The Passeriformes, or perching birds represent almost two-thirds of all bird species. For this reason, this order is only treated to family-level. Nevertheless, the Passeriformes are presented here in two timetrees, with the Passerida being treated in a separately.


Timetree of Passeriformes based on Oliveros et al. (2019), with the distribution of each taxon being indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (see Distribution colour code). In contrast to their treament, however, Lamproliidae are treated here as a separate family rather than a subfamily of Rhipiduridae. Passeri and Tyranni together constitite the Eupasseres. 


The phylogenetic interrelations among Passerides are outlined in the timetree below:

Timetree of Passerides based on Oliveros et al. (2019), with the distribution of each taxon being indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (see Distribution colour code). The phylogenetic relationships among Sylvioidea have been further detailed by Cai et al. (2019). In contrast to Oliveros et al. (2019), a number of taxa have been upgraded to family status in the above cladogram: Modulatricidae, Cettiidae, Erythrocercidae, Chaetopidae, and Picathartidae. 


Alström, P., D.M. Hooper, Y. Liu, U. Olsson, D. Mohan, M. Gelang, H.L. Manh, J. Zhao, F. Lei, and T.D. Price (2014), Discovery of a relict lineage and

monotypic family of passerine birds, Biol. Lett. 10, 20131067. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.1067. (pdf)

Alström, P., F.E. Rheindt, R. Zhang, M. Zhao, J. Wang, X. Zhu, C.Y. Gwee, Y. Hao, J. Ohlson, C. Jia, D.M. Prawiradilaga, P.G.P. Ericson, F. Lei, and U.

Olsson. Price (2018), Complete species-level phylogeny of the leaf warbler (Aves: Phylloscopidae) radiation, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 126, 141-152. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.03.031. (abstract)

Barker, F.K. (2014), Mitogenomic data resolve basal relationships among passeriform and passeridan birds, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 79, 313-324. DOI:

10.1016/j.ympev.2014.06.011. (abstract)

Barker, F.K. (2017), Molecular phylogenetics of the wrens and allies (Passeriformes: Certhioidea), with comments on the relationships of Ferminia, Amer.

Mus. Novitates 3887, 1-28. (pdf)

Cai, T., A. Cibois, P. Alström, R.G. Moyle, J.D. Kennedy, S. Shao, R. Zhang, M. Irestedt, G.P. Ericson, M. Gelang, Y. Qu, F. Lei, and J. Fjelda (2019), Near-

complete phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the world´s babbler (Aves: Passeriformes), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 130, 346-356. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.010. (abstract)

Jønsson, K.A., P.-H. Fabre, J.D. Kennedy, B.G. Holt, M.K. Borregaard, C. Rahbek, and J. Fjeldså (2016), A supermatrix phylogeny of corvoid passerine

birds (Aves: Corvides), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 94, 87-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.08.020. (abstract)

Mackiewicz, P., A.D. Urantówka, A. Kroczak, and D. Mackiewicz (2019), Resolving phylogenetic relationships within Passeriformes based on mitochondrial

genes and inferring the evolution of their mitogenomes in terms of duplications, Genome Biol. Evol. 11(10), 2824-2849. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evz209. (pdf)

Marki, P.Z., K.A. Jonsson, M. Irestedt, J.M.T. Nguyen, C. Rahbek, and J. Fjeldsa (2017) Supermatrix phylogeny and biogeography of the Australasian

Meliphagides radiation (Aves: Passeriformes), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 107, 516-529. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.12.021. (abstract)

Moyle, R.G., C.H. Oliveros, M.J. Andersen, P.A. Hosner, B.W. Benz, J.D. Manthey, S.L. Travers, R.M. Brown, and B.C. Faircloth (2016), Tectonic collision

and uplift of Wallacea triggered the global songbird radiation, Nature Comm. 7, 12709. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12709. (pdf)

Oliveros, C.H., D.J. Field, D.T. Ksepka, K.F. Barker, A. Aleixo, M.J. Andersen, P. Alström, B.W. Benz, E.L. Braun, M.J. Braun, G.A. Bravo, R.T. Brumfield,

R.T. Chesser, S. Claramunt, J. Cracraft, A.M. Cuervo, E.P. Derryberry, T.C. Glenn, M.G. Harvey, P.A. Hosner, L. Joseph, R.T. Kimball, A.L. Mack, C.M. Miskelly, A.T. Peterson, M.B. Robbins, F.H. Sheldon, L.F. Silveira, B.T. Smith, N.D. White, R.G. Moyle, and B.C. Faircloth (2019), Earth history and the passerine superradiation, PNAS 116 (16), 7915-7925. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1813206116. (pdf)

Selvatti, A.P., L.P. Gonzaga, C.A. de Moraes Russo (2015), A Paleogene origin for crown passerines and the diversification of the Oscines in the New World,

Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 88, 1-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.03.018. (pdf)

Selvatti, A.P., A. Galvão, A.G. Pereira, L.P. Gonzaga, and C.A. de Moraes Russo (2017), An African origin of the Eurylaimides (Passeriformes) and the

successful diversification of the ground-foraging pittas (Pittidae), Mol. Biol. Evol. 34(2), 483-499. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msw250. (pdf)

Slager, D.L., C.J. Battey, R.W. Bryson, G. Voelker, and J. Klicka (2014), A multilocus phylogeny of a major New World avian radiation: the Vireonidae, Mol.

Biol. Evol. 80, 95-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2014.07.021. (abstract)

Suh, A., S. Bachg, S. Donnellan, L. Joseph, J. Brosius, J.O. Kriegs and J. Schmitz (2017), De-novo emergence of SINE retroposons during the early evolution

of passerine birds, Mobile DNA 8:21. DOI:10.1186/s13100-017-0104-1.(pdf)


Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis), Meliphagidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Montezuma Oropendula (Psarocolius montezuma), Icteridae

White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides), Ptilonorhynchidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida), Pittidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana), male, Cotingidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae), Estrildidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus), Tyrannidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Chestnut-backed Thrush (Geokichla dohertyi), Turdidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Black-and-white Mannikin (Lonchura bicolor), Estrildidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana), female, Cotingidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Brazilian Tanager (Ramphocelus bresilius), Thraupidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis), Thraupidae (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)