Content tagged with "Birds"

Photo of 2 sandhill cranes in corn stubble

Sandhill Crane

Grus canadensis
Sandhill cranes, sometimes mistaken for great blue herons, are rare migrants in Missouri that are becoming more common. They have a “bustle” of feathers over their short tail, and they fly with their necks straight out.

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Image of a savannah sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis
The savannah sparrow is a bird of open habitat with nearby dense cover. It feeds in grass or crop stubble and quickly retreats to brush when threatened. This sparrow is a common migrant but is found locally in central and southern Missouri in winter.

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Image of a male scarlet tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Piranga olivacea
During summer, scarlet tanagers feed on insects and fruit in the canopy of oak-hickory forests and in large shade trees of the eastern U.S. and southern Canada.

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short eared owl

Short-Eared Owl

Asio flammeus
This owl is commonly active during day, especially in early morning and late afternoon, as well as night. A prairie species, it hunts while flying low over grasslands, with a buoyant, mothlike flight. The short ear tufts are difficult to see.

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Photo of a snow goose standing in a winter field

Snow Goose

Chen caerulescens
The snow goose has two color forms: white and blue. The “blue goose” was once considered a separate species. Both forms share the distinctive feature of a black “lipstick” streak along the edge of the bill.

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snowy owl

Snowy Owl

Nyctea scandiaca
Visits Missouri during some winters and not others. Peak numbers in Missouri occur about every four years in response to lemming population crashes in far north. Only a small portion (usually immature individuals) of the population are forced south.

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Image of a song sparrow

Song Sparrow

Melospiza melodia
The song sparrow is an uncommon nester but a common winter resident throughout Missouri. You can find the song sparrow along forest edges and in many backyards.

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Photo of a sora seen from the side.


Porzana carolina
The sora looks something like a tiny, dark hen. A common migrant and rare summer resident in Missouri, this rail forages in marshes, swamps, wet pastures, and flooded fields.

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Image of a swamp sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Melospiza georgiana
The swamp sparrow is an uncommon winter resident in most of Missouri, but as the name indicates it may be more easily found in wet areas.

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Photo of trumpeter swan taking flight from water

Trumpeter Swan

Cygnus buccinator
The largest waterfowl species in North America has been absent from the state throughout most of the 20th century, but today they are seen as migrants overwintering in our state.

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