List of birds of New Jersey
This is a list of every wild bird species credibly documented in New Jersey and accepted by the New Jersey Bird Records Committee. 465 species are included. Five further species of uncertain origin have not been included.
- (A) = Accidental occurrence based fewer than 10 records, and unlikely to occur regularly.
- (E) = Extinct; a recent species that no longer exists anywhere.
- (Ex) = Extirpated; no longer occurs in New Jersey, but populations survive elsewhere.
- (I) = Introduced population established by direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native or non-indigenous.
Birds listed as accidental should not be expected anywhere in New Jersey with regularity. Only birds that have occurred as wild individuals in New Jersey are admitted to this list; introduced species are included only if they have succeeded in establishing self-sustaining populations in the wild. Birds thought to have occurred only as escapes from captivity are not included.
This list is presented in the taxonomic order propounded in The Check-list of North American Birds (7th ed., 1998) and its Supplements, published by the American Ornithologists' Union. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species numbers indicated for each family. Introduced, casual, accidental, hypothetical, extirpated and extinct species are included in the total species counts for North America and New Jersey.
Ducks, geese, and swans
The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swan. These are birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet, bills which are flattened to a greater or lesser extent, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to special oils. There are 44 New Jersey species.
- Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis (A)
- Fulvous Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna bicolor (A)
- Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
- Snow Goose Chen caerulescens
- Ross's Goose Chen rossii
- Brant Branta bernicla
- Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis (A)
- Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii
- Canada Goose Branta canadensis
- Mute Swan Cygnus olor (I)
- Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus
- Wood Duck Aix sponsa
- Gadwall Anas strepera
- Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
- American Wigeon Anas americana
- American Black Duck Anas rubripes
- Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
- Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
- Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera (A)
- Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
- Northern Pintail Anas acuta
- Garganey Anas querquedula (A)
- Green-winged Teal Anas crecca
- Canvasback Aythya valisineria
- Redhead Aythya americana
- Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
- Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula (A)
- Greater Scaup Aythya marila
- Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
- King Eider Somateria spectabilis
- Common Eider Somateria mollissima
- Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus
- Labrador Duck Camptorhynchus labradorius (E)
- Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata
- White-winged Scoter Melanitta fusca
- Black Scoter Melanitta americana
- Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
- Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
- Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
- Barrow's Goldeneye Bucephala islandica (A)
- Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus
- Common Merganser Mergus merganser
- Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
- Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
Partridges, grouse, turkeys, and Old World quail
The Phasianidae is a family of birds which consists of the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial species, variable in size but generally plump, with broad relatively short wings. Many species are gamebirds, or have been domesticated as a food source for humans. There are 4 New Jersey species.
- Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus (I)
- Ruffed Grouse Bonasa umbellus
- Greater Prairie-Chicken Tympanuchus cupido (Ex)
- Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo
New World quail
The New World quails are small, plump terrestrial birds only distantly related to the quails of the Old World, but named for their similar appearance and habits. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Northern Bobwhite Colinus virginianus
Loons are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely grey or black, and they have spear-shaped bills. Loons swim well, and fly adequately, but, because their legs are placed towards the rear of the body, are almost hopeless on land. There are 3 New Jersey species.
Grebes are small to medium-large diving birds that breed on fresh water. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 5 New Jersey species.
- Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
- Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus
- Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
- Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis (A)
- Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis (A)
The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds. One species has appeared in New Jersey.
- Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos (A)
Fulmars, petrels, shearwaters
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. There are 8 New Jersey species.
- Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis
- Black-capped Petrel Pterodroma hasitata (A)
- Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea
- Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
- Buller's Shearwater Puffinus bulleri (A)
- Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus
- Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
- Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri
The storm-petrels are the smallest of seabirds, relatives of the petrels, feeding on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 4 New Jersey species.
- Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus
- White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina (A)
- Leach's Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa (A)
- Band-rumped Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro (A)
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their long wings have black markings, as does the head. There are 2 New Jersey species.
Boobies and gannets
Pelicans are very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak. Like other birds in the order Pelecaniformes, they have four webbed toes. There are 2 New Jersey species.
Cormorants are medium to large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of colored skin on the face. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature of the Pelecaniformes order. There are 2 New Jersey species.
Darters are cormorant-like water birds with very long necks and long, straight beaks. They often swim with only the neck above water, and are fish-eaters. There is 1 New Jersey species.
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga (A)
Frigatebirds are large sea-birds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black or black-and-white, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have inflatable colored throat pouches. They do not swim or walk, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens (A)
Bitterns, herons, and night herons
The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and egrets are medium-sized to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter-necked and more secretive. Unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 12 New Jersey species.
- American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus
- Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis
- Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
- Great Egret Ardea alba
- Snowy Egret Egretta thula
- Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
- Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor
- Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens (A)
- Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
- Green Heron Butorides virescens
- Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
- Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nyctanassa violacea
Ibises and spoonbills
The family Threskiornithidae includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings. Their bodies tend to be elongated, the neck more so, with rather long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills. There are 4 New Jersey species.
- White Ibis Eudocimus albus (A)
- Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
- White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi (A)
- Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja (A)
Storks are large, heavy, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills and wide wingspans. They lack the powder down that other wading birds such as herons, spoonbills and ibises use to clean off fish slime. Storks lack a pharynx and are mute. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Wood Stork Mycteria americana (A)
New World vultures
The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers, but unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, some New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they find carcasses. There are 2 New Jersey species.
- Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Kites, eagles, harriers, and hawks
The family Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and include hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 14 New Jersey species.
- Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus (A)
- White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus (A)
- Mississippi Kite Ictinia mississippiensis (A)
- Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
- Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
- Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
- Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
- Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
- Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
- Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus
- Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni (A)
- Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
- Rough-legged Hawk Buteo lagopus
- Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
Caracaras and falcons
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey, notably the falcons and caracaras. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their feet. There are 5 New Jersey species.
- Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (A)
- American Kestrel Falco sparverius
- Merlin Falco columbarius
- Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus (A)
- Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Rails, gallinules, moorhens, and coots
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. The most typical family members occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers. There are 10 New Jersey species.
- Yellow Rail Coturnicops noveboracensis (A)
- Black Rail Laterallus jamaicensis
- Corn Crake Crex crex (A)
- Clapper Rail Rallus longirostris
- King Rail Rallus elegans
- Virginia Rail Rallus limicola
- Sora Porzana carolina
- Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica (A)
- Common Gallinule Gallinula galeata
- American Coot Fulica americana
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis
Lapwings and plovers
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water, although there are some exceptions. There are 9 New Jersey species.
- Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus (A)
- Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
- American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica
- Pacific Golden-Plover Pluvialis fulva (A)
- Lesser Sand-Plover Charadrius mongolus (A)
- Wilson's Plover Charadrius wilsonia (A)
- Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
- Piping Plover Charadrius melodus
- Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
The oystercatchers are large, obvious, and noisy plover-like birds with strong bills used for smashing or prying open molluscs. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus
Stilts and avocets
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and the stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 2 New Jersey species.
Sandpipers, curlews, stints, godwits, snipes, and phalaropes
The Scolopacidae are a large, diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds, including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. Most species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 40 New Jersey species.
- Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius
- Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
- Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus (A)
- Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
- Willet Tringa semipalmata
- Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
- Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda
- Eskimo Curlew Numenius borealis (A)
- Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
- Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus (A)
- Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (A)
- Hudsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica
- Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (A)
- Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
- Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
- Red Knot Calidris canutus
- Sanderling Calidris alba
- Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla
- Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
- Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis (A)
- Little Stint Calidris minuta (A)
- Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
- White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
- Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii
- Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
- Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata (A)
- Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
- Dunlin Calidris alpina
- Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (A)
- Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus
- Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis
- Ruff Philomachus pugnax
- Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
- Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
- Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata
- Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola (A)
- American Woodcock Scolopax minor
- Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor
- Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
- Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, terns, kittiwakes and skimmers. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 35 New Jersey species.
- Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
- Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea (A)
- Sabine's Gull Xema sabini (A)
- Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia
- Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
- Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus
- Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea (A)
- Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla
- Franklin's Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan (A)
- Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris (A)
- Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
- California Gull Larus californicus (A)
- Herring Gull Larus argentatus
- Thayer's Gull Larus thayeri (A)
- Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
- Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
- Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
- Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
- Brown Noddy Anous stolidus (A)
- Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus (A)
- Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus (A)
- Least Tern Sternula antillarum
- Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex (A)
- Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
- Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
- Black Tern Chlidonias niger
- White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus (A)
- Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida (A)
- Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii
- Common Tern Sterna hirundo
- Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea (A)
- Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
- Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus
- Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis
- Black Skimmer Rynchops niger
- Great Skua Stercorarius skua (A)
- South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki (A)
- Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus
- Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus
- Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus (A)
Auks, murres, and puffins
Alcids are superficially similar to penguins in their black-and-white colors, their upright posture, and some of their habits. However they are not related to the penguins at all, being able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, deliberately coming ashore only to nest. There are 7 species that have occurred in New Jersey.
- Dovekie Alle alle
- Common Murre Uria aalge
- Thick-billed Murre Uria lomvia (A)
- Razorbill Alca torda
- Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle (A)
- Long-billed Murrelet Brachyramphus perdix (A)
- Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica
Pigeons and doves
Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 7 New Jersey species.
- Rock Dove Columba livia (I)
- Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata (A)
- Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto (A)
- White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica (A)
- Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
- Passenger Pigeon Ectopistes migratorius (E)
- Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina (A)
Lories and lorikeets, parakeets, macaws, and parrots
Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak shape. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two back. One species has occurred in New Jersey, and an additional one has recently been introduced.
Cuckoos, roadrunners, and anis
The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Unlike the cuckoo species of the Old World, North American cuckoos are not brood parasites. There are 3 New Jersey species.
- Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus
- Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus
- Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris (A)
Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Barn Owl Tyto alba
Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 9 New Jersey species.
- Eastern Screech Owl Megascops asio
- Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus
- Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus
- Northern Hawk-Owl Surnia ulula (A)
- Barred Owl Strix varia
- Long-eared Owl Asio otus
- Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
- Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus (A)
- Northern Saw-whet Owl Aegolius acadicus
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is crypically colored to resemble bark or leaves. There are 4 New Jersey species.
- Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis (A)
- Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor
- Chuck-will's-widow Antrostomus carolinensis
- Eastern Whip-poor-will Antrostomus vociferus
The swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica
Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. There are 6 New Jersey species.
- Green Violet-ear Colibri thalassinus (A)
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris
- Black-chinned Hummingbird Archilochus alexandri (A)
- Calliope Hummingbird Selasphorus calliope (A)
- Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus (A)
- Allen's Hummingbird Selasphorus sasin (A)
Kingfishers are medium sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon
Woodpeckers, sapsuckers, and flickers
Woodpeckers are small to medium sized birds with chisel like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward, and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 10 New Jersey species.
- Red-headed Woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus
- Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius
- Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
- Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
- Red-cockaded Woodpecker Picoides borealis (A)
- American Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides dorsalis (A)
- Black-backed Woodpecker Picoides arcticus (A)
- Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
- Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus
Tyrant flycatchers are Passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust with stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, are rather plain. As the name implies, most are insectivorous. There are 19 New Jersey species.
- Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi
- Eastern Wood-Pewee Contopus virens
- Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris
- Acadian Flycatcher Empidonax virescens
- Alder Flycatcher Empidonax alnorum
- Willow Flycatcher Empidonax traillii
- Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
- Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis/occidentails (A)
- Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe
- Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya (A)
- Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus (A)
- Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens (A)
- Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus
- Sulphur-bellied/Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes luteiventris/maculatus (A)
- Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis
- Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus
- Gray Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis (A)
- Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus (A)
- Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana (A)
Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 2 New Jersey species.
The vireos are a group of small to medium sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in color and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are 8 New Jersey species.
- White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus
- Bell's Vireo Vireo bellii (A)
- Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons
- Cassin's Vireo Vireo cassinii (A)
- Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
- Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus
- Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus
- Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
Jays, crows, magpies, and ravens
The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show levels of learned behavior of a high degree. There are 4 New Jersey species.
- Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
- American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Fish Crow Corvus ossifragus
- Common Raven Corvus corax
Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
Swallows and martins
The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterised by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 9 New Jersey species.
- Purple Martin Progne subis
- Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera (A)
- Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
- Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina (A)
- Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
- Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
- Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
- Cave Swallow Petrochelidon fulva (A)
- Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Chickadees and titmice
The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are 4 New Jersey species.
- Carolina Chickadee Poecile carolinensis
- Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
- Boreal Chickadee Poecile hudsonica (A)
- Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor
Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet. There are 3 New Jersey species.
- Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis
- White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
- Brown-headed Nuthatch Sitta pusilla (A)
Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- Brown Creeper Certhia americana
Wrens are small and inconspicuous birds, except for their loud songs. They have short wings and a thin down-turned bill. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are 7 New Jersey species.
- Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus (A)
- Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus
- Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii (A)
- House Wren Troglodytes aedon
- Winter Wren Troglodytes hiemalis
- Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis
- Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
The kinglets are a small family of birds which resemble the titmice. They are very small insectivorous birds in the genus Regulus. The adults have colored crowns, giving rise to their name. There are 2 New Jersey species.
- Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
Old World flycatchers
- Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe (A)
The Thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly but not exclusively in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 11 New Jersey species.
- Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis
- Mountain Bluebird Sialia currucoides (A)
- Townsend's Solitaire Myadestes townsendi (A)
- Veery Catharus fuscescens
- Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus
- Bicknell's Thrush Catharus bicknelli
- Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus
- Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
- Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina
- American Robin Turdus migratorius
- Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius (A)
Mockingbirds and thrashers
The Mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalization, especially their remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. The species tend towards dull grays and browns in their appearance. There are 4 New Jersey species.
- Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
- Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
- Sage Thrasher Oreoscoptes montanus (A)
- Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum
Starlings are small to medium-sized Old World passerine birds with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct, and most are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. The plumage of several species is dark with a metallic sheen. One introduced species occurs in New Jersey.
- European Starling Sturnus vulgaris (I)
Wagtails and pipits
The Motacillidae are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There is 1 New Jersey species.
- American Pipit Anthus rubescens
The waxwings are a group of passerine birds characterised by soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax, and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There are 2 New Jersey species.
Longspurs and snow buntings
- Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus
- Smith's Longspur Calcarius pictus (A)
- Chestnut-collared Longspur Calcarius ornatus (A)
- Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
New World warblers
The Wood Warblers are a group of small often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some like are more terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. There are 41 New Jersey species.
- Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora cyanoptera
- Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera
- Tennessee Warbler Oreothlypis peregrina
- Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata
- Nashville Warbler Oreothlypis ruficapilla
- Virginia's Warbler Oreothlypis virginiae (A)
- Northern Parula Setophaga americana
- Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia
- Chestnut-sided Warbler Setophaga pensylvanica
- Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia
- Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina
- Black-throated Blue Warbler Setophaga caerulescens
- Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
- Black-throated Gray Warbler Setophaga nigrescens (A)
- Black-throated Green Warbler Setophaga virens
- Townsend's Warbler Setophaga townsendi (A)
- Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca
- Yellow-throated Warbler Setophaga dominica
- Pine Warbler Setophaga pinus
- Prairie Warbler Setophaga discolor
- Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum
- Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea
- Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata
- Cerulean Warbler Setophaga cerulea
- Hooded Warbler Setophaga citrina
- American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
- Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
- Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea
- Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorum
- Swainson's Warbler Limnothlypis swainsonii (A)
- Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla
- Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis
- Louisiana Waterthrush Parkesia motacilla
- Connecticut Warbler Oporornis agilis
- Kentucky Warbler Geothlypis formosa
- Mourning Warbler Geothlypis philadelphia
- MacGillivray's Warbler Geothlypis tolmiei (A)
- Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
- Wilson's Warbler Cardellina pusilla
- Canada Warbler Cardellina canadensis
- Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
American sparrows, towhees, and juncos
The Emberizidae are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with a distinctively shaped bill. In Europe, most species are named as buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as Sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are 29 New Jersey species.
- Green-tailed Towhee Pipilo chlorurus (A)
- Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus (A)
- Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus
- Cassin's Sparrow Peucaea cassinii (A)
- Bachman's Sparrow Peucaea aestivalis (A)
- American Tree Sparrow Spizella arborea
- Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
- Clay-colored Sparrow Spizella pallida
- Field Sparrow Spizella pusilla
- Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus
- Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus (A)
- Black-throated Sparrow Amphispiza bilineata (A)
- Lark Bunting Calamospiza melanocorys (A)
- Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
- Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum
- Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (A)
- Le Conte's Sparrow Ammodramus leconteii (A)
- Nelson's Sparrow Ammodramus nelsoni
- Saltmarsh SparrowAmmodramus caudacutus
- Seaside Sparrow Ammodramus maritimus
- Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca
- Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
- Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
- Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana
- White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
- Harris's Sparrow Zonotrichia querula (A)
- White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
- Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla (A)
- Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
Cardinals, saltators, and grosbeaks
The Cardinals are a family of passerine birds that are robust, seed-eating birds, with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. There are 10 New Jersey species.
- Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
- Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea
- Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana (A)
- Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
- Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
- Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus (A)
- Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea
- Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
- Painted Bunting Passerina ciris (A)
- Dickcissel Spiza americana
Blackbirds, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles, and New World orioles
The Icterids are a group of small to medium, often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds, and New World orioles. Most species have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. There are 13 New Jersey species.
- Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus
- Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
- Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
- Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta (A)
- Yellow-headed Blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
- Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus
- Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus (A)
- Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula
- Boat-tailed Grackle Quiscalus major
- Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
- Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius
- Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii (A)
- Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 11 New Jersey species.
- Brambling Fringilla montifringilla (A)
- Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator (A)
- Purple Finch Haemorhous purpureus
- House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus
- Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra (A)
- White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera (A)
- Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea (A)
- Hoary Redpoll Acanthis hornemanni (A)
- Pine Siskin Spinus pinus
- American Goldfinch Spinus tristis
- Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus
Old World sparrows
Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or greyish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. There is 1 introdiced New Jersey species.
- House Sparrow Passer domesticus (I)
- Larson, Laurie; Jennifer Hanson (21 July 2009). "New Jersey State List" (PDF). New Jersey Bird Records Committee. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
- "New Jersey Birds: Accidental Species". The Nutty Birdwatcher. Retrieved April 2007.
- NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife (December 10, 2004). "Birds of New Jersey". State of New Jersey. Retrieved April 2007.
- The A.O.U. Check-list of North American birds, American Ornithologists' Union, 7th edition (the official source on the taxonomy of birds found in North and Middle America).