Wildlife - Birds



A common North American jay with a blue crest, back, wings, and tail.

Native to North America.

Resident through most of eastern & central U.S. and southern Canada.

Predominantly blue with a white chest and underparts.

Has a black, U-shaped neck collar and a black border behind the crest.

Mainly feeds on nuts and seeds and      occasionally small vertebrates.

Typically gleans food from trees, shrubs, and the ground.

Like squirrels, blue jays are known to hide nuts for later consumption.

The bird's name derives from its noisy,      garrulous nature.



An American bird with a strong pointed bill. The male has black plumage that is iridescent or has patches of red or yellow.

Has a preference for deciduous trees with dense undergrowth.

Male common blackbird defends its breeding territory, chasing away other males or utilising a "bow and run"      threat display.

As long as winter food is available, they will remain all year.

During winter, blackbirds can be heard quietly singing to themselves.

Eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, seeds and berries.

Pulls earthworms from the soil, usually      finding them by sight, but sometimes by hearing, and roots through leaf litter for other invertebrates.

Near human habitation the main predator of the common blackbird is the domestic cat.

Spend much of their time looking for food on the ground where they can become infested with ticks.

Large population, including an estimated 79 to 160 million individuals in Europe alone.



A long-winged, web-footed seabird with a raucous call, typically having white plumage with a gray or black mantle.

Are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings.

Have unhinging jaws which allow them to consume large prey.

Large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage.

Generally uniform in shape, with heavy bodies,long wings, and moderately long necks.

Are more adept walking on land than most other seabirds.

Are less common on tropical island.

Are highly adaptable feeders that      opportunistically take a wide range of prey.

Display great versatility in how they obtain prey. Prey can be obtained in the air, on water, or on land.



A large New World thrush that typically has a reddish breast.

Is a migratory songbird of the thrush family.

Is widely distributed throughout North      America, wintering from southern Canada to central Mexico and along the Pacific Coast.

Is active mostly during the day and assembles in large flocks at night.

It is one of the earliest bird species to lay eggs, beginning to breed shortly after returning to its summer range from its winter range.

The adult robin is preyed upon by hawks, cats, and larger snakes.

Most depart south by the end of August and begin to return north in February and March.

A large population of about 320 million      individuals.

Diet generally consists of around 40 percent small invertebrates (mainly insects), such as earthworms, beetle grubs, caterpillars and grasshoppers.

crane (sand·hill)


A chiefly migratory North American crane with grayish plumage and a red crown.

The average weight of the larger males is 4.57 kg (10.1 lb), while the average weight of females is 4.02 kg (8.9 lb).

Have red foreheads, white cheeks, and long, dark, pointed bills.

Frequently give a loud, trumpeting call that suggests a rolled "r" in the throat, and they can be heard from a long distance.

Large wingspans, typically 1.65 to 2.29 m (5 ft 5 in to 7 ft 6 in)

Fly south for the winter.

Cranes have one of the longest fossil      histories of any extant bird.

Six subspecies have been recognized: Lesser, Cuban, Florida, Mississippi, Canadian, Greater.

Fairly social birds that usually live in pairs.

They often feed with their bills down to the ground as they root around for seeds and other foods, in shallow wetlands with vegetation.

ea·gle (bald)


A white-headed North American eagle that includes fish among its prey. Now most common in Alaska, it is the national emblem of the US.

It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.

It builds the largest nest of any North      American bird.

Are not actually bald; the name derives from an older meaning of "white headed".

Is the national bird and animal of the United States of America.

An adult bald eagle is evenly dark brown with a white head and tail.

Highly developed talon of the hind toe is used to pierce the vital areas of prey while it is held immobile by the front      toes.

Sometimes been considered the largest true raptor in North America.

The largest eagles are from Alaska.

Range covers most of North America, including most of Canada.



A diurnal bird of prey with broad rounded wings and a long tail, typically taking prey by surprise with a short chase.

Have four types of colour receptors in the eye.

Always been known to have sharp vision and to be very able hunter.

Migrates in the autumn and the spring.

The red-tailed hawk is the most common hawk in North America.

Like to habitat in places like deserts and fields, probably to make it easier to find prey.

Kills its prey with its claws.

When flying, the hawk flaps its wings rapidly,  and then uses that momentum to glide smoothly and gracefully through the air.

Diet is very predictable in that it includes a variety of smaller animals.



A medium to large game bird with a plump body and feathered legs, the male being larger and more conspicuously colored than the female.

Have feathered nostrils.

Their legs are feathered to the toes, and in winter the toes, too, have feathers or small scales on the sides.

Feed mainly on vegetation—buds, catkins, leaves, and twigs.

Hatchlings eat mostly insects and other invertebrates.

Male grouse display lekking behavior, which is when many males come together in one area and put on displays in order to attract females.

Nest is a shallow depression or scrape on the ground, often in cover.

Most species stay within their breeding range all year.



A stout seed- or fruit-eating bird with a small head, short legs, and a cooing voice, typically having gray and white plumage.

Stout-bodied birds with short necks, and short, slender bills.

Build relatively flimsy nests.

Exhibit considerable variations in size.

Are distributed everywhere on Earth, except for the driest areas of the Sahara Desert, Antarctica and surrounding islands, and the high Arctic.

Seeds and fruit form the major component of the diet.

10 species to have become extinct since 1600.

Around 59 species of pigeons and doves are threatened with extinction today.

Pigeon has contributed to both World War I and II.

Rock pigeon has been domesticated for hundreds of years.

Several species of pigeons and doves are used as food.



A nocturnal bird of prey with large forward-facing eyes surrounded by facial disks, a hooked beak, and typically a loud call.

From the order Strigiformes, which includes about 200 species.

Hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds although a few species specialize in hunting fish.

Are divided into two families: the true owls or typical owls.

Possess large forward-facing eyes and ear-holes.

Their large eyes are fixed in their sockets.

Can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees.

Different species of owls produce different sounds.

Eggs typically have a white colour and an almost spherical shape, and range in number from a few to a dozen.

Owls are nocturnal, actively hunting their prey in darkness.

Hunting strategy depends on stealth and surprise.

Are carnivorous birds of prey and live mainly on a diet of insects and small rodents such as mice, rats and hares.

Innate ability to fly almost silently and also more slowly in comparison to other birds of prey.



A large diving waterbird with a sleek black or gray head, a straight pointed bill, and short legs set far back under the body. Loons breed by lakes in northern latitudes and have wailing calls.

A group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America.

Toes are connected by webbing.

Points its head slightly upwards during swimming.

In flight the head droops more than in similar aquatic bird.

Are excellent swimmers, using their feet to propel themselves above and under water.

Find their prey by sight and they eat mainly fish.

They eat vertebrate prey headfirst and swallow all their prey whole.

To help digestion, loons swallow small pebbles from the bottoms of lakes.

Nest during the summer on freshwater lakes and/or large ponds.



A small nectar-feeding tropical American bird that is able to hover and fly backward, typically having colorful iridescent plumage.

They are among the smallest of birds.

Have the highest metabolism of any      homeothermic animal.

Known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans.

All hummingbirds depend on flower nectar to fuel their high metabolisms and hovering flight.

Many plants pollinated by hummingbirds produce flowers in shades of red, orange, and bright pink.

Between 325 and 340 species of hummingbirds are described.



A large mainly domesticated game bird native to North America, having a bald head and (in the male) red wattles. It is prized as food, especially on festive occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Is native to North America.

Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green legs.

The head has fleshy growths called caruncles.

Male turkeys have a long, dark, fan-shaped tail and bronze wings.

Prefer hardwood and mixed conifer-hardwood forests with scattered openings such as pastures, fields, orchards and seasonal marshes.

Despite their weight, their domesticated counterparts, are agile fliers.

Often feed in cow pastures, sometimes visit back yard bird feeders, and favor croplands after harvest to scavenge seeds on the ground.

Predators of eggs and nestlings include raccoon.



A waterbird with a broad blunt bill, short legs, webbed feet, and a waddling gait.

Is the common name for a large number of species.

Are mostly aquatic birds.

Word duck comes from Old English *duce "diver".

Exploit a variety of food sources such as      grasses, aquatic plants, fish, insects, small amphibians, worms, and small      molluscs.

Dabbling ducks feed on the surface of water or on land.

Diving ducks and sea ducks forage deep      underwater.

Most species of duck do not "quack".

Ducks have many predators such as foxes, or large birds, such as hawks or owls.

goose (Canada)


A large waterbird with a long neck, short legs, webbed feet, and a short broad bill. Generally geese are larger than ducks and have longer necks and shorter bills.

Is a large wild goose species with a black      head and neck.

Extremely successful at living in      human-altered areas.

Their success has led to them sometimes being considered a pest.

The Great Lakes region maintains a very large population.

Populations in some areas have grown      substantially due to the removal of natural predator.

Calls overhead from large groups of Canada geese flying in V-shaped formation.

Lifespan in the wild that survive to adulthood ranges from 10 to 24 years.



A large perching bird with mostly glossy black plumage, a heavy bill, and a raucous voice.

It is a common bird found throughout much of North America.

One of several species of corvid that are      entirely black.

Are common, widespread and adaptable, but they are highly susceptible to the West Nile virus.

Four subspecies are recognized.

Is a distinctive bird with iridescent black feathers all over. Its legs, feet and bill are also black.

The most usual call is a loud, short, and      rapid caaw-caaw-caaw.

It will feed on invertebrates of all types,      carrion, scraps of human food, seeds, eggs and nestlings, stranded fish on      the shore and various grains.

They will scavenge at landfills, scattering garbage in the process.



A bird with a strong bill and a stiff tail, that climbs tree trunks to find insects and drums on dead wood to mark territory.

There are about 200 species and about 30 genera in this family.

Have strong bills for drilling and drumming on trees and long sticky tongues for extracting food.

Any species are known to stay in the same area year-round while others travel great distances.

Range from highly antisocial solitary species that are aggressive toward other members of their species, to species that live in groups.

Diet consists mainly of insects and their      grubs taken from living and dead trees, and other arthropods, along with fruit, nuts and sap from live trees.

Almost every species nests in tree cavities.

To prevent brain damage from the rapid and repeated impacts, woodpeckers have evolved a number of adaptations to protect the brain.