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52nd supplement to the Check-List of North American Birds

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The North American Checklist Committee of the AOU has just released the 52nd supplement to the AOU's Check-List of North American Birds. You may download the supplement from the AOU website and the Ornithology Exchange site. Changes are in the process of being incorporated into the online database version of the Check-List. This will be completed over the next week. Updates on the status of this process will be posted on the Check-list page and on the Ornithology Exchange.


From the 52nd supplement:




This is the 11th supplement since publication of the seventh edition of the Check-list of North American Birds (American Ornithologists’ Union [AOU] 1998). It summarizes decisions made between 1 April 2010 and 15April 2011 by the AOU’s Committee on Classification and Nomenclature—North and Middle America. The Committee has continued to operate in the manner outlined in the 42nd Supplement (AOU 2000). There were no changes to committee membership in 2010.


Changes in this supplement include the following:


  1. six species (Pterodroma rostrata, Procellaria aequinoctialis, Circus buffoni, Accipiter poliogaster, Gallinago solitaria, and Oryzoborus crassirostris) are added to the main list (including three species transferred from the Appendix) on the basis of new distributional information
  2. two species (Aphelocoma wollweberi and Setophaga flavescens) are added as a result of splits from species already on the list
  3. three species’ names are changed (to Gallinula galeata, Charadrius nivosus, and Chaetura meridionalis) because of splits from extralimital species
  4. two species are changed (to Amazilia brevirostris and Ramphastos ambiguus) by being lumped with extralimital species
  5. the authority for one genus (Peucedramus) is changed
  6. the type localities of two species (Aethia pygmaea and Spizella breweri) are revised
  7. the distributional status of one species (Puffinus nativitatis) is changed
  8. the category of occurrence of one species (Chrysomus icterocephalus) is changed
  9. the English name of one species (Aphelocoma ultramarina) is modified as a result of a taxonomic change, and the English name of another species (Turdus nudigenis) is modified to distinguish it from an Old World species
  10. seven species (Procellaria aequinoctialis, Tigrisoma mexicanum, Heliornis fulica, Chloroceryle amazona, Pachyramphus major, Myadestes occidentalis, and Turdus plumbeus) are added to the list of species known to occur in the United States.

More sweeping changes derive from adoption of a new classification of the Parulidae, which results in the following:


  1. 40 species (Geothlypis tolmiei, G.philadelphia, G. formosa, Setophaga plumbea, S.angelae, S. pharetra, S. citrina, S.kirtlandii, S. tigrina, S. cerulea, S. americana, S.pitiayumi, S. magnolia, S. castanea, S.fusca, S. petechia, S. pensylvanica, S.striata, S. caerulescens, S. palmarum, S.pityophila, S. pinus, S. coronata, S.dominica, S. vitellina, S. discolor, S.adelaidae, S. subita, S. delicata, S.graciae, S. nigrescens, S. townsendi, S.occidentalis, S. chrysoparia, S. virens, Basileuteruslachrymosus, Cardellina canadensis, C. pusilla, C.rubra, and C. versicolor) are transferred to currently recognized genera
  2. one genus (Myiothlypis) is added because of a split from another genus
  3. six genera (Parula, Dendroica, Wilsonia, Ergaticus, Euthlypis, and Phaeothlypis) are deleted by being lumped with other genera
  4. a new linear sequence is adopted for genera and species in this family.

One newly recognized order (Pteroclidiformes) is added to the main list because of a split from an existing order, two newly recognized families (Sapayoidaeand Tityridae) are added to the main list by splits from existing families, and one family (Eurylaimidae) is removed because of one of these splits. A new linear sequence is adopted for families in the furnarioid suboscines. Four genera (Schiffornis, Laniocera, Tityra, and Pachyramphus)are moved from incertae sedis to the new family Tityridae, and one species (Sapayoaaenigma) is moved to the new family Sapayoidae. The genus Chlorospingus is moved from the family Thraupidae to the family Emberizidae. Five genera (Luscinia, Tarsiger, Copsychus, Oenanthe,and Saxicola) are moved from the family Turdidae to the family Muscicapidae, and a new linear sequence is adopted for species in the family Muscicapidae.


Literature that provides the basis for the Committee’s decisions is cited atthe end of this supplement, and citations not already in the Literature Citedof the seventh edition (with supplements) become additions to it. An updatedlist of the bird species known from the AOU Check-list area is available at www.aou.org/checklist/north/index.php.

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