I guess it’s only fair. I have acquired a few life birds “in the mail,” as it is said, I suppose it’s only fitting that some would be taken away in the same fashion.
The posting on the ABA’s blog two days ago talked about the second proposal of 2013 to the AOU bird checklist. For those unaware, that checklist is the working bible for birders in North America and serves as THEE reference for the most current scientific thinking of all things birds, at least in terms of taxonomy.
A couple years ago I was handed two new birds without even leaving my chair: Pacific wren (split from winter wren) and Mexican whip-poor-will, split off from whip-poor-will (now Eastern whip-poor-will). Nice to add lifers without paying for an airline ticket, packing bags, renting a car, staying in a cheap hotel, and renting a car.
Well, the AOU giveth and the AOU taketh away. If the petitioners get their way all three rosy-finches will be lumped into one thereby negating two birds from my list; both gotten last year in separate epic journeys, one to Colorado, the other to Wyoming. (I took this photograph on top of Beartooth Pass in Wyoming, depicting a young black rosy-finch begging from an adult).
It’s all good though. In the end we should all embrace the science (DNA shows them to be merely clines of the same species) and move forward, despite that little selfish voice in our head.