Content tagged with "Birds"

Photo of blue jay perched on branch

Blue Jay

Cyanocitta cristata
Blue jays are notable for their loud voices, blue and white plumage, strong black bill, relatively large size and the distinctive crest atop their heads.

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Photo of a male blue-winged teal floating on water.

Blue-Winged Teal

Anas discors
Blue-winged teal are dabblers, often seen in shallows sifting water and mud for goodies, rarely diving but able to take flight by jumping directly from the water into the air. Males have a distinctive white crescent on their dark gray heads.

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Image of a bobolink


Dolichonyx oryzivorus
The bobolink is the only North American bird that has light feathers above and dark feathers below, coloration that helps bobolinks hide from predators in the blowing grasslands.

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Photograph of a Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Certhia americana
Like a wren that behaves like a woodpecker, the brown creeper is a small brown and white bird that creeps in upward spirals around the trunks of trees, using its tail as a prop.

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Photo of male brown-headed cowbird

Brown-Headed Cowbird

Molothrus ater
The brown-headed cowbird never builds a nest of its own. Instead, it lays eggs, one at a time, into the nests of other birds. Each cowbird is raised by unwitting foster parents.

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Photo of Canada goose swimming

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis
Canada geese are recognizable by their brownish bodies, black necks and heads, and a distinctive broad white patch that runs beneath their heads from ear to ear.

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Photo of a male canvasback floating on the water.


Aythya valisineria
A diving duck or pochard, the canvasback forages on the bottom of lakes, rivers, and marshes for invertebrates and plants. It is a common migrant in Missouri.

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Photo of a male cerulean warbler held in a hand

Cerulean Warbler

Setophaga cerulea (formerly Dendroica cerulea)
A summer resident in Missouri, the cerulean warbler is more common in the southeastern Ozarks but rare elsewhere in the state. Its numbers are small and declining, and for that reason our nation may soon classify it as endangered.

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Photograph of a Common Grackle

Common Grackle

Quiscalus quiscula
The common grackle makes “a mistake . . . in trying to sing,” a prominent birder once wrote of its kree-del-eeeeks and chlacks. Yet its iridescent purples, blues, and bronzes please the viewer despite the harshness of the voice.

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Photo of a male common merganser floating on water.

Common Merganser

Mergus merganser
Like our other mergansers, the common merganser has a long, slender, serrated bill and dives underwater for fish. This species, however, has only a short head crest and has unique color patterns.

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