Birds of Missouri

Missouri is one of the fifty states of the United States of America. This state is located in the Midwestern region of North America. Missouri is known to be the crossroads between South and North regions of the United States. As the central region, diverse flora and fauna can be found including birds of Missouri.

Missouri state total area is about 180 thousand kilometers square with total population as of 2019 is more than 6 million people. Missouri is bordering to eight different states including Iowa, Illinouis, Kentucky, and Tennessee. There are two large rivers crossing this state, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.

As similar Midwestern states, Missouri has a humid climate. The winters in the state are cold and the summers are humid and hot. Further south, the climate become more subtropical. Missouri is known to have a diverse list of flora and fauna living in the area due to its geographical location.

Missouri is a state with more than 400 species of birds listed. Aside from two large rivers, Missouri also has Table Rock Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. There are also Oak-Hickory Central U.S. hardwood forest in the south of Missouri River and the Mark Twain National Forest that can be visited by public.

Diverse Bird Species of Missouri

Birds of Missouri

There are about 435 species of birds of Missouri listed by the official government of the state as of August 2019. Some of these species are categorized as accidental, casual, provisional, and introduced. A few species are even extinct and extirpated.

There are species of sandpipers and allies which belongs to family Scolopacidae. Some of the species listed in Missouri are upland sandpiper, whimbrel, eskimo curlew, Hudsonian godwit, marbled godwit, ruddy turnstone, red knot, sanderling, dunline, sandpipers, woodcock, dowitchers, and phalarope.

Among the birds of Missouri, there are also gulls, terns, and skimmers which belong to the family Laridae. Some of the species are black-legged kittiwake, ivory gull, little gull, California gull, Iceland gull, as well as skimmers and terns. There are also 3 species of jaegers which belongs to family Stercorariidae.

There are species of loons, northern strom-petrels, and storks. Four species of loons listed in Missouri are red-throated, pacific, common, and yellow-billed loons. One species of storm-petrel listed is band-rumped storm-petrel. One species of stork listed is the wood stork from family Ciconiidae.

From family Ardeidae, there are few species of bitterns, herons, and egrets. Some of the species are American bittern, least bittern, great egret, snowy egret, tricolored heron, little blue heron, green heron, cattle egret, and reddish egret.

There are also raptor species listed in Missouri such as New World vultures from family of Cathartidae as well as hawks, kites, and eagles from family Accipitridae. There are a list of songbirds listed such as hummingbirds, thrushes, jays, finches, warblers as well as buntings and sparrows.

10 Diverse Birds of Missouri

Missouri is well-known to be the crossroads between the Northern and Southern flora and fauna of the United States. Their central geographical location allows many types of birds from several places on the United States to live, visit, or just passing by.

There are several diverse of bird species currently found in Missouri State. The bird species is ranging from sparrows, buntings, warblers, and more. Birds of Missouri is known to be unique and diverse.

1. Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Birds of Missouri

Eurasian Tree Sparrow is also known by its binomial name which is Passer montanus. This bird species belongs to the genus Passer and family Passeridae. This bird species have brown dominated feathers on the upper parts of its body and white feathers on the under parts of the body. They have small black bill.

Eurasian tree sparrow is considered a small bird species compared to others. The bird is measuring 12 to 14 centimeters in length and weighing only about 24 grams. This bird species can make calls however they are not a songbird species at they do not have a true song.

Eurasian tree sparrow starts breeding when they have lived for about a year. Nesting season starts when the male make a call to a mate. Upon mating, the female will lay about six eggs that will be incubated for about two weeks. The baby birds will then stay on the nest for about 3 more weeks.

2. Western Kingbird

Birds of Missouri

Western kingbird is one of the species of birds of Missouri. It is also known as Tyrannus verticalis. Western kingbird species belongs to genus Tyrannus and family Tyrannidae. They are a medium sized bird measuring about 20 to 24 centimeters in length and 40 grams in weight.

Western kingbird nesting season is placed in the western region of North America. The female will lay from three to five eggs that are colored white with dots of brown or black. The eggs will be incubated by the female Western kingbird for about two weeks before they hatch.

Western kingbird has olive green feathers and brown wings. Their wingspan can reach up to 39 centimeters long. They have straight and black bills. This flock of birds migrate south, usually to Florida or Central America regions. They eat small fruits such as berries as well as small insects.

3. Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary warbler, known also as Protonotaria citrea, belongs to genus Protonotaria and family Parulidae. This small and beautiful warbler is a songbird that is part of the New World warbler category. This warbler species usually live in the southeastern and eastern part of United States of America.

This warbler is a small species of bird. Their length is only measuring about 13 centimeters and weigh about 12 grams. Their physical appearance is dominating by grey and yellow feathers. The under part of warbler’s body is dominated with yellow feathers and the wings are blue and grey colored. It also has long bill.

Prothonotary warbler favors to live in a dense and woody area. During nesting season, the female will build nests and lay about 3 to 7 eggs. As any other songbird, prothonotary warbler has a song that is resembling a calling of sweet. This bird song is high pitched and loud.

4. Black Vulture

Birds of Missouri

Black vulture is one of the species of birds of Missouri. This bird species is also known as the American black vulture. Coragyps atratus belongs to family Coragys and family Cathartidae. They feed on decaying flesh of animals as well as garbage dumps.

Black vulture species is a raptor species or birds of prey. They have a large size with 56 to 74 centimeters long and weighing about 1 to 2 kilograms. They have featherless head and neck. Their skins are wrinkled. The color of their skin and feathers are dominant with very dark brown and black.

Black vultures seek for their prey while flying high. They are usually searching and hunting for food in flocks. The black vultures start breeding in January and the female generally lay from one to three eggs. The female and male will take turns in incubating the eggs for about 28 to 41 days.

5. Roadrunner

Birds of Missouri

Roadrunner has many names associated with them. One of them is chaparral birds. Roadrunners belongs to genus Geococcyx from subfamily Neomorphinae and family Cuculidae. True to its name, roadrunners can run very fast on its two feet. Roadrunners population is found in United States and Mexico.

Roadrunners running speed is very fast. Their speed of running has been recorded ranging from 32 kilometers per hour up to 43 kilometers per hour. There are two species of roadrunners. The first one is greater roadrunners and the second one is lesser roadrunner, commonly found in Central America.

Roadrunner is medium sized bird. The length is about 56 to 61 centimeters long and the weight is ranging from 230 to 430 grams. They also have a brown and black colors and dark colored bill. Roadrunners feet are very strong as this helps them to run very fast.

6. Greater Prairie Chicken

Birds of Missouri

Greater prairie chicken is one of the species of birds of Missouri. This bird species is also known as Tympanuchus cupido. Greater prairie chicken belongs to genus Tympanuchus and family Phasianidae. They populate North America. Their population has been decreasing as a result of the loss of their habitat.

Greater prairie chicken is a large species of bird. The length is reaching up to 43 centimeters long and the average weight is between 700 grams to 1.2 kilograms. They have three subspecies which are the heath hen, Attwater’s prairie chicken which is now endangered species, and the greater prairie chicken.

Greater prairie chicken will start the breeding season during early spring from late March to April. Greater prairie hens will lay about 5 and up to 17 eggs. It will take about 24 days incubation period before the eggs hatch.

7. Bufflehead

Birds of Missouri

Bufflehead is a species of duck with binomial name Bucephala albeola. Bufflehead belongs to genus Bucephala and family Anatidae. The male bufflehead have green feathers on their face while their eyes surrounded by black feathers. The rest of the body is covered with black and white plumage.

Bufflehead is medium sized as the length is measuring about 32 to 40 centimeters and weighing about 270 to 550 grams. This bird species migrate to the southern region of the United States. On breeding season, the female will lay about nine eggs and incubate them for about four weeks.

Bufflehead feed on insects and small animals they can find in the water such as aquatic plants, crustaceans, and small fishes.

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8. Pied-billed Grebe

Birds of Missouri

Pied billed grebe is one of the species of birds of Missouri. They are also known as Podilymbus podiceps and belongs to genus Podilymbus and family Podicipedidae. They are medium sized birds measuring about 31 to 38 centimeters long and weighing about 253 and 568 grams.

Pied billed grebe can be found in all continent of America. They are also migrating birds which will migrate south during cold winter time. Pied billed grebe start migrating during autumn season beginning from September.

Pied billed grebe lives mostly in water and do not fly often. They are great divers. Thus they feed on invertebrates they can find in the water such as small fishes and amphibians.

9. Virginia Rail

Birds of Missouri

Virginia rail is one of the birds of Missouri. This bird species, also known as Rallus limicola, belongs to genus Rallus and family Rallidae. Virginia rail is a waterbird which is measuring about 20 to 27 centimeters. Their wingspan can reach from 32 to 38 centimeters wide and they weigh from 65 to 96 grams.

Virginia rail has dark brown colors in its plumage. They live in swamp area, mostly freshwaters area. This species will migrate south during cold winter season. Virginia rail feed on insects and other small animals they can find in the waters such as frogs, snails, fishes, small snakes, and worms.

10. Spotted Sandpiper

Birds of Missouri

Spotted sandpiper, also known as Actitis macularius, belongs to genus Actitis and family Scolopacidae. This bird species usually live in the shores. Spotted sandpipers are medium sized bird that are measuring about 18 to 20 centimeters long. Spotted sandpiper have brown feathers with long and orange bill.

Spotted sandpipers live in the freshwaters. Spotted sandpipers are also known to populate North America. However, they will migrate south to the South America region. Spotted sandpipers feed on insects, crabs, and other foods they can find in the waters.

Missouri is located in the Midwestern of the United States of America. This geographical location is the reason why there a diverse range of birds of Missouri. There are more than 400 species of birds listed by the official government of Missouri State to be permanent resident or visitors of the state.

Missouri birds are ranging from songbird, birds of prey, water birds, and forest birds. Missouri is also a prairie location which is home to the Greater prairie chicken, a bird species which is decreasing in population and have some species that are categorized as endangered species.

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