Types of Birds
Birding enthusiasts young and old anticipate the arrival seasonal birds in their area in their never ending quest to add species after species to their life lists.
The American Ornithologists' Union (OAU), the institutional standard setter for North American birds listed 2,078 species in twenty eight orders at year end 2011.
Given the fact that the OAU coverage area extends to Mexico and Central America, their list of North American birds doubles the number of bird species associated with North America proper, the area north of the United States-Mexico border.
|North American Birds
Types of Ducks
Types of Doves
Ibis and Spoonbills
Types of Woodpeckers
North American Raptors
Blackbirds and Orioles
Jays and Crows
Mockingbirds and Thrashers
Thrush and Bluebirds
The American Birding Association (ABA) picks up where the OAU ends, further sorting the OAU list into 969 species with at least an occasional visit to North America proper.
Assuming continued research, OAU members acknowledge that their particular approach to sorting different types of North American will eventually change, meaning the aggregate species numbers will change.
At the present time, almost one-half of North American bird species fit into the Passeriformes order, the perching birds. Passerines (sparrows, finches, cardinals, jays, crows, warblers and more), as they are collectively known, are the most common birds seen in residential areas and backyard feeders.
The ABA lists 38 different families. A spring time favorite, the colorful Wood-Warblers (Parulidae), leads the diversity category, with 57 species making at least an occasional or stray visit.
Ten separate families tie for the title of least diverse, having only one North American representative. Another eight native North American bird families count two species each.
Many birders consider these special birds because sighting one means adding an entire family of birds to their life list of North American birds.
One such bird, the Brown Creeper (Certhia americana),resides in woodlands across North America. Year round residents in much of their range, in their northern most range, along with mountain areas, they migrate short distances to warmer locations.
Creepers tend to walking up and down tree trunks and branches in search of insects and spiders, their primarily source of food.
The picture highlights the bird's brown mottled feathers that easily blend into a tree bark background.
Their decurved bill makes them an easily identified species.
The American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) shown in the video at the top of the page receives notice as North America's only aquatic songird. It also represents the family Cinclidae.
Like many of the diving ducks, dippers dive into the water and forage for meals. In shallow streams they mimic shorebird behavior, wading along the stream bed pecking for food, primarily aquatic insects.
Most dippers reside year round in one location.
Bushtits (Aegithalidae) small, social birds, that live and feed in flocks in western North America, singularly represent their family.
Eye patterns differentiate genders, with males having black eyes and female having a white ring around the iris. Since fledglings take time to develop eye characteristics, the gender of the bird in the picture is difficult to determine.
Good engineers, bushtits build nests are generally woven from twigs, grass, spider webs.
They share physical features with the bushtits and chicadees. Small in stature, these active, short billed birds spend time foraging for insects and seeds.
The Verdin's yellow head feathers help identify it in its native Southwest environment.
Between bird diversity extremes lies a family like the Mockingbirds (Mimidae). Along with the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), the most popular state bird, North American Mimidae includes one dozen members, mostly thrashers.
The fifteen Passerine families, along with the ten additional orders listed in the box on the right, combine to form a fifty page field guide for North American birds. With few exceptions, the accompanying pictures and videos show the birds in their natural settings.
Patricia A. Michaels