The Changes Are In

It’s July, and that means it’s time for the annual update to the American Ornithologists’ Union Checklist. Besides the high-profile splits of Winter Wren, Whip-poor-will, and Black Scoter, the checklist committee also did some major rearranging of scientific names, splitting a number of genera and reassigning several species to a new genus. We’ll take a quick survey of what’s changed and how audio was involved. [Read more]

Whip Split!

According to the grapevine, the AOU Checklist Committee has voted to split Whip-poor-will into two species. This split has been long anticipated, as the eastern and southwestern forms breed a thousand miles apart in different habitats, show slight average differences in size and plumage, and (most importantly for this blog) sing slightly different songs. [Read more]

AOU Checklist News!

The North American Checklist Committee of the American Ornithologists’ Union has published the results of its deliberations on the first round of proposed changes from 2009, and it has updated the slate of proposals currently under consideration. Here’s a quick summary of the changes that affect species splits north of Mexico. [Read more]