As you probably know, the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World - Volume 2: Passerines was
published on 28 December 2016. Since then we have been working hard on
the application of the new information and materials from the Checklist to the passerine species on HBW Alive, including the important new taxonomy.
To further the public’s comprehension of the taxonomy and methodology used in the Checklist, as this is sometimes a matter of debate and misunderstandings, we have made available the detailed Introductions that appear in both volumes.
The updating process on HBW Alive has many challenges, as we learned when we did the same with Volume 1: Non-passerines, but we are confident that the passerine update will be ready to unveil during the first week of March.
Here is an overview of the Checklist Volume 2 novelties that you will soon find implemented within HBW Alive:
This intricate process is all going on “backstage” at HBW Alive, so that
your day-to-day use of the site isn’t affected. So, you won’t notice
the changes until the completely updated version is launched next month.
Many thanks for your patience and comprehension as we prepare all of
these important materials for you, in our continued effort to make HBW
Alive a more powerful tool for everyone in the ornithological and
- Currently HBW Alive covers 6008 extant species of passerines, while the Checklist recognises 6592, adopting or making 627 splits and 54 lumps and incorporating 11 newly described species; a net increase of 584
species. The taxonomic changes are being applied to HBW Alive very
carefully so that all current data are accurately reassigned as needed.
- 12,629 passerine illustrations are being uploaded, of which 642 are new and 1208 are improved illustrations.
- We are incorporating the 6592 updated distribution maps carefully prepared for the Checklist for all of the passerines.
HBW Alive editors are working on filling in details for the species
accounts of "new" and “mother” species (resulting from splits), and
already more than 225 species accounts for Suboscines are complete and will be available when the overall update is revealed.