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Bird Taxonomy Explained
Bird Taxonomy Explained

A brief explanation about bird taxonomy

John White avatar
Written by John White
Updated over a week ago

Taxonomy is usually a term used to refer to a way of categorising things. This includes (but is not limited to) its use in categorising living things through a hierarchical structure.

Variation is an inevitable part of language and in describing living organisms such as birds, however, the variation in hierarchical classification is likely to continue despite the best efforts for consensus. Since globalisation and the spread of information is more extensive than ever, there’s even more reason to include and understand variation, and to build tools that enable us to share this information with a level of common understanding.

Birda makes use of three birding widely used taxonomic authorities: IOC, Clements and Birdlife. None of these authorities are specifically ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and the authority you use might be driven by the taxonomic authority commonly used in your country or the birding book you use. For example, Clements is the taxonomy of choice in the United States, while the IOC is common in the UK.

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