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David Albeck's Photos of Birds

Animalia > Aves

Class Aves. Egg-laying vertebrates with feathers and wings. Generally agreed to be descended from theropod dinosaurs.


Birds: Family Index

  Click a thumbnail to skip to photos of the bird family indicated
Accipitridae:

Hawks & Eagles
Anatidae:

Ducks & Geese
Anhingidae:

Anhingas

(related to Cormorants)
Ardeidae:

Herons
Cardinalidae:

Cardinals
Cathartidae:

New World Vultures
Charadriidae:

Plovers & Lapwings
Columbidae:

Pigeons & Doves
Corvidae:

Crows & Jays
Emberizidae:

American Sparrows
Estrildidae:

Weaver-Finches
Falconidae:

Falcons
Gaviidae:

Loons
Icteridae:

Blackbirds, Grackles & Orioles
Laridae:

Gulls
Mimidae:

Mockingbirds & Thrashers
Paridae:

Tits, Chickadees, & Titmice
Parulidae:

Wood-Warblers
Passeridae:

European sparrows
Pelecanidae:

Pelicans
Phalacrocoridae:

Cormorants
Phasianidae:

Pheasants & Chickens
Picidae:

Woodpeckers
Procellariidae:

Petrels etc.
Psittacidae:

Parrots
Rallidae:

Rails
Scolopacidae:

Sandpipers
Threskiornithidae:

Ibis & Spoonbills
Turdidae:

Thrushes
Other:

None of the Above


Click a thumbnail to see a full-size photo. Click the label below the thumbnail to see the original gallery for each photo.  

Hawks & Eagles (Accipitridae)

Animalia > Aves > Accipitriformes >Accipitridae

A group of diurnal raptors (i.e., day-flying meat-eating birds with hooked bills and strong talons). Includes Old World vultures but not New World vultures. Also distinct are falcons, ospreys and owls.

Rüppell's Vulture
Franklin Park Zoo
Broad-Winged Hawk
Buteo platypterus
Squam Lake Nature Center
Broad-Winged Hawk
Buteo platypterus
Squam Lake Nature Center
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Squam Lake Nature Center
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Squam Lake Nature Center
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Buteo lineatus
Winter Birds
Red-Tailed Hawk
Charles River
Red-Tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
Charles River
Red-Tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
Signs of Spring
Red-Tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
Mt washington, NH
red-tailed hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
My Pond (again)
red-tailed hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
(no album)
Sharp-shinned Hawk
(juvenile)
Accipeter striatus
(no album)
Bald Eagle
Eagle Encounter
Bald Eagles
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Squam Lake Nature Center
Bald Eagles
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Williams Park

 

Ducks & Geese (Anatidae)

Animalia > Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae

Swimming birds with webbed feet (front-facing toes only); some have a horizontally-flattened bill; many are highly social and vocal, with a hornlike call. Subfamilies within anserinae are controversial, but all the photos I've taken so far are of birds in the two most-accepted subfamilies.

Click image for Anatidae page

 

Anhingas (Anhingidae)

Animalia > Aves > Suliformes > Anhingidae

Very long-necked, straight-billed, swimming predatory birds related to cormorants

Anhinga
Anhinga anhinga
Everglades
Anhinga
Anhinga anhinga
Loxahatchee
Anhinga
Anhinga anhinga
Loxahatchee
Anhinga
Anhinga anhinga
Loxahatchee

 

Herons (Ardeidae)

Animalia > Aves > Pelecaniformes > Ardeidae

Long-billed, often long-legged and long-necked, predatory wading birds


Click image for Ardeidae page

 

Cardinals (Cardinalidae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Cardinalidae

A family of medium-sized, thick-billed, seed-eating birds. Includes a few "grosbeaks", "finches" and "buntings", though those names are also used for other families.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Pheucticus ludovicianus
Local Pond
Northern Cardinal (female)
Signs of Spring
Northern Cardinal (female)
Cardinalis cardinalis
Mostly Ducks
Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis
Loxahatchee
Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis
Loxahatchee
Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis
Loxahatchee
Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis
More Winter Birds

New World Vultures (Cathartidae)

Animalia > Aves > Accipitriformes > Cathartidae

The origins of vultures are a bit controversial; they are classified in the same Order as other birds of prey such as hawks and eagles, but the exact relationships are unclear. What is widely agreed is that the New World vultures are not directly related to the Old World vultures.

Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
Everglades
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
Everglades
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
Florida
  Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
(no album)
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
Loxahatchee
  Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
Paracas

 

Plovers (Charadriidae)

Animalia > Aves > Charadriiformes > Charadriidae

Family Charadriidae includes plovers and lapwings. They have short bills, and feed by sight in quick pecks, rather than probing blindly the way most sandpipers do.

European Golden Plover
Pluvialis apricaria
Skagavegur
European Golden Plover (juv.)
Pluvialis apricaria
Skagavegur
Pacific Golden Plover
Pluvialis fulva
Golden Plover
Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus
Cape Cod
Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus
Beach Wildlife
Killdeer
Mt Feake

 

Doves & Pigeons (Columbidae)

Animalia > Aves > Columbiformes > Columbidae

There isn't a real distinction between a "pigeon" and a "dove".

Doves are adaptible birds, easily tamed yet often going feral. Some have excellent homing instincts, making them useful as messengers. Like all birds, they are edible, which is why the two most famous pigeon species are now extinct: the dodo (since 1662), and the passenger pigeon (since 1914).

common wood pigeon
Columba palumbus
Jardins du Luxembourg
Rock Dove
Columba livia
Jardins du Luxembourg
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
Eagle Encounter
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
Local Ducks
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
Local Ducks
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
Mt Feake
Zebra Dove
Geopelia striata
Hawaii

 

Crows & Jays (Corvidae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Corvidae

Family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, choughs, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, and nutcrackers.

Generally large birds (by songbird standards), corvids are often loud, unafraid of humans, and aggressive toward other birds and toward potential predators. Many will take food from humans (whether offered freely or not), and some also steal shiny objects. Some species are highly social, others are territorial, and some guard a feeding territory during the day but join a communal roost at night.

Corvid species are frequently mentioned among the most intelligent birds, having demonstrated self-recognition, tool-making, and problem-solving abilities. A recent study demonstrated that crows can recognize individual human faces, but I am unaware of any human ever being able to recognize an individual crow (unless the crow had a scar or similar marking).

A surefire way to identify a corvid is to look closely at the top of its beak: corvids have bristly feathers that extend forward over their nostrils. To varying degrees, corvids also all have sturdy beaks, a harsh, dissonant voice (though some are good mimics), and a tendency to walk, not hop, when on the ground.

Common Magpie
Pica pica
Brittany
Blue Jay
Cyanocitta cristata
Local Pond
Grey Jay,
Perisoreus canadensis
Mt Si
Grey Jay,
Perisoreus canadensis
Willey Range
Grey Jay
Willey Range
Grey Jay,
Perisoreus canadensis
Mt Waumbek
Grey Jay,
Perisoreus canadensis
Dry River
Grey Jay,
Perisoreus canadensis
Dry River
Steller's Jay,
Cyanocitta stelleri
Bryce
Steller's Jay,
Cyanocitta stelleri
Baldy Bowl

 

American Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Emberizidae

Small songbirds that often look like, but are not related to, Old World sparrows.

Chipping Sparrow
Local Pond
Dark-Eyed Junco
Signs of Spring
Savannah Sparrow
Passerculus sandwichensis
Signs of Spring
Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia
(no gallery)
Song Sparrow
(no gallery)
Song Sparrow
(no gallery)
Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia
Winter Birds
Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia
Chandler Pond
Rufous-Collared Sparrow
Zonotrichia capensis
Machu Picchu
White-Throated Sparrow
Zonotrichia albicollis
Spaulding Mtn

 

Weaver-Finches (Estrildidae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Estrildidae

A family of small birds with very thick, short bills for cracking seeds. Their nests are roofed over.

Zebra Finch
Taeniopygia guttata
(female)
Butterflies
Shaft-tail Finch
Poephila acuticauda
Butterfly World
Shaft-tail Finch
Poephila acuticauda
Butterfly World
Owl Finch
Taeniopygia bichenovii
Butterfly World
Three-colored parrot-Finch
Erythrura tricolor
Butterfly World
Gouldian Finch
Erythrura gouldiae
Butterfly World
Gouldian Finch
Erythrura gouldiae
Butterfly World
Gouldian Finch
Erythrura gouldiae
Butterfly World
Gouldian Finch
Erythrura gouldiae
Butterflies

 

Falcons (falconidae)

Animalia > Aves > Falconiformes > Falconidae

A group of fast-flying diurnal raptors, generally smaller than hawks or eagles, and often having a black "teardrop" facial marking.

Pygmy Falcon
Franklin Park Zoo
American Kestrel (female)
Squam Lake Nature Center
American Kestrel (female)
Squam Lake Nature Center

 

Loons (gaviidae)

Animalia > Aves > Gaviiformes > Gaviidae

A family (and order) of fish-eating diving birds sometimes known as "divers". They float low on the water, though not quite as low as cormorants.

Red-Throated Loon
Gavia stellata
Cape Cod
Common Loon
Gavia immer
(no album)
Common Loon
Gavia immer
Skagavegur

 

Orioles, Grackles, & Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Icteridae

A group of medium-size, mostly-black (the males that is), loud songbirds. Note that not all "blackbirds" are related.

Red-Winged Blackbird
(female)
Agelaius phoeniceus
Local Pond
Red-Winged Blackbird
(male)
Agelaius phoeniceus
Local Pond
Red-Winged Blackbird
(male)
Agelaius phoeniceus
Local Pond
Red-Winged Blackbird
(male)
Agelaius phoeniceus
Local Pond
Brown-headed Cowbird
(female)
Molothrus ater
(no album)
Brown-headed Cowbird
(male)
Molothrus ater
Westport
Boat-Tailed Grackle
(female)
Quiscalus major
Everglades
Boat-Tailed Grackle
(male)
Quiscalus major
Everglades
Boat-Tailed Grackle
(male)
Quiscalus major
Loxahatchee
Boat-Tailed Grackle
(male)
Quiscalus major
Loxahatchee
Common Grackle
(male)
Quiscalus quiscula
Signs of Spring
Great-Tailed Grackle
(female)
Quiscalus mexicanus
Texas

 

Gulls (Laridae)

Animalia > Aves > Charadriiformes > Laridae

Large, aggressive, noisy coastal birds with webbed feet. Some live nearly 50 years, and take three or four years to reach maturity. Most are indiscriminate eaters. Species are often hard to tell apart, with variable coloration, plumage that changes with maturity, and widespread hybridization.

Ring-Billed Gull
Larus delawarensis
Cape Cod
Ring-Billed Gull
(first winter)
Larus delawarensis
Mostly Ducks
Ring-Billed Gull,
Larus delawarensis
Cape Cod
Ring-Billed Gull,
Larus delawarensis
mostly ducks
Ring-Billed Gull,
Larus delawarensis
More Winter Birds
Herring Gull
(adult breeding plumage)
Larus argentatus
River Wildlife
Herring Gull
(adult non-breeding plumage)
Larus argentatus
(no album)
Herring Gull (immature)
(no album)
Great Black-Backed Gull,
(adult)
Larus marinus
Cape Cod
Great Black-Backed Gull
(1st year)
Larus marinus
Cape Cod
Laughing Gull
(breeding plumage)
Leucophaeus atricilla
Cape Cod
Gull
Larus sp.
Brittany

 

Mockingbirds & Thrashers (Mimidae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Mimidae

Medium-sized, long-tailed birds, some of which have a habit of imitating the songs of other birds, and any other sounds they hear.

Northern Mockingbird
Charles River
Northern Mockingbird
Charles River
Northern Mockingbird
Mimus polyglottus
Winter Birds
Northern Mockingbird
Mt Feake
Grey Catbird
Dumetella carolinensis
Chandler Pond

 

Tits, Chickadees & Titmice (Paridae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Paridae

Small birds, often grey-backed, generally with short, thin bills. In the Americas we have "chickadees" and "titmice"; in the rest of the world, birds in this family are called "tits".

Black-Capped Chickadee
Charles River
Black-Capped Chickadee
Fall Birds
Black-Capped Chickadee
Poecile atricapillus
Mostly Ducks
Black-Capped Chickadee
Poecile atricapillus
Mostly Ducks

 

Wood-Warblers (Parulidae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Parulidae

Small birds, often yellow, with thin bills for catching insects. Often called simply "warblers", but not related to Old World warblers.

Black-and-White Warbler
Mniotilta varia
(male)
Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
Mniotilta varia
(male)
Local Pond
Yellow-Rumped ("Myrtle") Warbler
Setophaga coronata
(no album)
Yellow-Rumped ("Myrtle") Warbler
Setophaga coronata
(no album)
Palm Warbler
Dendroica palmarum
Fall Birds
Palm Warbler
Fall Birds
Palm Warbler
Dendroica palmarum
Signs of Spring

 

True Sparrows (Passeridae)

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Passeridae

These are the "true sparrows" because these are the ones first described by European biologists. Settlers in the Americas found similar-looking birds (emberizids) which they also called "sparrows"; but those are unrelated.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Passer montanus
Cârţa
House Sparrow (male)
Passer domesticus
Charles River
House Sparrow (male)
Passer domesticus
Hawaii
House Sparrow (male)
Passer domesticus
Marblehead
House Sparrow (male)
Passer domesticus
Franklin Park Zoo
House Sparrow (female)
Passer domesticus
Shawangunks
House Sparrow (female)
Passer domesticus
Franklin Park Zoo
House Sparrow (female)
Passer domesticus
Franklin Park Zoo
House Sparrows (female)
Passer domesticus
Luxembourg
House Sparrow (female)
(no gallery)

 

Pelicans (Pelecanidae)

Animalia > Aves > Pelecaniformes > Pelecanidae

Diving birds with large pouches in their throats.

Brown Pelican
Florida

 

Cormorants (Phalacrocoridae)

Animalia > Aves > Suliformes > Phalacrocoridae

Large swimming birds with long necks and narrow, hooked bills.

Red-Legged Cormorant
Phalacrocorax gaimardi
Paracas
Guanay Cormorant
Phalacrocorax bougainvillii
Paracas
Double-Crested Cormorant phalacrocorax auritus
Loxahatchee
Cormorant
(no gallery)
Cormorant
Birds & Motion

 

Pheasants & Chickens (Phasianidae)

Animalia > Aves > Galliformes > Phasianidae

Often noisy and colorful, usually poor fliers, these birds scratch on the ground for anything edible. Unsurprisingly, they are in the same Order as grouse.

Peacock
Pavo cristatus
Everglades
Peacock
Pavo cristatus
Everglades
Peacock
Pavo cristatus
Franklin Park Zoo
  Turkey
Meleagris gallopavo
Turkeys
Turkey
Turkeys
Turkey
Meleagris gallopavo
Turkeys
Turkey
Turkey
  Domestic Chicken
Gallus gallus
Hawaii
Domestic Chicken
Gallus gallus
Camel's Hump
Silver Pheasant
Lophura nycthemera
Sibiu zoo

 

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Animalia > Aves > Piciformes > Picidae

Stiff-billed birds that can hammer through bark and wood to find insects, and also to excavate a nesting cavity, or just to make noise to attract a mate. Most have very long, prehensile tongues which allow them to capture insects underneath bark even if they do not drill in precisely the right spot, or to scoop up ants from an anthill. To allow tongues to extend up to three times the length of the bill, the hyoid bones in some species are so long they wrap around the back of the skull and all the way to the nostrils. Contrary to popular belief, these elongated hyoids don't seem to be important in absorbing the shocks from hammering into wood. Some of the longest are in flickers, who don't do much hammering.

Woodpeckers are zygodactylous - they have two forward-facing toes and two backward-facing toes, enabling them to perch upside-down or sideways.

Downy Woodpecker
Charles River
Downy Woodpecker
Charles River
Downy Woodpecker
Picoides pubescens
Mostly Ducks
Downy Woodpecker
(no album)
Downy Woodpecker
(no album)
Downy Woodpecker
Picoides pubescens
(no album)

 

Fulmars, Petrels, and Shearwaters (Procellariidae)

Animalia > Aves > Procellariiformes > Procellariidae

Gull-like birds, part of the tubenose order.

Fulmarus glacialis
Fulmars
Fulmarus glacialis
Fulmars
Fulmarus glacialis
Fulmars
Fulmarus glacialis
Fulmars

 

Parrots, Parakeets, Lories, and Lorikeets (Psittacidae)

Animalia > Aves > Psittaciformes > Psittacidae

Birds with strong, hooked beaks. Mostly large, colorful, noisy, and gregarious. They are zygodactilic (two toes point backwards), and often maintain a nearly vertical posture when perched. Some eat mostly seeds and fruit (as you'd guess from the bill) but lories eat a lot of nectar, which they lap up with their furry tongues.

There's some dispute about the definition of this family, or rather, whether some groups within it should be promoted to family status: parakeets, for example. It's convenient for me to lump them together for now.

Budgerigar
Franklin Park Zoo
Ara chloropterus
Butterfly World
Rainbow lorikeet, Trichoglossus haematodus
Butterfly World
Rainbow lorikeet, Trichoglossus haematodus
Butterfly World

 

Rails (Rallidae)

Animalia > Aves > Gruiformes > Rallidae

Birds with non-webbed feet, often found in water; often poor fliers

Purple Gallinule
Porphyrio martinica
Everglades
Purple Gallinule
Porphyrio martinica
Everglades
Purple Gallinule
Porphyrio martinica
(juvenile)
Loxahatchee
Purple Gallinule
Porphyrio martinica
Loxahatchee
Hawaiian Moorhen
Misc. Hawaii
Common Moorhen
Texas
American Coot
coots
American Coot
river fowl
American Coot
Texas

 

Sandpipers

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Scolopacidae

Wading birds which specialize in probing mud or sand with their beaks. Compared to plovers, they are usually longer-billed. This family includes sanderlings, willets, curlews, godwits, dowitchers, snipe, woodcocks, and others.

Ruddy Turnstone
Arenaria interpres
Florida
Least Sandpiper
Calidris minutilla
Sandpipers
Least Sandpiper
Calidris minutilla
Great Meadows
Willet
Tringa semipalmata
Cape Cod
Sanderling
Cape Cod

 

Ibis

Animalia > Aves > Pelecaniformes > Threskiornithidae

Long-legged, long-beaked wading birds.

American White Ibis
Eudocimus albus
Florida

 

Thrushes

Animalia > Aves > Passeriformes > Turdidae

This family includes American "Robins" (not related to European robins which are flycatchers, muscicapidae) and European blackbirds (not related to American blackbirds (icterids)).

Eastern Bluebird
Sialia sialis
Pine Hole
Hermit Thrush
April Flowers
Hermit Thrush
Catharus guttatus
April Flowers
Hermit Thrush
Catharus guttatus
Prospect Mountain
Hermit Thrush
Catharus guttatus
Prospect Mountain
Hermit Thrush
Catharus guttatus
Pawtuckaway

  American Robin
Turdus migratorius
Charles River
American Robin
Turdus migratorius
Franklin Park Zoo
Robin
Turdus migratorius
Robins
Robin
Turdus migratorius
Robins
Robin
Turdus migratorius
Ponkapoag

  Song Thrush
Turdus philomelos
Breton Life

 

Other Birds

Animalia > Aves > Other Birds

None of the Above

  Golden-Crowned Kinglet
(no album)
Golden-Crowned Kinglet
Regulus satrapa
(no album)
  Greater Roadrunner
Geococcyx californianus
Nevada
  American Goldfinch
Spinus tristis
(no album)
  Saddle-Billed Stork
Franklin Park Zoo
  Wattled Crane
Bugeranus carunculatus
Franklin Park Zoo
Wattled Crane
Franklin Park Zoo
  White-Crested Hornbill
Aceros comatus
Franklin Park Zoo
White-Crested Hornbill
Aceros comatus
Franklin Park Zoo
  Eastern Kingbird
Tyrannus tyrannus
Local Pond
  Peruvian booby
Sula variegata
Paracas
  Meadow Pipit
Anthus pratensis
Skagastrond
  White-Breasted Nuthatch
Sitta carolinensis
Robins
  Common Starling
Sturnus vulgaris
Paris
Common Myna
Acridotheres tristis
Myna
  Osprey
Pandion Haliaetus
Cape Cod
  Snowy Owl, Bubo scandiacus
(no album)
Great Horned Owl
Squam Lake Nature Center
  Ruby-Throated Humminbgbird
Archilochus colubris
Hummingbirds
Hummingbird
Butterfly World
  Limpkin
Aramus guarauna
Loxahatchee
  Pied-Billed Grebe
Podilymbus podiceps
Loxahatchee
  Carolina Wren
Thryothorus ludocicianus
Winter Birds
  Spruce Grouse
Falcipennis canadensis
Presidential Range
  Least Tern
Sternula antillarum
Beach Wildlife
  American oystercatcher
Haematopus palliatus
Paracas
  Swifts
Swifts & Swans
  Green Honeycreeper (female)
Chlorophanes spiza
Franklin Park Zoo
Paroaria
Paroaria
  White-rumped Shama
hawaiian garden
  Japanese white-eye
hawaiian garden