Saturday, April 16, 2011

Warbler Guy: Is it true that proposed changes by the AOU may drastically change the classification of wood-warblers?

Yes, that's the "flash" news scroll across my Warbler Network TV cable station, too....though NO "flash" scroll new for folks reading this blurb and ALREADY updated from the American Birding Association's (ABA) BIRDING
MAGAZINE “News And Notes”section
(March, 2011, page 25-26) relating to:

The switch of 21 species in largest USA-based wood-warbler genus — Dendroica — to the current American Redstart genus, Steophaga.
In the new grouping (or clade, the technical term),
all of these 21 species join
N. Parula, Tropical Parula,
Am. Redstart, and Hooded Warbler.

Obviously, bye-bye to Dendroica and hello to Setophaga on the leader board for wood-warblers,
IF this new classification scheme proposed by Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s
Irby J. Lovette and his 11 colleagues is approved.

Worse (and get out the hanky), Yellow-breasted Chat will no longer be considered a wood-warbler, IF the proposed changes happen.

Stay tuned.

One last, brief update…..Instead of 115 New World wood-warblers
{per Dunn & Garrett’s theory in Warblers, their 1997 field guide
(in need of updating, by the way)},
Lovette, et al propose 107 species as New World wood-warbler members.
These form 14 genera, they suggest.

(NOTE: One Dendroica genus member, the Yellow-rumped Warbler, has four subspecies associated with it. For the latest report about this name division, see the article at this blog dated 3/7/11 "CORRECT Yellow-Rumped Warbler Species Name Update....")

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