One of the largest obstacles to effective conservation is deciding what areas or species should receive priority. Phylogenetic relatedness provides a measure of functional diversity, and thus is an important factor to consider in these prioritizations. Numerous metrics have been developed that incorporate phylogenetic information into conservation, including Phylogenetic Diversity (PD), Evolutionary Distinctness Rarity (EDR), and the EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) metric. These metrics act as objective tools for ranking species or areas for conservation. I calculated ED and EDGE values for all species of Emberizoidea, the largest radiation of New World songbirds, and provide a species-based prioritization for conservation attention. Using these calculations I found Rhodinocichla rosea to be the most evolutionarily distinct species, representing 13.7 million years of unique evolutionary history, and found Conothraupis mesoleuca to be the highest ranking EDGE species, indicating top priority for conservation. I demonstrate that threatened species in Emberizoidea are slightly more clustered than expected under a random pattern, and suggest this pattern is due to localized radiations occurring in degraded or threatened habitat. Additionally, I examined how different metrics compare to one another, and examined geographic patterns produced by these metrics by examining the largest family of birds within the Emberizoidea radiation (Thraupidae). I demonstrate that the Andes of northern Peru, and two areas in southern Brazil exhibit high species richness, contain high levels of phylogenetic diversity, and are areas of overlap for many high-ranking EDGE species. These factors indicate these regions should be main targets for area-based conservation. In addition to species and area-based conservation prioritizations, I reconstructed the biogeographic history for a subfamily (Coerebinae) within Thraupidae to examine the biogeographic origin of Darwin’s finches. Using a maximum likelihood approach, I reconstructed ancestral ranges to test two hypotheses for the origin of this radiation under a variety of biogeographical models. I demonstrate that state reconstructions can be highly variable based on the biogeographic divisions used. Overall I found equal support for a Caribbean origin to Darwin’s finches as for a South American mainland origin, despite the shorter distance between the Galápagos Islands and South American mainland.