It was a long time ago, but I still remember how bummed we all were when we lost the Myrtle Warbler.
I was a kid then, an avid teen birder. Everywhere I went in April 1973, people were talking about the birds we had lost. The Checklist Committee of the American Ornithologists’ Union had just published their first update in years, and for bird listers, the news wasn’t good. Scientists had “lumped” many familiar species. Three flicker species had been merged into one, two orioles into one, and four juncos into one. And the eastern Myrtle Warbler and western Audubon’s Warbler, two of the most common and familiar members of the warbler clan, were suddenly one species with the bland, unflattering name of Yellow-rumped Warbler.