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ABA Checklist Committee adds three species to the ABA Checklist

In recent weeks, members of the ABA Checklist Committee (CLC) have unanimously added three species to the ABA Checklist. These species, all vagrants from the Old World, are Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra), Blyth’s Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum), and Pallas’s Rosefinch (Carpodacus roseus). Full accounts for these and other decisions made by the CLC since October 2015 will be featured in our next annual report, to be published in the November 2016 issue of Birding, but summaries for these three new species are included here.

Common Scoter: one male at Crescent City, California, 25 January–15 February 2015, underwent two rounds of voting by the CLC before being accepted. Initial concerns that the bird may have been an escapee were alleviated when the CLC received information that Common Scoters apparently are not kept captive in North America.

Photo by Bill Bouton

Photo by Bill Bouton

Blyth’s Reed Warbler: one juvenile at Gambell, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, 18–21 September 2015, was well-photographed. Specifically, in-flight photographs showing the emarginated primaries helped to rule out similar species.

Pallas’s Rosefinch: one, thought to be a first-winter male, at St. Paul Island, Alaska, 20–24 September 2015, was well-photographed and its calls were audio-recorded.

The number of species on the ABA Checklist is increased to 990.

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Bill Pranty

Bill Pranty

Bill Pranty has lived and birded in central Florida for more than 35 years. Pranty’s studies emphasize the documentation of Florida’s diverse avifauna, with a focus on its exotic species. His research has added four species to the ABA Checklist—Egyptian Goose, Purple Swamphen, Nanday Parakeet, and Common Myna—all of them exotics from Florida. Pranty is chairman of the ABA Checklist Committee, and a technical reviewer for and frequent contributor to Birding magazine. He has written dozens of peer-reviewed ornithological papers and is the author or co-author of six books, among these a Birder's Guide to Florida, the ABA Checklist, and the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Florida.
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