> > > Could someone be so kind as to provide me with the definitive
> > > (tautology)
> > > of what constitutes a non - passerine.
> > > Appreciation in advance,
The shortest and therefore most parsimonious answer is that anything which
is not a passerine is a non-passerine!
In the higher classification of birds (and indeed most other living things),
groups of related species are grouped into families and orders. For
example, the Australian Brush-turkey, Malleefowl and Orange-footed Scrubfowl
are all in the family Megapodiidae. Along with a few related families such
as Phasianidae (quail, chooks, etc.) and Numididae (guinea fowl), they form
the order Galliformes. By some measures there are about 30 orders of living
birds and somewhere north of 9000 species. The order Passeriformes (the
passerines) is far and away the largest of all the orders and includes more
than half of the known species of birds. Typical passerines are
honeyeaters, sparrows, crows, etc. etc. - check out the passerine section of
your field guides. Birds belonging to orders other than Passeriformes are
collectively known as the non-passerines. It's not a technical term really;
just a grab bag of convenience for the the other <50% of birds.
L A W R I E C O N O L E
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