Birding Dongfang and Dongzhai on Hainan

10,000 Birds

The HBW reports that until recently several subspecies were commonly recognized, notably brevipes , ocularis , micronesiae , minima , leucophrys , meeki and tannensis , but that the differences are slight and the species is now treated as monotypic.

Clearing up the Collared Kingfishers

10,000 Birds

One new Pacific island form is the Mariana Kingfisher ( Todiramphus albicilla ) from the Mariana Islands in Micronesia. Saipan, Micronesia. All the way back in 2011 I wrote about the confusing taxanomic enigma that is the Collared Kingfisher , a species that ranges from the Red Sea to Tonga in a bewildering variety of forms. I’m happy to report that an analysis of the species and some relatives has found that, as suspected, it isn’t a single species.

2015 76

Purple Swamphen: Supertramp or superspecies?

10,000 Birds

Dark blackish swamphens occur from eastern Indonesia across Australia, Melanesia, southern Micronesia, and Polynesia as far east as American Samoa, having reached some of these islands only in the last few hundred years and, in the case of New Zealand at least, recolonizing islands previously settled by their cousins.

2014 80

Confusing Collared Kingfishers

10,000 Birds

Subspecies albicilla , Saipan, Micronesia. The world of birding is filled with challenging groups well known to all, birds like gulls , Empidonax flycatchers or cisticolas that require attention to the tiniest details in order to assign an individual to a specific species (if it can be done at all).

2011 73