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.
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]
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,
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.
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]
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]
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
[Emberizidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.01]
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]
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.
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]
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]
The hummingbird subfamilies Florisuginae and Phaethornithinae have
each been divided into two tribes.
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.02]
CSV Files: The CSV files have been updated to version 3.01.
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]
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]
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]
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
[Cinclosomatidae, Corvida I, 3.01]
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]
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]
The newly described Perija Tapaculo, Scytalopus perijanus, has been
added to the list (Avendaño et al., 2015).
[Rhinocryptidae, Furnariida II, 3.01]
The tree and order within Lonchurinae has been adjusted based on Hooper and
[Passerellidae, Core Passeroidea I, 3.01]
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]
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]
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]
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. (2015) 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. (2015) 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. (2015) 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]
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.
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
[Corvidae, Corvida II, 3.00]
Baywing Split and Icterid Names:
There are some English name chanes and a split due to SACC proposals
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
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.00]
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]
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]
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
[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]
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]