Temporal range: Eocene-Recent, 52.5–0 Ma
Clockwise from top right: Palestine sunbird (Cinnyris osea), blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata), house sparrow (Passer domesticus), great tit (Parus major), hooded crow (Corvus cornix), southern masked weaver (Ploceus velatus)
Song of a purple-crowned fairywren (Malurus coronatus)
Scientific classification e
Linnaeus, 1758

and see text

Roughly 140 families, 6,600 species

A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or – less accurately – as songbirds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back), which facilitates perching, amongst other features specific to their evolutionary history in Australaves.

With more than 140 families and some 6,600 identified species,[1] Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and among the most diverse orders of terrestrial vertebrates. Passerines are divided into three suborders: Acanthisitti (New Zealand wrens), Tyranni (suboscines) and Passeri (oscines).[2][3]

The passerines contain several groups of brood parasites such as the viduas, cuckoo-finches, and the cowbirds. Most passerines are omnivorous, while the shrikes are carnivorous.

The terms "passerine" and "Passeriformes" are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and ultimately from the Latin term passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.


The order is divided into three suborders, Tyranni (suboscines), Passeri (oscines), and the basal Acanthisitti.[4] Oscines have the best control of their syrinx muscles among birds, producing a wide range of songs and other vocalizations (though some of them, such as the crows, do not sound musical to human beings); some such as the lyrebird are accomplished imitators. The acanthisittids or New Zealand wrens are tiny birds restricted to New Zealand, at least in modern times; they were long placed in Passeri; their taxonomic position is uncertain, although they seem to be a distinct and very ancient group.

Pterylosis or the feather tracts in a typical passerine

Most passerines are smaller than typical members of other avian orders. The heaviest and altogether largest passerines are the thick-billed raven and the larger races of common raven, each exceeding 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) and 70 cm (28 in). The superb lyrebird and some birds-of-paradise, due to very long tails or tail coverts, are longer overall. The smallest passerine is the short-tailed pygmy tyrant, at 6.5 cm (2.6 in) and 4.2 g (0.15 oz).

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Sangvoëls
Alemannisch: Sperlingsvögel
العربية: جواثم
aragonés: Passeriformes
asturianu: Passeriformes
azərbaycanca: Sərçəkimilər
Bân-lâm-gú: Chhek-hêng-bo̍k
башҡортса: Турғай һымаҡтар
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Вераб’інападобныя
भोजपुरी: पासराइन
български: Врабчоподобни
brezhoneg: Golvaneg
català: Passeriformes
Cebuano: Passeriformes
čeština: Pěvci
Cymraeg: Passeriformes
davvisámegiella: Šilljocihcelottit
Ελληνικά: Στρουθιόμορφα
español: Passeriformes
estremeñu: Passeriformes
euskara: Passeriformes
français: Passeriformes
Gaeilge: Pasaireach
galego: Paseriformes
한국어: 참새목
hrvatski: Vrapčarke
Ido: Lanio
Bahasa Indonesia: Burung pengicau
interlingua: Passeriformes
íslenska: Spörfuglar
italiano: Passeriformes
kurdî: Fîkar
кырык мары: Орави ганьывлӓ
latgaļu: Zvierbulini
Lëtzebuergesch: Spatzevullen
Limburgs: Zaankveugel
Lingua Franca Nova: Paseriformo
Livvinkarjala: Čiučoilinnut
македонски: Врапчевидни
മലയാളം: പാസെറൈൻ
მარგალური: ბაღჷრეშნერეფი
Bahasa Melayu: Passerine
Nederlands: Zangvogels
日本語: スズメ目
Napulitano: Passarefurme
Nordfriisk: Sjongfögler
norsk nynorsk: Sporvefuglar
occitan: Passeriformes
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Chumchuqsimonlar
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਚਿੜੀਆਂ
پنجابی: چڑیاں
پښتو: مرغۍ
polski: Wróblowe
português: Passeriformes
română: Paseriforme
русиньскый: Співакы
Scots: Passerine
sicilianu: Passeriformi
Simple English: Passerine
slovenčina: Vrabcotvaré
slovenščina: Pevci
српски / srpski: Птице певачице
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Vrapčarke
svenska: Tättingar
Tagalog: Passeriformes
Taqbaylit: Ijqiwen
татарча/tatarça: Чыпчыксыманнар
українська: Горобцеподібні
Tiếng Việt: Bộ Sẻ
West-Vlams: Zangveugels
Winaray: Passeriformes
吴语: 雀形目
粵語: 雀形目
Zeêuws: Zangveugels
中文: 雀形目