The Checklist of South American Birds is the official source on the taxonomy of birds found in this region. This list is produced by the South American Classification Committee (SACC) of the American Ornithological Society.

The geographic area covered includes continental South America and all islands within 1200 kilometers of its shores eastward into the Atlantic and westward into the Pacific oceans (including Malpelo, the Galapagos islands, San Felix and San Ambrosio, the Juan Fernandez islands, Fernando de Noronha, Trindade, Martin Vaz, Sao Pedro and Sao Paulo Archipelago, and the Falklands/Malvinas); islands in the Caribbean Sea close to South America and not covered by the Checklist of North and Middle American Birds (including the Netherlands Antilles and Trinidad and Tobago); and waters within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of these land areas, including the islands.