Bird Species Split of Two Birds Seen in San Diego

SD Birders,

The AOU has recently released its 57th supplement to the *Check-list of North American Birds*. The two splits affecting San Diego involve Leach’s Storm-Petrel and Western Scrub-Jay.

A three-way split of Leach’s Storm-Petrel yielded Leach’s, Townsend’s, and Ainley’s storm-petrels.  Both Leach’s and Townsend’s occur in San Diego, but Ainley’s has not yet (to my knowledge) been recorded in California.  State listers will rejoice following the split of Western Scrub-Jay into the interior Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay and the coastal California Scrub-Jay (the species occurring in San Diego), and San Diego birders will need to adopt the new name as we did with Ridgway’s Rail previously.  Large taxonomic shuffling occurred, and several splits south of the border occurred as well.  The eBird taxonomy is due to update on 1 August I believe.

As for the never-ending competition between San Diego and Los Angeles: both will gain one with the addition of Townsend’s Storm-Petrel, but Los Angeles will also gain Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay due to one or more records of this species as a vagrant in the Antelope Valley.

Full details here:

And a great summary by the ABA’s Michael Retter:

Happy arm-chair birding,
Justyn Stahl

PAS Checklists have been updated to reflect these changes – Jeff Ebright


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