When is a Larid Not a Larus?
…when it’s been renamed in the newly-released 49th Supplement to the A.O.U. Check-list of North American Birds, Seventh Edition.
The new supplement includes various and sundry switches of interest to North American listers, ornithologists, and taxonomists but probably very few others. Paramount among the changes is a new classification and sequence of genera and species adopted for gulls of the subfamily Larinae. Now, not all of the larids are of Larus.
The new AOU listing of the Larinae is as follows; (A) indicates accidental/casual in AOU area:
Creagrus furcatus Swallow-tailed Gull. (A)
Rissa tridactyla Black-legged Kittiwake.
Rissa brevirostris Red-legged Kittiwake.
Pagophila eburnea Ivory Gull.
Xema sabini Sabine’s Gull.
Chroicocephalus philadelphia Bonaparte’s Gull.
Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus Gray-hooded Gull. (A)
Chroicocephalus ridibundus Black-headed Gull.
Hydrocoloeus minutus Little Gull.
Rhodostethia rosea Ross’s Gull.
Leucophaeus modestus Gray Gull. (A)
Leucophaeus atricilla Laughing Gull.
Leucophaeus pipixcan Franklin’s Gull.
Larus belcheri Belcher’s Gull. (A)
Larus crassirostris Black-tailed Gull. (A)
Larus heermanni Heermann’s Gull.
Larus canus Mew Gull.
Larus delawarensis Ring-billed Gull.
Larus occidentalis Western Gull.
Larus livens Yellow-footed Gull.
Larus californicus California Gull.
Larus argentatus Herring Gull.
Larus michahellis Yellow-legged Gull. (A)
Larus thayeri Thayer’s Gull.
Larus glaucoides Iceland Gull.
Larus fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull. (N)
Larus schistisagus Slaty-backed Gull.
Larus glaucescens Glaucous-winged Gull.
Larus hyperboreus Glaucous Gull.
Larus marinus Great Black-backed Gull.
Larus dominicanus Kelp Gull.
What do you think of that?
The artist formerly known as Larus ridibundus
Other changes include identifying Mangrove Black-Hawk as a subspecies of the Common Black-Hawk, resplitting American Flamingo from Greater Flamingo, and moving flamingos to come after grebes on the checklist. Also, the English names of several American species in the genus Turdus have been changed from Robin to Thrush, catching the AOU up to many other taxonomic authorities.
The 49th Supplement to the A.O.U. Check-list has plenty more arcane avian excitement so be sure to check it out!