Field Guide

Birds

Showing 1 - 7 of 7 results
Media
Photo of a black-crowned night-heron walking in shallow water.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Nycticorax nycticorax
Description
Stocky and short-legged compared to other herons, the black-crowned night-heron has a black crown and back, gray wings, and whitish-gray underparts and head.
Media
Photo of a male canvasback floating on the water.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Aythya valisineria
Description
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.
Media
Photo of Eurasian collared-dove walking on grass
Species Types
Scientific Name
Streptopelia decaocto
Description
The Eurasian collared-dove was introduced in the Bahamas and has rapidly spread throughout most of the United States. At first glance, it looks like a chunky, pale gray mourning dove.
Media
Photo of a juvenile herring gull standing in shallow water.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Larus argentatus
Description
Herring gulls are one of the three most common gulls found in Missouri. Adults can be told from our other common gulls by their pinkish legs and yellow bill with a small red dot near the tip.
Media
Photo of a ring-billed gull standing on a rock, water in background.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Larus delawarensis
Description
The ring-billed gull is Missouri’s most common gull. Adults can be told from our other most common gulls by their yellow legs and yellow bill with a black ring near the tip.
Media
Photo of a gray rock pigeon standing among rocks
Species Types
Scientific Name
Columba livia
Description
This is the common pigeon of city parks, downtown buildings, barns, and cliffs. Many color forms exist. The wild type has a dark head, breast, and shoulders, a light gray body, two dark bars on the wings, a white rump, and a dark band on the tip of the tail.
Media
Photo of a yellow-crowned night-heron standing in water.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Nyctanassa violacea
Description
Adult yellow-crowned night-herons have black heads with creamy white cheek patches and crown. Night-herons are named for their habit of foraging mostly in the evening.
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.