Archives of ‘What's New’ Items

The updates for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 have been archived separately.

December 2012

December 23

The first changes based on Barker et al. (2013) affect the American Sparrows (Passerellidae). They provide the first genetic data on the Tanager Finch, Oreothraupis arremonops and the Zapata Sparrow, Torreornis inexpectata. As expected, both belong in Passerellidae, but not where we thought. The Tanager Finch is closely related to the Chlorospingus bush-tanagers (rather than the Atlapetes brush-finches) while the Zapata Sparrow belongs near the Kieneria brown towhees rather than the Amphispiza sparrows. I've also adjusted the arrangement of the Passerellidae tribes, which changes their order in the list.
[Passerellidae, Core Passeroidea IV, 2.61]

December 12

Sunbird changes: Among other things, John Croxall pointed out that I'd separated some recognized sunbird subgroups when reorganizing the sunbirds. Indeed, I even found I had ignored my own notes in one case. To restore these groups, I make the following changes, with appropriate rearrangement.

I'm also moving the Purple Sunbird from Cyrtostomus to Arachnechthra (Arachnechthra asiatica) it's not clear where it goes, and this seems the best available solution. Also, the scientific name of Loten's Sunbird is corrected to lotenia.
[Nectariniidae, Basal Passeroidea, 2.60]

December 11

I've corrected the ordering of Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Campylopterus pampa, and Curve-winged Sabrewing, Campylopterus curvipennis.
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 2.64]

December 8

Based on recent SACC changes, I added 6 genera to the Caprimulgidae (three of them had previously been merged into Hydropsalis). The changes are:

The arrangement differs a bit from that of the SACC in order to better match Han et al. (2010).
[Caprimulgidae, Strisores, 2.57]

December 7

The csv files have been updated to version 2.84.

I've removed the alternate English names for Nanday Parakeet, Aratinga nendaya (Black-hooded Parakeet), and for Rosy-faced Lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis (Peach faced Lovebird).
[Psittacidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.71a]

November 2012

November 30

The Forpus parrotlets have been rearranged based on B.T. Smith et al. (2013). I have not adjusted the species limits, although the Blue-winged Parrotlet, Forpus xanthopterygius, may not be monophyletic.
[Psittacidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.71]

Immaculate Antbird has been split into Western Immaculate-Antbird, "Myrmeciza3" zeledoni, and Andean Immaculate-Antbird ("Myrmeciza3" immaculata). See Donegan (2012a). The English names are subject to change.
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 2.61]

Some tanager genera have been adjusted to conform to the SACC's recent decisions. The genus Delothraupis (Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager) has been merged into Dubusia. The Hooded Mountain-Tanager has been returned to Buthraupis and the Black-chested Mountain-Tanager and Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager are now in genus Cnemathraupis.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 2.66]

November 28

Based on a recent SACC decision, the Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant and Black-crested Tit-Tyrant are returned to Uromyias (from Anairetes). This has no effect on the phylogeny.
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 2.61]

The Monte Yellow-Finch, Sicalis mendozae, has been split from Greenish Yellow-Finch, Sicalis olivascens. See Areta et al. (2012) and the discussion of SACC proposal 539.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 2.65]

November 21

The SACC has recently split East Brazilian Chachalaca, Ortalis araucuan, and Scaled Chachalaca, Ortalis squamata from Speckled Chachalaca, Ortalis guttata. That split is also adopted here.
[Cracidae, Galliformes, 2.63]

November 20

I've finally decided to make do with what's available for the sunbirds. They have been reordered based on the tree in Jønsson and Fjeldså (2006a) — itself based on Bowie's unpublished Ph.D. dissertation (2003), together with Nyári et al. (2009b) and Moyle et. al, 2011). Loten's Sunbird doesn't have clear relatives and I doubt it belongs in Cinnyris, so I've moved it to the monotypic genus Arachnechthra (Cabanis 1851) and left it uncertaintly placed somewhere in Nectariniidae.

The reorganization meant subsuming Dreptes into Cinnyris and Drepanorhynchus into Cyanomitra. The four Asian and Australasian species formerly considered part of Cinnyris have been separated in their own genus, Cyrtostomus. and Anthodiaeta and Hedydipna have been separated.

The genus Cinnyris is now much reduced, as it has additionally lost 12 species to Chalcomitra, 14 to Anthobaphes, and one to Cyanomitra, gaining only one species from Chalcomitra. The African members of Anthreptes have been dispersed to Deleornis (3) and Hedydipna (7). Nectarinia lost 4 species to Chalcomitra and gains two from Cyanomitra.
[Nectariniidae, Basal Passeroidea, 2.59]

November 17

Based on Olsson et al. (2013), Heliolais and Urorhipis have been merged into Prinia. The remaining genera have been rearranged some, although the major clades are only slightly changed. Even most of the genera I previously gave a question mark to remain in the same major clade. The clades are now distinguished as subfamilies, mostly following the recommendations of Olsson et al. The exception is Micromacronus, which is (weakly) associated with Eremomelinae in the TiF list, but left outside Eremomelinae by Olsson et al.
[Cisticolidae, Sylvioidea I, 2.67]

Olsson et al. (2013) also found that the Rufous-vented Prinia, Laticilla burnesii does not belong in Prinia. It has been placed in Laticilla (Blyth 1845, type burnesii) and moved to the family Pellorneidae. The Swamp Prinia is thought to be a close relative, so it has become Laticilla cinerascens. At present, we do not know which genus is the closest relative of Laticilla, but it seems to be closer to Pellorneum than to Graminicola.
[Pellorneidae, Sylvioidea III, 2.67]

November 15

The Variable Dwarf-Kingfisher, Ceyx lepidus, has been split into 15 species (see Andersen et al., 2013). Many of the English names are those used by Bird Life International, with hyphens added. The species recognized by BLI are marked with asterisks below. I've given similar names to the remaining taxa (i.e., based on the biggest island). BLI did not separate lepidus, uropygialis, and wallacii, and referred to the combined species as Moluccan Dwarf Kingfisher. BLI also did not separate pallidus and meeki. Perhaps a better English name can be found for meeki. There's also been a little minor rearrangement of the kingfishers, and removal of the hyphen in African Dwarf Kingfisher.

[Alcedinidae, Anomalogonates I, 2.68]

Now that Bird Life International has joined IOC in splitting the Rainbow Lorikeet, Trichoglossus haematodus, into three species, I'm adopting that split. BLI based their split is based on the Tobias et al. (2010) criteria for allopatric species, which is a reasonable rule of thumb in the absence of conflicting evidence. However, as BLI has not yet released a detailed analysis, I will not generally adopt these splits. In this case, I make an exception because IOC had already adopted them. The three species are:

[Psittacidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.70]

Due to the fact that Nemospiza is preoccupied, I have moved Henslow's Sparrow to genus Centronyx, which also constains Baird's Sparrow.
[Passerellidae, Core Passeroidea IV, 2.60]

October 2012

October 28

The arrangement within Numenius has been changed due to Raty's reanalysis of Gibson and Baker (2012).
[Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes, 2.65]

October 23

I've added a couple of comments about McCormack et al. (2013), both about how it relates to the Metaves hypothesis, and the possible tie between the tropicbirds, sunbittern, and kagu. I have been thinking over the implications of this and other recent papers touching on ordinal relationships with Neoaves, but am not quite ready to make major changes.

I also have been amused by some of the reactions around the internet to the fact that the paper was posted on arXiv. It's a reminder how different the culture is in fields where preprints/working papers are rare, compared to what exists in mathematics, economics, theoretical physics and other fields. These fields have a traditional of widely circulating preprints — a tradition dating back to the days of mimeograph. The easy circulation of reports and data is part of why Tim Berners-Lee invented the web back in 1991, and places such as arXiv and SSRN, which have been helping circulate papers for over twenty years now, are part of the realization of his ideas.
[Metaves, Metaves I, 2.63a]
[Phaethontiformes, Metaves I, 2.63a]

There are a number of changes in Carpodacini (rosefinches).

[Fringillidae, Core Passeroidea II, 2.62]

October 20

The csv files have been updated to version 2.83.

The tribes Arenariini, Tringini, and Scolopacini have been raised to subfamilies as suggested in a recent SACC proposal.
[Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes, 2.64]

After adding Jackson et al. (2012) to the various papers that cover the various small groups in Laridae, I've decided to treat all five groups (white terns, skimmers, noddies, terns, gulls) as subfamilies in order to recognize the uncertainty that currently exists about how these deep branches are related.

I've also made some changes in the Larinae to incorporate Sternkopf (2011). Although taxon sampling is not quite as complete as in Pons et al. (2005), Sternkopf uses both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
[Laridae, Charadriiformes, 2.64]

Poospizini has been rearranged based on Schultz and Burns (2013). Urothraupis is now placed in Poospizini. The genera Poospiza and Hemispingus have been broken into multiple pieces. Several genera have been revived: Pseudospingus (from Hemispingus), Sphenopsis (from Hemispingus), Poospizopsis (from Poospiza), Microspingus (from Hemispingus and Poospiza). I've also labeled one species, the Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, as "Poospiza". Compsospiza has been merged into Poospiza. Thlypopsis, the monotypic Pyrrhocoma, and the Superciliaried Hemispingus (the type species for Hemispingus) have been merged into a single genus. The type species of all three genera are included, and none seem to have acquired any priority over the others in the years since they were established by Cabanis in the same publication. Until a first reviser action is taken, I'm going with Thlypopsis as most of the taxa involved have historically been considered Thlypopsis.

Also, in Coerebini (Tholospiza), I've made some gender corrections in Loxigilla (obscura, fuliginosa, and canora) because Loxigilla is feminine.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 2.64]

October 18

The order within Thamnophilus has been adjusted to better match Brumfield and Edwards (2007).
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 2.60]

October 17

Some English names have been changed to match IOC. The following are affected:

October 10

The scientific name of Mascarene Sheldgoose has been corrected to Alopochen mauritiana, from mauritianus, as Alopochen is feminine.
[Anatidae, Paleognaths and Anseriformes, 2.60a]

October 9

I've added 34 of the extinct species from the IOC list to the TiF list. This leaves only 3 extinct species on the IOC list that are not on the TiF list. Two involve splits not accepted by AOU: Jamaican Petrel and Laysan Honeycreeper. The other is based entirely on a bone fragment, the St. Helena Cuckoo. There are also two extinct TiF species not included on the IOC list: Amaui and Aguiguan Reed-Warbler.

Three of the new species are ducks:

I also removed the extinct Finsch's Duck, Chenonetta finschi, on the grounds that it is thought to have become extinct before 1500, the cut-off for the TiF list.
[Anatidae, Paleognaths and Anseriformes, 2.60]

These also include three extinct species in the Columbidae:

[Columbidae, Metaves I, 2.63]

Then there are nine extinct Rallidae:

[Rallidae, Pelecanae I, 2.59]

There are two extinct petrels:

[Procellariidae, Pelecanae II, 2.68]

There are five extinct night-herons added:

[Rallidae, Pelecanae II, 2.68]

There is the extinct North Island Snipe, Coenocorypha barrierensis.
[Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes, 2.62]

There are three extinct owls from the Mascarenes. All have been placed in the genus Mascarenotus, which is thought to be closely related to Otus, or may even be embedded in it.

[Strigidae, Anomalogonates I, 2.67]

And the extinct St. Helena Hoopoe, Upupa antaios.
[Upupidae, Anomalogonates I, 2.67]

There's one extinct falcon to add, the Reunion Kestrel, Falco duboisi.
[Falconidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.69]

Five of the additional extinct birds are parrots:

[Psittacidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.69]

Finally, there is one extinct starling to add, the Rodrigues Starling, Necropsar rodericanus. It is believed to be the sister species to the Hoopoe Starling.
[Sturnidae, Muscicapoidea I, 2.53]

Besides the extinct taxa, there is a correction to the gender of Myrmopagis. It appears to be feminine, so two species names have been corrected accordingly: Band-tailed Antwren is now Myrmopagis urosticta (not urosticus) and Ashy Antwren / Yungas Antwren becomes Myrmopagis grisea (not griseus).
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 2.59a]

October 8

Peristerinae (Reichenbach, 1850) replaces Claravinae as the subfamily name for the American Ground-Doves. Although Richmond had proposed using Claravinae to reflect the change in genus name (from Peristera to Claravis) and this occurred well before 1961, the name Peristerinae continued to get some use while Claravinae did not. This means that Claravinae cannot supersede Peristerinae.
[Columbidae, Metaves I, 2.62c]

Kennedy et al. (2013) have recently completed a study of all 8 Pelicans. Amoung other things, they found that they divide into Old World and New World clades. The pelicans have been rearranged accordingly.
[Pelecanidae, Pelecanae II, 2.67]

October 7

The Star-throated Antwren, Myrmotherula gularis, has been moved to the monotypic genus Rhopias (Cabanis and Heine 1860) as recommended by Belmonte-Lopes et al. (2012). This is connected with some rearrangement of Thamnophilini. The resulting topology is close to that of Belmonte-Lopes et al. and of Irestedt et al. (2004b), which between them use 8 different genes.

I've also restricted my use of Myrmotherula to the streaked species. The gray Myrmotherula are moved to Myrmopagis (Ridgway 1909). This may not be a monophyletic group, but most of them seem to be closely related to Formicivora. It's likely that the Leaden Antwren does not belong with them either (see Hackett and Rosenberg, 1990), but is placed there for lack of a better place to put it.

Myrmeciza has been rearranged a bit to take Chaves et al. (2010) into account, and I've found the name Myrmelastes hyperythrus (Sclater 1858) for the Plumbeous Antbird, which I was temporarily calling "Myrmeciza2" hyperythra.
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 2.59]

October 4

I've added the recently described Pincoya Storm-Petrel, Oceanites pincoyae, (Harrison et al., 2013).
[Oceanitidae, Pelecanae II, 2.66]

One advantage of keeping this list on the web is that knowledgeable people sometimes spot errors. There are some more changes to the accipiters to take into account L. Raty's comments on BirdForum. Three scientific names are corrected: Tachyspiza castanilia becomes T. castanilius; Tachyspiza erythropa becomes T. erythropus; Tachyspiza henicogrammus becomes T. henicogramma. Also, two species have been moved from Accipiter to Lophospiza and Lophospiza itself has placed incertae sedis just before the Accipitrinae. The two species in question are the Crested Goshawk, Lophospiza trivirgata, and Sulawesi Goshawk, Lophospiza griseiceps. I left poliogaster in Accipiter based on Kocum (2006), although support for it is not strong.
[Accipitridae, Accipitrimorphae, 2.58]

The extinct Aguiguan Reed-Warbler, Acrocephalus nijoi, has been split from the Nightingale Reed-Warbler, Acrocephalus luscinius, as recommended by Saitoh et al. (2013). They also suggest some changes to the English names that I'm not adopting at this time.
[Acrocephalidae, Sylvioidea I, 2.66]

October 3

Based on Carneiro et al. (2012), three species have been split from Spotted Antpitta, Hylopezus macularius:

The subspecies names differ a bit from Krabbe and Schulenberg (2003). Besides the newly created whittakeri, Carneiro et al. resurrect the name dilutus, previously considered a junior synonym of paraensis. They also submerged diversus into dilutus.
[Grallariidae, Furnariida II, 2.67]

October 1

The genus Accipiter has been divided into 4 pieces. The Tiny Hawk (and presumably Semicollared Hawk) do not seem closely related to the accipiters (Olson, 2006; Kocum 2006) and are placed in the genus Hieraspiza. They don't seem closely related to any other hawks, and are given subfamily status as Hieraspizinae.

A combination of Wink and Sauer-Gürth (2004), Kocum (2006), and Berman et al. (2013) have allowed a comprehensive reoranization of the accipiter family Accipitridae. After removing Hieraspiza, the accipiters belong in a clade with the Circus harriers. My options were to lump Circus into Accipiter or divide Accipiter into three parts. I've chosen to take the latter course. The Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, and closely related taxa are the closest relatives of the harriers. They go in genus Astur. These are sister to a clade that includes the Eurasian Sparrowhawk and the Sharp-shinned Hawk complex. It retains the name Accipiter. Finally, the other accipiters form a clade sister to Accipiter, Astur, and Circus. The oldest available name seems to be Tachyspiza.
[Accipitridae, Accipitrimorphae, 2.57]

September 2012

September 30

The topology of the Paleognaths has been altered slightly due to Haddrath and Baker (2012). This didn't affect the linear order. However, I've also reversed the order of Casuariiformes and Apterygiformes, and reversed the order of families within Casuariiformes so that Dromaiidae is first. This insures that the smaller group is first in both cases, should have been done when the Kangaroo Island Emu was removed from the list. These changes do affect the linear order.
[Casuariiformes and Apterygiformes, Paleognaths and Anseriformes, 2.59]

In view of the Kirchman (2012) and the genetic analysis posted by Raty in this BirdForum thread, six species of Gallirallus have been moved to Lewinia and Crex has been moved before them in the linear order.
[Rallidae, Pelecanae I, 2.58]

The arrangement of subfamilies, tribes, and subtribes used by Maurício et al. (2012) do not match the phylogeny used here (nor that of Moyle et al., 2009; nor Ericson et al., 2010). I consider that an artifact of their morphological analysis.
[Rhinocryptidae, Furnariida II, 2.66a]

September 27

Cory's Shearwater, Calonectris diomedea, has been split into Cory's Shearwater, Calonectris borealis and Scopoli's Shearwater, Calonectris diomedea. Sangster et al. (2012) lays out the evidence that they are separate biological species. One key point is that the breeding range overlaps with only a minor amount of hybridization. Recent genetic evidence may be found in Gómez-Díaz et al. (2006, 2009).
[Procellariidae, Pelecanae II, 2.65]

September 15

I've rearranged the Francolinus based on Forcina et al. (2012), as well as changing the arrangment of the rest of Gallinae so that Galloperdix is closer to Bambusicola.
[Phasianidae, Galliformes, 2.62]

Following an IOC decision, the race aeruginosus is transferred from Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Cacomantis sepulcralis, to Moluccan Cuckoo. As aeruginosus (Salvadori, 1878) has priority over heinrichi (Stresemann, 1931), the Moluccan Cuckoo becomes Cacomantis aeruginosus.
[Cuculidae, Pelecanae I, 2.57]

September 12

The csv files have been updated to version 2.82.

September 11

The 7-gene analysis of Sylvioidea by Fregin et al. (2012) has now been incorporated into the TiF Checklist. Paroidea (Paruidae, Remizidae, and Stenostiridae) has been separated from Sylvioidea. The family order within Sylvioidea has been changed. As a result, the Nicatoridae and Hirundinidae have been moved. The Sylvioidea tree has seen some additional changes that don't affect the linear order, and the text has been altered accordingly. Also, I noticed that the position of the Plain Leaf-Warbler, Phylloscopus neglectus, did not match the Phylloscopidae tree. That has been corrected. The two new families suggested by Fregin et al. (2012), Scotocercidae and Erythrocercidae, have not been adopted at this time.

September 10

Four species are added to the Rhipiduridae (Fantails) based on Sánchez-González and Moyle (2011).

[Rhipiduridae, Corvida II, 2.69]

September 7

The Bahia Spinetail, Synallaxis whitneyi, has been merged into the Rufous-capped Spinetail, Synallaxis ruficapilla (Stopiglia et al., 2013).
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 2.66]

September 6

Rasmussen et al. (2012) re-examined the Philippine Hawk-Owl complex. Their fieldwork turned up two new species in the complex. They argue that the complex consists of 7 species, and I follow their recommendations. This means that Philippine Hawk-Owl is replaced by:

[Strigidae, Anomalogonates I, 2.65]

All but one member of Psephotus has been moved to Psephotellus, and closely related species have been rearranged slightly. See Schweizer et al. (2013) and Joseph et al. (2011).
[Psittacidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.68]

Following Isler et al. (2012), the Long-tailed Antbird, Drymophila caudata, has been split into Klages's Antbird, Drymophila klagesi (including aristeguietana), Streak-headed Antbird, Drymophila striaticeps (including occidentalis, peruviana, and boliviana), Santa Marta Antbird, Drymophila hellmayri (monotypic), and Long-tailed Antbird, Drymophila caudata (monotypic).
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 2.58]

The correct scientific name of the Asian Brown Flycatcher appears to be Muscicapa latirostris not Muscicapa dauurica (Mlíkovský, 2012). Further, the Brown-streaked Flycatcher, Muscicapa williamsoni (including umbrosa), has been split from the Asian Brown Flycatcher (Rheindt and Eaton, 2012).
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 2.69]

August 2012

August 31

Moltesen et al. (2012) have suggested several splits in the fairy bluebirds and leafbirds. I've adopted one of the more compelling splits, where they found that one of the subspecies was more closely related to an entirely different species. As a result, I've separated the “Yellow-bordered” Leafbird, Chloropsis septentrionalis from the Lesser Green-Leafbird, Chloropsis cyanopogon. There didn't seem to be a historical English name for it, so I've made up one based on a distinguishing characteristic, the yellow border around the mask on the males, as noted by Moltesen et al.

The order of the leafbirds has also been adjusted, and I've also made a minor adjustment to the branching order in Passeroidea (flowerpeckers/sunbirds more basal than fairy-bluebirds/leafbirds), which does not affect the linear order.
[Chloropseidae, Basal Passeroidea, 2.58]

August 27

Since there's not really much uncertainty about their placement, and they represent a relatively deep division in Corvoidea, the two Melampitta species are placed in their own family near the Australian mudnesters (Corcoracidae) and the birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae).
[Melampittidae, Corvida II, 2.68]

There are some changes to the paradise-flycatchers based on Fabre et al. (2012). This results in a net addition of 4 species (5 split, 1 lumped).

I also added subfamilies to the Monarchidae.
[Monarchidae, Corvida II, 2.68]

To conform with the IOC list, I've separated Promeropidae into Modulatricidae and Promeropidae.
[Modulatricidae, Basal Passeroidea, 2.57]

August 20

The Fire-capped Tit (Cephalopyrus) has been transferred from Remizidae to Paridae (see Tietze and Borthakur, 2012). White-fronted Tit, now Poecile semilarvatus has been transferred from Parus because it and Varied Tit, Poecile varius have often been considered the genus Sittiparus. There has also been some reordered of Paridae based on Dai et el. (2010), Illera et al. (2011), and Tietze and Borthakur (2012). A species tree has been added to the Paridae account.
[Remizidae and Paridae, Sylvioidea I, 2.64]

August 18

J.V. Smith et al. (2013), Johnston (2011), and Chojnowski et al. (2008) have been taken into account in the discussion of the Paleognaths. This doesn't affect the phylogeny, but I have added the extinct Lithornithidae to a supplementary tree.
[Paleognaths, Paleognaths and Anseriformes, 2.58c]

August 15

Two species have had gender corrections: Seaside Sparrow, Ammospiza maritima, and Saltmarsh Sparrow, Ammospiza caudacuta.
[Passerellidae, Core Passeroidea IV, 2.59a]

August 14

Several English and scientific names have been changed to match planned changes for version 3.2 of the IOC list.

August 13

I've made a slight adjustment to the Carduelini tree to better match Zuccon et al. (2012). I've also taken note of Stervander's MSc. thesis on the finches in the Gulf of Guinea. None of this affects the linear order.
[Fringillidae, Core Passeroidea II, 2.60]

August 12

Oliveros et al. (2012) were recently able to place 4 genera that were previously regarded as babblers (listed as “Somewhere in Passerida” on recent TiF lists).

August 10

Cibois et al. (2012) found that Aechmorhynchus and Prosobonia are very closely related, enough so to merge Aechmorhynchus into Prosobonia. They also found that the expanded Prosobonia belongs in the Arenariini, possibly close to the turnstones.
[Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes, 2.62]

August 7

I've made a slight alteration to the tree for the Charadriiformes based on Baker et al. (2012). I've retained the Pluvialidae as a separate family, as I am not all that impressed by their evidence. However, it does call the previous arrangement into question, and I've adjusted the tree slightly to reflect this. The linear order remains unchanged. See the discussion under the Golden-Plover family (Pluvialidae) for more.
[Pluvialidae, Charadriiformes, 2.61]

July 2012

July 24

Based on Bravo et al. (2012b), 4 species of Terenura move to Euchrepomis. The subfamily name Terenurinae is replaced by Euchrepomidinae, and the remaining two Terenura are placed near Myrmotherula.
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 2.57]

July 20

The are a number of changes due to the recently published 53rd Supplement to the AOU checklist.

June 2012

June 24

Based on Collar (2011), Spot-throated Flameback, Dinopium everetti, has been split from Common Flameback, Dinopium javanense.
[Picidae, Piciformes, 2.65]

The Orthotomus tailorbirds have been rearranged based on Sheldon et al. (2012), and the Green-backed Tailorbird, Orthotomus chloronotus, has been split from Philippine Tailorbird, Orthotomus castaneiceps as also advocated by Collar (2011).
[Cisticolidae, Sylvioidea II, 2.68]

June 23

On a recent birding tour in Peru, I was able to photograph the undescribed “Ancash” Canastero near Yungay. It is probably closely related to the Creamy-breasted Canastero, Asthenes dorbignyi. I understand that work is in progress on a formal description.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 2.65c]

The newly discovered Antioquia Wren, Thryophilus sernai, has been added to the list (Lara et al., 2012).
[Troglodytidae, Certhioidea, 2.54]

May 2012

May 31

I have adjusted the order of the Anairetes tit-tyrants based on DuBay and Witt (2012).
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 2.60]

May 30

After posting a “first-draft” yesterday for the genus Corvus, and wishing for a multi-gene analysis, I wake up to find a preliminary pdf of a new paper by Jønsson et al. (2012c) providing exactly that — a mostly well-supported multi-gene phylogeny of Corvus. The crows and ravens have been rearranged accordingly.
[Corvidae, Corvida II, 2.67]

May 29

Travel is making updates less frequent this summer as my life list gets longer. The crows and ravens (Corvus) have been rearranged based on Haring et al. (2012).
[Corvidae, Corvida II, 2.66]

The “Persian Mourning Wheatear”, Oenanthe persica, is split from Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens, based on Förschler et al. (2010a, 2010b). See also Aliabadian et al. (2012).

I have also made some changes to the arrangement of the chats and wheatears based on Aliabadian et al. (2012). This includes merging Pentholaea (White-fronted Black Chat) into Oenanthe. Interestingly, no nodes that werel previously well-supported were affected by this.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 2.67]

May 4

The csv files have been updated to version 2.81.

May 3

There are several changes to the parrots:

[Psittacidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.67]

The following English names have been changed to match the IOC list, version 3.1

May 2

The position of the Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, has been corrected (Moyle et al., 2006b; Fuchs et al. (2012).
[Artamidae, Corvida I, 2.69]

I continue to puzzle over the white-eyes. Although there is no new information, I've refined the arrangement of the basal white-eyes in a way that seems to fit a bit better with existing studies. This involves returning “Yuhina2” to Yuhina and removing the striped-babbler from Zosterornis as “Zosterornis”. Also, following IOC 3.1, the English name of Zosterops vellalavella becomes Vella Lavella White-eye (was Belted White-eye) and the English name of the extinct Zosterops semiflavus is becomes Marianne White-eye (was Seychelles Yellow White-eye).
[Zosteropidae, Sylvioidea III, 2.64]

April 2012

April 25

Following a recent SACC decision to use the same English name as the NACC, the Pale-throated Tapaculo / Tacarcuna Tapaculo, Scytalopus panamensis, becomes Tacarcuna Tapaculo.
[Rhinocryptidae, Furnariida II, 2.65b]

The Thrush-like Schiffornis, Schiffornis turdina, has been split into five species:

See Nyári (2007), Donegan et al. (2011), and SACC proposal #505. Note that the English names are tentative.
[Tityridae, Tyrannida I, 2.54]

April 23

Njabo et al. (2008) found that the West African Wattle-eye, Platysteira hormophora, formerly considered a subspecies of Chestnut Wattle-eye, Platysteira castanea, is only distantly related to it. They have been split.
[Platysteiridae, Corvida I, 2.68]

April 22

I've rather reluctantly merged Dendroica and Parula into Setophaga to increase compatibility with the AOU checklist. I've also merged Black-fronted Warbler into Audubon's Warbler, Setophaga auduboni.
[Parulidae, Core Passeroidea III, 2.59]

April 13

I've split Scripps's Murrelet, Synthliboramphus scrippsi, from Xantus's Murrelet, Synthliboramphus hypoleucus, based on Birt et al. (2012). I also made some adjustments to the linear order, which is now includes an explicit presumed phylogeny, mostly based on Pereira and Baker (2008).
[Alcidae, Charadriiformes, 2.59]

There are a few changes in the woodcreepers. Based on Weir and Price (2011) and Derryberry et al. (2012), I've split Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Dendrocincla turdina, from Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Dendrocincla fuliginosa. Derryberry et al. (2012) also provide some support for Silva and Oren's (1995) treatment of Hylexetastes as four species. Accordingly, I've split Brigida's Woodcreeper, Hylexetastes brigidai, and Uniform Woodcreeper, Hylexetastes uniformis, from Red-billed Woodcreeper, Hylexetastes perrotii. Finally, I moved Glyphorynchus so that is in a trichotomy with the two main woodcreeper clades.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 2.65]

March 2012

March 29

Following an SACC decision, the Rockhopper Penguins have new primary names. They are now listed as

[Spheniscidae, Pelecanae II, 2.63a]

The monotypic genus Dromolaea has been subsumbed in Myrmecocichla (see Voelker et al., 2012), and Myrmecocichla has been rearranged a bit.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 2.66]

The scientific name of the Golden-bellied Warbler is corrected to Myiothlypis chrysogaster from chrysogastra. It was originally named Setophaga chrysogaster by Tschudi in 1844. Since Setophaga is feminine, chrysogaster is invariable rather than taking the feminine form chrysogastra.
[Parulidae, Core Passeroidea III, 2.58b]

March 28

The Vietnamese Pheasant, Lophura hatinhensis, has been merged into Edwards's Pheasant, Lophura edwardsi. It appears to be either a subspecies or color morph. In any event, it is not genetically distinct (Hennache et al., 2003). Also, Lophura has been rearranged based on Randi et al., 2001.
[Phasianidae, Galliformes, 2.60]

The recently discovered Sira Barbet, Capito fitzpatricki, has been added to the list (Seeholzer et al., 2012). The arrangement of Capito barbets is now based on Armenta et al. (2005).
[Capitonidae, Piciformes, 2.64]

The analysis of Hosner and Moyle (2012) supports splitting Sao Francisco Black-Tyrant, Knipolegus franciscanus, from White-winged Black-Tyrant, Knipolegus aterrimus, and also Plumbeous Tyrant, Knipolegus cabanisi, from Andean Tyrant / Andean Black-Tyrant, Knipolegus signatus. The Knipolegus black-tyrants have been rearranged as a result, and Eumyiobius has been merged in Knipolegus. Also, Muscigralla has been moved into a trichotomy with Fluvicolinae and Tyranninae.
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 2.59]

The csv files have been updated to version 2.80.

March 13

The scientific name of the Gray-breasted Babbler has been corrected to Malacopteron albogulare (not albogularis).
[Pellorneidae, Sylvioidea III, 2.63a]

March 11

Falconinae has been reordered to better match available data.
[Falconidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.66]

March 9

The caracaras have been rearranged a bit using Fuchs et al. (2012), and I added a species-level tree for Falconidae. Note that the Chimango Caracara is now in Phalcoboenus. It would not be unreasonable to merge Ibycter, Milvago, and Phalcoboenus into Daptrius.
[Falconidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.65]

February 2012

February 26

The order of the Myiarchus has been adjusted slightly based on Sari and Parker (2012).
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 2.58]

February 25

I've made adjustments to Gerygone to better conform with the results of Nyári and Joseph (2012).
[Pardalotidae, Basal Oscines, 2.64]

February 24

Correcting messed-up corrections:

There are a number of changes in the babbler clade (Sylviidae through Leiothrichidae), mostly based on Moyle et al. (2012).

February 19

The new paper by Kirchman et al. (2012) has prompted me to make some changes in Arinae (often called Arini). Details of the reorganization are in the family account. This includes splitting Aratinga into the dark-billed, mostly blue-primaried Aratinga, the small Eupsittula, and the horn-billed, green-winged, mostly green and red Psittacara. Nandayus is merged into Aratinga.
[Psittacidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.64]

February 16

Based on Päckert et al. (2012a), Alpine Swift, Tachymarptis melba and Mottled Swift, Tachymarptis aequatorialis, have been returned to Tachymarptis (from Apus). Further, Apus has been rearranged based on their study.
[Apodidae, Apodiformes, 2.62]

Two species have been moved from Myrmotherula to the new genus Isleria: Plain-throated Antwren, Isleria hauxwelli, and Rufous-bellied Antwren, Isleria guttata (see Bravo et al., 2012a).
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 2.56]

February 15

Following an SACC decision, Capped Seedeater, Sporophila bouvreuil, has been split into Pearly-bellied Seedeaster, Sporophila pileata, and Copper Seedeater, Sporophila bouvreuil. See Machado and Silveira (2010; 2011). The English name are preliminary, pending further SACC action.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 2.63]

February 6

Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl, Glaucidium cobanense has been split from Northern Pygmy-Owl, Glaucidium gnoma, due to substantial differences in vocalizations (Eisermann and Howell, 2011).
[Strigidae, Anomalogonates I, 2.65]

February 5

Rufous-rumped Grassbird, Graminicola bengalensis, has been split into Chinese Grassbird, Graminicola striatus, and Indian Grassbird, Graminicola bengalensis. See Leader et al. (2010).
[Pellorneidae, Sylvioidea III, 2.62]

February 1

The Brown Quail is not closely related to the other Coturnix species (Seabrook-Davison et al., 2009; Kimball et al., 2011). Its closest relatives are Excalfactoria. However, it seems to be a fairly distant relative and I have placed it in Synoicus (Gould, 1843).
[Phasianidae, Galliformes, 2.59]

“Mindoro Racket-tail”, Prioniturus mindorensis, has been split from Blue-crowned Racket-tail, Prioniturus discurus, based on Schweitzer et al. (2012). Kundu et al. (2012) found that the Mascarene Parrot is part of the vasa parrot clade. As Mascarinus has priority, Coracopsis is merged into Mascarinus. Also, the Seychelles Black Parrot, Mascarinus barklyi, is split from Lesser Vasa-Parrot, Mascarinus niger. Finally, Psittacula has been rearranged per Kundu et al. (2012).
[Psittacidae, Falconiformes & Psittaciformes, 2.63]

January 2012

January 26

Following the recent SACC decision (prop. 492), I've merged Heterospizias, Amadonastur, and Urubitinga into Buteogallus.
[Accipitridae, Accipitrimorphae, 2.55]

January 9

Based on van Balen et al. (2013), the two forms of Short-tailed Green-Magpie are split into Bornean Green-Magpie, Cissa jefferyi, and Javan Green-Magpie, Cissa thalassina.
[Corvidae, Corvida II, 2.65]

January 8

The extinct Sharpe's Rail, Gallirallus sharpei, is known from one specimen from an unknown location. According to Bird Life International, it is now thought to have been a color morph of Buff-banded Rail, Gallirallus philippensis. The information they cite remains to be published.

Gallirallus has been reorganized based on Kirchman (2012). The genera Aramidopsis, Eulabeornis, Habroptila, Lewinia, and Nesoclopeus have been submerged into Gallirallus while Megacrex has been separated from Gallirallus.
[Rallidae, Pelecanae I, 2.56]

IOC 2.11 Name Changes:

January 6

As pointed out on birdforum (see below), the name Idioptilon was improperly applied. The birds I previously placed in Idioptilon actually must take the name Ceratotriccus. I took a closer look at this group, and decided that I had made an unwarranted assumption about Hemitriccus. As a result, Hemitriccus is restricted to the bamboo-tyrants, with the other two former Hemitriccus taking the name Idioptilon (correctly applied).

I also noticed that there is an old name available for the tribe containing these species: Triccini (Heine & Reichenow, 1882-1890). This name is based on Triccus (Cabanis 1845-46, type T. cinereum), which is a synonym of Todirostris (Lesson 1831, also type T. cinereum). More to the point, it has priority over Tello et al.'s Todirostrini (ICZN 40.1), even though Todirostris is correct name of the type genus.
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 2.57]

January 5

As pointed out on BirdForum, the merged Megalaima/Psilopogon genus takes the name Psilopogon. This does not affect the family name, which remains Megalaimidae.
[Megalaimidae, Piciformes, 2.63]

Following IOC 2.11, the English name of the Spot-breasted Pied Woodpecker, Dendrocopos analis, is now Freckled Woodpecker.

Based on Collar (2011), the Greater Flameback, Chrysocolaptes lucidus has been split into 6 species:

[Picidae, Piciformes, 2.63]

January 3

The vanga phylogeny has been adjusted based on Reddy et al. (2012). Family composition remains unchanged, but some species have moved around in the linear order.
[Vangidae, Corvida I, 2.67]

Tachycineta has been slightly rearranged based on Cerasale et al. (2012).
[Hirundinidae, Sylvioidea I, 2.62]

January 2

The June 17 changes to Peliperdix were inadvertently omitted from the list on the Galliformes page (although they are mentioned there and handled correctly in the csv files).
[Galliformes, 2.58a]