Splits, lumps, taxonomies, check-lists, whatever.

To: "'Birding-Aus'" <>
Subject: Splits, lumps, taxonomies, check-lists, whatever.
From: "Wedderburn Birding" <>
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2013 10:31:40 +1100
Hi Birding-Aus,

The discussion on splits etc. is all fascinating but I think that the bigger
question is the species list. At this stage we don't have an up-to-date
species list for Australia and the IOC listing seems to have been adopted by
default, although there are some who are adopting Clements, such as Eremaea.
This creates a lot of confusion and depending on which taxonomy you are
using will influence which birds are of interest, as per Nikolas's example
of the Albatross. 

Personally I would like to see an official listing adopted for Australia and
one that is updated on a regular basis. I have used the IOC list for the
past 4 years as (a) it is updated at least 4 times per year, (b) is current
and consistent for all birds, given the duplicate use of common bird names,
(c) uses English names which are consistent with most of the Asian, African
& European field guides, and (d) gives me the most bird species seen for my
world list.   

Observing and recording the subspecies is also important however if one is
using a field guide which doesn't have the subspecies or a data base which
only lists the full species, then one is not going to look for the
subspecies. It's only in recent years that I have started to look for
subspecies, which is useful when these are upgraded into full species, and
that has largely been as a result of using the IOC data base which lists all
the subspecies and their distributions. The recent iPhone apps and some of
the better field guides include the subspecies and these days I try and
identify the subspecies when I can, even when travelling to new parts of the
world, such as South American or central Africa. 

My first priority is to identify the species and if there is time or there
is an obvious plumage difference, then to identify the subspecies.  This is
of course contingent on having a decent field guide and/or iPhone app which
provides details on the subspecies plumage and distribution.  

Bruce Wedderburn


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU