Restart Bird Identification Expert

What SHAPE was the bird you saw in Quebec?



Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: Large, colorful duck with bright red bill, pink-red legs and feet. Shows white wing patch, black belly, reddish-brown breast, neck and back. Face, foreneck are gray, white eye ring. Feeds on aquatic plants, cultivated grains, seeds. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Fulvous Whistling-Duck: Large, long-legged, long-necked duck with dark brown back and white V-shaped rump patch. Head and underparts are buff to cinnamon with white throat and vent. The white-edged side and flank feathers form a striking border between sides and back. Tail is black with white undertail coverts.
Pink-footed Goose: Short-necked goose with blue gray mantle and wing coverts, white belly, dark brown head, neck. Pale feather tips produce barring on flanks and upperparts. Pink legs and feet. Bill is pink with a brown tip and base. Swift direct flight with strong wing beats. Flies in V formation.
Ross's Goose: Small, white goose with black primary feathers and stubby gray-based red-orange bill. Red-orange legs and feet. Eats mostly fresh grasses and grains, often in the company of Snow Geese. Rapid direct flight with strong wing beats. Flies in a V formation. North America's smallest goose.
Barnacle Goose: Medium goose, distinctive white face, jet-black head, neck, and upper breast. Wings and back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars. Belly is white. V-shaped white rump patch and silver-gray underwing linings are visible in flight. Black bill,legs and feet. Strong direct flight.
Cackling Goose: This small to medium-sized goose has a mottled gray-brown body, black legs, tail, neck, head and face, with a white chin strap stretching from ear to ear and a white rump band. The bill is small and triangular. It eats a variety of plant species and parts, especially grasses, sedges, grain and berries. Strong deep wing beats. Sexes are similar; the male is larger.
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.
Whooper Swan: Large, white swan with black and yellow bill; broad, yellow patch covers at least half of the upper mandible. Black legs and feet. Feeds by dipping head and neck in water. Eats invertebrates and aquatic plants. Strong direct flight with deep and steady wing beats. Flies in V formation.
Eurasian Wigeon: This large dabbling duck has a gray back, finely speckled gray flanks, a dark rufous-brown head, buff crown and forehead, pink-brown breast, a white belly and gray legs and feet. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. The wings have white shoulder patches and a green speculum visible in flight. Feeds primarily on pond weeds.
Cinnamon Teal: This small duck has scaled dark brown upperparts, cinnamon-brown underparts, head and neck, red eyes, long dark bill and yellow-gray legs. White line divides green speculum and pale blue shoulder patch on wing. Female is brown-scaled overall with dull blue shoulder patch, dark eyes and pale edged upper mandible. Feeds on seeds and insects. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
White-cheeked Pintail: Large, heavily spotted dark and light brown duck with striking white cheek patches, blue bill with bright red base, buff pointed tail. Legs and feet are blue-gray. Feeds on aquatic plants, small invertebrates. Swift direct flight with strong rapid wing beats. AKA Bahama Duck.
Garganey: This small dabbling duck has black-streaked, gray upperparts, chestnut-brown mottled face and breast, pale gray flanks, and a white stripe above the eye that runs down the neck. The wings have pale blue shoulder patches and a dark green speculum with white borders visible in flight. Fast direct flight with rapid wing beats. Diet includes aquatic invertebrates.
Common Pochard: Medium-sized, colorful diving duck from Eurasia with a rich red-brown head, black breast and tail, and gray body. Dark bill has a pale gray saddle; eyes are red. Feeds on aquatic plants, dives often, sometimes dabbles. Swift direct flight on rapid wing beats. Flies in a V formation.
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, quick wing beats. The female is dull brown with a white patch on the face at base of bill.
Steller's Eider: Small eider with black back and collar, white sides, buff-brown underparts with small but distinct black spot on side. White head has a dark tuft, black eye patch and chin. Wings are white with black primaries and a white-bordered blue speculum. Blue-gray bill, legs and feet.
Smew: Small merganser, mostly white body except for black back, mask, breast bar, and V-shaped nape patch. Wings are dark with large white patches. Gray legs, feet. Feeds on fish, aquatic insects, and their larvae. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.
Northern Bobwhite: Medium, morphologically variable quail, most with unique head pattern of white face and throat, dark eyestripe, rufous-brown (eastern and Great Plains) or black (Florida) center stripe on top of head. Body shows a mottled combination of black, brown, rufous-brown, and gray.
Spruce Grouse: Medium grouse with barred, dark gray-brown upperparts, black underparts show white bars on breast, white chevrons on sides, belly. Throat is white-bordered black; red eye combs. Tail is either black with fine white spots near base (Franklin's) or black with rufous-brown tip (Tiaga).
Pacific Loon: This medium-sized loon has a black-and-white checkered back and white underparts. It has a gray crown and nape, red eyes and a slender black bill. Iridescent throat patch can appear purple, green or black. Feeds mostly on fish, some crustaceans and insects. Flight is direct with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Yellow-billed Loon: Large loon, white-spotted black upperparts, white underparts, gray sides with fine white spots. Head is glossy green-black; neck has black-and-white rings. Yellow bill. Dives for small fish, crustaceans. Direct flight on deep wing beats. Solitary, or in pairs and family groups.
Eared Grebe: This small grebe has black upperparts, dark chestnut-brown flanks and white underparts. The head and neck are black. There are orange feathers on the face, the eyes are red, and the legs and feet are black. It feeds on aquatic insects and crustaceans. It has a direct flight with rapid wing beats. The sexes are similar in appearance.
Western Grebe: Large, long-necked grebe with dark gray upperparts, white underparts, gray sides and flanks. Lower face and front of neck are white; black cap extends below eye. Back of neck is black. Eyes are red. Bill is long, thin, and dull olive-yellow. Winter birds are duller gray and juveniles are light gray overall. Wings have white stripes visible in flight.
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.
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.
Wood Stork: Large, odd wading bird, mostly white except for black flight feathers and tail. Upper neck and head are featherless and dark gray. The bill is thick, long, and curved downward. Legs and feet are gray black. Alternates between strong wing beats and gliding. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
Magnificent Frigatebird: Large black seabird, orange throat patch inflates into a huge bright red-orange balloon when in courtship display. Long bill is gray, hooked. Wings are long and narrow. Tail is forked; legs and feet are dark gray. Eats fish, crustaceans, jellyfish. High soaring flight.
Northern Gannet: Very large seabird. White overall with black primaries and long pointed wings. Light buff-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.
American White Pelican: Huge, white seabird, enormous outstretched wings show black primaries, outer secondaries in flight. Bill, legs are bright orange, upper bill develops a fibrous keel during breeding season. Slow, deep wing beats. Soars high on thermals. Flies in straight line or V formation.
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.
Little Egret: Medium-sized, all white egret with plumes on head, breast, and back. Legs are black with yellow feet. Black bill, and yellow lores. Nonbreeding adult lacks head and back plumes, has gray lores, and shows yellow on lower legs. Difficult to distinguish from Snowy Egret. Flight is direct.
Little Blue Heron: This medium-sized, slender heron has a slate-gray body and a purple-blue head and neck. The eyes are yellow and the bill is dark gray with a black tip. The legs and feet are dark. It feeds on small crustaceans, invertebrates and large insects. It has a direct flight with steady quick wing beats. The sexes are similar.
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.
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.
Black Vulture: Large raptor, black overall, short, featherless neck, pale bill, short and squared tail, long, pale gray legs and feet. Gray-black skin on head and neck is wrinkled. White-tipped wings, held horizontal in flight. Soars on thermals, must flap its wings more often than a Turkey Vulture.
Swallow-tailed Kite: The largest of North America kites, has black upperparts which contrast with white head and underparts. In flight it shows long pointed wings with black flight feathers and white wing linings. Has a 15-16 inch-long black tail with deep fork. The neck, breast and belly are white.
Mississippi Kite: Small kite, dark gray upperparts, pale gray underparts and head. Eyes are red. Upperwings are dark gray with pale gray patches. Tail is long and black. Feeds on large flying insects. Bouyant flight with steady wing beats, alternates several wing strokes with short to long glides.
Swainson's Hawk: Large hawk, dark brown upperparts, white throat, rufous upper breast, pale buff underparts. Tail is gray with faint bars, dark terminal band, and white trailing edge. Yellow legs, feet. Alternates series of powerful deep wing beats with long glides. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
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.
Purple Gallinule: Medium, chicken-like marsh bird with purple-blue upperparts washed with iridescent green, deep blue underparts. Forehead is pale blue; bill is red and yellow-tipped. Undertail coverts are white. Legs are yellow with very long toes. The flight is labored and slow with dangling legs.
Eurasian Coot: Medium, squat marsh bird, all black with white bill, frontal shield. Eye-rings are red, legs are yellow-gray. Feeds on aquatic plants, insects, amphibians, mollusks and small fish. Agressive towards other water birds. Swift direct flight on rapid wing beats, feet protrude beyond tail.
Common Crane: Large wading bird, gray overall with a black face, chin, throat and neck; shows a patch of bare red skin on crown. Broad white stripe extends from behind eye down back of neck. Black flight feathers and short tail are visible in flight. Bill is dull yellow and legs and feet are black.
Whooping Crane: Adults are nearly all white except for red crown, black mask, and black primary feathers most visible in flight. The juvenile has rust-brown head and upper neck, and brown wash over mostly white body. Very rare bird; near extinction. Feeds on frogs, fish, mollusks, small mammals and crustaceans, grain and roots of water plants. Direct flight; slow downward wing beat and a powerful flick on the upbeat.
Black-necked Stilt: Large shorebird with sharply contrasting black upperparts and white underparts. Long, thin, upcurved bill. Red eyes with white eye-rings, and white patch above. Legs are extremely long and red-pink. Feeds on insects, fish, worms, small crustaceans and seeds. Swift direct flight.
American Avocet: Long-legged shorebird with long, thin, upcurved bill and distinctive black-and-white back and sides. Head and neck are bright rust-brown during summer. Legs and feet are gray. Feeds on insects, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Strong direct flight with neck extended.
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.
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.
European Golden-Plover: Largest of the golden plovers, showing black crown, throat, neck and upperparts with small bright gold spotting. White band on forehead runs down sides of neck and along flank; black underparts are trimmed in white. Undertail is white and the legs are short and dark gray.
Wilson's Plover: Medium plover, gray-brown upperparts and cap. Underparts are white except for black upper breast band. Head has white forehead patch edged in black and white eyebrows joining above bill. Wings are dark with white stripes visible in flight. White tail with faint brown central strip and dark tip.
Common Ringed Plover: Plump little plover with dark gray-brown upperparts, pure white underparts, and strong black mask and chest band. Base of dark-tipped bill and legs are bright orange. Frequents mudflats. Eats worms, aquatic insects, crustaceans and mollusks. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Piping Plover: Small, pale sand-colored plover, showy black bands on head, neck. White upertail with white-edged black tip. Short bill has bright orange base and black tip. Legs are bright orange. Eats fly larvae, beetles, crustaceans and marine worms. Feeds higher on the beach than other plovers.
Common Greenshank: Large sandpiper with scaled gray-brown upperparts, white rump, and white underparts, streaked and spotted with brown on flanks and sides. Yellow-green legs. Bill is slightly upturned. Eats small fish, insects and larvae. Swift direct flight with clipped wing beats.
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.
Eskimo Curlew: Small curlew, brown mottled upperparts, buff underparts streaked and mottled brown, and pale cinnamon wing linings. Bill is moderately short, not as strongly curved as similar curlews. Crown has two dark stripes. Wings noticeably long on perched bird. Last sighted in Canada in 1982.
Eurasian Curlew: Large curlew, strongly marked underparts lack rich orange or buff tones that other long billed curlews often show. Brown upperparts. Large, decurved bill, black upper mandible, lower mandible has pink base. In flight it shows prominent white lower back, rump, and underwing linings.
Black-tailed Godwit: Large, tall godwit with black-barred, orange-brown body. Orange-brown head and neck, and white mark between eye and bill; combination of prominent white rump, white wing bar, and pure white underwings is unique among the godwits. Black-tipped yellow bill is long and straight.
Bar-tailed Godwit: This large shorebird has a long upcurved bill, scaled brown, black and gray mottled upperparts and pale red-brown underparts. The tail is white with dark bars and the legs and feet are dark gray. It has a direct flight with steady wing beats. The female is larger than the male with a longer bill and has a little red-brown color. It feeds on mollusks, worms and aquatic insects.
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has dark brown upperparts and white underparts with faint olive-brown streaks on breast and sides. It has a rufous crown, white eye ring and dark brown wings. The tail is dark brown and pointed in flight. Feeds primarily on mosquito larvae but also takes mollusks and crustaceans. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Curlew Sandpiper: This is a medium-sized sandpiper with mottled rufous, white and black upperparts. The head, neck and breast are a rich rufous, while vent, under tail coverts and underwings are white. It has a long black bill that is slightly decurved, and black legs and feet. It mainly feeds on insects and other small invertebrates. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Red-necked Stint: This small sandpiper has mottled brown upperparts and streaked cap. Underparts are white; upper breast is rust-brown and spotted. The face and throat are rust-brown and the bill, legs and feet are black. Forages on shore; sometimes probes mud. Feeds on algae and aquatic plants, insects and insect larvae. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. 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.
Baird's Sandpiper: This medium-sized bird has scaled gray-brown upperparts, white underparts and a dark-spotted gray-brown breast. The crown, face and neck are buff with fine brown streaks. It has a white rump with a dark central stripe and black legs and feet. Feeds on insects and spiders. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats; long wings allow them to make long flights. Sexes are similar.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has a buff wash over the entire body except for the white vent. It has black-spotted and streaked upperparts, slightly scaled underparts, a white eye ring, black bill and yellow legs. It feeds mostly on insects. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. It shows white wing linings in flight. The sexes are similar.
Common Snipe: Longest-billed of all snipes, best identified by broad white stripe at base of underwing. Upperparts cryptically colored with brown and yellow-brown streaks of many different shades. Underparts white but strongly suffused with orange wash, heavily barred and streaked with dark brown.
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.
Long-tailed Jaeger: Smallest but most buoyant and graceful jaeger or skua, with gray upperparts, white breast and gray belly. Black cap covers eyes, crosses chin and ends at yellow nape. Upperwings are dark edged. Tail is gray with black edges and long black streamers. Legs are blue-gray and toes are webbed. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is heavily barred and spotted gray; has white patches on underwings, white throat, white belly and dark-tipped gray bill. Dark juvenile is darker overall; has gray throat and lacks white belly.
Dovekie: Small seabird with black upperparts and hood, white underparts, and stubby, black, sparrow-like bill. Wings are black with thin white trailing edge, visible when folded, and dark underwings. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats, usually flies low over the water.
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.
Black Guillemot Adult: Medium-sized seabird, black body with a large white wing patch and a dark, pointed bill. In flight white auxillaries and underwing linings are visible. Legs and feet are red. It flies low over the water with rapid wing beats. The inside of their mouth is bright orange.
Long-billed Murrelet: Small seabird with dark brown upperparts and darker brown barring, paler throat and white eye-ring. Underparts are lighter brown with brown barring. Straight black bill. Legs and feet are brown. Strong fast direct flight, often close to the water on rapid wing beats.
Ancient Murrelet: Small, pelagic seabird with black head and dark gray back and wings. White underparts extend up onto the face as a cheek patch. Bill is short and yellow with a blackish tip. An open ocean species vaguely resembling a small penguin that can fly. Swift, direct, and low flight.
Atlantic Puffin: Medium seabird with black upperparts, white underparts, white face, and large, parrot-like, orange and gray bill. Eyes surrounded by orange and black markings; legs and feet are bright orange. The only puffin nesting on the Atlantic Coast. Swift direct flight.
Ivory Gull: A pure white gull whose entire life is restricted to the edge of the floating pack ice. Legs dark, bill dusky with yellow tip. It eats fish, insects, lemmings and crustaceans, and is also an active scavenger. Bouyant, graceful flight. Often flies with feet trailing and dangling below.
Sabine's Gull: Small gull with gray back and white nape, rump, and underparts. Hood is solid black and eye-ring is dark red. Bill is black with yellow tip; legs and feet are black. The upperwings are gray with black primaries and white secondaries. Tail is slightly forked when folded.
Ross's Gull: The pink gull of the high Arctic. Small gull, pale gray upperparts, gray-white nape, white neck with thin black collar, and white, wedge-shaped tail; underparts are variably pink. Black bill is very short; legs, feet are orange-red. Often feeds on mudflats like a wader.
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.
Franklin's Gull: This medium-sized gull has a gray back and white underparts. It has a black head, white eye ring, orange bill with a black spot near the tip, and red-orange legs. The wings are short with white spotted black tips. It has a strong direct flight with deep wing beats. It feeds mostly on terrestrial and aquatic insects. The sexes are similar; males are slightly larger.
Mew Gull: Medium-sized gull with gray back and upperwings, and white head, neck, breast, and belly. Bill is bright yellow. Wings have white-spotted black tips; tail is white. Feet and legs are dull yellow. Graceful, bouyant flight. Undulating, with several rapid wingbeats and a pause.
Western Gull: This large gull has gray upperparts, white head, neck, tail and underparts, yellow eyes, a bright yellow bill with red spot near tip and pale pink legs and feet. It has gray upper wings, white-edged with white-spotted black tips. Diet includes fish, crabs, clams, eggs, carrion and garbage. It has a direct flight; strong, steady wing beats; soars on thermals. Sexes are similar.
California Gull: This is a medium-sized gull with a white head and underparts, gray wings and black wing tips. The bill and legs are yellow, and it has a red eyering. It has a strong direct flight with deep wing beats. It feeds on worms, mice, other birds and their eggs, and garbage. The sexes are similar, but the males are usually larger than females, with a larger bill, head and tarsi.
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.
Thayer's Gull: Large gull, gray upperparts, white head, tail, underparts. Bill is yellow with red spot near the end of the lower mandible. Wings are gray with white-spotted, dark gray tips. Legs are dark pink. Direct flight, strong, steady wing beats, soars on thermals or updrafts.
Slaty-backed Gull: This large gull has a slate-gray back, white head, belly, tail, and upper wings; dark outer primaries separated from mantle by row of white spots. Gray underside of primaries; broad white trailing edge to wings. It has pink legs and feet, yellow eyes with red orbital ring and a yellow bill with red spot near tip. Diet includes fish, crustaceans and insects. Sexes are similar.
Sooty Tern: This medium-sized tern has long wings, a deeply forked tail, black crown, nape, and upperparts and a broad triangular white forehead patch. The underparts are white; upper tail is black with white outer edges. It has a direct flight with strong, shallow wing beats. It hovers before dipping for prey. It feeds on squid and fish. Sexes are similar.
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.
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.
Roseate Tern: White below with slight, variable pinkish cast visible in good light; pale gray above with black cap, nape and deeply forked tail that projects well beyond wingtips at rest. Bill mostly black with some red at base; legs and feet are red-orange. Graceful, direct flight.
Forster's Tern: Medium tern, pale gray upperparts, black cap, white underparts. Bill is orange, black tip. Wings are pale gray with paler primaries. Tail is pale gray, deeply forked with dark inner edge, white outer edge. Orange legs, feet. Hovers above water before diving for prey.
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.
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.
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.
Band-tailed Pigeon: Large dove, small, purple-gray head and broad neck with distinctive, thin white band on nape. Back and wings are purple-gray, underparts grade from purple-gray neck and breast to white belly. Tail is pale gray, dark band at base. Bill, legs,feet are yellow. Swift direct flight.
Eurasian Collared-Dove: Medium dove, pale gray overall with darker cinnamon-brown wash over back. Nape is ringed with half-black collar that does not extend to throat. Wings are mottled gray with dark primaries. Tail is long, broad, edged with white (black near base). Pink legs, feet.
White-winged Dove: Medium-sized, stout dove with gray-brown upperparts, gray underparts, and small, black crescent below eye. The wings are dark gray with broad white stripes. Tail is short and brown with white corners. Bill is gray. Legs and feet are red. Fast direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Barn Owl: This medium-sized owl has a glaring white, heart-shaped facial disk, no ear tufts and long legs. The upperparts are orange-brown with fine white spots and dark bars, and the underparts are white with small black spots. It feeds primarily on small mammals and also takes small birds. It has a slow, silent moth-like flight. Sexes are similar, but females are darker in color than the males.
Burrowing Owl: Small ground-dwelling owl, mostly brown with numerous white spots and no ear tufts. Eyes are yellow. White chin and throat. Tail is short, and legs are long. Bouyant, erratic flight with slow, silent wingbeats. May hover briefly above prey. The scientific name means "little digger."
Chuck-will's-widow: Large nightjar with entire body complexly mottled with brown, gray, and black. Collar is white, throat is brown, and breast patch is dark brown. The tail is white-edged. Legs and feet are brown. Feeds at night, mostly on insects. Bouyant, silent flight with flicking wing beats.
Green Violetear: Medium hummingbird, dark metallic green (appearing black in low light) with blue-violet cheek and breast patches. Wings have black primaries. Squared tail is blue-green with black band. Slightly decurved bill is black. Direct, hovering flight with rapid wing beats.
Anna's Hummingbird: Medium hummingbird; male has bronze-green upperparts, dull gray underparts. Hood and throat are iridescent red, may appear black or dark purple in low light; broken white eye-ring is usually visible. Tail is dark green with black outer tail feathers. Feeds on nectar, insects, spiders, and sap.
Rufous Hummingbird: Medium hummingbird, bright rufous-brown overall with white breast and ear patch, red-orange throat, and green shoulders. Rounded tail is rufous with black edges. Some males show green on back and head. Feeds on insects and nectar. Direct and hovering flight with rapid wing beats.
American Three-toed Woodpecker: Medium woodpecker with black-and-white barred upperparts, black head, yellow crown, white eye-line, throat, breast, and belly, and diagonally barred white flanks. Wings are black with white spots; rump is black; tail is black with white outer feathers.
Western Wood-Pewee: Medium-sized flycatcher with dull olive-gray upperparts and pale olive-gray underparts. Head has darker cap and slight crest. The wings are dark with two white bars. Feeds on insects, spiders and berries. Quiet and solitary. Weak fluttering flight with shallow rapid wing beats.
Acadian Flycatcher: Small flycatcher with olive-gray upperparts, pale gray throat, distinctive pale yellow eye-ring, white lower breast, and faint yellow wash on belly and undertail coverts. Wings are olive-gray with two buff wing bars. Long broad-based bill with yellow-orange lower mandible. Black legs, feet.
Say's Phoebe: Medium-sized, active flycatcher with gray-brown upperparts and head, paler gray throat and upper breast, and pale rufous belly and undertail coverts. The wings and tail are dark gray. Feeds primarily on insects. Weak fluttering flight with shallow wing beats. Hawks from perch, hovers.
Vermilion Flycatcher: Small, stocky flycatcher, gray-black upperparts and scarlet-red crown, throat, and underparts. Face has thick, black eye-line. Wings and tail are gray-black; tail has thin white tip. Female has gray-brown upperparts, white underparts with brown streaks, and a light to dark salmon colored belly and vent. Weak fluttering flight on shallow wing beats. Hovers in display flight and when foraging.
Ash-throated Flycatcher: Medium flycatcher with gray-brown upperparts, pale gray throat and breast, and gray-brown tail with rufous highlights. The pale yellow belly distinguishes this species from other Myiarchus flycatchers. Bill, legs, and feet are black. Strong flight with shallow wing beats.
Tropical Kingbird: Large flycatcher with olive-gray upperparts, gray head, inconspicuous orange crown patch, pale throat, dark eye patch, and dark upper breast. Underparts are bright yellow. Wings and tail are brown. Feeds on insects, frogs, fruits and berries. Weak fluttering flight.
Western Kingbird: Large flycatcher, gray upperparts, darker head, white throat and upper breast, and yellow lower breast and belly. Wings are brown. Tail is black with white edges. Feeds on insects, fruits and berries. Bouyant fluttering flight on shallow wing beats. Hovers over prey and dips down.
Gray Kingbird: Large flycatcher with gray upperparts, black mask, inconspicuous red crown patch, and mostly white underparts with pale yellow wash on belly and undertail coverts. Bill is long and black. Wings and notched tail are dark. Fluttering direct flight on shallow wing beats.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: Medium flycatcher with pale gray upperparts and head, white underparts and throat, salmon-pink sides and flanks, and dark brown wings with white edges. Tail is long and scissor-like, black above with white outer edges and white below with black inner edges.
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.
Loggerhead Shrike: Medium shrike with gray upperparts and paler gray underparts. Mask is black and throat is white. Bill is heavy and slightly hooked. Wings are black with white patches. Tail is long, black, and white-edged. Low, swift flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
White-eyed Vireo: Medium-sized, secretive vireo with olive-green upperparts, and white underparts with yellow sides and flanks. Spectacles are pale yellow and iris is white. Wings are dark with two white bars. Legs and feet are gray. Flight is fast and direct on short, rounded wings.
Plumbeous Vireo: Medium vireo, gray back, white throat and underparts, olive-gray sides, yellow-washed flanks. Crown, nape, and face are gray; eye-rings appear as large, white spectacles. Wings are dark gray with two white bars. Tail is short with white edges. Blue-gray legs and feet.
Cassin's Vireo: Small vireo, olive-gray upperparts, white underparts, pale yellow flanks. Head is gray with white eye-ring that extends to brow. Wings are dark with two white bars. Until the 1990s was classified as the Solitary Vireo, along with the Blue-headed and Plumbeous Vireos.
Yellow-green Vireo: Medium vireo, olive-green upperparts, pale yellow underparts, bright yellow sides and flanks. Crown is dull gray, eyebrows are white, and eyestripe is dark. Eyes are red. Bill is gray, legs, and feet are blue-gray. Flight is fast and direct on rapidly beating wings.
Steller's Jay: Large crested jay with a black head and crest and a blue body. Head has slight white eyebrow, forehead, and chin spots. Wings and tail are blue with black bars. Feeds on pine seeds, acorns, fruit, frogs, snakes, carrion, insects and eggs and young of other birds.
Black-billed Magpie: Large, noisy jay, mostly black, with very long tail and dark, stout bill. Wings and tail are iridescent blue and green-black. White belly and sides. Eats insects, larvae, carrion. Direct flight on shallow, steady wing beats. Often glides between perches or from perch to ground.
Cave Swallow: Small swallow (Southwest pelodoma), with steel-blue upperparts, white underparts, rufous wash on breast and sides. Forehead is chestnut-brown and throat and rump are buff. Tail is square. Swift, graceful flight, alternates several rapid, deep wing beats with long curving glides.
Boreal Chickadee: Large chickadee, brown upperparts, dark brown cap, small black bib, gray face and neck, white cheek, rufous sides, white underparts. Gray wings, tail. Short, weak flights on rapidly beating wings. Alternates several quick, shallow strokes with wings pulled to sides.
House Wren: Small wren with brown head, nape, and back showing very fine dark brown bars, faint white eyebrows, and gray-brown underparts with fine brown bars on flanks and below tail. Wings and tail are brown with darker bars. Brown-throated Wrens have a bolder eyebrow and a darker throat. Northern birds are grayer overall with baring on the flanks. Southern birds have light brown upperparts and buff underparts. Bill is thin and slightly decurved.
Bewick's Wren: Small wren with unstreaked, gray to red-brown upperparts and plain white underparts. White eyebrows are conspicuous. Tail is long and white-edged with dark bars. Bill is long and slightly decurved. Legs and feet are gray. Eastern populations are red-brown, Northwestern birds are more brown, and Western Interior birds are gray-brown. Eastern populations have seriously declined since the 1960s.
Golden-crowned Kinglet: Very small, warbler-like bird, olive-green to gray upperparts and pale breast. Head has bright orange crown patch bordered with yellow and black, white eyebrows and black bill. Tail is short and wings have two bars. Female similar but lacks orange in the yellow crown. Weak fluttering flight on shallow wing beats.
Northern Wheatear: Small thrush (oenanthe), with gray upperparts, black wings, mask, and tail. Underparts are white, and buff-brown wash on throat. Dark gray back and nape. Very active bird, nervous and restless while foraging. Bobs tail and often makes short flights to hawk insects.
Mountain Bluebird: Small thrush with brilliant blue back, head, and wings. Throat and breast are paler blue, and belly and undertail coverts are white. Female is gray overall with blue wings, rump, and tail. Hovers more than other bluebirds and drops on prey from above, also catches insects in flight. Eats mostly insects in the summer.
Townsend's Solitaire: Small thrush, gray overall and slightly darker above. Eye-ring is thin and white. The wings have pale rust-brown patches and black flight feathers. Outer tail feathers are white. Perches upright and remains still for long periods of time and is easily overlooked.
Gray-cheeked Thrush: Small thrush (minimus), with olive-brown upperparts, buff-brown breast with brown spots, and white or buff belly. Gray eye-ring is indistinct. Upper mandible is black with pale base, while lower mandible is yellow with black tip. Tail and rump have rust-brown wash.
Swainson's Thrush: Medium-sized thrush (swainsoni), with dull olive-brown or olive-gray upperparts, pale buff eye-ring, dark moustache stripe, and brown-spotted buff throat and breast, and white belly. Legs and feet are pink-gray. Flies in a swift, direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Fieldfare: Large, robin-like thrush with rufous back with gray head and rump. Underparts are brown-barred white on breast and sides, and white on belly. Wings are rufous. Tail is dark gray to black. The bill is yellow with a dark tip. Strong and fast flight on rapidly beating wings.
Redwing: Medium-sized thrush with brown upperparts, dark-spotted white underparts, and rufous flanks. Eyebrows are white and conspicuous. Bill is yellow with black tip. Deep rufous-orange underwing linings are visible in flight. Swift and strong direct flight on rapidly beating wings.
Varied Thrush: Large thrush, dark gray upperparts, rust-brown throat, breast, sides, eyebrows, black breast band, and white belly and undertail. Wings are dark gray with two rust-brown bars. Tail is dark gray with white corners. Legs and feet are brown. Direct, swift flight on rapidly beating wings.
White Wagtail: Medium-sized wagtail, mostly white except for black upperparts and upper breast. All-white wing appears as a white wing patch when folded. The tail is black with white outer tail feathers that are conspicuous in flight and flicked continually when walking. Black bill, legs and feet.
Bohemian Waxwing: Large waxwing with gray upperparts, pink-gray crest, black mask and chin, and gray underparts. The wings are black with a sharp yellow or white line and red spots on secondaries (visible when folded). Tail is dark and yellow-tipped with cinnamon-brown undertail coverts.
Smith's Longspur: Medium sparrow, yellow-brown streaked upperparts, black head with white eyebrow and ear patch, and yellow-brown nape, throat, and underparts. Wings have large white bars. Tail is black with white edges. Yellow-brown legs and feet. Feeds on seeds, spiders, and insects.
Worm-eating Warbler: Medium-sized, ground nesting warbler with olive-gray upperparts and pale yellow underparts. Yellow head has black crown stripes and eye-lines. As its name suggests, it eats a steady diet of moth caterpillars and worms. It usually forages in understory vegetation and dead leaves.
Louisiana Waterthrush: Large ground-dwelling warbler, dark olive-brown upperparts, heavily streaked white underparts with buff wash on belly and sides. White throat; eyestripe is dark and thick, white eyebrows widen behind eyes. Bill is long and heavy. Tail is short with pale buff undertail coverts.
Blue-winged Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with olive-green upperparts and yellow underparts. The head is yellow with thin black eye line and olive-green nape. Wings are dark gray with two white bars. When its range overlaps with the Golden-winged Warrbler, it often interbreeds with or displaces it.
Prothonotary Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with olive-green back and blue-gray wings and tail. Head, neck, and underparts are vibrant yellow and the undertail coverts are white. Bill, legs and feet are black. The only eastern warbler that nests in tree hollows. Once called the Golden Swamp Warbler.
Swainson's Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with olive-brown upperparts and pale gray underparts. Head has brown cap, white eyebrows, and dark eye-lines. Wings are plain olive-brown. It hides in dense thickets, where it forages on the ground looking for insects, spiders, and caterpillars.
Kentucky Warbler: Medium, ground-dwelling warbler with bright olive-green upperparts and yellow underparts. Head has black mask and sideburns and thick yellow eyebrows. Bill is black, legs and feet are pink. Secretive, heard rather than seen. It is named for the state where it was first discovered.
Hooded Warbler: Medium warbler, olive-green upperparts, bright yellow underparts. Head has black hood, and yellow face. The eyes are large and dark and the tail is often spread, displaying large white spots. Bill is black, legs and feet are pink. Makes short, direct flights on rapidly beating wings.
Kirtland's Warbler: Rare, medium-sized warbler with black-streaked gray upperparts and yellow underparts with black streaks on sides. The face is black with a broken white eye-ring. Legs, feet, and bill are black. It is a ground nester, prefers Jack Pine stands over 80 acres in size.
Yellow-throated Warbler: Medium warbler with gray upperparts, yellow throat, chin, and upper breast, white underparts with black spots on sides. Head has black face patch, white eyebrows. Wings are dark with two white bars. Tail is gray with white spots near corners. Bill, legs, and feet are black.
Prairie Warbler: Small warbler, brown-streaked, olive-green upperparts with reddish-brown streaking, bright yellow underparts with black streaks on sides. Head has a yellow-green cap, yellow face, and dark eye, cheek stripes. Found in pine stands, mangroves and overgrown fields rather than prairies.
Black-throated Gray Warbler: Small warbler, black-marked, slate-gray upperparts, black streaks on flanks, white underparts. Head has black hood and throat, sharply contrasting white eyebrow and cheek stripe, and yellow spot in front of eye. Wings are dark with two white bars. Black bill, legs, feet.
Townsend's Warbler: Olive-green upperparts, black throat and upper breast. Lower breast and sides are yellow with black streaks and belly is white.Face is yellow with black crown and cheek patch and yellow crescent below eye. Wings have two white bars. Tail has white edges, dark center and tip.
Hermit Warbler: Small warbler, gray upperparts, white underparts, black-streaked flanks. Head is yellow with black throat and nape. Wings are gray with two white bars. Bill, legs and feet are black. They spend most of their time in the tops of tall fir and pine trees, making them difficult to see.
Green-tailed Towhee: Large sparrow, olive-green upperparts and pale gray underparts. Crown is rufous, throat is white with black stripes, and bill is gray. Wings and tail are edged with olive-yellow. Rapid bouncy flight, alternates several quick wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Spotted Towhee: Large sparrow, white-spotted black back, black rump. Black breast, white belly, rufous sides. Head is black and eyes are red. Wings are black with white spots. Tail is long and black with white corners. Short, bounding flights, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Lark Sparrow: Medium sparrow with streaked, gray-brown upperparts and buff underparts with black breast spot. Head has black, white, and chestnut-brown stripes. Tail is long and black with white edges. Short, fluttering flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Black-throated Sparrow: Medium sparrow, gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, black bib. Head has dark gray cap and sharply contrasting white eyebrow and cheek stripe. Bill is black. Long, round-tipped tail is edged with white. Legs and feet are gray. Forages on the ground and in low vegetation.
Lark Bunting: Large sparrow, nearly black with large white wing patches, short, white-edged tail, and heavy, blue-gray bill. Forages in groung, low vegetation. Strong flight, alternates shallow wing beats with brief periods of wings pulled to sides. It is the state bird of Colorado.
Harris's Sparrow: Large sparrow with dark-streaked, brown upperparts and white underparts with dark-streaked sides. Head has stark black crown, face, and throat. Gray cheek patch is marked by a thin, black line. Bill is pink. Alternates rapid wing beats with brief periods of wings pulled to sides.
Golden-crowned Sparrow: Large sparrow, brown-streaked upperparts and plain gray breast. Yellow crown is bordered by a wide black cap; cheek and collar are black. Bill is gray. Wings are brown with two white bars. Short flights, alternates rapid wing beats with brief periods of wings pulled to sides.
Hepatic Tanager: Large tanager, dark to orange-red overall, gray wash on back and flanks. Gray-red cheek patch. Heavy, dark bill is slightly hooked. Legs and feet are gray. Forages in upper foliage of trees, sometimes catches insects in midair. Swift direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Summer Tanager: Large tanager, dark-red overall with a large, pale gray bill. Legs and feet are gray. It is the only entirely red bird in North America. Female has olive-yellow upperparts and dull yellow underparts. Some red morph females have a red wash, red splotches, or are entirely red. It specializes in eating bees and wasps, which is why it is also known as the bee bird. Swift direct flight with quick wing strokes.
Western Tanager: Medium-sized tanager with brilliant red head, bright yellow body, black back, wings, and tail. Wings have two bars: upper bar is yellow, lower bar is white. Legs and feet are gray. Female is olive-green above, with gray back and yellow underparts. Swift direct flight on rapidly beating wings. It was first recorded on the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Black-headed Grosbeak: Large, stocky finch, black-streaked, orange-brown back, black head, wings, tail. Breast is orange-brown and belly is yellow. Wings have conspicuous white patches. Black legs, feet. Female lacks black head and throat, has brown streaked upperparts and buff streaked underparts. Forages on ground and in trees and bushes. Eats insects, caterpillars, seeds, fruits and berries.
Blue Grosbeak: Large finch, bright purple-blue body, black face, and two wide, brown wingbars. Dark wings, tail. Hops on ground to forage. Gleans from bushes, weeds and trees. Feeds on insects, snails, grains, seeds and fruits. Swift flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Lazuli Bunting: Small finch, bright blue upperparts, cinnamon-brown breast and sides, white belly. Dark wings with white wing bar. Forages on ground, low in trees and bushes. Eats seeds, insects, caterpillars. Short flights, alternates rapid wing beats with brief periods of wings pulled to sides.
Painted Bunting: Colorful, medium-sized bunting. The male (shown in background) has a bronze-green back, bright red eyering, rump and underparts. Head and nape are blue. Wings are dark with green shoulder patches. The female (shown in foreground) has green upperparts, yellow-green underparts and dark wings.
Dickcissel: Medium-sized, stocky, sparrow-like bird. The Male (shown in background) has a dark gray back and head, and black-streaked shoulders. Face is gray with yellow eyestripe and breast is yellow. V-shaped bib is black. Wings are brown with chestnut-brown patches. The female (shown in foreground) and winter adult have brown streaked upperparts and no black bib. The juvenile is brown and streaked.
Western Meadowlark: This short stocky, ground-dwelling bird has dark-streaked brown upperparts, bright yellow underparts, and a broad black V on the breast. It has a dark brown-and-white striped crown, sharply pointed bill and brown tail with white edges. Feeds mostly on insects but also eats seeds. Flies low, with rapid shallow stiff wing beats followed by short glides. Sexes are similar.
Yellow-headed Blackbird: Medium-sized blackbird with black body, bright yellow hood and breast, and distinct white wing patches. Bill, legs and feet are black. Forages in low vegetation and on the ground. Feeds on insects, larvae, snails, seeds, and grains. Strong direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Brewer's Blackbird: Medium-sized blackbird with purple gloss on head and neck and green gloss on body and wings. Eyes are yellow. Follows farm tractors and plows. Forages on ground. Feeds on caterpillars, insects, fruits, seeds and grains. Strong, swift and direct flight with rapidly beating wings.
Orchard Oriole: Small oriole, black head, back, tail, and chestnut-orange shoulder patches, underparts, rump. Wings are black with single broad white bar; flight feathers have white edges. Feeds on insects, fruits, berries, nectar and flowers. Swift direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Hooded Oriole: Medium oriole with bright orange-yellow head and nape, and black back, face, throat, and upper breast. Bill is slightly decurved. Black wings have two white bars. Tail is black. Forages in trees and bushes. Eats insects, caterpillars, and nectar. Strong direct flight.
Bullock's Oriole: Medium oriole, mostly bright orange with black crown, eye-line, throat stripe, back, and central tail. Wings are black with large white patches. Forages in trees and bushes. Feeds on insects, caterpillars, fruits and berries. Sips nectar. Strong direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Common Chaffinch: Medium finch. Buff body. Crown and nape are blue-gray; belly and vent are white. Dark wings with white shoulder patches and single white bars. Forages in trees, bushes. Eats seeds and insects. Bounding flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
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.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch: Medium finch with brown body and pink on shoulders, flanks, and belly. Forehead is dark brown. The black bill turns yellow with a dark tip in the winter. Back of head and belly have gray patches. Forages in bushes, trees and on ground for seeds and insects. Bounding flight.
 
Restart Bird Identification Expert