Green-winged teal: This is the smallest North American dabbling duck. The breeding male has grey flanks and back, with a yellow rear end and a white-edged green speculum , obvious in flight or at rest. It has a chestnut head with a green eye patch. It is distinguished from drake Common Teal (the Eurasian relative of this bird) by a vertical white stripe on side of breast, the lack of both a horizontal white scapular stripe and the lack of thin buff lines on its head. The females are light brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard . They can be distinguished from most ducks on size and shape, and the speculum. Separation from female Common Teal is problematic.
Hooded merganser - male
Hooded merganser - female
Lesser scaup The adult males (drakes) in alternate plumage have a black, effervescent head and a small tuft at the hindcrown, a black breast, a whitish-grey back and wings with darker vermiculations and black outer and geyish-brown inner primary remiges . The underparts are white with some olive vermiculations on the flanks, and the rectrices and tail coverts are black.
Lesser scaup – female: Adult females (hens) have a white band at the base of the bill, often a lighter ear region, and are otherwise dark brown all over, shading to white on the mid-belly. Drakes in eclipse plumage look similar, but with a very dark head and breast, little or no white on the head and usually some greyish vermiculations on the wings. Immature birds resemble the adult females, but are duller and have hardly any white at the bill base.
The adult Mottled Duck is 44–61 cm (17–24 in) long from head to tail. It has a dark body, lighter head and neck, orange legs and dark eyes. Both sexes have a shiny green-blue speculum (wing patch), which is not bordered with white as with the Mallard . Males and females are similar, but the male's bill is bright yellow, whereas the female's is deep to pale orange, occasionally lined with black splotches around the edges and near the base. Mottled Ducks feed by dabbling in shallow water, and grazing on land. They mainly eat plants, but also some mollusks and aquatic insects.
This is a fairly large duck, with a long pointed tail that gives rise to the species' English and scientific names. The male has a very distinctive brown, grey and white appearance, whereas the female has mainly light brown plumage and a shorter tail. The male's call is a mellow whistle, whereas the female quacks like a Mallard . The Northern Pintail is a bird of open wetlands which nests on the ground, often some distance from water. It feeds by dabbling for plant food and adds small invertebrates to its diet during the nesting season. It is highly gregarious when not breeding, forming large mixed flocks with other species of duck.
Northern shoveler: This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding male has a green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.
The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard , but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible  . The female's forewing is grey.
The Redhead ( Aythya americana ) is a medium-sized diving duck , 37 cm long with an 84 cm wingspan. The adult male has a blue bill, a red head and neck, a black breast, yellow eyes and a grey back. The adult female has a brown head and body and a darker bluish bill with a black tip. The breeding habitat is marshes and prairie potholes in western North America . Loss of nesting habitat has led to sharply declining populations. Females regularly lay eggs in the nests of other Redheads or other ducks , especially Canvasbacks . Redheads usually take new mates each year, starting to pair in late winter.
Ring-necked he adult male is similar in color pattern to the Eurasian Tufted Duck , its relative. It has a grey bill with a white band, a shiny purple head, a white breast, yellow eyes and a dark grey back.
Ring-necked The adult female has a pale brown head and body with a dark brown back, a dark bill with a more subtle light band than the male and brown eyes. The cinnamon neck ring is usually difficult to observe, unlike the white ring on its bill, which is why the bird is sometimes referred to as a &quot;ringbill&quot;. Their breeding habitat is wooded lakes or ponds in the northern United States and Canada . They overwinter in southern North America, usually in lakes, ponds, rivers or bays.
Ruddy duck Adult males have a rust-red body, a blue bill, and a white face with a black cap. Adult females have a grey-brown body with a greyish face with a darker bill, cap and a cheek stripe. The southern subspecies ferruginea is occasionally considered a distinct species. It is separable by its all-black face and larger size. The subspecies andina has a varying amount of black coloration on its white face; it may in fact be nothing more than a hybrid population between the North American and the Andean Ruddy Duck. As the Colombian population is becoming scarce, it is necessary to clarify its taxonomic status, because it would be relevant for conservation purposes. Female Their breeding habitat is marshy lakes and ponds throughout much of North America . They nest in dense marsh vegetation near water. Pairs form each year.
The Snow Goose has two color plumage morphs , white (snow) or gray/blue (blue), thus the common description as &quot;snows&quot; and &quot;blues.&quot; White-morph birds are white except for black wing tips, but blue-morph geese have bluish-grey plumage replacing the white except on the head, neck and tail tip. The immature blue phase is drab or slate-gray with little to no white on the head, neck, or belly. Both snow and blue phases have rose-red feet and legs, and pink bills with black tomia (&quot;cutting edges&quot;), giving them a black &quot;grin patch.&quot; The colors are not as bright on the feet, legs, and bill of immature birds. The head can be stained rusty brown from minerals in the soil where they feed. They are very vocal and can often be heard from more than a mile away.
Surf Scoter: The adult female averages about 900 grams (2 lbs.) and 44 cm (17 inches) in length, while the adult male is on average 1050 grams (2.3 lbs.) and 48 cm (19 inches) in length, making this the smallest species of scoter on average. It is characterised by its bulky shape and large bill. The male is all black, except for white patches on the nape and forehead. It has a bulbous red, yellow and white bill. The females are brown birds with pale head patches. The wedge-shaped head and lack of white in the wings helps to distinguish female Surf Scoters from female Velvet Scoters . Adult scoters of this species dive for crustaceans and molluscs , while the ducklings live off any variety of freshwater invertebrates .
Wood duck The adult male has distinctive multi-colored iridescent plumage and red eyes. The female, less colorful, has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. Both adults have crested heads. When swimming, wood ducks bob their head back and forth in a jerking motion, which makes them easy to spot. Their breeding habitat is wooded swamps , shallow lakes, marshes or ponds in eastern North America, the west coast of the United States and western Mexico . They usually nest in cavities in trees close to water, although they will take advantage of nesting boxes in wetland locations if available.
Chimney Swift In flight, this bird looks like a flying cigar with long slender curved wings. The plumage is a sooty grey-brown; the throat, breast, underwings and rump are paler. They have short tails. The breeding season of Chimney swifts is from May through July. Their breeding habitat is near towns and cities across eastern North America . Originally, these birds nested in large hollow trees, but now they mainly nest in man-made structures such as large open chimneys.
The Black-chinned Hummingbird ( Archilochus alexandri ) is a small hummingbird . Adults are metallic green above and white below with green flanks. Their bill is long, straight and very slender. The adult male has a black face and chin, a glossy purple throat band and a dark forked tail. The female has a dark rounded tail with white tips and no throat patch; they are similar to female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds . Their breeding habitat is open semi-arid areas near water in the western United States , northern Mexico and southern British Columbia . The female builds a well- camouflaged nest in a protected location in a shrub or tree using plant fibre, spider webs and lichens .
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird ( Archilochus colubris ), is a small hummingbird . It is the only species of hummingbird that regularly nests east of the Mississippi River in North America .
The Chuck-will's-widow , Caprimulgus carolinensis is a nocturnal bird of the nightjar family Caprimulgidae. It is found in the southeastern United States near swamps, rocky uplands, and pine woods. It migrates to the West Indies , Central America , and northwestern South America . This bird is sometimes confused with the Whip-poor-will ( Caprimulgus vociferus )  , due to the peculiar and somewhat similar names. Though rather closely related, they are two distinct species however. Song of the Chuck-will's-widow (in background) Problems listening to this file? See media help . A fairly generic nightjar, it has mottled brownish underparts, a buff throat, reddish-brown feathers lined with black, and brown and white patterning on head and chest, differing from the gray and black of its more common cousin. Males have patches of white on their outer tail feathers. Its size ranges from 11 to 13 inches (28 to 33 cm) long with a 25 inch (62 cm) wingspan, large for a nightjar and like all of them with a short bill and long tail.
The Common Nighthawk , Chordeiles minor , is a nightjar . The adults have brown feathers with some darker ones too (some black feathers), gray and white patterning on the upperparts and breast. The long wings are black and reveal a white bar when in flight. The tail is dark with white barring and the underparts are white with black bars. The adult male has a white throat while the female has a light brown throat. Their breeding habitat is open country across North America . They usually nest on bare ground, sometimes in raised locations including stumps or gravel roofs. They especially favor burned areas in forests.
The Common Poorwill , Phalaenoptilus nuttallii , is a nocturnal bird of the family Caprimulgidae, the nightjars . It is found from British Columbia and southeastern Alberta , through the western United States to northern Mexico . The bird's habitat is dry, open areas with grasses or shrubs, and even stony desert slopes with very little vegetation. The Common Poorwill is told from similar nightjars by its small size, short bill, rounded wings with tips that reach the end of the short tail at rest, and pale gray coloration. Like many other nightjars , the common name derives from its call, a monotonous poor-will given from dusk to dawn. At close range a third syllable of the call may be heard, resulting in a poor-will-low . It also gives a chuck note in flight.
the American Golden Plover ( Pluvialis dominica ) is a medium-sized plover . American Golden Plover taking flight. Note dusky back and axillaries. Adults are spotted gold and black on the crown, back and wings. Their face and neck are black with a white border; they have a black breast and a dark rump. The legs are black.
Black-bellied Plover in North America , is a medium-sized plover breeding in arctic regions. It is a long-distance migrant , with a nearly worldwide coastal distribution when not breeding.  Adult in winter plumage They are 27–30 cm long with a wingspan of 71–83 cm, and a weight of 190–280 g (up to 345 g in preparation for migration). In spring and summer (late April or May to August), the adults are spotted black and white on the back and wings. The face and neck are black with a white border; they have a black breast and a white rump. The tail is white with black barring. The bill and legs are black.
The Wilson's Plover ( Charadrius wilsonia ) is a small plover . This is a small plover at 17-20cm. The adult's upper parts are mainly dark grey, with a short white wing bar and white tail sides. The underparts are white except for a breast band, and the legs are pink, brighter when breeding. The dark bill is large and heavy for a plover of this size. The call is a high weak whistle. The breeding male has a black breast band, lores and forecrown, and a rufous mask. Females and non-breeding males have a similar plumage, but the black of the breeding male is replaced by brown or rufous. Non-breeders have a greyer tint to the head and breast band. Wilson's Plovers forage for food on beaches, usually by sight, moving slowly across the beach. They have a liking for crabs, but will also eat insects and marine worms
The American Oystercatcher ( Haematopus palliatus ), occasionally called the American Pied Oystercatcher , is a member of family Haematopodidae . The bird is uniquely marked by its black and white body and a long, thick orange beak.
The Northern Jacana lays four black-marked brown eggs in a floating nest. The male, as with other jacanas, and some other wader families like the phalaropes , takes responsibility for incubation, with two eggs held between each wing and the breast. The females are polyandrous , and will help to defend the nests of up to four mates. These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds , with all three races being very similar. They are 17–23cm long, but the females are larger than the males. The adults have a chestnut back and wing coverts, with the rest of the body mainly black. In flight the greenish yellow flight feathers are obvious. The yellow bill extends up as a coot -like head shield and the legs and very long toes are dull yellow. There is a long sharp spur on the bend of the wing. This species produces a range of noisy rattling calls. Young birds initially have entirely white underparts, and can always be identified by the presence of white in their plumage. This species is very similar to the Wattled Jacana ( Jacana jacana ), with which it overlaps in Panama, and was formerly considered conspecific with that form. The main differences are that Wattled has a red frontal shield and a reddish rictal wattle, and lacks the slight brownish tint to the belly plumage of Northern. However, juveniles can be difficult to identify, since the only distinction is the shape of the tiny developing frontal shield. The Northern Jacana's food is insects , other invertebrates and seeds picked from the floating vegetation or the water's surface.
The Black Skimmer is 40-50 cm long with a 107-127 cm wingspan. The males weigh about 325 g, as compared to the smaller female’s 235 g. The basal half of the bill is red, the rest mainly black, and the lower mandible is much-elongated. The eye has a dark brown iris and catlike vertical pupil, unique for a bird. The legs are red. The call is a barking kak-kak-kak . Adults in breeding plumage have a black crown, nape and upper body. The forehead and underparts are white. The upper wings are black with white on the rear edge, and the tail and rump are dark grey with white edges. The underwing colour varies from white to dusky grey depending on region. Feeding in the way that gives it its name. Non-breeding adults have paler and browner upperparts, and a white nape collar. Immature birds have brown upperparts with white feather tips and fringes. The underparts and forehead are white, and the underwings as the adult.
Black tern Adult are 25 cm (9.75 in) long, with a wing span 61 cm (24 in), and weigh 62 g (2.2 oz). They have short dark legs and a short, weak-looking black bill, measuring 27-28 mm, nearly as long as the head. The bill is long, slender, and looks slightly decurved. They have a dark grey back, with a white forehead, black head, neck (occasionally suffused with gray in the adult) and belly, black or blackish-brown cap (which unites in color with the ear coverts, forming an almost complete hood), and a light brownish-grey, 'square' tail. The face is white. There is a big dark triangular patch in front of the eye, and a broadish white collar in juveniles. There are grayish-brown smudges on the ides of the white breast, a downwards extension of the plumage of the upperparts. These marks vary in size and are not conspicuous. In non-breeding plumage, most of the black, apart from the cap, is replaced by grey. The plumage of the upperparts is drab, with pale feather-edgings. The rump is brownish-gray.
The Caspian Tern ( Hydroprogne caspia , formerly Sterna caspia ;  syn. Hydroprogne tschegrava ) is a species of tern , with a subcosmopolitan but scattered distribution. Despite its extensive range, it is monotypic, with no subspecies accepted.  In New Zealand it is also known by the Maori name Taranui . It is the world's largest tern with a length of 48–56 cm, a wingspan of 127–140 cm and a weight of 574–782g.  Adult birds have black legs, and a long thick red-orange bill with a small black tip. They have a white head with a black cap and white neck, belly and tail. The upper wings and back are pale grey; the underwings are pale with dark primary feathers. In flight, the tail is less forked than other terns and wing tips black on the underside.  In winter, the black cap is still present (unlike many other terns), but with some white streaking on the forehead. The call is a loud heron-like croak.  Their breeding habitat is large lakes and ocean coasts in North America (including the Great Lakes ), and locally in Europe (mainly around the Baltic Sea and Black Sea ), Asia , Africa , and Australasia ( Australia and New Zealand ).
The Forster's Tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, but will also hawk for insects in its breeding marshes. It usually feeds from saline environments in winter, like most Sterna terns. It usually dives directly, and not from the &quot;stepped-hover&quot; favoured by the Arctic Tern . The offering of fish by the male to the female is part of the courtship display. This is a small tern, 33–36 cm long with a 64–70 cm wingspan. It is most similar to the Common Tern . It has pale grey upperparts and white underparts. Its legs are red and its bill is red, tipped with black. In winter, the forehead becomes white and a characteristic black eyemask remains. Juvenile Forster's Terns are similar to the winter adult. The call is a harsh noise like a Black-headed Gull . This species is unlikely to be confused with the Common Tern in winter because of the black eyemask, but is much more similar in breeding plumage. Forster's has a grey centre to its white tail, and the upperwings are pure white, without the darker primary wedge of Common.
The Franklin's Gull ( Leucophaeus pipixcan ) is a small gull . It breeds in central provinces of Canada and adjacent states of the northern USA . It is migratory , wintering in the Caribbean , Peru , Chile , and Argentina . This species is easy to identify. The summer adult's body is white and its back and wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the larger Laughing Gull . The wings have black tips with an adjacent white band. The bill and legs are red. The black hood of the breeding adult is mostly lost in winter. Young birds are similar to the adult but have less developed hoods and lack the white wing band. They take three years to reach maturity. Franklin's Gulls breed in colonies near prairie lakes. The nest is constructed on the ground, or sometimes floating.
This is a somewhat atypical tern, in appearance like a Sterna tern, but with feeding habits more like the Chlidonias marsh terns, Black Tern and White-winged Tern . It used to be grouped in the genus Sterna but is now placed on its own in the genus Gelochelidon . The Gull-billed Tern does not normally plunge dive for fish like the other white terns, but feeds on insects taken in flight, and also often hunts over wet fields, to take amphibians and small mammals, as well as small birds. This is a fairly large and powerful tern, similar in size and general appearance to a Sandwich Tern , but the short thick gull-like bill, broad wings, long legs and robust body are distinctive. The summer adult has grey upperparts, white underparts, a black cap, strong black bill and black legs. The call is a characteristic ker-wik . In winter, the cap is lost, and there is a dark patch through the eye like a Forster's Tern or a Mediterranean Gull . Juvenile Gull-billed Terns have a fainter mask, but otherwise look much like winter adults.
The male Herring Gull is 60-66 cm (24-26 in) long and weighs 1050-1250 grams (2.3-2.8 lb) while the female is 55-62 cm (22-24.5 in) and weighs 800-980 grams (1.8-2.2 lb). The wingspan is 137-150 cm (54-59 in).  Adults in breeding plumage have a grey back and upperwings and white head and underparts. The wingtips are black with white spots known as &quot;mirrors&quot; . The bill is yellow with a red spot and there is a ring of bare yellow skin around the pale eye. The legs are normally pink at all ages but can be yellowish, particularly in the Baltic population which was formerly regarded as a separate subspecies &quot; L. a. omissus &quot;. Non-breeding adults have brown streaks on the head and neck. Male and female plumage is identical at all stages of development, however adult males are often larger. [
The Laughing Gull , Leucophaeus atricilla , is a medium-sized gull of North and South America . It breeds on the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean , and northern South America. Northernmost populations migrate further south in winter, and this species occurs as a rare vagrant to western Europe . (There was an influx into North-west Europe in late October 2005 when at least 18, possibly as many as 35, individuals occurred on one day in the UK alone.) The Laughing Gull's English name is derived from its raucous kee-agh call, which sounds like a high-pitched laugh &quot;ha... ha... ha...&quot;. This species is easy to identify. It is 36–41 cm (14–16 in) long with a 98–110 cm (39–43 in) wingspan. The summer adult's body is white apart from the dark grey back and wings and black head. Its wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the smaller Franklin's Gull , and they have black tips without the white crescent shown by Franklin's. The beak is long and red. The black hood is mostly lost in winter.
The Least Tern ( Sternula antillarum , formerly Sterna antillarum ) is a species of tern that breeds in North America and locally in northern South America . It is closely related to, and was formerly often considered conspecific with, the Little Tern of the Old World . Other close relatives include the Yellow-billed Tern and Peruvian Tern , both from South America. It is a small tern, 22–24 cm long, with a wingspan of 50 cm, and weighing 39–52 g. The upper parts are a fairly uniform pale gray, and the underparts white. The head is white, with a black cap and line through the eye to the base of the bill, and a small white forehead patch above the bill; in winter, the white forehead is more extensive, with a smaller and less sharply defined black cap. The bill is yellow with a small black tip in summer, all blackish in winter. The legs are yellowish. The wings are mostly pale gray, but with conspicuous black markings on their outermost primaries . In behavior, it flies over water with fast, jerky wingbeats and a distinctive hunchback appearance, with the bill pointing slightly downward.
Identification of this skua is complicated by its similarities to Arctic Skua and the existence of three morphs . Pomarine Skuas are larger than Common Gulls . They are much bulkier, broader-winged and less falcon -like than Arctic Skua, but show the same wide range of plumage variation. The flight is more measured than that of the smaller species. Light-morph adult Pomarine Skuas have a brown back, mainly white underparts and dark primary wing feathers with a white &quot;flash&quot;. The head and neck are yellowish-white with a black cap. Dark morph adults are dark brown, and intermediate morph birds are dark with somewhat paler underparts, head and neck. All morphs have the white wing flash, which appears as a diagnostic double flash on the underwing. In breeding adults of all morphs, the two central tail feathers are much longer than the others, spoon-shaped, and twisted from the horizontal. Juveniles are even more problematic to identify, and are difficult to separate from Arctic Skua at a distance on plumage alone.
The American Avocet ( Recurvirostra americana ) is a large wader in the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae . This avocet has long, thin, gray legs, giving it its colloquial name, &quot;blue shanks&quot;. The plumage is black and white on the back with white on the underbelly. The neck and head are cinnamon colored in the summer and gray in the winter. The long, thin bill is upturned at the end. The adult is about 45 cm (18 inches) tall. Parent with a chick at Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, California. The breeding habitat is marshes, beaches, prairie ponds, and shallow lakes in the mid-west and on the Pacific coast of North America . The American Avocet nests on open ground, often in small groups, sometimes with other waders. A pair will rear one brood per season, with both male and female providing parental care for the young.
Black-necked stilt Adults have long pink legs and a long thin black bill. They are white below and have black wings and backs. The tail is white with some grey banding. A continuous area of black extends from the back along the hindneck to the head. There, it forms a cap covering the entire head from the top to just below eye-level, with the exception of the areas surrounding the bill and a small white spot above the eye. Males have a greenish gloss to the back and wings, particularly in the breeding season. This is less pronounced or absent in females, which have a brown tinge to these areas instead. Otherwise, the sexes look alike.  Downy young are light olive brown with lengthwise rows of black speckles (larger on the back) on the upperparts – essentially where adults are black – and dull white elsewhere, with some dark barring on the flanks. 
The American Woodcock ( Scolopax minor ) is a small chunky shorebird species from North America . It is popularly known as timberdoodle and a well-known game bird . Adults have short pinkish legs and a very long straight pinkish bill with an articulated dark tip. The wings are rounded. The body is patterned cinnamon on top and a lighter brown underneath, with a cryptic lighter and darker pattern. They have large eyes located high in the head, and their visual field is probably the largest of any bird, 360° in the horizontal plane, and 180° in the vertical plane  .
An adult Dunlin in breeding plumage shows the distinctive black belly which no other similar-sized wader possesses. The winter Dunlin is basically grey above and white below. Juveniles are brown above with two whitish &quot;V&quot; shapes on the back. They usually have black marks on the flanks or belly and show a strong white wingbar in flight The legs and slightly decurved bill are black. There are a number of subspecies differing mainly in the extent of rufous coloration in the breeding plumage and the bill length. It should, however, be noted that bill length varies between sexes, the females having longer bills than the males.
The Least Sandpiper , Calidris or Erolia minutilla , is the smallest shorebird . This species has yellowish legs and a short thin dark bill. Breeding adults are brown with dark brown streaks on top and white underneath. They have a light line above the eye and a dark crown. In winter, Least Sandpipers are grey above. The juveniles are brightly patterned above with rufous colouration and white mantle stripes.
The Western Sandpiper , Calidris or Erolia mauri , is a small shorebird . Adults have dark legs and a short thin dark bill, thinner at the tip. The body is brown on top and white underneath. They are reddish-brown on the crown. This bird can be difficult to distinguish from other similar tiny shorebirds, especially the Semipalmated Sandpiper . This is particularly the case in winter plumage , when both species are plain gray. The Western Sandpiper acquires winter plumage much earlier in the autumn than the Semipalmated Sandpiper. Their breeding habitat is on tundra in eastern Siberia and Alaska . They nest on the ground usually under some vegetation. The male makes several scrapes; the female selects one and lays 4 eggs. Both parents incubate and care for dependent young, who feed themselves. Sometimes the female deserts her mate and brood prior to offspring fledging.
The Common Snipe ( Gallinago gallinago ), also called a Fantail Snipe , European Sandpiper , or weet-weet , is a small, stocky shorebird . The breeding habitat is marshes , bogs , tundra and wet meadows in Iceland , the Faroes , northern Europe and Russia . Common Snipe nest in a well-hidden location on the ground. European birds winter in southern Europe and Africa , and Asian migrants move to tropical southern Asia.. G. g. gallinago at Keoladeo National Park , Bharatpur , Rajasthan , India . Adults are 23-28 cm in length with a 39-45 cm wingspan. They have short greenish-grey legs and a very long straight dark bill. The body is mottled brown on top and pale underneath. They have a dark stripe through the eye, with light stripes above and below it. The wings are pointed. These birds forage in soft mud, probing or picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects and earthworms, also plant material.
he Greater Yellowlegs , Tringa melanoleuca , is a large North American shorebird , similar in appearance to the smaller Lesser Yellowlegs . Its closest relative, however, is the Greenshank , which together with the Spotted Redshank form a close-knit group. Among them, these three species show all the basic leg and foot colors found in the shanks , demonstrating that this character is paraphyletic (Pereira & Baker, 2005). They are also the largest shanks apart from the Willet , which is altogether more robustly built. The Greater Yellowlegs and the Greenshank share a coarse, dark, and fairly crisp breast pattern as well as much black on the shoulders and back in breeding plumage. Adults have long yellow legs and a long, thin, dark bill which has a slight upward curve and is longer in length than the head. The body is grey brown on top and white underneath; the neck and breast are streaked with dark brown. The rump is white. It ranges in length from 29 to 40 cm (11.5-16 inches) and in weight from 111 to 250 grams (3.9 to 9 oz).
Long-billed Curlew Adults have a very long bill curved downwards, a long neck and a small head. The neck and underparts are a light cinnamon, while the crown is streaked with brown. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism , the female having a much longer bill than the male
The Long-billed Dowitcher , Limnodromus scolopaceus , is a medium-sized shorebird . Adults have yellowish legs and a long straight dark bill. The body is dark brown on top and reddish underneath with spotted throat and breast, bars on flanks. The tail has a black and white barred pattern. The winter plumage is largely grey. Their breeding habitat is wet tundra in the far north of North America and eastern Siberia .
The Marbled Godwit , Limosa fedoa , is a large shorebird . Adults have long blue-grey hairy legs and a very long pink bill with a slight upward curve and dark at the tip. The long neck, breast and belly are pale brown with dark bars on the breast and flanks. The back is mottled and dark. They show cinnamon wing linings in flight. Their breeding habitat is the northern prairies of western Canada -( Canadian Prairies ), and the north central Great Plains , United States near marshes or ponds. They nest on the ground, usually in short grass.
Ruddy turnstone It is a fairly small and stocky bird, 22–24 centimetres (8.7–9.4 in) long with a wingspan of 50–57 centimetres (20–22 in) and a weight of 85-150 grams. The dark, wedge-shaped bill is 2–2.5 centimetres (0.79–0.98 in) long and slightly upturned. The legs are fairly short at 3.5 centimetres (1.4 in) and are bright orange. At all seasons, the plumage is dominated by a harlequin-like pattern of black and white. Breeding birds have reddish-brown upper parts with black markings. The head is mainly white with black streaks on the crown and a black pattern on the face. The breast is mainly black apart from a white patch on the sides. The rest of the underparts are white. In flight it reveals a white wingbar, white patch near the base of the wing and white lower back, rump and tail with dark bands on the uppertail-coverts and near the tip of the tail. The female is slightly duller than the male and has a browner head with more streaking. Non-breeding adults are duller than breeding birds and have dark grey-brown upperparts with black mottling and a dark head with little white. Juvenile birds have a pale brown head and pale fringes to the upperpart feathers creating a scaly impression.
The Sanderling ( Calidris alba , syn. Crocethia alba  or Erolia alba ) is a small wader . It is a circumpolar Arctic breeder, and is a long-distance migrant , wintering south to South America , South Europe , Africa , and Australia . It is highly gregarious in winter, sometimes forming large flocks on coastal mudflats or sandy beaches. It is somewhat unlike other sandpipers in appearance, which has led to the suggestion that it should be placed into a monotypic genus Crocethia . A more recent review (Thomas et al. , 2004) indicates, however, that the sanderling is a fairly typical &quot; stint &quot; or small sandpiper and should be separated from the large knots with its closest relatives in a distinct genus. This bird is similar in size to a Dunlin , but stouter, with a thick bill. It shows a strong white wingbar in flight, and runs along the sandy beaches it prefers with a characteristic &quot;bicycling&quot; action, stopping frequently to pick small food items. It eats small crabs and other small invertebrates . In spring, birds migrating north from South America consume large numbers of horseshoe crab eggs in the Delaware Bay area. The Sanderling is a small plump sandpiper, 18–20 cm in length. Its weight ranges from 40-100 g . The winter bird is very pale, almost white apart from a dark shoulder patch. This is the source of the specific name, alba , which is the Latin for &quot;white&quot;. Later in the summer, the face and throat become brick-red. The juvenile bird is spangled black and white, and shows much more contrast than the adult. Sanderling behavior is distinctive, but visually, if the size is misjudged, a breeding plumage sanderling can be mistaken for some varieties of stint , or a winter plumage sanderling can be mistaken for a Dunlin or Red Knot . It can be told from other small wading birds, given good views, by its lack of a hind toe.
he Solitary Sandpiper , Tringa solitaria , is a small wader (shorebird). Its only close relative in the genus Tringa is the Green Sandpiper (Pereira & Baker, 2005); they both have brown wings with little light dots, and a delicate but contrasting neck and chest pattern. In addition, both species nest in trees, unlike most other scolopacids . The Solitary Sandpiper lays its eggs in abandoned nests in trees. It breeds in woodlands across Alaska and Canada . It is a migratory bird , wintering in Central and South America , especially in the Amazon River basin, and the Caribbean . It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe . This is not a gregarious species, usually seen alone during migration , although sometimes small numbers congregate in suitable feeding areas. The Solitary Sandpiper is very much a bird of fresh water, and is often found in sites, such as ditches, too restricted for other waders, which tend to like a clear all-round view. This species is a dumpy wader with a dark green back, greyish head and breast and otherwise white underparts. It is obvious in flight, with wings dark above and below, and a dark rump and tail centre. The latter feature distinguishes it from the slightly larger and broader-winged, but otherwise very similar, Green Sandpiper of Europe and Asia , to which it is closely related. The latter species has a brilliant white rump. In flight, the Solitary Sandpiper has a characteristic three-note whistle.
The Spotted Sandpiper ( Actitis macularia ) is a small shorebird , 18–20 cm long. Together with its sister species , the Common Sandpiper ( A. hypoleucos ) they make up the genus Actitis . They replace each other geographically; stray birds may settle down with breeders of the other species and hybridize . Their breeding habitat is near fresh water across most of Canada and the United States . They migrate to the southern United States and South America , and are very rare vagrants to western Europe . These are not gregarious birds and are seldom seen in flocks. Adults have short yellowish legs and an orange bill with a dark tip. The body is brown on top and white underneath with black spots. Non-breeding birds , depicted below, do not have the spotted underparts, and are very similar to the Common Sandpiper of Eurasia ; the main difference is the more washed-out wing pattern visible in flight and the normally light yellow legs and feet of the Spotted Sandpiper. The Acititis species have a distinctive stiff-winged flight low over the water. Spotted Sandpipers nest on the ground. Females may mate with more than one male, leaving incubation to them.
The Upland Sandpiper , Bartramia longicauda , is a large shorebird , closely related to the curlews (Thomas, 2004). Older names are the Upland Plover and Bartram's Sandpiper . It is the only member of the genus Bartramia . The adult is 28–32 cm long with a 50–55 cm wingspan. It has long yellow legs and a long neck and tail. The head and neck are light with brown streaks. The back and upper wings are a darker mottled brown and the belly is white.
The Willet , Tringa semipalmata (formerly in the monotypic genus Catoptrophorus , as Catoptrophorus semipalmatus  ), is a large shorebird in the sandpiper family. It is a good-sized and stout scolopacid , the largest of the shanks . Its closest relative is the Lesser Yellowlegs , a much smaller bird with a very different appearance apart from the fine, clear and dense pattern of the neck which both species show in breeding plumage. Adults have gray legs and a long, straight, dark and stout bill. The body is dark gray above and light underneath. The tail is white with a dark band at the end. The distinctive black and white pattern of the wings is a common sight along many North American coastal beaches.
Wilson's Phalarope is about 23 centimetres (9.1 in) in length, with lobed toes and a straight fine black bill. The breeding female is predominantly gray and brown above, with white underparts, a reddish neck and reddish flank patches. The breeding male is a duller version of the female, with a brown back, and the reddish patches reduced or absent. Young birds are grey and brown above, with whitish underparts and a dark patch through the eye. In winter, the plumage is essentially grey above and white below, but the dark eyepatch is always present.
The Common Ground Dove ( Columbina passerina ) is a small New World tropical dove . It is a resident breeder from Aruba , Bermuda , through the southmost United States , Mexico and the Caribbean , to South America , and is found as far south as northern Brazil . The Common Ground Dove inhabits scrub and other open country. It builds a flimsy stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs . Its flight is fast and direct, with regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings that are characteristic of pigeons in general. Common Ground Doves are one of the world's smallest pigeons, with a length of 17 centimeters (6.5 inches), wingspan of 7.5 cm (10.5 in) and mass of 31 grams (1.1 ounces).  Adult birds have grey-brown back and upperwing plumage , with black spotting on their wing coverts. They have a scaly appearance to the breast and head. The tail is brown centrally, with black edges and white corners. In most subspecies , the bill is orange or reddish, tipped black. In flight, the underwings show extensive chestnut colouration. The adult male has a pink head, neck and breast, and a pink unscaled belly. The nape is blue. The female and juvenile are light grey where the male is pink, and have grey napes.
The Belted Kingfisher is a stocky, medium-sized bird that measures between 28–35 cm (11–14 in) in length with a wingspan of between 48–58 cm (19–23 in). Birds usually weigh 140–170 g (4.9–6 oz).  This species has a large head with a shaggy crest . Its long, heavy bill is black with a grey base. This kingfisher shows reverse sexual dimorphism , with the female more brightly coloured than the male. Both sexes have a slate blue head, large white collar, a large blue band on the breast, and white underparts. The back and wings are slate blue with black feather tips. The female features a rufous band across the upper belly that extends down the flanks. Juveniles of this species are similar to adults, but both sexes feature the rufous band on the upper belly. Juvenile males will have a rufous band that is somewhat mottled while the band on females will be much thinner than that on adult females. 
The Green Kingfisher , Chloroceryle americana , is a resident breeding bird which occurs from southern Texas in the USA south through Central and South Americal to central Argentina . This small kingfisher breeds by streams in forests or mangroves . The nest is in a horizontal tunnel up to a metre long made in a river bank. The female lays three, sometimes four, eggs. The Green Kingfisher is 19 centimetres (7.5 in) long and weighs 27 grams (0.95 oz). It has the typical kingfisher shape, with a short tail and long bill. It is oily green above, with white markings on the wings and tail and a white collar around the neck. Males have white underparts apart from a broad chestnut breast band and some green spotting on the flanks. Females have buff-white underparts with two green chest bands, the lower of which links to the green spotting along the sides of the belly. Green Kingfishers are often seen perched on a low shaded branch close to water before plunging in head first after their fish prey. They also eat aquatic insects. These birds often give a pebbly rattling call.
The greater roadrunner is about 56 centimetres (22 in) long and weighs about 300 grams (10.5 oz), and is the largest North American cuckoo. The adult has a bushy crest and long thick dark bill. It has a long dark tail, a dark head and back, and is pale on the front of the neck and on the belly. Roadrunners have four toes on each foot; two face forward, and two face backward.
The Groove-billed Ani , Crotophaga sulcirostris , is an odd-looking tropical bird in the cuckoo family with a long tail and a large, curved beak. It is a resident species throughout most of its range, from southern Texas and central Mexico through Central America , to northern Colombia and Venezuela , and coastal Ecuador and Peru . It only retreats from the northern limits of its range in Texas and northern Mexico during winter. The Groove-billed Ani is about 34 cm (13 in) long, and weighs 70-90 g (2.5-3.2 oz). It is completely black, with a very long tail almost as long as its body. It has a huge bill with horizontal grooves along the length of the upper mandible. It is very similar to the Smooth-billed Ani , some of which have bills as small as the Groove-billed and with grooves on the basal half. The two species are best distinguished by voice and range. In flight, the ani alternates between quick, choppy flaps and short glides. Like other anis , the Groove-billed is found in open and partly open country, such as pastures , savanna , and orchards . It feeds largely on a mixed diet of insects , seeds , and fruits . The Groove-billed Ani lives in small groups of one to five breeding pairs. They defend a single territory and lay their eggs in one communal nest. All group members incubate the eggs and care for the young.
The Yellow-billed Cuckoo , Coccyzus americanus , is a cuckoo . Common folk-names for this bird in the southern United States are Rain Crow and Storm Crow . These likely refer to the bird's habit of calling on hot days, often presaging thunderstorms. Adults have a long tail, brown above and black-and-white below, and a black curved bill with yellow especially on the lower mandible. The head and upper parts are brown and the underparts are white. There is a yellow ring around the eye. It shows cinnamon on the wings in flight. Juveniles are similar, but the black on the undertail is replaced by gray.
The Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus) is a small hawk of the Buteo genus. During the summer they are distributed over most of eastern North America , to as far west as the Alberta province and Texas; they then migrate south to winter in the neotropics from Mexico down to Southern Brazil . Many of the subspecies in the Caribbean are endemic and most do not migrate. Adult birds range in size from 34 to 45 cm (13 to 18 in), weigh from 265 to 560 g (9.4 oz to 1.2 lbs) and have a wingspan from 81 to 100 cm (32 to 40 in). As in most raptors, females are slightly larger than males. Adults have dark brown upper parts and evenly spaced black and white bands on the tail. Light morphs are pale on the underparts and underwing and have thick cinnamon bars across the belly. The light morph is most likely to be confused with the Red-shouldered Hawk , but that species has a longer, more heavily barred tail and the barred wings and solid rufous color of adult Red-shoulders are usually distinctive. Dark morphs are a darker brown on both upperparts and underparts. They are much less common than the light-coloured variant. Dark-morph Short-tailed Hawks are similar but are whitish under the tail with a single subterminal band. Broad-winged Hawks' wings are relatively short and broad with a tapered, somewhat pointed appearance unique to this species.
The Golden Eagle ( Aquila chrysaetos ) is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere . Like all eagles , it belongs to the family Accipitridae . Once widespread across the Holarctic , it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas. Despite being locally[ specify ] extinct or uncommon, the species is still fairly ubiquitous, being present in Eurasia , North America and parts of Africa . These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. It has a wingspan averaging over 2 m (7 ft) and up to 1 m (3 ft) in body length. They are extremely swift, and can dive upon their quarry at speeds of more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour[ citation needed ]. Golden eagles use their speed and sharp talons to snatch up rabbits, marmots, and ground squirrels. They also eat carrion, reptiles, birds, fish, and smaller fare such as large insects. They have even been known to attack full-grown deer.
Harris’s hawk ndividuals range in length from 46 to 76 cm (18 to 30 in) and generally have a wingspan of 1.1 m (3.6 ft)  They exhibit sexual dimorphism with the females being larger by about 40%. In the United States, the average weight for males is about 710 g (25 oz), while the female average is 1,020 g (36 oz).  . They have dark brown plumage with chestnut shoulders, wing linings, and thighs,  white on the base a tip of the tail,  long, yellow legs and a yellow cere .  The vocalizations of the Harris's Hawk are very harsh sounds.  [ edit ] Juvenile The juveniles are similar to the adults but are more streaked, and when in flight the undersides of the wings are buff-colored with brown streaking. 
The Mississippi Kite , Ictinia mississippiensis , is a small bird of prey in the family Accipitridae . It is 12 to 14 inches (30–36 cm) beak to tail and has a wingspan averaging 3 feet (91 cm). Adults are gray with darker gray on their tail feathers and outer wings and lighter gray on their heads and inner wings. Males and females look alike, but the males are slightly paler on the head and neck. Young kites have banded tails and streaked bodies.  Mississippi Kites have narrow, pointed wings and are graceful in flight, often appearing to float in the air. It is not uncommon to see several circling in the same area. Their diet consists mostly of insects which they capture in flight. They eat cicada , grasshoppers , and other crop-damaging insects, making them economically important. They have also been known to eat small amphibians , rabbits, and occasionally smaller birds. Their call is a high-pitched squeak, sounding similar to that of a squeaky dog toy.
The Hen Harrier is 45–55 cm long with a 97–118 cm wingspan.  It resembles other harriers in having distinct male and female plumages. The sexes also differ in weight, with males weighing an average of 350 g and females an average of 530 g.  The male of the nominate race, C. c. cyaneus (Linnaeus, 1766), breeds in Europe and Asia, is mainly grey above and white below except for the upper breast, which is grey like the upperparts, and the rump, which is white; the wings are grey with black wingtips. The female is brown above with white upper tail coverts, hence females, and the similar juveniles, are often called &quot;ringtails&quot;. Their underparts are buff streaked with brown.  The female gives a whistled piih-eh when receiving food from the male, and her alarm call is chit-it-it-it-it-et-it . The male calls chek-chek-chek , with a more bouncing chuk-uk-uk-uk during his display flight 
The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) , sometimes known as the sea hawk , is a diurnal , fish-eating bird of prey . It is a large raptor , reaching 60 centimetres (24 in) in length with a 1.8 metre (6 ft) wingspan. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings. The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant .
The Peregrine Falcon ( Falco peregrinus ), also known simply as the Peregrine ,  and historically as the &quot;Duck Hawk&quot; in North America,  is a cosmopolitan bird of prey in the family Falconidae . It is a large, crow -sized falcon , with a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and &quot;moustache&quot;. It can reach speeds over 320 km/h (200 mph) in a dive, making it the fastest animal in the world.  As is common with bird-eating raptors, the female is much bigger than the male.
Prairie falcon Plumage is warm gray-brown (sometimes called &quot;sandy&quot;) above and pale with more or less dark mottling below. The darkest part of the upper side is the primary wing feathers; the lightest is the rump and tail, particularly the outer tail feathers. The head has a &quot;moustache&quot; mark like a Peregrine Falcon 's but narrower, and a white line over the eye. A conspicuous character is that the axillars (&quot;wingpits&quot;) and underwing coverts are black, except along the leading edge of the wing. This creates an effect of &quot;struts&quot; from the body along each wing.
Red-shouldered hawk Males are 43 to 58 cm (17 to 23 in) long, weigh about 550 g (1.2 lbs) and have a wingspan of 96 cm (38 in). Females are slightly larger at 48 to 61 cm (19 to 24 in) in length, a weight of about 700 g (1.5 lbs), and a wingspan of about 105 cm (42 in). Adults have a brownish head, a reddish chest, and a pale belly with reddish bars. Their tail, which is quite long by Buteo standards, is marked with narrow white bars. The red &quot;shoulder&quot; is visible when the bird is perched as seen in the image to the right. These hawks' upper parts are dark with pale spots and they have long yellow legs. Western birds may appear more red while Florida birds are generally paler. The wings of adults are more heavily barred on the upper side.
The Swainson's Hawk is a slender raptor , slightly smaller than a Red-tailed Hawk ( B. jamaicensis ). However, the Swainson's Hawk has a slightly longer wingspan and slimmer wings than other soaring hawks. In flight, it hold their wings in a slight dihedral ; it tips back and forth slightly while soaring. There are two main color variations. Over 90 percent of individuals are light-morph; the dark morph is most common in the far west of the range:  Light-morph adults are white on the underparts with a dark, reddish &quot;bib&quot; on the chest and a noticeable white throat and face patch. The underwings, seen as the bird soars, have dark linings (leading edge) and pale flight feathers (trailing edge), a pattern unique among North American raptors. The tail is gray-brown with about six narrow dark bands and one wider subterminal band. The upperparts are brown. Juveniles are similar but dark areas have pale mottling and light areas, especially the flanks, have dark mottling. The chest is pale with some darker marks. The subterminal band of the tail is less obvious. Birds in their first spring may have pale heads because of feather wear. Dark-morph birds are dark brown except for a light patch under the tail. There is a rufous variant that is lighter on the underparts with reddish bars. The tails of both these forms resemble those of the light morph.
The White-tailed Hawk ( Buteo albicaudatus ) is a large bird of prey species found in tropical or subtropical environments across the Americas . [ edit ] Description Averaging 21–23 in (53–58 cm) in length with a wing span of around 4 ft (1.2 m)  , the super White-tailed Hawk is a large, stocky buteo hawk . Adult birds are grey above and white below and on the rump, with faint pale grey or rufous barring. The short tail is white with a narrow black band near the end that is conspicuous in flight. A rusty-red shoulder patch is just as characteristic when the bird is sitting with wings closed. The wings are dark above, admixed with grey near the bases of the blackish primary remiges . The underwing is whitish, with indistinct brownish barring on the underwing coverts that extends onto the flanks and thighs. The iris is hazel , the cere is pale green, the beak is black with a horn-colored base, and the feet are yellow with black talons.  Immature birds are somewhat darker than adults; they may appear nearly black in faint light, in particular individuals which have little white below. The wing lining is conspicuously spotted black-and-white; the rusty shoulder patch is absent in younger birds. The tail changes from brown with several dark bars to greyish with a hazy dark band as the birds approach maturity. The bare parts are colored much like in the adult. 
Caracara is a genus of birds of prey in the family Falconidae found throughout a large part of the Americas . They are part of a group collectively referred to as caracaras . The modern species in the genus Caracara were previously considered conspecific (as &quot;Crested Caracara&quot; - a name still widely used for the Northern Caracara)    and/or for long placed in the genus Polyborus .
The Plain Chachalaca is 56 centimetres (22 in) long and has a mass of 0.65 kilograms (1.4 lb). It is long-necked with a small head and bare throat. Adults have a greyish head and neck with a dull olive-brown body and wings. The underbelly is pale to ochraceous and the tail is blackish with green gloss and buffy-white tip. The iris is brown and bill is black; orbital skin and the feet are dull grey.
The Gambel's Quail , Callipepla gambelii , is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. It inhabits the desert regions of Arizona , California , Colorado , New Mexico , Nevada , Utah , Texas , and Sonora ; also New Mexico-border Chihuahua and the Colorado River region of Baja California . The Gambel's quail is named in honor of William Gambel , a 19th century naturalist and explorer of the Southwestern United States . These birds are easily recognized by their top knots and scaly plumage on their undersides. Gambel's quail have gray plumage on much of their bodies, and males have copper feathers on the top of their heads, black faces, and white stripes above their eyes. Gambel's quail can be commonly confused with California Quail due to similar plumage. They can usually be distinguished by range, but when this does not suffice, California quail have a more scaly appearance and the black patch on the lower breast of the male Gambel's Quail is absent in the California Quail. The two species are sister taxa which diverged during the Late Pliocene or Early Pleistocene , 1 to 2 mya (Zink & Blackwell, 1998). The bird's average length is 11 inches (30 cm) with a wingspan of 14-16 inches (35-40 cm). Its diet consists primarily of plant matter and seeds. Gambel's quail primarily move about by walking, and can move surprisingly fast through brush and undergrowth. They are a non-migratory species and are rarely seen in flight. Any flight is usually short and explosive, with many rapid wingbeats followed by a slow glide to the ground. These birds have relatively short, rounded wings and long, featherless legs.
Northern Bobwhites are distinguished by a dark cap stripe behind the eye along the head, black in males and brown in females. The area in between is white on males and yellow-brown on females. The body is brown, speckled in places with black or white on both sexes, and average weight is 5–6 ounces (140–170 g). The Northern Bobwhite's song is a rising, clear whistle, bob-White! or bob-bob-White! The call is most often given by males in spring and summertime. Other vocalizations include a range of squeaky whistles.
The Scaled Quail ( Callipepla squamata ), also commonly called Blue Quail or cottontop , is a species of the New World quail family . It is a bluish gray bird found in the arid regions of the Southwestern United States to Central Mexico . This species is an early offshoot of the genus Callipepla , diverging in the Pliocene (Zink & Blackwell, 1998). This bird is named for the scaly appearance of its breast and back feathers. Along with its scaly markings, the bird is easily identified by its white crest that resembles a tuft of cotton .
he Greater Prairie-Chicken , Tympanuchus cupido , is a large bird in the grouse family . This North American species was once abundant, but has become extremely rare or extinct over much of its range due to habitat loss . There are current efforts to help this species gain the numbers that it once had. One of the most famous aspects of these creatures is the mating ritual called booming. Adults of both sexes are 19 inches (480 mm) long, medium sized, stocky, and round-winged. Their tails are short, round, and dark. Adult males have a yellow-orange comb over their eyes. Males also have dark, elongated head feathers that can be raised or lain along neck. A circular, orange unfeathered neck patch can be inflated while displaying. Adult females have shorter head feathers and lack the male's yellow comb and orange neck patch.
Ring-necked pheasant here are many colour forms of the male Common Pheasant, ranging in colour from nearly white to almost black in some melanistic examples. These are due to captive breeding and hybridization between subspecies and with the Green Pheasant, reinforced by continually releases of stock from varying sources to the wild. For example, the &quot;Ring-necked Pheasants&quot; common in Europe, North America and Australia do not pertain to any specific taxon , they rather represent a stereotyped hybrid swarm.  Body weight can range from 0.5 to 3 kg (1.1-6.6 lb), with males averaging 1.2 kg (2.6 lb) and females averaging 0.9 kg (2 lb).   The adult male Common Pheasant of the nominate subspecies Phasianus colchicus colchicus is 60–89 cm (24-35 in) in length with a long brown streaked black tail, accounting for almost 50 cm (20 in) of the total length. The body plumage is barred bright gold and brown plumage with green, purple and white markings. The head is bottle green with a small crest and distinctive red wattle . P. c. colchicus and some other races lack a white neck ring.
The Wild Turkey ( Meleagris gallopavo ) is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the Galliformes . It is one of two species of turkey , the other being the Ocellated Turkey , found in Central America . Adult male Wild Turkeys have a large, featherless, reddish head; a red throat in males; long reddish-yellow to greyish-green legs; and a black body. The head has fleshy growths called caruncles; in excited turkeys, a fleshy flap on the bill expands, becoming engorged with blood. Males have red wattles on the throat and neck. Each foot has three toes, and males have rear spurs on their lower legs. Turkeys have a long, dark, fan-shaped tail and glossy bronze wings. As with many other species of the Galliformes , turkeys exhibit strong sexual dimorphism . The male is substantially larger than the female, and his feathers have areas of red, purple, green, copper, bronze, and gold iridescence . Female feathers are duller overall, in shades of brown and gray. Parasites can dull coloration of both sexes; in males, coloration may serve as a signal of health.  The primary wing feathers have white bars. Turkeys have 20,000 to 30,000 feathers. Tail feathers have the same length in adults, different lengths in juveniles. Males typically have a &quot;beard&quot; consisting of modified feathers that stick out from the breast. Beards average 9 inches (230 mm) in length. In some populations, 10 to 20 percent of females have a beard, usually shorter and thinner than that of the male. The adult male normally weighs from 5 to 11 kg (11-24 lbs) and measures 100-125 cm (39-49 in). The adult female is typically much smaller at 3 to 5.4 kg (6.6-12 lbs) and are 76 to 95 cm (30-37 in) long. The wingspan ranges from 1.25 to 1.44 m (49-57 in). The record-sized adult male wild turkey, according to the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, was 38 lb (17.2 kg).
The Clapper Rail ( Rallus longirostris ) is a member of the rail family, Rallidae . It is found along the east coast of North America , the coasts and some islands of the Caribbean , and across northern South America to eastern Brazil . On the west coast, it breeds from central California through Mexico and south to northwestern Peru . Despite this wide range, numbers of the Clapper Rail are now very low on the United States' west coast, because of destruction of the coastal marshland habitat. The largest population of the western subspecies, California Clapper Rail , R. l. obsoletus , numbering something under 3000 birds, is in San Francisco Bay ; there is a small inland population along the Colorado River . On the US east coasts, populations are stable, although the numbers of this bird have declined due to habitat loss. The Clapper Rail is a chicken-sized bird that rarely flies. It is grayish brown with a pale chestnut breast and a noticeable white patch under the tail. Its bill curves slightly downwards. The Trinidadian subspecies R. l. pelodromus is more heavily marked with black above. These birds eat crustaceans , aquatic insects , and small fish . They search for food while walking, sometimes probing with their long bills, in shallow water or mud.
Common moorhen It is a distinctive species, with dark plumage apart from the white undertail, yellow legs and a red facial shield. The young are browner and lack the red shield. It has a wide range of gargling calls and will emit loud hisses when threatened.  This is a common breeding bird in marsh environments and well-vegetated lakes. Populations in areas where the waters freeze, such as southern Canada , the northern USA and eastern Europe, will migrate to more temperate climes. This species will consume a wide variety of vegetable material and small aquatic creatures. They forage beside or in the water, sometimes upending in the water to feed. It is often secretive, but can become tame in some areas. Despite loss of habitat in parts of its range, the Common Moorhen remains plentiful and widespread.
The King Rail , Rallus elegans , is a waterbird, the largest North American rail . Distinct features are a long bill with a slight downward curve, with adults being brown on the back and rusty-brown on the face and breast with a dark brown cap. They also have a white throat and a light belly with barred flanks. Immature birds are light brown on the head and darker brown on the back and wings. They breed in marshes in eastern North America. The nest is a raised platform built with marsh vegetation and covered by a canopy. The King Rail interbreeds with the Clapper Rail where their ranges overlap; some researchers believe that these two birds belong to the same species.
The American Purple Gallinule ( Porphyrio martinica ) is a &quot;swamp hen&quot; in the rail family Rallidae. This medium-sized rail is unmistakable, with its huge yellow feet, purple-blue plumage with a green back, and red and yellow bill. It has a pale blue forehead shield and white undertail. Young birds are brown rather than purple. These gallinules will fly short distances with dangling legs. Their breeding habitat is warm swamps and marshes in southeastern states of the United States and the tropical regions of Central America , the Caribbean and northern South America . This species is resident in southern Florida and the tropics, but most American birds are migratory , wintering south to Argentina . The nest is a floating structure in a marsh. Five to ten eggs are laid. Their coloration is buff with brown spots.
The Downy Woodpecker , Picoides pubescens , is the smallest woodpecker in North America . Adults are mainly black on the upper parts and wings, with a white back, throat and belly and white spotting on the wings. There is a white bar above the eye and one below. They have a black tail with white outer feathers barred with black. Adult males have a red patch on the back of the head. The female lacks the red patch on the back of the head. It is virtually identical in plumage pattern to the much larger Hairy Woodpecker , but it can be told from the Hairy by the presence of black spots on its white tail feathers. These species are not very closely related, and they are likely to be separated in different genera (Weibel & Moore, 2005; Moore et al. , 2006); the outward similarity is a spectacular example of convergent evolution . Why they evolved this way cannot be explained with confidence; it may be relevant that the species exploit rather different-sized foodstuffs and do not compete very much ecologically .
The Golden-fronted Woodpecker , Melanerpes aurifrons , is a North American woodpecker . Its preferred habitat is mesquite and riparian woodlands in Texas and Oklahoma . Cooke listed this species as an abundant resident of the lower Rio Grande Valley , Texas, in 1884.
The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is a small woodpecker about 16.5 to 19 cm (6½ to 7½ inches) in length. It is primarily colored black and white, with a barred pattern on its back and wings resembling the rungs of a ladder. Its rump is speckled with black, as are its cream-colored underparts on the breast and flanks. Southern populations have duskier buff breasts and distinctly smaller bills. Adult males have a red crown patch that is smaller in immatures and lacking in adult females. The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is very similar in appearance to Nuttall's Woodpecker , but has much less black on its head and upper back, and the range of the two species only intersects a minimal amount in southern California and northern Baja California . Hybrids are known.
The Northern Flicker Adults are brown with black bars on the back and wings and measure approximately 32 cm (12.5 inches) in length. The wingspan is approximately 17 to 20 inches. A necklace -like black patch occupies the upper breast, while the lower breast and belly are beige with black spots. Males can be identified by a black or red moustachial stripe at the base of the beak . The tail is dark on top, transitioning to a white rump which is conspicuous in flight. The subspecies plumage varies as described in Taxonomy section.
he Pileated Woodpecker ( Dryocopus pileatus ) is a very large North American woodpecker that is quite common in its range. [ edit ] Description Adults (40-49 cm long, 250-350 g weight) are mainly black with a red crest and a white line down the sides of the throat. Adult males have a red line from the bill to the throat and red on the front of the crown. In adult females, these are black. They show white on the wings in flight. The only North American birds of similar plumage and size are the Ivory-billed Woodpecker of the Southeastern United States and Cuba , and the related Imperial Woodpecker of Mexico . However, unlike the Pileated, both of those species are extremely rare, if not extinct .
The Red-bellied Woodpecker , Melanerpes carolinus , is a medium-sized woodpecker of the Picidae family. It breeds in southern Canada and the northeastern United States , ranging as far south as Florida and as far west as Texas . Its common name is somewhat misleading, as the most prominent red part of its plumage is on the head; the Red-headed Woodpecker however is another species that is a rather close relative but looks entirely different. It was first described in Linnaeus ' Systema Naturae , as Picus carolinus .  . The type locality is given simply as &quot; America septentrionalis &quot; (North America). Adult female - showing reddish belly. [ edit ] Description Adults are mainly light gray on the face and underparts; they have black and white barred patterns on their back, wings and tail. Adult males have a red cap going from the bill to the nape; females have a red patch on the nape and another above the bill. The reddish tinge on the belly that gives the bird its name is difficult to see in field identification. They are 9 to 10.5 inches long, and have a wingspan of 15 to 18 inches.
Red-headed woodpecker Adults are strikingly tri-colored, with a black back and tail and a red head and neck. Their underparts are mainly white. The wings are black with white secondary remiges . Adult males and females are identical in plumage.  Juveniles are similarly shaded, but are mottled with brown.  Non- birders may often mistakenly identify them as the Red-bellied Woodpecker , whose range overlaps somewhat with that of the red-headed woodpecker. While red-bellied woodpeckers have some bright red on the backs of their necks and heads, red-headed woodpeckers have a much deeper red that covers their entire heads and necks, as well as a different overall plumage pattern.
The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is part of the New World sapsucker genus Sphyrapicus which is within the woodpecker family Picidae The genus also includes the Red- naped Sapsucker , Red-breasted Sapsucker and Williamson's Sapsucker . [ edit ] Description Male, Ottawa , Ontario Adults are black on the back and wings with white bars; they have a black head with white lines down the side and a red forehead and crown, a yellow breast and upper belly, a white lower belly and rump and a black tail with a white central bar. Adult males have a red throat; females have a white throat.
Barred owl The adult is 44 cm long with a 112 cm wingspan. It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and brown eyes. It is the only typical owl of the eastern United States which has brown eyes; all others have yellow eyes. The head is round and lacks ear tufts, a distinction from the Short-eared Owl . The upper parts are mottled gray-brown. The underparts are light with markings; the chest is barred horizontally while the belly is streaked lengthwise. The legs and feet are covered in feathers up to the talons. 
Burrowing owls have bright yellow eyes. The beak can be between yellowish or greenish depending on the subspecies. The babies legs are incompletely feathered and grayish in color. They lack ear tufts and have a flattened facial disc. The owls have prominent white eyebrows and a white &quot;chin&quot; patch which they expand and display during certain behaviors , such as bobbing of the head when agitated. Adult owls have brown upper parts with white spotting. The breast and belly are white with variable brown spotting or barring. Juvenile owls are similar in appearance, but they lack most of the white spotting above and brown barring below. Also, the young owls have a buff bar across the upper wing and their breast may be buffy rather than white. Males and females are similar in size and appearance. The female bird is darker in color, however, adult males appear lighter in color because they spend more time outside the burrow during daylight, and their feathers become &quot;sun-bleached&quot;. The average adult is slightly larger than an American robin ( Turdus migratorius ), at 25 cm (10 inches) length, 53 cm (21 inches) wingspan, and 170g (6 oz). 
The Eastern Screech Owl or Eastern Screech-Owl ( Megascops asio ) is a small owl . [ edit ] Description Adults range from 16 to 25 cm (6.3-9.8 in) in length. They have either rusty or dark gray intricately patterned plumage with streaking on the underparts. Small and stocky, short-tailed and broad-winged, they have a large round head with ear tufts, yellow eyes and a yellowish bill. Rusty birds are more common in the southern parts of the range; pairings of the two color variants do occur. A pale gray variation also exists in western Canada and the north-central United States . The color variations are referred to as &quot;red- phase &quot; and &quot;gray-phase&quot; by bird watchers and ornithologists .
Individual Great Horned Owls range in length from 18-27 in (46-68 cm) and have a wingspan of 40-60.5 in (101-153 cm); Females are larger than males, an average adult being 22 in (55 cm) long with a 49 in (124 cm) wingspan and weighing about 3.1 lbs (1400 g). Bergmann's Rule generally holds: larger individuals are found towards Polar regions , smaller towards the Equator . Face of a Common Great Horned Owl ( B. v. virginianus ) in North Dakota Adults have large ear tufts, a reddish, brown or gray face and a white patch on the throat. The iris is yellow, except the amber-eyed South American Great Horned Owl ( B. v. nacurutu ). Its &quot;horns&quot; are neither ears nor horns, simply tufts of feathers. The underparts are light with brown barring; the upper parts are mottled brown. The legs and feet are covered in feathers up to the talons. There are individual and regional variations in color; birds from the sub- Arctic are a washed-out, light-buff color, while those from Central America can be a dark chocolate brown.
The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail. Depending on subspecies , it measures c.25-45 cm in overall length, with a wingspan of about 75-100 cm. Tail shape is a way of distinguishing the Barn Owl from true owls when seen in flight, as are the wavering motions and the open dangling feathered legs. The light face with its peculiar shape and the black eyes give the flying bird an odd and startling appearance, like a flat mask with oversized oblique black eyeslits, the ridge of feathers above the bill somewhat resembling a nose.  Its head and upperparts are a mixture of buff and grey (especially on the forehead and back) feathers in most subspecies. Some are purer richer brown instead, and all have fine black-and-white speckles except on the remiges and rectrices , which are light brown with darker bands. The heart-shaped face is usually bright white, but in some subspecies it is browner. The underparts (including the tarsometatarsus feathers) vary from white to reddish buff among the subspecies, and are either mostly unpatterned or bear a varying amount of tiny blackish-brown speckles. It was found that at least in the continental European populations, females with more spotting are healthier on average. This does not hold true for European males by contrast, where the spotting varies according to subspecies. The bill varies from pale horn to dark buff, corresponding to the general plumage hue. The iris is blackish brown. The toes, as the bill, vary in color; their color ranges from pinkish to dark pinkish-grey. The talons are black.