This article presents the classic and modern views of avian brain evolution in the context of vertebrate brain evolution. The classical view held that the avian cerebrum along with those of other vertebrates evolved in progressive dorsal-to-ventral stages from so-called primitive to advanced species. The modern view holds that the avian cerebrum and those of other vertebrates were inherited as a package consisting of pallial, striatal, and pallidal domains that together function in perceiving and producing complex behaviors. This modern view is associated with a new brain terminology for birds developed by a consortium of neuroscientists. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.