Birder's Guide

OCT 2017

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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38 Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy | October 2017 Check-list Supplement Redux, v. 2017 ers is that of a scientific name change for Northern Shrike. The Northern Shrike race sibiricus nests in northeastern Siberia. As an adult, it dif- fers from borealis in having pale lores and no white borders over the black mask. It also tends to be slightly paler gray above and lack a white spot on the lower eyelid. Identification of young birds seems less straightforward; juvenile sibiricus may have a pale border over the mask, but wholly pale lores may warrant scrutiny. Compared to Northern Shrike sensu lato, adult Great Gray Shrike averages a darker rump and uppertail coverts, less prominent supercilium (but sibiricus usu- ally lacks a supercilium—making this mark rather meaningless!), more extensive white in the wing (including the bases of some secondaries), and whiter and less patterned underparts. Juvenile Great Gray Shrikes average paler and less brown, with weaker barring below than juvenile "Admirable Hummingbird" by Robert Ridgway, but his suggestion was unheed- ed. Instead, Eugenes spectabilis has been named for the Talamanca Mountains of eastern Costa Rica. This split raises the not particularly se- rious question of what to call a Berylline x Magnificent hybrid, which bird- ers had playfully dubbed "Beryificent Hummingbird". Berivoli's? Riviline? Split of Northern Harrier –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– • Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius) • Hen Harrier* (Circus cyaneus) This split separates New World and Old World populations. The main effect on ABA Area birders is that of a scientific name change for Northern Harrier. Adult male Hen Harriers are noticeably different compared to their Northern cous- ins. They are clean gray above (no dark mottling) and have a larger black wingtip that covers six rather than five primary tips and a medium gray (not black) trail- ing edge to the secondaries from above. They also tend to be clean white below. Females are difficult to tell apart. Juvenile Hen Harriers are strongly barred below on a rusty background—not clear and rusty below as in Northern. There are no accepted ABA Area records of Hen Harrier, but a severed wing discov- ered on Attu Island in 1999 may be from this species. Split of Northern Shrike –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– • Northern Shrike (Lanius borealis) • Great Gray Shrike* (Lanius excubitor) This split separates New World and Old World populations. It seems that the Northern Shrikes from North America and northeast Asia are more closely related to Loggerhead Shrikes than they are to Great Gray Shrikes from western and central Eurasia. The effect on most ABA Area bird- Adult male Rivoli's Hummingbird. Note the black chest and yellowish cast to the green throat. Photo © Raúl Padilla Adult male Talamanca Hummingbird. Note the green chest and bluish cast to the green throat. Photo © Dominic Sherony Adult male Northern Harrier. Photo © Jerry Liguori Note the more extensive black wingtip and cleaner gray upperparts of this adult male Hen Harrier. Photo © Radovan Vaclav Note the pale lores, lack of a pale supercilium, and the extensive white in the wing which extends onto the bases of the secondaries—all field marks of Great Gray Shrike. This presumed Great Gray Shrike was photographed near Bayingol, Xinjiang, northwestern China. Photo © Yaotian Wang

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