List of birds of Florida

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The northern mockingbird is the state bird of Florida
Anhinga (often mistaken for a cormorant) drying its wings after diving, Boggy Creek, southeast of Orlando, Florida

This list of birds of Florida includes species documented in the U.S. state of Florida and accepted by the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee (FOSRC). As of August 2013, there were 516 species included in the official list.[1] Subsequent decisions by the FOSRC deleted one species and added six more, resulting in an official list total of 521 as of August 2015.[2][3] Of the 521, 122 species and three identifable subspecies are classed as accidental, 16 have been introduced to North America, three are extinct, and one has been been extirpated. An additional 127 "verifiable...exotic species [are] found free-flying in the wild" according to the FOSRC.

This list is presented in the taxonomic sequence of The Check-list of North American Birds (7th edition through the 57th supplement, 2016), published by the American Ornithological Society.[4] Common and scientific names are also those of the Check-list.

The following status codes have been used to annotate some species:

  • (A) Accidental - a species that occurs rarely or accidentally in Florida, and for which the FOSRC requests a full report for verification
  • (I) Introduced - a species that has been introduced to North America by the actions of humans, either directly or indirectly
  • (E) Extinct - a recent bird that no longer exists
  • (e) Extirpated - a species that is no longer in Florida, but exists elsewhere

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl[edit]

Canada goose

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, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to special oils.

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.

Pheasants, grouse, and allies[edit]

Wild turkey

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae is the family containing the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial birds, variable in size but generally plump, with broad, relatively short wings. Many are gamebirds or have been domesticated as a food source for humans.

Flamingoes[edit]

Order: Phoenicopteriformes   Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingoes 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 adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume and, uniquely, are used upside-down.

Grebes[edit]

Pied-billed grebe

Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large 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.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Eurasian collared-dove

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks, and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

Cuckoos and anis[edit]

Yellow-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.

Nightjars and allies[edit]

Chuck-will's-widow

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.

Swifts[edit]

Chimney swift

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae

The swifts are small birds, spending most of their lives flying. They 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 which resemble a crescent or boomerang.

Hummingbirds[edit]

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.

Rails, gallinules, and coots[edit]

Purple gallinule

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

The 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, making them difficult to observe. Most have strong legs with long toes, short rounded wings, and are weak fliers.

Limpkin[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]

A pair of sandhill cranes at Narcoossee, east of Orlando
Sandhill cranes at Hontoon Island State Park, between Orlando and Daytona Beach
Sandhill cranes at Myakka River State Park, east of Sarasota
Sandhill crane dabbling, near Narcoossee east of Orlando

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, tall birds with long legs and long necks. Unlike the similar-looking but un-related herons, cranes fly with necks extended. Most have elaborate and noisy courtship displays or "dances". When in a group, they may also "dance" for no particular reason, jumping up and down in an elegant manner, seemingly just for pleasure or to attract a mate.

Stilts and avocets[edit]

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.

Oystercatchers[edit]

American oystercatcher

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

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

Lapwings and plovers[edit]

Snowy plover

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 generally found in open country, mostly in habitats near water.

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Sanderling

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large and diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds which includes the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. Most eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or sand. Different lengths of legs and bills enable multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.

Skuas and jaegers[edit]

Pomarine jaeger

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

Skuas are medium to large seabirds, 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.

Alcids[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 closely related to penguins and are (with one extinct exception) able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, only deliberately coming ashore to breed.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Ring-billed gull
Least tern

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

The Laridae are a family of medium to large seabirds and containing the 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.

Tropicbirds[edit]

White-tailed tropicbird

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.

Loons[edit]

Common 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 clumsy on land.

Albatrosses[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Diomedeidae

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

Petrels and shearwaters[edit]

Great shearwater

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterized by united tubular nostrils with a median septum.

Storm-petrels[edit]

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 ocean's surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.

Storks[edit]

Wood stork
Three storks at Venice, Florida

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 seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black, or black-and-white, 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.

Bobbies and gannets[edit]

Northern gannet

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]

Double-crested cormorant
Three cormorants at the north end of Lake Okeechopee

Order: Suliformes   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.

Anhingas[edit]

Anhinga in a tree in the Everglades
Anhinga drying its wings at Boggy Creek southeast of Orlando

Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Anhingas, also known as darters or snakebirds, are cormorant-like water birds with long necks and long, straight beaks. They are fish eaters, diving for long periods, and often swim with only their neck above the water, looking rather like a water snake.

Pelicans[edit]

Brown pelicans
Pelican taking off north of Vero Beach

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.

Bitterns, herons, and egrets[edit]

Great blue heron
Cattle egret at Jupiter, Florida
Great and snowy egrets in the Everglades
Cattle egret perched on the back of a cow, near Immokalee
Cattle egret and cow near Fort Drum, north of Okeechobee
Great egret at Boggy Creek, southeast of Orlando

Order: Pelicaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and egrets are wading birds with long necks and legs. Herons are large and egrets are smaller. The cattle egret or "cow bird" is seen amongst flocks of cattle, for instance in ranches north of the Everglades. A bird will often attach itself to a particular bull, cow or calf, even being tolerated perching on the back or even the head of the animal. The birds are more shy than the animals, and will fly away if approached. The birds feed on various items turned over by the cattle as they graze and tramp the ground. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more secretive. Unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises, and spoonbills, members of the Ardeidae fly with their necks pulled back into a curve.

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

White ibises at Juno Beach lake
White ibis flock at Juno beach lake
Roseate spoonbills

Order: Pelicaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

The family Threskiornithidae includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings. Their bodies are elongated, the neck more so, with long legs. The bill is also long, curved downward in the ibises, straight and markedly flattened in the spoonbills.

New World vultures[edit]

Black vulture near Immokalee
Turkey vulture
Turkey vulture, Everglades, north of Flamingo
Black vulture drying its wings at Myakka River State Park, southeast of Sarasota
Black vulture bathing at Myakka State Park, southeast of Sarasota

Order: Cathartiformes   Family: Cathartidae

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. Unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carcasses. The turkey vulture has a red head. The black vulture has a grey head. Although not a water bird, a flock of black vultures at the Myakka River State Park, southeast of Sarasota, has been seen bathing at the edge of the lake and then drying out their wings in the same way as cormorants like the Florida anhinga. This habit may help free them of parasites.

Osprey[edit]

Osprey
Two ospreys at Matlacha, Pine Island, west of Fort Myers

Order: Accipitriformes   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; its sole member is found in Florida.

Hawks, kites, and eagles[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey that includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, and Old World vultures. They have very large, hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight.

Barn-owls[edit]

Barn owl

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

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

Typical owls[edit]

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.

Kingfishers[edit]

Belted kingfisher

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

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

Woodpeckers[edit]

Red-bellied woodpecker

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.

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Crersted caracara

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

The Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey containing the falcons and caracaras. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons.

New World and African parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittacidae

Old World parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittaculidae

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

Eastern kingbird

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are passerines 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.

Shrikes[edit]

Loggerhead shrike

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerines known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A shrike's beak is hooked, like that of a typical bird of prey.

Vireos[edit]

Bell's vireo

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerines 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]

Florida scrub-jay

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

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

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.

Swallows and martins[edit]

Barn swallow

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have 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 partly joined at the base.

Chickadees and titmice[edit]

Tufted titmouse

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.

Nuthatches[edit]

White-breasted nuthatch

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sittidae

Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike most 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]

Carolina wren

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.

Gnatcatchers[edit]

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Polioptilidae

The family Polioptilidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds containing the gnatcatchers and gnatwrens.

Bulbuls[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pycnonotidae

The bulbuls are a family of medium-sized songbirds native to Africa and tropical Asia. They are noisy and gregarious and often have beautiful songs.

Kinglets[edit]

Ruby-crowned kinglet

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.

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

The Old World flycatchers are 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]

American robin

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]

Brown thrasher

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Mimidae

The mimids are a family of passerine birds which includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. They 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]

Common myna

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerines with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Their plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.

Waxwings[edit]

Cedar waxwing

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of birds with 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.

Waxbills, munias, and allies[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 wide variation in plumage colors and patterns.

Old World sparrows[edit]

House sparrow

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.

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

American pipit

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.

Finches[edit]

American goldfinch

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerines. They are small to moderately large and have strong, usually conical and sometimes very large, beaks. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. They have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.

Longspurs and snow buntings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Calcariidae

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

Wood-warblers[edit]

Yellow-rumped warbler

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Parulidae

The wood warblers are a group of small, often colorful, passerines restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores.

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

New World sparrows[edit]

Chipping sparrow

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

The Emberizidae is a large passerine family. 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 called sparrows, although they are not closely related to the Old World sparrows in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.

Cardinals and allies[edit]

Painted bunting

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cardinalidae

The cardinals are a family of robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages.

Icterids[edit]

Boat-tailed grackle

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Icteridae

The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful, passerines restricted to the New World, including the grackles, New World blackbirds and New World orioles. Most have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red.

Notable exotics[edit]

The following introduced species, while not considered officially established by the FOSRC, have self-sustaining populations and, within range and proper habitat, are likely to be encountered.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official Florida State Bird List". Florida Ornithological Society. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Greenlaw, Jon S. (2 August 2014). "Records Committee Report to FOS Board, Fall 2014" (PDF). FOS Records Committee. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d Greenlaw, Jon S. (8 August 2015). "FOS Records Committee Board Report" (PDF). FOS Records Committee. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  4. ^ http://www.americanornithology.org/content/checklist-north-and-middle-american-birds Check-List of North American Birds, 7th Edition, 57th Supplement retrieved 25 July 2016

See also[edit]

External links[edit]