As you've suggested Greg the taxonomy of the Eastern Osprey Pandion cristatus
is not straight forward.
Yes, Wink et al 2004 does suggest that the subspecies haliaetus, carolinensis
and cristatus be elevated to full species status and this was accepted by
Christidis and Boles in 2008, thus Eastern Osprey Pandion cristatus. However
other research only recognise Pandion haliaetus as a single species, with four
- nominate haliaetus (Palearctic)
- carolinensis (North America)
- ridgwayi (Caribbean)
- cristatus or leucocephalus (Australasia and New Caledonia)
This is the taxonomic arrangement recognized by BirdLife International, the
Clements Checklist (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and by the IOC World Bird list.
Most on-line birding atlases (becuase they are creating a worldwide data-set)
adopted one of these main checklists. I'm not sure which list Birdpedia uses,
Clements I think. Eremaea is the same, it has adopted Clements (although it is
planning to move to IOC).
From: on behalf of Greg & Val Clancy
Sent: Mon 12/04/2010 12:43
To: Tony Russell
Cc: birding aus
Subject: Birdpedia - Australia - Weekly Digest
Christidis and Boles (page 115) state "Pandion haliaetus, as currently
recognised, has a cosmopolitan distribution (Poole 1994). Genetic distances
(based on almost complete nucleotide sequences of cytochrome-b) between
subspecies of Osprey (1.9-3.8%) are equivalent to, or greater than, those
seen between members of several closely related sister species within Aquila
and Hieraeetus (Wink et al. 2004a). This, combined with small, but
consistent, differences in plumage and morphology, led by Wink et al.
(2004a) and Wink and Sauer-Gurth (2004) suggest that three species of
Pandion could be recognised. Acceptance of this recommendation means that
Australian birds become Pandion cristatus (Eastern Osprey)."