The Irish List’s species order and scientific nomenclature adopted by the IRBC for Irish Rare Bird Reports from 2005 to 2015 largely followed the British List (British Ornithologists’ Union 2013, Dudley et al. 2006), incorporating updates recommended by various reports of the Taxonomic Sub-committee of the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU TAC) published in the journal Ibis. In November 2015 the BOU took the decision to disband their Taxonomic Sub-committee (British Ornithologists’ Union 2016) prompting the IRBC to seek an alternative taxonomic authority to base the Irish List on. Consequently and beginning with the 2016 Irish Rare Bird Report and the 2017 Provisional List the IRBC will adopt the IOC World List version 7.1 (Gill & Donsker 2017) as the basis for the Irish List.

Included among the many changes are:

  • Taiga and Tundra forms of Bean Goose are raised to full species status as Anser fabalis and A. rossicus respectively.
  • Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus is downgraded from full species status to become a subspecies of Whimbrel as Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus.

The Irish List that is available for download on this website will be amended in the coming weeks to reflect this decision.


British Ornithologists’ Union 2013. The British List: a Checklist of Birds of Britain (8th Edition). Ibis 155: 635-676.

British Ornithologists’ Union 2016. British Ornithologists’ Union Records Committee (BOURC): 46th Report (October 2016). Ibis 159: 238-242.

Dudley, S.P., Gee, M., Kehoe, C., Melling, T.M. & The British Ornithologist’s Union Records Committee 2006. The British List: A Checklist of Birds of Britain (7th Edition). Ibis 148: 526-563.

Gill, F. & Donsker, D. (eds). 2017. IOC World Bird List (v 7.1). Available from (Accessed January 2017).

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