Revised names for MigrantWatch species

This entry was posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2014 at 5:33 am

Species names in MigrantWatch have remained unchanged since the start of the project, and an update is long overdue. We have now changed the names of some of the species in the MigrantWatch database, following following recent revisions in taxonomy and nomenclature.

As part of our efforts to integrate more closely with eBird, we decided to follow the eBird naming system, which, in turn, is synchronized with the Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World.

A practical consequence of this is that it is now much easier for you to upload your MigrantWatch sightings to your eBird account if you wish to do so. Note that the scientific names of species in MigrantWatch now match Clements/eBird exactly, and the English names are the same as if you set your preferences in eBird to “English (India)” as recommended for Indian birders.

A concise summary of changes is given below for your convenience (the complete list of changes can be downloaded here: MW name changes 2014-03-23). We urge you to refer to this list before submitting observations.

Both English and scientific names changed

Old name

Updated name


Common Stonechat

Saxicola torquata

Common/ Stejneger’s Stonechat (Siberian Stonechat)

Saxicola maurus

The former Common Stonechat has been split, following which theĀ  species in India is the Siberian Stonechat, S. maurus.

Eurasian Golden Oriole

Oriolus oriolus

Indian Golden Oriole

Oriolus kundoo

The former Eurasian Golden Oriole has been split, following which the species in India is the Indian Golden Oriole, O. kundoo.

Orphean Warbler

Sylvia hortensis

Eastern Orphean Warbler

Sylvia crassirostris

Orphean Warbler has been split, following which the species in India is the Eastern Orphean Warbler, S. crassirostris.

English name changed

Old name

Updated name


Eurasian Skylark

Skylark (Sky Lark)

Grasshopper Warbler

Common Grasshopper-Warbler

Red-throated Flycatcher

Red-breasted Flycatcher

The former Red-throated Flycatcher had two subspecies, which are now recognised as separate species: Red-breasted and Red-throated. The Red-breasted Flycatcher retains the scientific name Ficedula parva, while the red-throated form is now Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla

Red-breasted Flycatcher

Taiga Flycatcher

Spangled Drongo

Hair-crested Drongo

Hair-crested Drongo retained to prevent confusion with the Spangled Drongo found in Australia

Scientific name changed

Old name

Updated name


Alpine Swift

Tachymarptis melba

Apus melba

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Muscicapa dauurica

Muscicapa latirostris

Black-headed Gull

Larus ridibundus

Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Black-winged Cuckooshrike

Coracina melaschistos

Lalage melaschistos

Booted Warbler

Hippolais caligata

Iduna caligata

Bridled Tern

Sterna anaethetus

Onychoprion anaethetus

Bristled Grasswarbler

Chaetornis striatus

Chaetornis striata

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Limicola falcinellus

Calidris falcinellus

Brown-headed Gull

Larus brunnicephalus

Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Tryngites subruficollis

Calidris subruficollis

Caspian Tern

Sterna caspia

Hydroprogne caspia

Demoiselle Crane

Grus virgo

Anthropoides virgo

Dusky Thrush

Turdus naumanni

Turdus eunomus

The former Turdus naumanni has been split

Eurasian Crag-Martin

Hirundo rupestris

Ptyonoprogne rupestris


Luscinia pectardens

Calliope pectardens

Great Black-headed Gull

Larus ichthyaetus

Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus

Greater Spotted Eagle

Aquila clanga

Clanga clanga

Grey Bushchat

Saxicola ferrea

Saxicola ferreus

Heuglin’s Gull

Larus heuglini

Larus fuscus heuglini

Considered subspecies of the Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) which has a complex taxonomy

Himalayan Rubythroat

Luscinia pectoralis

Calliope pectoralis

Indian Blue Robin

Luscinia brunnea

Larvivora brunnea

Lesser Crested Tern

Sterna bengalensis

Thalasseus bengalensis

Little Tern

Sterna albifrons

Sternula albifrons

Pied Thrush

Zoothera wardii

Geokichla wardii

Rosy Starling

Sturnus roseus

Pastor roseus


Philomachus pugnax

Calidris pugnax

Siberian Blue Robin

Luscinia cyane

Larvivora cyane

Siberian Rubythroat

Luscinia calliope

Calliope calliope

Slender-billed Gull

Larus genei

Chroicocephalus genei

Sooty Tern

Sterna fuscata

Onychoprion fuscatus

Sykes’ Warbler

Hippolais rama

Iduna rama

Thick-billed Warbler

Acrocephalus aedon

Iduna aedon

Whiskered Tern

Chlidonias hybridus

Chlidonias hybrida


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