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List of birds of Vermont facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
The hermit thrush is the state bird of Vermont

This list of birds of Vermont includes every wild bird species recorded in the U.S. state of Vermont, based on the list published by the Vermont Bird Records Committee.

Only birds that are considered to have established, self-sustaining, wild populations in Vermont are included on this list. This means that birds that are considered probable escapees, although they may have been sighted flying free in Vermont, are not included.

This list is presented in taxonomic order and follows The Check-list of North American Birds (7th edition, 1998) published by the American Ornithologists' Union. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account.

The following codes are used to designate some species:

  • (E) Extinct - a recent species that no longer exists
  • (I) Introduced - a population established solely as result of direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native and non-indigenous

Ducks, geese and swans

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. There are 42 Vermont species.

  • Fulvous whistling duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
  • Greater white-fronted goose, Anser albifrons
  • Snow goose, Chen caerulescens
  • Ross's goose, Chen rossii
  • Brant, Branta bernicla
  • Barnacle goose, Branta leucopsis
  • Cackling goose, Branta hutchinsii
  • Canada goose, Branta canadensis
  • Mute swan, Cygnus olor (I)
  • 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
  • Blue-winged teal, Anas discors
  • 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
  • King eider, Somateria spectabilis
  • Common eider, Somateria mollissima
  • 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

Partridges, grouse, turkeys and Old World quail

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

Phasianidae consists of the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial species, variable in size but generally plump with broad relatively short wings. Many species are gamebirds or have been domesticated as a food source for humans. There are 6 Vermont species.

  • Gray partridge, Perdix perdix (I)
  • Ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus (I)
  • Ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus
  • Spruce grouse, Falcipennis canadensis
  • Willow ptarmigan, Lagopus lagopus
  • Wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo

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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • Northern bobwhite, Colinus virginianus (I)


Order: Gaviiformes   Family: Gaviidae

Loons are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely grey 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. There are 4 Vermont species.

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


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. There are 5 Vermont species.

Shearwaters and petrels

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterized by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary. There are 3 Vermont species.

  • Northern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis
  • Cory's shearwater, Calonectris diomedea
  • Great shearwater, Ardenna gravis (A)

Storm petrels

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm petrels are the smallest seabirds, relatives of the petrels, feeding on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 3 Vermont species.

  • Wilson's storm petrel, Oceanites oceanicus (A)
  • Leach's storm petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa (A)
  • Band-rumped storm petrel, Oceanodroma castro (A)


Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their long wings have black markings, as does the head.

  • White-tailed tropicbird, Phaethon lepturus

Boobies and gannets

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 2 Vermont species.

  • Brown booby, Sula leucogaster
  • Northern gannet, Morus bassanus


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, a distinguishing feature among the Pelecaniformes order. There are 2 Vermont species.

  • Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
  • Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo


American white pelican

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. Like other birds in the order Pelecaniformes, they have four webbed toes. There are 2 Vermont species.

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

Bitterns, herons and egrets

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. There are 11 Vermont species.

  • 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
  • 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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • Glossy ibis, Plegadis falcinellus


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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • Wood stork, Mycteria americana

New World vultures

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. There are 2 Vermont species.


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

Hawks, kites and eagles

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. There are 233 species worldwide, 28 North American species and 12 Vermont species.

  • Swallow-tailed kite, Elanoides forficatus
  • 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
  • Swainson's hawk, Buteo swainsoni
  • Red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  • Rough-legged hawk, Buteo lagopus
  • Golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos

Caracaras and falcons

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. There are 5 Vermont species.

  • American kestrel, Falco sparverius
  • Merlin, Falco columbarius
  • Gyrfalcon, Falco rusticolus
  • Prairie falcon, Falco mexicanus
  • Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus

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. There are 6 Vermont species.

  • Yellow rail, Coturnicops noveboracensis
  • Clapper rail, Rallus crepitans
  • Virginia rail, Rallus limicola
  • Sora, Porzana carolina
  • Common gallinule, Gallinula galeata
  • American coot, Fulica americana


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". There is 1 Vermont species.

Lapwings and plovers


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. There are 6 Vermont species.

  • Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
  • American golden-plover, Pluvialis dominica
  • Pacific golden plover, Pluvialis fulva
  • Semipalmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus
  • Piping plover, Charadrius melodus
  • Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus

Stilts and avocets

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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • American avocet, Recurvirostra americana

Sandpipers, curlews, stints, godwits, snipes and phalaropes

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. There are 32 Vermont species.

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

Gulls, terns and skimmers

Ring-billed gull

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, terns, kittiwakes and skimmers. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 24 Vermont species.

  • 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, Hydrocoleus minutus
  • Laughing gull, Leucophaeus atricilla
  • Franklin's gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan
  • Black-tailed gull, Larus crassirostris
  • Ring-billed gull, Larus delawarensis
  • 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 gull, Larus hyperboreus
  • Great black-backed gull, Larus marinus
  • Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscatus
  • Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia
  • Black tern, Chlidonias niger
  • White-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
  • Common tern, Sterna hirundo
  • Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea
  • Forster's tern, Sterna forsteri


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. There are 23 species worldwide, 22 North American species and 6 Vermont species.

  • Dovekie, Alle alle
  • Common murre, Uria aalge
  • Thick-billed murre, Uria lomvia
  • Black guillemot, Cepphus grylle
  • Ancient murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus
  • Atlantic puffin, Fratercula arctica

Pigeons and doves

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 5 Vermont species.

Cuckoos, roadrunners and anis

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. There are 2 Vermont species.

  • Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus
  • Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus

Barn owls

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. There is 1 Vermont species.

True owls

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

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. There are 10 Vermont species.

  • Eastern screech-owl, Megascops asio
  • Great horned owl, Bubo virginianus
  • Snowy owl, Bubo scandiacus
  • Northern hawk owl, Surnia ulula
  • Barred owl, Strix varia
  • Great gray owl, Strix nebulosa
  • Long-eared owl, Asio otus
  • Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus
  • Boreal owl, Aegolius funereus
  • Northern saw-whet owl, Aegolius acadicus


Chordeiles minor -British Columbia -Canada-8c
Common nighthawk

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars 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 colored to resemble bark or leaves. There are 2 Vermont species.

  • Common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor
  • Eastern whip-poor-will, Antrostomus vociferus


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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • Chimney swift, Chaetura pelagica


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. There are 2 Vermont species.

  • Ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris
  • Rufous hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus


Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • Belted kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon

Woodpeckers, sapsuckers and flickers

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. There are 10 Vermont species.

  • Lewis's woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis
  • Red-headed woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus
  • Red-bellied woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus
  • Yellow-bellied sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius
  • Downy woodpecker, Picoides pubescens
  • Hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus
  • American three-toed woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis
  • Black-backed woodpecker, Picoides arcticus
  • Northern flicker, Colaptes auratus
  • Pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus

Tyrant flycatchers

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. There are 14 Vermont species.

  • Olive-sided flycatcher, Contopus cooperi
  • 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
  • Eastern phoebe, Sayornis phoebe
  • Say's phoebe, Sayornis saya
  • Great crested flycatcher, Myiarchus crinitus
  • Western kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis
  • Eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus
  • Scissor-tailed flycatcher, Tyrannus forficatus
  • Fork-tailed flycatcher, Tyrannus savana (A)


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 typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 2 Vermont species.

  • 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. They are typically greenish in color and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are 7 Vermont species.

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

Jays, crows, magpies and ravens

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. There are 5 Vermont species.


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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • Horned lark, Eremophila alpestris

Swallows and martins

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. There are 7 Vermont species.

  • Purple martin, Progne subis
  • Tree swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  • 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

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. There are 3 Vermont species.

  • Black-capped chickadee, Poecile atricapilla
  • Boreal chickadee, Poecile hudsonica
  • Tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor


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. There are 2 Vermont species.

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


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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • 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. There are 6 Vermont species.

  • Carolina wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus
  • Bewick's wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  • House wren, Troglodytes aedon
  • Winter wren, Troglodytes hiemalis
  • Sedge wren, Cistothorus platensis
  • Marsh wren, Cistothorus palustris


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. There are 2 Vermont species.

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


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Polioptilidae

  • Blue-gray gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea

Old World flycatchers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

  • Northern wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe


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. There are 11 Vermont species.

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

Mockingbirds and thrashers

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. There are 3 Vermont species.

  • Gray catbird, Dumetella carolinensis
  • Northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  • Brown thrasher, Toxostoma rufum


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are medium-sized passerines 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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • European starling, Sturnus vulgaris (I)

Wagtails and pipits

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. There is 1 Vermont species.

  • American pipit, Anthus rubescens


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. There are 2 Vermont species.

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

Longspurs and snow buntings

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Calcariidae

  • Lapland longspur, Calcarius lapponicus
  • Smith's longspur, Calcarius pictus
  • Snow bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis

Wood warblers

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. There are 36 Vermont species.

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

American sparrows, towhees, juncos and longspurs

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. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are 23 Vermont species.

  • Green-tailed towhee, Pipilo chlorurus
  • Spotted towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  • Eastern towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus
  • American tree sparrow, Spizelloides arborea
  • Chipping sparrow, Spizella passerina
  • Clay-colored sparrow, Spizella pallida
  • Field sparrow, Spizella pusilla
  • Vesper sparrow, Pooecetes gramineus
  • Lark bunting, Calamospiza melanocorys
  • Savannah sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
  • Grasshopper sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum
  • 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, saltators and grosbeaks

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. There are 10 Vermont species.

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


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. There are 11 Vermont species.

  • Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus
  • Red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  • Eastern meadowlark, Sturnella magna
  • Yellow-headed blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
  • Rusty blackbird, Euphagus carolinus
  • Brewer's blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  • Common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula
  • Brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater
  • Orchard oriole, Icterus spurius
  • Bullock's oriole, Icterus bullockii
  • Baltimore oriole, Icterus galbula

Fringilline finches, cardueline finches and allies

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. There are 10 Vermont species.

  • Pine grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator
  • Purple finch, Haemorhous purpureus
  • House finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  • Red crossbill, Loxia curvirostra
  • White-winged crossbill, Loxia leucoptera
  • Common redpoll, Acanthis flammea
  • Hoary redpoll, Acanthis hornemanni
  • Pine siskin, Spinus pinus
  • American goldfinch, Spinus tristis
  • Evening grosbeak, Coccothraustes vespertinus

Old World sparrows

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or greyish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There is 1 Vermont species.

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