HBW Alive Newsletter
Nº40, October 2017

Add markers in your Birdlists!

For subscribers using My Birding, remember that for each of your Birdlists you can place a marker on the world map, which will georeference it. Although this is optional, we highly recommend doing so as it has several advantages:
  • On the My Birdlists page, the map will show all of the locations of your Birdlists.
  • In your Trip Reports, the map will display the locations of all the places you have gone birding.
  • The bird sightings in your Birdlists with map markers will increase the data for the Contributions map of the relevant species accounts, enriching the information for the HBW Alive community.
To make it easier to add markers, on the My Birdlists page there is a new column where the Birdlists that have map markers are indicated so you can easily detect the ones that do not have markers. Also, now when you create a new Birdlist, when you start to type the name of the place, a drop-down menu will appear if it fits with an existing place name. By choosing an existing place, the corresponding marker will automatically be added to the map. This way all of your Birdlists for the same place will have exactly the same location, which you only have to indicate the first time.
Julien Reulos
Webmaster, HBW Alive
News on HBW Alive
New Species from the Checklist Updated

New Split Species from the Illustrated Checklist Updated

Our team continues with the updating work for the passerine splits derived from Volume 2 of the Illustrated Checklist, both the original “mother” species and the resulting “daughter” species.

Last month we completed all “new species” (resulting from splits) of the families Locustellidae (Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds) and Oriolidae (Old World Orioles). At the same time, we are adding multimedia links to the completed “new species”, with Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters), Acanthizidae (Thornbills) and Oriolidae (Old World Orioles) finished and Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes) under way.
Rennell Gerygone
Rennell Gerygone
(Gerygone citrina)
Fiji Wattled Honeyeater
Fiji Wattled Honeyeater
(Foulehaio taviunensis)
Wetar Oriole
Wetar Oriole
(Oriolus finschi)
Black-and-crimson Oriole
Black-and-crimson Oriole
(Oriolus consanguineus)
Jerdon's Minivet
Jerdon's Minivet
(Pericrocotus albifrons)
Melanesian Cicadabird
(Edolisoma remotum)
Recently Updated Species
Highlighted Owl species with full texts updated:
Spectacled Owl
(Pulsatrix perspicillata)
Bare-legged Screech-owl
Bare-legged Screech-owl
(Margarobyas lawrencii)
Puerto Rican Screech-owl
Puerto Rican Screech-owl
(Megascops nudipes)
Black-capped Screech-owl
Black-capped Screech-owl
(Megascops atricapilla)
Species with Multimedia Links
Also keep busy adding multimedia links to the species accounts to enhance the comprehension of the already detailed texts. Some of our recent favourites include links to all species of genera Lybius, Picus, Mimus and Nigrita. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
Amami Jay
Check out our “Top 5” picks of species with recently incorporated multimedia links: Cuban Nightjar (Antrostomus cubanensis), Whiskered Pitta (Erythropitta kochi), Amami Jay (Garrulus lidthi), Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrush (Garrulax castanotis) and Orange-banded Thrush (Geokichla peronii).
HBW Alive Features

Over 90,000 multimedia links in HBW Alive!

Since the beginning of the HBW Alive project we have added multimedia links in the family texts and species accounts with the goal of enhancing the user’s experience and comprehension. At present, more than 90,000 links have been included in the texts—around 17,000 in the family texts and 73,500 in the species accounts—and more than 6,300 species have links incorporated.

All of the non-passerine species with regular presence in the Western Palearctic, the United States, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Australia have links, as well as most of the passerines regularly occurring in Europe and the United States. A great effort was made to add multimedia links to all split non-passerine species coming from the HBW and BirdLife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World and now we are working on the split passerine species.

The links themselves come from open-access sources all over the internet, especially from our own Internet Bird Collection (IBC), making HBW Alive a quick and easy way to access related materials of interest. So, we encourage you to share your videos, photos and sound recordings with the IBC community, especially of those species for which we do not have any material.

And if you are particularly interested in any specific families, genera and/or species and you would like more multimedia links incorporated in their pages, please tell us!
News on Birds
New taxa

Yucatan Amazon Amazona gomezgarzai

A new Amazona parrot endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, has beendescribed. It differs from other Amazona species in eleven morphometric characters as well as in calls and behaviour. The phylogenetic analysis shows it is closely related to White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons) from Central America. The authors of the description propose it should be considered an independent species, rather than a subspecies of A. albifrons, because of morphometric differences and tree topology. According to them, it represents a recently evolving species, whose lineage diverged from its closest relatives about 120,000 years ago, and was subjected to accelerated morphological and behavioural changes like some other representatives of the genus Amazona.

Read more about this new species here!
Ornithological News

Nest site selection and nest success is influenced by visual rather than by olfactory cover in ground-nesting birds

Predators that forage using olfaction often dominate nest-predator communities. Factors that influence olfactory detection might thus be expected to influence nest site selection and nest survival. A team from Oklahoma State University assessed whether ground-nesting birds select nest sites based on visual and/or olfactory cover. After measuring several variables related to the latter, such as airflow and weather, and the extent of overhead visual cover, they found that only overhead cover was selected for. It thus seems that the ground-nesters involved put more effort into concealing their nests from visual-hunting avian predators and to protecting them from heat stress. In the species they studied, Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), such concealment may act chiefly as a strategy to cope with extreme heat, as suggested by previous studies illustrating that cover can be selected to mitigate thermal extremes.

Night Parrot detected in South Australia

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) has confirmed the presence of Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) in South Australia for the first time in more than a century. John Young, who has been involved in the rediscovery of the species in several spots in Queensland, found a feather of the parrot in a Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia castanotis) nest located in samphire at Kalamurina Wildlife Sanctuary, on the north shore of Kata Thandi-Lake Eyre. The identification of the feather has been confirmed independently by other researchers. They found the first clue of the presence of the species thanks to the use of camera traps in 2016 in a remote location accessible only by helicopter. The populations discovered in Queensland and Western Australia are living in spinifex, while the present spot in Kalamurina is in an area of samphire, with no spinifex habitat. This is changing dramatically the present knowledge about the ecology of this secretive species.
Read more   News on Birds   |   First Country Reports
Internet Bird Collection
IBC's Video of the Month
Whiskered Pitta
A Whiskered Pitta Erythropitta kochi calling from mossy rock.
Recorded in Little Baguio, Sta Maria, Infanta, Quezon Province, Luzon, Philippines,
on 24 September 2017.
IBC's Photo of the Month
Carpentarian Grasswren
A Carpentarian Grasswren Amytornis dorotheae on the ground.
Taken in Northern Territory, Australia, on 1 September 2016.
IBC's Sound Recording of the Month
Regent Whistler
An atypical song of Regent Whistler Pachycephala schlegelii obscurior with a normal one in the background.

Recorded in Tari Gap, Tari Valley, Hela Province, Papua New Guinea (mainland), New Guinea, on 28 September 2017..
New Publications

Owls: A Guide to Every Species

By Marianne Taylor

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Bird Phylogeny Poster

A completely updated phylogenetic tree, incorporating the most recent molecular studies that have revolutionized our understanding of the relationships between and among the orders and families of the world’s birds.
Based on the classification presented in Bird Families of the World (Winkler, D.W. et al. 2015) and the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, Vols. 1 & 2 (del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N.J. 2014, 2016), with several updates.


Essential for understanding the current macrosystematics of the Class Aves!


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