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.

Glowing Puffleg giving a demonstration of how it got its English name. Photo: Keith Bowers (commons.wikimedia.org).

Hummingbirds a-gogo

New research has found that there were once, probably are, and almost certainly will be many more species of hummingbird than are known at...

14/04/2014

Read more

Hooded Crow, like this bird in Jerusalem, Israel, could be merely a stable colour morph rather than the full species we currently believe it to be. Photo: SuperJew (commons.wikimedia.org).

Crows in black and white

A genetic survey of corvid museum specimens has revealed that crows readily switched plumage colours during their evolution, suggests new...

27/02/2014

Read more

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler, here photographed in Himachal Pradesh, India, was hiding a new species in the Chinese part of its range. Photo: J M Garg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Wren-babbler split

Analysis of the voice and genes of a Chinese mountain wren-babbler has indicated that there are two species present.

27/02/2014

Read more

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).

AOU changes

A key split features in the American Ornithologists’ Union's latest round of taxonomic revisions, but other predicted changes have been put...

27/02/2014

Read more

This captive Thick-billed Parrot at Queens Zoo, New York, USA, is now likely to be lumped with the rarer Maroon-fronted Parrot in its native Mexico. Photo: Futureman1199 (commons.wikimedia.org).

Parrots lumped

Molecular research indicates that two Mexican parrot species should be lumped together as subspecies.

27/02/2014

Read more

Crested Lark, seen here in Dubai, UAE, has long been mooted for potential splits. Photo: Nepenthes (commons.wikimedia.org).

Up with the larks

A comprehensive study of the lark family has resulted in several potential splits and lumps being revealed in Crested and Thekla Lark.

27/02/2014

Read more

This Varied Tit, photographed on mainland Japan, will retain its name in the new revision. Photo: Alpsdake (commons.wikimedia.org).

Varied Tit splits

The widespread Varied Tit of east Asia is likely to be split into four species in a forthcoming paper.

27/02/2014

Read more

Japanese Alpine Accentor, here photographed on Mount Norikura, is a likely split from European birds, along with the other eastern Asian forms. Photo: Alpsdake (commons.wikimedia.org).

Regional accentors

The two subspecies of Black-throated Accentor, from the Ural Mountains and in west Central Asia, are recommended to be split in a new paper.

26/02/2014

Read more