Meadowlark cut up amongst 2022 guidelines modifications


Ninety-two years in the past, in 1930, ornithologists reported that meadowlarks within the southwestern United States had been considerably completely different from the widespread Japanese and Western Meadowlarks. The birds, which have a darker yellow chest, paler upperparts, a shorter invoice, and different variations from their cousins, had been categorized as a subspecies of Japanese Meadowlark — Sturnella magna lilianae. The subspecies was referred to as Lilian’s Meadowlark.

4 years later, the subspecies S. m. auropectoralis was described from central Mexico. It’s much like lilianae however has darker upperparts and shorter wings, and it nested in a area south of lilianae’s vary.

Birders have speculated for many years that Lilian’s could also be a definite species, and now, after the higher a part of a century, the 2 populations are being acknowledged as distinct from Japanese Meadowlark. The North American Classification Committee of the American Ornithological Society introduced that it’s splitting lilianae and auropectoralis right into a species to be referred to as Chihuahuan Meadowlark (Sterna lilianae). The information seems in a brand new paper in regards to the official guidelines revealed August 3 within the journal Ornithology.

The hen’s breeding vary extends from northern Arizona, northern New Mexico, and western Texas (and probably southeastern Colorado) to northern Sonora and northern Chihuahua in Mexico. And individually, the subspecies auropectoralis breeds in Mexico, in southern Sinaloa and Durango south alongside the coast to Nayarit and within the inside to Michoacán and México. Chihuahuan Meadowlark winters from central Arizona and southern New Mexico by means of the rest of the breeding vary, and it has been recorded in winter west to the Colorado River in Arizona and east to Kinney and Val Verde Counties in Texas (which border the Rio Grande west of San Antonio).

In February, Johanna Beam, a Ph.D. pupil in biology at Penn State College, submitted an eight-page proposal to the classification committee arguing for the species cut up. Beam’s undergraduate honors thesis centered on speciation in Japanese, Western, and Lilian’s Meadowlarks, and she or he was lead writer on a 2021 paper that discovered “Japanese, Western, and Lilian’s meadowlarks all have reasonable however equal quantities of differentiation from each other, suggesting Lilian’s Meadowlarks is a full species.”

The committee’s determination to call the hen Chihuahuan Meadowlark displays the truth that the lilianae subspecies is discovered within the Chihuahuan Desert.

For birders who hold life lists however don’t journey outdoors the U.S. or Canada, the meadowlark cut up is probably the most notable change to the official Examine-list of North American Birds that AOS introduced in its 63rd complement to the record. The committee, nevertheless, made a number of different modifications amongst birds in Central America and the Caribbean. So in case you have been birding in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, or a number of different Latin American international locations, your life record whole might have risen due to new splits. The assorted strikes deliver the full variety of acknowledged North American species to 2,178. Right here’s a abstract of different modifications.


The 2 subspecies of Antillean Mango from the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico have been acknowledged as distinct species. Their new names mirror their house islands: Hispaniolan Mango (Anthracothorax dominicus) and Puerto Rican Mango (Anthracothorax aurulentus).

Broad-billed Hummingbird has been cut up into three species. The birds that breed in southwestern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern and central Mexico will retain the identify Broad-billed Hummingbird and Cynanthus latirostris because the scientific identify. The newly acknowledged species are Tres Marias Hummingbird (C. lawrencei), from the Tres Marías Islands, off the western coast of Mexico, and Turquoise-crowned Hummingbird (C. doubledayi), from the Pacific lowlands of southern Guerrero, southern Oaxaca, and western Chiapas states of Mexico.

Black-billed Streamertail has been cut up from Purple-billed Streamertail. Picture by Dominic Sherony

On the island of Jamaica, Black-billed Streamertail (Trochilus scitulus) has been cut up from Purple-billed Streamertail (T. polytmus), the nation’s nationwide hen.

On Cuba, Cuban Kite (Chondrohierax wilsonii) has been cut up from Hook-billed Kite (C. uncinatus). AOS says that Cuban Kite was previously widespread, nevertheless it’s now restricted to excessive japanese Cuba. It provides: “Critically endangered or probably extinct, with only a few sightings in latest many years regardless of centered surveys.”

A number of of the guidelines updates contain birds of Mexico or Central America which have carefully associated species or subspecies discovered solely in South America. For instance, White-collared Kite (Leptodon forbesi) has been cut up from Grey-headed Kite (L. cayanensis). Grey-headed is widespread from southern Mexico to central South America. White-collared is endangered and is discovered solely in japanese Brazil. 

Rusty-winged Antwren (Herpsilochmus frater) of Panama and South America has been cut up from Rufous-margined Antwren (H. rufimarginatus), additionally of South America.

Magdalena Antbird (Sipia palliata) of Colombia and Venezuela is now cut up from Boring-mantled Antbird (S. laemosticta) of Costa Rica and Panama.

Pacific Tuftedcheek (Pseudocolaptes johnsoni) of Colombia and Ecuador has been cut up from Buffy Tuftedcheek (P. lawrencii) of Costa Rica and western Panama.

Ecuadorian Thrush (Turdus maculirostris) of Ecuador is now cut up from Spectacled Thrush (T. nudigenis), which is present in South America and a few Caribbean islands.

Cinnamon-bellied Saltator (Saltator grandis) of Mexico and Central America has been cut up from Blue-gray Saltator (S. coerulescens) and Olivaceous Saltator (S. olivascens) of South America.

From the opposite finish of the AOS North American committee’s geographic jurisdiction comes a cut up amongst stonechat species. Asian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus, often known as Siberian Stonechat, or just Stonechat) is taken into account a separate species from African Stonechat (S. torquatus) and European Stonechat (S. rubicola). Principally a Eurasian hen, Asian Stonechat is taken into account informal in western Alaska, and has additionally been reported elsewhere in Alaska, in addition to California and New Brunswick.


The one lump within the new replace entails Mexican hummingbird species. Lengthy-tailed Sabrewing (Pampa excellens) has been lumped with Curve-winged Sabrewing (Pampa curvipennis) and is now thought-about a subspecies of Curve-winged.

Extra modifications

Lesser Kiskadee. Picture by Charles J. Sharp/Sharp Pictures (Wikimedia Commons)

The committee is making modifications to the genera or scientific names of some birds. For instance, it shuffled the wren household Troglodytidae, altering the evolutionary order of 17 genera.

The committee is assigning Lesser Kiskadee, which is discovered from Panama to central South America, to its personal genus: Philohydor. It was once in the identical genus as Nice Kiskadee (Pitangus), and despite the fact that the species look related, their DNA signifies that they’re distant sufficient family to be positioned in separate genera. The result’s Lesser Kiskadee’s new scientific identify is Philohydor lictor.

Violet-crowned and Inexperienced-fronted Hummingbirds have been assigned to a brand new genus. As a substitute of Leucolia, they’re now in Ramosomyia.

Equally, Mottled and Black-and-white Owls have been assigned to the genus Strix and moved out of Ciccaba.

Zeledon’s Antbird, which is discovered from Costa Rica to Ecuador, is now within the genus Hafferia as an alternative of Myrmeciza.

And Yellowish Pipit, which happens from Panama to Argentina, has a brand new scientific identify: Anthus chii as an alternative of Anthus lutescens.

New to the guidelines

The next species have been added to the guidelines because of confirmed sightings in North America:

Hooded Crane of Asia is added because of sightings over the past decade in Alaska, Nebraska, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Northern Big-Petrel, a species of the Southern Ocean, has been added to the record because of a report off the coast of Ocean Park, Washington, in 2019.

Small-billed Elaenia of South America is on the record because of sightings in northern Illinois in 2012 and 2021 and in japanese Quebec in 2021.

Naumann’s Thrush of Eurasia can also be now on record due to a 2015 sighting at Gambell, on Alaska’s St. Lawrence Island, and former sight stories on Alaskan islands.

Rejected proposals

Lastly, the committee thought-about however rejected a number of different proposals, together with splits involving Spruce Grouse, Band-tailed Pigeon, Squirrel Cuckoo, White-throated Mountain-gem, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Inexperienced-fronted Hummingbird, Whimbrel, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Barn Owl, Elegant Trogon, Resplendent Quetzal, Home Wren, Carolina Wren, and American Robin, amongst others.

A proposed lump of Black Oystercatcher of North America and Blackish Oystercatcher of South America was rejected, as had been pitches to merge Cassia Crossbill with Purple Crossbill and to reinstate Northwestern Crow as a definite species.

Proposals thought-about for the 2022 replace

Learn previous tales about guidelines modifications

Modifications to North America’s hen record in 2021

McCown’s Longspur renamed Thick-billed Longspur

How the North American hen record is altering in 2020

How the North American hen guidelines is altering in 2019

Guidelines committee modifications Grey Jay’s identify to Canada Jay

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