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

Plenty of studies, especially in “birdy” places like shade-grown coffee farms, have shown that birds can provide an economically valuable service to farmers by eating pest insects. But what about in the huge swathes of farmland that cover much of the U.S.? To find out, the researchers behind a recent study in The Condor set up mesh “exclosures” over corn and soybean plants to see how keeping out birds but not insects would affect crops' success. They found that birds had a positive effect on corn crop yield, but a negative effect on soybean crop yield in the adjacent field. For the many farmers that use a corn-corn-soybean rotation schedule, this may suggest economic gain in the long run. Learn more at the blog post linked in our profile! Photos by Daryl Coldren and Megan Garfinkel. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #ecology #conservation #science #agriculture #midwestThe sunbirds are a group of nectar-eating songbirds from Africa and Asia that are a sort of Old World counterpart of hummingbirds. A recent paper in The Condor offered a new reason to prioritize sunbird conservation beyond just At Michigan State I teach two courses, Ecology and Tropical Biology. Each fall during the Tropical Biology course we have a “Tropical Thanksgiving.” Each group of students is assigned a plant family with a distribution primarily in the tropics, and students need to uncover a species in the plant family that humans eat. Then they bring in a dish prepared with that species, like pineapple upside down cake, brownies, or banana cream pie. Our Tropical Thanksgivings tend to be heavy on desserts! #ecology #tropicalecology #tropicalbiology #ethnobotany #botany #plantbiology #thanksgiving
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[Thanks, Catherine! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]We have worked in Panama and Costa Rica in areas undergoing forest restoration. Birds play vital roles in restoration systems by consuming insects that can damage young trees. They also disperse seeds of plants and provide pollination services. Tropical birds are also just cool! Photo credits include Sean Williams. #ornithology #wildlife #science #birds #ecology #conservation #restoration #neotropicalbirds
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]We have investigated a number of tactics to deter pest birds in orchards. Inflatable tube-men appear effective in some contexts, if farmers move them around and use enough of them. We have had mixed results with drones; some models and some flight trajectories are likely to be more effective than others in deterring crop-eating birds. Photo credits include Shayna Wiefrich and Ben Hawes. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #agriculture #orchards #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]We recently investigated the roles American Kestrels can play in pest management in fruit-production systems. Working with famers in Michigan, we built and installed kestrel nest boxes in sweet cherry orchards. While kestrels nest in the boxes, they provision their young with arthropods, mammals, and birds that consume the cherries. Kestrels also reduce fruit-eating bird activity in the orchards with their presence. Photo credits include Amanda LaFay and Craig Sklarczyk. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #raptors #kestrels #orchards #ecology #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]Hi, I’m Catherine Lindell, #AOSMember and Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications! I'll be taking over the AOS Instagram account this week. I’m an associate professor at Michigan State University in the Integrative Biology Department and the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations. My students and I investigate the roles birds play in managed ecosystems like agroecosystems and areas undergoing restoration. Photos by Sean Williams and Steve Roels. #ornithology #science #ecology #birds #restoration #biology #womeninstem
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