Bird Species Profiles
By Melissa Mayntz, About.com Guide
Waterfowl can be some of the most rewarding birds to identify, and some of the easiest birds for novice birders to learn about. The birds here include ducks, geese, swans, loons, pelicans, coots, gallinules, grebes and related species.
Birds of Prey
Owls, hawks, falcons, kites and vultures are all types of birds of prey, and different raptors can be found all over the world. From backyard accipiters to endangered eagles, these majestic birds can be rewarding to observe and identify.
Pigeons & Doves
The common urban pigeon may be the most familiar of these bird species, but pigeons and doves can be found throughout the world with dozens of different species. Some are drab while others are fancy and colorful, and all are worth seeing.
The most diverse grouping of birds, songbirds represent dozens of bird families and thousands of species. Among the most familiar and popular are thrushes, orioles, jays, chickadees, wrens, tanagers, pipits, waxwings and grosbeaks.
Among the tiniest birds on the planet, hummingbirds are also some of the most fascinating for birders. These flying jewels have more than 300 species, all of which are found only in the Western Hemisphere.
- Swallow-Tailed Hummingbird
- Violet-Capped Woodnymph
- Broad-Billed Hummingbird
- List of Hummingbird Species
Warblers are colorful, active songbirds that often herald the coming of spring in the northern hemisphere. With distinctive markings and unique vocalizations, warblers are highly sought after in the field.
Sparrows & Finches
The dozens of species of sparrows and finches, as well as their related crossbills, juncos and buntings, are some of the most familiar backyard birds throughout the world. Studying these birds, however, reveals their unique characteristics and stunning diversity.
Gulls, Terns & Seabirds
Seabirds spend much of their lives on, above or in the sea. These can be some of the most challenging birds to see and identify, but the related gulls and terns that are also common near the ocean and seas are much more familiar to many birders.