Taxonomic changes for 2018

You will want to familiarize yourself with the taxonomic changes for this year. Some, but not all, of the possible changes may be flagged as exceptions during the AviSys update. For some changes you will need to figure out what the corresponding new name is, and manually update your AviSys data accordingly before the update will run to completion. Exceptions are reported in a file named UPDEXCEP.TXT, and suggestions for how to deal with exceptions are provided in that file. Read these suggestions carefully. Exceptions will only be reported for species that you have seen; all changes for species that you have not seen are done entirely automatically.

Below I provide a summary of species-level changes affecting common names that you might encounter in the 2018 update. You're likely to need to research some of these changes further. There is a very readable account of the changes provided by eBird. More technical, and complete, information about the changes can be found at the Clements checklist site. These Cornell web pages also describe many other changes (e.g., in scientific names) that may be of interest to you but that don't have a direct bearing on the AviSys update. If you are starting from an older AviSys update (you don't have the 2017 update), you may need to research older Clements pages.

AviSys provides a message that says information is provided in PDF files. It's referring to the information that is now on this web page.

Simple name changes

These are listed separately under simple name changes.


In this table, "old name" is a name that was in the 2017 taxonomy but has disappeared from the 2018 taxonomy due to a lump, and "new name" is the species that it was lumped with. If the old form is retained as a subspecies, the subspecies name is shown. For help with this, see How to do a lump.

Old nameNew name
Colombian Screech-Owl
Megascops colombianus
Rufescent Screech-Owl (Colombian)
Megascops ingens colombianus
White-chested Tinkerbird
Pogoniulus makawai
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird
Pogoniulus bilineatus
Baron's Spinetail
Cranioleuca baroni
Line-cheeked Spinetail (Baron's)
Cranioleuca antisiensis [baroni Group]
Liberian Greenbul
Phyllastrephus leucolepis
Icterine Greenbul
Phyllastrephus icterinus
Timor Bush Warbler
Locustella timorensis
Javan Bush Warbler (Timor)
Locustella montis timorensis
Canary Islands Kinglet
Regulus teneriffae
Goldcrest (Tenerife)
Regulus regulus teneriffae
Passerini's Tanager
Ramphocelus passerinii
Scarlet-rumped Tanager (Passerini's)
Ramphocelus passerinii passerinii
Cherrie's Tanager
Ramphocelus costaricensis
Scarlet-rumped Tanager (Cherrie's)
Ramphocelus passerinii costaricensis


For help, see How to do a split.

There are two tables of splits. The first table lists splits where one of the split species retains the original common name. Thus, because the name still exists, AviSys will not flag your sightings of that species as an exception; however you will want to review your records to see if you need to transfer some sightings to one of the new species.

Old nameNew nameRange
Comb Duck
Sarkidiornis melanotos
Knob-billed Duck
Sarkidiornis melanotos
Tropical Africa and Madagascar; India to s China
Comb Duck
Sarkidiornis melanotos
Comb Duck
Sarkidiornis sylvicola
Tropical South America (east of the Andes) to n Argentina

Mallard (Mexican)
Anas platyrhynchos diazi
Mexican Duck
Anas diazi
southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western Texas (Trans-Pecos region) south to central Mexico
Mallard (Northern)Mallard
Anas platyrhynchos

White-winged Scoter
Melanitta fusca
Velvet Scoter
Melanitta fusca
N Eurasia; winters Norway to Spain and Caspian Sea
White-winged Scoter
Melanitta fusca
White-winged Scoter
Melanitta deglandi deglandi
Northern North America; winters to coastal s US
White-winged Scoter
Melanitta fusca
White-winged Scoter
Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri
Breeds ne Asia; winters coastal e Asia to Japan and China

Ruddy Duck
Oxyura jamaicensis
Ruddy Duck
Oxyura jamaicensis
Interior nw N America (sw Canada to Mexico); West Indies
Ruddy Duck
Oxyura jamaicensis
Andean Duck
Oxyura ferruginea andina
Central and Eastern Andes of Colombia
Ruddy Duck
Oxyura jamaicensis
Andean Duck
Oxyura ferruginea ferruginea
Locally from Andes of s Colombia to s Argentina and s Chile

White-tailed Hillstar (Rufous-gaped)
Urochroa leucura bougueri
Rufous-gaped Hillstar
Urochroa bougueri
Andes of sw Colombia and nw Ecuador
White-tailed Hillstar (White-tailed)
Urochroa leucura leucura
White-tailed Hillstar
Urochroa leucura
east slope of Andes from southern Colombia (Nariño) to eastern Ecuador (south at least to Morona-Santiago) and northern Peru (Amazonas, San Martín)

Gray-breasted Sabrewing (Dry Forest)
Campylopterus largipennis calcirupicola
Dry-forest Sabrewing
Campylopterus calcirupicola
eastern Brazil (southeastern Goiás, southwestern Bahia, and northern Minas Gerais)
Gray-breasted Sabrewing
other subspecies
Gray-breasted SabrewingE Venezuela, E Colombia to N Bolivia and east to eastern Amazonian Brazil, SE Brazil (Serra Espinhaço in Minas Gerais)

Blond-crested Woodpecker (Ochre-backed)
Celeus flavescens ochraceus
Ochre-backed Woodpecker
Celeus ochraceus
lower Amazonian Brazil (south of the Amazon in Pará); northeastern Brazil, from Maranhão south to northern Goías and east to Ceará, Pernambuco, and western Bahia
Blond-crested Woodpecker
Celeus flavescens
other subspecies
Blond-crested Woodpecker
Celeus flavescens
E Brazil (w Bahia to Goiás and Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro) to e Paraguay and ne Argentina

Russet Antshrike
Thamnistes anabatinus rufescens
Rufescent Antshrike
Thamnistes rufescens
E Peru south of the Río Marañón (Amazonas) to w Bolivia
Russet Antshrike
Thamnistes anabatinus
other subspecies
Russet Antshrike
Thamnistes anabatinus
Atlantic slope of se Mexico to Venezuela, Ecuador and extreme n Peru

Thrush-like Antpitta (Tapajos)
Myrmothera campanisona subcanescens
Tapajos Antpitta
Myrmothera subcanescens
Amazonian Brazil, south of Amazon, from the right (east) bank of the Rio Madeira to the upper Rio Xingu
Thrush-like Antpitta
Myrmothera campanisona
Thrush-like Antpitta
Myrmothera campanisona
subspecies modesta, dissors, campanisona, signata, and minor
Colombia, Venezuela, to the Guianas and adjacent n Brazil, nw Amazonian Brazil, Ecuador, Peru to extreme nw Bolivia and w Amazonian Brazil

Rusty-breasted Antpitta
Grallaricula ferrugineipectus
Rusty-breasted Antpitta
Grallaricula ferrugineipectus
subspecies rara and ferrugineipectus
eastern Andes of Colombia, and the Sierra de Perijá (Colombia/ Venezuela border), Santa Marta Mts. (ne Colombia) and mountains of n Venezuela
Rusty-breasted Antpitta (Leimebamba)
Grallaricula ferrugineipectus leymebambae
Leymebamba Antpitta
Grallaricula leymebambae
local on west slope of the Andes of western Ecuador and northwestern Peru (Piura). East slope of the Andes from northern Peru (Amazonas south of the Marañón River) to northern Bolivia (La Paz)

Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner (exsertus)
Automolus ochrolaemus exsertus
Chiriqui Foliage-gleaner
Automolus exsertus
Pacific slope of sw Costa Rica to w Panama (Chiriquí)
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner
Automolus ochrolaemus
other subspecies
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner
Automolus ochrolaemus
Mexico to w Brazil

Variegated Fairywren
Malurus lamberti
subspecies rogersi, dulcis, assimilis, and bernieri
Purple-backed Fairywren
Malurus assimilis
northern, western, and interior Australia
Variegated Fairywren
Malurus lamberti lamberti
Variegated Fairywren
Malurus lamberti
coastal southeastern Australia (eastern New South Wales, and southeastern Queensland north to Gladstone)

Red-eyed Vireo
Vireo olivaceus
Red-eyed Vireo
Vireo olivaceus
Canada, w-central and e US; winters to Cuba and c S America
Red-eyed Vireo
Vireo olivaceus
subspecies caucae, griseobarbatus, pectoralis, solimoensis, vividior, tobagensis, agilis, diversus, and chivi
Chivi Vireo
Vireo chivi
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Guianas, Brazil, Trinidad, Tobago, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina

Eurasian Magpie (North African)
Pica pica mauritanica
Maghreb Magpie
Pica mauritanica
NE Mauritania to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia
Eurasian Magpie (Arabian)
Pica pica asirensis
Asir Magpie
Pica asirensis
Asir Mountains (sw Arabia)
Eurasian Magpie (Black-rumped)
Pica pica bottanensis
Black-rumped Magpie
Pica bottanensis
E Himalayas to se Tibet and w China (Qinghai and Xinjiang)
Eurasian Magpie
Pica pica serica
Oriental Magpie
Pica serica
southeastern Russia, northeastern China, and Korea south through eastern China, Taiwan, and Hainan to northern Myanmar, northern Laos, and northern Vietnam
Eurasian Magpie
Pica pica
subspecies melanotos, pica, fennorum, bactriana, leucoptera, and camtschatica
Eurasian Magpie
Pica pica
Europe, w Russia, western and southern Siberia (east to Lake Baikal) and central Asia, south to the Caucasus region east to Pakistan and northwestern India, s Transbaikalia to e Mongolia and Altai Mountains, N shores of Sea of Okhotsk to Kamchatka Peninsula

Russet Bush Warbler
Locustella mandelli idonea
Dalat Bush Warbler
Locustella idonea
highlands of central and southern Vietnam (Kon Tum and Da Lat plateaus)
Russet Bush Warbler
Locustella mandelli
subspecies mandelli and melanorhyncha
Russet Bush Warbler
Locustella mandelli
ne India, Bhutan, n and w Myanmar, China, n Thailand, n Laos, and n Vietnam

Island Thrush (Taiwan)
Turdus poliocephalus niveiceps
Taiwan Thrush
Turdus niveiceps
Mountains of Taiwan and Lan-yü I.
Island Thrush
Turdus poliocephalus
Island Thrush
Turdus poliocephalus

Yellowish Pipit (Peruvian)
Anthus lutescens peruvianus
Peruvian Pipit
Anthus peruvianus
Coastal n Peru (Lambayeque) to extreme n Chile (Tacna)
Yellowish Pipit
Anthus lutescens
subspecies parvus and lutescens
Yellowish Pipit
Anthus lutescens
Savanna of w Panama, e Colombia to Venezuela, Guianas, Brazil, Argentina

Blue-black Grosbeak
Cyanoloxia cyanoides
subspecies concreta, caerulescens, and cyanoides
Blue-black Grosbeak
Cyanoloxia cyanoides
Lowlands of se Mexico (Veracruz) to central Panama south, west of the Andes, to extreme northwestern Peru (Tumbes, Piura), and east across northern Colombia (south to Norte de Santander) and northwestern and northern Venezuela (to Miranda)
Blue-black Grosbeak (Amazonian)
Cyanoloxia cyanoides rothschildii
Amazonian Grosbeak
Cyanoloxia rothschildii
eastern Colombia (north at least to western Meta) to southern and northeastern Venezuela (north to Sucre) east to the Guianas, south through Amazonia to Bolivia

Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch (Black-and-chestnut)
Poospiza nigrorufa whitii/wagneri
Black-and-chestnut Warbling-Finch
Poospiza whitii
Andes of Bolivia (north to La Paz) and northwestern Argentina (south to San Luis and western Córdoba)
Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch (Black-and-rufous)
Poospiza nigrorufa nigrorufa
Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch
Poospiza nigrorufa
northeastern Argentina (eastern Formosa south to Buenos Aires), southeastern Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil (Paraná to Rio Grande do Sul)

The second table lists splits where the common name of the species that was split no longer exists, and thus any sightings of it will be reported by AviSys as an exception.

Old nameNew nameRange
Southern Crowned-Pigeon (Sclater's)
Goura scheepmakeri sclaterii
Sclater's Crowned-Pigeon
Goura sclaterii
S New Guinea (Mimika River to Fly River)
Southern Crowned-Pigeon (Scheepmaker's)
Goura scheepmakeri scheepmakeri
Scheepmaker's Crowned-Pigeon
Goura scheepmakeri
Coastal se New Guinea (Hall Sound to Orangerie Bay)

Wedge-billed Hummingbird (Western)
Schistes geoffroyi albogularis
White-throated Wedgebill
Schistes albogularis
both slopes of Western Andes and west slope of Central Andes of Colombia and west slope of Andes of western Ecuador
Wedge-billed Hummingbird (Eastern)
Schistes geoffroyi geoffroyi
Geoffroy's Wedgebill
Schistes geoffroyi geoffroyi
Andes of e Colombia to n Venezuela and e Peru
Wedge-billed Hummingbird (Eastern)
Schistes geoffroyi chapmani
Geoffroy's Wedgebill
Schistes geoffroyi chapmani
Andes of central Bolivia (Cochabamba)

Vermiculated Screech-Owl (Guatemalan) and (Vermiculated)
Megascops guatelamalae
Middle American Screech-Owl
Megascops guatemalae
including subspecies hastatus, cassini, fuscus, thompsoni, guatemalae, dacrysistactus, and vermiculatus
Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica (and western Panama?)
Vermiculated Screech-Owl (Choco)
Megascops guatelamalae centralis
Choco Screech-Owl
Megascops centralis
central Panama to northern Colombia and western Ecuador
Vermiculated Screech-Owl (Roraima) and (Foothill)
Megascops guatelamalae
Foothill Screech-Owl
Megascops roraimae
subspecies roraimae, pallidus, napensis, helleri, and bolivianus
Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, eastern Colombia and eastern Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia

Paltry Tyrannulet (Paltry)
Zimmerius vilissimus vilissimus
Guatemalan Tyrannulet
Zimmerius vilissimus
highlands of southern Mexico (Chiapas), Guatemala, and western El Salvador
Paltry Tyrannulet (Mistletoe)
Zimmerius vilissimus parvus
Mistletoe Tyrannulet
Zimmerius parvus
lowlands from eastern Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras south to Panama and extreme northwestern Colombia (Chocó)
Paltry Tyrannulet (Mountain)
Zimmerius vilissimus improbus/tamae
Spectacled Tyrannulet
Zimmerius improbus
Santa Marta Mountains (northern Colombia) and the Sierra de Perijá (on the Colombia/Venezuela border); Andes of northern Colombia (Norte de Santander) and of Venezuela
Paltry Tyrannulet (Venezuelan)
Zimmerius vilissimus petersi
Venezuelan Tyrannulet
Zimmerius petersi
Coastal cordillera of n Venezuela (s Lara east to Miranda)

Striped Manakin (Eastern)
Machaeropterus regulus regulus
Kinglet Manakin
Machaeropterus regulus
Coastal se Brazil (Bahia to Rio de Janeiro)
Striped Manakin
Machaeropterus regulus
subspecies antioquiae, striolatus, obscurostriatus, zulianus, and aureopectus
Striolated Manakin
Machaeropterus striolatus
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, w Amaz. Brazil, Venezuela

Mountain Sooty Boubou (Ruwenzori)
Laniarius poensis holomelas
Albertine Boubou
Laniarius holomelas
E Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi
Mountain Sooty Boubou
Laniarius poensis
Western Boubou
Laniarius poensis
Cameroon and Nigeria, Bioko I. (Gulf of Guinea)

Rusty-bellied Fantail (Sulawesi)
Rhipidura teysmanni
subspecies toradja and teysmanni
Sulawesi Fantail
Rhipidura teysmanni
Rusty-bellied Fantail (Taliabu)
Rhipidura teysmanni sulaensis
Taliabu Fantail
Rhipidura sulaensis
Taliabu I. (Sula Islands)

Firecrest (Madeira)
Regulus ignicapilla madeirensis
Madeira Firecrest
Regulus madeirensis
Madeira (e Atlantic Ocean)
Regulus ignicapilla
subspecies ignicapilla and balearicus
Common Firecrest
Regulus ignicapilla
England and w Europe to Mediterranean and Asia Minor, Balearic Islands and North Africa (Morocco to n Tunisia)

Henna-tailed Jungle-Flycatcher
Cyornis colonus pelingensis
Banggai Jungle-Flycatcher
Cyornis pelingensis
Peleng I. (Banggai Islands off Sulawesi)
Henna-tailed Jungle-Flycatcher
Cyornis colonus colonus
Sula Jungle-Flycatcher
Cyornis colonus
Sula Islands (Taliabu, Seho, Mangole and Sanana)

Slaty Thrush (Eastern)
Turdus nigriceps subalaris
Eastern Slaty Thrush
Turdus subalaris
breeds southernmost Brazil (north to Paraná), northeastern Argentina, and southeastern Paraguay; winters north to south central Brazil (north to Mato Grosso and Goiás)
Slaty Thrush (Andean)
Turdus nigriceps nigriceps
Andean Slaty Thrush
Turdus nigriceps
breeds in the Andes of southern Bolivia (north to Santa Cruz) and northwestern Argentina (south to Córdoba), also locally in southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru; nonbreeding migrant to the east slope of the Andes from southeastern Ecuador to Bolivia

Nightingale Finch (Nightingale I.)
Nesospiza acunhae questi
Nightingale Island Finch
Nesospiza questi
Nightingale Island (south Atlantic Ocean)
Nightingale Finch
Nesospiza acunhae
Inaccessible Island Finch
Nesospiza acunhae
Inaccessible Island

White-collared Seedeater (White-collared)
Sporophila torqueola sharpei/morelleti
Morelet's Seedeater
Sporophila morelleti
White-collared Seedeater (Cinnamon-rumped)
Sporophila torqueola torqueola/atriceps
Cinnamon-rumped Seedeater
Sporophila torqueola

New species

Santa Marta Screech-Owl
Megascops gilesi
Santa Marta Mountains (ne Colombia)
Cordillera Azul Antbird
Myrmoderus eowilsoni
northern Peru: local on ridge crests of Cordillera Azul (eastern San Martín)
Painted Manakin
Machaeropterus eckelberryi
northern Peru: very local on ridgecrests of Andean foothills in eastern San Martín and southwestern Loreto
Rote Myzomela
Myzomela irianawidodoae
Rote, Lesser Sundas

Subspecies transfers

Cases where a subspecies is moved to a different species.

Black-backed Swamphen Porphyrio indicus
One subspecies of Black-backed Swamphen, Porphyrio indicus viridis, is transferred to Gray-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus.
Black-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher Ceyx erithaca
Subspecies motleyi, captus, and jungei of Black-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher are transferred to Rufous-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher. The respective scientific names change from Ceyx erithaca motleyi to Ceyx rufidorsa motleyi; from Ceyx erithaca captus to Ceyx rufidorsa captus; and from Ceyx erithaca jungei to Ceyx rufidorsa jungei.
Golden-faced Tyrannulet Zimmerius chrysops
The monotypic group Golden-faced Tyrannulet (Loja) Zimmerius chrysops flavidifrons is transferred to Peruvian Tyrannulet (Loja) Zimmerius viridiflavus flavidifrons.
Rufous-backed Honeyeater Ptiloprora guisei acrophila
Subspecies of Rufous-backed Honeyeater Ptiloprora guisei acrophila is transferred to Mayr's Honeyeater Ptiloprora mayri acrophila
New Caledonian Whistler Pachycephala caledonica
Transfer subspecies littayei from New Caledonian Whistler to Vanuatu Whistler Pachycephala chlorura.
Vanuatu Whistler Pachycephala chlorura
Transfer subspecies vanikorensis from Vanuatu Whistler to Temotu Whistler Pachycephala vanikorensis
Southern Gray Shrike Lanius meridionalis
All subspecies previously assigned to Southern Gray Shrike Lanius meridionalis, except for Lanius meridionalis meridionalis, are transferred to Great Gray Shrike Lanius excubitor. The English name of Lanius meridionalis changes from Southern Gray Shrike to Iberian Gray Shrike.
Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus
Subspecies viridinitens is transferred from Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus to Sumatran Drongo Dicrurus sumatranus.
Kloss's Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus ogilviegranti
Subspecies intensior of Kloss's Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus ogilviegranti is transferred to Davison's Leaf Warbler whose scientific name becomes Phylloscopus intensior so this subspecies is Phylloscopus intensior intensior.
Godlewski's Bunting Emberiza godlewskii
Subspecies stracheyi of Godlewski's Bunting Emberiza godlewskii is transferred to Rock Bunting Emberiza cia stracheyi. Subspecies flemingorum of Godlewski's Bunting Emberiza godlewskii is transferred to Rock Bunting Emberiza cia flemingorum.
Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis
The monotypic group Masked Yellowthroat (Chiriqui) Geothlypis aequinoctialis chiriquensis is transferred to Olive-crowned Yellowthroat as Olive-crowned Yellowthroat (Chiriqui) Geothlypis semiflava chiriquensis.
Wilkin's Finch Nesospiza wilkinsi
The monotypic group Wilkins's Finch (Inaccessible I.) Nesospiza wilkinsi dunnei is transferred to Inaccessible Island Finch (Dunn's) Nesospiza acunhae dunnei.

Special caution

In this update, Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus is renamed Black-winged Kite, and then Australian Kite Elanus axillaris is renamed Black-shouldered Kite, so just beware that the old Black-shouldered Kite and the new Black-shouldered Kite are two different species.