Birder's Guide

DEC 2018

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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35 December 2018 | Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy split the two 20 years ago in his A Bird- Finding Guide to Mexico (1998). Goodbye, Gray Jay. Hello, Canada Jay! –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– • Gray Jay ➛ Canada Jay The English name of Perisoreus canaden- sis has changed from Gray Jay to Canada Jay. This reverses a committee action from 1957 and is also a nod toward the possible adoption of the species as the of- ficial bird of Canada. The committee went against precedent with this decision: its often-voiced opinion that, unless there's a species-level change, it's not wise to tin - ker with long-established English names, didn't win out this time. Most of the the rest of this year's changes which affect the ABA Area are changes to scientific names and the sequence of spe- cies on the checklist. Split of Ammodramus –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– The sparrow genus Ammodramus has been split. As a result, North America now has Michael L. P. Retter Fort Worth, Texas mretter@aba.org As in the males, female Cinnamon-rumped Seedeaters lack wingbars, making them plainer than female Morelet's Seedeaters. Photo © Rolando Chávez Adult male Cinnamon-rumped Seedeaters are richly colored below, lack wingbars, have an olive back, and feature the eponymous cinnamon rump (not visible here). Photo © Rolando Chávez The three birds shown here are now referred to as Canada Jays (instead of Gray Jays). Each represents one of the three distinct populations of the species, which may merit further consideration for species status on their own. from left to rigtht : An individual of the Southern Rockies population photographed in Colorado. Photo © Ron Knight. An individual of the Pacific population photographed in Oregon. Photo © Jon Nelson. An individual of the boreal population photographed in Ontario. Photo © Factumquintus host to many individuals, especially near the Tijuana River mouth, with at least four detected at once. As a pretty bird which happily eats seeds and produces a beauti- ful song, the species is a "good" caged bird, so a conservative approach by records committees may be warranted. For birders who have seen both species in Mexico, this split probably seems long overdue. And, indeed, Steve N. G. Howell

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