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List of birds of Colorado facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
The lark bunting is the state bird of Colorado. Top: male; bottom: female.

This list of birds of Colorado includes every wild bird species recorded in the U.S. state of Colorado as of March 2017. Unless otherwise noted, the list is that of the Colorado Bird Records Committee (CBRC) of Colorado Field Ornithologists.

Only birds that are considered to have established, self-sustaining, wild populations in Colorado are included on this list. This excludes birds that are considered probable escapees, although they may have been sighted flying free in Colorado. Introduced species that are not native to North America, but were brought to this continent by human activity, are marked on this list as (I).

This list is presented in the taxonomic sequence of The Check-list of North American Birds (7th edition through the 57th supplement, 2016), published by the American Ornithological Society. Common and scientific names are also those of the Check-list.

The official state list of birds includes 499 species, of which six are introduced.

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl

Canada goose
Flying mallard duck - female
Female mallard in flight.
Anas carolinensis FWS
Pair of green-winged teals, male at rear.
Hooded Merganser pair
Pair of hooded mergansers, male at rear.

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, bills which are flattened to a greater or lesser extent, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to special oils.

  • Black-bellied whistling-duck, Dendrocygna autumnalis
  • Fulvous whistling-duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
  • Greater white-fronted goose, Anser albifrons
  • Snow goose, Chen caerulescens
  • Ross's goose, Chen rossii
  • Brant, Branta bernicla
  • Cackling goose, Branta hutchinsonii
  • Canada goose, Branta canadensis
  • Trumpeter swan, Cygnus buccinator
  • Tundra swan, Cygnus columbianus
  • Wood duck, Aix sponsa
  • Gadwall, Anas strepera
  • Eurasian wigeon, Anas penelope
  • American wigeon, Anas americana
  • American black duck, Anas rubripes
  • Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
  • Mottled duck, Anas fulvigula
  • Blue-winged teal, Anas discors
  • Cinnamon teal, Anas cyanoptera
  • Northern shoveler, Anas clypeata
  • Northern pintail, Anas acuta
  • Garganey, Anas querquedula
  • Green-winged teal, Anas crecca
  • Canvasback, Aythya valisineria
  • Redhead, Aythya americana
  • Ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris
  • Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula
  • Greater scaup, Aythya marila
  • Lesser scaup, Aythya affinis
  • Harlequin duck, Histrionicus histrionicus
  • Surf scoter, Melanitta perspicillata
  • White-winged scoter, Melanitta fusca
  • Black scoter, Melanitta americana
  • Long-tailed duck, Clangula hyemalis
  • Bufflehead, Bucephala albeola
  • Common goldeneye, Bucephala clangula
  • Barrow's goldeneye, Bucephala islandica
  • Hooded merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus
  • Common merganser, Mergus merganser
  • Red-breasted merganser, Mergus serrator
  • Ruddy duck, Oxyura jamaicensis

New World quail

Order: Galliformes   Family: Odontophoridae

The New World quails are small, plump terrestrial birds only distantly related to the quails of the Old World, but named for their similar appearance and habits.

  • Northern bobwhite, Colinus virginianus
  • Scaled quail, Callipepla squamata
  • Gambel's quail, Callipepla gambelii

Pheasants, grouse, and allies

Lagopus leucura
White-tailed ptarmigan

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

Phasianidae consists of the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial species, variable in size but generally plump with broad and relatively short wings. Many species are gamebirds or have been domesticated as a food source for humans.

  • Chukar, Alectoris chukar (I)
  • Ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus (I)
  • Ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus
  • Greater sage-grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus
  • Gunnison sage-grouse, Centrocercus minimus
  • White-tailed ptarmigan, Lagopus leucurus
  • Dusky grouse, Dendragapus obscurus
  • Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus
  • Greater prairie-chicken, Tympanuchus cupido
  • Lesser prairie-chicken, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus
  • Wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo


Western Grebe swimming
Western grebe

Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land.

  • Pied-billed grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
  • Horned grebe, Podiceps auritus
  • Red-necked grebe, Podiceps grisegena
  • Eared grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
  • Western grebe, Aechmorphorus occidentalis
  • Clark's grebe, Aechmorphorus clarkii

Pigeons and doves

Mourning Dove 2006
Mourning dove

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

  • Rock pigeon, Columba livia (I)
  • Band-tailed pigeon, Patagioenas fasciata
  • Eurasian collared-dove, Streptopelia decaocto (I)
  • Inca dove, Columbina inca
  • Common ground-dove, Columbina passerina
  • White-winged dove, Zenaida asiatica
  • Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura


Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners, and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails, and strong legs. The Old World cuckoos are brood parasites.

  • Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus
  • Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus
  • Greater roadrunner, Geococcyx californianus
  • Groove-billed ani, Crotophaga sulcirostris

Nightjars and allies

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars, also called goatsuckers, are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs, and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is cryptically coloured to resemble bark or leaves.

  • Lesser nighthawk, Chordeiles acutipennis
  • Common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor
  • Common poorwill, Phalaenoptilus nuttallii
  • Eastern whip-poor-will, Antrostomus vociferus
  • Mexican whip-poor-will, Antrostomus arizonae


Chimney swift

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae

The swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have very long, swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang.

  • Black swift, Cypseloides niger
  • Chimney swift, Chaetura pelagica
  • Vaux's swift, Chaetura vauxi
  • White-throated swift, Aeronautes saxatalis


Selasphorus platycercus2
Broad-tailed hummingbird

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Trochilidae

Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards.

  • Mexican violetear, Colibri thalassinus
  • Magnificent hummingbird, Eugenes fulgens
  • Blue-throated hummingbird, Lampornis clemenciae
  • Ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris
  • Black-chinned hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri
  • Anna's hummingbird, Calypte anna
  • Costa's hummingbird, Calypte costae
  • Broad-tailed hummingbird, Selasphorus platycercus
  • Rufous hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus
  • Calliope hummingbird, Selasphorus calliope
  • Broad-billed hummingbird, Cynanthus latirostris
  • White-eared hummingbird, Hylocharis leucotis

Rails, gallinules, and coots

Fulica americana3
American coot

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. The most typical family members occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and tend to be weak fliers.

  • Yellow rail, Coturnicops noveboracensis
  • Black rail, Laterallus jamaicensis
  • King rail, Rallus elegans
  • Virginia rail, Rallus limicola
  • Sora, Porzana carolina
  • Purple gallinule, Porphyrio martinica
  • Common gallinule, Gallinula galeata
  • American coot, Fulica americana


Canada 19 bg 061904
Sandhill cranes

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged, and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances".

Stilts and avocets

Recurvirostra americana -Palo Alto Baylands-8
American avocet

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills.

  • Black-necked stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  • American avocet, Recurvirostra americana

Plovers and lapwings


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short thick necks, and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.

  • Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
  • American golden-plover, Pluvialis dominica
  • Snowy plover, Charadrius nivosus
  • Semipalmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus
  • Piping plover, Charadrius melodus
  • Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus
  • Mountain plover, Charadrius montanus

Sandpipers and allies

Phalaropus tricolor - breeding female
Wilson's phalarope

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of legs and bills enable multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.

  • Upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda
  • Eskimo curlew, Numenius borealis (believed extinct)
  • Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
  • Long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus
  • Hudsonian godwit, Limosa haemastica
  • Marbled godwit, Limosa fedoa
  • Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
  • Red knot, Calidris canutus
  • Ruff, Calidris pugnax
  • Sharp-tailed sandpiper, Calidris acuminata
  • Stilt sandpiper, Calidris himantopus
  • Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
  • Sanderling, Calidris alba
  • Dunlin, Calidris alpina
  • Baird's sandpiper, Calidris bairdii
  • Least sandpiper, Calidris minutilla
  • White-rumped sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis
  • Buff-breasted sandpiper, Calidris subruficollis
  • Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos
  • Semipalmated sandpiper, Calidris pusilla
  • Western sandpiper, Calidris mauri
  • Short-billed dowitcher, Limnodromus griseus
  • Long-billed dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus
  • Wilson's snipe, Gallinago delicata
  • American woodcock, Scolopax minor
  • Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia
  • Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria
  • Greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
  • Willet, Tringa semipalmata
  • Lesser yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes
  • Wilson's phalarope, Phalaropus tricolor
  • Red-necked phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus
  • Red phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius

Skuas and jaegers

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

  • Pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus
  • Parasitic jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus
  • Long-tailed jaeger, Stercorarius longicaudus

Auks, murres, and puffins

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Alcidae

The family Alcidae includes auks, murres, and puffins. These are short winged birds that live on the open sea and normally only come ashore for breeding.

  • Long-billed murrelet, Brachyramphus perdix
  • Ancient murrelet, Synthliboarmphus antiquus

Gulls, terns, and skimmers

Ring-billed gull

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes jaegers, skuas, gulls, terns, kittiwakes, and skimmers. They are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet.

  • Black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla
  • Ivory gull, Pagophila eburnea
  • Sabine's gull, Xema sabini
  • Bonaparte's gull, Chroicocephalus philadelphia
  • Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
  • Little gull, Hydrocoloeus minutus
  • Ross's gull, Rhodostethia rosea
  • Laughing gull, Leucophaeus atricilla
  • Franklin's gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan
  • Mew gull, Larus canus
  • Ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis
  • Western gull, Larus occidentalis
  • California gull, Larus californicus
  • Herring gull, Larus argentatus
  • Thayer's gull, Larus thayeri
  • Iceland gull, Larus glaucoides
  • Lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus
  • Slaty-backed gull, Larus schistisagus
  • Glaucous-winged gull, Larus glaucescens
  • Glaucous gull, Larus hyperboreus
  • Great black-backed gull, Larus marinus
  • Kelp gull, Larus dominicanus
  • Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscatus
  • Least tern, Sternula antillarum
  • Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia
  • Black tern, Chlidonias niger
  • Common tern, Sterna hirundo
  • Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea
  • Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri
  • Royal tern, Thalasseus maximus
  • Sandwich tern, Thalasseus sandvicensis
  • Black skimmer, Rynchops niger


Order: Gaviiformes   Family: Gaviidae

Loons are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely gray or black, and they have spear-shaped bills. Loons swim well and fly adequately, but are almost hopeless on land, because their legs are placed towards the rear of the body.

  • Red-throated loon, Gavia stellata
  • Arctic loon, Gavia arctica
  • Pacific loon, Gavia pacifica
  • Common loon, Gavia immer
  • Yellow-billed loon, Gavia adamsii


Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, heavy, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills and wide wingspans. They lack the powder down that other wading birds such as herons, spoonbills, and ibises use to clean off fish slime. Storks lack a pharynx and are mute.

  • Wood stork, Mycteria americana


Order: Suliformes   Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black, or black-and-white, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have colored inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.

  • Magnificent frigatebird, Fregata magnificens


Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Cormorants are medium-to-large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of colored skin on the face. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed.

  • Neotropic cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus
  • Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus


Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Darters are cormorant-like water birds with very long necks and long, straight beaks. They are fish eaters which often swim with only their neck above the water.

  • Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga


American White Pelican
American white pelican

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their bills. Like other birds in the order Pelecaniformes, they have four webbed toes.

  • American white pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
  • Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis

Herons, egrets, and bitterns

Lightmatter greatblueheron2
Great blue heron

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more secretive. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.

  • American bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus
  • Least bittern, Ixobrychus exilis
  • Great blue heron, Ardea herodias
  • Great egret, Ardea alba
  • Snowy egret, Egretta thula
  • Little blue heron, Egretta caerulea
  • Tricolored heron, Egretta tricolor
  • Reddish egret, Egretta rufescens
  • Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
  • Green heron, Butorides virescens
  • Black-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
  • Yellow-crowned night-heron, Nyctanassa violacea

Ibises and spoonbills

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

The family Threskiornithidae includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings. Their bodies tend to be elongated, the neck more so, with rather long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills.

  • White ibis, Eudocimus albus
  • Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
  • White-faced ibis, Plegadis chihi
  • Roseate spoonbill, Platalea ajaja

New World vultures

Turkey vulture Bluff
Turkey vulture

Order: Cathartiformes   Family: Cathartidae

The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers, however, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carcasses.


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

Hawks, kites, and eagles

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis Full Body 1880px
Red-tailed hawk

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, and Old World vultures. These birds have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight.

  • Swallow-tailed kite, Elanoides forficatus
  • Mississippi kite, Ictinia mississippiensis
  • Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Northern harrier, Circus cyaneus
  • Sharp-shinned hawk, Accipiter striatus
  • Cooper's hawk, Accipiter cooperii
  • Northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis
  • Common black hawk, Buteogallus anthracinus
  • Harris's hawk, Parabuteo unicinctus
  • Red-shouldered hawk, Buteo lineatus
  • Broad-winged hawk, Buteo platypterus
  • Swainson's hawk, Buteo swainsoni
  • Zone-tailed hawk, Buteo albonotatus
  • Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  • Rough-legged hawk, Buteo lagopus
  • Ferruginous hawk, Buteo regalis
  • Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos


Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn-owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.

Typical owls

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

Boreal owl

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.

  • Flammulated owl, Psiloscops flammeolus
  • Western screech-owl, Megascops kennicottii
  • Eastern screech-owl, Megascops asio
  • Great horned owl, Bubo virginianus
  • Snowy owl, Bubo scandiacus
  • Northern pygmy-owl, Glaucidium gnoma
  • Burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia
  • Spotted owl, Strix occidentalis
  • Barred owl, Strix varia
  • Long-eared owl, Asio otus
  • Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus
  • Boreal owl, Aegolius funereus
  • Northern saw-whet owl, Aegolius acadicus


Belted Kingfisher
Belted kingfisher

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails.

  • Belted kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon


Red-naped sapsucker

Order: Piciformes   Family: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails, and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.

  • Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis
  • Red-headed woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus
  • Acorn woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  • Red-bellied woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus
  • Williamson's sapsucker, Sphyrapicus thyroideus
  • Yellow-bellied sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius
  • Red-naped sapsucker, Sphyrapicus nuchalis
  • Ladder-backed woodpecker, Picoides scalaris
  • Downy woodpecker, Picoides pubescens
  • Hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus
  • American three-toed woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis
  • Northern flicker, Colaptes auratus

Caracaras and falcons

USGS Prairie Falcon
Prairie falcon

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey, notably the falcons and caracaras. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons.

  • Crested caracara, Caracara cheriway
  • American kestrel, Falco sparverius
  • Merlin, Falco columbarius
  • Gyrfalcon, Falco rusticolus
  • Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus
  • Prairie falcon, Falco mexicanus

Tyrant flycatchers

Western kingbird

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are Passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, are rather plain. As the name implies, most are insectivorous.

  • Olive-sided flycatcher, Contopus cooperi
  • Western wood-pewee, Contopus sordidulus
  • Eastern wood-pewee, Contopus virens
  • Yellow-bellied flycatcher, Empidonax flaviventris
  • Acadian flycatcher, Empidonax virescens
  • Alder flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum
  • Willow flycatcher, Empidonax traillii
  • Least flycatcher, Empidonax minimus
  • Hammond's flycatcher, Empidonax hammondii
  • Gray flycatcher, Empidonax wrightii
  • Dusky flycatcher, Empidonax oberholseri
  • Cordilleran flycatcher, Empidonax occidentalis
  • Buff-breasted flycatcher, Empidonax fulvifrons
  • Black phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  • Eastern phoebe, Sayornis phoebe
  • Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya
  • Vermilion flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus
  • Dusky-capped flycatcher, Myiarchus tuberculifer
  • Ash-throated flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  • Great crested flycatcher, Myiarchus crinitus
  • Brown-crested flycatcher, Myiarchus tyrannulus
  • Great kiskadee, Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Sulphur-bellied flycatcher, Myiodynnastes luteiventris
  • Cassin's kingbird, Tyrannus vociferans
  • Thick-billed kingbird, Tyrannus crassirostris
  • Western kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis
  • Eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus
  • Scissor-tailed flycatcher, Tyrannus forficatus


Lanius ludovicianus1
Loggerhead shrike

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A shrike's beak is hooked, like that of a typical bird of prey.

  • Loggerhead shrike, Lanius ludovicianus
  • Northern shrike, Lanius excubitor


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, though a few other members of the family are found in Asia. They are typically greenish in colour and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills.

  • White-eyed vireo, Vireo griseus
  • Bell's vireo, Vireo bellii
  • Gray vireo, Vireo vicinior
  • Yellow-throated vireo, Vireo flavifrons
  • Plumbeous vireo, Vireo plumbeus
  • Cassin's vireo, Vireo cassinii
  • Blue-headed vireo, Vireo solitarius
  • Philadelphia vireo, Vireo philadelphicus
  • Warbling vireo, Vireo gilvus
  • Red-eyed vireo, Vireo olivaceus

Jays, crows, magpies, and ravens

Stellers jay - natures pics
Steller's jay

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence.

  • Gray jay, Perisoreus canadensis
  • Pinyon jay, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus
  • Steller's jay, Cyanocitta stelleri
  • Blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata
  • Woodhouse's scrub-jay, Aphelocoma woodhouseii
  • Clark's nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana
  • Black-billed magpie, Pica hudsonia
  • American crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  • Chihuahuan raven, Corvus cryptoleucus
  • Common raven, Corvus corax


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds.

  • Horned lark, Eremophila alpestris

Swallows and martins

Violet-green swallow

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.

  • 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
  • Cave swallow, Petrochelidon fulva
  • Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica

Chickadees and titmice

Poecile gambeli2
Mountain chickadee

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Paridae

The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects.

  • Black-capped chickadee, Poecile atricapilla
  • Mountain chickadee, Poecile gambeli
  • Juniper titmouse, Baeolophus ridgwayi


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Aegithalidae

Long-tailed tits are a group of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They make woven bag nests in trees. Most eat a mixed diet which includes insects.

  • Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus


White-breasted nuthatch

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sittidae

Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails, and powerful bills and feet.

  • Red-breasted nuthatch, Sitta canadensis
  • White-breasted nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  • Pygmy nuthatch, Sitta pygmaea


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Certhiidae

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees.

  • Brown creeper, Certhia americana


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Troglodytidae

Wrens are small and inconspicuous birds, except for their loud songs. They have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous.

  • Rock wren, Salpinctes obsoletus
  • Canyon wren, Catherpes mexicanus
  • House wren, Troglodytes aedon
  • Pacific wren, Troglodytes pacificus
  • Winter wren, Troglodytes hiemalis
  • Sedge wren, Cistothorus platensis
  • Marsh wren, Cistothorus palustris
  • Carolina wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus
  • Bewick's wren, Thryomanes bewickii


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Polioptilidae

  • Blue-gray gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cinclidae

Dippers are small, stout, birds that feed in cold, fast moving streams.

  • American dipper, Cinclus mexicanus


Regulus calendula1
Ruby-crowned kinglet

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Regulidae

The kinglets are a small family of birds which resemble the titmice. They are very small insectivorous birds in the genus Regulus. The adults have colored crowns, giving rise to their names.

  • Golden-crowned kinglet, Regulus satrapa
  • Ruby-crowned kinglet, Regulus calendula


Mountain Bluebird
Mountain bluebird

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly but not exclusively in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.

  • Eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis
  • Western bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  • Mountain bluebird, Sialia currucoides
  • Townsend's solitaire, Myadestes townsendi
  • Veery, Catharus fuscescens
  • Gray-cheeked thrush, Catharus minimus
  • Swainson's thrush, Catharus ustulatus
  • Hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus
  • Wood thrush, Hylocichla mustelina
  • American robin, Turdus migratorius
  • Varied thrush, Ixoreus naevius

Mockingbirds and thrashers

Sage thrasher
Sage thrasher

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Mimidae

The mimids are a family of passerine birds which includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalization, especially their remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. The species tend towards dull grays and browns in their appearance.

  • Gray catbird, Dumetella carolinensis
  • Curve-billed thrasher, Toxostoma curvirostre
  • Brown thrasher, Toxostoma rufum
  • Long-billed thrasher, Toxostoma longirostre
  • Bendire's thrasher, Toxostoma bendirei
  • Sage thrasher, Oreoscoptes montanus
  • Northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.

  • European starling, Sturnus vulgaris (I)


Bombycilla cedrorum -perching on a branch-8
Cedar waxwing

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine birds with soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and cedar waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter.

  • Bohemian waxwing, Bombycilla garrulus
  • Cedar waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Ptiliogonatidae

The silky-flycatchers are a small family of passerine birds which occur mainly in Central America, although the range of this one species extends to central California. They are related to waxwings and like that group, have soft silky plumage, usually grey or pale yellow. They have small crests.

  • Phainopepla, Phainopepla nitens

Old World sparrows

Passer domesticus2
House sparrow

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or grayish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.

Wagtails and pipits

American pipit

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Motacillidae

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws, and pipits. They are slender ground feeding insectivores of open country.

  • American pipit, Anthus rubescens
  • Sprague's pipit, Anthus spragueii


Brown-capped rosy finch
Brown-capped rosy-finch

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.

  • Brambling, Fringilla montifringilla
  • Gray-crowned rosy-finch, Leucosticte tephrocotis
  • Black rosy-finch, Leucosticte atrata
  • Brown-capped rosy-finch, Leucosticte australis
  • Pine grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator
  • House finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  • Purple finch, Haemorhous purpureus
  • Cassin's finch, Haemorhous cassinii
  • Red crossbill, Loxia curvirostra
  • White-winged crossbill, Loxia leucoptera
  • Common redpoll, Acanthis flammea
  • Hoary redpoll, Acanthis hornemanni
  • Pine siskin, Spinus pinus
  • Lesser goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  • Lawrence's goldfinch, Spinus lawrencei
  • American goldfinch, Spinus tristis
  • Evening grosbeak, Coccothraustes vespertinus

Longspurs and snow buntings

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Calcariidae

  • Lapland longspur, Calcarius lapponicus
  • Chestnut-collared longspur, Calcarius ornatus
  • Smith's longspur, Calcarius pictus
  • McCown's longspur, Calcarius mccownii
  • Snow bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis


Yellow rumped warbler - natures pics
Yellow-rumped warbler

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Parulidae

The wood warblers are a group of small often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some, like the ovenbird and the two waterthrushes, are more terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores.

  • Ovenbird, Seiurus aurocapilla
  • Worm-eating warbler, Helmitheros vermivorus
  • Louisiana waterthrush, Parkesia motacilla
  • Northern waterthrush, Parkesia noveboracensis
  • Blue-winged warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera
  • Golden-winged warbler, Vermivora chrysoptera
  • Black-and-white warbler, Mniotilta varia
  • Prothonotary warbler, Protonotaria citrea
  • Swainson's warbler, Limnothlypis swainsonii
  • Tennessee warbler, Oreothlypis peregrina
  • Orange-crowned warbler, Oreothlypis celata
  • Lucy's warbler, Oreothlypis luciae
  • Nashville warbler, Oreothlypis ruficapilla
  • Virginia's warbler, Oreothlypis virginiae
  • Connecticut warbler, Oporornis agilis
  • MacGillivray's warbler, Geothlypis tolmiei
  • Mourning warbler, Geothlypis philadelphia
  • Kentucky warbler, Geothlypis formosa
  • Common yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas
  • Hooded warbler, Setophaga citrina
  • American redstart, Setophaga ruticilla
  • Cape May warbler, Setophaga tigrina
  • Cerulean warbler, Setophaga cerulea
  • Northern parula, Setophaga americana
  • Tropical parula, Setophaga pitiayumi
  • Magnolia warbler, Setophaga magnolia
  • Bay-breasted warbler, Setophaga castanea
  • Blackburnian warbler, Setophaga fusca
  • Yellow warbler, Setophaga petechia
  • Chestnut-sided warbler, Setophaga pensylvanica
  • Blackpoll warbler, Setophaga striata
  • Black-throated blue warbler, Setophaga caerulescens
  • Palm warbler, Setophaga palmarum
  • Pine warbler, Setophaga pinus
  • Yellow-rumped warbler, Setophaga coronata
  • Yellow-throated warbler, Setophaga dominica
  • Prairie warbler, Setophaga discolor
  • Grace's warbler, Setophaga graciae
  • Black-throated gray warbler, Setophaga nigrescens
  • Townsend's warbler, Setophaga townsendi
  • Hermit warbler, Setophaga occidentalis
  • Black-throated green warbler, Setophaga virens
  • Canada warbler, Cardellina canadensis
  • Wilson's warbler, Cardellina pusilla
  • Red-faced warbler, Cardellina rubrifrons
  • Painted redstart, Myioborus pictus
  • Yellow-breasted chat, Icteria virens

New World sparrows

Spotted Towhee
Spotted towhee

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

Emberizidae is a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae.

  • Green-tailed towhee, Pipilo chlorurus
  • Spotted towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  • Eastern towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus
  • Rufous-crowned sparrow, Aimophila ruficeps
  • Canyon towhee, Melozone fusca
  • Cassin's sparrow, Peucaea cassinii
  • American tree sparrow, Spizelloides arborea
  • Chipping sparrow, Spizella passerina
  • Clay-colored sparrow, Spizella pallida
  • Brewer's sparrow, Spizella breweri
  • Field sparrow, Spizella pusilla
  • Black-chinned sparrow, Spiezella atrogularis
  • Vesper sparrow, Pooecetes gramineus
  • Lark sparrow, Chondestes grammacus
  • Black-throated sparrow, Amphispiza bilineata
  • Sagebrush sparrow, Artemisiospiza nevadensis
  • Lark bunting, Calamospiza melanocorys
  • Savannah sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
  • Grasshopper sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum
  • Baird's sparrow, Ammodramus bairdii
  • Henslow's sparrow, Ammodramus henslowii
  • Le Conte's sparrow, Ammodramus leconteii
  • Nelson's sparrow, Ammodramus nelsoni
  • Fox sparrow, Passerella iliaca
  • Song sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  • Lincoln's sparrow, Melospiza lincolnii
  • Swamp sparrow, Melospiza georgiana
  • White-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis
  • Harris's sparrow, Zonotrichia querula
  • White-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  • Golden-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  • Dark-eyed junco, Junco hyemalis

Cardinals and allies

Lazuli Bunting
Lazuli bunting

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cardinalidae

The cardinals are a family of robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages.

  • Hepatic tanager, Piranga flava
  • Summer tanager, Piranga rubra
  • Scarlet tanager, Piranga olivacea
  • Western tanager, Piranga ludoviciana
  • Northern cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Pyrrhuloxia, Cardinalis sinuatus
  • Rose-breasted grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus
  • Black-headed grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus
  • Blue grosbeak, Passerina caerulea
  • Lazuli bunting, Passerina amoena
  • Indigo bunting, Passerina cyanea
  • Painted bunting, Passerina ciris
  • Dickcissel, Spiza americana


Yellow headed blackbird - natures pics
Yellow-headed blackbird

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Icteridae

The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds, and New World orioles. Most species have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange, or red.

  • Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus
  • Red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  • Eastern meadowlark, Sturnella magna
  • Western meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  • Yellow-headed blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
  • Rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus
  • Brewer's blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  • Common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula
  • Great-tailed grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus
  • Bronzed cowbird, Molothrus aeneus
  • Brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater
  • Orchard oriole, Icterus spurius
  • Hooded oriole, Icterus cucullatus
  • Streak-backed oriole, Icterus pustulatus
  • Bullock's oriole, Icterus bullockii
  • Baltimore oriole, Icterus galbula
  • Scott's oriole, Icterus parisorum
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List of birds of Colorado Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.