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Subject: 香港鳥類名錄 List of Hong Kong Birds (2020-03-10) [Print This Page]

Author: Record_Com    Time: 1/04/2020 21:28     Subject: 香港鳥類名錄 List of Hong Kong Birds (2020-03-10)


"香港鳥類名錄" 第 I 及第 II 類共有559種。

Decision of Records Committee on 10 March 2020 is summarized at the following links:

The HK List now stands at 559 species in Categories I and II.



"List of Hong Kong Birds" can be download at the following links:

HK_List_2020-03-10.xls (148 KB)  (MS Excel file)(Category I to III)

HK_List_2020-03-10.pdf (444 KB)   (PDF file)(Category I and II only)

[註:最新版本的 "香港鳥類名錄"(包含更新的學名),將會每年出版一次。

Note: the most updated "HK list" including taxonomic changes would be published once a year.]


Bird record forms can be downloaded here:

URF.doc (45 KB) 罕見鳥類記錄表格 Unusual Record Form (URF)

2020_Records.xlsx (284 KB) 2019 鳥類記錄表格 2019 Record Form



第  I  類﹕ 在香港有明確野生紀錄。

第 IIA 類﹕ 中國東南部地區繁殖的鳥種,現時在香港的繁殖群落被認為是由逃逸的籠鳥所繁衍的,但亦可能在棲息地出現變化前已在香港出沒。

第 IIB 類﹕ 非原居鳥種;經人為引入香港,現無需靠額外幫助已能繼續繁衍。

第 IIC 類﹕ 曾經在香港有野生群落的鳥種。

第 III 類﹕ 根據已發表所有香港紀錄顯示,此鳥種可能在飼養時逃逸或人為放生。

*第 III 類鳥種並非香港鳥類名錄正式確認的鳥種,香港鳥類名錄只包括第 I 類及第 II 類。

The species category definition is as follows:

Category I: species that have been recorded in an apparently wild state in HK.

Category IIA: southeast China breeding species, the currently established HK breeding population of which is considered to derive from captive stock, but which probably occurred in HK prior to habitat changes.

Category IIB: extralimital species that, although originally introduced to HK by man, maintain a regular feral breeding stock without necessary recourse to further introduction.

Category IIC: previously established feral species.

Category III: species for which all published HK records are considered likely to relate to birds that have escaped or have been released from captivity.

*Category III species do not form part of the official HK List which is only Category I and II species.

Author: Sze    Time: 16/04/2020 11:43

Excel file cannot open.
Author: msamuel    Time: 23/04/2020 21:12

Original posted by Sze at 16/04/2020 11:43
Excel file cannot open.
It can be.
Author: wgeoff    Time: 30/04/2020 12:36

I've just had time to look over the new HK List and was very surprised to find a major change to the order of species.

Previously the List was water and seabirds (plus raptors) up to Murrelet followed by landbirds starting with Doves and going through to Buntings. This has been roughly the same since at least Avifauna. Although some changes in order within the sequence have occurred, the sequence of water/seabirds followed by landbirds has been maintained.   

Now in this 2020 List I find Nightjars, Swifts and Cuckoos have suddenly been promoted to immediately below ducks and very near the top of the list. I am going to find it quite difficult to read future reports based upon this new order.

I realise we are following the sequence given by IOC in their World List, and they have made this change in their current Master List v10.1.
Can someone please explain what the rationale for the order in their World List is? And what new ideas have emerged to allow such a major change in order?

Whatever they are, their lists are not going to be easy for ordinary birders to understand if nightjars are next to ducks.

Geoff Welch

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 30/04/2020 12:46 ]
Author: mchristine    Time: 30/04/2020 14:11     Subject: Question lingering in my mind

Original posted by wgeoff at 30/04/2020 12:36
I've just had time to look over the new HK List and was very surprised to find a major change to the order of species.

Previously the List was water and seabirds (plus raptors) up to Murrelet followe ...
I am super super happy today that someone points this out.  Similar question has been lingering in my mind for a while.  I think I am the only HKBWS member who does not know the answer because I am not an ornithologist nor professional birder.................

Looking forward to be educated and enlightened!!!!!
Author: cgeoff    Time: 4/05/2020 14:04

A decision was made some time ago to follow the IOC list in order that the Records Committee, which is not a taxonomic body, did not have to make decisions it was not qualified to make. Sometimes the decisions can be a little difficult to understand for the typical birder (I include myself in this category), because we are used to seeing a particular order in books or have used a particular list in previous formative experiences, and/or because at times the change does not appear, on the face of it, to make much sense. I remember when Sibley & Monroe's initial attempts at a revised order were published some years when many were taken aback by some of the proposed changes.

As for the reasons for the changes, these are related to the science. Again, in a way that a small committee such as ourselves cannot do, the IOC can review published and peer-reviewed information and make an assessment as to whether change is needed. As to the particular changes in the most recent List, I can only refer you to the Master List on the IOC website, where the source of these changes will be referenced. Scientific advances have meant that taxonomy is pretty prone to change in recent years, and it's sometimes difficult to keep up.

There does not appear to be a strong reason for not following the latest advances in ornithological taxonomy, especially as it would put HK out of sync with the ornithological world at large. The RC has made a decision to only update the HK List once a year in order to minimise the frequency of change. The RC has also decided that for a small number of species the English name chosen by the IOC is not the most appropriate, and has instead adopted (usually via retention) an alternative; as you may imagine, this is not always a unanimous decision!

Author: mchristine    Time: 5/05/2020 10:47

Original posted by cgeoff at 4/05/2020 14:04
A decision was made some time ago to follow the IOC list in order that the Records Committee, which is not a taxonomic body, did not have to make decisions it was not qualified to make. Sometimes the  ...
Thank you for the prompt advice.  Just out of curiosity, is there any channel for HKBWS/ RC to reflect our members' views about the order of the list or there is no choice, but just follow??? Is it possible to enquire IOC about their rationale of such new ordering for the sake of enhancing our knowledge.  I myself is one of those layman members who are real interested in taxonomy issues because of Chinese bird naming initiatives and also enlightenment received from ornitheologists. Now I know I am not the only HKBWS member who is interested.

[ Last edited by mchristine at 5/05/2020 10:50 ]
Author: cgeoff    Time: 6/05/2020 16:18

Well, I would start by looking carefully at the IOC website and reviewing the information there and in the latest Master List:

I imagine there must be a means by which you can send feedback. However, if that feedback is along the lines of wishing for fewer updates or less surprising updates, it probably won't get very far. The IOC is committed to the science, and that's the basis of its decisions (though I guess there must be some kind of expert interpretation happening).

In addition, it is very difficult to pick and choose the taxonomic/nomenclatural changes to adopt. If, as an illustration, you don't like nightjars next to ducks, then where do you put the nightjars? There may no longer be an obvious place for them if other changes have been made.

Author: mchristine    Time: 6/05/2020 20:51

Good to know the answer. Thanks once again for your prompt follow up and advice.
Author: ajohn    Time: 8/05/2020 09:31

The order of birds on world lists usually aims to reflect the relatedness of the different groups, so that groups that are more closely related are put near each other on the list. This is the reason that, for example, swifts and swallows are a long way apart on the list.

Our understanding of these relationships has been changing rapidly in recent years because we have learnt more about relationships from DNA analysis. Because birds diversified very rapidly after the extinction of the dinosaurs, some birds from distantly related groups have evolved to be very similar to each other. There have been some big surprises over the years - for example, flamingos are related to grebes, bustards are related to cuckoos and falcons are related to parrots and songbirds. There have been some big projects to work out relationships so I expect the lists to be more stable in future, although there may still be a few more changes to come. Past changes (separating swifts from swallows or owls from raptors) seem normal to us now, and I think that will happen with this new list in time.

Personally I prefer that the list reflects these relationships, because I find that it makes me look at some groups in a different way. I can start to see the similarities that have remained between grebes and flamingos (for example in display behaviour) rather than the differences between them, and start to think about what the common ancestor may have been like. It makes the idea of evolution and species diversification much clearer (for me, at least).
Author: wgeoff    Time: 8/05/2020 14:29

As suggested, I have looked at the information on the IOC Website about their Master File 10.1.
My basic question is, why should nightjars come after ducks, which they don't seem related to, and not after owls as they were before.

The changes which have occurred in 10.1 came mostly from two papers - Prum et al. 2015 and Suh et al. 2016. I have copies of these papers if anyone is interested. They both contain similar information.

They are also very complicated to read if, like me, you are not familiar with scientific terminology so I hope I have got it right.

It appears that two factors influence the order of species in the World List and hence HK List.

The first is species similarity, mostly estimated using DNA sequencing. This is what we are familiar with. Birds are collected into like groups called Clades. So nightjars and swifts are in the same clade but not swallows.

But the second factor, and the main reason for the changes in version 10.1, is the ordering of Clades. It seems this is done by evolutionary order i.e. when it is estimated the earliest "species" in this group evolved. I'm not sure how this date is estimated but it is the one that has decided that the species group containing nightjars and swifts, and the species group containing cuckoos and doves, should go immediately after ducks and before all other species of waterbirds and landbirds.

This is best seen from the following diagram taken from Prum et al., which shows the species group order for the first half of the list compared to an evolutionary timeline given at the top   


This is the first time I have been aware of the evolution factor in the list. I guess there must be some way to put together groups of unrelated species but I'm not sure I like it.
Author: mchristine    Time: 8/05/2020 14:36

It does make some sense to me. Very interesting! Thank you for sharing!

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