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Content tagged with "Birds"

Photo of a hooded merganser pair floating on water.

Hooded Merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus
Hooded mergansers have crests that trail behind the head or can be raised to create a circular shape. Their bills are narrow and serrated. Males are black and white with chestnut flanks; females are brown.

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Photograph of a male House Finch

House Finch

Haemorhous mexicanus
A time traveler from the 1970s or before would be amazed to see so many house finches in Missouri, for they are native to the West. Learn about this now-common backyard bird.

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Image of a house sparrow

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus
The house sparrow was brought to America from Europe in hopes of controlling insects. As it turns out, it prefers seeds to insects and has become a pest. House sparrows (sometimes called English sparrows) compete with many native birds for nesting cavities and bird nesting boxes.

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Photograph of house wren perched on a branch

House Wren

Troglodytes aedon
These audacious little birds are favorite spring arrivals, partly because of their bold bursts of song, but also because of their bold habits around people.

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Image of Le Conte's sparrow

Le Conte's Sparrow

Ammodramus leconteii
The Le Conte's sparrow is one of our rarest but most colorful winter sparrows. This secretive bird can be found in winter in brushy, moist fields and meadows, mostly in the southern portion of the state.

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Image of a least tern

Least Tern

Sternula antillarum
Originally, this water bird lived on islands, beaches and sandbars in big rivers, but as these areas have become rare, least terns have been forced to “make do” with dredge islands, dikefields, sandpits and gravel roads atop levees. Because of their habitat loss, they are now endangered.

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Photo of a lesser scaup pair floating on water.

Lesser Scaup

Aythya affinis
The male lesser scaup is a diving duck with a black head and chest, white sides, and black tail end. It's a common migrant in Missouri. You can tell it from the similar greater scaup by its peaked (not rounded) head.

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Image of lincoln's sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow

Melospiza lincolnii
Lincoln's sparrows are small, shy sparrows that will occasionally overwinter in west-central Missouri and the Mississippi River basin. In late fall and early spring, these sparrows are more widespread and can be seen along prairie edges and at bird feeders.

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Photo of a perched loggerhead shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

Lanius ludovicianus
This robin-sized, gray and white bird has a black eye-mask extending behind its large, hooked bill. It has the unusual habit of hanging its prey items—little birds, mice, frogs, and big insects—on tree thorns or barbed wire.

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Image of long-eared owl.

Long-Eared Owl

Asio otus
Strictly nocturnal and highly secretive by day, this crow-sized owl hunts over open country at night.

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