Afroaves is a clade of birds, consisting of the kingfishers and kin (Coraciiformes), woodpeckers and kin (Piciformes), hornbills and kin (Bucerotiformes), trogons (Trogoniformes), cuckoo roller (Leptosomatiformes), mousebirds (Coliiformes), owls (Strigiformes), raptors (Accipitriformes) and New World vultures (Cathartiformes). The most basal clades are predatory, suggesting the last common ancestor of the group was also.
Temporal range: Paleocene to present
|Snowy owl, Bubo scandiacus|
Accipitrimorphae is a clade of birds of prey that include the orders Cathartiformes (New World vultures) and Accipitriformes (diurnal birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, osprey and secretarybird). However, this group might be a junior synonym (or at least a subjective one) of Accipitriformes. The DNA-based proposal and the NACC and IOC classifications include the New World vultures in the Accipitriformes, but the SACC classifies the New World vultures as a separate order, the Cathartiformes which has been adopted here. The placement of the New World vultures has been unclear since the early 1990s. The reason for this is the controversial systematic history of the New World vultures as they were assumed to be more related to (or a subfamily of) Ciconiidae (the storks) after Sibley and Ahlquist work on their DNA-DNA hybridization studies conducted in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. The stork-vulture relationship has seem to not be supported. Regardless of whether to use Accipitrimorphae or Accipitriformes, these birds belong to a basal branch of the clade Afroaves.
Cladogram based on Jarvis et al. (2014).American tree sparrow
The American tree sparrow (Spizelloides arborea), also known as the winter sparrow, is a medium-sized sparrow.
It had been classified under the genus Spizella, but multilocus molecular evidence suggested placement in its own genus.
Adults have a rusty cap and grey underparts with a small dark spot on the breast. They have a rusty back with lighter stripes, brown wings with white bars and a slim tail. Their face is grey with a rusty line through the eye. Their flanks are splashed with light brown. They are similar in appearance to the chipping sparrow.
Their breeding habitat is tundra or the northern limits of the boreal forest in Alaska and northern Canada. They nest on the ground.
These birds migrate into southern Canada and the United States to spend the winter. Usually, chipping sparrows are moving south around the same time as these birds arrive.
These birds forage on the ground or in low bushes, often in flocks when not nesting. They mainly eat seeds and insects, but also eat some berries. They are commonly seen near feeders with dark-eyed juncos.
This bird's song is a sweet high warble descending in pitch and becoming buzzy near the finish.Australaves
Australaves is a recently defined clade of birds, consisting of the Eufalconimorphae (passerines, parrots and falcons) as well as the Cariamiformes (including seriemas and the extinct "terror birds"). They appear to be the sister group of Afroaves. As in the case of Afroaves, the most basal clades have predatory extant members, suggesting this was the ancestral lifestyle; however, some researchers like Darren Naish are skeptical of this assessment, since some extinct representatives such as the herbivorous Strigogyps lead other lifestyles. Basal parrots and falcons are at any rate vaguely crow-like and probably omnivorous.
Cladogram of Telluraves relationships based on Prum, R.O. et al. (2015).Bluebird
The bluebirds are a group of medium-sized, mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the order of Passerines in the genus Sialia of the thrush family (Turdidae). Bluebirds are one of the few thrush genera in the Americas. They have blue, or blue and rose beige, plumage. Female birds are less brightly colored than males, although color patterns are similar and there is no noticeable difference in size between the two sexes.Cariamiformes
Cariamiformes (or Cariamae) is an order of primarily flightless birds that has existed for over 60 million years. The group includes the family Cariamidae (seriemas) and the extinct families Phorusrhacidae, Bathornithidae, Idiornithidae and Ameghinornithidae. Though traditionally considered as a suborder of Gruiformes, both morphological and genetic studies show that they belong to a separate group of birds, Australaves, whose other living members are Falconidae, Psittaciformes and Passeriformes.This proposal has been confirmed by a 2014 study of whole genomes of 48 representative bird species. This analysis shows that the Cariamiformes are basal among extant Australaves, while falcons are next most basal; in combination with the fact that the two most basal branches of Afroaves (New World vultures plus Accipitriformes, and owls) are also predatory, it is inferred that the common ancestor of 'core landbirds' (Telluraves) was an apex predator. However, some researchers like Darren Naish feel that this assessment is biased towards the more well known, predatory representatives of the clade, and indeed at least one form, Strigogyps, appears to have been herbivorous.The earliest known fossil belonging to this group is an isolated femur from the Cape Lamb Member of the Lopez de Bertodano Formation, Vega Island, Antarctica. This specimen, which dates to the late Cretaceous period 66 million years ago, is indistinguishable from the femurs of modern seriemas, and belonged to a large bird about 1 metre (3.3 ft) tall. Because of its age and geographic location, this unnamed species may have been close to the ancestry of both cariamids and phorusrhacids.Coraciimorphae
Coraciimorphae is a clade of birds that contains the order Coliiformes (mousebirds) and the clade Cavitaves (a large assemblage of birds that includes woodpeckers, kingfishers and trogons). The name however was coined in the 1990s by Sibley and Ahlquist based on their DNA-DNA hybridization studies conducted in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. However their Coraciimorphae only contain Trogoniformes and Coraciiformes.
Cladogram of Coraciimorphae relationships based on Jarvis, E.D. et al. (2014) with some clade names after Yury, T. et al. (2013).Falconimorphae
Falconimorphae is a superorder with Raptores as a parent and which is composed of the orders Falconiformes and Strigiformes. However, more recent research made this clade invalid. Falconiformes is now placed in Eufalconimorphae, while Strigiformes is placed in Afroaves.List 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.
The passerines (perching birds) alone account for well over 5000 species. In total there are about 10,000 species of birds described worldwide, though one estimate of the real number places it at almost twice that.
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.Mountain bluebird
The mountain bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is a medium-sized bird weighing about 30 g (1.1 oz) with a length from 16–20 cm (6.3–7.9 in). They have light underbellies and black eyes. Adult males have thin bills and are bright turquoise-blue and somewhat lighter underneath. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, grey breast, grey crown, throat and back. In fresh fall plumage, the female's throat and breast are tinged with red-orange, brownish near the flank contrasting with white tail underparts. Their call is a thin 'few'; while their song is warbled high 'chur chur'. It is the state bird of Idaho and Nevada. It is an omnivore and it can live 6 to 10 years in the wild. It eats spiders, grasshoppers, flies and other insects, and small fruits. The mountain bluebird is a relative of the eastern and western bluebirds.Near passerine
Near passerine or higher land-bird assemblage are terms of traditional, pre-cladistic taxonomy that have often been given to tree-dwelling birds or those most often believed to be related to the true passerines (order Passeriformes) due to ecological similarities; the group corresponds to some extent with the Anomalogonatae of Alfred Henry Garrod.Neoaves
Neoaves is a clade that consists of all modern birds (Neornithes or Aves) with the exception of Paleognathae (ratites and kin) and Galloanserae (ducks, chickens and kin). Almost 95% of the roughly 10,000 known species of modern birds belong to the Neoaves.
The early diversification of the various neoavian groups occurred very rapidly around the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, and attempts to resolve their relationships with each other have resulted initially in much controversy.Neognathae
Neognaths (Neognathae) are birds within the subclass Neornithes of the class Aves. The Neognathae include virtually all living birds; exceptions being their sister taxon (Palaeognathae), which contains the tinamous and the flightless ratites.
There are nearly 10,000 species of neognaths. The earliest fossils are known from the very end of the Cretaceous but molecular clocks suggest that neognaths originated sometime in the first half of the Late Cretaceous about 90 million year ago. Since then, they have undergone adaptive radiation producing the diversity of form, function, and behavior that we see today. It includes the order Passeriformes (perching birds), the largest clade of land vertebrates, containing some 60% of living birds and being more than twice as speciose as rodents and about five times as speciose as Chiroptera (bats), which are the largest clades of mammals. There are also some very small orders, usually birds of very unclear relationships like the puzzling hoatzin.
The neognaths have fused metacarpals, an elongate third finger, and 13 or fewer vertebrae. They differ from the Palaeognathae in features like the structure of their jawbones. "Neognathae" means "new jaws", but it seems that the supposedly "more ancient" paleognath jaws are among the few apomorphic (more derived) features of the Palaeognaths, meaning that the respective jaw structure of these groups is not informative in terms of comparative evolution.Olive-sided flycatcher
The olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) is a passerine bird. It is a medium-sized tyrant flycatcher.Passerea
Passerea is a clade of neoavian birds that was proposed by Jarvis et al. (2014). Their genomic analyis recovered two major clades within Neoaves, Passerea and Columbea, and concluded that both clades appear to have many ecologically driven convergent traits.
According to Jarvis (2014), these convergences include the footpropelled diving trait of grebes in Columbea with loons and cormorants in Passerea; the wading-feeding trait of flamingos in Columbea with ibises and egrets in Passerea; and pigeons and sandgrouse in Columbea with shorebirds (killdeer) in Passerea. For Jarvis (2014), these long-known trait and morphological alliances suggest that some of the traditional nongenomic trait classifications are based on polyphyletic assemblages.
Passerea was not recovered in other studies.Rallus
Rallus is a genus of wetland birds of the rail family. Sometimes, the genera Lewinia and Gallirallus are included in it. Six of the species are found in the Americas, and the three species found in Eurasia, Africa and Madagascar are very closely related to each other, suggesting they are descended from a single invasion of a New World ancestor.These are slim, long-billed rails with slender legs. Their laterally flattened bodies are an adaptation to life in wet reedbeds and marshes, enabling them to slip easily through the dense semi-aquatic vegetation. Typically these birds have streaked brown upperparts, blue-grey on the face or breast, and barred flanks. Only the African rail has a plain back, and the plain-flanked rail lacks any blue-grey in its plumage and has no flank bars.Three endemic South American species are endangered by habitat loss, and the Madagascan rail is becoming rare.Streaked spiderhunter
The streaked spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) is a species of bird in the family Nectariniidae.Tadorninae
The Tadorninae is the shelduck-sheldgoose subfamily of the Anatidae, the biological family that includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl such as the geese and swans.
This group is largely tropical or Southern Hemisphere in distribution, with only two species, the common shelduck and the ruddy shelduck breeding in northern temperate regions, though the crested shelduck (presumed extinct) was also a northern species.
Most of these species have a distinctive plumage, but there is no pattern as to whether the sexes are alike, even within a single genus.Telluraves
Telluraves (also called land birds or core landbirds) is a recently defined clade of birds with controversial content. Based on most recent genetic studies, the clade unites a variety of bird groups, including the australavians (passerines, parrots, seriamas, and falcons) as well as the afroavians (including the Accipitrimorphae – eagles, hawks, buzzards, vultures etc. – owls and woodpeckers, among others). They appear to be the sister group of a newly defined clade centered on Aequornithes.Given that the most basal extant members of both Afroaves (Accipitrimorphae, Strigiformes) and Australaves (Cariamiformes, Falconiformes) are carnivorous, it has been suggested that the last common ancestor of all Telluraves was probably a predator. Other researchers are skeptical of this assessment, citing the herbivorous cariamiform Strigogyps as evidence to the contrary.
Cladogram of Telluraves relationships based on Prum, R.O. et al. (2015) with some clade names after Yury, T. et al. (2013) and Kimball et al. 2013.Whimbrel
The whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae. It is one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across much of subarctic North America, Asia and Europe as far south as Scotland.
The whimbrel is a migratory bird wintering on coasts in Africa, southern North America, South America, and South Asia into Australasia. It is also a coastal bird during migration. It is fairly gregarious outside the breeding season.