The Checklist of North and Middle American Birds provides the taxonomic and nomenclatural foundation for bird research, conservation, and education in North and Middle America. It is used by scientific researchers, federal, state, and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, birdwatchers, and anyone else interested in birds of this region. It is overseen by AOS’s North American Classification Committee (NACC).

Access the complete list of species online

Recommended citation for the online list: Chesser, R. T., K. J. Burns, C. Cicero, J. L. Dunn, A. W. Kratter, I. J. Lovette, P. C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen, Jr., D. F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2019. Check-list of North American Birds (online). American Ornithological Society. http://checklist.aou.org/taxa

Geographic Coverage

The geographic area covered by the Checklist includes North and Central America from the North Pole to the boundary of Panama and Colombia, including the adjacent islands under the jurisdiction of the included nations; Greenland; the Hawaiian Islands; Clipperton Island; Bermuda; the West Indies, including the Bahama Islands, the Greater Antilles, Leeward and Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles (ending with Grenada); and Swan, Providencia, and San Andrés Islands in the Gulf of Mexico.

Checklist: 7th Edition and Supplements

In addition to accessing the online version of the checklist through the link above, the 829-page hardbound volume, published in 1998, may be purchased from Buteo Books or downloaded in PDF format (file size up to 13 MB):

These documents do not incorporate changes made in the annual supplements to the Checklist. Users of the book must check the supplements or online list to determine whether changes have been made.

The following open-access supplements have been published since the 7th edition:

Subspecies

The last edition of the Check-list to include subspecies was published in 1957 (5th edition). For reasons of expediency, the Committee reluctantly excluded treatment of subspecies in both the 6th and 7th editions, although it continues to endorse the biological reality and practical utility of subspecies as a taxonomic rank. Subspecies that reflect biological diversity play an important role in flagging the attention of evolutionary, behavioral, ecological, and conservation biologists.

Although a complete revision of North American avian subspecies has not been done, we refer readers to Avibase, Clements, and other checklists (see below), as well as to Birds of North America, for more up-to-date treatments of subspecies. The Birds of North America project is systematically revising subspecies accounts for North American birds.

Other Checklists

Checklist of South American Birds

Clements Checklist of Birds of the World

Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World

IOC World Bird List

Additional Links

Avibase World Bird Database

Bird 10K Genomes Project

History of North American Bird Names

Open Wings Project

Tree of Life Web Project

Zoonomen Zoological Nomenclature Resource

    From the field

    Hummingbird hybrids? Yes! This photos is of an Allen's Hummingbird x Rufous Hummingbird hybrid, captured near Happy Camp, California. Researchers recently identified a previously unknown hybrid zone where the two species overlap in northern California and southern Oregon, and their findings were published this week in The Auk: Ornithological Advances. Scientists hope that studying hybridization between the two species could yield new insights about how biodiversity is created and maintained. Read the press release at the link in our profile! Photo by Brian Myers. #ornithology #wildlife #science #birds #conservation #hummingbirds #nature #animalsWhy are mallards sometimes called the Research recently published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances shows that these two spectacular, closely related hummingbird species occupying the same habitat in the Andes — the Blue-throated Starfrontlet (Coeligena helianthea) and the Golden-bellied Starfrontlet (C. bonapartei) — may be an example of speciation with gene flow, where one species splits into two despite ongoing interbreeding between the two diverging groups. #ornithology #science #wildlife #birds #hummingbirds #nature #animalsI also use small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS, aka drones) in my work in conservation as well as in work for the electric industry unrelated to conservation. Drones can cause much less disturbance than traditional methods when checking the nests of raptors. Drones can also be used to install line markers to reduce avian collisions, to inspect nests for entanglement hazards, or to quantify wildlife. I even get to fly drones in high voltage environments where a person would be killed if they entered! It's been fun taking over the AOS Instagram account this week — if you have questions about my work, you can reach me at jdwyer@edmlink.com! #birds #ornithology #science #conservation #wildlife #drones #powerlines
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A big thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer for his posts this week! If you're an AOS member and would like to be featured here, please send us a message.The Avian Collision Avoidance System (ACAS), which I posted about earlier this week, is just one way of addressing avian collisions with power lines. Other methods involve “line marking,” which uses attachments on wires to increase line visibility. Unfortunately, these methods are not as reliable as we would like. In the attached photos, a Green-winged Teal in Colorado, a sparrow in Colorado, a sparrow in Wyoming, a warbler in California, and a Ring-billed Gull in California illustrate the range of species and habitats where collisions occur. #ornithology #birds #science #wildlife #conservation #powerlines
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]Avian electrocutions can be prevented. Electrocutions can cause power outages, damage expensive equipment, start wildfires, and violate state and federal conservation laws. I tend to emphasize the first three concerns when working with utilities because unplanned outages, equipment replacement, and wildfire controls or restitution can be used in sound business cases for investing in avian electrocution mitigation regardless of the political climate. In the attached photos, an electrocuted Black-billed Magpie in Idaho (burned feet), Common Raven in California (burned beak), Bald Eagle in Colorado (burned neck and back), and Great Horned Owl in Arizona (burned wing) illustrate the range of species and habitats where electrocutions occur. All photos by me. #ornithology #birds #conservation #science #wildlife
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]I’ve had great opportunities to work in avian conservation internationally in Africa, Canada, the Dominican Republic, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Hungary, and Spain. In these photos, a Griffon Vulture in South Africa feeds in front of a power line (out of image frame) where numerous vultures have been electrocuted, a Ridgeway’s Hawk in the Dominican Republic jumps through the air gap around a power line to land on a conductor cover installed to prevent avian electrocutions, and an electrocuted Common Buzzard and Griffon Vulture can be seen on pylons. All photos by me. #ornithology #birds #science #conservation #wildlife #raptors #birdsofprey #powerlines
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]
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