Ornithology Taxonomy

What Carolus Linnaeus did was amazing. He is the father of the scientific classification system still in use today for all things in the animal kingdom. Of course, many discoveries have been made since then, and in the past 20 years, the development of DNA analysis has resulted in ‘splitting’ and ‘lumping’ of many different birds. Thus, the Sibley and Monroe classification system is different than the American Ornithologic Union’s classification system. The former uses the DNA discoveries that Sibley made in his career to re-order the Orders of the Class Aves (Birds). More conservative scientists still use the traditional system developed by Carl von Linne. The same species may appear in a different location in each classification system, and have a differnt family name. For example, the American redstart , also known as Setophaga ruticilla, belongs to the PARULIDAEfamily in the AOU scheme, but to the Fringillidaefamily in Sibley’s list. Thus I now have an additional challenge and feature to add to my database…how do you want to track your birds, new school or old school?

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