"Wisdom begins with putting the right name on a thing"
(Old Chinese Proverb)


Per Alström
Rauri Bowie
Jon Fjeldsa
Phil Gregory
Leo Joseph
Peter Kovalik
Adolfo Navarro-Siguenza
David Parkin
Alan Peterson
Douglas Pratt
Pamela Rasmussen
Frank Rheindt
Robert Ridgely
Peter Ryan
George Sangster
Minturn Wright


The IOC World Bird List is an open access resource of the global community of ornithologists. Our goal is to facilitate worldwide communication in ornithology and conservation based on an up-to-date list of world birds. As the first step towards this goal, a worldwide group of ornithologists representing the International Ornithologists’ Committee recommended a set of English names that followed explicit guidelines for spelling and construction (Gill & Wright 2006).

Bird names and taxonomy, however, are subject to dynamic revision.  Therefore, a new team updates quarterly the web-based version of  the list.  The updates include changes of recommended names or classification, additions of newly described species, corrections of nomenclature,  and updates of species taxonomy. The online list of world bird species now includes subspecies and recently extinct ones. It provides the species taxonomy for  many databases, including Wikipedia Commons, and regional works worldwide.  It complements other primary world bird lists that differ slightly in their primary goals and taxonomic philosophy,  i.e. Clements Checklist, Howard & Moore 4, and Bird Life International/HBW.

Special thanks always to our expert advisors (left panel), to Sally Conyne for compiling Ranges, to Eng-Li Green for website management, to Larry Master and Colin Campbell for photos, to Peter Kovalik for spreadsheet magic, and to all volunteer participants. We welcome your corrections and your suggestions for improvement.  You can reach us at worldbirdnames@gmail.com.

NOTE (July 23, 2015) :  Transition to v5.3 is complete. Thanks  for your patience.

Frank Gill & David Donsker (Editors)

This Website provides:

Suggested Citation:

Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird List (v 5.3). doi :  10.14344/IOC.ML.5.3.