WMAN 426 Ornithology
Spring 2009
Birds of West Virginia
Systematics and Identification

Click on blue "links" for detailed identification tips, life histories, and pictures


Quick Jumps to Groups
Loons    Grebes    Cormorants    Herons & Vultures    Swans and Ducks
Eagles and Hawks    Game    Rails    Shorebirds    Gulls and Terns
Doves    Cuckoos    Owls    Goatsuckers    Woodpeckers
Flycatchers    Vireos    Jays    Swallows    Titmice    Nuthatches
Wrens    Kinglets    Thrushes    Mockingbirds    Warblers    Tanagers    Sparrows    Grosbeaks    Blackbirds    Finches          
  


Systematics and ID Lab #1

 

LOONS-Order: Gaviiformes

Family: Gaviidae  

 Common Loon Gavia immer

 

GREBES-Order: Podicipediformes

Family: Podicipedidae  

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus  


CORMORANTS-Order: Pelecaniformes

Cormorants-Family: Phalacrocoracidae  

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus  


HERONS and NEW WORLD VULTURES-Order: Ciconiiformes

Herons-Family: Ardeidae  

American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus

Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

Snowy Egret Egretta thula 

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Green Heron Butorides virescens

 

Stork-Family: Ciconiidae  

Wood Stork Mycteria americana

 

New World Vultures-Family: Cathartidae  

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura  


SWANS, GEESE & DUCKS-Order: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae  

Snow Goose Chen caerulescens

Canada Goose Branta canadensis

Brant Branta bernicla

Mute Swan Cygnus olor

Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus

Wood Duck Aix sponsa

Gadwall Anas strepera

American Wigeon Anas americana

American Black Duck Anas rubripes

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata

Northern Pintail Anas acuta

Green-winged Teal Anas crecca

Canvasback Aythya valisineria

Redhead Aythya americana

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris

Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis  

Bufflehead Bucephala albeola

Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula

Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus

Common Merganser Mergus merganser

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator

Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis

EAGLES, FALCONS & HAWKS-Order: Falconiformes  

Eagles & Hawks-Family: Accipitridae  

Osprey Pandion haliaetus 

Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus

Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus

Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii

Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis 

Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus

Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus 

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Rough-legged Hawk Buteo lagopus

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos


FALCONS-Order: Falconiformes

Falcons-Family: Falconidae  

American Kestrel Falco sparverius 

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus


GROUSE, TURKEY & QUAIL-Order: Galliformes  

Grouse-Family: Phasianidae  

Ruffed Grouse Bonasa umbellus 

Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo

 

Quail-Family: Odontophoridae  

Northern Bobwhite Colinus virginianus


RAILS, LIMPKINS, & CRANES-Order: Gruiformes  

Rails-Family: Rallidae  

Virginia Rail Rallus limicola

Sora Porzana carolina

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

American Coot Fulica americana

 

Limpkin-Family: Aramidae  

 

Cranes-Family: Gruidae  


SHOREBIRDS-Order: Charadriiformes

Plovers-Family: Charadriidae  

Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola

American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica 

Piping Plover Charadrius melodus

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

 

Avocet-Family: Recurvirostridae  

American Avocet Recurvirostra americana 

 

Sandpipers-Family: Scolopacidae  

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria 

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia

Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda 

Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 

Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla 

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago

American Woodcock Scolopax minor

 

Gulls & Terns-Family: Laridae  

Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia 

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis

Herring Gull Larus argentatus  

Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri

Least Tern Sterna antillarum

 

 

Systematics and ID Lab #2
 

DOVES-Order: Columbiformes  

Family: Columbidae  

Rock Dove Columba livia

Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura  


CUCKOOS-Order: Cuculiformes

Family: Cuculidae  

Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus


OWLS-Order: Strigiformes

Barn Owls-Family: Tytonidae  

Barn Owl Tyto alba

 

Owls-Family: Strigidae  

Eastern Screech-Owl Otus asio

Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus 

Barred Owl Strix varia

Long-eared Owl Asio otus

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus

Northern Saw-whet Owl Aegolius acadicus

 

GOATSUCKERS-Order: Caprimulgiformes

Family: Caprimulgidae  

Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor

Whip-poor-will Caprimulgus vociferus


SWIFTS & HUMMINGBIRDS-Order: Apodiformes

Swifts-Family: Apodidae  

Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica

 

Hummingbirds-Family: Trochilidae  

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris


KINGFISHERS-Order: Coraciiformes

Family: Alcedinidae  

Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon


WOODPECKERS-Order: Piciformes

Family: Picidae  

Red-headed Woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus

Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius

Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens

Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus

Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus

 

Systematics and ID Lab #3


PERCHING BIRDS-Order: Passeriformes

Flycatchers-Family: Tyrannidae  

Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi 

Eastern Wood-Pewee Contopus virens

Acadian Flycatcher Empidonax virescens 

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus s

Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe 

Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus 

Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus

 

Shrikes-Family: Laniidae  

Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus

 

Vireos-Family: Vireonidae  

White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus

Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons

Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius

Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus

Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus

 

Jays & Crows-Family: Corvidae  

Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata

American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos

Common Raven Corvus corax

 

Larks-Family: Alaudidae  

Horned Lark Eremophia alpestris

 

Swallows-Family: Hirundinidae  

Purple Martin Progne subis

Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor

Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina

Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Bank Swallow Riparia riparia

Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

 

Chickadees & Titmice-Family: Paridae  

Carolina Chickadee Poecile carolinensis 

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapilla

Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor

 

Nuthatches-Family: Sittidae  

Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis

White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis

 

Creeper-Family: Certhiidae  

Brown Creeper Certhia americana

 

Wrens-Family: Troglodytidae  

Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus

House Wren Troglodytes aedon

Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes

Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis

 

Kinglets-Family: Regulidae  

Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa

Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula

 

Gnatcatchers-Family: Sylviidae  

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea 

 

Thrushes-Family: Turdidae  

Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis 

Veery Catharus fuscescens 

Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus 

Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus 

Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina 

American Robin Turdus migratorius 

 

Mockingbirds & Thrashers-Family: Mimidae  

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum

 

Starling-Family: Sturnidae  

European Starling Sturnus vulgaris

 

Waxwings-Family: Bombycillidae  

Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum

 

Systematics and ID Lab #4

 

Warblers-Family: Parulidae  

Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora pinus

Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera 

Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina 

Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla

Northern Parula Parula americana 

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia 

Chestnut-sided Warbler Dendroica pensylvanica 

Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia

Cape May Warbler Dendroica tigrina 

Black-throated Blue Warbler Dendroica caerulescens 

Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata 

Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens 

Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca 

Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica 

Pine Warbler Dendroica pinus 

Prairie Warbler Dendroica discolor 

Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum 

Bay-breasted Warbler Dendroica castanea 

Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica striata 

Cerulean Warbler Dendroica cerulea 

Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia 

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla 

Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea 

Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorus 

Swainson's Warbler Limnothlypis swainsonii 

Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus 

Louisiana Waterthrush Seiurus motacilla 

Kentucky Warbler Oporornis formosus 

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas 

Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina 

Canada Warbler Wilsonia canadensis 

Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens 

 

Tanagers-Family: Thraupidae  

Summer Tanager Piranga rubra

Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea

 

Systematics and ID Lab #5

 

Towhees & Sparrows-Family: Emberizidae  

Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus 

Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina 

Field Sparrow Spizella pusilla 

Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus 

Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus 

Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis 

Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum 

Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii 

Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca 

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia 

Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii 

Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana 

White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis 

White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys 

Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis 

 

Grosbeaks & Buntings-Family: Cardinalidae  

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus

Blue Grosbeak Guiraca caerulea

Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea

 

Blackbirds & Orioles-Family: Icteridae  

Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna 

Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus 

Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula

Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater 

Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius 

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
 

 

Finches-Family: Fringillidae  

Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus

House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus 

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra 

Pine Siskin Carduelis pinus 

American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis 

Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus 

 

Old World Sparrows-Family: Passeridae  

House Sparrow Passer domesticus