A group of waxwings sitting on a couple of branches

Perching birds

The Passerines, or perching birds, is the biggest order of birds - over half of the world's bird species are passerines. The group includes flycatchers, birds of paradise, crows and all the familiar garden birds of Britain. Passerine birds have three forward pointing toes and one backwards pointing one.

Scientific name: Passeriformes

Rank: Order

Common names:

  • Passerine birds,
  • Passerines,
  • Song birds


Map showing the distribution of the Perching birds taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

Explore this group


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Perching birds