The 2015 Checklist of Alaska Birds

Get out and enjoy the birds of Alaska with a copy of the authoritative checklist in hand. You can get a copy by clicking at right or here. What’s new? Plenty!

The total number of species occurring in the state is now 505. The four added to the Alaska list in 2014 were:

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster based on records of single birds on 28 and 29 October 2014 in the northern Gulf of Alaska [Accidental in se and s-c Alaska];

Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus finally substantiated by photograph, 6 May 2014 at Eagle River, Juneau [Casual in se Alaska];

Kamchatka Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus examinandus based on taxonomic split by the AOU (2014) [Casual in w Aleutians]; and

Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina based on a bird photographed 3 October 2014 at St. Paul Island [Accidental in the Pribilofs].

Other changes to the Checklist of Alaska Birds include the AOU split of Salvin’s Albatross Thalassarche salvini (from Shy Albatross T. cauta); the English and scientific names of Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata become Northern Boobook N. japonica; the hyphen is dropped from the name ‘leaf warbler’ (so we now have Pallas’s Leaf Warbler and the newly recognized Kamchatka Leaf Warbler), the name Locustellidae replaces Megaluridae for the family of grassbirds (in Alaska, Locustella ochotensis and L. lanceolata), the linear position on the checklist of Common Redstart is changed (from last in Muscicapidae to position between the genera Ficedula and Oenanthe).  And there have been a number of status changes (all Accidental to Casual).  These include Great Black-backed Gull, White-winged Dove, Great Crested Flycatcher, Common Chiffchaff, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Veery, and Eurasian Siskin.

(Thanks to Dan Gibson for this summary!)