2008-B-1: Transfer PirangaHabia, and Chlorothraupis to Cardinalidae (SACC #318)

YES. 5 without comment.

YES. The data strongly support this change, and there is no reason to keep them as “incertae sedis.” I like “Western Piranga” etc. If we changed the English names of Piranga, what would we do with the others?

YES. I follow Robbins and lets give all of these the English names of Piranga. Thus Scarlet Piranga, Summer Piranga, etc. We’ve gotten used to Spindalis, we’ll get used to Piranga; and it does indicate a group that share similar traits. If we keep throwing various genera out of Thraupidae, tanagers might actually mean something again other than birds with medium sized bills. I’ve canvassed a number of pretty serious birders and none I’ve heard from have had screams of horror about naming them Pirangas.

YES. Molecular data confirms. There is a very well supported mtDNA clade that links all the Cardinalids in Klicka et al. (2007). Chlorothraupis and Habia have similar behavior and structure, and are not similar to other Thraupids. I would have guessed that Piranga would be closer to Pheucticus based on biogeography, plumage, molt, songs, etc. but they are not very close. Still they are more like Cardinalids than core Thraupids. I prefer to keep name tanager, especially for the Pirangas.

YES. Change is strongly supported by the various papers cited in the proposal. Goodbye, ABA tanagers.

YES, but continue to call them tanagers at least until things settle down. Everyone loves tanagers, anyway, and there would be a lot of sorrow at the “loss” of ours.

YES. Prefer to continue to call the Piranga “tanager.”

2008-B-2: Transfer Granatellus to Cardinalidae (SACC #319)

YES. 8 without comment.

YES. The data strongly support this change.

YES. Molecular data confirms. There is a very well supported mtDNA clade that links all the Cardinalids in Klicka et al. 2007. The position of Granatellus within the Cardinalids looks murkier. Chat can be kept as the English name, though Granatellus would be better, given that there are too many chats spread around the passerines already.

YES. This grouping is not intuitive but is clearly warranted.

2008-B-3: Transfer Amaurospiza to Cardinalidae (SACC #320)

YES. 8 without comment.

YES. The data strongly support this change.

YES. Molecular data confirms. There is a very well supported mtDNA clade that links all the Cardinalids in Klicka et al. 2007, and several well supported clades that link Amaurispiza with the other blue Cardinalids. It would have nice to have (Brazilian) A. moesta as well, but this does not seem too surprising given the plumage similarities. I guess keeping the name Blue Seedeater is the best course (and Blue Bunting and Blue Grosbeak are preoccupied). A possibility would be Blue Bamboo-Bunting (and Blackish -blue Bamboo-Bunting for moesta).

YES, not surprising.

2008-B-4: Remove Saltator from Cardinalidae (SACC #321, part)

YES. 6 without comment.

YES, and place in incertae sedis pending additional data (e.g., nuclear genes) that corroborate this placement.

YES (removal from Cardinalidae, YES to Incertae Sedis, placed basal to Thraupidae). Although a well supported clade from Klicka et al. (2007) unites Saltator (+ extralimital Saltatricula) basal to what is left of the Thraupids, for some reason they state (p. 1024) “The genus Saltator has long been entrenched within the Cardinalini (e.g. Ridgway, 1901) but here, they occupy a basal position within the Thraupini (Fig. 1). However, our data cannot rule out the hypothesis that they are a sister clade to the Cardinalini.” Maybe they need to sequence more species. Given these reservations by the authors, I am torn on whether to merge them into the Thraupidae or to place them in Incertae Sedis. Given that their position would be basal in the Thraupidae, I think the best course is to move the genus there, but rank it as Incertae sedis.

YES, but I’m unsure about placing them in Thraupidae.

YES. I would also place it in Thraupidae rather than leave is incertae sedis.

2008-B-5: Recognize the genus Dendroplex Swainson 1827 (Dendrocolaptidae) as valid (SACC #316)

YES. 3 without comment.

NO. This is very poorly written and confusing. It seems awkward when the NACC proposal is opposite the SACC proposal. By the time I finish reading, I have to go back to figure out what is what. This one was controversial within SACC. I might change my mind on this once I figure it out.

NO. Although I generally favor consistency with the SACC, I agree with those who think that we should take the more conservative route – especially knowing that additional molecular data are in the works. If additional molecular data definitively warrant a change in generic status, then we can deal with the nomenclatural issues.

NO. Althouth picus and kienerii definitely have had an independent evolutionary history from the rest of Xiphorhynchus, they may still be basal to that clade, and therefore it would still be correct nomenclature to have them all as Xiphorhynchus. I would favor change only if it was shown that Xiphorhynchus would be paraphyletic if it included “Dendroplex.” Given the nomenclatural problems and that more sequence data may resolve this in the future, I say that we should wait. A new name for “Dendroplex” seems warranted, if the vote was to split it from Xiphorhynchus.

YES, but mostly for consistency with SACC – argument seems tenuous to me.

NO, at least until further substantiated by forthcoming research. The nomenclatural errors exacerbate the problems.

NO. Until the data are stronger for the node that would place Dendroplex outside Xiphorhynchus, I prefer the broader genus. In every phenotypic character except slightly less bill curvature, these two species are “Xiphorhynchus” – for those not familiar with the species, check field guides or HBW.

NO. I appreciate the lengthy discussions from SACC members, but clarity is still lacking and I am not enamoured of erecting (or re-recognizing) a genus based on bill shape. I would suggest that the subgenus Dendroplex be used for now and the case be reconsidered when nuclear sequence data are available to provide some resolution to this relationship.

NO. 1 without comment.

2008-B-6: Change rank and sequence of Galliform families

YES. 6 without comment.

YES. This is a large molecular data set that supports the proposed change.

YES. Too bad that more taxa were not included within the Phasianidae, so that we could better sort out turkey, grouse, pheasants, and buttonquail. It looks like those latter subfamilies will need redefining, but given Cox et al’s clear results, it is a good start to recognize the families as proposed.

YES to the proposed sequence:
Family Cracidae
Family Numididae
Family Odontophoridae
Family Phasianidae
Subfamily Phasianinae
Subfamily Tetraoninae
Subfamily Meleagridinae

YES. Latest data demand family rank.

2008-B-7: Lump Myiobius sulphureipygius into Myiobius barbatus (SACC #342, part)

YES. 2 without comment.

YES. This is another confused by the SACC proposal. Lump.

NO. This is a tough one. I generally favor being consistent with the SACC, but I agree with those who think we need more solid evidence for taxonomic change in this case. As the proposal points out, there is no strong evidence for either treatment. The proposal recommends sticking with the SACC ‘status quo’ for now, which contradicts the NACC ‘status quo.’ Because lumping Myiobius sulphureipygius into Myiobius barbatus would be arbitrary and solely for the purpose of consistency between committees, without solid evidence for either committee’s classification, I think our conservative approach is to keep them as separate species pending further data.

NO. This one puzzles me, although as with many Neotropical groups, I’m not overly familiar with this genus, although I have seen M. sulphureipygius in Belize on several occasions. The reasons for the lump seem to be based on being in agreement with Zimmer and the SACC. But as acknowledged there is no molecular or vocal data to support the lump. I would have thought that maintaining the status quo until new information is available would be called for. What am I missing? This is a long standing split, at least for many authorities, so I’d like to have something more concrete to base a change. Looking at HBW, I certainly concede that both the subspecies mastacalis (within M. barbatus) and ridgwayi (within M. atricaudus) look very distinct and may well warrant species level treatment, but upsetting the status quo in those cases too would also seem to be a bit arbitrary. I have to wonder how M. atricaudus would be treated IF it were totally allopatric from others in the genus. Too bad members of this genus don’t vocalize more.

NO. Although the status quo does not likely represent the true taxonomy, nor does it reflect current knowledge of the distinctiveness of some taxa, we need to base changes on more solid evidence. I think it would be preferable to treat the SE Brazilian taxa at the species level than to lump sulphureipygius with barbatus, especially given that two very similar species (atricauda and barbatus) occur symaptrically.

YES. Given that Zimmer considered them conspecific, that’s good enough for me in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

YES. See comments on SACC version.

NO. 2 without comment.

NO. My reason for not being in favor is simple: “There is no new information on this complex relating to the specific status of the various taxa in Myiobius.” Changing taxonomy without new data should be avoided. I share the frustration over the different treatments between North and South America, but consider that soon someone will take a closer look at these interesting birds.

2008-B-8: Change the spelling of Mountain-gem to Mountaingem

NO. To me, the “ing” (pronounced “ing”) in the middle could make this “mount ing ’em.” Leave the hyphen.

YES. 3 without comment.

YES. I’m one who wishes for fewer hyphens whenever possible so Doug’s motion reaches a receptive audience.

NO. Mountaingem looks wrong, no matter how persuasive the reasons.

YES. I would never have read the word as Mounta ing’em and can hardly imagine this happening to English speakers, given that the eye instantly sees “Mountain” as a unit. Any confusion would be fleeting at most. And I agree with Doug that as “Gem” is not a bird group so it should not be hyphenated.

NO. This hyphen is clearly inserted to clarify the formation of the word and to prevent stumbling over the “ingem” ending. The letter combination “ing” is one of the commonest in the English language, and the reader instinctively combines them as a unit. I also favor stability (in this case 50+ years).

NO. I find Mountaingem hard to read, but I guess I could learn.

NO. 1 without comment.


2008-B-9: Add Patagioenas plumbea (Plumbeous Pigeon) to main list

YES. 7 without comment.

YES. Good evidence for acceptance.

YES. Angehr et al (2004) provide sufficient evidence (specimen/recordings) to add it to the list.

YES, obviously.

YES. Meets all qualifications for acceptance.

2008-B-10: Add Yellow-breasted Flycatcher (Tolmomyias flaviventris) to main list

YES. 8 without comment.

YES. Good evidence for acceptance.

YES, but I would like confirmation of the LSUMZ specimen.

YES. Meets all qualifications for acceptance.

Additional Note: “The Tolmomyias flaviventris specimen is a nice Donna Dittmann skin, LSUMZ 178073, collected by Robb T. Brumfield on 14 Apr. 2004, at Pirre Uno, ca. 7 km SSW El Real, 50 m (prov. Darién) that is a nice match for the geographically expected subspecies, T. f. aurulentus. If these data aren’t in Angher, then we should mention them in the Supplement.

2008-B-11: Establish formal network of Regional Consultants for AOU distribution accounts

YES. 6 without comment.

YES. We need this and the mechanics sound good. Once we have an approved list of regional consultants, we should add them to the web site. We might think of using Google docs as an efficient way of collaborating with Regional Consultants on distributional statements.

YES. Van has thought this proposal out well and I think it’s doable.

YES. I thjink this is a critical oversight process that makes our distributional data much more concise and accurate.

YES (strongly enthusiastic).

YES, sounds great (and overdue)!

2008-B-12: Add Circus buffoni (Long-winged Harrier) to Appendix

YES. 9 without comment.

NO. I am a bit hesitant. Can the Panama Records Committee accept sight reports, and did they accept these records? Are there descriptions for the reports? I guess since it is published, maybe we have to add it to the Appendix, but I think that we should only include these if the sight reports in fact rule out other species.

YES, automatically included in Appendix.

2008-B-13: Add Tachycineta albiventer (White-winged Swallow) to Appendix

YES. 9 without comment.

NO. I am a bit hesitant. Can the Panama Records Committee accept sight reports, and did they accept these records? Are there descriptions for the reports? I guess since it is published, maybe we have to add it to the Appendix, but I think that we should only include these if the sight reports in fact rule out other species.

YES, automatically included in Appendix.

2008-B-14: Split Notharchus hyperrhynchus from N. macrorhynchos (SACC #125)

YES. 4 without comment.

YES. I think the arguments are compelling to make this split, even in the absence of published quantitative data. I don’t see any reason to not follow the SACC in this case.

YES. These should have been split in HBW because of the major differences, but it was too late in the process and the editors preferred not to enact the change largely because of the timing.

YES. Kevin’s analysis is well formulated, especially the vocal data, and even though unpublished, I think it’s very compelling. And, I agree that we have a solid basis to reverse Peters who made his decision without cause. Here’s another case where Ridgway had it right from the start. As for the English name, Ridgway used Dyson’s Puff-bird (yes, with the hyphen!). I don’t know who Dyson was, but I for one favor retaining patronyms. So Dyson’s Puffbird? As an aside, in the absence of published vocal data to reference, why not give a short summary of the vocal differences in the Supplement? It’s a departure from the norm, but I think it would be helpful for the readers.

YES. Although I would usually vote no until the situation is analyzed and published, the arguments presented are strong for splitting. Indeed, the SAAC was convinced, and I think we should follow suit.

NO, pending publication of necessary analyses.

YES, per comments on SACC version.

YES. The qualitative descriptions, especially confirmed among different observers/authors, are sufficient for me in this case. They comprise new data (though a published analysis would have made it go down easier!) unavailable to Peters (1948) that shed new light on species limits.