When you come up to FNQ & hopefully observe the local Lesser Sooty Owl, you
can't 'officially' count it as a new species tick (unless of course, you are
yet to see a Sooty Owl further south!!).
BUT, this 'lumping' by C&B 2008 is strongly disputed by many, including many of
us up here more familiar with this bird in the field than some taxonomists.
So Patrick, come up here, find & enjoy the bird, record that you've observed
it, & in time, I'm sure that you will find that this local bird will be split
again from the Sooty Owl & given the full species recognition it deserves. Some
of us up here are currently working on this to be rectified....but there is
much work still to be done on this one....(amongst some other lumps/splits of
As for further answers to your questions about what is tickable (or not) due to
a species' status, I'm sure someone else more qualified than me can help to
explain this to you.
But for my own records list, I just make sure what birds I observe are recorded
to sub-species level - changes in the taxonomy of our birds, & accordingly our
official list (whatever the source of it), will continue to occur. For now, I
keep my records as per the current C&B species list as it is defined in 2008
because this is the current official species list, like/agree with it or not. I
can update my full species list as the changes to the official list occur since
I have a record of the sub-species I have seen & where. I think you will find
that most Aust birders do the same thing or similar.
Someone else I'm certain, will add a better & more scientific explanation about
your other questions - I, for now, just wanted to put my gripe out there about
the poor lumping of Lesser Sooty Owl on behalf of several other dismayed local
FNQ birders !!
Obviously Patrick, as it stands now I haven't got a Lesser Sooty Owl on my
species list - just 2 sub-species/races of Sooty Owl....
0428 782 808
> Date: Wed, 4 May 2011 09:11:11 +1000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] The Lesser Sooty Owl and Sooty Owl?
> Hi All,
> After reading Sean Dooley's reply to Paul, I have been trying to figure out
> what happened with the Christidis and Boles list with regards to the Lesser
> Sooty Owl. In the guide books they are a different size and live in
> different parts of the country, so why is the Lesser Sooty Owl no longer
> counted as a separate species? Does this mean that if I am lucky enough to
> see the owl formally known as the Lesser Sooty Owl on the Atherton
> Tableland that I will be seeing the Sooty Owl? Can someone please explain
> this to me or at least if it makes no sense to others then, what is the
> official explanation? And I have been trying to figure out the conspecific
> term. C & D still have some species as separate (tickable) but as
> conspecific. Are they saying that as with the Western Wattlebird and Little
> Wattlebird that at some stage millions of years ago they were one species?
> Patrick Scully
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