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Melanitta - current status ? (1 Viewer)

Geoff WORCS

Well-known member
Can anyone tell me is the following up to date and correct ? It was taken from IUCN.

Melanitta fusca has been split into Melanitta fusca, M. deglandi and M. stejnegeri following a review of recent literature (Livezey 1995, Garner et al. 2004, Sangster et al. 2005, Collinson et al. 2006, AOU 2010) and museum specimens by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group
 

Richard Klim

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Melanitta (fusca) deglandi is recognised as a distinct species by HBW/BirdLife/IUCN, IOC, AERC, BOU and CSNA; but not by H&M4, eBird/Clements or AOU.

M (deglandi) stejnegeri is further split by HBW/BirdLife/IUCN; but not (yet) by any other significant authorities.
 
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Geoff WORCS

Well-known member
I am currently using e-bird in Serbia. Serbs have been advised, apparently, to list velvet scoters m.fuscaas white winged scoter m.deglandi ?
 

Richard Klim

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I am currently using e-bird in Serbia. Serbs have been advised, apparently, to list velvet scoters m.fusca as white winged scoter m.deglandi ?
Except for extreme vagrants, European/WP birds are Velvet Scoter M fusca sensu stricto.

But eBird/Clements uses the American English name 'White-winged Scoter' for M fusca sensu lato (including fusca, deglandi and stejnegeri 'groups'); M deglandi isn't recognised as a distinct species.
 
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Paul Clapham

Well-known member
You can report them to eBird as "White-winged Scoter (Velvet)". At least, that's what I did for the Velvet Scoter I saw in Norway. However I don't know how the local lists are set up for Serbia.
 

Geoff WORCS

Well-known member
Except for extreme vagrants, European/WP birds are Velvet Scoter M fusca sensu stricto.

But eBird/Clements uses the American English name 'White-winged Scoter' for M fusca sensu lato (including fusca, deglandi and stejnegeri 'groups'); M deglandi isn't recognised as a distinct species.

OK I understand. Different bodies are recognising different species.
You are confusing things for me with "sensu lato stricto" which I havnt seen before.

This is the reply from e- bird to the Serbin administrator -

"I don;t know what common name translation settings you have; these names vary depending on what you choose (i.e., UK English is different than US English with White-winged Scoters).
The eBird taxonomy does not split fusca from deglandi/stejnegeri as does the BOURC.
Scientific names do not vary in eBird when common names change and help understand what you are reporting or looking at.

Below is the White-winged Scoter taxonomy we use, with the three subspecies and US English names:
Melanitta fusca White-winged Scoter
Melanitta fusca fusca White-winged Scoter (Velvet) N Eurasia; winters Norway to Spain and Caspian Sea
Melanitta fusca stejnegeri White-winged Scoter (Siberian) Breeds ne Asia; winters coastal e Asia to Japan and China
Melanitta fusca deglandi White-winged Scoter (North American) Northern North America; winters to coastal s US

European birds are best reported as M. f. fusca, which might be called Velvet Scoter or White-winged Scoter (Velvet).
Reporting as White-winged Scoter (M. fusca) is fine; when these are split we will divide the data for North America vs. Eurasia.

They *should not* be reported as M. f. deglandi, as that is the American species. It has occurred a few times in Iceland and at least once or twice in the UK, but not much closer to Serbia than that.
M. f. stejnegeri should be watched for in northern Europe and has occurred in Iceland."
 

Richard Klim

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You are confusing things for me with "sensu lato stricto" which I havnt seen before.
Sorry, Geoff. Commonly used in taxonomy to qualify the intended scope of a scientific name:
  • sensu lato = in the broad sense (ie, polytypic M fusca)
  • sensu stricto = in the narrow sense (ie, monotypic M fusca)
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
This is the reply from e- bird to the Serbin administrator -

"I don;t know what common name translation settings you have; these names vary depending on what you choose (i.e., UK English is different than US English with White-winged Scoters).
The eBird taxonomy does not split fusca from deglandi/stejnegeri as does the BOURC.
Scientific names do not vary in eBird when common names change and help understand what you are reporting or looking at.

Below is the White-winged Scoter taxonomy we use, with the three subspecies and US English names:
Melanitta fusca White-winged Scoter
Melanitta fusca fusca White-winged Scoter (Velvet) N Eurasia; winters Norway to Spain and Caspian Sea
Melanitta fusca stejnegeri White-winged Scoter (Siberian) Breeds ne Asia; winters coastal e Asia to Japan and China
Melanitta fusca deglandi White-winged Scoter (North American) Northern North America; winters to coastal s US

European birds are best reported as M. f. fusca, which might be called Velvet Scoter or White-winged Scoter (Velvet).
Reporting as White-winged Scoter (M. fusca) is fine; when these are split we will divide the data for North America vs. Eurasia.

They *should not* be reported as M. f. deglandi, as that is the American species. It has occurred a few times in Iceland and at least once or twice in the UK, but not much closer to Serbia than that.
M. f. stejnegeri should be watched for in northern Europe and has occurred in Iceland."
Unfortunately, the US names are set as default in e-Bird - typical US imperialism :storm: - until they reset their settings so that standard English names (i.e., Velvet Scoter, in this instance) are set as the default for English on detecting a contributor in Europe, problems like this are going to keep on happening.
 

Geoff WORCS

Well-known member
Thanks chaps, brilliant ! Its great to be able to turn you guys who have a deep interest in such matters, helps a simple field birder like me.
Nutcracker, nice to see someone else frustrated with the great blind monolith which is the US of A
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Unfortunately, the US names are set as default in e-Bird - typical US imperialism :storm: - until they reset their settings so that standard English names (i.e., Velvet Scoter, in this instance) are set as the default for English on detecting a contributor in Europe, problems like this are going to keep on happening.

Maybe all you folks in Europe should have come up with something like ebird first, and not left it to the folks of Cornell to do so...
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Unfortunately, the US names are set as default in e-Bird - typical US imperialism :storm: - until they reset their settings so that standard English names (i.e., Velvet Scoter, in this instance) are set as the default for English on detecting a contributor in Europe, problems like this are going to keep on happening.

Mostly, this depends on whether you simply log into Ebird.org or if you log into a regional portal for an area. If your login is to the British portal, then you should be seeing the British English spellings/name choices. There are enough Americans living in Europe and submitting to ebird that this choice depending on login is better than relying on geography of the list or on IP addresses for the language choice.

Niels
 

Richard Klim

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Maybe all you folks in Europe should have come up with something like ebird first, and not left it to the folks of Cornell to do so...
Well said, Morgan. :t:

eBird is offered free of charge, no one is obliged to use it, and it's surely reasonable that the baseline common names reflect the preferences of its American creators.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
There was a European counterpart at one time called Worldbird or something similar. I think it was RSPB that was behind it, but it competed with plenty of other schemes being developed within Europe and even some within the UK, I think. So lack of European support have effectively led to this situation where ebird is the best option.

And I know about Observado - my personal sense is that it is not as good and that the best thing that could happen would be a collaboration agreement between observado and ebird where ebird become senior partner.

Niels
 

Geoff WORCS

Well-known member
Maybe all you folks in Europe should have come up with something like ebird first, and not left it to the folks of Cornell to do so...

We have Bird track which is good enough for me and came just a couple of years after e-bird.
My understanding is they are intending to collaborate which would be great.
 

Frank Gill

Well-known member
There was a European counterpart at one time called Worldbird or something similar. I think it was RSPB that was behind it, but it competed with plenty of other schemes being developed within Europe and even some within the UK, I think. So lack of European support have effectively led to this situation where ebird is the best option.

And I know about Observado - my personal sense is that it is not as good and that the best thing that could happen would be a collaboration agreement between observado and ebird where ebird become senior partner.

Niels

In the beginning... Audubon/Cornell hoped that BirdSource/eBird would be a joint venture with RSPB/BTO. Together, we designed a startup code-named "Kagu" that included a major portal for RSPB/BTO. In due course, however, RSPB chose to build their web-based citizen science programs independently.
 

miliff

Member
I hope everyone realizes that we try hard at eBird not to be a US-centric website. As a global program, we do the best we can with this and are constantly making improvements to better serve the community of birders worldwide (most recently: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/targets/). On the other hand, most of the data we collect are still from the Americas, with the US and Canada collecting the lion’s share of the data. However, we are working hard to enable partners worldwide (in Iceland, the UAE, Portugal, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan etc.) to take the existing website and use it for data collection in their local areas.

One of the ways we approach this is through regional portals. With a regional portal, local partners control the home page content, can set the data exploration defaults, local common name preferences can be set, local language settings can be set (in addition to French, Spanish, and Portuguese, eBird is being translated into Turkish and Mandarin). We still have a long way to go to make the site more international, but feel we have made a lot of progress. Simply allowing any character set from any language in the world was a major database upgrade, but one that we now have no problems offering. The regional portals are here (look for two European ones soon!): http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/portals/

Worldbirds was a project of BirdLife International which is being discontinued; its databases were not integrated, so each portal effectively collected its own local dataset. Worldbirds partners have been asked to decide between migrating their data to eBird or BirdTrack. At eBird we have already loaded all data for South America and the Caribbean, and those data are all explorable via the eBird output tools at http://ebird.org/ebird/eBirdReports?cmd=Start.We are working on Portugal, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Malaysia and we expect to complete these win the next couple months. I can’t speak to how the BirdTrack process is going since their global version does not yet allow data exploration.

We have a long history of partnership with the BTO and RSPB, and these new partnerships with migration of Worldbirds data are exciting and helping to engage new partners in eBird. We would certainly like to see a world where real-time information on bird occurrence in concentrated in one place, and have been seeking that funding jointly with BTO, but thus far have not been able to fund some of the major operations that would be needed. In the meantime, we encourage birders to test both systems and choose the one that works best for him or her. For those that bird only in the UK, Birdtrack probably works best; if you bird outside Britain, you should certainly consider eBird.

Please do know that there are a variety of local common name options in eBird. http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1596582-common-name-translations-in-ebird

Also, for this group, the issue of using multiple taxonomies is likely to be of interest. eBird will be releasing an IOC name set for later this spring. This will be a 1:1 match on taxonomic concepts, and this process is helping the Clements/eBird and IOC to resolve some of the thornier taxonomic issues.

I know BTO has advertised the ability to choose multiple taxonomies, but the issue of course is not entering using multiple taxonomies but the display of those data back (via personal lists, maps, or other output) as matched taxonomies. This is arcane stuff, but on the database side, it is essential that "White-winged Scoter" in one taxonomy refers to the same creature (and range circumscription) as in another. In other words, if one taxonomy uses White-winged Scoter sensu lato, and another uses it sensu stricto, then major data display problems result.

Geoff, it is great to have you using eBird in Serbia. Feel free to get in touch directly (mji26 AT cornell.edu if you have further questions).
 
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