Version 3.3 Finished – Taxonomy or Genealogy?

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) female by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) female by Raymond Barlow

As I mentioned in Here We Go Again – IOC Version 3.3, I skipped doing the Fringillidae – Finches Family because of the many taxonomy changes. Well, all the others were finished and decided to dig in to those Finches. After deciding to make the changes directly on the page by cutting, moving, and re-pasting in its new position, the process began.

At 2:00 AM this morning I finally finished the page. I couldn’t stop in the middle with everything so juggled around, so I kept going. After some sleep, I had to chuckle about what they did to that poor Finch family. It was not just moving one genus to another spot, but it appeared that they picked and chose this one species from here and another species from a different genus. If that wasn’t challenging enough, the genus (the first name in parenthesis) was changed on quite a few birds. For example the Evening Grosbeak above was shuffled, while the American Goldfinch went from (Carduelis tristis) to (Spinus tristis)

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) on Thistle by Fenton

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) on Thistle by Fenton

“For I am the LORD, I do not change; (Malachi 3:6a NKJV)

All of these birds were re-named to the Spinus genus and placed in this new order:

Tibetan Serin (Spinus thibetanus)
Lawrence’s Goldfinch (Spinus lawrencei)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)
Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)
Antillean Siskin (Spinus dominicensis)
Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)
Black-capped Siskin (Spinus atriceps)
Black-headed Siskin (Spinus notatus)
Black-chinned Siskin (Spinus barbatus)
Yellow-bellied Siskin (Spinus xanthogastrus)
Olivaceous Siskin (Spinus olivaceus)
Hooded Siskin (Spinus magellanicus)
Saffron Siskin (Spinus siemiradzkii)
Yellow-faced Siskin (Spinus yarrellii)
Red Siskin (Spinus cucullatus)
Black Siskin (Spinus atratus)
Yellow-rumped Siskin (Spinus uropygialis)
Thick-billed Siskin (Spinus crassirostris)
Andean Siskin (Spinus spinescens)

If you wonder why, as I did, check out this article about The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae). If you scroll through, you will find there are re connections all over the place. Do I understand it, No. But summarized, they have been doing DNA studies and found out that their family tree was not what they thought.

Recently I started working on our Family Tree or Genealogy and just about tangled it up as much. One wrong branch led to another and who knows where it and Grandpa would have landed had it not been corrected. This is what they were doing to the Finches and also to the other two families that had major revamps with this latest Version 3.3. The other families were the  Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles, and  Caprimulgidae – Nightjars. At times it felt like they had thrown all the names of those birds up in the air and let them land where ever they chose. They, those that are involved around the world, have done much research and have spent numerous hours working these changes out. They are to be commended.

I trust the next version has a little fewer changes. I need my sleep.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (Psalms 127:2 KJV)

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, (Proverbs 24:33 ESV)