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25th Report of the ABA Checklist Committee, 2013–2014

It’s a holiday tradition at Birding magazine: The last issue of the year features, among many other things, the annual report of the ABA Checklist Committee. Each year, the committee’s report is timely, thorough, and well-researched. So it is with the 2013–2014 report, and we’ll get around to that in a moment. But first things first. First, here are the committee’s major decisions that affect birders’ lists in the ABA Area:


Species Added Based on Distributional Records

  • Egyptian Goose, Code 2
  • Zino’s Petrel, Code 5
  • Common Redstart, Code 5

Species Added Based on Taxonomic Changes

  • Salvin’s and White-capped albatrosses, Codes 5 and 4, respectively (split from Shy Albatross, deleted from the Checklist)
  • Ridgway’s Rail, Code 2 (split from Clapper Rail; Clapper Rail in the strict sense remains on the Checklist, Code 1)
  • Kamchatka Leaf Warbler, Code 4 (split from Arctic Warbler; Arctic Warbler in the strict sense remains on the Checklist, Code 2)

Species Not Accepted

  • Hooded Crane


Once again, the ABA Checklist has expanded—it’s up to 987 species. The way things are going, the Checklist could well reach 1,000 by decade’s end. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The one decision that may attract the greatest notice is the single non-addition, of Hooded Crane. In their report, the committee thoroughly explains the Hooded Crane vote. Because of the holidays, it will be just a little longer before ABA members receive the print version of the magazine. But we’d like to get the Checklist Committee report into your hands right now. Click here, and it’s yours:

Thanks to the committee and their energetic chairman, Bill Pranty, for the excellent service they provide to the ABA community.

Oh, and the full version of the report has news about European Turtle-Dove, Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, and Tricolored Munia. And a photo of Aaron Lang’s adorable daughter. You really want to click on that link… 🙂

Sample pages from the ABA Checklist Committee's detailed report in Birding magazine. ABA members, click on the link above for the full article.

Sample pages from the ABA Checklist Committee’s detailed report in Birding magazine. Click on the image to enlarge. ABA members, click on the link above for a high-quality PDF of the full article.

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Ted Floyd

Ted Floyd

Editor, Birding magazine at American Birding Association
Ted Floyd is the Editor of Birding magazine, and he is broadly involved in other programs and initiatives of the ABA. He is the author of more than 100 magazine and journal articles, and has written four recent books, including an ABA title, the ABA Guide to Birds of Colorado. Floyd is a frequent speaker at birding festivals and state ornithological society meetings, and he has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Mainly, he listens to birds at night.
Ted Floyd

Latest posts by Ted Floyd (see all)

  • AlexC

    Current ABA checklist (looking at PDF) lists Ridgway’s Rail as a Code 1, not Code 2. Which is correct? Merry Christmas!

    • Ted Floyd

      Am pretty sure Ridgway’s Rail should be Code 2, as stated in the Checklist Committee report. Will check with Bill Pranty to confirm. And Merry Christmas to you, too.

    • Bill Pranty

      Good morning Alex, I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your statement. Ridgway’s Rail is not on any printed ABA Checklist since the species was not recognized until a few months ago. Perhaps you meant that Clapper Rail is listed on the current (7th edition, Page 47) of the ABA Checklist as a Code 1 species. That is correct. Since Ridgway’s Rail has a much reduced distribution relative to Clapper Rail (in the strict sense), the ABA CLC gave it a lower code.

    • Trying to tie up a couple of loose ends here. AlexC, I gather, is looking at the most recent PDF of the ABA Checklist, which we strive to keep updated and correct and available in various downloadable formats. You can find that material here:

      AlexC is also correct that we show Ridgway’s Rail as Code 1, when it should be Code 2. We will get that fixed.

      Bill Pranty, sounds like things went a little wrong when you surmised/assumed that AlexC was talking about a “printed” checklist. I don’t believe he was.

      Hope this clears things up. Again, we’ll fix that rail Code.

  • Pingback: Birding Online – November/December 2014 « ABA Publications()

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