As part of our commitment to data quality, accessibility, and ease of use, we strive to use an integrated taxonomy across eBird, Macaulay Library, Birds of the World, Merlin and other Cornell Lab of Ornithology projects. Our 2022 update includes 5 newly-described species, 118 species are gained because of splits, 41 are species lost through lumps, resulting in a net gain of 82 species and a new total of 10,906 species worldwide.

We have now completed the process of updating records in eBird. This includes your My eBird lists, range maps, bar charts, region and hotspot lists; data entry should be behaving normally, but you may notice unexpected species appearing on eBird Alerts as eBirders continue to learn the new taxonomy (this issue will diminish with time). If you see unfamiliar bird names in the list, please refer to the story below to understand the change and why it happened. If you still see records appearing in unexpected ways please write to us.

2022 eBird Taxonomic Update

This year’s update is v2022 of the eBird/Clements Checklist. The eBird/Clements Checklist is an integrated global taxonomy for the birds of the world, including all species and subspecies, as well as additional taxa useful to field birders to report in eBird. The list of species available in eBird is the eBird Taxonomy (v2022) and includes all species, subspecies groups (which we call identifiable sub-specific forms or ISSF), hybrids, intergrades, spuhs (e.g., scoter sp.), slashes (e.g., Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher), domestics, and forms. The Clements Checklist includes only species and subspecies, along with subspecies groups which are further identified as monotypic (consisting of one subspecies) or polytypic (consisting of more than one subspecies). Read more about the eBird Taxonomy.

The Clements Checklist provides two update pages (overview and 2022 updates & corrections) and also provides all three files (eBird/Clements, Clements, and eBird) for download, each as either an Excel spreadsheet or comma-delimited (csv) format.

The Clements Checklist 2022 updates & corrections provides details (including references) for all species splits and lumps, new species descriptions, revisions to subspecies groups (ISSFs) or subspecies, and other changes relevant to the Clements Checklist. We refer anyone wishing to learn more about these splits to that page.

A list of all the taxonomic changes is below. This year’s changes incorporates the latest supplement to the AOS-NACC checklist, the 63rd supplement as well as AOS-SACC revisions to the South American Check-List through 24 July 2022 are also included.

Importantly, this revision begins the process of alignment of world checklists through the collaborative WGAC (Working Group Avian Checklists) process, which involves representatives from eBird/Clements, Avibase, AOS-NACC, AOS-SACC, the IOU World BNirdList, BirdLife International, and other global experts in taxonomy, nomenclature, and classification. The effort is under the auspices of the IOU (International Ornithologists’ Union) and is ongoing, with about 50% of the world’s bird species assessed and anticipated publication of a final, consensus world bird list in about two years. We incorporate a number of taxonomic decisions that represent consensus views of the WGAC, as we begin the process of aligning with this effort and supporting it in the future.

The below summary is largely in sync with the above Clements update; references are not listed in full, but are included in the Clements update. Since this is a long article, here is a short index:

INTRODUCTION

When the taxonomy is updated in eBird, many of the changes are fairly simple to implement. When a common name changes, a scientific name changes, or when the taxonomic sequence is revised, those changes roll through and appear in eBird output fairly quickly. Staying on top of name changes is a challenge, and consulting Avibase is one of the best ways to keep track. Just type any bird name in Avibase and Avibase will show you the history of that name, and—if it differs from eBird—it will show what the eBird equivalent is for that name. Try it with «Louisiana Heron», for example.

When species are ‘lumped’ (e.g., two taxonomic entities that used to be considered separate species, but are now one), eBird usually retains the former species as an identifiable group. In these cases, your records may shift to the lumped form and your totals may (or may not) drop by one. The actual entity that you observed and reported has not changed in any way other than being changed from species to subspecies. For example, this year, those who have birded in North and South America may notice that your previous reports of Blue-crowned Manakin Lepidothrix coronata and Yellow-breasted Flycatcher Tolmomyias flaviventris, each have changed to different species: Velvety Manakin or Blue-capped Manakin or Ochre-lored Flycatcher or Olive-faced Flycatcher.

When splits occur, the process is more complicated. In most cases, we have had subspecies options available for reporting in anticipation of the split. All records reported to a subspecies group level update automatically to the new species. When a bird is reported at the broader species level (without a subspecies listed on your entry), and then that species is split, we update the records in eBird to one of the «child» species whenever possible. We try to be very conservative with this. When two species do not overlap in range (i.e., they are allopatric) we go ahead and make the change. When the species do overlap (i.e., are sympatric), and do not have clear seasonal or habitat differences, we usually do not make the change. This results in your records being left as the more conservative «slash» option.

If you want to review your records of «Velvety Manakin» or of «Olive-faced Flycatcher», there are a couple ways to do this through the My eBird tools. If you know the checklist it is on, you can find the list in «Manage My Checklists» and edit it as needed. If you can find your checklist on the range map of xxx then you can just click on the marker for your list and open it from there. Another option to review your records is to go to My eBird and then click «Download My Data» from the right side. This downloads your entire eBird database as a CSV file that can be opened in Excel or a similar spreadsheet program. From there, you should easily be able to sort by name or search for «xxx» to find your records. Then you can scroll to the correct date or just replace the Submission ID in the URL for a checklist view.

However, this year we have an anticipated update to My eBird that will allow you to access all records of all taxa from your Life List page. As of early November 2022, this is not yet available, but we anticipate the update to come soon. For this reason we have provided links that will make it possible to review your slash and spuh taxa in cases where this may help with your personal list management. These links will open your My Observations page, so that you can see all your personal records of Canada Goose, Cackling Goose, Cackling/Canada Goose, or goose sp. [again, note that the Cackling/Canada Goose and goose sp. links will show the page, but will not show any records until we make the update to eBird. But once we do, these will be active!]

Finally, there are only minor changes to taxonomic sequence this year, mostly involving xxx. This may be a bit disorienting if you have memorized the sequence of species, but please be aware that Quick Entry makes it very easy to find and enter any species during data entry. Did you know that typing «37 weca» in eBird mobile will quick add 37 Western Capercaillies to whatever total you have already entered? (Learn how!). Also, learning to search for a species within your browser may be helpful too, since this works to quickly jump to a species in any species list (e.g., bar chart, Location Explorer) on eBird.

IMPORTANT CHANGE TO DOMESTIC SPECIES

There are some changes related to how eBird handles domestic taxa. “Domestic type” refers to free-roaming, non-captive birds whose physical appearance differs from their wild counterparts as a result of human domestication (learn more about domestic birds in eBird).

Birds matching a domestic form should always be reported as “Domestic type”. Even though domestic-types are linked to a “parent” species, they do not count as an observation of the parent species and appear separately on regional summaries. This is a bit different than how we handle subspecies, which can be reported as either the subspecies group or the “parent” species and count the same on your Life List either way.

While domestic-types are not considered a subset of the wild population, we will start treating them in a way that is similar to how we handle subspecies. These changes represent a new philosophy on how human-introduced populations are handled within the eBird database.way that allows them to be summarized with other observations of their parent species in some contexts. For example, Domestic taxa will appear alongside wild-type reports on your life observations of a single species in My eBird (try MallardRed Junglefowl, or Swan Goose to see this in action). eBird’s new Exotic Categories will help keep track of when these count on life lists and when they don’t.

Most changes won’t be too noticeable, but the beloved Muscovy Duck (Established Feral) has disappeared. All records that formerly pertained to “established feral” will be treated as Muscovy Duck (Domestic type) going forward, with exotic tags to indicate where this species has become Naturalized. This is more in line with how we have treated Rock Pigeon in the past.

Below is the list of all domestic taxa in eBird:

  • Graylag Goose (Domestic type) Anser anser (Domestic type)
  • Swan Goose (Domestic type) Anser cygnoides (Domestic type)
  •  Domestic goose sp. (Domestic type) Anser sp. (Domestic type)
  • Muscovy Duck (Domestic type) Cairina moschata (Domestic type)
  • Mallard (Domestic type) Anas platyrhynchos (Domestic type)
  • Helmeted Guineafowl (Domestic type) Numida meleagris (Domestic type)
  • Wild Turkey (Domestic type) Meleagris gallopavo (Domestic type)
  • Indian Peafowl (Domestic type) Pavo cristatus (Domestic type)
  • Red Junglefowl (Domestic type) Gallus gallus (Domestic type)
  • Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)
  • African Collared-Dove (Domestic type or Ringed Turtle-Dove) Streptopelia roseogrisea (Domestic type)
  • Cockatiel (Domestic type) Nymphicus hollandicus (Domestic type)
  • Budgerigar (Domestic type) Melopsittacus undulatus (Domestic type)
  • Zebra Finch (Domestic type) Taeniopygia guttata (Domestic type)
  • Island Canary (Domestic type) Serinus canaria (Domestic type)

GLOBAL CHECKLIST ALIGNMENT

There are three or more major world taxonomies, including BirdLife International Checklist, the IOC World Bird List, and eBird/Clements Checklist. Importantly, this revision begins the collaborative process of aligning global bird checklists, with the goal of a single consensus taxonomy. The Working Group Avian Checklists (WGAC) involves representatives from eBird/Clements, BirdLife International, the IOC World Bird List, Avibase, AOS-NACC, AOS-SACC, and other global experts in taxonomy, nomenclature, and classification. This is an ongoing effort, with about 50% of the world’s bird species assessed so far. It will take several years for eBird to fully incorporate these changes but we are committed to improving the clarity, efficiency, and accuracy of bird taxonomy through support for this team effort.

LANGUAGES

We provide bird names in eBird for some 55 languages (e.g., Arabic, Bulgarian, Thai, etc.), as well as 40 additional regional versions of some languages (total 95). For example, Pluvialis squatorola is known as Black-bellied Plover in our taxonomy, but known by its winter dress in some areas such as the United Kingdom, where it’s called Grey Plover. You can access name preferences under «Preferences» from most eBird pages, which is also where you can set the names to shows as common names or scientific names. One option is English (IOC), which gives a full translation of species names into the IOC World Bird List (v12.1) nomenclature. Note that these names are exact taxonomic matches, so they reflect as slashes when a species is split by IOC and not by eBird; similarly, species split by eBird will appear as subspecies groups for IOC. Our Bird Names in eBird article explains more about regional common name preferences.

SPECIES SPLITS

The species below were split in eBird. To see a map of the new species, click «map». To see your personal lists in My eBird, just make sure you are logged in and click «My Records». If you have seen the species but don’t have any records shown, then please enter your sightings! Full details for all below accounts can be seen at the Clements Updates & Corrections page. We encourage all birders to carefully review the below splits and check your personal records and to update them if you think we made an error. Below are the splits for this update:


The two groups in Blue-throated Piping-Guan Pipile cumanensis are split, so Blue-throated Piping-Guan (Blue-throated) and Blue-throated Piping-Guan (White-throated) become:

Uncertain records in areas of contact may remain as a slash:

  • Blue-throated/White-throated Piping-Guan Pipile cumanensis/grayi [map] [media] [my records]

The two species differ in plumage and in the color and shape of the wattle, and show only limited documentation of hybridization when they come in contact.


Three groups within Crested Guineafowl Guttera pucherani are split, so Crested Guineafowl (Kenya), Crested Guineafowl (Western) and Crested Guineafowl (Southern) become:

Uncertain records in or near areas of contact may be listed as crested guineafowl sp.:

The three species are similar but differ in the color and pattern of the bare facial and neck skin and have reported differences in vocalizations.


The familiar Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus is split, with its two subspecies groups now recognized as distinct species. Thus, Ring-necked Pheasant (Ring-necked) and Ring-necked Pheasant (Green) become:

This split recognizes the fact that the species rarely hybridize where both occur in Japan as well as obvious plumage and mensural differences (Green Pheasant is much smaller). Note that the AOS-NACC has not considered this split recently. Both species have been introduced widely, with Ring-necked Pheasant being quite successful (as a Naturalized species in many areas, including much of the northern United States, southern Canada, and western Europe, and even Japan where Green Pheasant is native. Green Pheasant is treated as Provisional in Hawaii and also appears as an Escapee in some regions.

Some birds are hard to differentiate, so we retain this option for birds of uncertain identity.

Also, beware, that a domestic melanistic form of Ring-necked Pheasant can be confusingly similar to Green Pheasant; check for the pale gray upperwing panel and golden scapulars barred with black in Green Pheasant, since the melanistic form does not have significant contrast on the upperparts.

And they also may hybridize on occasion, so we also offer an option for hybrids (see NEW TAXA, below).


The two subspecies groups in Crestless Fireback Lophura erythrophthalma are split as separate species, so Crestless Fireback (Malayan) and Crestless Fireback (Bornean) become:

  • Malayan Crestless Fireback Lophura erythrophthalma [map] [media] [my records]
      • Lowland forests of Malay Peninsula and Sumatra
  • Bornean Crestless Fireback Lophura pyronota [map] [media] [my records]
      • Lowland forests of n Borneo

The two subspecies groups in Crested Fireback Lophura ignita are split as separate species, so Crested Fireback (Malayan) and Crested Fireback (Bornean) become:

  • Malayan Crested Fireback Lophura rufa [map] [media] [my records]
      • Thai-Malay Peninsula and Sumatra
  • Bornean Crested Fireback Lophura ignita [map] [media] [my records]
      • Borneo and Bangka I. (off southeastern Sumatra)

Sabah Partridge (Tropicoperdix graydoni) is split from Chestnut-necklaced Partridge (Tropicoperdix charltonii).

  • Chestnut-necklaced Partridge Tropicoperdix charltonii [map] [media] [my records]
      • S Thailand to s Myanmar, the Malay Peninsula and N Sumatra (Aceh Province)
  • Sabah Partridge Tropicoperdix graydoni [map] [media] [my records]
      • N Borneo (Sabah)

Elgon Francolin (Scleroptila elgonensis) is split from Moorland Francolin (Scleroptila psilolaema).

  • Moorland Francolin Scleroptila psilolaema [map] [media] [my records]
      • Montane moorlands of central and s Ethiopia
  • Elgon Francolin Scleroptila elgonensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Montane moorlands of e Uganda to central Kenya

Shelley’s Francolin (Shelley’s) and Shelley’s Francolin (Whyte’s) are split as Shelley’s Francolin (Scleroptila shelleyi) and Whyte’s Francolin (Scleroptila whytei).

Some individuals may be hard to identify in some areas, so we retain a slash as an option for reporting birds of uncertain identification:

It is not particularly clear why these two species were ever combined, other than the fact that plumages in francolins can be confusing and these species sound surprisingly similar. Their genetics are quite distinct and Whyte’s occurs in a narrow zone that is distinct from the wide range of Shelley’s.


Burmese Collared-Dove (Streptopelia xanthocycla) is split from Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto).

  • Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto [map] [media] [my records]
      • widespread in Eurasia; introduced and Naturalized in North America
  • Burmese Collared-Dove Streptopelia xanthocycla [map] [media] [my records]
      • Myanmar (Shan States) to s China (Yunnan) and e China

Overlap between these species is unlikely, but we retain a slash option, just in case.

  • Eurasian/Burmese Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto/xanthocycla [map] [media] [my records]

Streptopelia doves are a fairly similar group of birds, differing mostly in vocalizations, size, general plumage tone, and color of soft parts (irides, orbital rings, legs). If you are familiar with Eurasian Collared-Dove, take a glance at images of Burmese Collared-Dove and you’ll wonder what took taxonomists so long (the AOs-NACC and AOS-SACC still retain them as a single species!). These look like very different birds.

If you had previously seen Eurasian Collared-Dove (Eurasian) on some checklists, this is no longer needed: it was the option for the nominate subspecies which is now upgraded to the widespread species, now present on all five continents in the northern hemisphere.


Fruit-doves (Ptilonopus) are a wonderful group of birds with impressive diversity, especially in Indonesia, Australasia, and Pacific Islands. The full extent of their diversity is still being worked out, and some species maybe are yet to be described, but two splits this year get us a bit closer. Check out the galleries for some wonderful eye candy!

Raiatea Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus chrysogaster) is split from Gray-green Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus purpuratus).

  • Raiatea Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus chrysogaster [map] [media] [my records]
      • W Society Islands (Bora Bora, Tahaa, Huahine and Maupiti)
  • Gray-green Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus purpuratus [map] [media] [my records]
      • E Society Islands (Moorea, Tahiti)

The former subspecies groups, Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove (Geelvink) and Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove (Yellow-banded), are hereby recognized as species:

  • Geelvink Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus speciosus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Numfor, Biak and Yapen islands
  • Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus solomonensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Admiralty Islands, St. Matthias Group, New Hanover, New Britain, Solomon Islands

Imperial-Pigeons (genus Ducula) also had some hidden diversity in the eBird taxonomy. Vocal differences and some rather striking differences in appearance (see Geelvink Spice-Pigeon!) result in three new splits:

Enggano Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula oenothorax) is split from Green Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula aenea).

Geelvink Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula geelvinkiana) is split from Spice Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula myristicivora).

  • Spice Imperial-Pigeon Ducula myristicivora [map] [media] [my records]
      • Widi I. (off Halmahera) and w Papuan islands (New Guinea)
  • Geelvink Imperial-Pigeon Ducula geelvinkiana [map] [media] [my records]
      • Islands in Geelvink Bay (Meos Num, Numfor and Biak), off northern Papua

Malabar Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula cuprea) is split from Mountain Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula badia).

  • Malabar Imperial-Pigeon Ducula cuprea [map] [media] [my records]
      • SW India (Western Ghats from Goa to Kerala)
  • Mountain Imperial-Pigeon Ducula badia [map] [media] [my records]
      • Widespread in Southeast Asia, from Himalayan foothills to sw China, Thailand, Malay Pen., Sumatra, Borneo and w Java

The split of Malabar Imperial-Pigeon as another South India endemic was perhaps a predictable split, given the disjunct range from the rest of Mountain Imperial-Pigeon, but was not ratified until a compelling vocal analysis contributed to the other evidence (Niranjana C. and Praveen J. 2021); it must be said that Praveen is a key eBird partner in India, which is a reminder that the people that help move taxonomy forward are all around us in the eBird community.


Greater Antillean Nightjar (Cuban) and Greater Antillean Nightjar (Hispaniolan) are split as Cuban Nightjar (Antrostomus cubanensis) and Hispaniolan Nightjar (Antrostomus ekmani). There are subtle but distinct vocal differences that have long been recognized and ultimately resulted in these two being split. Each adds an island endemic for the Caribbean, although Hispaniolan Nightjar is not a single-country endemic since it is shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.


Antillean Mango (Hispaniolan) and Antillean Mango (Puerto Rican) are split. Although these two are fairly similar, each is limited to its own islands and we aren’t aware of vagrancy between the islands.

  • Hispaniolan Mango Anthracothorax dominicus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Hispaniola, Île-á-Vache, Tortue, Gonâve and Beata islands
  • Puerto Rican Mango Anthracothorax aurulentus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Puerto Rico, and declining populations on Culebra I., Vieques I. and Virgin Islands

Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Longuemare’s), Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Merida) and Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Amethyst-throated) are split as Longuemare’s Sunangel (Heliangelus clarisse), Merida Sunangel (Heliangelus spencei), and Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus amethysticollis).

  • Longuemare’s Sunangel Heliangelus clarisse [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sierra de Perijá (Colombia/Venezuela border), eastern Andes of Colombia and adjacent w Venezuela
  • Merida Sunangel Heliangelus spencei [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of nw Venezuela (Mérida)
  • Amethyst-throated Sunangel Heliangelus amethysticollis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of s Ecuador and n Peru
        east slope of Andes of central Peru (from Amazonas south of the Marañón River to Junín)
        south central Peru (Apurímac Valley and upper Urubamba Valley, Ayacucho and Cusco)
        Andes of southern Peru (eastern Cusco to Puno) and of northwestern Bolivia (La Paz to Cochabamba)

Collared Inca (Green) and Collared Inca (Gould’s) are split from Collared Inca:

  • Collared Inca Coeligena torquata [map] [media] [my records]
    • Collared Inca (Collared) Coeligena torquata [torquata Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of Colombia to nw Venezuela (Táchira) to c Peru
    • Collared Inca (Vilcabamba) Coeligena torquata eisenmanni [map] [media] [my records]
      • S Peru (Cordillera Vilcabamba)
  • Green Inca Coeligena conradii [map] [media] [my records]
      • E Andes of Colombia to nw Venezuela (Trujillo and Mérida)
  • Gould’s Inca Coeligena inca [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of se Peru (Urubamba to Puno) and Bolivia (La Paz and Cochabamba)

Golden-bellied Starfrontlet (Perija) and Golden-bellied Starfrontlet (Golden-tailed) are split from Golden-bellied Starfrontlet:

  • Perija Starfrontlet Coeligena consita [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sierra de Perijá (Colombia/Venezuela border)
  • Golden-bellied Starfrontlet Coeligena bonapartei [map] [media] [my records]
      • E Andes of Colombia (Boyacá to Bogotá)
  • Merida Starfrontlet Coeligena eos [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of w Venezuela (Trujillo, Barinas, Mérida and Táchira)

The Booted Racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii) complex is split into three species, which segregate by range and differ somewhat in plumage:

  • White-booted Racket-tail Ocreatus underwoodii [map] [media] [my records]
      • Coastal mountains of n Venezuela (Carabobo to Miranda), Andes of nw Venezuela, Colombia, and west slope of the Andes of Ecuador (south to El Oro and western Loja)
  • Peruvian Racket-tail Ocreatus peruanus [map] [media] [my records]
      • southeastern Andes of Colombia (western Putumayo, south of the upper Caquetá River), eastern Ecuador, and eastern Peru south to Huánuco (Huallaga Valley)
  • Rufous-booted Racket-tail Ocreatus addae [map] [media] [my records]
    • Rufous-booted Racket-tail (Anna’s) Ocreatus addae annae [map] [media] [my records]
      • east slope of the Andes of central and southern Peru (Pasco south to Puno)
    • Rufous-booted Racket-tail (Adda’s) Ocreatus addae addae [map] [media] [my records]
      • east slope of the Andes of Bolivia (La Paz south to northern Chuquisaca)

Some have suggested that addae and annae both deserve species status, but for now these remain combined as Rufous-booted Racket-tail. Since two species almost overlap, we offer a slash:


Tres Marias Hummingbird (Cynanthus lawrencei) is split from Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris).

  • Broad-billed Hummingbird Cynanthus latirostris [map] [media] [my records]
    • sw. US, western ands central Mexico s. to Guerrero and Puebla
  • Tres Marias Hummingbird Cynanthus lawrencei [map] [media] [my records]
    • Tres Marías Is., Nayarit

While Broad-billed Hummingbird is very widespread (less so after last year’s split of Turquoise-crowned Hummingbird, however!), Tres Marias Hummingbird is endemic to the Tres Marías Islands off of San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico. The access there has recently gotten easier, so hopefully birders will give the area attention in the coming years.


Streamertail (Red-billed) and Streamertail (Black-billed) are split as Red-billed Streamertail (Trochilus polytmus) and Black-billed Streamertail (Trochilus scitulus). This split has been long anticipated, and had already been recognized by many taxonomists over the years. New information on the hybridization between the two species confirms that they are parapatric species (species that come contact, but don’t have significant gene flow and retain separate ranges).

  • Red-billed Streamertail Trochilus polytmus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Jamaica (except in the far east)
  • Black-billed Streamertail Trochilus scitulus [map] [media] [my records]
      • extreme eastern Jamaica (east of the Rio Grande Valley and the Morant River Valley, and in the easternmost Blue Mountains)

Since they hybridize, this option is also helpful

  • Red-billed x Black-billed Streamertail (hybrid) Trochilus polytmus x scitulus [map] [media] [my records]

And since they can be tough to identify in hybrid zones, or when seen briefly near areas of contact, we also offer a slash:

  • Red-billed/Black-billed Streamertail Trochilus polytmus/scitulus [map] [media] [my records]

Black-billed Streamertail is restricted to far eastern Jamaica, while Red-billed is much more widespread. While some Red-billeds stray into the regions occupied by Black-billed, the reverse is generally not true.


Copper-tailed Hummingbird (Saucerottia cupreicauda) is split from Green-bellied Hummingbird (Saucerottia viridigaster).

  • Green-bellied Hummingbird Saucerottia viridigaster [map] [media] [my records]
      • E slope of Eastern Andes of Colombia and Andes of w Venezuela (Táchira)
  • Copper-tailed Hummingbird Saucerottia cupreicauda [map] [media] [my records]
      • s Venezuela, Guyana and extreme n Brazil (Roraima)

These two species are well-separated by range so should not present identification challenges.


New Caledonian Buttonquail (Turnix novaecaledoniae) is split from Painted Buttonquail (Turnix varius).

  • Painted Buttonquail Turnix varius [map] [media] [my records]
      • SW, e and se Australia and Tasmania
  • New Caledonian Buttonquail Turnix novaecaledoniae [map] [media] [my records]
      • Formerly New Caledonia; probably extinct, not reported with certainty since 1889

This new species is unfortunately very poorly known and almost certainly is extinct, but it looks to have been quite distinctive. Perhaps an intrepid eBirder will rediscover one?


Salvin’s Prion (Salvin’s) and Salvin’s Prion (MacGillivray’s) are split as Salvin’s Prion (Pachyptila salvini) and MacGillivray’s Prion (Pachyptila macgillivrayi).

  • Salvin’s Prion Pachyptila salvini [map] [media] [my records]
      • breeds Prince Edward Island and Crozet Island; at sea occurs in southern Indian Ocean and Australasian seas
  • MacGillivray’s Prion Pachyptila macgillivrayi [map] [media] [my records]
      • breeds in the Southern Atlantic Ocean (Gough Island) and the Southern Indian Ocean (St. Paul Island, formerly also Amsterdam Island); at-sea distribution not well known

These two species are extremely similar and difficult to identify at sea, so we offer a slash to cover uncertain records. The main area of overlap is the southern Indian Ocean, especially the waters close to Prince Edward and Crozet Islands where both species may occur.

  • Salvin’s/MacGillivray’s Prion Pachyptila salvini/macgillivrayi [map] [media] [my records]

eBird also recently had Gough Prion (undescribed form) to represent the medium-billed prion population discovered on Gough Island. However, the recent paper that established that Salvin’s and MacGillivray’s desreve species status also analyzed the Gough Prions genetically and showed that those are also MacGillivray’s Orions. So with this update we combine Gough Prion with macgillivrayi,  split macgillivrayi from Salvin’s Prion, and update the range of MacGillivray’s Prion to include Gough Island.


African Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia microscelis) is split from Asian Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus).

  • African Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia microscelis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Tropical Africa
  • Asian Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus [map] [media] [my records]
      • India to Indochina, n Malay Peninsula, Philippines, Java, and Wallacea

These two species differ in measurements, details of the face (especially extent of bar skin), and head coloration and occur in entirely different parts of the planet. This is yet another split that BirdLife International highlighted in their review of global taxa and that achieved strong consensus when brought forward to the newly-formed WGAC taxonomic group.


Cuban Kite (Chondrohierax wilsonii) is split from Hook-billed Kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus).

  • Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus [map] [media] [my records]
    • Hook-billed Kite (Hook-billed) Chondrohierax uncinatus uncinatus [map] [media] [my records]
      • S Texas and w Mexico to Brazil and n Argentina
    • Hook-billed Kite (Grenada) Chondrohierax uncinatus mirus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Grenada (Lesser Antilles)
  • Cuban Kite Chondrohierax wilsonii [map] [media] [my records]
      • E Cuba

This is an overdue split that was endorsed by WGAC and also by AOS-NACC, which reassessed it because of the WGAC review of the species. Cuban Kite has a large pale bill, and some more subtle plumage differences, and the split is supported by genetic information that reveals the distinctiveness of this additional Cuba endemic. Unfortunately it is extraordinarily rare, has declined, and has not been conclusively observed for over a decade. While there is hope it persists in remote sections of eastern Cuba, it may be extinct, or nearly so. Adventurous travelers should put eastern Cuba in their travel plans! Be sure to pack your camera!


Chilean Hawk (Accipiter chilensis) is split from Bicolored Hawk (Accipiter bicolor).

This split has also been followed by many (IOC, BirdLife, Birds of Chile, etc.) for a number of years, but the AOS-SACC has yet to assess it. The WGAC team found this split compelling, especially the fact that Bicolored and Chilean Hawks have notable vocal differences, which is not always so striking in Accipiters.

While Bicolored Hawk is widespread in tropical forest throughout much of Middle and South America, Chilean Hawk is restricted to Chile and southern Argentina, in more temperate forest.


The mysteries of owl diversity in Indonesia continue to be better delineated as more sound recordings help highlight the affinities and distinctiveness of various species there.

Wetar Scops-Owl (Otus tempestatis) is split from Moluccan Scops-Owl (Otus magicus) and subspecies kalidupae is moved from Sulawesi Scops-Owl (Otus manadensis) to Moluccan Scops-Owl (Otus magicus).

  • Moluccan Scops-Owl Otus magicus [map] [media] [my records]
    • Moluccan Scops-Owl (Moluccan) Otus magicus [magicus Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • N Moluccas (Morotai, Ternate, Halmahera, Kasiruta, Bacan, Obi I., Seram, Ambon, Buru)
        and Lesser Sundas (Sumbawa, Flores, Besar, Lomblen)
    • Moluccan Scops-Owl (Kalidupa) Otus magicus kalidupae [map] [media] [my records]
      • Kaledupa I. (Tukangbesi Islands)
  • Wetar Scops-Owl Otus tempestatis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Wetar (Lesser Sundas)

Banggai Scops-Owl Otus mendeni) is split from Sulawesi Scops-Owl (Otus manadensis) and subspecies kalidupae is moved from Sulawesi Scops-Owl (Otus manadensis) to Moluccan Scops-Owl (magicus), resulting in a change of range for Sulawesi Scops-Owl.


Lesser Horned Owl (Bubo magellanicus) is split from Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). Have you ever wondered what Great Horned Owl (Great Horned) was? Although this form was extremely widespread, covering Alaska to Newfoundland and south to Argentina, this subspecies group was to allow birders to make the distinction between the northern Great Horned and the magellanicus birds of South America that we expected might be split some day. That day has now come. In Argentina Great Horned Owl occurs widely in the lowlands (east) while Lesser Horned Owl, which has smaller feet and a different call, occurs in the Andes and Andean foothills. The two are also almost in contact in Bolivia and s. Peru. Not yet considered by AOS-SACC, vocal differences in owls carry a lot of weight with most taxonomists and are fairly striking in this species pair, although the ranges of each still need clearer elucidation in the Andes of Peru.

Because these two species come close to one another we offer a slash for conservative reporting.


Solomons Boobook (West Solomons), Solomons Boobook (Guadalcanal), Solomons Boobook (Malaita), and Solomons Boobook (Makira) are split as West Solomons Owl (Athene jacquinoti), Guadalcanal Owl (Athene granti), Malaita Owl (Athene malaitae), and Makira Owl (Athene roseoaxillaris). Note that these owls also saw a shift of genus, previously being placed in Ninox. As a result, the name changes from «boobook» (used for Ninox) to «owl».

  • West Solomons Owl Athene jacquinoti [map] [media] [my records]
      • N and Central Solomon Islands (Buka, Bougainville, Choiseul, Santa Isabel, San Jorge, Mono, Florida Group)
  • Guadalcanal Owl Athene granti [map] [media] [my records]
      • Guadalcanal (s Solomon Islands)
  • Malaita Owl Athene malaitae [map] [media] [my records]
      • Malaita (s Solomon Islands)
  • Makira Owl Athene roseoaxillaris [map] [media] [my records]
      • southern Solomon Islands (Bauro and Makira)

Tasmanian Boobook (Ninox leucopsis) is split from Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae). This split follows the recent eBird split of Morepork from Southern Boobook as well as multiple splits within Southern Boobook. Diversity in Ninox has surged upwards in recent years with all these splits. With this split Morepork no longer occurs in Australia, and as Tasmanian Boobook is granted species status, New Zealand and Australia each gain another endemic species.

  • Morepork Ninox novaeseelandiae [map] [media] [my records]
      • New Zealand, Norfolk I., and Lord Howe I. (extinct)
  • Tasmanian Boobook Ninox leucopsis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Tasmania and islands in Bass Strait, with some movement to southern Victoria

Tasmanian Boobook (Ninox leucopsis) is split from Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae).


Three pairs of Southeast Asian kingfishers are newly-recognized as species, with on widespread and two being divisions of Singihe populations from those on nearby Sulawaesi, although one of those—the dwarf-kingfisher—is probably extinct.

Blue-banded Kingfisher (Malaysian) and Blue-banded Kingfisher (Javan) are split as Malaysian Blue-banded Kingfisher Alcedo peninsulae and Javan Blue-banded Kingfisher Alcedo euryzona:

Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx fallax is split from Sangihe Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx sangirensis:

  • Sangihe Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx sangirensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sangihe Island (northeast of Sulawesi); probably extinct
  • Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx fallax [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sulawesi and Lembeh I.

Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher (Sangihe) and Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher (Sulawesi) are split as Sangihe Lilac Kingfisher (Cittura sanghirensis) and Sulawesi Lilac Kingfisher (Cittura cyanotis):

  • Sangihe Lilac Kingfisher Cittura sanghirensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Rainforests of Sangihe and Siau islands (ne of Sulawesi)
  • Sulawesi Lilac Kingfisher Cittura cyanotis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sulawesi and Lembeh I.

Ethiopian Bee-eater (Merops lafresnayii) is split from Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Merops variegatus). While plumages are somewhat similar, the ranges do not overlap at all.

  • Blue-breasted Bee-eater Merops variegatus [map] [media] [my records]
      • widespread; SE Nigeria and Cameroon to Uganda and Kenya, Gabon, southwestern Cameroon to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Zambia, and extreme western Tanzania
  • Ethiopian Bee-eater Merops lafresnayii [map] [media] [my records]
      • Ethiopia to Sudan (Boma Hills)

Green Bee-eater (Yellow-throated), Green Bee-eater (Arabian), and Green Bee-eater (Russet-crowned) are split as African Green Bee-eater (Merops viridissimus), Arabian Green Bee-eater (Merops cyanophrys), and Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis).

Potential contact areas include the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, where African Green Bee-eater may occur on the west side of the peninsula close to Arabian Bee-eaters and parts of Iraq, where Arabian Bee-eaters to the south approach Asian Bee-eaters to the north and east. fortunately each species is readily identified by its face coloration and throat color.


Two-banded Puffbird (Hypnelus bicinctus) is split from Russet-throated Puffbird (Hypnelus ruficollis).

  • Russet-throated Puffbird Hypnelus ruficollis [map] [media] [my records]
    • N Colombia to NW Venezuela (northern Falcón, on or near the base of the Paraguaná Peninsula) and W Venezuela (south of Lake Maracaibo)
  • Two-banded Puffbird Hypnelus bicinctus [map] [media] [my records]
    • NE Colombia (llanos, east of the Andes) and Venezuela from Falcón (except for the Paraguaná Peninsula) to northwestern Amazonas and northern Bolívar

These species differ in plumage and have different voices and generally have well defined ranges, with Russet-throated mostly occurring in Colombia and Two-banded occurring largely in Venezuela (although each species sneaks into the other country). Some birds may be hard to identify where their ranges are poorly known or where they come in contact, so we have a slash option to report those individuals.

  • Russet-throated/Two-banded Puffbird Hypnelus ruficollis/bicinctus [map] [media] [my records]

Sira Barbet (Capito fitzpatricki) is split from Scarlet-banded Barbet (Capito wallacei). These two species are a couple of the most striking barbets in South America, and both were only recently discovered. Scarlet-banded was described to science only in 2000 and is only known from a small area in Sira Barbet was discovered in 2012 in an even more remote area to the south. The two are similar, with Sira having more red along the flanks, but are hereby recognized at the species level.

  • Scarlet-banded Barbet Capito wallacei [map] [media] [my records]
      • northern Peru: very local on ridge crests of Cordillera Azul (eastern San Martín and southwestern Loreto)
  • Sira Barbet Capito fitzpatricki [map] [media] [my records]
      • southern Cerros del Sira, Ucayali, Peru

Note that Sira Barbet has some strong connections to Cornell University. It was discovered by a team of students from Cornell University, all of whom are now professional ornithologists and one of whom (Glenn Seelholzer) recently joined the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The scientific name honors John Fitzpatrick, who was the director of the Cornell Lab who helped found eBird and shepherd it to its amazing successes up until his retirement just last year. We are thrilled to see this bird in particular finally afforded species status!


Black-breasted Gnateater (Conopophaga snethlageae) is split from Chestnut-belted Gnateater (Conopophaga aurita). Chestnut-belted Gnateater is widespread in Amazonia, with Black-breasted being largely centered on the Brazilian state of Pará. It is distinctive in plumage and voice, but the two species don’t overlap so identification and the assignment of your records should both be straightforward.


Pacific Tuftedcheek (Pseudocolaptes johnsoni) is split from Buffy Tuftedcheek (Pseudocolaptes lawrencii). This split has been long anticipated and is ratified also by AOS-NACC and AOS-SACC. These populations are not in contact, with Buffy occurring in Costa Rica and western Panama and Pacific Tuftedcheek occurring in the western Andes of Colombia south to Ecuador.


Choco Manakin (Cryptopipo litae) is split from Green Manakin (Cryptopipo holochlora). Like the manakins below, the Andes have served as an important barrier segregating two similar manakins into two species: Choco Manakin in the Chocó bioregion (western Panama to nw. Ecuador) and Green Manakin, occurring east of the Andes and in Amazonia. The two species look similar but have different voices.


Blue-crowned Manakin (Lepidothrix coronata) is split into Velvety Manakin (Lepidothrix velutina) is split from Blue-capped Manakin (Lepidothrix coronata).

New genetic work prompted AOS-SACC to recognize populations of Middle America and west of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador as a distinct species, Velvety Manakin, as compared to a set of populations east of the Andes and in Amazonia. The two species have pronounced vocal differences, a staccato trilled note from Velvety compared to an upslurred whistle from Blue-capped. Look also for plumage differences: blacker plumage in Velvety as well as a black forehead above the bill base (forehead of Blue-capped is blue except for a very narrow band of black right above the bill).


Olive-striped Flycatcher (Mionectes galbinus) is split from Olive-streaked Flycatcher (Mionectes olivaceus). These species don’t seem to come in contact, but the changeover occurs somewhere in central Panama that is not well known. In Chiriquí, in western Panama, Olive-streaked Flycatcher occurs but in the Canal Zone of Central Panama it is Olive-striped.

  • Olive-streaked Flycatcher Mionectes olivaceus [map] [media] [my records]
      • foothills and highlands of Costa Rica and western Panama (to Chiriquí and Ngäbe-Buglé)
  • Olive-striped Flycatcher Mionectes galbinus [map] [media] [my records]
      • central Panama to east slope of the Andes from southern Colombia (Putumayo) south to southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia (La Paz)

The two species are similar in plumage but quite different vocally.


Long anticipated, and perhaps just one of many splits needed in this complex, Yellow-winged Flycatcher (Tolmomyias flavotectus) is split from Yellow-margined Flycatcher (Tolmomyias assimilis).

  • Yellow-winged Flycatcher Tolmomyias flavotectus [map] [media] [my records]
      • E Costa Rica to w Colombia and nw Ecuador
  • Yellow-margined Flycatcher Tolmomyias assimilis [map] [media] [my records]
      • widespread in Amazonian South America, with the below subspecies groups
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (neglectus) Tolmomyias assimilis neglectus [map] [media] [my records]
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (examinatus) Tolmomyias assimilis examinatus [map] [media] [my records]
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (obscuriceps) Tolmomyias assimilis obscuriceps [map] [media] [my records]
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (Tolmomyias assimilis) is split from Yellow-winged Flycatcher (Tolmomyias flavotectus).
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (assimilis Group) Tolmomyias assimilis [assimilis Group] [map] [media] [my records]
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (Tolmomyias assimilis) is split from Yellow-winged Flycatcher (Tolmomyias flavotectus).
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (Sucunduri) Tolmomyias assimilis sucunduri [map] [media] [my records]
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (Tolmomyias assimilis) is split from Yellow-winged Flycatcher (Tolmomyias flavotectus).
    • Yellow-margined Flycatcher (paraensis) Tolmomyias assimilis paraensis [map] [media] [my records]

Yellow-breasted Flycatcher (Olive-faced) and Yellow-breasted Flycatcher (Ochre-lored) are split as Olive-faced Flycatcher Tolmomyias viridiceps and Ochre-lored Flycatcher Tolmomyias flaviventris.

  • Olive-faced Flycatcher Tolmomyias viridiceps [map] [media] [my records]
      • SE Colombia to e Ecuador, e Peru and upper Amazonian Brazil, N-central Peru (San Martín to Junín), SE Peru (n Puno) to nw Bolivia and sw Brazil
  • Ochre-lored Flycatcher Tolmomyias flaviventris [map] [media] [my records]
      • e Panama and N Colombia to the Guianas and ne Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, SW Venezuela (Amazonas) and lower Amazonian Brazil, E Brazil (Maranhão to Espírito Santo and Mato Grosso)

There may be areas where the ranges of these two species approach each other or come in contact, such as northern Bolivia, so we have a slash option for reporting birds in those regions.

  • Olive-faced/Ochre-lored Flycatcher Tolmomyias viridiceps/flaviventris [map] [media] [my records]

First, a widespread and well-known species Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Phaeomyias murina has moved from genus Phaeomyias to Nesotriccus, in part because its sister relationship with Cocos Tyrannulet Nesotriccus ridgwayi (formerly Cocos Flycatcher). Vocal variability within Mouse-colored Tyrannulet has long made it clear that splits were needed in this species and some taoxnomies had  this year it is divided into four species as follows:

  • Tumbes Tyrannulet Nesotriccus tumbezana [map] [media] [my records]
      • Arid tropical sw Ecuador to nw Peru (south to n Lima)
  • Marañon Tyrannulet Nesotriccus maranonica [map] [media] [my records]
      • northwestern Peru (west slope of the Andes in Piura and Cajamarca, and the arid tropical Marañón Valley)
  • Northern Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Nesotriccus incomta [map] [media] [my records]
      • Pacific lowlands of southwestern Costa Rica and Panama (Chiriquí to eastern Panama Province), Colombia to Venezuela, the Guianas and n Brazil; Trinidad
  • Southern Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Nesotriccus murina [map] [media] [my records]
      • Tropical e Peru to nw Bolivia and w Amazonian Brazil, southern Bolivia to Paraguay, northwestern Argentina, and southeastern Brazil; northern distributional limit not certain, may occur farther north in eastern South America

With the 4-way-split and assignment of the Mouse-colored Tyrannulet complex to Nesotriccus, the former concept for Mouse-colored Tyrannulet is adjusted to also include Cocos Tyrannulet (formerly Cocos Flycatcher) to be a genus-wide option to cover any unknown species in the genus. Southern Mouse-colored Tyrannulet may be partially migratory (as an austral migrant) and could occur within the range of Northern Mouse-colored Tyrannulet at least on the Guianan Shield, so exercise great caution in assigning birds in that region to species and try to get audio recordings of vocalizations whenever possible.


Another group of nondescript flycatchers with a wide amount of vocal variation, Gray Elaenia had already been split by some taxonomies. Gray Elaenia (Choco), Gray Elaenia (Gray), and Gray Elaenia (Gray-headed) are split as Choco Elaenia Myiopagis parambae, Amazonian Elaenia Myiopagis cinerea, and Gray-headed Elaenia Myiopagis caniceps.

  • Choco Elaenia Myiopagis parambae [map] [media] [my records]
      • Extreme e Panama (Darién) and Tropical w Colombia and nw Ecuador (south to w Cañar)
  • Amazonian Elaenia Myiopagis cinerea [map] [media] [my records]
      • E Colombia to e Ecuador, ne Peru, s Venezuela and nw Brazil
  • Gray-headed Elaenia Myiopagis caniceps [map] [media] [my records]
      • southeastern Peru, northern Bolivia, and adjacent Brazil; eastern and southern Bolivia south to northwestern Argentina and east to Paraguay, northeastern Argentina, and south central and eastern Brazil

Widely separated in range and with more vocal differentiation than would be expected for two species, Rough-legged Tyrannulet Phyllomyias burmeisteri is hereby split from White-fronted Tyrannulet Phyllomyias zeledoni.


Another endemic to eastern Brasil, Bahia Wagtail-Tyrant Stigmatura bahiae is split from Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant Stigmatura napensis.


The former subspecies groups Bran-colored Flycatcher (Rufescent) and Bran-colored Flycatcher (Mouse-gray) are split from Bran-colored Flycatcher.

  • Bran-colored Flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus [map] [media] [my records]
  • Mouse-gray Flycatcher Myiophobus crypterythrus [map] [media] [my records]
      • west of the Andes in southwestern Colombia, western Ecuador, and northwestern Peru (south to southwestern Cajamarca)
  • Rufescent Flycatcher Myiophobus rufescens [map] [media] [my records]
      • west of the Andes from northern Peru (southern Lambayeque) south to extreme northern Chile (Arica)

These species approach each other in a couple areas, so we provide slash options for conservative reporting:

  • Bran-colored/Mouse-gray Flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus/crypterythrus [map] [media] [my records]
  • Mouse-gray/Rufescent Flycatcher Myiophobus crypterythrus/rufescens [map] [media] [my records]

Since the plumages are so similar the vocal variation in the Tropical Pewee complex has been hard to make sense of, but a combination of new genetic information and a broader set for audio recordings are helping to delineate the species limits better.

The former groups in eBird were not well-aligned with the species limits (except for punensis, which has long stood out) as Tumbes Pewee Contopus punensis. We make an additional split of Southern Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus and Northern Tropical Pewee Contopus bogotensis and list the full set of subspecies below to help clarify the new ranges.

  • Tumbes Pewee Contopus punensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of western Ecuador and western Peru (south to Ica)
  • Southern Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus [map] [media] [my records]
    • Contopus cinereus pallescens
      • eastern Bolivia south to northwestern Argentina, and east to south central and eastern Brazil; rare austral migrant to southeastern Peru
    • Contopus cinereus cinereus
      • SE Brazil (Bahia to Paraná) to e Paraguay and ne Argentina
  • Northern Tropical Pewee Contopus bogotensis [map] [media] [my records]
    • Contopus bogotensis brachytarsus
      • Tropical se Mexico (Oaxaca and Veracruz) to Panama
    • Contopus bogotensis rhizophorus
      • Arid Pacific littoral of w Costa Rica (Guanacaste)
    • Contopus bogotensis aithalodes
      • Isla Coiba (Panama)
    • Contopus bogotensis bogotensis
      • Colombia, northern Venezuela, and Trinidad
    • Contopus bogotensis surinamensis
      • S Venezuela to the Guianas and ne Brazil

Since ranges are still a bit uncertain, we retain an option for uncertain reporting.


Well separated by range, differing in plumage, and spanning traditional biogeographic barriers, the three-way split of Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris is not entirely surprising. The new species align with our former groups: Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant (Slaty-backed), Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant (Blackish), and Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant (Maroon-belted).

  • Chestnut-bellied Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of Colombia, Ecuador (entire east slope, south on the west slope to Chimborazo), and extreme northern Peru (east slope, north and west of the Marañón Valley)
  • Blackish Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca nigrita [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of w Venezuela (Mérida, w Barinas and Táchira)
  • Maroon-belted Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca thoracica [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of northern Peru in Amazonas (south and east of the Marañón Valley) and San Martín, populations south of Huánuco probably also this subspecies; also locally in east central and southeastern Cajamarca, west of the Marañón Valley and Andes of se Peru (Pasco) to w Bolivia (Cochabamba)

Yet another split of a population east of the Tachira Gap in the Venezuelan Andes, Rufous-browed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca superciliosa is split from Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca fumicolor.

  • Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca fumicolor [map] [media] [my records]
      • Widespread in the Andes from Colombia to se Peru
  • Rufous-browed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca superciliosa [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of w Venezuela (Trujillo, Mérida and e Táchira)

Spotted Scrubwren Sericornis maculatus is split from White-browed Scrubwren Sericornis frontalis. Their ranges are largely separated from one another, with Spotted preferring coastal mangrove habitats where the ranges approach each other near Adelaide.

  • Spotted Scrubwren Sericornis maculatus [map] [media] [my records]
    • Cent. W Australia, SW Western Australia east along coast to southeastern South Australia; Kangaroo I. (South Australia)
  • White-browed Scrubwren Sericornis frontalis [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-browed Scrubwren (Buff-breasted) Sericornis frontalis laevigaster [map] [media] [my records]
        • Disjunct in e Queensland (Atherton Tableland to Burnett River)
    • White-browed Scrubwren (White-browed) Sericornis frontalis [frontalis Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • E New South Wales to Southern Victoria (Otway Peninsula to Strzelecki Range),
        South Australia (Mt. Lofty Range to Fleurieu Peninsula), and Flinders I. and adjacent islands in Bass Strait

Rennell Gerygone Gerygone citrina is split from Fan-tailed Gerygone Gerygone flavolateralis, and is restricted to a single island in the se Solomon Islands, while Fan-tailed occurs rather widely on islands farther offshore to the south and east.

  • Rennell Gerygone Gerygone citrina [map] [media] [my records]
      • Rennell (se Solomon Islands)
  • Fan-tailed Gerygone Gerygone flavolateralis [map] [media] [my records]
      • N Vanuatu and Banks Group, New Caledonia and Maré, Loyalty Islands (Ouvéa), Lifou (Loyalty Islands)

Formerly a monotypic family, the Falcunculidae now has grown threefold. Our former groups Crested Shrike-tit (Eastern), Crested Shrike-tit (Western), and Crested Shrike-tit (Northern) are split as Eastern Shrike-tit Falcunculus frontatus, Western Shrike-tit Falcunculus leucogaster, and Northern Shrike-tit Falcunculus whitei. These species are somewhat similar but their ranges are well-separated, so this split should not cause any confusion.


Malawi Batis Batis dimorpha is split from Cape Batis Batis capensis, in part because the discovery of Cape Batis on the Zomba Plateau indicates that these species have overlapping or nearly overlapping ranges without evidence of introgression. Sympatric occurrence without interbreeding is the gold standard for species limits, and these species actually look quite different in some plumages, so this split is recognized here.

  • Cape Batis Batis capensis [map] [media] [my records]
    • Cape Batis (Gray-mantled) Batis capensis [erythrophthalma Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • eastern highlands of Zimbabwe and adjacent western Mozambique, also locally in southern Malawi, SW Zimbabwe (Mopoto Hills region), northeastern South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique (Lebombo Range)
    • Cape Batis (Cape) Batis capensis capensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • southern South Africa, east to Free State and southern KwaZulu-Natal
  • Malawi Batis Batis dimorpha [map] [media] [my records]
      • N Malawi (Mwantjati to Nyika) to mountains of s Malawi and adjacent Mozambique

Females can still be tough to separate and some parts of the range in southern Malawi are poorly understood, so the slash may prove useful.


A growing number of similar taxa that occur on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands are being recognized as distinct species. Adding to that pattern Blue Vanga (Comoro) and Blue Vanga (Madagascar) are hereby recognized as Comoros Blue Vanga Cyanolanius comorensis and Madagascar Blue Vanga Cyanolanius madagascarinus.


Sharpe’s Lark Mirafra sharpii is extremely poorly known and has no eBird records yet. It is split from Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana and well removed from populations of the species, which is similar in appearance but quite distant genetically.

  • Sharpe’s Lark Mirafra sharpii [map] [media] [my records]
      • NW Somalia (Silo Plain, Tuyo Plain and Bankisah)
  • Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana [map] [media] [my records]
      • Widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, with these groups:
    • Rufous-naped Lark (Sudan) Mirafra africana kurrae [map] [media] [my records]
    • Rufous-naped Lark (Bamenda) Mirafra africana stresemanni/bamendae [map] [media] [my records]
    • Rufous-naped Lark (Rufous-naped) Mirafra africana [africana Group] [map] [media] [my records]
    • Rufous-naped Lark (Serengeti) Mirafra africana tropicalis [map] [media] [my records]
    • Rufous-naped Lark (Blackish) Mirafra africana nigrescens/nyikae [map] [media] [my records]
    • Rufous-naped Lark (Malbrant’s) Mirafra africana malbranti [map] [media] [my records]

Rufous-crowned Prinia Prinia khasiana is split from Black-throated Prinia (Prinia atrogularis).


Adding to the short list of Vanuatu endemics and the much larger list of Solomon Island endemics, Guadalcanal Thicketbird Cincloramphus turipavaeand Santo Thicketbird Cincloramphus whitneyi each are recognized as distinct species.

  • Santo Thicketbird Cincloramphus whitneyi [map] [media] [my records]
      • Mountains of Espíritu Santo (Vanuatu)
  • Guadalcanal Thicketbird Cincloramphus turipavae [map] [media] [my records]
      • Mountains of Guadalcanal (se Solomon Islands)

Negros Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus nigrorum, of the Philippines, is split from Mountain Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus, which is widespread to the west of the Philippines.

  • Mountain Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Borneo
  • Negros Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus nigrorum [map] [media] [my records]
      • widespread in Philippines

Lompobattang Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus sarasinorum is restricted to a small mountain range at the far southern tip of Sulawesi, and is split from Sulawesi Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus nesophilus which is more widespread on the remainder of the island of Sulawesi.


Kangean Tit-Babbler Mixornis prillwitzi has an extremely limited range on an island off e. Java and is very rarely observed (eBird has not observations, yet!); it is split from the easier-to-observe Javan species, Gray-cheeked Tit-Babbler Mixornis flavicollis.

  • Gray-cheeked Tit-Babbler Mixornis flavicollis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Lowlands of e Java
  • Kangean Tit-Babbler Mixornis prillwitzi [map] [media] [my records]
      • Kangean Islands (Java Sea)

One of many splits this year (and in recent years) that divide the Bornean taxon from the one present on the Malay Peninsula, Gray-hooded Babbler Cyanoderma bicolor is split from Chestnut-winged Babbler Cyanoderma erythropterum.

  • Chestnut-winged Babbler Cyanoderma erythropterum [map] [media] [my records]
      • Malay Pen. (Isthmus of Kra to Singapore), North Natuna Is., Sumatra, Bangka, Belitung, Batu, Banyak I.
  • Gray-hooded Babbler Cyanoderma bicolor [map] [media] [my records]
      • Borneo

Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus phayrei is split into Brown-crowned Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus phayrei and Black-crowned Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus.

  • Black-crowned Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Himalayas (e Nepal to e Assam north of the Brahmaputra)
  • Brown-crowned Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus phayrei [map] [media] [my records]
    • Brown-crowned Scimitar-Babbler (Phayre’s) Pomatorhinus phayrei phayrei/stanfordi [map] [media] [my records]
      • northeastern India (southern Assam and Manipur), southwestern Myanmar (Chin Hills and Arakan Yoma Mts.), and
        NE Myanmar (Kachin State)
    • Brown-crowned Scimitar-Babbler (albogularis Group) Pomatorhinus phayrei [albogularis Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • eastern and southeastern Myanmar to northwestern Thailand, Vietnam and Laos

They may come in contact and the slash option will be useful in those areas for conservative reporting:

  • Black-crowned/Brown-crowned Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus/phayrei [map] [media] [my records]

Within Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler, our subspecies groups Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler (Sunda) and Chestnut-backed Scimitar-Babbler (Javan) are split as Sunda Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus bornensis and Javan Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus montanus. The plumage is distinctive and the ranges don’t overlap, so this split is quite straightforward.

  • Sunda Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus bornensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Bangka I., nd Borneo
  • Javan Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus montanus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Java and Bali

Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra is split as Indian Pied Starling Gracupica contra, Siamese Pied Starling Gracupica floweri, and Javan Pied Starling Gracupica jalla. While Indian Pied Starling is widespread and well known, Javan Pied Starling is extremely endangered and native populations may even be extinct in the wild. Siamese Pied Starling is not well known and did not previously have a subspecies group for data entry in eBird, so was something of a surprise split. It is the form that predominates in Thailand (although Indian Pied Starling may occur in the west) and is best separated from Indian Pied Starling by its more extensive pale irides and more extensive whitish streaking on the forecrown.

  • Indian Pied Starling Gracupica contra [map] [media] [my records]
      • N and central India, N Assam, Manipur and Myanmar south to Tenasserim
  • Siamese Pied Starling Gracupica floweri [map] [media] [my records]
      • S Myanmar to Thailand and Laos
  • Javan Pied Starling Gracupica jalla [map] [media] [my records]
      • eastern Sumatra (where possibly introduced), Java, and Bali; probably extinct in the wild

Given the difficulty of identification and the uncertainty of escapee populations, and especially the zone of potential contact in western Thailand, this «spuh» option may be really important for conservative reporting of birds that are not studied extremely well.


Our former subspecies groups Vinous-breasted Starling (Burmese) and Vinous-breasted Starling (Vinous-breasted) are split as Burmese Myna Acridotheres burmannicus and Vinous-breasted Myna Acridotheres leucocephalus.

  • Burmese Myna Acridotheres burmannicus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Myanmar and southwestern China (southwestern Yunnan)
  • Vinous-breasted Myna Acridotheres leucocephalus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, perhaps also extreme southern Myanmar (Tenasserim)

These two are very similar, especially when eye color and details of bill color cannot be seen at close range, so the slash option is important for conservative reporting anywhere that either species might occur (including areas where escapees or exotic populations occur, as well as areas where either species could occur as a vagrant stray).

  • Burmese/Vinous-breasted Myna Acridotheres burmannicus/leucocephalus [map] [media] [my records]

White-crowned Shama Copsychus stricklandii, of Borneo, is split from White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus.

  • White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-rumped Shama (White-rumped) Copsychus malabaricus [malabaricus Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • Widespread in SE Asia; introduced in Hawaii
    • White-rumped Shama (Long-tailed) Copsychus malabaricus ngae
      • islands on the west side of the Thai-Malay Peninsula (from the Thai/Myanmar border south to the Langkawi archipelago at the Thai/Malayasian border)
    • White-rumped Shama (Barusan) Copsychus malabaricus [melanurus Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • Simeulue Island, Lasia, Babi Islands, Nias Island and Mentawai Islands, Panaitan Island (Sunda Strait); some populations possibly extinct
  • White-crowned Shama Copsychus stricklandii [map] [media] [my records]
      • Lowlands of n Borneo, Labuan, Balembangan and Banggi islands

Blue-breasted Flycatcher (Blue-breasted) and Blue-breasted Flycatcher (Rufous-breasted) are split as Blue-breasted Blue Flycatcher Cyornis herioti and Rufous-breasted Blue Flycatcher Cyornis camarinensis.

  • Blue-breasted Blue Flycatcher Cyornis herioti [map] [media] [my records]
      • N Philippines (mountains of n and central Luzon)
  • Rufous-breasted Blue Flycatcher Cyornis camarinensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • N Philippines (mountains of s Luzon and Catanduanes)

The two are somewhat similar and may come in contact, so we have a slash to cover any observations that are uncertain:

  • Blue-breasted/Rufous-breasted Blue Flycatcher Cyornis herioti/camarinensis [map] [media] [my records]

Kalao Blue Flycatcher Cyornis kalaoensis is split from Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher Cyornis omissus.

  • Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher Cyornis omissus [map] [media] [my records]
    • Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher (Sulawesi) Cyornis omissus [omissus Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sulawesi, Salayar, and Togian Islands (off of northeastern Sulawesi)
    • Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher (Tanahjampea) Cyornis omissus djampeanus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Tanahjampea I. (Flores Sea)
  • Kalao Blue Flycatcher Cyornis kalaoensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Kalao I. (Flores Sea)

Vivid Niltava (Chinese) and Vivid Niltava (Taiwan) are split as Chinese Vivid Niltava Niltava oatesi and Taiwan Vivid Niltava Niltava vivida, adding another endemic for Taiwan. Like  the recent split of Taiwan Bullfinch Pyrrhula owstoni from Gray-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythaca, there is a large distributional gap in eastern China that surely hinted that these species may have been separated for a long time.


Sumba Jungle Flycatcher Eumyias stresemanni is split from Flores Jungle Flycatcher Eumyias oscillans.

  • Flores Jungle Flycatcher Eumyias oscillans [map] [media] [my records]
      • Flores and Sumbawa (w Lesser Sundas)
  • Sumba Jungle Flycatcher Eumyias stresemanni [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sumba (w Lesser Sundas)

Forest Robin (Olive-backed) and Forest Robin (Sangha) are part of a rearrangement that now has these species: Olive-backed Forest Robin (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus), Orange-breasted Forest Robin (Stiphrornis erythrothorax), and Yellow-breasted Forest Robin (Stiphrornis mabirae).

  • Olive-backed Forest Robin Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Not well known, but reported in southwestern Gabon south of the Ogooué River, and in northeastern Gabon north of the Ogooué River
  • Orange-breasted Forest Robin Stiphrornis erythrothorax [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sierra Leone to Ghana east to central Cameroon and northern Gabon, southeastern Cameroon, but presumably also in adjacent northeastern Gabon and northwestern Republic of the Congo; Bioko (Gulf of Guinea)
  • Yellow-breasted Forest Robin Stiphrornis mabirae [map] [media] [my records]
      • Poorly known; occurs from southwestern Central African Republic east at least to north central Democratic Republic of the Congo and extreme southwestern South Sudan and western and southern Uganda; western distributional limits not well defined, but presumably extends into northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

These taxa are not well known and this split is still poorly understood. Please check your records with care and privide as much documentation on the plumage and vocalizations as possible. Just to make matters worse, the nomenclature has been a confusing mess as well—see the Clements update for more information on that.


Bocage’s Akalat Sheppardia bocagei is split from Short-tailed Akalat Sheppardia poensis.


White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx poliogyna is split five ways, with each new species limited to one of several islands in Australasia:

  • Philippine Shortwing Brachypteryx poliogyna [map] [media] [my records]
      • Occurs widely in the Philippine archipelago
  • Bornean Shortwing Brachypteryx erythrogyna [map] [media] [my records]
      • Mountains of n Borneo
  • Sumatran Shortwing Brachypteryx saturata [map] [media] [my records]
      • Mountains of Sumatra
  • Javan Shortwing Brachypteryx montana [map] [media] [my records]
      • Mountains of Java
  • Flores Shortwing Brachypteryx floris [map] [media] [my records]
      • Mountains of Flores (w Lesser Sundas)

Japanese Robin (Japanese) and Japanese Robin (Izu) are split as Japanese Robin Larvivora akahige and Izu Robin Larvivora tanensis differ in the presence of a small dark band on the chest. They rarely overly, with Izu Robin entirely restricted to the Izu Islands to the east of Tokyo, one of several endemic species there.

In theory the two could overlap in migration since Japanese Robin must occasionally stray out to the Izu Islands in migration, so we do offer a slash for such cases.


Ryukyu Robin (Ryukyu) and Ryukyu Robin (Okinawa) are split as Ryukyu Robin Larvivora komadori and Okinawa Robin Larvivora namiyei. The two species are somewhat distinct in plumage and have an interesting migration, with Ryukyu breeding in the north of the island chain and migrating over the range of Okinawa Robin to winter in the southern Ryukyus.

  • Ryukyu Robin Larvivora komadori [map] [media] [my records]
      • breeds Danjo Islands (off of southwestern Kyushu) and the northern Ryukyu Islands (Tanegashima S to Tokunoshima); winters south to the southern Ryukyu Islands (mainly Miyako, Ishigaki, Iriomote and Yonakuni)
  • Okinawa Robin Larvivora namiyei [map] [media] [my records]
      • Okinawa (central Ryukyu Islands)

Sinne there is potential overlap in miogration or as a vagrant, we offer a slash option as well.


Bornean Forktail Enicurus borneensis is split from White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti.

  • White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-crowned Forktail (Northern) Enicurus leschenaulti sinensis/indicus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Himalayas of ne India to Myanmar, n Thailand and Indochina, W and s China; Hainan
    • White-crowned Forktail (Malaysian) Enicurus leschenaulti frontalis/chaseni [map] [media] [my records]
      • Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Nias Island, and lowlands of Borneo
    • White-crowned Forktail (Javan) Enicurus leschenaulti leschenaulti [map] [media] [my records]
      • Java and Bali
  • Bornean Forktail Enicurus borneensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Mountains of n Borneo

This split is tricky because both species come in contact in Borneo, with Bornean Forktail occupying the higher elevations, so we provide a slash for records that are uncertain.

  • White-crowned/Bornean Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti/borneensis [map] [media] [my records]

Limited to a single mountain range in the far north of Madagascar, Amber Mountain Rock-Thrush Monticola erythronotus is split from the more widespread Madagascan species, Forest Rock-Thrush Monticola sharpei.


Atlas Wheatear Oenanthe seebohmi is split from Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe.

  • Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe [map] [media] [my records]
    • Northern Wheatear (Greenland) Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa [map] [media] [my records]
      • NE Canada to Greenland and Iceland; > to w Africa
    • Northern Wheatear (Eurasian) Oenanthe oenanthe oenanthe/libanotica [map] [media] [my records]
  • Atlas Wheatear Oenanthe seebohmi [map] [media] [my records]
      • Morocco to ne Algeria; > to Mauritania

Although the breeding plumage is distinctive and the breeding ranges are completely separate, these species overlap during migration and wintering grounds, when field identification is a great challenge in western Africa.


Occurring on opposite sides of the Red Sea, Red-breasted Wheatear (Buff-breasted) and Red-breasted Wheatear (Rusty-breasted) are split as Buff-breasted Wheatear Oenanthe bottae and Rusty-breasted Wheatear Oenanthe frenata.

  • Buff-breasted Wheatear Oenanthe bottae [map] [media] [my records]
      • Highlands of sw Arabia (Mecca to Yemen)
  • Rusty-breasted Wheatear Oenanthe frenata [map] [media] [my records]
      • Highlands of Eritrea and Ethiopia

Ethiopian Thrush Turdus simensis has a range that is very far removed from Groundscraper Thrush Turdus litsitsirupa and the two species are hereby recognized as distinct species.

  • Ethiopian Thrush Turdus simensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Highlands of Eritrea and Ethiopia
  • Groundscraper Thrush Turdus litsitsirupa [map] [media] [my records]
      • N Angola to se Democratic Republic of the Congo, w Tanzania and w Malawi to C Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and S Africa

The rarely-seen and range-restricted Red Weaver Anaplectes jubaensis is split from Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps.

  • Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps [map] [media] [my records]
    • Red-headed Weaver (Northern) Anaplectes rubriceps leuconotos [map] [media] [my records]
        • Senegambia to southern Chad, northern Central African Republic, southwestern and southern Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and northern Somalia, south through Uganda and Kenya to Malawi
    • Red-headed Weaver (Southern) Anaplectes rubriceps rubriceps [map] [media] [my records]
        • S Angola to ne Namibia, s Zambia, Mozambique and ne S Africa
  • Red Weaver Anaplectes jubaensis [map] [media] [my records]
      • S Somalia and adjacent coastal Kenya

Black-necked Weaver (Olive-backed) and Black-necked Weaver (Black-backed) are split as Olive-naped Weaver Ploceus brachypterus and Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis. The two species are very different in plumage and readily identified and only superficially similar to one another.

The two species are known to hybridize and so we provide that option, as well as an option for poorly seen birds or possible hybrids

  • Olive-naped x Black-necked Weaver (hybrid) Ploceus brachypterus x nigricollis [map] [media] [my records]
  • Olive-naped/Black-necked Weaver Ploceus brachypterus/nigricollis [map] [media] [my records]

Vieillot’s Weaver (Chestnut-and-black) and Vieillot’s Weaver (Black) are split as Chestnut-and-black Weaver Ploceus castaneofuscus and Vieillot’s Black Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus.

Like the weavers above these two are readily identified by plumage but also may come in contact where their ranges meet, so we retain a slash option.

  • Chestnut-and-black/Vieillot’s Black Weaver Ploceus castaneofuscus/nigerrimus [map] [media] [my records]

Red-collared Widowbird (Red-cowled) and Red-collared Widowbird (Red-collared) are split as Red-cowled Widowbird Euplectes laticauda and Red-collared Widowbird Euplectes ardens.

  • Red-cowled Widowbird Euplectes laticauda [map] [media] [my records]
      • highlands of eastern South Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia and Highlands of Kenya and ne Tanzania
  • Red-collared Widowbird Euplectes ardens [map] [media] [my records]
      • Senegal and Sierra Leone east to southern South Sudan and western Uganda, south to central Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and eastern South Africa

We provide a slash option for reporting records of uncertain identity since the two species may occur near one another or even in the same areas and can be difficult to separate (especially when not in adult male breeding plumage).


Australasian Pipit (Australian) and Australasian Pipit (New Zealand) are split as Australian Pipit (Anthus australis) and New Zealand Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae).


Puna Pipit Anthus brevirostris is split from Short-billed Pipit Anthus furcatus.

  • Puna Pipit Anthus brevirostris [map] [media] [my records]
      • Puna of Andes of Peru and Bolivia
  • Short-billed Pipit Anthus furcatus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Extreme se Brazil to Paraguay, Uruguay and n Argentina

Black-faced Bunting (spodocephala/sordida) and Black-faced Bunting (personata) are split as Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala and Masked Bunting Emberiza personata.

  • Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala [map] [media] [my records]
      • breeds in Central, e Asia; winter to e India to e China to n Indochina, Taiwan, and W China
  • Masked Bunting Emberiza personata [map] [media] [my records]
      • Sakhalin and s Kuril Is. to Honshu; > to Ryukyu Is.

These two species are distinctive in male plumage but females and immatures can be really tricky to identify in fall, especially because some Black-face dBuntings can be extensively yellow below (mostly birds from the extreme northeast portion of the range, near where Masked Bunting breeds. Look for the thicker, blurrier streaking of Masked, along with the brighter yellow underparts, and listen for its slightly thinner and buzzier chip. Given these difficulties and their potential overlap in Japan, Korea, and e. China, we provide a slash option for reporting records of uncertain identity since the two species may occur near one another or even in the same areas and can be difficult to separate (especially when not in adult male breeding plumage).


The headline split in northern North America is the separation of Chihuahuan Meadowlark Sturnella lilianae from Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna.

  • Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna [map] [media] [my records]
    • Eastern Meadowlark (Cuban) Sturnella magna hippocrepis [map] [media] [my records]
      • Cuba
    • Eastern Meadowlark (Eastern) Sturnella magna [magna Group] [map] [media] [my records]
      • Widespread in eastern North America, eastern and southern Middle America, and northern South America
  • Chihuahuan Meadowlark Sturnella lilianae [map] [media] [my records]
      • N Ariz. to e New Mexico, sw Texas, s Sonora and nw Chihuahua to western Mexico from southern Sinaloa, coastal Nayarit, and southern Durango across the Trans-Volcanic Belt east to the upper Río Lerma, Estado de México

Genetic information helped show that subspecies auropectoralis of southwestern Mexico was part of this species, but ssp. saundersi of  Oaxaca belongs with Eastern Meadowlark (note that eBird previously included saundersi as a third subspecies in the Chihuahuan group). (We provide a slash option for reporting records of uncertain identity since the two species may occur near one another (especially in southern Mexico) or even in the same areas and can be difficult to separate (especially when not in adult male breeding plumage).

For records that could involve Western, Eastern, or Chihuahuan, look for the below Sturnella meadowlark sp. option.


Masked Yellowthroat (Masked), Masked Yellowthroat (Black-lored), and Masked Yellowthroat (Southern) differ in male plumage and vocalizations and are split as Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis, Black-lored Yellowthroat Geothlypis auricularis, and Southern Yellowthroat Geothlypis velata.

We provide a general spuh option for records of uncertain identity since these taxa are not particularly well known, are difficult to separate, and may occur near one another or even in the same areas.

  • masked yellowthroat sp. Geothlypis aequinoctialis/auricularis/velata [map] [media] [my records]

Several splits were adopted several years ago in the northern portion of the range of this complex (e.g., Costa Rican Warbler Basileuterus melanotis and Tacarcuna Warbler Basileuterus tacarcunae, but the division of Yungas Warbler Basileuterus punctipectus from Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus tristriatus was overlooked since AOS-SACC never addressed it. We split it this year.

  • Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus tristriatus [map] [media] [my records]
    • Three-striped Warbler (San Lucas) Basileuterus tristriatus sanlucasensis [map] [media] [my records]
        • Serrania de San Lucas (Bolívar, north central Colombia)
    • Three-striped Warbler (daedalus) Basileuterus tristriatus daedalus [map] [media] [my records]
        • Subtrop. Western and Central Andes of Colombia and w Ecuador
    • Three-striped Warbler (auricularis) Basileuterus tristriatus auricularis [map] [media] [my records]
        • Subtrop. E and Central Andes of Colombia and sw Venezuela
    • Three-striped Warbler (Venezuelan) Basileuterus tristriatus meridanus/bessereri [map] [media] [my records]
        • Subtropical Andes of w Venezuela (Lara to Táchira) and n Venezuela (Yaracuy to Miranda)
    • Three-striped Warbler (Paria) Basileuterus tristriatus pariae [map] [media] [my records]
        • NE Venezuela (subtropical mountains of Paría Peninsula)
    • Three-striped Warbler (Three-striped) Basileuterus tristriatus tristriatus/baezae [map] [media] [my records]
        • Andes of e Ecuador (Pichincha to Chimborazo) and Andes of se Ecuador (Loja) to central Peru (Cuzco)
  • Yungas Warbler Basileuterus punctipectus [map] [media] [my records]
      • Andes of se Peru (Puno) to E Bolivia (Santa Cruz)

Golden-bellied Warbler (Golden-bellied) and Golden-bellied Warbler (Choco) have quite distinct ranges and are split as as Cuzco Warbler Myiothlypis chrysogaster and Choco Warbler Myiothlypis chlorophrys.


LUMPS and INVALID SPECIES

In eBird taxonomic revision, lumps are very easy to deal with. Usually the taxa become subspecies groups, so there is no changing of records necessary, just a recalculation of lists as the species drop to identifiable subspecies. Whenever possible, we encourage birders to continue reporting at the subspecies level, but whenever you select these options, be sure you understand the taxa that you are using; do not try to guess at the subspecies based on the name! This section also includes invalid species descriptions: these are rare but occur when an original description of a species or subspecies is proven to be a hybrid, rare variant, or other form of natural variation that does not represent a species. Full details for can be seen at the Clements Updates & Corrections page.


Within Megapodius, which are now known as Megapodes (formerly Scrubfowl), the Dusky Megapode (Megapodius freycinet) and Forsten’s Scrubfowl (Megapodius forsteni) are lumped as Dusky Megapode which now has two subspecies groups representing the former species:


Chestnut-naped Francolin and Black-fronted Francolin Pternistis atrifrons are lumped as Chestnut-naped Spurfowl with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

  • Chestnut-naped Spurfowl Pternistis castaneicollis [map] [media] [my records]
    • Chestnut-naped Spurfowl (Northern) Pternistis castaneicollis castaneicollis [map] [media] [my records]
    • Chestnut-naped Spurfowl (Black-fronted) Pternistis castaneicollis atrifrons [map] [media] [my records]

Reunion Pigeon (Nesoenas duboisi), an extinct species known from a single fossil humerus, is treated as a subspecies Nesoenas mayeri duboisi within Pink Pigeon Nesoenas mayeri [map] [media] [my records]. This subspecies is not included as an eBird subspecies group and there were never any eBird observations anyway.


Within Africa, Black-shouldered Nightjar Caprimulgus nigriscapularis and Fiery-necked Nightjar are lumped as Fiery-necked Nightjar with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

  • Fiery-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus pectoralis [map] [media] [my records]
    • Fiery-necked Nightjar (Black-shouldered) Caprimulgus pectoralis nigriscapularis [map] [media] [my records]
    • Fiery-necked Nightjar (Fiery-necked) Caprimulgus pectoralis [pectoralis Group] [map] [media] [my records]

Another African nightjar lump, Abyssinian Nightjar and Rwenzori Nightjar Caprimulgus ruwenzorii are lumped as Montane Nightjar with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


In New Guinea, Archbold’s Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles archboldi) is lumped with Mountain Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles albertisi), but we do not retain any subspecies groups.


Mexico loses an endemic species as Long-tailed Sabrewing Pampa excellens is lumped with Wedge-tailed Sabrewing Pampa curvipennis, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


Red-chested Goshawk Accipiter toussenelii, which had a wide range in a band just south of the Sahara from western Africa to Ethiopia, is lumped with African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro, making for a very widespread forest Accipiter on the continent. , with the The former species are retained as subspecies groups:


The highly range restricted restricted Cape Verde Buzzard Buteo bannermani is lumped with the widespread Common Buzzard Buteo buteo, with the former species retained as a subspecies group:


Augur Buzzard Buteo augur and Archer’s Buzzard Buteo archeri are lumped as Augur Buzzard with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


Madagascar Scops-Owl Otus rutilus and Torotoroka Scops-Owl Otus madagascariensis are lumped as Madagascar Scops-Owl , with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

Madagascar Scops-Owl Otus rutilus [map] [media] [my records]


Fraser’s Eagle-Owl Ketupa poensis and Usambara Eagle-Owl Ketupa vosseleri are lumped as Fraser’s Eagle-Owl , with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


Chestnut Owlet Glaucidium castaneum is lumped with African Barred Owlet Glaucidium capense.


Pere David’s Owl Strix davidi, restricted to a limited range in central China (se Qinghai and Sichuan), is lumped with Ural Owl Strix uralensis, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


Reassessments of the kingfisher family led to four separate lumps (loss of four species) in cases where the WGAC assessed that kingfisher diversity in Australasia has been a bit overestimated.

North Moluccan Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx uropygialis and Seram Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx lepidus are lumped as Moluccan Dwarf-Kingfisher, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

Bougainville Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx pallidus and North Solomons Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx meeki are lumped as North Solomons Dwarf-Kingfisher, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

Malaita Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx malaitae and Guadalcanal Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx nigromaxilla are lumped as Guadalcanal Dwarf-Kingfisher, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

Niau Kingfisher Todiramphus gertrudae and Mangareva Kingfisher Todiramphus gambieri are lumped as Tuamotu Kingfisher, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


Thick-billed Honeyguide Indicator conirostris and Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor are lumped as Lesser Honeyguide, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


White-crested Tyrannulet Serpophaga subcristata and White-bellied Tyrannulet Serpophaga munda are not distinct vocally and morphological and plumage differences are minimal; they are lumped as White-crested Tyrannulet with subspecies groups: White-crested Tyrannulet (Sulphur-bellied) Serpophaga subcristata subcristata/straminea and White-crested Tyrannulet (White-bellied) Serpophaga subcristata munda to match the former species.

  • White-crested Tyrannulet Serpophaga subcristata [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-crested Tyrannulet (Sulphur-bellied) Serpophaga subcristata subcristata/straminea [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-crested Tyrannulet (White-bellied) Serpophaga subcristata munda [map] [media] [my records]

Indonesian Honeyeater Lichmera limbata is no longer recognized as a species and is treated as a subspecies of Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta; it is not treated as an identifiable subspecies group. This extends the range of Brown Honeyeater to Bali and the Lesser Sundas to Flores and Timor.


In accord with Beehler and Pratt (2016) WGAC, Perplexing Scrubwren Sericornis virgatus is lumped into Large Scrubwren Sericornis nouhuysi and its two subspecies are now treated as subspecies of Large Scrubwren: Sericornis nouhuysi virgatus of the highlands of eastern New Guinea (upper Sepik-Ramu river drainages) and Sericornis nouhuysi jobiensis of Yapen I., New Guinea. Both taxa, nominate virgatus and jobiensis, are considered to be populations that represent hybridization between Large Scrubwren and Tropical Scrubwren Sericornis beccarii, but are more similar to Large Scrubwren and so are classified under that species. There remains the question, however, of whether these populations represent valid taxa.


Dalat Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius annamensis, Himalayan Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius ripleyi, and Blyth’s Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius aerulatisare lumped as White-browed Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius aeralatus. In northern India in particular, the confusion between Himalayan and Blyth’s Shrike-Babblers were a significant data quality concern, so this lump helps resolve that confusion.

  • White-browed Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius aeralatus [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-browed Shrike-Babbler (Himalayan) Pteruthius aeralatus ripleyi [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-browed Shrike-Babbler (Chestnut-winged) Pteruthius aeralatus validirostris [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-browed Shrike-Babbler (Gray-breasted) Pteruthius aeralatus ricketti [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-browed Shrike-Babbler (Blyth’s) Pteruthius aeralatus [aeralatus Group] [map] [media] [my records]
    • White-browed Shrike-Babbler (Dalat) Pteruthius aeralatus annamensis [map] [media] [my records]

Spike-heeled Lark Chersomanes albofasciata and Beesley’s Lark Chersomanes beesleyi are lumped as Spike-heeled Lark, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

  • Spike-heeled Lark Chersomanes albofasciata [map] [media] [my records]
    • Spike-heeled Lark (Spike-heeled) Chersomanes albofasciata [albofasciata Group] [map] [media] [my records]
    • Spike-heeled Lark (Beesley’s) Chersomanes albofasciata beesleyi [map] [media] [my records]

Karoo Long-billed Lark Certhilauda subcoronata and Benguela Lark Certhilauda benguelensis are lumped as Karoo Long-billed Lark, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

  • Karoo Long-billed Lark Certhilauda subcoronata [map] [media] [my records]
    • Karoo Long-billed Lark (Karoo) Certhilauda subcoronata [subcoronata Group] [map] [media] [my records]
    • Karoo Long-billed Lark (Benguela) Certhilauda subcoronata benguelensis/kaokoensis [map] [media] [my records]

Cape Lark Certhilauda curvirostris and Agulhas Lark Certhilauda brevirostris are lumped as Cape Lark with subspecies groups, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


Fawn-colored Lark Calendulauda africanoides and Foxy Lark Calendulauda alopex are lumped as Fawn-colored Lark, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

  • Fawn-colored Lark Calendulauda africanoides [map] [media] [my records]
    • Fawn-colored Lark (Fawn-colored) Calendulauda africanoides [africanoides Group] [map] [media] [my records]
    • Fawn-colored Lark (Foxy) Calendulauda africanoides alopex/intercedens [map] [media] [my records]

Dune Lark Calendulauda erythrochlamys and Barlow’s Lark Calendulauda barlowi are lumped as Dune Lark Calendulauda erythrochlamys, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

The hybrids with Karoo Lark are now known as:

  • Karoo x Dune Lark (hybrid) Calendulauda albescens x erythrochlamys [map] [media] [my records]

Singing Bushlark Mirafra cantillans and Australasian Bushlark Mirafra javanica are lumped as Horsfield’s Bushlark, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


Crested Lark and Maghreb Lark are lumped as Crested Lark, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:

With lump of Maghreb Lark, this affects a minor change to one of the slashes:


Anjouan Brush-Warbler Nesillas longicaudata and Malagasy Brush-Warbler Nesillas typica are lumped as Malagasy Brush-Warbler, with the former species retained as subspecies groups:


African Reed Warbler Acrocephalus baeticatus and Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus lumped as Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus. This resolves the thorny situation where birds within the African group (baeticatus Group) were found to be breeding in the lowlands of Iberia and sw. France. But since these were essentially unidentifiable, it was almost impossible to separate Eurasian and African Reed Warbler sin that region. With the lump as Common Reed Warbler, it is much easier to identify an Acrocephalus reed warbler to species in the region!

A couple slash options have minor changes:

  • Marsh/Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus palustris/scirpaceus [map] [media] [my records]
  • Common/Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus/arundinaceus [