Bird names

To: "" <>
Subject: Bird names
From: michael hunter <>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 02:06:31 +0000
Hi All.

         Following the Pitta name change posting I have been delving into 
Lynx’s “Birds of the World” in which the current IOC taxonomy is used.

         These are a quite fantastic two volumes, particularly for those bird 
when the travelling around the world. For instance we twitched the Big Island 
of Hawaii recently,( in conjunction with a Conference of course). The available 
books on Hawaiian birds are OK, but  for an overview with pictures of the 
surviving and extinct species and their distribution,  BotW  puts everything 
into place.

        The big revelation for out of touch  Australian twitchers like us is 
the number of new Australian species created over the past few years.  We 
thought that we had seen them all except the NP and Princess Parrot, but now 
have to circumnavigate  Australia again to mop up  what were once subspecies 
but now fully fledged species, possibly up to a dozen or more. ( Any excuse.)

       Have not looked at the new Birds of Australia yet, will be interested to 
see their take on the new species.

       The BotW  definition of “species” is explained in the fine print forward 
of (vol 2)  Birds of the World.  Although ultimately based on molecular 
studies, (which themselves are subject to variable interpretation), todays 
species seem to be defined as any discrete geographic population, with even 
minimal morphological differences, until proved otherwise.

        Australia’s one time Red-breasted Pitta, now Papuan Pitta , ssp 
digglesei, is apparently so close to the ssp on the adjacent mainland New 
Guinea, from where it is a seasonal migrant, that its subspecies status is 
suspect and subject to further scrutiny.   Digglesei may disappear.

                                         Cheers   Michael



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