The AOS 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

    Another way I participate in outreach is writing newspaper articles to promote public awareness on biodiversity conservation and environmental sustainability. I was excited to receive the 2019 Eco-Challenge Award for this work! Thank you for following along this week with my takeover of the AOS Instagram account.  #ornithology #science #conservation #womeninstem #latinainstem #stemeducation #scicomm
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[Thanks, Adrianne! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]I collaborate with the Puerto Rican Ornithological Society (SOPI in Spanish) on their education projects, such as giving talks at bird festivals and organizing bird identification workshops. SOPI members will be organizing birding tours for participants of #NAOC2020 in San Juan this summer! #birds #ornithology #science #conservation #womeninstem #latinainstem #stemeducation  #puertorico
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[Our thanks to AOS member Adrianne Tossas, a Puerto Rican ornithologist helping plan this summer's #NAOC2020, who's taking over this account for the week!]With support of BirdsCaribbean and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I published a bird book for children. I really enjoy giving presentations to students in schools, clubs, and camps. It is a great experience to share the knowledge with young audiences! #birds #ornithology #science #conservation #womeninstem #latinainstem #caribbean
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[Our thanks to AOS member Adrianne Tossas, a Puerto Rican ornithologist helping plan this summer's #NAOC2020, who's taking over this account for the week!]Last year we celebrated the biannual conference of BirdsCaribbean in the French island of Guadeloupe. Delegates from 34 countries participated in a week of presentations, birding, and networking. These meetings are always a lot of fun! #ornithology #science #conservation #womeninstem #latinainstem #caribbean
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[Our thanks to AOS member Adrianne Tossas, a Puerto Rican ornithologist helping plan this summer's #NAOC2020, who's taking over this account for the week!]I have been a member of BirdsCaribbean since 1999, when I was a graduate student. As part of this society I have had a chance to meet and work with colleagues from different countries throughout the region. Here I am having good times with Caribbean friends in Cuba in 2017! #ornithology #science #conservation #womeninstem #latinainstem #caribbean
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[Our thanks to AOS member Adrianne Tossas, a Puerto Rican ornithologist helping plan this summer's #NAOC2020, who's taking over this account for the week!]In 2017, my students and I initiated waterbird surveys in a small lagoon that lies within a Puerto Rican dairy farm. Interestingly, we have found 33 species, including migratory ducks, shorebirds and a single individual of Caribbean Flamingo. The birds are used to cows getting in the water to freshen up!  #birds #wildlife #ornithology #science #conservation #womeninstem #latinainstem #puertorico
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[Our thanks to AOS member Adrianne Tossas, a Puerto Rican ornithologist helping plan this summer's #NAOC2020, who's taking over this account for the week!]My undergraduate research group monitors seabirds in the northwestern part of the island. We focus on the White-tailed Tropicbird, which can only be seen near land when individuals come to nest in cliffs from January to June. This part of the island was designated as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. The natural beauty of the site is impressive! Video by Raymond Infante. #birds #wildlife #ornithology #science #conservation #womeninstem #latinainstem #puertorico
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[Our thanks to AOS member Adrianne Tossas, a Puerto Rican ornithologist helping plan this summer's #NAOC2020, who's taking over this account for the week!]
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