Orioles, Meadowlarks, New World Blackbirds, Cowbirds & Grackles. Collectively known as the icterids, this very common and widespread family of songbirds is characterized by males with black feathers with yellow, red and/or orange highlights. While this isn’t always the case, females are always much more drab to the point of almost looking like another species.
Most common of the songbirds. Often seen in mixed-species flocks in forests, edges of habitat zones or suburban treetops, this multi-family group of small songbirds are very commonly seen at birdfeeders and are both very active and agile fliers.
Masters of diving, cormorants have a very unusual feature for a bird: their feathers do not repel water or keep them afloat. This means that along with strong swimming wings and large webbed feet, they are especially agile and fast underwater and along with a long thin hooked bill, they are fishing experts. The drawback is that they have to completely dry their wings in the sun in order to fly after a dive.
Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies & jays) are known to be not only the smartest of birds, but are also suspected of being among the most intelligent of animals, even expressing a sense of self-awareness. These large social and omnivorous songbirds tend to prefer a particular type of seed or seeds specific to their species.
Found primarily in the Western Half of North and Central America, Dippers are found in Mountain or coastal streams with rocky bottoms, sometimes dipping under ice in search of aquatic larvae. Wrentits prefer the more arid coastal scrub and chaparral.
This group includes finches, goldfinches, crossbills, grosbeaks, redpolls, siskin (family: Fringillidae) and the house sparrow (family: Passeridae). They are small to medium-sized birds with conical bills and short tails who mostly feed on seeds. Females are drab in appearance and males usually have bright patches of color.
These small loon-like freshwater diving birds are excellent, agile swimmers, but not very graceful walking on dry land, but can swim underwater with the help of specialized body feathers with just their necks and heads showing above the water’s surface.
Unique to the New World and distantly related to swifts, these surprisingly aggressive, extremely beautiful and highly active tiny fliers can flap their wings up to 12 beats per second while hovering above wildflowers feeding on their sweet nectar, often in exchange for pollination!
This gallery is dedicated to the smallest of the passerine or songbird family. These often tiny, fast insectivorous forest-dwellers can be found all through the Americas.
If you’ve ever spent the night near a lake in in the chillier parts of North America, you’ve no doubt heard the haunting call of a loon at night. Unlike other waterbirds, loons can propel themselves forward underwater using their webbed feet as an advantage, at the expense of being able to walk easily on land.
Family Mimidae includes mockingbirds, catbirds and thrashers, birds known for their songs, especially some species ability to mimic other birds and random sounds. They have long tails, slightly or obviously curved bills, strong legs that help them run on the ground foraging in the undergrowth for arthropods and fruits.