Re: birding-aus Macgregor's Bird of Paradise

To: "Susan Myers" <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Macgregor's Bird of Paradise
From: Ronald Orenstein <>
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 21:57:51 -0500

>I recently heard some interesting taxonomic gossip re Macgregor's BoP & was
>wondering if anyone could shed a bit more light on the topic. It appears
>from recent DNA studies that this species is in fact not a BoP at all but a
>very large honeyeater!

Joel Cracraft told me only a couple of weeks ago (at the Ostrom Symposium
on the origin and evolution of birds at Yale) that his gene sequencing work
places Macgregoria as a honeyeater close to Melipotes.  Accordingly I
called Bruce Beehler to ask him what he thinks of this, and HE insists that
Macregoria, despite superficial resemblances to honeyeaters, is in his view
a perfectly good bird of paradise and that anyone knowing the family would
immediately recognize it as one after watching living birds in the field.
You pays your money, you takes your choice....
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          
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