Restart Bird Identification Expert

What SHAPE was the bird you saw in Pennsylvania?



Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: Large, colorful duck with bright red bill, pink-red legs and feet. Shows white wing patch, black belly, reddish-brown breast, neck and back. Face, foreneck are gray, white eye ring. Feeds on aquatic plants, cultivated grains, seeds. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Fulvous Whistling-Duck: Large, long-legged, long-necked duck with dark brown back and white V-shaped rump patch. Head and underparts are buff to cinnamon with white throat and vent. The white-edged side and flank feathers form a striking border between sides and back. Tail is black with white undertail coverts.
Pink-footed Goose: Short-necked goose with blue gray mantle and wing coverts, white belly, dark brown head, neck. Pale feather tips produce barring on flanks and upperparts. Pink legs and feet. Bill is pink with a brown tip and base. Swift direct flight with strong wing beats. Flies in V formation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Surf Scoter: This medium-sized diving duck is entirely black except for white patches on the forehead and nape. It has an orange, black and white bill, white eyes and orange legs and feet. The female is less distinctly marked with smudgy face patches and dark bill. It dives for food, primarily mollusks and crustaceans. Rapid direct flight with strong wing beats. Flies in straight line formation.
Black Scoter: Medium diving duck, entirely black except for yellow knob at base of black bill. Legs and feet are black. The male is the only all black duck in North America. Dives for food, primarily eats mollusks. Strong direct flight with rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line and V formation.
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.
Masked Duck: Small stifftail duck with black-tipped blue bill and black mask with thin white eye-ring. Body is rufous-brown with black streaks on the back and sides; white wing patches are visible in flight. Feeds on aquatic plants, insects and crustaceans. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.
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.
Northern Fulmar Light Morph: This large gull-like bird has gray upperparts and white underparts, head, neck, and tail. Dark morph has uniformly dark gray body and paler primaries. It has a short, thick yellow bill with a tube on top. Feeds mainly on fish, squid and zoo plankton. Flight alternates stiff wing beats with periods of gliding and banking. 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.
Great Shearwater: Large shearwater, scaled, gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, brown markings on belly. Dark cap contrasts with white face. Tail is dark above with conspicuous white rump band and gray below. Dark, hooked bill. Pink legs, feet. Flies on deep wing beats followed by long glide.
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.
Wood Stork: Large, odd wading bird, mostly white except for black flight feathers and tail. Upper neck and head are featherless and dark gray. The bill is thick, long, and curved downward. Legs and feet are gray black. Alternates between strong wing beats and gliding. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
Magnificent Frigatebird: Large black seabird, orange throat patch inflates into a huge bright red-orange balloon when in courtship display. Long bill is gray, hooked. Wings are long and narrow. Tail is forked; legs and feet are dark gray. Eats fish, crustaceans, jellyfish. High soaring flight.
Northern Gannet: Very large seabird. White overall with black primaries and long pointed wings. Light buff-yellow wash on crown of head extending down nape may be visible. Bill, legs, and feet are gray. Dives for fish and squid. Alternates rapid wing beats with short glides. Soars to great heights.
Great Cormorant: Largest North American comorant. Black with bright yellow throat pouch bordered with white feathers. Expert swimmer, dives for fish, crustaceans. When wet holds wings in spread eagle position to dry. Strong direct flight with steady wing beats. Flies in V or straight line formation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Surfbird: Medium sandpiper, dark gray upperparts marked with rufous, white rump, white underparts marked with distinct black chevrons. Upper breast, head, neck are heavily streaked. Wings are dark with bold white stripes visible in flight. Tail is white with a black triangular tip visible in flight.
Purple Sandpiper: Medium sandpiper, upperparts are scaled gray-brown, crown is dark, and white underparts are streaked. Bill is dark with a yellow base and slightly decurved. Wings have large white stripes visible in flight; tail has dark central stripe above and is white below.
Baird's Sandpiper: This medium-sized bird has scaled gray-brown upperparts, white underparts and a dark-spotted gray-brown breast. The crown, face and neck are buff with fine brown streaks. It has a white rump with a dark central stripe and black legs and feet. Feeds on insects and spiders. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats; long wings allow them to make long flights. Sexes are similar.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has a buff wash over the entire body except for the white vent. It has black-spotted and streaked upperparts, slightly scaled underparts, a white eye ring, black bill and yellow legs. It feeds mostly on insects. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. It shows white wing linings in flight. The sexes are similar.
Common Snipe: Longest-billed of all snipes, best identified by broad white stripe at base of underwing. Upperparts cryptically colored with brown and yellow-brown streaks of many different shades. Underparts white but strongly suffused with orange wash, heavily barred and streaked with dark brown.
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.
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.
Black Guillemot Adult: Medium-sized seabird, black body with a large white wing patch and a dark, pointed bill. In flight white auxillaries and underwing linings are visible. Legs and feet are red. It flies low over the water with rapid wing beats. The inside of their mouth is bright orange.
Long-billed Murrelet: Small seabird with dark brown upperparts and darker brown barring, paler throat and white eye-ring. Underparts are lighter brown with brown barring. Straight black bill. Legs and feet are brown. Strong fast direct flight, often close to the water on rapid wing beats.
Ancient Murrelet: Small, pelagic seabird with black head and dark gray back and wings. White underparts extend up onto the face as a cheek patch. Bill is short and yellow with a blackish tip. An open ocean species vaguely resembling a small penguin that can fly. Swift, direct, and low flight.
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.
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.
Ross's Gull: The pink gull of the high Arctic. Small gull, pale gray upperparts, gray-white nape, white neck with thin black collar, and white, wedge-shaped tail; underparts are variably pink. Black bill is very short; legs, feet are orange-red. Often feeds on mudflats like a wader.
Laughing Gull: This medium-sized gull has a gray back, white underparts and neck, a black hood and red bill. The wings are gray and white-edged, and black at the tips; tail is white. The legs and feet are black. Diet includes insects, fish, shellfish and crabs. It has a slow flight with deep wing beats and soars on updrafts. It is named for its laughter-like call. Sexes are similar.
Franklin's Gull: This medium-sized gull has a gray back and white underparts. It has a black head, white eye ring, orange bill with a black spot near the tip, and red-orange legs. The wings are short with white spotted black tips. It has a strong direct flight with deep wing beats. It feeds mostly on terrestrial and aquatic insects. The sexes are similar; males are slightly larger.
Mew Gull: Medium-sized gull with gray back and upperwings, and white head, neck, breast, and belly. Bill is bright yellow. Wings have white-spotted black tips; tail is white. Feet and legs are dull yellow. Graceful, bouyant flight. Undulating, with several rapid wingbeats and a pause.
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.
Glaucous Gull: This large white gull has a pale gray back and yellow eyes. The bill is yellow with a red spot on the lower mandible. The wings are white-edged and white tipped; the legs and feet are pink. It is an active predator of seabird nesting colonies. Diet includes fish, insects and birds. It has slow steady wing beats and soars on thermals and updrafts. The 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.
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.
Royal Tern: Large tern, pale gray upperparts; white face, neck, and underparts. Head has spiky, black crest and cap, and heavy, bright orange bill. Wings are black-tipped above and black-edged below; tail is deeply forked. Legs and feet are black. Hovers before plunge diving for prey.
Sandwich Tern: This is the only medium-sized tern with a long slender black bill tipped with yellow. The upperparts are very pale gray, nearly white, and the underparts are white. The black crown has a short black crest, the white tail is deeply forked, and the legs and feet are black. It has a direct flight and hovers before diving for fish. Sexes are similar.
Black Skimmer: Odd-looking, tern-like bird with black upperparts and white underparts. Bright red bill with black tip, lower mandible longer than upper. Long, slim wings are dark above and silver-gray below. Tail is white with black central feathers. Legs, feet are red. Direct flight.
Band-tailed Pigeon: Large dove, small, purple-gray head and broad neck with distinctive, thin white band on nape. Back and wings are purple-gray, underparts grade from purple-gray neck and breast to white belly. Tail is pale gray, dark band at base. Bill, legs,feet are yellow. Swift direct flight.
Eurasian Collared-Dove: Medium dove, pale gray overall with darker cinnamon-brown wash over back. Nape is ringed with half-black collar that does not extend to throat. Wings are mottled gray with dark primaries. Tail is long, broad, edged with white (black near base). Pink legs, feet.
White-winged Dove: Medium-sized, stout dove with gray-brown upperparts, gray underparts, and small, black crescent below eye. The wings are dark gray with broad white stripes. Tail is short and brown with white corners. Bill is gray. Legs and feet are red. Fast direct flight with rapid wing beats.
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.
Northern Hawk Owl: Medium-sized, slender owl with white-spotted brown upperparts and brown-barred white underparts. The gray facial disk is partially bordered by a thick, brown stripe that extends to the upper breast; lacks ear tufts. Wings are long and relatively pointed. Tail is long and rounded.
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.
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.
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.
Black-backed Woodpecker: Small woodpecker with black back, black wings with white spots on flight feathers, barred flanks, white underparts. Head has a conspicuous white cheek mark and yellow crown. Tail is black with white outer tail feathers. Black bill is long and stout. Legs and feet are gray.
Gyrfalcon: Large northern falcon with three color morphs: dark, white, and gray. Dark morph is dark gray with pale streaks on throat and upper breast. White morph is white with dark spots and markings on wings, nape, and sides. Gray morph is a mix. The eyes, bill, and legs of all morphs are yellow.
Monk Parakeet: Medium parakeet, green overall, gray forehead, cheeks, lores, throat. Breast is gray, variably barred by dark edges on feathers. Pale pink bill. Belly; lower back, and rump are yellow-green. Wings are dull green with blue flight feathers. Tail is green above with central blue shafts.
Western Wood-Pewee: Medium-sized flycatcher with dull olive-gray upperparts and pale olive-gray underparts. Head has darker cap and slight crest. The wings are dark with two white bars. Feeds on insects, spiders and berries. Quiet and solitary. Weak fluttering flight with shallow rapid wing beats.
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.
Dusky Flycatcher: Small flycatcher with olive-gray upperparts and white or yellow tinged underparts. The upper breast has a pale olive wash. Eye has faint eye-ring. Bill is black except for orange base of lower mandible. The legs and feet are black. Weak fluttering flight with shallow wing beats.
Pacific-slope Flycatcher: Small flycatcher, olive-brown upperparts, yellow throat and belly, olive-gray breast. Eye-ring is white and elongated. Wings are dark with two pale bars. Bill is long with dark upper mandible and bright yellow lower mandible. Weak fluttering flight on shallow wing beats.
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.
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.
Boreal Chickadee: Large chickadee, brown upperparts, dark brown cap, small black bib, gray face and neck, white cheek, rufous sides, white underparts. Gray wings, tail. Short, weak flights on rapidly beating wings. Alternates several quick, shallow strokes with wings pulled to sides.
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.
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.
Redwing: Medium-sized thrush with brown upperparts, dark-spotted white underparts, and rufous flanks. Eyebrows are white and conspicuous. Bill is yellow with black tip. Deep rufous-orange underwing linings are visible in flight. Swift and strong direct flight on rapidly beating wings.
Varied Thrush: Large thrush, dark gray upperparts, rust-brown throat, breast, sides, eyebrows, black breast band, and white belly and undertail. Wings are dark gray with two rust-brown bars. Tail is dark gray with white corners. Legs and feet are brown. Direct, swift flight on rapidly beating wings.
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.
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.
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.
Kirtland's Warbler: Rare, medium-sized warbler with black-streaked gray upperparts and yellow underparts with black streaks on sides. The face is black with a broken white eye-ring. Legs, feet, and bill are black. It is a ground nester, prefers Jack Pine stands over 80 acres in size.
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.
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.
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.
Clay-colored Sparrow: Medium sparrow with black-streaked brown upperparts and buff underparts. The face is pale with finely streaked crown, crisp brown cheek patch, white eyestripe, and gray nape. Pink-gray legs and feet. Short flight, alternates several rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Lark Sparrow: Medium sparrow with streaked, gray-brown upperparts and buff underparts with black breast spot. Head has black, white, and chestnut-brown stripes. Tail is long and black with white edges. Short, fluttering flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
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.
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.
Seaside Sparrow: Medium sparrow (maritimus), streaked olive-gray upperparts, pale buff underparts, streaks on breast, sides. Head has yellow streak between eye, bill. Long bill, thick base. Short, pointed tail. Short flights, alternates rapidly beating wings with wings pulled to sides.
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.
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.
Scott's Oriole: Medium-sized oriole with black hood extending onto breast and back. Belly and rump are bright yellow. The wings are black with yellow shoulder patches and two white bars. Tail is yellow with thick black tip and central line. Strong direct flight with rapid wing beats.
White-winged Crossbill: Medium crossbill, bright pink overall except for black wings with two bold white wing-bars. Belly has dull white center; white undertail coverts. Black tail, deeply notched. Swift bounding flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Hoary Redpoll: Small finch (exilipes), buff-gray, brown-streaked upperparts and brown-streaked white underparts washed pink. Head has red cap, black chin patch. Black wings with two white bars. Rump is pale gray or white with few or no streaks. Black tail is notched. Black legs and feet.
 
Restart Bird Identification Expert