Nº 57, May 2019

100,000 multimedia links in HBW Alive

Six years ago, Josep del Hoyo offered me the opportunity to participate in HBW Alive with one of my main assignments being to add multimedia links in the texts. Over the years I have been involved in many different aspects and processes of HBW Alive, but I have always considered my "linking work" as more of a personal task, which I do with special care and which gives me personal satisfaction.

The idea of including related multimedia links in the texts is to enhance the reader’s experience and comprehension of the information. Linking photos to the bird’s physical description in the Descriptive notes section, videos and sound recordings in the Voice section and photos and videos in the Food and feeding and Breeding sections, for example, makes reading the species accounts more enjoyable and easier to follow.

The links themselves come from open-access sources all over the internet, especially from our own Internet Bird Collection (IBC). Multimedia from the IBC is conveniently displayed directly in the text without opening a new window, which makes reading the species account more fluid. During more recent months we have increased the amount of links from the Macaulay Library, which is a vast and important wildlife media archive from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The IBC will soon become a collection within the Macaulay Library as the two projects join forces.

As we closed the month of April, we achieved the milestone of 100,000 multimedia links in the HBW Alive texts—around 17,000 in the family texts and 83,000 in the species accounts—with more than 7600 species with links incorporated.

But how did we get to this point?

When we started the project, we planned to incorporate links in all the family texts and in the most charismatic and common species of each family. Once we finished this first round we started on the second, with the goal of adding links in all the non-passerine species with regular presence in the Western Palearctic, the United States, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Australia, as well as in most of the passerines regularly occurring in Europe and the United States.

With the publication of the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World - Volume 1: Non-passerines, focus was turned to inserting links in the new species, resulting from splits, and later on the same occurred with the new species coming from Volume 2: Passerines of the Checklist. In parallel, we have continued to add links to the "regular" species accounts, increasing the number of species with links of the avifauna of the different continents.

And how are the multimedia links distributed throughout the different sections? In the table below the number of links in each section and the number of species with links in each section are displayed.
The Descriptive notes section is by far the one with the most links and almost all the species with links have at least one in this section. While the Voice and Food and feeding sections have a similar value of species with links, the latter has many more links.

As you can see in the Updated Species from the Checklist and Species with multimedia links sections below, we continue adding links, with the final objective of including multimedia links in all the species in HBW Alive!

Arnau Bonan
Editor, HBW Alive

News on HBW Alive
Updated Species from the 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 continued updating species of Parulidae (New World Warblers).

As explained in the editorial, we are adding multimedia links to the completed "new species", with the families Sittidae (Nuthatches), Sturnidae (Starlings) and Nectariniidae (Sunbirds) completed and Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers and Chats), Phylloscopidae (Leaf-warblers), Fringillidae (Finches) and Parulidae (New World Warblers) under way.
Ficedula albicilla
Red-throated Flycatcher
Ficedula albicilla
Maroon-naped Sunbird
Maroon-naped Sunbird
Aethopyga guimarasensis
Black-throated Wheatear
Black-throated Wheatear
Oenanthe seebohmi

Fork-tailed Sunbird
Fork-tailed Sunbird
Aethopyga latouchii

Siberian Chiffchaff
Siberian Chiffchaff
Phylloscopus tristis
Golden-fronted Whitestart
Golden-fronted Whitestart
Myioborus chrysops
We are always busy adding multimedia links to the accounts to enhance the comprehension of the already detailed texts. Some of our recent favourites include links to all species of genera Ortalis, Grallaricula and Rhynchocyclus. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
Genera Ortalis
Genera Grallaricula
Genera Rhynchocyclus
Check out our "Favourite 6" species with recently incorporated multimedia links!
Tyrian Metaltail
Tyrian Metaltail
Metallura tyrianthina

Myadestes palmeri

New Caledonian Myzomela
New Caledonian Myzomela
Myzomela caledonica

Dusky-blue Flycatcher
Dusky-blue Flycatcher
Bradornis comitatus

Orange-breasted Myzomela
Orange-breasted Myzomela
Myzomela jugularis

Brassy-breasted Tanager
Brassy-breasted Tanager
Tangara desmaresti

News on Birds
Cream-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus pseudosimplex

Cream-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus simplex) of Borneo shows two different morphs with respect to iris colour: white-eyed and red-eyed. Traditionally both were considered different morphotypes of the same species. However, a recent mitochondrial DNA analysis showed that they are not closely related to one another. Instead, white-eyed birds are sister to Ashy-fronted Bulbul (P. cinereifrons) of Palawan Island, in the south-west Philippines, and red-eyed birds are sister to white-eyed individuals of Cream-vented Bulbul of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. With respect to plumage, white- and red-eyed individuals are almost identical, varying only slightly in the amount of yellow coloration in their feathers. The new species is, however, yellower on the throat and vent, creating greater contrast with the darker breast and flanks. The two taxa are sympatric at some localities, but white-eyed individuals are rarer and more consistently associated with mature forest than red-eyed birds. The authors consider, therefore, that the white-eyed birds are an overlooked cryptic species.

Upichia Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas upichiarum

A recent expedition to the Serranía de Chiribiquete, a mountain range of Guianan origin in the Colombian Amazon, resulted in the discovery of an enigmatic Turdus thrush restricted to white-sand vegetation. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of the ND2 gene revealed that this population is genetically similar to T. leucomelas albiventer, from which it differs in its smaller size (shorter tarsi, lesser bill height and—in males only—wing length); darker, duller plumage, showing overall darker and more uniform coloration, with less contrast between the grey of the crown and the back, which in albiventer is brighter brown; little or no difference between the colour of the back and the shoulders, wing coverts and margins of the outer primaries, which are brighter brown to rufescent in albiventer; dark streaks of the throat browner, less blackish and on average less heavy; anterior wing linings darker rufous; and underparts averaging darker grey, especially on the chest and flanks. The authors describe the population as a new subspecies of T. leucomelas.

* The validity and rank of new taxa for treatment on HBW Alive is considered "under review" within the framework of the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.
This month we have a tie between two great videos!
Algerian Nuthatch
A pair of Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti feeding their chicks!
Recorded in Jijel Province, Algeria, on 9 April 2019.

Sula Pitta
Male Sula Pitta Erythropitta dohertyi displaying!
Recorded in Kokolomboi, Peleng, Banggai Archipelago, Central Sulawesi Province, Sulawesi, Indonesia, on 2 April 2019.

New Guinea Woodcock
A New Guinea Woodcock Scolopax rosenbergii.
Recorded in West Papua (Indonesia), New Guinea, on 1 October 2018.

See top-rated photos
Red-faced Guan

A feeding group of Red-faced Guan Penelope dabbenei.

Recorded in Esmeralda Lagoon, Quirusillas, Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia, on 17 February 2019.
Lynx and BirdLife International Field Guides
Birds of the West Indies
Birds of Japan
Birds of Cambodia
Lynx Edicions, Montseny, 8, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain

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