Minnesota Birds
           
Class Aves

Aves (birds) is the class of animals that is characterized by being warm-blooded, laying hard-shelled eggs, and having a backbone, feathers, wings, a beak with no teeth, and two legs for forelimbs. They are the only clade of dinosaurs (Dinosauria) to have survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event 65.5 million years ago.

According to the American Ornithologists’ Union, there are 2,008 species of birds naturally occurring without the intervention of man in “North and Middle America including the adjacent islands under the jurisdiction of the included nations; the Hawaiian Islands; Clipperton Island; Bermuda; the West Indies, including the Bahama Islands, the Greater Antilles, Leeward and Windward islands of the Lesser Antilles.”

According to the Minnesota DNR, there are 428 bird species found in Minnesota, 44 of which are year-round residents.


 

European Starling

 

           

Recent Additions

 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
   

This is the smallest breeding bird in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. It is seldom seen but easily recognized because it is the only hummingbird that breeds in or migrates through Minnesota. It is a migratory bird, arriving in Minnesota in late April and early May. It is a solitary breeder—after mating the male has nothing more to do with the female or its offspring. In the fall, adults migrate across the Gulf of Mexico or along the western coast of Mexico to Central or South America.

  Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  Photo by Bill Reynolds

Red-eyed Vireo
   

This is the most common and widespread vireo in Minnesota. It is found in deciduous and mixed woodlands with a dense cover and a shrubby understory. It is small for a songbird but relatively large for a vireo. The most distinguishing morphological feature, the dark red irises, an apparent only at close range. It is most often identified by its song, which sounds similar to a robin but is not as loud and is more variable.

  Red-eyed Vireo
  Photo by Bill Reynolds

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
   

This medium-sized woodpecker is common in young, second-growth, deciduous and mixed forests. It's name, though appropriately descriptive, is likely to elicit a smile or a raised eyebrow. It is easily recognized by the red crown and, on the males, the red chin. Other than the Pileated Woodpecker, a much larger bird, this is the only woodpecker in Minnesota with a red crown. The sign (indications not related to a footprint) is also distinctive. Look for horizontal, more or less straight lines of small, closely-spaced holes in the trunk of a tree.

  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  Photo by Bill Reynolds

Other Recent Additions
  Yellow-shafted Flicker

Yellow-shafted Flicker (Colaptes auratus luteus)

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
    Photo by Bill Reynolds

 
 

Coming in 2014

 

Work in Process (A–C Completed, D–Z Remaining)

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IUCN Conservation status

NatureServe Conservation status


 


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Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens)

 

American Coot

 

 

 

 

American Crow

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Goldfinch

 

 

 

 

American Robin

 

 

 

 

American White Pelican

 

 

 

 

 

American Woodcock

 

 

 

 

 

Baltimore Oriole Nest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barn Swallow

 

 

 

 

 

Black-capped Chickadee

 

 

 

 

Black-necked Stilt

 

 

 

 

Blue Jay

 

 

 

 

Blue-winged Teal

 

 

 

 

Brown Thrasher

 

 

 

 

Brown-headed Cowbird

 

 

 

 

Canada Goose

 

 

 

 

Cedar Waxwing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chipping Sparrow

 

 

 

 

Cliff Swallow Nests

 

 

 

 

Common Grackle

 

 

 

 

Dark-eyed Junco

 

 

 

 

Dickcissel

 

 

 

 

Double-crested Cormorant

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downy Woodpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Bluebird

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Phoebe

 

 

 

 

European Starling

 

 

 

 

Gray Catbird

 

 

 

 

Great Blue Heron

 

 

 

 

Great Crested Flycatcher

 

 

 

 

Great Egret <em>(Ardea alba)</em>

 

 

 

 

Great Gray Owl

 

 

 

 

Great Horned Owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green-winged Teal

 

 

 

 

Hairy Woodpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harris’s Sparrow

 

 

 

 

House Finch

 

 

 

 

House Sparrow

 

 

 

 

House Wren

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo Bunting

 

 

 

 

Laughing Gull

 

 

 

 

Long-billed Curlew

 

 

 

 

Mallard

 

 

 

 

Mourning Dove

 

 

 

 

Northern Bald Eagle

 

 

 

 

Northern Barred Owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Cardinal

 

 

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl

 

 

 

 

Northern Shoveler

 

 

 

 

Northern Shrike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osprey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-eyed Vireo

 

 

 

 

 

Red-headed Woodpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-winged Blackbird

 

 

 

 

Ring-billed Gull

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ring-necked Pheasant

 

 

 

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

 

 

 

 

 

Ruffed Grouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandhill Crane

 

 

 

 

Sedge Wren

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short-billed Dowitcher

 

 

 

 

Song Sparrow

 

 

 

 

Swainson’s thrush

 

 

 

 

Tree Swallow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trumpeter Swan

 

 

 

 

Tundra Swan

 

 

 

 

Turkey Vulture

 

 

 

 

Virginia Rail

 

 

 

 

White-breasted Nuthatch

 

 

 

 

White-crowned Sparrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

White-throated Sparrow

 

 

 

 

Wild Turkey

 

 

 

 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow-headed Blackbird

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow-shafted Flicker

 

 

    Photo

Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum)

 
     

American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)

 
     

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

 
    Photo

American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)

 
  Photo Photo

American Coot (Fulica americana)

 
  Photo Photo

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

 
     

American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica)

 
  Photo Photo

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

 
    Photo

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

 
     

American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)

 
    Photo

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)

 
  Photo Photo

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

 
    Photo

American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)

 
  Photo Photo

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

 
    Photo

American Widgeon (Anas americana)

 
  Photo Photo

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor)

 
     

Baird’s Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii)

 
  Photo Photo

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

 
    Photo

Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)

 
  Photo Photo

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

 
     

Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)

 
     

Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii)

 
    Photo

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)

 
    Photo

Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra)

 
     

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)

 
    Photo

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)

 
     

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)

 
     

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus)

 
     

Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)

 
  Photo Photo

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

 
     

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

 
  Photo Photo

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)

 
     

Black-throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens)

 
     

Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca)

 
     

Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea)

 
  Photo Photo

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

 
     

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

 
     

Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius)

 
  Photo Photo

Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)

 
     

Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus)

 
    Photo

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

 
     

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

 
     

Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)

 
     

Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus)

 
     

Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus)

 
    Video

Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)

 
     

Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)

 
     

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)

 
Profile Photo Video

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)

 
  Photo Video

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

 
    Video

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)

 
     

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)

 
  Photo Video

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

 
    Video

Canada Warbler (Wilsonia canadensis)

 
    Video

Canvasback (Aythya valisineria)

 
     

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)

 
     

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

 
Profile Photo Video

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

 
     

Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea)

 
     

Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus)

 
    Video

Chestnut-sided Warbler (Dendroica pensylvanica)

 
     

Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)

 
  Photo Video

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

 
     

Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)

 
     

Clark’s Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana)

 
     

Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida)

 
  Photo Video

Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)

 
     

Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)

 
    Video

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

 
  Photo Video

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

 
    Video

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

 
    Video

Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

 
     

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

 
    Video

Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)

 
    Video

Common Raven (Corvus corax)

 
     

Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea)

 
     

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

 
     

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

 
     

Connecticut Warbler (Oporonis agilis)

 
     

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

 
  Photo  

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

 
  Photo  

Dickcissel (Spiza americana)

 
  Photo  

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

 
Profile Photo Video

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

 
     

Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)

 
  Photo  

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

 
     

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)

 
     

Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)

 
  Photo  

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)

 
     

Eastern Screech Owl (Otus asio)

 
     

Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)

 
     

Eastern Wood-peewee (Contopus virens)

 
     

Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)

 
  Photo  

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

 
     

Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)

 
     

Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

 
     

Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)

 
     

Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)

 
     

Franklin’s Gull (Larus pipixcan)

 
     

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

 
     

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

 
     

Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)

 
     

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)

 
Profile Photo Video

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

 
     

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)

 
     

Gray Partridge (Perdix perdix)

 
Profile Photo Video

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

 
  Photo  

Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)

 
Profile Photo Video

Great Egret (Ardea alba)

 
  Photo  

Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa)

 
  Photo Video

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

 
     

Greater Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)

 
     

Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)

 
     

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)

 
     

Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

 
  Photo  

Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)

 
  Photo  

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)

 
  Photo  

Harris’s Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula)

 
     

Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii)

 
     

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

 
     

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

 
     

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)

 
     

Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina)

 
     

Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus)

 
     

Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)

 
  Photo  

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)

 
  Photo  

House Sparrow (Spizella domesticus)

 
  Photo  

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

 
     

Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica)

 
  Photo  

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)

 
     

Kentucky Warbler (Oporornis formosus)

 
     

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

 
     

King Rail (Rallus elegans)

 
     

Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus)

 
     

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

 
  Photo  

Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla)

 
     

Le Conte’s Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii)

 
     

Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)

 
     

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)

 
     

Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)

 
     

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)

 
     

Lincoln’s Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)

 
     

Little Blue Heron (Egrettacaerulea)

 
     

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

 
  Photo  

Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)

 
     

Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)

 
     

Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla)

 
     

Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia)

 
  Photo  

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

 
     

Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)

 
     

Marsh Wren (Othorus palustris)

 
     

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)

 
Profile Photo Video

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

 
     

Mourning Warbler (Oporornis philadelphia)

 
     

Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla)

 
     

Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni)

 
  Photo Photo

Northern Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis)

 
Profile Photo Video

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia varia)

 
     

Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)

 
  Photo  

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

 
     

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

 
     

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

 
  Photo  

Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula)

 
     

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

 
     

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

 
     

Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

 
     

Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)

 
  Photo  

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

 
  Photo  

Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor)

 
     

Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis)

 
     

Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi)

 
     

Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)

 
  Photo  

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

 
     

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)

 
     

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

 
     

Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus)

 
     

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

 
Profile Photo Video

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

 
     

Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus)

 
     

Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)

 
     

Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus)

 
     

Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor)

 
     

Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea)

 
     

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

 
     

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

 
     

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

 
     

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)

 
  Photo  

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

 
Profile Photo Video

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)

 
  Photo  

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

 
  Photo  

Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena holboellii)

 
     

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

 
     

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

 
  Photo  

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

 
     

Redhead (Aythya americana)

 
  Photo  

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

 
     

Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)

 
  Photo  

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

 
     

Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)

 
  Photo  

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

 
     

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)

 
Profile Photo Video

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

 
     

Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)

 
     

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

 
  Photo  

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)

 
     

Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)

 
  Photo  

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)

 
     

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)

 
     

Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya)

 
     

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)

 
  Photo  

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis)

 
     

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

 
     

Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus)

 
  Photo  

Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus)

 
     

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)

 
     

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

 
     

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

 
     

Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca)

 
     

Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)

 
  Photo  

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

 
     

Sora (Porzana carolina)

 
     

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia)

 
     

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)

 
     

Sprague’s Pipit (Anthus spragueii)

 
     

Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis)

 
     

Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)

 
     

Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)

 
  Photo  

Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)

 
     

Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)

 
     

Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi)

 
  Photo  

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)

 
     

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)

 
  Photo  

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)

 
     

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

 
  Photo  

Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)

 
  Photo  

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

 
     

Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)

 
     

Veery (Catharus fuscescens)

 
     

Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)

 
  Photo  

Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola)

 
     

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)

 
     

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

 
     

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)

 
     

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

 
  Photo  

White-breasted Nuthatch (Meleagris gallopavo)

 
     

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)

 
  Photo  

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

 
  Photo  

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

 
     

White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)

 
  Photo  

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

 
     

Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus)

 
     

Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)

 
     

Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)

 
     

Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)

 
     

Wilson’s Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla)

 
     

Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)

 
     

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

 
     

Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)

 
     

Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis)

 
     

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)

 
     

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris)

 
Profile Photo Video

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

 
     

Yellow-crowned Night-heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

 
     

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

 
     

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

 
Profile Photo Video

Yellow-shafted Flicker (Colaptes auratus luteus)

 
     

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons)

 
     

 

 
     

 

 

13          

 

 

 

Profile= Profile

Photo = Photo

Photo = Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capitalization of Common Names

Bird common names are governed by the International Ornithologists’ Union (IOU). In 1991 the IOU began a project to standardize English language names of birds. The goal was to officially sanction a single, unique name for each species. In 2006 the project was completed and the resulting list was published in book form as Birds of the World: Recommended English Names, by Frank Gill & Minturn Wright. According to the IOU, English language bird names have “graduated from the realm of ‘common/vernacular’ names,” and must be regarded as proper nouns. For this reason, bird common names are capitalized.

 

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