Taxonomy

Analysis of avian DNA, biometrics and vocalisations add to our understanding of bird species all the time. We cover all the 'splits', lumps and discoveries.

Russet Bush Warbler, such as this nominate bird, now finds itself with four sister species and the possibility of more to come. Photo: Per Alström.

Five in the bush

A south-east Asian Locustella bush warbler has been found to consist of cryptic species after analysis of its songs, biometrics and DNA.

30/11/2015

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The Narcissus/Yellow-rumped Flycatcher complex has now been split into four full species; this is an adult male nominate Narcissus Flycatcher in Osaka, Japan. Photo: kuribo (commons.wikimedia.org).

Splits make four on the fly

Long suspected to be four separate species, this taxonomic status of the Narcissus/Yellow-rumped Flycatcher complex in Asia now appears to...

16/11/2015

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British Tawny Owls appear to be developing white patches in their plumage, as well as increasingly calling during the day – are we seeing a new subspecies evolve? Photo: Steve Young (www.birdsonfilm.com).

British Tawny Owls evolve

A preliminary examination of museum Tawny Owl skins has produced evidence that we may have a new subspecies evolving in our midst.

15/07/2015

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This Hume’s Owl photographed in Israel in 2011 is now a new species, after the type specimen was found to be closer to ‘Omani Owl’. Photo: Rony Livne.

Desert owls get complicated

Examining the type specimen of Hume’s Owl, a study has found that all known specimens except the type – that is, the first one from which...

03/06/2015

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