Temporal range: Eocene–Recent,
Clockwise from top right: Palestine sunbird (Cinnyris osea), blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata), house sparrow (Passer domesticus), great tit (Parus major), hooded crow (Corvus cornix), southern masked weaver (Ploceus velatus)
Song of a purple-crowned fairywren (Malurus coronatus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Psittacopasserae
Order: Passeriformes
Linnaeus, 1758

and see text

Roughly 140 families, 6,500 species

A passerine (/ˈpæsərn/) is any bird of the order Passeriformes (/ˈpæsərɪfɔːrmz/; from Latin passer 'sparrow' and formis '-shaped'), which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds, passerines generally have an anisodactyl arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back), which facilitates perching.

With more than 140 families and some 6,500 identified species,[1] Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and among the most diverse clades of terrestrial vertebrates, representing 60% of birds.[2][3] Passerines are divided into three clades: Acanthisitti (New Zealand wrens), Tyranni (suboscines), and Passeri (oscines or songbirds).[4][5] The passerines contain several groups of brood parasites such as the viduas, cuckoo-finches, and the cowbirds. Most passerines are omnivorous, while the shrikes are carnivorous.

The terms "passerine" and "Passeriformes" are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and ultimately from the Latin term passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.

  1. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "Family Index". IOC World Bird List Version 10.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  2. ^ Ericson, P.G.P. et al. (2003) Evolution, biogeography, and patterns of diversification in passerine birds. J. Avian Biol, 34:3–15.
  3. ^ Selvatti, A.P. et al. (2015) "A Paleogene origin for crown passerines and the diversification of the Oscines in the New World". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 88:1–15.
  4. ^ Barker, F. Keith; Barrowclough, George F.; Groth, Jeff G. (2002). "A phylogenetic hypothesis for passerine birds: Taxonomic and biogeographic implications of an analysis of nuclear DNA sequence data". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 269 (1488): 295–308. doi:10.1098/rspb.2001.1883. PMC 1690884. PMID 11839199.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference ericson2002 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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