Birder's Guide

NOV 2013

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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Page 20 of 67

in the summer of 2013 and placed the drepanids next to the rosefnches, within the subfamily Carduelinae. "Many of us are crushingly pretty." Above: The 'I'iwi's sickle-shaped bill is a perfect match to the curved fowers of several species of Hawaiian lobelia. (Here it feeds on a fower of the native "raspberry".) The Hawaiian fnches are one of the world's best examples of evolutionary radiation. The many species with very different bill shapes and functions all evolved from one ancestral rosefnch species that was blown off course roughly 7 million years ago. Photo © Jack Jeffrey. - Below: The 'Akiapola'au possesses one of the strangest bill morphologies in existence. It hammers at the bark of trees (nuthatch-like) with its mandible and uses its curved maxilla to extract prey from the holes it makes and from among loose bits of bark. Its song and calls, however, are similar to those of its closest relatives, the rosefnches. Photo © Jack Jeffrey. The family Cardinalidae has always included some of the most striking members of the nine-primaried oscines. No matter how common these species are, no one gets tired of seeing a Northern Cardinal at the feeder or a Lazuli Bunting singing from a power line. Another species that has found its home with the cardinal-grosbeaks is the Dickcissel (Spiza americana), which was sometimes considered an aberrant icterid or American sparrow. Molecular data suggest a close relationship to the blue members of the genus Passerina. In 2009, many of us were a little shocked to see the ABA Area's Piranga tanagers (Summer, Scarlet, Western, and November 2013 | Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy 19

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