Field Guide

Birds

Showing 1 - 10 of 13 results
Media
Photo of an Acadian flycatcher perched on a twig.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Empidonax virescens
Description
The Acadian flycatcher is one of several flycatchers found in Missouri. It is a summer resident here, and like its relatives, it is much appreciated for its appetite for flying insects.
Media
Photo of male Baltimore oriole perched on branch
Species Types
Scientific Name
Icterus galbula
Description
Often, you'll hear the male Baltimore oriole's loud, flutelike song before you locate the bright orange singer as he moves among the boughs of trees.
Media
Photo of a Bell's vireo perched on a small branch.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vireo bellii
Description
A drab and secretive uncommon summer resident in Missouri, Bell’s vireo is fond of dense brushy places. As with other vireos, you will probably hear it before you see it.
Media
Eastern Wood Pewee
Species Types
Scientific Name
Contopus virens
Description
Its distinctive, slurred “pee-a-wee” song helps differentiate the eastern wood-pewee from our other flycatchers, and from most other small, olive-brown birds.
Media
Photo of a male evening grosbeak eating sunflower seeds at a feeder.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Coccothraustes vespertinus
Description
Evening grosbeaks are sporadically present in Missouri — flocks sometimes wander here from the north during winter. When flocks appear at backyard birdfeeders, it creates a local sensation.
Media
Photo of a northern parula warbler a long distance away
Species Types
Scientific Name
Setophaga americana (formerly Parula americana)
Description
The northern parula is a small summer resident warbler with gray-blue upperparts, two white wingbars, and a greenish-yellow patch on the back. The male has black and chestnut bands on the yellow breast.
Media
Photo of a pine warbler.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Setophaga pinus (formerly Dendroica pinus)
Description
Pine warblers live in pines, where they hunt insects and build nests in high branches. This yellow and grayish bird is usually hard to spy; listen for its loud, steady, sweet chipping trill.
Media
Photo of a red-eyed vireo perched on a small branch.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vireo olivaceus
Description
Singing an incessant series of question-and-answer homilies from dawn to dusk, even through the hottest of summer days, the red-eyed vireo has been called the “preacher bird.”
Media
Ruby-throated hummingbird in flight
Species Types
Scientific Name
Archilochus colubris
Description
Although a few western hummingbirds are occasionally seen in Missouri, this is by far the most common in our state and throughout the entire eastern United States.
Media
Photo of a warbling vireo perched on a small branch
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vireo gilvus
Description
The warbling vireo is a drab little bird with a colorful, brilliant song. It’s a common summer resident. Listen for it in forests, woodlands, and suburbs, especially in large trees near water.
See Also
Media
Photo of a Snowberry Clearwing
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hemaris diffinis
Description
The snowberry clearwing is a moth that confuses people because it looks like a bumblebee and flies like a hummingbird!
Media
White-Lined Sphinx Moth
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hyles lineata
Description
The white-lined sphinx moth sometimes confuses people because it flies, hovers, and eats from flowers like a hummingbird. The adults often fly during daylight hours as well as in the night and are often found at lights.
Media
Photo of a Virginia Creeper Sphinx moth
Species Types
Scientific Name
Darapsa myron
Description
The Virginia creeper sphinx moth is common in woods and brushy areas and comes to lights at night. The larvae eat Virginia creeper and grape leaves.
Media
Photo of a tricolored bat hanging from a cave ceiling.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Perimyotis subflavus (formerly Pipistrellus subflavus)
Description
Tri-colored bats, formerly called eastern pipistrelles, are relatively small and look pale yellowish or pale reddish brown. The main hairs are dark gray at the base, broadly banded with yellowish brown, and tipped with dark brown.
Media
Photo of four gray myotises clinging to a cave ceiling.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Myotis grisescens
Description
Gray myotises are difficult to distinguish from other mouse-eared bats. A key identifying feature of the gray myotis is that its wing is attached to the ankle and not at the base of the toes. It’s an endangered species.
Media
Photo of a little brown myotis hanging from cave wall with lesions on its wrist.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Myotis lucifugus
Description
The little brown myotis (little brown bat) is one of our most common bats, but populations are declining. White-nose syndrome has taken a heavy toll in northeastern states. This species is now listed as vulnerable across its range.
Media
Photo of an Indiana myotis hanging from a cave ceiling.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Myotis sodalis
Description
The Indiana myotis, or Indiana bat, summers along streams and rivers in north Missouri, raising its young under the bark of certain trees. It is an endangered species.

About Birds in Missouri

About 350 species of birds are likely to be seen in Missouri, though nearly 400 have been recorded within our borders. Most people know a bird when they see one — it has feathers, wings, and a bill. Birds are warm-blooded, and most species can fly. Many migrate hundreds or thousands of miles. Birds lay hard-shelled eggs (often in a nest), and the parents care for the young. Many communicate with songs and calls.