Alaska And Arctic Nesters And Vagrants

EASTERN BLUEBIRD Sialiasialis Fairlycommon M496 7 in. (18 cm). A blue bird with rusty red breast appears round-shouldered when perched. Female duller than male has rusty throat and breast, white belly. Juvenile Speckle-breasted. voice Call a musical chur-wi. Song three or four gurgling notes, similar species Western Bluebird, but throat rusty, not blue. Belly and undertail whiter, not as gray. Western Bluebird usually has some rust color on back. Fresh female and immature Mountain Bluebirds may...

Weavers Family Ploceidae

Old World family including weavers and bishops. Escaped captives established very locally in s. CA and possibly very locally elsewhere. FOOD Seeds, insects. RANGE Native to Old World. Several species introduced. ORANGE BISHOP Euplcctesfranciscanus Uncommon, local 4'A in. (10 cm). This small member of the weaver finch family is native to Africa but has been introduced in CA, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. There is a local established population in Los Angeles area. Short tail, large head, large bill....

Vireos

YELLOW-GREEN VIREO Vireo flavoviridis Very rare, local 6-6' 4 in. (15-16 cm). This tropical species is very similar to Red-eyed Vireo, but has strong yellow tones on sides, flanks, and undertai coverts back yellower green head stripes less distinct bill slightly longer and paler. (Immature Red-eyed Vireos may have yellow on flanks and undertail coverts.) voice Song slower than Red-eyed's, suggestive of House Sparrow. range Rare summer resident in lower Rio Grande Valley, TX. Casual farther...

Bulbuls Family Pycnonotidae

One species introduced in FL. FOOD Insects, fruit. RED-WHISKERED BULBUL 7 in. (18 cm). Note black crest, red cheek patch, black half-collar, and red undertail coverts. voice Noisy chattering. similar species Phaino-pepla, waxwings. range This native of se. Asia was established locally in s. Miami, FL, in early 1960s, where it still forms a small breeding population. habitat Heavy vegetation in suburban neighborhoods.

Fringilline and Cardueline Finches and Allies Family Fringillidae

These birds have a seed-cracking bill, relatively short, notched tail, and somewhat undulating flight. Sexes usually unlike. Tend to be more arboreal than sparrows. FOOD Seeds, insects, small fruit. RANGE Worldwide. BLACK ROSY-FINCH Leucosticteatrata Uncommon,local M665 6-6' t in. (16 cm). Differs from other rosy-finches by adult male's blackish body color, feathering sometimes edged in gray. Female and immature grayer the only truly grayish rosy-finch. voice High chirping notes, suggestive of...

Ptarmigans

RING-NECKED PHEASANT Phasianuscolchicus Fairtycommon M49 Male 31-33 in. (79-84 cm) female 21-23 in. (53-59 cm). A large chicken like bird introduced from Eurasia. Note long pointed tail. Runs swiftly flight strong, takeoff noisy. Male Highly colored and iridescent, with scarlet wattles on face and white neck ring (not always present). Female Mot tied brown, with long pointed tail. voice Crowing male gives loud double squawk, kork-kok, followed by brief whir of wings. When flushed, harsh croaks....

Accipiters Bird Hawks

Long-tailed woodland raptors with short, rounded wings, adapted for hunting among trees. Typical flight mixes quick beats and a glide. Sexes similar females larger. Size helps distinguish species but not always reliable in the field. food Chiefly birds, some small mammals. Sharp-shinned and Cooper's often seen hunting birds at backyard feeders. SHARP-SHINNED HAWK Fairly common M146 Accipiter striatus (sec also p. 126) 10-14 in. (25-36 cm). A small, slim woodland hawk, with slim square-tipped...

Darters Family Anhingidae

America by one species. FOOD Fish, small aquatic animals. RANGE N. and S. America, Africa, India, se. Asia, Australia. ANHINGA Anhingaanhinga Fairlycommon M116 34-35 in. (86-89 cm). Similar to a cormorant, but neck snakier, bill more pointed, tail much longer. Note large silvery upperwing patch. Male black-bodied female has buffy neck and breast immature brownish. In flight, flaps and glides with neck extended, long tail spread. Often soars high, hawklike, with...

Rosyfinches And Crossbills

COMMON REDPOLL Carduelisflammea Uncommon, irregular M673 5'A in. (13 cm). Note bright red forehead and black chin of this little winter finch. Male has pink breast female lacks this. Usually found in flocks. voice In flight, a rattling chet-chet-chet. Song a trill, followed by the rattling chet-chet-chet. similar species Hoary Redpoll, Pine Siskin. Male House and Purple finches larger, redder, have red rump lack black chin. habitat Birches, tundra scrub. In winter, weeds, brush, thisde feeders....

Skuas And Jaegers

PARASITIC JAEGER Stercorariusparasiticus Uncommon M271 17-19 in. (44 49 cm). This is the jaeger most frequently seen from shore. Flies with strong, falconlike wing strokes. Like other jaegers, it shows white wing-flash. Adult Dark crown, pale underparts. Sharp tail points project up to 3' 2 in. (9 cm). Shows small pale spot above base of bill. Varies from light to dark morphs. Juvenile Juvenile jaegers show heavy barring, especially on underwing. Juvenile Parasitic is usually wanner brown than...

Bird Songs and Calls

Using sounds to identify birds can be just as useful as using visual clues. In fact, in many situations, birds are much more readily identified by sound than by sight. The species accounts here include a brief entry on voice, with interpretations of these songs and calls, in an attempt to give birders some handle on the vocalizations they hear. Authors of bird books have attempted, with varying success, to fit songs and calls into syllables, words, and phrases. Musical notations, comparative...

Family Scolopacidae

Sea Animals

Bills more slender than those of plovers. Sexes mostly similar, except in phalaropes (swimmers formerly regarded as a separate family). FOOD Insects, crustaceans, mollusks, worms, etc. RANGE Cosmopolitan. WILLET Tringa semipalmata (see also p. 170) Fairlycommon M197 15-16 in. (38-41 cm). Stockier than Greater Yellowlegs has grayer look, heavier bill, blue-gray legs. In flight, note striking black-and-white wing pattern. At rest, this large wader is rather nondescript...

GULLS Family Laridae

Long-winged swimming birds with superb flight. Most are more robust, wider winged, and longer legged than terns, and most have slightly hooked bills. Tails square or rounded terns usually have forked tail). Gulls seldom dive (most terns hover, then plunge headfirst). FOOD Omnivorous marine life, plant and animal food, refuse, carrion. RANGE Nearly worldwide. It is often important to determine the age of a gull before identifying it. Knowing what a gull looks like in both its adult and...

New World Vultures Family Cathartidae

Eagle Vulture Underwing Chart

Blackish often seen soaring high in wide circles. Their naked heads are relatively smaller than those of hawks and eagles. Vultures are often locally called buzzards. Silent away from nest site. FOOD Carrion. RANGE S. Canada to Cape Horn. TURKEYVULTURE Cathartes aura ( sec also p. 134 ) Common M136 26-27 in. (66-69 cm) wingspan 6 ft. ( 183 cm). Nearly eagle-sized. Overhead, note dark color with two-toned wings (flight feathers paler). Soars with wings in dihedral (shallow V) rocks and tilts...

Bird Called Peeps

Collectively, the three common small sandpipers resident in N. America are nicknamed peeps. Sometimes somewhat larger Calidris are also called peeps. In Old World, small peeps are called stints. LEAST SANDPIPER Calidris mimitilla(seealso p. 174) Common M212 6 in. (15 cm). Distinguished from the other two common peeps by its slightly smaller size, browner look, and yellowish or greenish not blackish iegs (but which might appear dark if caked in mud). Bill slighter, finer, and slightly drooped at...

Kites

Graceful birds of prey of southern distribution. U.S. species (except Snail Kite and Hook-billed Kite) are falcon-shaped with pointed wings. FOOD Large insects, reptiles, rodents. Snail Kite and Hook-billed Kite specialize in snails. SWALLOW-TAILED KITE Elanoidesforficatus Uncommon MHO 22-23 in. (55-58 cm). A sleek, elegant, black-and-white hawk that flies with incomparable grace. Note blue-black uppcrparts, clean white head and underparts, and long, mobile, deeply forked tail, voice Shrill,...

Families Tytonidae Barn Owls and Strigidae Typical Owls

Burrowing Owl Migration Pattern

Chiefly nocturnal birds of prey, with large heads and flattened faces forming facial disk large, forward-facing eyes hooked bill and claws usually feathered feet (outer toe reversible). Flight noiseless, mothlike. Some species have horns, or ear tufts. Sexes similar female larger. FOOD Rodents, birds, reptiles, fish, large insects. RANGE Nearly worldwide. SHORT-EARED OWL Asioflammeus Uncommon M327 15 in. (38 cm). An owl of open country often abroad by day, particularly at dawn and dusk or when...

Babblers Family Timaliidae

Long-tailed denizens of brushy cover. This Old World family is represented in N. America by just one species. FOOD Insects, fruit. RANGE Widespread in temperate and tropical Old World. WRENTIT Chamaeafasciata Fairlycommon M508 6' 2 in. (17 cm). Heard far more often than seen. Long, rounded, slightly cocked tail and obscurely streaked breast help identify this small, drab bird, which can be seen as it slips through brush. Eye distinctly pale. Bill short. Behavior wrenlike. Slight pinkish cast on...

Jays Crows and Allies Family Corvidae

Crow Family Birds

Large perching birds with strong, longish bill, nostrils covered by forward-pointing bristles. Crows and ravens are very large and black. Jays are often colorful (usually blue). Magpies are black and white, with long tail. Sexes alike. Most immatures resemble adults. FOOD Almost anything edible. RANGE Worldwide except s. S. America, some islands, Antarctica. FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY Aphelocoma coerulescens Uncommon, local M437 11-11 Va in. (29 cm). Look for this crestless jay in FL in stretches of oak...

Chickade

BLACK-CRESTED TITMOUSE Fairlycommon M470 6lA in. (16 cm). A small gray bird with black crown and crest. Forehead and underparts pale, sides rusty. Juveniles have mostly gray crest briefly in summer. voice Chickadee-like calls. Song a whistled peter peter peter peter or hear hear hear hear. Varied, similar species Tufted Titmouse has plain gray crest and black forehead. Bridled Titmouse has harlequin face pattern. habitat Woodlands, canyons, towns, feeders. TUFTED TITMOUSE Baeolophus bicolor...

Bitterns Herons and Allies Family Ardeidae

American Bittern Juvenile

Medium to large wading birds with long neck, spearlike bill. They stand with neck erect or head back on shoulders. In flight, neck is folded in an S legs trail. Many herons have plumes when breeding. Sexes similar. FOOD Fish, frogs, crawfish, other aquatic life mice, gophers, small birds, insects. RANGE Worldwide except colder regions. GREAT BLUE HERON Ardca herodias Common M120 45-47 in. (115-120 cm). A lean gray bird, often miscalled a crane may stand 4 ft. (122 cm) tall. Long legs, long...

Goatsuckers Nightjars Family Caprimuigidae

Nocturnal birds with ample tail, large eyes, tiny bill, large bristled gape, and very short legs. By day, they rest on limbs or on ground, camouflaged by their dead-leaf pattern. Best identified at night by voice. FOOD Nocturnal insects. RANGE Nearly worldwide in temperate and tropical land regions. COMMON NIGHTHAWK Uncommon to fairly common M331 9Vi in. (24 cm). A slim-winged, gray-brown bird, often seen high in air flies with easy strokes, changing gear to quicker erratic strokes. Prefers...

Thrashers And Mockingbirds

CALIFORNIA THRASHER Toxostoma redivivum Fairlycommon M516 12 in. (31 cm). A large, brownish thrasher, with pale cinnamon belly and undertail coverts tail long bill long and sickle-shaped. Eyes dark brown. It is the only thrasher of this type in CA west of deserts (except locally where Le Conte's Thrasher overlaps). voice Call a dry chak, also a sharp g-leek. Song a long, sustained series of notes and phrases, some musical, some harsh. Phrases ma)' be repeated once or twice, but not several...

Storm Petrels Family Hydrobatidae

Dark little birds that flutter or bound over open ocean they nest colonially on islands, returning to burrows at night. Nostrils in a fused tube over top of bill. Usually silent at sea most apt to call at feeding frenzies. FOOD Plankton, crustaceans, small fish. RANGE All oceans except Arctic. WILSON'S STORM-PETREL Oceanites oceanicus Common M95 IVi-JVi in. (18-19 cm). A small storm-petrel with somewhat triangular wings and white rump patch that wraps around sides tail slightly rounded or...

Cardinals Buntings and Allies

Medium-sized songbirds with heavy, seed-crushing bills. Includes the crested cardinals, heavy-billed grosbeaks, and smaller Passerina buntings and grosbeak. FOOD Seeds, fruit, insects. RANGE New World. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK Fairlycommon M634 8 in. (20 cm). Adult male Black and white, with large triangle of rose red on breast and thick pale bill. In flight, pattern of black and white flashes across upperparts. Wing linings rose pink. Immature male In first-autumn plumage similar to female, but...

Larks Family Alaudidae

Brown terrestrial birds with long hind claws. Gregarious in nonbreeding season, when they may be joined by longspurs and Snow Buntings. Larks often sing in high display flights. FOOD Seeds, insects. RANGE Mainly Old World. HORNED LARK Eremophila alpestris Uncommon to common M450 7-7V4 in. (18-19 cm). Male Note head pattern. A brown ground bird, larger than a sparrow, with black mustache, two small black horns (not always noticeable), and black breast splotch. Walks, does not hop. Overhead, pale...

Accipiters and Falcons Overhead

Red Tailed Hawk Training

Accipiters (bird hawks) have short rounded wings and a long tail. They fly with several rapid beats and a short glide. They are better adapted to hunting in the woodlands than most other hawks. Females are larger than males. Immatures (not shown) have a streaked breast. COOPER'SHAWK Accipiter cooperii p. 1H Underparts rusty (adult). Tail rounded and tipped with broad white terminal band. Note head and neck projecting noticeably beyond leading edge of wing. NORTHERN GOSHAWK Accipitergentilis p....

Swifts Family Apodidae

Swallowlike, but structurally distinct, with flat skull and all four toes pointing forward. Flight very rapid, twinkling, sailing between spurts narrow wings often stiffly bowed. FOOD Flying insects. RANGE Nearly worldwide. VAUX'S SWIFT Chaetura vauxi Uncommon M339 4V* in. (12 cm). A small, dark, swallowlike bird with no apparent tail (unless spread). Between spurts of rapid wingbeats, glides with wings bowed in a crescent. Twinkling flight style marks it as a swift range, small size, and dingy...

Empidonax Flycatchers

Deciduous woods, esp. beech trees wooded swamps s. and cen. U.S. coniferous woods, bogs Canada, n. edge of U.S. greener than Least, Alder, or Willow Vi throat and breast washed with yellow wet and dry thickets, brushy pastures, old orchards, ' -willows n. and cen. U.S. BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER Empidonax fulvifrons Scarce,local M397 5 in. (13 cm). Easily distinguished from the other empids by its small size and rich huffy breast, voice Accented chee-Iik. Call a dry pit or whit, similar species...

Chickadees and Titmice Family Paridae

Acrobatic when feeding. Sexes usually alike. Often found in mixed-species flocks during nonbreeding season with other parids, kinglets, warblers, etc. FOOD Insects, seeds, acorn mast, berries at feeders, suet, sunflower seeds. RANGE Widespread in N. America, Eurasia, Africa. CAROLINA CHICKADEE Poecilecarolinensis Common M459 4 in. (12 cm). Very similar to Black-capped Chickadee and best distinguished by range and voice. voice Chickadee call of this species is...

Wood Warblers Family Paruiidae

Grey Crowned Yellowthroat Warbler

Active, brightly colored birds, usually smaller than sparrows, with thin, needle-pointed bill. The majority have some yellow in plumage. FOOD Mainly insects though many species also eat fruit in fall and winter. RANGE AK and Canada to n. Argentina. BACHMANS WARBLER Vermivora bachmami Probably extinct 43A in. (12 cm). Male Face and underparts yellow bib and crown black (suggests a small Hooded Warbler with incomplete hood). Female Lacks black bib forehead yellow crown and cheek grayish eye-ring...

Loons Family Gaviidae

Large, long-bodied swimmers with daggerlike bill dive from surface or sink. Thrash along water on takeoff. Airborne, loons are slower and more hunch-backed than most ducks. Large webbed feet project beyond stubby tail. Seldom on land except at nest. Sexes alike. Immatures more scaly above than nonbreeding adults. FOOD Small fish, crustaceans, other aquatic life. RANGE Northern parts of N. Hemisphere. RED-THROATED LOON Cavia stellata Common M69 25 in. (64 cm). Note slim snakelike head and neck,...

Plovers

COMMON RINGED PLOVER Charadriushiaticula Rare, local 7' 2 in. (19 cm). A Eurasian species, very similar to Semipalmatcd Plover best distinguished by voice. Slightly longer bill, darker cheeks. Lacks obvious orbital ring. Breeding adults bave slightly bolder supercilium, wider breast-band. In all birds there is basal webbing between only two toes, but this is very difficult to see. voice Softer, more minor poo-ecp or too-li. range Breeds in e. Canadian Arctic and on St. Lawrence Is., AK winters...

Coots GaLlinules and Rails Family Rallidae

Rails are rather hen-shaped marsh birds, many of secretive habits and mysterious voices, more often heard than seen. Flight is brief and reluctant, with legs dangling. Gallinules and coots are much easier to see they swim and might be confused with small ducks except for smaller head, forehead shield, and chickenlike bill. They spend most of their time swimming but may also feed on shores. Often vocal, giving loud squawks, grunts, and peeps. FOOD Aquatic plants, seeds, insects, frogs,...

Blue Finches

DICKCISSEL Spiza atnericana (Family Cardinalidae) Fairly common M641 6' 4 in. (16 cm). A grass- and farmland bird migrants often travel in large flocks. Sings from fenceposts and wires. Male Suggests a miniature mead-owlark (black bib, yellow chest). Has chestnut shoulder patch. In fall, bib obscure. Female and immature Much like female House Sparrow, but with bolder stripe over eye (often tinged yellowish), touch of yellow on breast, and blue-gray bill. voice Song a staccato...

Mockingbirds and Thrashers Family Mimidae

Bahama Mockingbird Juvenile

Excellent songsters some mimic other birds. Strong-legged usually longer tailed than true thrushes, bill usually longer and more decurved. FOOD Insects, fruit. RANGE New World. LONG-BILLED THRASHER Fairly common, local M513 11 ' 2 in. (29 cm). Duller brown above than Brown Thrasher, breast stripes blacker, cheeks grayer bill longer, slightly more curved, and all dark. voice Song similar to Brown Thrasher's, but more jumbled. Call a harsh tchuk. similar species...

Kingfishers Family Alcedinidae

Solitary birds with large head, long pointed bill, and small syndactyl feet (two toes partially joined). Most are fish eaters, perching above water or hovering and plunging headfirst. FOOD Mainly fish some species eat insects, lizards. RANGE Almost worldwide. GREEN KINGFISHER Chloroceryleamericana Uncommon, local M359 8' 2-83 i in. (22 cm). Kingfisher shape, small size flight buzzy, direct. Up-perparts deep green with white spots collar and underparts white, sides spotted. Male Has rusty...

Woodpeckers and Allies Family Picidae

Chisel-billed, wood-boring birds with strong zygodactyl feet (usually two toes front, two rear), remarkably long tongue, and stiff spiny tail that acts as prop for climbing. Flight usually undulating. FOOD Tree-boring insects some species eat ants, flying insects, berries, acorns, sap. RANGE Most wooded parts of world absent in Australian region, Madagascar, most oceanic islands. RED-HEADED WOODPECKER Uncommon M361 9' 4 in. (24 cm). Adult A black-backed woodpecker with entirely red head (other...

Diving Ducks

COMMON GOLDENEYE Fairlycommon M40 18' 2-19 in. (47-49 cm). Male Note large, round white spot before eye. White looking, with black back and puffy, green-glossed head that appears black at a distance. In flight, short-necked wings whistle or sing, show large white patches. Female Gray, with white collar and dark brown head wings with large square white patches that may show on closed wing. voice Wings whistle in flight. Courting male has harsh nasal double note, suggesting pee-ik of Common...

Fall Warblers

Immature Cape May Warbler

Most of these have streaks or wing bars. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET Regulus calendula p.308 (Not a warbler.) Broken eye-ring, pale wing bars, wing-flicking behavior. CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER Dendroicapensylvanica p.334 Immature Green above, grayish-white below eye-ring tail cocked at angle. PINE WARBLER Dendroicapinus p.340 Immatures differ from Blackpoll and Bay-breasted warblers in heavier bill, less contrasting wing patterns, darker cheeks. Also note dark legs, un-streaked back, white undertail...

Scoters

Scoters are heavy, blackish ducks seen in large flocks along ocean coasts. They often fly in thin line formation. They are usually in flocks, either single species or mixed, so look them over carefully. Scoters are usually silent but during courtship and mating may utter low whistles, croaks, or grunting noises wings whistle in flight. FOOD Mainly mollusks, crustaceans. WHITE-WINGED SCOTER Uncommon to fairly common M36 21 in. (53 cm). White-winged, largest of the three scoters, has a bill...

Eagles Osprey and Vultures Overhead

BALD EAGLE Haliaeetus leucoccphalus p. 110 Immature Some white in wing linings, often on body. GOLDENEAGLE Aquila chrysaetos p. 110 Adult Almost uniformly dark wing linings dark. Immature White patch at base of primaries and tail no white on body. OSPREY Pandion haliaetus p. 110 White body and coverts black wrist patch crooked wing. TURKEY VULTURE Cathartesaura p. 106 Mostly brownish black. Two-toned wings held in distinct dihedral. Small head, red in adult, gray in immature. Longish tail. Tips...

TERNS Subfamily Sterninae

Sandwich Tern Immature

Graceful waterbirds, more streamlined than gulls wings more pointed, tail usually forked. Bill sharp-pointed, often tilted toward water when bird is flying. Most terns are whitish with black cap in nonbreeding plumage, black of forehead replaced by white. Sexes alike. Terns often hover and plunge headfirst for fish. Normally do not swim (gulls do). FOOD Small fish, marine life, large insects. RANGE Almost worldwide. FORSTERS TERN Sterna forsten Common M263 14' 2 in. (37 cm). Very similar to...

Birds of Prey

We tend to call all diurnal (day-flyingl raptors with a hooked bill and hooked claws birds of prey. Actually, they fall into two quite separate families 1. The hawk group (Accipitridae) kites, harriers, accipiters, buteos, and eagles 2. The falcon group (Falconidae) falcons and caracaras The illustrations on the following pages present the most obvious field marks. For a more in-depth treatment of variable plumages, see the various specialty guides that deal with raptors. The many raptors can...

Wrens Family Troglodytidae

Mostly small, energetic brown birds stumpy, with slim, slightly curved bill tail often cocked. FOOD Insects, spiders. RANGE N., Cen., and S. America one (Winter Wren) also in Eurasia. HOUSEWREN Troglodytesaedon Common M483 4' 2 4 in. (11-12 cm). A small, energetic, gray-brown wren with light eye-ring and no strong eyebrow stripe. voice Stuttering, gurgling song rises in a musical burst, then falls at end calls a rolled prrrrr and harsh cheh, cheh. similar species Winter Wren. habitat Open...

Basic Flight Patterns of Sandpipers

Red Tailed Hawk Training

WANDERING TATTLER Tringaincana Uncommon M195 11 in. (28 cm). Recognized from other shorebirds that also inhabit rocks by lack of pattern in flight. Solid grayish above light line over eye, dark line through it. Legs yellowish. Bobs and teeters like Spotted Sandpiper. Breeding Underparts barred. Nonbreeding Gray-chested, with no barring. voice-. Clear whee-he-he-he-he, less sharp than Greater Yellowlegs, and all on same pitch or tweet-tweet-tweet, similar to Spotted Sandpiper's call. similar...

Shearwaters and Petrels Family Proce Hariidae

Gull-like birds of open sea that glide low over waves (usually with wings more stiffly extended than shown here). They often bank, or arc, up and down like a roller coaster, particularly in strong winds. Typically fly with several flaps and then a glide. Wings narrower than those of gulls. Shearwaters and petrels, along with albatrosses and storm-petrels, have tubelike external nostrils on bill, so are often called tubenoses. Largely silent at sea most apt to call at feeding frenzies. FOOD...

WhaLShape Are LisWIngs2

Are they rounded like a bobwhite's (left) or sharply pointed like a Barn Swallow's (right) What Shape Is Its BILL Is it small and fine like a warbler's (1), stout and short like a seed-cracking sparrow's (2), dagger-shaped like a tern's (3), or hook-tipped like a bird of prey's (4) What Shape Is Its Tail Is it deeply forked like a Barn Swallow's (1), square-tipped like a Cliff Swallow's (2), notched like a Tree Swallow's (3), rounded like a Blue Jay's (4), or pointed like a Mourning Dove's (5)...

Family Emberizidae

Lachtaube Bilder

This large family of songbirds, whose taxonomic relationships are incompletely understood, comprises species with short conical bills, such as seedeaters, towhees, sparrows, longspurs, and Old World buntings. FOOD Seeds, insects, fruit, varying seasonally. RANGE Worldwide. WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER Sporophila torqueola Scarce, local M583 4' 2 in. (11 cm). Tiny, with stubby bill. Male Dark cap, incomplete light collar, white wing spot. Variable. Female Buffy with eye-ring, wing bars. voice High,...

Hummingbirds Family Trochilidae

Green Throated Mango Hummingbird

Iridescent, with needlelike bill for sipping nectar. Jewel-like gorget (throat feathers) adorns most adult males in poor light, however, iridescence may not show and throat will appear dark. Hummingbirds hover when feeding their wing motion is so rapid that wings appear as a blur. They can fly backward. Pugnacious. Vocal differences can be important identification aids. FOOD Nectar (red flowers favored), small insects, spiders. RANGE W. Hemisphere majority in Tropics....

Sandpip

Kill Bill Whistle Song

Actitis macularius (see also p. 174) 7' 2 in. (19 cm). The most widespread sandpiper along shores of small lakes and streams. Teeters rear body up and down nervously. Note lon tail. Breeding Note round breast spots. Nonbreeding and juvenile No spots brown above, with white line over eye. Dusky smudge enclosing white wedge near shoulder is a good aid. Flight distinctive wings beat in a shallow arc, giving a stiff, bowed appearance. Underw ing striped. voice Clear peet or peet-weet or...

Tyrant Flycatchers Family Tyrannidae

Flycatchers

New World Flycatchers, or Tyrant Flycatchers, make up the largest family of birds in the world, with approximately 425 known species. They are found chiefly in the Neotropics. A large number are very similar and require attention to fine points to separate them. Most species perch quietly, sitting upright on exposed branches, and sally forth to snap up insects. Bill flattened, with bristles at base. FOOD Mainly flying insects. Some species also eat fruit in winter. RANGE New World majority in...

Tanagers Family Thraupidae

Male tanagers are brightly colored females of our species are greenish to grayish above, yellow below, suggesting large, thick-billed warblers or orioles. The rather stout bills are notched. FOOD Insects, fruit. RANGE New World, most species in Tropics. HEPATIC TANAGER Pirangaflava Uncommon, local M579 8 in. (20 cm). Male Darker than Summer Tanager orange-red, brightest on crown and throat, with dark car patch, dark bill, grayish flanks. Female Dull yellowish and gray, but shares male's pattern...

Sparrows

Birds Europe

SAVANNAH SPARROW Passerculussandwichensis Common M608 5' 2-5 in. (14-15 cm). This streaked, open-country sparrow suggests a small Song Sparrow, but it usually has yellowish on front of eyebrow (may be lacking or difficult to see in some birds) whitish stripe through crown short, notched tail pinker legs. Noting tail notch and length is an identification aid when flushing sparrows. Large-billed Savannah Sparrow is scarce and local post-breeding visitor to Salton Sea and coastal s. CA from w....

Myiarchus Flycatchers

Brown Crested Flycatcher Mouth Open

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER Myiarchus tyrannulus Uncommon M405 8 in. (22 cm). Similar to Ash-throated Flycatcher, but larger, with noticeably larger bill. Underparts brighter yellow. Tail rusty, a bit less so than in Ash-throated. Voice important. voice Sharp whit and rolling, throaty purreeer. Voice much more vigorous and raucous than Ash-thioated's. similar species Great Crested Flycatcher. habitat In Southwest, sycamore-dominated canyons, cottonwood groves, saguaros. In TX, woodlands and...

Pigeons And Doves

Dove Illustration

WHITE-WINGED DOVE Zenaida asiatica Common M299 11V2-12 in. (29-30 cm). A dove of desert, readily known by white wing patches, large when bird is in flight, narrow when at rest. Otherwise similar to Mourning Dove, but tail rounded and tipped with broad white corners, bill slightly longer, eye orangey red. voice Harsh cooing, who cooks for you also, ooo-uh-CUCK 00. Sounds vaguely like crowing of a young rooster. similar species Mourning and White-tipped doves. habitat River woods, mesquite,...

Snipelike Waders and Sandpipers in Flight

These species and those on the next plate show their basic flight patterns. Most of these have unpatterned wings, lacking a pale stripe. All are shown in full color on other plates. Learn their distinctive flight calls. WILSON'S SNIPE Gallinago delicata p. 164 Long bill, pointed wings, rusty orange tail, zigzag flight. Flight call, when flushed, a rasping scaip. AMERICAN WOODCOCK Scolopaxminor p. 164 Long bill, rounded wings, chunky shape. Wings whistle in flight. At dusk, aerial flight song....

Turkeys Pheasants Grouse Partridges and Old World Quail Family Phasianidae

Turkeys are very large, with wattles and fanlike tail. Pheasants (introduced) have long pointed tail. Grouse are plump, chickenlike birds, without long tail. Partridges (of Old World origin) are intermediate in size between grouse and quail. Quail are the smallest. FOOD Insects, seeds, buds, berries. RANGE Nearly worldwide. WILD TURKEY Meleagris gallopavo Fairlycommon M62 Male 46-47 in. (117-120 cm) female 36-37 in. (91-94 cm). A streamlined version of barnyard...

Rare Shorebirds from Eurasia

NORTHERN LAPWING Vanellus vanellus Vagrant 12 12' 2 in. (30-32 cm). A distinctive round-winged plover with unique long wispy crest, range Casual Kuropean vagrant, mostly in late fall and early winter, from Atlantic Canada south to mid-Atlantic states accidental farther south and west, habitat Farmland, marshes, mudflats. LESSER SAND-PLOVER (MONGOLIAN PLOVER) Vagrant 7Vi in. (19 cm). Asian. Slightly larger and larger-billed than Semipalmated Plover. Breeding Very distinctive, with broad rufous...

Shrikes Family Laniidae

Shrikes perch watchfully on bush tops, treetops, wires often impale prey on thorns, barbed wire. FOOD Insects, lizards, small rodents, small birds. RANGE Widespread in Old World two species breed in N. America. NORTHERN SHRIKE Lanius excubitor Scarce M418 10-10' 4 in. (25-26 cm). This denizen of North is an irregular winter visitor south of Canadian border. Similar to Loggerhead Shrike, but paler note narrower dark mask with more white around eye, faintly barred...

Geese And Swans

Double Tail Slenden

SNOW GOOSE dark morph (Blue Goose) SNOW GOOSE dark morph (Blue Goose) Feed by dabbling and upending sometimes feed on land. Take flight directly into air. Most species have an iridescent speculum on secondaries above. Sexes not alike in midsummer, males molt into drab eclipse plumage, usually resembling females. FOOD Aquatic plants, seeds, grass, waste grain, small aquatic life, insects. MUSCOVY DUCK Cairinamoschata Scarce, local Male 32 in. (81 cm) female 28 in. (66 cm). Black, goosclike duck...

Auks Murres and Puffins Family Aiddae

Ancient Murrelet Immature

The northern counterparts of penguins, but alcids can fly, beating their small narrow wings in a whir, often veering. They have short neck and pointed, stubby, or deep and laterally compressed bill. Alcids swim and dive expertly. Most species nest on sea cliffs or in burrows, often in crowded colonies, and most winter on open ocean. Mostly silent away from breeding grounds. Sexes alike. FOOD Fish, squid, zooplankton. RANGE N. Atlantic, N. Pacific, and Arctic oceans. RAZORBILL Alca torda...

Longspurs

CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR nonbreeding cf see Horned Lark (p. 296) and pipits (p. 324) see Horned Lark (p. 296) and pipits (p. 324) SNOW BUNTING Plcctrophenaxnivalis Uncommon M630 63 i in. (17 cm). Snow Buntings often swirl over snowy fields or dunes in flocks, sometimes mixed with Horned Larks or Lapland Longspurs. No other N. American songbird (except McKays Bunting) shows so much white. In winter some individuals, especially females and immatures, may look quite brown, but when they fly...

Kingbirds

The Birds Nest Golf

WESTERN KINGBIRD Tyrannus verticalis Common M412 83 i in. 22 cm . The most widespread kingbird in West. Note pale gray head and breast, white throat, yellowish belly. Western's black tail has narrow white edges. voice Shrill, bickering calls a sharp kip or whit-ker-whit dawn song pit-PEE-tu-whee. similar species Eastern, Cassin's, Couch's, and Tropical kingbirds. habitat Farms, shelterbelts, semiopen country, roadsides, fences, wires. EASTERN KINGBIRD Tyrannus tyrannus Common M413 8' 2 in. 22...

Open Field Birds

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD Agelaius phoeniceus Common M643 8' 2-8 in. 22 cm . Adult male Black, with bright red or orange-red epaulets, most conspicuous in breeding display. Much of the time red is concealed and only yellowish or off-whitish margin shows. Immature male Sooty brown, mottled like female , but with red shoulders. Female Brownish, with sharply pointed bill, blackbird appearance, and well-defined dark streaking below may have pinkish tinge to throat. Gregarious, traveling and roosting in...

Cormorants Family Phalacrocoracidae

Large blackish waterbirds that often stand erect on rocks, posts, or dead limbs with neck in an S may rest with wings spread out to dry. Adults may have colorful facial skin, throat pouch, and eyes. Bill slender, hook-tipped. Sexes alike. Cormorants swim low like loons, but with bill tilted up at an angle. They often fly in lines or Vs, somewhat in manner of geese. Silent except for occasional low grunts at nesting colonies. FOOD Fish, crustaceans. RANGE Nearly worldwide. BRANDT'S CORMORANT...

Buteos and Buteolike Hawks

Cypress Cape Pattern Review

Large, thickset hawks, with broad wings and wide, rounded tail. Many buteos habitually soar high in wide circles. Much variation sexes similar, females slightly larger. Young birds usually streaked below. Dark morphs often occur. FOOD Small mammals, sometimes small birds, reptiles, grasshoppers. RANGE Widespread in New and Old Worlds. GRAY HAWK Buteo nitidus see also p. 128 Scarce,local M153 17 in. 43 cm wingspan 3 ft. 91 cm . A small buteo. Adult Distinguished by its buteo-like proportions,...

Immature Gulls

Immatures of many gull species are more difficult to identify than adults. They are usually darkest the first year and lighter the second, when some species start to show their adult eye and back color. Larger species do not develop their full adult plumage until the third or fourth year. See pp. 184-85. Identify mainly by pattern, size, and structure. The most typical plumages are shown here intermediate and successive stages can be expected, but because of variables such as stage of molt,...

Unestablished Exotic

Common Shelduck

CHINESE GOOSE Ansercj'gnoides Exotic EGYPTIAN GOOSE Alopochen aegyptiacus Exotic WHITE-CHEEKED PINTAIL Anas bahamensis Provenance in question West Indies 17 in. 43 cm . Numerous reports from FL scattered records elsewhere. Most birds are likely escapees. GRAYLAG GOOSE Anser anser BAR-HEADED GOOSE Anserindicus MANDARIN Aixgalericulata COMMON SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna RUDDY SHELDUCK Tadornaferruginea Provenance in question Exotic Exotic Exotic

Albatrosses Family Diomedeidae

Family Diomedeidae

Birds of open ocean, with rigid gliding and banking flight. Much larger than gulls wings proportionately longer. Tube-nosed nostrils in two tubes bill large, hooked, covered with horny plates. Sexes alike. Largely silent at sea. FOOD Cuttlefish, fish, squid, other small marine life some feeding at night. RANGE Mainly cold oceans of S. Hemisphere three species nest north of equator in Pacific. BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS 34-35 in. 86-88 cm wingspan 7l 2 ft. 229 cm . Suggests a huge Great Black-backed...

Swallows Family Hirundinidae

Tree Swallows Wire Images

Slim, streamlined form and graceful flight characterize these sparrow-sized birds. Pointed wings short bill with very wide gape tiny feet. FOOD Mostly flying insects. RANGE Worldwide except for polar regions, some islands. TREE SWALLOW Tacliycineta bicolor Common M452 53A in. 15 cm . Adult Male steely blue, tinged green, above white below. Female slightly duller than male. Juvenile Dusky gray-brown back and dusky smudge across breast. Tree Swallows have distinctly notched tail glide in circles,...

Buteos

Swainson Hawk Redtail Hawk

Additional overhead flight patterns on pp. 131 and 133 Buteo jamaicensis see also pp. 130 and 132 19-22 in. 48-56 cm . The common conspicuous hawk of roadsides and woodland edges. When soaring, adults show rufouson topside of tail, pale pinkish below. Also note mottled white patches on scapulars. Overhead, a dependable mark on all but blackish birds is dark patagial bar on fore edge of wing. Immatures have brownish tail with narrow, dark banding. Underparts of typical eastern Rcd-taileds are...

Caracara And Large Falcons

Kestrel Peregrine

AMERICAN KESTREL Fairlycommon M163 9' 2-10' 2 in. 24-27 cm . A falcon the size of a large jay. No other small hawk has rufous back or tail. Male has blue-gray wings. Both sexes have black-and-white face with double mustache. Hovers for prey on rapidly beating wings, kingfisher-like. Sits fairly erect, occasionally lifting tail. voice Rapid, high I'dee klee klee or killy killy killy. similar species Merlin which only rarely perches on wires . Sharp-shinned Hawk has rounded wings, gray or brown...

Buteos Overhead

Bird Which Has Round Wing

RED-TAILED HAWK Buteo jamaicensis p. 120 Dark patagial bar at fore edge of wing is best mark from below. Adult Light chest, streaked belly often forming belly band tail plain, with hint of red and little or no banding. Immature Streaked below, has light tail banding. SWAINSON'S HAWK Buteo swainsoni p. 120 Adult Dark breast-band. Long, pointed, two-toned wings. Immature Similar, but has streaks on underbody. RED-SHOULDERED HAWK Buteo meatus p. 118 Adult Tail strongly banded white bands narrower...

Dark Birds of Prey Overhead

Black Tailed Hawk

CRESTED CARACARA Caracara cheriway p. 122 Whitish chest, black belly, large pale patches in primaries, white tail with black band. Elongated neck, stiff-winged flight. ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK Buteo lagopus dark morph p. 118 Dark body and wing linings whitish flight feathers tail light from below, with one broad, black terminal band in female additional bands in male. FERRUGINOUS HAWK Buteo regalis dark morph p. 120 Similar to dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk, but tail whitish, without dark banding. Note...

Harriers

Northern Goshawk Juvenile

Slim raptors with slim wings, long tail. Flight low, languid, gliding, with wings held in shallow V dihedral . Sexes not alike. They hunt in open country. NORTHERN HARRIER Fairlycommon M145 18-21 in. 46-54 cm . A slim, long-winged, long-tailed raptor of open country. Glides and flies buoyantly and unsteadily low over ground, with wings held slightly above horizontal, suggesting Turkey Vulture's dihedral. In all plumages shows white rump patch. Adult male Pale gray, whitish beneath. Overhead,...

Amarican Goose Breeds

Emperor Goose Foni

Large, gregarious waterfowl heavier bodied, longer necked than ducks bills thick at base. Noisy in flight some fly in lines or V formations. Sexes alike. Geese are more terrestrial than ducks, often grazing. FOOD Grasses, seeds, waste grain, aquatic plants eelgrass Brant shellfish Emperor Goose . GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Fairlycommon M3 28 in. 71 cm . Gray-brown with pink bill adult with white patch on front of face and variable black bars on belly. The only other N. American goose with...

Flight Patterns of Dabbling Ducks and Mergansers

Duck Black With White Chest

Although most females are unlike the males, their wing patterns are quite similar. Mergansers have a distinctive flight silhouette. Duck hunters often call mergansers sheldrakes or sawbills. MALLARD Anasplatyrhynchos p. 28 Overhead Dark chest, light belly, white neck ring, white tail. Above Dark head, neck ring, two white borders on bluish speculum. AMERICAN BLACK DUCK Anasrubripes p. 28 Overhead Dark bod ', white wing linings. Above Dark body, paler head,...

New World Quail Family Odontophoridae

Quail Bird

Sexes alike or unlike. FOOD Insects, seeds, buds, berries. RANGE Nearly worldwide. CALIFORNIA QUAIL Callipepla californica Common M65 10 in. 25 cm . A small, plump, grayish, chickenlike bird, with a short black plume curving forward from crown. Male has black-and-white face and throat, scaled belly pattern. Female duller. voice Three-syllable qua-quergo, or Chi-cago. Also light clucking and sharp pit notes. Male on territory, a loud kurr. similar species Gambcl's...