IOC names of Birds of India
Changes from nomenclature
followed in
"An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region"

~ presented by Birds of India

Compiled by Sumit K Sen

The list below has been compiled essentially from information presented by Gill, F., Wright, M. & Donsker, D. as available at WORLDBIRDNAMES.ORG  (see references 1 & 2 below). Birdwatchers in India generally use Grimmett & Inskipp's 'Birds of the Indian Subcontinent' (Ref 3 below) and are familiar with the Common Names and sequence used in that book. This book primarily follows the taxonomy and nomenclature laid out in Inskipp, Tim; Lindsey, Nigel & Duckworth, William's 'An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region'.

This list has been prepared for those who are familiar with the taxonomy and nomenclature followed in the 'An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region' - a system still followed by the Oriental Bird Club (OBC). The list additionally recognizes the work done by Rasmussen, P. C. & Anderton J.C. (2005) in 'Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide' (Ref 5 below) as indeed does the source material from Many of the splits proposed by Rasmussen and Anderton have not yet received wide acceptance and some may eventually not be widely accepted. One way to deal with this issue was to ignore the work done by Rasmussen and Anderton. That would have been incorrect and would have deprived many readers of the opportunity to decide for themselves. We have therefore decided to include the Rasmussen splits as they affect our birds but chosen to stick with names proposed by the IOC where they differ from Rasmussen and Anderton.

OBC English Name / Scientific Name IOC Name


Nicobar Scrubfowl Megapodius nicobariensis Nicobar Megapode
Pheasants, Fowl & Allies
Buff-throated Partridge ? Tetraophasis szechenyii Szechenyi's Monal-Partridge
Chukar Alectoris chukar Chukar Partridge


Small Buttonquail Turnix sylvatica Kurrichane Buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus
Ducks, Geese & Swans
Fulvous Whistling-duck Dendrocygna bicolor Fulvous Whistling Duck
Lesser Whistling-duck Dendrocygna javanica Lesser Whistling Duck
Bean Goose Anser fabalis Taiga Bean Goose
Cotton Pygmy-goose Nettapus coromandelianus Cotton Pygmy Goose
Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha Indian Spot-billed Duck
Split: Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha
Sunda Teal Anas gibberifrons Andaman Teal Anas albogularis
Common Teal Anas crecca Eurasian Teal


Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos macei Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos macei
Split: Spot-breasted Pied Woodpecker Dendrocopos analis
Himalayan Flameback Dinopium shorii Himalayan Goldenback
Common Flameback Dinopium javanense Common Goldenback
Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense Lesser Goldenback
Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus Greater Goldenback


Crimson-fronted Barbet Megalaima rubricapilla Malabar Barbet Megalaima malabarica (split from Bornean Barbet Megalaima eximia ?)


Brown Hornbill Anorrhinus tickelli Austen's Brown Hornbill


Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis Oriental Dollarbird


Pied Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus Jacobin Cuckoo
Large Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides Large Hawk-Cuckoo
Common Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx varius Common Hawk-Cuckoo
Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx fugax Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo
Eurasian Cuckoo Cuculus canorus Common Cuckoo
Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus Himalayan Cuckoo
Split: Oriental Cuckoo (split from Himalayan Cuckoo) ? extralimital
Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo
Split: Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo Surniculus dicruroides
Brown Coucal Centropus andamanensis Andaman Coucal


Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides Blue-winged Parakeet
Derbyan Parakeet ? Psittacula derbiana Lord Derby's Parakeet


White-rumped Needletail Zoonavena sylvatica White-rumped Spinetail
House Swift Apus affinis Little Swift
Split?: No references House Swift Apus nipalensis

Barn Owls

Barn Owl Tyto alba Western Barn Owl
Split: Andaman Masked Owl Tyto deroepstorffi
Grass Owl Tyto capensis African Grass Owl - extralimital
Split: Eastern Grass Owl Tyto longimembris (split from African Grass Owl)
Oriental Bay Owl Phodilus badius Oriental Bay Owl
Split: Sri Lanka Bay Owl Phodilus assimilis


Collared Scops Owl Otus bakkamoena Indian Scops Owl
Split: Collared Scops Owl Otus lettia
Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo Eurasian Eagle-Owl
Rock Eagle Owl Bubo bengalensis Indian Eagle-Owl
Spot-bellied Eagle Owl Bubo nipalensis Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl
Dusky Eagle Owl Bubo coromandus Dusky Eagle-Owl
Tawny Owl Strix aluco Tawny Owl Strix aluco
Split: Himalayan Owl Strix nivicola
Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata Brown Hawk-Owl
Split: Hume's Hawk-Owl Ninox obscura
Andaman Hawk Owl Ninox affinis Andaman Hawk-Owl


Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus Indian Jungle Nightjar
Split: Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka
Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus
Split: Andaman Nightjar Caprimulgus andamanicus (split from Mees's Nightjar which was split from L-T Nightjar)

Pigeons, Doves

Rock Pigeon Columba livia Common Pigeon
Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica Common Emerald Dove
Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron pompadora Grey-fronted Green Pigeon Treron affinis
Split: Ashy-headed Green Pigeon Treron phayrei
Split: Andaman Green Pigeon Treron chloropterus
Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea
Split: Nicobar Imperial Pigeon Ducula nicobarica


Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps Great Indian Bustard

Rails, Crakes & Coots

Brown Crake Amaurornis akool Brown Bush-hen
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
Split: Brown-cheeked Rail Rallus indicus
Common Coot Fulica atra Eurasian Coot

Sandpipers, Snipes

Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura Pin-tailed Snipe

Stone-curlews, Thick-knees

Eurasian Thick-knee ? Burhinus oedicnemus Eurasian Stone-curlew
Split: Indian Stone-curlew Burhinus indicus
Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris Great Stone-curlew
Beach Thick-knee Esacus neglectus Beach Stone-curlew


Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus Pomarine Skua

Gulls, Terns & Skimmers

Yellow-legged Gull ? Larus cachinnans Caspian Gull
Heuglin's Gull Larus heuglini Siberian Gull Larus fuscus heuglini
Great Crested Tern Sterna bergii Swift Tern

Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Osprey Pandion haliaetus Western Osprey
Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus Crested Honey Buzzard
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus Black-winged Kite
Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus Bearded Vulture
Nicobar Serpent Eagle Spilornis minimus Central Nicobar Serpent Eagle
Split: Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle Spilornis klossi (split from Central Nicobar Serpent Eagle)
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus Northern Harrier
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus
Split: Himalayan Buzzard Buteo refectus (split from Eastern Buzzard)
Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina Indian Spotted Eagle Aquila hastata
Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca Asian Imperial Eagle
Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus Crested Hawk-Eagle
Split: Changeable Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus limnaeetus
Mountain Hawk Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis Mountain Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis
Split: Legge's Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus kelaarti

Herons, Bitterns

Great Egret Casmerodius albus Eastern Great Egret Ardea modesta
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia Yellow-billed Egret Egretta intermedia
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus
Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris Eurasian Bittern

Ibises, Spoonbills

Black Ibis Pseudibis papillosa Red-naped Ibis

Petrels, Shearwaters

Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri Persian Shearwater Puffinus persicus


Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis
Split Jerdon's Leafbird Chloropsis jerdoni (split from Bornean Leafbird Chloropsis kinabaluensis)


Rufous-tailed Shrike Lanius isabellinus Isabelline Shrike
Split: Red-tailed Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides

Crows, Jays

Black-billed Magpie Pica pica Eurasian Magpie
Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes
Split: Larger-spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga multipunctata
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus Alpine Chough
Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula Western Jackdaw
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Split: Eastern Jungle Crow Corvus levaillantii
Split: Indian Jungle Crow Corvus culminatus
Common Raven Corvus corax Northern Raven


Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
Split: Indian Golden Oriole Oriolus kundoo


Bar-bellied Cuckooshrike Coracina striata Andaman Cuckooshrike Coracina dobsoni
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus Orange Minivet
Split: Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus speciosus (split from Sunda Minivet Pericrocotus miniatus)


White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis
Split: White-spotted Fantail Rhipidura albogularis


Spangled Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus Hair-crested Drongo

Family Uncertain

Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis gularis Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis gularis
Split: Malabar Woodshrike Tephrodornis sylvicola

Waxwings and Allies

Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus Hypocolius


Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma
Split: Nilgiri Thrush Zoothera neilgherriensis
Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula Common Blackbird Turdus merula ? extralimital
Split: Tibetan Blackbird Turdus maximus (split from Common Blackbird)
Split Indian Blackbird Turdus simillimus (split from Tibetan Blackbird)
Dark-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis Red-throated Thrush
Split: Black-throated Thrush Turdus atrogularis
Dusky Thrush Turdus naumanni Naumann's Thrush

Old World Flycatchers

Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher Rhinomyias brunneatus Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher Rhinomyias brunneatus
Split ?: Nicobar Jungle Flycatcher Rhinomyias nicobaricus
Red-throated Flycatcher Ficedula parva Red-breasted Flycatcher
Split: Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla
Blue-throated Flycatcher Cyornis rubeculoides Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher
Hill Blue Flycatcher Cyornis banyumas Hill Blue Flycatcher Cyornis banyumas
Split: Large Blue Flycatcher Cyornis magnirostris


Orange-flanked Bush Robin Tarsiger cyanurus Red-flanked Bluetail
Split: Himalayan Bluetail Tarsiger rufilatus
White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus
Split: Andaman Shama Copsychus albiventris
Rufous-backed Redstart Phoenicurus erythronota Eversmann's Redstart Phoenicurus erythronotus
White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogaster Güldenstädt's Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogastrus
White-capped Water Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus White-capped Redstart
White-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx major Nilgiri Blue Robin Myiomela major

Split & new:

White-bellied Blue Robin Myiomela albiventris
Stoliczka's Bushchat Saxicola macrorhyncha White-browed Bush Chat Saxicola macrorhynchus
Hodgson's Bushchat Saxicola insignis White-throated Bush Chat
Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata Pied Bush Chat
Jerdon's Bushchat Saxicola jerdoni Jerdon's Bush Chat
Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferrea Grey Bush Chat Saxicola ferreus
Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus ? extralimital
Split: Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus (split from European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola)
Rufous-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe xanthoprymna Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia (Oenanthe xanthoprymna now extralimital Kurdistan Wheatear )


Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus
Split: Malabar Starling Sturnus blythii
Purple-backed Starling Sturnus sturninus Daurian Starling
Asian Pied Starling Sturnus contra Pied Myna
White-Vented Myna Acridotheres cinereus Great Myna Acridotheres grandis
Hill Myna Gracula religiosa Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa
Split: Southern Hill Myna Gracula indica


Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta castanea Indian Nuthatch
Split: Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch Sitta cinnamoventris (split from Indian Nuthatch)


Black-lored Tit Parus xanthogenys Himalayan Black-lored Tit
Split: Indian Black-lored Tit Parus aplonotus
Hume's Groundpecker Pseudopodoces humilis Groundpecker Parus humilis


White-cheeked Tit Aegithalos leucogenys White-cheeked Bushtit
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus Black-throated Bushtit
White-throated Tit Aegithalos niveogularis White-throated Bushtit
Rufous-fronted Tit Aegithalos iouschistos Rufous-fronted Bushtit

Swallows, Martins

Plain Martin Riparia paludicola Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis (Intermediate Brown-throated Martin Riparia paludicola)
Northern House Martin Delichon urbica Common House Martin
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica -extralimital
Split: Hill Swallow Hirundo domicola


Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus atriceps Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus atriceps
Split: Andaman Bulbul Pycnonotus fuscoflavescens
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris
Split: Flame-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus gularis
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus
Split: Square-tailed Bulbul Hypsipetes ganeesa

Cisticolas and Allies

Bright-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis Golden-headed Cisticola
Rufous-vented Prinia Prinia burnesii Rufous-vented Prinia Prinia burnesii
Split: Swamp Prinia Prinia cinerascens
Hill Prinia Prinia atrogularis Black-throated Prinia
Split: Hill Prinia Prinia superciliaris

Old World Warblers

Pale-footed Bush Warbler Cettia pallidipes Pale-footed Bush Warbler Cettia pallidipes
Split: Manchurian Bush Warbler Cettia canturians
Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler Cettia fortipes Brown-flanked Bush Warbler
Yellowish-bellied Bush Warbler Cettia acanthizoides Yellow-bellied Bush Warbler
Cetti's Bush Warbler Cettia cetti Cetti's Warbler
Rusty-rumped Warbler Locustella certhiola Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus ? extralimital
Split: Indian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus brunnescens (split from Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus)
Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei Hume's Leaf Warbler
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
Split: Green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus
Split: Two-barred Warbler Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus
Grey-hooded Warbler Seicercus xanthoschistos Grey-hooded Warbler Phylloscopus xanthoschistos
Golden-spectacled Warbler Seicercus burkii Green-crowned Warbler
Split: Grey-crowned Warbler Seicercus tephrocephalus
Greater Whitethroat Sylvia communis Common Whitethroat
Hume's Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia althaea Hume's Whitethroat
Small Whitethroat Sylvia minula Desert Whitethroat
Eastern Desert Warbler Sylvia nana Asian Desert Warbler
Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia crassirostris

Babblers, Parrotbills

Grey-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax jerdoni Grey-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax jerdoni - does this exist?
Split ?: Kerala Laughingthrush Garrulax fairbanki
Streaked Laughingthrush Garrulax lineatus Streaked Laughingthrush Garrulax lineatus
Split: Bhutan Laughingthrush Garrulax imbricatus
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax erythrocephalus Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax erythrocephalus
Split: Assam Laughingthrush Garrulax chrysopterus
Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler ? extralimital
Split: Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus mcclellandi (split from Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus gravivox)
Long-tailed Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis chocolatinus Naga Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis chocolatinus
Split: Grey-bellied Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis reptatus
Split: Chin Hills Wren-Babbler Spelaeornis oatesi (split from Grey-bellied Wren-Babbler)
Wedge-billed Wren Babbler Sphenocichla humei Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler
Split: Cachar Wedge-billed Babbler Sphenocichla roberti (split from Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler)
Striped Tit Babbler Macronous gularis Pin-striped Tit-Babbler
Chinese Babax Babax lanceolatus Chinese Babax Babax lanceolatus ? extralimital ?
Split: Mount Victoria Babax Babax woodi
Silver-eared Mesia Leiothrix argentauris Silver-eared Leiothrix
Cutia Cutia nipalensis Himalayan Cutia
Streak-throated Fulvetta Alcippe cinereiceps Grey-hooded Fulvetta
Split: Manipur Fulvetta Alcippe manipurensis (split from Grey-hooded Fulvetta)
White-bellied Yuhina Yuhina zantholeuca White-bellied Yuhina Erpornis zantholeuca


Plain Flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor Nilgiri Flowerpecker
Split: Plain Flowerpecker Dicaeum minullum (split from Nilgiri Flycatcher)
Split: Andaman Flowerpecker Dicaeum virescens ( split from Plain Flowerpecker)


Purple-throated Sunbird Nectarinia sperata Van Hasselt's Sunbird Leptocoma brasiliana
Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja
Split: Vigors's Sunbird Aethopyga vigorsii

Old World Sparrows

Sind Sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus Jungle Sparrow
Chestnut-shouldered Petronia Petronia xanthocollis Yellow-throated Sparrow Gymnoris xanthocollis

Wagtails, Pipits

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava Western Yellow Wagtail


Black-headed Munia Lonchura malacca Tricolored Munia
Split: Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla


Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs Common Chaffinch
Fire-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus Red-fronted Serin
Tibetan Siskin Carduelis thibetana Tibetan Serin Serinus thibetanus
Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina Common Linnet
Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus pulcherrimus Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch
White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus thura Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch
Great Rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilla Caucasian Great Rosefinch
Split: Spotted Great Rosefinch Carpodacus severtzovi (split from Caucasian Great Rosefinch)


House Bunting Emberiza striolata Striolated Bunting
Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus Common Reed Bunting


Symbols/colours used:
? - Possibly extralimital
In grey: Original name remains but species has been split.

While every effort has been made to ensure correctness the list
may contain inaccuracies or typographical errors and is provided "as is" and without warranty of any kind. Users should consult the original sources cited below to check the accuracy of the work.

Recommended citation: This is a derived work and can be freely used citing: 1) Sumit K Sen (2008). IOC Names of Birds of India. Available at: and 2) Gill, F., Wright, M. & Donsker, D. (2008). IOC World Bird Names (version 1.6). Available at

References and Sources:
1. Gill, F.and M.Wright. (2006). Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press
2. Gill, F., Wright, M. & Donsker, D. (2008). IOC World Bird Names (version 1.6). Available at
3. Grimmett, Richard; Inskipp, Carol & Inskipp, Tim (1998): Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, London.
4. Inskipp, Tim; Lindsey, Nigel & Duckworth, William (1996): An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region. Oriental Bird Club, U.K.
5. Rasmussen, P. C. & Anderton J.C. (2005) Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide, Smithsonian Institution

© Sumit K Sen 2008


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