Plain-backed Thrush, Zoothera mollissima, has been split into:

  • Alpine Thrush, Zoothera mollissima
  • Himalayan Thrush, Zoothera salimalii
  • Sichuan Thrush, Zoothera griseiceps

There is probably another species here, “Yunnan Thrush”, but futher work is necessary to confirm this.
[Turdidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.06]

Ficedula: The English name of Ficedula luzoniensis has been changed from Thicket Flycatcher to Bundok Flycatcher to match IOC.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.06]

June 4, 2016

Tyrannulets: Zucker et al. (2016) found that Nesotriccus is embedded in Phaeomyias and that both are very closely related to Phyllomyias. Accordingly, I have merged Nesotriccus (Cocos Flycatcher) and Phaeomyias into Phyllomyias. It would not be unreasonable to go a step further and merge the monotypic Capsiempis with Phyllomyias. However, both names have equal priority and need a first reviser action to decide between them. Since there's not a strong need to merge them, it can wait.

Also based on Zucker et al. (2016), the Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, formerly Phaeomyias murina, has been split into Amazonian Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Phyllomyias murinus, including wagae, and Northern Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Phyllomyias incomtus, including eremonomus.
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II 3.03]

June 3, 2016

White-eyes: The Dark-eyed White-eye, Zosterops tetiparius, including paradoxus (called rendovae by H&M-4) has been split from the Solomons White-eye, Zosterops kulambangrae, based on H&M-4, IOC 6.2, and Moyle et al. (2009). IOC 6.2 uses rendovae for a different species, see the box on the rendovae problem.

Based on Hayes et al. (2016), the Gray-brown White-eye, Zosterops cinereus, has been split into Kosrae White-eye, Zosterops cinereus, and Gray-brown White-eye, Zosterops ponapensis.
[Zosteropidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.04]

May 2016

May 31, 2016

Thistletails: Based on Hosner et al. (2015b) and SACC #697, the Ayacucho Thistletail, Asthenes ayacuchensis, has been split from Vilcabamba Thistletail, Asthenes vilcabambae. These are not each other's closest relatives and the split has caused some minor rearrangement of Asthenes.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.02]

Rubythroats: The White-tailed Rubythroat, Calliope pectoralis, has been split into Himayalan Rubythroat, Calliope pectoralis, and Chinese Rubythroat, Calliope tschebaiewi, based on Liu et al. (2016).
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.05]

May 29, 2016

Calandrella Larks: The genus Calandrella has been studied in detail by Stervander et al. (2016). I use their arrangment, and have implemented three splits.

  • Darod Lark, Calandrella daaroodensis, of northern Somalia has been split from Blanford's Lark, Calandrella blanfordi.
  • Red-capped Lark, Calandrella cinerea, is split into Northern Red-capped Lark, Calandrella williamsi, and Southern Red-capped Lark, Calandrella cinerea. The Northern Red-capped Lark only the Kenyan birds (williamsi) and Nigerian birds usually attributed to saturatior. If they had a scientific name, I would probably split the Nigerian and Kenyan birds into two species. The type of saturatior is from Angola, representing a Southern Red-capped Lark. The isolated northern populations in the DR Congo and Uganda belong in Southern Red-capped Lark.
  • Sykes's Short-toed Lark, Calandrella dukhunensis, has been split from Greater Short-toed Lark, Calandrella brachydactyla. The name Rufous Short-toed Lark has been used for this species, but has also been used more appropriately for the Somali Short-toed Lark, Alaudala somalica.

[Alaudidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.07]

Ficedula Flycatchers: I've made some adjustments to the Ficedula tree based on Hooper et al. (2016). They added some samples from the Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Ficedula nigrorufa, and provided further evidence that the Rusty-tailed Flycatcher belongs in Ficedula, which we already knew from Raty's analysis on BirdForum.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.04]

May 28, 2016

American Sparrows: Bryson et al. (2016) mostly resolves the order of the tribes in Arremonidae. The position of Chlorospingini is a little uncertain, but probably correct. Further, Spizella and Arremon have been reordered as in Barker et al. (2015), and I have split the basal Arremon as Lysurus. Two of these were in Lysurus in H&M-3, while the other two were in Buarremon, whose type species torquatus has been returned to Buarremon, along with the other 7 species previously split from it.

The arrangement of genera inside the tribes remains particularly uncertain in three cases: Ammodramini, Passerculini, and Pipilonini. Ammodramini is a particular problem and Bryson et al.'s Figure 2B (2016) has it totally unresolved. I have followed Figure 2A which does resolve it, but with weak support. Barker et al. (2015) is similar but with Ammodrammus basal. For Passerculini, which is not well-resolved by Bryson et al. (2016), I have followed Klicka et al. (2014). However, taking Barker et al. (2015) into account, Centronyx (Henslow's and Baird's Sparrows) has been merged into Passerculus, and Xenospiza has been merged into Melospiza. Barker et al. (2016) give a somewhat different topology, but I just don't see Baird's and Sierra Madre Sparrows as sister species, while Baird's and Henslow's sister and related to Savannah Sparrow as in Klicka et al. (2014) makes a lot of sense. That brings us to Pipilonini. Based on Barker et al. (2015) and Bryson et al. (2016), I have returned the White-eared and Prevost's Ground-Sparrows to Melozone. It is not clear whether they are closer to Aimophila or to Kieneria as in Barker et al. (2015) or basal to both as in Bryson et al. (2016) Figure 2B. The position of Pezopetes and Torreornis is also uncertain. Klicka et al. (2014) had them weakly attached to the Melozone-Aimophila-Kieneria clade. Barker et al. (2015) found them in a clade sister to Pipilo. Bryson et al. (2016) did not include Torreornis, but had Pezopetes sister to Atlapetes-Pipilo in Figure 2A, and in a basal polytomy in Figure 2B. As a result, I moved them to a basal trichotomy with Melozone-Aimophila-Kieneria and Atlapetes-Pipilo.
[Arremonidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.03]

May 26, 2016

Geese: I've updated the phylogeny of Anser and Branta based on Ottenburghs et al. (2016). Their calibrated phylogeny suggests that the two genus treatment is best. Their phylogeny does not combine well with Ruokonen and Aarvak (2011), rendering the position of Middendorf's Bean-Goose somewhat uncertain.
[Anatidae, Anseriformes, 3.02]

May 21, 2016

Woodpeckers: A number of changes have been made based on Dufort (2016). As far as general organization is concerned, Nesoctitinae has been demoted to tribe Nesoctitini within Picidae; Chrysocolaptini has been separated from Campephilini; and Picoidini has been separated from Melanerpini. All seem to be among the deeper branches of the woodpecker tree. Changes within Picoidini are based on Fuchs and Pons (2015) and Dufort (2016). The arrangment of Celeus draws on Benz and Robbins (2011).

Generic changes include the following:

  • The African Piculet, Verreauxia africana, has been removed from Sasia. See H&M-4 and Dufort (2016).
  • The Speckled Piculet, Vivia innominata, has been removed from Picumnus. See Dufort (2016).
  • Campethera has been merged into Geocolaptes. Dufort (2016) found that the Ground Woodpecker, Geocolaptes olivaceus, is embedded in Campethera. Since Geocolaptes (Burchell, 1832) has priority over Campethera (G.R. Gray, 1841), the combined genus must take the name Geocolaptes.
  • The Helmeted Woodpecker belongs in Celeus, not Hylatomus. See Benz et al. (2015) and Lammertink et al. (2016).
  • The Hispaniolan Woodpecker is separated from Melanerpes as Chryserpes striatus. See Dufort (2016).
  • The Yellow-crowned Woodpecker moves to Leiopicus from Chloropicus. It's not entirely clear whether it is closer to Dendrocoptes or Chloropicus. See Fuchs and Pons (2015).

At the species level, there are two splits. Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis, has been split into Campephilus principalis, American Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and Campephilus bairdii, Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker. See Fleischer et al. (2007) and Dufort (2016). Sooty Woodpecker, Mulleripicus funebris, has been split into Sooty Woodpecker / Southern Sooty-Woodpecker, Mulleripicus fuliginosus, and Funereal Woodpecker / Northern Sooty-Woodpecker, Mulleripicus funebris, based on Dufort (2016). Further, the Bronze-winged Woodpecker now includes the subspecies yucatanensis. As a result, it takes the scientific name Colaptes yucatanensis as yucatanensis (S. Cabot, 1844) has priority over aeruginosus (Malherbe, 1862). These two taxa may be separate species, but more study is need here and elsewhere in the Golden-olive complex.
[Picidae, Piciformes 3.02]

May 11, 2016

Pterodroma: Based on Woods et al. (2016), the Gray-faced Petrel, Pterodroma gouldi, has been split from Great-winged Petrel, Pterodroma macroptera. Note that these are not sister taxa.
[Procellariidae, Ardeae 3.03]

May 2, 2016

English name changes from IOC: There are some updates to English names based on IOC 6.1 and 6.2.

  • Alternate name removed from Common Loon, Gavia immer.
    [Gaviidae, Ardeae 3.02c]
  • Alternate name removed from Choco Sirystes, Sirystes albogriseus.
    [Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II 3.02b]
  • Santa Cruz Whistler, Pachycephala vanikorensis, becomes Temotu Whistler.
    [Pachycephalidae, Corvida I 3.01a]
  • Alternate name removed from Espanola Mockingbird, Mimus macdonaldi.
    [Mimidae, Muscicapoidea I 3.00b]

There's also one scientific name change. Mascarene Parrot is Mascarinus mascarinus, not M. mascarin. According to IOC, this matches the way similar species epithets from Linnaeus are treated.
[Psittaculidae, Basal Australaves 3.04a]

May 1, 2016

CSV Files: The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.06.

Fodies and Weavers: The Fodies have been rearranged based on Warren et al. (2012), which I had missed before. I noticed an error in translating the tree for the Ploceidae, so both it and the linear order have been corrected. The results from Warren et al. also suggest that Textor is not monophyletic. However, this involves species used as outgroups, and I've found that strange things can happen in these cases. As a result I am not splitting Textor at this time.

I also note the wide discrepancy between the dating of the Warren et al. and Päckert et al. (2016) trees. In particular, the split between Ploceus and Euplectes is dated at about 13 mya by Päckert et al. while Warren et al. date it at 1.43 mya (node 1). I suspect the Päckert et al. dates are artificially lengthened by doubtful calibration points. One is an undescribed fossil, likely a single bone, from Becker (1987). They do not cite Becker. The other is the separation of Australia from New Zealand as a “soft minimum”. In general, it is difficult to know how the extra time is distributed across the tree, but I don't think this is enough to account for the order of magnitude difference in dating the split, although it may account for half or more of the difference. I can't say that I entirely trust the temporally fixed node 6 that Warren et al. use either.
[Ploceidae, Core Passeroidea I, 3.03]

April 2016

April 29, 2016

Przevalski's Finch: I've repositioned Przevalski's Finch, Urocynchramus pylzowi, based on Päckert et al. (2016). It is now sister to the weavers, Ploceidae.
[Urocynchramidae, Core Passeroidea I, 3.02]

Weavers: Based on Päckert et al., I've rearranged the Ploceidae and split Ploceus into two genera: Ploceus for the Asian species and Textor for the African species.
[Ploceidae, Core Passeroidea I, 3.02]

April 24, 2016

Geese: The genus Branta has been rearranged and Philacte and Chen merged into Anser. See Paxinos et al. (2002).

I am now treating the Bean Goose as three species instead of two. Sangster and Oreel (1996) presented evidence that the Taiga Bean-Goose and Tundra Bean-Goose interbred rarely or not at all, that they are separate biological species. Although Ruokonen et al. (2008) presented evidence that they are reciprocally monophyletic, increasing sampling in Ruokonen and Aarvak (2011) contradicted this. I am presuming this represents incomplete lineage sorting. Ruokonen and Aarvak (2011) also found that the sister taxa johanseni and middendorffii were basal to both, and I have split them as Middendorf's Bean-Goose, Anser middendorffii. There is a complication in that birds identified as neglectus in all three groups. Apparently the neglectus specimens were quite diverse in appearance too, and this subspecies seems better left unrecognized. The evidence here is not conclusive, but my best guess as to how to divide the Bean-Geese is this:

  • Middendorf's Bean-Goose, Anser middendorffii (inc. johanseni)
  • Taiga Bean-Goose, Anser fabalis (monotypic)
  • Tundra Bean-Goose, Anser serrirostris (inc. rossicus)

[Anatidae, Anseriformes, 3.01]

April 20, 2016

Old World Sparrows: Gymnoris and Carpospiza have been repositioned based on Price et al., 2014 and Raty (BirdForum). Because Gymnoris is not sister to Petronia, I am calling them Bush-Sparrows, as in H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014). The IOC names are retained as secondary names.

  • Yellow-throated Bush-Sparrow / Yellow-throated Petronia, Gymnoris superciliaris,
  • Sahel Bush-Sparrow / Bush Petronia, Gymnoris dentata,
  • Yellow-spotted Bush-Sparrow / Yellow-spotted Petronia, Gymnoris pyrgita,
  • Chestnut-shouldered Bush-Sparrow / Yellow-throated Sparrow, Gymnoris xanthocollis.

[Passeridae, Core Passeroidea II, 3.04]

April 16, 2016

Grasswrens: Pilbara Grasswren, Amytornis whitei, Sandhill Grasswren, Amytornis oweni, and Rusty Grasswren, Amytornis rowleyi, have been split from Striated Grasswren, Amytornis striatus, based on Christidis et al. (2013) (I only recently got a copy of the complete paper). The grasswrens have been rearranged based on Christidis et al. (2010). My Maluridae species tree had a typo in it which has now been corrected (6:45pm EDT).
[Maluridae, Basal Oscines, 3.04]

April 11, 2016

Cuckoo-Doves: The English names of White-faced Dove, Turacoena manadensis, and Black Dove, Turacoena modesta, have been changed to White-faced Cuckoo-Dove and Black Cuckoo-Dove to match recent IOC changes. There are also several splits.

  • Based on Ng and Rheindt (2016), Sula Cuckoo-Dove, Turacoena sulaensis, has been split from White-faced Cuckoo-Dove, Turacoena manadensis.

The remaining splits are based on Ng et al. (2016).

  • Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia amboinensis, has been split into Sultan's Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia doreya, and Amboyna Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia amboinensis.
  • Bar-necked Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia magna, has been split into Flores Sea Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia macassariensis, Timor Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia magna, and Tanimbar Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia timorlaoensis.
  • Enggano Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia cinnamomea, and Barusan Cuckoo Dove, Macropygia modiglianii, have been split from Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia emiliana.
  • The subspecies borneensis has been moved from Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia emiliana, to Philippine Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia tenuirostris.

[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.04]

April 8, 2016

Ailuroedus catbirds: I have accepted a number of splits in the Ailuroedus catbirds that were recommended by Irestedt et al. (2016) and adopted by IOC. They are:

  • Split Tan-capped Catbird, Ailuroedus geislerorum (inc. molestus Rothschild & Hartert, 1929), and Ochre-breasted Catbird, Ailuroedus stonii (inc. cinnamomeus), from White-eared Catbird, Ailuroedus buccoides.
  • Split Spotted Catbird, Ailuroedus melanotis into Spotted Catbird, Ailuroedus maculosus, Huon Catbird, Ailuroedus astigmaticus, Black-capped Catbird, Ailuroedus melanocephalus, Black-eared Catbird, Ailuroedus melanotis (inc. joanae and facialis) Arfak Catbird, Ailuroedus arfakianus (inc. misoliensis), and Northern Catbird, Ailuroedus jobiensis inc. guttaticollis.

Further, I have added a species tree for the catbirds and bowerbirds. This has led to some minor rearrangement of the bowerbirds.
[Ptilonorhynchidae, Basal Oscines, 3.03]

March 2016

March 27, 2016

Pygmy Bushtit: Johansson et al. (2016) found that Psaltria is embedded in the concinnus complex (which still needs to be sorted out). I have merged Psaltria into Aegithalos.
[Aegithalidae, Sylvioidea II, 3.01]

March 11, 2016

Elaenias: I've changed the English name of Greater Antillean Elaenia, Elaenia fallax to Sclater's Flycatcher. The other name didn't really fit since the Hispaniolan subspecies was previously split, meaning that Elaenia fallax is restricted to Jamaica. Note that Jamaican Elaenia, formerly used for this taxon, is now used for Myiopagis cotta
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 3.02a]

Tanagers: The genus name Pseudochloris (Sharpe 1888) repalces the temporary "Sicalis".
Burns et al. (2016) have established several new names that replace temporary names. The Chestnut-headed Tanager, Thlypopsis "ruficeps", becomes, Thlypopsis pyrrhocoma. Several genera are also changed: "Hemispingus" becomes Kleinothraupis, "Poospiza" becomes Castanozoster, and "Loxigilla" becomes Asemospiza. Burns et al. (2016) contains other new genus names, but I think the tanagers are already oversplit at the genus level and am more inclined to lump existing genera, as I previously did with the Galapagos finches.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.03a]

March 6, 2016

Noddies: The genus Procelsterna has been merged into Anous. See Cibois et al. (2016).
[Laridae, Charadriiformes, 3.03]

February 2016

February 14

English name changes: The following English names have been changed based on SACC and IOC decisions:

  • Andean Snipe, Chubbia jamesoni, becomes Jameson's Snipe.
    [Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes, 3.02c]
  • Big-crested Penguin / Erect-crested Penguin, Eudyptes sclateri, becomes Erect-crested Penguin.
    [Spheniscidae, Ardeae, 3.02b]
  • Solitary Eagle / Montane Solitary-Eagle, Buteogallus solitarius, becomes Solitary Eagle; Crowned Eagle / Crowned Solitary-Eagle, Buteogallus coronatus, becomes Chaco Eagle.
    [Accipitridae, Accipitrimorphae, 3.00c]

Lesser Elaenia: Coopmans's Elaenia, Elaenia brachyptera, has been split from Lesser Elaenia, Elaenia chiriquensis, based on Rheindt et al. (2015).
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 3.02]

Black-billed Thrush: Based on Cequeira et al. (2016), the Amazonian Thrush, Turdus debilis, and Campina Thrush, Turdus arthuri, have been split from the Black-billed Thrush, Turdus ignobilis. [Turdidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.03]

Piranga: Based on Manthey et al. (2016), the Blood-red Tanager, Piranga haemalea, historically considered a separate species, has been re-split from Highland Hepatic-Tanager / Tooth-billed Tanager, Piranga lutea. Piranga has also been rearranged.
[Cardinalidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.03]

February 7

Wood-Rails: Based on Marcondes and Silveira (2015), the Rufous-naped Wood-Rail / White-bellied Wood-Rail, Aramides albiventris, including subspecies mexicanus, vanrossemi, pacificus, and plumbeicollis, has been split from Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Aramides cajaneus.
[Rallidae, Gruae I, 3.01]

Penguins: The discussion of Little and Blue Penguins has been updated to include Grosser et al. (2015) and (2016), which found that Little Penguins are recent arrivals in New Zealand.
[Spheniscidae, Ardeae, 3.02a]

Certhioidea: Add some discussion of Price et al. (2014) and Selvatti et al. (2015) relating to the status and placement of Tichodromidae.
[Certhioidea, 3.01a]

January 2016

January 9

Locustellidae: Alström et al. (2011b) found that the Little Rush Warbler, Bradypterus baboecala, consists of at least two species. The Highland Rush Warbler, Bradypterus centralis, has been split from it. The correct allocation of subspecies remains uncertain. Alström et al. examined 4 subspecies: transvaalensis and tongensis from the baboecala group and centralis and elgonensis from the centralis group. IOC has included only the two subspecies in centralis, while H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014) also included chadensis and sudanensis in the Highland Rush Warbler (B. centralis).

There is additional information available. Kennerley and Pearson (2010) note that some birds from Cameroon, usually thought to be centralis have vocalizations that “sound like southern birds rather than those of SW Uganda and Rwanda.” They suggest that these birds are not centralis. Since then, they have been considered part of msiri. Stervander et al. (2005) found Rush Warbler on the Jos Plateau in central Nigeria that responded to playback of Little Rush Warbler calls, even though it looked more like centralis. Dowsett and Dowsett-Lemaire (2015) found that birds at Lake Awassa in Ethiopia responded to playback of songs from South Africa, suggesting that abyssinicus belongs in the baboecala group. More work needs to be done to properly sort out this situation.
[Locustellidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.06]

Paradoxornithidae: Leader et al. (2013) found that the Chinese Hill Warbler, Rhopophilus pekinensis, consists of two species. Accordingly, it has been split into Tarim Babbler, Rhopophilus albosuperciliaris, and Beijing Babbler, Rhopophilus pekinensis.
[Paradoxornithidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.03]

January 8

Australasian Robins: Based on Miller and Lambert (2006) and H&M-4 (among others), the New Zealand Robin, Petroica australis, has been split into North Island Robin, Petroica longipes, and South Island Robin, Petroica australis (inc. rakiura). Based on Kearns et al. (2016), the Pacific Robin, Petroica multicolor, has been split into Pacific Robin, Petroica pusilla and the monotypic Norfolk Robin, Petroica multicolor. The English name of the New Guinea Scrub-Robin, Drymodes beccarii, has been changed to Papuan Scrub-Robin to match IOC usage.
[Petroicidae, Basal Passerida, 3.02]

Bushshrikes: The current consensus seems to be that the Four-colored Bushshrike, Telophorus quadricolor, is better treated as a subspecies of the Gorgeous Bushshrike, Telophorus viridis. E.g., Dowsett, R.J., and F. Dowsett-Lemaire (1993), H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014), HBW Alive, Clements 6,9, IOC-5.3.
[Malaconotidae, Corvida II, 3.02]

January 7

Atalapetes Brushfinches: Based on Donegan et al. (2014a), Merida Brushfinch, Atlapetes meridae, has been split from Moustached Brushfinch, Atlapetes albofrenatus, and Black-fronted Brushfinch, Atlapetes nigrifrons, has been split from Yellow-breasted Brushfinch, Atlapetes latinuchus.
[Arremonidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.02]

January 1

Happy New Year! The new year brings a major revision of Corvida. This was originally planned to incorporate Jønsson et al. (2016) into the TiF list, but the project grew. Consideration of Aggerbeck et al. (2014), Marki et al. (2015), and Jønsson et al. (2016) ended up with only minor changes to the family order. The fact that Marki et al. (2015) gave a phylogeny very similar to Aggerbeck (2014) in spite of the fact that their dataset was very similar to Jønsson et al. played a big role in this. There is still some uncertainty about the exact positioning of several families in Corvida.

The process took a long time partly because I've reexamined all of the corvid families. Changes within them are detailed below. (Some minor corrections were made Jan 3-7.)

Corvida: I've made some changes to some of the corvid families based on Marki et al. (2015) and Jønsson et al. (2016). Neosittidae has been moved and placed in its own superfamily, Neosittoidea. The tree has also been adjusted slightly in the direction of more uncertainty without further changing the order of the families. At the superorder level, I've also merged Pachycephaloidea into Oroloidea and Campehpagoidea into Malaconotoidea. The subfamilies Pteruthiinae and Rhaagologinae have been promoted to families and Chaetorhynchus and Lamprolia has been given their own family, Lamproliidae. I have also added subfamilies to Campephagidae and Paradisaeidae.
[Corvida I, 3.01]
[Corvida II, 3.01]
[Corvida III, 3.01]

Cinclosomatidae: The Cinclosomatidae tree has been adjusted slightly based on Jønsson et al. (2016). I have not followed their suggestions concerning genera.
[Cinclosomatidae, Corvida I, 3.01]

Orioles: Based on Jønsson et al. (2016) as well as appearance, Oriolus has been separated into 4 genera. Brown Oriole though Tanimbar Oriole, which also have distinct skull morphology have been separated in genus Mimeta (Vigors and Horsfield 1827, type sagittata). Further, Dark-throated Oriole through Isabela Oriole have been placed in genus Xanthonotus (Bonaparte 1854, type xanthonotus). Finally, Black-and-crimson Oriole through Silver Oriole go in the genus Analcipus (Swainson 1831, type cruentus).
[Oriolidae, Corvida I, 3.01]

Whipbirds and Wedgebills: The Psophodidae have been rearranged and divided into three genera based on Toon et al. (2013) and Jønsson et al. (2016). The three genera are used because the divisions within the family are deeper than usually supposed. The genus Androphobus has been merged into Psophodes because Jønsson et al. (2016) found it is sister to the Eastern Whipbird. The Wedgebills take the genus name Sphenostoma (Gould 1838, type cristatum) and the Western and Mallee Whipbirds become genus Phodopses (Schodde and Mason 1999, type nigrogularis).
[Psophodidae, Corvida I, 3.01]

Cuckooshrikes: I've added a tree for the cuckooshrike family (Campephagidae). The minivets have been put in their own subfamiliy, Pericrocotinae. Five species of Coracina have been separated as Ceblepyris (Cuvier 1816, type cinereus). See H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014) and Jønsson et al. (2010c, 2016). Also, the Admiralty Islands Cicadabird, Edolisoma admiralitatis, has been split from Common Cicadabird, Edolisoma tenuirostre (H&M 4; J&olash;nsson et al., 2010c). The last part of Edolisoma has been resequenced to better reflect Jønsson et al. (2010c).
[Campephagidae, Corvida II, 3.01]

Mottled Whistler: The Mottled Whistler has been promoted to a family, Rhagologidae, based on Jønsson et al. (2016).
[Rhagologidae, Corvida II, 3.01]

Batises: Platysteiridae has been rearranged based on a combination of Njabo et al. (2008), Fuchs et al. (2012b), and Jønsson et al. (2016) together with a lot of guesswork. It is clear that some of the putative Batis superspecies involve birds that are not closely related. What is not clear is how to put them back together. No doubt further revision will be needed. Nine species of Batis have been placed in the temporary genus "Batis".

The Western Black-headed Batis has been moved from Batis to Lanioturdus, as Lanioturdus erlangeri, based on Jønsson et al. (2016).
[Platysteiridae, Corvida II, 3.01]

Silktail: Lamproliidae (Silktail and Drongo Fantail) has been split from Rhipiduridae based on Jønsson et al. (2016). [Lamproliidae, Corvida III, 3.01]

Fantails: Added species tree. Based on Nyári et al. (2009) and Jønsson et al. (2016), I have split Rhipidura into 8 genera. Three do not seem to have available names, so I have given them temporary designations. The temporary genera are "Leucocirca1", "Leucocirca2", the true Leucocirca, "Rhipidura", Neomyias, Cyanonympha, the true Rhipidura, and Howeavis.
[Rhipiduridae, Corvida III, 3.01]

Drongos: Added species tree. I've also divided Dicruridae into 4 genera: Chaptia, Drongo, Edolius, and Dicrurus. This arrangement is based on Jønsson et al. (2016) and Pasquet et al. (2007). Thanks to James Jobling for pointing out Drongo.
[Dicruridae, Corvida III, 3.01]

Birds-of-paradise: Subfamilies and a species tree have been added. The manucodes and paradise-crow have been separated in their own subfamily, Phonygamminae. The position of the Magnificent Bird-of-paradise, Diphyllodes magnificus, has been adjusted as a result. Further, I have decided it is better to keep all of the riflebirds in the same genus. Since this clade includes the Superb Bird-of-paradise, Ptiloris (Swainson 1825) been replaced by Lophorina (Vieillot 1816).
[Paradisaeidae, Corvida III, 3.01]

Monarchs: The Monarchidae have been rearranged based on Andersen et al. (2015b). Among other things, Grallina has been moved to the basal position in subfamily Monarchinae. Data on timing from Jønsson et al. (2016) was combined with Andersen et al. (2015b) to merge 5 genera into Monarcha (Chasiempis, Clytorhynchus, Mayrornis, Neolalage, and Pomarea).

As recommended by Andersen et al. (2015b), Chestnut-throated Flycatcher, Myiagra castaneigularis (inc. whitneyi), has been split from Azure-crested Flycatcher, Myiagra azureocapilla. In addition, I have split White-cheeked Monarch, Symposiachrus malaitae, from Solomons Monarch, Symposiachrus barbatus.
[Monarchidae, Corvida III, 3.01]

Shrikes: The Long-tailed Fiscal is now in the monotypic genus Neofiscus (Roberts 1922). The remaining Lanius shrikes have been rearranged. using a combination of Fuchs et al. (2011c), Gonzalez et al. (2008), Jønsson et al. (2016), Olsson et al. (2010), and Peer et al. (2011). This is currently too conjectural to include a species tree.
[Laniidae, Corvida III, 3.01]