The first national records of Piping Plover Charadrius melodus draw attention to the vital importance of coastal northwestern Venezuela for conservation of western hemisphere shorebirds

With its position in the middle of the Americas, Venezuela provides an ideal stop-over for migratory shorebirds on their annual journeys between high northern latitudes and the tropics, or onward to the southern hemisphere. Thirty-five species use Venezuela’s wetlands, alongside a further 13 residents, and aerial and terrestrial shorebird surveys conducted since the 1980s confirm the regional importance of the country’s coasts and marshes. Video credit: Carolina Dávila We have been involved in shorebird work […]

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Audubon’s ‘The Birds of America’: according to 8-year-olds

John James Audubon’s Birds of America is heralded as one of the first great examples of wildlife illustration. However, a recent paper written by Matthew R. Halley and published in the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club unravels the truth behind one of Audubon’s legacies, ‘the Bird of Washington’. The Bird of Washington was an invented species of North American eagle, intended to impress his audience and mislead his peers. The Year 4 children at […]

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Genetics, geographies and good looks: unravelling the taxonomy of the glossy swiftlets

Since Ernst Mayr defined species in 1942 (1), classifying swiftlets (Aves, Collocaliini) into taxonomic groups has presented a major challenge. The glossy swiftlets represent some of the most taxonomically challenging and relatively under-studied birds in the family Apodidae. The appearance of white-bellied glossy swiftlets (the Collocalia esculenta group) is somewhat unremarkable. They all have dark, black plumage with a green or blue gloss. Until recently, phenotypic characters were used to separate the species of white-bellied […]

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Celebrating the 1000th meeting of the BOC with Prof. Jon Fjeldså in collaboration with The Linnean Society

The British Ornithologists’ Club and the Linnean Society of London collaborated to host this event in celebration of the 1000th meeting of the BOC. The speaker for this talk was Prof Jon Fjeldså who holds a MSc from Bergen University (Norway) and a Dr.Sci. from Copenhagen University, where he is now professor in biodiversity and in charge of the bird collections of the Zoological Museum. Prof Jon Fjeldså’s talk, ‘The Evolution of Passerine Birds Explained’, […]

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BOC’s first online meeting with Prof Beth Okamura

Prof Beth Okamura delivered a presentation at BOC’s first online meeting. Prof Okamura, who is based at the Natural History Museum, London, illustrated the profound effect of waterbird movements on the development and dynamics of freshwater communities and consequent impacts on aquaculture and emerging fish diseases. Her full talk, titled How Birds Shape Freshwater Biodiversity, is now posted on YouTube. Have you ever wondered how volcanic islands, garden ponds and gravel pits develop a rich biota? […]

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Bulletin 140(3) now available

The latest issue of the BOC Bulletin (Vol. 140, No. 3 – September 2020) is now available for viewing or download. You can view the table of contents, abstracts and references, full text or downloadable PDFs of individual papers as well as the complete issue at the BioOne Complete website. You can also view the table of contents and download a PDF for the complete issue on the BOC website. This issue contains nine papers of wide interest ranging from An updated […]

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