List of birds of the United States

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The California condor is one of North America's most endangered birds.
A five year-old golden eagle

This list of United States birds is a comprehensive listing of all the bird species known from the United States as of November, 2010. It does include species recorded in all 50 states.

Continental United States birds most closely resemble those of Eurasia, which was connected to the continent as part of the supercontinent Laurasia until around 60 million years ago. Many groups occur throughout the northern hemisphere and worldwide. However some groups unique to the New World have also arisen; those represented in this list are the hummingbirds, the New World vultures, the New World quail, the tyrant flycatchers, the vireos, the mimids, the New World warblers, the tanagers, the cardinals and the icterids.

Several common birds in the United States, such as the house sparrow, the rock dove, the European starling, and the mute swan are introduced species, meaning that they are not native to this continent but were brought here by man from Europe or elsewhere. Introduced species are marked on this list as (I). There may be species that have individual escapees or small feral populations in North America that are not on this list. This is especially true of birds that are commonly held as pets, such as parrots and finches.

The status of one bird on this list, the ivory-billed woodpecker is controversial. Until 2005 this bird was widely considered to be extinct. In April of that year it was reported that ar least one adult male bird had been sighted in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. This report however, has not been universally accepted, and the American Birding Association still lists the ivory-billed woodpecker as extinct.

This list is based on a checklist used by the AOU, the list used by most field guides for North American birds. It does not include species from any territories or possessions.


Contents:

Non-passerines: Ducks, geese, and swansCurassows and guansPartridges, grouse, turkeys, and Old World quailNew World quailLoonsGrebesFlamingosAlbatrossesShearwaters and petrelsStorm petrelsTropicbirdsBoobies and gannetsPelicansCormorantsDartersFrigatebirdsBitterns, herons, and egretsIbises and spoonbillsStorksNew World vulturesOspreyEagles, kites, and alliesCaracaras and falconsRails, gallinules, and cootsSungrebesLimpkinsCranesThick-kneesLapwings and ploversOystercatchersStilts and avocetsJacanasSandpipers and alliesPratincolesGulls, terns, and skimmersSkuasAuks, murres, and puffinsSandgrousePigeons and dovesLories and lorikeets, parakeets, macaws, and parrotsCuckoos, roadrunners, and anisBarn owlsTypical owlsNightjarsSwiftsHummingbirdsTrogonsHoopoesKingfishersWoodpeckers, sapsuckers, and flickers

Passerines: Tyrant flycatchersTityras and alliesShrikesVireosJays, crows, magpies, and ravensLarksSwallows and martinsChickadees and titmiceVerdinBushtitsNuthatchesTreecreepersWrensGnatcatchersDippersBulbulsHoneyeatersMonarch flycatchersKingletsBush-warblersLeaf-warblersOld World WarblersWhite-eyesBabblersReed-warblersGrassbirds and alliesOld World flycatchersThrushesMockingbirds and thrashersStarlingsAccentorsWagtails and pipitsWaxwingsSilky-flycatchersOlive WarblerLongspursWood-warblersBananaquitTanagersAmerican sparrows, towhees, and juncosCardinals, grosbeaks and alliesBlackbirds, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles, and oriolesFinchesEstrildid finchesOld World sparrows

See also       References

Taxonomy[edit]

The taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) used in the accompanying bird lists adhere to the conventions of the AOU's (1998) Check-list of North American birds, the recognized scientific authority on the taxonomy and nomenclature of North America birds. The AOU's Committee on Classification and Nomenclature, the body responsible for maintaining and updating the Check-list, "strongly and unanimously continues to endorse the biological species concept (BSC), in which species are considered to be genetically cohesive groups of populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups" (AOU 1998). See Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy for an alternative phylogenetic arrangement based on DNA-DNA hybridization.

Unless otherwise noted, all species listed below are considered to occur regularly in the United States as permanent residents, summer or winter residents or visitors, or migrants. The following codes are used to denote certain categories of species:

  • (A) = Accidental occurrence based on one or two (rarely more) records, and unlikely to occur regularly.
  • (C) = Casual occurrence based on two or a few records, with subsequent records not improbable.
  • (E) = Extinct; a recent member of the avifauna that no longer exists.
  • (Ex) = Extirpated; no longer occurs in area of interest, but other populations still exist elsewhere.
  • (I) = Introduced population established solely as result of direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native and non-indigenous.

This list follows the ABA (American Birding Association) for determination of rarity. The markings (A) and (C) correspond to the ABA birding codes 5 and 4 respectively.

Ducks, geese, and swans

Order: Anseriformes. Family: Anatidae

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.

Curassows and guans[edit]

Order: Galliformes. Family: Cracidae

The chachalacas, guans and curassows are birds in the family Cracidae. These are large birds, similar in general appearance to turkeys. The guans and curassows live in trees, but the smaller chachalacas are found in more open scrubby habitats. They are generally dull-plumaged, but the curassows and some guans have colourful facial ornaments.

Guineafowl[edit]

Order: Galliformes. Family: Numididae

Partridges, grouse, turkeys, and Old World quail[edit]

Order: Galliformes. Family: Phasianidae

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.

New World quail[edit]

Order: Galliformes. Family: Odontophoridae

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.

Loons[edit]

Order: Gaviiformes. Family: Gaviidae

Loons are aquatic birds size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely grey or black, 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.

Grebes[edit]

Order: Podicipediformes. Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. 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.

Flamingos[edit]

Order: Phoenicopteriformes. Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos (genus Phoenicopterus monotypic in family Phoenicopteridae) are gregarious wading birds, usually 3–5 feet in height, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. They are more numerous in the latter. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume, and are uniquely used upside-down.

Albatrosses[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Diomedeidae

The albatrosses are amongst the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds.

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with medium septum, and a long outer functional primary.

Storm petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Hydrobatidae

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.

Tropicbirds[edit]

Order: Phaethontiformes. Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their long wings have black markings, as does the head.

Storks[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes. Family: Ciconiidae

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.

Frigatebirds[edit]

Order: Suliformes. Family: Fregatidae

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 coloured throat pouches. They do not swim or walk, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Order: Suliformes. Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish.

Cormorants[edit]

Order: Suliformes. Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Cormorants are medium-to-large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of coloured skin on the face. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature among the Pelecaniformes order.

Darters[edit]

Order: Suliformes. Family: Anhingidae

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.

Pelicans[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Pelecanidae

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.

Bitterns, herons, and egrets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and Egrets are medium to large sized wadng birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more secrative. Unlike other long necked birds suck as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted.

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Threskiornithidae

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.

New World vultures[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes. Family: Cathartidae

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. However, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carcasses.

Osprey[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes. Family: Pandionidae

The family Pandionidae is a family of fish-eating birds of prey, possessing a very large, powerful hooked beak for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. The family is monotypic.

Eagles, kites, and allies[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes. Family: Accipitridae

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.

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes. Family: Falconidae

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.

Rails, gallinules, and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Rallidae

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.

Sungrebe[edit]

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Heliornithidae

Limpkins[edit]

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Aramidae

The Limpkin is an odd bird that looks like a large rail, but is skeletally closer to the cranes. It is found in marshes with some trees or scrub in the Caribbean, South America and southern Florida.

Cranes[edit]

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Gruidae

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".

Thick-knees[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Burhinidae

The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.

Lapwings and plovers[edit]

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.

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Charadriidae

Oystercatchers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large, obvious and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs.

Stilts and avocets[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Recurvirostridae

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.

Jacanas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Jacanidae

The Jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat.

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Scolopacidae

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. The majority of 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.

Pratincoles[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Glareolidae

The Pratincoles have short legs, very long pointed wings and long forked tails. Their most unusual feature for birds classed as waders is that they typically hunt their insect prey on the wing like swallows, although they can also feed on the ground. Their short bills are an adaptation to aerial feeding. Their flight is fast and graceful like a swallow or a tern, with many twists and turns to pursue their prey.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large birds 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.

Skuas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Stercorariidae

Skuas are in general medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They have longish bills with a hooked tip, and webbed feet with sharp claws. They look like large dark gulls, but have a fleshy cere above the upper mandible. They are strong, acrobatic fliers.

Auks, murres, and puffins[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Alcidae

Alcids are superficially similar to penguins due to their black-and-white colours, 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, only deliberately coming ashore to nest.

Sandgrouse[edit]

Order: Pteroclidiformes. Family: Pteroclididae

Sandgrouse have small, pigeon like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Their legs are feathered down to the toes.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes. Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. They feed on seeds, fruit and plants. Unlike most other birds, the doves and pigeons produce "crop milk," which is secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop. Both sexes produce this highly nutritious substance to feed to the young.

Lories and lorikeets, parakeets, macaws, and parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes. Family: Psittacidae

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.

Cuckoos, roadrunners, and anis[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes. Family: Cuculidae

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.

Tytonidae[edit]

Order: Strigiformes. Family: Tytonidae

Owls in the Tytonidae family are medium to large sized owls, with large heads, and characteristic heart-shaped faces. There are about 17 species in Tytonidae, including Barn owls, Bay owls, and Masked owls. The only one in the United States is the Tyto Alba.

True owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes. Family: Strigidae

True 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.

Nightjars[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes. Family: Caprimulgidae

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 coloured to resemble bark or leaves.

Swifts[edit]

Order: Apodiformes. Family: Apodidae

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.

Hummingbirds[edit]

Order: Apodiformes. Family: Trochilidae

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.

Trogons[edit]

Order: Trogoniformes. Family: Trogonidae

Trogons are residents of tropical forests worldwide, with the greatest diversity in Central and South America. They feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons do not migrate. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. They nest in holes in trees or termite nests, laying white or pastel-coloured eggs.

Hoopoes[edit]

Order: Upupiformes. Family: Upupidae

Hoopoes spend much time on the ground hunting insects and worms. This black, white and pink bird is quite unmistakable, especially in its erratic flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly. The crest is erectile, but is mostly kept closed. It walks on the ground like a starling. The song is a trisyllabic "oop-oop-oop", which gives rise to its English and scientific names.

Kingfishers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Cerylidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails.

Woodpeckers, sapsuckers, and flickers[edit]

Order: Piciformes. Family: Picidae

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.

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Tyrannidae

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.

Tityras and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Tityridae

Tityridae is family of suboscine passerine birds found in forest and woodland in the Neotropics. The approximately 30 species in this family were formerly spread over the families Tyrannidae, Pipridae and Cotingidae (see Taxonomy). As yet, no widely accepted common name exists for the family, although Tityras and allies and Tityras, Mourners and allies have been used. They are small to medium-sized birds.

Shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Laniidae

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.

Vireos[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in colour and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills.

Jays, crows, magpies, and ravens[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Corvidae

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.

Larks[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Alaudidae

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.

  • Sky lark, Alauda arvensis (regular migrant-AK) (A-CA) (Ex-NY) (I-BC & WA)
  • Horned lark, Eremophila alpestris

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Hirundinidae

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.

Chickadees and titmice[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Paridae

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.

Verdin[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Remizidae

The verdin one of the smallest passerines in North America. It is gray overall, and adults have a bright yellow head and rufous "shoulder patch" (the lesser coverts). Verdins are insectivorous, continuously foraging among the desert trees and scrubs. They are usually solitary except when they pair up to construct their conspicuous nests.

Bushtits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Aegithalidae

The bushtits are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They make woven bag nests in trees. Most eat a mixed diet that includes insects.

Nuthatches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sittidae

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.

Treecreepers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Certhiidae

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.

Wrens[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Troglodytidae

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.

Gnatcatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Polioptilidae

These dainty birds resemble Old World warblers in their structure and habits, moving restlessly through the foliage seeking insects. The gnatcatchers are mainly soft bluish grey in colour, and have the typical insectivore's long sharp bill. Many species have distinctive black head patterns (esp. males) and long, regularly cocked, black-and-white tails.

Dippers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Cinclidae

Dippers are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They are named for their bobbing or dipping movements. These birds have adaptations which allows them to submerge and walk on the bottom to feed on insect larvae.

Bulbuls[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Pycnonotidae

The bulbuls are a family of medium-sized passerine songbirds native to Africa and tropical Asia. These are noisy and gregarious birds with often beautiful striking songs.

Honeyeaters[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Meliphagidae

The extinct Kaua‘i ‘Ō‘ō

Honeyeaters prefer to flit quickly from perch to perch in the outer foliage, stretching up or sideways or hanging upside down at need. They have a highly developed brush-tipped tongue, longer in some species than others, frayed and fringed with bristles which soak up liquids readily. The tongue is flicked rapidly and repeatedly into a flower, the upper mandible then compressing any liquid out when the bill is closed. All species of honeyeaters below were endemic to Hawaii, but are now extinct. The Kauai Oo was the last species to survive, last seen in 1987.

Monarch flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Monarchidae

The Monarchinae are a relatively recent grouping of a number of seemingly very different birds, mostly from the southern hemisphere, which are more closely related than they at first appear. Many of the approximately 140 species making up the family were previously assigned to other groups, largely on the basis of general morphology or behaviour. With the new insights generated by the DNA-DNA hybridisation studies of Sibley and his co-workers toward the end of the 20th century, however, it became clear that these apparently unrelated birds were all descended from a common ancestor. The Monarchinae are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines, many of which hunt by flycatching. 3 species endemic to Hawaii represents the group.

Kauaʻi ‘Elepaio, Chasiempis sclateri
O'ahu ‘Elepaio, Chasiempis ibidis
Hawaiʻi ‘Elepaio, Chasiempis sandwichensis

Kinglets[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Regulidae

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 coloured crowns, giving rise to their name.

Bush-warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Cettiidae

Leaf warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Phylloscopidae

Old World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. The Sylviidae mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs.

White-eyes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Zosteropidae

The white-eyes are small passerine birds native to tropical and sub-tropical Africa, southern Asia and Australasia. The birds of this group are mostly of undistinguished appearance, the plumage above being generally either some dull color like greenish olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. But as indicated by their scientific name, derived from the Ancient Greek for girdle-eye, around the eyes of many species is a conspicuous white ring. They have rounded wings and strong legs. The size ranges up to 15 cm (6 inches) in length. All the species of white-eyes are sociable, forming large flocks which only separate on the approach of the breeding season. Though mainly insectivorous, they eat nectar and fruits of various kinds.

Babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Timaliidae

The Old World babblers or timaliids are a large family of mostly Old World passerine birds. They are rather diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These birds have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial. This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings, and a weak flight.

Reed warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Acrocephalidae

Grassbirds and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Megaluridae

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Muscicapidae

The Old World flycatcher is a large family of small passerine birds. These are mainly small arboreal insectivores, many of which, as the name implies, take their prey on the wing.

Thrushes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Turdidae

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.

Mockingbirds and thrashers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Mimidae

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.

Starlings and Mynas[edit]

An immature female European starling

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sturnidae

Starlings and Mynas 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.

Accentors[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Prunellidae

Accentors are small, fairly drab species superficially similar, but unrelated to, sparrows. However, accentors have thin sharp bills, reflecting their diet of insects in summer, augmented with seeds and berries in winter.

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Motacillidae

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.

Waxwings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Bombycillidae

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.

Silky flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Ptiliogonatidae

The silky flycatchers are a small family of passerine birds which occur mainly in Central America. They are related to waxwings, and most species have small crests.

Olive warbler[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Peucedramidae

The Olive warbler has a grey body with some olive-green on the wings and two white wing bars. The male's head and breast are orange, and there is a black patch through the eye. It is the only member in its family. This is the only species in its family.

Longspurs[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Calcariidae

The Calcariidae are a group of passerine birds that have been traditionally grouped with the Emberizeridae (New World sparrows), but differ in a number of respects, and are usually found in open grassy areas.

New World warbler[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Parulidae

The New world warblers are a group of small often colourful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some like are more terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. In August 2011, the North American Committee of the AOU changed their classification of many of the species. Since this list is based on the AOU classification, changes to scientific names are updated here. Since many other taxonomic committees have yet to rule on these changes or have ruled in other ways, species pages remain with their original scientific names until more of a consensus is achieved.

Bananaquit[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Coerebidae or Genus Coereba Incertae sedis

The Bananaquit is a small passerine bird. It has a slender, curved bill, adapted to taking nectar from flowers and is the only member of the genus Coereba (Vieillot, 1809) and is normally placed within the family Coerebidae, although there is uncertainty whether that placement is correct (hence the assignment Genus: Coereba Incertae sedis).

Tanagers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Thraupidae

The tanagers are a large group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, mainly in the tropics. Many species are brightly coloured. They are seedeaters, but their preference tends towards fruit and nectar.

American sparrows, towhees, and juncos[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Emberizidae

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.

Cardinals, grosbeaks and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Cardinalidae

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.

Blackbirds, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles, and orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Icteridae

The Icterids are a group of small to medium, often colourful 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 colour, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red.

Finches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Fringillidae

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.

Estrildid finches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds native to the Old World tropics. They are gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have a wide variation in plumage colours and pattern. There are 141 species worldwide and 11 introduced species which occur in Hawaii.

Old World sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Passeridae

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.

List of Hawaii birds[edit]

Listed here separately are all bird species known to occur in the Hawaiian Islands. Some species may be duplicative of those listed above.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Birds of the USA Birdlist, multi-lingual website by country with standardized codes for abundance and seasonal presence.