List of birds of Canada and the United States

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Five-year-old golden eagle

North American 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.[1] 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 North America, such as the house sparrow, the rock pigeon, 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.

One species, the cattle egret, was historically an African bird. In the 20th century this bird colonized North America and is now found throughout the lower 48 states of the United States.[2] The cattle egret is the only Old World bird to establish itself in North America in historical times without being introduced by man. As such, it is not marked as introduced on this list. Neither is the glossy ibis, which probably had a similar history.[3]

The status of one bird on the North American 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 at least one adult male bird had been sighted in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas.[4] This report however, has not been universally accepted, and the American Birding Association still lists the ivory-billed woodpecker as extinct.[5][6]

The definition of the area covered by a list of "North American" birds is somewhat subjective. The original list published by the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) in 1886 covered birds found in North America north of Mexico, and included Baja California, Bermuda and Greenland. In 1983, the area was expanded to include all of Mexico, Central America south through Panama, the West Indies and the Hawaiian Islands, while Greenland was dropped. This expansion more than doubled the number of birds on the AOU list. Other organizations, such as the American Birding Association (ABA), use a smaller area: the current ABA area includes the 49 continental states of the US, Canada and the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, plus surrounding waters.[7] It does not include Greenland, Bermuda, the Bahamas or the Hawaiian Islands.[7] This article is based on a checklist used by the ABA, which used by most field guides for North American birds, and is complete up to November 2010. Since the ABA follows the AOU on taxonomical matters, the AOU's list is used to settle questions of taxonomy.


Non-passerines: Ducks, geese and swans • Curassows and guans • Partridges, grouse, turkeys and Old World quail • New World quail • Loons • Grebes • Flamingos • Albatrosses • Shearwaters and petrels • Storm petrels • Tropicbirds • Boobies and gannets • Pelicans • Cormorants • Darters • Frigatebirds • Bitterns, herons and egrets • Ibises and spoonbills • Storks • New World vultures • Osprey • Eagles, kites and allies • Caracaras and falcons • Rails, gallinules and coots • Sungrebe • Limpkins • Cranes • Thick-knees • Lapwings and plovers • Oystercatchers • Stilts and avocets • Jacanas • Sandpipers and allies • Pratincoles • Gulls, terns and skimmers • Skuas • Auks, murres and puffins • Pigeons and doves • Lorikeets, parakeets, macaws and parrots • Cuckoos, roadrunners and anis • Barn owls • Typical owls • Nightjars • Swifts • Hummingbirds • Trogons • Hoopoes • Kingfishers • Woodpeckers, sapsuckers and flickers

Passerines: Antbirds • Tyrant flycatchers • Tityras and allies • Shrikes • Vireos • Jays, crows, magpies and ravens • Larks • Swallows and martins • Chickadees and titmice • Penduline tits • Bushtits • Nuthatches • Treecreepers • Wrens • Gnatcatchers • Dippers • Bulbuls • Kinglets • Leaf-warblers • Old World warblers • Reed-warblers • Grassbirds and allies • Old World flycatchers • Thrushes • Mockingbirds and thrashers • Starlings and mynas • Accentors • Wagtails and pipits • Waxwings • Silky-flycatchers • Olive warbler • Longspurs • Wood-warblers • Bananaquit • Tanagers • American sparrows, towhees and juncos • Cardinals, grosbeaks and allies • Icterids, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles and orioles • Finches • Old World sparrows • Waxbills

See also       References

Condition of bird population[edit]

A study by the National Audubon Society has found that populations of some the most common birds in North America have plummeted since 1967, with some species showing a decline of 80 percent. The study also found that California species were particularly affected, with population declines of 75 to 96 percent for several species, including the northern pintail, horned lark and loggerhead shrike. The decline may be due to loss of habitat to urban sprawl, especially grasslands, forests and wetlands, energy development and industrialized agriculture. Climate change could compound losses in the future.[8][9][10]


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 North America 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 more 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 for determination of rarity. The markings (A) and {C} correspond to the ABA birding codes five and four respectively.

Extinction Extinction Extinct in the Wild Critically Endangered Endangered species Vulnerable species Near Threatened Threatened species Least Concern Least ConcernIUCN conservation statuses

Summary of 2006 IUCN Red List categories.

Conservation status - IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

EX - extinct, EW - extinct in the wild
CR - critically endangered, EN - endangered, VU - vulnerable
NT - near threatened, LC - least concern
DD - data deficient, NE - not evaluated
(v. 2013.2, the data is current as of March 5, 2014[11])

and Endangered Species Act:

E - endangered, T - threatened
XN, XE - experimental non essential or essential population
E(S/A), T(S/A) - endangered or threatened due to similarity of appearance
(including taxa not necessarily found in the USA, the data is current as of March 28, 2014[12])

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Trumpeter swan
Wood duck pair
Falcated duck
Common eider

Order: Anseriformes. Family: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to 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 colorful facial ornaments.

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

Wild turkey

Order: Galliformes. Family: Phasianidae

Phasianidae 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]

California quail

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.


Pacific loon

Order: Gaviiformes. Family: Gaviidae

Loons are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely gray 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 helpless on land.


Clark's grebe

Order: Podicipediformes. Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-sized diving birds. They breed on fresh water, but often visit the sea when migrating and in winter. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers; however, their feet are placed far back on their bodies, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 19 species worldwide.[13][14] Of these, seven species have been recorded in Canada and the United States.


Order: Phoenicopteriformes. Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, found in both the Western and Eastern hemispheres. 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.


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]

Northern fulmar

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Procellariidae

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

Storm petrels[edit]

Wilson's storm petrel

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm petrels are the smallest 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.


Order: Pelecaniformes. 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.

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Sulidae

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


Brown pelican

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. Like other birds in the order Pelecaniformes, they have four webbed toes.


Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Phalacrocoracidae

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 among the Pelecaniformes order


Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Anhingidae

Darters are cormorant-like water birds with very long necks and long, straight beaks. They are fish eaters which often swim with only their neck above water.


Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black or black-and-white birds, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have colored inflatable 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.

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Snowy egret

Order: Ciconiiformes. Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets and bitterns. Herons and egrets are medium 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.

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes. Family: Threskiornithidae

Members of this family have long, broad wings, are strong fliers and, rather surprisingly, given their size and weight, very capable soarers. The body tends 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.


Wood stork

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, as a result, are mute.

New World vultures[edit]

The California condor is one of North America's most endangered birds

Order: Ciconiiformes. 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.


Order: Falconiformes. Family: Pandionidae

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.

  • Osprey, Pandion haliaetus LC

Eagles, kites and allies[edit]

Northern goshawk

Order: Falconiformes. Family: Accipitridae

The family Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes 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]

American kestrel

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 talons.

Rails, gallinules and coots[edit]

King rail

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically, family members occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps and rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak flyers.


Order: Gruiformes. Family: Heliornithidae



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.


Order: Gruiformes. Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking, but unrelated, herons, cranes fly with their necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays.


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]


Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Charadriidae

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.


Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Haematopodidae

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

Stilts and avocets[edit]

American avocet

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills.


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]

Greater yellowlegs
Red-necked phalarope

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large, diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpiper, curlew, godwit, shank, tattler, woodcock, snipe, dowitcher and phalarope. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of legs and bills enable multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without directly competing for food.


Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Glareolidae

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.

Gulls, terns and skimmers[edit]

A Western gull in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Ring-billed gull

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, terns, kittiwakes and skimmers. They are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet.


Order: Charadriiformes Family: Stercorariidae

Skuas are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with gray or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They have longish bills with hooked tips, 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 colors, their upright posture and some of their habits, however they are not related to the penguins at all and are able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, only deliberately coming ashore to nest.

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.

Lorikeets, parakeets, macaws and parrots[edit]

Green parakeet

Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak. 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 at the back.

Cuckoos, roadrunners and anis[edit]

Black-billed cuckoo

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.

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large-sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long, strong legs with powerful talons.

Typical owls[edit]

Juvenile great horned owls

Order: Strigiformes Family: Strigidae

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.


Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is cryptically colored to resemble bark or leaves.


Order: Apodiformes Family: Apodidae

The swifts are small birds which spend 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 which resemble a crescent or boomerang.


Ruby-throated hummingbird

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.


Order: Trogoniformes Family: Trogonidae

Trogons are residents of tropical forests worldwide, and have soft, often colorful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. They have compact bodies with long tails, and short necks.


Order: Upupiformes Family: Upupidae

This black, white and pink bird is quite unmistakable, especially in its erratic flight, which is like that of a giant butterfly. It is the only member of its family. The song is a trisyllabic oop-oop-oop, which gives rise to its English and scientific names.


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]

Red-naped sapsucker

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.


Order: Passeriformes Family: Thamnophilidae

Antbirds are a family of Passerines found from Argentina north to Mexico. There are a great variety of antbirds, with antbirds, antwrens and antshrikes. Antshrikes are small, often handsomely marked birds. There is only one species of antbird recorded in the United States; an audio recording of a barred antshrike from Harlingen, Texas, in September, 2006.[15]

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

Willow flycatcher

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 and have 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 forests and woodlands in the Neotropics. The approximately 30 species in this family were formerly spread over the families Tyrannidae, Pipridae and Cotingidae (see Taxonomy). As of 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.


Northern shrike

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.


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 color and resemble wood warblers, apart from their heavier bills.

Jays, crows, magpies and ravens[edit]

Clark's nutcracker

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Corvidae

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. They feed on insects and seeds.

  • Sky lark, Alauda arvensis LC (regular migrant-AK) (A-CA) (Ex-NY) (I-BC & WA)
  • Horned lark, Eremophila alpestris LC (E. a. strigata T)

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Hirundinidae

The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. These adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to 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.

Penduline tits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Remizidae

The penduline tits are a family of small passerine birds, related to the true tits. The verdin is the only North American representative of its family.

  • Verdin, Auriparus flaviceps LC


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Aegithalidae

The long-tailed tits are a family of small passerine birds. Their plumage is typically dull gray or brown in color. There is only one North American representative of this primarily Palearctic family.


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 large heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Certhiidae

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin, down-pointed, curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves vertically on trees.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Troglodytidae

Wrens are small and inconspicuous birds, except for their loud songs. They have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous.


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 gray in color, and have the typical insectivore's long, sharp bill. Many species have distinctive black head patterns (especially males) and long, regularly cocked, black-and-white tails.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Cinclidae

Dippers are named for their bobbing or dipping movements. They are unique among passerines for their ability to dive and swim underwater.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Pycnonotidae

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


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 colored crowns, giving rise to their name.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Phylloscopidae

Old World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small, insectivorous, passerine birds. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Acrocephalidae

Grassbirds and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Megaluridae

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Muscicapidae

This a large family of small passerine birds restricted to the Old World. Species below only occur in North America as vagrants. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.


Western bluebird

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 which 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.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Prunellidae

The accentors are in the only bird family which is completely endemic to the Palearctic. The species below only appears in North America as a vagrant.

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Motacillidae

Motacillidae is 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 are 54 species worldwide and 11 North American species.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine birds characterized 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 the summer and berries in winter.


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 like that group, have a soft silky plumage, usually gray or pale-yellow.

Olive warbler[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Peucedramidae

The olive warbler is the only representative of its family. It was formally classified with the Parulidae, but DNA studies warrant its classification in a distinct family.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Calcariidae

The Calcariidae are a group of passerine birds which 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.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Parulidae

Nashville warbler

The wood warblers are a group of small, often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some 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 wood warblers. 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 (including the South American Committee of the AOU) or have ruled in other ways, species pages remain with their original scientific names until more of a consensus is achieved.


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 and is normally placed within the family Coerebidae, although there is uncertainty whether that placement is correct (hence the assignment genus: Coereba incertae sedis).


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 colored. They are seed eaters, but their preference tends towards fruit and nectar. Most have short, rounded wings.

American sparrows, towhees and juncos[edit]

Eastern towhee

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Emberizidae

Emberizidae is a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called 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 robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodlands. The sexes usually have distinct plumages.

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

Hooded oriole

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Icteridae

The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, 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.


Gray-crowned rosy-finch

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 twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.

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 grayish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.


Order: Passeriformes. Family: Estrildidae

Waxbills are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but vary widely in plumage colors and patterns. They build large, domed nests and lay five to ten white eggs.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Historical perspective". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved April 21, 2008. 
  2. ^ Crosby, Gilbert T. (July 1972). "Spread of the Cattle egret in the Western Hemisphere" (PDF). Journal of Field Ornithology 43 (3): 205–212. doi:10.2307/4511880. Retrieved April 20, 2008. 
  3. ^ Matheu, Eloїsa; del Hoyo, Josep (1992). "Family Threskiornithidae (ibises and Spoonbills)". In Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and Jordi Sargatal. Handbook of Birds of the World, Volume 1: Ostrich to ducks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 501–02. 
  4. ^ "Ivory-billed woodpecker rediscovered in Arkansas". National Public Radio. April 28, 2005. Retrieved April 21, 2008. 
  5. ^ "ABA checklist" (PDF). American Birding Association. Retrieved April 21, 2008. 
  6. ^ "ABA checklist codes". American Birding Association. Retrieved April 21, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "ABA area". American Birding Association. Retrieved April 20, 2008. 
  8. ^ U.S. bird populations plummet, by Rhett A. Butler,, June 14, 2007.
  9. ^ Common bird species in dramatic decline: A new Audubon study is one of the most comprehensive looks at bird-population trends in North America, By Mark Clayton, The Christian Science Monitor, June 15, 2007.
  10. ^ Disappearing common birds send environmental wake-up call, Audubon press release, June 14, 2007.
  11. ^ "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries, § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.". US Government Printing Office. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ Ogilvie, Malcolm; Chris Rose (2003). Grebes of the World. Uxbridge, UK: Bruce Coleman. ISBN 1-872842-03-8. 
  14. ^ Walker, Matt. "Bird conservation: Alaotra grebe confirmed extinct". BBC News Online. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  15. ^ Texas Bird Records Committee: Texas Bird Records Committee Report For 2007


  • Check-list of North American Birds (7th ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. ISBN 1-891276-00-X. Retrieved February 26, 2008. 
  • "ABA checklist" (PDF). American Birding Association. Retrieved December 2008. 
  • Collinson, Martin (June 2006). "Splitting headaches? Recent taxonomic changes affecting the British and Western Palaearctic lists". British Birds 99: 306–23. 

External links[edit]