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Lists of the Birds of the World


Where to go for information on birds of the world

There are now several web-based lists of the birds of the world. Each has different strengths and emphases in information, ranging from taxonomy and distribution to scientific nomenclature, English names, sources of publication and the listing facility ebird. The IOU does not grant imprimatur or take a position in supporting any specific list. Users are urged to consult all to find out which answers their needs.

25 years ago, the IOC initiated the production of a list of English names for the birds of the world. Dr. Frank Gill coordinated the recommendations of six world region sub committees to complete the task. The result was published in 2006 in book form titled: Birds of the World: Recommended English names. The subsequent development of a web-based IOC World Bird List by Dr. Gill and his team (see below), although it draws on the English names published in 2006, is not under the Union's authority.

Links to the major lists (including some important historical documents) are provided below for our members' convenience.

  • IOC World Bird List Gill, F. & Wright, M. (on behalf of the International Ornithological Congress): 2006. Birds of the World - Recommended English Names. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., and Oxford, UK. ISBN-13: 978-0-691-12827-6 (paper) and ISBN-10: 0-691-12827-8
  • Avibase - the world bird data base (Bird Studies Canada - Birdlife International): http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/checklist.jsp?lang=EN - internet only
  • The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World (The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology): http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist - also hard copy: ed. 6, 2007
  • Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World (C.G. Sibley & B.L. Monroe, Jr.): http://www.ornitaxa.com/SM/SMOrg/sm.html - also hard copy: 1990
  • The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World (eds. E.C. Dickinson, L. Christidis, J.V. Remsen, Jr.): hard copy only: ed. 4, 2 vols., 2013 - 2014
  • Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World (HBW & BirdLife International): hard copy only: vol.1 Non-passerines, 2014
  • "Peters's" Check-list of Birds of the World (J.L. Peters et al.): http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/peterschecklist.jsp - also hard copy: vols. 1-15, 1931-1986
  • Zoonomen (Alan P. Peterson): http://www.zoonomen.net/ - internet only



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