We have just updated BUBO Listing to include the Clements updates from December 2009.

White-capped Albatross (Thalassarche cauta)The number of updates was very large (one of the reasons it's taken us a while to implement them in BUBO!) Many changes referred to minor changes to English and/or scientific names. More significantly, there have been many changes to the family-level taxonomy of the passerines. Many new families have been created, and many species have been switched between families, almost all as a result of new discoveries from molecular biology. Simultaneously, the ordering of the families and species has seen major changes.

Note that this has been a complex procedure so please let us know ASAP if you see anything clearly wrong (e.g. a bulbul amongst the penguins - the taxonomic changes are often radical, but not that wacky!)

Of interest to many listers, there have also been a number of splits and lumps. Actually, the only real lumping is of Merida and Lara Tapaculos into a single species. In addition, Narosky's Seedeater is now considered only a colour morph of Marsh Seedeater, and Mascarene Shearwater is now included within the new grouping of small shearwaters known as Tropical Shearwater.

Salvin's Albatross (Thalassarche salvini)

On the other hand, splits have been announced of {number of new species in brackets}:

Speckled Teal (2), Shy Albatross (3), Tahiti Petrel (2), Little Shearwater (3), Audubon's Shearwater (2), Band-rumped Storm-petrel (3), Subantarctic Snipe (3), New Zealand Pigeon (3), Red-fronted Parakeet (2), Black-tailed Trogon (2), White-tailed Trogon (2), Violaceous Trogon (2), Scale-throated Earthcreeper (2), Red-eyed Thornbird (2), White-eyed Foliage-gleaner (2), Ruddy Foliage-gleaner (2), Greenish Warbler (2), Madagascar Brush-warbler (2), Red-flanked Bluetail (2), Littoral Rock-thrush (2), Dark-throated Thrush (2), Dusky Thrush (2), Spectacled Thrush (2), Blue-winged Leafbird (3), Golden-fronted Leafbird (2), Warbler Finch (2) and Common Redpoll (2).Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides)Green Warbler (Phylloscopus nitidus)

[Note that a few of these splits will not appear as available to listers as they involve extinct forms]

For further details about how to update your Clements based lists, see how taxonomic updates are handled in BUBO Listing.

One of the major advantages in using BUBO Listing over maintaining your lists yourself is that we handle the taxonomic updates from all authorities. Thus the effort in updating your own lists so that they always reflect the latest taxonomic thinking is minimal. As far as possible we apply 'splits' and 'lumps' automatically, but in some cases you will need to add the appropriate 'new' taxa yourself. For example, if a species is split and only one of the new taxa applies for the location of the list, we will update your list replacing the 'old' taxon with the new. Similarly if a species is lumped we will also update your list automatically. However if more than one taxon is valid for the location following a split, we cannot tell which one (or ones) you have seen, and you will need to update the list yourself.

When we split a species, and if we cannot update a list automatically, that species is treated as 'old' and is hidden from the list, and the list total is reduced accordingly. Thus when viewing lists on BUBO Listing these old taxa will not be included, and you can be sure that when you compare lists you are always comparing lists that follow the up to date taxonomy.

Any old taxa that has not been updated can be seen when you view your own lists using My Lists. Any list that still has old taxa on it, i.e. has pending taxonomic updates, is highlighted in yellow. When you move the mouse over it the particular list is highlighted and displays a message, as in the example below.

Taxonomic Updates

Both View/Edit List and Batch Edit then show the affected old taxa highlighted similarly. When you move the mouse over a particular old taxon a message is displayed to explain the update, i.e. details of the lump or split. The example below shows the Clements split of Greenish Warbler.

Taxonomic Updates

taxonomicupdatesTo find all the taxonomic updates pending on the list, you can "show only the pending taxonomic updates", which will filter out species not affected by any changes in taxonomy.


BUBO Listing now processes all lumps authomatically, but you may still have some 'old' lumped taxa from before we introduced this feature. To process a lump you need to add the 'new' lumped taxon and remove the old taxon from your list.

You may have seen more than one of the taxa being lumped, in which case you should add the new taxon with the date and location of the earliest sighting (if available). You might also like to add a comment (especially where lumping means you lose a species from your list!). When you remove the old taxon (by unchecking the seen box) it will be completely removed from your list since it no longer has any relevance.


To process a split that we have not been able to do automatically, you need to add whichever of the new split taxa you have seen and remove the old taxon from your list.

This can be more complicated than a lump: you may have seen several of the new taxa, or you may not know which of them you have seen. If you have seen several then just add them all and remove the old taxon when done. If you don't know, either because your original sighting(s) were not identified to subspecies or because you don't know which of the new taxa occurs in that location, then you have a few options. BUBO Listing includes distribution information for some authorities, so if you move the mouse over one of the new taxa you can see where it occurs and in most cases this will make it clear which new taxon (or taxa) you require. If this doesn't help then you may need to refer directly to the authority in question or you can post in the BUBO forums and someone can probably help you out. Alternatively you could just ignore the update, in which case the old taxon will stay visible to you as a pending update but will not be displayed publicly, or included in your total. Or just remove it - it was effectively an unidentified species and won't be included in your list total anyway.

Note that, depending on the names chosen by the authority, you may find the apparently confusing situation where a species appears to be split into itself! For example, the December 2009 Clements updates split Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides into Green Warbler P. nitidus and Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides. Whilst initially this may sound confusing, it should be noted that it is the decision of the authority to keep the same English and scientific names for one of the new taxa that is the cause of this: the "new" Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides is not actually the same as the "old" Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides, because it no longer has a nitidus subspecies. It is important for BUBO Listing to keep a distinction so that we can tell whether all pending taxonomic updates have been processed or not, and to make it more accurate when copying lists from one authority to another (e.g. when copying your Clements world list to an IOC world list).

As with other aspects of BUBO Listing, if you have any comments or suggestions please let us know, either directly or via the forums.

We hope you like the new, cleaner, sleeker look to BUBO Listing. There have been many behind the scenes changes, and a few others that should make BUBO Listing more enjoyable and even easier to use.

  • On the right hand side you will see a change to BUBO News, with details of "featured" articles from the past that still have relevance today and will, for example, highlight features of BUBO Listing that you may not have been aware of
  • Authority checklists are now easier to access and use, from the main Checklists menu at the top
  • The actual listing pages are nicer to look at, a little bit faster, and no longer have those annoying scrollbars!
  • When using Batch Edit under My Lists, you can either add/edit a whole record in one go, or add/edit individual data items (e.g. date, location) on their own. To edit a full record click the icon at the right hand side (as shown below). To edit individual data items click the appropriate cell as before. Changes are saved immediately for individual updates, or for a full record when you hit Submit. The advantage of having the new single record entry is that this will be faster if you enter lots of details (e.g. date, location and comments) for your records, whereas if you just want to tick a new species for example you can simply put a tick in the "seen" box.
  • When you view "My Profile", or anyone else's via "View Listers", you will see all lists in a sortable datatable (as with "My Lists").

A few other smaller changes have been made. If you encounter any problems at all then please contact us. As always we'd love to hear your feedback too - a posting in the forums is best for this so that other BUBO Listers can add their comments.

Horizontal Banner

Vertical BannerIf you have your own website or blog, or contribute to other forums, you will be pleased to know that it is now possible to include a BUBO badge with list totals updated automatically from BUBO Listing. Up to two lists can be chosen to be displayed in a variety of sizes, and these can be included on other websites by just copying and pasting some given code. For example, a horizontal banner for a forum signature and a vertical banner for a blog are shown here.

To set up lists for use in these BUBO badges, you need to mark these lists as favourites (similarly to setting favourites for your personalised home page). From My Lists, click on the star icon next to the list you wish to use. Under the option "Show this list on other websites and forums?", you can make it display first or second on a badge. You can also choose the size of badge from the list given. Click "Preview image..." to see how the image will look. On the right hand side the code you need to copy and paste is displayed in bold. Two options are shown: "BBCode" which is typically used by forums, and HTML for your website or blog. Select the bold text and copy it (e.g. using Ctrl-C), then you can paste it into the signature field option for the forum you are using, or into your website or blog. If you need more details then just ask in the BUBO forums.

Setting BUBO badges

You can also test your signature in the BUBO forum - go to My Profile -> Update Profile -> BUBO Forum tab and paste (e.g. Ctrl-V) the BBCode selected earlier.

Note that the lists you use for BUBO badges do not have to be the same ones that you show on the home page. Also there is no reason why you can't show several different size badges in different locations, e.g. a horizontal banner on a forum and a vertical banner on your website.

The content shown on the badge includes list name, list type, last tick species, date and location. Text will be truncated or omitted if need be to fit the particular badge size. Your latest tick is determined by the date and time it was added to BUBO Listing, not the sighting date. This means that retrospective updates that you make (e.g. from recent taxonomic changes, or record acceptances by the appropriate committee) will be used even if they relate to an old sighting. (The first time you choose a list for a badge you may find no latest tick details shown, or Mute Swan may be shown as default - just use Batch Edit to uncheck the species as seen and then immediately check it back on again, and it will then appear as the last tick.)

Each time a badge is used anywhere the BUBO Listing database is queried for the latest details. Because of the increased load on the BUBO Listing system we do insist that the badge must keep intact the direct link to BUBO Listing. Hence anyone clicking on the badge on your website, or in your forum signature, will be taken to the BUBO Listing website.

Note also for forum signatures that you must comply with any restrictions that the particular forum gives regarding image dimensions and file size. Use small badges and the compressed version if necessary and check that it works on the forum in question.

If you have any questions about using these BUBO badges then please ask in the BUBO forum.


The latest BUBO Listing change is the ability to display your own favourite lists on the home page. Thus instead of just seeing the rankings for your home country life and year lists, plus the World list, you can have the lists that matter most to you. If you want your local patch year list to appear first on the home page then you can do exactly that, and easily keep tabs on your position related to that of your birding friends!

The way this works is that you can define up to three "Favourite" lists from the My Lists menu option. Just click on the small star next to the list you want and you will be prompted to make it your first, second or third favourite. Existing favourites will be indicated by having a large star instead of a small one.

When you visit the BUBO Listing home page, and you are logged in, it will show all the favourites you have defined, in the appropriate order. Note that if you are not logged in the default lists for your home country (year and life) plus the World, will be shown as they are currently.

Another great feature added is that the top 10 rankings will now always show your own list. If you are not currently in the top 10 an 11th row will be shown for your own lists, and its overall ranking. Now it's easy to see how well you are doing compared to the top listers, and if you are making any progress!