Field Guide

Birds

Showing 1 - 8 of 8 results
Media
Photograph of a Brown Creeper
Species Types
Scientific Name
Certhia americana
Description
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.
Media
Photo of male downy woodpecker clinging to suet feeder
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dryobates pubescens (formerly Picoides pubescens)
Description
Downy woodpeckers are ornately decorated with black-and-white upperparts and white underparts. They are often seen foraging for insects on tree bark or visiting suet feeders.
Media
Image of a northern flicker
Species Types
Scientific Name
Colaptes auratus
Description
America’s flickers used to be considered three different species, but in the 1980s biologists determined otherwise. Now, our eastern “yellow-shafted” flicker, the “red-shafted” flicker of the west, and the “gilded flicker” of the southwest are all considered just forms of the same species: the northern flicker.
Media
Photograph of a pileated woodpecker, side view
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dryocopus pileatus
Description
The large, crow-sized pileated woodpecker often attracts attention with its loud, resonant drumming high in trees. Confirm your observation by noting its black body with white markings and its red topknot.
Media
Photograph of a male red-bellied woodpecker
Species Types
Scientific Name
Melanerpes carolinus
Description
A striking woodpecker with grayish white face and underparts, black-and-white banded upperparts, and a red band on the head or nape. The red belly is often not noticeable.
Media
Photograph of a red-headed woodpecker at a bird feeder
Species Types
Scientific Name
Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Description
A flurry of black-and-white wingbeats and a bright, all-red head announce the presence of the red-headed woodpecker. The voice is a loud, descending “kweeer.”
Media
A close up of a small bird with blue feathers and a white front, holding a sunflower seed in its beak.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sitta carolinensis
Description
White-breasted nuthatches, the upside-down birds, creep up and down tree trunks and on the tops and bottoms of branches. The call is a nasal “yank” or “yank-yank.”
Media
Photo of a yellow-bellied sapsucker perched on a rock
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sphyrapicus varius
Description
Their mottled back pattern camouflages them on tree trunks, but yellow-bellied sapsuckers leave behind telltale small, weeping holes in trees.
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.