Birding Guide

Birding Checklist:

Common NameScientific Name
Black VultureCoragyps altratus
Turkey VultureCathartes aura
Canada GooseBranta canadensis
MallardAnas platyhynchos
Red shouldered hawkButeo lineatus
Red tailed hawkButeo jamaicensis
Mourning DoveZenalda macroura
Great Horned OwlBubo virginianus
Eastern Screech OwlOtus asio
Barred OwlStrix varia
Red-Bellied WoodpeckerMelanerpes carolinus
Yellow-bellied SapsuckerSphyrapicus varius
Downy WoodpeckerPicoides pubescens
Hairy WoodpeckerPicoides villosus
Northern FlickerColaptes aurratus
Pileated WoodpeckerDryocopus pileatus
Eastern PhoebeSayornis phoebe
Great Crested FlycatcherMyiarchus crinitus
White-eyed VireoVireo olivaceus
Red-eyed VireoCyanocitta cristata
American CrowCorvus brachyrhynchos
European StarlingSturnus vulgaris
Carolina ChickadeeParus caolinensis
Tufted TitmouseParus bicolor
White-breasted NuthatchSitta carolinensis
Carolina WrenThryothorus ludovicianus
House WrenTroglodytes aedon
Blue-gray GnatcatcherPolioptila caerulea
Eastern BluebirdSialia sialis
VeeryCatharus fuscescens
Wood ThrushHylocichla mustelina
American RobinTurdus migratorius
Gray CatbirdDumetella carolinensis
Northern MockingbirdMimus polyglottos
Cedar WaxwingBombycilla cedrorum
Yellow-rumped WarblerDendrocia coronata
Black-throated Green WarblerDendrocia virens
Pine WarblerDendrocia pinus
Hooded WarblerWilsonia citrina
Indigo BuntingPasserina cyanea
Eastern TowheePipilo erthrophthalmus
American Tree SparrowSpizella arborea
Chipping SparrowSpizella passerine
Field SparrowSpizella pusilla
Song SparrowMelospiza melodia
White-throated SparrowZonotrichia albicollis
Chimney SwiftChaetura pelagica
Tree SwallowTachycineta bicolor
Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
Northern CardinalCardinalis cardinalis
Dark-eyed JuncoJunco hyemalis
Red-winged BlackbirdAgelaius phoeniceus
Common GrackleQuiscalus quiscula
Brown-headed CowbirdMolothrus ater
Baltimore OrioleIcterus galbula
Orchard OrioleIcterus spurius
Purple FinchCarpodacus purpureus
House FinchCarpodacus mexicanus
American GoldfinchCarduelis tristis
House Sparrow            (Weaver Finch)Passer domesticus

Bird Observation Tips:

  • The best times to go bird watching are early morning and evening when the birds are most active.
  • Walk quietly and speak in low whispers. Once you’ve spotted a bird crouch low to the ground near a tree or bush.  If the bird believes you’re not a threat, it will tolerate your presence.
  • Let your ears be your guide. If you listen carefully you’ll be able to see birds by following the sound of their calls.  Before long you will be able to identify some birds by their songs or calls alone.
  • Pay attention to specific physical features. Binoculars can be extremely useful, although not necessary for this.  Here are some common features:
    • Eye markings – an eyebrow pattern or eye-ring
    • Rump Coloration – colored or white patch on rump
    • Outer Tail Feathers – lighter tail tips or sides
    • Wingbars – stripes along the wing (these are most visible when birds are in flight)
  • Patterns are often times more significant than color. It may be helpful to sketch particular markings to refer to later.  Also, make a note of the bird’s size by comparing it to a more common bird’s size such as an American Robin, Sparrow, or Crow.
  • Remember, it is important to keep your distance from nests or hatchlings so as not to disturb or expose the birds to danger.