Taxonomy Updates Coming Soon!

For those of us who maintain a list of birds we’ve seen, the title above sounded scary. When I first received the notice on eBird that there was to be a 2022 update I wondered what changes were going to be made. I’d heard for years there were proposals that Yellow-rumped Warblers’ two sub-species (Myrtle and Audubon) may revert to their individual species. Was this one of the changes in 2022? What else was being considered?

eBird published on October 15 their article titled Taxonomy Updates Coming Soon. Based upon this article, I don’t think there will be any changes to my life list. The highlighted changes are the addition of 5 species: Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis), Red-Masked Parakeet (Psittacara erythrogenys), Lilac-crowned Parrot (Amazona finschi), Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush (Monticola saxatilis), Chihuahuan Meadowlark (Sturnella lilianae). The last one of these is a split from Eastern Meadowlark with the Chihuahuan Meadowlark being seen in areas of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. Since I have yet to report any Meadowlarks in those areas, my list will remain unchanged.

Apparently there are some sequencing changes in the ABA Checklist but I have yet to find an article detailing those changes so at this time I don’t plan to update the Seabrook Island Birders Checklist.

Even though I don’t think the changes effect me, I plan to submit all my unsubmitted eBird lists prior to October 25 when eBird will automatically update any lists previously submitted (if needed). They have “warned” to “expect future updates to occur annually in October/November.” My Yellow-rumped Warblers may still be split in a future year….maybe one will be called “Butter Butt”. They have also stated “Stay tuned for more information about the 2022 Taxonomy Update, including a post on the eBird homepage summarizing all of the changes on the day of the update” but I’m not as “scared” of the changes as I was before I read the news release.

Submitted by: Judy Morr

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