2019 eBird Taxonomy Update

Subject: 2019 eBird Taxonomy Update
From: Casimir Liber <>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2019 04:14:30 +1000
FWIW ebird got their history a bit wrong - parent species of boobook was novaeseelandiae not boobook and of rainbow lorikeet was haematodus not moluccanus. Still, not an issue as past anyway....

On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 12:40 PM Laurie Knight <> wrote:

Southern Boobook Ninox boobook and Morepork Ninox novaeseelandiae are separated at the species level (formerly known as Southern Boobook Ninox boobook). Southern Boobook is widespread in Australia, New Guinea, Timor, and Indonesia, while Morepork is restricted to Tasmania, New Zealand, and Norfolk Island (a Lord Howe Island subspecies is extinct). We expect more splits in Southern Boobook in the future, since the subspecies groups Southern Boobook (Alor) Ninox boobook plesseni, Southern Boobook (Rote) Ninox boobook rotiensis, and Southern Boobook (Timor) Ninox boobook fuscaeach probably deserve species status. Stay tuned!

        • Southern Boobook Ninox boobook [map] [species page] [my records]
        • Morepork Ninox novaeseelandiae [map] [species page] [my records]
The two can both occur in southern Victoria, Australia, where it seems that some Tasmanian Moreporks (sometimes separated as a species in their own right) seem to move to the mainland in winter. For this reason, we retain a slash option to promote conservative reporting.

        • Southern Boobook/Morepork Ninox boobook/novaeseelandiae [map] [species page] [my records]

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus moluccanus is split into six species as listed below with their ranges:

        • Sunset Lorikeet Trichoglossus forsteni [map] [species page] [my records]
                • Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa (Lesser Sundas), and Tanahjampea and Kalaotoa Islands (Flores Sea)
        • Leaf Lorikeet Trichoglossus weberi [map] [species page] [my records]
                • Flores Island (Lesser Sundas)
        • Marigold Lorikeet Trichoglossus capistratus [map] [species page] [my records]
                • Sumba, Timor and E Lesser Sundas (Wetar and Romang)
        • Coconut Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus [map] [species page] [my records]
                • New Guinea and adjacent islands (including some off s New Guinea administered by Queensland, Australia), Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu,New Caledonia, and Loyalty Islands; introduced and established in Singapore
        • Red-collared Lorikeet Trichoglossus rubritorquis [map] [species page] [my records]
                • norhern Australia from w. Queensland to n. West Australia
        • Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus moluccanus [map] [species page] [my records]
                • Widespread in eastern Australia, including Tasmania; introduced and established around Perth, Western Australia

Rufous Fieldwren Calamanthus campestris is split into a widespread Rufous Fieldwren Calamanthus campestris found across much of Australia and a range-restricted Western Fieldwren Calamanthus montanellus restricted to just the southwestern corner of Western Australia.

        • Rufous Fieldwren Calamanthus campestris [map] [species page] [my records]
        • Western Fieldwren Calamanthus montanellus [map] [species page] [my records]

In perhaps the most surprising taxonomic revision for this update, subspecies melanorhyncha, previously classified as a subspecies of Little Shrikethrush Colluricincla megarhyncha (in the group Little Shrikethrush (Arafura) Colluricincla megarhyncha [megarhyncha Group]), in fact is a whistler (Pachycephala)So the genus was not even right! Correcting this taxonomic issue, we now recognize melanorhyncha as a species, Biak Whistler Pachycephala melanorhyncha.

        • Little Shrikethrush Colluricincla megarhyncha [map] [species page] [my records]
        • Biak Whistler Pachycephala melanorhyncha [map] [species page] [my records]

Pacific Robin Petroica pusilla is fairly widespread in the south Pacific, but the population on Norfolk Island has always stood out as having a distinctive plumage. It is now split as Norfolk Robin Petroica multicolor and is no longer thought to be most closely related to Pacific Robin.

        • Norfolk Robin Petroica multicolor [map] [species page] [my records]
        • Pacific Robin Petroica pusilla [map] [species page] [my records]


Two subtly different gulls, the Red-billed Gull Chroicocephalus scopulinus and Silver Gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae are lumped as a single species known as Silver GullChroicocephalus scopulinus. The two are retained as identifiable subspecies groups, but as is the case with many subspecies of gulls, the two are barely identifiable and only the extreme “larophiles” claim they can separate them reliably.

        • Silver Gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae [map] [species page] [my records]
                • Silver Gull (Silver) Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae novaehollandiae/forsteri [map]
                • Silver Gull (Red-billed) Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae scopulinus [map]

The Lord Howe White-eye Zosterops tephropleurus is now considered to be “just” a subspecies of Silvereye Zosterops lateralis, now Zosterops lateralis tephropleurus. It is not even considered distinctive enough to be retained as an identifiable subspecies group, so is addition to the loss of a Lord Howe Island endemic the main result is a tiny expansion in the range of Silvereye to include Lord Howe Island.

        • Silvereye Zosterops lateralis [map] [species page] [my records]
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