Taxonomy and splits

Journal club: Two new owl species may provide insight into how early birds colonised the Philippines

Thumbnail image for Journal club: Two new owl species may provide insight into how early birds colonised the Philippines by Grrlscientist 24 August 2012

SUMMARY: Two new owl species were discovered in the Philippine Islands and five more Philippine owls were given full species status The Philippine Archipelago is filled with a tremendous variety of living things, and hundreds of new species have been discovered recently on the islands. The most recent addition to this roll call of biodiversity [...]

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How to see the Sira Barbet

Thumbnail image for How to see the Sira Barbet by Gunnar 19 July 2012

A new Barbet have been described from Sira Mountains, Sira Barbet Capito fitzpatricki, in the Auk. Here is explained how to see it.

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Kinglet Calyptura is a Tyrant Flycatcher

Thumbnail image for Kinglet Calyptura is a Tyrant Flycatcher by Rich Hoyer 30 June 2012

The world’s largest bird family just got one bigger, now about 415 species. The enigmatic Kinglet Calyptura, best known from specimens over a hundred years old, seems to be close to extinction in the wet forests of southeastern Brazil. It’s been long touted as an example of the bizarre diversity within the neotropical suboscine family [...]

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Super-rare Amsterdam Albatross a new species

Thumbnail image for Super-rare Amsterdam Albatross a new species by DaleForbes 21 March 2011

The Amsterdam (Island) Albatross Diomedea amsterdamensis was first described in 1983 – breeding on only one Indian Ocean island, Amsterdam Island – and its identity and taxonomic relationships have been hotly disputed since. Evidently, it was widely thought to be a subspecies of Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans, and interestingly breeds in a characteristic dark plumage, [...]

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Punk-chicken

Thumbnail image for Punk-chicken by Gunnar 12 January 2011

Hoatzin  Opisthocomus hoazin – What a strange bird! Just as I thought I had it figured out and preparing for this post, I decided to check the references on the wikipedia-page. I knew it’s not a Chicken or a Pheasant and probably not a cuckoo. Sceletal studies indicated that the Hoatzin is closest related with [...]

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SACC Accepts Colombian Chachalaca Split

Thumbnail image for SACC Accepts Colombian Chachalaca Split by Rich Hoyer 6 January 2011

The South American Classification Committee has made final the split of Colombian Chachalaca, Ortalis colombiana, from Speckled Chachalaca, Ortalis guttata. This is an old chestnut of allopatric populations on which various authorities have taken different views over the years.  SACC has had this issue down as requiring a proposal for many years.  There has now [...]

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Keen birders’ core literature: the checklists

Thumbnail image for Keen birders’ core literature: the checklists by Gyorgy Szimuly 31 December 2010

One of the potential split could be the American race of Whimbrel. © Gyorgy Szimuly At the end of each year everyone makes review of the birding highlights of the year behind. I am not any different. I love to watch birds as most of you do. I somehow can’t stand not to make a [...]

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A date with a ‘Horny Man’

Thumbnail image for A date with a ‘Horny Man’ by Rebecca Nason 4 November 2010

One of the most enjoyable ‘groups’ of birds to photograph & get to grips with during a good Autumn on Fair Isle are the various Redpoll sub-species which can arrive on the Island in good numbers during October. Although the number of Redpoll’s present varies year to year as with any influx from the North, this year saw a [...]

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