Birds Korea Checklist
April 2014

BN Checklist 2014 LogoIntroduction
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Older versions

Birds Korea Checklist
June 2013

BN Checklist 2013 LogoIntroduction
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Birds Korea Checklist
May 2013

BN Checklist 2013 LogoIntroduction
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Birds Korea Checklist
August 2009

BN Checklist 2009 LogoIntroduction
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Birds Korea Checklist
August 2007

BN Checklist 2007 LogoIntroduction
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The Birds Korea Checklist: 2009
N. Moores, Park J-G & A. Kim. 2009. The Birds Korea Checklist: 2009.
August 2009

Until 2007, the Birds Korea Checklist followed the Checklist of the Oriental Bird Club (Inskipp et al., 2001). Subsequently, we have followed, with only a few exceptions, the taxonomy and nomenclature of the IOC Checklist first compiled by Gill and Wright (2006). The IOC Checklist has been developed for the International Ornithological Congress in order to help establish a reasonable global consensus on English species’ names and taxonomy (see:, an aim which Birds Korea supports. The IOC Checklist is at present updated more than once a year based on the input of a wide range of highly-experienced specialists and through comments by users of the list. At the time of writing, the most recent version of the IOC Checklist was posted in May 2009 (Gill et al., 2009).

This fully bilingual (Korean and English) version of the Birds Korea Checklist (posted in August 2009) is based on Gill et al. (2009) and on Birds Korea (2007). It contains all species and, for the first time, all subspecies of birds recorded up to and including July 2009 on the Korean peninsula (i.e. mainland, islands and marine areas of both the Republic of Korea and the DPRK). The next revision of this Checklist will be posted in mid-2010.

As well as incorporating the most recent name changes and taxonomy proposed by Gill et al. (2009), the Birds Korea Checklist 2009 also contains several newly-recorded and recently-identified species (through museum-based research and literature review); inclusion of Orders and Families; an indication of whether a species is a National Monument or not; revised and simplified status codes (covering the ROK only); subspecies; and a code to clarify breeding status. Although knowledge of Korean birds is improving, there are still numerous information gaps. Many of the subspecies are poorly known or described, and there is no large-scale monitoring program in place with which to establish population estimates for most species. Further, some Families and species are even yet to receive an accepted Korean name.

As always, we welcome additions, corrections and comments.

Birds Korea, August 2009.

NOTE: All online materials and Birds Korea publications follow the version of the Checklist available at that time. In order to assist the better interpretation of archived materials, a simplified version of the 2007 Checklist can be accessed here: BK-CL-Checklist-info-2007.shtml


  • Birds Korea. 2007. The Birds Korea Checklist{ October 2007.

  • Gill, F. & Wright, M. 2006.Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

  • Gill, F., Wright, M. & Donsker, D. 2009. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.1). Available at: [Accessed Jun-Jul 2009].

  • Inskipp, T., Lindsey, N. and Duckworth, W. 1996. An annotated checklist of the birds of the Oriental Region. Sandy, U.K.: Oriental Bird Club. (in English)

Using The Checklist

Checklist Codes

Category One (Recent and Documented)
Species and subspecies of bird recorded in Korea since 1980, supported by adequate photographs, sound recordings or specimens.

Category Two (Pre-1980 and Documented)
Species and subspecies of bird recorded in Korea before 1980, supported by photographs or specimens, which have not been recorded after 1980 with the same level of documentation.

Category Three (Incomplete Documentation)
Species of bird and subspecies recorded in Korea seen by multiple observers (including at least one observer with prior experience of the species), or seen on more than one date by an observer with prior experience of the species, unsupported by photographs or sound recordings.

Category Four (Incomplete Documentation)
Species of bird recorded in Korea, either seen by an observer or observers lacking prior experience of the species, or heard by those with prior experience, unsupported by photographs or sound recordings.

Category Five (Established Exotics)
Species of bird recorded in Korea that appear to have been introduced and are now widely established.

English Names

The English name given for each species is that of the IOC Checklist, with the following additions:

  1. IOC name in brackets followed by the Birds Korea preferred name, e.g. (Japanese Woodpigeon) Black Woodpigeon.

  2. IOC name first with Birds Korea suggested name given second, e.g. Great Tit, Northern Great Tit.

  3. Additional species recognised by Birds Korea, but not yet by the IOC are denoted with an *, e.g. Mongolian Gull Larus mongolicus.

Korean Names

Finders of the first record of a species in Korea have the responsibility to create a Korean name. Some names have yet to be coined and are left blank in the Checklist. In the case where two names are given, the first name is the one coined by the first-finder and preferred by Birds Korea, e.g.

귤색딱새 / 회색머리갈색딱새

The CAT column is used to indicate exceptions and e.g. subspecies that belong to a different catagory than the species.

Global Conservation Status (GCS)

Codes follow the IUCN and BirdLife International:

CR=Critically Endangered

National Natural Monument (NNM)

Inclusion and Number is from the list of Republic of Korea’s National Natural Monuments at:

Subspecies and Status Codes

Where data are insufficient, “DD” is used.

Status in the Republic of Korea (ROK-Stat)

R=Largely resident
P=Largely a passage migrant
S=Largely a summer visitor
W=Largely a winter visitor

The above four letters are followed by numbers to indicate very approximate abundance:

1=> 100,000 individuals/year
2=10,000 - 100,000 individuals/year
3=1,000 - 10,000 individuals/year
4=100 - 1,000 individuals/year
5 =10 - 100 individuals/year
V1=Scarcely recorded, i.e. >10 records in total but <10 records/year
V2=Rarely recorded, i.e. <10 records in total
V3=Not recorded post 1980

In many species, a combination of codes is used to indicate different abundance at different times of the year, e.g. P2,W3,SV2 = Between 10,000 and 100,000 individuals present during migration; between 1,000 and 10,000 individuals present in winter; and fewer than 10 records of the species in the summer months.

(NOTE: > = More than, < = Less than)

Breeding (Bre)

There are six codes used in total

1=Confirmed breeding record in the ROK
2=Presumed breeding in the ROK
3=Historical breeding record (pre-1980, but not subsequently) in the ROK
NN1=No breeding record in the ROK, but confirmed or presumed breeding in the DPRK
NN2=No breeding record in the ROK, but suspected breeding in the DPRK
Blank=No breeding record presently suspected in Korea

Sources and References

Most of the major references used in compiling the Birds Korea Checklist can be found at:

For breeding records in the DPRK, the main source used is Duckworth J. & N.Moores. 2008. A re-evaluation of the pre-1948 Korean breeding avifauna: correcting a ‘founder effect’ in perceptions. Forktail 24 (2008): 25-47.