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Swallow Flycatcher?

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Old Thursday 17th March 2005, 07:07   #1
Oregonian
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Swallow Flycatcher?

Arthur posted a nice image of a Cliff Flycatcher from Espirito Santo, Brazil. Wasn't there a discussion just before the crash about that being a Swallow Flycatcher, since it has been split from Cliff Flycatcher? I see an empty space for a Swallow Flycatcher in the database.
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Old Friday 18th March 2005, 15:03   #2
Rasmus Boegh
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You're right, I'll just give a brief summary:

Some people think the Cliff Flycatcher (Hirundinea ferruginea) should be split into two species:

1) Swallow Flycatcher (H. bellicosa) from central & east Brazil, E Paraguay, Uruguay and NE Argentina.

2) Cliff Flycatcher (H. ferruginea) with subspecies sclateri & pallidior. Found in the Andes, roughly from NW Argentina north to W Venezuela. Also in the Tepuis of northern South America.

The two groups are easy to distinguish, with bellicosa appearing overall more cinnamon-rufous, incl. rump, a large part of the folded wing, and a large part of the tail. Furthermore, it has less white in the face.

The voices of the two groups are similar, and recent tests failed to show any significant molecular difference between the two. However, the test was limited, and it could be they quite simply were looking the wrong place! Regardless, it seems the database here on BF follow this split - meaning there's a bit of re-linking needed:

Arthur Grosset's photo is from Espírito Santo in E Brazil, and therefore is a Swallow Flycatcher (H. bellicosa) if following the split. It is currently used in the entry for Cliff Flycatcher (H. ferruginea) and should be moved:

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/all/page/1

Contrary to this, Jeff Harding's (aka Oregonian's) photo is from the Andean part of the range (in Ecuador), and therefore show the "real" Cliff Flycatcher (H. ferruginea):

http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/...cat/all/page/1

In short: Jeff Harding's (aka Oregonian's) photo should be used for the Cliff Flycatcher (H. ferruginea), while Arthur Grosset's photo should be used for the Swallow Flycatcher (H. bellicosa).

Last edited by Rasmus Boegh : Friday 18th March 2005 at 15:16. Reason: typo
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Old Friday 18th March 2005, 15:49   #3
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The old memory ain't what it used to be. Thanks for reminding me.
However, I think that its only SM who currently accept this split. The AOU note on this species says:"The southern and eastern bellicosa group was formerly (e.g., Cory & Hellmayr 1927) considered a separate species from Hirundinea ferruginea,, but they were considered conspecific by <Zimmer> Meyer de Schauensee (1966). Sibley and Monroe (1990) followed Cory & Hellmayr (1927) in treating them as separate species."
Clements, Howard & Moore and the Handbook all treat bellicosa as a sub-species.
As you say though, the BF database follows Sibley & Monroe so to be consistent we should follow the split.
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Old Friday 18th March 2005, 17:33   #4
Rasmus Boegh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arthurgrosset
The old memory ain't what it used to be. Thanks for reminding me.
However, I think that its only SM who currently accept this split. The AOU note on this species says:"The southern and eastern bellicosa group was formerly (e.g., Cory & Hellmayr 1927) considered a separate species from Hirundinea ferruginea,, but they were considered conspecific by <Zimmer> Meyer de Schauensee (1966). Sibley and Monroe (1990) followed Cory & Hellmayr (1927) in treating them as separate species."
Clements, Howard & Moore and the Handbook all treat bellicosa as a sub-species.
As you say though, the BF database follows Sibley & Monroe so to be consistent we should follow the split.
You're completely right. Personally, I have serious trouble accepting the split and find the available evidence very slim to say the least. As far as I know, only recent authority to accept the split is S&M, and I can't remember ever having met a birder or ornithologist in South America saying, "see, a Swallow Flycatcher" about the birds from SE Brazil. Hence, this was only a correction for the database, not to you for uploading it as a Cliff Flycatcher which I think is more correct than the treatment by S&M. However, for consistency, it is probably wise to stick with a single taxonomic version - even if we (and in this case most) think it is mistaken in some cases...

Last edited by Rasmus Boegh : Friday 18th March 2005 at 17:35.
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