This is a periodically updated record of any known changes in taxonomic data or scientific names that relate to any of my lists (general species 'orders and families' checklists, personal record lists or species group listings), or that will affect photo captions or their associated notes.
The ‘Taxonomy in Flux’ website will be used as the primary source of information, albeit regular checks will also be made against the listed updates and proposals to the 'IOC World Bird List’.
Taxonomy in Flux (12 July 2017)
Within Anatidae, six species of Anas dabbling ducks from the Anatini tribe of subfamily Anatinae have been separated into Mareca based on recent re-categorisation. This taxonomic change affects two species in my listings, being the Gadwall [Anas strepera] and Eurasian Wigeon [Anas penelope], which will now be updated accordingly.
Taxonomy in Flux - Checklist 3.08 (May 17)
The previously noted changes to the TiF system have now been made.
IOC World Bird List v7.2 (22 April 2017)
Ruff [Calidris pugnax] previously classified monotypic [Philomachus pugnax] is now formally adopted. This update aligns with the TiF system and my Shorebirds taxonomy list.
Taxonomy in Flux (15 December 2016)
Some re-sequencing of bird orders is being carried out following higher taxonomy amendments. The changes will result in PHOENICOPTERIFORMES (flamingoes) and PODICIPEDIFORMES (grebes) being moved down the list below GRUIFORMES (cranes and rails). In addition, the large order CHARADIFORMES (shorebirds, skuas, auks, gulls, terns) will also move down to sit below ARDEIFORMES (herons). Appropriate amendments to my versions of the list (full and abridged) will be made in due course once the online TiF system changes have been finalised.
Taxonomy in Flux (17 September 2016)
A number of changes have been made to the Ardeinae herons and egrets family, which would affect my ‘Herons’ taxonomy notes, except that my systematic listing was largely based on information provided by ‘Heron Conservation - the IUCN-SSC Heron Specialist Group’, rather than the TiF Checklist. There are two particular changes though, that are worth noting. The first relates to the Cattle Egret, which has been split into Western Cattle Egret [Bubulcus ibis] and Eastern Cattle Egret [Bubulcus coromandus]. It is the former that I am more likely to see and, as the scientific name for that species is unchanged, no updates are required. The second change is another split, this time of the Great Egret, where the previous three subspecies are now being given individual species status of the Great White Egret [Casmerodius albus], Eastern Great Egret [Casmerodius modestus] and African Great Egret [Casmerodius melanorhynchos]. I believe that all my sightings have been of the former and, as I’ve consistently been naming it the Great White Egret rather than one of the alternatives, no updates are required. However, I note that its scientific name under the TiF system will now be Casmerodius albus rather than Casmerodius alba, or indeed Ardea alba as used by ‘Heron Conservation’. As with some other TiF changes, I will wait until this newly proposed scientific name has been more universally adopted before making any changes.
Taxonomy in Flux (5 September 2016)
A rearrangement of the systematic order of the seven species of the Cathartidae New World vultures which, apart from affecting my ‘Diurnal Birds of Prey’ taxonomy notes listing, has no real consequence - the hierarchical order now being Andean Condor, California Condor, King Vulture, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Lesser Yellow-head Vulture and Greater Yellow-head Vulture.
Taxonomy in Flux (2 May 2016)
The previously noted IOC proposals to change the common name of the Hood Mockingbird [Mimus macdonaldi] to its former name of the Espanola Mockingbird, and the Great Northern Loon / Diver [Gavia mimer] back to its original North American name of the Common Loon have now been adopted. I’ve accepted the first, but am still considering whether to change the latter until it’s more universally adopted, as the common name in the UK is the Great Northern Diver. Additionally, I’d also be obliged to change the Red-throated Diver [Gavia stellata] to the Red-throated Loon to maintain consistency.
Taxonomy in Flux (1 May 2016)
Subsequent rearrangement of Fodies and Weavers highlighted the official common name for the Madagascar Fody [Foudia madagascariensis] as being the Red Fody, but as the Madagascar Fody is an accepted alternative I have left it alone.
Taxonomy in Flux (29 April 2016)
Weavers family Ploceidae rearranged with genus Ploceus split, leaving Ploceus for the Asian species and reclassifying the African species under Textor, which changes two scientific names on my World Bird List - Eastern Golden-Weaver [now Textor subaureus] (formerly African Golden-Weaver as the Helm ‘Birds of East Africa’ field guide), and the Lesser Masked-Weaver [now Textor intermedius]. Any other African weavers were in alternative genera [ref. Packert et al. (2016].
Taxonomy in Flux (6 March 2016)
All five species of noddy are now listed together under the common genus Anous. Noddies were previously split into two genera - Procelsterna covering the two species of smoke-grey plumaged birds and Anous covering three species of dark plumaged bird [ref. Cibois et al. (2016)].
Taxonomy in Flux (14 February 2016)
The common name of the Crowned Solitary-Eagle [Buteogallus coronatus] now becomes the Chaco Eagle following SACC and IOC decisions.
IOC World Bird List v6.1 (25 January 2016)
Proposal to change the common name of the Great Northern Loon [Gavia mimer], which we know as the Great Northern Diver, back to the established North American name of the Common Loon.
IOC World Bird List v6.1 (25 January 2016)
Proposal to change the common name of the Hood Mockingbird [Mimus macdonaldi] to its previous alternative name of the Espanola Mockingbird to align with the Spanish names of the Galapagos Islands.