Restart Bird Identification Expert

What SHAPE was the bird you saw in Michigan?



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.
Greater White-fronted Goose: This medium-sized goose has a dark-brown body and the underparts are barred and flecked with black. The belly and under tail coverts are white. The front of the face has a white patch and the bill is usually pink-orange. The legs are orange. It feeds on seeds, grain, grasses and berries. It has a steady direct flight with rapid wing beats. The sexes are similar.
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.
Brant: This small goose has dark brown upperparts and brown-barred, pale gray underparts. The head is black, and the short black neck has a partial white ring. The tail and vent are white. It has a heavy direct flight with strong wing beats. It flies in a straight line formation. It feeds on green plants including eel grass and sea lettuce. The sexes are similar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
King Eider: Large diving duck with black body and white breast, back. The crown and nape are pale blue; distinct bill is orange-red, sweeping upward into a large, orange basal knob outlined in black. Wings are black with large white patches visible in flight. Tail has white patches at the base.
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).
Harlequin Duck: Small diving duck, blue-gray upperparts and underparts, rust-brown flanks. Back, breast and neck have vivid black-bordered white bars. Tail is dark and relatively long. Gray legs, feet. Feeds on insects, mollusks and crustaceans. Rapid direct flight, often low over the water.
White-winged Scoter: Medium sea duck, mostly black except for white eye patches, large white wing patches. Bill is orange with large black basal knob. Red-orange legs, feet. Dives to 40 feet, feeds primarily on shellfish. Direct flight with steady wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.
Barrow's Goldeneye: Medium diving duck with black upperparts, contrasting white shoulder bars, white underparts. Head is large, glossy, and purple-black with golden yellow eyes and a crescent-shaped white patch behind a dark bill. White wing patches are visible in flight. Yellow legs and feet.
Gray Partridge: Gray-brown ground bird with rufous face and throat. Body complexly barred and streaked with red and white. Dark red belly patch. Legs and feet are yellow-orange. Prefers to walk rather than fly. Introduced to North America as a game bird in the early 1900s. AKA Hungarian Partridge.
Willow Ptarmigan: Small grouse, winter adult is all white with dark-edged tail and small orange-red eye combs. Summer bird has rust-brown upperparts, head, breast, white eye-ring, orange-red eye comb, white wings, belly, leg feathers; brown tail. Unlike other ptarmigans, the male stays with the female and defends its nest-it is known to attack anything that comes to close.
Greater Prairie-Chicke: Medium grouse, barred with brown and buff (or white). Yellow-orange eye combs. Orange air sacs on both sides of the neck inflate during courtship display; long feathers on back of neck also raised during displays. Short, dark brown tail, legs are feathered to the toes.
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.
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.
Manx Shearwater: Small shearwater with brown-black upperparts and white underparts, underwings and undertail coverts. Black head is darker than back. The bill is dark. Wings are long, slim, and straight. Tail is short and pointed. Feeds on fish and squid. Alternates long glides and rapid wing beats.
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.
Neotropic Cormorant: Small, long-tailed cormorant. Black upper and lowerparts may show blue gloss. Long hooked yellow-gray bill with yellow "v" shaped gular pouch edged in white. Legs and feet are black. Feeds on fish, crustaceans and amphibians. Flies low over water with strong rapid wing beats.
Anhinga: Large, dark waterbird with long tail, snake-like neck, small head, red eyes, and long olive-brown bill. Body is green-black overall with silver-gray feathers appearing speckled and grizzled on upper back and forewings. AKA snakebird and water turkey. Often soars like a raptor.
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.
Reddish Egret: Medium egret with blue-gray body and shaggy, pale rufous head and neck. Bill is pink with dark tip. Legs are blue-gray. White morph has all-white plumage, black-tipped pink bill, and black legs. Feeds on fish, frogs and crustaceans. Direct flight with buoyant steady wing beats.
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.
Short-tailed Hawk: Small hawk of grass and woodland habitat in Florida. Occurs in two color morphs: Dark morph adult is uniformly dark brown with thin dark bands on a dull white tail. In flight shows white flight feathers with thin dark bands and dark wingtips. The light morph has white underparts.
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.
Ferruginous Hawk: Large hawk, white head, streaked, rust-brown shoulders, back, and feathered legs. Underparts have scattered rufous streaks. Gray-brown wings. Tail is white with rust-brown wash. Dark morph is red-brown with white flight feathers. Alternates deep flaps and glides, soars on thermals.
Black Rail: Smallest North American rail, mostly dark gray or nearly black with white-speckled back, belly, flanks. Nape and upper back are chestnut-brown. Eyes are red. Eats seeds of aquatic plants, grasses and grains, insects and small marine crustaceans. Weak fluttering flight with legs dangling.
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.
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.
Snowy Plover: Small plover, pale brown upperparts, white underparts. Dark patches on either side of upper breast (partial breast band), behind eye, and on white forehead. Bill, legs, and feet are black. Wings have white stripes visible in flight. Dark tail has white edges. Dark gray legs and feet.
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.
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.
Mountain Plover: Medium-sized plover with pale brown upperparts, white underparts, and brown sides. Head has brown cap, white face, and dark eyestripe. The upperwings are brown with black edges and white bars; underwings are white. Tail is brown-black with white edges. Legs and feet are pale gray.
Spotted Redshank: Large sandpiper, mostly black body in summer except for white rump, white spots on wings, barred tail. Bill is red with black tip. Legs and feet are dark red. Winter bird (shown) has gray upperparts and white underparts. Feeds and forages on land or in shallow water by probing in mud, and sweeping bill back and forth. Swift direct flight when flushed.
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.
Hudsonian Godwit: Large sandpiper with white-scaled, brown-black upperparts, black-barred chestnut-brown underparts. Long bill, slightly upcurved and pink with black tip. White rump, white wing-bar, black underwings visible in flight. Legs and feet are blue-gray. Swift, powerful undulating flight.
Marbled Godwit: This large sandpiper has black-marked, dark brown upperparts, and lightly barred, chestnut-brown underparts. It has a long pink bill with a black tip that is slightly upcurved. Its pale brown under wings are visible in flight. Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, worms, insects, seeds and berries. It has a swift and direct flight. Sexes similar, but male is smaller with a brighter bill base.
Red Knot: This medium-sized sandpiper has black, brown and gray scaled upperparts, a red-brown face, neck, breast and sides, and a white lower belly. It has a slightly curved black bill. The wings show white bars in flight. Diet includes insects, larvae, mollusks and crabs. It has a 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.
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.
Pomarine Jaeger: The dar morph of 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 Jaeger: The dark morph of 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 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.
Thick-billed Murre: Medium-sized seabird with black upperparts, head and neck, and white underparts. A thin, white stripe extends from bill to cheek. The bill is short and black. Legs and feet are black. Feeds on fish, marine worms, crustaceans and squid. Strong swift flight low over water.
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.
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.
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.
Black-headed Gull: Small, white gull with partial hood, white crescents above and below eye, and white-gray back. Red bill. Wings with black tips and black bases of primaries. Sexes similar. Non-breeding adult lacks hood, black mark behind eye, and black tip on bill. Juvenile like winter adult but more black on wing and tail with black tip.
Little Gull: The smallest of all gulls, with pale gray upperparts and white nape, neck, breast, belly, and tail. Hood is black and extends onto upper neck. Underwings are dark. Bill is dark red with black tip. Legs and feet are red-orange. Strong direct flight with deep wing beats.
Heermann's Gull: Medium-sized gull with gray underparts and dark gray upperparts. Head is white and bill is bright red with black tip. Tail is black and edged with white. Legs and feet are black. Dives into ocean to catch fish. Also steals and scavenges. Flight is bouyant and direct.
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.
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.
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.
Glaucous-winged Gull: This large gull has gray upperparts with white underparts, head and neck. The eyes are dark and the bill is yellow with a red spot on the lower mandible. The wings are gray with white edges and spots near the tips. The legs and feet are pink. It feeds on fish, small birds, or almost anything. It has a powerful direct flight and often soars on thermals. The 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.
Arctic Tern: This is a medium-sized, slim tern with gray upperparts, black cap, a white rump and throat, and pale gray underparts. The tail is deeply forked and white with dark edged outer feathers. The bill is dark red. The legs and feet are red. It has a buoyant, graceful flight with steady wing beats. It feeds on small fish, crustaceans and insects. Both sexes are similar in appearance.
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.
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.
Inca Dove: Small dove with scaled, pale gray-brown upperparts, white throat, and scaled, pale buff (often with pink wash) underparts. The tail is long and squared with a black-bordered gray center and edged in white. Black bill, pink legs and feet. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Common Ground-Dove: Small, rounded dove with plain gray-brown back and scaled pink-gray head and breast. Eyes are red and bill is orange-red with black tip. The wings show rufous primaries in flight. Tail is short. Legs and feet are pink. Forages on ground. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Groove-billed Ani: Medium-sized black bird with iridescent blue and green overtones, with a very long tail (half the length of the bird). Bill is huge, with arched ridge and narrow grooves. Feeds on insects, ticks, spiders, lizards, fruits, berries and seeds. Flies low to the ground.
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."
Great Gray Owl: Large owl, dark gray body interspersed with bars and flecks of brown, pale gray, and white. Head is large and without ear tufts. Yellow eyes are relatively small. Bulky appearance when perching due to dense, fluffy plumage, long wings extending past body, and relatively long tail.
Boreal Owl: Medium owl, white-spotted, brown upperparts and thick brown-streaked, white underparts. Head is black with numerous small white spots, facial disks bordered with black, eyes are yellow-orange. Short flights have rapid wingbeats, longer ones are bouyant with shallow, silent wing beats.
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.
White-collared Swift: Very large swift, gray-black overall with blue gloss on breast and back. White collar is distinct. Bill, legs and feet are black. The flight is strong and fast. Rapid shallow wing beats followed with long glides. Soars on thermals and updrafts, ranging many miles daily to feed.
White-throated Swift: Medium-sized swift, mostly brown-black except for white throat, white patches on belly, flanks, white edges on wings. Face is pale gray, has dark eye patch. May be the most rapid flying North American bird, has been seen fleeing from raptors at estimated speeds of over 200 mph.
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.
Broad-billed Hummingbird: Medium-sized hummingbird with metallic green body and vibrant blue throat. Bill is bright red with black tip. Tail is black, forked, and has white undertail coverts. Legs and feet are black.Feeds on nectar and insects. Direct and hovering flight with very rapid wing beats.
White-eared Hummingbird: Medium hummingbird, iridescent green upperparts and throat, metallic violet head, black mask, white stripe with lower black border behind eye, and white belly. Bill is red with black tip. Feeds primarily on nectar. Direct, hovering flight with rapid wing beats.
Lewis's Woodpecker: Medium woodpecker with dark green-black upperparts and hood. Face is dark red, collar is gray, belly is pale red. The bill, legs and feet are black. It was named for Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Its dark plumage sets it apart from all other North American woodpeckers.
Golden-fronted Woodpecker: Medium-sized woodpecker with black-and-white barred back and wings, white rump and black tail. Head has golden yellow-orange nape, red cap, small yellow patch at base of upper mandible, and buff-gray face. Underparts are gray-white. Black bill, legs and feet.
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.
Crested Caracara: Large, ground-dwelling falcon, black body, finely barred tail, wing panels and upper breast. Head crest is black, facial skin is red, and large bill is blue-gray and hooked. Legs are long and yellow. Strong steady wing beats alternated with long to short glides. Soars on thermals.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: Small flycatcher with olive-green upperparts, yellow underparts, and olive-green wash on breast. Spectacles are pale yellow. The wings are dark with two white bars. Feeds on a variety of insects and spiders. Weak fluttering flight with shallow rapid wing beats.
Hammond's Flycatcher: Small flycatcher, gray upperparts, gray-brown underparts, white eye-ring. Throat is pale gray, belly is pale yellow. Wings are dark with two pale bars. Feeds on insects. Black legs and feet. Weak fluttering direct flight with shallow wing beats. Sallies to take insects in air.
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.
Couch's Kingbird: Large flycatcher, olive-green upperparts, gray head, dark eye patch, white throat, bright yellow underparts. Wings and slightly forked tail are dark. Black legs and feet. Difficult to distinguish from Tropical Kingbird. Slow fluttering flight on shallow wing beats.
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.
Bell's Vireo: Small vireo, faint, broken eye-ring, thick, slightly flattened hooked bill, one or two faint wing bars. Upperparts are gray and underparts are white with pale yellow wash on sides. Eastern race has gray-green upperparts and distinct yellow wash on underparts. Legs and feet are gray.
Black-capped Vireo: Small vireo, olive-green upperparts, black hood, white spectacles interrupted with black above the eye, white underparts with olive-yellow flanks. Wings are dark with two pale bars. Iris is red-brown to red. It has been listed as an endangered species since 1987.
Clark's Nutcracker: Medium, noisy and inquisitive jay with pale gray head and body. Black bill is long and stout. Wings are black with white patches and tail is black with white edges. Feeds on nuts, insects, eggs and young of other birds, lizards, carrion and small mammals. Steady deep wing beats.
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.
Violet-green Swallow: Small swallow, dark, metallic green upperparts, iridescent purple rump. Face, sides of rump, underparts are white. Tail is slightly forked. Black bill, legs and feet. Swift, graceful flight, alternates several quick wing beats with long glides. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
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.
Carolina Chickadee: Small chickadee with gray upperparts, distinct black cap and bib, dull white cheeks, and white underparts with rust-brown flanks. Short, black bill. When disturbed in its nest during incubation, it will hiss and strike intruders, similar to how a snake would act.
Rock Wren: Medium wren with white-speckled gray upperparts, brown rump, white-over-black eye brow, white throat and breast with fine gray streaks, and buff-yellow flanks and belly. The long tail is buff-and-black barred, and has a pale tip; undertail coverts are white with black bars.
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.
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.
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.
Sage Thrasher: Small thrasher, gray upperparts, dark-streaked white underparts with pale brown wash. The head is gray, bill is short and slightly decurved. Wings are dark with thin,white bars. Tail is dark with white corners. Legs and feet are black. Fast flight on shallow wing beats.
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.
Sprague's Pipit: Medium pipit with streaked, brown upperparts, buff breast with dark streaks, and white throat and belly. Tail is brown with white edges. Thin, pale bill. Legs are yellow to pale brown. Its plumage blends well among prairie grasses, making it difficult to spot.
Chestnut-collared Longspur: Small, sparrow-like bird with brown-streaked upperparts, black breast and flanks, some have chestnut on underparts, pale gray belly. Face is buff with black stripe behind eye. Nape is chestnut-brown, crown is black, and throat is white. Tail is black with strongly contrasting white outer tail feathers.
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.
McCown's Longspur: Medium-sized sparrow with streaked gray upperparts, plain gray underparts, and darker breast. The head has a black crown, white face and throat, and a stout, heavy bill. White tail has diagnostic black inverted T. Wings have chestnut-brown bars. Black legs and feet.
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.
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.
Virginia's Warbler: Small warbler, gray upperparts, yellow rump. Throat is white with yellow patch, breast and undertail are yellow, sides and belly are white with a gray wash. Head has rufous crown patch, bold white eye-rings. Named for the wife of the army surgeon who discovered it in New Mexico.
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.
Painted Redstart: Medium warbler with black head, upperparts, bright red breast and belly. Wings are black with large, white patches. White arc beneath eye. Tail is black with thick, white edges. It only eats insects, and forages for them on the ground and in trees. It also catches them in flight.
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.
Cassin's Sparrow: Medium, skulking grassland sparrow, fine brown streaks on gray-brown head and back, buff underparts. Tail is long, rounded, white-tipped. Legs, feet are pink-orange. Forages by scratching on the ground. Short flight, alternates several rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Bachman's Sparrow: Medium-sized sparrow with brown-streaked gray upperparts and buff underparts except for white belly. Face is gray with brown crown and a thin, dark line extending back from eye. The tail is long, dark, and round-tipped. Upper mandible is dark. Legs and feet are pink.
Brewer's Sparrow: Medium sparrow with finely streaked gray-brown upperparts, pale eye-ring, dark moustache stripe, and plain, pale gray underparts. Bill is pink with dark tip. Legs and feet are gray-pink. Short flights with rapidly beating wing strokes alternating with wings pulled briefly 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.
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.
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.
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.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow: Small, introduced sparrow, black-streaked red-brown upperparts, buff underparts, single white wing-bar. Head has chestnut-brown crown, small black mask, chin, ear patches. Swift bounding flight, alternates rapid wing beats with periods of wings pulled to sides.
 
Restart Bird Identification Expert