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.
The genus name of the Puerto Rican Screech-Owl has been corrected to
Gymnasio. Given the substantial distance between it and the Flammunated
Owl (Psiloscops flammeolus), they should not be in the same genus.
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.04]
The Megascopini have been arranged based on Dantas et al. (2016). They also
found the Puerto Rican Screech-Owl belongs in Psiloscops.
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.03]
Although it will take a while to integrate it into the TiF pages, I thought the recent Claramunt and Cracraft paper (2015) on bird origins was quite interesting. It's the first one of these that I consider to be really well-executed. The care is shown in things like the recent end of the Coliiformes tree being marked as African, and the ancestral end as Nearctic. One thing that is mentioned in the text, but not so clear on the diagram is that the ancient part of the tree marked South American really means somewhere in South America, West Antarctica, and parts of East Antarctica. The Antarctic fossil record is pretty limited, but there is the important Vegavis fossil from Vega Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula, from shortly before the end-Cretaceous event (Chicxulub). The Antarctic (then temperate) may have been substantially less affected that the rest of the globe, making some of the local birds ancestors of today's birds.
One important fossil that is too recent for their paper is a yet unnamed early bird from 62 mya in New Mexico. It has some similaries to owls. The paper is not published, but was presented on Oct 14, 2015 at the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology meetings. The paper is "A New Species Of Early Paleocene Landbird And The Post-Cretaceous Diversification Of Birds In North America by Ksepka, Stidham, and Williamson. Interestingly, it was found in 2007 by Williamson's 12-year old sons.
I'm currently revising the Corvida, but it's taking longer than expected.
Lesser Moorhen: The Lesser Moorhen takes the new genus name
Paragallinula, replacing the temporary "Gallinula".
Paragallinula (Sangster, García-R, and Trewick, 2015) is monotypic.
[Rallidae, Gruae I, 3.00b]
Eurylaimides: The families in Eurylaimides have been reordered based
on Prum et al. (2015). Futher, based on their time-scale, I've separated
Smithornithidae from Calyptomenidae.
[Eurylaimides, Passeriformes I, 3.01]
Scientific name corrections:
- Black-bodied Woodpecker, Hylatomus schulzii, from schulzi
[Picidae, Piciformes, 3.01b]
- Des Murs's Wiretail, Leptasthenura desmurii, from desmursii
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.01a]
- Red-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus erythrorynchus, from erythrorhynchus
[Buphagidae, Muscicapoidea I, 3.00a]
Kingfishers: Based on Collar (2011) and Andersen et al. (2013), the Silvery Kingfisher, Ceyx argentatus, has been split into Southern Silvery-Kingfisher, Ceyx argentatus, and Northern Silvery-Kingfisher, Ceyx flumenicola.
Andersen et al. (2015) examined many of the Todiramphus kingfishers. As a result, the Micronesian Kingfisher, Todiramphus cinnamominus, has been split into Rusty-capped Kingfisher, Todiramphus pelewensis, Guam Kingfisher, Todiramphus cinnamominus (including the extinct miyakoensis), and Pohnpei Kingfisher, Todiramphus reichenbachii.
Although data is lacking, the rearrangment increased the doubt about whether the two taxa united as Tuamotu Kingfisher, Todiramphus gambieri, are really conspecific. They have been split into Mangareva Kingfisher, Todiramphus gambieri, and Niau Kingfisher, Todiramphus gertrudae.
The Collared Kingfisher, Todiramphus chloris, has been split into Collared Kingfisher, Todiramphus chloris, Pacific Kingfisher, Todiramphus sacer, Melanesian Kingfisher, Todiramphus tristrami, Mariana Kingfisher, Todiramphus albicilla, Torresian Kingfisher, Todiramphus sordidus, and Islet Kingfisher, Todiramphus colonus. See the current IOC for the allocation of subspecies.
I've also resequenced Todiramphus based on Andersen et al. (2015).
Seven taxa were not analyzed. Of them, the positioning of
Talaud Kingfisher, Todiramphus enigma,
Sombre Kingfisher, Todiramphus funebris, and
Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher, Todiramphus australasia, is
[Alcedinidae, Afroaves III, 3.01]
I've adjusted the family sequence to match Prum et al. (2015). This includes
merging the diving-petrels into Procellariidae. Procellariidae has been resequenced
using Prum et al. (2015) as a backbone. Finally,
Subantarctic Shearwater, Puffinus elegans has been split from Little Shearwater,
Puffinus assimilis. See Austin et al. (2004), Ramirez et al. (2010), Onley
and Scofield (2007), IOC 5.4.
[Procellariiformes, Ardeae, 3.02]
Ploughbill: The family name Eulacestomidae has been corrected to
[Eulacestomatidae, Corvida I, 3.00c]
English Name Changes: Some English names have been changed to match the IOC list.
- Magnificent Hummingbird becomes Magnificent Hummingbird / Rivoli's Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens).
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.05a]
- Takahe becomes South Island Takahe (Porphyrio hochstetteri) and
Mohoau becomes North Island Takahe, (Porphyrio mantelli).
[Rallidae, Gruae I, 3.00a]
- Rough-faced Shag becomes New Zealand Shag (Phalacrocorax carunculatus),
Stewart Shag / Bronze Shag becomes Stewart Shag (Phalacrocorax chalconotus)
and Heard Shag becomes Heard Island Shag (Phalacrocorax nivalis).
[Phalacrocoracidae, Ardeae, 3.02]
- Desert Tawny Owl becomes Desert Owl (Strix hadorami)
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.02a]
- Lesser Wattled-Honeyeater becomes Fiji Wattled-Honeyeater (Foulehaio
taviunensis) and Greater Wattled-Honeyeater becomes Polynesian
Wattled-Honeyeater Foulehaio carunculatus Foulehaio carunculatus).
[Meliphagidae, Basal Oscines, 3.02a]
- East Asian Paradise-Flycatcher becomes Amur Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone incei),
Southeast Asian Paradise-Flycatcher becomes Oriental Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone affinis), and
South Asian Paradise-Flycatcher becomes Indian Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi).
[Monarchidae, Corvida II, 3.00c]
- Tay Nguyen Bush-Warbler becomes Dalat Bush-Warbler (Locustella idonea).
[Locustellidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.03]
- Arnot's Chat becomes Arnott's Chat (Myrmecocichla arnotti).
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.02b]
Strisores: The Caprimulgiformes have been moved to the basal
position in Strisores based on Prum et al. (2015).
[Caprimulgiformes, Strisores I, 3.01]
Miscellaneous Updates: There are also some miscellaneous changes that don't affect the list.
I've added some comments about Ospreys (see Monti et al., 2015).
Updated Nov. 22 (Thanks Richard!).
[Pandionidae, Accipitrimorphae, 3.00b]
The gender of Agricola has been made consistent (male).
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.02a]
I've added mention of Sangster et al. (2016a) concerning Sillem's Mountain-Finch.
[Fringillidae, Core Passeroidea II, 3.03a]
Hummingbirds: The genus Eulampis (Boie 1831) has been replaced
by Anthracothorax (Boie 1831) due to the first reviser action of Remsen
et al. (2015).
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.05]
Waterbirds: Based on recent paper by Prum et al. (2015) and Kuramoto
et al. (2015), I have adjusted the position of the Ciconiiformes. Also based on
Prum et al. (2015), I have also moved the Shoebill to be sister to the Pelicans.
None of this affects the linear order.
[Ardeae, Ardeae, 3.01a]
Old World Flycatchers: The Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Muscicapa ruficauda, has been moved to Ficedula. This is based on the phylogenetic trees associated with Price et al. (2014) and Raty's analysis on BirdForum (which places it more accurately). The trees do not seem to be available from the Nature website, but there is a link in the paper that ultimately leads to the source on treebase. A version with some updated species names has been circulating on the internet.
The genus Sericolius (Bonaparte 1855) has been replaced by
Agricola (Bonaparte 1854) due to priority.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.02]
Hiatus: Sorry for the long hiatus. I've been very busy with other things and had to choose between birding and taxonomy. Birding won. In early August I took a trip to the Rio Aripuanã in Brazil. Soon after I got back, the semester started and I found myself very busy with a project at work that I hope will eventually culminate in a microeconomics book. But today I had some time, and the Voelker et al. paper on the Muscicapini (Voelker et al., 2016) seemed just the thing, with enough to make it interesting, but not too complicated to do in the time available (unlike say, recent developments in higher bird taxonomy.
Future Updates: Updates will probably continue to be sparse for some time. I just have too much to do, and the myeloma treatments (maintenance) continue to eat time and energy. Fortunately, they have also suppressed the myeloma, and hopefully will keep it that way for some time.
Old World Flycatchers: The tribe Muscicapini has been revised based on Voelker et al. (2016). There are various ways the tribe can be divided into genera. Voelker et al. seem to prefer more rather than fewer. However, their molecular clock analysis suggests that the entire tribe is fairly closely related (within 7-8 million years). Some people would respond to that by putting them all in one genus! I've taken a middle course.
The Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Muscicapa ruficauda gets its own genus. Voelker and Bowie attempted to establish the genus Ripleyia for it. Unfortunately, Ripleyia is preoccupied, so I'm using ``Muscicapa'' for now. There's some question whether this species even belongs in Muscicapini.
The genus Bradornis gains two species: Boehm's Flycatcher, formerly Muscicapa boehmi, and Dusky-blue Flycatcher, formerly Muscicapa comitata. Two other species, Pale Flycatcher, formerly ``Bradornis'' pallidus, and Chat Flycatcher, formerly Bradornis infuscatus are placed in a separate genus, Sericolius (Bonaparte 1854, type pallidus). A third pair of species is transferred to Fraseria: White-browed Forest-Flycatcher, formerly Melaenornis cinerascens and Tessmann's Flycatcher, formerly Muscicapa tessmanni.
Last but not least, there is the Herero Chat, which had been difficult to place. Some authors put it in Turdidae. I had previously left Incertae sedis in Muscicapidae. It actually belongs in Melaenornis as Melaenornis herero. [Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.01]
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.
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]
The subfamily Claravinae is now attributed to Todd (Dickinson and Raty, 2015).
[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.02b]
The English name of Pygmy Drongo, Chaetorhynchus papuensis, is changed
to Drongo Fantail, reflecting the fact that it is not a drongo.
[paradisaeidae, Corvida II, 3.00b]
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]
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]
CSV Files: Got back from Alaska last night. The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.04.
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. (2015a).
I have also split them into two subfamilies and have moved
Nahan's Partridge to Acentrortyx as Acentrortyx nahani.
[Odontophoridae, Galliformes, 3.04]
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]
The Chapada Flycatcher, Suiriri islerorum, is correctly named Suiriri
affinis. See Kirwan et al. (2014).
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 3.01]
The position of the Seychelles Warbler, Acrocephalus sechellensis,
has been slightly adjusted. See Leisler and Winkler (2015).
[Acrocephalidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.04]
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, 3.02b]
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]
Rosellas: The rosellas (Platycercus) have been rearranged based on Shipman et al. (2015).
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]
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]
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
[Pteroclidae, Columbea, 3.02]
Two slight errors in the order of Ptilinopus fruit-doves have been corrected.
[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.02]
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]
CSV Files: The CSV files have been updated to version 3.03.
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).
The genus Tympanuchus has been rearranged based on Galla and Johnson (2015).
[Phasianidae, Galliformes, 3.03]
The position of the Trinidad Piping-Guan, Aburria pipile, and
Red-throated Piping-Guan, Aburria cujubi, have been adjusted based on
[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]
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]
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
[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]
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]
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, Basal Oscines, 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, Basal Oscines, 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, Basal Oscines, 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, Core Passeroidea II, 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. (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, Core Passeroidea II, 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]