July 20 – update: Since eBird is in the middle of a big taxonomy do-over, I’ll need to redo this in mid-August or so in order to make it more accurate.
In my previous post I’d mentioned that 10,390 seemed like a good estimate of the total, currently existing species that one could ever hope to find, based on the Clements taxonomy. That number was generated from the list of total species reported in eBird, minus the extinct species. After downloading the 2018 full Clements taxonomy and comparing with the eBird list, I was surprised to see that there are fully 63 species out there that do not have a single eBird record!
Those species are: Abd al Kuri Sparrow, Alagoas Curassow, Aldabra Brush-Warbler, Bare-legged Swiftlet, Bates’s Weaver, Bismarck Thicketbird, Black-lored Waxbill, Blue-wattled Bulbul, Cayenne Nightjar, Chapin’s Mountain-Babbler, Chestnut-shouldered Goshawk, Coastal Boubou, Congo Bay-Owl, Coppery Thorntail, Duida Grass-Finch, Glaucous Macaw, Golden-fronted Bowerbird, Itombwe Nightjar, Kinglet Calyptura, Kordofan Lark, Lake Lufira Masked-Weaver, Louisiade Flowerpecker, Louisiade Pitta, Luzon Buttonquail, Makira Moorhen, Manus Masked-Owl, Maui Nukupuu, Mayr’s Rail, Moorea Reed Warbler, Mountain Starling, Nechisar Nightjar, Negros Fruit-Dove, New Caledonian Nightjar, New Caledonian Owlet-nightjar, New Caledonian Rail, New Hanover Munia, Niam-Niam Parrot, Nias Myna, Oahu Alauahio, Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl, Pohnpei Starling, Prigogine’s Sunbird, Rio de Janeiro Antwren, Rotuma Myzomela, Rück’s Blue Flycatcher, Rusty Lark, Sangihe White-eye, Sassi’s Greenbul, Schouteden’s Swift, Slender-tailed Cisticola, Society Islands Reed Warbler, Somali Pigeon, Sulu Bleeding-heart, Tabar Pitta, Tachira Antpitta, Tagula White-eye, Three-toed Swiftlet, Turquoise-throated Puffleg, Vilcabamba Brushfinch, White-chested White-eye, White-eyed River Martin, White-faced Redstart, and Yellow-legged Weaver.
So for now I’m thinking of revising the number to be 10,453 species, so my >50% goal, with a 1% margin, goes up to 5,280.
Or not. A quick look indicates that more than a few of these are already gone. I’m thinking it will be interesting to have more details about these elusive 63…