Systematics/Phylogeny

Meet the newest species of bird in North America: A Gunnison Sage-Grouse specimen arrives in Chicago

The last new species of bird to be described in the United States--in fact the first since the 19th century--was Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus), described to science in 2000 on the basis of behavioral, vocal, and morphological (size and plumage) differences from its larger, more widespread cousin, the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus).

Video: The Birds and the Trees

Are condors more closely related to hawks or to storks?  New research constantly changes our understanding of how birds are related to each other.  At the Field Museum, Shannon Hackett, John Bates, and Dave Willard keep close eyes on avian systematics, the study of evolutionary relationships among birds.  In the past few years, Shannon has collaborated with researchers from other institutions on the Early Bird project to ask big-picture question of how all birds fit on the avian tree of life.

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