The Web of Life (15-3) Bird Orders


 Bird Orders

Although there are 24 avian orders, birds are commonly bifurcated into passerines and non-passerines. Passerines constitute more than half of all bird species. Sparrows, wrens, finches, and tits are passerines. The cerebral star of the passerines are corvids: savvy crows, ravens, and jays.

Passerines are sometimes referred to as perching birds, or, less accurately, songbirds, as songbirds are a passerine suborder. The name passerine derives from the scientific name for the house sparrow, Passer domesticus.

Examples of non-passerines include flamingos, fowl, doves and pigeons, birds of prey (hawks, eagles, falcons, owls), swifts and hummingbirds, water & sea birds (pelicans, storks, petrels, gulls, waterfowl, loons, penguins), woodpeckers, and parrots.