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Zürich, Switzerland

Shirihai H.,Ausserdorfstrasse 6
Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club | Year: 2012

Basalt Wheatear Oenanthe lugens warriae is one of the least known of its genus, but recent advances in knowledge of its characters have enabled records of Variable Wheatear O. picata opistholeuca and Black Wheatear O. leucura in Israel to be reidentified as O. I. warriae. Separating the three taxa is discussed, and the behaviours of Israeli Basalt Wheatears described, providing the first such data away from the breeding range. Israeli records also suggest that warriae often undertakes long dispersal, which is supported by the discovery of two misidentified specimens in Berlin, whose data are presented for the first time here. Details of a Turkish record of Basalt Wheatear, a bird that hybridised with Finsch's Wheatear O. finschii are also provided. © 2012 British Ornithologists' Club. Source

Shirihai H.,Emek Ayalon 39 | Pym T.,Southcott | Roman M.S.,Ausserdorfstrasse 6 | Bretagnolle V.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club | Year: 2014

Results from pelagic expeditions to study Mascarene Petrel Pseudobulweria aterrima off Reunion, Indian Ocean, in December 2012, are presented. At-sea identification features, flight characters and feeding behaviour are described, as well as comparisons with confusion taxa. Adult plumage, the least known, is described in detail. Photographs, believed to be the first of this species taken at sea, are presented. One shows a female with an egg inside her body, providing evidence of return from pre-laying exodus and adding to understanding of the breeding cycle. Thirty-three individuals were recorded during three days at sea. Nine presumed breeding burrows, at six different sites, were found on Reunion in 1997-99 and the background to this significant discovery is included, together with an updated population estimate for this elusive species. Source

Svensson L.,S ta Toras vae 28 | Shirihai H.,Ausserdorfstrasse 6 | Frahnert S.,Leibniz Institute For Evolutions Und Biodiversitatsforschung | Dickinson E.C.,Flat 3
Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club | Year: 2012

We discuss the taxonomy of the Stonechat, the accepted broad species Saxicola torquatus, and find convincing reasons for recognising three species: European Stonechat S. rubicola, Eastern Stonechat S. maurus and African Stonechat S. torquatus. The nomenclature of the taxa breeding in the Caspian region is revisited and, based on an analysis of the original type descriptions and all relevant literature, and of four preserved specimens of Ehrenberg's taxon hemprichii from 1833 now in Berlin, we conclude that the name variegatus should not be applied to the taxon breeding north of the Caucasus but instead to the population in eastern Turkey and Transcaucasia, present-day armenicus. This places armenicus in the synonymy of variegatus, the latter having priority. Thirdly, a name is required for the north Caspian population. The name hemprichii is the oldest available and valid name for this population. © 2012 British Ornithologists' Club. Source

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