2021-B-1: Change the type locality of Black-throated Bobwhite Colinus nigrogularis

YES. 3 without comment.

YES. The argument seems very strong, and I see no reason not to follow Tyne and Trautman (1941).

YES. This seems like an oversight; glad that it is being corrected.

YES. Seems long overdue.

YES. Seems straightforward. Weird that the mistake persisted so long when it was corrected in 1941.

YES. This seems like it was simply an oversight and the type locality for C. nigrogularis should be changed to Honduras.

YES. This seems obligatory, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.

YES. My only hesitation is why previous NACC committees didn’t fix this already. With Eisenmann, Monroe, Howell, Banks, and others most certainly aware of this 1941 paper. I worry that they may have had good reasons not to follow it. However, they never published those reasons, and I assume Terry and Michael have searched previous AOU-CLC supplements for any mention of this. [This hesitation was addressed in the subsequent modification of the proposal.]

YES. This seems like a long overdue change.

2021-B-2: Treat Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway as conspecific with C. plancus

YES. I was initially on the fence, as it wasn’t clear to me just how wide the zone of contact was, and the original paper was not very clear on that either, but after reading through the comments from SACC, I feel better about the lump. Based on those comments, the apparent lack of behavioral or vocal differences, and the extremely broad expanse of intergradation all suggest that this is not a stable hybrid zone.

YES. Minimal genetic difference plus individuals of mixed plumage. This decision would also match that of the SACC.

YES. I agree with the proposal that the evidence supports treating them as conspecific, and would consider them as subspecies for the time being until further work is done to see whether the variation is strictly clinal.

YES. I see little to support separate species status for these two. I suppose that Bolsonaro can be thanked for enabling the frequency of intergradation. 

YES. I agree that cheriway and plancus should be considered as a single species, and C. plancus would be known as Crested Caracara. The difference in their plumage is due to a cline, as several colleagues comment. 

YES. I don’t remember my vote on the proposal in 2001, but I am rather perplexed that the Committee voted to separate the two taxa then when the evidence was not very strong. The current evidence definitely leans to lumping them, and unless some behavioral/mating display differences are found (and the genetic evidence seems to refute this possibility), I think we should revert to lumping plancus and cheriway. I also think that this is more of a call of the SACC, and they unanimously voted to lump.

YES. Given the remarkably shallow mtDNA divergence from geographic extremes and clinal variation, these seem best treated as a single species with little to no perceivable barriers to gene flow between them.

YES. The split seems to have been premature and based on geographically extreme samples. I can’t recall seeing such a high enthusiasm level of so many SACC members for a lump before!

YES. Reasons stated in the proposal and discussed in the SACC version. Burden-of-proof, in my opinion, falls on the case for treating them as separate species. Note that no new English name need be coined because Crested Caracara was the historical name for the broadly defined species.

YES. This proposal leads me to wonder why we ever split these taxa in the first place. It seems clear that there is no real evidence of the caracaras acting as separate species in the Amazon where they come together.

YES. These characteristics are those of a single species with possible subspecific variation or simply a cline, as the proposal states.

2021-B-3: Recognize extralimital Thamnistes rufescens as a separate species from Russet Antshrike T. anabatinus

YES. 1 without comment.

YES. This follows SACC. While I am not very familiar with this group of birds, the vocal differences between these two taxa are consistent with vocal differences between other species, where these differences are extremely important in delineating species.

YES. Vocal differences as well as plumage differences. This decision would also match that of the SACC.

YES. I vote in favor of this split because of the concordant plumage and vocal differences, and for consistency with the SACC.

YES. I don’t know rufescens, barely know anabatinus. But, I do support the English names suggestion of Rufescent Antshrike for rufescens and Ridgway’s Tawny Antshrike for the anabatinus group. Rufescent and Russet are names without a difference in my opinion, while Rufescent and Tawny better describe the colors and conform with the guidance for new English names for both daughter species. There is even a precedent with Tawny Antshrike from Ridgway. The northern species is just as much a North American as a South American species, so taking a different position from SACC doesn’t trouble me. I defer to SACC on this. 

YES. Calls and plumage support the elevation of rufescens to species rank. With respect to the English names, I agree that Rufescent Antshrike should be adopted for T. rufescens and Russet Antshirke be retained for T. anabatinus.

YES. Alhough some doubt. I looked at the Isler and Whitney paper and listened to many vocalizations, and these two taxa are much more similar vocally than I expected after reading the comments of the SACC, which focused much more on English names. Most anabatinus (ss) songs do not have the shallow first note, as emphasized in Isler and Whitney. The songs seem to differ consistently in the rising frequency of rufescens (vs. even) and overall higher frequency of rufescens. Maybe I have been away from Amazonia for too long to appreciate nuances of Thamnophilid vocalizations. The plumages are also quite similar, and the photos provided in the SACC Proposal 758 do not have sufficient detail to assess. On-line images are few for rufescens. Because this issue is one primarily for the SACC to figure out, I will bow to their decision. I think that anabatinus should keep Russet as the English name.

YES. This taxon is largely extralimital, and we should therefore follow SACC’s lead on this one. Vocal data in particular are presumably important for species limits in this group, and the plumage divergence also seems commensurate with separate species status.

YES. Bear in mind that others (HBW/BLI) have concluded that in a two-way split N E Andean aequatorialis groups with S E Andean rufescens, rather than trans-Andean anabatinus, so a 3-way split might be in the future, and would affect nomenclature given that aequatorialis has priority over rufescens. Nevertheless, that is a SACC issue and it seems clear that a split is needed between the mainly NACC-region anabatinus group and the remainder in South America. YES to Russet Antshrike for anabatinus and Rufescent for rufescens, following SACC (and already followed by the IOC list and Clements).

YES. Reasons stated in the proposal and discussed in the SACC version. All available evidence supports treatment as separate species. Note that whether Middle American T. anabatinus should retain the name used for the broadly defined species was debated at length in the NACC proposals; I personally favored using Ridgway’s historical and appropriate Tawny Antshrike for the Middle American species, but lost that vote.

YES. We should follow SACC on the taxonomy, and the English name. SACC wrestled with the English name question for years, and I don’t think we should re-open that discussion. There is a substantial difference in the size of the ranges of rufescens and anabatinus. T. rufescens nearly endemic to eastern Andean slopes of Peru and very narrowly distributed elevationally, while anabatinus goes from Mexico to NW Peru and occurs on both the east and west slopes of the Andes.

2021-B-4: Recognize Forpus spengeli as a separate species from F. xanthopterygius, and replace the account of xanthopterygius in the Appendix

YES. Follow SACC in recognizing Forpus spengeli (though for NACC, the split is from xanthopterygius, and not from passerinus, given differences in taxonomy of the two lists). The data for this seems rather limited, but as the proposal points out, the differences between spengeli and passerinus are about as extreme as between any taxa in the group (and spengeli is paraphyletic with xanthopterygius). That, plus the apparent contact zone between spengeli and passerinus with no evidence of intergradation is compelling to split.

YES. Follow SACC on this one since this species only occurs as introduced on one island in our area. Plus, Forpus spengeli is parapatric with F. p. cyanophanes but different in plumage. Also, continue to use Green-rumped Parrotlet which is in widespread use. 

YES. We should follow the SACC and recognize F. spengeli as a species. Differences in plumage as well as the mtDNA data, along with their parapatric distribution and lack of known intergradation, support this change. I am fine with the English name Turquoise-winged Parrotlet that has been adopted by the SACC.

YES. I believe the SACC comments should be attached to the proposal. I was uneasy about the relationship of passerinus to spengeli, a position shared by some other SACC members, but the comments made by one member that emphasized the parapatry of the two with no proven hybridization were persuasive. 

YES. The data strongly support Forpus spengeli as a separate species from F. xanthopterygius.

YES. I think the reasons given in the proposal and Donegan et al. (and other earlier papers) show the spengeli is more different from xanthopterygius as are sympatric species of Forpus, and that spengeli geographically approaches other taxa without signs of gene flow. The English name Green-rumped Parrotlet should be maintained for passerinus (ss).

YES.  Follow SACC and evidence to me is convincing based on plumage divergence in other Forpus and mtDNA that spengeli is a separate species from xanthopterygius. Lean into the widespread usage of Green-rumped Parrotlet and follow SACC’s lead on a taxon that is largely extralimital for NACC.

YES. Reasons stated in the proposal and for consistency with SACC. This species is highly localized and introduced in our region.

YES. Lack of any evidence for gene flow between spengeli and xanthopterygius, combined with its distinctive (for Forpus) plumage makes separate species treatment the best taxonomic interpretation of available data.

YES. I see no reason for us to not follow the treatment by SACC for an extralimital taxon and an introduced taxon. 

YES. The comparative work by Donegan et al. (2016) convinces me that these are good biological species limits.

2021-B-5: Recognize extralimital Anthus peruvianus as a separate species from Yellowish Pipit A. lutescens

YES. The very strong genetic differences, plus the ecological, vocal, and plumage differences all support recognition as a separate species, following SACC.

YES. Multiple lines of evidence make this a straightforward case; agrees with SACC decision. 

YES. The combined evidence (genetics, vocalizations, habitat, plumage) support a split, which will make the treatment consistent with the SACC.

YES. I’m surprised this wasn’t proposed long ago. I’m happy with Yellowish Pipit too for lutescens.

YES. I agree to split peruvianus from A. lutescens, the genetic, vocal, ecological and biogeographical data supported the separation and using English name Peruvian Pipit.

YES. A straightforward case for the split as spelled out in the proposal and SACC comments. Also the English name for lutescens should remain Yellowish Pipit.

YES. Follow SACC’s lead. This seems a well-supported split based on genetic differences, vocal differences, and habitat differences.

YES. As compelling a case for a split as I’ve seen in a long time! And YES, the widespread Yellowish Pipit should retain that name.

YES. Reasons stated in the proposal and discussed in the SACC version. Solid genetic data reveal the unexpected distant relationship of peruvianus to lutescens.

YES. This was a moderately surprising result, but seems clearly the best approach for these taxa.

YES. The corroboration of genetic and phenotypic evidence (song and plumage) makes this a clear case of good species limits.

2021-B-6(A): Recognize extralimital Catharus maculatus as a separate species from Spotted Nightingale-Thrush C. dryas

YES. The many lines of evidence from Halley et al. (2017), including vocal, genetic, morphological, and divergent niche evolution all support recognition as two species.

YES. Combined evidence from song, genetics, morphology, and niche provide more evidence for splitting this species than maintaining the status quo as one species.

YES. The combined evidence (genetics, vocalizations, morphometrics, plumage, ecological niche) support a split, which will make the treatment consistent with the SACC.

YES. The dissent of one member is noted. I’ll defer to SACC. I do not know the southern species. The debate about English names is endless, but I share one member’s frustration. We are focused on a very small part of the bird (almost as much as the chin as the throat) for a difference that is barely perceptible. I did kind of like having apricot used in the English name for maculatus. Does any other English name for a bird species use “apricot?” The difference from a peach is subtle. That said, the most prominent feature for both species is the breast spotting, however you slice it. So SACC uses Speckled Nightingale-Thrush for S.A. species. Why not stick with Spotted Nightingale-Thrush for N.A. group? It is the nominate group, a weak argument for maintaining that name for that group, especially since SACC has already selected their name. Both names focus on the most prominent mark. As for the other spotted Catharus species, I’m not persuaded. They are not called “nightingale-thrushes” and we’re talking English names here. Also the fact that the juveniles of all nightingale-thrushes have spots doesn’t trouble me either. It is a briefly-held plumage. 

YES. I agree with the split of two species, based on genetic, vocal, morphometric, and plumage characters. The two groups are reciprocally monophyletic.

YES. In listening to recordings on xeno-canto and eBird (only four total for dryas), the songs differ, and in the manner suggested by Halley et al. (2017), and more than two other closely related congeners (minimus and bicknelli). Plumage differences are rather minor (but still as great as minimus and bicknelli). I don’t think morphometric differences are of much use when they are distributed over such a great latitudinal range. Not sure how much niche modeling tells us about species status, but it seems dryas (ss) is much more limited ecologically, not surprising given its much smaller distribution.

YES. Diagnosable via integrative taxonomy, including genetic, vocal, morphometric, plumage, and ecological niche models.

YES. The case for specific distinctness is convincing.

YES. My vote is based solely on the vocal differences, which are strong correlates of lack of gene flow among sympatric or parapatric Catharus. In contrast, Hermit Thrush, C. guttatus, shows little if any geographic variation in songs or calls, at least from the anecdotal viewpoint, among populations that show a fair amount of plumage differences (by Catharus standards); and we treat them all as conspecific. The rest of information mustered by Halley et al. simply attests to its recognition as a valid taxon, not as a species per se. Morphological diagnosability means only that they are, minimally, valid subspecies. Habitat differences are also basically irrelevant to species rank: within-species habitat differences in different parts of a bird species’ range are the rule, not the exception. As for “reciprocal monophyly”, with N=4 individuals from both populations, this is a vacuous statement that should not have survived peer review without major, obvious caveats.

YES. Vocal differences between taxa convincing.

NO. The authors do not present sufficient information on how different these subspecies are relative to other subspecies in the genus, which would be readily available and common for contrast (e.g., C. guttatus, C. ustulatus). Why are these species and not subspecies? The vocal data do not convince me, given that these are oscine passerines (with learned song) and that hybridization in the genus is common.

2021-B-6(B): Establish English names for daughter species C. maculatus and C. dryas sensu stricto

YES. Vote to adopt “Yellow-throated Nightingale-Thrush” for C. dryas. I was initially favoring “Yellow-breasted Nightingale Thrush,” based on comments from Schulenberg from the SACC voting, since the yellow extends beyond the throat well onto the breast, but after reviewing pictures of the two taxa, both do have quite yellow breasts, I’m now leaning toward “Yellow-throated Nightingale-Thrush,” favoring Donsker’s argument highlighting the difference from its sister taxon.

YES. I will stick with Spot-throated Nightingale-Thrush because that was preferred by SACC. I understand the argument made for a matching sister taxon name (Yellow-throated Nightingale-Thrush). However, to me that argument is not that compelling. The name only makes sense in context of knowledge of the sister taxon. If you are birding in one part of the world and identifying in the context of co-occurring species, the “yellow-throated” name seems not that descriptive of the bird’s overall appearance. I don’t really have a better option, so I will cast a reluctant vote for Yellow-throated Nightingale-Thrush.

YES. I see the point in the proposal about not using “Speckled Nightingale-Thrush” for maculatus, given that both taxa are spotted/speckled. I prefer Spot-throated Nightingale-Thrush, but defer to the SACC for the English name of the South American taxon. For C. dryas sensu stricto, I like “Yellow-throated Nightingale-Thrush” of the three options presented. Both taxa have yellow breasts, and the lack of speckling/spotting on the throat is distinctive.

YES. I feel like I’m reading the comments from SACC. You can barely see the difference in the photo, or plates I’ve seen, and it is as much as the chin as the throat. So two English names for barely perceptible features. Why not just use the most obvious feature, the breast spotting, speckled and spotted. No real difference, but the morphological differences are pretty subtle and one member isn’t even supporting the motion to split. At least Speckled and Spotted emphasize key features. It won’t cause confusion as most people will know which continent they are on. 

YES. For English names, I vote for Yellow-throated Nightingale-Thrush for Catharus dryas (1a) and Spot-throated Nightingale-Thrush for C. maculatus (2a).

YES. Two new names are needed. I like Saffron-breasted NT for dryas (I added as a choice on voting pages; suggested by Dan Lane in comments of SACC proposal) and Speckled NT for maculatus. If not Saffron-breasted NT, prefer Yellow-breasted NT. I think that the NACC should decide the English name for dryas and follow the SACC on the English name for maculatus. Vice-versa for the SACC.

YES. I prefer Yellow-throated as is suggested in the proposal as this is the most distinctive field mark between the two daughter lineages. I prefer Speckle-throated as is suggested in the proposal as this is the most distinctive field mark between the two daughter lineages. To me, the markings on the throat are more ‘speckles’ than ‘spots’ and speckle is a less-frequently used term that accurately describes the phenotype, but also makes the name distinctive. My second choice would be Spot-throated.

YES. Yellow-throated for dryas and Spot-throated for maculatus, if SACC’s decision on Speckled is reversible. I would also be fine with Speckle-throated for maculatus but it has one more syllable than Spot-throated.

YES. Yellow-throated Nightingale-Thrush, for reasons outlined in the proposal.

YES. Yellow-throated Nightingale-Thrush and Speckled Nightingale-Thrush. I don’t think we should mess with the SACC name for a completely extralimital species.


2021-B-7: Revise the linear sequence of passerine families

YES. For all the reasons explained in the proposal.

YES. However, I disagree with the respective placements of Icteriidae and Teretistridae. It’s true the tree presented in Barker et al (2015) shows Teretistridae as sister to Icteriidae. However, supplemental figure 1 shows no statistical support for the placement of Icteria, Zeledonia, Teretistris with respect to each other. Supplemental figure S2 shows strong support for placement of Icteria as sister to blackbirds. That same relationship is found in Barker et al. (2013) with 100% support. At the very least, we should check with Keith to see if the tree he chose for Fig. 1 in the 2015 has significance with respect to relationships of those specific taxa. I think he could have just as easily chosen to present the backbone of supplemental fig s2. If I remember right, I think when the committee was sorting relationships among families for 9-primaried oscines a few years ago, we relied instead on the 2013 paper for those family relationships. Beyond this concern, I think it’s fine to go ahead and adopt this new linear sequence. I understand other members of the committee’s concerns about constantly changing the sequence. Nonetheless, we have an obligation I think to keep up with the latest science. Others can always choose to ignore our changes or only update every few years if they wish.

YES. I vote yes but with two slight changes to the linear sequence: First, when comparing the linear sequence in the proposal to that used in the Fjeldsa (2020) book, an error involving the relative positions of the Aegithalidae + Cettiidae and the Phylloscopidae was discovered. The Aegithalidae + Cettiidae should precede the Phylloscopidae in the proposed linear sequence, rather than vice-versa. There are several other discrepancies between the sequence in the proposal and that of Fjeldsa, but these are supported in every other case by the genomic trees used for the proposal. Note also that the linear sequence in Fjeldsa (2020) is based on a phylogeny produced for the book by Stervander et al., who sequenced five nuclear regions (one exon, three introns, and one piece that contained both introns and exons, although they only required that 3 of these regions be successfully sequenced for inclusion in the analysis). This means that the discrepancies in linear sequence between the book and the proposal are the result of the book using a slightly different tree based on a very small amount of data compared to that used for the genomic studies that were the basis for the proposal.

Second, in response to the comment on the relative positions of Teretistridae and Icteriidae, we should reverse the proposed sequence of these two families so that the new sequence matches that in the 2017 supplement (in which Teretistridae preceded Icteriidae) as far as these taxa are concerned, and mirrors the well-supported result in Fig. S2 of Barker et al. (2015). These are still the best data we have concerning the placement of the Teretistridae, Teretistris having not been sampled in the genomic studies that formed the basis for this new proposal.

YES. With modifications noted by others. Excellent proposal that incorporates the most current data.

YES. Barely. I should abstain as higher level systematics is not an area where I can claim any competence. For stability I would prefer that these issues get visited only every five to ten years. I get lots of pointed comments about these sorts of changes, especially when they seem to be a near annual feature of the Supplements. I’m OK with the placement of Regulidae. It’s at least near Phylloscopidae. As for Teretistridae, I know those species well and I would never have thought there was the slightest resemblance in any way to Icteridae. Separating Icteridae from Icteriidae doesn’t offer me an incentive for this change. 

YES. I agree to adopt the proposed linear sequence. I think we have enough information about this topic.

YES. This is a big step forward based on our most current information (whole-genome sequences). It will be disruptive, but I think this is honing in on a stable taxonomy and I don’t think wholesale changes like this will continue every 5 years. While some of the placements remain uncertain (i.e., Regulidae, Teretistridae), this change will rectify a lot of current inconsistencies between our current linear sequence and new information regarding topology and species richness among passerine families. There may still be some future changes to this linear sequence, but I think that this is a large step toward what may eventually be our ‘stable’ end-game in figuring out our linear sequence of passerine families. Future revisions will be much more minor but will build on this large step forward. To me, the new accuracy gained by this sequence outweighs the disruption it causes. I think that disruption will continue to shrink as our capacity to sequence whole genomes has transformed dramatically in the past 10-20 years. This will level off though—we are already sequencing entire genomes. Phylogenetic methods that use those data may change and more thorough taxonomic sampling may reveal new insights, but we can’t sequence any more data than what this revision and the Feng et al. (2020) paper is based on.

YES. I was initially hesitant only because this is such a big step and will cause so much downstream disruption and work that I wanted to see it revisited with reference to Fjeldsa et al. (2020; The Largest Avian Radiation), which used most of the same references except the very most recent ones. I appreciate the massive effort that went into preparing this amazing proposal and now that this issue has been resolved I can vote yes on a version based on more recent references even than those available to Fjeldsa et al.

YES. The revised proposal addresses my previous concerns on justifications. Note that Cracraft in Dickinson & Christidis (2014) produced a similarly “inverted” suboscine sequence based on earlier studies (Tello et al. 2009, Ohlson et al. 2013, and earlier papers) before any of the recent papers were published. In the cost-benefit analysis of this major overhaul, it seems to me that the cost of any subsequent tweaks is offset by the benefit of incorporating all the latest congruent data — any future tweaks will hopefully be minor. Time to start reframing the way we think about passerine relationships by changing the linear sequence.

YES. Nice proposal.

NO. Probably, we will eventually need to overhaul the sequence in passerines, but I’d really rather believe that we are essentially done with rearranging before making another round of incomplete improvements. The last rearrangement we did I favored because it was moving us from essentially a tradition-based sequence to one that was actually informed by data, incomplete though it was. On the specific question of rearranging the sub-oscines, I have to say that I am not enthusiastic about another rearrangement that doesn’t provide any phylogenetic information, but is an adjustment to reflect our convention regarding clade size. This is a case where I value the stability of our current sequence over fixing a mistake that doesn’t affect the phylogenetic information content.

NO. Provisionally, for now. I read through the proposal and have briefly looked at the underlying trees and analyses, and do not see anything amiss. This sort of proposal must be incredibly difficult to assimilate, prepare, and write. To some degree, we need to trust that Terry and Sean got things right. However, I am wondering if we really need to update the sequence every time a new higher-level systematics paper comes out. I previously thought that we were zeroing in on the true history of the diversification of bird families, but now with these new papers, things appear as topsy-turvy as ever, especially for the 28 families from larks to palm-chats (in old sequence). Were those papers 5 or 10 years ago really that far off? Will this sequence be obsolete in another 5-10 years? Maybe we should update higher level taxonomy sequences (family +) only every 10 years?

The proposal does not elucidate the true amount of disruption to the current sequence. I compared the old and new list to look if any families were missed (none were) and to see the change. Here are those changes:

Conopophagidae and Thamnophilidae flipped

Differences in sequence of Corvoideae

Huge changes in sequence Alaudidae to Dulidae (28 families)- this will drive collection managers crazy!

Prunellidae shifted down to after Estrildidae

Rhodinocichlidae and Calcariidae flipped

Zeledonidae moved to after Phaenicophilidae

Teretristidae Icteriidae, and Icteridae changed to Icteriidae, Teretristidae and Icteridae

Mitrospinguidae and Cardinalidae flipped 

2021-B-8: Recognize Basileuterus delattrii as a separate species from Rufous-capped Warbler B. rufifron

YES. While I would ideally like to see genetic data, I think the vocal data, especially with the playback experiments between delattrii and rufifrons in Demko et al. (2019) are very compelling to suggest that the two taxa are isolated. One additional question I had though, and could potentially sway my vote, is discussion of the phenotypes of birds in the area of sympatry. While there were no vocally intermediate birds, were there any apparent intergrades based on plumage? I would guess not based on the paper, but I could not find it explicitly stated.

In thinking about English names for the two taxa, I vote to adopt Chestnut-capped Warbler for delattrii, but I disagree about maintaining Rufous-capped Warbler for the nominate group, and I think that we should adopt Rusty-capped Warbler for rufifrons. I do not think that adopting a new English name for rufifrons would cause too much disruption, and given the relatively equal ranges of the two daughter species, I think adopting different names for each is the better approach.

YES. But a very weak yes. Only convincing evidence in my mind is song data from contact zone. There are some plumage patterns that correspond with the split, but overall it would be great to have genetic evidence added to fully understand what is going on here. 

YES. Multiple lines of evidence (clear vocal differences, apparent song discrimination in sympatry based on playbacks, plumage, and morphometrics) support this split.

YES. I am persuaded. This issue has long been contemplated, and what’s presented seems reasonable.I realize that songs to some degree are learned with songbirds, but they still offer a very useful clue and likely lead to barriers. I’ve never heard a definitive answer about call notes (learned?). Yes to the English names chosen too, Rufous-capped, and Chestnut-capped, different names without a difference but describing one of the most compelling field marks. So, why not Spotted and Speckled Nightingale-Thrushes? 

YES. I agree to split rufifrons and delattrii, the evidence is strong and for English names, I recommended Chestnut-capped Warbler for B. delattrii and Rufous-capped Warbler for B. rufifrons.

YES. The songs are quite different, even in areas of sympatry. This leaves no doubt that they should be split. The songs are especially different in tone. Plumage differences seem to uphold species differences, even if salvini appears somewhat intermediate.

YES. This was always a borderline case and this great analysis swings the pendulum in favor of species status.

YES. As outlined in the proposal, the evidence for treatment as separate species seems solid, based largely on vocal differences. As for English names, retention of Rufous-capped for rufifrons can be justified under our guidelines, because that was the same name used for it when treated previously as a separate species. Chestnut-capped is also well-justified as the name for that species through historical usage and appropriateness. I like the “-capped” common theme, also.

NO. I would like to wait until the authors publish forthcoming genetic data on the complex. Furthermore, in my mind, there is still uncertainty regarding salvini as a possible intermediate between the taxa. Although the maps don’t overlap in the figure, that is not conclusive evidence that there is no zone of contact between salvini and delattrii. There is extensive overlap in morphology and plumage between delattrii, salvini, and rufifrons. Thus, this would be a split purely based on differences in song. As for song, it does seem that delatrii differs from rufifrons-salvini, mainly in ‘syllable versatility’. However, looking at the playback data in Demko et al. (2019), response rates do differ, but there are still some response to ‘heterospecific’ vocalizations suggesting that there may be ongoing gene flow. Unfortunately, we do not currently have genetic data for the contact zone or popgen / phylogeography data for any of the various B. rufifrons subspecies as far as I know. According to Demko et al. (2020), these data are forthcoming (see end of first paragraph under ‘Songs’ section on page 16). While these data are strongly suggestive of a split (and I think these will eventually be treated as separate species—probably even in this round), I think it would be prudent to wait to see what those genetic data say regarding gene flow in sympatry.

NO. I think we should wait for the genetic analysis to be published before making this split. Ultimately, I think it is likely we will split these taxa, but I think it is premature to do currently. If we split, I would favor Rufous-capped and Chestnut-capped as English names.

NO. I am going to postpone a decision on this until their next study is published – so NO for now. Nonoverlap in PC space in male song reminds me of Empidonax, but this is an oscine (learned song). Still, quite distinct vocally, except for no diagnostic plumage characters. I predict that there will be substantial levels of gene flow found in their forthcoming work, which they highlight at the end of their paper: “Ongoing genomic analyses of samples from the B. r. delattrii and B. r. rufifrons contact zone and other sites throughout the Rufous-capped Warbler’s range in Mexico and Central America will compare patterns of range-wide phenotypic and genetic divergence, and will be critical for further refinement of the taxonomic classification proposed here.” We would seem to be going beyond what the authors themselves suggest here if we approve this now.

2021-B-9: Change the spelling of Porphyrio martinicus to P. martinica

YES. I agree that it is marginally preferable to revert to long-established usage in a controversial situation such as this.

YES. Although hardly an expert, I find the Schodde-Bock argument slightly more convincing, and in retrospect, I should have opposed the change to martinicus until others, such as Schodde and Bock, had had their say.

NO. In particular, the arguments of Norman David were compelling that martinicus/martinica is an adjectival word, and not a noun, supporting the original change to martinicus.

NO. Given the ongoing debate and lack of resolution, best to wait to change the name.

NO. Reasons given in the proposal.

NO. I wanted to call Dan Gibson but figured I would just stick with the recommendation. Instead, I checked into the facts regarding Christopher (see Normand David’s Point 3). It is said he passed by Martinique on 11 November 1493 (St. Martin’s day). I checked my Bergreen (2011) and instead he left Guadeloupe at dawn on 10 November 1493 and headed northwest past Montserrat and by 14 November anchored at St. Croix. Martinique is some 125 miles SSE of Guadeloupe, hence the wrong way for the direction Columbus was heading. He was anxious to get back to Hispaniola. What this has to do with the motion I haven’t a clue, but the history needs to be corrected. When the French were beaten by the British at Quebec City in 1759, when the Seven Years War (started by George Washington) was concluded in 1763, the French retained two possessions in the New World, St. Pierre & Miquelon off Newfoundland (they still maintain ownership) and Martinique. 

Bergreen. L. 2011. Columbus, the four voyages. Viking. 

NO. We need more information about this.

NO. Given the contention and ambiguity orbiting martinica or martinicus as a noun or an adjective suggests to me we should retain our current spelling.

NO. This is a vote on my part to say that I don’t understand the issues well enough to make an informed choice on this. Given that I wouldn’t want to make the change back to martinica until we are certain that we won’t change it to martinicus again Currently, I am not certain that we might not end up at martinicus. That being said, my ill-informed sense is that martinica is the preferred option, but even If I am right, I don’t think there is a hurry to make this change.

NO. What a mess.

2021-B-10: Treat Andean Duck Oxyura ferruginea as conspecific with Ruddy Duck O. jamaicensis

YES. For the reasons outlined in the proposal, and to bring us into agreement with SACC.

YES. But not a strong yes. The taxa under discussion are completely allopatric so there is no ongoing gene flow. Past gene flow is inferred mostly from mtDNA as well as a few nuclear genes which might not be expected to show a pattern among recently diverged species anyway. I would be more comfortable with this decision if we had more genetic data. The range of phenotypes within andina was the selling point for me to move towards a yes vote. 

YES. The genetic data, combined with the variation in plumage, support treating them as a single species. This would also be consistent with the SACC treatment.

YES. I believe the evidence is persuasive. Yeah, the situation with White-headed Duck is interesting too. All the treatments I checked don’t maintain these two as separate species and I find no compelling evidence to stand alone. 

YES. I see little reason for the NACC should continue to consider O ferruginea separate (and contra the SACC); in addition, ferruginea lies completely within their purview. The hybrid status of andina, at least in the not so distant past, is borne out in genetics and plumage. There do not appear to be any display or behavioral differences that would promote speciation should they come in contact again. 

YES. We should follow SACC on largely South American issues. The genetic data are compelling that these are not reproductively isolated, which is further corroborated by the phenotypic data showing intermediates between ferruginea and jamaicensis.

YES. The existence of “andina” shows, to me, that the difference in cheek patch has no relevance to reproductive isolation: a population that phenotypically and genetically demonstrates rampant past gene flow is as good as it gets for assessing allotaxa. (By the way, although out of our purview, that andina is basically a hybrid swarm that lacks constant, diagnostic characters suggests to me that it is not a valid taxon, no more so than would be declaring the Great Plains flicker hybrid swarm, for example, a subspecies; the difference is that andina is geographically isolated.)

YES. The genetic data clearly show that ferruginea is very closely related to jamaicensis and that its phenotype is not an indication of relationship of ferruginea with the other black-headed species. The andina population does seem like a hybrid swarm that has not stabilized phenotypically, and has a wide array of appearances from much like jamaicensis to much like ferruginea. Since I am used to the Peruvian ferruginea, I have always thought of ferruginea as “different” from jamaicensis, so this is a shift for me. Although not relevant directly to this decision, with respect to andina I would note that there are other hybrid swarms that are named and treated as distinct, Junco hyemalis cismountanus comes to mind. I might be wrong, but I’d be inclined to keep andina as a named taxon, especially given its isolation from jamaicensis.

YES. This change seems overdue.

NO. This is an especially difficult one. I vote NO because 1) ferruginea (except andina) seems more morphologically distinct from jamaicensis in a number of ways than other waterfowl taxa we consider conspecific; 2) jamaicensis now breeds nowhere near South America now so there is no ongoing gene flow; 3) I suspect that most or all Oxyura would interbreed similarly given the opportunity (as has proved to be the case with the less closely related O. leucocephalus when jamaicensis was introduced); 4) there appear to be differences in courtship vocalizations). That said, the arguments for lumping them are very convincing too.