From the May 2015 newsletter of the Handbook of Birds of the World . . .
The Species Plates form one of HBW Alive’s most powerful tools, allowing you to explore the colour plates of all the bird species of the HBW series, meaning all of the birds of the world! With just a few clicks, you can filter the plates to be seen by Order, Family, Genus and Common Name. You can change the size of the figures, decide if you want to see them scaled and if you just want to see one figure per species or all the existing figures for each.
These options allow you to design your own plates with infinite possibilities. For example, you can see all the species figures for your favourite family or use the scaled option to compare the size of the species of a particular genus that interests you.
With the “Geographic filter” tool you can go a step further and choose to see the species only present in a particular country or combination of countries, which is an interesting possibility when preparing a trip. Imagine, with a few clicks, you can see the figures of all the woodpecker species present in Japan.
You can also search for the bird species of a particular genus or for curiosities like all the bird species that have “red-tailed” in their common name!
Read more about the Species Plates in this tutorial.
Editor, HBW Alive
News on Birds
A new Locustella species has been described in China: the Sichuan Bush Warbler Locustella chengi (Bradypterus in HBW taxonomy). It breeds at mid-elevations in Sichuan, Shaanxi, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou provinces.
The Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is a New World warbler that breeds in eastern North America and winters in Central America and northern South America. Five males carrying light-level geolocators abandoned their breeding territories 24 hours ahead of the passage of a severe tornadic storm system. It is suggested that the birds were able to detect storm-generated infrasound, which provided an early warning.
Other highlighted news:
The Critically Endangered Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) population is improving.
Juvenile Eurasian Wigeons (Mareca penelope) quickly learn to avoid hunters.
A recent phylogeographic study suggests that the Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) expanded twice into Europe.
You may be interested in the discovery of the nesting location of the Critically Endangered Bryan’s Shearwater (Puffinus bryani), the creation of an ecological corridor that will benefit several endangered species, like the Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea), or that the recently discovered São Paulo Marsh Antwren (Formicivora paludicola) is on the brink of extinction.
First Country Reports
One Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola) on 21st April 2015 at Caucaia, Ceará State, is the first record for Brazil and also for mainland South America.
Other interesting First County Reports from the Middle East include Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii) in Oman, Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) in Turkey and Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) in Jordan.