Our Beautiful World

Birds , taxomony

This article needs attention from an expert on the subject.
That's what it said at the source for some of the information herein.

When I had about 500 birds described on my site, I had to find a better
way to get them into order. So I had to start from the very beginning.
But that was difficult and confusing. As a lot of scientists now are
engaged in DNA-surveys, they feel they should correct the old system,
and have began moving birds from one family to another and so on.
I'm just to old for that, so please look at these pages as my private
database, to help me keep everything in a kind of good order.
Of course, will appreciate any comments from you, my visitors.
E-mail address at bottom of page.

This is a list relating to extant species of birds.
This page lists living orders and families of birds. The links below should then lead to family accounts
and hence to individual species.

Taxonomy is very fluid in the age of DNA analysis, so comments are made where appropriate, and all numbers are approximate. In particular see Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy for a very different classification.
In our pages on this web-site, we keep to the 'old' way of listing, as that is most common.(2012)

Class: Aves
Clade: Carinatae
Subclass: Neornithes
Anseriformes, waterfowl
Galliformes, fowl
 about 30 .. formes
Ostrich, emus, kiwis
Tinamiformes, tinamous

Nearly all living birds belong to the superorder of Neognathae or "new jaws".
With their keels, unlike the ratites, they are known as carinatae.
The passerines alone account for well over 5000 species.

Superorder: Anseriformes - Worldwide; 150 species.
Anhimidae: screamers
  Magpie Goose, Anseranas semipalmata
Anatidae: ducks, geese, and swans

Superorder: Galliformes - Worldwide; 250 species.
Family: Megapodidae: megapodes
Family: Cracidae: chachalacas, curassows, and guans
Superfamily Phasianoidea -
Phasianoidea: pheasants and allies
Family Odontophoridae – New World quail
Family Numididae
– guineafowl
Family Phasianidaepheasants, partridges and relatives

Superorder: Neonaves

Accipitriformes - hawks, eagles, vultures - Worldwide (200)
Family Cathartidae: New World vultures
Family Pandionidae:
  Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
(1 specie)
Family Accipitridae: hawks and relatives
Family Sagittaridae: Secretarybird
Aegotheliformes - owlet-nightjars - Oceania (10)
Apodiformes - swifts and hummingbirds - Worldwide (400)
Trochilidae: hummingbirds
Apodidae: swifts
Hemiprocnidae: treeswifts
Bocerotiformes - Old World, New Guinea, (64)
Bucerotidae: hornbills
Upupidae: Hoopoe
Phoeniculidae: woodhoopoes
Caprimulgiformes - nightjars and allies - Worldwide (90)
Steatornithidae: Oilbird
Podargidae: frogmouths
Nyctibiidae: potoos
Caprimulgidae: nighthawks and nightjars
Eurostopodidae: eared-nightjars
Cariamiformes - South America (2)
Charadriiformes - shorebirds/waders and allies , seagulls, skuas- Worldwide (350)
    Scolopacidae: sandpipers and relatives
Thinocori: jacana-like waders
    Rostratulidae: painted snipes
Genus Nycticryphes
South American Painted Snipe, Nycticryptes semicollaris, inhabits grassy marshland in southern South America.

    Jacanidae: jacanas see here
    Thinocoridae: seedsnipes
Genus Attagis
Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Attagis gayi, No: Rustrypesnipe
White-bellied Seedsnipe, Attagis malouinus, No: Sørrypesnipe
Genus Thinocorus
Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, Thinocorus orbignyianus, Punarypesnipe
Least Seedsnipe, Thinocorus rumicivorus, Dvergrypesnipe

    Pedionomidae: Plains-wanderer
    Turnicidae: buttonquail
Lari: gulls and allies Laridae: gulls
    Rhynchopidae: skimmers
    Sternidae: terns
    Alcidae: auks
    Stercorariidae: skuas and jaegers
    Glareolidae: coursers and pratincoles
    Dromadidae: Crab-Plover
Chionidi: thick-knees and allies
    Burhinidae: thick-knees and relatives
    Chionididae: sheathbills
    Pluvianellidae: Magellanic Plover
Charadrii: plover-like waders
    Ibidorhynchidae: Ibisbill
    Recurvirostridae: avocets and stilts
    Haematopodidae: oystercatchers
    Charadriidae: plovers and lapwings
Ciconiiformes - storks see here and here
Ciconiidae - stork
Threskiornithidae - large wading birds
Coliiformes - mousebirds - Sub-Saharan Africa (6)
Columbiformes - doves and pigeons - Worldwide, (300)
Coraciiformes - rollers and allies (paraphyletic?) - Worldwide (144)
Meropidae: bee-eaters se her
Coraciidae: rollers se her
Brachypteraciidae: ground rollers
Todidae: todies
Momotidae: motmots
Alcedines: kingfishers
    Alcedinidae: river kingfishers se her:
    Halcyonidae: tree kingfishers
se her:
    Cerylidae: water kingfishers
Cuculiformes - cuckoos - Worldwide (126) se her
Falconiformes - birds of prey - Worldwide (60)
Worldwide; 260 species; sometimes all families except Falconidae are separated as Accipitriformes, or the Cathartidae placed in a still separate order, Cathartiformes.
Falconidae: caracaras, falcons, falconets, hobbies, kestrels
Cathartidae: New World vultures, condors
Pandionidae: Osprey
Accipitridae: buzzards, eagles, harriers, hawks, kites, Old World vultures
Sagittaridae: Secretary Bird

Gaviiformes - loons/divers - North America, Eurasia (5)
Gruiformes - cranes and allies (paraphyletic?) - Worldwide (191)
Otididae: bustards
Gruidae: cranes
Aramidae: Limpkin
Psophiidae: trumpeters
Rallidae: rails and relatives see here
Heliornithidae: finfoots
Leptosomatiformes - Madagascar (1)
Mesitornithiformes - Madagascar, Neotropics, Nerw Caledonia (5)
Mesitornithidae: mesites
Rhynochetidae: Kagu
Eurypygidae: Sunbittern
Musophagiformes - turacos - Africa (23)
Opisthocomiformes - Hoatzin - South America, (1)
Passeriformes - passerines/perching birds Worldwide (5.000)
Pelecaniformes - pelicans and allies (paraphyletic?) - Worldwide (108)
Balaenicipitidae: Shoebill
Scopidae: Hamerkop
Pelecanidae: pelicans
Ardeidae: herons and relatives see here
Threskiornithidae: ibises and spoonbills
Phaethontiformes - tropicbirds - Oceanic (3)
Phoenicopteriformes - flamingos (6)
Piciformes - woodpeckers and allies - Worldwide except Australasia (400)
Galbulidae: jacamars
Bucconidae: puffbirds
Lybiidae: African barbets
Megalaimidae: Asian barbets
Ramphastidae: toucans
Semnornithidae: Toucan barbets
Capitonidae: American barbets
Picidae: woodpeckers
Indicatoridae: honeyguides
Podicipediformes - grebes (19)
Procellariiformes - tubenoses - Pan-oceanic, (120)
Diomedeidae: albatrosses
Procellariidae: petrels and relatives
Pelecanoididae: diving petrels
Hydrobatidae: storm petrels
Psittaciformes - parrots and cockatoos - Pan-tropical, southern temperate zones (330)
Cacatuidae: cockatoos
Strigopidae: New Zealand parrots
Psittacidae: true parrots
Pteroclidiformes - sandgrouse, Africa, Europe, Asia; (16 )
Sphenisciformes - penguins - Antarctic and southern waters (17)
Strigiformes - owls - Worldwide (130)
Suliformes - Worldwide (59)
Phalacrocoracidae: cormorants and shags
Fregatidae: frigatebirds
Sulidae: boobies and gannets
Anhingidae: darters
Trogoniformes - trogons - Sub-Saharan Africa, Americas, Asia (35) here

Superorder: Gastornithiformes are prehistoric birds


The flightless and mostly giant Struthioniformes lack a keeled sternum and are
collectively known as ratites. Together with the Tinamiformes, they form the
Paleognathae or "old jaws", one of the two 'superorders'.

Struthioniformes - Africa and Australasia; 2 species.
Struthionidae: Ostrich
Rheiformes - South America; 2 species.
Rheidae: rheas
Tinamiformes - South America; 45 species.
Tinamidae: tinamous
Casuariiformes - Australasia; 4 species.
Casuariidae: cassowaries
Dromaiidae: Emu
Apterygiformes - Australasia; 5 species.
Apterygidae: kiwis


over 250


over 500


over 225
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