List of birds of American Samoa
This is a list of the bird species recorded in American Samoa. The avifauna of American Samoa include a total of 65 species, of which 5 have been introduced by humans, 14 are rare or accidental and 1 species, the Mao, is extirpated. 6 species are globally threatened. American Samoa has no endemic bird species but several near-endemics occur and many of the land birds occur in good numbers. A variety of seabirds breed in the islands. Hunting and introduced predators have reduced their numbers but there are still some important breeding sites such as Lata Mountain on Ta'u Island.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for American Samoa.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories, but not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring native species.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in American Samoa
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to American Samoa as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
- (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in American Samoa although populations exist elsewhere
- 1 Shearwaters and petrels
- 2 Storm petrels
- 3 Tropicbirds
- 4 Boobies
- 5 Frigatebirds
- 6 Herons and egrets
- 7 Ducks
- 8 Pheasants and partridges
- 9 Rails, crakes and gallinules
- 10 Plovers
- 11 Sandpipers and allies
- 12 Gulls, terns, and skimmers
- 13 Pigeons and doves
- 14 Parrots
- 15 Cuckoos
- 16 Barn owls
- 17 Swifts
- 18 Kingfishers
- 19 Bulbuls
- 20 Monarch flycatchers
- 21 Honeyeaters
- 22 Starlings
- 23 See also
- 24 References
Shearwaters and petrels
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.
- Tahiti petrel, Pterodroma rostrata
- Mottled petrel, Pterodroma inexpectata (A)
- Herald petrel, Pterodroma heraldica
- White-necked petrel, Pterodroma cervicalis
- Gould's petrel, Pterodroma leucoptera
- Flesh-footed shearwater, Ardenna carneipes (A)
- Wedge-tailed shearwater, Ardenna pacificus (A)
- Sooty shearwater, Ardenna griseus
- Short-tailed shearwater, Ardenna tenuirostris
- Christmas shearwater, Puffinus nativitatis
- Newell's shearwater, Puffinus newelli (A)
- Tropical shearwater, Puffinus bailloni
The storm petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.
- White-faced storm petrel, Pelagodroma marina (A)
- Black-bellied storm petrel, Fregetta tropica (A)
- Polynesian storm petrel, Nesofregetta fuliginosa
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.
Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, 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.
Herons and egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.
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 an oily coating.
- Pacific black duck, Anas superciliosa
Pheasants and partridges
The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings.
- Red junglefowl, Gallus gallus (I)
Rails, crakes and gallinules
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them 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 fliers.
- Buff-banded rail, Gallirallus philippensis
- Spotless crake, Porzana tabuensis
- Australasian swamphen, Porphyrio melanotus
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.
- Pacific golden plover, Pluvialis fulva
Sandpipers and allies
Scolopacidae is 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 these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
- Bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica (A)
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus (A)
- Bristle-thighed curlew, Numenius tahitiensis
- Wandering tattler, Tringa incana
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Sanderling, Calidris alba (A)
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with gray or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.
- Laughing gull, Leucophaeus atricilla (A)
- Greater crested tern, Thalasseus bergii (A)
- Black-naped tern, Sterna sumatrana (A)
- Spectacled tern, Onychoprion lunatus
- Bridled tern, Onychoprion anaethetus (A)
- Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscatus
- Black noddy, Anous minutus
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus
- Blue noddy, Procelsterna cerulea
- White tern, Gygis alba
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia (I)
- Friendly ground dove, Gallicolumba stairi
- Many-colored fruit dove, Ptilinopus perousii
- Purple-capped fruit dove, Ptilinopus porphyraceus
- Pacific imperial pigeon, Ducula pacifica
- Blue-crowned lorikeet, Vini australis
- Long-tailed koel, Eudynamys taitensis
Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.
- Barn owl, Tyto alba
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.
- White-rumped swiftlet, Aerodramus spodiopygius
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails.
- Pacific kingfisher, Todirhamphus sacer
Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colorful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests.
- Red-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer (I)
The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching.
- Fiji shrikebill, Clytorhynchus vitiensis
The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family of small to medium-sized birds most common in Australia and New Guinea. They are nectar feeders and closely resemble other nectar-feeding passerines.
- Cardinal myzomela, Myzomela cardinalis
- Wattled honeyeater, Foulehaio carunculata
- Mao, Gymnomyza samoensis (Ex)
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.
- Polynesian starling, Aplonis tabuensis
- Samoan starling, Aplonis atrifusca
- Jungle myna, Acridotheres fuscus (I)
- Common myna, Acridotheres tristis (I)
- List of mammals of American Samoa
- List of non-marine molluscs of American Samoa
- List of birds
- Lists of birds by region
- Watling, Dick (2001) A Guide to the Birds of Fiji & Western Polynesia, Environmental Consultants (Fiji), Suva.
- Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of birds of American Samoa". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 25 September 2008.
- O'Connor, P. J. & Rauzon M. J. (2004) Inventory and monitoring of seabirds in National Park of American Samoa. Retrieved on 25 September 2008.
- Clements, James F. (2007). The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9.