4000 species for Iris!


Peter Gasson is a fairly recent, but very welcome, recruit to the army of photographers who contribute to our Iris galleries. He has recently been working through his hoard of photos taken on trips to Madagascar and Brazil, and on 2nd January he uploaded a shot of a juvenile Madagascar Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides radiatus) that he took in the Ifaty Spiny Forest in July 2009. Peter probably didn't realise that, in doing so, he'd allowed us to overtake a long-awaited milestone, as this was the 4000th species or form to feature in our galleries. (The list does includes anomalies like "unidentified", hybrids, the ever-tricky Aythya sp., crossbill sp., curlew sp., and other identification conundrums — but we still think that it's a great achievement.)

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Peter and all our other contributors for helping us build this fascinating and valuable resource up to this point. Mind you, with most authorities recognising around 10000 bird species around the world, there's still plenty of scope to contribute. Here is Peter's milestone picture:

Madagascar Harrier-Hawk
Madagascar Harrier-Hawk, Madagascar (Photo: Peter Gasson)

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The total has already moved on to 4014 at the time of writing, but we'd welcome your help in continuing to build the library at:


Written by: Dave Dunford, BirdGuides webmaster