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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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.
Ruddy Turnstone
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.
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.
South Polar Skua
South Polar Skua Dark: This small, gull-like skua occurs in two color phases. Dark phase adult has a dark brown body with a large white patch at base of primaries visible in flight. Dark bill, thick and heavy; short, broad tail. Light phase adult has pale gray-brown head and underparts. Feeds on fish, krill and squid. Strong direct flight with shallow wing beats. Sexes are similar.
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.
Red Knot
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.
Royal Tern
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.
Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint: This small sandpiper has mottled brown upperparts and streaked cap. Underparts are white; upper breast is rust-brown and spotted. The face and throat are rust-brown and the bill, legs and feet are black. Forages on shore; sometimes probes mud. Feeds on algae and aquatic plants, insects and insect larvae. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Greater Prairie-Chicken
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.
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.
Nelson's Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow: Small sparrow with brown streaked upperparts. Breast and sides are pale brown with pale streaks; throat, belly, and undertail coverts are white. Head has gray-brown crown and nape, orange-brown face, and gray cheeks. Tail is short and pointed. Pink-gray legs and 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.
White-tailed Ptarmigan
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.
Black-headed Gull
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.
Limpkin: Large, unique marsh bird, dark brown body, white streaks on neck, back, wings, breast. Bill is slightly decurved. Neck and legs are long. Vaguely resembles an ibis. Feeds on freshwater snails, mussels, frogs, crustaceans and insects. Direct flight with quick upstrokes and slow downstrokes.
Little Gull
Little Gull: The smallest of all gulls, with pale gray upperparts and white nape, neck, breast, belly, and tail. Hood is black and extends onto upper neck. Underwings are dark. Bill is dark red with black tip. Legs and feet are red-orange. Strong direct flight with deep wing beats.
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.
Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule: Medium, chicken-like marsh bird with purple-blue upperparts washed with iridescent green, deep blue underparts. Forehead is pale blue; bill is red and yellow-tipped. Undertail coverts are white. Legs are yellow with very long toes. The flight is labored and slow with dangling legs.
Black Rail
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.
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.
Black-legged Kittiwake
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.
Black Skimmer
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.
Garganey: This small dabbling duck has black-streaked, gray upperparts, chestnut-brown mottled face and breast, pale gray flanks, and a white stripe above the eye that runs down the neck. The wings have pale blue shoulder patches and a dark green speculum with white borders visible in flight. Fast direct flight with rapid wing beats. Diet includes aquatic invertebrates.
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.
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.
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.
Clapper Rail
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.
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.
Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher: This large, stocky sandpiper has dark, mottled upperparts, dark cap and eye stripe, short white eyebrow, and red-brown underparts with lightly barred flanks. The bill is long, dark and dagger-like, and the legs and feet are yellow-green. It feeds on insects and insect larvae, mollusks, crustaceans and marine worms. Swift direct flight, rapid wing beats. 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.
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.
Franklin's Gull
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.
Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper: This is a medium-sized sandpiper with mottled rufous, white and black upperparts. The head, neck and breast are a rich rufous, while vent, under tail coverts and underwings are white. It has a long black bill that is slightly decurved, and black legs and feet. It mainly feeds on insects and other small invertebrates. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Iceland Gull
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.
Hudsonian Godwit
Hudsonian Godwit: Large sandpiper with white-scaled, brown-black upperparts, black-barred chestnut-brown underparts. Long bill, slightly upcurved and pink with black tip. White rump, white wing-bar, black underwings visible in flight. Legs and feet are blue-gray. Swift, powerful undulating flight.
Sage Thrasher
Sage Thrasher: Small thrasher, gray upperparts, dark-streaked white underparts with pale brown wash. The head is gray, bill is short and slightly decurved. Wings are dark with thin,white bars. Tail is dark with white corners. Legs and feet are black. Fast flight on shallow wing beats.
Mottled Duck
Mottled Duck: Medium dabbling duck with dark brown mottled body, feathers usually show distinct multi-toned chevrons, buff-brown face and unmarked neck, darker crown and eye line. Speculum is blue-green bordered with black and fine white bars. Bill is bright yellow; legs and feet are orange.
Piping Plover
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.
Great Black-backed Gull
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.
Mute Swan
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.
Common Snipe
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.
Swallow-tailed Kite
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.
King Rail
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 Sandpiper
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.
Gull-billed Tern
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.
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel
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.
Northern Gannet
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.
White Ibis
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.
Greater Scaup
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.
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
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.
Sooty Tern
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.
Neotropic Cormorant
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.
Masked Duck
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.
Glossy Ibis
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.
Barnacle Goose
Barnacle Goose: Medium goose, distinctive white face, jet-black head, neck, and upper breast. Wings and back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars. Belly is white. V-shaped white rump patch and silver-gray underwing linings are visible in flight. Black bill,legs and feet. Strong direct flight.
Bell's Vireo
Bell's Vireo: Small vireo, faint, broken eye-ring, thick, slightly flattened hooked bill, one or two faint wing bars. Upperparts are gray and underparts are white with pale yellow wash on sides. Eastern race has gray-green upperparts and distinct yellow wash on underparts. Legs and feet are gray.
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.
Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee: Medium-sized, stocky chickadee with pale gray upperparts and breast and pale olive-brown underparts. The black cap and bib and white cheeks are conspicuous. Black bill is short and thin. Wings are dark with broad white edges on feathers. State bird of Maine and Massachusetts.
Green-tailed Towhee
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.
McCown's Longspur
McCown's Longspur: Medium-sized sparrow with streaked gray upperparts, plain gray underparts, and darker breast. The head has a black crown, white face and throat, and a stout, heavy bill. White tail has diagnostic black inverted T. Wings have chestnut-brown bars. Black legs and feet.
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.
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.
White-winged Crossbill
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.
Groove-billed Ani
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.
Lark Bunting
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.
Monk Parakeet
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.
Inca Dove
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.
Fish Crow
Fish Crow: Medium-sized crow with black body and dark, heavy bill. Very similar to American Crow, but call is different. Feeds on fish, crustaceans, carrion, eggs, insects, larvae,fruits and berries. Flies on stiff wing beats, alternates several rapid wing strokes with long glides.
Townsend's Solitaire
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.
Bachman's Warbler
Bachman's Warbler: Small warbler, olive-green upperparts, yellow forehead, throat, underparts, faint white eye-ring, black crown, bib. It was last seen in the United States in 1962, when it was recorded near Charlestown, South Carolina. In Cuba a wintering female was spotted in 1981.
Rock Wren
Rock Wren: Medium wren with white-speckled gray upperparts, brown rump, white-over-black eye brow, white throat and breast with fine gray streaks, and buff-yellow flanks and belly. The long tail is buff-and-black barred, and has a pale tip; undertail coverts are white with black bars.
Fulvous Whistling-Duck
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.
Western Tanager
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.
Violet-green Swallow
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.
Lazuli Bunting
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.
Varied Thrush
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.
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.
Allen's Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird: Small, compact hummingbird; male has straight black bill, glittering green crown and back, white breast, and rufous sides, belly, rump, and tail. The throat (gorget) is iridescent copper-red. Female similar but lacks bright gorget. Feeds on nectar, insects, spiders, and sap. Swift direct flight, hovers when feeding.
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird: Medium hummingbird with metallic green upperparts, gray underparts, white breast, green-washed flanks. Head appears black overall with white spot behind eye; cap is very dark green. Throat is iridescent violet; bill is long and slightly decurved. Forked tail is dark green with black outer tail feathers.
Bullock's Oriole
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.
American Avocet
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.
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.
Vaux's Swift
Vaux's Swift: Small swift, gray-brown body, sometimes highlighted by slight green iridescence. Rump is pale brown, throat and breast are nearly white. Bill, legs, feet are gray-black. Flight is low and fast, alternates bursts of quick fluttery wing beats with short glides. Catches insects in flight.
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Chestnut-collared Longspur: Small, sparrow-like bird with brown-streaked upperparts, black breast and flanks, some have chestnut on underparts, pale gray belly. Face is buff with black stripe behind eye. Nape is chestnut-brown, crown is black, and throat is white. Tail is black with strongly contrasting white outer tail feathers.
Marbled Godwit
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.
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.
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.
Calliope Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird: Very small hummingbird, metallic green upperparts and flanks, white underparts. Throat feathers are long, purple-red, appearing as streaks on a white background, whiskers when fluffed out, or dark, inverted V when folded. Direct and hovering flight with very rapid wing beats.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
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.
Anna's Hummingbird
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.
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.
Wood Stork
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.
Western Grebe
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.
Brown Pelican
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.
Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk: Large hawk, white head, streaked, rust-brown shoulders, back, and feathered legs. Underparts have scattered rufous streaks. Gray-brown wings. Tail is white with rust-brown wash. Dark morph is red-brown with white flight feathers. Alternates deep flaps and glides, soars on thermals.
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.
Reddish Egret
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.
Swainson's Hawk
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.
Roseate Spoonbill
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.
California Gull
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.
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.
Band-tailed Pigeon
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.
Townsend's Warbler
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.
Surf Scoter
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-headed Grosbeak
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.
Golden-crowned Sparrow
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.
Spotted Towhee
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.
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.
Say's Phoebe
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
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.
Magnificent Frigatebird
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.
Ash-throated Flycatcher
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.
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.
Western Kingbird
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.
Sprague's Pipit
Sprague's Pipit: Medium pipit with streaked, brown upperparts, buff breast with dark streaks, and white throat and belly. Tail is brown with white edges. Thin, pale bill. Legs are yellow to pale brown. Its plumage blends well among prairie grasses, making it difficult to spot.
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.
Barrow's Goldeneye
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.
Snowy Plover
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.
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.
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has dark brown upperparts and white underparts with faint olive-brown streaks on breast and sides. It has a rufous crown, white eye ring and dark brown wings. The tail is dark brown and pointed in flight. Feeds primarily on mosquito larvae but also takes mollusks and crustaceans. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Wilson's Plover
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.
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.
Cinnamon Teal
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.
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.
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.
MacGillivray's Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with olive-green upperparts and yellow underparts. White eye-ring is broken and slate gray hood extends to upper breast where it darkens to black. It forages for insects on or close to the ground. As it hops, it often flicks its tail from side to side.
Clay-colored Sparrow
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.
Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe: This large grebe has dark gray upperparts and cap, white lower face and nape, white underparts with gray flanks, red-brown neck and dark brown eyes. It has a long thick yellow bill with a dark tip and black legs and feet. Dives for small fish and crustaceans. Direct flight on rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Black-necked Stilt
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.
Long-billed Curlew
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.
White-winged Dove
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
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.
Eared Grebe
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.
Clark's Grebe
Clark's Grebe: Large grebe, gray-black upperparts, white underparts, and slender neck with white on front and black on back. White face, black cap extends nearly to red eyes. Bill is yellow-orange. Until the 1980's thought to be a pale morph of the Western Grebe. Direct flight on rapid wing beats.
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.
Black-throated Gray Warbler
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.
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.
Black-throated Sparrow
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.