Why Use The Birds of the World?

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

The list of all the Birds of the World are updated about every four months. Which we try to keep up with their (I.O.C.) newest lists.

You are probably wondering why you would need it. Let me share some things about it and then give you some ideas how it my be handy for one of your school projects.

The I.O.C. is actually the International Ornithological Committee. “Ornithological” basically means those who study birds or bird related. They maintain a list of all the birds around the world. They set standards of how to name them, what scientific classification to place the birds in, and divide them into Orders and Families, etc.

They are needed because we may call a bird by one name, yet someone in a different country or area may call it by a different name. They realize that those two names belong to the same bird. It is a very hard task to keep track of all those 10,000 plus birds, but that is what they try to do.

They give every bird an English name as a standard. Then they also want every one to spell the words the same. For instance, some people spell the “Grey” or “Gray” to mean the same color. To keep things simple, all the birds are spelled as “Grey.” That is just one example.

There are committees all over the world working on the birds of the area they live in, then those committees get together to combine all the list to make one big list. That is what was just updated.

On our Birds of the World section, you will find the birds listed by Orders (40 main classifications), then by Families (240 groups of closely related birds). The reason all of that is not duplicated here would be very time-consuming. There are hundreds of pages and thousands of photos on that site.

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

Projects for school or your own information:

You know the name of a bird’s name, but need to find  the Species name,  Go to the Species Index to find these choices:

If you know that it called Madagascan something, go to the First Name of Bird  index and choose the “M” page

If you know it is a Duck, go to the Last Name of Bird  index and choose the “D – Last Name” page.

The Families have four indexes to help you find the Families of birds.

When you find your bird in the right family, almost every bird has a link to a photo or video.

I will share more tips on how to use those indexes in another article.

Another reason is because we believe the Lord created all the beautiful birds and He should get all the credit.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NKJV)

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21 NKJV)


Updating The Birds of the World Again 2/24/11

Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata tarapacensis) (Darwin's) Chicks©Arthur Grosset

Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata tarapacensis) (Darwin’s) Chicks©Arthur Grosset

The I.O.C. has updated to Version 2.7, but they are also getting ready to release a whole new format in Version 3.0. They placed the Ver. 2.7 in a draft which includes the Subspecies. After experimenting with several different ways to present the list, I have made my choice. This means that I have been busy behind the scene working on this website. (Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus)

So far I have updated the following Families:
Tinamous – Tinamidae
Ostriches – Struthionidae
Rheas – Rheidae
Cassowaries – Casuariidae
Emu – Dromaiidae

The I.O.C. is now the I.O.U. “Our goal on behalf of the International Ornithologist’s Union, formerly International Ornithological Congress (IOC), is to facilitate worldwide communication in ornithology and conservation through the consistent use of English names linked to current species taxonomy. The English names follow explicit guidelines for spelling and construction that increase clarity of application. To this end we provide a complete list of the extant bird species of the world.”

IOC World Bird List – Subspecies (Draft 1)

Supplementing the release of version 2.7 of the IOC World Bird List is a preview of our draft listing of the subspecies of the world’s birds along with the authors and dates attributed to their nomenclature.  This working draft will provide the taxonomic foundation for version 3.0.

The above quotes are from the IOC World Bird List website. Since they are making a major revision, I decided to get started on updating to match their way of listing birds. I have been using the IOC lists of World Birds since starting the Birds of the World section.

There are 233 Families of birds, which means I have 233 pages of data to update. So, I have 5 down and 228 to go. For now the indexes to the families will not change, but a few birds may not be correct until I finish. Try not to be too upset about the dust flying around as the changes are being made. Trust the 3.0 Version is close to what I am doing.

The main difference is that before only the bird was named, such as: (All photos by Bob-Nan)

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus)
Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes)

Now it is:

Struthio   ———- This is the Genus
Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) ————– This is the Species
____ (Struthio camelus syriacus)  ——- This is the Subspecies
____ (Struthio camelus camelus)  ——- This is the Subspecies
____ (Struthio camelus massaicus) ——- This is the Subspecies
____ (Struthio camelus australis)  ——- This is the Subspecies
Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) ————– This is the Species

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus massaicus) by Bob-Nan

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus massaicus) by Bob-Nan

I trust this helps explain the new layout for the list of world birds. It’s time for me to start kicking up some more dust as I continue with the changes. I am going straight down the list of families – Family Index. Keep checking back to see how far I have gotten. Updating all the links to the pictures and videos is the most time consuming.

It is worth it though to help you see the fantastic birds the Lord has created around this world. I personally have great pleasure working on this because I get to see so many birds that I will never personally view. Thanks to the many photographers and videographers, those that have given us permission, the ones who allow their photos to used in ©© (Creative Commons), ©WikiC (Wikipedea Commons), and others in public domain.

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. (Genesis 2:19 KJV)

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; (Psalms 105:5 KJV)

Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) babies ©©coracii

Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) babies ©©coracii

That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. (Isaiah 41:20 KJV)

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. (Psalms 148:5 KJV)

Updated – See:

3/1/11 – Birdwatching and Still Updating

3/17/11 – Birdwatching and Still Kicking Up Dust


Bird Name Challenges

Seychelles Black Parrot is actually Lesser Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis nigra) by Bob-Nan

Seychelles Black Parrot is actually Lesser Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis nigra) by Bob-Nan

As I have been working, behind the scenes to obtain photos for the Birds of the World pages, it has been a challenge to match the birds up with their new names. Apparently the I.O.C. (International Ornithological Congress) has a goal to standardize the English names of birds. That is a good thing, but it has problems.

Fantastic photographers (see sidebar-Photographers) have given their permission to use their photos, but the titles they use, don’t always coincide with the new names. So the progress has been slow trying to match the two together. It is not their fault, but changes just keep occurring. When all is said and done, when you link to a photo of theirs and the name is not the same as you clicked, not to worry. I have done my best to match them up properly. Many also give the Scientific name which is a great aid. I have had to “Google” many of the old names to try to come up with the correct new one.

An article puts all of the Naming in good perspective. “New Standard Bird Names – do we need them?” by Sumit K. Sen, from the Birds of India website does that. Here is just one his thoughts:

Bird renaming it seems is not a task, but a passion. Year after year birds are renamed by whoever has the ability to get anything printed. Some birds are particularly at risk and go through name changes as fast as their numbers decline. The only relief for them may be extinction – but that may still not be ‘name-change’ relief for us. We may suddenly be told that it was not a yuhina that went extinct – but was an epornis all the time! I am still waiting for someone to propose that the Dodo is entirely inappropriate (especially as there are some suggestions that the etymology of the word ‘dodo’ may have derogatory connotations associated with it) and the bird should certainly be called a ‘Mauritius Flightless Pigeon’ and we will soon learn that ‘as dead as a Mauritius Flightless’ is more appropriate usage over ‘as dead as a dodo’. It is coming, believe me!

Madagascar Bee-eater is the Olive Bee-eater (Merops superciliosus) by Bob-Nan

Madagascar Bee-eater is the Olive Bee-eater (Merops superciliosus) by Bob-Nan

You will find his comments interesting. In the mean time, the birds have been merrily doing what God told them to do, and that is reproduce and fill the earth. Luckily, they do not wear name tags that have to be replaced every so often to keep up with their new names.

Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth. (Genesis 8:17 NKJV)

Lee’s Birds of the World

Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornatus) by Birdway

Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornatus) by Birdway

Lee’s Birds of the World, is based on the I.O.C., 2.1 version of 2009. It lists 39 Orders, 224 Families, and 10,340 individual Species. This is new and still being developed. All the ORDERs and the Families are listed. More indexes, photos, links, and Scriptures are still being added. These pages are under the Birds-World Tab above.  Please enjoy looking around at the references to the numerous birds that the Lord has created. It appears by the numbers of the birds that they have done as the verses below declare.

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth. (Genesis 1:21-22 NKJV)

All photographs have been used with the permission of the photographers listed or are in the public domain. Please honor their copyrights.