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American Birding Podcast: Reviewing the 2017 AOS Supplement with Nick Block & Michael Retter

The 2017 American Ornithological Society Check-list Supplement was notable for the taxonomic decisions that were not made as much as those that were. Yellow-rumped Warbler and Willet were not split, but Cassia Crossbill was. We also saw the unprecedented lump of Thayer’s Gull into the holarctic Iceland Gull. Biologist Nick Block returns along with Birder’s Guide editor Michael Retter to discuss the changes made and the AOS’s process.

Also, we hear from Laura Erickson, author of the new ABA Field Guide to Birds of Minnesota, about writing the book and some of her favorite experiences birding in that part of the world. And I have a little something to say about the rise of millennial birders via this Maclean’s article.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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  • Ravenzrule

    Enjoyed the podcast, as always, and agree with the points raised by Block & Retter about the lack of consistency on the committee’s treatment of lumps & splits. I hadn’t realized the Townsend’s & Hermit Warblers were far less like good species than the the taxa included in “Yellow-rumped Warbler” but don’t doubt it, and certainly agree about Golden- & Blue-winged Warblers needing to be lumped if they insist on keeping the Yellow-rump as a single species.

    Thanks, also, for the mention of, and link to, the Maclean’s article on millennial birders. I hadn’t seen it and would have been sorry to have missed it. One slight, possibly nit-picky, correction–it’s pronounced “ma-clayn” rather than “ma-cleen.”

    • Appreciate the comments! And thanks for the heads up on Mcclean’s. In my head I said it as ma-clayn, but my dialect might have snuck through on my pronunciation.

  • David Kelly

    Great Podcast! Enjoyed this episode, especially hearing about our “trash” godwit being a rare bird somewhere. As for re naming Iceland Gull that would be wrong, Larus glaucoides carries the English name Iceland Gull, surely the way forward would be Greenland Iceland Gull, Kumlein’s Iceland Gull and Thayer’s Iceland Gull. It works for Bonelli’s Warbler in Europe even if it sounds a wee bit clumsy.

    As a Scot I have to agree with Revenzrule below, MacLean is pronounce to rhyme with “lane”, that’s why some people spell it Maclaine.

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