2008-C-1: Change English name of Vireo caribaeus

YES. 3 without comment.

NO. 1 without comment.

NO. No need to change the English name to a Spanish name.

YES. The official name of the island is St. Andres, and that name has received more recent usage, so I think it makes sense to change the name.

YES. I do not see any reason to be the last ones standing with an outdated name. Continuing with the old name makes our Committee seem out of date.

YES. This change should trouble few because the island is not widely known as St. Andrew.

YES. Time to change. Maintaining status quo is like swimming upstream in this case.

YES. I am not convinced strongly of this position, however, it is consistent with name changes to reflect the Spanish names of the Galapagos Islands for the various Galapagos Mockingbirds. I can’t see any reason to maintain the basically obsolete St. Andrew instead of San Andres.


2008-C-2: Split Glaucidium ridgwayi from G. brasilianum

NO. Let’s wait for the new work. I think that Konig’s stuff is weak.

NO. 1 without comment.

NO, for reasons given in proposal (i.e., publication of more complete molecular data).

NO. Wait for molecular data and perhaps to revisit later in the year. I must admit that the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls I heard in Trinidad sounded to my ear different than those from Mexico and south Texas/southeast Arizona.  Also, despite vocal differences between montane Northern Pygmy-Owls from southeastern Arizona and mainland Mexico and those from the Rockies and especially the Pacific region, there are not distinct molecular differences (Mark Robbins personal communication).

NO. I Agree with the others that the evidence is pretty weak, and with a better phylogeny on the horizon, we should wait.

NO, pending publication of the phylogenetic work.

NO. Further study needed.

NO. A mitochondrial gene tree is insufficient evidence for a change in species-level classification, and the König et al. evidence is regrettably lacking in rigor. As for Proudfoot et al. (2006), a 900 bp sequence of a single mitochondrial gene may or may not reflect the historical branching pattern of the taxa sampled; clearly, more data are needed. I would be completely unsurprised if additional sampling of individuals and genes reveals that brasilianum is indeed para- or even polyphyletic, but I think we should wait for those kinds of analyses.

NO for now. I think that we need more data here.

NO. I think we should at least wait for the promised molecular phylogeny of Glaucidium. I would say that the evidence provided by Konig et al 1999 to support this change seems pretty weak. This is a case where the existence of a paraphyletic species consisting of brasilianum and ridgwayi would not concern me. The taxa listed as separating brasilianum from ridgwayi, namely tucumanum and peruanum are segregates from brasilianum. The fact that they appear to have split off from brasilianum after ridgwayi is not hugely surprising based on geography, and is not a strong argument for splitting off ridgwayi.

NO. Not only is it not possible to determine species limits based on mtDNA sequence data alone, the fact that this study had no specimens from Middle America south of Mexico means that it had little power over a key aspect: the populational processes of divergence. The data are intriguing, and further work is needed.

2008-C-3: Divide Spinus into three genera

YES. 2 without comment.

NO. 1 without comment.

MIXED. I think that recognizing Astragalinus for the North American goldfinches is warranted, not so much from data by Arnaiz et al. (2007) – where their boostrap values are very low – but by concordance with allozyme data from Marten and Johnson (1986, Condor 88:409-420, although this study included only North American cardueline finches) and by their distinctiveness in other characters as discussed in the memo attached to the proposal. I am less confident about recognizing Spinus separate from Pyrrhomitris. While this may well be the correct classification, the data from Arnaiz et al. (2007) are based on only part of cytochrome b and the branch support is generally low throughout both their ML and parimony trees. I think we should recognize Astragalinus but wait on further splitting of Spinus pending additional data.

NO. I would like to see more individual, more sequences, other genes, before making these generic change.

NO. The published phylogenies are based only on partial cyt b sequences and a somewhat unusual set of phylogenetic analyses. Although these topologies may well reflect the species tree, this is a very shallow (= recent) radiation with substantial potential for gene tree/species tree incongruence. I am uncomfortable about basing substantial genus-level revisions on this level of evidence.

NO. Not compelling or clear-cut enough without further data.

NO. Although these three groups may each be monophyletic and recognized as separate genera historically, together they also form a monophyletic group. Therefore, the decision to recognize them in 1 or 3 genera is arbitrary. I would like to see a synopsis of other characters associated with genus-level differences in carduelines before voting YES on this one.

YES. In addition to the information presented, I note that the goldfinches have an Alternate Plumage whereas the redpolls and siskins don’t. I am not persuaded that there ever was any good reason to lump them, except that that seemed to be the thing to do at that time. I note that Dick even then was not enthusiastic about that move, so the evidence for a change must not have been compelling to him at the time.

YES. I was inclined to vote No, if Spinus sensu lata was monophyletic, but logo-auk-aou.png” border=”0″ width=”240″ height=”146″ at Arnaiz et al 2007 (Ardeola 54:1-14; available online at Ardeola website) neither their parsimony nor maximum likelihood trees have Spinus monophyletic. The two trees disagree on what belongs with it, but still that weakens the argument in my view for maintaining a broad Spinus. The subunits that Dick points to all appear to be strongly supported clades that make biogeographic and morphological sense. So it appears to me that recognizing those clades (which already have names) makes the most sense. The only problem I see is the unfortunate generic name (Astragalinus) that our goldfinches get stuck with.

NO. I think we are racing toward oversplitting at the generic level. It would be nice to see the Arnaiz-Villena al. work corroborated (blood from living birds, single individuals for most species, 924 bp of cyt b, weak support for a number of nodes), and then improved rigor in relating the results to generic-level morphological characters across the whole group.

2008-C-4: Recognize family Mohoidae and put in proper place

YES. 6 without comment.

YES to recognition of Mohoidae (or Mohoinae, depending on 2008-C-5) and placing it tentatively between the waxwings and silky-flycatchers at family/subfamily level.

YES (or if C-05 passes, YES to an equivalent subfamily).

YES. The new data demand creation of a new, family-level taxon. However, if a sister relationship can be established between this group and any existing family, e.g., Ptilogonatidae, then we need to reassess rank. The moho group cannot be any older than ca. 5 million years, i.e., much younger than taxa we rank as families. Note that the Hawaiian honeycreeper radiation, presumably of similar age and many spectacularly divergent in morphology from their fringilline sisters, we rank as a subfamily, not a family.

YES. I support removing the genus Moho from Meliphagidae and placing in a new family/subfamily.

YES, but as Mohoinae. I think it should be a subfamily as proposed for the other members of this group (Spellman et al. 2008 MP&E, in next item).

2008-C-5: Subfamilies of Bombycillidae

NO. In a new classification, these might go as a superfamily, but not a family at this point.

NO. Comments on 4 and 5: The MPE paper tentatively suggested recognizing subfamilies within a broadly-construed Bombycillidae. Given Fleischer et al.’s discovery of the Hawaiian endemics in this clade, I feel it does better justice to these lineages to recognized them at the family rank.

NO. 2 without comment.

YES. The Bombycillidae clade is well-supported by substantial molecular evidence, and I think it makes sense to recognize it as a single family with subfamilies to reflect their common ancestry.

YES. I think that the expanded family with subfamilies gives more information than stand alone families together in a sequence.

YES. I like the formal recognition of this clade that this proposal would provide.

YES. Although they diverged so long ago, placement in the same family is helpful in recognizing their not-very-obvious relationships.

NO. It’s great to confirm that they form a monophyletic group, but to make them subfamilies of the same family is an arbitrary decision. I would have to see compelling reasons to change from the status quo for such “different’ birds. Similar disjunctions are seen within Timaliidae (Chamaea), Aegithalidae (Psaltriparus), and Remizidae (Auriparus), and we recently voted to move Sapayoa into Eurylaimidae, so there is plenty of precedent for such a merger. [However, I would now vote against the latter decision.] We even include Asian and Neotropical sedentary species in the same genus (Picumnus).

YES. I guess. I am glad to see evidence that they form a monophyletic group, and have no objection to recognizing them in name, and it would seem that “subfamily” is an appropriate category. I want to see the groups recognized nomenclaturally, at some appropriate level.

YES. A close relationship among most of these taxa is not terribly surprising, Silky-flycatchers, Dulus and Hypocolius have all been suggested as related to waxwings. Now there is genetic evidence that they all belong together. The question is whether we are better served by maintaining our series of small to monotypic families or lumping them all together. I believe that we are better served by placing everything (including Mohoinae) into a single family, emphasizing the relationships among these taxa. As separate families, their relationships to one another will be much less clear.

YES. I think the status quo existed because the affinities of these odd little groups (sometimes of a single species) were unknown – not because they were good families. Now that we know their affinities on the global scale, a much clearer and compelling family-level group emerges. The recent trend toward mini-families is unfortunate, and we need to be doing more with subfamilies.

2008-C-6: Correct citation to the genus Dives

YES. 7 without comment.

YES. I don’t think we normally wait for a peer-reviewed publication for such matters of citation (vs. scientific) detail.

NO. I’m sure Dick is correct, but like all other checklist changes, I think this should be published and peer-reviewed.

NO. Wait for a peer-reviewed publication.

YES. This kind of scholarship is what we expect of the Check-list!

2008-C-7a: Move Greylag Goose (Anser anser) from Appendix to main list

YES, if proposal 2008-C-12 passes.

YES. 6 without comment.

YES, assuming that proposal 2008-C-12 passes.

YES, especially since I waited long enough for Proposal 2008-C-12 to pass.

YES. I agree with the ABA decision on the wild origin for this record.

YES, if proposal 2008-C-12 passes. Otherwise, NO on a technicality. The proposal says that the bird landed on a drilling rig 167 nautical miles offshore. In the 7th edition, we indicate on page xii that records are included within 100 miles offshore. So this record does not fall within the geographic coverage we have indicated, unless that has been changed since the 7th edition. [NOTE: As of 12 Mar 2009, proposal 2008-C-12 has enough votes to pass.]

2008-C-7b: Adopt Eurasian spelling of the English name of Greylag Goose

YES. 6 without comment.

YES. I can live with Greylag.

YES. No need for an Americanized spelling of the name of a non-American species. I see this as differing from other Eurasian species with gray in the name given that it’s a compound name, and ‘lag’ does not refer to any obvious body part (surely not the legs, which are not in the least gray). Am I wrong about this?

NO. The usage of “gray” within this name is analogous to its usage as a color in other English names. Further, “graylag” is an acceptable spelling according to Webster’s unabridged – therefore, it is not provincial on our part to use a standard American spelling. Even Wikipedia acknowledges that this is the American spelling of this species’ name, so this is not an esoteric usage.  How would we explain the inconsistency in using the Brit spelling for this while maintaining American “Gray” elsewhere?

NO, others make a good point.

NO. I hate to be excruciatingly provincial, but why would we change Graylag Goose to Greylag Goose and not at least all the other basically Old World taxa that have gray in their name? I count 9 other cases, 2 introduced species, Gray Partridge and Gray Francolin, and seven vagrants Gray Heron, Gray Frog-Hawk, Gray-tailed Tattler, Gray Nightjar, Gray-streaked Flycatcher, Gray Wagtail and Gray Bunting. Both of the references given in support of the spelling of Greylag spell all species with Gray in their names as Grey, so I don’t find their spelling of Greylag a useful argument. I would be willing to consider changing the spelling of Old World vagrants, or even all things with gray to grey, but I think making a special case of Graylag Goose makes no sense.


2008-C-8: Move White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) from Appendix to main list

NO. 3 without comment.

YES. 2 without comment.

YES, for consistency with the ABA CLC decision to accept this record.

YES, barely. I’m comforted a bit that the bird wasn’t actually in the shipping channel or really adjacent to it. Having the two Committees agree is more important in this case. Still, I’d prefer a more acceptable record.

NO. It would be helpful to know if the bird had hook wounds. If it wasn’t hooked, possibly it just followed a ship in and then was starving, which wouldn’t seem to be to be truly ship-assisted. However, in the presumed absence of information on wounds (I don’t have ready access to the paper), I will have to vote No. This is one of the species declining steeply through long-line fishing, and they habitually follow ships but not (in my experience, 4 Drake crossings now) for long periods.

NO. The difference between this record and those of Swallow-tailed Gull and Light-mantled Albatross are: (1) proximity to major shipping channel, even if 20 miles, (2) Gulf of Mexico is one of the least likely regions for pelagic vagrants, and (3) this species puts itself “in harm’s way”: R. C. Murphy (1936) reported that he “captured numerous {WcPs} on fish-hooks” and “The voracious creatures learned nothing by seeing captives drawn on board the ‘Daisy’; even victims which had escaped from one hook after being hauled part way in, promptly snapped up another.” I would like to wait until we get a free-flying bird in pelagic waters.

YES. I go mainly on the decision of the ABA Checklist committee, in the absence of a compelling reason to make a different decision. However, I am open to arguments as to why we should not include the species.

NO. It is in the Appendix for a reason, and those reasons haven’t changed.

2008-C-9: Add Brown Hawk-Owl (Ninox scutulata) to the main list

YES. 7 without comment.

YES. Sadly the recent Ninox Aleutians record of a dead bird pertains only to a photo of the dead bird, NOT a salvaged specimen (D. D. Gibson, pers. communication). The draft wording for the Supplement will need to change reflecting that and hopefully Dan can give further details on date and location for this second record.

YES. FYI, the source for the proposed split is King, 2002, BBOC 122:250-257. This has in fact been accepted by some (who unfortunately call it the Northern Boobook), and I think we should have a proposal on it given that we’ll be adding the taxon.

YES. Published photo of migratory species = no controversy.

YES. This looks pretty straightforward.

2008-C-10: Add Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) to the main list

YES. 9 without comment.

YES. Published photo of migratory species = no controversy.

YES. This looks pretty straightforward.

2008-C-11: Add Yellow-browed Bunting (Emberiza chrysophrys) to main list

YES. 9 without comment.

YES. Published photo of migratory species = no controversy.

YES. This looks pretty straightforward.

2008-C-12: Expand Geographical Coverage of the AOU Check-list to 200 Nautical Miles Offshore

YES. 11 without comment.

YES. We are obligated to cover the jurisdictional limits of the countries we cover.