List of birds of Yuma County, Arizona

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The greater roadrunner, a bird symbolic to much of Arizona, is common in all low desert environments.

This is a list of birds of Yuma County, Arizona, United States. The following markings are used:

  • (A) Accidental - occurrence based on fewer than 10 records and unlikely to occur regularly
  • (E) Extinct - a recent species that no longer exists
  • (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Yuma County, Arizona, but other populations exist elsewhere
  • (I) Introduced - a population established solely as the result of direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native and non-indigenous
  • (H) Hypothetical - birds that have had a credible sighting reported, but have not been documented with a specimen or suitable photograph
  • (C) Casual - occasional visitor
  • (SW) = found in the southwest of Arizona, Yuma County.
  • sw–06 = observed in 2006.
  • ( * SW)—SW breeding species.[1]
  • Bolded, species: (ex: Gambel's quail), hot, lower desert species. (There are exceptions.)
  • (–L–)–16 species are found local, in a specific locality.
  • LCRV– Lower Colorado River Valley


Arizona zone definitions[edit]

The three basic zones in Arizona can be thought of as follows:

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

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 131 species worldwide and 61 North American species.

Partridges, grouse, turkeys and Old World quail[edit]

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 180 species worldwide and 16 North American species.

  • (–L–) ( * SW) Ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, Colorado River–(Riparian) Env. (I)
  • (SW) Wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo (Not in the low desert)(Higher Mtn. Elevations) (This bird is not found in Yuma County - Henry Detwiler)

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 are 32 species, worldwide, all found only in the Americas, and 6 North American species.

  • California quail, Callipepla californica (?Colorado River environment?) (This bird is not found in Yuma County - Henry Detwiler)
  • ( * SW) Gambel's quail, Callipepla gambelii, Perm,-Non-migrating
  • Montezuma quail, Cyrtonix montezumae (Far eastern and southeastern Arizona)


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 are almost hopeless on land, because their legs are placed towards the rear of the body. There are 5 species worldwide and 5 North American species.


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. There are 20 species worldwide and 7 North American species. Of the listed species, the horned, eared and western grebe are less commonly observed in summer.

  • ( * SW) Least grebe, Tachybaptus dominicus (S. Mexico)
  • ( * SW) Pied-billed grebe, Podilymbus podiceps Permanent and (winter range)
  • (SW) Horned grebe, Podiceps auritus winters across coastal S US, S New Mex
  • Red-necked grebe, Podiceps grisegena (A) Jan; Mar (from W Canada, Alaska Coast)
  • (SW) Eared grebe, Podiceps nigricollis (black-necked grebe), winters permanent at: 1-S. Nev, 2-Sierra Nevada Mtns (Calif) and 3-NE Colo.
  • (–L–) ( * SW) Western grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis Permanent (+ winters west on Calif Coast)
  • (–L–) ( * SW) Clark's grebe, Aechmophorus clarkii Permanent and (winter range)


Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Diomedeidae

Storm petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae


Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae


Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae


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. There are 36 species worldwide and 6 North American species.


Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Darters 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 are 4 species worldwide and 1 North American species.

  • Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga, (old sight records, 1900, 1913-etc.)


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. There are 5 species worldwide and 3 North American species.


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 8 species worldwide and 2 North American species.

Pelecaniformes: bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets and bitterns. Herons and egrets are medium 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 61 species worldwide and 17 North American species.

Pelecaniformes: ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes   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, and straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills. There are 36 species worldwide and 5 North American species.

Ciconiiformes: 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 are 19 species worldwide and 2 North American species.

  • Wood stork, Mycteria americana (only population in S. FL)

Cathartiformes: New World vultures[edit]

Order: Cathartiformes   Family: Cathartidae

The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but resemble them because of convergent evolution and the forces of function, ("form follows function"). Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers, and their major trait besides the bare/feather-less neck, would be their trait of, "searching by soaring". However, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they also locate carcasses. There are 7 species worldwide, all found only in the Americas, and 3 North American species.


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

Hawks, kites and eagles[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

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

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 62 species worldwide and 10 North American species.

Crakes, gallinules and coots[edit]

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 tend to be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 13 North American species. Of the 6 listed birds, the black rail is rare and local; only the clapper rail is more common in summer. All are breeding species except the Sora, which departs from May-Jul(Aug) and which has an extensive summer range across North America.

  • (–L–) ( * SW) Black rail, Laterallus jamaicensis found in restricted oceanic coastal areas, Permanent in Lower Colo. R. Valley–LCRV
  • ( * SW) Ridgway's rail, Rallus obsoletus same note, more common in summer: (Mar)Apr-Aug(Sep)
  • ( * SW) Virginia rail, Rallus limicola Permanent
  • (SW) Sora, Porzana carolina (winter range), least common in summer: May-(Aug)
  • ( * SW) Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus Permanent (East: Atlantic coast bird)
  • ( * SW) American coot, Fulica americana Permanent


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 are 15 species worldwide and 3 North American species.

  • (–L–) (SW) Sandhill crane, Grus canadensis (winter range)–southern Arizona

Lapwings and plovers[edit]

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 66 species worldwide and 17 North American species. Of the 6 listed species, most are winter ranging. The killdeer is permanent, but less common in late May through early August.

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 9 species worldwide and 3 North American species.

Sandpipers, curlews, stints, godwits, snipes and phalaropes[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

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. 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 86 species worldwide and 65 North American species.

  • (SW) Long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus (winter migrator, upon grassy expanses, etc.)

Skuas, gulls, terns and skimmers[edit]

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 108 species worldwide and 54 North American species.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide and 18 North American species.

Lories, parakeets, macaws and 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 are 335 species worldwide and 8 North American species.

  • Thick-billed parrot Extirpated from SE Ariz Biome, only in Mexico, (Ex)
  • Pet trade: released or escaped individuals, etc. are commonly observed.

Cuckoos, roadrunners and anis[edit]

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 138 species worldwide and 8 North American 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 are 16 species worldwide and 1 North American species.

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 nearly 360-plus degree swivel-neck, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk (?for low night-light focus-reflection). There are 195 species worldwide and 21 North American species.

Goatsuckers and nighthawks[edit]

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 86 species worldwide and 9 North American species. (It is noted under the nightjar article, that specific species can perch non-perpendicular or transverse, on a branch, as a higher point of camouflage.)


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 very long swept–back wings that resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and 9 North American species.


Order: Trochiliformes   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 337 species worldwide and 23 North American species. Hummingbirds in Arizona, range from the mountains to the desert, as well as have wintering– and summering–ranges–(from S Mexico to the North American Northwest).

Trogons (quetzals)[edit]

Order: Trogoniformes   Family: Trogonidae

  • Elegant trogon, Trogon elegans SE Ariz Biome: Permanent, (and summer range)
  • Eared quetzal. Euptilotis neoxenus, Permanent: SE Ariz Biome


Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 94 species worldwide and 3 North American species.

  • (SW) Belted kingfisher, Ceryle alcyon—(Fairly common except in May-Jul)
  • Green kingfisher, Chloroceryle americana (C) —Casual along the S Arizona/Mexico border–(1988 sightings in the LCRV at same time as first-time breeding in SE Ariz Biome)

Woodpeckers, sapsuckers and flickers[edit]

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, (or state a pronounced, declared territorial call, while searching in their feeding range: it is obvious that they have arrived or are passing by in their territory. There are 218 species worldwide and 26 North American species. The 3 permanent breeding species are the Gila and ladder-backed woodpeckers and the gilded flicker.

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are Passerine birds 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. There are 429 species worldwide, all found only in the Americas and 45 North American species.


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, (creating a larder to attract a female). A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 31 species worldwide and 3 North American species. The loggerhead shrike is extremely abundant in the low desert/ chaparral environment.


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in color and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are 52 species worldwide and 16 North American species.

Jays, crows, magpies and ravens[edit]

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 120 species worldwide and 21 North American species.


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alaudidae
Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights, zigzagging flocks ! ? 14-40 individuals). Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are 91 species worldwide and 2 North American species.

  • ( * SW) Horned lark, Eremophila alpestris (winter, migrating SE-ward)
  • Skylark, Alauda arvensis

Swallows and martins[edit]

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 75 species worldwide and 14 North American species.

Chickadees and titmice[edit]

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 59 species worldwide and 12 North American species.


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Aegithalidae

Long-tailed tits are a group of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They make woven bag nests in trees. Most eat a mixed diet which includes insects. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 North American species.


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 24 species worldwide and 4 North American species.


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 are 6 species worldwide and 1 North American species.

  • (–L–) (SW) Brown creeper, Certhia americana, Permanent in 1–NE, E Ariz Mtns, 2–SE Ariz Biome, winter: not seen (Apr)May-Sep


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Troglodytidae

Wrens are small and inconspicuous birds, except for their (almost)loud songs, (? the size of the bird limits their loudness). They have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. (The cactus wren is a larger bird of the group.) There are 79 species worldwide and 9 North American species.

  • ( * SW) Cactus wren, Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
  • ( * SW) Rock wren, Salpinctes obsoletus (An avid ground searcher, amidst ground tumble(rocks, etc.).)
  • (–L–) ( * SW) Canyon wren, Catherpes mexicanus
  • ( * SW) Bewick's wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  • ( * SW) Marsh wren, Cistothorus palustris


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cinclidae

The American dipper ranges from Alaska to Mexico in mountain streams. It is permanent at the Colorado River, in the Grand Canyon and has been observed in the N Lower Colorado River Valley.


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 5 species worldwide and 2 North American species. Both North American species reside permanently in the mountains of E Arizona.

  • Golden-crowned kinglet, Regulus satrapa, Permanent and (summer range)–Mtns of E Ariz, Rare, but consistent visits: Oct-Dec(Feb)(Mar)
  • (SW) Ruby-crowned kinglet, Regulus calendula, Permanent and (summer range)–Mtns of E Ariz, (Sep)Oct-Apr(May)

Old World warblers and gnatcatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. The Sylviidae mainly occur as a singing 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 are about 300 species worldwide and 12 North American species.


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 335 species worldwide and 28 North American species.

Mockingbirds and thrashers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Mimidae

The mimids are a family of passerine birds which 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, blacks and browns in their appearance. There are 35 species worldwide and 13 North American species and ?4 permanent SW-Arizona resident species.

The northern mockingbird has been extending its range, low desert, mountain foothills, north and east of Yuma, as the cities to the east of Yuma have been developing, (?)since 1995. They sing in the same distinctive manner and have the same arboreal displays, but their plumage is more pronounced, with darker blacks and darker grays (? to contrast with brite white). The arboreal display is energetic(? and territorial) and consists of vertical climbs and falls, above a (choice, selected)tree perch. (In the last 2 years, some of 2004, 2005, the huge influx N into the foothills and desert grasslands, are much grayer birds, much like the city birds.)
  • Gray catbird, Dumetella carolinensis, --(Only local in the northern White Mountains and north-eastward.)
  • ( * SW) Northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, --Permanent (now in desert locales)
  • (SW) Sage thrasher, Oreoscoptes montanus, winter range/resident
  • Bendire's thrasher, Toxostoma bendirei, --[Permanent: SE Ariz Biome] (summer ranging north of Yuma County, etc. in Az.)
  • Curve-billed thrasher, Toxostoma curvirostre, --Permanent E. and NE of Yuma County
  • California thrasher, Toxostoma redivivum,—a vagrant from Southern Calif.(?)
  • ( * SW) Crissal thrasher, Toxostoma crissale, ---(Permanent from Colo R./Calif. border, the deserts and S into Mex (W. and Central), from S. New Mexico southward. Permanent like the quail, no seasonal–Ranging.)
  • (SW) Le Conte's thrasher, Toxostoma lecontei, ---Permanent and local, in hot, lower, deserts: (very S. Colorado Des.(S. Calif.), Pacific locales in Baja Calif Sur and SW Ariz (and very N. Mexico); no seasonal–Ranging.)(3rd locale: the Carrizo Plain and valley, N of Los Angeles, in the Coastal Ranges)


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 fairly open country, (occasionally seen in open desert, semi-grassland) and they eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 3 North American species.

  • ( * SW) European starling, Sturnus vulgaris (I) (also: solitary or paired low desert (grassland) travelers)

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 54 species worldwide and 11 North American species.


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 3 species worldwide and 2 North American species.

  • Bohemian waxwing, Bombycilla garrulus (C) or (A) winter ranges into N Nev, N Utah, N Colo; observed in Lower Colo. R. Valley–Jan, Feb, Mar
  • (SW) Cedar waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum (winter range/resident)


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Ptiliogonatidae

The silky-flycatchers are a small family of passerine birds which occur mainly in Central America, although the range of one species extends to Central California(San Joaquin Valley) and much of the SW deserts and mountains. They are related to waxwings and like that group, have soft silky plumage, usually gray or pale-yellow. They have small crests. There are 4 New World (Americas) species and 3 North American species.


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 119 species worldwide and 57 North American species. Half of the listed warblers are accidental or casual visitors.

Three species are mainly summer residents: Lucy's warbler, the common yellowtail and yellow-breasted chat.


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Coerebidae

The bananaquit is a small passerine bird. It has a slender, curved bill, adapted to taking nectar from flowers. It is the only member of the genus Coereba (Vieillot, 1809) and the family Coerebidae. The bananaquit can be found in southern Mexico and is only occasional in the USA.


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. There are 256 species worldwide and 6 North American species.

American sparrows, towhees, juncos and longspurs[edit]

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 275 species worldwide and 60 North American species. Note: 29 species are listed for SW Arizona; about a third range into the southwest, about 1/3 are common to the southeast Arizona Biome and the other third are mountainous, or Mexican–ranging, or range north, or west to California, but all have southwest Arizona in or adjacent in the range maps.

Cardinals, saltators and grosbeaks[edit]

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 43 species worldwide and 13 North American species.


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 98 species worldwide and 25 North American species. The 11 listed Icterids, are mostly common and breeding species in the Lower Colorado River Valley (LCRV).

Fringilline finches, cardueline finches and allies[edit]

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 137 species worldwide and ?20 North American species. The 9 listed Finches and allies, are mostly winter residents or permanent.

Old World sparrows[edit]

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 climb and chase and consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 2 North American species. The house sparrow is overly common in SW Arizona.

  • ( * SW) House sparrow, Passer domesticus– (I)
  • Tree sparrow, Passer montanus, ("Eurasian tree sparrow"), (Illinois and Missouri)– (I)



Lower Colorado River drainage map[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Appendix, Birds of the Lower Colorado River Valley
  2. ^ Bill Williams (river) Arm of Lake Havasu
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds
  • Rosenberg, Ohmart, Hunter, Anderson, Birds of the Lower Colorado River Valley, Kenneth V. Rosenber, Robert D. Ohmart, William C. Hunter, Bertin W. Anderson, c. 1991 U. of Arizona Press, 416 pp. Appendix contains species account by month and by commonality. Notes breeding populations.

External links[edit]