27/02/2014
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AOU changes

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This newly re-christened Sagebrush Sparrow Fort Rock State Park, Oregon, has arisen as a result of the splits in Sage Sparrow. Photo: Innotata (commons.wikimedia.org).
This newly re-christened Sagebrush Sparrow Fort Rock State Park, Oregon, has arisen as a result of the splits in Sage Sparrow. Photo: Innotata (commons.wikimedia.org).


The American Ornithologists’ Union has updated its checklist, splitting Sage Sparrow into Sagebrush and Bell’s Sparrows, with an interior Californian subspecies also earmarked as a future separate species. Other interesting decisions are to not split Cabot’s Tern from Sandwich, to maintain White-breasted Nuthatch as a single species, and to keep the three American rosy-finches a species – these were recently recommended as a ‘lump’.

Reference
Chesser, R T, Banks, R C, Barker, F K, Cicero, C, Dunn, J L, Kratter, A W, Lovette, I J, Rasmussen, P C, Remsen Jr, J V, Rising, J D, Stotz, D F, and Winker, K. 2013. Fifty-Fourth Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 130: 558-571.
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