Some examples of singing birds include indigo buntings, larks, nightingales, song sparrows, house wrens and American robins. Other examples of singing birds are blue jays, lyrebirds, orioles, warblers and thrushes.

Songbirds, also called Oscines, belong to a group of perching birds known as Passeri. The group contains more than 4,600 species. Songbirds are distinguished from other birds by the complexity of their syrinx. The syrinx is the structure that allows songbirds to emit the whistles, trills and warbles that are necessary to produce complex melodic songs. Crows also posses a more complex syrinx than other birds, which technically categorizes them as songbirds, although crows can only use their syrinx to produce coos, caws, rattles, clicks and grating noises, instead of melodies.

As of 2014, all known songbirds must learn to sing, unlike the suboscines, which are born with the innate ability to sing the songs of their particular species. The songbird's ability to learn songs plays an important role in the mating practices of some species because their sexual selection is based on mimetic vocalization. In some populations of songbirds, females show a preference for males with a large repertoire of songs. Male songbirds with larger song repertoires attract more potential mates than males that know only a few songs.