September 2012

Go directly to Updates & Corrections

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).”

Scientific name

English name




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):


Species 10240

Subspecies 20893

Groups 2207

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.


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.

1 Struthionidae Ostrich
2 Rheidae Rheas
3 Casuariidae Cassowaries
4 Dromaiidae Emu
5 Apterygidae Kiwis
6 Tinamidae Tinamous
7 Anhimidae Screamers
8 Anatidae Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl
9 Megapodiidae Megapodes
10 Cracidae Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows
11 Numididae Guineafowl
12 Odontophoridae New World Quail
13 Phasianidae Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies
14 Gaviidae Loons
15 Podicipedidae Grebes
16 Phoenicopteridae Flamingos
17 Spheniscidae Penguins
18 Diomedeidae Albatrosses
19 Procellariidae Shearwaters and Petrels
20 Hydrobatidae Storm-Petrels
21 Pelecanoididae Diving-Petrels
22 Phaethontidae Tropicbirds
23 Ciconiidae Storks
24 Fregatidae Frigatebirds
25 Sulidae Boobies and Gannets
26 Phalacrocoracidae Cormorants and Shags
27 Anhingidae Anhingas
28 Pelecanidae Pelicans
29 Balaenicipitidae Shoebill
30 Scopidae Hamerkop
31 Ardeidae Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns
32 Threskiornithidae Ibises and Spoonbills
33 Cathartidae New World Vultures
34 Sagittariidae Secretary-bird
35 Pandionidae Osprey
36 Accipitridae Hawks, Eagles, and Kites
37 Otididae Bustards
38 Mesitornithidae Mesites
39 Rhynochetidae Kagu
40 Eurypygidae Sunbittern
41 Rallidae Rails, Gallinules, and Coots
42 Heliornithidae Finfoots
43 Aramidae Limpkin
44 Psophiidae Trumpeters
45 Gruidae Cranes
46 Burhinidae Thick-knees
47 Chionidae Sheathbills
48 Charadriidae Plovers and Lapwings
49 Pluvianellidae Magellanic Plover
50 Dromadidae Crab Plover
51 Haematopodidae Oystercatchers
52 Ibidorhynchidae Ibisbill
53 Recurvirostridae Stilts and Avocets
54 Jacanidae Jacanas
55 Scolopacidae Sandpipers and Allies
56 Turnicidae Buttonquail
57 Glareolidae Pratincoles and Coursers
58 Pedionomidae Plains-wanderer
59 Thinocoridae Seedsnipes
60 Rostratulidae Painted-Snipes
61 Laridae Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers
62 Stercorariidae Skuas and Jaegers
63 Alcidae Auks, Murres, and Puffins
64 Pteroclidae Sandgrouse
65 Columbidae Pigeons and Doves
66 Musophagidae Turacos
67 Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin Hoatzin
68 Cuculidae Cuckoos
69 Tytonidae Barn-Owls
70 Strigidae Owls
71 Aegothelidae Owlet-Nightjars
72 Podargidae Frogmouths
73 Caprimulgidae Nightjars and Allies
74 Nyctibiidae Potoos
75 Steatornithidae Oilbird
76 Apodidae Swifts
77 Hemiprocnidae Treeswifts
78 Trochilidae Hummingbirds
79 Coliidae Mousebirds
80 Trogonidae Trogons
81 Todidae Todies
82 Momotidae Motmots
83 Alcedinidae Kingfishers
84 Meropidae Bee-eaters
85 Coraciidae Rollers
86 Brachypteraciidae Ground-Rollers
87 Leptosomidae Cuckoo-Roller
88 Upupidae Hoopoes
89 Phoeniculidae Woodhoopoes and Scimitar-bills
90 Bucerotidae Hornbills
91 Bucorvidae Ground-Hornbills
92 Bucconidae Puffbirds
93 Galbulidae Jacamars
94 Lybiidae African Barbets
95 Megalaimidae Asian Barbets
96 Capitonidae New World Barbets
97 Semnornithidae Toucan-Barbets
98 Ramphastidae Toucans
99 Indicatoridae Honeyguides
100 Picidae Woodpeckers
101 Cariamidae Seriemas
102 Falconidae Falcons and Caracaras
103 Strigopidae New Zealand Parrots
104 Cacatuidae Cockatoos
105 Psittacidae Parrots
106 Acanthisittidae New Zealand Wrens
107 Calyptomenidae African and Green Broadbills
108 Eurylaimidae Asian and Grauer’s Broadbills
109 Sapayoidae Sapayoa
110 Philepittidae Asities
111 Pittidae Pittas
112 Thamnophilidae Typical Antbirds
113 Melanopareiidae Crescentchests
114 Conopophagidae Gnateaters
115 Grallariidae Antpittas
116 Rhinocryptidae Tapaculos
117 Formicariidae Antthrushes
118 Furnariidae Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers
119 Tyrannidae Tyrant Flycatchers
120 Oxyruncidae Sharpbill
121 Cotingidae Cotingas
122 Pipridae Manakins
123 Tityridae Tityras and Allies
124 Menuridae Lyrebirds
125 Atrichornithidae Scrub-birds
126 Ptilonorhynchidae Bowerbirds
127 Climacteridae Australasian Treecreepers
128 Maluridae Fairywrens
129 Meliphagidae Honeyeaters
130 Dasyornithidae Bristlebirds
131 Pardalotidae Pardalotes
132 Acanthizidae Thornbills and Allies
133 Pomatostomidae Pseudo-Babblers
134 Orthonychidae Logrunners
135 Cnemophilidae Satinbirds
136 Melanocharitidae Berrypeckers and Longbills
137 Paramythiidae Tit Berrypecker, Crested Berrypecker
138 Callaeidae Wattlebirds
139 Notiomystidae Stitchbird
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
145 Machaerirhynchidae Boatbills
146 Vangidae Vangas
147 Artamidae Woodswallows
148 Cracticidae Bellmagpies and Allies
149 Pityriaseidae Bristlehead
150 Aegithinidae Ioras
151 Campephagidae Cuckooshrikes
152 Neosittidae Sittellas
153 Pachycephalidae Whistlers and Allies
154 Laniidae Shrikes
155 Vireonidae Vireos
156 Oriolidae Old World Orioles
157 Dicruridae Drongos
158 Rhipiduridae Fantails
159 Monarchidae Monarch Flycatchers
160 Corvidae Crows, Jays, and Magpies
161 Corcoracidae White-winged Chough and Apostlebird
162 Paradisaeidae Birds-of-paradise
163 Petroicidae Australasian Robins
164 Picathartidae Rockfowl
165 Chaetopidae Rockjumpers
166 Eupetidae Rail-babbler
167 Panuridae Bearded Reedling
168 Nicatoridae Nicators
169 Alaudidae Larks
170 Hirundinidae Swallows
171 Stenostiridae Fairy Flycatchers
172 Paridae Chickadees and Tits
173 Remizidae Penduline-Tits
174 Aegithalidae Long-tailed Tits
175 Sittidae Nuthatches
176 Tichodromidae Wallcreeper
177 Certhiidae Treecreepers
178 Troglodytidae Wrens
179 Polioptilidae Gnatcatchers
180 Cinclidae Dippers
181 Pycnonotidae Bulbuls
182 Regulidae Kinglets
183 Pnoepygidae Cupwings
184 Macrosphenidae African Warblers
185 Cettiidae Bush-Warblers and Allies
186 Phylloscopidae Leaf-Warblers
187 Acrocephalidae Reed-Warblers and Allies
188 Locustellidae Grassbirds and Allies
189 Donacobiidae Donacobius
190 Bernieridae Malagasy Warblers
191 Cisticolidae Cisticolas and Allies
192 Sylviidae Sylvids, Parrotbills and Allies
193 Zosteropidae Yuhinas, White-eyes, and Allies
194 Pellorneidae Fulvettas and Ground Babblers
195 Leiothrichidae Laughingthrushes
196 Timaliidae Babblers
197 Promeropidae Sugarbirds
198 Irenidae Fairy-bluebirds
199 Hyliotidae Hyliotas
200 Muscicapidae Old World Flycatchers
201 Turdidae Thrushes and Allies
202 Mimidae Mockingbirds and Thrashers
203 Sturnidae Starlings
204 Buphagidae Oxpeckers
205 Chloropseidae Leafbirds
206 Dicaeidae Flowerpeckers
207 Nectariniidae Sunbirds and Spiderhunters
208 Prunellidae Accentors
209 Motacillidae Wagtails and Pipits
210 Urocynchramidae Przevalski’s Rosefinch
211 Bombycillidae Waxwings
212 Mohoidae Hawaiian Honeyeaters     [extinct]
213 Ptilogonatidae Silky-flycatchers
214 Dulidae Palmchat
215 Hylocitreidae Hylocitrea
216 Hypocoliidae Hypocolius
217 Peucedramidae Olive Warbler
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
228 Viduidae Indigobirds


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.