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The updates for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 have been archived separately.

2016 Additions and Subtractions

Based on scientific names.

2016 Discoveries and Splits (31)

  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. Rufous-naped Wood-Rail / White-bellied Wood-Rail, Aramides albiventris
  9. Coopman's Elaenia, Elaenia brachyptera
  10. Tan-capped Catbird, Ailuroedus geislerorum
  11. Ochre-breasted Catbird, Ailuroedus stonii
  12. Spotted Catbird, Ailuroedus maculosus
  13. Huon Catbird, Ailuroedus astigmaticus
  14. Black-capped Catbird, Ailuroedus melanocephalus
  15. Arfak Catbird, Ailuroedus arfakianus
  16. Northern Catbird, Ailuroedus jobiensis
  17. Pilbara Grasswren, Amytornis whitei
  18. Sandhill Grasswren, Amytornis oweni
  19. Rusty Grasswren, Amytornis rowleyi
  20. Admiralty Islands Cicadabird, Edolisoma admiralitatis
  21. Chestnut-throated Flycatcher, Myiagra castaneigularis
  22. White-cheeked Monarch, Symposiachrus malaitae
  23. North Island Robin, Petroica longipes
  24. Pacific Robin, Petroica pusilla
  25. Highland Rush Warbler, Bradypterus centralis
  26. Tarim Babbler, Rhopophilus albosuperciliaris
  27. Campina Thrush, Turdus arthuri
  28. Amazonian Thrush, Turdus debilis
  29. Merida Brushfinch, Atlapetes meridae
  30. Black-fronted Brushfinch, Atlapetes nigrifrons
  31. Blood-red Tanager, Piranga haemalea

2016 Lumps (1)

  1. Four-colored Bushshrike, Telophorus quadricolor

Comparison with IOC list, version 5.4

As of February 14, 2016, the TIF list contains 10810 species. The differences between the TIF and IOC lists involve about 240 species (98 species removed, 143 species added, compared to IOC 5.4). 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 10908 species, 143 more than the IOC 5.4 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.

April 2016

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.
    [Pandionidae, 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.
[Passerellidae, 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]