Very interesting narrative, Ryan. Range boundaries between the Rockies and the Pacific are not well understood, however, so it’s possible that the AOU will wait to split the species until further studies are completed. Here are three proposed changes to watch for: Splitting White-breasted Nuthatch into two, three, or four species. A version of this article appeared in the August 2013 issue of BirdWatching magazine. BirdWatching In this year’s update to the Check-list of North American Birds, the American Ornithologists’ Union will recognize at least one new species and may make other changes. The top two "brackets" would collectively be the California Sage Sparrow, and the lower bracket would be the Great Basin Sage Sparrow. Of the most recent AOU splits, the Bell's and Sagebrush Sparrow split has been one of the more headache-inducing identification challenges for southwest birders. BirdWatching L�lR���6A�1 *\(� Options are Bell’s Sparrow and Sage Sparrow, or California Sage-Sparrow and Great Basin Sage-Sparrow. If you are interested in volunteering in the field next season, we need you! Read the proposal to split White-breasted Nuthatch: Proposals 2013-C (pdf). Your source for becoming a better birder. The recent American Ornithological Union (AOU) decisions to split Sage Sparrow (RIP) into Sagebrush Sparrow and Bell’s Sparrow has the Birdosphere buzzing on everything from field marks, vocalizations, status and distribution to historical records and hypothetical patterns of vagrancy. A recent genetic examination suggests that Gray-crowned, Brown-capped, and Black Rosy-Finches are in fact one species. Read the proposal to merge all North American rosy-finches: Proposals 2013-B (pdf). Many people think so, and they have good reason to. Our volunteers enable us to increase capture rates and have made our project a success in Arizona. We took measurements on as many of the previously-noted potential differences in field marks and morphology as we could find in the literature and online, have added a few of our own, assessed the appearance of some of these features in different lighting conditions, at different distances and with different optics, and explored apparent differences in habitat preferences between the two species. The new species will be split from Sage Sparrow, a bird of western sagebrush and mountain chaparral habitats. A wonderful post to read, many thanks for sharing it. Many people think so, and they have good reason to. Neither has been recorded in TN but many TN birders have these birds on their life lists. Keep up to date on all the latest birding news and info. The new species will be split from Sage Sparrow, a bird of western sagebrush and mountain chaparral habitats. Read the proposal to split Sage Sparrow: Proposals 2013-A (pdf). The recent AOU split of Sage Sparrow into two distinct species, Bell’s Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) and Sagebrush Sparrow (A. nevadensis), has led to an outbreak of head-shaking and hand-wringing on blogs, listservs, identification discussion groups, and even reviewer discussion groups in the region. Because of the very recent taxonomic split from Bell's Sparrow, the latest population trends from the North American Breeding Bird Survey are only for "Sage Sparrow," which included both Bell's Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow. © 2020 Madavor Media, LLC. Owl caught in Rockefeller Center Christmas tree flies free. The idea of splitting what we currently know as the Sage Sparrow has been around since the late 1800s. Northern Flicker’s fascinating color differences explained, McCown’s Longspur renamed Thick-billed Longspur, Identifying North America’s five titmouse species, Court decision ‘a much-needed win for migratory birds’, Young Piping Plover dies after people remove it from beach, Grassland bird decline tied to neonicotinoids. Its classification has been the subject of ornithological debate for 115 years. )p������0�\]���6 ҍL32e��R��SU�G��v�� :! Save over 25% and get all-access: print+iPad. Keep up to date on all the latest birding news and info. If lumped, the new species may be named American Rosy-Finch. Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, contests and more! If lumped, the new species may be named American Rosy-Finch. Range boundaries between the Rockies and the Pacific are not well understood, however, so it’s possible that the AOU will wait to split the species until further studies are completed. supplement will be splitting what was formerly one species, Sage Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) into two species, Sagebrush Sparrow (A. nevadensis) consisting of former subspecies . Recent studies of mitochondrial DNA, morphology, and other factors have established that sparrows of the interior west are separate from birds of coastal regions. The competitive aspect of the "birding game" detracts a bit from this basic search for answers. Birdscapes Contest: Crossley ID Raptor Guide Giveaway, Review: Backyard Birds - Looking Through the Glass, Panurus biarmicus - Bigotudo (Bearded Reedling), All The Colours of a Rainbow - European Bee-eater. Increased development and destruction of shrub-steppe habitat have contributed to a range-wide decline in the Sage Sparrow population. Note the narrow range of overlap between interior. Despair deepens due to the inclusion of the ‘Mojave’ subspecies of Sage Sparrow (A. b. canescens) within Bell’s Sparrow and not with Sagebrush.