Birds of the World

Australasian Birds

All of the species on this page can be found in Australia and/or New Zealand and are arranged taxonomically in their respective families. Although some of the photos of the commoner species may not have been taken elsewhere in the world, vagrants and rare migrants are not included here unless the photos were taken within the Australasian region.

The taxonomic order used here follows that proposed in HBW & Birdlife International's "Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World" vols.1 & 2 (del Hoyo & Collar, 2014, 2016) so may differ from the lists used by the Royal Australian Ornithologist's Union or the Ornithological Society of New Zealand.

As a result of major advances in the field of molecular systematics the classification of many bird species and families has changed drastically over the last 30 years so the ordering of the familes here may be completely different to what you are used to if, like me, you grew up using the more traditional classification systems. Apart from a major restructuring of the order of the families, other major changes in the new taxonomy compared to that in the print version of HBW (volumes 1-17) include the lumping and spliting of several families. For example, in the new classification, gulls, terns and skimmers are all classed under the family heading of Laridae. Similarly, in the Passerines the Woodswallow and Butcherbirds have been lumped together into the Artamidae. Splitting events at the family level in the non-passerines doesn't affect quite so many species in the new taxonomy with most new families being either monotypic or containing just a handful of species (eg. Magpie Goose, long considered to be an evolutionary bridge between the Screamers and ducks, has now been split from the Anatidae to form its own monotypic family). There are, however, some quite major differences in the Passerine families with the Mohouas and Shrike-tits being split from the Pachycephalidae (Whistlers) to form their own families, and the Sylviidae being split into several quite large families resulting in all of the Australasian species being moved to the Acrocephalidae or Locustellidae families and none remaining in the Sylviidae.

Australian Chats

now included in the Meliphagidae


(Formerly included in the Pachycephalidae)


(Formerly included in the Pachycephalidae)


(Now lumped with the Artimidae)


(formerly included in the Monarchidae)


(formerly included in the Sylviidae)


(formerly included in the Sylviidae)