List of birds of New York

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This list of birds of New York covers all 489 species, and one species pair, of wild birds ever documented in New York, as approved by the New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC) through 23 August 2016.[1] These species represent 23 orders and 65 families of birds. The following tags are used:

  • (B) Breeding - a species that currently breeds or has bred in New York (249 species)
  • (†) Extinct - a species that used to live in what is now New York but is now extinct (1 species and a second believed extinct)
  • (E) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in New York, but populations exist elsewhere (1 species)
  • (I) Introduced - a population established solely as result of direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native and non-indigenous (8 species)
  • (IE) - an introduced population existed but is now extirpated (2 species)

Other markings denote birds that NYSARC requests documentation of in certain conditions:

  • (N) - documentation of this bird should be submitted if seen anywhere in New York (153 species)
  • (U) - documentation of this bird should be submitted if seen in upstate New York (31 species)
  • (D) - documentation of this bird should be submitted if seen in downstate New York (2 species)
  • (A) - documentation of this bird should be submitted if seen outside the Adirondacks (4 species)
  • (S) - documentation of this bird should be submitted if seen in New York in spring (3 species)

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.[2] Common and scientific names are also those of the Check-list.

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl[edit]

Gadwall, Anas strepera
Northern shoveler, Anas clypeata
Harlequin duck, Histrionicus histrionicus

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. There are 46 New York species.

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. There is one New York species.

Pheasants, grouse, and allies[edit]

Spruce grouse, Falcipennis canadensis

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. There are seven New York species.

Grebes[edit]

Pied-billed grebe, Podilymbus podiceps

Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large diving birds that breed on fresh water. 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 five New York species.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are seven New York species.

Cuckoos[edit]

Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus

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. There are two New York species.

Nightjars and allies[edit]

Common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor

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. There are three New York species.

Swifts[edit]

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. There is one New York species.

Hummingbirds[edit]

Ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris

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. There are five New York species.

Rails, gallinules, and coots[edit]

Sora, Porzana carolina

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

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, 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. Eleven species have been recorded in New York.

Cranes[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

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 is one New York species.

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. There are two New York species.

Oystercatchers[edit]

American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large, obvious, noisy plover-like birds with strong bills used for smashing or prying open molluscs. There is one New York species.

Lapwings and plovers[edit]

American golden-plover, Pluvialis dominica

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. There are nine New York species.

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Upland sandpiper, Bartamia longicauda
Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
American woodcock, Scolopax minor

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large, diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds which includes the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. Most 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 direct competition for food. There are 42 New York species.

Skuas and jaegers[edit]

Parasitic jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

Skuas and jaegers are long-distant migrants, breeding on the high arctic tundra but flying as far as Antarctica. During the breeding season, they hunt small mammals and birds, but at other times of the year they will scavenge and steal food from other birds. There are five New York species.

Auks, murres, and puffins[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Alcidae

Alcids are superficially similar to penguins in their black-and-white colors, their upright posture, and some of their habits. However they are only distantly related to the penguins and are able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, deliberately coming ashore only to nest. There are eight species which have occurred in New York.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Herring gull, Larus argentatus
Great black-backed gull, Larus marinus

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes jaegers, skuas, 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. There are 37 New York species.

Tropicbirds[edit]

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. There are two New York species.

Loons[edit]

Common loon, Gavia immer

Order: Gaviiformes   Family: Gaviidae

Loons are aquatic birds the size of large ducks, which they superficially resemble. 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 not well adapted to locomotion on land. There are four New York species.

Albatrosses[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Diomedeidae

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. One species has appeared in New York.

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

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. There are 10 New York species.

Storm-petrels[edit]

White-faced storm-petrel, Pelagodroma marina

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. There are four New York species.

Storks[edit]

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. There is one New York species.

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-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There is one New York species.

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Northern gannet, Morus bassanus

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

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

Cormorants[edit]

Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

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 of the Pelecaniformes order. There are three New York species.

Anhingas[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Anhingas 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 the water. There is one New York species.

Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga (N)

Pelicans[edit]

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. There are two New York species.

Herons, egrets, and bitterns[edit]

Great blue heron, Ardea herodias
Green heron, Butorides virescens

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and egrets are medium-sized to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter-necked and more secretive. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills. There are 13 New York species.

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

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 four New York species.

New World vultures[edit]

Black vulture, Coragyps atratus

Order: Cathartiformes   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, but unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, some New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they find carcasses. There are two New York species.

Osprey[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

Pandionidae is a monotypic 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. There is one species worldwide, which occurs in North America and New York.

  • Osprey, Pandion haliaetus (B)

Hawks, kites, and eagles[edit]

Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey which includes hawks, eagles, kites, and harriers. These birds have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 14 New York species.

Barn-owls[edit]

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. There is one New York species.

Typical owls[edit]

Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus

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. There are 11 New York species.

Kingfishers[edit]

Belted kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There is one New York species.

Woodpeckers[edit]

Pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus

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. There are 11 New York species.

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

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. There are four New York species.

New World and African parrots[edit]

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 to the back. There is one introduced New York species.

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

Eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are passerines which are found throughout the Americas. They bear a superficially resemblance to the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They lack the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most are insectivoress. Twenty-one species of tyrant flycatcher have been found to live in New York:

Shrikes[edit]

Northern shrike, Lanius excubitor

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 shrike's beak is hooked, like that of a typical bird of prey. There are two New York species.

Vireos[edit]

Yellow-throated vireo, Vireo flavifrons

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, though other members of the family are found in Africa. They are typically greenish in color and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are eight New York species.

Jays, crows, magpies, and ravens[edit]

Blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata

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. There are six New York species.

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. There are two New York species.

Swallows and martins[edit]

Tree swallow, Tachycineta bicolor

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 partially joined at the base. There are seven New York species.

Chickadees and titmice[edit]

Tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor

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. There are three New York species.

Nuthatches[edit]

White-breasted nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis

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 big heads, short tails, and powerful bills and feet. There are three New York species.

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. There is one New York species.

Wrens[edit]

Marsh wren, Cistothorus palustris

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. There are seven New York species.

Gnatcatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Polioptilidae

Kinglets[edit]

Ruby-crowned kinglet, Regulus calendula

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. There are two New York species.

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

Thrushes[edit]

Hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus

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. There are 13 New York species.

Mockingbirds and thrashers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Mimidae

The Mimics are a family of passerine birds which includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalizations, 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 four New York species.

Starlings[edit]

European starling, Sturnus vulgaris

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings 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. There is one species that has been introduced to North America and New York.

Waxwings[edit]

Cedar waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine 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. There are two New York species.

Old World sparrows[edit]

House sparrow, Passer domesticus

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. There is one New York species.

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 two New York species.

Finches[edit]

Evening grosbeak, Coccothraustes vespertinus

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. There are 13 New York species.

Longspurs and snow buntings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Calcariidae

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

Wood-warblers[edit]

Black-throated green warbler, Setophaga virens
Cerulean warbler, Setophaga coronata
Blackburnian warbler, Setophaga fusca
Prothonotary warbler, Protonotaria citrea

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Parulidae

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. There are 45 New York species.

New World sparrows[edit]

Eastern towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus
American tree sparrow, Spizelloides arborea
Dark-eyed junco, Junco hyemalis

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. There are 29 New York species.

Cardinals and allies[edit]

Rose-breasted grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus

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. There are 11 New York species.

Blackbirds, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles, and New World orioles[edit]

Red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus

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. There are 14 New York species.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Checklist of the Birds of New York State. New York State Ornithological Association, 23 August 2016 http://www.nybirds.org/Publications/ChecklistNYS.htm Retrieved 3 March 2017
  2. ^ 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]