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The updates for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 have been archived separately.

2018 Additions and Subtractions

Based on scientific names.

2018 Splits (36)

  1. Tumbes Swift, Chaetura ocypetes
  2. Striolated Manakin / Western Striped-Manakin, Machaeropterus striolatus
  3. Painted Manakin / Peruvian Striped-Manakin, Machaeropterus eckelberryi
  4. Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus obscurus
  5. Darwin's Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus nanus
  6. San Cristobal Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus dubius
  7. Blackish Chat-Tyrant, Ochthoeca nigrita
  8. Maroon-belted Chat-Tyrant, Ochthoeca thoracica
  9. Pacific Tuftedcheek, Pseudocolaptes johnsoni
  10. Pacific Hornero, Furnarius cinnamomeus
  11. Caribbean Hornero, Furnarius longirostris
  12. Western Woodhaunter, Automolus virgatus
  13. Plain Thornbird, Phacellodomus inornatus
  14. Pale-tailed Canastero, Asthenes huancavelicae
  15. Dark-winged Canastero, Asthenes arequipae.
  16. Lesser Superb Bird-of-Paradise, Lophorina minor
  17. Greater Superb Bird-of-paradise, Lophorina latipennis
  18. Eastern Tropical Gnatcatcher, Polioptila atricapilla
  19. Western Tropical Gnatcatcher, Polioptila parvirostris
  20. Maranon Gnatcatcher Polioptila maior
  21. Northwestern Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbiceps
  22. Yucatan Gnatcatcher, Polioptila albiventris
  23. White-browed Gnatcatcher, Polioptila bilineata
  24. Himalayan Shortwing, Brachypteryx cruralis
  25. Chinese Shortwing, Brachypteryx sinensis
  26. Taiwan Shortwing, Brachypteryx goodfellowi
  27. Sumatran Shortwing, Brachypteryx saturata
  28. Flores Shortwing, Brachypteryx floris
  29. Bornean Shortwing, Brachypteryx erythrogyna
  30. Philippine Shortwing, Brachypteryx poliogyna
  31. Mt. Apo Shortwing, Brachypteryx mindanensis
  32. Peruvian Pipit, Anthus peruvianus
  33. Puna Pipit, Anthus brevirostris
  34. Olive Tanager, Habia frenata
  35. Yellow-tufted Dacnis, Dacnis egregia
  36. Black-and-chestnut Warbling-Finch, Poospiza whitii

2018 Lumps (4)

  1. Chaco Nothura, Nothura chacoensis
  2. Chilean Elaenia, Elaenia chilensis
  3. Baron's Spinetail, Cranioleuca baroni
  4. South Georgia Pipit, Anthus antarcticus

October 2018

October 24

I've made many changes in the babbler clade based on the recent paper by Cai et al. (2019). Most of the changes have been minor. Nonetheless, there have been changes to Sylviidae, Paradoxornithidae, Timaliidae, Pellorneidae, Alcippeidae, and Leiothrichidae. Zosteropidae will be affected too, but things are more complex there and with one exception will wait for a later update.

The following changes deserve mention:

  • The Abyssinian Catbird, Parophasma galinieri, becomes Sylvia galinieri. (Sylviidae)
  • Atraphornis and Melizophilus have been separated from Curruca. (Sylviidae)
  • The Reed Parrotbill, Paradoxornis heudei, becomes Calamornis heudei. (Paradoxornithidae)
  • Cholornis has been merged into Conostoma. (Paradoxornithidae)
  • Neosuthora has been merged into Suthora. (Paradoxornithidae)
  • Sinosuthora has been merged into Chleuasicus. (Paradoxornithidae)
  • The White-collared Yuhina, "Yuhina" diademata, becomes Parayuhina diademata. (Zosteropidae)
  • Trichastoma has been resplit from Pellorneum. (Pellorneidae)
  • I was previously doubtful about where the two species of Melanocichla belonged, but not nearly doubtful enough. Melanocichla has been moved to Timaliidae from Leiothrichidae. (Leiothrichidae)
  • Malcolmia, Chatarrhaea, and Malacocircus are subsumed in Argya. (Leiothrichidae)
  • Kupeornis has been merged into Phyllanthus. (Leiothrichidae)
  • Stactocichla merged into Leucodioptron. (Leiothrichidae)

[Sylvioidea III, 3.08]

June 2018

June 14

Updated Jackson Spreadsheet: Richard Jackson has provided a new version of his spreadsheet comparing the TiF, IOC, HBW, and HBW/BirdLife Illustrated Checklist (ICBW) bird lists.

June 6

Birds-of-Paradise: Based on Irestedt et al. (2017), the riflebirds have been returned to genus Ptiloris and the Superb Bird-of-paradise, Lophorina superba is split into:

  • Lesser Superb Bird-of-Paradise, Lophorina minor, monotypic.
  • Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise, Lophorina superba, inc. niedda.
  • Greater Superb Bird-of-paradise, Lophorina latipennis, inc. addenda, feminina and latipennis.

Note that Irestedt et al. argue that superba does not apply to birds from the Vogelkop Mountains, but to those usually called feminina. They establish a new name inopinata for the Vogelkop birds and refer to the Vogelkop Bird-of-paradise as Lophorina niedda. They also call the Greater Bird-of-paradise Lophorina superba. Given that the type of superba has been considered to be from the Vogelkop, I didn't find their arguments convincing.

Also, I've added Raggi's Bird-of-Paradise as the primary name of Paradisaea raggiana, the point being that it is named for Francesco Raggi.
[Paradisaeidae, Corvida III, 3.04]

Scrub-Robins: Aedonopsis Sharpe 1883, replaces Tychaedon Richmond 1917 on the grounds that Aedonopsis Sharpe 1883 is not preoccupied by Aedonopsis Rey 1872, which is not available due to the fact that it is merely an incorrect spelling of Aedonops Brehm 1863. See Raty, BirdForum 2018.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.13]

May 2018

May 20

Chaetura Swifts: Continuing the Ridgely splits (Ridgely and Greenfield, 2001), I've split Tumbes Swift, Chaetura ocypetes, from Short-tailed Swift, Chaetura brachyura.
[Apodidae, Apodiformes, 3.09]

Cardinalidae: Another IOC/Ridgely and Greenfield (2001) split is Olive Tanager, Habia frenata, from Carmiol's Tanager, Habia carmioli.
[Cardinalidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.05]

Thraupidae: Still following IOC and Ridgely and Greenfield (2001), Yellow-tufted Dacnis, Dacnis egregia (inc. aequatorialis) has been split from Black-faced Dacnis, Dacnis lineata.

Also, the Black-and-chestnut Warbling-Finch, Poospiza whitii, has been split from the Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch, Poospiza nigrorufa based on Jordan et al. (2017), Shultz and Burns (2013), and SACC Proposal 753.
[Thraupidae, Core Passeroidea V, 3.05]

May 19

Elaenias: Based on Tang et al. (2018), I have rearranged Elaenia and returned Chilean Elaenia, Elaenia chilensis, to Sierran Elaenia, Elaenia pallatangae.
[Tyrannidae, Tyrannida II, 3.06]

Furnariinae: I have accepted several splits from IOC and Ridgely/Tudor (2009). Subspecies are allocated as in IOC.

  1. Pacific Tuftedcheek, Pseudocolaptes johnsoni, is split from Buffy Tuftedcheek, Pseudocolaptes lawrencii.
  2. Pacific Hornero, Furnarius cinnamomeus, and Caribbean Hornero, Furnarius longirostris, are split from Pale-legged Hornero, Furnarius leucopus.
  3. Striped Woodhaunter, Automolus subulatus, is split into Western Woodhaunter, Automolus virgatus and Eastern Woodhaunter, Automolus subulatus.
  4. Plain Thornbird, Phacellodomus inornatus is split from Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Phacellodomus rufifrons
  5. Creamy-breasted Canastero, Asthenes dorbignyi is split into Pale-tailed Canastero, Asthenes huancavelicae, Rusty-vented Canastero, Asthenes dorbignyi, and Dark-winged Canastero, Asthenes arequipae.

Baron's Spinetail, Cranioleuca baroni, has been lumped into Line-cheeked Spinetail, Cranioleuca antisiensis. See Seeholzer and Brumfield (2018) and SACC Proposal 762.
[Furnariidae, Furnariida II, 3.05]

April 2018

April 11

Locustellidae: The Grassbirds (Locustellidae) have been rearranged based on Alstrom et al. (2018a). Two species have changed genera: The Fan-tailed Grassbird moves from Schoenicola to Catriscus and the Bamboo Warbler moves from Bradypterus to Locustella. The genera Buettikoferella and Megalurulus have been merged into Cincloramphus. Bowdleria and Eremiornis have been merged into Poodytes. Amphilais has been merged into Bradypterus. Chaetornis has been merged into Schoenicola. Finally, part of Locustella has been separated as the new genus Helopsaltes Alström et al. 2018 (type species certhiola).
[Locustellidae, Paroidea & Sylvioidea I, 3.11]

April 8

Santa Marta Screech-Owl: The recently described Santa Marta Screech-Owl now has a scientific name, Megascops gilesi (Krabbe, 2017).
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.09]

Striped Manakins: Based on Lane et al. (2017), the Striped Manakin, Machaeropterus regulus, has been split into

  • Striolated Manakin / Western Striped-Manakin, Machaeropterus striolatus
  • Painted Manakin / Peruvian Striped-Manakin, Machaeropterus eckelberryi
  • Kinglet Manakin / Eastern Striped-Manakin, Machaeropterus regulus

[Pipridae, Tyrannida I, 3.03]

March 2018

March 15

Tinamous: Hayes et al. (2018) showed that there is no reason to consider the Chaco Nothura, Nothura chacoensis, distinct from the Spotted Nothura, Nothura maculosa. As a result, I now consider the Chaco Nothura to be a subspecies of the Spotted Nothura, Nothura maculosa.
[Tinamidae, Paleognathae, 3.03]

Barn Owls: The Barn Owls have been rearranged based on Uva et al. (2018). Their results suggest that some adjustment to species limits will be needed, but it is not yet clear to me how best to do that.
[Tytonidae, Afroaves II, 3.08]

Owls: Koparde et al. (2018) found that Heteroglaux is embedded in Athene. Thus the Forest Owlet becomes Athene blewitti. This causes a rearrangement of Athene.
[Strigidae, Afroaves II, 3.08]

Gnatcatchers: The Gnatcatchers have been restructured based on Smith et al. (2018). The Yucatan Gnatcatcher, Polioptila albiventris, has been split from the White-lored Gnatcatcher, Polioptila albiloris. The Tropical Gnatcatcher, Polioptila plumbea has been split into:

  1. Eastern Tropical Gnatcatcher, Polioptila atricapilla.
  2. Northeastern Tropical Gnatcatcher, Polioptila plumbea.
  3. Western Tropical Gnatcatcher, Polioptila parvirostris.
  4. Maranon Gnatcatcher Polioptila maior.
  5. Northwestern Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbiceps, including innotata, plumbiceps, and anteocularis.
  6. White-browed Gnatcatcher, Polioptila bilineata, including daguae, bilineata, cinericia, brodkorbi, and superciliaris.

A more complete description may be found in
[Polioptilidae, CERTHIOIDEA, 3.04]

February 2018

February 21

Hypogramma: The genus name Hypogramma is preoccupied, and is replaced by Kurochkinegramma (Kashin, 1978). Thus the Purple-naped Sunbird is Kurochkinegramma hypogrammicum.
[Nectariniidae, Basal Passeroidea, 3.02a]

February 19

Spiderhunters: Based on Campillo et al. (2018), the Purple-naped Sunbird has been restored to genus Hypogramma (from Arachnothera) and is placed sister to Arachnothera.
[Nectariniidae, Basal Passeroidea, 3.02]

February 4

Fluvicolinae: Lopes et al. (2018) found that the Chapada Flycatcher was unrelated to the other Suiriri taxa. Rather, it is sister to Sublegatus. Lopes et al. established a new genus for it, Guyramemua, so the Chapada Flycatcher moves from Elaeniini to Fluvicolini and becomes Guyramemua affine. (corrected)

Oddly, although Lopes et al. specify that Guyramemua is neuter, they persist in writing Guyramemua affinis rather than using the neuter affine.

The Gray Monjita becomes Nengetus cinereus rather than Taenioptera cinerea. The monotypic genus Nengetus was established by Swainson in 1827. The Gray Monjita had historically been in the genus Taenioptera (Bonaparte 1825), of which it is the type (e.g. Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum). However, although Bonaparte alluded to Taenioptera as a subgenus in 1825, he did not actually establish the name until 1831. Thus Nengetus has priority.
[Tyrannida II, Tyrannidae, 3.05]

February 3

Fluvicolinae: The Fluvicolinae have been rearranged based on Fjeldså et al. (2018). Although their phylogeny seems generally more reliable than what I cobbled together from previous work, some of the nodes are still poorly resolved. I have mostly followed their Figure 2. However, although their work suggests that Empidonax is not monophyletic, I have not made changes to Empidonax due to some weakly supported nodes.

I have carved up Xolmis. To do this, I moved the Black-and-white Monjita, now Heteroxolmis dominicanus, to Heteroxolmis and the Fire-eyed Diucon, now Pyrope pyrope, to Pyrope. I've also moved the Black-crowned Monjita, Neoxolmis coronatus, Rusty-backed Monjita, Neoxolmis rubetra, and Salinas Monjita, Neoxolmis salinarum, to Neoxolmis from Xolmis. Finally, the Gray Monjita, now Taenioptera cinerea, has been placed in Taenioptera.

Finally, there are some splits. Darwin's Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus nanus, the extinct San Cristobal Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus dubius, and Scarlet Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus, are split from the Vermilion Flycatcher, now called Pyrocephalus obscurus. See Carmi et al. (2016).

Further, the Blackish Chat-Tyrant, Ochthoeca nigrita, and Maroon-belted Chat-Tyrant, Ochthoeca thoracica, have been split from the Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant, Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris, based on a combination of Fjeldså et al. (2018), Ridgely and Greenfield (2001), Hilty (2003), and Garcia-Moreno et al. (1998).
[Tyrannida II, Tyrannidae, 3.04]

Shortwings: Based on Kyriazis et al. (2018) and the HBW-Checklist (del Hoyo and Collar, 2016), I've split the White-browed Shortwing into:

  • Himalayan Shortwing, Brachypteryx cruralis
  • Chinese Shortwing, Brachypteryx sinensis
  • Taiwan Shortwing, Brachypteryx goodfellowi
  • Sumatran Shortwing, Brachypteryx saturata
  • Javan Shortwing, Brachypteryx montana
  • Flores Shortwing, Brachypteryx floris
  • Bornean Shortwing, Brachypteryx erythrogyna
  • Philippine Shortwing, Brachypteryx poliogyna
  • Mt. Apo Shortwing, Brachypteryx mindanensis

Yes, the typo has been fixed. The Lesser Shortwing, Brachypteryx leucophris, is also embedded within this clade.
[Muscicapidae, Muscicapoidea II, 3.12]

January 2018

January 28

Wagtails and Pipits: The Wagtails have been rearranged based on Drovetski et al. (2018) and Harris et al. (2018).

Based on Van Ells and Norambuena (2018), the New World Pipits have been rearranged. Futher, two species have been split and one has been lumped.

  • Peruvian Pipit, Anthus peruvianus, has been split from Yellowish Pipit, Anthus lutescens
  • Puna Pipit, Anthus brevirostris, has been split from Short-billed Pipit, Anthus furcatus.
  • South Georgia Pipit, Anthus antarcticus, has been lumped into Correndera Pipit, Anthus correndera due to very small DNA differences between them.

[Motacillidae, Core Passeroidea II, 3.06]