Restart Bird Identification Expert

What SHAPE was the bird you saw in New York?

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.
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.
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.
Tufted Duck: Medium-sized duck has long black crest, black back and tail, white underparts and sides, black head, neck and breast with purple sheen, black wings with dark-edged, white stripes visible in flight, yellow eyes and gray legs and feet. Female is brown overall, dark breast, pale sides, white belly and gray bill. Feeds on insects and seeds. Swift direct flight with steady wing beats.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
White-tailed Ptarmigan: Small grouse, mottled brown overall, white on wings, breast, belly, red eye comb, white-edged brown tail, legs covered with white feathers. It is the smallest of the ptarmigans, and the only one that nests south of Canada. Lives most of its life above timberline.
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.
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.
Herald Petrel: Medium petrel, three color morphs: light, intermediate, dark. Dark morph is dark gray overall, silver-gray to white base on underwing flight feathers. Light morph has white breast, belly and dark gray upperparts. Intermediate forms exist between light and dark morphs. Gray legs, feet.
Mottled Petrel: This medium-sized petrel is mostly gray with mottled white markings. It has a gray and white face and throat, and white upper breast and under tail. The wings have distinct black bars on white undersides. It feeds on small squid and fish. Alternates high soaring arcs and gliding with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Black-capped Petrel: Large petrel with white underparts, dark brown to black back and upper wings, black cap, and white collar (this field mark is missing in some birds). Tail is long, dark, and wedge-shaped; underwings show broad dark margins. Hooked bill is dark, legs are pink. High arcing flight.
Cory's Shearwater: Large gray-brown shearwater, white underparts, pale yellow bill. Feeds at night on crustaceans and large sqiud it takes from the surface. Best identified by its relatively slow, languid flight compared to other shearwaters. Wings held downward. Soars on fixed wings if wind is up.
Audubon's Shearwater: Small, stocky seabird with dark brown upperparts and white underparts. Underwing coverts are white. Tail is dark brown with short, gray undertail coverts. Bill is dark and legs and feet are pink. Fish and squid make up most of its diet. Alternates rapid wing beats with glides.
White-faced Storm-Petrel: The only Atlantic storm-petrel with the combination of dark gray upperparts and white underparts with a dark cap and eyeline. Long black legs trail behind squared tail in flight. Webbing between toes is yellow. Alternates rapid, shallow wing beats with stiff-winged glides.
Leach's Storm-Petrel: This medium-sized petrel has a dark brown body and a white rump and under tail feathers. The wings are dark with a pale gray-brown bar on the upper wings. It has a long, dark forked tail, and a black bill, legs and feet. Its flight is bounding and erratic with frequent changes of direction and speed. It mainly feeds on fish, squid and shrimp. Sexes are similar.
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel: This is a black-brown storm-petrel with gray-brown wing bars and a conspicuous white band across the rump and large, slightly notched tail. It has a black bill, legs and feet. It has a buoyant, zigzag flight, alternating several rapid wing beats. It feeds on invertebrates, small vertebrates and sometimes carrion from the water's surface. The sexes are similar.
White-tailed Tropicbird: This large white bird has a long black bar on upperwing coverts and outer primaries, black loral mask which extends through and past the eye, yellow-orange bill, white tail streamers, yellow legs and feet and black webbed toes. Feeds on fish and squid. Buoyant, graceful pigeon-like flight with fluttering wing strokes alternating with soaring glides. Sexes are similar.
Red-billed Tropicbird: This slender, white, gull-like seabird is the largest tropic bird. It has long white tail streamers, a white back that is finely barred in black, a black eye stripe curves that upward behind the eye, black primaries, and a red bill. Female resembles the male but is less tinged with red. Feeds on fish and squid. Direct, rapid flight; pigeon like, stiff, shallow wing beats.
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.
Brown Booby: This large seabird is mostly dark brown with white under wing coverts, belly and vent. It has a blue-gray to yellow bill and yellow legs and feet. To acquire food, it plunge dives from 30 to 50 feet. It feeds on parrot fish, flatfish, mullets and other fish. It has alternating strong rapid wing beats and glides. The sexes are similar.
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.
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.
Roseate Spoonbill: Large ibis, pink body, white upper back, neck. Long bill, gray and spatulate. Head is bare and olive-green. Feeds while wading in shallow water, sweeping its bill back and forth. Sensitive nerve endings snap bill shut when prey is found. Alternates steady wing beats, short glides.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sandhill Crane: This large wading bird has a gray body, white cheeks, chin, and upper throat, and a bright red cap. It has a dark bill, yellow eyes and black legs and feet. It has a direct steady flight on heavy and labored wing beats, with a slow down stroke and a rapid and jerky upstroke. Flies in V or straight line formations. Diet is heavy in seeds and cultivated grains. Sexes are similar.
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.
Black-bellied Plover: This medium-sized shorebird has black upperparts vividly marked with a white spot on each feather. It has a black face, throat and belly and white forehead and crown that extends over the eye, down the back and sides of the neck. Vent and wing stripe visible in flight. Strong direct flight with powerful rapid wing beats. Feeds on marine worms and insects. Sexes are similar.
Pacific Golden-Plover: This medium-sized plover is yellow-spotted. It has a dark brown back, black face and black underparts with white-mottled flanks; a white S-shaped mark extends from above the eye to along sides. It has a thin, short black bill and black legs and feet. Females are duller in color. Diet includes insects, worms and spiders. Swift direct flight with rapid, steady wing beats.
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.
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.
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.
Wood Sandpiper: Small wader with green-yellow legs. Dark brown streaked crown, white eyebrow, and dark line through eye. White underparts with brown-gray streaks and marks on neck, breast, and flanks. White rump. Gray-brown back and wings with pale brown mottling.
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.
Long-billed Curlew: Very large sandpiper with brown mottled upperparts, buff-brown underparts with dark streaks and spots. Bill is very long, decurved. Cinnamon-brown underwings visible in flight. Feeds by probing mud with bill or dunking head under water. Direct flight, steady, strong wing beats.
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.
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.
Broad-billed Sandpiper: Small sandpiper with a long bill that curves down at the tip. Pale-edged dark brown feathers on upperparts give a scaled appearance; back shows two pale streaks in flight; underparts are white with dark spots on breast and neck. Head has dark cap and forked white eyebrows.
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.
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.
Wilson's Phalarope: This medium-sized sandpiper has gray-brown upperparts, red-brown streaks on back and shoulders, red-brown markings on white underparts, gray crown, white face, black eye-line, a black needle-like bill, gray wings and a white tail and rump. Female is brighter; paler crown and grayer upperparts. Feeds on crane flies and brine shrimp. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Great Skua: Large, heavy-bodied seabird, prominent white patch in primary feathers. Body color ranges from a light bleached to dark brown, all have a cinammon wash that makes the bird look red-tinged. Strong direct flight with constant shallow wingbeats. Hugs wave contours or flies up to 150 feet.
South Polar Skua Dark: This small, gull-like skua occurs in two color phases. Dark phase adult has a dark brown body with a large white patch at base of primaries visible in flight. Dark bill, thick and heavy; short, broad tail. Light phase adult has pale gray-brown head and underparts. Feeds on fish, krill and squid. Strong direct flight with shallow wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Pomarine 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.
Common Murre: Medium seabird with brown-black upperparts, throat, white underparts, and long dark bill. Tail is short. Some Atlantic birds have a narrow white eye-ring and stripe extending past the eye. Can dive to depths of more than 240 feet. Feeds on fish and invertebrates. AKA Common Guillemot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bridled Tern: Medium pelagic tern. Black crown, nape separated from gray-brown upperparts by whitish collar. Chevron-shaped white forehead patch extends behind eye. Long pointed wings and deeply forked tail. Whitish underparts; underwings have brown trailing edge. Black bill, legs.
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.
White-winged Tern: Small tern, black head, body, and underwing coverts; white rump, vent, upperwing coverts, and tail; flight feathers are pale gray. Bill is dark red to black; Red legs and feet. Fluttering, uneven flight with slow, shallow wing beats. Hovers before dipping for prey.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calliope Hummingbird: Very small hummingbird, metallic green upperparts and flanks, white underparts. Throat feathers are long, purple-red, appearing as streaks on a white background, whiskers when fluffed out, or dark, inverted V when folded. Direct and hovering flight with very 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.
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.
Williamson's Sapsucker: Medium-sized woodpecker with black back and white rump. Bright red throat, breast is black, belly is yellow, and flanks are barred black-and-white. Black head has two white facial stripes. Black wings have large white shoulder patches. Tail is black, legs and feet are gray.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sky Lark: This medium-sized lark has dark-streaked, brown upperparts and white underparts with streaks on the breast and sides, a dark edged tail, and indistinct crest on head. It forages on the ground by walking and running. Feeds mostly on seeds, grains and insects. Sky larks are renowned for their display flight and song. Alternates several rapid wing beats with short glides. Sexes are similar.
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.
Brown-headed Nuthatch: Medium nuthatch, gray upperparts, brown cap, small, white nape patch, dark eye-line, white face, buff underparts. Wings and tail are gray. Legs and feet are black. Weak fluttering flight of short duration, alternates rapid wing beats with wings drawn to sides.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Connecticut Warbler: Large ground-walking warbler, olive-gray upperparts, dull yellow underparts. Head has a slate-gray hood and bold white eye-ring. It was named for the state where it was first discovered, where it is an uncommon migrant. Sometimes called Swamp Warbler.
MacGillivray's Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with olive-green upperparts and yellow underparts. White eye-ring is broken and slate gray hood extends to upper breast where it darkens to black. It forages for insects on or close to the ground. As it hops, it often flicks its tail from side to side.
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.
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.
Baird's Sparrow: Small sparrow with pale-streaked, rich dark brown upperparts, white underparts, and dark streaks on upper breast and flanks. Orange-brown crown is marked with fine dark lines. Legs and feet are pink-brown. Short low flights, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Le Conte's Sparrow: Small sparrow, brown-streaked back, brown-streaked gray nape, pale gray underparts with streaks on sides, pale yellow breast. Head is flat with brown stripes. Face is pale yellow-orange with gray cheeks. Legs, feet are pink-brown.
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.
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.
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.
Restart Bird Identification Expert