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.

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

Varied Tit splits

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


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

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.


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This Clapper Rail in Florida may now be split as a separate species from its east coast counterparts.  Photo: Dominic Sherony (

Going like the Clappers

The North American large rallid complex of King and Clapper Rails should in fact be four distinct species, research shows.


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The form of Red-bellied Pitta from Baggai and Sula, Indonesia, is now a full species, Sula Pitta E dohertyi. Illustration: Keulemanns (1899).

Pitta species almost double

A new wide-ranging analysis of the forms of Red-bellied Pitta from the Indo-Pacific region has revealed that the species is actually a...


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This male Malagasy Paradise Flycatcher of the subspecies singetra was photographed on the nest at Marojejy National Park. Photo: Kris Norvig (

Ocean flycatcher paradise

A phylogenetic analysis of the Indian Ocean paradise flycatchers has revealed that they probably consist of six rather than the currently...


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Nominate Rufous-tailed Spinetail in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Dario Sanches (

Brazilian spinetails lumped

Brazil's Bahia Spinetail has been found to be invalid and – unusually for South America – lumped with the more widespread Rufous-tailed...


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There are notable differences between all of the forms of Philippine Hawk Owl, as it was once called. Image: John Gale (BirdLife International).

Hawk owl split asunder

Vocalisations in Philippine Hawk Owl have revealed that the species should really be treated as eight forms, including seven full species.


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