Friday, July 07, 2017

Loose Feathers #603

Nelson's Sparrow / Photo by Rick Bohn / USFWS
Birds and birding news
  • The AOS (formerly AOU) released the annual supplement to its North American checklist with taxonomic changes. Among other changes, the genus Anas is split into multiple genera (with no species-level splits), Northern Harrier and Northern Shrike are split from the European counterparts (and become Circus hudsonius and Lanius borealis, respectively), Thayer's Gull is merged with Iceland Gull, Cassia Crossbill (the long-rumored "South Hills Crossbill") is split from Red Crossbill, New World sparrows are now in their own family, Passerellidae, and several other new families are created, including Icteriidae for the Yellow-breasted Chat. Several proposed changes, including splits of Willet, Brown Creeper, and Yellow-rumped Warbler, and the redpoll merger, were not adopted. See also the discussion at the ABA Blog.
  • A Purple Gallinule was recorded via camera trap for first time on Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee. 
  • Where different populations of a species migrate appears to be linked to genetic differences.
  • Praying mantises have been photographed catching hummingbirds.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity