IOC World Bird List

If you want to know the definitive names of bird families, species and English common names, the IOC World Bird List is the resource.

The International Ornithological Congress World Bird List is an open access resource of the international community of ornithologists. Our primary goal is to facilitate worldwide communication in ornithology and conservation based on an up-to-date evolutionary classification of world birds and a set of English names that follow explicit guidelines for spelling and construction.

To keep up with the current industry of taxonomic revisions, the IOC editorial team and advisors update the web-based list each January and June/July.  The updates include changes of recommended names or classification, additions of newly described species, corrections of nomenclature, and updates of species taxonomy.

The IOC World Bird List complements three other primary world bird lists that differ slightly in their primary goals and taxonomic philosophy, i.e. The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World, The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, 4th Edition, and HBW Alive/Bird Life International.

Improved alignment and consolidation of these independent taxonomic works is underway informally and was the topic of a vigorous Round Table discussion at the  2018 International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver, British Columbia.  There was broad support for consolidation and improved alignment of  global checklists of birds.  Update ( 7/31/2020).

 We welcome your corrections and your suggestions for improvement.  You can reach us at

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