HBW Alive Newsletter
Nº43, January 2018

Taxonomic and nomenclatural changes applied to HBW Alive

HBW Alive follows the taxonomy and nomenclature of the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, and the resulting Taxonomic Checklist is a work in progress with updates released annually. BirdLife International presented the most recent version of the Checklist last month and the changes in taxonomy and nomenclature have been applied to HBW Alive.
As requested by our subscribers, we have created a page to control the taxonomic and nomenclatural changes adopted by the HBW and BirdLife Taxonomic Checklist since the publication of the Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. On this new page, all of the changes are summarized and links are provided to the relevant pages in HBW Alive. You can even filter what changes you want to view, choosing from the drop-down menu for changes in taxonomy, English names and scientific names at either the specific or subspecific level. You can also sort the list of changes by taxonomic order or post date. This way you can keep on top of the new taxonomic and nomenclatural changes!
Arnau Bonan
Editor, HBW Alive
News on HBW Alive
Updated Species from the Checklist

Updated Species from the Illustrated Checklist

Our efforts continue with updating 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 Hylocitreidae (Hylocitreas) and some of the next families under way include Malaconotidae (Bush-shrikes), Monarchidae (Monarch-flycatchers), Corvidae (Crows and Jays), Remizidae (Penduline-tits), Hirundinidae (Swallows and Martins), Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers) and Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers). We also continue to add multimedia links to the completed “new species”, with the family Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls) finished and the families Monarchidae (Monarch-flycatchers), Corvidae (Crows and Jays), Hirundinidae (Swallows and Martins) and Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and allies) being processed now.

Here are four examples to browse:
Quindio Jay
Quindio Jay
(Cyanolyca quindiuna)
Subdesert Jery
Subdesert Jery
(Neomixis pallidior)
Pale Rock Martin
Pale Rock Martin
(Ptyonoprogne obsoleta)
Yucatan Rough-winged Swallow
Yucatan Rough-winged Swallow
(Stelgidopteryx ridgwayi)
Species with Multimedia Links
One important task of the HBW Alive team is to methodically add 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 Progne and Psalidoprocne. We hope you find them interesting!
Progne species
Rufous-bellied Kookaburra
Here are our “Top 5” picks of species with recently incorporated multimedia links: Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud), Pipipi (Mohoua novaeseelandiae), Seychelles White-eye (Zosterops modestus), New Caledonian Crow (Corvus moneduloides) and Madagascar Wagtail (Motacilla flaviventris).
HBW Alive Features

Updates of Conservation Status

Last month, BirdLife International released its Red List 2017, which is an annual assessment of all birds for the IUCN Red List. This update resulted in changes of category (some for better and some for worse) for 135 bird species. Our team has now successfully updated the Status and conservation section of these accounts with the new categories and information.

Learn more about the following cases:
Antipodean Albatross
Antipodean Albatross
(Diomedea antipodensis)
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl
(Bubo scandiacus)
Cape Rockjumper
Cape Rockjumper
(Chaetops frenatus)
Yellow-breasted Bunting
Yellow-breasted Bunting
(Emberiza aureola)
You can also download the entire  HBW and BirdLife Taxonomic Checklist v2, which reflects the current taxonomy and conservation statuses from HBW Alive and BirdLife International.
For more information about the current and previous versions of the list, visit the BirdLife website.
News on Birds
Ornithological News

HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist officially adopted by the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

During the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Conservation of Migratory Species (COP 12), celebrated in Manila, Philippines, last October (2017), the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, Volume 2: Passerines was adopted as the CMS standard reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature for passerine species.
Given that at COP 11 in November 2014 the CMS adopted the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, Volume 1: Non-passerines as the standard reference for non-passerine species, with the current adoption of Volume 2 for the passerine species, the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World is confirmed as the definitive reference for bird taxonomy and nomenclature across all of the parties, which will hopefully facilitate the implementation of conventions and conservation tools with a direct benefit to the birds being protected.

Logically, this taxonomy was also adopted by BirdLife International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, so we continue to feel proud of the influence and importance of the Illustrated Checklist, especially in terms of bird Conservation.
New Taxa
Lesser Sundas Short-toed Snake-eagle

After obtaining DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene and combining genetic data with assessments of published and novel morphological data, a team of authors have clarified the taxonomic status of the Lesser Sundas population of Short-toed Snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus). They describe the population from Lesser Sundas as a new subspecies, C. gallicus sacerdotis, which differs from the Palearctic populations by being smaller and paler, showing less spotting and barring, and lacking pronounced sexual dimorphism.
Read more about this new subspecies here!
Santa Marta Screech-owl Megascops gilesi

The long-awaited description of the Screech-owl from Santa Marta has finally been published. A thorough analysis of vocalizations of the New World screech-owls, together with a genetic comparison with other members of the genus, indicated that it belongs in the genus Megascops, not having closest relatives. The species is present in the humid tropical montane forest of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia, between 1800 m and 2500 m of elevation on the San Lorenzo ridge, in the north-western part of the Sierra.
Read more about this new species here!
Rote Myzomela Myzomela irianawidodoae

The honeyeater present on Rote Island, Indonesia, first observed in October 1990, has been subsumed with Sumba Myzomela (Myzomela dammermani) from Sumba Island given its superficially similar appearance. Now, a team has performed an extensive morphological inspection and bioacoustic analysis, describing this population as a new species. Morphologically it is similar in size and proportions to other Wallacean myzomelas, but it is distinctive both vocally and in the distribution of scarlet, black, and olive-grey plumage.
Read more about this new species here!
Kopet Dag Long-tailed Tit

The isolated population of Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) inhabiting the Kopet Dag ridge is described as a new subspecies, A. caudatus rustamovi. It differs from the geographically nearest taxa, A. c. alpinus, by a lighter, purer grey back colour, narrower black stripes on the sides of the head, light-whitish colouring of the chin, ear-coverts and sides of the neck, and also by a smaller dark spot on the throat. They name the subspecies after Anver Keyushevich Rustamov (1917–2005), who made a great contribution to the study of the avifauna of Turkmenistan and other regions of Central Asia.
Read more about this new subspecies here!
Cordillera Azul Antbird Myrmoderus eowilsoni

The authors describe a distinctive new species of antbird (Passeriformes: Thamnophilidae) from humid montane forest (1,340–1,670 m above sea level) of the Cordillera Azul, San Martín, Peru. Plumage, voice, and molecular evidence distinguish this species from Ferruginous-backed Antbird (Myrmoderus ferrugineus), its sister taxon, which is found in lowland Amazonian rainforests of the Guiana Shield and Madeira-Tapajos interfluvium. The new species is presently known only from Flor de Cafe ridge around the type locality. This distribution encompasses just 15 km2, although extrapolating the range to include habitat at similar altitudes on the same ridge increases the distribution to ~78 km2.
Read more about this new species here!
Internet Bird Collection
IBC's Video of the Month
Giant White-eye
A Giant White-eye Megazosterops palauensis eating a fruit.
Recorded on Peleliu Island, Palau, on 17 November 2016.
IBC's Photo of the Month
Campbell Teal
Male Campbell Teal Anas nesiotis.
Taken in the Campbell Islands, New Zealand, on 24 November 2015.
IBC's Sound Recording of the Month
Crescent-chested Puffbird
A Lesser Crescent-chested Puffbird Malacoptila minor singing.
Recorded in Caxias, Maranhão State, Brazil, on 26 November 2017.
New Publications
Birds New to Science

Birds New to Science

50 Years of Avian Discoveries

By David Brewer

Birds New to Science documents more than half a century of remarkable discoveries, covering around 300 species. Each account includes the story of discovery, a brief description of the bird (many with accompanying photographs), and details of what is known about its biology, range and conservation status.
51.00€     LEARN MORE 

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