Sibley and Ahlquist again (long)

Subject: Sibley and Ahlquist again (long)
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 1995 19:47:17 +1000
In my previous posting (in which I probably didn't explain myself very well)
I was arguing that to argue about which ordering of species is the better
phylogeny (the traditional order or S and A's) is to miss the point that an
ordering, unless it is specifically for the purposes of presenting a
phylogeny of birds, need not try to be a phylogeny, and indeed if it does
then it will have to be replaced every generation or so as new theories of
bird phylogeny are propounded (S and A's is a new and interesting theory,
but it will not be the last). If however an arbitrary order is adopted then
it need never change, so long as it is based on taxa about which there is no
disagreement, that is families, as opposed to the present ordering by orders.

Thus: suggested ordering of bird-lists based on alphabetical oder of
families (families of mainland birds from the RAOU's 1994 list). Note, in
the Passerines the RAOU's list uses the families as defined by Sibley and
Ahlquist, Sibley and Monroe &c, for a non-controversial break-down it may be
necessary to go to the sub-family level amongst the passerines.

Accipetridae - Eagles, Harriers &c
Aegothelidae - Owlet-nightjar
Alaudidae - Larks
Alcedinidae - Azure and Little Kingfishers
Anatidae - Ducks
Anhingidae - Darter
Anseranatidae - Magpie Goose
Apodidae - Swifts
Ardeidae - Herons, Egrets
Artamidae - Woodswallows, Butcherbirds, Currawongs
Atrichornithidae - Scrub-birds
Burhinidae - Stone-curlews
Cacatuidae - Cockatoos
Campephagidae - Cuckoo-shrikes
Caprimulgidae - Nightjar
Casuaridae - Cassowary, Emu
Centropodidae - Coucal
Chariadriidae - Plovers
Ciconidae - Black-necked Stork
Cinclosomiatidae - Whipbirds, Quail-thrushes &c
Climacteridae - Treecreepers
Columbidae - Pigeons, Doves
Coraciidae - Dollarbird
Corcoracidae - Chough, Apostlebird
Corvidae - Crows
Cuculidae - Cuckoos
Dicaeidae - Mistletoebird
Dicruridae - Flycatchers &c
Diomedidae - Albatrosses
Falconidae - Falcons
Fregatidae - Frigatebird
Fringillidae - introduced finches
Glareolidae - Pratincole
Gruidae - Cranes
Haematopodidae - Oystercatchers
Halcyonidae -  most Kingfishers
Hirundinidae - Swallows, Martins
Hydrobatidae - Storm-petrels
Jacanidae - Jacana
Laridae - Gulls &c
Maluridae - Fairywrens &c
Megapodiidae - Scrub/Malleefowl
Meliphagidae - Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds
Menuridae - Lyrebirds
Meropidae - Bee-eater
Motacillidae - Pipits
Muscicapidae - Thrushes
Nectariniidae - Sunbird
Neosittidae - Sitella
Odontophoridae - California Quail
Oriolidae - Orioles
Ornithonychidae - Logrunners
Otidae - Bustard
Pachycephalidae - Whistlers &c
Paradisaeidae - Riflebirds
Pardalotidae - Pardalotes, Scrubwrens, Bristlebirds, Gerygones, Thornbills &c
Passeridae - Finches &c
Pedionomidae - Plains Wanderer
Pelecanidae - Pelican
Petroicidae - Robins &c
Phaethontidae - Tropicbirds
Phalacrocoracidae - Cormorants
Phasianidae - Quails
Pittidae - Pittas
Podarigidae  - Frogmouths
Podicipedidae - Grebes
Pomatostomidae - Babblers
Procellariidae - Petrels, Shearwaters, Prions
Psittacidae - Parrots
Ptilonorhynchidae - Bowerbirds
Pycnonotidae - Bulbul
Rallidae - Rails &c
Recurvirostridae - Stilts, Avocet
Rostratulidae - Painted Snipe
Scolopacidae - Snadpipers &c
Spheniscidae - Penguins
Strigidae - Owls
Struthionidae - Ostrich
Sturnidae - Starlings
Sulidae - Boobies
Sylviidae - Reed-warbler &c
Threskiornithidae - Ibises
Turnicidae - Button-quails
Tytonidae - Barn Owls
Zosteropidae - White-eyes

Everyone will agree that this order makes no sense in terms of the
traditional ordering, but it would be no more difficult to become familiar
with than either of the present orders.

As to field-guides, they don't follow any traditional ordering strictly, as
the neccessity of fitting birds to plates, and relating texts to plates
always pushes the order around anyway.
John Leonard

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