Birder's Guide

OCT 2014

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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39 October 2014 | Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy though these populations are now consid- ered "Clapper Rails" by the NACC, but we are left us to speculate as to which species those populations really belong. King Rail Split –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– • King Rail (Rallus elegans) • Aztec Rail* (Rallus tenuirostris) "King Rails" found in freshwater marshes of interior and western Mexico are now split as "Aztec Rail". They average larger and with more subdued patterning and coloration than King Rails from the eastern U.S. and Canada. Since Aztec Rails don't occur outside Mexico, and the U.S./ Canadian King Rails have kept their scientifc name, this change doesn't impact the ABA Area. "King Rails" resident in coastal Veracruz are currently classifed as belonging with the eastern U.S. King Rails, but they were not sampled in the study that resulted in this split, again leaving us to speculate as to which spe- cies they belong. Mangrove Rail is thought to be restrict- ed to coastal South America and, thus, is not found in the ABA Area. However, the "Clapper Rails" of Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Belize, and the Yucatán Penin- sula were not sampled in the study upon which this split was based. It appears as Arctic Warbler Split –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– • Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis) • Kamchatka Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus examinandus) • Japanese Leaf Warbler* (Phylloscopus xanthodryas) Like the previous two split rails, this is a split of the "A = A + B" variety. Whereas the rails involve populations with allopat- ric (non-overlapping) ranges, that's not the Michael L. P. Retter Fort Worth, Texas mretter@aba.org King Rail distribution in the ABA Area. Large rails on the Pacifc slope in the Unites States, such as this one in Orange County, California, are now referred to as Ridgway's Rail. Photo © Lam Son Vinh Ridgway's Rail distribution in the ABA Area. King Rail at High Island, Texas. Photo © Greg Lavaty

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