The information below includes the date and a brief description of each significant change, a link to the relevant page, and that page's new version number. Neither minor spelling corrections nor additions to the references are noted on this page.

Archives of ‘What's New’ Items

The updates for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 have been archived separately.

2017 Additions and Subtractions

Based on scientific names.

2017 Discoveries and Splits (30)

  1. Sclater's Crowned-Pigeon, Goura sclaterii
  2. Tenggara Swiftlet, Collocalia sumbawae
  3. Christmas Island Swiftlet, Collocalia natalis
  4. Plume-toed Swiftlet, Collocalia affinis
  5. Ridgetop Swiftlet, Collocalia isonota
  6. Grey-rumped Swiftlet, Collocalia marginata
  7. Drab Swiftlet, Collocalia neglecta
  8. Satin Swiftlet, Collocalia uropygialis
  9. Choco Screech-Owl, Megascops vermiculatus,
  10. Napo Screech-Owl, Megascops napensis, and
  11. Roraiman Screech-Owl, Megascops roraimae.
  12. Southern Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Megascops usta.
  13. Santa Marta Screech-Owl, Megascops gilesi
  14. Fine-banded Woodpecker, Geocolaptes taeniolaema
  15. Tatama Tapaculo / Alto Pisones Tapaculo, Scytalopus alvarezlopezi
  16. Hornbill Friarbird, Philemon yorki
  17. Moluccan Myzomela, Myzomela simplex
  18. Baliem Whistler, Pachycephala balim
  19. Maghreb Magpie, Pica mauritanica
  20. Asir Magpie, Pica asirensis
  21. Oriental Magpie, Pica serica
  22. Charlotte's Bulbul, Iole charlottae
  23. Cachar Bulbul, Iole cacharensis
  24. Banasura Chilappan / Banasura Laughingthrush, Montecincla jerdoni
  25. Ashambu Chilappan / Travancore Laughingthrush, Montecincla meridionalis.
  26. Mediterranean Flycatcher, Muscicapa tyrrhenica
  27. Ashambu Sholakili, Sholicola ashambuensis
  28. Eastern Slaty Thrush, Turdus subalaris
  29. Gray-crowned Ground-Sparrow, Melozone occipitalis
  30. Cabanis's Ground-Sparrow, Melozone cabanisi

2017 Lumps (0)

2017 Deletions (1)

  1. Bogota Sunangel, "Heliangelus" zusii

Current Totals

As of May 20, 2018, the TiF list contains 10928 species in 2406 genera, 251 families, and 46 orders.

December 2017

December 11

Certhiodea: Based on Barker (2017), the spotted creepers Salpornis have been returned to the treecreeper family, Certhiidae; the position of the wallcreepr family has been slightly adjusted; and the wrens have been rearranged at genus level.
[Certhioidea, 3.03]
[Troglodytidae, Certhioidea, 3.03]

December 2

These two I have time for.

Crowned-Pigeons: Sclater's Crowned-Pigeon, Goura sclaterii has been split from Southern Crowned-Pigeon, Goura scheepmakeri. See del Hoyo and Collar (2014) and Bruxaux et al. (2018). I have also adjusted the order of genera in Raphini based on Bruxaux et al.
[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.06]

Monarchs and Silktails: Surprisingly, Jønsson et al. (2018) found that the previously unsequenced Cerulean Paradise-Flycatcher, Eutrichomyias rowleyi is more closely related to the silktails than to anything else. Although J&soslash; et al. put the Lamproliidae/Rhipiduridae split at about 18mya, Moyle et al. (2016), which I am generally following, place it at about 13 mya, consistent with including it as the basal member of the silktail family rather than separating it as a monotypic family.
[Lamproliidae, Corvida III, 3.03]

November 2017

November 14

FYI. I'm too busy with other projects to make updates at this point.

July 2017

July 12, 2017

Anas Ducks: Based on H&M-4 (Dickinson and Remsen, 2013) and the 58th AOS Supplement, I have separated 6 species of Anas ducks into Mareca.
[Anatidae, Anseriformes, 3.03]

July 8, 2017 (corrected July 10)

Bogota Sunangel: Pérez-Emán et al. (2017) found that the Bogota Sunangel was actually a hybrid. Kirchman et al.'s (2010) finding that it was related to Sylphs was incorrect due to considering insufficient mitochondrial DNA from sylph species. Broader sampling revealed that the Bogota Sunangel shares a haplotype with the Long-tailed Sylph, Aglaiocercus kingii. This is a strong indication that its mother was a Long-tailed Sylph, and that the Bogota Sunangel was a hybrid.
[Trochilidae, Apodiformes, 3.08]

July 5, 2017

Emus: The Dromaiidae (Emus) have been merged into the Casuariidae (cassowaries) because the split between them seems fairly recent. The molecular dates in Phillips et al. (2010) and in Haddrath and Baker (2012) already suggested they were so closely related that they could be treated as a single family. More precise dating by Prum et al. (2015) placed the split at about 10 million years ago, too close to even rank them as subfamilies. Note that I have not updated the family pdf, which will soon get additional changes.
[The 46 Orders, Paleognathae, 3.02]

May 2017

May 31, 2017

Corvida: The Corvida tree has been updated based on Moyle et al. (2016). Their arrangement makes a bit more sense to me that the previous one, based primarly on Aggerbeck et al. (2014), Jønsson et al. (2016), and Marki et al. (2015). I like the biogeography a bit better and some families that seemed a bit odd together are no longer together. I'm hoping the changes are more progress than churn. A fuller discussion of the changes is in the taxonomic section of the Corvida I page. Some changes to Passerida based on Moyle et al. may have to wait until I am done with summer travel.
[ Corvida I, 3.02]
[ Corvida II, 3.03]
[ Corvida III, 3.02]

Red-eyed Vireos: The Red-eyed Vireo complex has been slightly rearranged now the nuclear data is available. See Battey and Klicka (2017).
[Vireonidae, Corvida I 3.02]

Whistlers: The Baliem Whistler, Pachycephala balim has been split from the Yellow-throated Whistler, Pachycephala macrorhyncha, where it had moved from Australian Golden Whistler, Pachycephala pectoralis (see Andersen et al., 2014b; Beehler and Pratt, 2016).
[Pachycephalidae, Corvida I 3.02]

Pica Magpies: After reading Kryukov et al. (2017) and examining the treatment in the HBW-Checklist (del Hoyo and Collar, 2016). I have implemented the following splits. The Oriental Magpie, Pica bottanensis, has been split into Himalayan Magpie, Pica bottanensis (monotypic), and Oriental Magpie, Pica serica. Moreover, the Eurasian Magpie, Pica pica, has been split into Maghreb Magpie, Pica mauritanica (monotypic), Asir Magpie, Pica asirensis (monotypic), and Eurasian Magpie, Pica pica (all other subspecies).
[Corvidae, Corvida III 3.02]

May 4, 2017

Leptasthenura: It has been brought to my attention that Sylviorthorhynchus has priority over Leptasthenura. I now follow H&M-4 in putting Des Murs's Wiretail, L. desmurii, and the Tawny Tit-Spinetail, L. yanacensis, in Sylviorthorhynchus. The division between these two sister species and the remaining Leptasthenura Tit-Spinetails is quite deep (Derryberry et al., 2011).
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.04]

May 1, 2017

CSV Files: The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.08.

April 2017

April 29, 2017

Bulbuls: Based on Manawatthana et al. (2017), Charlotte's Bulbul, Iole charlottae (inc. perplexa) has been split from Buff-vented Bulbul, Iole olivacea, and Cachar Bulbul, Iole cacharensis, has been split from Olive Bulbul, Iole virescens. Moreover, the subspecies lekhakuni and cinnamonomeoventris have been transferred from Gray-eyed Bulbul, Iole propinqua to Olive Bulbul, Iole virescens while myitkyinensis has moved the other way, from Olive Bulbul to Gray-eyed Bulbul.

The scientific name of Olive Bulbul has been corrected to Iole viridescens and the scientific name of Buff-vented Bulbul has been corrected to Iole crypta (see H&M-4).
[Pycnonotidae, Sylvioidea II, 3.03]

April 28, 2017

Penduline-Tits: The Penduline-Tits (Remizidae) have been rearranged based on Ball (2014) with some assistence from Barani-Beiranvand et al. (2017).
[Remizidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.10]

April 14, 2017

Melanerpes Woodpeckers: Based on Navarro-Sigüenza et al., I have rearranged the Melanerpini woodpeckers. I have also separated some of Melanerpes into Centurus, as recommended by Navarro-Sigüenza et al.

They recommended some further splitting of Centurus into three genera. The position of the Gray-breasted Woodpecker, Centurus hypopolius, is ambiguous, and whether a two or three genera version works best depends on the position of C.hypopolius. Navarro-Sigüenza et al. think is is most likely the basal taxon in Centurus, and recommended putting it in a monotypic Zebrapicus, dividing the rest between Centurus and Tripsurus. However, Zebrapicus is a junior synonym of Centurus and cannot be used for the Gray-breasted Woodpecker alone. As there is no available name, and although the division they suggest is tempting, it is not all that deep, I have not adopted their division of Centurus into three genera.
[Picidae, Piciformes 3.07]

April 8, 2017

Swiftlets: Based on Rheindt et al., the Glossy Swiftlet, Collocalia esculenta, has been split into 8 species:

  • Tenggara Swiftlet, Collocalia sumbawae (sumbawae and sumbae)
  • Christmas Island Swiftlet, Collocalia natalis (monotypic)
  • Plume-toed Swiftlet, Collocalia affinis (affinis, elachyptera, vanderbilti, oberholseri, cyanoptila)
  • Ridgetop Swiftlet, Collocalia isonota (isonota and bagobo)
  • Grey-rumped Swiftlet, Collocalia marginata (septentrionalis and marginata)
  • Drab Swiftlet, Collocalia neglecta (neglecta and perneglecta)
  • Glossy Swiftlet, Collocalia esculenta (all other subspecies)
  • Satin Swiftlet, Collocalia uropygialis (uropygialis and albidior)

[Apodidae, Apodiformes, 3.07]

Tapaculos: I've added Alto Pisones Tapaculo as an alternate name for Tatama Tapaculo, Scytalopus alvarezlopezi.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.03a]

Crombecs: The Crombecs have been rearranged based on Huntley and Voelker (2017).
[Macrosphenidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.09]

Turdus Thrushes: It is clear from several sources (e.g., Voelker et al., 2007; Nylander et al., 2008; Cerqueira et al., 2016; Avendaño et al, 2017) that Turdus subalaris and Turdus nigriceps are not close relatives. IOC has split them for a while, and I do so now. Slaty Thrush, Turdus nigriceps, is split into Eastern Slaty Thrush, Turdus subalaris, and Andean Slaty Thrush, Turdus nigriceps. I'm not fond of the names, but that is what IOC and the HBW Checklist (del Hoyo and N.J. Collar, 2016) use.

Avendaño et al. (2017) have made a closer study of the Black-billed Thrush complex, including all the relevant subspecies. As a result, I have split Tepui Thrush, Turdus murinus, from Black-billed Thrush, Turdus ignobilis, and lumped Amazonian Thrush, Turdus debilis, into Black-billed Thrush, Turdus ignobilis. Further study may show that T.debilis deserves recognition as a separate species.
[Turdidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.11]

March 2017

March 11, 2017

Tapaculos: The “Alto Pisones” Tapaculo has finally been described by Stiles et al. (2017). I have added it to the TiF list using their suggested English name: Tatama Tapaculo, Scytalopus alvarezlopezi. It seems to be sister to the Ecuadorian Tapaculo / El Oro Tapaculo, Scytalopus robbinsi.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.03]

March 10, 2017

Screech-Owls: I've split some of the Screech-Owls based on the genetic data in Dantas et al. (2016) and discussion of vocalizations in König and Weick (2008). The Vermiculated Screech-Owl, Megascops guatemalae has been split into

  • Middle American Screech-Owl, Megascops guatemalae,
  • Choco Screech-Owl, Megascops vermiculatus,
  • Napo Screech-Owl, Megascops napensis, and
  • Roraiman Screech-Owl, Megascops roraimae.

Note that I include centralis in M. vermiculatus.

The Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Megascops watsonii has been split into

  • Northern Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Megascops watsonii, and
  • Southern Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Megascops usta.

Finally, the undescribed Santa Marta Screech-Owl, Megascops sp. has also been added to the list. All these changes have led to some rearrangment of the Screech-Owls.
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.07]

Wood-Wrens: The Santa Marta Wood-Wren, Henicorhina anachoreta, has a new primary name, Hermit Wood-Wren due to a recent SACC decision (SACC #743).
[Troglodytidae, Certhioidea, 3.02a]

March 8, 2017

American Sparrows: I've changed the family name from Passerellidae (Cabanis and Heine 1850-51) to Arremonidae (Lafresnaye 1842) for priority reasons.

Based on Sandoval et al. (2017) and the HBW BirdLife Checklist (del Hoyo and Collar, 2016) I have split Gray-crowned Ground-Sparrow, Melozone occipitalis, from White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Melozone leucotis (inc. nigrior) and with the assistance of Sandoval (2014) split Cabanis's Ground-Sparrow, Melozone cabanisi, from Prevost's Ground-Sparrow, Melozone biarcuata (inc. hartwegi). I have also rearranged Aimophila, Kieneria, and Melozone using information from Sandoval et al. (2017).
[Arremonidae, Core Passeroidea III, 3.04]

March 6, 2017

Asian Barbets: I've corrected the English Psilopogon duvaucelii (Blue-eared Barbet) and Psilopogon australis (Yellow-eared Barbet), which I had inadvertently switched.
[Megalaimidae, Piciformes 3.06]

March 3, 2017

CSV Files: The CSV files have now been updated to version 3.07.

Muscicapidae: Based on Robin et al. (2017), the Nilgiri Blue-Robin, Myiomela major, and White-bellied Blue-Robin, Myiomela albiventris, have been separated in the new genus Sholicola. I have changed the primary name to Sholakili to reflect this (note that Blue-Flycatcher would lead to a name conflict). Also, I have accepted the split of Ashambu Sholakili, Sholicola ashambuensis, from White-bellied Sholakili, Sholicola albiventris (Robin et al., 2017).

Gould's Shortwing, Brachypteryx stellata, has been placed in the monotypic genus Heteroxenicus. The new position on tree comes from Price et al. (2014). Note that Robin et al. (2017) put it in a different place in the tree. Both also disagree with each other and Sangster et al. (2010) concerning the placement of Calliope. I've put a question mark next to both Calliope and Heteroxenicus to reflect this uncertainty. I also note that although Price et al. (2014) is mostly consistent with Sangster et al. (2010) concerning Muscicapidae, Robin et al. (2017) has a rather different topology.

Finally, the scientific name of the Blue-capped Rock-Thrush has been corrected to Monticola cinclorhyncha (not cinclorhynchus). See H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014).
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.10]

February 2017

February 21, 2017

Leiothrichidae: Due to priority, the genus name Dryonastes Sharpe, 1883 has been replaced by Pterorhinus Swinhoe, 1868.
[Leiothrichidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.05a]

February 20, 2017

Norfolk Ground-Dove: The Norfolk Ground-Dove, formerly Alopecoenas norfolciensis, becomes Alopecoenas norfolkensis. The old name had been supressed by the ICZN. The new name is due to Forshaw (2015).
[Columbidae, Columbea, 3.05]

Pellorneidae: The genus Laticilla has been moved based on Price et al. (2014). They found L. burnesii closer to Napothera and Rimator than to Malacocincla. The primary English name of these two species has been changed from Prinia to Grass-Babbler (Rufous-vented Grass-Babbler and Swamp Grass-Babbler).
[Pellorneidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.05]

Leiothrichidae: The recent paper by Robin et. al (2017) has been an excuse for reconsidering all of Leiothrichidae. I had previously used a broad Turdoides. This has been rearranged and divided taking Price et al. (2014) into account. I have separated Acanthoptila, Argya, Chatarrhaea, Kupeornis, Malacocircus, and Phyllanthus from Turdoides. This result is similar to H&M-4 (Dickinson and Christidis, 2014) and the HBW BirdLife Checklist (del Hoyo and Collar, 2016), except that three species have been placed in Malacocircus based on Price et al. (2014).

In the Garrulax clade, I have separated Stactocichla from Leucodioptron. The structure of Dryonastes remains uncertain. It includes Babax, Pterorhinus, and Rhinocichla.

Based on Robin et al. (2017), the Kerala Laughingthrush, Trochalopteron fairbanki, and Black-chinned Laughingthrush, Trochalopteron cachinnans, have been moved to Montecincla. Further, there are splits:

  • The Black-chinned Laughingthrush, Montecincla cachinnans, has been split into Nilgiri Chilappan / Black-chinned Laughingthrush, Montecincla cachinnans, and Banasura Chilappan / Banasura Laughingthrush, Montecincla jerdoni.
  • The Kerala Laughingthrush, Trochalopteron fairbanki, has been split into Palani Chilappan / Kerala Laughingthrush, Montecincla fairbanki, and Ashambu Chilappan / Travancore Laughingthrush, Montecincla meridionalis.

Also based on Robin et al. (2017), Laniellus has been moved and I've separated the genera Chrysominla, Sibia, and Siva from Actinodura.
[Leiothrichidae, Sylvioidea III, 3.05]

January 2017

January 27, 2017

Ant-followers: Based on Isler et al. (2014), the phylogeny of Pithyini has been adjusted. Further, the Lunulated Antbird and White-throated Antbird have been moved from Gymnopithys to the new genus Oneillornis (Isler et al., 2014; type lunulatus) to avoid merging Gymnopithys and Rhegmatorhina.
[Thamnophilidae, Furnariida I, 3.02]

Manakins: The genus name of the White-crowned Manakin has been changed to Pseudopipra (Kirwan et al., 2014b) from Dixiphia. Kirwan et al. note that Dixiphia is a junior synonym of Arundinicola d'Orbigny, 1840.
[Pipridae, Tyrannida I, 3.02]

Bristlebirds: The bristlebirds have been rearranged based on Marki et al. (2017).
[Dasyornithidae, Basal Oscines, 3.06]

Australasian Wrens: The Maluridae have been slighly rearranged based on Marki et al. (2017). This only affects Stipiturus and Malurus. I have also recognized 2 subfamilies: Amytornithinae and Malurinae.
[Maluridae, Basal Oscines, 3.06]

Pardalotidae: The Pardalotidae have been rearranged based on the comprehensive analysis of Marki et al. (2017). I've another subfamily: Pachycareinae (Schodde and Christidis, 2014). The genus Crateroscelis has been eliminated. The Rusty and Mountain Mouse-warblers have joined Origma and the Bicolored Mouse-warbler is now in Sericornis. Some minor adjustments to the species tree have also been made.
[Pardalotidae, Basal Oscines, 3.06]

January 26, 2017

Honeyeaters: The Meliphagidae have been rearranged based on Marki et al. (2017). Although the overall structure has not changed, Marki et al.'s analysis of almost all the Meliphagidae has lead to considerable moving about of species.

Based on divergence dates, the tribe Prosthemaderini has been merged into Acanthorhynchini.

There are six changes at the genus level. Two genera have been merged into others: Trichodere has been merged into Phylidonyris. and Microptilotis has been merged into Oreornis. I have added four genera: The Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Lichmera lombokia, has been separated as "Lichmera", which is surprisingly not close to Lichmera. The Plain Honeyeater, Pycnopygius ixoides, and Marbled Honeyeater, Pycnopygius cinereus, have been separated as "Pycnopygius". The Short-bearded Melidectes, Melidectes nouhuysi, and Long-bearded Melidectes, Melidectes princeps, have been separated as Melionyx. Finally, the Gray Honeyeater, Conopophila whitei, has been separated as Lacustroica. This results in a gain of two genera.

I have also separated two species: The Hornbill Friarbird, Philemon yorki, has been split from Helmeted Friarbird, Philemon buceroides (IOC split this some time ago), and the Moluccan Myzomela, Myzomela simplex, including rubrotincta and mortyana, has been split from Dusky Myzomela, Myzomela obscura.
[Meliphagidae, Basal Oscines, 3.05]

January 23, 2017

Mudnesters: The scientific name of the White-winged Chough is now Corcorax melanorhamphos, not melanoramphos as the ICZN has resolved the controversy over the name (Opinion 2380). In the same decision, they conserved the family name Corcoracidae over Struthideidae. [Corcoracidae, Corvida III, 3.01c]

January 16, 2017

Potoos: White et al. (2017) have clarified the relations between the potoos. I have adjusted the position of the Northern Potoo, Nyctibius jamaicensis.
[Nyctibiidae, Strisores I, 3.02]

January 14, 2017

Booted Eagles: Based on Lerner et al. (2017), I've adjusted the position of Indian Spotted-Eagle, Clanga hastata and Legge's Hawk-Eagle, Nisaetus kelaarti. Although it is fairly basal, some uncertainty remains concerning the closest relatives of the Crowned Eagle, Stephanoaetus coronatus.
[Accipitridae, Accipitrimorphae, 3.02]

Woodpeckers: Based on Fuchs et al. (2017), Chloropicus and Geocolaptes have been rearranged. I have not subdivided either genus as the species in each seem fairly closely related. I have split Fine-banded Woodpecker, Geocolaptes taeniolaema, (including hausburgi) from Tullberg's Woodpecker, Geocolaptes tullbergi. Fuchs et al. (2017) have noted some other possible splits, but I find those splits less compelling in the absence of closer study.
[Picidae, Piciformes 3.05]

January 4, 2017

Weavers: The weavers have been rearranged based mainly on De Silva et al. (2017), with some help from the barcoding results of Sonet et al. (2011), who did not provide a tree. Raty did, but cautions that the barcoding data is quite limited and that the result has has no real statistical support. Indeed, when compared to De Silva et al. (2017), there are some odd placements. Nonetheless, I have treated close relationships as having some meaning. When combined with traditional taxonomy, this has allowed me to regroup Textor (formerly the African Ploceus). Keep in mind that I previously restricted the name Ploceus to the Asian species. The two Madagascan weavers are separated as Nelicurvius, with some of the African Textor being moved to Malimbus. Although Sonet et al.'s data indicate that the Golden Palm Weaver is close to Nelicurvius, I have considerable doubts about this and have retained it in Textor.

I have merged Pseudonigrita into Philetairus as they are closely related as shown by the time calibration in De Silva et al. (2017, Fig 2). I have separated Pachyphantes from Textor and placed it near Quela based on the barcoding data. I have also merged Brachycope into Euplectes, again based on the barcoding data, and merged Anaplectes into Malimbus based on De Silva et al. (2017).

The tree in De Silva et al. (2017) encouraged me to acknowledge the split of Aldabra Fody, Foudia aldabrana, from Comoros Fody, Foudia eminentissima.

I have also removed the alternate English name African Golden-Weaver from Southern Masked Weaver, Textor velatus and removed the hyphens from Masked and Golden Weavers.
[Ploceidae, Core Passeroidea I, 3.04]

January 1, 2017

Spotted Flycatcher: Based on Pons et al. (2016), the Mediterranean Flycatcher, Muscicapa tyrrhenica (including balearica) has been split from Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata. See Viganó and Corso (2015) concerning identification of balearica. There is some possibility of a further split into monotypic species, which would probably be named Balearic and Tyrrhenian Flycatchers.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.09]