2014-06-25: Publishing in a peer-reviewed journal is always exciting, but this one feels really close to my heart! A new study published in the Open-Source journal Zookeys explains how the system I developed for Avibase using taxonomic concepts to organize species names can help address some of the issues related to scientific names. The 300-system devised by Linnaeus for handling taxonomic names is very good to attach names to specimens, but much less so to be used as a representation of a taxonomic concepts. This is a problem that is increasingly recognized, but Avibase is the first to provide and implement a solution on a large scale. You can read the Press Release launched today that summarizes the issue and the paper, as well as access the article for free on ZooKeys: http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.420.7089. I really thank my co-authors, Gaurav Vaidya and Robert Guralnick from University of Colorado, Boulder, without whom this paper would undoubtedly still sit in my to-do pile, where it had been languishing for several years, as well as the many people who have helped Avibase all these years. Happy reading!
2014-06-21: A new scientific paper is coming out this out that reveals some of the "secrets" of Avibase. I am very excited about this, as it represents a compilation of some of the innovative methods that I have been developing over the last many years to organize taxonomic names and concepts, in a way that addresses some of the challenges of scientific names. Keep an eye on this site for more details later this week!
2014-06-21: For the last few years, I have been working on a project to convert the Peter's Checklist of the Birds of the World, published in 16 volumes between 1931 and 1987, available in PDF format, into a usable database. With precious help from Jo Warnier, I am now very pleased to say that the first phase of this project is now completed, and that the database file can now be accessed freely in Avibase on this page: http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/peterschecklist.jsp. The Peters' checklist represented the first global effort to compile all the bird species names into one single document, and is used extensively today as the basis for modern checklist efforts such as Clements, Howard and Moore, Handbook of the Birds of the World and the IOC checklist. I hope that you will find this useful!
2014-05-25: I recently submitted a manuscript for publication that aims to explain how Avibase relies on taxonomic concepts to address the various complexities of scientific names. This is something I have been wanting to do for several years, and it looks like it is finally coming to fruition. I just resubmitted a revised version following a first round of comments from the journal's editor. If all goes well, I should be able to post a final copy within a few weeks!
2014-05-25: I have completed a long overdue update of the main taxonomy used by Avibase, based on the first Howard & Moore volume covering all non-passerines. Many of the scientific names (around 441 species) have changed as a result, as well as some of the family arrangements. In the process, I have also updated some of the species concepts, particularly at the subspecies level. I have not yet made available regional checklists in the H&M4 format, since it does not yet cover passerines. Publication of volume 2 is expected later this year.
2014-05-02: I have updated the checklist for the Italian island of Sardinia, as well as several states in Brazil.
2014-05-02: A new page in Avibase show more than 700 different webcams where one can spot birds from around the world! You can search for webcams by topic or region, and see where they are on a map that also shows you a day and night overlay. You can mark your favorite cams, information that is stored in your computer, as well as sort cameras to see the top-favorited cams by other visitors.
2014-04-13: I have just added partial lists of references I used to build the regional checklists. These are not necessarily complete, as I did not always keep track of source of records, particularly in the early days of Avibase (mostly before it became a publicly accessible database). If you are aware of primary references that you feel are missing from a regional list, please let me know. I have included references for main taxonomic sources, distribution records, bird name synonyms and individual species records from other sources such as eBird.
2014-04-13: I have updated the checklist for Taiwan (including the main island, Matsu and Kinmen), and Austria
2014-04-12: I have recently updated the checklists for China, including the province of Beijing, India, including the states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnakata, Tamil Nadu and Goa.
2014-03-16: I have completed the update of the Birdlife Checklist version 6 in Avibase. That version contains only a small number of changes from the previous version. Those changes can be viewed in the Avibase tool for comparing taxonomies.
2014-03-16: I have completed a periodic review of eBird submissions for new potential regional records. Over the last few months, several new country records have been submitted to eBird and have now been incorporated into Avibase. Here's a list of highlights (links lead to eBird checklist with additional details such as photos). In all cases, country records have been accepted by the eBird reviewers, but they may not have been reviewed by the rare bird committee of that region.
Black-vented Shearwater (El Salvador),
Southern Lapwing (Honduras),
California Gull (Honduras),
California Gull (Nicaragua),
Kelp Gull (Honduras),
Roseate Tern (Guatemala),
Bicolored Wren (Panama),
Tricolored Munia (Nicaragua).
Herald Petrel (Bahamas),
Cory's Shearwater (Turks and Caicos Islands),
Snow Goose (Cayman Islands),
Bald Eagle (Cuba).
Red-tailed Hawk (Cayman Islands),
Spotted Crake (Guadeloupe)
Franklin's Gull (Cayman Islands),
White Tern (Bahamas),
Townsend's Warbler (Cayman Islands).
Reddish Egret (Ecuador),
White-winged Coot (Peru),
Picazuro Pigeon (Chile),
Cocoa Thrush (Argentina),
Palm Warbler (Peru).
Long-toed Stint (Germany),
Iceland Gull (Switzerland),
Brown Shrike (Netherlands),
Lincoln's Sparrow (Iceland).
Tundra Bean-Goose (Israel),
Long-billed Dowitcher (United Arab Emirates),
Pied Kingfisher (Qatar).
Tristan Penguin (South Africa),
Parasitic Jaeger (Reunion),
Saunders's Tern (Mauritius),
African Scrub-Robin (Ghana).
Long-tailed Duck (Taiwan),
Slender-billed Gull (Taiwan).
Latham's Snipe (Guam),
Kelp Gull (New Caledonia).
2014-03-03: I have reviewed the checklist for Finland
2014-02-20: I have completed a review of the checklist for Sudan, thanks to a useful comparison provided by Tom Jenner.
2014-02-10: I have completed incorporating the latest SACC checklist into Avibase. For a complete comparison from the previous version and a list of changes affecting the checklist in the past year, check out this link. Apart from several name changes affecting the scientific or English names, there were a few splits (Trindade Petrel split from Herald now extralimital, Jelski's and Plumbeous Black-Tyrants, and White-winged and Caatinga Black-Tyrants) a lump (Plain-breasted Earthcreeper with Buff-breasted Earthcreeper), 2 new species based on new distribution information (Fea's Petrel) or introduced populations (Silver Pheasant) as well as several species only recently described (Predicted Antwren, Aripuana Antwren, Manicore Warbling-Antbird, Delta Amacuro Softtail, and Junin Tapaculo).
2014-02-09: I just reviewed the checklist for the English county of South Gloucestershire.
2014-02-09: I have just completed updating the checklists for the various regions of continental France:
Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne, Bretagne, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse, Franche Comté, Haute-Normandie, Île-de-france, Languedoc Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Midi Pyrenées, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Poitou Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and Rhône-Alpes
2014-01-19: I just reviewed the checklist for the English county of Norfolk.
2014-01-19: I just completed reviewing the various state checklists of Australia: ACT, N.S.W., Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, WA, as well as the islands/territories of Ashmore Reef, Christmas, Cocos Keeling, Heard , Lord Howe , Macquarie, and Norfolk.
2014-01-17: I finished reviewing the checklist for the Australian Capital Territory. There had been some confusion earlier on with the inclusion of Jervis Bay, on the coast of New South Wales.
2013-12-08: I have updated the checklists for Micronesia, including Guam, Northern Marianas, Marshall Islands, Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Wake.
2013-12-07: I have updated the checklist for Costa Rica and the Cocos Island.
2013-12-05: I have updated the checklist for Saskatchewan (Canada) and Florida (US).
2013-11-30: Several new US state records have been submitted to eBird in the past few months, and have been included in Avibase state checklists (subject to confirmation by the rare bird committees in some cases). Marsh Sandpiper (CA), Common Swift (CA), Black-chinned Hummingbird (CT), Cave Swallow (DC), Dusky Flycatcher (GA), Pacific Wren (IA), Violet-green Swallow (IA), Laughing Gull (ID), Lesser Sand-Plover (IN), Black-throated Sparrow (MA), Trindade Petrel (MD, SC), Hooded Oriole (NE), Calliope Hummingbird (NH), Red-bellied Woodpecker (OR), Shiny Cowbird (PA), MacGillivray's Warbler (SC), Say's Phoebe (WV).
2013-11-30: I have updated the checklist for Iowa, USA. Recent additions include Broad-billed Hummingbird, Violet-green Swallow and Pacific Wren.
2013-11-30: Several first provincial records have been added in Canada: Calliope Hummingbird (MB), Brown-chested Martin (ON, pending review), Elegant Tern (ON), Brown Booby (ON), Painted Bunting (NU, 2009 record), White-winged Dove (NT), White-eyed Vireo (AB), Tundra Bean-Goose (NS), Yellow-green Vireo (BC).
2013-11-27: Thanks to Lance Laviolette for providing a checklist of Brier Island, Nova Scotia.
2013-10-15: I have just updated the eBird scores in My Avibase. The new scores should match eBird 1.54 taxonomy.
2013-10-10: I have created checklists for the Alaska Aleutian islands of St Paul and St George, in the Pribilofs, and Attu. St. Paul has seen some major ABA rarities in recent weeks, including the first North American record of Common Redstart, but also Fork-tailed Swift, Gray-streaked Flycatcher, Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch, Olive-backed Pipit, and the long-staying White-tailed Eagle. I have also updated the checklist for St Lawrence (Gambell) Island, where a Siberian Chiffchaff was recently found and photographed.
2013-10-07: I have reviewed the checklist for the Antarctic island of South Georgia.
2013-08-29: I have now integrated the latest Clements and eBird checklists taxonomies. This is a fairly major update in many respects. Of most interest was the addition of 25 new species that have been described or rediscovered in the last year! This is in addition to 73 newly recognized species following splits and only 6 species removed following species lumps. There has been also significant changes in the higher level taxonomy (families) as well as many changes in species scientific name following a change in genus or a change due to taxonomic rules. A summary of the changes is available from the Clements web site and a detailed list of changes that have occured since the previous version is available in the Avibase checklist comparison tool for Clements and eBird. It should be noted that for the moment, I have arranged the Clements taxonomy as a list of species and subspecies, and eBird as the list of species, subspecies groups and other identifiable forms likely to be reported in the field by observers (this is the same as the original treatment, except that I do not include subspecies groups in Clements, at least yet). People who use myAvibase and rely on Clements or eBird as their main taxonomy may want to use the taxonomic comparison tool to try to identify how their life lists are being affected (select Show differences between 2 taxonomies and pick the 2012 and 2013 revisions of Clements to highlight differences).
I am excited to announce a new important addition to Avibase, called . This is a new section of the site that provides tools for planning your next birding trip and manage your own personal checklists. You can use maps and graphs to quickly see how many species can be found in a given region and at various times of year, for instance. If you import your own sightings in myAvibase, you can also view how many myAvibase new species (lifers) you could add to your lifelist on your next trip and decide when and where you should go. For some additional details on the types of reports available, please click here.
People who participate in
eBird can very simply import their lifelist from their eBird account with a click of a button. MyAvibase also offers more features, such as the ability to chose which taxonomy you want to follow (Clements, IOC, etc.) as well as the ability to compare your lifelist the various lists to each other. Best of all, myAvibase is available for free!. (Please understand however that I am unable to provide personalized support, and may not be able to respond to your requests for assistance). I am planning to add additional features in the main Avibase site as well, such as the ability to list records from your lifelist when browsing the regional checklists or the species pages. These additions should come later.
2013-08-15: I have completed an update of the checklist of the birds of Panama.
2013-08-14: I have re-arranged the islands comprising the former independant country of the Netherlands Antilles, disolved in 2010, to reflect their new political realities. The links to checklists for these islands has now changed: Aruba, Curaçao, Sint-Maarten, Bonaire, Saba, Sint-Eustatius, as well as a new region comprising Bonaire, Saba and Sint-Eustatius and forming a new group of special municipalities of the Netherlands.
2013-08-10: I have now integrated changes from the latest AOU supplement (54th), which should soon be available from the Auk and the AOU web site. Four vagrant species are added to the list: 3 from Alaska (Providence Petrel, Common Moorhen and Asian Rosy-Finch) and one from the Atlantic coast (Fea's Petrel). Two introduced species are now considered feral and are also added to the main list: Rosy-faced Lovebird (Arizona), and Nanday Parakeet (Florida). Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza nevadensis) is now split from Sagebrush Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli, formerly Sage Sparrow).
Schiffornis veraepacis and S. stenorhyncha (Northern and Russet-winged Schiffornis) are being split from an extralimital taxon (S. turdina, Thrush-like Schiffornis). Green-crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania fannyi) is now merged with Violet-crowned Woodnymph (T. colombica) and becomes Crowned Woodnymph. Three extralimital forms from South America are also split from forms found in the AOU region, which retain their scientific and English names: Automolus rufipectus is split from A. rubiginosus, Dendrocincla turdina is split from D. fuliginosa, and Troglodytes cobbi from the Falkland Islands is split from T. aedon. Chlorospingus ophthalmicus becomes C. flavopectus because the name was found to have priority.
Several species are moved to new genera: Otus flammeolus (Flammulated Owl) becomes Psiloscops flammeolus, and Gymnoglaux lawrencii (Bare-legged Owl) becomes Margarobyas lawrencii. The genera of shorebirds Aphriza (Surfbird), Eurynorhynchus (Spoon-billed Sandpiper), Limicola (Broad-billed Sandpiper), Tryngites (Buff-breasted Sandpiper) and Philomachus (Ruff) are all merged into the genus Calidris. Chloropipo holochlora (Green Manakin) becomes Xenopipo holochlora. Terenura callinota (Rufous-rumped Antwren) becomes Euchrepomis callinota. Pipra pipra (White-crowned Manakin) becomes Dixiphia pipra, Pipra mentalis (Red-capped Manakin) becomes Ceratopipra mentalis and Pipra erythrocephala (Golden-headed Manakin) becomes Ceratopipra erythrocephala. The genus for Silky-Flycatchers (Ptilogonys) is emended to Ptiliogonys. New linear sequences are adopted for the shorebirds (Charadriiformes), the manakins (Pipridae), the mockingbirds (Mimidae) and the genus Haemorhous (House, Purple and Cassin's Finches).
For a complete comparison of the 54th supplement with the 53rd supplement, you can use the Avibase
checklist comparison tool.
2013-08-10: I have created new checklists for the 9 islands of the Azores: Santa Maria, São Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo. I have also added several species to the overal list for the archipelago of the Azores. People interested in visiting the islands should consult Staffan Rodebrand's excellent web site: http://www.birdingazores.com/.
2013-07-17: I have now integrated changes in the IOC checklist v. 3.04. Three new species have been added: Pincoya Storm Petrel (Oceanites pincoyae) from the Reloncavi Sound, Chile; Rinjani Scops Owl (Otus jolandae) from Lombok in the Lesser Sundas, Indonesia; Antioquia Wren (Thryophilus sernai) described from a site near the Cauca River, in nw Colombia. In addition, several species have been split: Mindoro Racket-tail split from Blue-crowned Racket-tail; Lesser Sooty Owl is split again from Greater Sooty-Owl; Baja Pygmy Owl is split from Mountain Pygmy-Owl; Solomons and New Caledonian Nightjars are split from White-throated Nightjar; Palau Nightjar is split from Grey Nightjar; Chilean Elaenia is split from White-crested Elaenia; Tepui Elaenia is split from Sierran Elaenia; Raja Ampat and Southern Variable Pitohuis are split from Variable Pitohui; finally, Sage Sparrow is split from Bell's Sparrow. For a complete table of changes implemented in version 3.04, click here.
2013-07-17: I have now integrated changes in the IOC checklist v. 3.03 published earlier this year. There were, as usual, numerous changes. Here are some of the highlights: Andean Ibis is split from Black-faced Ibis; Junin Rail lumped with Black Rail; Two new species are added from fossil evidence in Bermuda: Bermuda Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius gradyi) and Bermuda Towhee (Pipilo naufragus); Principe and Sao Tome Kingfishers are lumped with Malachite Kingfisher; Two-banded Puffbird is split from Russet-throated Puffbird; Streak-headed, Santa Marta Antbird and Klage's Antbirds are split from Long-tailed Antbird; Zeledon's Antbird is split from Immaculate Antbird; Thrush-like Schiffornis is split in 5 species: Guianan, Western, Foothill, Russet-winged and Eastern Schiffornis; Aguiguan Reed Warbler is split from Nightingale Reed Warbler; Spotted Creeper is split in 2 species: African and Indian Spotted Creeper; Italian Sparrow is split from House Sparrow; Monte Yellow Finch is split from Greenish Yellow Finch. For a complete table of changes implemented in version 3.03, click here.
2013-06-26: A new species was described in the latest issue of Forktail: A new species of lowland tailorbird (Orthotomus) from the Mekong floodplain of Cambodia The species, called Cambodian Tailorbird, is remarkable in that it has been hiding in plain sight within the limits of the most populated city of the country. According to Birdlife, "The grey wren-sized bird with a rufous cap and black throat lives in dense, humid lowland scrub in Phnom Penh and other sites in the floodplain. Its scientific name ‘chaktomuk’ is an old Khmer word meaning four-faces, perfectly describing where the bird is found: the area centered in Phnom Penh where the Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac Rivers come together." Orthotomus chaktomuk
2013-06-24: I have completed a thorough review of many subnational checklists, and created new subnational lists for a few countries that didn't have them already. I've also started a long overdue review of the Avibase master taxonomic list, which describes all taxonomic concepts used by all checklists described in Avibase (about 50,000 concepts, including species, subspecies, groups, hybrids and more).
2013-05-26: The following records have been submitted to eBird in recent months in Central America and would all be new country records. Most of them have good photographic or sound evidence, which is always very helpful! Townsend's Shearwater (GT), Wilson's Storm-Petrel (BZ), Ashy Storm-Petrel (GT), Peruvian Pelican (SV), Glossy Ibis (GT), Canada Goose (BZ), Redhead (HN), Pearl Kite (SV), Savanna Hawk (NI), Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon (HN), Clapper Rail (SV), Pacific Golden-Plover (NI), Kelp Gull (NI), Lesser Black-backed Gull (NI), Gray-hooded Gull (GT), Black-throated Mango (NI), Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher (HN), Hermit Thrush (BZ), Blue-and-white Swallow (GT), Tricolored Munia (SV), Clay-colored Sparrow (CR), Orange-crowned Warbler (HN), Blackpoll Warbler (NI), Dusky-faced Tanager (NI), and Shiny Cowbird (BZ). The Gray-hooded Gull was only reported a handful of times in Panama prior to this record, though there are also records in Florida and New York.
2013-05-26: I have been reviewing the records submitted to eBird in the United States over the last several months. There are no less than 29 potentially new state records previously not listed in Avibase (some of them dating back a few years and only now being entered). All of these records are subject to approval by the state rare committees: Black Vulture (WY), Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (NH), Baikal Teal (MT), Barrow's Goldeneye (KY), Short-tailed Hawk (GA), Crested Caracara (DE), Whooping Crane (MS), Spotted Redshank (IN), Great Knot (WV), Mountain Plover (LA), Northern Lapwing (GA), Slaty-backed Gull (NV), Ivory Gull (AZ), Roseate Tern (DC), Razorbill (AL & LA), Monk Parakeet (AR), Yellow-headed Parrot (TX), Snowy Owl (HI), Barred Owl (NV), Bahama Woodstar (PA), Dusky Flycatcher (VA), Sedge Wren (NV), Little Bunting (OR), McCown's Longspur (GA), Cassin's Sparrow (OR), Golden-cheeked Warbler (MO), Lazuli Bunting (NJ), Scott's Oriole (OK). The most stunning is the Bahamas Woodstar photographed a few weeks ago in Pennsylvania, far north from any other previous records, and one of the few records in the United States.
2013-05-24: I have completed a rather thorough revision of the Japan checklists, including all the main islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, the Ryu Kyu and Ogasawara (Bonin) archipelagos. In addition, partial checklists for each of the 47 prefectures and many of the smaller islands are also available from this page on the Bird Links section of Avibase.
2013-05-21: I have been going over the most recent records from eBird Canada to update provincial and county checklists. Some interesting things have been reported in the last year! First Alberta record of a Purple Sandpiper in May this year. A Crested Caracara in March and a Ross's Goose in January were both new for Nova Scotia. A stunning Black-browed Albatross was reported dead at Clyde River, Nunavut, last year in June, also a first record for the territory, and probably much further north than any other record in North America. An Hepatic Tanager was photographed while visiting feeders in Wadena Saskatchewan last November, making this the first confirmed record for Canada (a bird was reported in Québec in 1994, but was not photographed). People are also entering older historical records, some of them quite stunning: a female Magnificent Frigatebird was apparently photographed in Saskatchewan in 2010, and a Virginia's Warbler and 3 Whooper Swans were also reported from Labrador in 1994. Also from Saskatchewan were a Yellow-throated Warbler in 2009 and a Bar-tailed Godwit in 2010. A Bobolink was photographed in 2010 in Fort Liard, NWT.
2013-05-06: I recently made a few server changes, moving Avibase to new hardware. That will hopefully help with the occasional server crashes that have been happening over the last several months. As a result, a few pages may no longer work as intended, but for the most part, everything seems in place and working fine. Please do let me know if you find any problems. However, people who have been using the Avibase web service to insert checklists in their own site will have to regenerate new keys. I am sorry about this inconvenience! I also fixed a small glitch that prevented changing to a related region in the species checklists.
2013-04-06: Five new species have been added to the French Guyana checklist: Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, White-winged Tern, Sooty-capped Hermit, White-throated Kingbird and Prothonotary Warbler. Details are available on the GEPOG web site.
2013-04-06: The Spanish checklist has just been updated, based on a new publication of the Sociedad Española de Ornitología. This update adds no less than 40 new species to the Spanish checklist!
2013-03-30: I have posted the latest South American Classification Committee's checklist, with changes up to 17 March 2013. Some of the highlights include the following splits: 1) Drymophila caudata (Long-tailed Antbird) into 4 species: D. caudata, D. klagesi, D. hellmayri and D. striaticeps, 2) Pauxi koepckeae (Sira Curassow) from P. unicornis, 3) Sicalis mendozae (Monte Yellow-Finch) from S. olivascens, 4) Dendrocincla turdina (Plain-winged Woodcreeper) from D. fuliginosa, 5) Myrmeciza zeledoni (Zeledon's Antbird) from M. immaculata and 6) Geotrygon purpurata (Purple-crowned Quail-Dove) from G. saphirina.
In addition, the list now treats Thalurania fannyi and Thalurania colombica as conspecific under T. colombica, it adds Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius to the main list (a rare migrant in Colombia) and also recognizes the newly described Thryophilus sernai (Antioquia Wren) from Antioquia, northwestern Colombia.
2013-03-24: Thanks to Peter Kovalik for pointing out the new official Checklist of the birds of Japan. I have made several corrections to the Avibase Japan checklist (added and removed species) to reflect the official list.
2013-03-03: I have updated the Birdlife checklist to version 5. This update also provides an revision of the IUCN Red List categories for all species and introduces 2 new categories under Critically endangered: possibly extinct and possibly extinct in the wild. Those categories have been so far (thankfully!) only applied to 15 species which are believed possibly extinct: Bachman's Warbler (United States), Eskimo Curlew (Canada), Imperial Woodpecker and Guadalupe Storm-petrel (Mexico), Jamaica Petrel, Jamaican Pauraque, Turquoise-throated Puffleg (Ecuador), Hooded Seedeater (Brazil), Spix's Macaw (Brazil, possibly extinct in the wild, about 100 birds remain in captivity), Ua Pou Monarch (French Polynesia) and no less than 5 Hawaiian endemics ( Olomao, Ou, Nukupuu, Oahu Alauahio and Poo-uli). Including those, there is a total of 197 critically endangered species in the world. Sadly, this list includes several others that are also possibly extinct.
2013-02-03: I have reviewed the checklists for Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo.
2013-02-02: I have fixed a number of minor annoyances throughout the site, and added a few features. entering a region name in the region search box now allows to return a list of checklists for the matching region names. There is now a archive of the Bird of the day featured on Avibase back to August 2012, when I started saving this information. From the Bird of the day, you can also now go directly to images and sounds by using the 2 icons: and . The Avibase logo in the banner now links to the home page I have fixed the "Listen to recording" button, which did not always work properly. Using this button, you can randomly listen to a recording from Xeno-Canto for a species. With permission from Cornell, I have just added Clements geographic range statements to the species pages.
2013-01-27: The latest 2 updates (eBird checklist updates and IOU/IOC checklist 3.2) have now pushed Avibase well over 10 million records! Nearly 4 million of those are distribution records from about 8,600 different regions (countries, continents, states and provinces, islands, etc.). Another 1.5 million are mappings between nearly 150 taxonomic sources, and about 0.7 million are names in a total of 221 different languages. Thanks to the hundreds of people who have helped Avibase achieved this significant landmark.
2013-01-27: I have just posted the newest IOU (International Ornithologists' Union, formerly the International Ornithological Commitee IOC) checklists, version 3.2 made available last fall. I've implemented many of the taxonomic revisions, and all regional checklists are now available in version 3.2 format.
2013-01-27: I just completed a pretty thorough comparison of eBird data with Avibase checklists. Needless to say, I have found many differences, allowing to correct errors and omissions on both projects. I've passed on to the eBird team a detailed list of possible errors in eBird after looking at all possible new country records. Many of those were simply based on incorrect use of taxonomic concepts (a species now split that now bears a a different name in a region, for instance). This process has also added many records to Avibase checklists, particularly in regions where little information may be available, and particularly in subnational checklists (states and provinces).
2013-01-22: Thanks to Lance Chilton for pointing out a resource for the breeding birds of the Canary Islands (spain). As a result, I have now added and updated several species to the various islands of the archipelago.
2013-01-19: I have reviewed the list for the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, Malaysia (including Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Laos.
2013-01-13: I have reviewed the lists for Guam, Northern Marianas, Honduras
2013-01-09: I made several significant improvements to the taxonomic comparison tool available in Avibase. You can now see historical changes to more taxonomic authorities, but also compare differences among taxonomic authorities (e.g. see how Clements and IOC differ from each other). In addition, you can also restrict the comparison geographically to see only differences that are affecting species from a specific geographic area of the world (continents, countries, states/provinces or even specific sites). For instance, this page shows the taxonomic differences resulting from the latest Clements 6.7 checklist released last fall from the previous version, and only showing birds that are affected in Canada. As before, this tool shows differences affecting species scientific and common names, family assignments as well as differences in taxonomic concepts (splits, lumps and changes resulting from redefining species limits and subspecies). I hope you'll enjoy this new tool!
2012-12-30: I have updated quite a few checklists, including many new individual records of accidental species (a few hundreds affecting many checklists). Some of the more thorough reviews include Australia, Cocos Keeling Island, Christmas Island, Romania, Sudan and South Sudan. I have also spent a fair bit of time trying to clean the relationship among taxa, particularly for subspecies groups. This type of work is not immediately visible to Avibase users, but has a large incidence on my ability to maintain the database effectively.
2012-12-27: I have just posted the latest Clements checklist (version 6.7). For a comparison from the previous version, check out this link.
2012-12-06: The following species have been recently added to the ABA and state checklists: 1. Providence Petrel, 2. Double-toothed Kite, 3. Rosy-faced Lovebird, 4. Nanday Parakeet, 5. Asian Rosy-Finch.
2012-12-01: Sorry for the long silence and recent server problems. I have just posted an updated version of the checklist of the birds of France. I have also posted updates to the checklists of India, Ontario, Costa Rica.
2012-09-08: I have just updated the SACC to incorporate the most recent taxonomic changes to the South American checklist. Some of the most important changes include a split of Aulacorhynchus whitelianus from A. derbianus, a split of Schiffornis turdina into no less than 5 species (S. veraepacis, S. aenea, S. olivacea, S. stenorhyncha and S. turdina), the recognition of the newly described Varzea Thrush (Turdus sanchezorum), a split of Sporophila pileata from S. bouvreuil and a change of the scientific name of Common Bush-Tanager from Chlorospingus ophthalmicus to Chlorospingus flavopectus, as the latter name was found to have priority. There were a few additional changes affecting the sequence of some families, particularly with the genus Synallaxis and a few changes of genera. A complete list of changes over the 2 most recent versions of the SACC list can be found here
2012-08-14: More than 450 photographers have now joined the Avibase flickr group, and the number of species with at least 1 photo now surpasses 8,000. If you think you may have photos of some of the missing species, please check out this page.
2012-08-14: Sorry for the oversight. I thought I had posted the updated AOU checklists with my previous update, but it sound like I did not. This should now be fixed!
The 53rd supplement of the AOU checklist is now available:
http://www.aou.org/auk/content/129/3/0573-0588.pdf, and has now been incorporated
into Avibase. Here is a summary of some of the highlights:
Puffinus bryani is added to the list (found on Midway Atoll) Grey Hawk is split again into Buteo nitidus and B. plagiatus
DNA studies have shown that the Falconiformes, Psittaciformes, and Passeriformes form a monophyletic group! Odd combination!
Synthliboramphus scrippsi (Scripps’s Murrelet) is split from S. hypoleucus (now Guadalupe Murrelet)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds), Furnariidae (Woodcreepers, Ovenbirds, etc.) and Troglodytidae (Wrens) get major re-arrangement of their sequence.
Arremon costaricensis and A. atricapillus are separated from A. torquatus (Stripe-headed Brush-Finch).
North American Carpodacus finches are moved to genus Haemorhous.
2012-07-12: A new photo feature: if you are a Flickr user and would like to have your photos used with Avibase, there is now a new easy method. I just created a new Flickr Group called "Avibase": http://www.flickr.com/groups/avibase/. All public photos of members of this group will now be indexed to be displayed as thumbnail-sized images within Avibase. All you need to do is 1) join the group and 2) ensure that your photos are visible to the public, and 3) add the scientific names of the species as part of the photo tags in Flickr. Alternatively, you can also decide to assign your photos to a Creative Content License, as those will also continue to be used as thumbnails in Avibase. More detailed instructions for contributing photos can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/avibase/rules/. Please allow approximately 24 hours for new photos to be added on the Avibase web site after you join the group.
2012-07-12: I have just updated the checklist for Paraguay.
2012-05-29: Thanks to Madis Karu for corrections on the Estonia checklist.
IOC World Bird List (version 3.1) has just been published. This is a major update that now includes all subspecies, as well as extinct species, both omitted from earlier versions. The species range statements have also been improved considerably. I will make the new taxonomy available in Avibase shortly.
Some of the highlights include:
the addition of a species new to science: the
Sira Barbet ( described in the upcoming edition of the Auk ( Capito fitzpatricki) abstract). Greater Antillean Nightjar split into Cuban and Hispaniolan Nightjars
Scripps's Murrelet split from Xantus's Murrelet
Nullarbor Quail-thrush split from Cinnamon Quail-thrush
Western Quail-thrush split from Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush
West African split from Chestnut Wattle-eye
North Island and South Island Piopio (both extinct)
Maupiti Monarch (extinct) split from Tahiti Monarch
Ua Pou and Nuku Hiva Monarchs (both extinct) split from Marquesan Monarch
Eiao Monarch (extinct) split from Iphis Monarch
Moorea and Garrett's Reed Warbler split from Tahiti Reed Warbler
Marianne White-eye split from Mayotte White-eye
Laysan Honeycreeper (extinct) split from Apapane
Capped Seedeater split into Copper and Pearly-bellied Seedeaters
Yellow-billed Toucanet lumped with Groove-billed Toucanet
Hocking's and Chapman's Parakeet lumped with Mitred Parakeet
Vietnamese Pheasant no longer recognized (a hybrid)
Black-fronted Warbler lumped with Audubon's Warbler
2012-05-27: The list of Dutch names has been completely revised, thanks to the valiant efforts of Peter Vercruijsse. Thanks again!
2012-05-27: I have just updated the checklists for Kenya and Taiwan. Thanks for Paul Holt, Marshall Iliff and James Bradley for their precious input.
2012-05-13: I have created a new checklist for the recently formed country of South Sudan in Africa.
2012-05-12: I have updated the Arizona (US) checklist.
2012-05-12: I have updated the checklists for Taiwan, based on the most recent update published by the Chinese Wild Bird Federation.
2012-04-16: Thanks to Paul Holt for providing a thorough review of the China checklist. I also recently received a copy of the Birds of China field guide by John MacKinnon, Karen Phillipps. I hope to find some time to go through the book soon and review the Avibase checklist for China.
2012-04-08: It is now possible to listen to recordings from Xeno-Canto directly by clicking on the "Listen to recording" button that appears under a Flickr photo. Everytime you click on the button, a new sound is randomly selected. I will be adding the same feature to regional lists shortly, and this is also available in the mobile version.
2012-04-08: I have now released a new version of the web site optimized for mobile devices. If you want to add an icon on your iPhone screen, browse to the mobile site, click to add a bookmark and select "Add to Home Screen".
2012-03-14: I have reviewed the Kazakstan checklist, thanks to Askar Isabekov who maintains the Birds of Kazakstan website.
2012-03-08: I have updated the Dutch species names based on the review provided by Peter Vercruijsse.
2012-02-22: I have reviewed the checklist for Europe as a whole, as well as Germany
2012-02-19: I have now completed a region of the distribution of the birds of the Middle East, which covers 14 different countries. I primarily used Helm's Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle East. The guide covers 820 species in 176 excellent colors plates accompanied by range maps. One thing I liked about the guide is that it included the status and drawings of several suspecies and forms, many of which are often considered full species.
2012-02-11: I have completed updating the checklists for the following African Countries: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, and Socotra (Yemen). I have used extensively the Helm field guide to the Birds of the Horn of Africa¸ which I found to be extremely good. Although this is a somewhat troubled region at this time for a visit, this book is a must for anyone seriously interested in the birds of the East African region. The 213 color plates depict more than 1000 species (2600 illustrations). The quality of the drawings by John Gale and Brian Small is quite endearing, and also quite uniform overall. Range maps are also provided for all species and are complemented by a concise description of the bird status in the text. I found the range maps somewhat small, but generally quite readable. This is somewhat expected for a book covering so many species in such a relatively compact format, and I am happy that the authors have decided to include range maps at all. Overall, this is a fantastic book!
2012-02-11: I have just received a copy of the book Field Guide to the Birds of Nepal (Helm Field Guides). The guide, the second edition of a book first published in 2000, covers all 780 species regularly found in Nepal. The quality of the color plates is superb, and I would recommend this guide for anyone interested in the birds of Nepal. I have also used this opportunity to update the checklist of Nepal in Avibase.
2012-02-07: I just finished updating the checklist of the birds of French Guiana.
2012-01-28: I have completed a significant update to the checklists for Northern Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Egypt and Estonia. I also did a minor review of the checklist for Finland.
2012-01-20: I have just posted a major update including new sub-national checklists for the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Portugal and New Zealand, as well as a new checklist for Orkney (Scotland), and a revised list for Wrangel Island (Russia) (latter still far from complete!). In total, this is almost 90 new area checklists available in Avibase! Also of note, I have added an option to easily navigate between checklists within an area by adding a drop-down list at the top of the checklist for related regions.
2012-01-16: I have reviewed the checklist for the island nation of Malta.
2012-01-16: I have finished reviewing the checklist for Finland. This includes the change in status for many accidental/rare birds that were not previously marked as such.
2012-01-12: Thank you to Joseph Morlan for submitting corrections to the California checklist.
2012-01-11: I have now posted the final instalment of the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW), following the publication of Volume 16. This includes the Thraupidae, Cardinalidae, Emberizidae and Icteridae families. Thanks to Jo Warnier for his help! I should be able to include the subspecies for that group within a few weeks, thus completing a nearly 20 years effort. Among the surprises in the latest volume is the recognition of 3 new species split from the Savannah Sparrow (Belding's, Large-billed and San Benito). All three forms are found around the Baja Calfornia area of Mexico and the adjacent regions of Sonora, Sinaloa and California. Also newly recognized are the 4 forms of the Fox Sparrow (Red, Slate-colored, Thick-billed and Sooty Fox-sparrow). HBW also reconizes Sturnella lilianae (split from S. magna), Agelaioides fringillarius (A. badius), Molothrus armenti (from A. aeneus), Icterus chrysocephalus (from I. cayanensis), Icterus fuertesi (from I. spurius), Psarocolius yuracares (from P. bifasciatus), Cacicus microrhynchus (from C. uropygialis), Cacicus leucoramphus (from C. chrysonotus), Nesospiza questi (from N. acunhae), Artemisiospiza nevadensis (from A. belli), Emberiza sahari (from E. striolata), Chlorothraupis frenata (from C. carmioli), Piranga hepatica and P. lutea (from P. flava), Dacnis egregia (from D. lineata), Anisognathus flavinucha (from A. somptuosus), Ramphocelus icteronotus (from R. flammigerus), Hemispingus piurae and H. ochraceus (from H. melanotis) and Hemispingus auricularis (from H. atropileus). It will be interesting to see whether other taxonomies follow the same path.
2012-01-11: I have now updated the IOC checklist to version 2.11. Among the new species recognized are the 6 forms of the Greater Flameback (Chrysocolaptes lucidus) in South East Asia, the Guatemalean Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium cobanense), the Bornean Green Magpie (Cissa jefferyi), the Chinese Grassbird (Graminicola striatus), and the Varzea Thrush (Turdus sanchezorum). The White-bellied Warbler (Basileuterus hypoleucus) is also lumped with Golden-crowned Warbler (B. culicivorus). The list also includes a number of substantial taxonomic revisions, including the rearrangement of the Parulidae, Locustellidae and Cettidae families.
2011-12-18: I have updated the list for Zanzibar (Tanzania)
2011-12-16: The new official list for Costa Rica has just been published in Zeledonia, and I have now updated Avibase accordingly.
2011-11-22: Just finished reviewing the list for Austria.
2011-11-20: I have reviewed the checklists for the birds of Greenland and Denmark.
2011-10-28: The bird songs available in the xeno-canto section of the species pages now also include links to some 20,000 other recordings available on other sites, such as the Macaulay Library and Avocet. Those 3 sites combined include over 100,000 recordings from approximately 8,200 species.
2011-10-28: Thanks to Andy Mitchell for sending updates for the Cuban checklist.
2011-10-26: A new option is now available to search for checklists by region name. This option is available on the main page and the main checklist page. Simply type in a region name, and choose one of the matches from the proposed list. Given how many different checklists are now available in Avibase, I hope you will find this option useful.
2011-10-26: I have fixed a problem with the Flickr images for taxa that had been recently renamed, such as most of the Parulidae. Images should now start to come up again. Sorry for the inconvenience.
2011-10-26: I have created new checklists for the various Bahamas islands. The complete list of checklists is available on this page
2011-10-21: I have finished reviewing the checklists for Chile and Easter Island.
2011-10-20: I have just posted an update.
2011-10-20: I have just updated the endemic status of a number of species in Bolivia, thanks to Jean Hardy for pointing them out.
2011-10-20: I have just updated the lists for Timor-Leste and Timor. Thanks to Colin Trainor for his input!
2011-08-19: The taxonomic table in the species pages now show alternative arrangements when they exists (eg. when subspecies have been alternatively considered as part of more than one species). You can examine for instance one of the most complicated examples: the House Wren complex. Simply click on the Alternative arrangements link in the related taxa section. Two other interesting groups are the Barn Own Complex and the African Yellow White-eye. Anyone said messy? I still am trying to sort out the arrangements for subspecies groups, so things will likely continue to evolve in the upcoming updates.
2011-08-19: Thanks to input from Dave Smith, I have done a fairly detailed review of the checklists of Trinidad & Tobago, as well as the checklists for both individual islands: Trinidad and Tobago.
2011-08-14: I have fixed several problems with the HBW (Handbook of the Birds of the World) checklist, particularly affecting subspecies of volumes 14 and 15. The list will be complete after the release of the much anticipated 16th volume ( Tanagers to New World Blackbirds) later this fall.
2011-08-12: A comparison of the eBird version 1.50 and 1.52 is available on the Avibase Taxonomic comparison tool. A detailed account of the changes are also available on the eBird site.
2011-08-10: I have just completed a large update, including lots of changes brought with the latest eBird/Clements checklist. I should post more details soon.
2011-07-15: To view a complete list of changes brought by the AOU 52nd supplement (highlights below), you can use Avibase's checklist comparison tool.
2011-07-14: I have now received a copy of the much anticipated 52nd supplement to the AOU Checklist. These changes should now be reflected in the AOU versions of the checklists in Avibase. There are quite a bit of change, but as expected, the biggest one relates to the Parulid Warblers. The sequence is entirely redone and about half of the 87 species of the family are assigned to a new genus. The biggest change is the move of all Dendroica species to the genus Setophaga, previously only used for the American Redstart. Setophaga now counts no less than 34 species. Mourning and Kentucky Warblers are moved to Geothlypis (Yellowthroats). Canada and Wilson's Warbler are moved to Cardellina with the Red-faced Warbler. Together with the changes from the 51st supplement, 52 warblers have seen a change in their scientific name in the last year. No change in common name were proposed, however, but there was 1 species added (Bahama Warbler, Setophaga flavescens, split from Yellow-throated Warbler).
Other splits, in addition to Bahama Warbler, include the Transvolcanic Jay (
Aphelocoma ultramarina) and the Mexican Jay ( A. wollweberi), the Common Gallinule ( Gallinula galeata, from the Americas) split from the Common Moorhen ( G. chloropus), the Snowy Plover ( Charadrius nivosus) now recognized as a full species from the Kentish Plover ( C. alexandrinus), and Sick's Swift ( Chaetura meridionalis) is now split from Ashy-tailed Swift ( C. andrei).
Several new species were added from newly accepted accidental records, including 6 species to the AOU list (Tahiti Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Long-winged Harrier, Gray-bellied Hawk, Solitary Snipe, and Large-billed Seed-Finch), and 7 species to the USA list White-chinned Petrel, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Sungrebe, Amazon Kingfisher, Gray-collared Becard, Brown-backed Solitaire, and Red-legged Thrush).
Finally, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsoni) is now merged with Black-mandibled Toucan (R. ambiguus) from South America.
2011-07-13: Marie-Anne Hudson sent me some questions/corrections on the Canadian list, and I have reviewed some of the species status in the process of verifying those, including some of the provincial checklists. Also, I have fixed a minor issue with displayed that prevented the Rare/Accidental status from appearing in a few cases. This will impact several checklists, but only a few species in each.
2011-07-13: I have completed a long-overdue review of the Dutch checklist.
2011-07-10: I just completed a review of the Hispaniola checklist, including the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and a new partial list for the island of Gonâve, which includes several endemic subspecies.
2011-07-10: I have renamed a few region codes to match ISO standards. As a result, the following checklists will need new URL's if you are linking directly to them: Guadeloupe is now separated from Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélémy (the former combined list is available here), the Democratic Rep. of Congo (formerly Zaire). Sudan and South Sudan (the former country of Sudan is now divided in 2: Sudan and South Sudan, but no checklists are available for those individually at this time). and Bequia is now moved to the Grenadines rather than St Vincent. Finally, I have reorganized the republics of the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia.
2011-07-09: I have finished reviewing the checklists for both Saint Kitts and Nevis. The Nevis checklist is essentially a new addition to Avibase.
2011-07-08: I have reviewed the status of several species within checklists of the Caribbean region, thanks to input from people at the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB). You should expect more changes in the near future.
2011-07-08: I have created a new regional checklist that covers the area of the Caribbean as defined by the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB). This area includes islands which, although are formally part of the Caribbean, are more closely associated with the South American avifauna, such as Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles. A checklist covering a more restricted area continues to be available here.
2011-06-19: I have just finished reviewing the list for the Western Palearctic. Thanks to Jonathan Braggs for his assistance.
2011-05-03: Roxio, the maker of the very popular game Angry Birds, is now partnering with Birdlife to help raise awareness for the World's most endangered birds: http://www.birdlife.org/community/2011/04/help-for-the-world%E2%80%99s-angriest-birds/.
2011-05-03: I have reviewed the checklist for Israel.
2011-04-27: Bird names of nearly all species of the World are now available in Chinese. Those are now available in all of the checklists as an optional feature.
2011-04-26: I have now completed integrating the version 2.7 and 2.8 of the IOC checklist. To see of full list of changes among any versions, you can use the tool for taxonomic comparisons available here. Regional checklists using the IOC checklist should now be relying on version 2.8.
2011-04-26: An article published in The Ibis (March 2011) suggests that the Arctic Warbler ( Phyloscopus borealis) is actually comprised of 3 distinct species: (1) the Arctic Warbler ( Phyloscopus borealis), in continental Eurasia and Alaska, (2) the Kamchatka Leaf Warbler ( Phylloscopus examinandus) in south Kamchatka, Sakhalin and northeast Hokkaido, and (3) the Japanese Leaf Warbler ( Phylloscopus xanthodryas) in most of Japan (Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu), except Hokkaido.
2011-03-23: I have reviewed the checklist for Lithuania.
2011-03-19: I have reviewed the checklist for Norway.
2011-03-11: I have posted several corrections and additions to the Vermont checklist.
2011-03-08: The checklist for the Czech Republic has just been reviewed, as well as the Wisconsin (USA) checklist.
2011-03-05: I have just completed a review of the checklists for Egypt, Andalusia (Spain), Denmark.
Another new species, this time from Madagascar: Tsingy Wood-Rail
Mentocrex beankaensis. This Wood-Rail is related to the Kioloides Rail Mentocrex kioloides, an endemic from Madagascar. A PDF of the full article by Goodman et al is available here, and reactions on Gunnar's blog. The scientific name comes from the Beanka Forest, a largely intact area resting on exposed limestone formation with razor-sharp pinnacle like structures, which are known in Malagasy, the language of Madagascar, as tsingy.
2011-03-04: A new species of Storm-Petrel has been found and captured from the area of Puerto Montt, Chile. A summary of the expedition, including stunning photographs, is available here. The species has yet to be formally described in the scientific litterature, but the species will be named Puerto Montt Storm-Petrel Oceanites australis.
2011-03-04: I've just updated the Egyptian list.
2011-02-23: The latest Clements checklist, version 6.5 is now available in Avibase. For a comparison from the previous version, check out this link.
2011-02-08: I have finished a revision of the Slovak checklist. Thanks to Peter Kovalik for providing a copy of his manuscript published in Tichodroma and available here.
2011-01-06: There is now a new search option available on Avibase. You can use the search page to find names published by specific authors, such as Linnaeus. This is in addition to other search option already available, such as names published within a range of years (for instance, to find all new taxa published in 2010). I hope some of you will find this tool useful! Thanks to Ruud Vlek for the suggestion.
2011-01-06: A preliminary list of Swedish bird names is now available for the entire world from Sveriges Ornitologiska Förening. Those names are now available in Avibase checklists as well.
2011-01-06: The SACC has decided to split Ortalis columbiana (Colombian Chachalaca) from O. guttata: http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCprop439.html.
Printable checklists! Avibase checklists can now be downloaded and printed as PDF documents that include columns for using during your birding trips or excursions. You can enter up to 10 visits or sites per checklist, and I strongly encourage you to submit your observations to eBird to help increase our knowledge on birds.
To download a checklist as PDF, simply click on the PDF Version at the top of any regional checklist, in the language and authority of your choice. I hope you will find this tool useful.
Look for this button:
New taxonomic tool I have now expanded the taxonomic comparison tool to include many more authorities. Using this tool, you can easily compare different versions of a same checklist and see how the differ, both in term of names (scientific or common names) and in term of species concepts. For instance, you can see all changes that have occured in the most recent update to the Clements checklist compared to the year before or to the version 6 as originally published.
I hope to be able to offer comparisons among different taxonomies in a near future. Stay tuned!
With Jo Warnier's help, I have now incorporated the latest taxonomy from the
Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW), vol. 15 (the greatest book series ever produced, in my view!). This list is again a reflection of the rapid taxonomic flux in which we find ourselves. When compared with other recent checklists, there are many splits and genus reassignments, for instance. Below is a list of the some of the highlights
Lesser and Common Redpoll are considered as distinct species again.
Corsican Finch is considered distinct from Citril Finch
Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) is split from Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Tricoloured, Chestnut and White-capped Munia (Lonchura malacca, L. atricapilla and L. ferruginosa) are split from the L. malacca sensu lato
Kipengere Seedeater is split from Thick-billed Seedeater (Serinus burtoni)
Red-fronted Antpecker and Jameson's Antpecker (Parmoptila rubrifrons and P. jamesoni) are considered distinct species
Angola Swee (Coccopygia bocagei) is considered distinct from Swee Waxbill (Coccopygia melanotis)
Kandt's Waxbill (Estrilda kandti) is distinct from Black-headed Waxbill (Estrilda atricapilla)
Somali, Arabian and Socotra Grosbeaks are moved to the genus Rhynchostruthus and considered as distinct species from each other.
Lesser Seedcracker (Pyrenestes minor), Black-bellied Seedcracker (P. ostrinus) and Crimson Seedcracker (P. sanguineus) are considered distinct species.
Yellow-crowned and Cape Canary (Serinus flavivertex and S. canicollis) are considered as distinct species
Reichenow's Seedeater (Serinus reichenowi) is split from Black-throated Canary (S. atrogularis)
Yellow-rumped Seedeater (Serinus xanthopygius) is considered as a distinct species from Yellow-throated Seedeater (S. flavigula)
Australasia and Pacific
The Australian form of the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia castanotis) is considered distint from the nominal form in the Lesser Sundas (Taeniopygia guttata)
The Hawaii and Maui Akepa (Loxops coccineus and L. ochraceus) are considered distinct species.
Kauai and Maui Nukupuu (Hemignathus hanapepe and H. affinis) are elevated to full species rank.
Hispaniolan Crossbill is split from White-winged (Two-barred) Crossbill
Tepui Whitestart (Myioborus castaneocapilla) is split from the Brown-capped Whitestart (Myioborus brunniceps)
2010-12-11: The palliata subspecies of the Dull-mantled Antbird Myrmeciza laemosticta is elevated to the species rank: Magdalena Antbird: http://www.mj-miller.net/2010Chaves.pdf. The species is found in NW and C Colombia, as well as W Venezuela, while the Dull-mantled Antbird sensu stricto is now only found in Costa Rica and Panama.
2010-11-22: I have just completed a review of the checklist for Austria. A recently published revision of the list is also available here.
2010-11-22: I have finished incorporating the changes from the IOC checklist in version 2.5 and 2.6, as posted on http://www.worldbirdnames.org/. Those 2 updates include several new taxonomic decisions.
2010-11-18: I have just completed a thorough update of the Afghanistan checklist, thanks in large part to a revision provided by Michael Blair, from the Ornithological Society of the Middle East.
2010-11-10: I have now finished reviewing the checklist for the Tristan da Cunha Islands group, including Tristan da Cunha, Inaccessible, Nightingale and Gough.
2010-11-10: A new study in the Auk suggest that the Bahama subspecies of Yellow-throated Warbler may be a distinct species Dendroica flavescens: http://bit.ly/dkuV5Z.
2010-10-13: The French checklist from the Commission internationale pour les noms français d'oiseaux, originally published in 1993, has been under revision for a while. While the newest version is not yet finalized, I am now offering an interim version from 2009, instead of the 1993 version.
2010-10-12: I finished updating the African Bird Club checklist to the latest edition (May 2010). Those are now in use in the African region.
2010-10-11: I just realized that the checklist for the province of argentine province of Mendoza was wrong. For some reason, it probably included all species for the province of Misiones, which almost tripled the total list! I have now hopefully fixed the major issues, which also affected the Cuyo region.
2010-10-10: I have just reviewed the Honduras checklist.
2010-10-10: I have just finished reviewing the Sri Lanka checklist. An annoted checklist is available from the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka.
2010-10-07: I recently received a copy of a book entitled "South Pacific Birds, revised and updated 2nd edition", published in 2010 by John E. duPont. This is the second edition of a book that first appeared in 1976, and which covers the avifauna of an vast oceanic area that includes Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook, Society, Tuamotu, Marquesas, Austral, Pitcairn and Henderson Islands. Not having seen the previous edition, I cannot comment on improvements or changes from 34 years before. Even before opening the book, the first thing that one notices is that this is a heavy book, the type that you probably want to read on a desk rather than carry in the field, even at only 225 pages. There are many things that I like about the book, but I see it more as a reference book than a true modern field guide.
The illustrations, from 2 different artists, spread across 39 colors plates in the center of the book, include all 234 species in the region, and include several subspecies and plumages when it is appropriate. Many of the drawings appear somewhat strangely proportioned, but they should generally serve their identification purpose honorably. The species accounts represent the main part of the book, and they each contain fairly detailed descriptions of the bird's various parts, as well as measurements. They also list, with much details, the major individual islands where each species and subspecies are found, and present a description of the nest and eggs. The Remarks section, present for most species, often contain interesting nuggets of information, particular useful for the field observers.
This is an area for which there are not too many other resources available. Even if I would have wished for better illustrations, they still compare favorably to the only other guide that I am aware covers this area (A field guide to the birds of Hawaii and the tropical Pacific, HD Pratt, 1987). One final regret is that there is no geographic map showing the full extent of the area covered by the book. All in all, this is very a useful book that anyone interested in the South Pacific should have in their library. Published by Jameson Books. ISBN 978-0-89803-166-9.
2010-10-06: Trogon violaceus ramonianus and T. v. crissalis are split into a a single distinct species called Trogon ramonianus. See the SACC proposal #430 for details. Also, Frederickena fulva (Fulvous Antshrike) is split from Frederickena unduligera (Undulated Antshrike) (see SACC proposal #431 for details).
2010-09-15: I have reviewed the British Columbia checklist, and also created a new checklist for the Vancouver Island in the same province.
2010-09-05: I have finished reviewing all country checklists for South America, based on the most current SACC taxonomy, and the country checklists available on their web site. This is a major update affecting 18 regions and many subnational areas.
2010-09-05: I have just completed a full review of all US state checklists. I owe a big thank to Patrick Toomey for his help in reviewing those! The lists should now be more closely aligned with the official state checklists published by the various avian records commitee. That said, there are still a few inconsistencies, particularly due to the fact that each checklist committee has their own rules for whether or not a category is officially part of the list or not, and how those are handled.
2010-09-04: A new study suggests that the disjunct African and Indian populations of (Spotted Creeper) should be treated a 2 distinct species: Salpornis spilonota Salpornis spilonota and Salpornis salvadori. The paper, written by Tietze and Martens is published in the most recent edition of Verterbrate Zoology.
2010-09-03: I have now completed a substantial review of the Taiwan checklist, which included almost 100 species that were not originally listed. I have also created new checklists for the main island of Taiwan, Matsu and Kingman, based on the checklist recently published by the Chinese Wild Bird Federation.
2010-08-31: I have just completed a major review of the Colombian checklist. An annotated version is available on the ProAves web site.
2010-08-25: A recent paper suggests that the Indian form of the Water Rail ( Rallus aquaticus indicus) should be treated as a distinct species: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/10/226.
2010-08-22: A new species of Tapaculo has been described in June edition of Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia. The bird, called (Rock Tapaculo) is restricted to the southern section of the Espinhaço Range in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is most closely related to the Scytalopus petrophilus S. novacapitalis complex. Source: Whitney, M. Ferreira de Vasconcelos, L.F. Silveira and J.F. Pacheco. 2010. Scytalopus petrophilus (Rock Tapaculo): a new species from Minas Gerais, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 18(2):73-88.
2010-08-22: I have just posted a revised version of the Kentucky checklist.
2010-08-22: The AOU checklists on Avibase are now updated to include changes from the 51th supplement. Also, the AOU published a corridendum to their supplement reverting to the name Black Scoter for the North American species. The name of the Eurasian form is now Common Scoter.
2010-08-14: I have posted a new version of the Aleutian checklist, which should now be up relatively to date.
2010-07-29: The American Ornithologist's Union just published their 51th supplement to their checklist. This is always something I look forward to every summer. There are very many changes this year, particularly affecting the higher taxonomic levels and the species arrangements. Here are a few highlights. Eight new species are added: Swinhoe's Storm-Petrel, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill, Collared Pratincole, White-crested Elaenia, Rufous-tailed Robin, and Yellow-hooded Blackbird, all from recently accepted vagrant records. Several species are split, three of them from extralimital forms: Black Scoter (from Common Scoter in Eurasia), White-tailed Trogon (from Green-backed in South America), Gartered Trogon (from Violaceous in South America), 4 of them are split into a total of 10 new species: Whip-poor-will becomes Eastern and Mexican Whip-poor-will, Greater Antillean Oriole becomes Bahama, Cuban, Hispaniolan and Puerto Rican Oriole, Elepaio becomes Kauai, Oahu and Hawaii Elepaio and Winter Wren becomes Winter and Pacific Wren, and is also split from the Eurasian Wren.
Many species are assigned to different genus, and many new genus are introduced or ressurected:
Psilorhinus (Brown Jay), Peucea (8 species of sparrows: Cinnamon-tailed, Rufous-winged, Stripe-headed, Black-chested, Bridled, Botteri's, Cassin's and Bachman's), Oreothlypis (8 species of warbler: Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Virginia's, Colima, Lucy's Warbler, Flame-throated and Crescent-chested) Parkesia (Louisiana and Northern Waterthrushes) and Rhynchophanes (McCown's Longspur).
The Blue-winged Warbler's latin name is now
Vermivora cyanoptera, and several sparrows (Emberizidae) belonging to the genus Atlapetes, Pipilo, Aimophila and Melozone, have been reorganized.
Four new orders are introduced (Phaethontiformes, Suliformes, Accipitriformes, and Eurypygiformes) and no less than 11 new families are also introduced or restored: Pandionidae (Osprey), Capitonidae (Barbets), Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbet), Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers), Cettiidae (Bush Warblers), Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers), Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers), Donacobiidae (Donacobius), Megaluridae (Grassbirds), Calcariidae (Snow Buntings and Longspurs), and Viduidae (Whydahs). Several families are also moved into different orders, and several changes of species sequences are also necessary.
In summary, there are many changes affecting the higher levels of classifications and the taxonomic affinities. Those looking for armchair ticks should pay attention to Pacific/Winter Wren, Eastern/Mexican Whip-poor-will, the Greater Antillean Oriole complex and the Elepaio from the Hawaiian Islands. Those travelling a little further afield may also get a few extra ones, such as the 2 trogons or the American scoter.
The full list and supplement should normally be available from the
AOU web site shortly. You can also see a full comparison of the new version against earlier ones on this Avibase comparison tool.
2010-07-23: I have just completed a major review of the Mongolian checklist. This is an area of the world that is very seldom visited, and I have consulted the following 2 sites to update Avibase, as well as a few other sources: www.num.edu.mn/ornithology/Mongolian%20Bird%20List.htm and a great blog birdsmongolia.blogspot.com/. That review adds nearly 50 species to the Mongolian checklist, and removes a few birds for which I couldn't find any solid evidence.
2010-07-22: Thanks to Oriol Clarabuch for sending some additions to the Spain checklist.
2010-07-06: Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands Ian Sinclair and Olivier Langrand Camberlain 2003 revised edition
Over one-third of the 300 birds found on Madagascar are found nowhere else in the world. In term of proportion, this is higher than any other country except Australia. Madagascar is also the 6th country in term of absolute number of endemics. This includes some fantastically beautiful species, such as the asities (see example
here), the vangas ( here, here, here and here), the ground-rollers ( here, here and here). Any book covering the island country will therefore be of great interest to serious world bird travellers. The illustrated field guide also cover other Indian Ocean islands, such as the Seychelles, the Mascarenes (Réunion and Mauritius) and the Comoros, which together have well over 50 other endemics. All told, this book cover about 180 species that are found nowhere else in the world.
The book itself did not disappoint. At 184 pages, it covers all of the regular species found in the area. The 71 plates have been completed by 4 different artists. I thought that there was a bit of differences in quality among the plates, with the passerines generally being my favorites, but the quality was very pleasant overall. Range maps are presented for all species in the book, and those are useful, but it is difficult to exactly identify which of the islands are being shown in the Seychelles in particular. The accompanying text will generally complement the maps nicely and provide clarifications on the status in each region. Overall, this is a book that I strongly recommend. Now I just hope that I will have an opportunity to use it in the field one of these days!
2010-06-26: A new species called Grallaria fenwickorum, Fenwick's Antpitta, has recently been described from the northern Andes of Colombia. The article describing the species is available here. The description of the new species is however not without some controversy, as it has also been described under another name: Grallaria urraoensis. You can read more about the controversy.
2010-06-26: I have just completed an update of the Morocco checklist.
2010-06-26: Prion Birdwatchers' Guide to Morocco Patrick and Fédora Bergier Bird Watchers' Guides 2003
Morocco is a destination that has been on our radar to visit for a little while now, so I received this book with great interest. This is a fairly standard format for the genre. My first impression is that it is nicely laid out, well written, and appears to have most of the features one would expect from a birdfinding guide. It starts with a short section with background information for visitors, a list of site described with specific birds of interest for birdwatchers, site maps for the major sites, a complete bird checklist of the country (in addition to other taxonomic groups such as vertebrates, insects and plants), and includes a section on the most sought-after birds that refer back to the site descriptions (although not all sites are mentioned). Having never been to Morocco or Northern Africa, it is difficult for me to judge whether the book covers all the major sites. This is a much expanded second edition of a book first published in 1990, and now boasts about 50 sites spread across the country. Seven years have elapsed since its publication, and while a vast majority of the information should remain accurate, some things have changed, including newly paved roads, etc. A recent road map will be a necessary companion to this book.
My primary regret is that there is no map that shows the location of the sites up front in the book. There is a map of the natural regions, and each site account clearly identifies to which region they belong, but the index itself doesn't provide that information. At least, the sites appear to be all presented in the same order as the number of the natural regions, and with only about 50 sites, this is only a minor inconvenience in what should be overall a very useful book.
2010-06-26: I have deciced to add a new feature to this blog. Periodically, I intend to post short reviews of bird books. I do not intend to limit these reviews only to newly published items, but rather books that I have recently acquired or received.
2010-05-30: I completed an update of the checklist for Peru. A number of species did not belong in the list and have been removed, a few new ones were added and I updated the status of a few more. The revisions were based on the checklist published by SERNANP.
2010-05-29: I have fixed a problem on Saturday that prevented the checklist web service from working properly.
2010-05-29: Thank you to Viktoriya Maslakova for providing a translation of Avibase in Russian and helping with the Ukrainian translation as well!
2010-05-21: The comments in this blog can now be translated automatically using the Google translation web service. While browsing in a language other than English, simply click the link at the bottom that offers to translate the comments. This should work in almost every languages offered in Avibase.
2010-05-21: I have just posted a new tool for Avibase that now makes the site available in many more languages (58 in total!). All the new translations were completed using Google automated translation tool. While I am acutely aware that the results are usually less than perfect, I think this will open Avibase to many more people around the world. In order to address the issue of the quality of the translations, I have also created a new tool that allows contributors to suggest better translations than the one provided. If you see a language that you would like to provide but that isn't available yet, please let me know!
2010-05-18: Avibase now offers bird names for all bird species of the world in Norwegian. I am also looking for someone to help translating the web site in that language. If you are interested, please let me know. [Avibase tilbyr nå fuglen navn for alle fuglearter i verden på norsk. Jeg er også på jakt etter noen til å oversette nettstedet i dette språket. Hvis du er interessert, vennligst gi meg beskjed.]
2010-05-18: I have reviewed the checklist of several places, based on comments received from visitors. This includes Mexico, Aruba, New Hampshire (US).
2010-05-13: A new subspecies of Amazilia Hummingbird Amazilia amazilia azuay is described from the Ecuadorian Andes. It appears to be closest related to A. a. alticola from southern Loja and adjacent parts of Zamora-Chinchipe provinces in southern Ecuador. The article was published in the most recent issue of the Bulletin of the British Ornithological Club (BBOC) vol. 130.
2010-05-11: Subir Shakya kindly sent me some corrections to the checklist of Nepal. A new species is added (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) and about 15 species that had been reported historically by Hodgson are being treated as hypothetical and removed from the list as they were never found again subsequently in Nepal.
2010-05-11: I have completed reviewing the Colorado checklist.
2010-05-02: New information provided by Jean-Paul Ledant on Zanzibar has expanded the checklist of that island by 16 species, mostly migrants. This suggests that the checklist for that island is rather incomplete. If anyone knows of any reliable source for a complete checklist of the birds of Zanzibar, please let me know.
2010-04-25: David Donsker just informed me that the New Hampshire Rare Birds Committee adopted an official checklist for their state. You can browse the revised version here.
2010-04-24: Thanks to Desmond Allen for sending a revised checklist of the birds of the Philippines. The annotated checklist is also available here.
2010-03-29: A paper published in 2009 in The Ibis suggests that the Mrs. Moreau's Warbler Scepomycter winifredae from Tanzania contains 2 disjunct populations that should be considered as separate species: S. winifredae, from the Uluguru Mountains where the bird was first described, and Scepomycter rubehoensis (Rubeho Warbler), from the Rubeho and Ukaguru Mountains. Read abstract here. BOWIE, RCK, J FJELDSÅ & J KIURE. 2009. Multilocus molecular DNA variation in Winifred's Warbler Scepomycter winifredae suggests cryptic speciation and the existence of a threatened species in the Rubeho-Ukaguru Mountains of Tanzania. Ibis 151: 709-719.
2010-03-28: A new species of Boubou from Africa will be described shortly in the Auk: Laniarius willardi. Voelker, Outlaw, Reddy, Tobler & Bates. in press. A new species of boubou from the Albertine Rift (Laniidae: Laniarius). The bird is most closely related to L. poensis.
2010-03-27: I have just revised the Morroco checklist, based on the recently published checklist available here on the Go South web site.
2010-03-27: The Campbell Snipe, a subspecies of Coenocorypha aucklandica discovered in 1997, has now formally been described and named Coenocorypha aucklandica perseverance (Miskelly and Baker, 2009; Notornis 56: 113-123). This bird was first discovered on rat-free 19 ha Jacquemart I in 1997, 1 km offshore from Campbell Island, and had probably been confined there as a breeding species for about 170 years. Soon after rats were eradicated from the main Campbell Island, in 2001, the snipes began to recolonize the island of Campbell. See this link for more details and a photo: http://www.birdingnz.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=359.
2010-03-27: I have completed a number of updates, including the split of 3 species based on the most recent SACC checklist decisions: Momotus momota, Cinclodes fuscus and Gallinula galeata.
2010-03-27: Adrian Stagi kindly provided me an updated list of the birds of Uruguay.
2010-03-14: Peter Kovalic kindly provided me the translation of the Avibase interface in Slovak, bringing to 18 the number of languages that visitors can use to access this site. Anyone interested in adding new languages can simply contact me.
2010-03-10: As promised earlier, all Avibase checklists are now available with Slovak bird names.
2010-02-13: Ricardo Gagliardi, from Rio de Janeiro, kindly provided an updated copy of the checklist of the birds of this state of Brazil. I have now updated the checklist ( here. The checklist was previously largely based on range maps, as is still the case for most other South American state or province lists. Any help is always welcome to improve those lists. The complete checklist, and other local lists for the state, are available on Ricardo's web site.
2010-02-06: Thanks to Theo de Kok for pointing out that the list of bird names in Slovak were now available for all bird species. The full list can be download from the Birdlife Slovakia web site. I will work on making the checklist available for all regions in that language shortly. If anyone is interested in providing a translation of Avibase in Slovak in addition (or any languages not already available), do not hesitate to contact me.
2010-02-03: I have just finished doing an update of the database today, and noticed that Avibase now exceeds 5 million records in total! This includes over half a million names and 1,1 million distributional records.
2010-02-03: I would like to thank Patrick Kerboul for very generously sending me a copy of the Howard and Moore checklist, 1st edition. I expect it will take me some time to complete this task, but it will help me mapping the older taxonomic concepts. Thanks again!
2010-02-03: I just fixed a problem that prevented the Avibase web service from displaying checklists properly.
2010-01-18: The Clements checklist was recently updated to version 6.4. The list of updates is fairly substantive, and have been summarized here. I will change shortly the standard Clements taxonomy in the regional list to reflect those changes.
2010-01-16: Birdlife has just announced that the breeding site of one of the world's least known bird, the Large-billed Reed-warbler Acrocephalus orinus, has been discovered in Afghanistan. The full article is available here. The bird was only recently "rediscovered" in 2007 in India and Thailand, after more than 139 years (article here).
2010-01-16: Thanks (again) to Jo Warnier for his help with the Handbook of the Birds of the World. I have now made several taxonomic changes following the publication of volume 14.
2010-01-16: Thank you to Petr Blahník for translating Avibase in Czech! This site is now now available in 17 languages. Please contact me if you would like to translate Avibase in another language.
2010-01-08: I'm happy to say that I have added a new tool this week to Avibase. You can now vote for your favorite Flickr photos, identify those that you think are inappropriate, and more easily display another replacement photo while staying on the same page. Have a look at the photo version of the Costa Rica page for instance, and try the buttons now visible under any photo. Any photos reported as inappropriate (eg, no bird in photo or mis-identifications) will be reviewed and removed if necessary. If there are volunteers, I would appreciate some help in the review process, particularly from someone with a good knowledge of world bird identification.
2009-12-28: Michel Montoya sent me a revised checklist of the birds of Cocos Island (Costa Rica).
2009-12-28: Merci to Jean P Vande weghe for providing several corrections to the checklist of the birds of Rwanda.
2009-12-14: Some 40,000 new photos, including over 700 new species, have been added from the flickr web service and are now available from Avibase. Almost two thirds of the world species are now represented.
2009-12-11: I have just changed the way in which flickr photos are being integrated into Avibase, and many new photos should be available as a result once the update process is complete. Before the update, there were already over 6000 species for which there are at least 1 photo made available by flickr users, and some 143,000 images. I will post an update once the process has completed. I am also hoping to do some additional improvements over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
2009-12-09: I am now working on a earlier version of the Howard and Moore checklist (version 2) published in 1991, and the supplement published in 1994. Through this process, I am also fixing a small number of relationships between several checklists and their population concepts, which were previously in error. I have now completed the species list from version 2, but I still need to include all the subspecies from that version. What was originally listed as version 2 in Avibase was actually the 1994 version (version 2 and supplement), which I will soon start to validate. I would also been interested in aquiring an older copy of the version 1, published in 1980. If anyone has a spare copy in their library, please contact me.
Mapping historical checklists, I expect, should greatly help those interested in resolving situations where species names cannot be otherwise easily translated to modern usage (eg. historical biological data, museum collections, etc.).
2009-12-09: A new species of the genus Phylloscopus has just been described in the journal Ibis by Alström et al. The article is entitled Description of a new species of Phylloscopus warbler from Vietnam and Laos and is available in the Ibis 152: 145-168 (an abstract is available here. The bird has been named Phylloscopus calciatilis or Limestone Leaf Warbler. Based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, the new species is most closely related to P. ricketti and Yellow-vented Warbler Phylloscopus cantator, and it is inferred to be sister to the latter.
2009-12-05: I recently came back from a few weeks of birding and holiday in Costa Rica. Coincidentally, a new version of the official checklist of the Bird of Costa Rica has just been released and is available on avesdecostarica.org. I have made a few corrections to the list and incorporated the most recent additions to the country list. The checklist of the birds of Costa Rica is available here.
2009-10-31: I have just posted the newest version of the South American Classification Committee (SACC), with changes up to 30 September 2009.
2009-10-05: Wanda Dameron kindly sent me a number of corrections to the Australian checklist.
2009-10-05: Thanks to Moldován István for sending along corrections to the Egypt checklist.
2009-08-30: The newest release of the IOC checklist (version 2.02) is available, and has been added to Avibase. The details of the recent changes are available at worldbirdnames.org.
2009-08-25: The web site Xeno-Canto recently launched a new Australasia section, which already has more than 1000 sound recordings of more than 400 species for Australia and the neighbouring region. Those songs are now available for search from the species pages on Avibase.
2009-08-16: I have just updated the global IUCN red list status of about 250 species.
I have modified the open search plugin used by browsers in a couple of ways. First, the search box will provide suggestions that match the name that you have started typing. There was also a problem with international characters that prevented the search to work properly, and this should now be fixed.
To add this functionality to your browser search box (supported in most newer browsers), while navigating this site, simply click on the Search Engines button, and select Add "Avibase" as illustrated here (click on the image for a larger version). Those who already have this option installed may have to re-install it again to use the auto-complete feature.
2009-08-12: Thanks to John Zoch who sent me several corrections to the Yukon and Saskatchewan checklists.
2009-08-11: The search fields on Avibase now have an auto-complete feature. As you start typing a species name, in any language, it will look for the closest matches available. I am implementing this as an experimental feature, so let me know if you run into any problems related to this new tool. Give it a try in the search box above.
2009-08-08: Janet Moore, who completed her master degree on Midway Island, kindly sent me a list compiled by John Klavitter: http://www.fws.gov/midway/seabirdpops.pdf.
2009-08-07: There was a problem with the summary table that provided the number of species within a region on the Bird Links checklist section pages. I believe the problem is now fixed. Have a look at the Ecuador checklists for instance, which include most of the Galapagos Islands, and the Ecuador departments. Most of those are not available from the main Checklist page at this time and can only be accessed through Bird Links.
2009-08-07: Many improvements to Avibase!. You will probably notice a number of new features on Avibase. A few of them are mostly cosmetic, such as expanding the page to a larger width, which was long overdue, and changing some of the style sheets. But others are more fundamental. Starting today for instance, I am publishing a new unique identifier for all taxonomic concepts included in Avibase. This Avibase ID is intended to be a permanent feature that uniquely describes a taxonomic concept, and which can be used to link directly to a species page. I intend to describe this in more details at some point soon.
The species page now also shows all related taxa, rather than only the subspecies and the direct parent. This should help understand the taxonomic position relative to other concepts. Have a look at
Larus argentatus for instance, in the "related taxa" box. This hopefully will make it easier to see at a glance how a particular concept relates to other ones what may share the same name, and yet others that represent split populations. For each concept, I am also providing a full list of authorities (and checklist version) that recognize that concept.
2009-08-07: A new species of Synallaxis has just been described in the latest issue of The Auk. The Rio Orinoco Spinetail Synallaxis beverlyae is found along the Rio Orinoco river in Venezuala and adjacent Colombia. Gunnar Engblom provides details on a new species on his blog.
2009-08-04: Twitter-maniacs can now get short updates from me about what is going on with Avibase. http://twitter.com/Avibase.
2009-08-04: A while ago, I created a tool that allows one to compare any 2 versions of a checklist, and show additions, removals and changes affecting the names or the family assignements. I am now making this tool available for the entire suite of AOU (American Ornithologists' Union) checklists at this address: http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/compare.jsp. For instance, you can find out all changes that have occured since the publication of the 7th edition of the checklist until today with this link. The main thing that the tool still doesn't do is show the changes affecting the sequence of the species. If I can find a meaningful way of generating and presenting this automatically, I will be sure to include it as well.
2009-08-03: I have done some fairly major updates on a large number of taxa, particularly affecting subspecies ranges. As a result, new distribution information has been added to many species. Because of the size of the update, I expect that some errors might have slipped through, so I'll be on the lookup for any glaring problems in the next little while. If you see anything that you believe should not be there, please don't hesitate to let me know, as usual.
2009-08-03: The American Ornithologists' Union has just made available the latest supplement to the 7th edition of the North American Checklist: 50th supplement. I provided a summary of the changes on 19 July (see below), but I did not indicate that 7 species have also been added to the list: Graylag Goose (Newfoundland), Plumbeous Pigeon (Panama), Brown Hawk-Owl (Alaska), Yellow-breasted Flycatcher (Panama), Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher (Panama), Sedge Warbler (Alaska) and Yellow-browed Bunting (Alaska) . I hope to provide the updated taxonomy on this site very soon. It probably will be in place by the time you read these lines.
2009-08-02: I have just completed creating new checklists (or improving some existing ones) for the following islands of the region of Micronesia: Northern Marianas, Rota, Guam, Yap, Palau, Truk, Pohnpei and Kosrae.
2009-08-02: Thanks to Richard Porter for sending me an updated version of the checklist of the birds of Socotra.
2009-08-01: I have created new checklists for the major Hawaiian Islands, including Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Hawaii (Big Island), the Leeward Islands (Northwestern Chain) and Midway Island. If you see any errors or omissions, please do not hesitate to let me know!
2009-08-01: I have updated the checklists for all of the Galapagos Islands. The various checklists are available from this page.
2009-07-30: A new distinct species of bulbul has just been found in Laos: http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2009/07/new_bulbul.html. According to Birdlife's press release, "The species has been named Bare-faced Bulbul Pycnonotus hualon because of the lack of feathers on its face and part of its head, it is the only example of a bald songbird in mainland Asia. It is the first new species of bulbul - a family of about 130 species - described in Asia in over 100 years. A description of the new species has been published in the July issue of Forktail, the journal of the Oriental Bird Club. "
2009-07-25: The checklist for the United Arab Emirates has just been updated. A detailed list with the species status is available on Tommy Pedersen's web site: http://www.uaebirding.com/.
2009-07-19: The American Ornithologists' Union has just published it's 50th supplement to the North American checklist. I have not seen the supplement yet, but David Ringer published a summary on his blog. I expect that the AOU will make the PDF available on their web site within a few weeks. There are only 2 changes affecting species concepts: 1) the Guianan Puffbird ( Notharchus macrorhynchos) is now split from White-necked Puffbird ( N. hyperrhynchus). N. macrorhynchos is now restricted to the area of Guianas and northern Brazil, while the White-necked Puffbird, is widely distributed in Latin America. 2) the Montane Woodcreeper ( Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger) from South America is split from Spot-crowned Woodcreeper ( L. affinis) which is now restricted to Central America.
There are several other changes affecting higher taxonomic levels, sequence within genus, or the scientific and English names. Some of the highlights include the reassignment of the North American Tanagers (genus
Piranga, Habia and Chlorothraupis) to the Cardinalidae, as well as a few more genus to that family ( Granatellus, Amaurospiza), the renaming of Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sparrows, the creation of a new family for some the extinct Hawaiian species formerly included in the Meliphagidae ( Moho and Chaetoptila), and new genus names for the redpolls, siskins and goldfinches.
2009-07-19: I have finished updating the Costa Rica checklist.
2009-07-17: Avibase recently passed the mark of 60 million hits! I continue to find this quite impressive, to say the least. Thanks everyone for your continued support.
2009-07-17: I have started to work on a new tool that provides custom range maps for various regions in the Americas. Those are based on the NatureServe range maps (which only covers North, Central and South America). This should be a useful tool for birdwatchers visiting those areas, particularly when the field guides do not provide such information. To get started, I have only included the set of range maps for Costa Rica, but I hope to expand this for other areas in the future.
2009-07-11: Patrick Toomey recently sent me a long list of recent additions to many US states and Canadian provincial checklists. Those changes have now been incorporated into the respective lists. Thanks Patrick!
2009-06-06: I have updated the checklist of the Faroe Islands.
2009-05-25: ProAves recently published a new version of the Checklist to the birds of Colombia. The Checklist documents 1,871 species of birds found in Colombia as of 2009. Colombia officially remains the most diverse country for birds on the planet, followed by Peru (1,822 species) and Brazil (1,777 species). The document is available for download as a PDF or an Excel file on ProAves web site.
2009-05-23: I just finished integrating version 2.1 of the IOC checklist available at worldbirdnames.org. A list of the revisions introduced in this new version is available here.
2009-05-23: A study of the Phylloscopus warblers in the Sino-Himalayan region published in Vertebrate Zoology in 2008 by Martens, Sun and Päckert ( pdf available) is examining the relationships between P. fuscatus, P. fuligiventer, P. affinis, P. armandii and P. subafinis and is proposing 2 new taxon names. The authors have shown that P. fuscatus and P. fuligiventer were sister taxa and are proposing that P. fuscatus weigoldi (from Qinghai) should in fact be considered a subspecies of P. fuligiventer. They also found that the Himalayan (incl. SE Tibet) populations and the Chinese populations (Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu) of P. affinis are differentiated on the species level. The there recommend splitting the Chinese populations from P. affinis and provided the new name Phylloscopus occisinensis nov. sp. They also found the Himalayan group (P. affinis sensu stricto) itself divided into 2 subspecies: Phylloscopus affinis perflavus nov. ssp. in the west and the nominate form P. affinis affinis in the east.
2009-05-07: There are now 2 new features on the photo versions of the bird checklists. For example, on this Costa Rica, you can click on the camera icons, or the music note icons located above the photos to go directly to see more photos or bird sounds of the selected species. This should hopefully make it easier to access more multimedia content for a given species when browsing the regional lists.
2009-04-25: The various bird checklists of Indonesia are now available with a virtually complete list of synonyms in Indonesian. Many names have been added, and many others have been corrected.
2009-04-25: I have just updated the Icelandic checklist.
2009-04-23: The checklist for the French Guyana has been revised based on the latest official list available on the site of the Comité d'homologation de Guyane. Merci à Thierry Nagora for the link.
2009-04-16: A user pointed out to me that the checklist provided by the web service were currently unavailable. I believe the problem is now fixed. My apologies to those affected!
2009-04-06: Most checklists in Avibase can now be displayed using regional authority checklists best suited for the area of interest. While I have been providing the AOU and the SACC checklist options for a while for North American and South American birds, it is now also possible to use the BOU checklist for birds of the United Kingdom, the ABC checklist for birds of Africa and the OBC checklist for the birds of Asia. The main regions for which I have not yet identified a regional authority are Europe and Australasia (suggestions are welcome!)
2009-04-06: The checklist of the birds of Hong Kong has recently been updated. Thanks to Andy Smith for pointing out the new list available on the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society.
2009-04-06: Daniel Philippe and Frédérick Goes recently sent me a list of corrections for the Cambodia checklist, including several additions and a number of invalid records. I have now integrated those changes. Merci!
2009-03-16: Authors Benkman et al. have just published an article in Condor recommending that the sedentary population of Red Crossbills found in Southern Idaho be treated as a separate species: Loxia sinesciuris (South Hills Crossbill). According to the authors, the bird has evolved in a predator-prey arms race with the lodgepole pine, and his genetically isolated to a large degree from other population types that occur sympatrically.
2009-03-16: I have just completed a full update of the distribution maps available in each of the species pages. The last update was almost 4 years ago, so this was long overdue as many new taxon entries have been added, and distribution information has also been updated regularly.
2009-03-08: I have created a new checklist for the small caribbean island of Navassa.
2009-03-08: I have now published 8 new checklists for the major subdivisions of India. A few list of the regional checklists for India is available from this page. Likewise, I have also published partial checklists for the 9 major regions of England, and some of the major subdivisions of Scotland and Wales, and added many species to the list of Northern Ireland.
2009-03-08: Thanks to Andy Paterson for sending me an updated checklist of the birds of Andalucia, Spain. I have now update Avibase accordingly, thus adding more than 125 species to the list, bringing to total to around 425 (depending on the authority).
2009-02-23: I have now improved the search page in Bird Links to the World to make it easier to navigate to the pages that contain various bird links. The result section now shows the page and category where each link is located, and you can navigate to those pages from the results using the "more" link. Also new on Bird Links is a section that shows the most recent bird links added or updated to the site.
2009-02-20: The South Korea checklist has just been revised. Thanks again to Nial Moores for providing the information. I have also updated the The Thai checklist, based on information made available by the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand.
2009-02-15: I just finished integrating version 2.0 of the IOC checklist available at worldbirdnames.org. A list of the revisions introduced in this new version is available here. I should be able to start offering the checklists in this format shortly.
2009-02-14: Jim Richards graciously sent me a list of the birds of Nunavut that he and Tony White compiled up to November 2008. This has allowed me to remove several species that had only been found in the Northwest Territories, and add a few new species. The total Nunavut list should now stand at 268 species (based on the AOU checklist taxonomy).
2009-02-05: I'm pleased to announce that Avibase is now available in Hungarian, thanks to Ákos Lumnitzer and also in Ukrainian, thanks to Igor Rozkladaj. Anyone interested in providing translations in any other languages can simply contact me. Adding a new language a fairly short process that requires filling in a spreadsheet that I can provide with the interface text.
2009-01-28: I have now integrated the most recent corrigenda (8th) to the Howard and Moore Checklist available here.
2009-01-23: The Greek checklist has just been revised, including the Greek bird names. Efxaristo poli (thanks!) to Yannis Tsougrakis for sharing the information.
2009-01-18: The Danish checklist has just been revised. An up to date version of the official Danish list is available from here.
2009-01-18: I have finished updating almost all US states checklists with recent information kindly provided by Patrick Toomey. Thanks!
2009-01-04: Avibase reached 50 million hits today! Thanks to the many daily visitors who contribute to making Avibase such a huge success!!
2009-01-02: Happy new year 2009 everyone! I have just fixed a bug in the species pages that prevented the song recordings from xeno-canto.org to be displayed. Things should now be back to normal. Speaking of xeno-canto, they have just launched a new section for European birds. This wonderful web site now contains recording for more than half of the world's bird species, thanks to hundreds of recordists.
2008-12-08: A new plugin is now available to use Avibase as a search engine for bird names from your browser. To set up this functionality you must have a compatible browser, such as Firefox (version 3 or higher) or Internet Explorer (version 7 or higher). I am unsure what other browsers are supported at the moment.
While browsing the Avibase web site, you should see a small search box in the top right corner of your browser, as well as a small drop-down menu to manage the search engine options. In Firefox, simply pick "add Avibase" from that menu. In Internet Explorer, you must select "Add search providers", pick "Avibase", and then confirm by clicking "Add provider". Once the search provider is set up, at any time when browsing the Internet, make sure that Avibase is the active search engine and simply type a bird name in the search box. This should bring the Avibase search results for that bird.
2008-12-08: I have finished updating the latest changes to the Clements checklist, posted on the Cornell's web site. This update includes a wide variety of changes, including many splits and lumps, changes to scientific and english names, primarily affecting neotropical birds. A full list of the changes are provided on this page. You can also now download the full checklist in Excel format using this link: Clements 6th edition (downloadable spreadsheet).
2008-12-02: Many additions have been made to the Socotra checklist (Yemen). Thanks to Suzanne Bonmarchand for pointing out this useful reference. Update 8 Dec.: Richard Klim provided a more recent version of the Socotra checklist (March 08): http://www.socotraisland.org/intro/birds.html.
2008-11-26: I've just updated the checklists for Baja California and Oxaca (Mexico), thanks to comments provided by Manuel Grosselet, and the list for Barbados, thanks to information provided by Paul Buckley. Thank you! I always appreciate the help.
2008-11-22: I've finished integrating the species names from latest Handbook of the Birds of the World (vol. 13, Remizidae to Laniidae). Thanks again to Jo Warnier for his precious help!
2008-11-19: You may notice that the URL to access the site has changed very slightly. It is now http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/. I've put redirections in place from the old address, but you should update your bookmarks. Sorry for the minor inconvenience.
2008-11-17: I have just completed integrating version 1.7 of the IOC checklist available at worldbirdnames.org. Version 1.7 includes a number of changes, including one addition (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus), a few splits (Pyrhurra picta, Zimmerius acer, Zimmerius albigularis), a few lumps (Suriri affinis, Myiagra fulviventris, Buteogallus subtilus) and several changes to the scientific names (mainly the genus names) or sequence. A summary of the main updates to earlier versions is available here.
2008-10-02: A new species of White-eye, named Zosterops gibbsi, Vanikoro White-eye, has just been described in the journal Ibis by G. Dudson. (2008. 150: 698-706). The new species is endemic to the island of Vanikoro in the Santa Cruz Islands within the Solomon Islands. It differs from the geographically closest white-eye, the Santa Cruz White-eye Zosterops sanctaecrucis, by a number of features including a much longer bill, and different leg- and eye-ring colour. This new species is the second endemic known from the island of Vanikoro.
2008-10-02: We've been having difficulties with our web site for the last couple days. Sorry for those who experienced slow or broken connections! We're looking into the problems now.
2008-09-30: A new species of Storm-Petrel, Oceanodroma monteiroi, Monteiro's Storm-Petrel, has just been formally described in the journal Ibis (Bolton et al. 2008. 150: 717-727). The species breeds in the Azores Islands, off the coast of North-western Africa, and was found to be distinct from the Madeiran Storm-Petrel, Oceanodroma castro. The existence of two seasonally distinct populations of Storm-Petrels in the archipelago was first documented in 1996, but the new study shows that they are also genetically isolated and biologically distinct in several respects. The two sibling species occupy the same breeding area, but have distinct breeding seasons, different diets and can be separated by voice. The Monteiro's Storm-Petrel has an estimated population size of about 250-300 breeding pairs, restricted to 2 small neighbouring islets in the Azores archipelago.
2008-08-18: The latest supplement to the 7th edition (49th suppl) has just been posted on Avibase. The details of the changes are available in this document. It includes many English name changes made to bring constistency between the AOU and SACC checklists. The genus names for gulls have also been completed revised. Three new species have been added ( Creagrus furcatus, Phylloscopus proregulus, and Turdus philomelos) And it looks like the enigmatic Sapayoa has finally been found its place within the Eurylaimidae, whose closest relatives are found in Madagascar! To read a bit more on the story behind this bird, you can read Don Roberson's page.
2008-08-18: A new species of Forest Robin has just been described by Brian K. Schmidt et al. in Zootaxa. The bird, named (Olive-backed Forest Robin), is a common inhabitant in the Gamba Complex of Southwestern Gabon. The study suggest that the new species is most closely related to Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus Stiphrornis erythrothorax.
2008-08-18: I've been working my way through older AOU editions and supplements, and making good progress. I now only need to integrate the supplements to the 4th edition to have the full series. The latest update to Avibase contains a revised version of the 4th edition, as well as supplements to the 2nd and 3rd editions. I've also been working on a tool that will allow to compare multiple editions of the checklist. Stay tuned.
2008-07-07: I have just completed integrating version 1.6 of the IOC checklist available at worldbirdnames.org. The new list is now available as an option in Avibase. There were several hundred new species defined as part of this update. A list of updates to the earlier versions is available here.
2008-07-06: A paper published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution suggests that the Zimmerius genus is composed of several, previously unrecognized species. The authors recommend the elevation of Zimmerius acer (Guianan Tyrannulet) and Zimmerius albigularis (Chocó Tyrannulet) to species level, and the reassignment of the subspecies Zimmerius chrysops flavidifrons to the species Zimmerius viridiflavus.
2008-07-06: A new species, the Yungas Tyrannulet, Phyllomyias weedeni was recently described in the Auk vol. 125, no. 2 (2008) by authors Herzog, Kessler, and Balderrama. The Yungas Tyrannulet is found the Andean Foothills in Northwest Bolivia and adjacent Peru. According to the authors, The species is morphologically and vocally most similar to widely allopatric P. fasciatus (Planalto Tyrannulet), but vocalizations recorded at the six localities from which it is known differ conspicuously and significantly from those of P. fasciatus, and differences in plumage and measurements are also apparent.. An abstract of the paper can be accessed here.
2008-07-06: A new species of babbler has been discovered in the Nonggang natural reserve, in the southwest Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, near the Vietnamese border. The discovery was published in the Auk vol. 125, no.2 (2008) by Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu, who named the bird Stachyris nonggangensis or Nonggang Babbler. The bird is most similar to Stachyris herberti found in Laos and Vietnam. The full article can be read in PDF format here and a photo of the species is available on the Oriental Bird Club web site.
2008-07-06: A new subspecies of Tesia olivea (Sylviidae) was described from Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand. The discovered was published in Journal of Ornithology (2008), vol. 149, by Renner and several other authors. The new taxon has been named Tesia olivea chiangmaiensis and is found in northern Thailand, Northern Vietnam and Laos. The subspecies was distinguished on the basis of variations in morphometric characters, plumage, song, and mitochondrial (mt)DNA sequence.
2008-07-02: The version 1.6 of the IOC World Bird list is now available OnLine at worldbirdnames.org. This new version lists 439 additional species (New-20, Accepted Splits-159, and Proposed Splits-260), and includes alignments with several other checklist authorities: Rasmussen and Anderton (2005) for the avifauna of South Asia, BirdLife World List International Version 1.0 and Christidis and Boles (2008) for the Australian avifauna. This update also includes taxonomic updates published or identified in peer reviewed journals since the posting of Version 1.5, upgrades of seabird taxonomy, and revisions of Ranges and English names, including Great Black-headed Gull (=Pallas's Gull), Roughleg (=Rough-legged Buzzard), and others. I will be working on integrating those changes into Avibase in the coming weeks.
2008-07-02: Changes in the Tree of Life. A new paper published in the journal Science is rewriting the tree of life as we know it. The authors have analysed nuclear DNA data from specimen in 169 bird families, and examined the phylogenetic relationships among them. The abstract is available here and you can also view this interesting review on the GrrlScientist blog. The study reveals several fascinating relationships, such as the fact that hummingbirds evolved from nightjars, that falcons are not closely related to hawks and eagles, and that parrots are more closely related to passerines than previously thought.
2008-06-20: I just fixed a recent bug related to the option to display sound from the xeno-canto web site from the species pages. Sorry about the problems you may have encountered.
2008-05-05: I've just posted a number of updates done in recent weeks. Among other things, I have just updated the checklist from the South American Classification Committee to the most recent version (1 May 2008). A summary of all changes affecting the SACC list is available from the SACC website. I have also done a number of updates to various checklists.
2008-04-19: I'm happy to report that more bird sounds are now accessible from the species pages. Thanks to a collaboration with xeno-canto.org, visitors to Avibase can now search for bird songs among some 17400 recordings of some 3153 species, primarily from Central and South America, but increasingly also from elsewhere around the world. For example, from this page for the Yellow-rumped Marshbird, you can click on the link "xeno-canto" at the top of the page and see which recordings are available for this species on the xeno-canto site. With xeno-canto's plan to expand to Africa and elsewhere, this should become a great resource.
2008-03-24: I just completed a number of updates to the site. I have updated or added a number of regional checklists such as Wales (UK), Heard and McDonald Islands, Kangaroo Island (Australia), and also incorporated the most recent version of the IOC checklist. I have also been advised by Daniel Philippe that the early editions of the AOU checklists are available as scanned document on the Web Archive. I have so far found the 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions (1886, 1895 and 1910), which means that I am now only looking for the 4th edition from 1931. The earlier editions will be gradually incorporated into Avibase. In the species section of Avibase, I have also just added a link to Wikipedia to obtain more information on individual species (I am only linking to the English version for now). I will also be working to create another link to the Xeno-canto site, which contains sound recordings of thousands of birds, primarily from South and Central America, but more recently also now Africa and soon from Asia. This should be a great addition to this site.
2008-03-21: Someone graciously sent me a copy of the 34th supplement to the AOU checklist, which I have now incorporated in Avibase. Thanks to Daniel Philippe and Jo Warnier for their precious help.
2008-03-21: A new species of white-eye, related to the Black-crowned White-eye (Zosterops atrifrons) of Sulawesi, has been discovered in the Togian Islands, Indonesia. The species has been named Zosterops somadikartai, Togian White-eye. Read more here. Source: M. Indrawan, P.C. Rasmussen & Sunarto. 2008. A new White-eyed (Zosterops) from the Togian Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120(1):1-9.
2008-03-21: New information on vocalizations of populations of the White-eyed Foliage-gleaner (Automolus leucophthalmus), and analysis of biometric and plumage characters, reveal that it consists of two biological species. One form is restricted to the Pernambuco Center of Endemism in coastal northeastern Brazil and the second occupies much of the remainder of humid Atlantic Forest from Bahia, Brazil south to northeastern Argentina and eastern Paraguay. The northeastern form, although cryptically similar morphologically to other subspecies of Automolus leucophthalmus, is highly differentiated in several vocal characters. The vocal difference between the two groups exceeds that between other accepted species pairs within the genus. The authors recommend recognizing the form A.l. lammi as a separate species: Automolus lammi, the Pernambuco Foliage-gleaner, while maintaining the subspecies leucophthalmus and sulphurascens under the species Automolus leucophthalmus, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner. Source:
K.J. Zimmer. 2008. The White-Eyed Foliage-Gleaner (Furnariidae: Automolus) is Two Species. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120(1):10-25.
2008-03-08: Birdlife has just announced that the Beck's Petrel, considered as critically endangered and known only from two records from the 1920s, was rediscovered after nearly 80 years! More than 30 different individuals, including juveniles, have been photographed in the Bismarck Archipelago, north-east of Papua New Guinea. Sightings of the Critically Endangered Beck’s Petrel Pseudobulweria becki - published by the British Ornithologists' Club - have finally proven the species is still in existence, and delighted conservationists. For more information, visit: http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2008/03/becks_petrel_rediscovery_ns.html
2008-03-07: I am now offering a new option to display checklists from around the world in the IOC World Bird Name format. This is the list edited by Gill & Wright and available in electronic format on their web site: Frank Gill And Minturn Wright. 2006. Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. worldbirdnames.org. This new option is available from the checklist page of Avibase.
2008-03-04: I've now just finished including all the changes published in the AOU checklist supplements from 32 to 41 (except number 34 which I still cannot locate. If anyone has access to the complete Auk collection, here is the reference (our local library is missing that supplement): Union, American Ornithologists', Nomencl., Comm. on Classif. and. 1982. Thirty-fourth supplement to the AOU check-list of North American birds. Auk 99(3).:Supplement. Also, I am looking for anyone who has access to those books to volunteer to enter the species names from the older AOU checklist publications (first to fourth edition).
2008-03-01: A new subspecies, Prinia burnesii nipalensis, has been discovered in Nepal. Read details here.
2008-03-01: Somewhat belatedly, I have just found out that the striking honeyeater from the genus Melipotes from the Foja Mountains, Western New Guinea (Indonesia), has been described in the Auk in July 2007. A copy of the article is available online. The bird, described by Bruce Beehler and several coauthors, was named Melipotes carolae, after Beehler's wife, or Wattled Smoky Honeyeater in English. Find out more here on the Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
2008-02-05: I have incorporated the species from the most recent HBW 12 volume. There were several splits included, particularly affecting the Timaliidae. I have changed my master list, but those splits and changes will not yet be reflected in the other taxonomic references used for the regional checklists, until they themselves publish an update.
2008-01-26: I have been getting help to trace the evolution of the AOU checklists since the early beggining. I have been able to go back as far as AOU 5, and we are currently working through the corrigenda. If anyone would be willing to help digitize the bird names from the first four editions (1886, 1895, 1910 and 1931), or has access to those books. The idea is to be able to document the changes through time, both in the names and species concepts. I have been hoping to develop a tool that would allow to compare any 2 versions for a while, but I'd like to complete the data needed first.
2008-01-26: The taxonomy of the African Bird Club checklist was updated in January 2008. I have just finished incorporating the changes in Avibase.
2008-01-18: I have just finished updating the Clements checklist, to include changes posted on the Cornell website.
2008-01-01: Happy new year 2008 everyone! Not many updates in recent weeks, although I have just posted a few corrections. The 7th corrigenda to the Howard and Moore Checklist is now available ( click here). I expect to have the changes incorporated in the coming weeks.
2007-11-18: I have just updated the Austrian, the Ukrainian and the Galapagos checklists.
2007-11-16: A new species of Tapaculo ( Scytalopus diamantinensis) has just been described in Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia (Vol. 15 no.2). The species is part of the Scytalopus speluncae complex and is endemic to northeastern Brazil.
2007-11-16: I have just completed a major update of the state checklists for the United States and several provincial checklists for Canada, based on the official checklists in each area (whenever they were available). There were a few states for which I could not locate a reliable or complete source of information, including Rhode Island, New Hampshire, District of Columbia, Mississippi and North Dakota. If you know of a published reference for any of those states (in addition to those already listed in reference for each), or would be interested in providing comments on those lists in particular, I would greatly appreciate. The same goes for British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories / Nunavut (I already have a good reference from before they were separated) and Nova Scotia.
2007-11-02: I just finished some corrections on the Oklahoma checklist based on the official state list, the Manitoba checklist, as well as the São Paulo State checklist (Brazil). Thanks to Luiz Fernando for the link, and to Liis Velma for more Manitoba corrections.
2007-10-14: I have made a few minor improvements in the navigation of the site. You may notice that the URL's of some sections have changed. Also, you will notice that when a name search returns only one name, the matching species page automatically appears. I have also posted updates to the Polish list (thanks to Michal Radziszewsk for the link), the United Kingdom list (thanks to Alf Mullins), and made several changes that affected the islands of Melanesia: Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Solomons.
2007-10-05: I have just updated the Manitoba Checklist. Thanks to Liis Veelma for pointing out the official list on the ManitobaNature web site.
2007-09-29: The checklists for France and Paraguay has just been updated using the official checklists.
2007-09-26: I have just updated the Gilbraltar checklist. Thanks to Charlie Perez to point out the updated official list.
2007-09-01: In preparation for an upcoming trip to Spain this fall, I recently added or updated checklists for some of the Spanish autonomous communities (
2007-08-30: A new species of Twistwing ( Cnipodectes superrufus) has been described from Peru in the latest edition of The Auk: Lane, Servat, Valqui H. & Lambert. 2007. A distinctive new species of Tyrant Flycatcher (Passeriformes: Tyrannidae: Cnipodectes) from Southeastern Peru. Auk 124: 762-772.
2007-08-14: For the last few weeks or months, the server Avibase is hosted on has been having some difficulties, with "page not found 404" errors coming up more or less regularly. This has been a major nuisance, and I may have finally found the source of the problem. I'll keep my fingers crossed!
2007-08-12: Thank you to Wanda Dameron for sending me a rather long list of corrections for the US Lower 48 checklist. Many of the species listed were only hypothetical records that I have now removed. In the process, I have also fixed several of the states records for those birds. I have also reviewed more thoroughly the following state checklists using published official lists: Texas, Utah, Washington, and Hawaii.
2007-08-07: Over the weekend, I finished going over the subspecies listed in the 1957 edition (5th edition) of the AOU checklist. I found a few subspecies that are no longer recognized. I am hoping to find earlier versions of the AOU checklists as well, in case anyone is interested in helping locating earlier editions.
2007-08-07: The first corrigenda to the Clements checklist 6th edition was recently posted here. I found a few more errors that I have forwarded to them, which they will hopefully post on their web site.
2007-07-30: The latest supplement to the 7th edition of the AOU checklist has just been published ( available here). I have now updated Avibase to reflect the latest changes. Splits includes Bean Goose (Anser serrirostris from A. fabalis), Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michaellis from L. cachinnans now extralimital) and Cuban Black-Hawk (Buteogallus gundlachii from B. anthracinus). Three new species are also added: Oceanodroma hornbyi, Mesophoyx intermedia and Falco vespertinus.
2007-07-25: I have just finished updating the Lebanese checklist. Thank you to Colin Conroy for sending several corrections.
2007-07-25: I recently updated the lists to the latest editon of Clements (6th edition), but then realized that not everyone was ready for this change. I therefore decided to offer both version of the checklists for the foreseeable future.
2007-07-11: A few months ago, I added the option to display thumbnail images by harnessing the power of Flickr, and the extensive community of contributors who posted their photos on the site. As a result, you can now view checklists for any region with thumbnails that link to the individual site of the photographer. I only display thumbnails of photos that have been marked as public, and retrieve the thumbnails through a web service offered by Flickr. Not all species have photos, but the list is quite impressive already, and will undoubtedly continue to grow.
2007-07-11: I have just improved the search features of the site. You can now use advanced search options to narrow down your search, and I have improved the presentation of results. You can try it here. As an example, if you want to see all new species and subspecies of birds published since the year 2006, you can enter your search parameters like here on this page.
2007-07-11: Hello everyone! As of today, I will be posting short occasional updates in this blog to highlight the most recent changes in Avibase. If you are looking for the family list that used to be on the front page, it has moved here.