Tips for using Browse:

Browsing is a valuable way to learn about birds, however it is a brute force approach and not designed for identification. A more sophisticated approach to finding a bird with specific field marks is to use the Step by Step Search. You can also try the Wizard to find a bird, which uses a question and answer approach, but again it does not give you the flexibility of the Step by Step Search.

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Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper: This small sandpiper has scaled gray-brown upperparts, white underparts and fine streaks on the breast and sides. It has a short, stout, straight black bill and black legs and feet. It feeds on insects, worms, small mollusks and crustaceans. Swift flight on rapidly beating wings. Sexes are similar.
Least Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper: This small sandpiper has brown-scaled upperparts and a rust-brown crown. The breast and throat are dark-spotted; belly, under tail are white. The wings have thin white stripes visible in flight. The black line on the rump extends onto the tail. The legs and feet are yellow-green. It feeds mostly on insects. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Baird's Sandpiper
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.
Solitary Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has pale-spotted, dark brown back and rump, white underparts with streaks on neck and sides, dark head and a bold white eyering. It has a black tail with conspicuous black-and-white barred edges; olive-green bill, legs and feet. Feeds on insects and insect larvae, spiders, worms and tadpoles. Direct flight is light and buoyant. Sexes are similar.
Common Merganser
Common Merganser: Large, sleek diving duck with black upperparts and white underparts. Head and upper neck are green-black with head crest usually not visible. Long, thin bill is bright red. Wings are black with extensive white patches. Feeds on fish, mollusks, crustaceans, insects and plants.
White-rumped Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper: Small sandpiper, brown and black scaled upperparts, distinct white rump. Neck and upper breast are white with brown streaks. Streaked head has white eyebrows. Thin white stripes on dark wings visible in flight. Tail is rounded and black. Dark legs and feet.
Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has gray-brown upperparts, white rump, heavily barred white underparts, dark cap, white eyebrows and brown ear patches. It has a long, black bill that curves down at the tip and long gray-green legs. It has a powerful, direct flight on long, rapidly beating wings. Sexes are similar.
Herring Gull
Herring Gull: This large gull has a pale gray back, black-tipped wings, a white head, neck, breast, tail and underparts. The bill is yellow with a red spot near the tip; legs are pink. Diet includes marine invertebrates, fish and insects. It has a strong steady flight with deep wing beats and soars on thermals and updrafts. The males are larger than females; the sexes have similar plumage.
Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs: This large sandpiper has gray and black mottled upperparts, white underparts, and streaked upper breast and sides. The bill is straight and uniformly dark gray. The white lower rump and dark-barred tail are visible in flight. The legs are long and yellow. It feeds on aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Long-tailed Jaeger
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.
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull: This is a medium-sized gull with a black head and bill, gray back and wings and white underparts and tail. White outer primaries with black trailing edges are visible in flight. The legs are red-orange. It catches fish by wading and diving. It has a light and direct flight with rapid wing beats. It feeds mainly on insects, which it catches in mid-flight. The sexes are similar.
Northern Shrike
Northern Shrike: Medium shrike with gray upperparts,pale gray underparts. Mask is black with white border, bill is heavy and slightly hooked. Wings are black with white patches. Tail is long, black, and white-edged. Legs and feet are black. Flight is swift and undulating on shallow rapid wing beats.
King Eider
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.
Arctic Tern
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.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
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.
Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal: This small dabbling duck has pale, gray-barred sides and a buff breast with a white bar down the side. The head is chestnut-brown with a green ear patch, the bill is dark gray, and the legs and feet are olive-gray. The speculum is flashy green bordered with brown above and white below. Diet includes seeds, insects and grasses. Flight is often low and erratic.
Harlequin Duck
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.
American Golden-Plover
American Golden-Plover: Medium sandpiper with black face, underparts. Back is dark brown with yellow spots; has a white S-shaped mark along head and sides. Markings provide camouflage to blend in with tundra breeding grounds. Bill is black, thin, and short. Swift direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler: Small warbler with olive-yellow upperparts and bright yellow underparts with rust-brown streaks on breast, sides. Wings are dark. Tail is dark with yellow-tinged edges. Female lacks streaks on breast. The Golden group has an olive-brown crown and is found in the Florida Keys and West Indies. The Mangrove group has a rufous hood and is found in Central America and northern South America. Has a wider range than any other North American warbler. Eats insects, larvae, and some fruit.
Ovenbird
Ovenbird: Medium, ground walking warbler, olive-brown upperparts, heavily spotted white underparts. Head has dull orange central crown stripe edged in black, and a white eye-ring. Wings, tail are olive-green. Name is from its covered nest, the dome and side entrance make it resemble a dutch oven.
Blackpoll Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with black-streaked, gray upperparts, white underparts, and black-streaked white sides. Head has black cap and prominent white cheek patch. Bill is black. Wings are dark with two white bars. Pink legs and feet. Swift, direct flight with rapidly beating wings.
Tennessee Warbler
Tennessee Warbler: Small warbler with olive-green upperparts, white underparts, and olive-gray washed sides. Darker head has white eyebrows and dark eyestripes. Wings are plain gray. Tail is short. It spends the summers in Canada and is only found in Tennessee during migration. Eats mostly insects.
Red-throated Loon
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
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.
Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Plover: This small plover has gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, a black face, collar and forehead and a faint stripe sometimes seen over the eye. It has a black-tipped orange bill, orange legs and feet and a brown tail with white edges. Wings have white stripes visible in flight. Feeds on insects, larvae and other invertebrates. Strong direct flight. Sexes are similar.
Yellow-billed Loon
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.
Long-tailed Duck
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.
Common Nighthawk
Common Nighthawk: Medium nightjar with white-speckled, dark upperparts, black-and-white barred underparts, mottled breast, white throat. Wings are long, dark gray with white bars, nearly covering tail when folded. Gray-brown legs and feet. Darting erratic flight with frequent changes of direction.
American Black Duck
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.
Parasitic Jaeger
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.
Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll: Small finch, brown-streaked gray upperparts, bright rose-pink breast, boldly streaked flanks and undertail coverts. Red cap and black chin. Bill is olive-brown with fine black tip. Wings are dark with two narrow white bars; tail is black and notched. Black legs, feet.
Hoary Redpoll
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.
Bohemian Waxwing
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.
Horned Lark
Horned Lark: Medium-sized lark with pale or dark brown upperparts and white underparts. Face and throat are pale yellow to white and mask, cap, and ear tufts are black. Tail is dark with white edges. Forages on ground, usually in open fields. Eats seeds, grains, insects and small mollusks.
Red Phalarope
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.
American Tree Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow: Medium, gray-brown sparrow, black and rufous-brown streaks on back, wings. Crown, eyestripes, flanks are rufous-brown, contrasting with gray face. Pale gray breast with dark central spot, rufous-brown sides. Upper mandible is dark gray, lower mandible is yellow.
Wilson's Snipe
Wilson's Snipe: This medium-sized sandpiper has brown and black mottled upperparts, buff striped back, white underparts, dark bars on sides and flanks, heavily streaked head, neck and breast, and yellow-green legs and feet. Feeds on insects and earthworms. Zigzag flight on takeoff, followed by direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Common Eider
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).
Cackling 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.
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler: Medium warbler, dark-streaked, blue-gray upperparts, yellow rump. White throat and belly, breast white and black streaked, yellow patches on the sides. Head gray with yellow crown, white crescent under eyes, white supercilium, black lores and cheeks. Dark wings with two white bars. Tail is dark with white corners.
Spruce Grouse
Spruce Grouse: Medium grouse with barred, dark gray-brown upperparts, black underparts show white bars on breast, white chevrons on sides, belly. Throat is white-bordered black; red eye combs. Tail is either black with fine white spots near base (Franklin's) or black with rufous-brown tip (Tiaga).
Eurasian Curlew
Eurasian Curlew: Large curlew, strongly marked underparts lack rich orange or buff tones that other long billed curlews often show. Brown upperparts. Large, decurved bill, black upper mandible, lower mandible has pink base. In flight it shows prominent white lower back, rump, and underwing linings.
Ivory Gull
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.
Rock Ptarmigan
Rock Ptarmigan: Small grouse with black, brown, and buff mottled upperparts, white underparts with variable dark mottling, and white wings. Head shows a dark eyestripe. Red combs over the eyes can be retracted or exposed. It has feathers on legs and toes to help it walk in the snow and stay warm.
Smith's Longspur
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.
Whimbrel
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.
Harris's Sparrow
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.
Lincoln's Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow: Medium sparrow, dark-streaked pale brown upperparts, white underparts with dark streaks. Head has brown crown with gray central stripe, and nape, pale eye-ring, and brown streak extending behind eye. Upper mandible is dark, lower mandible is pale orange-brown.
Sabine's Gull
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.
Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has scaled, dark brown upperparts, heavily streaked brown breast, plain white belly and eye ring, dark brown crown, faint wing-bar and black rump with white edges that are visible in flight. Primarily feeds on arthropods and other invertebrates. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Zigzag pattern when flushed. Sexes are similar.
Pomarine Jaeger
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.
Red-necked Phalarope
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.
Lapland Longspur
Lapland Longspur: Medium sparrow-like bird, brown-streaked black back. Underparts are white, streaked black on sides, flanks. Crown, face, and throat are black; nape is red-brown. Broad white stripe from eye to sides of breast. Bill is yellow with dark tip. Tail is long, white edges.
Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow: Small sparrow, dark-streaked, gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, heavy streaks on breast and sides. Head has a brown crown with pale central stripe and pale yellow or white eyebrows. Brown wings have two pale bars. Tail is short and notched. Pink legs and feet.
Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow: Small sparrow with dark-streaked brown upperparts, gray upper breast, and pale gray, faintly streaked underparts. Head has rust-brown cap with paler median stripe and gray face. The wings are rust-brown with black-and-white streaks. Eats seeds, insects. Pink legs, feet.
Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting: Medium-sized, strikingly white sparrow with black back, central tail, and wing tips. Bill, legs and feet are black. Forages on ground for seeds, insects, larvae and caterpillars. Swift flight, alternates rapidly beating wings with brief periods of wings pulled to sides.
Rusty Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird: Medium blackbird, black overall with a dull, blue-green sheen, yellow eyes. Forages on ground of wet woodlands and fields, wades in marshes or small pools of water. Feeds on insects, caterpillars, snails, crustaceans, small fish, salamanders, fruits, grains and seeds.
Thayer's Gull
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.
Willow Ptarmigan
Willow Ptarmigan: Small grouse, winter adult is all white with dark-edged tail and small orange-red eye combs. Summer bird has rust-brown upperparts, head, breast, white eye-ring, orange-red eye comb, white wings, belly, leg feathers; brown tail. Unlike other ptarmigans, the male stays with the female and defends its nest-it is known to attack anything that comes to close.
Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail: This large duck has gray and black upperparts, white neck and underparts, gray sides, long black pointed tail, brown head, throat and nape. White stripe divides front and back of neck, green speculum is bordered by buff. Feeds on seeds and aquatic insects. Females are mottled brown all over with slim, tan head, long neck and a shorter tail. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Lesser Scaup
Lesser Scaup: Medium-sized diving duck has finely barred gray back and gray-washed white underparts. Head, neck and breast are black with purple gloss. It has yellow eyes, blue-gray bill, black tail and black wings with white patches. Females are chocolate brown with lighter sides, red-brown head and white patch at base of dark gray bill. Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, small fish, seeds and vegetative plants. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
American Wigeon
American Wigeon: This is a medium-sized duck with a brown body, white crown, a large green ear patch extending to the back of the head, buff washed breast and sides and a white belly. It has a swift direct flight with strong wing beats. Shoulder patches are visible in flight. It has a black-tipped pale blue bill. It feeds on aquatic plants, insects and mollusks.
Mallard
Mallard: This medium-sized duck has a gray body, chestnut-brown breast, green head, white neck ring, yellow bill, wing speculum is white-bordered metallic purple-blue, white edged dark tail, two curled black feathers, and orange legs and feet. Feeds on insects and crustaceans. Females are mottled brown with orange-brown bills and no curled tail feathers. Swift direct flight with strong wing beats.
Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe: Small grebe, red-brown neck, breast and flanks, nearly black throat and back. Head has black cap, white face, conspicuous buff-orange to yellow ear plumes. Bill is dark with white tip, eyes are dark red. Feeds on aquatic insects, fish and crustaceans. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Gray Jay
Gray Jay: Medium-sized, fluffy, crestless jay with gray upperparts, paler underparts, and a short bill. Tail is long and white-tipped. Feeds on insects, carrion, refuse, seed, nuts, berries, mice, eggs and young of other birds. Light and bouyant flight on steady wing beats. Glides between perches.
Canada Goose
Canada Goose: This long-necked goose has a large gray-brown body, large webbed feet and a wide flat bill. It has dark upperparts, paler underparts, a white vent, cheeks and chinstrap, and a black head and neck. Strong deep wing beats. Strong powerful direct flight. Flies in a in V formation in migration. Feeds on grasses, sedges, berries and seeds. Sexes are similar, but males are larger.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet: Medium kinglet, olive-green upperparts and olive-buff underparts. Head has inconspicuous tuft of red crown feathers and white eye rings. Wings are dark with two white bars. Tail is slightly notched and has white edges. Weak fluttering flight on shallow wing beats.
Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco: Medium-sized sparrow with considerable geographic color variation, although all exhibit a pink bill, dark eyes, white belly, and dark-centered tail with white outer feathers. Gray-headed form has gray head, rump, breast, and sides, and rust-brown back. Slate-colored form is slate-gray overall with darker head. Oregon form has black hood, chestnut-brown back and buff-brown flanks. White-winged form is blue-gray overall and shows two white wing bars. Pink-sided form is blue-gray with darker wings and pink-gray flanks. Female of each form resembles male but is usually paler. Juveniles of all forms are heavily streaked brown with darker heads, white bellies, and white outer tail feathers.
White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow: Medium-sized sparrow with brown-streaked upperparts, small white throat patch, and plain gray underparts. The white crown has distinct black lines. Wings are brown with two pale bars. Short flights, alternates rapid wing beats with brief periods of the wings pulled to sides.
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser: This medium-sized diving duck has black upperparts, gray sides, rust-brown breast, white belly, green head, double crests and neck, and white neck ring. The long thin bill, legs and feet are bright orange. Females are brown-gray with gray-washed, red-brown head, double crest and white breast and belly. Feeds mostly on small fish. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Common Raven
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.
Bufflehead
Bufflehead: This small diving duck is mostly white with a glossy green-black to purple-black head and back. The head has a large white patch behind eye. The wings are dark with white patches visible in flight. It feeds on aquatic plant seeds, and insects, larvae and snails. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye: Medium diving duck, white-striped black upperparts, white underparts. Head is iridescent green-black with white circular patch between yellow eyes and dark gray bill. Wings are dark with large white patches conspicuous in flight. Legs and feet are yellow. Swift, direct flight.
Common Loon
Common Loon: Large loon, white-spotted, black upperparts and white underparts. Head, neck are green-black with white-streaked neckbands. Bill is black and thick. Eyes are red-brown. Dives for small fish and crustaceans. Direct flight on strong deep wing beats, head, neck and feet extend beyond body.
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle: Large, hawk-like bird, dark brown body and white head, tail. Heavy bill, legs, feet, eyes are yellow. Hunts for fish, which it sometimes steals from ospreys. Eats carrion and crippled or injured squirrels, rabbits, muskrats and waterfowl. Flap-and-glide flight, also soars on thermals.
American Bittern
American Bittern: Medium, secretive, heron-like wading bird with stout body and neck, and relatively short legs. Upperparts are streaked brown and buff and underparts are white with brown streaks. Throat is white with black slashes on sides of neck. Strong direct flight with deep rapid wing beats.
Northern Goshawk
Northern Goshawk: The adults are slate blue-gray to nearly black upperparts with very finely barred and streaked pale gray underparts. Head is dark with thick, white eyebrows and red eyes. Tail is paler gray with three or four dark bands. Sexes are similar, although female is usually larger. The juvenile is browner overall with bright yellow eyes. Alternates rapid wing beats with glides; soars on thermals.
Northern Hawk Owl
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 Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl: Large owl with dark brown, gray-brown mottled upperparts and dark barred underparts. Head has distinct ear tufts and rufous facial disk. Throat and upper breast are white and may have dark spots. Northern birds are paler and grayer. Strong, silent, direct, flap and glide flight.
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl: Medium owl, light and dark brown mottled upperparts and dark-streaked, pale buff underparts. Head has large, round, pale buff facial disk with fine, brown tinges, black around eyes, and small ear tufts. Eyes are yellow and bill is black. Flight is erratic with flopping wing beats.
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl: Large, white owl with variable black bars and spots. The head is round and lacks tufts, eyes are yellow, and the bill is black. Feathered feet and toes provide protection from the arctic cold. Direct flap-and-glide flight with powerful, deep wingbeats. North America's only all-white owl.
Merlin
Merlin: This small falcon has blue-gray upperparts, white to pale brown underparts with dark streaks, white throat, eye ring, and eyebrow, dark gray bill, brown or black barred tail with white tips. Pacific race is dark gray. Prairie race is light gray. Taiga race is a mixture. Females of all races are duller. Diet includes mostly small birds. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon: This medium-sized falcon has blue-gray upperparts and heavily barred sides, belly and leggings. The breast may vary from white to spotted and barred. It has a black hood and sideburns, yellow fleshy eye ring, and yellow legs and feet. Feeds primarily on birds, which it takes in midair. Direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes look alike, but the female is a little bigger.
Gyrfalcon
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.
Prairie Falcon
Prairie Falcon: Medium falcon with brown upperparts, dark-spotted pale underparts, dark brown moustache stripe. Dark underwing-bars visible in flight. Feeds on small birds and mammals, and large insects. Swift flight with rapid wing beats. Sometimes alternates several rapid wing beats with a glide.
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk: Large, highly variable hawk with brown upperparts, head and throat. The underparts are pale with brown streaks. Wings are pale below with dark bar at leading edge and dark tips. The tail is red-brown with dark terminal band. Legs and feet are yellow. Soars on thermals and updrafts.
Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk: This large hawk has brown upperparts, paler, streaked head, brown-spotted white breast, dark breast band, and fully feathered legs. The wings are pale below and dark-edged. The upper half of the tail is white, lower half is finely banded. It feeds on small mammals and some birds. Alternates powerful flaps with glides. Hangs in wind and hovers over one spot. Sexes are similar.
Sandhill Crane
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.
Mew Gull
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.
American Pipit
American Pipit: Small pipit, gray-brown upperparts and pale buff underparts; breast is faintly to darkly streaked. Tail is dark with white edges. Black bill is thin and long. Legs and feet are black. It can be distinguished from sparrows by its longer bill and habit of wagging its tail up and down.
Northern Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush: Large, ground-walking warbler with dark brown upperparts and white to pale yellow underparts with dark, heavy streaks. Eyebrows are thick and vary from pale yellow to white. It flies swiftly in a direct line for short distances. Territorial in both its winter and summer ranges.
Brant
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.
Thick-billed Murre
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.
Dunlin
Dunlin: This is a medium-sized bird with black-streaked, red-brown upperparts, a black belly patch and a streaked breast. The black bill is long and slightly decurved. The legs and feet are black. It wades in shallows and uses its bill to probe and pick up food. The diet includes marine worms, crustaceans and mollusks. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. The sexes are similar.
Short-billed Dowitcher
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.
Ring-necked Pheasant
Ring-necked Pheasant: This large chicken-like pheasant has a metallic-brown body, iridescent green head, white neck ring, red eye patch and wattles, and a long pointed tail. Female is pale brown overall with dark markings, has shorter tail and lacks wattle. Diet includes seeds and insects. Swift direct flight with strong wing beats. First introduced to California from Asia as a game bird in 1857.
Black Scoter
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.
White-winged Scoter
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.
Pine Grosbeak
Pine Grosbeak: Large, robust finch with red-washed black back, gray sides and undertail coverts, and pink-red rump and underparts. Head and face are pink-red; bill is heavy and black. Wings are black with two pale bars. Tail is black and slightly notched. Feeds on seeds, buds, fruits and insects.
Tundra Swan
Tundra Swan: This small swan is completely snowy white. Its head and neck is often stained rust-brown from ferrous minerals in marsh soils. It has a black bill with a yellow spot at the base and black legs and feet. Diet includes aquatic vegetation and grass. Strong direct flight on steady wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation. Most common swan in North America. Sexes are similar.
Greater White-fronted Goose
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
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.
Snow Goose
Snow Goose: This large goose has two color phases. The White phase is all white with black wing tips. The Blue phase has a white head and neck, blue-gray upperparts, gray-brown breast and sides, white belly, pink bill, legs and feet and black lower mandible. Sexes are identical within each phase. Diet includes pasture grasses and grains. Strong direct flight in bunched flocks or U formations.
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has olive-brown upperparts, white underparts with bold black spots, white eyebrow, barred tail and dull yellow legs. Wings have white stripes visible in flight. Low direct flight; wings flap in shallow arcs, producing clipped, stiff wing beats on drooping wings. Feeds mainly on small invertebrates such as midges and mayflies. Sexes are similar.
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler: Small warbler with olive-green upperparts and faintly streaked, yellow underparts. The head has inconspicuous orange crown, broken eye-ring, and faint eye-line. Though it lives and nests in dense foliage close to the ground, the male perches at the tops of tall trees to sing.
Wilson's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler: Small warbler with olive-green upperparts, bright yellow face and underparts, distinct black cap. It has a long, olive-brown tail which it moves up and down, or in a circular fashion, as it searches for food. It is more common in the West than in the East. Legs and feet are pink.
European Starling
European Starling: Small, chunky, iridescent purple and green blackbird with long, pointed yellow bill, pink legs, and short tail. The feathers on back and undertail show buff edges. Feeds in open areas, normally on the ground. Strong, direct and swift flight on rapidly beating wings.
Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush: Small thrush, with olive-brown to red- or gray-brown upperparts, black-spotted white underparts and rufous tail. Distinct white eye-ring. Pink legs, feet. Swift direct flight, may hover briefly over prey. Considered to have one of the most beautiful songs of all North American birds. The state bird of Vermont.
Glaucous Gull
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.
Fox Sparrow
Fox Sparrow: Large sparrow, varies from dark or gray-brown in the west, rufous in the east; upperparts may be so dark that back pattern is hard to see. Heavily streaked upperparts, converging at midbreast into a large, dark spot. Rust-brown tail. Bill has dark upper mandible, yellow lower mandible.
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow: Medium sparrow, heavily streaked gray-brown upperparts. Dull white underparts have dark central breast spot, thick streaks. Head has brown crown, paler median stripe, pale gray eyebrow, white chin, dark brown moustache stripe. Rust-brown wings. Tail is long, usually tinged rust-brown.
Cliff Swallow
Cliff Swallow: Small, stocky swallow, dark blue-gray upperparts, pale orange-brown rump, buff underparts. Forehead is white or buff while throat, sides of face are orange-brown. Crown is blue-black, bill is short and black. Tail is dark and squared. Legs and feet are gray. Catches insects in flight.
American Robin
American Robin: Large, familiar North American thrush, gray-brown upperparts, rich red-brown breast, and white lower belly and undertail coverts. Head appears black with white splotches surrounding the eyes, and throat is white with black streaks. Juvenile has heavily spotted underparts. Swift, direct flight on rapidly beating wings.
Sanderling
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.
Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow: Medium-sized swallow with iridescent blue-green upperparts and white underparts. The wings are dark gray and tail is dark and forked. Black bill, legs and feet. Swift, graceful flight, alternates slow, deep wing beats with short or long glides. Turns back sharply on insects it passes.
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Olive-sided Flycatcher: Large, heavy-billed flycatcher with dark olive-brown upperparts, streaked olive-brown sides, and white underparts. Head has slight crest and faint white eye-ring. Wings are dark with two pale bars. Dark tail is relatively short, broad, and slightly notched. Black legs, feet.
Black-bellied Plover
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.
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker: Medium woodpecker, black-barred brown back, white rump, black tail. Underparts are black-spotted pale brown with black crescent on breast. Face is gray with brown crown and forehead. Legs and feet are gray. There is a Red-shafted (shown here) and a Yellow-shafted race.