List of birds of the Federated States of Micronesia
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Micronesia. The avifauna of the Federated States of Micronesia include a total of 225 species, of which 18 are endemic, 13 have been introduced by humans and 88 are rare or accidental. Of those species, 18 are globally threatened.
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 Micronesia.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Micronesia
- (E) Endemic - a species endemic to Micronesia
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Micronesia as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
- (Ex) Extinct
The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds.
- Short-tailed albatross, Phoebastria albatrus
- Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis (A)
- Black-footed albatross, Phoebastria nigripes
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 (A)
- Kermadec petrel, Pterodroma neglecta (A)
- Juan Fernandez petrel, Pterodroma externa
- White-necked petrel, Pterodroma cervicalis (A)
- Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca
- Black-winged petrel, Pterodroma nigripennis
- Stejneger's petrel, Pterodroma longirostris (A)
- Bulwer's petrel, Bulweria bulwerii (A)
- Streaked shearwater, Calonectris leucomelas (A)
- Flesh-footed shearwater, Ardenna carneipes (A)
- Wedge-tailed shearwater, Ardenna pacificus
- Buller's shearwater, Ardenna bulleri (A)
- Sooty shearwater, Ardenna griseus (A)
- 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.
- Wilson's storm petrel, Oceanites oceanicus (A)
- Polynesian storm petrel, Nesofregetta fuliginosa
- Band-rumped storm petrel, Oceanodroma castro (A)
- Leach's storm petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa
- Matsudaira's storm petrel, Oceanodroma matsudairae
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.
Boobies and gannets
Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful.
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 coloured 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.
Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes.
- Australian pelican, Pelecanus conspicillatus (A)
Bitterns, 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.
- Grey heron, Ardea cinerea (A)
- Great egret, Ardea alba
- Intermediate egret, Ardea intermedia (A)
- Little egret, Egretta garzetta
- Pacific reef heron, Egretta sacra
- Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
- Striated heron, Butorides striata (A)
- Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax (A)
- Rufous night heron, Nycticorax caledonicus
- Japanese night heron, Gorsachius goisagi (A)
- Malayan night heron, Gorsachius melanolophus (A)
- Yellow bittern, Ixobrychus sinensis
- Schrenck's bittern, Ixobrychus eurhythmus (A)
- Black bittern, Ixobrychus flavicollis (A)
- Cinnamon bittern, Ixobrychus cinnamomeus (A)
Ducks, geese and swans
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.
- Snow goose, Chen caerulescens (A)
- Cackling goose, Branta hutchinsii (A)
- Canada goose, Branta canadensis (A)
- Eurasian wigeon, Mareca penelope
- American wigeon, Mareca americana (A)
- Gadwall, Mareca strepera (A)
- Eurasian teal, Anas crecca
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos (A)
- Pacific black duck, Anas superciliosa
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta
- Garganey, Spatula querquedula (A)
- Northern shoveler, Spatula clypeata
- Common pochard, Aythya ferina (A)
- Canvasback, Aythya valisineria (A)
- Redhead, Aythya americana
- Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula
- Greater scaup, Aythya marila
The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus (A)
Hawks, kites and eagles
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight.
- Brahminy kite, Haliastur indus (A)
- Chinese sparrowhawk, Accipiter soloensis
- Japanese sparrowhawk, Accipiter gularis
- Grey-faced buzzard, Butastur indicus (A)
Caracaras and falcons
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons.
The Megapodiidae are stocky, medium-large chicken-like birds with small heads and large feet. All but the malleefowl occupy jungle habitats and most have brown or black colouring.
- Micronesian scrubfowl, Megapodius laperouse
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.
- Black francolin, Francolinus francolinus (I)
- Blue-breasted quail, Coturnix chinensis (I)
- Red junglefowl, Gallus gallus (I)
Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots
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.
- Red-legged crake, Rallina fasciata (A)
- Slaty-legged crake, Rallina eurizonoides
- Buff-banded rail, Gallirallus philippensis
- Plain bush-hen, Amaurornis olivaceus (A)
- Pale-vented bush-hen, Amaurornis moluccana (A)
- Spotless crake, Porzana tabuensis
- White-browed crake, Porzana cinerea
- Black-backed swamphen, Porphyrio indicus
- Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
- Eurasian coot, Fulica atra (A)
- Eurasian oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus (A)
Avocets and stilts
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.
Pratincoles and coursers
Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long pointed bills which curve downwards.
- Oriental pratincole, Glareola maldivarum (A)
Plovers and lapwings
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
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
- Common ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula (A)
- Little ringed plover, Charadrius dubius (A)
- Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus (A)
- Lesser sandplover, Charadrius mongolus
- Greater sandplover, Charadrius leschenaultii
- Oriental plover, Charadrius veredus (A)
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.
- Latham's snipe, Gallinago hardwickii (A)
- Swinhoe's snipe, Gallinago megala
- Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago (A)
- Black-tailed godwit, Limosa limosa
- Bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica
- Little curlew, Numenius minutus (A)
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
- Bristle-thighed curlew, Numenius tahitiensis
- Eurasian curlew, Numenius arquata (A)
- Far Eastern curlew, Numenius madagascariensis
- Spotted redshank, Tringa erythropus (A)
- Common redshank, Tringa totanus
- Marsh sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis
- Common greenshank, Tringa nebularia
- Nordmann's greenshank, Tringa guttifer (A)
- Greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca (A)
- Grey-tailed tattler, Tringa brevipes
- Wandering tattler, Tringa incana
- Wood sandpiper, Tringa glareola
- Terek sandpiper, Xenus cinereus
- Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
- Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia (A)
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Great knot, Calidris tenuirostris (A)
- Red knot, Calidris canutus (A)
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
- Red-necked stint, Calidris ruficollis
- Temminck's stint, Calidris temminckii (A)
- Long-toed stint, Calidris subminuta
- Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos
- Sharp-tailed sandpiper, Calidris acuminata
- Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina (A)
- Broad-billed sandpiper, Calidris falcinellus (A)
- Buff-breasted sandpiper, Calidris subruficollis (A)
- Ruff, Calidris pugnax
- Red phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius (A)
Skuas and jaegers
The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.
- South Polar skua, Stercorarius maccormicki (A)
- Pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus
- Long-tailed jaeger, Stercorarius longicaudus (A)
- Parasitic jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus (A)
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey 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 grey 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.
- Herring gull, Larus argentatus (A)
- Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
- Franklin's gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan (A)
- Laughing gull, Leucophaeus atricilla (A)
- Greater crested tern, Thalasseus bergii
- Black-naped tern, Sterna sumatrana
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo
- Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea (A)
- Little tern, Sternula albifrons
- Spectacled tern, Onychoprion lunatus
- Bridled tern, Onychoprion anaethetus
- Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscatus
- Whiskered tern, Chlidonias hybrida (A)
- White-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
- Black noddy, Anous minutus
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus
- Blue noddy, Anous cerulea
- White tern, Gygis alba
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia (I)
- Philippine collared dove, Streptopelia dusumieri (I)
- Nicobar pigeon, Caloenas nicobarica
- White-fronted ground dove, Gallicolumba kubaryi (E)
- White-throated ground dove, Gallicolumba xanthonura
- Friendly ground dove, Gallicolumba stairi (I)
- Crimson-crowned fruit dove, Ptilinopus porphyraceus
- Kosrae fruit dove, Ptilinopus hernsheimi (E)
- Purple-capped fruit dove, Ptilinopus ponapensis
- Micronesian imperial pigeon, Ducula oceanica
The cockatoos share many features with other parrots including the characteristic curved beak shape and a zygodactyl foot, with two forward toes and two backwards toes. They differ, however in a number of characteristics, including the often spectacular movable headcrest.
- Sulphur-crested cockatoo, Cacatua galerita (I)
Lories, lovebirds and Old World parrots
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 to the back.
Cuckoos and anis
- Chestnut-winged cuckoo, Clamator coromandus (A)
- Rufous hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx hyperythrus (A)
- Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx nisicolor (A)
- Common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus (A)
- Oriental cuckoo, Cuculus optatus
- Brush cuckoo, Cacomantis variolosus (A)
- Long-tailed koel, Eudynamys taitensis
- Shining bronze cuckoo, Chrysococcyx lucidus (A)
The 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.
- Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus
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.
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails.
The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar.
- Rainbow bee-eater, Merops ornatus
Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not.
- Dollarbird, Eurystomus orientalis (A)
Swallows and martins
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 partially joined at the base.
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
- Tree martin, Petrochelidon nigricans (A)
- Asian martin, Delichon dasypus
Wagtails and pipits
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.
- Eastern yellow wagtail, Motacilla tschutschensis (A)
- Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea
- Red-throated pipit, Anthus cervinus (A)
The cuckooshrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured.
- Cicadabird, Coracina tenuirostris
Thrushes and allies
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly 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.
- Lanceolated warbler, Locustella lanceolata (A)
- Carolinian reed warbler, Acrocephalus syrinx (E)
Old World flycatchers
Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.
- Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius (A)
- Grey-spotted flycatcher, Muscicapa griseisticta (A)
- Narcissus flycatcher, Ficedula narcissina (A)
- Siberian rubythroat, Calliope calliope (A)
The fantails are small insectivorous birds which are specialist aerial feeders.
The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching.
- Truk monarch, Metabolus rugensis (E)
- Yap monarch, Monarcha godeffroyi (E)
- Pohnpei flycatcher, Myiagra pluto (E)
- Oceanic flycatcher, Myiagra oceanica (E)
The white-eyes are small and mostly undistinguished, their plumage above being generally some dull colour like greenish-olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests, many species have a white ring around each eye.
- Citrine white-eye, Zosterops semperi
- Plain white-eye, Zosterops hypolais (E)
- Kosrae white-eye, Zosterops cinereus (E)
- Grey-brown white-eye, Zosterops ponapensis (E)
- Yap white-eye, Zosterops oleagineus (E)
- Truk white-eye, Rukia ruki (E)
- Long-billed white-eye, Rukia longirostra (E)
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.
- Micronesian myzomela, Myzomela rubratra
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.
- Brown shrike, Lanius cristatus (A)
The drongos are mostly black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright when perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground.
- Black drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus (I)
The woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. They are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings.
- White-breasted woodswallow, Artamus leucorynchus (A)
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.
- Micronesian starling, Aplonis opaca
- Pohnpei starling, Aplonis pelzelni (E)
- Kosrae starling, Aplonis corvina (Ex)
- Chestnut-cheeked starling, Agropsar philippensis (A)
- White-cheeked starling, Spodiopsar cineraceus (A)
Waxbills and allies
The estrildid finches 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 have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns.
- Blue-faced parrotfinch, Erythrura trichroa
- Scaly-breasted munia, Lonchura punctulata (I)
- Chestnut munia, Lonchura atricapilla (I)
- Mottled munia, Lonchura hunsteini (I)
Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies
The emberizids are 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.
- Black-headed bunting, Emberiza melanocephala (A)
Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.
- Eurasian tree sparrow, Passer montanus (I)