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Missouri birders:

The American Ornithological Society, or AOS (formerly the AOU), has just
published the 61st supplement to its Checklist of North and Middle American
Birds. This supplement, which used to be occasional, has become annual
because new information is accruing fast and producing many changes in our
understanding of bird relationships.

As far as Missouri goes, the 61st supplement has produced no species splits
or mergers that would affect our list. Nationally, there have been two such
changes: (1) Northwestern Crow (*Corvus caurinus*) has been merged with
American Crow and termed a "geographical trend," which means it's not even
distinct enough for subspecies status; (2) Mexican Duck (*Anas diazi*) has
been re-split from Mallard and thus elevated to its one-time status as a
full species, like the other "brown" relatives of Mallard, such as Mottled
Duck and American Black Duck.

No name changes have occurred that would affect the names on our state
list, but there have been some rearrangements involving the sequence in
which birds are listed within an order, family, or genus, reflecting how
closely related they are to other birds in the same group, as determined by
the most recent genetic analysis. This "linear order" has been shifted in
four groups that are relevant to us: the *Selasphorus* hummingbirds (Rufous
etc.), the turkey, grouse, and pheasant family (Phasianidae), the rails and
gallinules (Rallidae), and the cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae). In addition,
the linear order of the frigatebird, anhinga, and cormorant families within
the order Suliformes has been switched around.

That's all that matters for Missouri, although a great many more actions
were taken, especially in the tropics. The Annotated Checklist of Missouri
Birds, on line at
will be current on the linear-order changes by next week.

Bill Rowe

Secretary, MBRC

The Missouri Birding Society's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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