Content tagged with "Birds"

Image of a field sparrow

Field Sparrow

Spizella pusilla
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.

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Image of a fox sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Passerella iliaca
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.

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Photo of a pair of gadwall floating on water.


Anas strepera
The male gadwall is a rather drab-looking duck with a black rear end and a white speculum (wing patch). This dabbling duck is a common migrant in Missouri.

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Gray Partridge

Perdix perdix
Introduced from Eurasia and uncommon in Missouri, the gray partridge is a favorite of gamebird hunters.

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Photo of great blue heron

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias
This large, graceful, blue-gray bird with a black, plumed eye line has long legs for wading and a slender neck and spearlike bill for catching fish.

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Photo of a great horned owl on a tree branch

Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus
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.”

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Photo of a male greater prairie-chicken in courtship display

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Tympanuchus cupido
This rare bird breeds in select grasslands in the spring, filling the air with their unusual booming calls. With their numbers dwindling, prairie-chickens need strong conservation support.

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Photo of a greater roadrunner, side view

Greater Roadrunner

Geococcyx californianus
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.

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Photo of a pair of greater scaup floating on water.

Greater Scaup

Aythyra marila
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.

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Photo of a white-fronted goose.

Greater White-Fronted Goose

Anser albifrons
More common in western North America, the greater white-fronted goose is likewise more common in western Missouri than in the east. They are grayish brown and have pink or orange bills.

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