8 March 2014

REGUA bird checklist updated

Just finished the third edition of the Checklist of the Birds of REGUA. This edition updates the taxonomy and nomenclature introduced by Brazilian Committee of Ornithological Records (CBRO) in January 2014, based on the classification the South American Classification Committee (SACC) - an official committee of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU).

The Checklist of the Birds of REGUA is, to the best of my knowledge, still the only checklist of birds in Latin America to include
seasonal abundance charts.

A continuously improving understanding of evolutionary relationships from phylogenetic studies has resulted in many changes to the list. The biggest sequence change is the separation of the Falconiformes (caracaras and falcons) from the Accipitriformes, with the former now placed between the Cariamiformes (seriemas) and Psittaciformes (parrots). Also adopted is the AOU's reorganisation of Wood-warbler taxonomy. The genera Dendroica, Parula and Phaeothlypis are no more - Tropical Parula Setophaga pitiayumi and Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata are now both placed in the genus Setophaga, and Neotropical River Warbler Myiothlypis rivularis moves into Myiothlypis, along with White-browed Warbler Myiothlypis leucoblephara.

Falconiformes such as Southern Caracara Caracara plancus have been separated from the Accipitriformes

Two species on the REGUA list have been split: American Barn Owl Tyto furcata is split from Barn Owl Tyto alba, and the South American brown-eyed form of Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus is now considered to be a separately species - Chivi Vireo Vireo chivi.

Since the second edition of the checklist was published in May 2012, five more bird species have been found at REGUA: Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis, Rufous Nightjar Antrostomus rufus, American Pygmy Kingfisher Chloroceryle aenea, Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus and Grassland Yellow-Finch Sicalis luteola; bringing the total number of birds recorded here to an incredible 464, including 118 Atlantic Forest endemics and 62 Brazilian endemics!

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus, REGUA, 18 September 2012 - the first record for the Reserve. Preferring open or
semi-open habitats such as cerrado and savanna, this was a somewhat unexpected find at REGUA, especially now that the
reforested areas are maturing.

The checklist is written in both English and Portuguese and will be available to buy at REGUA as well as in the UK in the next few weeks. If you would like a copy please email me at webmaster@regua.co.uk. Copies cost £3 plus £1.60 postage and all funds go directly towards our conservation work in Brazil's highly threatened Atlantic Forest.

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