This is the seventh installment of Updates and Corrections to the sixth edition of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World; because the Clements Checklist now is tightly interwoven with the taxonomy for eBird, the checklist will be referred to as the eBird/Clements Checklist. The entire checklist (including the 2012 Updates and Corrections) is available as a downloadable spreadsheet (in Excel and .csv formats); this year’s spreadsheet version is eBird/Clements Checklist 6.7. The eBird taxonomy (v 1.53) also is a free download and uses the same nomenclature, species taxonomy, and subspecies groups, but also includes hybrids, “spuhs” (e.g., scoter sp.), and certain other informal taxonomic entities that are useful for a global, on-line bird reporting program; it does not include the full list of subspecies available in the Clements version of the checklist, nor does it delineate the ranges of species, subspecies, or groups.
The spreadsheet contains 14 fields (data columns); the new column is marked with an asterisk:
Change – a brief note to signal that a change from Clements Checklist 6.6 occurred for that entry. Sometimes only a single change is made per entry; sometimes several changes are made, although only one or two may be noted in the spreadsheet. In all cases, please consult the Updates and Corrections page for a full explanation of these changes.
Change comment – A brief explanation of the change from Clements Checklist 6.6 occurred for that entry. Please consult the Updates and Corrections page for a more complete explanation of these changes.
Sort 6.7 * – reflecting the sequence of species in eBird/Clements Checklist 6.7
Category – reflecting whether the entry on that line is a species; a subspecies; a monotypic group (i.e., a group that is equivalent to a single subspecies); or a polytypic group (a group composed of two or more subspecies). So, the total number of subspecies recognized in Clements Checklist is the sum of all entries listed as “subspecies” and as “group (monotypic).”
Extinct – an entry in this column means that the species or subspecies is extinct Extinct year – reflects the year the species or subspecies went extinct; “xxxx” is used when the date of extinction was not readily accessible.
Sort 6.6 – reflecting the sequence of species in Clements Checklist 6.6
Sort 6.5 – reflecting the sequence of species in Clements Checklist 6.5
Page 6.0 – reflecting the page number of the species in the last (sixth) print edition.
Here is a brief review of the changes that are introduced in the eBird/Clements Checklist 6.7 (for complete documentation of all changes, please see the Updates and Corrections pages):
Families 227 (with 1 additional, extinct, family)
In this year’s updates, we add 7 new species, that is, species for which there was no entry at all in the previous edition of the eBird/Clements Checklist, most of which are species that only recently were discovered and described. Another 82 species are newly recognized in Clements Checklist due to “splits.” There also is a loss of 6 species due to “lumps” or other revisions.
As before, we update the taxonomy and nomenclature of species for North America, based on decisions of the North American Checklist Committee (NACC), through the Fifty-third supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds (July 2012). The most important change in North American birds is the split of Gray Hawk (Buteo nitidus) into two species, Gray Hawk (Buteo plagiatus) and Gray-lined Hawk (Buteo nitidus), and the split of Xantus’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) into two species, Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi), and Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus). Also noteworthy is the addition of a recently described shearwater from the North Pacific, Bryan’s Shearwater (Puffinus bryani).
We also are current with decisions of the South American Classification Committee (SACC) through June 2012. Among these changes are the addition of several recently described species (a few of which are still pending formal acceptance by SACC), and the split of Thrush-like Schiffornis (Schiffornis turdina) into five species.
We also reinstate as a species Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae), the taxonomy of which (species, subspecies, or taxonomic nonentity) has varied considerably over the years.
There are a large number of splits of Asian birds, especially from Indonesia, as well as the split of Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) into three species, and the recognition of Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) as a species, separate from Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula).
eBird/Clements Checklist has adopted the concept of the group, which initially was developed by eBird, a free, global online system to manage your bird records and bird lists. A “group” is a distinctive (field identifiable) subspecies or group of subspecies. The group is not a formal taxonomic unit, but often represents a potential future split (and so groups are a valuable taxonomic tool for the savvy birder).
Groups first were added to Clements Checklist in December 2009 (Clements Checklist 6.5). In the eBird/Clements Checklist 6.7, we add 236 new groups, but with over 10,000 species to consider, the task of implementing all potential groups still is far from done.
Some of our attempts at arranging subspecies into groups are incomplete: one or more distinctive subspecies have been identified as groups, but the remaining subspecies have been left “hanging” – they do not belong to any of the groups we have created in that species, but we have yet to form one or more new groups to accommodate them. These “hanging” subspecies now are highlighted in two ways: 1) the sequence of subspecies and naming of the groups within the species always make it clear that these are not included in a group (i.e., they follow a monotypic group or the species as a whole, so are clearly not a component of any groups listed above; and 2) in the spreadsheet we have color coded these “hanging” subspecies in gray to further clarify that their status with respect to groups remains unresolved.
Species with partially formulated (“hanging”) groups are the following:
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Black Noddy Anous minutus
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia
Streak-chested Antpitta Hylopezus perspicillatus
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Automolus ochrolaemus
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer
Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus
Common Raven Corvus corax
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
African Penduline-Tit Anthoscopus caroli
Pale Flycatcher Bradornis pallidus
Red-backed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas leucophrys
Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida
Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis
Tropical Parula Setophaga pitiayumi
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
We welcome any help in assigning these “hanging subspecies” to groups, especially if it can be supported by published references.
Some groups are monotypic, that is, they involve only a single subspecies (e.g., “White-winged Junco” Junco hyemalis aikeni), whereas others are polytypic, with two or more subspecies (as in “Oregon Junco,” which includes seven subspecies of Junco hyemalis). We admit that it sometimes is confusing to refer to a single subspecies as a “group” (!). As of Clements 6.6, we now identify all groups as monotypic or polytypic. As mentioned above, this also allows the user to distinguish easily between the groups that contain multiple subspecies, and those groups that consist only of a single subspecies. The entries identified in the spreadsheet as subspecies and as group (monotypic) together comprise the entirety of subspecies in the list, whereas the polytypic groups are a secondary level between subspecies and species.
HIGHER LEVEL TAXONOMY
There are several important changes in the higher taxonomy of birds that are introduced in eBird/Clements Checklist 6.7. The families Cariamidae (Seriemas), Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras), Strigopidae (New Zealand Parrots), Cacatuidae (Cockatoos), and Psittacidae (Parrots) are grouped together in a new (and surprising!) location, between Picidae (Woodpeckers) and Acanthisittidae (New Zealand Wrens) – in other words, just before the beginning of the Passeriformes.
The most significant revision to the composition of bird families is the transfer of a large suite of genera from Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows) to Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies). We recognize one new family (Ground-Hornbills, Bucorvidae) and lose another one (Bananaquit, Coerebidae) due to a “lump.” Consequently the total number of extant families in the eBird/Clements Checklist remains at227, with one additional extinct family included as well.
The 227 families accepted by Clements Checklist are listed below, with the names of newly recognized families in bold, and with an additional extinct family listed in brackets.
|8||Anatidae||Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl|
|10||Cracidae||Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows|
|12||Odontophoridae||New World Quail|
|13||Phasianidae||Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies|
|19||Procellariidae||Shearwaters and Petrels|
|25||Sulidae||Boobies and Gannets|
|26||Phalacrocoracidae||Cormorants and Shags|
|31||Ardeidae||Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns|
|32||Threskiornithidae||Ibises and Spoonbills|
|33||Cathartidae||New World Vultures|
|36||Accipitridae||Hawks, Eagles, and Kites|
|41||Rallidae||Rails, Gallinules, and Coots|
|48||Charadriidae||Plovers and Lapwings|
|53||Recurvirostridae||Stilts and Avocets|
|55||Scolopacidae||Sandpipers and Allies|
|57||Glareolidae||Pratincoles and Coursers|
|61||Laridae||Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers|
|62||Stercorariidae||Skuas and Jaegers|
|63||Alcidae||Auks, Murres, and Puffins|
|65||Columbidae||Pigeons and Doves|
|73||Caprimulgidae||Nightjars and Allies|
|89||Phoeniculidae||Woodhoopoes and Scimitar-bills|
|96||Capitonidae||New World Barbets|
|102||Falconidae||Falcons and Caracaras|
|103||Strigopidae||New Zealand Parrots|
|106||Acanthisittidae||New Zealand Wrens|
|107||Calyptomenidae||African and Green Broadbills|
|108||Eurylaimidae||Asian and Grauer’s Broadbills|
|118||Furnariidae||Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers|
|123||Tityridae||Tityras and Allies|
|132||Acanthizidae||Thornbills and Allies|
|136||Melanocharitidae||Berrypeckers and Longbills|
|137||Paramythiidae||Tit Berrypecker, Crested Berrypecker|
|140||Psophodidae||Whipbirds and Wedgebills|
|141||Cinclosomatidae||Quail-thrushes and Jewel-babblers|
|142||Platysteiridae||Wattle-eyes and Batises|
|143||Prionopidae||Helmetshrikes and Allies|
|144||Malaconotidae||Bushshrikes and Allies|
|148||Cracticidae||Bellmagpies and Allies|
|153||Pachycephalidae||Whistlers and Allies|
|156||Oriolidae||Old World Orioles|
|160||Corvidae||Crows, Jays, and Magpies|
|161||Corcoracidae||White-winged Chough and Apostlebird|
|172||Paridae||Chickadees and Tits|
|185||Cettiidae||Bush-Warblers and Allies|
|187||Acrocephalidae||Reed-Warblers and Allies|
|188||Locustellidae||Grassbirds and Allies|
|191||Cisticolidae||Cisticolas and Allies|
|192||Sylviidae||Sylvids, Parrotbills and Allies|
|193||Zosteropidae||Yuhinas, White-eyes, and Allies|
|194||Pellorneidae||Fulvettas and Ground Babblers|
|200||Muscicapidae||Old World Flycatchers|
|201||Turdidae||Thrushes and Allies|
|202||Mimidae||Mockingbirds and Thrashers|
|207||Nectariniidae||Sunbirds and Spiderhunters|
|209||Motacillidae||Wagtails and Pipits|
|212||Mohoidae||Hawaiian Honeyeaters [extinct]|
|218||Calcariidae||Longspurs and Snow Buntings|
|219||Parulidae||New World Warblers|
|220||Thraupidae||Tanagers and Allies|
|221||Emberizidae||Buntings and New World Sparrows|
|222||Cardinalidae||Cardinals and Allies|
|223||Icteridae||Troupials and Allies|
|224||Fringillidae||Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies|
|225||Passeridae||Old World Sparrows|
|226||Ploceidae||Weavers and Allies|
|227||Estrildidae||Waxbills and Allies|
The next annual revision that incorporates revisions to the taxonomy and nomenclature of eBird/Clements Checklist will be released in August 2013.
Please continue to report potential errors, corrections and suggestions for improvement to eBird/Clements Checklist. Many of the errors that you find are ones that we would have taken a long time to notice, so we appreciate your help, and we do want to hear from you. Please keep in mind, of course, that the easiest corrections or proposed revisions are the ones that are accompanied by a supporting reference or citation.
Tom Fredericks logged many hours in checking the list for inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Denis Lepage, who runs Avibase, carefully reviewed our files, compared with other taxonomies, pointed out errors, and helped with many taxonomic issues through this process; we are extremely grateful for his generous assistance. We take full responsibility, of course, for any remaining errors; but we are extremely grateful for the support that we received from Tom and Denis. We also are grateful to Bruce Beehler, Terry Chesser, Thane Pratt, and George Sangster for providing advance copies of works in progress.
We also thank the following for their help in pointing out errors in eBird/Clements Checklist or for directing us to important literature for our consideration: Margaret Alcorn, Stephen F. Bailey, John Baker, Nick Baker, Romney Bathurst, Ron Batie, Jerry Blinn, Rick Brown, James Bradley, Paul Clapham, Ken Cole, Peter Collaerts, Jacob C. Cooper, Markus Döring, Andrew Duff, Bob Eisberg, Pedro Fernandes, Shawneen Finnegan, Mat Gilfedder, Maren Gimpel, Alan Grenon, Mark Hodgson, Rich Hoyer, Ron Huff, Alvaro Jaramillo, Mark Johnson, Tom Johnson, Andrew Keaveney, Theo de Kok,Yann Kolbeinsson, Peter Kovalik, Niels Larsen, Alex Lemoreaux, Denis Lepage, Jack Levene, Robert Lockett, Murray Lord, Jay McGowan, Bernard J. McHugh, Glenn Mahler, Matt Medler, Glenn G Mertz, Joe Morlan, Michael Nielsen, Steve Olesen, Scott Olmstead, Daniel Philippe, Jan Pierson, Diane Porter, Steve Preddy, Colin Richardson, Carlos Ross, Claire Runge, John Schillemans, Paul Scofield, Ed Scholes, Dave Strevens, Simon Tickle, Peter Vennema, Peter Vercruijsse, Wayne Weber, Jack Windsor, Bob Winckler, and James Yurchenco.
Thanks to all for your support, and we look forward to your feedback. Thomas S. Schulenberg (Avian Taxonomist); Marshall J. Iliff, Brian L. Sullivan, and Christopher L. Wood (eBird Project Leaders); and Don Roberson.