Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Birds/Country lists

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WikiProject Birds (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon WikiProject Birds/Country lists is part of WikiProject Birds, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative and easy-to-use ornithological resource. If you would like to participate, visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. Please do not substitute this template.
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Other potential elements for the table[edit]

  • Should we include a "Last checked" column, dated to make it easier to check lists periodically for updates, vandalism reverts, etc.?
  • Should we include all regional lists here, including states, counties, etc.? Or restrict it to countries only?
  • And can anybody think of other table elements that might be useful? MeegsC | Talk 17:14, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
last checked: no objection, but isn't it duplicating page history?
My preference would be just countries and larger (eg continents, southern Africa, south Asia - we can't really chuck out North America Jimfbleak 18:45, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Is there any way of autogenerating the ToCs for the modified headings - it's very tedious doing it by hand? Jimfbleak 07:57, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't know anything about autogeneration; I've just been copying them from similar lists and making the necessary modifications by hand. MeegsC | Talk 08:54, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
My 2 cents......Bird lists do get updated perodically (i.e. North America just added 7 new species to the list), so it would be nice to have a last checked date column listed (and hope it doesn't get vandalized) rather than checking through all the page history. I agree with Jim that every state in the US doesn't need to be on this verification, (perhaps another list similar to this one for US States?????) however we should add places like Hawaii and Puerto Rico, Guam, etc. to this list since these birds do not appear on the North American list.
Some questions I have.....There is a Canadian List and a North American List. I know this has been hashed about many times before, but we really should do something about carrying a North American list and a Canadian list. For what it's worth, there are some birds which have only appeared in Canada and not the US (Grey Heron, and Eurasian Oystercatcher for 2 birds I know, I also know there aren't very many more). My peference is to edit the North American list to have a separate Continental US and Canadian list to promote both countries identities for equal footing (so to speak). The other option is to merge the Canadian list into the North American one, but I think the Canadians would get upset at that one?????). Haiti and Hispaniola lists have similar issues. Also as the list gets longer, maybe it should be split by either alphabetic sets of letters (i.e. A-F, G-L, etc, or by continental grouping)Pmeleski 02:17, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't personally see any problem with carrying a NA list and a Canada list. How is it any different than carrying a NA list and a Massachusetts list, for example? The same goes for Haiti/Dominican Republic/Hispaniola. And while there are only a few species that have appeared in Canada and not in the continental US, there are quite a few that have appeared in the continental US and not in Canada—so merging the two lists doens't really seem like a good answer. MeegsC | Talk 08:57, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
The other problem with the North American list is Mexico and the Carribean are also considered part of North America, but are not included on the continental list. I know that the body of the text states the list is for birds seen north of Mexico, but in the spirit of being accurate, it sure looks confusing. The North American list is more of an ABA list. I know this has been discussed before, but in order to be fully accurate, we should have a North American list, a Canadian List, a continental United States list, and so on........Pmeleski 13:11, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

List template / format[edit]

Did we discuss and agree common formatting for these lists somewhere? Seems the style used for eg Afghanistan is favoured here? Local (Aus) preference has generally been for the Sibley-Monroe-type style. Also adopted for our mammal lists. Brief summary:

  • __NOTOC__ or {{TOCright}}
  • Brief intro paragraph and map
  • Generally two levels of headings at the Order and Family level, formatted as heading levels 2 and 4 (3 is a bit large for Family names); not bold.
  • Add or substitute Class, Subclass, Suborder, Subfamily, Tribe etc only where they add something useful.
  • No heading at genus level (redundant - the binomial covers it).
  • Headings are the bare latin name, wikilinked - ie omit the redundant words "Order", "Family", etc (the standard latin forms already say it). Add clarifying group common names in parenthesis where warranted (but watch TOC width).
  • A bullet for each species
  • An indented bullet for each sub-species, where warranted (mostly not, for birds)
  • Common name first (wikilinked), then scientific binomial (italics), then notes, all comma separated
  • Wikilinking the scientific name is redundant and reduces readability (it loses the colour contrast), but it helps initially with finding typos and missing redirects

See List of birds of Queensland for a nice tidy example.

I'd especially question adding the descriptive para for each Family. Appears highly redundant and repetitive (it's just a list after all!), makes long lists even longer, and makes the actual bird names harder to see, and find...--Gergyl (talk) 01:38, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

List of bird families[edit]

A sample picture to use for sizing entries...
A sample picture to use for sizing entries...

Storm petrels are small birds which spend most of their lives at sea, coming ashore only to breed. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically whilst hovering or pattering across the water. Their flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.[1]

Pelicans are very large water birds with distinctive pouches under their beaks. Found along both inland and coastal waterways, they are primarily fish-eaters. Many species hunt in groups, chasing fish into shallow waters and then scooping them up in their huge bills, but one plunge-dives after prey. They nest colonially.

A sample picture to use for sizing entries...

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are medium-sized seabirds found primarily in tropical oceans; they typically come ashore only to breed. They are predominantly white, with elongated central tail feathers. When hunting for the flying fish (and occasional squid) they feed on, they hover above the water, then plunge dive in after their prey. There are three species worldwide, all of which have been recorded in Country name.

A sample picture to use for sizing entries...

Order: Podicipediformes. Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-sized diving birds. They breed on fresh water, but often visit the sea whilst migrating and in winter. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers; however, their feet are placed far back on their bodies, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 19 species worldwide.[2][3] Of these, four species have been recorded in Country name.



  1. ^ Brinkley, Edward B.; Alec Humann (2001). "Storm-Petrels". In Chris Elphick; John B. Dunning Jr.; David Sibley. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behaviour. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6250-6. 
  2. ^ Ogilvie, Malcolm; Chris Rose (2003). Grebes of the World. Uxbridge, UK: Bruce Coleman. ISBN 1-872842-03-8. 
  3. ^ Walker, Matt. "Bird conservation: Alaotra grebe confirmed extinct". BBC News Online. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 


Does Ireland merit a country list? I don't know if there are any species found in Ireland that are not found in the U.K. If this is the case perhaps the U.K. list could be changed to The United Kingdom and Ireland? AugusteBlanqui (talk) 06:55, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

@AugusteBlanqui: We do have the article List of birds of Ireland, and while we don't have an article titled "List of birds of the United Kingdom", we do have List of birds of Great Britain which does not include Ireland. Does that answer your question?  SchreiberBike | ⌨  18:25, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
@SchreiberBike: Apologies, I was looking at the wrong list! AugusteBlanqui (talk) 18:33, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Standardization or other ideas?[edit]

Is there any appetite for doing some standardization of the "List of birds of ..." series? For instance:

  • Are the paragraphs used in some but not all of the lists describing the families helpful?
  • Would the lists be better if a standard set of abbreviations (or no abbreviations) were used where possible?
  • Some lists are in table form. Should they all be? Should there be a standard table format?
  • There are a wide variety of formats for tables of contents. Is one better than others or should they be standardized?
  • There are 193 country lists in the project page, but 377 lists entitled "List of birds ...". Should those be within the scope of this page?
  • Are there other lists that should be part of the project?
  • What about bird names in native languages? What about bird names in other alphabets? E.g. at List of birds of Tamil Nadu.
  • It looks like we've mostly gotten rid of the sentences which said "There are nn species worldwide and n species which occurs in X-country." Yea! Should we get rid of them all?

Pinging @Craigthebirder and Pvmoutside: who I've seen spend a lot of time on these lists. Thank you,  SchreiberBike | ⌨  21:45, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

  • I've been updating U.S. state lists, more or less east to west, (only Hawaii to go, and it's drafted) and have evolved my standard intro over the 8 or 9 months. I've also updated all of South and Central America's pages and some for Caribbean nations. After the next AOS taxonomy update (July, usually), I'll do another round through the states and bring the old ones up to match the newer ones. Same for SA and CA when Clements updates. (They'll go a lot quicker - only a year's worth of taxonomic changes, not as many as the 10 to 12 years I've been contending with.) I've kept the stock family text where already present and haven't added it when the original author didn't. Many required editing, though, to remove out-of-date material. I suppose they're helpful to someone casually looking at the page; I doubt they provide any info that a knowledgeable birder doesn't already know.
    • Re standardizing abbreviations - I don't think it's desirable. State lists use a wide variety of categories - some have just a "needs review" flag and others have three or more levels of rarity. We could only standardize on the lowest common denominator, and that leaves out a lot of information that's available. National lists are probably at least as variable as the state ones if not more so. (Except for South America, where I used the uniform-format SACC list)
    • Re tables - I don't like them. They make updates much more difficult. I only kept the Texas table because it would have been more work to delete it.
    • Re TOCs - I like "Horizontal TOC|nonum=y" (with the brackets, of course). It's simple, doesn't take up a lot of space, and doesn't require editing when families have to be moved. I have, however, left a few of other styles intact.
    • No opinion on inclusion/exclusion in the project page or on other lists.
    • I like the inclusion of native names or other language's names, as long as the intro tells what you're seeing. List of birds of Nunavut is another and I'm keeping the Hawaiian names that the original author used in that state's list.
    • Re "There are nn species worldwide...", yes, get rid of them. They're out of date within weeks of being written. Even saying "at least nn species.." falls victim when a family is split.
    • Thanks for posing these questions! Craigthebirder (talk) 23:10, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

The country/state lists are probably one of the most time consuming efforts in the Bird project.

  • If a species is split, particularly a cosmopolitan one, many lists need to be updated to accommodate the change.
  • It is difficult to keep up with country/state adds if an existing species is added to the list by a sight record. The only way I know to update is to watch Avibase, and I'm not sure how accurate it is.
  • I agree with Craigthebirder, the statement of "there are nn species worldwide" is a virtually impossible task to update. It would be a full time task just to keep the statement updated given all the lumps/splits/discoveries occurring on a regular basis, and there is no link to ensure accuracy. I've been bold and removing as I work through changes.
  • I also agree tables are more difficult to change than lists, but I don't think a standardization is necessary given all the other work that needs to be done on the lists.
  • Another problem is most of the lists use Clements as a standard, with some other country/state lists using a local reference as a standard. That may cause a problem with standardization of species. For example take a recent change of Comb duck and Knob-billed duck. The standard for species we use is the IOC which splits both. Clements keeps them together and calls both Comb duck (which is the IOC American name). So if you look at some of the African lists, Comb duck actually links to the American page. There are other species that have the same format. I believe it's not a huge issue as usually there are statements letting people know about the change, but it can be confusing.
  • I've narrowed down the Lists of birds by region to country, offshore island, and state/province. Any other list with a smaller geography can be found on the Category:List of birds by location. If state/province/offshore island is kept, then a wider discussion can be had to add other countries (i.e. finishing Australia and India, adding China, etc.), or conversely, move them to location I believe the Lists of birds by region is prioritized pretty well with its list of areas (with the possible exception of adding additional states/provinces or offshore islands. Some more can be created by completing red links.......
  • I'm not a big fan of general standardizations given all the work that still needs to be done, my priority is accuracy.......

.....Hope that helps from my perspective.....Pvmoutside (talk) 14:15, 1 June 2017 (UTC)