Sunday, June 16, 2024

[Ornithology • 2024] Museum Specimens, Photographs, and Sightings of White-eyed River Martin Pseudochelidon sirintarae (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae)

White-eyed River Martin Pseudochelidon sirintarae  Thonglongya, 1968

in Bond & Berryman, 2024.

White-eyed River Martin Pseudochelidon sirintarae was described in 1968 and there have been no confirmed sightings since the 1970s. It is known only from Bueng Boraphet in central Thailand. Here, we compile the most comprehensive summary of museum specimens, photographic records (including two previously unpublished images) and sightings for this poorly known species. Specimens are held mainly in the Thailand Natural History Museum near Bangkok, with others at the Natural History Museum (Tring), American Museum of Natural History (New York) and National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC). At least three other mounts exist, all in Thailand, some of which may be composites from captive birds collected in the early 1970s. Photographs unearthed at Tring, and in unpublished reports, show birds that differ from the four previously known images and may represent individuals that are now museum specimens. With no confirmed sightings for more than 40 years, despite reasonable search effort (especially increasing citizen science data), it is very likely that White-eyed River Martin is now extinct.

Photographs of the White-eyed River Martin Pseudochelidon sirintarae caught in November 1968 published by Tobias (2000) and deposited in the Macaulay Library, Cornell University; the bird is presumably an adult given the presence of tail-streamers and is believed to be THNHM B-07481 (H. E. McClure, © BirdLife International)


Photographs of White-eyed River Martin Pseudochelidon sirintarae taken in the field in February 1968; it is now NHMUK 1968.68.1; the prints were sent by K. Thonglongya to NHMUK in April 1968 and Fig. 17 was also reproduced for an article in the newspaper Khaosod on 27 May 1992 about the species' discovery (Photographer unknown)

(left). Immature male White-eyed River Martin Pseudochelidon sirintarae, paratype USNM 533542, collected on 28 January 1968, alongside the removed left central rectrix from USNM 510428 (adult, unknown sex; see Fig. 7) (© C. Milensky)


Alexander L. Bond and Alex J. Berryman. 2024. Museum Specimens, Photographs, and Sightings of White-eyed River Martin Pseudochelidon sirintaraeBulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club. 144(2):162-182. DOI: 10.25226/bboc.v144i2.2024.a9