The Passeriformes, or perching birds, represent almost two-thirds of all bird species. For this reason, the order is treated here only to family-level: 

Family-level timetree of extant Passeriformes based on Oliveros et al. (2019) and Kuhl et al. (2021), with the distribution of each taxon being indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (see Distribution 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 few differences between the Oliveros et al. (2019) and the Kuhl et al. (2021) trees are indicated by dashed lines. Divergence times follow Kuhl et al. (2021). Family-level relationships within Tyranni have been corroborated by the study of Harvey et al. (2020). The phylogenetic placement of Eurocephalus (Eurocephalidae) is based on McCullough et al (2023). 


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

Family-level timetree of extant Passerides based on Oliveros et al. (2019), and Kuhl et al., (2021), with the distribution of each taxon being indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (see Distribution 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. The few differences between the Oliveros et al. (2019) and the Kuhl et al. (2021) trees are indicated by dashed lines. Divergence times follow Kuhl et al. (2021). 


Alström P, Hooper DM, Liu Y, Olsson U, Mohan D, Gelang M, Manh HL, Zhao J, Lei F, and Price TD (2014), Discovery of a relict lineage and monotypic family of passerine birds, Biol. Lett. 10, e:20131067. (pdf)


Alström P, Rheindt FE, Zhang R, Zhao M, Wang J, Zhu X, Gwee CY, Hao Y, Ohlson J, Jia C, Prawiradilaga DM, Ericson PGP, Lei F, and Olsson U (2018), Complete species-level phylogeny of the leaf warbler (Aves: Phylloscopidae) radiation, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 126, 141-152. (abstract)


Barker FK (2014), Mitogenomic data resolve basal relationships among passeriform and passeridan birds, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 79, 313-324. (abstract)


Barker FK (2017), Molecular phylogenetics of the wrens and allies (Passeriformes: Certhioidea), with comments on the relationships of Ferminia, Amer. Mus. Novit. 3887, 27 pp. (pdf)


Berv JS, Campagna L, Feo TJ, Castro-Astor I, Ribas CC, Prum RO, and Lovette IJ (2021), Genomic phylogeography of the White-crowned Manakin Pseudopipra pipra (Aves: Pipridae) illuminates a continental-scale radiation out of the Andes, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 164, e:107205. (pdf)

Cadena CD, Cuervo AM, Céspedes LN, Bravo GA, Krabbe N, Schulenberg  TS, Derryberry GE, Silveira LF, Derryberry EP, Brumfield RT, and Fjeldså J (2021), Systematics, biogeography and diversification of Scytalopus tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae), an enigmatic radiation of Neotropical montane birds, Auk 137, e:ukz077. (pdf)


Cai T, Cibois A, Alström P, Moyle RG, Kennedy JD, Shao S, Zhang R, Irestedt M, Ericson PGP, Gelang M, Qu Y, Lei F, and Fjeldså J (2019), Near-complete phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the world’s babbler (Aves: Passeriformes), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 130, 346-356. (abstract)


Cai T, Wu G, Sun L, Zhang Y, Peng Z, Guo Y, Liu X, Pan T, Chang J, Sun Z, and Zhang B (2021), Biogeography and diversification of Old World buntings (Aves: Emberizidae): radiations in open habitats, J. Avian Biol. 52, e:02672. (abstract)


Chesser RT, Isler ML, Cuervo AM, Cadena D, Galen SC, Bergner LM, Fleischer RC, Bravo GA, Lane DF, and Hosner PA (2020), Conservative plumage masks extraordinary phylogenetic diversity in the Grallaria rufula (Rufous Antpitta) complex of the humid Andes, Auk 137, 1-25. (pdf)


Ericson PGP, Irestedt M, Nylander JAA, Christidis L, Joseph L, and Qu Y (2020), Parallel evolution of bower-building behavior in two groups of bowerbirds suggested by phylogenomics, Syst. Biol. 69, 820-829. (pdf)


Fregin S, Haase M, Olsson U, and Alström P (2012), New insights into family relationships within the avian superfamily Sylvioidea (Passeriformes) based on seven molecular markers, BMC Evol. Biol. 12, e:157. (pdf)


Gaudin J, Raty L, and Sangster G (2021), The correct name of the antpitta clade, Bull. B.O.C. 141, 363-365. (pdf)


Harvey MG, Bravo GA, Claramunt S, Cuervo AM, Derryberry GE, Battilana J, Seeholzer GF, McKay JS, O'Meara BC, Faircloth BC, Edwards SV, Perez-Eman J, Moyle RG, Sheldon FH, Aleixo A, Smith BT, Chesser RT, Silveira LF, Cracraft J, Brumfield RT, and Derryberry EP (2020), The evolution of a tropical biodiversity hotspot, Science 370, 1343-48. (abstract) (hi-res tree)


Isler ML, Chesser RT, Robbins MB, Cuervo AM, Cadena CD, and Hosner PA (2020), Taxonomic evaluation of the Grallaria rufula (Rufous Antpitta) complex (Aves: Passeriformes: Grallariidae) distinguishes sixteen species, Zootaxa 4817, 1-74. (abstract)


Jønsson KA, Fabre PH, Kennedy JD, Holt BG, Borregaard MK, Rahbek C, and Fjeldså J (2016), A supermatrix phylogeny of corvoid passerine birds (Aves: Corvides), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 94, 87-94. (abstract)


Kuhl H, Frankl-Vilches C, Bakker A, Mayr G, Nikolaus G, Boerno ST, Klages S, Timmermann B, and Gahr M (2021), An unbiased molecular approach using  3'UTRs resolves the avian family-level tree of life, Mol. Biol. Evol. 38, 108-127. (pdf) 


Leite RN, Kimball RT, Braun EL, Derryberry EP, Hosner PA, Derryberry GE, Anciães M, McKay JS, Aleixo A, Ribas CC, Brumfield RT, and Cracraft J (2021), Phylogenomics of manakins (Aves: Pipridae) using alternative locus filtering strategies based on informativeness, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 155, e:107013. (abstract)


Mackiewicz P, Urantówka AD, Kroczak A, and Mackiewicz D (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, 2824-49. (pdf)


Marki PZ, Jonsson KA, Irestedt M, Nguyen JMT, Rahbek C, and Fjeldsa J (2017) Supermatrix phylogeny and biogeography of the Australasian Meliphagides radiation (Aves: Passeriformes), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 107, 516-529. (abstract)


McCullough JM, Hruska JP,  Oliveros CH, Moyle RG, and Andersen MJ (2023), Ultraconserved elements support the elevation of a new avian family, Eurocephalidae, the white-crowned shrikes, Ornithology, e:ukad025. (free pdf)


Mitchell KJ, Hugall AF, Heiniger H, Joseph L, and Oliver PM (2021), Disparate origins for endemic bird taxa from the “Gondwana Rainforests” of Central Eastern Australia, Biol. J. Linn. Soc. XX, 1-27. (pdf)


Moyle RG, Oliveros CH, Andersen MJ, Hosner PA, Benz BW, Manthey JD, Travers SL, Brown RM, and Faircloth BC (2016), Tectonic collision and uplift of Wallacea triggered the global songbird radiation, Nature Comm. 7, e:12709. (pdf)


Oliveros CH, Field DJ, Ksepka DT, Barker KF, Aleixo A, Andersen MJ, Alström P, Benz BW, Braun EL, Braun MJ, Bravo GA, Brumfield RT, Chesser RT,  Claramunt S, Cracraft J, Cuervo AM, Derryberry EP, Glenn TC, Harvey MG, Hosner PA, Joseph L, Kimball RT, Mack AL, Miskelly CM, Peterson AT, Robbins MB, Sheldon FH, Silveira LF, Smith BT, White ND, Moyle RG, and Faircloth BC (2019), Earth history and the passerine superradiation, PNAS 116, 7915-25. (pdf)


Oliveros CH, Andersen MJ, and Moyle RG (2021), A phylogeny of white-eyes based on ultraconserved elements, MolPhylogenet. Evol., in press. (abstract)


Olsson U, and Alström P (2020), A comprehensive phylogeny and taxonomic evaluation of the waxbills (Aves: Estrildidae), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 146, e:106757. (pdf)


Päckert M, Hering J, Ait Belkacem A, Sun YH, Hille S, Lkhagvasuren D, Islam S, and Martens J (2021), A revised multilocus phylogeny of Old World sparrows (Aves: Passeridae), Vertebr. Zool. 71, 353-366. (pdf)


Sangster G, Cibois A, and Reddy S (2022), Pteruthiidae and Erpornithidae (Aves: Corvides): two new family-group names for babbler-like outgroups of the vireos (Vireonidae), Bull. Brit. Ornithol. Club 142, 239-243. (pdf)


Selvatti AP, Gonzaga LP, de Moraes Russo CA (2015), A Paleogene origin for crown passerines and the diversification of the Oscines in the New World, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 88, 1-15. (pdf)


Selvatti AP, Galvao A, Pereira AG, Gonzaga LP, and de Moraes Russo CA (2017), An African origin of the Eurylaimides (Passeriformes) and the successful diversification of the ground-foraging pittas (Pittidae), Mol. Biol. Evol. 34, 483-499. (pdf)


Silva SM, Agne CE, Aleixo A, and Bonatto SL (2018) Phylogeny and systematics of Chiroxiphia and Antilophia manakins (Aves, Pipridae), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 127, 706-711. (pdf)


Slager DL, Battey CJ, Bryson RW, Voelker G, and Klicka J (2014), A multilocus phylogeny of a major New World avian radiation: the Vireonidae, Mol. Biol. Evol. 80, 95-104. (abstract)


Suh A, Bachg S, Donnellan S, Joseph L, Brosius J, Kriegs JO, and Schmitz J (2017), De-novo emergence of SINE retroposons during the early evolution of passerine birds, Mobile DNA 8, e:21. (pdf) 


Yang C, Zhao L, Wang Q, Yuan H, Li X, and Wang Y (2021), Mitogenome of Alaudala cheleensis (Passeriformes: Alaudidae) and comparative analyses of Sylvioidea mitogenomes, Zootaxa 4952, 331-353. (abstract) 


Zhao M, Burleigh JG, Ollson U, Alström P, and Kimball RT (2022), A near-complete and time-calibrated phylogeny of the Old World flycatchers, robins and chats (Aves, Muscicapidae), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. e:107646. (free reading)

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)