|The Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) belongs to the bunting family, not the true sparrows.|
and see text
Passerida is, under the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, one of two "parvorders" contained within the suborder Passeri (standard taxonomic practice would place them at the rank of infraorder). While more recent research suggests that its sister parvorder, Corvida, is not a monophyletic grouping, the Passerida as a distinct clade are widely accepted.
Systematics and phylogeny
The Passerida quite certainly consist of the 3 major subclades outlined by Sibley & Ahlquist (1990). However, their content has been much revised. In addition, it has turned out that not all passeridan lineages neatly fit into this arrangement. The kinglets are so distinct that they might actually form a separate infraorder, as they are only slightly less basal than the Corvoidea or the Picathartidae. See Jønsson & Fjeldså (2006) for details on phylogeny.
Mostly insectivores, distribution centered on the Indo-Pacific region. Few occur in the Americas.
- Alaudidae: larks
- Hirundinidae: swallows and martins
- Phylloscopidae: leaf-warblers and allies. Recently split from Sylviidae.
- Aegithalidae: long-tailed tits
- Cettiidae: ground-warblers and allies. Recently split from Sylviidae.
- Megaluridae: grass-warblers and allies. Recently split from Sylviidae.
- Bernieridae: Malagasy warblers. A newly assembled family.
- Acrocephalidae: marsh- and tree-warblers. Recently split from Sylviidae.
- Pycnonotidae: bulbuls
- Cisticolidae: cisticolas and allies
- Sylviidae: "true/sylviid warblers" and parrotbills. Might be merged into Timaliidae. Monophyly needs confirmation.
- Zosteropidae: white-eyes. Probably belongs into Timaliidae.
- Timaliidae: babblers. Monophyly needs confirmation.
- Sylvioidea incertae sedis
- "African warblers": A proposed clade, but monophyly needs confirmation. Formerly in Sylviidae.
- Donacobius: Black-capped Donacobius. Monotypic family? Tentatively placed here; possibly closest to Megaluridae. Formerly in Troglodytidae.
- Nicator: Relationships unresolved, monotypic family? Tentatively placed here; formerly in Pycnonotidae.
- Panurus: Bearded Reedling (Bearded "Tit"). Relationships enigmatic, monotypic family Panuridae? Tentatively placed here; formerly in "Paradoxornithidae".
- Cinclidae: dippers
- Muscicapidae: Old World flycatchers and chats. Monophyly needs confirmation.
- Turdidae: thrushes and allies. Monophyly needs confirmation.
- Buphagidae: oxpeckers. Formerly usually included in Sturnidae.
- Sturnidae: starlings and possibly Philippine creepers. Placement of latter in Muscicapoidea seems good, but inclusion in Sturnidae requires confirmation; possibly distinct family Rhabdornithidae.
- Mimidae: mockingbirds and thrashers
- Passeridae: true sparrows
- Prunellidae: accentors
- Motacillidae: wagtails and pipits
- Urocynchramidae: Przewalski's Finch. Recently split from Fringillidae; tentatively placed here.
- Estrildidae: estrildid finches (waxbills, munias, etc.)
- Ploceidae: weavers. Certain members of Ploceidae, such as the Long-tailed Widowbird are well known for their elaborate sexual ornaments.
- Viduidae: indigobirds and whydahs
- Nine-primaried oscines
- Peucedramidae: Olive Warbler
- Fringillidae: true finches. Possibly polyphyletic.
- Drepanididae: Hawaiian honeycreepers. Might be merged into Fringillidae.
- Icteridae: grackles, New World blackbirds, and New World orioles
- Parulidae: New World warblers
- Thraupidae: tanagers and allies
- Cardinalidae: cardinals
- Emberizidae: buntings and American sparrows
- Calcariidae: snow buntings and longspurs
- Passeroidea incertae sedis
Passerida incertae sedis
Rather basal Passerida, most of which seem to constitute several small but distinct superfamilies. Most occur in Asia, Africa and North America.
- Possible superfamily "Dicaeoidea" – sunbirds and flowerpeckers
- Possible superfamily Bombycilloidea – waxwings and allies
- Possible superfamily Paroidea – titmice and allies
- Possible superfamily Sittoidea or Certhioidea – wrens and allies.
- Possible monotypic superfamily N.N.
- Promeropidae: sugarbirds
- Possible monotypic superfamily N.N.
- Family N.N.: Hyliotas. Recently split from Sylviidae.
- Possible superfamily Reguloidea – kinglets. Tentatively placed here.
- Regulidae: kinglets
Probably not Passerida
These have been assigned to the Passerida in recent times, often based on DNA-DNA hybridization data. However, they are probably more basal among the songbirds and would belong either to the Corvoidea or the allied basal lineages. Most of them are either African or Wallacean groups.
- Chloropseidae: leafbirds
- Aegithinidae: ioras
- Picathartidae: rockfowl
- Melanocharitidae: berrypeckers and longbills
- Paramythiidae: tit berrypecker and crested berrypeckers
- Platysteiridae: wattle-eyes or puffback flycatchers
- Jønsson, Knud A. & Fjeldså, Jon (2006): A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds (Aves: Passeri). Zool. Scripta 35(2): 149–186. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2006.00221.x
- Harshman, John (2008). Passerida. Version 23 June 2008 (under construction). in The Tree of Life Web Project. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- Sibley, Charles Gald & Ahlquist, Jon Edward (1990): Phylogeny and classification of birds. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.