Thursday, June 16, 2011
Yellow-rumped Warbler Split?: No
. . . AOU votes down splitting Yellow-Rumped Warbler into two, three or four species
(Audubon's Yellow-rumped subspecies appears in photo.)
As many of you already know, the Yellow-rumped Warbler currently occurs as four subspecies, according to many researchers: the “Myrtle” group (coronata), and the “Audubon’s” group (auduboni), “Black-fronted” (nigrifrons), and “Goldman’s” (goldmani)
The taxonomy of these Yellow-rumped Warbler subspecies was under consideration for change by a committee in the American Ornithologist Union (AOU).
Now the vote is in.
No hanging chads here.
The vote was 7–4 against any divisions of the Yellow-rumped complex. The committee members suggested the need for further genetic analysis and determination of the extent of interbreeding in the subspecies’ contact zones where the “Myrtle” group (coronata), and the “Audubon’s” group (auduboni) mix in western Canada. The status of two other subspecies — “Black-fronted” (nigrifrons), and “Goldman’s” (goldmani) remain unchanged.
Black-fronted is a resident in Mexico, and Goldman’s occurs only in southernmost Mexico and Guatemala. Neither of these two subspecies has been observed in the American Birding Association geographical area.