RE: Taxonomy of Figbirds

To: "John Penhallurick" <>
Subject: RE: Taxonomy of Figbirds
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 17:35:29 +0900


Thanks for the perfect answer. I will mark it as a split (because C&B have changed the scientific and common name because they recognise the overseas split), in the same sense as Osprey, Great Egret, Barn Owl, Grass Owl have been split.

At 07:43 AM 29/03/2008, you wrote:
Dear Frank,
Clements is,not unusually, wrong. (I'm writing a review of his 6th edition
for the ABA's Birding magazine).  If you check Edward Dickinson's 3rd
edition of Howard and Moore, on page 486 you will find the following:
Sphecotheres viridis Timor Figbird                      Timor, Roti Island
(Lesser Sundas)
Sphecotheres hypoleucus Wetar Figbird           Wetar I(Lesser Sundas)
Sphecotheres vieilloti Australiasian Figbird
        S.v.salvadorii                                  SE New Guinea
        S.v.cucullatus                                  Kai Is
        S.v.ashbyi                                              N Western
Australia(Kimberley), N Northern Territory(Arnhem Land),Melville I.
        S.v.flaviventris                                        N & NE
Queensland, Torres Straits Is
        S.v.vieilloti                                   Coastal EC Australia
John Penhallurick

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Frank O'Connor
Sent: Friday, 28 March 2008 4:06 PM
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Taxonomy of Figbirds

I am writing a summary of the taxonomic changes of the WA birds resulting
from C&B 2008.  I am having trouble determining why the name of Figbird was
changed to Australasian Figbird.  Checking Clements 6th Ed. and the IOC
list (Gill & Wright) they list both Green Figbird and Australasian Figbird
and have both occurring in Australia.  Clements has both occurring in the
Kimberley of WA (which I doubt very much, and so I suspect Clements has an
error here?).  C&B accept three species of Figbirds (pg 195), but don't
recognise both occurring in Australia.  What is going on here?  How can you
on one hand accept the split, but on the other not accept that two occur in
Australia?  And do both forms occur in the Kimberley as Clements says?

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email : ===============================

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