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Richard C. Banks, R. Terry Chesser, Carla Cicero, Jon L. Dunn, Andrew W. Kratter, Irby J. Lovette, Pamela C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen, James D. Rising, Douglas F. Stotz
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This is the seventh Supplement since publication of the 7th edition of the Check-list of North American Birds (American Ornithologists’ Union [AOU] 1998). It summarizes decisions made by the AOU’s Committee on Classification and Nomenclature—North America between 1 January and 31 December 2006. The Committee has continued to operate in the manner outlined in the 42nd Supplement (AOU 2000). Two new members were added to the committee in 2006— R. Terry Chesser and Irby J. Lovette. Changes in this Supplement fall into the following categories: (1) two species are added because of splits in species already on the list (Anser serrirostris, Buteogallus gundlachii); (2) three species are added (two transferred from the Appendix) because of new distributional information (Oceanodroma hornbyi, Mesophoyx intermedia, Falco vespertinus); (3) the name of one species is changed because of a split from an extralimital species (Larus michahellis); (4) three generic names are changed, one because of a merger of genera (Spizastur into Spizaetus), two because of a splitting of genera (Megaceryle from Ceryle); (5) one English name is changed because of a split of the species (Anser fabalis) and (6) one species is added to the Appendix (Threskiornis aethiopicus). Further, one family (Cathartidae) is removed from the Order Ciconiiformes and returned provisionally to the Order Falconiformes, its traditional placement before 1998, although its true phylogenetic position remains uncertain.

The addition of five species to the main list (four of which are also added to the list of species known to occur in the United States) brings the total known to occur in the Check-list area to 2,046.

Literature that provides the basis for the Committee’s decisions is cited at the end of the Supplement, and citations not already in the Literature Cited of the 7th edition (with Supplements) become additions to it. An updated list of the bird species known from the AOU Check-list area may be found at <>.

The following changes to the 7th edition (page numbers refer thereto) and its Supplements result from the Committee’s actions:

p. xvii-liv. Change the number in the title of the list of species to 2,046. Insert the following names in the proper position as indicated by the text of this Supplement:

Anser serrirostris Tundra Bean-Goose. (A)

Oceanodroma hornbyi Ringed Storm-Petrel. (A)

Mesophoyx intermedia Intermediate Egret. (A)

Buteogallus gundlachii Cuban Black-Hawk.

Falco vespertinus Red-footed Falcon. (A)

Change the following scientific names, retaining the English names:

Spizastur melanoleucus to Spizaetus melanoleucus

Larus cachinnans to Larus michahellis (A)

Ceryle torquatus to Megaceryle torquata

Ceryle alcyon to Megaceryle alcyon

Change the following English name:

Anser fabalis from Bean Goose to Taiga Bean- Goose.

Move the Cathartidae* and its included species from the Ciconiiformes to the beginning of the Falconiformes. The asterisk indicates uncertainty as to exact placement (see Banks et al. 2003:924).

p. 24. Because of new distributional information, Oceanodroma hornbyi is removed from the Appendix and added to the main list. Before the account of Oceanodroma leucorhoa, insert:

Oceanodroma hornbyi (Gray). Ringed Storm- Petrel.

Thalassidroma Hornbyi G. R. Gray, 1854, Proc. Zool. Soc. London (1853), p. 62. (north-west coast of America, error = west coast of South America, fide Murphy, 1936, Oceanic Birds South Amer., p. 741.)

Habitat.—Pelagic waters; nesting unknown.

Distribution.Breeding grounds unknown, but interior records suggest an inland nesting area in the coastal desert from central Peru to northern Chile.

Ranges at sea in the Humboldt Current off northern Chile, Peru, and southern Ecuador from about 33° to 1° south latitude.

Casual north to Colombia (Isla Gorgona, specimen).

Accidental off California (22.2 km west- southwest of west end of San Miguel Island, 2 August 2005, photos; Pyle et al. 2006).

Notes.—Also widely known by the alternative name Hornby’s Storm-Petrel.

p. 41. Because of new distributional information, Mesophoyx intermedia is removed from the Appendix and added to the main list. Following the account for Ardea alba and before the genus Egretta, insert:

Genus MESOPHOYX Sharpe

Mesophoyx Sharpe, 1894, Bull. Br. Ornithol. Club, 3, p. xxxviii. Type, by original designation, Herodias intermedia = Ardea intermedia Wagler.

Notes.—Placement of this genus is uncertain. It is often merged with Egretta, but genetic studies (Sheldon 1987) suggest a closer relationship to Ardea.

Mesophoyx intermedia (Wagler). Intermediate Egret.

Ardea intermedia Wagler, 1829, Isis von Oken, col. 659. (Java.)

Habitat.—Marshes, flooded fields, swamps, estuaries, and mangroves.

Distribution.—Breeds in Africa south of the Sahara, and from India east through China and Southeast Asia, to Japan and the Philippines, and south through Indonesia and western New Guinea to northern and eastern Australia.

Winters throughout much of the breeding range, but in eastern Asia only from southeastern China and Taiwan south.

Casual in Cape Verde Islands, northern China, Russian Far East (Ussuriland and Sakhalin Island), the Ogaswara, Iwo, and Daito Islands (Japan), Norfolk Island, and New Zealand.

Accidental on Marion Island, Prince Edward Islands, Egypt (Sinai), Jordan (Dead Sea), and central Asia.

Accidental in Alaska (Buldir Island, Aleutians; one found dead, specimen preserved and identified as E. i. intermedia, 30 May 2006; Lorenz and Gibson 2007).

Notes.—Also known as Yellow-billed Egret and Plumed Egret. A specimen reportedly taken 29 May 1879 at Burrard Inlet, Vancouver, British Columbia, may have been obtained elsewhere (Godfrey 1986). A bird photographed on Midway Island on 25 June 1997 and identified as an Intermediate Egret (Richardson 1999) was probably the Asian subspecies of the Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis coromandus (Banks et al. 2004).

p. 51. Reconsideration of the evidence for moving the family Cathartidae from the order Falconiformes to the order Ciconiiformes (AOU 1998), re-evaluation of the analysis of Griffiths (1994), and preliminary information from continuing genetic studies (e.g., Cracraft et al. 2004, Fain and Houde 2004, Ericson et al. 2006) indicate that the move was in error, although the true relationships and thus placement of the family are still not fully resolved.

Move the entries for the family Cathartidae and the included species (pp. 51–53) to a position in the Order FALCONIFORMES just before the Suborder ACCIPITRES (p. 86) under the heading Suborder CATHARTAE: American Vultures. Under the heading for the Family Cathartidae, insert the following:

Notes.—This family was moved to the order Ciconiiformes (AOU 1998) but is now tentatively returned to the order Falconiformes after re-evaluation of the reasons for the earlier change. Further, some genetic studies (Cracraft et al. 2004, Fain and Houde 2004, Ericson et al. 2006) have shown that the New World vultures are not closely related to the storks, although their precise phylogenetic relationship to the Falconiformes is yet undetermined.

p. 56. Anser serrirostris is separated from A. fabalis on the basis of studies of morphology (size and proportions, color), behavior (vocalizations, activity pattern), and banding returns that reveal two distinct winter groups that disperse to allopatric breeding grounds. Both groups show clinal variation in size and bill color. There is no large zone of intermediates as previously believed (Sangster and Oreel 1996). Sangster and Oreel (1996) considered variation in both species to be clinal and considered both species monotypic. Because subspecific identifications of most North American bean geese are based on sight reports rather than specimens, allocation to the proper species when split is problematic. Anser fabalis includes the formerly recognized (Delacour 1954) subspecies fabalis, johanseni, and middendorffii, and A. serrirostris includes serrirostris and rossicus.

Revise the account of A. fabalis and follow it with a new account for A. serrirostris as follows:

Anser fabalis (Latham). Taiga Bean-Goose. The citation is unchanged.

Habitat.—Swamps and lakes of northern forested areas, in winter in open country, marshes, and agricultural lands.

Distribution. Breeds from northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia east to eastern Siberia.

Winters in Great Britain, Europe, the Middle East, and southern Asia to eastern China and Japan.

Accidental in Alaska in the Pribilof Islands (specimen, St. Paul Island; reported as A. f. sibiricus, now = middendorffii, by Gabrielson and Lincoln 1959). Birds seen at the Iowa-Nebraska border (Amer. Birds 39:172, 182, 1985), at Cap- Tourmente, Quebec (Amer. Birds 42:46, 1988), Phelps County [Funk Lagoon], Nebraska (Field Notes 52:350, 1998), and Hoquiam, Washington (Mlodinow 2004) were believed to be of the sub- species A. f. middendorffii.

Notes.—Formerly included A. serrirostris and called Bean Goose, but separated by Sangster and Oreel (1996). The closely related A. brachyrhynchus is also part of this complex.

Anser serrirostris Swinhoe. Tundra Bean-Goose.

Anser segetum var. serrirostris Swinhoe, 1871, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, p. 417. (Near Amoy, China.)

Habitat.—Arctic tundra, in winter in open country, marshes, and agricultural lands.

Distribution.—Breeds in the tundra zone from Novaya Zemlya and the Taimyr Peninsula east across northern Siberia to the Chukotski Peninsula.

Winters in northern Europe, Russia, Turkestan, China, and Japan.

Accidental in Alaska in the Aleutian Islands (Amchitka), Pribilofs (St. Paul Island), and St. Lawrence Island (Palmer 1976), and in Quebec (Cap-Tourmente; Amer. Birds 37: 158–160, 1983); also reported from Whitehorse, Yukon (Eckert 2000).

Notes.—Formerly included in A. fabalis, but see Sangster and Oreel (1996). Identification of the Quebec record to the subspecies rossicus, included in serrirostris, was based on measurements of a bird shot by a hunter (Amer. Birds 37:159, 1983). See comments under A. fabalis.

p. 97. Buteogallus gundlachii is recognized as a species rather than a subspecies of B. anthracinus because the Cuban population differs from mainland birds in size, plumage coloration and pattern, and voice (Wiley and Garrido 2005). This returns to previous classifications (Hellmayr and Conover 1949, Friedmann 1950).

Revise the account for Buteogallus anthracinus by removing the phrases [anthracinus group] and the text concerning the gundlachii group from the Distribution section, and by replacing the first clause of the second sentence of the Notes with: Formerly included B. gundlachii, now separated because of differences in size, plumage, and voice (Wiley and Garrido 2005).

Insert the following entry after the account of B. anthracinus:

Buteogallus gundlachii (Cabanis). Cuban Black- Hawk.

Hypomorphnus Gundlachii Cabanis, 1855, Journ. Ornith. 2 Suppl.:80. (Cuba.)


Distribution.—As for the gundlachii group in present B. anthracinus account.

Notes.—Formerly included in B. anthracinus, but separated on the basis of differences in size, plumage coloration and pattern, and voice (Wiley and Garrido 2005). This returns to previous classifications (Hellmayr and Conover 1949, Friedmann 1950), for which no convincing evidence for change has been published. Also known as Cuban Crab Hawk.

p. 104. Genetic studies (Helbig et al. 2005) indicate that the genus Spizastur should be merged into Spizaetus, and that the species melanoleucus is closely related to S. ornatus.

Delete the heading for the genus Spizastur; move the citation for that generic name to the synonymy of Spizaetus, below the citation for that name. Move the account for S. melanoleucus to follow that for S. ornatus, with the heading:

Spizaetus melanoleucus (Vieillot). Black-and- white Hawk-Eagle.

Add the following to the account of S. melanoleucus:

Notes.—Formerly placed in the monotypic genus Spizastur, but merged with Spizaetus because DNA sequence data show that melanoleucus is the sister species to Spizaetus ornatus (Helbig et al. 2005).

p. 109. Because of new distributional information, a species is added to the Check-list. After the account for Falco sparverius, insert:

Falco vespertinus Linnaeus. Red-footed Falcon.

Falco vespertinus Linnaeus, 1766, Syst. Nat., ed. 12, 1, p. 129. (Ingria [former district of early Russia, now in Saint Petersburg Oblast] = western Russia.)

Habitat.—Open country with trees.

Distribution.—Breeds mainly from Belarus south to Hungary, northern Serbia, Romania, Moldova, and eastern Bulgaria eastward through the Ukraine and northwestern and southern Russia, northern Kazakhstan and extreme northwestern China and Siberia (upper Lena River), occasionally west to western France and north to Sweden and central Finland.

Winters mainly in southwestern Africa from southern Angola and southwestern Zambia and Zimbabwe south to northern South Africa.

Migrates through the Mediterranean region, the fall route being more easterly than the spring route. Relatively few noted in the northern half of Africa (mostly west of the Rift Valley). Regular (especially spring) to northwestern Europe, including the United Kingdom.

Casual to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Spain, Portugal, and Iceland.

Accidental in Massachusetts (second calendar- year male at Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, 8–24 August 2004, photos; Laux 2004, Sibley 2004).

Notes.—Also known as Western Red-footed Falcon.

p. 190. Larus michahellis (including atlantis) has been separated from L. cachinnans. Birds in our area were identified (Wilds and Czaplak 1994) as belonging to the michahellis group, which retains the English name Yellow-legged Gull. Delete the account for L. cachinnans and replace it with the following:

Larus michahellis Naumann. Yellow-legged Gull.

L[arus] Michahellis Naumann, 1840, Naturgesch. Vögel. Deutschl. 10:382. (Coast of Dalmatia.)

Habitat.—Sea cliffs, rocky islands, coastal wetlands, cultivated areas.

Distribution.—Breeds along Atlantic coasts of France, Portugal, and Morocco, coasts and islands of Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black seas, and some inland lakes in southern Europe.

Winters in the breeding range and north to Great Britain, southern Scandinavia, and the southern coast of the Baltic Sea.

Resident in Azores, Madeira, and Canary Islands.

Accidental in Quebec (Fatima, Madeleine Islands; specimen), Newfoundland (St. John’s; photograph), Maryland (Sandy Point), and District of Columbia (photographs); see Wilds and Czaplak (1994).

Notes.—Larus michahellis was formerly considered a subspecies of L. cachinnans Pallas, 1811 [now Caspian Gull]. Both were previously considered races of L. argentatus. Separation of the forms in the argentatus complex is largely based on differences in haplotype in mitochondrial DNA (Crochet et al. 2002, Pons et al. 2005). Larus michahellis and L. cachinnans differ in plumage, morphology, and nesting behavior (Klein and Buchheim 1997), as well as in mtDNA (Crochet et al. 2002). The specimen from Quebec was reported as a probable hybrid between L. argentatus and L. fuscus (Gosselin et al. 1986) but was re-identified as L. cachinnans atlantis (Wilds and Czaplak 1994) and is now allocated to L. michahellis atlantis.

p. 291. New information on synonymy (Pacheco and Whitney 2006) indicates that a phrase must be added to the citation of the genus Chlorostilbon. To that citation, add: = Trochilus lucidus Shaw.

p. 322. The subgenus Megaceryle is raised to generic status on the basis of evidence from DNA (Moyle 2006) and osteology (Pascotto et al. 2006); the generic names of the two species in our area are changed.

Remove the heading and citation for the genus Ceryle. Change the heading for the subgenus MEGACERYLE to genus MEGACERYLE Kaup. Change the Notes added under the subgeneric name Megaceryle in the 45th Supplement (Banks et al. 2004) to follow the generic citations, as:

Notes.—Megaceryle was formerly (AOU 1983, 1998) treated as a subgenus of Ceryle Boie, but is returned to earlier generic status (AOU 1957) on the basis of evidence from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (Moyle 2006).

Change the headings of the two species as follows:

Megaceryle torquata (Linnaeus). Ringed King- fisher.

Megaceryle alcyon (Linnaeus). Belted Kingfisher.

p. 387. Steinheimer et al. (2006) have shown that some generic names attributed to Darwin should instead be attributed to G. R. Gray.

Change the heading of the Genus Myiobius to: Genus Myiobius G. R. Gray. Change the citation to:

Myiobius G. R. Gray in Gould, 1839, Zool. Voy. Beagle 3(9): 46. New name for Tyrannula Swainson, preoccupied.

p. 688. Delete the account for Oceanodroma hornbyi, now moved to the main list.

p. 689. Delete the account for Mesophoyx intermedia, now moved to the main list.

p. 689. One species is added to the Appendix. Before the account for Platalea leucorodia, insert the following:

Threskiornis aethiopicus (Latham). Sacred Ibis.

Tantalus aethiopicus Latham, 1790, Index Ornith., p. 706. (Aethiopia =?Egypt.)

Feral individuals have been seen in Florida since about 1992, apparently having escaped following Hurricane Andrew. Breeding has been known in the Miami area since shortly after 1992, and that population has grown to about 40 individuals. In 2005, two nests were found in the Everglades in mixed-species heron colonies (Herring et al. 2006) and the species seems to be on the way to establishment.

p. 705. Make the following changes in the list of French names of North American birds:

Insert the following names in the proper position in the main list as indicated by the text of this Supplement:

Anser serrirostris Oie de la toundra

Oceanodroma hornbyi Océanite de Hornby

Mesophoyx intermedia Héron intermédiaire

Buteogallus gundlachii Buse de Gundlach

Falco vespertinus Faucon kobez

Threskiornis aethiopicus Ibis sacré

Change the following scientific names, retaining the French names:

Spizastur melanoleucus to Spizaetus melanoleucus Larus cachinnans to Larus michahellis

Ceryle torquatus to Megaceryle torquata

Ceryle alcyon to Megaceryle alcyon

Move the Cathartidae and its included species to a position preceding Accipitridae.

Remove the following from the list of the Appendix (p. 729):

Oceanodroma hornbyi

Mesophoyx intermedia

The committee considered several other taxonomic changes, but did not make changes because of insufficient or conflicting information. Among these were the separation of Melanitta fusca and M. nigra into two species each; the separation of Pyrrhura eisenmanni from P. picta; moving Accipiter superciliosus to the genus Hieraspiza; and the division of Icterus dominicanus into up to four species. Action on these proposals awaits further studies that include additional data. Various records committees are still evaluating several distributional reports that would add species to the list.


Normand David serves as the Committee’s authority for classical languages relative to scientific names, and Michel Gosselin is the authority for French names. We also thank W. S. Clark, D. D. Gibson, C. S. Griffiths, and K. Winker for assistance, suggestions and comments.

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[1] This Supplement is a publication of the American Ornithologists’ Union. Copies are available for $3.00 from Buteo Books, 3130 Laurel Road, Shipman, Virginia 22971, USA. Buteo Books is the official sales outlet for publications of the AOU. E-mail:

Richard C. Banks, R. Terry Chesser, Carla Cicero, Jon L. Dunn, Andrew W. Kratter, Irby J. Lovette, Pamela C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen, James D. Rising, and Douglas F. Stotz "FORTY-EIGHTH SUPPLEMENT TO THE AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGISTS’ UNION CHECK-LIST OF NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS," The Auk 124(3), 1109-1115, (1 July 2007).[1109:FSTTAO]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 July 2007

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