Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Birds

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Avian malaria[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Talk:Plasmodium biziurae#Requested move 20 August 2016.

Synopsis: It seems that Plasmodium biziurae was subsumed under Plasmodium relictum as a junior synonym in the 1960s, but we need some more sources on this. Anyone have bird disease books handy?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  06:42, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Nope. But I'll see if my JSTOR access allows me to find anything. Thanks for the heads-up! MeegsC (talk) 11:49, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
What say they, good MeegsC?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  05:20, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
Not MeegsC, but I did a search on all content in JSTOR from 1950 to 1970. There is a paper by Carlton M. Herman (Blood Parasites from California Ducks and Geese, The Journal of Parasitology Vol. 37, No. 3 (Jun., 1951), pp. 280-282), which notes the similarity between P. biziurae and P. relictum and states, "it is believed that the plasmodial infections in all four of these ducks was the same and should be classified as P.relictum (=P. biziurae)." William Avery (talk) 09:02, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Hill prinia stub[edit]

I noticed that the Hill prinia bird section is a stub. If someone wishes to expand on this stub I would suggest using this book as a reference -Warblers of Europe, Asia, and North Africa by Kevin Baker. Sections of this book through google books are available, one of which includes the very detailed section written on the Hill prinia. Though the author of this book does not specialize in this field, the detail that the book goes into regarding the different bird entries would suggest otherwise.Acunderground (talk) 00:10, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

FWIW, I have that book, so if anyone wants to see text for any of the warblers within the indicated range, ping me Jimfbleak (talk) 05:31, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Bird song- sound files[edit]

Can I bring your attention to Wikipedia:GLAM/British Library/British wildlife edit-a-thon 2016 where there is a list of the sound files donated by the British library, and where have been added, and in which languages. There is obviously more to do. In general the files are added in the Taxobox in the

image_caption = 

in some languages (Welsh, Swedish, German) who name their parameters differently the caption has to be found by looking for the existing text.

Enjoy--ClemRutter (talk) 09:15, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

All living birds[edit]

Did you make an article for every single living bird species? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:14, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi Anna: Yes, the bot Polbot made an entry for every living bird species in the IUCN database back in 200x, and we've added a few since then as new species are described (or split from existing species). MeegsC (talk) 00:30, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Wow! Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:05, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
There are only 10,000 of 'em. No big deal ;) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 01:14, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
10,000?? That's positively Albatrossean! Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:01, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

A barnstar for everyone here[edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributors' Barnstar
For making Wikipedia's coverage of bird species so complete! This is extraordinary, astonishing, and simply wonderful! Well done all! Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:05, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
On behalf of all of us at the project, thanks for your kind words, Anna! MeegsC (talk) 00:56, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Edit war[edit]

Couiros22 [contributions] has been systematically restoring individual country categories across many articles, despite this being against policy, and removing categories he/she doesn't like, specifically Category:Birds of Europe. He/she just keeps reverting and has broken WP:3RR at least Aleutian tern, probably others by now, and seems unwilling to discuss or stop this disruption. I'm too close to this to take admin action myself, and I'm reluctant to see any editor blocked, but there must become way of getting this editor to engage with other editors and not just attempt to impose his/her own views without consensus Jimfbleak (talk) 05:45, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Also reported at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring Jimfbleak (talk) 06:07, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

@Jimfbleak: regardless of edit-warring, the version before Couiros22 started changing the categories is clearly incomplete, since it only has Category:Birds of Europe, whereas the species occurs in North America and Asia. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:26, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Peter coxhead, quite likely. I recently went through all the British lists checking that they had the Europe category, and removing individual country cats. I didn't check for any other categories. One argument against individual country cats is, in fact, that they are always incomplete since editors add their pet categories rather than all relevant ones Jimfbleak (talk) 13:03, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi, I have recently been updating geographical categories on many bird articles, mainly for the following reasons:

- Bird species are usually classified according to their geographical area by simply indicating the name of the continent(s) on which they are found (e.g. "Birds of Africa", "birds of North America" etc.) ; which can however be rather approximate and misleading and I think it would be wiser to include more refined geographical sub-categories in order to reflect the geographical area of repartition.

e.g. The stilt and the buff-headed sandpipers only occur in Alaska and Canada's far north; which is why I suggested to refine the classification data by replacing "Birds of North America" (very approximate and misleading, given it may suggest that the species occurs throughout the whole continent) by "Birds of Alaska" and "Birds of Canada" which would be much more precise and less misleading.

- Most academic bird list inventories generally indicate a bird's range of presence by only quoting the birds' breeding range (where they spend most of the year), the non-breeding range either mentioned separately or ignored (cf. IOC World Bird List). Likewise, I think only the breeding range should be taken into account on Wikipedia and that birds' wintering ranges could be categorized separately (e.g. "Wintering birds of Australia").

To elicit both examples, the Aleutian tern was up until now categorized as "Birds of North America" and "Birds of Europe" - yet according to every major ornithological reference, the species only occurs in northwestern coastal areas of the continent - and nearly none of them indicate its breeding presence in Europe throughout the year. Hence, wouldn't the terms "Birds of the Aleutian Islands" and "birds of Alaska" be a much more suitable and valid categorization?

At present, Jimfbleak seems unwilling to follow any further pragmatic discussion, deems that geographical subcategories (e.g. 'birds of Tibet', 'birds of Manchuria', 'birds of Alaska' etc.) as "unneeded" and has accused me of edit warring and having an « agenda »...

Therefore I would like to address and politely request other users' opinion regarding this problematic. --Couiros22 (talk) 10:36, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

  • Comment I'm only a very occasional "bird editor", and not a member of this WikiProject, but I think there is a general problem with classifying the geographical distribution of organisms, which needs some cross-WikiProject input. Clearly there's a special issue with birds, and perhaps there should be a separate set of subcategories "Category:Breeding birds of ..." However, the more general issue remains: political categories are simply not appropriate for classifying the distribution of organisms. As one example, we have many organisms put into "Category:Xs of the United States", yet this includes both Hawaii and Alaska, with very different biogeographies. At WP:WikiProject Plants, we attempted to enforce the internationally accepted World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions (WGSRPD), but this has simply ended up yet another set of categories since other editors insist on adding national categories where these differ from the WGSRPD (for what often seem to me to be nationalistic reasons). Perhaps WikiProject Birds can set an example? Peter coxhead (talk) 10:52, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Couiros22, thank you for posting here, and starting a discussion. The point I was making on your talk page is that you can't just make up your own policy and remove or revert the edits of other good faith editors without a discussion. There is a debate to be had about the role and definition of categories, but it should be a debate, not just imposing your personal viewpoint through edit warring.
Peter coxhead, my preference is to have as few geographical categories as possible. For widespread species, such as short-eared owl you could have 100 or more categories. Having separate breeding and wintering (and presumably passage) categories just over-elaborates even more. Do you count spotted sandpiper as a European breeding bird— it's certainly bred in Europe? Black tern is a common passage bird in the UK but neither breeds nor winters. Couiros22, just counting breeding birds is anyway highly misleading. Pink-footed goose is the most numerous wildfowl species in the UK in winter, but doesn't breed here, so on your reckoning it's not a British bird. With good will, these problems can be brought to a consensus, thank you for opening a debate Jimfbleak (talk) 12:59, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Jimfbleak I've spent a lot of time working on categorizing plant distributions, and a bit on spider distributions, so I hope you won't mind me commenting here. It seems to me that there are two principles that are important:
  • The basic unit should be a contiguous geographical area or a biogeographically sensible collection of contiguous geographical areas, ruling out many politically defined units, e.g., the United States, Ecuador (because this includes the very different mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands) or the UK (because this includes Northern Island, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands but excludes the Republic of Ireland).
  • Categories should always be migrated upwards where possible, so any organism found in a large number of subunits of a larger unit should be categorized at the larger unit, e.g. an organism found in a large number of countries in Africa should be categorized as "of Africa", not "of Kenya", "of Tanzania", "of Nigeria", "of Mali", "of Ghana", etc.
Whether there should be separate categories for breeding distributions isn't for me to say, although I note that field guides usually take care to distinguish the breeding range from the overall range. Clearly it would be wrong to categorize bird distributions only by their breeding ranges. I'll leave the rest of the discussion to birders! Peter coxhead (talk) 14:04, 10 October 2016 (UTC)


Couiros22, to get some focus here, would you like to make formal proposals that we can discuss. It seems to me that there are two issues.

Do we allow individual country cats as well (or instead?) of continents
For any geographical cats, do we only count breeding species? If so, do we have separate categories for any or all of regular wintering species, regular passage species or vagrant species.

I'm only trying to clarify the issues, I'll leave it to you to formulate proposals that we can consider. I'm trying to avoid a free-for-all, in which, for example, I could just decide to tag great blue heron as Category:vagrant bird species of Britain or even Category:vagrant bird species of the Scilly Isles Jimfbleak (talk) 13:18, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

- As Peter Coxhead wrote, if a bird is more or less present throughout the whole continent, then there is no need to split into individual subcategories (only the name of the continent is enough) ; if not, then we could refine its range into continental subregions (e.g. "Birds of West Africa", "Birds of Southern Africa" etc.) or if needed create even smaller areas corresponding to natural regions (e.g. Birds of Indonesia, Birds of Arabia, Birds of Madagascar etc.). If the bird is present in a refined area that doesn't correspond to a natural region then we could create subcategories according to countries. Those with multiple geo regions could be split into separate subcategories (e.g. birds of Alaska a subcat. of birds of the USA).

- I think it would be better to categorize only according to breeding areas. For example, the arctic warbler breeds in polar regions and winters in south-east Asia ; yet to include the Arctic warbler as "birds of South-east Asia" would be somewhat misleading. --Couiros22 (talk) 15:44, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Couiros22, where does the geographical spliting stop? Before now we have had categories for individual Californian counties. I don't agree that only breeding categories are appropriate, which is why we need some concrete proposals to debate, I'm happy to abide by any consensus, but we actually need to start a process to reach a consensus. Jimfbleak (talk) 17:37, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

- I reckon splitting should stop at country level ; different bird websites tend to corroborate yet they sometimes differ slightly from each other at local level, so to attempt to refine beyond country level wouldn't be such a good idea.

- I think only breeding ranges should be taken into account ; to include their non-breeding range would misleadingly suggest the species is present there all year round... (moreover birds tend to differ in appearance due to their winter plumage). I don't think the slightest presence of a bird in any given region should make it eligible for categorization, i.e. if a bird species is present at my local aviary/zoo and nowhere else throughout the country, then does that make it eligible to be considered as 'Birds of my country' ?
Unless there are any valid counter-arguments, then I don't see how this poses a problem. --Couiros22 (talk) 18:39, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Comment: Is it time to consider svg distribution maps? Could these be Wikidata generated? How will the distribution be represented as a Wikidata 'statement'? (I am very much an accidental on these pages- apologies if it has been discussed before) ClemRutter (talk) 21:38, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Comment: I realize this isn't a guidebook, but any guidebook (or any reference book for that matter), Handbook of Birds of the World, prominent web sites like the IUCN, Birdlife International, Cornell's web sites, etc. all show wintering grounds, migration locations, and breeding grounds. Avibase shows any appearance in any given defined region, even vagrancy. Regarding categories, I'm with Jim. For common cosmopolitan species, the category lists would be unwieldy and difficult to read, (not to mention to maintain) if every possible combination was listed. Regarding sub-continents, think about readability to those somewhat unfamiliar with geography. Continents, countries, states are easily defined. What countries make up Southern Africa, Southeast Asia. Whose definition do we use? How will anyone remember what goes in what subcontinent. Countries and continents are difficult enough...We have plenty of categories already. Less is best in this case.....Pvmoutside (talk) 01:29, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
"Only breeding ranges should be taken into account"?! That's ridiculous! Many migrant birds spend more time in their non-breeding areas than they do in their breeding areas! To restrict "Birds of" to breeding areas only should be a non-starter on all sorts of biological grounds. And nobody anywhere has suggested that the presence of a bird in a zoo or aviary qualifies it as present in a country, so that's a bit of a straw man, really. MeegsC (talk) 03:59, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

I don't think there would be a huge updating work to do given that birds tend to stick to their ranges of repartition well enough over the years...

I also think the inclusion of sub-continental categories would be beneficial as many birds' ranges tend to correspond more or less to those areas:
Take the range of the red-faced mousebird for example :

Which would be the most convenient way to categorize?
- "Birds of Africa",
- to list every single country where it occurs
- "Birds of Southern Africa"

;-) perhaps we could start from here :

Regarding non-breeding ranges, these should at best be addressed separately to avoid any confusion.

I'm going to start updating more bird article cats whilst taking only taking their breeding range into account (many birds don't have wintering ranges, which are often non-included in current articles anyway...). We can add the non-breeding ranges later, in categories named "Wintering birds of..." "Birds vagrant of...". --Couiros22 (talk) 07:46, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

@Couiros22:, perhaps you're new here and don't know the ins and outs of Wiki etiquette yet, but it's generally considered very bad form to continue doing something against significant objection while the conversation is still ongoing. What you're doing is against general Wiki policy. While policies can certainly be changed — things on Wikipedia are constantly evolving — these changes are generally discussed first. MeegsC (talk) 01:00, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

I believe the creation of geographical sub-categories would be useful given many birds have a narrower range of presence.

Many national categories I have added (eg. "Birds of Angola"...) are being deleted by the bot - yet I don't understand why... given that other smaller geographical bird categories already exist (e.g. birds of the East of Mexico etc). Could someone please explain this? --Couiros22 (talk) 16:23, 13 October 2016 (UTC)