Category Archives: Bird Taxonomy

Articles about bird taxonomy, new and potential species splits, new taxa and related subjects.

Atlas Crossbill and Balearic Crossbill are the most divergent of all Western Palearctic crossbills

North African and Balearic crossbills are the most genetically divergent among all Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) subspecies in the Western Palearctic according to a new study. Moreover, this divergence is even greater than the divergence between the Common and Parrot crossbills (Loxia pytyopsittacus). Le Bec-croisé du Maghreb (ssp. poliogyna) et des îles Baléares (ssp. balearica)… Read More »

African Royal Tern should be split from the American species

A new study showed that the West African Royal Tern is not closely related to the American Royal Tern and thus it should be split as a ‘new’ species. The Royal Tern is traditionally known to comprise two geographically separated subspecies: the nominate Thalasseus maximus maximus in the Americas (distributed from the USA south to… Read More »

Golden Nightjar breeding at Aousserd and its taxonomic position

Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius) is an apparently sedentary sub-Saharan species with a breeding range extending from Senegal and Mauritania to Sudan. Although genetic studies of nightjars and related Caprimulgiformes have been published previously, none has included Golden Nightjar. In this study published in the Ostrich journal (Lawrie et al. 2017), mitochondrial and nuclear DNA of… Read More »

African Reed Warbler in Morocco and the Iberian Peninsula

Two new taxa of reed warbler in North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula Two studies published in 2016 ‘added’ two taxa of the Eurasian/African Reed Warbler complex to the avifauna of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The first taxon from Morocco and Spain is either a subspecies – of the Eurasian or the African… Read More »

A new Common Chaffinch subspecies in North African

A new subspecies of Common Chaffinch endemic to north-east Libya was named by Lars Svensson in a recent paper. Below are the summary and the main conclusion taken from the paper: “A new subspecies of Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs in North Africa is described. It is restricted to northern Cyrenaica in north-east Libya. Differences from… Read More »

Subalpine Warbler split into three species

In a recent taxonomic paper, Lars Svensson summarised the latest research on the taxonomy of the Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans s.l.) and recommended the split of the complex into three different species (Svensson 2013): Western Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia inornata), with two subspecies: S. i. inornata: breeding in Northwest Africa. Before this taxonomic revision, Sylvia cantillans… Read More »

Maghreb Wheatear should be split according to new research

A new phylogenetic study of the Mourning Wheatear complex confirmed its split into three different species. Concerning the Maghreb Wheatear, which is already given species status by some authors, the new study hinted that it should be split too. The Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens) senso lato is distributed in North Africa, East Africa, the Levant, Iran and… Read More »