Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

(Northern) Crested Caracara

Expand Messages
  • Stephen Long
    Dennis Braddy s post of 22 August about the common name for the Caracara in Santa Cruz County was a bit of a surprise. Not Dennis posting; rather that the
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 8, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Dennis Braddy's post of 22 August about the common name for the Caracara
      in Santa Cruz County was a bit of a surprise. Not Dennis' posting; rather that
      the AOU didn't change the name. I have gone back into my records and
      added "Northern" to my various Crested Caracara sightings in North and
      Central America, and "Southern" to my Crested Caracara sightings in Tierra
      del Fuego based on a paper in Wilson Bulletin (111:330-339, 1999) by
      Richard Banks.

      He (and Carla Dove) did an extensive study of specimens -- including those
      of MVZ -- of "cheriway" & "plancus", and found significant morphological
      differences, as well as "clearly distinct color patterns" in breast, vent, upper
      back, lower back and upper tail coverts. Moreover, he found no clinal change
      in plumage from south to north, thereby debunking the claim of Hellmayr &
      Conover that there was a consistent intergradation "near the mouth of the
      Amazon". It was the Hellmayr/Conover claim which caused the AOU to lump
      Northern and Southern Crested Caracara in 1983.

      Now I realize that an article proposing a taxonomic change is only one thing
      that the AOU Checklist Committee uses in its deliberations. But in this case,
      the junior author of the Wilson Bulletin article is the Chairman of the AOU
      Checklist Committee.

      Go figure!

      Anyway, I'm convinced by the data presented in the article, so if I happen to
      see the Santa Cruz bird, I'll be sure to look at the upper tail coverts (if they are
      strongly barred, the California Rare Birds Committee will have to figure out
      how a Southern Crested Caracara got to S. Cruz -- and Oregon if this is the
      same bird), and the upper breast (spots or bars).

      Stephen M. Long
      Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
      3101 Valley Life Sciences Building
      University of California
      Berkeley, CA 94720-3160

      PS: I just went to check the Crested Caracara specimens here at MVZ, and
      curiously, there was a note in the case that Caracara plancus plancus was
      now simply Caracara plancus, and Caracara plancus cheriway was now
      simply Caracara cheriway, per AOU Supplement in 1999 -- but that
      Supplement didn't mention the Caracara, and, of course if you go to the AOU
      checklist on the web (http://www.aou.org/checklist/index.php3#falc2), you only
      get "Caracara cheriway - Crested Caracara" because the area of the AOU
      doesn't include the range for "plancus". Since the AOU has adopted C.
      cheriway, this implies that C. plancus is a different species in the mind of
      AOU. Without a "Northern" in the common name for cheriway, we are left with
      two species with the same name: Crested Caracara.

      I still prefer to use the modifiers Northern & Southern.
    • dsuddjian@aol.com
      The species was split by the AOU in their 42nd Supplement in 2000. The citation for the split (into 3 species) is the Auk 117:847-858. The split was Crested
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 8, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        The species was split by the AOU in their 42nd Supplement in 2000. The
        citation for the split (into 3 species) is the Auk 117:847-858. The split was
        Crested (_cheriway_), Southern (_plancus_) and Guadalupe (_lutosa_, extinct).


        David Suddjian
        Capitola, CA
        dsuddjian@...



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.