List of birds of Idaho
Only birds that are considered to have established, self-sustaining, wild populations in Idaho are included on this list. This means that birds that are considered probable escapees, although they may have been sighted flying free in Idaho, are not included on this list. Introduced species that are not native to North America, but were brought to this continent by man are marked on this list as (I).
This list is presented in taxonomic order and follows The Check-list of North American Birds (7th ed., 1998), published by the American Ornithologists' Union. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family accounts.
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 40 Idaho species.
- Greater White-fronted Goose, Anser albifrons
- Emperor Goose, Chen canagica
- Snow Goose, Chen caerulescens
- Ross's Goose, Chen rossii
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Cackling Goose, Branta hutchinsonii
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
- Trumpeter Swan, Cygnus buccinator
- Tundra Swan, Cygnus columbianus
- Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
- Gadwall, Anas strepera
- American Wigeon, Anas americana
- American Black Duck, Anas rubripes
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
- Green-winged Teal, Anas crecca
- Blue-winged Teal, Anas discors
- Cinnamon Teal, Anas cyanoptera
- Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
- Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
- Garganey, Anas querquedula
- Canvasback, Aythya valisineria
- Redhead, Aythya americana
- Ring-necked Duck, Aythya collaris
- Tufted Duck, Aythya fuligula
- Greater Scaup, Aythya marila
- Lesser Scaup, Aythya affinis
- Harlequin Duck, Histrionicus histrionicus
- Long-tailed Duck, Clangula hyemalis
- Bufflehead, Bucephala albeola
- Common Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
- Barrow's Goldeneye, Bucephala islandica
- 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 10 Idaho species.
- Chukar, Alectoris chukar (I)
- Gray Partridge, Perdix perdix (I)
- Ring-necked Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus (I)
- Ruffed Grouse, Bonasa umbellus
- Greater Sage-Grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus
- White-tailed Ptarmigan, Lagopus leucurus
- Spruce Grouse, Falcipennis canadensis
- Dusky Grouse, Dendragapus obscurus
- Sharp-tailed Grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus
- 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 are 4 Idaho species.
- Mountain Quail, Callipepla pictus
- California Quail, Callipepla californica
- Gambel's Quail, Callipepla gambelii
- 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 4 Idaho species.
- Red-throated Loon, Gavia stellata
- Pacific Loon, Gavia pacifica
- Common Loon, Gavia immer
- Yellow-billed Loon, Gavia adamsii
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. There are 6 Idaho species.
- Pied-billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
- Horned Grebe, Podiceps auritus
- Red-necked Grebe, Podiceps grisegena
- Eared Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
- Western Grebe, Aechmorphorus occidentalis
- Clark's Grebe, Aechmorphorus clarkii
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 Idaho species.
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. There is 1 Idaho species.
- Double-crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and Egrets are medium to large-sized 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 10 Idaho 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
- Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
- Green Heron, Butorides virescens
- Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
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 3 Idaho species.
- American White Ibis, Eudocimus albus
- Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
- White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi
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 Idaho species.
- Wood Stork, Mycteria americana
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, however, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carcasses. There is 1 Idaho species
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Hawks, Kites, and Eagles
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.
- White-tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
- 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
- Zone-tailed Hawk, Buteo albonotatus
- Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
- Ferruginous Hawk, Buteo regalis
- 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 6 Idaho species.
- Crested Caracara, Caracara cheriway
- American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
- Merlin, Falco columbarius
- Gyrfalcon, Falco rusticolus
- Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus
- Prairie Falcon, Falco mexicanus
Rails, Gallinules, 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 tend to be weak fliers. There are 5 Idaho species.
- Yellow Rail, Coturnicops noveboracensis
- Virginia Rail, Rallus limicola
- Sora, Porzana carolina
- 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 are 2 Idaho species.
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 7 Idaho species.
- Black-bellied Plover, Pluvialis squatarola
- American Golden-Plover, Pluvialis dominica
- Pacific Golden-Plover, Pluvialis fulva
- Snowy Plover, Charadrius nivosus
- Semipalmated Plover, Charadrius semipalmatus
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus
- Mountain Plover, Charadrius montanus
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 Idaho 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. 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. There are 30 Idaho species.
- Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularia
- Solitary Sandpiper, Tringa solitaria
- Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
- Willet, Tringa semipalmata
- Lesser Yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes
- Upland Sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
- Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus
- Hudsonian Godwit, Limosa haemastica
- Marbled Godwit, Limosa fedoa
- Ruddy Turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Red Knot, Calidris canutus
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
- Semipalmated Sandpiper, Calidris pusilla
- Western Sandpiper, Calidris mauri
- Least Sandpiper, Calidris minutilla
- White-rumped Sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis
- Baird's Sandpiper, Calidris bairdii
- Pectoral Sandpiper, Calidris melanotos
- Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Calidris acuminata
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina
- Stilt Sandpiper, Calidris himantopus
- Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Calidris subruficollis
- Ruff, Calidris pugnax
- Short-billed Dowitcher, Limnodromus griseus
- Long-billed Dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus
- Wilson's Snipe, Gallinago delicata
- 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 jaegers, skuas, 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 28 Idaho species.
- Black-legged Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla
- Sabine's Gull, Xema sabini
- Bonaparte's Gull, Chroicocephalus philadelphia
- Little Gull, Hydrocoloeus minutus
- Ross's Gull, Rhodostethia rosea
- Franklin's Gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan
- Heermann's Gull, Larus heermanni
- Mew Gull, Larus canus
- Ring-billed Gull, Larus delawarensis
- Western Gull, Larus occidentalis
- California Gull, Larus californicus
- Herring Gull, Larus argentatus
- Thayer's Gull, Larus thayeri
- Iceland Gull, Larus glaucoides
- Lesser Black-backed Gull, Larus fuscus
- Slaty-backed Gull, Larus schistisagus
- Glaucous-winged Gull, Larus glaucescens
- Glaucous Gull, Larus hyperboreus
- Great Black-backed Gull, Larus marinus
- Least Tern, Sternula antillarum
- Caspian Tern, Hydroprogne caspia
- Black Tern, Chlidonias niger
- Common Tern, Sterna hirundo
- Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea
- Forster's Tern, Sterna forsteri
- Pomarine Jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus
- Parasitic Jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus
- Long-tailed Jaeger, Stercorarius longicaudus
Auks, Murres and Puffins
The family Alcidae includes auks, Murres and Puffins. These are short winged birds that live on the open sea and normally only come ashore for breeding. There is 1 Idaho species.
- Ancient Murrelet, Synthliboarmphus antiquus
Pigeons and doves
Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 5 Idaho species.
- Rock Dove, Columba livia (I)
- Band-tailed Pigeon, Patagioenas fasciata
- Eurasian Collared-Dove, Streptopelia decaocto (I)
- White-winged Dove, Zenaida asiatica (I)
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
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 2 Idaho species.
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 Idaho 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 13 Idaho species.
- Flammulated Owl, Psiloscops flammeolus
- Western Screech-Owl, Megascops kennicottii
- Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
- Snowy Owl, Bubo scandiacus
- Northern Hawk Owl, Surnia ulula
- Northern Pygmy-owl, Glaucidium gnoma
- Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia
- Barred Owl, Strix varia
- Great Gray Owl, Strix nebulosa
- Long-eared Owl, Asio otus
- Short-eared Owl, Asio flammeus
- Boreal Owl, Aegolius funereus
- 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 cryptically coloured to resemble bark or leaves. There are 2 Idaho species.
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 very long, swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. There are 3 Idaho species.
- Black Swift, Cypseloides niger
- Vaux's Swift, Chaetura vauxi
- White-throated Swift, Aeronautes saxatalis
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.
- Black-chinned Hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri
- Calliope Hummingbird, Selasphorus calliope
- Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Selasphorus platycercus
- Rufous Hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There is 1 Idaho 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 14 Idaho species.
- Lewis's Woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis
- Red-headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus
- Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus
- Williamson's Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus thyroideus
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius
- Red-naped Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus nuchalis
- Red-breasted Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber
- Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens
- Hairy Woodpecker, Picoides villosus
- White-headed Woodpecker, Picoides albolarvatus
- American Three-toed Woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis
- Black-backed Woodpecker, Picoides arcticus
- 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 Idaho species.
- Olive-sided Flycatcher, Contopus cooperi
- Western Wood-Pewee, Contopus sordidulus
- Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum
- Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii
- Least Flycatcher, Empidonax minimus
- Hammond's Flycatcher, Empidonax hammondii
- Gray Flycatcher, Empidonax wrightii
- American Dusky Flycatcher, Empidonax oberholseri
- Cordilleran Flycatcher, Empidonax occidentalis
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Eastern Phoebe, Sayornis phoebe
- Say's Phoebe, Sayornis saya
- Ash-throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
- Tropical Kingbird, Tyrannus melancholicus
- Cassin's Kingbird, Tyrannus vociferans
- Western Kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis
- Eastern Kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus
- Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Tyrannus forficatus
- Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Tyrannus savana
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 Idaho species.
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. There are 8 Idaho species.
- Bell's Vireo, Vireo bellii
- Yellow-throated Vireo, Vireo flavifrons
- Plumbeous Vireo, Vireo plumbeus
- Cassin's Vireo, Vireo cassinii
- 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 9 Idaho species.
- Grey Jay, Perisoreus canadensis
- Steller's Jay, Cyanocitta stelleri
- Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata
- Western Scrub-Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Pinyon Jay, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus
- Clark's Nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana
- Black-billed Magpie, Pica hudsonia
- American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
- 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 Idaho 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 a wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 7 Idaho species.
- Purple Martin, Progne subis
- Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
- Violet-green Swallow, Tachycineta thalassina
- Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Stelgidopteryx serripennis
- Bank Swallow, Riparia riparia
- Cliff Swallow, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
- 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 5 Idaho species.
- Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapilla
- Mountain Chickadee, Poecile gambeli
- Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Poecile rufescens
- Juniper Titmouse, Baeolophus ridgwayi
- Boreal Chickadee, Poecile hudsonica
Bushtits are a group of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They make woven bag nests in trees. Most eat a mixed diet that includes insects. There is 1 Idaho species.
- Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
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 Idaho species.
- Red-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta canadensis
- White-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- Pygmy Nuthatch, Sitta pygmaea
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 tree limbs and tree trunks. There is 1 Idaho 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 Idaho species.
- Rock Wren, Salpinctes obsoletus
- Canyon Wren, Catherpes mexicanus
- Bewick's Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
- House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
- Winter Wren, Troglodytes hiemalis
- Pacific Wren, Troglodytes pacificus
- Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris
Dippers are small, stout, birds that feed in cold, fast moving streams. There is 1 Idaho species.
- American Dipper, Cinclus mexicanus
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 names. There are 2 Idaho species.
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. There is 1 Idaho species.
- Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea
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 10 Idaho species.
- Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
- Mountain Bluebird, Sialia currucoides
- Townsend's Solitaire, Myadestes townsendi
- Swainson's Thrush, Catharus ustulatus
- Hermit Thrush, Catharus guttatus
- American Robin, Turdus migratorius
- Varied Thrush, Ixoreus naevius
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 5 Idaho species.
- Gray Catbird, Dumetella carolinensis
- Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
- Sage Thrasher, Oreoscoptes montanus
- Curve-billed Thrasher, Toxostoma curvirostre
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are medium-sized passerines with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There is 1 Idaho species.
- 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 Idaho 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 Idaho species.
The Wood Warblers are a group of small often colourful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some like the Ovenbird and the two waterthrushes, are more terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. There are 38 Idaho 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
- Lucy's Warbler, Oreothlypis luciae
- 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
- Black-throated Green Warbler, Setophaga virens
- Townsend's Warbler, Setophaga townsendi
- Hermit Warbler, Setophaga occidentalis
- Blackburnian Warbler, Setophaga fusca
- Yellow-throated Warbler, Setophaga dominica
- Pine Warbler, Setophaga pinus
- Palm Warbler, Setophaga palmarum
- Bay-breasted Warbler, Setophaga castanea
- Blackpoll Warbler, Setophaga striata
- Hooded Warbler, Setophaga citrina
- American Redstart, Setophaga ruticilla
- Black-and-white Warbler, Mniotilta varia
- Prothonotary Warbler, Protonotaria citrea
- Worm-eating Warbler, Helmitheros vermivorus
- Ovenbird, Seiurus aurocapilla
- Northern Waterthrush, Parkesia noveboracensis
- Connecticut Warbler, Oporornis agilis
- Mourning Warbler, Geothlypis philadelphia
- MacGillivray's Warbler, Geothlypis tolmiei
- Common Yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas
- Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla
- Canada Warbler, Cardellina canadensis
- Yellow-breasted Chat, Icteria virens
American sparrows, Towhees, Juncos, and Longspurs
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 25 Idaho species.
- Lapland Longspur, Calcarius lapponicus
- Green-tailed Towhee, Pipilo chlorurus
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Cassin's Sparrow, Peucaea cassinii
- American Tree Sparrow, Spizella arborea
- Chipping Sparrow, Spizella passerina
- Clay-colored Sparrow, Spizella pallida
- Brewer's Sparrow, Spizella breweri
- Vesper Sparrow, Pooecetes gramineus
- Lark Sparrow, Chondestes grammacus
- Black-throated Sparrow, Amphispiza bilineata
- Sagebrush Sparrow, Artemisiospiza nevadensis
- Lark Bunting, Calamospiza melanocorys
- Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
- Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum
- 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
- White-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
- 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 Idaho species.
- Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra
- Scarlet Tanager, Piranga olivacea
- Western Tanager, Piranga ludoviciana
- Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus
- Black-headed Grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus
- Blue Grosbeak, Passerina caerulea
- Lazuli Bunting, Passerina amoena
- Indigo Bunting, Passerina cyanea
- Painted Bunting, Passerina ciris
- Dickcissel, Spiza americana
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. There are 14 Idaho species.
- Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus
- Red-winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
- Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
- Yellow-headed Blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
- Rusty Blackbird, Euphagus carolinus
- Brewer's Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
- Common Grackle, Quiscalus quiscula
- Great-tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus
- Brown-headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater
- Orchard Oriole, Icterus spurius
- Hooded Oriole, Icterus cucullatus
- Bullock's Oriole, Icterus bullockii
- Baltimore Oriole, Icterus galbula
- Scott's Oriole, Icterus parisorum
Fringilline Finches, Cardueline Finches, and Allies
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 15 Idaho species.
- Brambling, Fringilla montifringilla
- Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Leucosticte tephrocotis
- Black Rosy-Finch, Leucosticte atrata
- Pine Grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator
- Purple Finch, Haemorhous purpureus
- Cassin's Finch, Haemorhous cassinii
- House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
- Red Crossbill, Loxia curvirostra
- White-winged Crossbill, Loxia leucoptera
- Common Redpoll, Acanthis flammea
- Hoary Redpoll, Acanthis hornemanni
- Pine Siskin, Spinus pinus
- Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
- 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 Idaho species.
- House Sparrow, Passer domesticus (I)
- Idaho Bird Records Committee, Birds of Idaho Field Checklist.
- 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).