The OSME Region List of bird taxa v5.2 is now available

African Crake Crex egregia
African Crake Crex egregia by Mark Tittley. Unchanged image. From Wikipedia. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Version 5.2 (available here) includes several species not previously recorded in the OSME region, such as African Crake Crex egregia (Eilat, Israel January 2020); its genus may change to Cecropis (Garcia-Ramirez et al 2020). More important, v5.2 addresses the often-radical taxonomic recommendations, whether firm or proposed, of pelagic seabirds by Steve Howell and Kirk Zufelt (2019). This subject is plagued by the difficulties presented by so many taxa being poorly known simply because of the remoteness and distribution of their breeding, dispersal and non-breeding locations; sometimes all three are poorly known. Doubtless the authors will be taken to task for constructing plausible taxonomies from databanks that are fragmentary at best, but we prefer to present their conclusions while acknowledging that these may be modified by future research. The authors have put in enormous effort into researching this Herculean task (especially in photographing birds at sea wonderfully well) in order to construct more logical, taxonomic arrangements. I’ve reviewed for the OSME website and for Sandgrouse the excellent new Birds of Cyprus (Richardson & Porter 2020), cited often in v5.2!

Mike Blair


Garcia-Ramirez, JC, EM Lemmon, AR Lemmon and N French. 2020. Phylogenomic Reconstruction Sheds Light on New Relationships and Timescale of Rails (Aves: Rallidae) Evolution. Diversity2020. 12: 70; doi:10.3390/d12020070

Howell, SNG and K Zufelt. 2019. Oceanic Birds of the World: a Photo Guide. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, USA.

Richardson, C and R Porter. 2020. Birds of Cyprus. Helm. Bloomsbury Publishing. London.

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