Wildlife Journal Junior New Hampshire Public Television Knowledge Network

  Main      Wild Files      N.H. Animals      Animals A-Z      Episodes     KN Home      NHPTV Home

  Wild Files > Animalia > Chordata > VertebratesAves > Passeriformes

Passeriformes - perching birds

bluejayThis is the largest order of birds. In fact, over half of the 10,000 known species of birds in the world are in this order. Passeriformes are also known as perching birds. Perching birds have three unwebbed toes in the front and one strong, flexible toe in the back called the hallux, that lets them perch on tree branches. Most species of perching birds have 12 tail feathers. Perching birds are found in all parts of the world and they come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes! Most chicks in this order are completely featherless and helpless when they hatch and must be fed by their parents.

GoldfinchThe order is divided into two suborders - Tyranni and Passeri.
The Passeri are the songbirds. There are over 4,000 birds in this suborder. They are different from other birds because of the complex set of four muscles in their voice box or syrinx. These muscles allow songbirds to make complex songs and calls. The birds in this suborder can also learn songs! They learn their songs by listening to other birds in their species.

The Tyranni suborder is made up of over 1,000 species of tropical birds. Most are found in South America. The birds in this suborder also have songs, but they don't learn them. They are born knowing their songs. There are some 64 families in the Passeriformes order.


 Families

  Aegithalidae (long-tailed tits)
  Aegithinidae (ioras)
  Alaudidae (larks)
  Artamidae (wood swallows)
  Atrichornithidae (scrub birds)
  Bombycillidae (waxwings )
  Campephagidae (cuckoo shrikes)
  Cardinalidae (cardinals, grosbeaks)
  Certhiidae (treecreepers)
  Chloropseidae (leafbirds)
  Cinclidae (dippers)
  Cinclosomatidae (quail-thrushes)
  Cisticolidae (cisticolas)
  Climacteridae (Australian treecreepers)
  Corcoracidae (apostlebird)
  Corvidae (crows, ravens, jays)
  Cotingidae (cotingas, bellbirds, becards)
  Dicaeidae (flowerpeckers)
  Dicruridae (monarch flycatchers )
  Emberizidae (buntings, sparrows)
  Estrildidae (estrildid finches)
  Fringillidae (true finches)
  Hirundinidae (swallows, martins)
  Hypocoliidae (hypocolius)
  Icteridae (orioles, blackbirds)
  Irenidae (fairy-bluebirds)
  Laniidae (shrikes)
  Maluridae (fairy-wrens, grasswrens)
  Melanocharitidae (berrypeckers )
  Meliphagidae (honeyeaters, chats)
  Menuridae (lyrebirds)
  Mimidae (mockingbirds, thrashers)

  Motacillidae (wagtails, pipits)
  Muscicapidae (Old World flycatchers)
  Nectariniidae (sunbirds)
  Neosittidae (sittellas)
  Oriolidae (Old World orioles, figbird)
  Orthonychidae (logrunners)
  Pachycephalidae (whistlers)
  Paradisaeidae (birds of paradise)
  Paramythiidae (berrypeckers )
  Pardalotidae (scrubwrens)
  Paridae (tits, chickadees, titmice)
  Parulidae (New World warblers)
  Passeridae (true sparrows)
  Petroicidae (Australian robins)
  Peucedramidae (olive warbler)
  Picathartidae (rockfowl)
  Pomatostomidae (babblers)
  Prunellidae (accentors)
  Ptilonorhynchidae (bowerbirds)
  Pycnonotidae (bulbuls)
  Regulidae (kinglets)
  Sittidae (nuthatches)
  Sturnidae (starlings)
  Sylviidae (Old World warblers)
  Thraupidae (tanagers)
  Timaliidae (babblers)
  Troglodytidae (wrens)
  Turdidae (thrushes )
  Tyrannidae (tyrant flycatchers )
  Vireonidae (vireos)
  Zosteropidae (white-eyes )


MESY = Math + ENGINEERING + SCIENCE + YOU!
Privacy | Pressroom

New Hampshire Public Television
268 Mast Road, Durham, NH 03824. 603-868-1100 Fax 603-868-7552
Contact NHPTV
©2009 All rights reserved