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

Last laugh

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


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

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.


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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...


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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 (

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...


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

Shades of Grey Hawk

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


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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 (

Confusing cuckoos

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


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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 (

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...


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