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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39 October 2017 | Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy Northern Shrikes. There are no accepted records of Great Gray Shrike from the ABA Area. In vol. 46, no. 2 of Western Birds, Gibson and Withrow write that sibiricus is "casual in [the western] Aleutians…[with] two speci- mens [at the University of Alaska Museum and] published photos [by] Schwitters." Migrant "gray shrikes" in western Alaska deserve extra scrutiny. LeConte's Is One Word –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– • Le Conte's Thrasher ➛ LeConte's Thrasher • Le Conte's Sparrow ➛ LeConte's Sparrow Historical evidence strongly suggests that 19th-century entomologist John Lawrence LeConte, after whom the sparrow and the thrasher are named, did not usually write his last name with a space in it. Split of Anas and New Sequence for the Dabbling Ducks –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– The genus Anas was found to be paraphy- letic, so it has now been split into four genera: Sibirionetta (Baikal Teal), Spatula (shovelers, including false teal), Mareca (Gadwall, Falcated Duck, and wigeons), and Anas (mallards, pintail, and true teal). Surely unsurprising to some birders famil- iar with the appearance of many hybrid dabbling ducks will be that among these species, Baikal Teal's lineage is distinct and split off first from the others. Many male hy- brid dabbling ducks (for instance, Mallard x Gadwall, Gadwall x Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon x Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal x Green-winged Teal) display a facial pattern strikingly similar to that of Baikal Teal, and this is believed to be an ancestral trait that sometimes re- appears with hybridization. The new se- quence and scientific names are as follows. • Baikal Teal (Anas formosa ➛ Sibirionetta formosa) • Garganey (Anas querquedula ➛ Spatula querquedula) • Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors ➛ Spatula discors) • Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera ➛ Spatula cyanoptera) • Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata ➛ Spatula clypeata) • Gadwall (Anas strepera ➛ Mareca strepera) • Falcated Duck (Anas falcata ➛ Mareca falcata) • Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope ➛ Mareca penelope) • American Wigeon ( Anas americana ➛ Mareca americana) • Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis) • Hawaiian Duck (Anas wyvilliana) • Eastern Spot-billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha) • Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) • American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) • Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula) • White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) • Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) • Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca) Goodbye, Chen –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– The genus Anser was found to be paraphy- letic, so the "white goose" genus, Chen, has been lumped into the "gray goose" genus, Anser. This means that Emperor Goose is now the first species on the ABA Checklist. The sequence and scientific names for the Anser geese are now as follows. Emperor Goose (Chen canagicus ➛ Anser canagicus) Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens ➛ Anser caerulescens) Ross's Goose (Chen rossii ➛ Anser rossii) Graylag Goose (Anser anser) Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) Taiga Bean-Goose (Anser fabalis) Tundra Bean-Goose (Anser serrirostris) Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) Sparrows, Spindalises, and Yellow-breasted Chat Get Their Own Families –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– • Passerellidae (New World Sparrows) • Spindalidae (Spindalises) • Icteriidae (Yellow-breasted Chat) Studies of higher-level taxonomy in the perching birds has revealed deep evolu- tionary divisions, warranting that these groups (and many more in the Neotropics) Baikal Teal now has its genus, Sibirionetta . Photo © Magnus Manske Male hybrid dabbling ducks, such as this Blue-winged Teal x Green-winged Teal, routinely have a facial pattern superficially similar to that of male Baikal Teal. Photo © Greg Lavaty

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