Female Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler photo By BarrytheBirder
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology issued a press release on Wednesday of this week, stating that "One of North America's most beloved warblers may need to be considered at least three separate species, says a study published today in The Auk. If the species were split, it would upend a status quo that has lasted for almost five decades".
According to research spokesperson, David Toews, the Yellow-rumped Warbler has four distinct forms and there is now compelling evidence that three of them are full species. Evidence from more than 37,000 regions of the birds' DNA suggests that the Myrtle and Audubon really are separate species - and so is a third, isolated form known as the Goldman's Warbler that is almost entirely restricted to Guatemala. A fourth form known as the Black-fronted Warbler lives in the mountains of Northern Mexico.
Myrtle form of Yellow-rumped Warbler photo by Kelly Colgan Azar. Photos of Audubon, Goldman and Black-fronted forms of Yellow-rumped Warblers by Borja Mila.
The full press release, issued Wednesday, may be viewed by Googling www.birds.cornell.edu, clicking on Birds - Cornell University, and scrolling down the right side of the screen to BLOG. It is the second item under 'Blog'.
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