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.
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.
Baird's Woodpecker, Campephilus bairdii, has been split from Ivory-billed
Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis. See Fleischer et al. (2007) and
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, Ardeae 3.02]
May 11, 2016
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 29, 2016
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]
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
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 27, 2016
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
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]
The genus name Pseudochloris (Sharpe 1888) repalces the temporary
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
The genus Procelsterna has been merged into Anous. See Cibois et
[Laridae, Charadriiformes, 3.03]
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
[Spheniscidae, Ardeae, 3.02b]
- Solitary Eagle / Montane Solitary-Eagle, Buteogallus solitarius, becomes
Solitary Eagle; Crowned Eagle / Crowned Solitary-Eagle, Buteogallus coronatus,
becomes Chaco Eagle.
[Pandionidae, Accipitrimorphae, 3.00c]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Add some discussion of Price et al. (2014) and Selvatti et al. (2015) relating
to the status and placement of Tichodromidae.
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]
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,
[Paradoxornithidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.03]
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]
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.
[Passerellidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.02]
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]
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]
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
[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
[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]