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The updates for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 have been archived separately.

2015 Additions and Subtractions

Based on scientific names.

Discoveries and Splits (41)

  1. Orange River Francolin, Scleroptila levalliantoides
  2. Admirable Hummingbird, Eugenes spectabilis
  3. Inagua Woodstar, Nesophlox lyrura
  4. Tolima Blossomcrown, Anthocephala berlepschi
  5. Purple-crowned Plovercrest, Stephanoxis loddigesii
  6. Blue-vented Hummingbird, Saucerottia hoffmanni
  7. Rapa Shearwater, Puffinus myrtae
  8. Northern Harrier, Circus hudsonius
  9. Desert Tawny Owl, Strix hadorami
  10. Northern Mealy Amazon, Amazona guatemalae
  11. Amazonian Yellow-crowned Amazon, Amazona nattereri
  12. Naretha Bluebonnet, Northiella narethae
  13. Roosevelt Stipple-throated Antwren, Epinecrophylla dentei
  14. Perija Tapaculo, Scytalopus perijanus
  15. Tepui Flycatcher, Pipromorpha roraimae
  16. Copperback Quail-thrush, Cinclosoma clarum
  17. Western Whistler, Pachycephala occidentalis
  18. Palma Blue Tit, Cyanistes palmensis
  19. Libyan Blue Tit, Cyanistes cyrenaicae
  20. Ultramarine Tit, Cyanistes ultramarinus
  21. Pale Bernieria, Bernieria inceleber
  22. Tay Nguyen Bush-Warbler, Locustella idonea
  23. Sichuan Bush-Warbler, Locustella chengi
  24. Socotra White-eye, Zosterops socotranus
  25. Kilimanjaro White-eye, Zosterops eurycricotus
  26. Aldabra White-eye, Zosterops aldabrensis
  27. Moheli White-eye, Zosterops comorensis
  28. Australian Pipit, Corydalla australis
  29. Laysan Honeycreeper, Drepanis fraithii
  30. Oahu Akepa, Loxops wolstenholmei
  31. Maui Akepa, Loxops ochraceus
  32. Kauai Nukupuu, Hemignathus hanapepe
  33. Maui Nukupuu, Hemignathus affinis
  34. Kauai Akialoa, Hemignathus stejnegeri
  35. Maui-nui Akialoa, Hemignathus lanaiensis
  36. Andean Hooded Siskin, Sporagra capitalis
  37. Sharpe's Bunting, Emberiza yunnanensis
  38. Pale Baywing, Agelaioides fringillarius
  39. Sharp-beaked Ground Finch, Geospiza acutirostris
  40. Vampire Finch, Geospiza septentrionalis
  41. Genovesa Cactus-Finch, Geospiza propinqua

Lumps (4)

  1. Newell's Shearwater, Puffinus newelli
  2. Campina Jay, Cyanocorax hafferi
  3. Timor Bush-Warbler, Locustella timorensis
  4. Hoary Redpoll / Arctic Redpoll, Acanthis hornemanni

Comparison with IOC list, version 5.2

As of July 11, 2015, the TIF list contains 10786 species. The differences between the TIF and IOC lists involve about 265 species (98 species removed, 168 species added, compared to IOC 5.2). Of the 98 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 10884 species, 168 more than the current IOC list. Of those 168, 46 are on IOC's proposed or accepted split/new species list, 12 have been lumped on the IOC list, and 3 are extinct species not on the IOC list. This leaves 107 other splits or new species (some have previously been considered for addition to the IOC list).

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).

Spreadsheets

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.

July 2015

July 31

CSV Files: The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.05.

Spreadsheet: Richard Jackson has provided a TiF-based spreadsheet cross-referenced to the HBW, Clements, and ICBW lists.

Grebes: Based on Ogawa et al. (2015), Rollandia has been merged into Podiceps and the Eared Grebe, Podiceps californicus, has been split from the Black-necked Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis. The enlarged Podiceps has also been rearranged.
[Podicipedidae, Columbea, 3.03]

July 14

Claravinae: The subfamily Claravinae is now attributed to Todd (Dickinson and Raty, 2015).
[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.02b]

Fantails: The English name of Pygmy Drongo, Chaetorhynchus papuensis, is changed to Drongo Fantail, reflecting the fact that it is not a drongo.
[Rhipiduridae, Corvida II, 3.00b]

July 11

Bernieridae: Block (2012) confirmed that Rand's Warbler belongs in the Bernieridae. The arrangement here is based on Block (2012), who shows that the Dusky Tetraka, formerly Xanthomixis tenebrosa, belongs in Crossleyia as Crossleyia tenebrosa. Block (2012) split Bernieria inceleber, which I'm calling Pale Bernieria, from Long-billed Bernieria, Bernieria madagascariensis. He also found evidence of another cryptic species in this complex, which is yet to be described.
[Bernieridae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.05]

Hawaiian Honeycreepers: The genera Palmeria, Himatione, and Vestiaria have been merged into Drepanis. The genetic distance between them seems to be small (Lerner et al., 2011) and there is evidence of hybridization between Vestiaria and Himatione (Knowlton et al., 2014). Although I think the genera I use for the Hawaiian Honeycreepers are oversplit, I consider the AOU genera even more oversplit. I haven't gone further on the lumping because data on the extinct species is too limited.

I follow the recent AOU decisions (56th supplement) to split the Apapane, Akepa, Greater Akialoa, and Nukupuu. Thus

  • Apapane, Drepanis (Himatione) sanguinea is split into
    • Laysan Honeycreeper, Drepanis fraithii (extinct)
    • Apapane, Drepanis sanguinea
  • Akepa / Hawaii Akepa, Loxops coccineus is split into
    • Oahu Akepa, Loxops wolstenholmei (probably extinct)
    • Maui Akepa, Loxops ochraceus (probably extinct)
    • Hawaii Akepa, Loxops coccineus
  • Nukupuu, Hemignathus lucidus, is split into
    • Kauai Nukupuu, Hemignathus hanapepe (probably extinct)
    • Oahu Nukupuu, Hemignathus lucidus (probably extinct)
    • Maui Nukupuu, Hemignathus affinis (possibly extinct)
  • Greater Akialoa, Hemignathus ellisianus, is split into
    • Kauai Akialoa, Hemignathus stejnegeri (extinct)
    • Oahu Akialoa, Hemignathus ellisianus (extinct)
    • Maui-nui Akialoa, Hemignathus lanaiensis (extinct)

This changes clade sizes and I have also reordered the Hawaiian Honeycreepers as a result.
[Fringillidae, Core Passeroidea II, 3.03]

July 9

Chachalacas: I've switched back to using Ortalidaini as the name for the chachalaca tribe. More natural names have been preoccupied by the names based on the fly genus Ortalis Fallén 1810, a junior homonym of the chachalaca genus Ortalis Merrem 1786. This may change once ICZN Case 3669 (Donegan, 2015) is decided, a process that could take years.
[Cracidae, Galliformes, 3.05]

Woodstars and Blossomcrowns: Based on Feo et al. (2015) and the 56th AOU supplement, the Inagua Woodstar, Nesophlox lyrura, has been split from the Bahama Woodstar, Nesophlox evelynae. Also, to match SACC usage, the English name of Anthocephala berlepschi becomes Tolima Blossomcrown (was Andean Blossomcrown).
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.04]

July 1

CSV Files: Got back from Alaska last night. The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.04.

June 2015

June 12

Sandgrouse correction and enhancement: The spelling of Pterocles has been corrected (thanks James). I also added a genus-level tree of Pteroclidae.
[Pteroclidae, Columbea, 3.02a]

New World Quail: The Odontophoridae have been rearranged based on Hosner et al. (2015). I have also split them into two subfamilies and have moved Nahan's Partridge to Acentrortyx as Acentrortyx nahani.
[Odontophoridae, Galliformes, 3.04]

Barred Owls: The English names of the Barred Owls have changed. Northern Barred Owl, , Ciccaba varia, is once again Barred Owl and Mexican Barred Owl, Ciccaba sartorii, becomes Cinereous Owl (IOC).
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.02]

Chapada Flycatcher: The Chapada Flycatcher, Suiriri islerorum, is correctly named Suiriri affinis. See Kirwan et al. (2014).
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 3.01]

Reed-warblers: The position of the Seychelles Warbler, Acrocephalus sechellensis, has been slightly adjusted. See Leisler and Winkler (2015).
[Acrocephalidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.04]

June 11

More on Pratincoles and Coursers (rewritten): Scofield has objected to my lumping of Stiltia into Glareola. Cohen (2011) used both genetic and morphological data to study the Glareolidae. E.g., Figure 4.3 (p.224 in the pdf) is based on 4 genes (ND2, Fib5, TGFB, GAPDH). However, Scofield is correct that the position of Stiltia and two of the Glareola ultimately depends on a single gene, ND2. As such, it is reasonable for him to question the lump of Stiltia into Glareola.

Scofield points to two pieces of evidence against the lump: the chronogram in Baker et al. (2007) and Livezey's (2010) analysis based on a variety of physical characteristics. Both Baker et al. and Livezey found Stiltia and Glareola to be sister taxa, while Cohen found Stiltia embedded in Glareola (two steps down the tree).

Studies such as Livezey (2010) are interesting, and I use them when I don't have anything else, but I don't think they are all that reliable. We don't have to look any farther than Livezey's treatment of Glareolidae to see this (no, I don't need to talk about loons and grebes). According to Livezey et al., the Egyptian Plover Pluvianus is part of Glareolidae, and is sister to the Stiltia-Glareola clade. Genetic studies such as Baker et al. (2007) and Fain and Houde (2007) have found otherwise. putting Pluvianus in suborder Charadrii while Glareolidae is in suborder Lari.

Baker et al. (2007) use a different 4 genes (12S, ND2, cyt-b, RAG-1) than Cohen. Their Glareola is actually composite of three genes from G. maldivarus and one from G. nuchalis. This use of a composite Glareola means they have no ability to directly assess whether or not Stiltia is embedded in Glareola, as found by Cohen (2011).

Scofield points to the chronogram, which indicates an ancient divergence between Stiltia and the composite Glareola. This can be considered an indirect assessment of the split. I consider Baker et al.'s point estimate of the common ancestor of Charadriiformes at 93.1 mya overly ancient. If you chase the references back, you see that it is based on a early attempt at calibration that relied on relatively little information. I consider the estimates by Jarvis et al. (2014) much more solid, even though I don't entirely trust them. In any event, I would be very surprised is the split dates back more than 66 mya. A change in the that date would likely push the estimate for the the ancestor of Stiltia and composite Glareola significantly closer than 29.6 mya. Still, it is likely deep enough to recognize at the genus level. The problem is that it doesn't tell us how to split them. Our best genetic evidence (Cohen, 2011) indicates that the split is not between a monotypic Stiltia and the rest of the Glareola. It may require three or even four genera. Further sampling of Glareola should better reveal its inner structure and resolve these issues. Until that happens, I think the best option is to treat it as a single genus, Glareola. This treatment also serves to highlight the problem, which is one of the purposes of TiF.
[Glareolidae, Charadriiformes, 3.03b]

June 9

White-eyes: I've made yet another try at organizing the Zosteropidae. This time the changes are prompted by Cox (2013) and Cox et al. (2014). The changes include 4 splits: The Socotra White-eye, Zosterops socotranus (Socotra only) is split from Abyssinian White-eye, Zosterops abyssinicus. The Kilimanjaro White-eye, Zosterops eurycricotus, is split from Montane White-eye, Zosterops poliogastrus. Aldabra White-eye, Zosterops aldabrensis, is split from Kirk's White-eye, Zosterops kirki. Finally, Moheli White-eye, Zosterops comorensis, is split from Mayotte White-eye, Zosterops mayottensis. The last two have been split in two steps from Malagasy White-eye, Zosterops maderaspatanus.

There have also some changes to English and scientific names due to changes in the allocation of subspecies. Kivu White-eye, Zosterops reichenowi is now Albertine White-eye, Zosterops stuhlmanni (both names changed). Nyasa Yellow White-eye, Zosterops stierlingi is now Southern Yellow White-eye, Zosterops anderssoni (both names changed). African Yellow White-eye, Zosterops senegalensis, has become Northern Yellow White-eye, Zosterops senegalensis (English name changed).
[Zosteropidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.02]

June 6

Rosellas: The rosellas (Platycercus) have been rearranged based on Shipman et al. (2015).

Lovebirds: The Gray-headed Lovebird, Agapornis canus has been repositioned in the list. The lovebird (Agapornis) order is based on Kundu et al. (2012).
[Psittacidae, Basal Australaves, 3.04]

June 5

Lories and Lorikeets: The name Coriphilus (Wagler, 1832) replaces Vini (Lesson, 1833, not 1831). Although the change in date for Vini seems correct and can be found in H&M-4 (Dickinson and Remsen, 2013), it doesn't seem to have been adopted. Because Coriphilus has been used since 1900 (at least up to the 1930s), it is impossible to use article 23.9 of the code to retain Vini. Hence I use Coriphilus.

Based on Schweizer et al. (2015), the Loriini have been reordered. Two of Glossopsitta have been separated in Parvipsitta. Goldie's Lorikeet moves from Psitteuteles to Glossoptilus as Glossoptilus goldiei. The Cardinal Lory joins Pseudeos as Pseudeos cardinalis (was Chalcopsitta) and the Iris Lory is now “Psitteuteles” iris. Note that the position of “Psitteuteles” is somewhat ambigious, so I left it in a trichotomy with Eos and Trichoglossus.
[Psittacidae, Basal Australaves, 3.03]

June 3

Sandgrouse: The sandgrouse have been rearranged based on Cohen (2011). This involves the restriction of Pterocles to a single species, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Pterocles alchata; separation of Burchell's Sandgrouse in Calopterocles (Calopterocles burchelli), the transfer of most of most of Pterocles to Syrrhaptes and the separation of the rest as Nyctiperdix.
[Pteroclidae, Columbea, 3.02]

Fruit-Doves: Two slight errors in the order of Ptilinopus fruit-doves have been corrected.
[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.02]

Bustards: The bustards have been rearranged based on Cohen (2011).
[Otididae, Otidimorphae, 3.01]

Pratincoles and Coursers: The pratincoles and coursers have been rearranged based on Cohen (2011). The monotypic genus Stiltia has been merged into Glareola.
[Glareolidae, Charadriiformes, 3.02]

May 2015

May 31

CSV Files: The CSV files have been updated to version 3.03.

Emberizoidae: For priority reasons, Emberizoidae (Brehm, 1828) has been replaced by Icteroidae (Vigors, 1825).
[Core Passeroidea III, 3.01a]
[Emberizidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.01a]

May 30

Pavoninae: I have added a mostly resolved species tree for Pavoninae. In conjunction with this, I have rearranged Gallini and made some adjustments to Tetraogallini>

Francolins: The Orange River Francolin, Scleroptila gutturalis, has been split into Archer's Francolin (including subspecies archeri and lorti) and Orange River Francolin, Scleroptila levalliantoides. See Mandiwana-Neudani et al. (2014) and Sinclair and Ryan (2003).

Prairie-Chickens: The genus Tympanuchus has been rearranged based on Galla and Johnson (2015).
[Phasianidae, Galliformes, 3.03]

May 28

Piping Guans: The position of the Trinidad Piping-Guan, Aburria pipile, and Red-throated Piping-Guan, Aburria cujubi, have been adjusted based on Robinson (2011).
[Phasianidae, Galliformes, 3.02]

Amazon Parrots: After further consideration, I have accepted the split of Mealy Amazon, Amazona farinosa, into Northern Mealy Amazon, Amazona guatemalae, and Southern Mealy Amazon, Amazona farinosa. See Wenner et al. (2012).

Based on a combination of Rusello et al. (2004), Eberhard and Bermingham (2004), Ribas et al. (2007b), Caparroz et al. (2009), and Urantówka et al. (2014), Amazonian Yellow-crowned Amazon, Amazona nattereri, has been split from Turquoise-fronted Amazon, Amazona aestiva.
[Psittacidae, Basal Australaves, 3.02]

May 25

Tropicoperdix Partridges: The Chestnut-necklaced Partridge and Green-legged Partridge have been moved out of Arborophila and Rollulinae to become genus Tropicoperdix in Pavoninae. It is uncertain exactly where they belong in Pavoninae. One possibility is that they are basal in Pavonini. For now, they are left incertae sedis in Pavoninae (Chen et al., 2015).
[Phasianidae, Galliformes, 3.01]

Locustella Warblers: The position of Styan's Grasshopper-Warbler, Locustella pleskei, has been adjusted based on Drovetski et al. (2015). The mitochondrial and nuclear trees are rather different. Drovetski et al. have investigated this situation, and it seems more likely that the nuclear phylogeny is correct concerning pleskei.

Alström et al. (2015b) described a new species, the Sichuan Bush-Warbler, Locustella chengi. They also undertook a reevaluation of the Russet Bush-Warbler complex. They recommended lumping Timor Bush-Warbler, Locustella timorensis, into Javan Bush-Warbler, Locustella montis and elevating idonea to species status. They did not provide an English name for idonea, and for the present, I'm using Tay Nguyen Bush-Warbler, Locustella idonea. IOC has suggested Langbian Bush-Warbler, but the range extends beyond Lian Bian (Biang?) and includes other parts of the Central Highlands (Tây Nguyên). They obtained two different phylogenies for the complex. I've adopted the BEAST chronogram, but it may not be entirely correct.
[Locustellidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.03]

May 24

Hummingbirds: Admirable Hummingbird, Eugenes spectabilis, has been split from Magnificent Hummingbird, Eugenes fulgens. See Zamudio-Beltran et al. (2015). (English name corrected 5/25).
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.03]

Stipple-throated Antwrens (Epinecrophylla): I've split the Roosevelt Stipple-throated Antwren, Epinecrophylla dentei, from Madeira Stipple-throated Antwren, Epinecrophylla amazonica, based on the recent SACC decision #589B and Whitney et al. (2013d). I may get to see dentei this summer. There's also been some rearrangement of Epinecrophylla.
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 3.01]

Woodcreepers: I've added more information on the Buff-throated Woodcreeper complex based on Rocha et al. (2015). There results suggest that one or two additional splits from Lafresnaye's may be needed, involving the dark-billed subspecies. I have added information about this to the text.

Due to a previous split, the English name of Lepidocolaptes albolineatus, has been changed from Lineated Woodcreeper to White-lined Woodcreeper / Guianan Woodcreeper. It will likely change again once SACC comes to a decision on the name.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.01]

Vireo English name: The alternate name (Tepui Greenlet) has been removed from Tepui Vireo, Vireo sclateri.
[Vireonidae, Corvida I, 3.00b]

Amaurospiza English name: The English name of Amaurospiza concolor has been changed from Blue Seedeater to Cabanis's Seedeater due to a previous split.
[Cardinalidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.02]

Mountain-Tanager genera: Following SACC, the Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Anisognathus somptuosus, and Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Anisognathus notabilis, have been placed in genus Compsocoma.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.02]

May 11

Redpolls: Mason and Taylor's detailed study using SNP's (2015) found little genetic differentiation among the redpolls. At this point the balance of the evidence is that there is only one species involved. As a result, I've lumped them all as a single species, Holarctic Redpoll, Acanthis flammea. I thought about referring to them as just “Redpolls”, but added the adjective Holarctic to emphasize that all races have been grouped together.
[Fringillidae, Core Passeroidea II, 3.02]

Siskins: The arrangement of Spinus and Sporagra is now based on Beckman and Witt (2015). The Hooded Siskin, Sporagra magellanica, has been split into Lowland Hooded Siskin, Sporagra magellanica, and Andean Hooded Siskin, Sporagra capitalis. We lack complete information on the subspecies, but I've tentatively allocated boliviana, alleni, icterica, longirostris, and magellanica to the lowland group, S. magellanica, and capitalis, paula, peruana, urubambensis, santaecrucis, hoyi, and tucumana to the Andean group, S. capitalis. The genetic distances between the capitalis group and atrata, crassirostris, siemiradzkii is razor-thin, calling their species status into question. Even uropygialis appears to be closely related to the capitalis group. Further study is needed to sort out these taxa.
[Fringillidae, Core Passeroidea II, 3.02]

May 10

Foulehaio Honeyeaters: Based on Andersen et al. (2014), Giant Honeyeater, Foulehaio viridis, has been split into Yellow-billed Honeyeater, Gymnomyza viridis, and Giant Honeyeater, Gymnomyza brunneirostris.

Following IOC 5.2, the English names of three Foulehaio honeyeaters have been changed:

  • Viti Levu Honeyeater, Foulehaio procerior, becomes Kikau
  • Vanua Levu Honeyeater, Foulehaio taviunensis, becomes Lesser Wattled-Honeyeater
  • Polynesian Honeyeater, Foulehaio carunculatus, becomes Greater Wattled-Honeyeater

[Meliphagidae, Paracorvids, 3.02]

May 8

Embrezia: Sharpe's Bunting, Emberiza yunnanensis (probably including khamensis), has been split from Godlewski's Bunting, Emberiza godlewskii (see Päckert et al., 2015). There didn't seem to be historical English name to press into service. I chose Sharpe as he named yunnanensis. Yunnan Bunting seemed a little limiting because the range extends into Sichuan, and via khamensis onto the Tibetian plateau.

There has also been some rearrangement of the major clades based on Päckert et al. (2015). As in H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014), I have treated the major clades as separate genera. The only exception is that I do not recognize Granativora. With the Päckert et al. topology it would require a separate genus for the Brown-rumped Bunting, Melophus affinis, and no such name is available. The position of the Brown-rumped Bunting is based on limited genetic data and support is low, so it may belong elsewhere.
[Emberizidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.01]

May 7

Pipromorpha split: The Tepui Flycatcher, Pipromorpha roraimae (including mercedesfosterae), has been split from McConnell's Flycatcher, Pipromorpha macconnelli (Hilty and Ascanio, 2014). The Pipromorpha sequence is based on Miller et al. (2008).
[Rhynchocyclidae, Tyrannida I, 3.01]

May 1

Stenostiridae: The scientific name of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher / Yellow-bellied Fantail has been corrected to Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus (from hypoxantha).
[Stenostiridae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.02]

CSV Files: The CSV files have been updated to version 3.02.

April 2015

April 29

Stilts and Avocets: I've rearranged Recurvirostridae based on Raty's comments and analysis on BirdForum.
[Recurvirostridae, Charadriiformes, 3.01]

Plovers: The plovers have been rearranged based on Dos Remedios et al. (2015). There are two changes of genus: Forbes's Plover moves from Afroxyechus to Thinornis and Long-billed Plover moves from Charadrius to Thinornis. [Charadriidae, Charadriiformes, 3.01]

April 17

Blue Tit splits: Based on Stervander et al. (2015). the African Blue Tit, Cyanistes teneriffae, is split into Palma Blue Tit, Cyanistes palmensis, Libyan Blue Tit, Cyanistes cyrenaicae, Canary Blue Tit, Cyanistes teneriffae, and Ultramarine Tit, Cyanistes ultramarinus. See also Illera et al. (2011), Päckert et al. (2013b), and Gohli et al. (2014). Given that two Cyanistes now have names other than “Blue Tit”, I have removed the hyphens.
[Paridae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.01]

April 2

Hummingbird tribes: The hummingbird subfamilies Florisuginae and Phaethornithinae have each been divided into two tribes.
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.02]

April 1

CSV Files: The CSV files have been updated to version 3.01.

March 2015

March 27

Woodpeckers: H&M-4 (Dickinson and Remsen, 2013) brought attention to the name Chloropicus (Malherbe 1845, type pyrrhogaster), which has priority over Dendropicos (Malherbe 1849, type fuscescens, subspecies lafresnayi).

Portions of Melanerpini have been rearranged based on Fuchs and Pons (2015). In particualar, the Arabian Woodpecker, Chloropicus dorae (formerly Dendropicos), has been moved into genus Leiopicus and the Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Leiopicus mahrattensis, has moved into Chloropicus. Because mahrattensis is the type for Leiopicus (Bonaparte 1854), this forces a name change for the remaining Leiopicus woodpeckers. The new genus name is Dendrocoptes (Cabanis and Heine 1863, type medius), not Desertipicus (Kinnear and Bates 1935, type dorae). I have held off on rearranging Chloropicus and possibly recognizing additional genrera as in H&M-4 pending a detailed study of this group by Fuchs, Bowie, Carre and Pons.

Also, I have adjusted the position of Choco Woodpecker, Veniliornis chocoensis, based on Moore et al. (2006).
[Picidae, Piciformes, 3.01]

March 21

Townsend's Shearwater complex: The Townsend's Shearwater complex has been studied by Martínez Gómez et al. (2015). They found that auricularis and newelli are not genetically distinct. Accordingly, Newell's Shearwater, Puffinus newelli, is lumped into Townsend's Shearwater, Puffinus auricularis. However, the third subspecies, myrtae, is sufficiently distinct to elevate to a species, Rapa Shearwater, Puffinus myrtae.
[Procellariidae, Ardeae, 3.01]

Southern Australian Birds: The Bluebonnet, Northiella haematogaster, has been split into Naretha Bluebonnet, Northiella narethae, and Eastern Bluebonnet, Northiella haematogaster. See Dolman and Joseph (2015).
[Psittaculidae, Basal Australaves, 3.01]

Honeyeaters: Swan River Honeyeater / Western White-naped Honeyeater, Melithreptus chloropsis, becomes Gilbert's Honeyeater (following IOC). I have also made a slight correction to the ordering in Melithreptus based on Toon et al. (2010).
[Meliphagidae, Paracorvids, 3.01]

Quail-thrush Split: Chestnut Quail-thrush / Chestnut-backed Quail-thrush, Cinclosoma castanotum, is split into Copperback Quail-thrush, Cinclosoma clarum, and Chestnut Quail-thrush, Cinclosoma castanotum, based on Dolman and Joseph (2015).
[Cinclosomatidae, Corvida I, 3.01]

March 20

Hummingbirds: I have changed the subfamily and tribal structure to be closer to that of H&M 4 (Dickinson and Remsen, 2013). This means that the tribe Polytimini is promoted to subfamily Polytiminae and that Trochilinae loses Lesbiini and Coeligenini to the new subfamily Lesbiinae. I did not promote Patagonini to a subfamily and made another change they do not endorse, which was to split the tribe Trochilini into two tribes—Cynanthini and Trochilini.

The genus name Chlorostilbon (Gould 1853) has been replaced by Cynanthus (Swainson 1827) due to priority.

I have incorporated more results from McGuire et al. (2014) as well as Benham et al. (2015) for Metallura. This has led to a number of minor adjustments to the hummingbirds.

One not so minor adjustment was moving Violet-chested Hummingbird, Sternoclyta cyanopectus, and Scissor-tailed Hummingbird, Hylonympha macrocerca, next to Heliodoxa, in Coeligenini (see the discussion in SACC proposal #180).

Rufous Sabrewing seems better placed with Campylopterus. As it is the type of Platystylopterus, the remaining former Platystylopterus are now called Pampa (Reichenbach 1854, type pampa). Probably I should not have separated rufus from Campylopterus in the first place.

Finally, the Blue-vented Hummingbird, Saucerottia hoffmanni, has been split from the Steely-vented Hummingbird, Saucerottia saucerottei.
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.01]

March 11

Strix owl split: Hume's Owl, Strix butleri, has been split into Omani Owl, Strix butleri, and Desert Tawny Owl, Strix hadorami based on Robb et al. (2013) and Kirwan et al. (2015).
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.01]

New Tapaculo: The newly described Perija Tapaculo, Scytalopus perijanus, has been added to the list (Avendaño et al., 2015).
[Rhinocryptidae, Furnariida II, 3.01]

March 10

Estrildid Finches: The tree and order within Lonchurinae has been adjusted based on Hooper and Payne (2015).
[Passerellidae, Core Passeroidea I, 3.01]

March 9

English Name Changes: Some English names have been changed to match the IOC list.

  • Congo Peacock, Afropavo congensis, becomes Congo Peafowl (IOC 5.1).
    [Phasianidae, Galliformes, 3.00a]
  • Ashy Thornbill / Ashy Gerygone, Acanthiza cinerea, becomes Gray Thornbill (IOC 5.2).
    [Pardalotidae, Paracorvids, 3.00a]
  • Mottled Whistler, Rhagologus leucostigma, becomes Mottled Berryhunter (IOC 5.2).
    [Artamidae, Corvida I, 3.00a]
  • Yellow-breasted Brushfinch / Rufous-naped Brushfinch, Atlapetes latinuchus, becomes Yellow-breasted Brushfinch (IOC 5.1).
    [Passerellidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.00a]

March 6

Neotropical Ground-Doves: The Purple-winged Ground-Dove, Claravis geoffroyi and Maroon-chested Ground-Dove, Claravis mondetoura have been moved to Metriopelia. Also, Columbina has been rearranged. See Sweet and Johnson (2015). These changes are already reflected in the 3.00 csv files.
[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.01]

White-breasted Nuthatches: I have rejected the proposed split of the White-breasted Nuthatch into three species:

  • Carolina Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis,
  • Slender-billed Nuthatch, Sitta aculeata, and
  • Cordilleran Nuthatch, Sitta lagunae.

As you may guess from my preferred name for the lagunae group, I think Rocky Mountain Nuthatch is a horrible name, as if Mexico and the Sierra Nevadas were not part of the range. My reasons for rejection are basically that of the NACC. I have provided a lengthy account of the whole situation in the TiF nuthatch section.
[Sittidae, Certhioidea, 3.01]

Madanga correction: Laurent Raty has pointed out that the name Anthus ruficollis already exists (for Red-throated Pipit), so the Madanga cannot be Anthus ruficollis. For now, I will refer to it as Anthus “ruficollis”.
[Motacillidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.01a]

Darwin's Finches: I've added a table with distribution information for Darwin's Finches.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.01]

March 5

Zosteropidae: Lightning strikes twice! It was quite a surprise when Fjeldså et al. (2010) found that the Cinnamon Ibon, Hypocryptadius cinnamomeus was not only not a white-eye, but outside the whole babbler-warbler clade (Sylvioidea). Rather, it belonged to Passeroidea and can be considered a basal member of the Old World Sparrow family, Passeridae. Well, here we are in 2015 and it's happened again. Alström et al. (2015a) found that the Madanga, formerly Madanga ruficollis (previously Heleia on TiF), is not a white-eye. It turns out that it is another member of Passeroidea, in fact, a pipit. It gets the new scientific name Anthus ruficollis. It's closest relative is the Alpine Pipit, Anthus gutturalis.
[Zosteropidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.01]

Wagtails, Longclaws & Pipits: Alström et al. (2015a) includes some other interesting findings. For one, the Sao Tome Shorttail, Amaurocichla bocagii, is not just sister to the wagtails, it is a wagtail. Accordingly it is now Motacilla bocagii. Although their analysis is not as taxon-rich as Outlaw and Voelker (2006b), they included some additional taxa: Alpine Pipit, Anthus gutturalis, and Nilgiri Pipit, Anthus nilghiriensis. These have been repositioned accordingly.

The other interesting thing in Alström et al. (2015a) is that their multigene analysis yields a different placement of the longclaws compared with Outlaw and Voelker (2006b). The limited taxon sampling leaves some residual uncertainty, but I have separated some of Anthus in Corydalla (Vigors, 1825, type richardi) and Cinaedium (Sundevall, 1850, type lineiventre).

Australasian Pipit, Corydalla novaeseelandiae, has been split into Australian Pipit, Corydalla australis, and New Zealand Pipit, Corydalla novaeseelandiae. This split was recommended by Schodde and Mason (1999), but rejected by Christidis and Boles (2008) “in the absence of molecular evidence”. Tavares and Baker (2008) provided limited molecular evidence in the form of a barcode divergence of 4.1%, which is a good indication that they are separate species.
[Motacillidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.01]

February 2015

February 28

High-level Update: After a long hiatus, it's time for a major update. Jarvis et al. (2014) is now reflected in the higher-level taxonomy. To mark the change, I've updated the main list to version 3 (some ancillary files have not been updated). I've also added a little bit on the fossil record for many of the orders.

Additional updating may be sporadic. I simply do not have as much time to work on the list as I did previously because health issues are continuing to take up a substantial amount of time and energy. When I got well enough to go birding regularly, something had to give, and it was the TiF list. As things have continued to improve, I've finally been able to give some time to the TiF list again.

Some other changes were made while the big update was in process. Details are given below.

February 27

Yellow-throated Toucan: The English name of Ramphastos ambiguus is changed to Black-mandibled Toucan / Yellow-throated Toucan. The point is that Black-mandibled properly applies only to the ambiguus group, but is not appropriate when swainsonii (Chestnut-mandibled Toucan) is included in the species. See SACC #663, and note that the NACC still uses Black-mandibled.
[Ramphastidae, Piciformes, 3.00]

Campina Jay Lump: Campina Jay, described as Cyanocorax hafferi by Cohn-Haft et al. (2013), is treated as a subspecies of Azure-naped Jay, Cyanocorax heilprini (SACC #635).
[Corvidae, Corvida II, 3.00]

Brushfinches: The name “Brush-Finch” has been replaced by “Brushfinch”, as recommended by SACC (Proposal #653).
[Passerellidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.00]

Baywing Split and Icterid Names: There are some English name chanes and a split due to SACC proposals #641 and #642, respectively. The Bay-winged Cowbird, Agelaioides badius, is split into Grayish Baywing, Agelaioides badius, and Pale Baywing, Agelaioides fringillarius. Red-breasted Meadowlark is now the primary English name of Sturnella militaris and White-browed Meadowlark is the primary name of Sturnella superciliaris. The Band-tailed Oropendola, Cacicus latirostris, now has primary name Band-tailed Cacique, and the Casqued Oropendola, Cacicus oseryi now has primary name Casqued Cacique.
[Icteridae, Core Passeroidea IV, 3.00]

Darwin's Finches: After considering Farrington et al. (2014) and Lamichhaney et al. (2015), I have rearranged Darwin's Finches, merged “Geospiza” and Camarhynchus into Geospiza, and split some taxa.

  • Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch, Geospiza difficilis has been split into
    • Sharpe's Ground-Finch, Geospiza difficilis (including debilirostris),
    • Vampire Finch, Geospiza septentrionalis, and
    • Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch, Geospiza acutirostris
  • Large Cactus-Finch, Geospiza conirostris, has been split into
    • Large-billed Cactus-Finch, Geospiza conirostris (possibily including darwini), and
    • Genovesa Cactus-Finch, Geospiza propinqua

This leads to a net gain of 3 species. However, there is a case to be made for lumping conirostris into magnirostris (these may be allopatric, sources differ), propinqua into scandens (allopatric), and acutirostris into fortis (also allopatric).
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.00]

February 26

Western Whistler: The Western Whistler, Pachycephala occidentalis, has been split from the Australian Golden Whistler, Pachycephala pectoralis, based on Joseph et al. (2014b).
[Pachycephalidae, Corvida I, 3.00]

Redstarts: The Phoenicurus redstarts have been rearranged based on Voelker et al. (2015). For the moment, I'm treating the Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher, Muscicapa sodhii (Harris et al., 2015) as a subspecies of the Asian Brown Flycatcher, Muscicapa latirostris. The available genetic data place it close to the subspecies siamensis.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.00]

February 20

Hawk Phylogeny: Oatley et al. (2015) has led to several changes. The subfamily Lophospizinae (crested goshawks) has been moved to a trichotomy with Harpiinae and Aquilinae. The Red-thighed and Little Sparrowhawks have been transferred from Aerospiza to Tachyspiza, and the harriers have been rearranged. Further, the Northern Harrier / Hen Harrier, Circus cyaneus, has been split into Hen Harrier, Circus cyaneus, and Northern Harrier, Circus hudsonius.
[Accipitridae, Accipitrimorphae, 3.00]

Boa Nova Tapaculo: The English name of Scytalopus gonzagai has been changed to Boa Nova Tapaculo, which allows the English name of Scytalopus speluncae to revert to Mouse-colored Tapaculo.
[Rhinocryptidae, Furnariida II, 3.00]

February 15

Blossomcrowns and Plovercrests: Based on Lozano-Jaramillo et al. (2014), the Blossom-crown, Anthocephala floriceps, has been split into Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Anthocephala floriceps, and Andean Blossomcrown, Anthocephala berlepschi. Additionally, based on Cavarzere et al. (2014), the Plovercrest, Stephanoxis lalandi, has been split into Purple-crowned Plovercrest, Stephanoxis loddigesii, and Green-crowned Plovercrest, Stephanoxis lalandi.
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.00]