Field sparrows are common nesting birds throughout Missouri, but they retreat to the southernmost counties to ride out the winter. Many American tree sparrows are misidentified as field sparrows. Look at the bird carefully; field sparrows are much smaller and lighter and lack a central breast spot.
The fox sparrow is the largest of our sparrows. The name is derived from the bird's foxlike color. They are entertaining to watch as they rustle through the leaves and seeds under your feeders. This style of feeding may remind you of chickens, but fox sparrows kick with both feet at the same time.
This large owl has wide-set ear tufts and a white throat, but if it’s dark, you can identify it with your ears by its series of three to eight deep hoots grouped in a pattern, such as “hoo hoohoohoo hoo hoo.”
Though most Americans associate the roadrunner with the desert Southwest, this species has been expanding its range over the past century and is now found as far as southwestern Missouri and western Louisiana.
The male greater scaup is a diving duck with a black head and chest, white sides, and black tail end. It's a rare migrant in Missouri. You can tell it from the similar lesser scaup by its rounded (not peaked) head.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature. Read more about our mission.