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.

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

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...

20/11/2012

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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.

20/09/2012

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Sira Barbet is already likely to be considered Vulnerable despite having only just been described by science. Photo: Michael G Harvey (Cornell University).

New barbet species in Peru

The eastern Andean region of Peru has given up a new species of barbet, a sister species to Scarlet-banded Barbet, a previously-known...

20/09/2012

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This Black-throated Laughingthrush of the nominate subspecies was photographed in Tsing Yi Park, Hong Kong, China. Photo: Charles Lam (commons.wikimedia.org).

Last laugh

The island form of a widespread Asian babbler has now been declared a full species, and a Chinese endemic.

10/08/2012

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Black-tailed Godwit might hide three semi-cryptic species within its already well-known subspecies. Photo: Steve Young (www.birdsonfilm.com).

At their 'wits end?

Further evidence for a putative three-way split in Black-tailed Godwit has been discovered by a team of pan-European workers.

26/06/2012

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Antioquia Wren, a dry scrub specialist, is already classified as Vulnerable due to the planned damming of its valley habitat. Photo: Carlos Esteban Lara

New wren from Colombia

A new species of wren has been named from north-western Colombia, which had remained undiscovered despite being present in a fairly popular...

20/06/2012

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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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