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The updates for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 have been archived separately.

2019-20 Additions and Subtractions

Based on scientific names.

2020 Splits (2)

  1. Ethiopian Thrush, Psophocichla simensis
  2. Dagua Thrush, Turdus daguae

2019 Splits (4)

  1. Dry Forest Sabrewing, Campylopterus calcirupicola
  2. Chiriqui Foliage-gleaner, Automolus exsertus
  3. Baird's Junco, Junco bairdi
  4. Morellet's Seedeater / White-collared Seedeater, Sporophila morelleti

2019 Lumps (1)

  1. Thayer's Gull, Larus thayeri

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.

February 2020

February 29

I'm celebrating Leap Day by updating the list. I was unhappy with the previous treatment of Turdus, and a couple of new papers have helped matters.

It's still the case that I don't have the time necessary to do regular updates, so it will probably be a while before the next one.

Thrushes: There have been several taxonomic changes, as well as a general rearrangement of Turdus using Batista et al. (2020) and Nagy et al. (2019), as well as some adjustments to Catharus based on Everson et al. (2019).

  • The Groundscraper Thrush, Turdus litsitsirupa, has been returned to genus Psophocichla.
  • Ethiopian Thrush, Psophocichla simensis, has been split from from Groundscraper Thrush, Psophocichla litsitsirupa, based on Nylander et al. (2008) and the HBW Checklist.
  • The Chinese Thrush, Turdus mupinensis, has been moved to the monotypic genus Otochichla based on Nylander et al. (2008), Nagy et al. (2019), and the HBW Checklist.
  • Split Dagua Thrush, Turdus daguae, from White-throated Thrush, Turdus assimilis (Ridgely and Greenfield, 2001; IOC).

[Turdidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.14]

August 2019

August 9

Piculets: The Latin American piculets have been rearranged based on Shakya et al. (2017). Their results suggest that some adjustment of species limits will be needed, but that awaits further studies. A hybrid piculet I saw in Minas Gerais (Brazil) earlier this year suggests the issues go beyond found by Shakya et al.

Surprisingly, they found that the Olive-backed Woodpecker, Dinopium rafflesii, is sister to Gecinulus. As a result, I've placed it in the monotypic genus Chloropicoides (Malherbe 1848-49).

Other changes prompted by Shakya et al., include rearranging Piculus and Yungipicus and adjusting the position of the Red-headed Flameback, Chrysocolaptes erythrocephalus and of the Helmeted Woodpecker, Celeus galeatus. Even though Shakya et al. (2017) and Dufort et al. (2016) have differences in the overall arrangement of the woodpeckers, I continue to follow Dufort et al. (2016) which seems to use more data.
[Picidae, Piciformes, 3.08]

August 6

Rails: The former Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Aramides cajaneus now goes as Gray-cowled Wood-Rail / Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Aramides cajaneus, with the former English name used by both the AOS NACC and SACC, and the latter used by IOC.

I've also rearranged the Laterallini based on tree B in Stervander et al. (2019). As a result, Atlantisia is merged into Creciscus and the Gray-breasted Crake returns to Laterallus as Laterallus exilis. [Rallidae, Gruae I, 3.04]

August 5

Dry Forest Sabrewing: The Dry Forest Sabrewing, Campylopterus calcirupicola, is recognized as a separate species related to the Gray-breasted Sabrewing, Campylopterus largipennis. See SACC #756 and Lopes et al. (2017). Lopes et al. and SACC #755 suggest there are additional species in this complex. I saw this bird in June at Lapa Grande State Park (Minas Gerais, Brazil).
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.10]

Cupwings: Pnoepygidae is now referred to as the Cupwing family. The English last names have been changed to reflect this. [Pnoepygidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.11a]

August 2

Today's changes are from AOS Supplements #58 and #59. These changes are NOT included in the latest CSV files. I did not adopt the Cassia Crossbill split because I have skepticism about it, even though it seems to have the strongest case of all potential North American Red Crossbill splits.

Thayer's Gull: Thayer's Gull, Larus thayeri, has been lumped into Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides in accordance with the AOS 58th supplement.
[Laridae, Charadriiformes, 3.05]

Automolus Foliage-gleaners: The Chiriqui Foliage-gleaner, Automolus exsertus, has been split from the Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Automolus ochrolaemus. See AOS Supplement #59, which is based on the analysis of their response to calls by Freeman and Montgomery (2017).
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.06]

Baird's Junco: Baird's Junco, Junco bairdi has been split from the Yellow-eyed Junco, Junco phaeonotus as per the AOS 58th Supplement. The phylogeny follows Friis et al., 2016), where Baird's Junco is not even sister to the Yellow-eyed Junco.
[Arremonidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.05]

White-collared Seedeater: The White-collared Seedeater, Sporophila torqueola has been split into Morellet's Seedeater / White-collared Seedeater, Sporophila morelleti and and Cinnamon-rumped Seedeater, Sporophila torqueola based on the AOS 59th Supplement and Mason et al. (2018). As with the Juncos above, they are not sister taxa.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.06]

July 2019

July 27

Comparison Spreadsheet: Richard Jackson has provided an updated TiF-based spreadsheet cross-referenced to the IOC list, the 16 volumes of HBW, and the two volume HBW/BirdLife Illustrated Checklist (ICBW).

CSV Files: The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.10. These updates reflect changes to my personal list that have not been posted yet.

Subspecies List These changes are reflected in two speadsheets provided by Dale Mitchell. These are a subspecies list and family-genus finder (both of which I have slightly edited).