Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Birds/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3



Ciconiiformes taxo categorization

I'm coming back to my Taxo-categorization. After doing category:Caprimulgiformes, I hit something of a snag in Ardeidae, and am currently in the process of merging Heron into it.

Ardea redirected to Heron, which had almost all the info belonging in Ardeidae, only excluding egrets and bitterns. "Heron" as a name technically makes little taxonomical sense to be made distinct from ardeidae or even limited to a single genus, so heron now redirects to heron (disambiguation).

Are there opponents to this? Circeus 21:32, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

Since Bitterns only duplicated info from Ardeidae, it also has been merged and redirected. Egret, however, I can do with. Circeus 22:06, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

Damn! Looks like all family links for species in Ardeidae were directed into Heron or bittern. Adjusting that as I go. Circeus 22:15, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

Phew! Ardeidae is done. feel free to expand Ixobrychus and Botaurus.Circeus 22:51, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

There is a similar problem with Crow and List of Corvus species. I linked the latter via categories as the reference page for Corvus; it is not a proper page, but it is satisfying from a taxonomical standpoint and links to the Crow page. The latter uses a weird way to list the species and besides, the title is not exactly accurate (even considering that crows and ravens are rather arbitraryly distinguished). Dysmorodrepanis 03:47, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Wading birds oddly empty

returning to do some taxo-categorization, I noticed that Category:Wading Birds could use some population, but I seriously lack the competence to do that. Can someone have a look at it? Circeus 03:24, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be Category:Wading birds? This is unhelpful as a category anyway. Although wader in British English is a clearly defined taxonomic group ( = Shorebird in NAm), what is a wading bird? Does it include eg waders, stork, herons, flamingos Hammerkop, Boatbill, etc? I think that the tighter well-defined taxonomic terms are better. jimfbleak 07:33, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
I hadn't even noticed that incorrect naming. I'll submit that through CFD later then. Circeus 07:41, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
In North America, at least, "wading birds" refers to the Ardeidae, Threskiornithidae, Ciconiidae, and Phoenicopteridae only - perhaps the Gruiiformes might be included, but not any of the Charadriiformes. (Population of Category:Wading birds will begin shortly.) - Aerobird 03:50, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Given as how the term has either includes or excludes shorebirds depending on where you are should we even use it as a category?Sabine's Sunbird 07:56, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I would say 'yes'; herons et al are undisputably "wading birds". Perhaps Category:Shorebirds should be subcat to Category:Wading birds (as well as Category:Birds)? - Aerobird 15:49, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Birds taxo-categorization complete!

there are now no bird, bird genus, families etc. articles in category:birds and all non-species articles have benn moved fromits children to category:Birds by classification. It will be necessary to occasionally check through to spot badly or un-categorized articles, but most of the work has been done. Many subgroups still have to be created, but lack at themoment, articles for it to be required.

Maybe at some point I'll work up the energy to get started on category:plants, but right now, I want to do something new, so that'll have to wait. Circeus 06:44, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

category:Birds by classification is now starting to become the root of a real taxonomic tree (i.e. it has all the orders, and there probably shouldn't be any other taxonomic categories lest it becomes congested). Monotypic genera (i.e. the species page doubles as the genus page) should be listed under the appropriate (sub)family etc, not under the genus as a category. The advantage of having a taxonomy tree as categories is that taxa with contested position like New World Vultures can be placed in as many parent categories as needed: Category:New_World_vultures. This way, no matter what taxonomy is used in articles and no matter what taxonomy a user favors, using the category tree (or possibly rather Category shrubbery) will allow to browse through to the article. In cases where taxonomic positions are contested, there should be a short discussion on the category page (or ideally both the category page and its parent categories) mentioning under which setup the taxon is placed in which higher category. No discussion of the pros and cons; that would go to the article of course.
I also moved some bird pages/categories not dealing with taxa (e.g. like Extinct birds) from category:ornithology to its child category:birds. Probably there is still some stuff left there; ultimately, the Ornithology category should only deal, artricle-wise, with ornithology as a science and offer child categories for all other stuff.Dysmorodrepanis 03:17, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

odd category name

The name of Category:Controversial birds seems to be "odd" at best. Any ideas for better names? I'm too tired to come up with any alternatives at this point, but thought I'd point it out... Tomertalk 10:35, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Please can you explain what you don't like about the current name? SP-KP 17:47, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the name is OK. The category is somewhat hodge-podge, true, but it is a wonderful repository for what is mentioned in the description (in fact, somebody was asking for exactly such a thing last week or so, only I can't seem to find the post now). I have added a number of taxa in the last few days, and think that ultimately the category would be split into sub-categories, like taxonomical uncertainties, population status uncertainties etc.Dysmorodrepanis 02:57, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
To come bumbling back in 2 months later bli comment intertwixt, sorry 'bout that (I got a job, yay!, so my wikitime has been severely reduced...), what I dislike about the name is that it makes it sound like the birds themselves are controversial, rather than that there is controversy about them within the scientific community. A name like "controversial birds" brings to mind things like "should the bald eagle be taken off the endangered species list?" or "should turkeys be associated with thanksgiving?" or "what kind of rabbit lays easter eggs?". A word other than "controversial" seems to be in order. It may make sense within the hardcore ornithological world ("is the ivory-billed woodpecker really pecking away in Arkansas?", etc.), but the word "controversial" seems odd when applied to birds for "the rest of us". TIA. Tomertalk 04:45, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Category merging

Hello guys. Please take a look at Wikipedia:Categories_for_deletion#Category:Alcidae_to_Category:Auks. Conscious 12:39, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Merging categories

Two categories related to this project are up for deletion/merge. Please voice your opinions on the matter here. Joelito (talk) 18:41, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

"Endemic" birds categories

Apparently there was a misunderstanding about recategorization—"Avifauna of" categories got renamed to "Endemic birds of", so that, for example, the Eurasian Collared-Dove is now in Category:Endemic birds of Southeastern United States! I asked User:Cyde to stop his bot from making the conversions (though I may not have been in time) and brought it up at WP:CFD, so you don't have to do that, dear reader. But maybe somebody from this project needs to keep an eye on this recategorization. And I'm not all that interested in categories :-) —JerryFriedman 05:17, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Page layout & formatting

taxobox templates

The taxobox examples don't use the templates defined for Tree of life taxoboxes. Is this simply because the examples predate the templates? If so, shouldn't the examples be changed to use the templates? In addition, it seems like there could be one or two custom taxobox_begin templates for Aves, that would fill in all the common fields and potentially even add categories. For example, there could be a taxobox_aves_family template that does all of what is in the family taxobox up to and including the "Family:" line in the table, with a usage like {{taxobox_aves_family|Hummingbirds|Apodiformes|Trochilidae}}. Any article using this template could be categorized (in the template) into a category for the given order. With 4 templates (for family and genus, with and without picture) the amount of "table" code in the articles for generating the taxoboxes would be significantly reduced. If there's any interest in this, I could create the templates. -- Rick Block 16:23, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes, no one has gotten around to updating the Bird examples. So feel free to go ahead and update at your leiure. I strongly advise against making specialized taxobox template, though. You might want to search the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of Life discussions and archives for the reasonings against the specialization. I believe it was discussed in regards to cetaceans, so that might be a good point to search for. - UtherSRG 17:29, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

New taxobox implementation

Just wanted to say I have started to apply the new taxobox syntax through bird articles, at least those who have pictures (Yes, I am that biased...). I'm also sorting them down into families (sometimes even subfamilies) I've done gruiformes and started anseriformes (actually, Anatidae for the time being). I will likely go back soon and also apply it to unimaged taxoboxes. Circeus 01:26, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

Okay, I might have done 2 very stupid things in implementing the new taxoboxes
  1. I systematically removed the genus link because it wasn't in the base taxobox. While I won't add them back into all the gruiformes articles, I will no longer remove them , and rather add them when they are lacking.
  2. I also reduced the width of the picture in the taxobox to 200px for higher level to bring them in line with the Species. I will also stop doing this (although I'd still prefer them to be the same width, I won't infringe on a previous consensus).
Circeus 14:42, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

The genus should be linked (and not bolded) if the article does not describe the genus. The genus should be bold (and not linked) if the article is about the genus. This is true for all taxa. If the article is about the whole genus and is a single species, then both the genus and the species should be bolded and unlinked, etc. Please make any corrections. I'll help. *grins* - UtherSRG 14:52, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

You've made a few other mistakes...

  1. If there is no image, comment out the whole line so that there isn't a gap in the taxobox.
  2. The species entry in the taxobox should be G. species, not species or Species.

- UtherSRG 15:14, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

Anserinae are done bearing the new coments in mind. Circeus 16:19, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)
dendrocygninae and tadorninae: check. Oh, and I'll stop putting the same things as captions and alt text for species boxes... Circeus 19:58, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)
If the image is more specific (such as male vs female plumage or winter plumage) then the caption should call attention to this detail. Otherwise, yeah, leave it out and let the taxobox title serve as the image caption. - UtherSRG 11:43, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
  • Sigh* I am not going back to put back in these dozens of captions. Sorry. I'll happily resume putting captions in new ones, though. Currently wrapping up Anatinae with Aythya. I've just noticed quite a few genus names used to redirect (since I've now created the articles) to higher groups. Sounds extremely dodgy to me. Circeus 22:29, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
category:Anatinae: done! Circeus 02:03, Apr 30, 2005 (UTC)
Anseriformes: done!

I noticed that as of recently, the first taxon in species lists in genus taxoboxes (or ssp lists in species t'boxes) is marked with an asterisk instead of the usual unnumbered-list-square-bullet thing. E.g. here: Perisoreus. What gives? This is neither nice nor good - one could place the type species or nominate ssp in the first position to make it distinguishable, but it really looks like a bug to me. The code looks OK, and IIRC this phenomenon has only appeared since 3 weeks or so. Dysmorodrepanis 12:57, 15 June 2006 (UTC) I tried removing the list syntax in Confuciusornis and found that this solves the problem, but there is a conspicuous gap between the first and the second entry in the species list. Something seems to be rotten with the taxobox template code. Dysmorodrepanis 13:04, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

It's an artifact of the bug "Fix" implemented by Brion VIBBER. I've re-opened the bugzilla report he listed in his edit to template:taxobox. - UtherSRG (talk) 13:37, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

To add on project page: open map sources, where on Commons to upload homegrown blank/distri maps. What about the commonly encountered conservation status trend tag in taxoboxes? It is potentially useful, but not supported ATM it seems. Dysmorodrepanis 03:16, 23 September 2006 (UTC)


See Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Criteria for a discussion of a new stub tag for bird stubs.msh210 17:53, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Structure - Sonograms

I wonder if we can have a common structure for inclusion of sonograms. Shyamal 01:41, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Upper case bird names

Why exactly are bird names given in uppercase? I noticed that Britannia doesn't do this (they say "snowy owl", rather than "Snowy Owl" for example). Where did this style come from? Stevage 08:28, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

  • it follows a growing ornitholoical convention. To quote the project page The common name of a species is capitalised to differentiate it from more general terms. The phrase "in Australia there are many Common Starlings" indicates a large number of Sturnus vulgaris. In contrast, the phrase "in Australia there are many common starlings" indicates several different types of starling.. This is not universal amongst bird authorities, but widespread. Sabine's Sunbird talk 08:56, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, and thanks for the note on my talkpage. I had actually looked at the Tree of Life wikiproject for a discussion on the subject and somehow missed that one. I see that the topic has been done to death, and that the conflict between "outside" Wikipedians such as myself (who want total consistency) and "insider" Wikipedians such as ornithologists etc (who want to respect existing conventions) is well known. Guess I'm just going to have to cry myself to sleep. Stevage 13:27, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Amotis - linkspam or useful additions?

User Amotis has been systematically adding a link to a site with videos on hundreds of articles about birds (see his contributions). Now normally whenever I see someone adding the same link to multiple sites with no additional content I remove that link everywhere they inserted it. However I hesitate in this case because I'm concerned it might actually be considered a valuable and relevant link. Could I get some opinions on this from the bird experts? Does the usefulness of this particular link outweight the fact that it was spammed? See here for my original post to the Spam project on this. Thanks much! --AbsolutDan (talk) 17:57, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

  • he has also made some small formatting changes, so check before you revert everything. Besides, he's linking to HBW, which we plunder to get our taxonomy. Assume good faith and invite the people at HBW to contribute? There is some real talent there we could use. Sabine's Sunbird talk 18:05, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok thanks, I will leave them there - call it extenuating circumstances? --AbsolutDan (talk) 00:46, 27 April 2006 (UTC)


User:Krun is changing article titles from Wikipedia standard Upper-case initial letters to a different standard. Would someone like to speak nicely to him and ask him to stop? SP-KP 21:26, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Dsmdgold has made the request, and between us we've reversed all the changes. It's ironic that the well-intentioned but ill-informed take longer to deal with than the vandals. jimfbleak 05:54, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Why do you people come up with these weird rules? Don't you know that Wikipedia is the only place where "Ostrich," "Starling," "Emu," "Western Marsh Harrier," and "Bald Eagle" are considered proper nouns (besides in Native American stories)? Don't tell me "cat" and "dog" are also proper nouns.… JarlaxleArtemis 01:33, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

If you want to find other places, try looking at bird guides and ornithological texts. I see no grammatical justification, but an excellent clarity justification. For example, there are seven blue jay species in America north of Mexico, but only one is officially called the Blue Jay. —JerryFriedman 16:31, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
The clarity justification is weak as most instances of confusion can be averted by rewording or the addition of a few words. The gains are hardly enough to justify wholesale tagging of regular English words into proper nouns (this strange naming convention has even extended itself to cover mammal articles); it looks like an egregious violation of English convention to the grammatically-minded, and that damages Wikipedia's credibility, especially when I read articles that begin like this: "The Lion (Panthera leo), often referred to as King of the Beasts..."--Exeunt 23:35, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, the credebility of Wikipedia would indeed be dented if we did that, fortunately the article in question actually goes goes "The Lion (Panthera leo), often referred to as King of the Beasts..." It's amazing how many times I find binomial names without italics, which to be honest is far worse that the 'crime' that ornithologists commit with their capitalisation conventions. Incidentally, surely King of the Beasts is a title rather than a name, and therefore would be capitalised, same as Lord of Ruin, or Privy Chancelor or sumpthin? Sabine's Sunbird talk 07:19, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I searched for the term "king of the beasts." With the exception of Aesop's Fables, which used the term as a proper noun, various established writers use the lower case form in their works.--Exeunt 08:55, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Huh. Well, I guess titles aren't capitalised for animals. I wonder what the reasoning is for that. Sabine's Sunbird talk 17:40, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


Is there any guideline for how bird calls can be made available on the bird pages. I have a small but growing collection of ogg files waiting to be added. Is there any templates that help a person find an ogg player etc. ? Shyamal 03:53, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I do not know of any guidelines but there are many templates for audio such as {{listen}}, {{audio}}, and more. Joelito (talk) 04:13, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, that should do. Shyamal 05:37, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Distribution map colours

Is there a standard for distribution map colours. Some of the maps I have added follow this

  • light green for breeding range
  • light blue for winter range
  • yellow for summer range
  • Oceanic birds can perhaps be marked in darker blue as is done for the marine mammals.

These are picked off the palette in M$Paint and does not follow any rigorous RGB specification. Would be good if standard colours can be suggested on the project page. Shyamal 12:22, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Added a section - ?I thought there was already one, but did not find it. Wrote up what I remembered, but the use in literature is fairly consistent. Dysmorodrepanis 03:16, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
It seems American literature is slightly different. From the various field guides I've read, the colours I "associate" are - red/magenta for summer, blue for winter, purple for permament resident, with newer guides using either yellow or grey for migration (and then there's the infamous "green dots of Sibley"...). - Aerobird 01:10, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
In any case, using red and green in the same map (e.g. red for summer only, green for all-year) should be avoided and using a light red is preferable. This way, colorblind people can always make sense of the maps (so that the summer-only distribution is light grey or the winter distribution dark grey for the more common forms of colorblindness) Dysmorodrepanis 01:55, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Misidentified image

Hi, I found this misidentified image: Image:Laysan.teal.arp.750pix.jpg (see description for details). I have replaced it with a correct photo in Laysan Duck, but the new one is far less good than the old one (the bird did not want to be photographed, and I had to sharpen it to get it to a somewhat publishable quality at all). The misidentified image should be renamed, and if somebody has a good photo of a Laysan Duck, please add it to the article. Dysmorodrepanis 22:10, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Phylogeny images

If people need images of a phylogeny based on articles that they have found, but can not copy due to copyright issues, I can make them on request. Kim van der Linde at venus 04:08, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Strange page move/redirect

Hi, I've found this strange move: Ou_(bird). The new title "Ǒ" means "or" or "of" in Hawaiian (if they would write their short vowels with a breve). I am especially puzzled because I elaborated at quite some length on the pronounciation to make it clear that the name is pronounced as two distinct sounds. What gives? Dysmorodrepanis 15:54, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Does not make sense to me, no explanation given that is satisfactory. Move back as far as I am concerned -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:22, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

bird navbox

Cross posting from Talk:Bird were I was proposing a nav box for bird related articles that are not covered by the taxoboxes. This is a rough draft created by me and modified by User:Jrockley. I don't have much talent in these matters, but I think it would be a good idea so as to remove the 'see also's and also provide redlinks to subjects we need to cover.

edit Birds
Anatomy: Bird anatomy - Bird skeleton - Bird flight - Avian pallium - Egg - Feather - Wing (bird) - Physiology (bird)
Evolution and extinction. Bird evolution - Archaeopteryx - Bird hybrid - Late Quaternary prehistoric birds - Fossil birds - Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy
Ecology: Bird ecology - Bird populations
Behaviour: Bird song - Bird intelligence - Bird migration - Bird reproduction
Bird types: Seabirds - Shorebirds - Waterbirds - Song birds - Birds of Prey - Poultry
Birds and Humans: Extinct birds - Bird ringing - Ornithology - Birdwatching - Birdfeeding - Bird conservation


Thoughts? Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:11, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

List of birds as an additional link under "Bird types" for all the others. Aviculture, maybe (it's a bit stubby as of now]] under "Birds and humans". Apart from that, I tried to think of additions but couldn't come up with any :) Dysmorodrepanis 19:22, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
I'd move Bird hybrid to "types of birds" and I'd change the link to the "ringing" article to Bird ringing/banding. "Ringing" baffled me completely when I first saw the word (though I'd seen many birds being banded), so I expect many Americans wouldn't even connect it with putting those little bands around the birds' legs. And I'd add falconry under "Birds and humans". Should fishing cormorants be in there too? —JerryFriedman 23:17, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
You could make the Evolution section like this: Bird evolution - Archaeopteryx - Fossil birds - Late Quaternary prehistoric birds - Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy (or Bird taxonomy) (- Bird hybrid). This way, it's more chrono-logical.
Navigational templates headers do not normally have greater text size. Either put a small image in the header or a large one on the side of the whole template, but not like that, it increases the size needlessly. Circeus 16:36, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
I would remove the bird picture and would remove all red links until they are created. Joelito (talk) 16:40, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Capitalisation of alternative names

Formal common names are capitalised. Should alternative common names be capitalised or not? Nurg 05:48, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

When you say common names do you mean names of creatures, because if you do I think that alternative names should be capitalised. After all, they may be alternative but they are still their names. If you don't mean the names of creatures, could you elaborate? - 12:07, 8 July 2006 I'd say yes. The Rough-legged Buzzard of Europe is the Rough-legged Hawk of North America. Just because we plumb for one for the page name doesnt make the other uncapitalised. Sabine's Sunbird talk 17:19, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you there, but what about informal common names--say English Sparrow for House Sparrow? Snowbird for Snow Finch, Snow Bunting, Dark-eyed Junco, etc.? (Believe it or not, here in New Mexico many people call Black-billed Magpies "snowbirds".) That one's less clear to me. —JerryFriedman 16:15, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
They could go into a trivia or another appropriate section, as they are more part of local folklore or tradition, especially if there are many such names. E.g. the old name "doughbird" of the Eskimo Curlew gives a hint at why they disappeared, or stuff like a "murder" of ravens. Capitalization should be for formal names. Dysmorodrepanis 23:51, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Citing sources

There is neither an universally recommended citation format nor one universally used (although they occasionally seem to infer that inline/footnote citations are preferred). However, I do not use footnote citations for scientific references, and here's why:

They obfuscate the code. WAY. One can linebreak them into the text, but in general can seriously mess up readability, especially when linking abstracts via DOI and fulltext directly for example, where a reference will go over 5 lines in this format.
It is not easy to maintain good order in the references, as they are not given in chronological order and can neither be sorted nor viewed at a glance in the edit window..
Scientific references are not usually of immediate interest to most readers of the text as they are only given to provide a backup where to check information. Thus, the advantage of footnotes (being able to jump and jump back) is not really borne out that much.
Footnotes cannot deal with general background references (like field guides or the like on which descriptions of species are usually based on).

But I do use footnotes occasionally in addition. Here's how I like to do it. Note how things that are of immediate interest to understanding of the text are footnoted, whereas the source publications of information in the article are Harvard-cited.

This is not to start a discussion or to unify the citing style (there are more pressing things to do), but merely food for thought. E.g. the Archaeopteryx article, which is already cluttered without end would become night uneditable when using footnote refs. Or what to do with Dromornithidae, which nearly exclusively uses "background info" refs? So to me, it seems the most flexible thing to use Harvard refs for background stuff and footnote refs for annotations.

As a general rule, always try to read, cite and if any possible link the original sources. For example, placing the Pink-headed Duck in Netta was originally claimed in the article to be based on molecular evidence, because that's how many of us "know" taxonomy is done nowadays. Turns out it was a morphological study after all, and it was not that new either, and the evidence is slim indeed. Dysmorodrepanis 08:43, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

It would be ideal to have a "best of both worlds" format shortcut. E.g. to make a conventional (end of article) ref section which does automatic indicating and backlinking; the former as it is done in many paper PDFs today. Thus, the source becomes cleaner, better to edit and more compact, while the arrangement is comfortable to use for readers. The format of the citations themselves does not differ really between the 3 approaches. Dysmorodrepanis 03:16, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Species lists

Species lists are unpopular, as they tend to clutter up a page with "blocks of Latin" and/or redlinks. Formatting can help to keep them compact, but

Standardized content structure

Should I take it from the lack of guidance on structuring articles that "free rein" is given, rather than any specific hierarchy of headings? Thanks--GRM 21:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I guess. The exact content varies depending on the article, and on what information is avaliable. The family pages I have worked on (for example Albatross, Procellariidae, Auk) have vaguely followed the structure of the family accounts. For species and families a fairly intuitive selections of headings arises, evolution, morphology (AKA appreance, description), habitat (and or range, and migration), behaviour (encompassing or as well as diet, breeding) and some stuff on x and humans (conservation, domestication and role in culture). Sabine's Sunbird talk 23:07, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

The habitat/range/breeding/migration/feeding stuff I usually collect under "Ecology" if it's not enough to split into sections and if the article ahs too much text to leave it unsectioned. Dysmorodrepanis 01:36, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Taxonomy, systematics & specific taxa

Identification needed

I took this picture while on vacation in Florida. It's a stork, and according to a disney page, it's one of:

So which is it? →Raul654 02:29, Jan 24, 2005 (UTC)

(Added links) Looking at the images on Wood Stork and White Stork, it doesn't seem to be either of them. It doesn't seem to be the Woolly-necked Stork or Abdim's Stork either, though. - UtherSRG 02:54, Jan 24, 2005 (UTC)

Did a little more googling. How about a yellow billed stork? →Raul654 03:07, Jan 24, 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the Wood Stork looks like the closest so far. - UtherSRG 03:14, Jan 24, 2005 (UTC)

Are you sure about that, Stacey? It looks to me as if the Yellow billed stork has *the exact same* facial coloring. →Raul654 03:17, Jan 24, 2005 (UTC)

Hrm. You're right, the Wood Stork's whole head is dark. - UtherSRG 03:37, Jan 24, 2005 (UTC)

Try Painted Stork jimfbleak 06:43, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

later -I've added the image to the article. Jim


The Hoopoe page appears by and large to cover Upupa epops only. However, it is also the target of redirects from Upupiformes, Upupidae, and Upupa africana. This has caused some confusion among the interwiki links from various other language editions, where there are separate pages for the different taxonomic ranks. Interwiki links referring to different taxonomic ranks had been merged back and forth. I've undone this knot, but I suspect it will creep back unless the situation is fixed. Would somebody please split and clean up the English page? —Naddy 23:31, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There is only one extant member of the Uupidae, traditionally placed in theCoraciformes, but more recently often split as its own order Upupiformes. I don't know that there is enough data yet to justify an article on the extinct Giant Hoopoe. jimfbleak 06:16, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
In fact, some suggest antaios might just be another subspecies of epops (I'd say no, but that's just my opinion. Given the recent trend towards splits and that it was more than obviously a good and true phylogenetic species in its isolation and flightlessness, I'd still bet on its specific status to be maintained). Anyways, for disentangling interwiki links, I usually would check out the most parsimonious other-language page and link to that. In this case, if some Wikipedia uses Upupiformes, I'd still link to the species page, as the English article mentions this taxonomy and one can always go up using the foreign-language species page.
By the way, it (hopefully) won't be long until the Smithsonian releases Olson's paper on the subfossil Saint Helena birds as a PDF. 95% of what was published about this bird should be in there - I've read the hardcopy version once and as far as I remember, even that is not much. So the result would be one of these articles that look like a stub and read like a stub, but are simply a compilation of all available knowledge. We probably could get one of Alex Lang's awesome drawings, though, as we did for Microgoura. Dysmorodrepanis 03:37, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Charadriiformes a mess

Charadriiformes organisation is a mess that is very hard to work with for someone lacking good ornithological knowledge: levels missing (should I separate Vanellus as an article or leave the species in Vanellinae??) or weirdly classified (Scolopacidae is just plain scary!), and not to mention I utterly disagree with listing all related families and descendant species/genera in family articles!! Circeus 18:44, Apr 30, 2005 (UTC)

I see the problem with lapwing, which is nearly, but not quite synomymous with Vanellus, not sure of best way to deal with it.
The groupings in the Scolopacidae article are those given in Shorebirds, the standard text, and has the advantage that similar birds are grouped together. The alternative would be to have articles for each genus, which for most groups, like Woodcocks, would make no difference, and for Calidrid would be unimportant. The problem would be for groups like snipe. You clearly need this article, since the snipes cover more than one genus, but a distinct Gallinago would virtually repeat the material, but without Jack Snipe. Same problem as with lapwing really jimfbleak 04:57, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
I updated the charadriiform taxonomy to current standards. One or two things might be shaky - although they are a field where molecular systematics apparently had a real field day (suddenly, it all falls into place), there seem to be no taxonomists among the people who did the papers. So I might be wrong with Chionidi, for example, but as far as I could tell, it is the "correct" name (if there is such a thing for suborders). Dysmorodrepanis 20:07, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Albatross species list

I'm in the process of trying to get the albatross article up to FA status, something I imagine will take some time. One of the things I'm going to do is write a article for each species, and each genus, so as to cut down on all the red links that would otherwise be there. Thing is, the current species list (which has 16 species) doesn't seem to match any existing species list out there. It doesn't currently follow HBW, although this is good thing (to my mind)considering the recent, widely accpeted split of the group into 4, not two, genera. Any huge objections to my doing the list based on the one the IUCN uses for assessing their red list status[1]? It seems to be the most commonly accpeted on I can find, and I don't mind doing the 17 articles needed (plus expanding a few of the existing ones). Sabine's Sunbird 04:47, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Kingfishers and other errata

So is there a consensus that the kingfishers are separated? I assume we're following HBW, but few other sources seem to split the families as of yet. Also there's oddballs like the Nicators, Donacobius, and Olive Warbler, what, if any "revolutionary" information should be followed? They're changing the taxonomy on these birds constantly, and since HBW was started in 1998 there's some danger our info is already obsolete.

Just a concern, and largely for the sake of curiosity, not something too serious or critical. - Miwa 04:15, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Taxonomic authorities

My recent and possibly mistaken edit of Rock/Stock Dove to Ditto Pigeon on the List of British birds: non-passerines brings up a question that interests me. What happens as HBW gets more and more out of date? For instance, we may easily see the time when every English-language regional checklist has followed the BOU (as the AOU has) in calling Columba livia the Rock Pigeon, but HBW is still working on volume 13?

There will never be a good solution till the ornithologists standardize, but maybe we should go to a more frequently updated checklist (or set of checklists?).

JerryFriedman 21:06, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Im not much of a birder - I know primates and cephalopods much better - but I've got to agree. If HBW is not being updated at a reasonable pace, I have to question the validity of using it as our standard. On the other hand, there are so many bird articles that any major changes should not be incorporated immediately, but should wait a reasonable period of time to see if those changes are stable. *shrugs* - UtherSRG 21:26, Mar 11, 2005 (UTC)

Authorities for families?

It is straightforward to find authorities for genera and for orders of birds, but for many families it is not. (For example, Megapodiidae, Anseranatidae, Tetraonidae, Phasianidae, Odontophoridae, Numididae, Meleagrididae, Mesitornithidae, Cochlearidae, Balaenicipitidae, Scopidae, Cathartidae, Turnicidae, Gruidae, Psophiidae, Heliornithidae, Rhynochetidae, Eurypigidae, Otididae, etc. etc.) So who named them? Gdr 13:33, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Peters' "Checklist of Birds of the World" will give you the answers. It should be held in most good university libraries worldwide. Also, the taxonomic references are in the "Handbook of Birds of the World" AFAIK Dysmorodrepanis 11:16, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, the Czech website BioLib seems trustworthy and has that information in many but not all cases; I use this when I don't have the particular part of Peters as a copy (which is, usually) and Zoonomen doesn't have the info. BioLib, for example, is the only Web source I could find which had the authority of Formicariidae (though they still didn't say which Grey; ultimately, all describers of a page's taxa should be referenced which will eliminate that but prolly rquire Peters lookup in most cases).
In my experience, both ITIS and Wikispecies contain too much outdated information to be relied upon. Dysmorodrepanis 09:00, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Taxonomy help request

crossposting this from user talk (with minor edits for context), hoping someone else might have some ideas:

I need some help with this... the Vampire Finch (Geospiza nebulosa), which seems to be the Wolf Island (Galapagos) subspecies of Sharp-beaked Ground Finch (Geospiza difficilis), is not listed on the website you gave me. That said, some sources on a google search seem to call the Sharp-beaked Ground Finch Geospiza nebulosa instead of Geospiza difficilis, which is adding to my confusion. Anyhoo, I'm thinking maybe it would be prudent to find some more authoritative source on Darwin's finches before proceeding with more articles, but meanwhile there are some question marks I've left in the Vampire Finch taxobox. Tomertalk 03:01, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Vampire Finch certainly seems to be a subspecies, but I'm not sure of what, so I can't correct the article. There seems to be general agreement that the other six Geospiza species are good. Smallweed 09:19, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
From what I've read, the Vampire Finch is the Wolf Island subspecies of the Sharp-beaked Ground Finch... Do you happen to have access to either of the offline sources mentioned in the Darwin's finches article, or to any other possible sources that discuss the Vampire Finch? I'd like to track down where this comes from...if the only thing that distinguishes them from the Sharp-beaked Ground Finch is their diet, I find it odd that they'd be assigned to a distinct species. Tomertalk 09:25, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
After a great deal of digging around, I find that a number of places call the species Geospiza difficilis and others Geospiza nebulosa, but only one that lists both[2]. Since none of the sources I've seen list either name as specifically referring to Sharp-beaked Ground Finch any more than to Vampire Finch (nor vice versa), it seems that there are 2 competing names. What remains then, is to figure out which sources are more authoritative... and if there is a genuine disagreement within the scientific community over what the name of the bird should be, that can be covered in the article, but for right now, what I'm seeing is that they're the same species, with 2 different names. A google search for Geospiza difficilis (excluding wikipedia and mirrors) returns 402 hits([3]), while Geospiza nebulosa (excluding wikipedia and mirrors) returns only 55([4]). I ran the search that way because I was thinking maybe this difference had started on wikipedia, but running the search without excluding WP and mirrors returns 466([5]) and 67([6]) respectively. Conclusion: at first blush, I see a non-wikipedia-influenced 88% usage of difficilis and a wikipedia-influenced 87.4%, I doubt that this is an inconsistency that was spawned by malicious editing on WP. Somewhere, an additional (significant minority) name was given to this bird, and I can't figure out where or why. I really don't have the resources available to me to figure this out on my own. Thanks for your time, Tomertalk 10:33, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
According to the Avibase website, Geospiza difficilis is the name used in all recent checklists for Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch. It lists three subspecies including Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis. According to the book Birds, Mammals and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands by Andy Swash and Rob Still, this is the subspecies known as the Vampire Finch and is found on Darwin island as well as on Wolf. Tigershrike 16:21, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Petrel versus Procellariiformes (merge?)

I was wondering what people thought about merging the two. Is there any meaningful distinction between the two? At the moment the term petrel is used inconsistently in wikipedia - it seems to denote either the procellariids, or the gadfly petrels (as distinct from the prions, shearwaters etc) or all tubenoses. Given as how the page itself describes the petrels as being the Procellariiformes, surely a merge is in order. Which begs the question, which should merege into which? Sabine's Sunbird 09:32, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps petrel would be better as a disamb page. I don't think a straight merge is the answer, since some procellariid birds, such as shearwaters, are rarely described as petrels, and there are the diving-petrels in a different family to the true petrels. jimfbleak 06:51, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, that is the problem - petrel seems to either mean non-shearwater procellariid or all the procellariiformes. And both meanings seem to crop up in usage on different pages on wikipedia. The usage denoting all tubenoses is the most common one I have encountered in journals and books while re-writing the Albatross and Procellariidae pages, Warham, Brooke and others all use the term to encompass the whole order. And it is a more usefull usage than non-shearwater procellariid, since we already have words for them seperately, (gadfly petrels, prions and fulmarine petrels). The usage for just procellariids is also almsot always prefaced by the word true (as in Storm-petrels, diving-petrels, true petrels). Sabine's Sunbird 08:59, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

ID request

Can anyone identify this? Oaxaca, Mexico, probably Atlantic Slope lowlands. And is there a better place to ask? —JerryFriedman 20:57, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

  • a rummage through Howell and Webb's Birds of Mexico throws little light on the birds - it's hard as it is not a great shot I'm afraid. I'm going to go for a White-throated Jay, Cyanolyca mirabilis, which is endemic to where it was seen. Sabine's Sunbird talk 15:18, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Thanks for looking and making the suggestion. However, I've checked, and it was definitely in the Atlantic Slope lowlands, near Tuxtepec. Howell and Webb say the White-throated Jay is endemic to the mountains near the Pacific Coast, and none of the Cyanolyca jays should be in the lowlands, although the Dwarf Jay and Azure-hooded Jay live in much closer mountains to where the picture was taken. Now that you mention it, a juvenile Dwarf Jay is not all that far off, though there are some differences in plumage and as I said it would be out of range. —JerryFriedman 20:17, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
      • the eye stripe is what suggest the White throated Jay - I have to admit my geography of Mexico ain't up to much. The Dwarf Jay's stripe doen't seem as bold enough to be waht you saw. I can't find another passerine bird that has all over dark plumage and an eye stripe like it. Sabine's Sunbird talk 20:25, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
        • Yes, the thinness of the Dwarf Jay's eyestripe is one of the differences in plumage that I mentioned. I'm now thinking the closest possibility is the Grayish Saltator, Saltator coerulescens. The white crescent under the eye is actually right, and I can almost talk myself into a wide black malar stripe and a cinnamon belly. Also, Howell's Bird-finding Guide to Mexico lists this species, but none of the Cyanolyca jays, for the site. It would be nice to see a narrow white throat, though. I think what threw me off this species was that Howell spells it "Greyish", no, that the plate shows an immature of the relevant subspecies, and according to the text the adult is darker and grayer.
Wish I'd gotten a better picture. Wish I'd taken a note about the color of the throat. —JerryFriedman 17:33, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Yep. See this photo. Any thoughts, perhaps as a general policy, on whether a bad picture for a Wikipedia article is better than no picture? (And does anyone know why these birds are called "saltators"? The name means "jumper"—not an article of clothing—but I haven't found any references to them jumping.) —JerryFriedman 18:11, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
You're right. Oddly enough, I had looked at another Saltator but dismissed it because the rest of the plumage was too light. Sophie has drawn the greyish saltator even lighter, and the two didn't click. I can see it now though. Odd because she is usually reall good. As for using it, I guess a bad picture is better than no picture. And Howell would use Greyish cause he's from Wales. Sabine's Sunbird talk 18:17, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure we should blame Webb. She painted the immature, and my picture is apparently of an adult. Also, the text implies that it's a fairly variable species, and if you look at other photos on the web, you'll see some that look like her paintings. It seems to be a case of not enough space (or museum specimens?) to show all the plumages. —JerryFriedman 04:00, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

It looks pretty close to the Greyish Saltator in Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-0814-9600-4, and in the big image, I can almost convince myself that ther is a dark malar stripe. This species is expanding its range in CR, don't know its status further north. jimfbleak 06:30, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Howell and Webb show it as inhabiting Mexican lowlands on both slopes up to about the Tropic of Cancer. Howell's Birdfinding Guide lists it from the site where I took the picture. I'm convinced enough to put the picture into the article. —JerryFriedman 17:46, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
This is without question a Gulf-slope Grayish Saltator. And I bet you saw it near where I've seen them in Oaxaca, near Tuxtepec and Valle Nacional.
Bingo! Mazín Chico near Tuxtepec, right where Howell says. —JerryFriedman 21:44, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

blue-crowned conure/parakeet

ok, sorry if I'm being picky, but I noticed that instead of "blue-crowned conure" the artcle is "blue-crowned parakeet" maybe it's a UK/US thing, but I'd never heard the parakeet name before before I found it on wikipedia. Jedi of redwall 20:25, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm in favor of being picky. In this case I don't think it's a UK/US thing. Where aviculturists say "conure", scientists and the general public say "parakeet". Wikipedia pretty much goes with scientific usage. (There's probably a policy on this somewhere.) But articles on the birds listed at conure should have a redirect from the conure name (this one doesn't) and should mention the conure name(s) in the first sentence (this one does, as you know), in my opinion. —JerryFriedman 21:50, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Ornithologcally speaking, there is no such thing as a "Conure" (or, for that matter, an "Amazon"). They are all 'offically' "Parakeets" or "Parrots". (IMHO the "generic" names are rather silly, but nobody asked me...) - Aerobird 03:46, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
That reminds me, why is Pyrrhura molinae listed as Green-cheeked Conure? HBW lists it as Green-cheeked Parakeet. Should it be moved? Can an admin do something about that? —JerryFriedman 19:59, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Done. - UtherSRG (talk) 20:12, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
"Ornithologcally speaking, there is no such thing as a "Conure"" - well, ornithologically, there are Linnean names which are unambiguous, and more or less ambiguous vernaculars. "Conures" is basically "short" for "Aratinga/Pyrrhura parakeets (and the occasional oddball monotypic genus). In German, we have Keilschwanzsittiche for much the same group of long-tailed American species (though the Quaker Parakeet is a notable exception which is a Keilschwanzsittich but not a Conure. Note also that the Gemran term is only applied to the entire group of Arini parakeets, not to single species). It is a matter of taste, basically - using parakeet indiscriminately for a Aratinga, a Psittacula and a Psephotus is just as arbitrary. I for one do not have a firm opinion on that matter, although I usually use "conure" for my private work.Dysmorodrepanis 02:51, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Help needed with bird article

Hi. I recently wrote an article on the Elfin-woods Warbler. I submitted this article to Peer review but it only got 2 superficial replies. I would like for people here to take a look and make suggestions/recommendations. I also wrote Puerto Rican Spindalis for which I would also like suggestions/recommendations. Joelito 14:34, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

You might want to peruse (and cite & link, since they are available freely) these papers [7] [8] on the warbler's ecology.Dysmorodrepanis 02:42, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Another question about taxonomic authorities

I'm new here but already I am confused. I don't have access to Handbook of Birds of the World so I have no way of knowing what it says but the AOU, and ITIS assign the family Trochilidae to the order Apodiformes and not Trochiliformes. I notice that Wikispecies uses the older taxonomy. I know that there is not just the one taxonomy but don't think it's Wikipedia's roll to define the standard. Why not just go with Wikispecies and let them fight it out. Could someone help me with this. --Droll 04:54, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

With no standard, then it wod be very difficult to have a single set of consistent taxoboxes, and every article about birds would need to make ome mention of the different classification schemes. Instead, a single scheme was picked, and the differences between the schemes is described in one article.... which I can't at this moment put my finger on it. - UtherSRG (talk) 05:03, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah... here it is.... Sibley-Ahlquist_taxonomy... and you'll see that it's linked to from quite a number of articles. - UtherSRG (talk) 05:06, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Notice that the Wikipedia article states that "the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy is a radical bird taxonomy." (emphasis added) To me it does not sound like a NPOV. WikiProject Birds states the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy "should be used for all articles except for those dealing with a country or region, where the appropriate local official list should be used, as in List of North American birds and British birds." So should the Project page be changed? I take it that "List of North American birds" is the AOU list. I'm not just trying to cause trouble. I think this is a really important issue. I think the project should go with Wikisource or ITIS or Species 2000 which are conservative. I know I'm coming in late in the game and I'll keep quite after this if I am alone in my POV. --Droll 06:17, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that there are even many libraries that have the whole of HBW, and the series isn't even complete yet. However, the bird list we use is avaliable here on their website. I find it hilarious that you want to go to a more conservative taxonomy as I've been agitating to go to one that is less conservative and actually reflects some science done in the last 15 years. Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:55, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, I checked the web site you mention and Trochilidae is in Apodiformes and not Trochiliformes. That was my original point. As a mater of fact it is not the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy at all. My rant was about the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy. --Droll 19:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I just checked the page List of North American birds which says it follows the AOU checklist but it does not. Check out how hummingbirds are classified. Something is fishy in the bird world. --Droll 19:46, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I changed the NA List to put Trochilidae into Apodiformes and to list the Bananquit as genus Incertae sedis rather than Coerebidae. This should bting the NA list into line with the AOU as far as down as family. If you see any nore discrepancies please let me know, or correct it yourself. The NA list should follw the AOU as the article states. It will take more time to comb through the article to make sure that the genus and species presentation is also in line with the AOU, but I will do that as time permits. I will also bring the state bird lists into line with AOU taxonomy. Dsmdgold 14:24, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
IMHO, all articles pertaining to birds in North America should use the American Ornithologists' Union taxonomy. I'd guess that the only Sibley familiar to 95% of NoAm birders is David Sibley of the field guide. - Aerobird 12:21, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
WikiProject Birds actually says The de facto standard for Wikipedia bird articles is Handbook of Birds of the World for the northern hemisphere, and the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (ISBN 0195532449) for exclusively southern groups. It should be pointed out that like the rest of wikipedia the whole project is very much a work in progress and there are a great deal of inconsistencies, for example breaking the kingfishers into three families (something Wikipedia does that HBW does not.) And Aerobird, the reason for picking one standard rather than regional standards is the large number of birds, to use your example, that North America and Eurasia share. (Not to mention the AOU's tendency to split and lump the same species repeatedly (yes, I'm looking at you Northern Oriole)).Sabine's Sunbird talk 12:30, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
The problem is does HBW have any "official" status taxonomically? The Clements world checklist, used by the American Birding Association for non-American lists, would seem to be a better choice IMHO. - Aerobird 00:21, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
The Clements list isn't online, HBW is. We need a list we can all look at. (I'd suggested using the IUCN list myself, but after the choice was made.) At this point, much as I hate HBW's overly conservative taxonomy, it's as good a standard as any. Talking about "official" lists strikes me somewhat (and I mean this in the nicest possible way, as a birder and friend of the birders myself) as birder-speak for "can I count it on my life list?". I don't think any of the lists are peer reviewed so they aren't "official" official; and outside Oz, SA, and Europe the region lists are not vetted by teams of ornithologists in the same way the AOU list is. Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:47, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Although the Clements list is not available in the Internet as a whole, the Clements checklist is available for specific regions at this site. I used this site as a reference for List of Puerto Rican birds. Joelito 16:40, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Another ID request: Amazona

Can anyone identify this amazon? I'm hoping for A. oratrix. —JerryFriedman 19:57, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I have a check this evening when I have my books available. KimvdLinde 20:07, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I didn't notice that Yellow-shouldered Parrot links to it, and that may well be what it is. —JerryFriedman 02:24, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I have looked through my literature and so, but I think it is impossible to say, as the crucial characteristic is lacking, the color of the wing bend.... :-( If at all, I am more inclined towards barbarensis than to oratrix. KimvdLinde 02:28, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Hoppe's Amazonen monograph suggests that the young birds (it's a young bird because oif the dark iris) of barbadensis and oratrix are all but indistinguishable as they still have the wing bend green. Except maybe oratrix juvies have the upper bill darker than the lower one, which would make it barbadensis, but IONO whether this characteristic is to be relied upon. Dysmorodrepanis 08:37, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Juviniles have generally a darker iris. I think this is an adult. KimvdLinde 18:30, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Howell says oratrix have "bill dusky", but nothing about the upper mandible being duskier.
The picture was added to the original version of the article by User:Quadell, who left Wikipedia a couple of weeks ago. If I end up e-mailing him about this, I'm going to say something amusing about the ";;;break-up" he mentions at his user page. —JerryFriedman 17:22, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Psittaciformes taxonomy

The Psittaciformes (parrot) taxonomy, especially at the higher levels is pretty messy documented, with articles covering the same "groups" naming them differently (one as subfamilies, the other as tribes), subfamilies (-inae) with tribe (-ini) endings etc. There is clearly no full consensus in the literature, and I will start rewriting using good sources, and using the consensus (as far as possible) or discuss the different classifications. Kim van der Linde at venus 03:03, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Highly appreciated! Basically, you have 4 approaches:
Psittacidae (Psittacinae + Loriinae) and Catactuidae - Psittacinae further split into tribes (the most commonly accepted approach today; Cacatuinae used to have 3 subfamilies, but at least the Cockatiel is today not considered a distinct one anymore).
Psittacidae including cockatoos split into any number of subfamilies (with tribes or raising the tribes to subfamily status - obsolete; basically modifications based on GA Smith. Forshaw's rearrangement is essentially the current one with the cockatoos still included)
Family status for most of what is today subfamilies and tribes (very obsolete but still proposed by a handful of researchers over the last decades)
Current research will probably result in the Platycercini, Psittacini etc being accepted back as subfamilies, as some divisions in the "Psittacinae" are as deep as the Psittacinae-Loriinae split. This is the taxonomy listed under Parrot and Broad-tailed parrot (which differ in details and are not referenced - a must in such cases!, but purely from gut level I'd largely go with the latter arrangement, finding Arini placed in Psittacinae a bit spurious. "Unplaced tribe Psittaculini" has me wondering, but the few things that can be said about the affiliation of Lophopsittacus and Necropsittacus may well indicate that Psittaculini cannot be placed as firmly into the Psittacinae sensu stricto as it is usually assumed).
So what can be safely said is that there are 2 families (Cacatuidae + Psittacidae) and that among subfamilies of the latter are the Lorinae and the Psittacinae. The status (tribe or subfamily) and assignment of Forshaw's tribes of his Psittacinae is still not completely resolved. Dysmorodrepanis 18:11, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I think the problem is a littlebit more complex, and more often encountered when the modern phylogenetics enters the arena. What is going on is that in the Australian corner, a few resonably good studies have shifted stuff around considerably. And things have gone up from tribe to subfam with good arguments. For some of the other groups, this has not been done yet in the same detail. I have several literature requests outstanding, and I have started doing certain sections. I probably will make a discussion section on this highlighting how the current staus in science can catch you half way. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 19:10, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I am an 18 month wikipedian who has been concentrating on insects but I have recently been amending taxonomy on some bird pages. User:Sabine's Sunbird has informed me that HBW is generally used as the standard reference for taxonomy. I don't want to make waves but this seems a little inflexible for a dynamic resource like WP when there is more current data available. This seems to negate WP's outstanding advantage over other encyclopaedias, the ability to change quickly and remain current and not stagnate. I have tried to retain a reference to the older taxonomy but give precedence to the more current taxonomic thought. I will stop making any changes for a few days while anyone who wants to has a say, any feedback gratefully received! Richard Barlow 09:22, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I have been a strong proponent of using HBW because of the clear necessity to have a consistent basis - otherwise there could be constant edit wars as people change between different taxonomic views (current does not necessarily mean correct or accepted). In particular, the AOU has for a long time adopted a more radical approach than most other regional organisations.
However, this is not to say that the HBW view is set in stone. Where there is a clear international consensus, than the taxonomy can, in my opinion, move on. I've noticed Richard changing the tern taxonomy, complete with all the links, and I think that there is a good case for this now that the BOU has fallen into line.
I would suggest, however, that any proposed taxonomic changes are discussed here first to establish that there is a consensus to do so. jimfbleak 05:22, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

I'll be happy to run anything past you here first, thanks for the response. Richard Barlow 09:17, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree with Richard Barlow. If a bird is primarily New World in distribution (like Gray Catbird or American Golden-Plover) I think we should use the corresponding checklist nomenclature (in this case AOU). -Natureguy1980 19:58, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Since official adoption by ornithological associations takes months or more usually years due to review process cycles, I concur with Richard. Controversial edits (e.g. where evidence is shaky like DNA-based.only reassignments on the order and sometimes family level) should be discussed first, less controversial ones (like the Procellaridae revision, which is based on several concurring sources and has been adopted in a popular work) could be adopted just so at user's discretion (see below).
It should be noted that there is no official entity which oversees which taxonomy is used in general. The ornithological unions do it for their scope of work, but generally, scientists will use the taxonomy they see fit (Threatened Birds of the World is an example that basically uses its own taxonomy in some cases based on the then-fresh research) and ultimately, a consensus is built; even peer review tends to stay out of that matter except in cases of use of grossly obsolete names. Wikipedia has the very real possibility of becoming the most comprehensive and accurate source on avian taxonomy globally by the end of next year, inshallah.
A word of warning: Always, always, always reference. No matter what format, no matter whether you add fulltext links or other shiny stuff, any taxonomic revision MUST be accompanied by referring to a primary souce and this must be given so that readers can unequivocally identify and locate the publication solely by the information provided (i.e. first author, year, publication and title, or DOI, or PMID). See Palaeospheniscus biloculatus for how never, ever, under no circumstances to do it (lack of referencing coupled w/loss-of-information edit).
It is also disheartening to see the former combined with some obscure reference to "DNA studies". For example, mtDNA cyt b studies is known or strongly suspected to give false information on the species to genus level on a number of occasions, and fails above family level due to long branch attraction. For the order level, there is simply no real molecular phylogeny that works (but see below). When molecules are pitted versus morphology, it is not so that the former gives a "better" picture of a taxon's true relationship, especially on the species level, just because it "contains DNA". See Sharp-tailed Sandpiper for more on the matter. Also, in the Green-winged/Speckled Teal case I strongly suspect mtDNA introgression of the latter into the founding population of the former, making it essentially a case of speciation by hybridization; letting the molecule rule supreme would require the fairly unique GWT/Common Teal head pattern to have evolved autapomorphically which stretches it far too far IMHO (the morphological differences between the GWT and the CT are... interesting... in the light of this possibility) Dysmorodrepanis 09:30, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Addendum: I would suggest that the most current information, if a user feels able to comprehend and reviwe it, can be used and if it is feasible should be used accompanied with a critical review and discussion of the evidence (e.g. there is no need for some ornithological union or HBW to formally "accept" a new species of tapaculo before it is accepted on WP). Barring that, the most recent ornithological union checklist or HBW should be used, whatever is more up to date. Dysmorodrepanis 09:33, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Old World warblers

Miwa posted a question on the Old World warbler talk page in the light of sweeping changes at the family level proposed (or at least relayed) on this site [9], which was how long should we give until discarding the current WP guideline of HBW and going with the results of Jonsson & Fjeldså 2006 / Alstrom et al. (2006), et cetera? At the very least perhaps we should begin an effort to try and discuss interesting new discovery in taxonomy on the respective family and species pages. Sabine's Sunbird talk 04:57, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

agree that should be discussed, but it is not the role of an encyclopedia to trail-blaze. My all means mention alternative views in the articles as we already do, but it seems to me that to adopt major changes (eg in the taxobox) they should have been accepted previously by at least two of the AOU, the BOU( or European taxonomic committee), HANZAB, or Roberts. jimfbleak 06:14, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
One of the frequent aspects of Wikipedia that draws praise from the media is the speed of response to a changing world, in that respect we should reflect current thinking that is widely accpeted. But waiting for two of the world's OU's to make the change isn't going to happen with continent specific families and species. The BOU is unlikely to spend much time deliberating on the loggrunners of Australia. The AOU won't waste time with the position of the Turacos and the Hanzab won't aregue the merits of lumping the silky flycatchers with the palmchat. It's unikely that any of the three will pick through the African/Asian/South American barbets/toucans complex and come up with a solution. Insofar as any consensus exists perhaps we should begin to reflect it if the OUs don't have the coverage. Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:57, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I concur with jimfbleak. We should err on the cautious side regarding large changes in taxonomy. For me, at least one of the taxonomic authorities should accept these changes before we proceed. As a side note, a new edition of Clements's Checklist of Birds of the World would be out in October. Joelito (talk) 14:34, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Slightly off-topic, but ... there already is an appropriate authority for South America (the SACC) which has, for example, already made its decision on merging the woodcreepers with the furnariids [10]. For families endemic to South America, I think it is best to follow SACC rather than waiting for the AOU or BOU to make decisions of families they would likely table or even refrain from discussing. Also, the AOU only posts supplements once a year, while the SACC votes seem to be more frequent and timely. (And it's not like the "left hand don't know what the right hand is doing": folks like Van Remsen are vocal and central members to both the AOU and SACC.) By the way, if we didn't reflect current thinking that is widely accepted then we would never have current events. This is as much of a "current event" as bird taxonomists are ever going to get! Cheers! (I won't be available for most of this week, as I will be searching for Akepa and Palila -- but more likely finding non-native invasives -- in Hawaii.) -- Miwa * talk * contribs ^_^ 16:11, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I would not be over-cautious, but definitely await resolution of the scientific debate that is going to follow. Molecular evidence is not a panacea and can err too (the inclusion of grouse in the phasianids smells fishy to me at gut level, but I would have to read the paper first to get a firm opinion), although it is getting more refined these days with multi-gene comparisons and supertrees. I'd take the safe AND up-to-date route, that is, discuss the new proposals in detail, link the references so everybody can draw their own conclusions and await the response of the scientific community. I'd guess we could settle on some taxonomy by the end of 2006, which will probably be earlier than most ornithological associations.
Miwa, give my regards to Kilauea, and while you're there, perhaps you might want to check out the Tree-Planting Road off Stainback HW running NW-SE through 19°35'49"N, 155°13'W (Google Earth-friendly) for the ʻOʻu or the forests SE of Kūlani Prison. Might not be the right season, but the location is as good a call as they get these days, and FWIW, I'd guess there's ʻAkepa in these woods. Just above Volcano village, I found more natives than non-natives during a brief trek in '02. Dysmorodrepanis 00:15, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Resolution of scientific debate? I had no idea that ever happened! ^_^ I guess I find this more irritating as I have been more interested in the family pages lately. Anyways, good luck with the Hawaiian birdwatching! I didn't see any natives in my brief stay in Honolulu (unless a night heron is native), at least I see plenty where I am now. Not much variety (the one vagrant Least Tern was an appreciated novelty) but I do get the numbers! Sabine's Sunbird talk
Black-crowned Night-Heron is native ^_^ You're at French Frigate Shoals? Color me jealous! Heh, Least Terns are vagrants here in Arizona as well -- seeing two in a year is almost beyond belief. I'll keep my eyes peeled for ʻOʻu but I have no great hope for it (even if I did see one, who'd believe me? Cheers! -- Miwa * talk * contribs ^_^ 03:24, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't Category:Otidae be Category:Otididae as per HBW? SP-KP 19:10, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

It should be. Joelito (talk) 19:22, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've listed it for speedy renaming SP-KP 19:35, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
It does not qualify for speedy. Joelito (talk) 19:52, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Not under criterion 1? SP-KP 19:53, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Is it a typo?...or is that family called by different names? Joelito (talk) 19:58, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
I think it's a typo, but feel free to object at speedy renaming if you like, and make it a non-speedy SP-KP 20:03, 1 July 2006 (UTC)


Hybrid Ratites

Does anybody know of any instance of hybridization between ratites (Emu X Cassowary, Emu X Ostrich, Northern Cassowary X Southern Cassowary, Ostrich X Rhea, Greater Rhea X Lesser Rhea, etc.)? I have searched the internet endlessly and have found nothing on the subject. Has it been tried by ratite farmers? If nobody knows, I would at least like to hear opinions on the matter. - 17:37, 7 July 2006

    • It seems nigh on impossible for the rhea/ostritch or cassowary/emu etc. The ratites are nominally in the same order but are in different families - as far as I know there are no records of any hybrids in anything other than members of the same genus. Even within familes hybrids are unusual, so between families, no, it wouldn't happen. Between the rheas (Greater/lesser), or between the cassowaries, maybe, I haven't seen anything on it. Sabine's Sunbird talk 22:03, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Just thought it worth mentioning that there are odd records of Pochard x Red-crested Pochard, and Smew x Goldeneye (I think) hybrids (but they're ducks so what do you expect), but also White-throated Sparrow x Dark-eyed Junco. SP-KP 23:08, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I beg to differ because I recently found out from a wikipedia user that in the 1970's an australian zoo had a batch of emu/cassowary hybrids hatch. I'm not sure if the source is reliable though. And emus & cassowaries are in the same family. There is even a RECENT transitional fossil called Emuarius. I think that an emu/cassowary, a Greater/Lesser Rhea & a cassowary hybrid are indeed possible. By the way I have heard about hybrids that cross family bounderies. Most of them are galliforms and there are documented reports of such hybrids. has photos of guineafowl/peafowl hybrids & guineafowl/chicken hybrids. P.S. I think we are on different time zones because according to my watch it is 18:49, 7 July 2006

  • Huh, I'd never heard of guinea/peacock hybrids before. I'll have to try and dig up a journal article on that. As for the ratites, I guess the cassowary/emu would be the most likely, seeing as how they would probably be the most closely related. Sabine's Sunbird talk 23:06, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

For the record I've also seen a photo of a zebra finch/owl finch hybrid. - 19:46, 7 July 2006

More opinions & comments are welcome. I will check back often. - 20:41, 7 July 2006

While we are on the subject of hybrids (despite the fact that this was supposed to be a ratite-specific discussion) I think that there should be a page on hybrid macaws as they are becoming more numerous in aviculture. has plenty of photos & info. on them.

Additional Ratite Info.

I believe the Ratite article could use more info. particularly in regard to farming. I can't do it as I am good with details, but not with large-scale information. I was hoping that someone with more knowledge on the subject could do it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

By the way, is the Westerman's Cassowary (Casuarius papuanus) a species in it's own right or a subspecies of the Dwarf Cassowary (Casuarius bennetti)?. Please Reply. - 17:32, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Nowadays considered a subspecies of the Dwarf Cassowary. Might change due to molecular studies though, cassoweary taxonomy has always oscillated between over-splitting and (as currently is the case) over-lumping. Dysmorodrepanis 14:37, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

I am not too sure about this (and who is?), but reviewing the fossil data and paleobiogeography I would rather go with a classification of the ratites as different orders and not different families of a single order Struthioniformes. How one would place the whole moa/kiwi/cassowary stuff is possibly the best-resolved issue of them all, but the single-order approach is at odds with fossil data, or the "out-of-Gondwana" hypothesis as usually presented is wrong. Molecular information does not help the least bit. Be advised that changing the classification would involve some serious work. Perhaps a collection of studies and review papers under Ratite similar to what exists under Passeriformes would be in order. Dysmorodrepanis 14:37, 6 October 2006 (UTC)


I find the present setup (ratites = Strithioniformes) fairly untenable; it is not supported by current molecular and morphological phylogenies. Altogether, the page should be split, but there is need to collect many references first. These can be collected e.g. in my sandbox, either under "General" or "Ratites". Dysmorodrepanis 13:28, 8 February 2007 (UTC)


I have yet to recieve a reply to my last post & I was wondering if anybody read it. If not, here it is again: I think that there should be a page on hybrid macaws as they are becoming more numerous in aviculture. has plenty of photos & info. on them.

Maybe you're expecting this, but… go for it! Since you've got a good source, I'll bet you'll find it much easier to write the article yourself than get someone else to start it. Hybrids in aviculture aren't an interest of mine, so I'm not going to write it. —JerryFriedman 00:59, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Now that I think about it, I think it would be easier to add a Hybrid section to the main macaw article. I will try to make it good. Be forewarned hoever, that I am not very good at this so the section might require a cleanup.

The deed is done. Check the main Macaw article to see my work. Feel free to edit if you see something incorrect or missing.

The clean-up is done too, including the work on the rest of the article. I have a couple of questions—please see the discussion page. —JerryFriedman 01:43, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Scrub Jays

I have big problems with the revert done to the Scrub Jay page after my revisions.

First of all, Unicolored and Mexican jays (especially the former) are NOT scrub jays! They are Aphelocomoa yes, but that doens't make them scrub jays. For one thing, Unicolored Jay inhabits cloudforests--nothing like dry scrub. I realize that there should be a page for Aphelocoma, but I highly suggest making it different from the page for "Scrub jay."

How does editing this stuff work? I see the potential for editing wars . . . —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Natureguy1980 (talkcontribs) .

How about moving scrub jay to Aphelocoma (currently a redirect to scrub jay), so that 'scrub' isn't in the page title? I'd be happy with that - MPF 17:59, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I've moved it, and made a few edits. Natureguy will probably want more edits made, and tht's fine. - UtherSRG (talk) 00:32, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Cool, I'll take a look. Thanks for your comments earlier today! -Natureguy1980 06:11, 24 July 2006 (UTC)


This page attempts to present a comprehensive synonymy of (eventually) all modern bird taxa (excluding prehistoric extinctions). It is a very helpful tool indeed, including data from such hard-to-find works as Sharpe/Hartert/Salvadori's BMNH catalog! Note that other information in the species accounts is not reviewed, so use with care. The synonymies, when present, are thorough though (the main purpose of the page in fact) Dysmorodrepanis 17:20, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Passeriformes taxonomy

I have started to collect information regarding the major taxonomic overhaul of the Passeriformes on their talk page. The page itself is a mess taxonomy-wise, it never got more than three-quarters completed. I suggest we collect the published references and then try to make something out of it. Check out the details there. Dysmorodrepanis 19:34, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

OK, I have essentially completed the last ganps in the family listing, which is of course very obsolete as it is basically the view of 5 years ago and the passeriform phylogeny has been all but resolved in the meantime.
It seems, furthermore, that the collection of papers is by and large nearing completion; I'll browse the remainder of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution in the next weeks (but at the first glance, they have mainly genus/family-level stuff there), so it appears that the main work can kick off some time around February maybe. The end result will (hopefully) be that Wikipedia will present the most up-to date systematics of Passeriformes to be found anywhere for free, especially with ample discussion to make it accessible to non-professionals. By the end of 2007, it can be hoped that a fairly complete evolutionary scenario (with dates and places and all) has emerged. Dysmorodrepanis 18:38, 10 January 2007 (UTC)


If someone feels like it, this is the last important high-level clade in avian evolution (save for the non-taxon "Graculavidae" which would need a specialist's hand anyway, to result in an article similar to "Odontornithes") for which no page exists. 2 points of note however: - IONO whether the list mentioned by Kim here would suggest higher-level taxonomy according to recent knowledge; these days any "definite" list is bound to be obsolete in one point or another half a year later. Also IONO in how far it is referenced. - I would not go as far as to say that the Galloanserae are verified by evidence. What the evidence suggests is that during the mid/late Cretaceous, the galliform/anseriform lineages split from the "remaining Neognathae" lineage. That much is fairly clear. What is not clear is whether the split between galliforms and anseriforms occurred around the time of their divergence from "higher Neognathae" or later enough for them to share a distinct lineage of common ancestors separate from the other Neognathae; I would tentatively go with the former which does pose a problem if cladistic methodology is applied strictly: the hardcore cladist's assumption would be that no lineage split will occur before the preceding one has been finalized, but that this assumption is generally valid and aptly describing evolutionary reality is obviously preposterous (consequently, its major role is in debate between different schools of systematicists). But there is no real reason, considering most niches were at that time already well staked out by Enantiornithes (the arboreal land bird niches especially), why there should have been such a winding road of adaptation and re-adaptation and drastic niche shifts (bear in mind that forms we consider "primitive" in systematics are primitive only in regard to some peripheral features of lesser adaptive significance - analysis of plesio- and apomorphies should ideally be based on characters with as little adaptive value as possible), and in reality were just as well-adapted for their particular mode of life as our birds are today, only that the mode of life was more jack-of-all-trades. The one thing very rarely found in "primitive" forms indeed is a drastically derived morphology related to opening of entirely new niches, like a hummingbird's shoulders, by the oddly "modern" presbyornithids, which at the C/T boundary already had specialized into a niche today all but closed to anseriforms, suggest that these in fact do occur time and again.

What we can say is that by the C/T, ancestral modern birds as far as anyone can tell existed as the anseriform lineage (fact), the galliform lineage (most likely), and anything from one to a handful of other lineages which in the Paleogene split up into the immediate ancestors of today's families. Many of these were of the "graculavid" shorebird type, but these apparently represent both ancestors of all kinds of unrelated modern families which share the "amphibious" ecotype, and in all likelihood some lineages that went extinct later. As far as anyone can tell, arboreal Neornithes did either not yet exist by the C/T, or, more probably but only based on circumstatial evidence, existed as some small lineages barely holding their own against the Enantiornithes et al. To be sure, a Late Cretaceous observer arguing along the lines of reasoning given today by people with a half understanding of evolution would have considered the ancestors of the Passeriformes, probably the most successful birds ever, a marginal lineage almost certainly doomed to extinction. Reality proves that the success (i.e., species- or ecotype-richness) of a lineage at any point of time cannot provide an appropriate assessment of their future success at all. Dysmorodrepanis 19:15, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I have started building Galloanserae at fowl. Galloanserae redirects there. Luckily, the English language distinguishes between "fowl" and "poultry". Dysmorodrepanis 04:16, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Pink-headed Duck

I think it should go back under Rhodonessa. Livezey's review is the only one suggesting it goes into Netta, and while this was de rigeur for some time, Collar's critique - that the taxon is simply to aberrant to justify this - seems a very valid point to me. Molecular data won't be upcoming in the foreseeable time in all probability. Dysmorodrepanis 09:38, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


Hi folks, I just completed most of a systematics/taxonomy review of the Anseriformes. There is still some stuff I have not read, but apart from disassembling the Goose/Anserinae pages, the taxonomy (which was like 10 years obsolete) is now fairly up to current standards. Much uncertainty remains, which all is discussed in the articles, but better to be equivocal when the data is than to give potentially false information. Especially the Anatidae page is now far more robust as regards taxonomy and systematics. Dysmorodrepanis 13:10, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

ID request

I took this picture Commons:Image:Cascais20.jpg at a minizoo in Cascais, Portugal. There was no identification tag on the cage. At first I thought it was a female bird of the Lady Amherst's pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae), since there was male bird in the next cage, but I'm not an expert in birds. JoJan 18:22, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Too black and bare headed for LAP. I'll checkin Pheasants of the World, but not tonight jimfbleak 19:43, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Female Crax curassow, HBW suggests Bare-faced Curassow, either Crax fasciolata fasciolata or C. f. pinima (which is nearly extinct in the wild it appears). Probably the former tho, as the barring does not reach very far down the belly. But as female curassows are very variable, there might have been hybridization between subspecies in captivity etc, I merely suggest C. fasciolata, probably nominate ssp. See image of female C. fasciolata here and here and the page here.
Thanks, Jim. JoJan 13:00, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Streak-headed Mannikin

I have created a stub for Streak-headed Mannikin Lonchura tristissima, lumping White-spotted Mannikin L. t. leucosticta in with it because of info in Coates (see ref). If anyone has better or more recent info that suggests the latter needs needs full species treatment, please let me know. Thanks. Maias 05:30, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


Hi y'all, I have gone over the Evolution section and reviewed last year's papers for it. Basically, the evolutionary history of the modern penguins is as clear as it can possibly get in the absence of fossils for the first lap (good luck trying to dig stuff up in Byrd Land - incidentially the place of origin of more stem-group lineages of living birds than any other place in the world it seems). FWIW, it could be useful to add a phylogenetic drawing; the Baker paper has a nice one, but caveat emptor - the divergence times must be seen with some bit of leeway as they are not based on material evidence. And it would be very nice to add maps, but the paleomaps available either are cylindrical projections or not true paleomaps at all as they show the continent's modern shape. At any rate, enjoy. It is very nice to have in mind in case you need to go mano a mano with some creationist; morphology, DNA, geography, climate, it all just so nicely fits together. Dysmorodrepanis 21:48, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

New pictures

Two new pictures that might inspire someone to write an article: Commons:Image:Syrigma sibilatrix.jpg and Commons:Image:Scarlet-headed Blackbird.jpg. I'm mentioning this at the request of the photographer, Ken Erickson. Anyone have a South American book? —JerryFriedman 19:39, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I can do the heron one as I have the HBW that covers them. Give me a day or two. Sabine's Sunbird talk 20:32, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Who would have thought? The page on this species from Ridgely and Tudor is one of the few pages of that book visible at Google Book search. So Scarlet-headed Blackbird is started. —JerryFriedman 00:11, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Bird taxonomy in the news

Yikes. I assume you've seen the bit about news species of birds in North America based on barcoding. Here's the pdf oof the paper in Molecular Ecology Notes [11] I wonder where the appropriate place to stick this is. Sabine's Sunbird talk 23:44, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the pdf! I don't know what to make of this really. Low sample sizes (n=1; this is sometimes OK in paleontology, but only if there is no alternative), no specimen data (subspecies/provenance - where do all those Canada Geese come from? Captives? Is the parentage known?), failure to incorporate 2 years of methodological criticism, discussion, and improvement (see also Cladistics 20: 47–55 and doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.12.005); I think I see a major debate about this one in the journals. By mid-2007, it might be possible to estimate this study's merits. As if Astraptes fulgerator, Preble's meadow jumping mouse, Gobius lagocephalus and the wrongly-calibrated molecular clocks we've been using in ornithology for nearly 10 years weren't enough.
This is all frustrating and a bit annoying. I wonder what the Cladistics and MPE crowd will make of this.
People will have read about it in the news and want to put it up on Wikipedia - and admitted, it would be better than no reference at all - but I'd advise against it. I've been following the barcoding debate for the last 15 months or so very closely and my impression is that this here paper is a prime candidate for being ripped to pieces. Whoever wants to do some mol-taxo referencing better check out Google Scholar and choose from the work of Jon Fjeldså. These are generally tried-and-true. Or maybe Michael Wink's papers - there is one rotten egg among them, but we already have it on WP (together with the rebuttal. Of course). Dysmorodrepanis 09:32, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
We don't have a article on genetic barcoding at all, so perhaps we should at least have that, outside the auspices of this project. Then if people want we can have a line that mentions this study in the appropriate articles if people want it without altering our taxonomy in a big way. Sabine's Sunbird talk 18:57, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Correction, we do. So, yeah, I agree that for the momement we need to keep this out of the taxonomy until at least some other scientists have commented. Sabine's Sunbird talk 19:01, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Another cracid ID request

See my comments under Image:Piping guan.jpg. I shall whip up a quick stub for Aburria, because the cracids are all messed up regarding redirects etc. Dysmorodrepanis 17:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Other bird-related pages

Aviculture - idea for discussion

There is a section on the wiki for aviculture (birds in breeding programs and as pets). Detailed aviculture paragraphs may clutter the pages on the natural science of the birds. The wiki natural science and aviculture pages already have many interlinks, but it is not clear where species specific aviculture pages should go (ie how to look after a budgie or a cockatoo). The avoculture section could extend to become a useful resourse. In the future many birds are sadly likely to become rarer and so extensive knowledge of birds in aviculture may help to save species for reintroduction to the wild. Similarly, other animals could have similar interlinking. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Snowmanradio (talkcontribs) .

I've always thought the aviculture bit doesn't sit well with the biology, so I'm in favour of the separation jimfbleak 17:22, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
There is a useful aviculture paragraph on the citron-crested cockatoo. Where would place it and how would you link it? Thinking of further expansion, how could it be made easier for 100s or 1000s of other species specific aviculture pages to be added and linked? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Snowmanradio (talkcontribs) .
What about a link from the science article (either a group or species as appropriate with the country-type fmt, eg, under Citron-crested Cockatoo, you could have
This species is often kept as a pet.
Main article: Citron-crested Cockatoo aviculture
just a thought, jimfbleak 13:25, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
This looks like a good idea. I'd recommend making a Category:Aviculture as well, in which these articles can all the aviculture articles can be placed. Tomertalk 11:03, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh crap. It looks like Category:Aviculture already exists. Not a problem really, my recommendation tho is that that category should be used only for the actual aviculture articles. My new recommendation is to make a category Category:Birds kept as pets or something like that, and have Category:Aviculture as a subcategory of it (or vice versa...that's another topic for hashing out...)... Tomertalk 11:07, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
The scientific taxology structure is ready built for adding aviculture, perhaps as a mirror. There are more links from aviculture to science than visa vera at present and adding links to the science article should work from the aviculture point of view and probably would not clutter the natural science screen, I guess. I have attempted the above suggestion to encourage discussion. Was it better as it was?
The preceding unsigned comment was added by Snowmanradio (talkcontribs) .
What precisely are you referring to when you say that the scientific taxology structure is ready-built for adding aviculture, specifically, "perhaps as a mirror"? I'm getting a wee bit confused (probably because I need sleep, but...) I think Jimfbleak's recommendation to have a regularly named subset of aviculture articles is a good one. So, for the Citron-crested Cockatoo its aviculture article would be Citron-crested Cockatoo aviculture. For the cockatiel, its aviculture article would be cockatiel aviculture. etc. Then, going with what I said earlier, Citron-crested Cockatoo should be included in the new category Category:Birds as pets or whatever, and Citron-crested Cockatoo aviculture would go in Category:Aviculture. (And, as I outlined above, Citron-crested Cockatoo should then be removed from Category:Aviculture as well...)... Tomertalk 11:37, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Anyway, if the taxonomy list is complete there should be over 10,000 birds listed. The aviculture page has only 15 birds listed and 3 are these are for the popular hobbies of pigeon keeping and racing. I think that the wiki aviculture pages are not yet as advanced as the natural science pages and should be facilitated to develope. I think that the format as already made for the Black Headed Caique is one acceptable format to combine natural science and aviculture. It has aviculture and natural science on the same page and the links from aviculture are directed to this page. Aviculture is a separate science from the pure natural science of ornithology and I guess separate pages would also be acceptable. Aviculture pages should expand more, I think, as there is a considerable pool of aviculture knowledge yet to feature on the wiki. Perhaps zoos will be able to write pages about aviculture of rare birds. At the current rate there are about 4 aviculture pages added per year. Extrapolating this, the aviculture pages would be complete after 2,500 years. I think that there should be an aim to complete 80% of the aviculture pages within 5 years and 99% within 25 years, after this I guess that some pages will never be made as some birds (sadly) could become extinct. Perhaps, aviculture does have a role in saving some species. Conservation pages could also be linked to endangered species pages to add relevance. This wiki could do this or perhaps another wiki could.

Perhaps aviculture would do betten under a separate wiki project for aviculture pages, and this project called wiki project ornithology. Is there anyone on the wiki project birds that is actually interested in aviculture?

Not me, but I'll say as I have before that I like having the ornithology and aviculture on the same page. And aviculturists' Web pages on bird species often include the kind of information that we include in ornithological articles, so they may like to see both kinds of information together. —JerryFriedman 23:45, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Mixed-species flocks

Anyone want to improve Mixed-species feeding flock? I put some open questions on the Talk page. —JerryFriedman 20:10, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Bird song

And while you're at it, I tagged Bird song for cleanup. I'm thinking that we need an article on Bird sounds that covers calls and non-vocal sounds and has a link to the article on song, but maybe all of it should be under one title. (At present "birdcall" and "bird call" redirect to Bird song.) —JerryFriedman 02:22, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Regional lists of birds and seasonality

Is there any general guideline on how large or small a region can be for which a regional list could be considered worthwhile ?

Also if regional lists are worth having, it might be a nice idea to have more than mere links by having seasonal status histogram bars for each species. A template to make histograms for each month along with breeding status would be useful for that. An example here [12] Shyamal 03:59, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

There are a number of lists at US state level, and one for a Califrornian county, although I personally would not consider the latter justifies an enc article. The histogram is a good idea, but would involve a lot of work, and might make articles for countries with a large avifauna too large - witness the problems with the to-do list that became so large it could not be opened. jimfbleak 06:51, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Another problem with histograms is where do you get them from? I would think lifting the bar-charts out of the back of A Birder's Guide to Florida, for instance, would be copyvio... - Aerobird 16:59, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
It depends on the number of status levels. Most regional lists have at least subjective rankings of commonness. I think we are using information here and not content itself and therefore not be a copyvio but fair use. Otherwise by the same token, we would not have a right to produce even distribution maps based on what are given in the books. Shyamal 03:33, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Upland birds

I have created an article on Upland birds as a part of work on a few hunting articles. I added the birds tag, but after looking at it I think that perhaps Upland birds should be a category rather than an article. It seems more like the Subcategory "Migratory Birds" on the birds category page, but I am not sure. Could someone take a look and see whether it would fit within the birds articles better as an article or as a category.--Counsel 19:09, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Since Upland bird needed a definition, I think it's better as an article than as a category. However, the normal meaning of "upland bird", imo, is any bird that doesn't live in the water or on wet ground (compare Upland Sandpiper), so maybe the title needs to be "upland game bird". On the other hand, that can mean Galliformes, so I don't know.
I suspect your "Valley Quail" is the California Quail, by the way. —JerryFriedman 21:59, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I made the changes. Page now at Upland game bird.--Counsel 23:44, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Parrots as pets

Many of the parrot articles contain substantial inforamtion about parots as pets. Most of the information is roughly the same, comlemented with some species specific information. Would it be a good idea to combine the pet information in a seperate article (Aviculture (parrots)), and link this from the obvious candidate pages as a disambig link. I think this can become in the first place a much better page than just have snippets here and there. Furthermore, it will free the species pages from duplicated stuff. What do others think about this? Kim van der Linde at venus 22:56, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

This would be a good idea. I assume that there would be a section on the page for each type of bird and the special considerations of that bird as a pet. Another option would be to have a separate article on each bird such as (Lesser Sulfer Crested Cockatoo (Pet)) as well as the article on the bird in general.--Counsel 23:40, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
The way I see it is that there is first a general section, after which each species gets its species specific header. We can than make a template that full automatically makes a link at the top of the species article linking to that section. Kim van der Linde at venus 02:39, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
To add, I can see that species with substantial species specififcc pet info get their own page, but that is to be seen. The sections have generally a high how-to and low encyclopedic value, so I think this won't be an serious issue. Kim van der Linde at venus 04:33, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I'd prefer to have no separate articles. Instead, Parrot could have all the information on keeping parrots as pets, Amazon parrot could have all the additional information that applies just to amazons, Yellow-headed Parrot could have all the information that applies just to that species, and so forth. I know that some disagree, but I'm in favor of having all the encyclopedic information on one taxon in one article. —JerryFriedman 18:58, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Parrot general information and parots as pets are two really different things, so I view them as two seperate subjects. Kim van der Linde at venus 19:06, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
After a good night sleep, I realised that your proposal will lead to the situation that a person starts with the species page, finds the speciesi specific info, get forwarded to the genus page for the genus specific info, and finally gets forwarded to the parrots page for everything that is parrot general. As I think most current information at species pages is actually more general, this will result in many of these constructions. To avoid sending the reading around in wikipedia and the need for those people to combine the information themselves, bringing stuff together in one article, with a redirect direct at the top of the page, will make it easier for those people top find the pet related information (which in my opinion now has to often a level of howto, and instruction). Kim van der Linde at venus 12:13, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
That's the construction we usually have. For instance, Yellow-headed Parrot doesn't say they're zygodactylous. You have to go to amazon parrot for that, and I see no particular reason to have the information there. Why not have it at parrot only? So readers are sent around and have to combine information themselves; the alternative is to say at every species article that parrots are zygodactylous. I don't see why the pet information should be different. I agree with you that a lot of the pet information is of the how-to kind, though, and the policy is not to have that. —JerryFriedman 16:21, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
The difference I see is the type of people looking for information. Parrot lovers just want "how to" information, and for that reason, I can see a single page to satisfy them, instead of just removing all that stuff from articles. I will see what others think of this before going this far, but I think I will start moving general information to parrots. Kim van der Linde at venus 16:47, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Kim van der Linde asked for my opinion, so here is my comment. I think keeping a separate article on parrots in aviculture is the most elegant solution. Ultimately, I think there is a big difference between the kind of information sought by someone interested in wildlife and someone interested in their pet bird. Also, Wikipedia is not a how-to manual, and having "how to keep a pet (blank)" in every parrot species article seems contrary to that thought. It makes for a great deal more work in finding and correcting misinformation that is sometimes posted by well-meaning bird owners. An article on Aviculture (parrots) would, of course, have to be written so that it is not stylistically a how-to guide, but that can be easily done -- see Aquarium for an example of this. Perhaps Aviculture (parrots) can have general information on the specific needs of different families and genera, or perhaps it might eventually grow into several articles with information on different species. --Ginkgo100 22:40, 21 May 2006 (UTC)


The Feathers Category is a bit of a joke. Every article within it is a stub, and there aren't particually that many of them. I think they should all be merged into feather, or at least a new "types of feathers" article, and should form a key part of the proposed series for bird anatomy. Or at least thats what I think. Anyone else agree? mastodon 01:26, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Split into Bird anatomy

Copied from Talk:Bird#Split_into_Bird_anatomy:

I suggest that a new article should be created to deal with this broad subject. There is already a bird skeleton article to deal with such a narrow subject, seems pointless to clutter the bird article with so much detail that will enevitably be added. I have ordered the current article to deal with the information as it stands, but it will not do for long. I say split; comments welcome - mastodon 21:00, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Keep. The 'bird' article not yet big enouph for splitting. TestPilot 17:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • No opinion. There's enough material under anatomy to constitute a separate article, but no compelling reason why it needs to be split off. Dpbsmith (talk) 18:37, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment - K, this does not seem to be fast reaching a consensus. Totally neutral right now, and if there is no compelling reason given not to split it off, I think I may do so soon. My proposal is that bird anatomy is created, then merged with stubs like bird skeleton and pinion (feather), and elements drawn in from random articles like bird, egg (biology), wing and bird flight. Sound good? mastodon 23:46, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Keep or when split, merge bird skeleton etc into it as per Jrockley/mastodon. Dysmorodrepanis 15:54, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Help at Softbill???

Could someone with some background in aviculture take a look at the softbill article? There is a new editor there who insists on completely deleting the existing article's text and writing his own article from scratch. Moreover, his new article is not in Wikipedia format and does not cite references within the article.

His totally new article is rather at odds with the previous article and I am not knowledgeable enough to determine the truth, although his attitude ("What, me format?") is enough to cause me to revert back to the original.

In other words, help! Thanks, Oscar 04:12, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Please confirm

Small thing: can someone confirm that this is a male? Image:Tufted titmouse perching 2006-11-23.jpg Thanks, — coelacan talk — 19:10, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

MetaWiki stuff (nominations, interwiki, translations etc)

Articles for the Wikipedia 1.0 project

Hi, I'm a member of the Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team, which is looking to identify quality articles in Wikipedia for future publication on CD or paper. We recently began assessing using these criteria, and we are looking for A-class, B-class, and Good articles, with no POV or copyright problems. Can you recommend any suitable articles? Please post your suggestions here. Cheers, Shanel 20:19, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, thanks there looks to be some Bs, and Seabird looks like a very nice A (maybe an FAC?). We have a table of articles here, feel free to update your list if you find other suitable ones. I'm very busy right now, but we'll add your picks to the list soon. Thanks again, Walkerma 05:17, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Peer Review

List of Puerto Rican birds is up for a peer review. Please leave your comments/suggestion here. Joelito (talk) 16:18, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Good bird articles?

Kakapo, Albatross and now Elfin-woods Warbler have made the grade as Featured Articles - but we don't appear to have many bird articles listed yet as Good Articles, the relatively new stepping stone category on the way to FA status - just Australian Ringneck and bird itself. I'm sure we have plenty of potential candidates - if you can think of some, can I encourage you to nominate them at the nominations page. I'm happy to review nominations - just leave a note on my talk page. SP-KP 21:15, 24 June 2006 (UTC)


As well as the main Wikipedia collaboration of the week, there are topic-specific collaborations e.g. the "New Zealand collaboration of the fortnight" - would there be an appetite for something similar on birds? SP-KP 15:50, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm happy to help in that. I should be able to find some time. Sabine's Sunbird talk 19:25, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Sure, why not? Can be combined with the "Good Articles" quest above too. Dysmorodrepanis 19:22, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Good article

Just to let you know that Ivory-billed Woodpecker is now a Good Article SP-KP 23:42, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

... and, I've now listed it for peer review, as the next step towards FA status, hopefully. Any & all comments appreciated. SP-KP 07:17, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Very pleasant for you and the others who have worked on it!
You've also answered a question I was too lazy to ask. It seems that not every statement or paragraph in a GA needs to be footnoted, as long as they're all supported by cited authorities. I'm pretty satisfied with a lot of articles I've worked on, some of which are about birds, and I think I'll nominate them. —JerryFriedman 16:23, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Crimson-collared Tanager is now also a GA. I'm mentioning that, not to brag (of course), but to point out that a short but fairly complete article can get Good status. It doesn't have to be one that's so extensive it could be Featured, like Ivory-billed Woodpecker. —JerryFriedman 01:03, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Good to hear that. So what do you think about Silvery Pigeon? I went over it last night, and I think there is basically everything to be said about this enigmatic bird in it. Only things are missing are a picture (would have to be a drawing - the only photo I know of is liked in the article tho) and a range map (which would have to detail the W Indonesian region because otherwise it would not be worth much), but maybe I will make one now. As a side note, should Pied Imperial-Pigeon not rather be "-pigeon"? Dysmorodrepanis 19:56, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I only have time for side notes at the moment, but as someone pointed out to me somewhere on Wikipedia, AOU usage is to capitalize the second element of a hyphenated compound if and only if it's the name of a bird (e.g., Scrub-Jay, but Thick-knee). The BOU never capitalizes the second element (Stone-curlew). I haven't checked other lists. You pays your money and you takes your choice. —JerryFriedman 03:23, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
OIC. It always had me wondering; the HBW (which I use) uses the BOU standard. As WP has redirects, it does not really matter anyway. At any rate, I made a good map for Columba argentina now, and it is uploaded (Commons too). Maybe the recent locations should be marked with arrows; what do you think? The "Going or gone" paper mentions an unverified 2002 record which I have not been able to trace. Dysmorodrepanis 15:12, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Check out Mariana Mallard if you like. I mentioned some refs I would like to have in there but do not have at hand at present in the source, as comments. Also, I will make a map and possibly get my hands on some pix: this and this page's images should be copyright-free (US Gov't work), or not? The second is a "superciliosa" type drake (the last male); I'd guess that the first shows the last female as the flanks and scapulars (or what one can see of them) seem to agree. Bill has me wondering though; so I'd like a second (third...) opinion. Dysmorodrepanis 17:24, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Albatross FAC

I have submitted Albatross for Featured article status, I'd appreciate comments or support. Sabine's Sunbird talk 15:18, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Procellariidae peer review

I've thrown another bird family into peer review with a mind to getting it featured. I'd appreciate any comments on what is missing from the article and what needs to be tightened up. Come check it out here. Sabine's Sunbird talk 08:54, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Tytthostonyxis not unequivocally accepted as procellariiform - it may be ancestral to Procellariiformes + Pelecaniformes (which would fit in with its age - right around the C-T boundary); if one accepts these orders as close relatives, they seem to have diverged during the Paleocene. I have no paper on hand on this question (there is one, I remember reading it. Possibly some paper by G. Mayr and/or on Diomedeoides), but unequivocal members of both orders are known from the Eocene on. You might want to mention the Diomedeoididae and link them, so somebody might feel compelled to do a stub on these guys or even an article. And by the way, the beautiful pic of the Cape Petrel made me correct that article - Daption as an anagram of pintado is unintended; I will reference that when I have the paper in my hands (Olson in Notornis, some time in the 80s IIRC).
Apart from that... w00t! Dysmorodrepanis 16:11, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Oh, forget about the Diomedeoididae, my bad. The Tytthostonyx description should be online soon (hopefully) so I (red)linked it; in the long run, one would perhaps better move that critter to Procellariiformes. Dysmorodrepanis 21:10, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Procellariidae FAC

I'd appreciate either support or comments! Thanks. Check it out here. Sabine's Sunbird talk 08:22, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


I've started a second peer review for seabird, hopefully I can finish the bugger off. Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:41, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

English dialects

I question an article like "Scrub Jay" (a totally New World group ocurring in only Latin America and the U.S.) being written in British English. While I'd expect an article on Skylark or even Winter Wren to be written with British English, this struck me as odd. What do others think about this? -Natureguy1980 20:01, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

People in "Latin America" such as Trinidad and Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica and others use British English so not all of America uses American English. Therefore, the article may be written in either of the "dialects". Joelito (talk) 20:45, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
No scrub-jay (or even Aphelocoma) occurs in those countries, so again, I contend it would make more sense to be better written in American English. The British useage makes no sense to me.
scrub-jay is a bit borderline, since four of the five species occur entirely or partially in the US - however, other species or groups with less of a US presence can just as easily be written in British English, since the Carribean, Central and South America countries either use that variant or have Spanish or Portuguese as their official languages. jimfbleak 13:07, 18 August 2006 (UTC).
The main reason that Apheloma is in English is that the majority of the early edits were by brits and aussies. jimfbleak 16:05, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Major changes

I really did not know where to put this discussion so if anyone feels it belong in another category feel free to move it. I feel like we need to start assessing the articles under this WikiProject and that we should start to collaborate more between ourselves.

To kick this off I made some changes to the {{BirdTalk}} template. There are new parameters to help assess the importance and quality of bird-related articles. Also I am in the process of creating some sub-pages to help us in these tasks.

We now need to start discussing the definitions for article importance. Quality definitions have already been discussed at length in Wikipedia so there won't be much need to discuss them. We need to start thinking which articles should be Top importance, High importance, etc.

When the sub-pages are ready I will post the links for them here and will create a navigational bar.

Also there will need to be a discussion for the categories' names. For example Category:FA-Class Birds articles or Category:FA-Class Bird articles or Category:FA-Class birds articles. Joelito (talk) 21:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Importance is always going to be kind of subjective, though I'm sure we can thrash out a hieracarchy of sorts. I'd suggest that families are more important than species, which is why so much of my efforts go towards them. Bird deffinetely rates the highest importance though, and perhaps is a good collaborative target for FAC, other contenders for important articles in my mind would be bird song, bird migration, bird anatomy, bird flight, Archaeopteryx and the as yet uncreated bird behaviour (or bird behavior for editors of an American inclination). I'd also be mighty tempted to put Passeriformes in the top category too. Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:04, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I just noticed that Archaeopteryx is currently claimed by the wikiproject that deals with dinosaurs. Perhaps a joint custody arrangement is in order? Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:26, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Joint custody for Archaeopteryx is fine as long as we are willing to work on the article. How about this classification scheme?

  • Top - bird, bird anatomy, feather, etc.
  • High - Orders, Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, bird migration, bird ringing
  • Medium - Families, quasi-families such as seabirds, etc.
  • Low - Species

However some cosmopolitan or domesticated species (e.g. Chicken) should probably be given higher importance ratings. Joelito (talk) 15:29, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Also, well known familes or genera, what people think of when you say bird, should be high status (to my mind) - duck, eagle, flamingo, sparrow, gull, swan, that kind of thing. Sabine's Sunbird talk 17:44, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I think a better idea would be: Top for Orders, High for Families, Mid for Genera and Low for Species. I also endorse the idea of promoting "notable" taxa up a category. Bird migration is such an important topic it should go in the Top category, surely? SP-KP 22:00, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Well I would not include orders as Top priority since Top is defined as "This article is of the utmost importance to this project, as it forms the basis of all information.". I believe articles such as Bird, bird migration, bird anatomy, etc are og utmost importance. Orders I would classify as High since they fall under the definition of "This article is fairly important to this project, as it covers a general area of knowledge.". Joelito (talk) 22:40, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the definitions could perhaps do with some more thought, in that case. I do think we need at least the four levels - one for each major taxonomic rank - if not, which two would you lump together? Placing only "bird" in the top-level category seems like a waste of potential. SP-KP 22:47, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
The definitions are standard for the entire Wikipedia. We will have to figure our what we can lump together. Maybe genera and species can be classified as low. Joelito (talk) 22:55, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I realise they are standard - what I mean is we ought to think about whether they need to be tailored here, given that we have an atypical situation. Alternatively, we could go for the lumping option as you suggest, but genera and species are the two largest groups of articles - doesn't it make more sense to lump the two smallest - orders and families? SP-KP 23:07, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Also, could we get a developer or bot to whizz down through the Tree of Life's birds branch and add this automatically to the 1000+ articles that are there, rather than having to do it manually? I've just added it to the Bird articles I've created and it's taken ages. SP-KP 22:39, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

We will have to check if a bot could do it. Joelito (talk) 22:55, 18 August 2006 (UTC)


I seem to have become an involuntary arbitrator in some edit conflicts on that page (see talk:guineafowl). Peace temporarily has descended, but I'd welcome a second opinion, especially on the cookery issue. jimfbleak 13:10, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I left a comment and have added the page to my watchlist. Sabine's Sunbird talk 07:42, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern is on peer review. Please leave comments here. Thanks. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 23:03, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Seabird FAC

I've nominated seabird for FA status. I'd appreciate support or comments. I can't wait to get this one featured so I never have to look at it again. Sabine's Sunbird talk 05:57, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Online resources

I have included numerous useful links to free to view journals and other online sources of reliable information in the Taxonomy and references section of this project page. If you know of any other free journals that are worth including please add them. Sabine's Sunbird talk 21:54, 10 September 2006 (UTC)


Seeing Homo florensis get the FAR treatment today made me think that our earliest featured article, Kakapo, could probably use a spring clean. Its a little citation light by todays standards, and we should maybe work on it a little to keep it featured. The current issue of Notornis, here, is actually entirely about the natural history and conservation of the species. It would be good to catch it before it goes to FAR. I'll start looking at it tonight. Sabine's Sunbird talk 02:16, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Arctic Tern FAC

I've nominated Arctic Tern to be a Featured Article. I'd appreciate any comments or support you may have. Please see it here. Thank you, everyone. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 22:39, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Tagging talk pages and assessing articles

Wikipedia Assessments within AWB. Click on the image to see it in better resolution

Hi. If you still have work to do tagging talk pages and assessing articles, my AWB plugin might be of interest to you.

The plugin has two main modes of operation:

  • Tagging talk pages, great for high-speed tagging
  • Assessments mode, for reviewing articles (pictured)

As of the current version, WikiProjects with simple "generic" templates are supported by the plugin without the need for any special programatic support by me. I've had a look at your project's template and you seem to qualify.

For more information see:

Hope that helps. If you have any questions or find any bugs please let me know on the plugin's talk page. --Kingboyk 11:59, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Procellariidae on Main Page soon

Barring changes, Procellariidae will appear on the Main Page as today's featured article on October 22. To help fight vandalism, click here to start watching the page if you have not already started. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 15:24, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I changed the layout of the evolution/taxonomy section. It was very bulky and heavy to stomach for people w/o prior knowledge, and I think it reads more fluent now as the sections are more recognizable. Also some add info. Check it out whether its OK. Dysmorodrepanis 22:48, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
The layout's nice and more understandable. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 00:34, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Birds of Amchitka

A current featured article candidate, Amchitka, needs a little help. Would somebody mind writing a paragraph or two on the birds of this island? Two possible sources I've found are Birds of Amchitka Island, Alaska and Notes on the Birds of Amchitka Island, Alaska. Thanks, Jakew 11:44, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Talk:List of regional bird lists

Please comment on the move and reversion jimfbleak 05:48, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Mourning Dove on peer review

I have placed Mourning Dove on Peer review. Please leave comments, input, and suggestions here. Thanks. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 21:21, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Project directory

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 23:42, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

American Crow peer review request

I listed American Crow for peer review at Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds/Peer review/American Crow. - Elliskev 23:25, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Wildlife Barnstar

There is currently a barnstar proposal at Wikipedia:Barnstar and award proposals/New Proposals#Wildlife Barnstar for a barnstar which would be available for use for this project. Please feel free to visit the page and make any comments you see fit. Badbilltucker 15:25, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Surfbirds on (but now not on) spam blacklist

Hi. Just to let you know that Surfbirds made it onto the Spam blacklist here; I've got it removed, hopefully this will be permanently but it's possible that it'll get re-added. One to watch for when adding external links, references etc. SP-KP 19:55, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I can't understand why it was ever listed as spam, jimfbleak 06:32, 17 November 2006 (UTC)


Beginning cross-post.

See Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team#Stablepedia. If you wish to comment, please comment there. MESSEDROCKER 03:36, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

End cross-post. Please do not comment more in this section.


This article needs more despite being graded a good article. The structure of the article and sections need to be thought of more carefully and citations need to be improved. All the group level animal articles need a little more attention in general - since these are going to popular starting points and their organization/structure can really help people forage for additional information. Shyamal 03:57, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Veterinary medicine project

There is now a proposed project at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Veterinary Medicine to deal with matters of veterinary medicine, a subject which currently has disproportionately low content in wikipedia. Any wikipedia editors who have an interest in working on content related to the subject are encouraged to indicate as much there. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 22:09, 6 December 2006 (UTC)


One of your flagship pages Parrot needs a bit of a clean up, I think. Snowman 00:09, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

It does indeed. But even professional scientists are in disagreement about what to make of them. Slowly but surely, I'm gonna work through the systematics part. Dysmorodrepanis 14:30, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 17:14, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

New Members

How do I join WikiProjectBirds? Teak the Kiwi 04:24, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Nothing formal - add your username to the Participants section on the main project page, have a read through and you're in! Richard Barlow 11:28, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Kakapo FAR

Kakapo has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:22, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Project Userbox

A modest proposal: {{User:Aerobird/WP Birds Userbox}}

- Aerobird 21:54, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Gladly thunbs-up. Dysmorodrepanis 06:24, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Have changed icon width so that it fits with the other ToL userboxes. Rv if you disagree. Also, everyone - would it be OK if this were listed on Wikipedia:Userboxes/WikiProjects#Animals? Dysmorodrepanis 16:05, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


Please be aware of the proposed Species microformat, particularly in relation to taxoboxes. Comments welcome on the wiki at that link. Andy Mabbett 15:25, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Aviculture WikiProject proposal

See Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Aviculture. The purpose of this project is to help increase the amount and quality of content related to aviculture on wikipedia, and to maintain and organise articles relating to the subject, eventually bringing as many as possible up to good- or featured-article status. I feel that is sufficiently different to WikiProject Birds (aspects of ornithology and biology) to need a separate project. Snowman 17:00, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I would agree with this. It could also be argued that WP Birds could be split three ways into ornithology, birding and aviculture. Maias 23:35, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Naming conventions for shared names?

I'm working on a page for the Rock Wren of New Zealand, which has exactly the same name as the Rock Wren of North America (even on the HBW website). I'm wary of using the name suggested on the New Zealand wren article (New Zealand Rock Wren) as I've never seen that name anywhere else. So, do we go for the clunky New Zealand Rock Wren or do we have Rock Wren (New Zealand)? (p.s. yes, I might finally be back) Sabine's Sunbird talk 04:59, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

We could use "South Island Wren". It's the name used in the Clements and Sibley & Monroe checklists and also used in the Birdlife species factsheet Tigershrike 13:29, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
That would work... Sabine's Sunbird talk 19:28, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
HANZAB gives Fiordland Rock Wren as an alternative. Maias 03:01, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I went with South Island Wren and created redirects for the other names (as well as changing any links into Rock Wren that were refering to this species). A bit annoying for Kiwi birders though, since they all seem to refer to this species as the Rock Wren. Sabine's Sunbird talk 03:41, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


Hi! I am a new member of WikiProject Birds. Recently i am trying to categorize African estrildidae according to countries which they are native in. However, it was proposed to merge all of the subcategories into Category:Birds of Africa. I was wondering if any of the experts here have any idea to organize the category/ subcategories? See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion#Category:Birds of Africa, for discussion. Luffy487 04:05, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Subspecies taxobox example?

I was wondering if there is any subspecies taxobox example available? See Green-backed Twinspot, Solitary Tinamou and Star Finch, for examples. Luffy487 06:38, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi Luffy. There is a subspecies taxobox at Bonin Nankeen Night Heron‎. Is this what you are looking for? Maias 11:41, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply. I was away for quite sometime. Well I am looking for taxobox which can provide more than one example of subspecies. Thanks by the way. Luffy487 08:13, 24 February 2007 (UTC)


Hi all,

Recently, the WikiProject Dinosaurs team has been working to improve Archaeopteryx. Since this article is partially under the purview of the Bird folks, I thought I'd stop by and drop an invite to you all to come help improve or refine the article in any way you can. Best wishes, Firsfron of Ronchester 04:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)