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Falco sparverius
© John Pickering, 2004-2023 · 1
Falco sparverius
Pteroglossus torquatus
© Patty Gowaty, 2006 · 6
Pteroglossus torquatus
The Sibley/Monroe World List of Bird Names includes 9,702 species that are classified into 146 families. This list is on the Web, thanks to the efforts of Rolf A. de By. It is based on Sibley and Monroes work through 1993, and hence, does not reflect new taxonomic insights or include a few recently discovered species. As of 2005, Don Robertson's Bird Families of the World site lists 218 families, for example.

Sibley and Monroe's list includes 77 bird species that have gone extinct in recent history. These include the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus), Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis), Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), and Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis), all hunted to death by man, either for food or, in the case of the latter, because it was a crop pest. See Extinct Birds for the list of all 77 species. Note many of the extinct bird were formerly on oceanic islands such as Hawaii.

Sibley and Monroe list 918 species that have in total 2,139 subspecies, which are possible incipient species. Some of these subspecies may be elevated to the taxonomic status of species, as science learns more about birds. Thus, there are potentially up to 10,846 living kinds of birds, give or take a few, that dedicated bird watchers (or is that bird checkers?) should be trying to study and add to their life lists.

Chordata -- Chordates
Aves -- Birds
Neornithes -- Living birds

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John Pickering
University of Georgia, Athens

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Updated: 2024-07-15 17:05:27 gmt
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