Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Warbler Guy: Is the Yellow-Breasted Chat still a wood-warbler? Or did it get “kicked out” of its family? Why is the chat a wood-warbler?

Yes, Earl (in Tacoma, WA): No ex-communication for the black sheep of the wood-warbler family….Per the upcoming AOU (American Ornithological Union) “check-list committee,” the Yellow-breasted Chat will remain classified as a wood-warbler in the family Parulidae. This information is courtesy of the ABA’s Paul Hess.

Mr. Hess also wrote in the ABA’s blog recently that “the annual check-list supplement to be published in July will merely point to recent mitochondrial DNA analyses indicating that the chat's genus (Icteria) represents an old (evolutionary) lineage of uncertain affinities, probably related to the Parulidae, Icteridae, or Emberizidae (families).

He concludes: “In retrospect, I suppose the status quo shouldn't be surprising.” (i.e., that the chat is NOT yet ejected from its family, given the more than two-inch size difference and larger bill size it possesses in comparison to the other 106 wood-warblers).

“After all, the (check-list) committee did not receive a formal proposal in the past year that explicitly recommended moving the chat out of the Parulidae.”


Anonymous said...

I still think the chat is not a warbler.

Frank Bezzo, Franklin, NY

Anonymous said...

I too think the chat is NOT a warbler....Pizo W.