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    Princeton Guide to North American Birds

    Killian Mullarney in a talk a few months back showed off some of Ian Lewington's plates, including longspurs, flickers, Mississippi Kite, and prairie-chickens. They really do look beautiful. I recommend the whole talk for Killian's perspective on the philosophy of field guides.
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    The next 10 ABA (North American) splits - 2022

    Other possibilities to the ones already mentioned: Nashville Warbler/Calaveras Warbler Evening Grosbeak (5 call types) Canada Jay (Pacific vs Boreal/Rockies) Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay (Sumicrast's vs TX Edwards Plateau vs Interior West) Bell's Vireo (Eastern vs Western) Northern Cardinal (Eastern +...
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    Pigmentation Genes Show Evidence of Repeated Divergence and Multiple Bouts of Introgression in Setophaga Warblers https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(20)31671-7
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    English names for Troglodytes splits

    For what it's worth I vote "Winter Wren" for hiemalis and "Pacific Wren" for pacificus and whatever Europeans decide on for troglodytes. Being clear and concise to me outweighs the initial confusion for those out West. Plus, "Winter Wren" is such a pretty name. I'd hate to see it disappear or...
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    Splits and Ticks

    The paper http://www.tc.umn.edu/~barke042/pdfs/Barker.et.al08-2.pdf reports a genetic divergence in cytochrome b of around 4%, which would mean the most recent common ancestor lived something like several hundred thousand to maybe 2 or 3 mya. Calibrating the avian molecular clock is somewhat...
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    Cyanocorax jays

    Well, then it looks like AOU won't pass the proposal to change Brown Jay to Cyanocorax morio (http://www.aou.org/committees/nacc/proposals/2009-A.pdf), because I don't see them merging Calocitta into a broad Cyanocorax either, it's just too distinctive. We'll have to wait and see what they do...
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    The future of avian taxonomy

    I'm interested in people's thoughts about what the state of bird taxonomy will be in 20 years or so. For instance, how long will it take to classify all genera/families/orders as monophyletic? Given the decreasing costs of performing phylogenetic studies, I think it could be done. And once...
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    Black-capped and Mountain are sister species. So are Carolina and Mexican Chickadee, but these two are basal to all other North American chickadees. Marsh and Willow Tit are sister species, which also comprise a clade (with Rusty-breasted Tit) that is one step more basal then the...
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    Split of Melanerpes aurifrons?

    Article in the upcoming Condor: http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/abs/10.1525/cond.2009.080017 Does anyone know if Golden-fronted and Red-bellied Woodpeckers hybridize in Texas? Might AOU lump the northern aurifrons subspecies into Red-bellied?