Formerly placed in separate genus, Rhynchodon. Genetic data indicate close affiliation to F. mexicanus#R and to F. fasciinucha#R. Cosmopolitan distribution has led to naming of c. 75 subspecies, many of these on flimsy grounds, and majority no longer accepted. Race madens has been elevated to species level under phylogenetic species concept by some authors#R, but level of differentiation relatively low. Race pelegrinoides often accorded species status (usually incorporating babylonicus as a race), but is significantly variable in plumage#R, and appears geographically and morphologically too indistinct a taxon to merit species status; in recent study, both pelegrinoides and babylonicus exhibited very small genetic difference from other forms, and indeed were as distant from each other as from any of the other races sampled#R#R; in addition, claimed sympatry with both brookei and minor without interbreeding in Morocco#R seems unclear#R. Genetic study of North American races indicated that, although pealei genetically well differentiated, individuals of anatum and tundrius are historically inseparable genetically#R; suggestion that latter be subsumed within anatum, however, requires further investigation. Race submelanogenys poorly differentiated, perhaps better synonymized with macropus. Described form kreyenborgi (in the past considered a separate species) is in fact a colour morph of race cassini. Race furuitii originally given as fruitii, but spelling emended on basis of internal information#R. Nineteen subspecies normally recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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