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.

Madeiran Firecrest, photographed on Madeira in April 2009. Photo by Andrew Moon.

Ticks in waiting

Continuing his occasional series on avian taxonomy, David Callahan looks at possible landbird splits on the Atlantic islands and in the...

15/02/2011

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Magnificent Petrel can be found close to shore in Vanuatu. Photo: Hadoram Shirihai

Magnificent discovery

A new gadfly petrel subspecies has been described from North Vanuatu, after specimens lay unanalysed in a museum draw for over 80 years,...

17/12/2010

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This California Least Tern of the subspecies browni may soon just be a Least Tern photographed in Calfornia. Photo: Ryan Hagerty (commons.wikimedia.org)

Monotypic at Least

The three subspecies of Least Tern in North America have been determined to be invalid, according to new research.

10/12/2010

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Glaucous Gull - here a first-winter photographed in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire - has proven to ahve two distinct genetic lineages. Photo: Steve Young (www.birdsonfim.com)

Several gulls split in two

An attempt to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of a few of the large white-headed gull species has been performed by the same team that...

10/12/2010

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Phylloscopus warblers - like this vagrant Radde's on Scilly in October 2004 - have been shaken up somewhat by recently-published research. Photo: Steve Young (www.birdsonfilm.com)

Out of order warblers

Further light has been thrown onto the relationships between various members of the paraphlyetic warbler family Sylviidae by a new Chinese...

10/12/2010

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Short-tailed Albatross once bred in Morocco according to a new paper on fossils unearthed near Casablanca. These birds were photographed on Midway Atoll, Hawaii. Photo: Forest and Kim Starr (commons.wikimedia.org)

Atlantic albatross boon

The first systematic study of the avifauna of a palaeontological dig at Ahl al Oughlam, just outside Casablanca, Morocco, has now been...

10/12/2010

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