Ornithologists categorize perching birds as Passeriformes, which translates into "sparrow-shaped." All perching birds have a foot with three toes pointing in a forward direction and one pointing backward, perfected for gripping a perch where the bird can eat or sleep.
Large and Common
Larger birds such as crows, ravens, blue jays and magpies are perching birds. Commonly known species such as the cardinal, chickadee, bluebird, oriole and mockingbird are as well.
The entire sparrow family is members of the Passeriforme order. These birds include the sparrow species along with the buntings, juncos, finches and grosbeaks.
Flycatchers and Thrushes
All flycatchers, which encompass such birds as phoebes and kingbirds, are also perching birds. Thrushes are perching birds, a group that counts the American robin among its family.
Warblers, a family of birds well known for the singing skills of the males, are types of perching birds. The vireos, wrens, waxwings, titmice and kinglets also fall under the category of perching birds.
Two of the most widespread perching birds in the United States are the red-winged blackbird and the barn swallow. The blackbirds frequently perch on cattails in marshy areas and the swallows on telephone lines.