Taxonomic changes in IOC 11.2 (July 2021)

By Christian Perez

The WBCP Checklist of the Birds of the Philippines follows the IOC World Bird List taxonomy, which is updated twice a year. The latest update (IOC Version 11.2) has just been released. It includes many changes affecting the Philippines. Those changes will be reflected in the next Checklist of the Birds of the Philippines in 2022. Many of the changes are already reflected in the book by Desmond Allen, Birds of the Philippines, Lynx, 2020.The taxonomy used in the Allen guidebook differs from that of IOC.

I describe those changes here in relatively simple terms. I do not include changes in subspecies, or taxonomic changes such are revisions of scientific names and resequencing. I also mention at the end two changes from IOC 10.2 (July 2020) that are already reflected in the 2021 Checklist.

Philippine Collared Dove

The Philippine Collared Dove Streptopelia dusumieri is split from the Island Collared Dove and becomes a Philippine endemic. The Island Collared Dove becomes Sunda Collared Dove S. bitorquata in the rest of its range in the Indonesian Archipelago (Allen p 52).

Philippine Collared Dove, Cuyo Island Group, April 2010

Taiwan Green Pigeon

The Taiwan Green Pigeon Treron formosae is split from the Whistling Green Pigeon. Its Philippine range is Batanes and the Babuyan Islands. The Whistling Green Pigeon becomes Ryukyu Green Pigeon T. permagnus in the rest of its range in the Ryukyu Islands in Japan (Allen p 62).

Common Gull

The Mew Gull is renamed Common Gull Larus canus after a split of the American subspecies (Allen p 162).

Northern/Southern Sooty Woodpecker

The Sooty Woodpecker is split into Northern Sooty Woodpecker Mulleripicus funebris (ranging in Luzon, Polillo, Cantanduanes and Marinduque) and the Southern Sooty Woodpecker M. fuliginosus (ranging in Samar, Leyte and Mindanao) (Allen p 216).

Small Crow and Palawan Crow

The following endemic species are split from Slender-billed Crow: the Small Crow Corvus samarensis, with a range in Luzon, Samar and Mindanao; and the Palawan Crow C. pusillus with a range in Palawan and Mindoro. The Slender-billed Crow retains its name in the rest of its range in Asia. Allen p 258 treats what is now the Small Crow as subspecies groups Sierra Madre Crow and Samar Crow.

Palawan Crow, Puerto Princesa, September 2012

Camiguin Bulbul

The Camiguin Bulbul Hypsipetes catarmanensis is split from Yellowish Bulbul H. everetti in Camiguin Island. Allen, p 280, splits the species further into Sulu Bulbul H. haynaldi.

Calabarzon Babbler, Visayan Babbler

The Black-crowned Babbler is split into Calabarzon Babbler Sterrhoptilus affinis in Luzon and the nominate Visayan Babbler S. nigrocapitatus in Samar, Leyte and Bohol. Allen, p 296, following Lynx, does not split this pair even as subspecies groups.

Palawan Fairy-bluebird

The endemic Palawan Fairy-bluebird Irena tweeddalii is split from the Asian Fairy-bluebird I. puella, which retain its name outside the Philippines (Allen p 338).

Palawan Fairy Bluebird, Sabang, September 2012

Visayan Rhabdornis

The Visayan Rhabdornis Rhabdornis rabori is split from Stripe-breasted Rhabdornis R. inornatus in Panay and Negros (Allen p 310).

Visayan Shama

The Visayan Shama Copsychus superciliaris is split from White-browed Shama C. luzoniensis in Ticao, Masbate, Negros and Panay (Allen p 318).

Sulu Jungle Flycatcher, Philippine Jungle Flycatcher

The following endemic species are split from the Rufous-tailed Jungle Flycatcher: the Sulu Jungle Flycatcher Cyornis ocularis in the Sulu Archipelago; and the Philippine Jungle Flycatcher C. ruficauda in the rest of the Philippine range. The species becomes the Crocker Jungle Flycatcher C. ruficrissa in the rest of its range in Borneo. Allen, p 324, only splits the Sulu Jungle Flycatcher as a distinct subspecies group.

Philippine Jungle Flycatcher, Samar, April 2013

Yellow-crowned Flowerpecker

The Flame-crowned Flowerpecker Dicaeum anthonyi is split into the Yellow-crowned Flowerpecker D. anthonyi in Luzon and the Flame-crowned Flowerpecker D. kampalili in Mindanao. Note that the Mindanao species retains the English name while the nominate Luzon species retains the scientific name (Allen p 342).

Mindanao Serin

The Mindanao Serin Chrysocorythus mindanensis is split from the Mountain Serin C. estherae and becomes a Mindanao endemic. The Mountain Serin becomes the Indonesian Serin in the rest of its range in Indonesia (Allen p 374).


Palawan Drongo

The endemic Palawan Drongo Dicrurus palawanensis is split from the Hair-crested Drongo. In an unprecedented move, the subspecies striatus and samarensis are moved from Hair-crested Drongo to Balicassiao. As a result, Balicassiao has now an expanded range in Luzon, Mindoro, Ticao, Masbate, Panay, Guimaras, Negros, Bantayan, Cebu, Eastern Visayas and Mindanao. Within the Philippines the Hair-crested Drongo is now confined to the Sulu Archipelago.

Palawan Drongo, Cuyo Island Group, April 2010

Red Collared Dove

The Red Turtle Dove is renamed Red Collared Dove in line with other major world bird lists.

Enjoy the armchair lifers!

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