Every summer, the AOU(American Ornithologists' Union) releases new findings and studies about birds. Birders eagerly wait for these reports to come out because there is often a lot of new information released about the current state of the bird world. Most importantly, with the advances of genetic studies, we are finding that there are more new species of birds out there. And vice versa! Take for example, the Caribbean Coot. Gone. It has now been lumped back into the American Coot. I always find it a fascinating read! Anyhow, this years splits have given me some easy "life birds". Without having to do anything, I've added two new birds! Or as birders call it, "Armchair Birds".
The former Western Scrub-Jay found in Arizona(and other states) is now called the Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay. What do these splits do to someone like myself? Well, I have to go back into my records and separate them all. Each file is renamed! In the case with these two jays, I had to move the photo documentation to the correct area. In a sense, birders are librarians of data:)
However, the bird splits didn't stop there! During my pelagic trek off the San Diego coast, several birders were kind enough to point out the subspecies of Least Storm-Petrels. To be honest, this is a bird I'm unaccustomed to observing out in the field as I am an Arizona birder:) It was great being with birders who could point out the subspecies of these petrels while teaching me to note the very slight differences in size and coloration. Again, I made careful notations.
|the "new" Lesson's Motmot|
|Whooping Motmot in Panama City, Panama|
|Gone are the days of the Green Violetear. Today, this bird has been split into two separate species. The Mexican and Lesser Violetear. Above, we have the Mexican Violetear, which is a rare visitor in the United States.|