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.

Australian Raven, like this bird in Sydney, may now be split into separate eastern and a western species, due to a pronounced genetic divergence. Photo: DickDaniels www.carolinabirds.org (commons.wikimedia.org).

Rooks, ravens and relations

A comprehensive genetic analysis of all the recognised species and many subspecies of the cosmopolitan crow genus Corvus has been performed...

14/06/2012

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The newly-split Grey Hawk takes flight in Belize. Photo: The Lilac Breasted Roller (commons.wikimedia.org).

Shades of Grey Hawk

Grey and Grey-lined Hawks, originally described as separate species, have been confirmed as deeply differentiated and accepted as full...

14/06/2012

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Indian Cuckoo, like this juvenile photographed in Kerala, India, clearly differs in plumage and vocalisations from Common Cuckoo, but some Scandinavian birds may derive from the former species. Photo: Sandeep Gangadharan (commons.wikimedia.org).

Confusing cuckoos

A new book about Common Cuckoo suggests that birds which parasitise Common Redstart in northern Scandinavia may be a separate species.

15/05/2012

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These murrelet chicks were Xantus's when they were photographed in low light on California's Channel Islands, but  they are now Scripps's Murrelet. Photo: Channel Islands NMS (commons.wikimedia.org).

More murrelets

Genetics have confirmed another case of long-suspected split within Xantu's Murrelet, a small auk from the southern west coast of North...

30/03/2012

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Madagascar Fody appears to not hybridise with other sympatric fody forms, apart from Forest Fody on its native Madagasacar. Photo: Drew Avery (commons.wikimedia.org).

Weavers' tangled web

Two species of a radiation of finch-like weavers on the Indian Ocean islands have been found to be still hybridising, while the remaining...

27/01/2012

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Japanese Bush Warbler has been transferred from the genus Cettia to Horornis after its similarities to Cetti's Warbler were found to be genetically superficial. Photo: M Nishimura (commons.wikimedia.org).

Cetti's split in two

Newly published research has completely revised the genera of the bush-warbler family Cettidae, including a split in our own familiar...

26/01/2012

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