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Restart Bird Identification Expert

What SHAPE was the bird you saw in South Dakota?



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.
Brant: This small goose has dark brown upperparts and brown-barred, pale gray underparts. The head is black, and the short black neck has a partial white ring. The tail and vent are white. It has a heavy direct flight with strong wing beats. It flies in a straight line formation. It feeds on green plants including eel grass and sea lettuce. The sexes are similar.
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.
American Black Duck: Stocky, medium-sized dabbling duck with dark brown body, paler face and foreneck, and purple speculum bordered with black. Head is finely streaked; dark eyestripe is distinct. White underwings contrast with dark brown body in flight. Legs, feet are orange. Swift direct flight.
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).
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.
White-winged Scoter: Medium sea duck, mostly black except for white eye patches, large white wing patches. Bill is orange with large black basal knob. Red-orange legs, feet. Dives to 40 feet, feeds primarily on shellfish. Direct flight with steady wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.
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.
Long-tailed Duck: This small duck has black upperparts, head, neck, breast and wings; brown mottled black back, white flanks, belly, under tail coverts. Long black tail with long slender feathers, pale gray mask and black bill with dark pink saddle. Feeds on aquatic insects. Female is duller, lacks long tail, and has gray bill. Swift direct flight often with erratic side-to-side turns of body.
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.
Northern Bobwhite: Medium, morphologically variable quail, most with unique head pattern of white face and throat, dark eyestripe, rufous-brown (eastern and Great Plains) or black (Florida) center stripe on top of head. Body shows a mottled combination of black, brown, rufous-brown, and gray.
California Quail: This medium-sized quail has a curled black head plume, white-bordered black throat, gray breast, sharply scaled belly, brown flanks with white streaks, olive brown back, gray legs and feet. Female has a gray throat with a black streak. Feeds on seeds, plants and insects. Alternates rapid wing beats with short glides.
Chukar: This large, quail-like bird has orange-brown and slate-blue upperparts and breast, black and rufous barred white flanks and a white face with a sharp black eyeline. The bill and legs are pink-red. It escapes danger by running. It feeds primarily on seeds. It has a direct flight with rapid deep wing beats. The sexes are similar; the female is slightly smaller in size and lacks the spur.
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.
Red-throated Loon: Small loon with scaled gray back and white underparts. Head and sides of neck are gray, throat is dark red, nape is black-and-white striped. Eyes are red. Feeds on fish, dives to 90 feet for them. Direct flight, rapid wing beats. Only loon to leap into flight from water or land.
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.
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.
Neotropic Cormorant: Small, long-tailed cormorant. Black upper and lowerparts may show blue gloss. Long hooked yellow-gray bill with yellow "v" shaped gular pouch edged in white. Legs and feet are black. Feeds on fish, crustaceans and amphibians. Flies low over water with strong rapid wing beats.
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.
Tricolored Heron: Medium heron, blue-gray upperparts, head, neck, wings, paler rump, white stripe on foreneck, white belly. Also has white plumes on back of head and rust-brown plumes on lower neck, back during the breeding season. Bill and legs are olive-brown. Direct flight on steady wing beats.
White Ibis: This coastal species is white overall with pink facial skin, bill, and legs that turn scarlet during breeding season. Black tips on the primary feathers are only seen in flight. Flies in straight line formation with neck and legs outstretched, roosts high in trees and bushes at night.
Glossy Ibis: Medium wading bird, iridescent bronze and red-brown overall with thin band of white feathers around bare dark blue face and long, down curved, gray bill. Eyes are dark, legs are yellow-gray. Alternates several shallow rapid wing beats and short glides. Flies in straight line formation.
Black Vulture: Large raptor, black overall, short, featherless neck, pale bill, short and squared tail, long, pale gray legs and feet. Gray-black skin on head and neck is wrinkled. White-tipped wings, held horizontal in flight. Soars on thermals, must flap its wings more often than a Turkey Vulture.
Swallow-tailed Kite: The largest of North America kites, has black upperparts which contrast with white head and underparts. In flight it shows long pointed wings with black flight feathers and white wing linings. Has a 15-16 inch-long black tail with deep fork. The neck, breast and belly are white.
Mississippi Kite: Small kite, dark gray upperparts, pale gray underparts and head. Eyes are red. Upperwings are dark gray with pale gray patches. Tail is long and black. Feeds on large flying insects. Bouyant flight with steady wing beats, alternates several wing strokes with short to long glides.
Red-shouldered Hawk: Large hawk with brown upperparts and head. Underparts are white with rust-red barring. The wings are finely barred above with red-brown shoulders and pale below with red-brown wash and dark tips. Tail is dark with thick white bands.
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.
Common Crane: Large wading bird, gray overall with a black face, chin, throat and neck; shows a patch of bare red skin on crown. Broad white stripe extends from behind eye down back of neck. Black flight feathers and short tail are visible in flight. Bill is dull yellow and legs and feet are black.
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.
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.
Mountain Plover: Medium-sized plover with pale brown upperparts, white underparts, and brown sides. Head has brown cap, white face, and dark eyestripe. The upperwings are brown with black edges and white bars; underwings are white. Tail is brown-black with white edges. Legs and feet are pale gray.
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.
Whimbrel: This large long-legged sandpiper has brown and white mottled upperparts and buff underparts with faint streaks on sides and flanks. It has a white-striped black crown. Neck is long and streaked; long black decurved bill, blue-gray legs and feet. Tail and rump are brown and black barred. Diet includes insects and worms. Direct flight with strong fast wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Ruddy Turnstone: This medium-sized sandpiper has red-brown upperparts, white rump and underparts, and a black-marked face. It has a short, dark, slightly upturned bill, a white tail with a black terminal band, and orange legs and feet. The wings have a unique brown, black, and white pattern visible in flight. Feeds on invertebrates. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Red Knot: This medium-sized sandpiper has black, brown and gray scaled upperparts, a red-brown face, neck, breast and sides, and a white lower belly. It has a slightly curved black bill. The wings show white bars in flight. Diet includes insects, larvae, mollusks and crabs. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Sanderling: This medium-sized sandpiper has dark-spotted, rufous upperparts and breast, white underparts and black bill, legs and feet. Wings have conspicuous white stripes visible in flight. Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, isopods, worms, plants and insects. 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.
Short-billed Dowitcher: This large sandpiper has mottled gray, black, brown and red-brown upperparts, white rump, red-brown underparts with spots and bars, a long, straight dark bill and long, dark yellow-green legs. East and west coast birds are heavier barred and spotted, paler underparts and often show white bellies. Diet includes insects and crustaceans. Strong direct flight. Sexes 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.
Red-necked Phalarope: This medium-sized sandpiper has a brown-striped dark gray back, mottled gray breast, white throat and belly, gray head, nape, and flanks, rust-brown neck and upper breast and a thin black bill. Females are larger and more brightly colored than males. Diet includes insects and crustaceans. Flight is swift and swallow like, with rapid wing beats, quick movements and turns.
Red Phalarope: This medium-sized sandpiper has dark gray upperparts and rufous neck and underparts. It has a white face, black cap, and a thick, straight, yellow bill with a black tip. The female is more brightly colored than the male. Feeds on small fish, insects and aquatic invertebrates. Flight is swift and direct 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.
Ancient Murrelet: Small, pelagic seabird with black head and dark gray back and wings. White underparts extend up onto the face as a cheek patch. Bill is short and yellow with a blackish tip. An open ocean species vaguely resembling a small penguin that can fly. Swift, direct, and low flight.
Black-legged Kittiwake: This is a medium-sized white gull with pale gray back and upperwings and black wing tips. The bill is yellow and the legs and feet are black. It has a swift, graceful flight, alternating several rapid shallow wing beats with a glide. Hovers over water before diving for prey at the surface. It feeds on marine invertebrates, plankton and fish. The sexes look very similar.
Ivory Gull: A pure white gull whose entire life is restricted to the edge of the floating pack ice. Legs dark, bill dusky with yellow tip. It eats fish, insects, lemmings and crustaceans, and is also an active scavenger. Bouyant, graceful flight. Often flies with feet trailing and dangling below.
Sabine's Gull: Small gull with gray back and white nape, rump, and underparts. Hood is solid black and eye-ring is dark red. Bill is black with yellow tip; legs and feet are black. The upperwings are gray with black primaries and white secondaries. Tail is slightly forked when folded.
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.
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.
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.
Iceland Gull: Large, white gull, pale, pearl-gray back and upper wings. Bill is yellow, red spot at tip of lower mandible. Wing tips sometimes marked with pale to dark gray. White tail; legs and feet are pink. Direct flight with strong deep wing beats. Soars on thermals and 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.
Great Black-backed Gull: World's largest gull. White head, black upperparts, white underparts, large yellow bill with red spot on lower mandible, pale-eyed with red orbital ring, pink legs, feet. Flight is direct and powerful with deep, slow wing beats. Soars on thermals or updrafts.
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.
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.
Inca Dove: Small dove with scaled, pale gray-brown upperparts, white throat, and scaled, pale buff (often with pink wash) underparts. The tail is long and squared with a black-bordered gray center and edged in white. Black bill, pink legs and feet. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Common Ground-Dove: Small, rounded dove with plain gray-brown back and scaled pink-gray head and breast. Eyes are red and bill is orange-red with black tip. The wings show rufous primaries in flight. Tail is short. Legs and feet are pink. Forages on ground. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
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.
Groove-billed Ani: Medium-sized black bird with iridescent blue and green overtones, with a very long tail (half the length of the bird). Bill is huge, with arched ridge and narrow grooves. Feeds on insects, ticks, spiders, lizards, fruits, berries and seeds. Flies low to the ground.
Flammulated Owl: Small owl with two color morphs (gray-brown and rufous) with many intermediate forms. The head has very small ear tufts, and dark eyes surrounded by rust-brown, pale-gray facial disk, and white eyebrows that start at the bill. It is the only small owl with dark, not yellow, eyes.
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.
Lesser Nighthawk: Medium-sized nightjar with gray and white mottled upperparts, white throat, and brown and white mottled underparts with dark belly bars. Wings are dark with conspicuous pale patches visible in flight. Tail is dark brown and has thin white bars across top. Darting erratic flight.
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.
Magnificent Hummingbird: Large hummingbird of Mexican highlands, occurs in limited areas of southwest U.S. Appears very dark green overall, in good light may show blue-green to green throat, purple forehead, gray vent, small but prominent white spot behind eye; tail is all dark. Black legs, feet.
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.
Costa's Hummingbird: Medium hummingbird with green back, pale gray underparts and dull green flanks. Crown and throat patch are brilliant metallic purple. Straight black bill. Tail is green with black outer tail feathers. Legs and feet are black. Feeds on nectar, spiders, sap and insects. Direct and hovering flight with very rapid wing beats.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Medium hummingbird with green upperparts and flanks, iridescent red throat, and gray underparts. Dark green tail may show some rufous. Black bill is long and straight. Black legs, feet. Feeds on nectar, spiders, sap and insects. Direct and hovering flight with very rapid 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.
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.
Crested Caracara: Large, ground-dwelling falcon, black body, finely barred tail, wing panels and upper breast. Head crest is black, facial skin is red, and large bill is blue-gray and hooked. Legs are long and yellow. Strong steady wing beats alternated with long to short glides. Soars on thermals.
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.
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.
Great Kiskadee: Large flycatcher with brown upperparts, white head with black cap and eye-line, and bright yellow underparts. Yellow crown patch is usually concealed. Wings and tail are chestnut-brown. Black bill, legs and feet. Slow fluttering direct flight with 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.
Black-capped Vireo: Small vireo, olive-green upperparts, black hood, white spectacles interrupted with black above the eye, white underparts with olive-yellow flanks. Wings are dark with two pale bars. Iris is red-brown to red. It has been listed as an endangered species since 1987.
White-eyed Vireo: Medium-sized, secretive vireo with olive-green upperparts, and white underparts with yellow sides and flanks. Spectacles are pale yellow and iris is white. Wings are dark with two white bars. Legs and feet are gray. Flight is fast and direct on short, rounded wings.
Blue-headed Vireo: Medium-sized vireo with olive-green upperparts, white underparts, and yellow flanks. Head has blue-gray hood, white spectacles, and white throat. The wings are dark with two white or pale yellow bars. Weak, fluttering flight with rapid wing beats. May hover briefly.
Steller's Jay: Large crested jay with a black head and crest and a blue body. Head has slight white eyebrow, forehead, and chin spots. Wings and tail are blue with black bars. Feeds on pine seeds, acorns, fruit, frogs, snakes, carrion, insects and eggs and young of other birds.
Clark's Nutcracker: Medium, noisy and inquisitive jay with pale gray head and body. Black bill is long and stout. Wings are black with white patches and tail is black with white edges. Feeds on nuts, insects, eggs and young of other birds, lizards, carrion and small mammals. Steady deep wing beats.
Common Raven: Large raven with all-black body, large, stout bill, wedge-shaped tail. Eats invertebrates, vertebrates, insects, carrion, refuse, eggs and young of other birds, and rodents. Strong flight, alternates several deep wing beats with long glides on flat wings. Soars on thermals, updrafts.
Mountain Chickadee: Medium chickadee, gray upperparts, black cap and bib, white cheeks and nape, and pale gray underparts. The wings and tail are gray. Bill is black, legs and feet are gray-black. It has a white eyebrow, which differentiates it from all other North American chickadees.
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.
Tufted Titmouse: The largest titmouse, it has gray upperparts, pale gray underparts, rust-brown flanks. Head has dark gray cap and crest, pale gray face, and white eye-ring. Bill is black. Wings and tail are gray. Legs and feet are gray. Most spend their entire lives not far from their birthplace.
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.
American Dipper: Small, wren-like bird, dark gray with short, cocked tail, white eyelids that flash when blinked. Straight black bill. Wades, swims and dives for food. Feeds on aquatic insects, larvae, clams, snails, crustaceans, and small fish. Strong direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Northern Wheatear: Small thrush (oenanthe), with gray upperparts, black wings, mask, and tail. Underparts are white, and buff-brown wash on throat. Dark gray back and nape. Very active bird, nervous and restless while foraging. Bobs tail and often makes short flights to hawk insects.
Western Bluebird: Small thrush with deep blue hood and upperparts, crescent mark across upper back, red-brown breast, and white belly. Bill, legs and feet are black. Populations are declining due to competition for nest sites with European Starlings, Tree Swallows and House Sparrows.
Townsend's Solitaire: Small thrush, gray overall and slightly darker above. Eye-ring is thin and white. The wings have pale rust-brown patches and black flight feathers. Outer tail feathers are white. Perches upright and remains still for long periods of time and is easily overlooked.
Varied Thrush: Large thrush, dark gray upperparts, rust-brown throat, breast, sides, eyebrows, black breast band, and white belly and undertail. Wings are dark gray with two rust-brown bars. Tail is dark gray with white corners. Legs and feet are brown. Direct, swift flight on rapidly beating wings.
Curve-billed Thrasher: Medium-sized thrasher (palmeri), with gray upperparts and spotted, pale gray underparts. Eyes are orange-red and bill is long and decurved. Tail is long and dark gray. Legs and feet are black. Feeds on insects, spiders, small reptiles, fruits, seeds and berries.
Louisiana Waterthrush: Large ground-dwelling warbler, dark olive-brown upperparts, heavily streaked white underparts with buff wash on belly and sides. White throat; eyestripe is dark and thick, white eyebrows widen behind eyes. Bill is long and heavy. Tail is short with pale buff undertail coverts.
Blue-winged Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with olive-green upperparts and yellow underparts. The head is yellow with thin black eye line and olive-green nape. Wings are dark gray with two white bars. When its range overlaps with the Golden-winged Warrbler, it often interbreeds with or displaces it.
Prothonotary Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with olive-green back and blue-gray wings and tail. Head, neck, and underparts are vibrant yellow and the undertail coverts are white. Bill, legs and feet are black. The only eastern warbler that nests in tree hollows. Once called the Golden Swamp Warbler.
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.
Kentucky Warbler: Medium, ground-dwelling warbler with bright olive-green upperparts and yellow underparts. Head has black mask and sideburns and thick yellow eyebrows. Bill is black, legs and feet are pink. Secretive, heard rather than seen. It is named for the state where it was first discovered.
Hooded Warbler: Medium warbler, olive-green upperparts, bright yellow underparts. Head has black hood, and yellow face. The eyes are large and dark and the tail is often spread, displaying large white spots. Bill is black, legs and feet are pink. Makes short, direct flights on rapidly beating wings.
Cerulean Warbler: The male is sky-blue with faintly streaked upperparts and black-streaked white flanks. A black band separates a white throat and belly. Wings have two bold white bars. The female has unstreaked blue-gray upperparts and a yellow wash on face and breast with pale streaks on flanks, and yellow eyebrows. The immature bird is paler and more olive over all. Prefers to stay high in the crowns of mature deciduous trees, making it difficult to see.
Black-throated Blue Warbler: Small warbler that is the most strikingly sexually dimorphic of all wood warblers. Male has dark blue upperparts, black throat and mask. White underparts with black sides and white wing patch at base of primaries. Bill, legs and feet are black. The female is olive-brown.
Pine Warbler: Medium warbler with plain olive-gray upperparts, yellow throat and breast, blurry-streaked sides, and white belly and undertail coverts. Wings are gray with two white bars. It is the only warbler that eats large quantities of seeds, usually pine. One of the earliest breeding warblers.
Yellow-throated Warbler: Medium warbler with gray upperparts, yellow throat, chin, and upper breast, white underparts with black spots on sides. Head has black face patch, white eyebrows. Wings are dark with two white bars. Tail is gray with white spots near corners. Bill, legs, and feet are black.
Prairie Warbler: Small warbler, brown-streaked, olive-green upperparts with reddish-brown streaking, bright yellow underparts with black streaks on sides. Head has a yellow-green cap, yellow face, and dark eye, cheek stripes. Found in pine stands, mangroves and overgrown fields rather than prairies.
Black-throated Gray Warbler: Small warbler, black-marked, slate-gray upperparts, black streaks on flanks, white underparts. Head has black hood and throat, sharply contrasting white eyebrow and cheek stripe, and yellow spot in front of eye. Wings are dark with two white bars. Black bill, legs, feet.
Townsend's Warbler: Olive-green upperparts, black throat and upper breast. Lower breast and sides are yellow with black streaks and belly is white.Face is yellow with black crown and cheek patch and yellow crescent below eye. Wings have two white bars. Tail has white edges, dark center and tip.
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.
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.
Black-throated Sparrow: Medium sparrow, gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, black bib. Head has dark gray cap and sharply contrasting white eyebrow and cheek stripe. Bill is black. Long, round-tipped tail is edged with white. Legs and feet are gray. Forages on the ground and in low vegetation.
Sagebrush Sparrow: Medium sparrow, dark-streaked brown back, white underparts with central breast spot, streaks on sides. Gray head has white patch in front of eye. White throat has dark moustache stripe. Brown wings, two faint bars. Long tail is dark, white edged. Coastal form is darker. Sage Sparrow was split into two distinct species in 2014 by the American Ornithologist Union. Bell’s Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow.
Bell’s Sparrow: Medium sparrow with brown back, white underparts with central breast spot, streaks on sides. Gray head has white patch in front of eye. White throat is interrupted by a narrow, dark moustache stripe bordered by a broad white submoustachial stripe. Brown wings, two faint bars. Sage Sparrow was split into two distinct species in 2014 by the American Ornithologist Union. Bell’s Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow.
Henslow's Sparrow: Small sparrow, black-streaked brown upperparts. Breast, sides, and flanks are dark-streaked pale buff; throat and belly are white. Head is olive-brown with dark lines. Weak fluttering flight with tail jerking, alternates rapid wing beats with 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.
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.
Eastern Meadowlark: Short ground-dwelling bird with buff- and black-streaked brown upperparts. Head has black-and-white striped crown, white face, black eyestripe and a pointed bill. Throat to belly is yellow, broad black V on breast. Brown tail has white edges and undertail coverts.
Great-tailed Grackle: Large blackbird, iridescent black body and purple sheen. Yellow eyes. Long, keeled tail. Walks on ground, wades in water to forage. Eats snails, insects, frogs, shrimp, small fish and birds, eggs and young of other birds, fruits, berries, seeds and grains. Strong direct flight.
Lesser Goldfinch: Small finch with dark back (black in the east, dark green in the west), black crown, bright yellow underparts. Wings, tail black with white markings. Forages in shrubs, brush, weedy fields for seeds and insects. Swift flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow: Small, introduced sparrow, black-streaked red-brown upperparts, buff underparts, single white wing-bar. Head has chestnut-brown crown, small black mask, chin, ear patches. Swift bounding flight, alternates rapid wing beats with periods of wings pulled to sides.
 
Restart Bird Identification Expert