The perching birds are classified as "Passeriformes," or passerines. The name means "sparrow-shaped". The passerines are also known as songbirds.

Perching birds make up the largest order of birds in the world. There are 59 families and about 5,100 species, which means perching birds are about 60% of all living birds. That's a lot of singing.

Perching birds range in size all the way from tiny kinglets and warblers to the magnificent raven. Passerines are believed to be the most advanced of all birds, as well as the most adaptive and intelligent. They all share the same type of foot, with three toes pointed forward and one backward. This foot is adapted to gripping a perch. The muscles and tendons of their legs are designed to tighten the grip on the perch if the bird begins to fall backward. Very handy, when you have to sleep twenty feet above the ground!

We won't list ALL the perching birds here, or you'd be reading 5,100 names. Like:

chipping sparrow, titmouse, wren tit, wren, pipit, waxwing, starling, nuthatch, creeper, bulbul,

then

there's  crow-warbler, sparrow, indigo bunting, swallow, dipper, lark, vireo, weaverbird, shrike and shark. Gotcha! Sharks can't perch.

Pull up a perch and read all about passerines.

 
Cotingas
Flycatchers
Larks
Swallows
Crows
Titmice
Nuthatches
Creepers
Bushtits
Bulbuls
Dippers
Wrens
Mockingbirds
Thrushes
   
American Robin
Accentors
Pipits
Waxwings
Shrikes
Starlings
Vireos
Honeycreepers
Warblers
Weaverbirds
Troupials
Tanagers
Cardinals
Sparrows
Finches
   
American Goldfinch
Broadbills
Ovenbirds
Woodcreepers
Antbirds
Tapaculos
Manakins
Sharpbills
Plantcutters
Pittas
Asities
Lyrebirds
Scrubbirds
Drongos
Orioles
Wattlebirds
Mudnest-builders
Butcherbirds
Bowerbirds
Birds of Paradise
Verdins
Leafbirds
Palm Chats
Honeyeaters
Sunbirds
Flowerpeckers
White-eyes
Waxbills
 

Whew!  That's a lot of birds... and that's only the families!

 

IWRC Home Page Camp Cottontail Wildlife Facts All About Birds