Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scythebill 9.3.0 - eBird/Clements 6.8 checklist is now available!

Scythebill 9.3.0 is now available!  The highlight of this version is the new eBird/Clements 6.8 checklist.  Download it here, and follow Scythebill on Google+ or Facebook for more updates.

If you're wondering what happened in Clements 6.8, I've written a summary in the previous Scythebill blog post.

Along with that checklist, there's a new taxonomy upgrade screen that will let you quickly resolve any splits or other taxonomic conundrums this revision of Clements introduces.  This screen is also the subject of the first How-To video for Scythebill.  Let me know how this format works for you - I'll make more if this is useful.

One other notable feature new to 9.3.0:  eBird import supports importing eBird import files.  This is especially useful because a lot of other bird software programs support generating those import files, so this is a reasonable way to get data from another program (like BirdBase) into Scythebill.

Scythebill 9.3.0 includes a number of smaller features and fixes:

  • eBird export now includes scientific names.
  • Popup performance on the MacOS Lion/Mountain Lion version of Scythebill was often terrible.  This should be much better. Thanks to Yann M. for the report.
  • Earlier versions gave a lousy error message if you tried to save into a non-writable directory;  this should be better now.  Thanks to Elena V. for the report.
  • There's a now a "day" and "year" hint to make date entry a little more obvious.
  • Fixed an error that appeared after Scythebill failed to open a file.  Thanks to Mark C. for the report.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Clements 6.8 - what's changed?

Update: Scythebill 9.3.0 was released with the eBird/Clements 6.8 checklist.

Cornell just published the August 2013 update to what's now known as "The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world".  As of today, there's a downloadable spreadsheet, but not yet a summary of the changes involved.  (I much prefer this to last year's state of affairs, where the summary was published well before the spreadsheet was made available.)

This is, accordingly, a moderately quick analysis of the species and subspecies of Clements 6.7 versus 6.8.  

In addition to the changes included here, there's quite a bit of subspecific cleanup - many subspecies have been removed due to synonymization, and several have moved from one species or group to another (e.g.:  Golden Parrotbill ssp. beaulieu from n Laos is now in Black-throated Parrotbill, Painted Parakeet ssp. microtera is synonymized with Santarem Parakeet ssp. amazonum, and so forth).


  1. Speckled Chachalaca to Speckled/East Brazilian/Scaled Chachalaca
  2. Horned Curassow to Sira/Horned Curassow
  3. Changeable Hawk-Eagle to Changeable/Crested Hawk-Eagle
  4. Mountain Hawk-Eagle to Mountain/Legge's Hawk-Eagle
  5. Sapphire Quail-Dove to Purple/Sapphire Quail-Dove
  6. Green Imperial-Pigeon to Green/Nicobar Imperial-Pigeon
  7. Plaintive Cuckoo to Plaintive/Gray-bellied Cuckoo
  8. Asian Drongo-Cuckoo to Square-tailed/Fork-tailed/Moluccan Drongo-Cuckoo
  9. Barn Owl to Barn Owl/Andaman Masked-Owl
  10. Brown Hawk-Owl to Brown/Hume's Boobook
  11. Philippine Hawk-Owl to Luzon/Mindanao/Mindoro/Cebu/Sulu Boobook
  12. Barred Owlet-Nightjar to Vogelkop/Barred Owlet-Nightjar
  13. Blue-headed Bee-eater to Blue-moustached/Blue-headed Bee-eater
  14. Crimson-fronted Barbet to Malabar/Crimson-fronted Barbet
  15. Chestnut-tipped Toucanet to Chestnut-tipped/Tepui Toucanet
  16. Philippine Woodpecker to Philippine/Sulu Woodpecker
  17. Brown-capped Woodpecker to Brown-capped/Sunda Woodpecker
  18. Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker to Fulvous-breasted/Freckle-breasted Woodpecker
  19. Long-tailed Antbird to East Andean/Klages's/Santa Marta/Streak-headed Antbird
  20. Immaculate Antbird to Zeledon's/Blue-lored Antbird
  21. Plain-brown Woodcreeper to Plain-brown/Plain-winged Woodcreeper
  22. Curve-billed Scythebill to Red-billed/Curve-billed Scythebill
  23. Chestnut Wattle-eye to Chestnut/West African Wattle-eye
  24. Scarlet Minivet to Orange/Scarlet Minivet
  25. Rufous-tailed Shrike to Red-tailed/Isabelline Shrike
  26. Pied Fantail to Malaysian/Philippine Pied-Fantail
  27. Azure-winged Magpie to Iberian/Azure-winged Magpie
  28. Short-tailed Magpie to Javan/Bornean Green-Magpie
  29. Torresian Crow to Torresian/Bismarck Crow
  30. Pacific Swallow to Hill/Pacific Swallow
  31. Great Tit to Great/Cinereous/Japanese Tit
  32. Long-tailed Tit to Long-tailed/Silver-throated Tit
  33. Eurasian Treecreeper to Eurasian/Hodgson's Treecreeper
  34. Brown-throated Treecreeper to Sikkim/Hume's Treecreeper
  35. Spotted Creeper to African/Indian Spotted-Creeper
  36. House Wren to House/Cobb's Wren
  37. Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler to Hume's/Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler
  38. Nightingale Reed-Warbler to Nightingale/Aguiguan/Pagan Reed-Warbler
  39. Tahiti Reed-Warbler to Society Islands/Tahiti Reed-Warbler
  40. Marquesan Reed-Warbler to Southern/Northern Marquesan Reed-Warbler
  41. Spotted Bush-Warbler to Baikal/West Himalayan/Spotted Bush-Warbler
  42. Philippine Tailorbird to Philippine/Green-backed Tailorbird
  43. Rufous-headed Parrotbill to White-breasted/Rufous-headed Parrotbill
  44. Gray-cheeked Fulvetta to Gray-cheeked/Yunnan/David's/Huet's Fulvetta
  45. Rufous-rumped Grassbird to Indian/Chinese Grassbird
  46. Gray-breasted Laughingthrush to Black-chinned/Kerala Laughingthrush
  47. Common Babbler to Afghan/Common Babbler
  48. Mount Apo Sunbird to Apo/Tboli Sunbird
  49. Flaming Sunbird to Flaming/Maroon-naped Sunbird
  50. Metallic-winged Sunbird to Metallic-winged/Mountain/Bohol Sunbird
  51. Eastern Crimson Sunbird to Crimson/Magnificent Sunbird
  52. Greenish Yellow-Finch to Greenish/Monte Yellow-Finch
  53. Sage Sparrow to Bell's/Sagebrush Sparrow
  54. Royal Parrotfinch to Red-headed/Royal Parrotfinch


  1. Indochinese Swiftlet into Himalayan Swiftlet
  2. Green-crowned Woodnymph into Crowned Woodnymph
  3. Sira Barbet into Scarlet-banded Barbet
  4. Black-crested Tit into Coal Tit
  5. Turkestan Tit into Great Tit
  6. Yellow-breasted Tit into Azure Tit 

New species

This list largely consists of newly discovered species, 15 of which are from Brazil but have not yet been vetted at all by the SACC (as Cornell did a year ago with "Sira" Barbet, now a group within Scarlet-banded Barbet).  One (Kangaroo Island Emu) is a long-extinct form. 

  1. Kangaroo Island Emu
  2. Pincoya Storm-Petrel
  3. Seram Masked-Owl
  4. Rinjani Scops-Owl
  5. Romblon Boobook
  6. Camiguin Boobook
  7. Western Puffbird
  8. Roosevelt Antwren
  9. Bamboo Antwren
  10. Predicted Antwren
  11. Aripuana Antwren
  12. Manicore Warbling-Antbird
  13. Junin Tapaculo
  14. Xingu Woodcreeper
  15. Tupana Scythebill
  16. Tapajos Scythebill
  17. Inambari Woodcreeper
  18. Delta Amacuro Softtail
  19. Chico's Tyrannulet
  20. Acre Tody-Tyrant
  21. Sucunduri Flycatcher
  22. Campina Jay
  23. Inambari Gnatcatcher
  24. Saipan Reed-Warbler
  25. Mangareva Reed-Warbler
  26. Cambodian Tailorbird

New subspecies

  1. Wilson's Plover (C.w.crassirostris)
  2. Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo (S.d.stewarti)
  3. Philippine Drongo-Cuckoo (S.v.chalybaeus)
  4. Philippine Drongo-Cuckoo (S.v.velutinus)
  5. Philippine Drongo-Cuckoo (S.v.suluensis)
  6. Romblon Boobook (N.s.spilonotus)
  7. Romblon Boobook (N.s.fisheri)
  8. Black-spotted Barbet (C.n.aurantiicinctus)
  9. Rose-fronted Parakeet (Wavy-breasted) (P.r.peruviana)
  10. Rose-fronted Parakeet (Wavy-breasted) (P.r.dilutissima)
  11. Spot-winged Antshrike (P.s.maculipennis)
  12. Spot-winged Antshrike (P.s.purusiana)
  13. Streak-headed Antbird (D.s.striaticeps)
  14. Streak-headed Antbird (D.s.occidentalis)
  15. Streak-headed Antbird (D.s.peruviana)
  16. Streak-headed Antbird (D.s.boliviana)
  17. Brown-banded Antpitta (G.m.gilesi)
  18. Brown-banded Antpitta (G.m.milleri)
  19. Sharp-billed Treehunter (H.c.camargoi)
  20. Sharp-billed Treehunter (H.c.contaminatus)
  21. Goldenface (P.f.lecroyae)
  22. Mountain Mouse-Warbler (C.r.diamondi)
  23. Green Shrike-Vireo (V.p.ramosi)
  24. African Blue Tit (C.t.hedwigae)
  25. Clamorous Reed-Warbler (Clamorous) (A.s.levantinus)
  26. Clamorous Reed-Warbler (Brown) (A.s.brunnescens)
  27. Society Islands Reed-Warbler (A.m.musae)
  28. Western Orphean Warbler (S.h.hortensis)
  29. Western Orphean Warbler (S.h.cyrenaicae)
  30. Brown-streaked Flycatcher (M.w.williamsoni)
  31. Glossy-black Thrush (T.s.continoi)
  32. Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager (A.l.yariguierum)
  33. Black-and-yellow Tanager (C.c.titanota)
  34. Black-striped Sparrow (A.c.pastazae)
  35. Socotra Sparrow (P.i.hemileucus)
  36. Socotra Sparrow (P.i.insularis)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Scythebill 9.2.2 - a bug fix release

Scythebill 9.2.2 is now available!  Unlike the feature-ific recent releases, this one fixes some small bugs that have crept in over the past couple of releases.

Get it here from the new download page.

And you can get more updates by following Scythebill on Google+ or Facebook.


  • You no longer have to click the "Save" button when editing existing sightings - sightings are automatically saved when you click away.
  • (Windows only)  Print... now works if your default browser is Internet Explorer.
  • (MacOS only) A separate release for MacOS Lion (10.7) or newer is available.  For at least one user, this resolved a problem where keyboard input was ignored. (Thanks to Philip S. for the report, and for sticking around for the lengthy diagnosis!)
  • Lifers once again appear in bold when entered.
  • Dragging around locations in "Browse by locations" no longer snaps the scrollbar up to the top.
  • Error windows that appeared when entering sightings at a continent or ocean level (like "Atlantic Ocean") are fixed. (Thanks to Shelley R. for the report.)
  • Error windows that appeared when editing sightings that had no date are fixed. (Thanks to Howard W. for the report.)


  • The "choose-your-own-abbreviation" list of species now takes time-of-year into account when sorting!  Species that you've only seen at a location in the winter will move to the top in the winter, and lower in the summer, and so forth.