Restart Bird Identification Expert

What SHAPE was the bird you saw in Atlantic Coast?



Mute Swan: Aggressive bird, entirely white, orange bill with large black basal knob and naked black lores. Curved neck is often stained with pigments from iron or algae. Legs and feet are black. Feeds on aquatic plants collected from bottom. Direct flight with strong steady wing beats.
American Wigeon: This is a medium-sized duck with a brown body, white crown, a large green ear patch extending to the back of the head, buff washed breast and sides and a white belly. It has a swift direct flight with strong wing beats. Shoulder patches are visible in flight. It has a black-tipped pale blue bill. It feeds on aquatic plants, insects and mollusks. The sexes are similar.
Greater Scaup: This large diving duck has a glossy green-black head, white sides and belly, black tail, neck and breast, barred gray flanks and back. The eyes are yellow and the bill is blue-gray with a black tip. The diet includes aquatic insects and plants. It has a rapid direct flight with strong rapid wing beats. The female is dull brown with a white patch on the face at base of bill.
Common Eider: Large diving duck (v-nigrum), with distinctive sloping forehead, black body, white breast and back. Crown is black and nape is pale green. Wings are white with black primary and secondary feathers. Tail and rump are black. Bill is dull yellow to gray-green (eastern) or orange-yellow (western).
Surf Scoter: This medium-sized diving duck is entirely black except for white patches on the forehead and nape. It has an orange, black and white bill, white eyes and orange legs and feet. The female is less distinctly marked with smudgy face patches and dark bill. It dives for food, primarily mollusks and crustaceans. Rapid direct flight with strong wing beats. Flies in straight line formation.
Black Scoter: Medium diving duck, entirely black except for yellow knob at base of black bill. Legs and feet are black. The male is the only all black duck in North America. Dives for food, primarily eats mollusks. Strong direct flight with rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line and V formation.
Red-throated Loon: Small loon with scaled gray back and white underparts. Head and sides of neck are gray, throat is dark red, nape is black-and-white striped. Eyes are red. Feeds on fish, dives to 90 feet for them. Direct flight, rapid wing beats. Only loon to leap into flight from water or land.
Yellow-nosed Albatross: Pelagic albatross with pale gray head, neck, rump, black back, upperwings, white underparts and black margin around white underwings. Red-tipped black bill has yellow patch on upper mandible. Gray legs, feet. Glides and soars for hours with minor adjustments to wing position.
Black-capped Petrel: Large petrel with white underparts, dark brown to black back and upper wings, black cap, and white collar (this field mark is missing in some birds). Tail is long, dark, and wedge-shaped; underwings show broad dark margins. Hooked bill is dark, legs are pink. High arcing flight.
Fea's Petrel: Medium petrel, gray-brown upperparts, white belly. White breast with partial gray-brown breast band. Wings bend back at the wrist, have a dark M pattern across upperwings and lower back. Underwings are mostly dark. White face, dark mask around eyes. Gray tail, pale uppertail coverts.
Herald Petrel: Medium petrel, three color morphs: light, intermediate, dark. Dark morph is dark gray overall, silver-gray to white base on underwing flight feathers. Light morph has white breast, belly and dark gray upperparts. Intermediate forms exist between light and dark morphs. Gray legs, feet.
Cory's Shearwater: Large gray-brown shearwater, white underparts, pale yellow bill. Feeds at night on crustaceans and large sqiud it takes from the surface. Best identified by its relatively slow, languid flight compared to other shearwaters. Wings held downward. Soars on fixed wings if wind is up.
Audubon's Shearwater: Small, stocky seabird with dark brown upperparts and white underparts. Underwing coverts are white. Tail is dark brown with short, gray undertail coverts. Bill is dark and legs and feet are pink. Fish and squid make up most of its diet. Alternates rapid wing beats with glides.
White-faced Storm-Petrel: The only Atlantic storm-petrel with the combination of dark gray upperparts and white underparts with a dark cap and eyeline. Long black legs trail behind squared tail in flight. Webbing between toes is yellow. Alternates rapid, shallow wing beats with stiff-winged glides.
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel: This is a black-brown storm-petrel with gray-brown wing bars and a conspicuous white band across the rump and large, slightly notched tail. It has a black bill, legs and feet. It has a buoyant, zigzag flight, alternating several rapid wing beats. It feeds on invertebrates, small vertebrates and sometimes carrion from the water's surface. The sexes are similar.
White-tailed Tropicbird: This large white bird has a long black bar on upperwing coverts and outer primaries, black loral mask which extends through and past the eye, yellow-orange bill, white tail streamers, yellow legs and feet and black webbed toes. Feeds on fish and squid. Buoyant, graceful pigeon like flight with fluttering wing strokes alternating with soaring glides. Sexes are similar.
Red-billed Tropicbird: This slender, white, gull-like seabird is the largest tropic bird. It has long white tail streamers, a white back that is finely barred in black, a black eye stripe curves that upward behind the eye, black primaries, and a red bill. Female resembles the male but is less tinged with red. Feeds on fish and squid. Direct, rapid flight; pigeon like, stiff, shallow wing beats.
Red-tailed Tropicbird: This medium-sized tropic bird has silky white plumage and a small but conspicuous black eye stripe. It has a coral red bill and black legs and feet. The tail has long, red central streamers. It mainly feeds on flying fish. Swift, purposeful flight, alternates fluttering wing beats with glides. Hovers while hunting and in courtship. Sexes are similar.
Northern Gannet: Very large seabird. White overall with black primaries and long pointed wings. Light yellow wash on crown of head extending down nape may be visible. Bill, legs, and feet are gray. Dives for fish and squid. Alternates rapid wing beats with short glides. Soars to great heights.
Great Cormorant: Largest North American comorant. Black with bright yellow throat pouch bordered with white feathers. Expert swimmer, dives for fish, crustaceans. When wet holds wings in spread eagle position to dry. Strong direct flight with steady wing beats. Flies in V or straight line formation.
Double-crested Cormorant: Medium cormorant with iridescent black body and orange throat pouch. Western birds have white feather tufts over each eye in early summer. Pale bill is long and hooked. Black legs and feet. Feeds on fish, amphibians and crustaceans. Strong direct flight, soars on thermals.
Brown Pelican: Large, unmistakable seabird, gray-brown body, dark brown, pale yellow head and neck, oversized bill. Black legs, webbed feet. Feeds on fish by plunge diving and scooping them up with pouch. Powerful flight alternates flaps with short glides. Flies close to the water in straight line.
Glossy Ibis: Medium wading bird, iridescent bronze and red-brown overall with thin band of white feathers around bare dark blue face and long, down curved, gray bill. Eyes are dark, legs are yellow-gray. Alternates several shallow rapid wing beats and short glides. Flies in straight line formation.
White Ibis: This coastal species is white overall with pink facial skin, bill, and legs that turn scarlet during breeding season. Black tips on the primary feathers are only seen in flight. Flies in straight line formation with neck and legs outstretched, roosts high in trees and bushes at night.
White-tailed Eagle: Fourth largest eagle in the world; has a dark brown body, brown and white streaked head, neck and breast and a white tail. The bill, legs and feet are yellow, and the eyes are medium brown. Feeds on fish, young gulls, ducks, seals, rabbits, rodents and carrion. Heavy flight with strong, deep, steady wing beats alternating with glides. Soars on thermals. Sexes are similar.
Clapper Rail: Large, noisy marsh bird, gray or brown upperparts, vertical white-barred flanks and belly, buff or rust-brown breast. Bill is long, slightly decurved. Gray legs, feet. Feeds at low tide on mudflats or hidden in salt marsh vegetation. Flight is low and fluttering over short distances.
King Rail: Large rail with long, orange-based bill. Brown and red-brown mottled upperparts. Underparts are orange-brown with strongly barred black, white flanks. Prominent chestnut-brown patch on wing is visible on standing and flying birds. Feeds in shallow water or mudflats exposed at low tide.
Virginia Rail: Medium rail with brown-and-black mottled upperparts, white throat, rust-brown breast, and black-and-white barred belly. Head has black crown, gray face, and white eyebrows. Bill is long, red-brown, and curved down. Legs are orange-brown. Tail is short, black above, and white below.
Northern Lapwing: Large, unique plover with black breast, face, crown, and long upright head plumes; back is green-tinged purple and copper. Belly and sides are white, uppertail is white with a black tip, and undertail coverts are rich rufous-orange. Wings are dark with white tips; legs are pink.
American Oystercatcher: Large shorebird with white underparts, brown upperparts, black hood, long, bright red-orange needle-shaped bill. White wing patches visible in flight. Yellow eyes surrounded by orange eye-rings. Legs and feet are pink. Feeds on mussels and other bivalves. Rapid direct flight.
Willet: This large sandpiper has mottled gray-brown upperparts, white rump and lightly streaked and barred white underparts, white tail with dark brown tip, and blue-gray leg. Broad white stripes on black wings are visible in flight. Feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, insects and small fish. Flight is short and low, alternating rapid wing beats with glides. Sexes are similar.
Purple Sandpiper: Medium sandpiper, upperparts are scaled gray-brown, crown is dark, and white underparts are streaked. Bill is dark with a yellow base and slightly decurved. Wings have large white stripes visible in flight; tail has dark central stripe above and is white below.
Little Stint: This medium-sized sandpiper has scaled-brown upperparts and white underparts. The face, neck and breast are rust-brown with black spots. The back has white lines that form a V-pattern in flight. It has a black bill, legs and feet. It feeds by pecking at the surface and probing mud with its bill for small invertebrates. It has a direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
American Woodcock: Medium, stocky sandpiper with buff-brown underparts and dark-streaked gray-brown upperparts. Head shows black bars rather than the stripes of most other sandpipers. Eyes are black and very large; bill is dull yellow with a black tip and is long and stout. Pale gray legs and feet.
Black-legged Kittiwake: This is a medium-sized white gull with pale gray back and upperwings and black wing tips. The bill is yellow and the legs and feet are black. It has a swift, graceful flight, alternating several rapid shallow wing beats with a glide. Hovers over water before diving for prey at the surface. It feeds on marine invertebrates, plankton and fish. The sexes look very similar.
Bonaparte's Gull: This is a medium-sized gull with a black head and bill, gray back and wings and white underparts and tail. White outer primaries with black trailing edges are visible in flight. The legs are red-orange. It catches fish by wading and diving. It has a light and direct flight with rapid wing beats. It feeds mainly on insects, which it catches in mid-flight. The sexes are similar.
Laughing Gull: This medium-sized gull has a gray back, white underparts and neck, a black hood and red bill. The wings are gray and white-edged, and black at the tips; tail is white. The legs and feet are black. Diet includes insects, fish, shellfish and crabs. It has a slow flight with deep wing beats and soars on updrafts. It is named for its laughter like call. Sexes are similar.
Yellow-legged Gull: Large white gull, medium gray upperparts and red spot on bright yellow bill; legs and feet are yellow. Tail is white. Wades or makes shallow dives to catch food, steals, scavenges. Strong, direct flight with deep, steady wing beats. Rides thermals and updrafts, sometimes hovers.
Lesser Black-backed Gull: Medium-sized gull with dark gray back and wings. Head, neck and underparts are white. Rump and tail are white. Bill is yellow with red spot near tip. The wings have dark tips with white spots; legs and feet are yellow. Eyes are yellow with red orbital rings.
Great Black-backed Gull: World's largest gull. White head, black upperparts, white underparts, large yellow bill with red spot on lower mandible, pale-eyed with red orbital ring, pink legs, feet. Flight is direct and powerful with deep, slow wing beats. Soars on thermals or updrafts.
Least Tern: This small tern has slate-gray upperparts, white underparts; crown and nape are black, and the forehead is white. Black leading edge of outer wing is conspicuous in flight. The tail is forked, and the bill and feet are yellow. It feeds on small fish and invertebrates. It has a fast smooth flight with rapid wing beats. Hovers briefly before dipping down to seize prey. Sexes are similar.
White-winged Tern: Small tern, black head, body, and underwing coverts; white rump, vent, upperwing coverts, and tail; flight feathers are pale gray. Bill is dark red to black; Red legs and feet. Fluttering, uneven flight with slow, shallow wing beats. Hovers before dipping for prey.
Gull-billed Tern: Lightest North American tern. Black cap that extends below eyes, down nape; pale gray upperparts that are darker at the wingtips; short, stout black bill and black legs, feet; long wings with very long outer primaries. Direct flight with graceful, shallow wing beats.
Sandwich Tern: This is the only medium-sized tern with a long slender black bill tipped with yellow. The upperparts are very pale gray, nearly white, and the underparts are white. The black crown has a short black crest, the white tail is deeply forked, and the legs and feet are black. It has a direct flight and hovers before diving for fish. Sexes are similar.
Royal Tern: Large tern, pale gray upperparts; white face, neck, and underparts. Head has spiky, black crest and cap, and heavy, bright orange bill. Wings are black-tipped above and black-edged below; tail is deeply forked. Legs and feet are black. Hovers before plunge diving for prey.
Black Skimmer: Odd-looking, tern-like bird with black upperparts and white underparts. Bright red bill with black tip, lower mandible longer than upper. Long, slim wings are dark above and silver-gray below. Tail is white with black central feathers. Legs, feet are red. Direct flight.
Great Skua: Large, heavy-bodied seabird, prominent white patch in primary feathers. Body color ranges from a light bleached to dark brown, all have a cinammon wash that makes the bird look red-tinged. Strong direct flight with constant shallow wingbeats. Hugs wave contours or flies up to 150 feet.
South Polar Skua Dark: This small, gull-like skua occurs in two color phases. Dark phase adult has a dark brown body with a large white patch at base of primaries visible in flight. Dark bill, thick and heavy; short, broad tail. Light phase adult has pale gray-brown head and underparts. Feeds on fish, krill and squid. Strong direct flight with shallow wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Pomarine Jaegar Dark Morph: This large jaeger is dark brown except for white patches near underwing tips and sides of under tail. Light morph has white neck, pale yellow collar, white lower breast, mottled breast band, sides. Thick bill, pale base, two long central feathers twisted vertically on tail. Diet includes fish and small birds. Strong steady flight with deep wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Parasitic Jaegar Dark Morph: This medium-sized jaeger has a brown body, darker cap and pale underwing patches near tips. Pale form has white underparts with brown breast band; intermediates between dark and light morphs occur. Diamond-shaped tail has elongated, pointed central feathers. Black bill, legs and feet. Alternates several deep flaps with glides and fast wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Long-tailed Jaegar: This small diving duck has gray upperparts, white breast, and gray belly. Black cap covers the eyes, crosses chin, and ends at yellow nape. Dark-edged upperwings, gray tail with black edges and long, black streamers, and blue-gray legs. Feeds on lemmings, fish and insects. Tern like airy flight with continuous wing beats, a few glides and numerous dives. Sexes are similar.
Razorbill: Large seabird with black head, neck, upperparts, white line from bill to eye, and white underparts. Large, wedge-shaped bill is black with a central, thin white band. Black legs and feet. Feeds on fish, marine worms, squid and crustaceans. Swift low direct flight.
Fork-tailed Flycatcher: Medium-sized flycatcher with pale gray upperparts, black head, inconspicuous yellow crown stripe, and white underparts. Wings and spectacularly long, deeply forked tail are black. Wing linings are white. Swift flight with shallow wing beats. Feeds on insects.
Eurasian Jackdaw: Small, black crow with glossy blue-black metallic sheen on back and shoulders. Nape and ear patches are gray, eyes are pale gray, and bill is short and pointed. Feeds on insects, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, eggs and young of other birds, seeds, fruits and berries.
American Robin: Large, familiar North American thrush, gray-brown upperparts, rich red-brown breast, and white lower belly and undertail coverts. Head appears black with white splotches surrounding the eyes, and throat is white with black streaks. Juvenile has heavily spotted underparts. Swift, direct flight on rapidly beating wings.
Saltmarsh Sparrow: Small sparrow, pale-streaked gray back, white throat, heavily streaked buff breast and sides, white belly. Head has dark cap, thick, orange-brown eyebrows and gray ear patches. Gray wings with orange-brown shoulders. Brown tail is pointed.
Seaside Sparrow: Medium sparrow (maritimus), streaked olive-gray upperparts, pale buff underparts, streaks on breast, sides. Head has yellow streak between eye, bill. Long bill, thick base. Short, pointed tail. Short flights, alternates rapidly beating wings with wings pulled to sides.
Boat-tailed Grackle: Large, black bird with a very long, keel-shaped tail. Male is iridescent blue-black with yellow or brown eyes. Black bill is slender and long. Legs and feet are gray. Forages walking on ground and wading in water. Strong direct flight with rapidly beating wings.
Brambling: Medium-sized finch with jet-black hood, brown-black back and orange shoulder patches, throat, and breast. Fall plumage has buff-edged upperparts. Underparts are buff with black-spotted flanks. Wings are black with white and orange bars. Bounding flight, rapid wing beats alternating with wings at sides.
 
Restart Bird Identification Expert