This site, in general, is organized into galleries and folders. The galleries are collections of images. The folders may contain galleries, informational pages and even more folders. As this site is being launched there are a large number of bird images and very small numbers of other images. At this point, the organization of everything other than birds is quite simple and self explanatory.
In an attempt to bring order out of the chaos of approximately 1500 bird images incorporated to date in this enterprise, a limited use of scientific taxonomy has been chosen. The bird images are sorted by order and family. Within each, the species follow the sequence used in the "Checklist of North and Middle American Birds" put forth by the American Ornithological Society. It can be found at:
To some visitors, this may at times seem unnecessarily confusing and illogical. But the root problem lies in a collection of common names amassed over two centuries or so which often had little basis in scientific truth. Consider for example, two groups of birds called grosbeaks, some of which are Cardinalidae and the others are Fringillidae. In other words, although both groups bear the name grosbeak, modern evidence has shown that they are not closely related. The physical similarities that gave rise to sharing the common name are likely a result of convergent evolution. So trying to cobble together an organizational system based solely on common names, must be fundamentally flawed and ultimately of little value.
The “Browse” function makes its way through choices of order, family, and then the individual species. Sub-families are also used, but these are not visible to the viewer.
Every bird image is tagged with the corresponding order, family, and in some cases, sub-family. The “Search” function supports each of these, as well as the common names.
As other categories of images are added, most notably wild flowers, mammals, insects, and astrophotography, the least burdensome classification system will be adopted for each group. The driving principle is to make things easy to find without creating large numbers of barely populated galleries.