HBW Alive Newsletter
Nº51, September 2018

1000 First Country Reports!

One of the original sections that we developed for HBW Alive is the First Country Reports page, which you will find under the “News” tab. You can either browse the reports or search by species and/or country and you can sort the results by post date or title.
But what is a First Country Report (FCR)? It is a short piece of news about a bird species being reported in a country for the first time. The details of when and where the bird was reported are given, with more data when available, including photographs, links to references, etc.
The FCRs added to this page are a positive “by-product” of another service that we provide to HBW Alive users, which are the checklists of the species recorded for every country and many particular regions (e.g. many island groups). To do this, we need to keep up to date with reports of new species added to the official checklists that exist for various countries. In addition to monitoring these checklists, we are also alerted to FCRs from other sources. For example, nowadays word of a new species recorded for a country spreads quickly thanks to the Internet, with Facebook being a prime channel for this. Sometimes the exciting news of a species’ FCR is almost instantaneous given the speed of social media!
So, we have been adding entries to the FCR page, with images whenever possible, as soon as the news reaches us, usually via the net. The large number of records being uploaded to the FCR page, since the first one on 9 December 2014, suggested that there was a good deal of interest and that it might be wise to create a “spin-off” dedicated solely to these FCRs, separate from the main Newsletter. We gave it a try and it has since taken on its own life, producing an independent newsletter sent by email to the people interested in this kind of information every Friday. If you aren’t receiving the FCR weekly newsletter, you can subscribe to it freely on the First Country Reports page.
The reason why we are highlighting the First Country Reports in this month’s Editorial is that the number of FCRs hit 1000 last Friday, 14 September 2018, with the addition of a first record of a Dunlin (Calidris alpina) that was photographed on 13 September 2018 at Saco dos Flamingos, Angola. We almost didn’t have time to celebrate this goal, when just two days later we already added another FCR, of an Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) found dead on 16 September 2018 at Bustan Hagalil, which will be the first record for Israel, if it is accepted as a genuine vagrant.
Please bear in mind that FCRs is a “News” section and we are uploading reports of these species, not official records. Obviously, we scrutinize the information and we don’t upload reports that are not fully convincing or where doubt exists regarding the identification. We have even taken active part in discussions regarding some identifications. Some of the cases in which we participated include the first Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) for Finland (correspondence with the Finnish Rarities Committee) and the first Upcher’s Warbler (Hippolais languida) for South Africa (a lively discussion in the Global Rare Bird Alert group in Facebook). We made an even more important contribution when the first European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) for India that had been published in the journal Indian Birds was discussed and published as a reidentification in the same journal by Magnus Hellström and myself! So, our aim is not only to spread news, but also to contribute to the quality of the information.
We encourage readers from everywhere to help us to maintain the FCR section. Any news of a FCR can be sent to me at jlcopete@hbw.com. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the people who have been especially helpful in assisting over the last few years, sending records that had passed under our radar, etc. In this respect we owe special thanks to: Luis Mario Arce, Patrick Bergier, David Bishop, Oscar Campbell, Ron Demey, Juan Carlos Fernández-Ordóñez, Prasad Ganpule, Phil Gregory, Martin Kennewell, Christopher König, Dominic Mitchell, Georges Olioso, Cristián Pinto, Bram Piot, Chris Sharpe and Adrian Skerrett.
José Luis Copete
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 Cardinalidae (Cardinals).

At the same time, we are adding multimedia links to the completed “new species”, with the families Sturnidae (Starlings) and Cardinalidae (Cardinals) completed.
Northern White-necked Myna

Northern White-necked Myna
(Streptocitta torquata)
Vinous-breasted Myna
Vinous-breasted Myna
(Acridotheres leucocephalus)
Grey-backed Myna
Grey-backed Myna
(Acridotheres tricolor)
Cunene Long-tailed Starling
Cunene Long-tailed Starling
(Lamprotornis violacior)
Rose-bellied Chat
Rose-bellied Chat
(Granatellus paraensis)
Amazonian Grosbeak
Amazonian Grosbeak
(Cyanoloxia rothschildii)
Species with Multimedia Links
The multimedia links added to the accounts by our team serve to enhance the comprehension of the already detailed texts. Some of our recent favourites include links to all species of genera Centropus, Spilornis and Saxicola. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
Centropus Species
Mayotte Sunbird
Check out these “Top 5” species with recently incorporated multimedia links: Greater Blue-eared Starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus), Mayotte Sunbird (Cinnyris coquerellii), Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja), Pale Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis unicolor) and Golden-chevroned Tanager (Tangara ornata).
News on Birds
Ornithological News

Spoonbills mainly feed on small fish, not shrimp

After a historical absence, Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) returned to breed on the barrier islands of the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands. The area holds an extensive intertidal feeding area with big stocks of brown shrimp (Crangon crangon), the assumed preferred prey of the spoonbill. However, after an examination of the food delivered to the chicks in the spoonbill colonies, it has been revealed that two species of fish, small flatfish (especially Pleuronectes platessa) and gobies (Pomatoschistus spp.) were the main prey, an unexpected result according to what was considered the common knowledge.

Caspian Terns nesting in the Arctic

Northward range expansion by Caspian Terns (Hydroprogne caspia) in the Eastern Pacific, including southern Alaska, has been reported over recent decades. In 2015 a pair nested successfully at Krusenstern Lagoon, 653 km north of where Caspian Terns had previously been reported to fledge a chick, offering the first observations of nesting above the Arctic Circle or along the Chukchi Sea coastline. It is thought the longer ice-free season occurring within the Arctic may now enable the Caspian Tern to complete its long breeding period within the region.
Internet Bird Collection
IBC's Video of the Month
A Black Sicklebill Epimachus fastosus displaying
Recorded in the Arfak Mountains, Vogelkop Peninsula, West Papua (Indonesia), New Guinea,
on 9 July 2018.
IBC's Photo of the Month
Eurasian Bittern
A Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris flying.
Taken in Torbiere del Sebino Nature Reserve, Lombardy Region, Italy,
on 16 December 2017.
IBC's Sound Recording of the Month
Luzon Highland Scops-owl 
A Luzon Highland Scops-owl Otus longicornis calling.

Recorded in Luzon, Philippines, on 29 July 2018.
New Publications
Lynx and BirdLife International Field Guides
Birds of Thailand

Birds of Thailand

By Uthai Treesucon and Wich'yanan Limparungpattanakij

Series: Lynx and BirdLife International Field Guides

This new field guide will help you identify all 1049 species to have been recorded in the country to date, including the 20 species endemic or near-endemic to Thailand.
Browse some sample pages
  • Taxonomy follows the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.
  • Detailed texts covering status, habitat and behaviour, age, sex and geographical variation, voice, and confusion species.
  • Almost 2200 illustrations covering all species and distinctive subspecies, birds in flight, males and females, juveniles and non-breeding plumages, where appropriate.
  • QR code for each species, linking to the Internet Bird Collection gallery of photos, videos and sounds.
  • More than 1025 full-colour range maps for all species other than vagrants.
  • Well-marked subspecies groups receive full accounts, and the distributions of subspecies breeding in the region are clearly mapped.
  • Local species name and local conservation status included.

60.00 €    .LEARN MORE 

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