List of North American birds

From Academic Kids

The  is one of North America's most endangered birds.
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The California Condor is one of North America's most endangered birds.
A five year-old American Golden Eagle.
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A five year-old American Golden Eagle.

This list of North American birds is a comprehensive listing of all the bird species known from the North American continent north of Mexico.

Contents

Scope of this list

North American birds most closely resemble those of Eurasia, which was connected to the continent as part of the supercontinent Laurasia until recent times. Many groups occur throughout the northern hemisphere and worldwide. However some groups unique to the New World have also arisen including the hummingbirds, the New World vultures, the New World quail, the tyrant flycatchers, the vireos, the mimids, the New World warblers, the tanagers, the cardinals and the icterids.

Several common birds in North America, such as the House Sparrow, the Rock Dove, the European Starling, and the Mute Swan are introduced species, meaning that they are not native to this continent but were brought here by man from Europe or elsewhere. Introduced species are marked on this list as (I). There may be species that have individual escapees or small feral populations in North America that are not on this list. This is especially true of birds that are commonly held as pets, such as parrots and finches.

One species, the Cattle Egret, was historically an African bird. In the 20th century this bird colonized North America and is now found throughout the lower 48 states of the US. The Cattle Egret is the only Old World bird to establish itself in North America in historical times without being introduced by man. As such, it is not marked as introduced on this list.

The definition of the area covered by a list of "North American birds" is somewhat subjective. This list is based on a checklist used by the American Birding Association (ABA), the list used by most field guides for North American birds.

The original list published by the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) in 1886 covered birds found in North America north of Mexico, and included Baja California, Bermuda and Greenland. In 1983, the area was expanded to included all of Mexico, Central America south through Panama, the West Indies and the Hawaiian Islands, while Greenland was dropped. This expansion more than doubled the number of birds on the AOU list. Other organizations, such as the ABA, use a smaller area: the current ABA area includes the 49 continental states of the US, Canada, and the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, plus surrounding waters. It does not include Greenland, Bermuda, the Bahamas or the Hawaiian Islands. Since the ABA follows the AOU on taxonomical matters, the AOU's list is used to settle questions of taxonomy.

Taxonomy

The taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) used in the accompanying bird lists adhere to the conventions of the AOU's (1998) Check-list of North American birds, the recognized scientific authority on the taxonomy and nomenclature of North America birds. The AOU's Committee on Classification and Nomenclature, the body responsible for maintaining and updating the Check-list, "strongly and unanimously continues to endorse the biological species concept (BSC), in which species are considered to be genetically cohesive groups of populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups" (AOU 1998). See Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy for an alternative phylogenetic arrangement based on DNA-DNA hybridization.

Unless otherwise noted, all species listed below are considered to occur regularly in North America as permanent residents, summer or winter residents or visitors, or migrants. The following codes are used to denote certain categories of species:

  • (A) = Accidental occurrence based on one or two (rarely more) records, and unlikely to occur regularly.
  • (C) = Casual occurrence based on two or a few records, with subsequent records not improbable.
  • (E) = Extinct; a recent member of the avifauna that no longer exists.
  • (Ex) = Extirpated; no longer occurs in area of interest, but other populations still exist elsewhere.
  • (I) = Introduced population established solely as result of direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native and non-indigenous.

Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae

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Trumpeter Swan
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Wood Duck pair.

Curassows and Guans

Order: Galliformes Family: Cracidae

Partridges, Grouse, Turkeys, and Old World Quail

Order: Galliformes Family: Phasianidae

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Wild_turkey.jpg
Wild Turkey

New World Quail

California Quail
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California Quail

Order: Galliformes Family: Odontophoridae

Loons

Order: Gaviiformes Family: Gaviidae

Grebes

Clark's Grebe
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Clark's Grebe

Order: Podicipediformes Family: Podicipedidae

Albatrosses

Order: Procellariiformes Family: Diomedeidae

Shearwaters and Petrels

Order: Procellariiformes Family: Procellariidae

Northern Fulmar
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Northern Fulmar

Storm-Petrels

Order: Procellariiformes Family: Hydrobatidae

Tropicbirds

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Phaethontidae

Boobies and Gannets

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Sulidae

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Brownpelican77.jpg
Brown Pelican

Pelicans

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Pelecanidae

Cormorants

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Darters

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Anhingidae

Frigatebirds

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Fregatidae

Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ardeidae

Snowy Egret
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Snowy Egret

Ibises and Spoonbills

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Threskiornithidae

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Woodstork17.jpg
Wood Stork

Storks

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ciconiidae

New World Vultures

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Cathartidae

Flamingos

Order: Phoenicopteriformes Family: Phoenicopteridae

Hawks, Kites, and Eagles

Order: Falconiformes Family: Accipitridae

Northern Goshawk
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Northern Goshawk

Caracaras and Falcons

American Kestrel
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American Kestrel

Order: Falconiformes Family: Falconidae

Rails, Gallinules, and Coots

Order: Gruiformes Family: Rallidae

King Rail
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King Rail

Limpkins

Order: Gruiformes Family: Aramidae

Cranes

Order: Gruiformes Family: Gruidae

Thick-knees

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Burhinidae

Lapwings and Plovers

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Charadriidae

Killdeer
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Killdeer

Oystercatchers

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Haematopodidae

Stilts and Avocets

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Recurvirostridae

American Avocet
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American Avocet

Jacanas

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Jacanidae

Sandpipers, Curlews, Stints, Godwits, Snipes, and Phalaropes

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Scolopacidae

Greater Yellowlegs
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Greater Yellowlegs
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Common Sandpiper
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Red-necked Phalarope

Pratincoles

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Glareolidae

Skuas, Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Laridae

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Black-headed Gull in summer, on the North Devon coast, England

Auks, Murres, and Puffins

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Alcidae

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Atlantic Puffin

Pigeons and Doves

Order: Columbiformes Family: Columbidae

Lories, Parakeets, Macaws, and Parrots

Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psittacidae

Cuckoos, Roadrunners, and Anis

Order: Cuculiformes Family: Cuculidae

Black-billed Cuckoo
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Black-billed Cuckoo

Barn owls

Order: Strigiformes Family: Tytonidae

Typical owls

Order: Strigiformes Family: Strigidae

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Elf owls nesting in a cactus

Goatsuckers

Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Caprimulgidae

Swifts

Order: Apodiformes Family: Apodidae

Hummingbirds

Order: Trochiliformes Family: Trochilidae

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Trogons

Order: Trogoniformes Family: Trogonidae

Hoopoes

Order: Upupiformes Family: Upupidae

Kingfishers

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Alcedinidae

Woodpeckers, Sapsuckers, and Flickers

Order: Piciformes Family: Picidae

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Red-naped Sapsucker

Tyrant flycatchers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Tyrannidae

Willow Flycatcher
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Willow Flycatcher

Shrikes

Missing image
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Northern Shrike

Order: Passeriformes Family: Laniidae

Vireos

Order: Passeriformes Family: Vireonidae

Jays, Crows, Magpies, and Ravens

Order: Passeriformes Family: Corvidae

Clark's Nutcracker
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Clark's Nutcracker

Larks

Order: Passeriformes Family: Alaudidae

  • Sky Lark, Alauda arvensis (regular migrant-AK) (A-CA) (Ex-NY) (I-BC & WA)
  • Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris

Swallows and Martins

Order: Passeriformes Family: Hirundinidae

Chickadees and Titmice

Order: Passeriformes Family: Paridae

Verdin

Order: Passeriformes Family: Remizidae

Bushtits

Order: Passeriformes Family: Aegithalidae

Nuthatches

Order: Passeriformes Family: Sittidae

Red-breasted Nuthatch
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Red-breasted Nuthatch

Treecreepers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Certhiidae

Wrens

Order: Passeriformes Family: Troglodytidae

Dippers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Cinclidae

Bulbuls

Order: Passeriformes Family: Pycnonotidae

Kinglets

Order: Passeriformes Family: Regulidae

Old World warblers and Gnatcatchers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Sylviidae

Old World flycatchers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Muscicapidae

Missing image
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Western Bluebird

Thrushes

Order: Passeriformes Family: Turdidae

Babblers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Timaliidae

Mockingbirds and Thrashers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Mimidae

Starlings

An immature female European Starling
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An immature female European Starling

Order: Passeriformes Family: Sturnidae

Accentors

Order: Passeriformes Family: Prunellidae

Wagtails and Pipits

Order: Passeriformes Family: Motacillidae

Waxwings

Order: Passeriformes Family: Bombycillidae

Silky-flycatchers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Ptilogonatidae

Olive Warbler

Order: Passeriformes Family: Peucedramidae

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Nashville Warbler

Wood-warblers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Parulidae

Bananaquits

Order: Passeriformes Family: Coerebidae

Tanagers

Order: Passeriformes Family: Thraupidae

American sparrows, Towhees, Juncos, and Longspurs

Order: Passeriformes Family: Emberizidae

Missing image
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Eastern Towhee
Little Bunting
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Little Bunting

Cardinals, Saltators, and Grosbeaks

Order: Passeriformes Family: Cardinalidae

Blackbirds, Meadowlarks, Cowbirds, Grackles, and Orioles

Order: Passeriformes Family: Icteridae

Hooded Oriole
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Hooded Oriole

Fringilline Finches, Cardueline Finches, and Allies

Order: Passeriformes Family: Fringillidae

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
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Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Old World sparrows

Order: Passeriformes Family: Passeridae

Weavers

An adult Java Sparrow
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An adult Java Sparrow

Order: Passeriformes Family: Ploceidae

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