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If you already use eBird, you may be aware August is when the Cornell Lab of Ornithology updates “all eBird records with the latest scientific advances in bird taxonomy. New information on species limits can result in increases (splits) or decreases (lumps) in your list totals. Whenever possible, we change your records for you to match the expected species when a split occurs—this is one of the main services we provide at eBird. Expect 2018’s update in the second or third week of August.”
According to the article, about 31 species will be split (resulting in an increase of 36 species), six will be lumped, and five new species will be recognized, bringing the global species total to 10,585. Other changes include revisions to some scientific and common names, and some additions of some new taxa for data entry (e.g., new hybrids etc.).
So, for those of us who have a “life list” in eBird, notice if that number increases or decreases at the end of the month as this initiative would explain the change, and you to an “armchair lifer!”