Incertae Sedis – Uncertain Families

Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens ©Emily Willoughby (Creative Commons) Website

The rapid and remarkable changes in taxonomy largely due to DNA sequencing has moved many species from one family to another, split families and resurrected others. Nevertheless, some species have yet to ‘find a home’. This page is for those species… hopefully, within a short time this will disappear as authorities agree where these ‘homeless’ species belong in the phylogenetic tree. They are set out in those groups which appear to belong together, wherever that is. The IOC lists just three species in three genera as Incertiaae Sedis 1; they are:

Grauer’s Warbler Graueria vittata

Green Hylia Hylia prasina

Tit Hylia Pholidornis rushiae.

The IOC lists just six species in five genera as Incertiaae Sedis 2; they are:

Green-tailed Warbler Microligea palustris

Yellow-headed Warbler Teretistris fernandinae
Oriente Warbler Teretistris fornsi

Wrenthrush Zeledonia coronata

Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens

White-winged Warbler Xenoligea montana

Species Links
  • Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map.
  • Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens

    Species Account
    The yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens) is a large songbird, widely considered the most atypical member of the New World warbler family, though the long-standing suspicion is that it does not actually belong there. Its placement is not definitely resolved. It is the only member of the genus Icteria.
  • Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens

    Cornell Species Account
    The Yellow-breasted Chat offers a cascade of song in the spring, when males deliver streams of whistles, cackles, chuckles, and gurgles with the fluidity of improvisational jazz.

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