Subspecies names in the Sibley Guide to Birds

What follows is a list of all the regional variations illustrated or mentioned in the guide, with the current scientific name for each population. I have chosen to use the word “population” universally to mean any definable group of individuals, without implying any taxonomic rank. The word “group” following a scientific name means that the population as defined in the book includes several subspecies, and then the population is given the name of the first-named subspecies included in the group.

A discussion of the reasoning behind the use of regional names rather than the scientific names of subspecies is here.

Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis
Atlantic F. g. glacialis group
Pacific F. g. rodgersii

Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea
Mediterranean C. d. diomedea
Atlantic C. d. borealis

Leach’s Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa
White-rumped mostly O. l. leucorhoa
Dark-rumped mostly O. l. chapmani
winter breeding population there is named O. l. cheimomnestes
summer breeding population O. l. socorroensis.

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
Atlantic S. l. leucogaster
Eastern Pacific S. l. brewsteri

Red-footed Booby Sula sula
Caribbean S. s. sula
Eastern Pacific S. s. websteri

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
Atlantic P. o. occidentalis group
Pacific P. o. californicus group

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
Eastern P. a. auritus group
Western P. a. cincinatus group

Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus
Southern P. p. resplendens
Bering Sea P. p. pelagicus

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
Great Blue A. h. herodias group
Great White A. h. occidentalis

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
Now split into two species:
American P. roseus
Eurasian (Greater) P. ruber

Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus
Whistling C. c. columbianus
Bewick’s C. c. bewickii

Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
Tundra A. a. frontalis
Taiga A. a. gambelli
Tule A. a. elgasi
Greenland A. a. flavirostris

Snow Goose Chen caerulescens
Lesser C. c. caerulescens
Greater C. c. atlanticus

Brant Branta bernicla
Black B. b. nigricans
Intermediate B. b. unnamed?
Pale-bellied B. b. hrota

Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Now split into two species:
Canada Goose B. canadensis includes: Common B. c. canadensis group
Lesser B. c. parvipes
Dusky B. c. occidentalis group
Cackling Goose B. hutchinsii includes:
Richardson’s B. h. hutchinsii
Cackling B. h. minima
Aleutian B. h. leucopareia

Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
American A. c. carolinensis
Eurasian A. c. crecca group

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Northern A. p. platyrhynchos group
Mexican A. p. diazi

Common Eider Somateria mollissima
West Arctic S. m. v-nigra
Hudson Bay S. m. sedentaria
East Arctic S. m. borealis
Atlantic S. m. dresseri

Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Northern H. l. alascanus
Southern H. l. leucocephalus

Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
Eastern B. l. lineatus group
Florida B. l. extimus
California B. l. elegans

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
Eastern B. j. borealis group
“Krider’s” B. j. ‚Äòkriderii’
Southwestern B. j. fuertesi
Western B. j. calurus group
Harlan’s B. j. harlani

Merlin Falco columbarius
Taiga F. c. columbarius group
Prairie F. c. richardsoni
Black (Pacific) F. c. suckleyi

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Tundra F. p. tundrius
Interior West F. p. anatum
Peale’s (Pacific) F. p. pealei

Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
White-winged P. c. chrysomelas group
Ring-necked P. c. torquatus group
European P. c. colchicus group
Japanese Green Pheasant P. c. versicolor group

Spruce Grouse Dendragapus canadensis
Taiga D. c. canadensis group
Franklin’s D. c. franklinii group

Blue Grouse Dendragapus obscurus
Now split into two species:
Pacific = Sooty Grouse D. fuliginosus
Interior = Dusky Grouse D. obscurus

Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus
Continental L. m. rupestris group
Western Aleutian L. m. evermanni group
Central Aleutian L. m. atkhensis group

Greater Prairie-Chicken Tympanuchus cupido
Northern T. c. pinnatus
Attwater’s (Texas) T. c. attwateri

Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo
Eastern M. g. silvestris group
Southwestern M. g. merriami
The intermediate population found in Texas is named M. g. intermedia.

Northern Bobwhite Colinus virginianus
Eastern C. v. virginianus
Florida C. v. floridanus
Texas C. v. texanus
Masked C. v. ridgwayi

Clapper Rail Rallus longirostris
Atlantic R. l. crepitans group
Gulf Coast R. l. saturatus group
California R. l. obsoletus group (includes levipes and yumanensis)

Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis
Greater G. c. pratensis group (Widespread subspecies is G. c. tabida)
Lesser G. c. canadensis

Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Western C. a. nivosus
Gulf Coast C. a. tenuirostris

American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus
Eastern H. p. palliatus
Pacific H. p. frazari

Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
Western C. s. inornatus
Eastern C. s. semipalmatus

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
American N. p. hudsonicus
European N. p. phaeopus group
Siberian N. p. variegatus

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
European L. l. lapponica
Siberian L. l. baueri

Rock Sandpiper Calidris ptilocnemis
Pribilof C. p. ptilocnemis
Aleutian C. p. couesi
Bering Sea C. p. tschuktschorum

Dunlin Calidris alpina
American C. a. hudsonia group
Greenland C. a. alpina group

Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
Atlantic L. g. griseus
Prairie L. g. hendersoni
Pacific L. g. caurinus

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Now split into two species
American = Wilson’s Snipe G. delicata
Eurasian = Common Snipe G. gallinago

Mew Gull Larus canus
Short-billed L. c. brachyrhynchus
Common L. c. canus group
Kamchatka L. c. kamchatschensis

California Gull Larus californicus
Southwestern L. c. californicus
Northeastern L. c. albertaensis

Herring Gull Larus argentatus
American L. a. smithsonianus
European L. a. argentatus/argenteus
Vega L. a. vegae

Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans
Mediterranean L. c. michahellis
Caspian L. c. cachinnans
Atlantic Island L. c. atlantis

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
True Iceland L. g. glaucoides
Kumlien’s L. g. kumlieni

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Britain/Iceland L. f. graellsii
Denmark L. f. intermedius

Western Gull Larus occidentalis
Northern L. o. occidentalis
Southern L. o. wymani

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
widespread L. h. hyperboreus
small L. h. barrovianus

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
American/European L. h. hirundo
Siberian L. h. longipennis

Common Murre Uria aalge
Atlantic U. a. aalge
Pacific U. a. californica

Thick-billed Murre Uria lomvia
Atlantic U. l. lomvia
Pacific U. l. arra

Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle
Atlantic C. g. atlantis group
Arctic C. g. mandtii group

Xantus’ Murrelet Synthliboramphus hypoleucus
Northern S. h. scrippsi
Southern S. h. hypoleucus

Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina
Eastern C. p. passerina
Western C. p. pallescens

Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
Eastern C. t. rufipennis
Western C. t. eluta

Eastern Screech-Owl Otus asio
Typical O. a. asio group
Great Plains O. a. maxwelliae
Mexican O. a. mccalli

Western Screech-Owl Otus kennicottii
Pacific O. k. kennicottii
Great Plains O. k. aikeni
Mojave O. k. yumanensis
Mexican O. k. suttoni

Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus
Eastern B. v. virginianus
West Taiga B. v. wapacutha
Pacific B. v. pacificus
Southwest B. v. pallescens

Northern Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium gnoma
Pacific G. g. californicum group
Interior West G. g. pinicola
Mexican G. g. gnoma

Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia
Florida A. c. floridana
Western A. c. hypugaea

Spotted Owl Strix occidentalis
Pacific (Northern) S. o. occidentalis group
Interior West (Mexican) S. o. lucida

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Northern A. f. flammeus
Caribbean A. f. domingensis

Northern Saw-whet Owl Aegolius acadicus
Typical A. a. acadicus
Queen Charlotte A. a. brooksi

Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor
Pacific/Eastern C. m. minor group
Southwestern C. m. henryi
Northern Plains C. m. sennetti

Whip-poor-will Caprimulgus vociferus
Eastern C. v. vociferus
Arizona C. v. stephensi

Allen’s Hummingbird Selasphorus sasin
Northern S. s. sasin
Southern S. s. sedentarius

Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
Coastal M. f. bairdi
Interior M. f. formicivorus

Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
Northern M. c. ‘carolinus’ group
Florida M. c. ‘perplexus’

Red-breasted Sapsucker Sphyrapicus ruber
Northern S. r. ruber
Southern S. r. daggetti

Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
Eastern P. p. pubescens group
Interior West P. p. leucurus group
Pacific P. p. gairdnerii group

Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
Eastern P. v. villosus group
Interior West P. v. septentrionalis group
Pacific P. v. harrisi group

Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus
East Taiga P. t. bacatus
West Taiga P. t. fasciatus
Rocky Mountains P. t. dorsalis

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
Red-shafted C. a. cafer group
Yellow-shafted C. a. auratus group

Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus borealis
Northern C. b. cooperi
Pacific C. b. marjorinus although the Pacific song type described in the guide occurs far beyond the limited range of the subspecies marjorinus.

Willow Flycatcher Empidonax traillii
Eastern E. t. traillii group
Southwestern E. t. brewsteri group

Pacific Slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis
Mainland E. d. difficilis
Channel Islands E. d. insulicola

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus
Arizona M. t. magister
Texas M. t. cooperi

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
Western T. m. occidentalis
Eastern T. m. satrapa

Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana
South American T. s. savana group
Central American T. s. monachus

Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus
Lighter L. l. excubitorides
Darker Southern California L. l. grinnelli
San Clemente Island L. l. mearnsi (another subspecies L. l. anthonyi is found on the other Channel Islands)

Black-whiskered Vireo Vireo altiloquus
Florida V. a. barbatulus
Caribbean V. a. altiloquus

Bell’s Vireo Vireo bellii
Eastern V. b. bellii
Arizona V. b. arizonae
California (Least) V. b. pusillus

Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
Northern V. s. solitarius
Appalachian V. s. alticola

Hutton’s Vireo Vireo huttoni
Pacific V. h. huttoni group
Mexican V. h. stephensi group

Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus
Eastern V. g. gilvus
Western V. g. swainsoni group

Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
European A. a. arvensis
Asian A. a. pekinensis

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
West Arctic E. a. arcticola
Pacific Northwest E. a. strigata
Interior West E. a. occidentalis
Central California E. a. sierrae
Southeast Arizona E. a. adusta
South Texas E. a. giraudi
Northeast E. a. alpestris

Purple Martin Progne subis
Eastern P. s. subis
Western P. s. hesperia group

Cliff Swallow Hirundo pyrrhonota
Northern H. p. pyrrhonota
Southwestern H. p. swainsoni

Cave Swallow Hirundo fulva
Mexican H. f. pelodoma
Caribbean H. f. fulva

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
American H. r. erythrophthalmus group
Eurasian H. r. rustica group

Gray Jay Perisoreus canadensis
Taiga P. c. canadensis
Rocky Mts P. c. capitalis
Pacific P. c. obscurus

Steller’s Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
Pacific C. s. stelleri group
Queen Charlotte Islands C. s. carlottae
Interior C. s. macrolopha group

Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
Northern C. c. bromia
Southern C. c. cristata

Western Scrub Jay Aphelocoma californica
Pacific A. c. californica group
Interior West A. c. woodhouseii group

Gray-breasted Jay Aphelocoma ultramarina
Texas A. u. couchii
Arizona A. u. arizonae

Black-billed Magpie Pica hudsonia
No subspecies are described. The differences between Northern and Southern forms mentioned in the Guide need more study.

Black-capped Chickadee Parus atricapillus [now in the genus Poecile]
Eastern P. a. atricapillus group
Rocky Mountain P. a. septentrionalis group
Pacific P. a. occidentalis group

Carolina Chickadee Parus carolinensis [now in the genus Poecile]
Northeast P. c. extimus
Southwest P. c. agilis

Mountain Chickadee Parus gambeli [now in the genus Poecile]
Pacific P. g. baileyae
Rocky Mountains P. g. gambeli

Boreal Chickadee Parus hudsonicus [now in the genus Poecile]
Alaska P. h. columbianus group
Typical P. h. hudsonicus group

Chestnut-backed Chickadee Parus rufescens [now in the genus Poecile]
Typical P. r. rufescens
Central California Coast P. r. barlowi
Marin County, CA is occupied by an intermediate subspecies P. r. neglectus.

Tufted Titmouse Parus bicolor [now in the genus Baeolophus]
Now split into two species:
Tufted Titmouse B. bicolor
Black-crested Titmouse
B. atricristatus

Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
Pacific P. m. minimus group
Interior P. m. plumbeus group
Black-eared P. m. melanotis group (the subspecies occurring in North America is P. m. dimorphicus)

White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
Eastern S. c. carolinensis group
Mountain S. c. nelsoni group
Pacific S. c. aculeata group

Pygmy Nuthatch Sitta pygmaea
Interior S. p. melanotis
Central California S. p. pygmaea

Brown Creeper Certhia americana
Eastern C. a. americana group
Western C. a. occidentalis group
Mexican C. a. albescens

Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Interior C. b. couesi group
Coastal Southern California C. b. affine group (the subspecies found in California is C. c. sandiegense)

Carolina Wren Thyrothorus ludovicianus
Mexican T. l. lomitensis
Northern T. l. ludovicianus group

Bewick’s Wren Thryomanes bewickii
Eastern T. b. bewickii
Southwestern T. b. eremophilus group
Pacific T. b. drymoecus group

House Wren Troglodytes aedon
Eastern T. a. aedon
Western T. a. parkmanii
Brown-throated T. a. cahooni group (the intermediate birds in Arizona have been given the name T. a. ‘vorhiesi’)

Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Eastern T. t. hiemalis group
Pacific T. t. pacificus group
Pribilofs T. t. alascensis group

Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
Eastern C. p. palustris group
Worthington’s C. p. griseus
Western C. p. paludicola group

Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa
Eastern R. s. satrapa
Western R. s. olivaceus group

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
Eastern P. c. caerulea
Western P.c. obscura

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher Polioptila melanura
Eastern P. m. melanura
Western P. m. lucida

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Greenland O. o. leucorhoa
Alaskan O. o. oenanthe

Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis
Northern S. s. sialis group
Arizona S. s. fulva group

Veery Catharus fuscescens
Eastern C. f. fuliginosa group
Western C. f. salicicola

Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus
Typical C. m. aliciae
Newfoundland C. m. minimus

Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus
Pacific C. u. ustulatus group
Taiga/Interior West C. u. swainsoni group

Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
Taiga/Eastern C. g. faxoni group
Rocky Mountains C. g. auduboni group
Pacific C. g. guttatus group

American Robin Turdus migratorius
Eastern T. m. migratorius group
Black-backed T. m. nigrideus (some authors do not recognize this as a valid subspecies)
Western T. m. propinquus group

Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
Variation is clinal, with the darkest subspecies in the far northwest of range C. f. phaea, and palest in far southeast C. f. henshawi.

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum
Western T. r. longicauda
Eastern T. r. rufum

Curve-billed Thrasher Toxostoma curvirostre
Arizona T. c. palmeri
Texas T. c. oberholseri

American Pipit Anthus rubescens
Arctic A. r. rubescens group (includes A. r. pacificus)
Rocky Mountain A. r. alticolus
Asian A. r. japonicus

Northern Parula Parula americana
Eastern P. a. americana
Western P. a. ludoviciana

Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
Pacific V. c. lutescens
Taiga V. c. celata
Interior West V. c. orestera
Channel Islands V. c. sordida

Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla
Eastern V. r. ruficapilla
Western V. r. ridgwayi

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
Northern group D. p. aestiva group
Eastern D. p. aestiva
Southwestern D. p. sonorana
Northern D. p. amnicola
Golden D. p. petechia group (the subspecies in Florida is D. p. gundlachi)

Black-throated Blue Warbler Dendroica caerulescens
Most authors do not recognize two subspecies due to clinal variation and much overlap; if separated the Northern birds are D. c. caerulescens and the Appalachian birds D. c. cairnsi.

Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
Myrtle D. c. coronata group
Audubon’s D. c. auduboni group

Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica
Southeast D. d. dominica
Interior East D. d. albilora

Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum
Yellow (Eastern) D. p. hypochrysea
Brown (Western) D. p. palmarum

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Eastern group G. t. trichas group
Western Group G. t. occidentalis group (including the following three)
Pacific G. t. arizela group
Interior West G. t. occidentalis group
Southwest G. t. chryseola

Wilson’s Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
Taiga W. p. pusilla
Interior West W. p. pileolata
Pacific W. p. chryseola

Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
Eastern B. r. jouyi
Western B. r. caudatus

Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
Eastern I. v. virens
Western I. v. auricollis

Western Spindalis Spindalis zena
Green-backed S. z. townsendi (some may be S. z. pretrei from Cuba)
Black-backed S. z. zena

Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
Eastern P. r. rubra
Western P. r. cooperi group

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
Southwestern C. c. superbus
Eastern C. c. cardinalis group

Painted Bunting Passerina ciris
Eastern and Western populations mentioned in the text are barely differentiated and most not named

Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Red-eyed P. e. erythrophthalmus group
White-eyed P. e. alleni

Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
Pacific Northwest P. m. oregonus group
Southwest P. m. montanus group
Great Plains P. m. arcticus

Bachman’s Sparrow Aimophila aestivalis
Western A. a. illinoensis
Eastern A. a. aestivalis

Botteri’s Sparrow Aimophila botterii
Texas A. b. texana
Arizona A. b. arizonae

Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
Pacific A. r. ruficeps group
Interior A. r. scottii group

American Tree Sparrow Spizella arborea
Pale S. a. ochracea
Dark S. a. arborea

Brewer’s Sparrow Spizella breweri
Southern S. b. breweri
Northern (Timberline) S. b. taverneri

Field Sparrow Spizella pusilla
Gray S. p. arenacea
Rufous S. p. pusilla

Black-throated Sparrow Amphispiza bilineata
Texas A. b. bilineata
Intermediate A. b. opuntia
Western A. b. deserticola

Sage Sparrow Amphispiza belli
Interior A. b. nevadensis
Pacific (Bell’s) A. b. belli

Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
Typical P. s. sandwichensis group
Ipswich P. s. princeps
Belding’s P. s. beldingi
Aleutian P. s. sandwichensis group
Large-billed Sparrow P. s. rostratus group

Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum
Northern A. s. pratensis group
Florida A. s. floridanus

Nelson’s Sparrow Ammodramus nelsoni
Interior A. n. nelsoni/alterus
Atlantic A. n. subvirgatus

Seaside Sparrow Ammodramus maritimus
Atlantic A. m. maritimus group
Gulf Coast A. m. sennetti group
Cape Sable A. m. mirabilis
[Dusky] A. m. nigrescens

Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca
Red (Taiga) P. i. iliaca group
Sooty (Pacific) P. i. unalaschensis group
Slate-colored (Interior West) P. i. schistacea group
Thick-billed (California) P. i. megarhyncha group

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
Eastern M. m. melodia
Pacific Northwest M. m. morphna
Aleutian M. m. maxima
Central California coast M. m. gouldii
Southwestern M. m. saltonis

White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
Eastern Taiga Z. l. leucophrys
Western Taiga Z. l. gambellii
Interior West Z. l. oriantha
Pacific Z. l. nuttalli group (includes Z. l. pugetensis)

Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
Slate-colored J. h. hyemalis group
Canadian Rocky Mountains (‘Cassiar’) J. h. cismontanus
Oregon J. h. montanus group
Pink-sided J. h. mearnsi
Gray-headed J. h. caniceps
Red-backed J. h. dorsalis
White-winged J. h. aikeni

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
Typical A. p. phoeniceus group
Bicolored A. p. californicus group

Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
Typical S. m. magna group
Lilian’s (Southwestern) S. m. lilianae

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
Eastern Q. m. prosopidicola
Western Q. m. nelsoni

Boat-tailed Grackle Quiscalus major
Atlantic Q. m. torreyi
Gulf Coast/ Florida Q. m. major group

Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula
Interior (Bronzed) Q. q. versicolor
Coastal (Purple) Q. q. stonei
Florida Q. q. quiscula

Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus
Eastern M. a. aeneus
Western M. a. loyei

Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
Eastern M. a. ater
Pacific/Mexican M. a. obscurus
The intermediate population is named M. a. artemisiae.

Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
Western I. c. nelsoni
Eastern I. c. sennetti
The intermediate population is named I. c. cucculatus.

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch Leucosticte arctoa
Interior (Gray-crowned) L. a. tephrocotis group
Coastal (Gray-cheeked or Hepburn’s) L. a. littoralis group
Bering Sea L. a. griseonucha group

Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator
Pacific P. e. flammula group
Interior West P. e. montanus group
Taiga P. e. leucurus

Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus
Eastern C. p. purpureus
Pacific C. p. californicus

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
Nine different call types corresponding to subtle differences in bill size have been diagnosed in North America (and recent research in Europe has uncovered a similar situation there). These populations have been designated by numbers or letters – e.g. types 1 through 9 or a through i – and for the most part do not correspond to previously named subspecies. Under the circumstances I think it is simplest to ignore all previous subspecies names and refer to these birds simply by their number or letter designations, rather than trying to reconcile the two systems of naming. More information can be found in the technical literature.

Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea (now placed in the genus Acanthis)
Southern C. f. flammea
Greenland (Greater) C. f. rostrata

Hoary Redpoll Carduelis hornemanni (now placed in the genus Acanthis)
Southern C. h. exilipes
Greenland C. h. hornemanni

Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria (now placed in the genus Spinus)
Western C. p. psaltria
Texas C. p. mexicanus

Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus
Eastern C. v. vespertinus
Western C. v. montanus group

6 thoughts on “Subspecies names in the Sibley Guide to Birds”

  1. Can I request that the latin names be added to the Sibley Guide iPhone edition? Nowadays, I mainly use that version, but then again, I would buy a new desktop edition if it included these subspecies names in it.

  2. Peregrine Rowse

    David, I have just found your website which is extremly useful and informative; thank you. The list of subspecies illustrated in your book is very helpful. I found the lack of this info a bit frustrating but have rectified it with a couple of enjoyable hours transcribing this info from the website list into my copy.

    In the website list of subspecies you use L. arctoa for Gray crowned Rosy-finch but L. tephrocotis in the book without comment (unlike other taxonomic changes). L. arctoa is generally used for Asian Rosy-finch and Gray crowned is given specific status (as in the book). Was it your intention to ‘downgrade’ Gray crowned to L. a. tephrocotis? If this change was intentional, I would be grateful for the reference.



  3. Kudos to you David for your ongoing publications and, of course, this excellent subspecies list that supplements the information that is missing in your otherwise excellent Sibley Field Guide To The Birds.

    Question: When the next edition is published (and I’ll buy it), can the publisher please include subspecies names and subspecies maps, ala the National Geo. Field Guide 6th edition? Migration maps would also be fine with me, ala the same new publication.

    Neither would I (a wood-warbler watcher for 30 years and blogger of a five-year-old warbler-centric blog) complain if you added more information about different subspecies of wood-warblers, especially the complex, multi-subspecies species such as Yellow, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s, and Yellow-throated.

    Thank you again….Best wishes and I’ll keep buying your books as they appear. Daniel Edelstein,,,

  4. Re: Seaside Sparrow – the Gulf Coast group illustrated is fisheri, not sennetti. sennetti is restricted to southern Texas, and is very much paler than any fisheri.

  5. Wikipedia states there are 19 subspecies of the Northern Cardinal but I find nothing to support this on your website nor on Audubon’s site nor on Cornell Lab’s website. I’m particularly interested in the Northern Cardinal subspecies “floridanus Ridgway.” What makes one bird a subspecies of another? Is it simply an issue of location?

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