BIRDS OF PUERTO RICO

A catalog of the different avian species that inhabit the island of Puerto Rico.

The Island of Puerto Rico is habitated by a vast array of birds and bio-diversity. We have collected images and information pertaining to them. Distribution And habitat, breeding habits of the birds and the conservation analysis of the different birds here on the island.


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Bishop

Any of several small African birds belonging to the family Ploceidae (order Passeriformes) and constituting the genus Euplectes. The breeding males are black-bellied and reddish or yellow above, with rufflike head feathering and fluffy rump feathers nearly covering their stumpy tails. The male vigorously defends a bit of grassland or marsh, where his drab-streaked spouses—sometimes six or more—occupy globular nests. The 13-centimetre (5-inch) red bishop (E. orix), also called grenadier weaver, displays by flying about and clapping its wings. Red bishops have become established in southern Australia.

Blackbird

blackbird, in the New World, any of several species belonging to the family Icteridae (order Passeriformes); also, an Old World thrush (Turdus merula). rusty blackbird rusty blackbird Rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. red-winged blackbird red-winged blackbird Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. The Old World blackbird is 25 cm (10 inches) long; males are black and females brown, with orange bill and eye-rims. Common in woods and gardens throughout temperate Eurasia and established also in Australia and New Zealand, it resembles the American robin in general behaviour.

Booby

Six or seven species of large tropical seabirds constituting the family Sulidae (order Pelecaniformes or Suliformes). They vary in length from about 65 to 85 cm (25–35 inches). The red-footed booby (Sula sula) and the masked, or blue-faced, booby (S. dactylatra) are wide-ranging in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. The blue-footed booby (S. nebouxii) occurs in the Pacific from southern California to northern Peru and on the Galápagos Islands. Boobies’ bills are long, their bodies cigar-shaped, and their wings long, narrow, and angular. They fly high above the ocean looking for schools of fish and squid. When prey is sighted they plunge headlong into the water in a swift, vertical drop.

Red-footed Booby Sula sula

The red-footed booby (Sula sula) is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. Adults always have red feet, but the colour of the plumage varies. They are powerful and agile fliers, but they are clumsy in takeoffs and landings. They are found widely in the tropics, and breed colonially in coastal regions, especially islands. The species faces few natural or man-made threats, although its population is declining; it is considered to be a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The red-footed booby is the smallest member of the booby and gannet family at about 70 cm (28 in) in length and with a wingspan of up to 152 cm (60 in). The average weight of 490 adults from Christmas Island was 837 g (1.845 lb). It has red legs, and its bill and throat pouch are coloured pink and blue. This species has several morphs. In the white morph the plumage is mostly white (the head often tinged yellowish) and the flight feathers are black. The black-tailed white morph is similar, but with a black tail, and can easily be confused with the Nazca and masked boobies. The brown morph is overall brown. The white-tailed brown morph is similar, but has a white belly, rump, and tail. The white-headed and white-tailed brown morph has a mostly white body, tail and head, and brown wings and back. The morphs commonly breed together, but in most regions one or two morphs predominates; for example, at the Galápagos Islands, most belong to the brown morph, though the white morph also occurs.

Cockatoo

21 species of crested parrots (order Psittaciformes) found in Australia as well as in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Most are white with touches of red or yellow; some are black. All have a massive scimitar-like beak for cracking nuts, digging up roots, or prying grubs from wood; feeding is aided by a strong tongue. Cockatoos are treetop, hole-nesting birds; at times they form large, noisy flocks. Because they are showy, inventive, and affectionate, many are caged as pets. Some live more than 50 years.

Cuckoo

Numerous birds of the family Cuculidae (order Cuculiformes). The name usually designates some 60 arboreal members of the subfamilies Cuculinae and Phaenicophaeinae. In western Europe “cuckoo,” without modifiers, refers to the most common local form, elsewhere called the common, or European, cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Many cuckoos have specialized names, such as ani, coua, coucal, guira, and roadrunner. Members of the subfamily Neomorphinae are called ground cuckoos. The family Cuculidae is worldwide, found in temperate and tropical regions but is most diverse in the Old World tropics. Cuculids tend to be shy inhabitants of thick vegetation, more often heard than seen. Many species are named for the sounds they make—e.g., brain-fever bird (a hawk cuckoo, Cuculus varius), koel (Eudynamys scolopacea), and cuckoo itself, the latter two names being imitations of the bird’s song.

Dove

Certain birds of the pigeon family, Columbidae (order Columbiformes). The names pigeon and dove are often used interchangeably. Although “dove” usually refers to the smaller, long-tailed members of the pigeon family, there are exceptions: the domestic pigeon, a rather typical pigeon, is frequently called the rock dove and is the bird portrayed and called the “dove of peace.” The common names of these birds do not necessarily provide any information about their biological relationships.

Duck

Various species of relatively small, short-necked, large-billed waterfowl. In true ducks—i.e., those classified in the subfamily Anatinae in the waterfowl family Anatidae—the legs are placed rearward, as in swans, rather than forward, as in geese. The result is a distinctive waddling gait. Most true ducks, including a few inaccurately called geese (e.g., sheldgeese) by reason of size and build, also differ from swans and true geese in the following characteristics: males (drakes) and females (hens or ducks) exhibit some degree of differentiation in plumage and in call, males molt twice annually, females lay large clutches of smooth-shelled rather than rough-shelled eggs, and both sexes have overlapping scales on the skin of the leg. The wild mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is believed to be the ancestor of all domestic ducks, and it has undergone numerous crossbreedings and mutations since it was first domesticated in China between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago.

Falcon

The falcons and caracaras are around 60 species of diurnal birds of prey that make up the family Falconidae (representing all extant species in the order Falconiformes). The family is divided into three subfamilies, Herpetotherinae, which includes the laughing falcon and forest falcons, Polyborinae, which includes the caracaras and Spiziapteryx, and Falconinae, the falcons and kestrels (Falco) and falconets (Microhierax).

American Kestrel Falco sparverius

The American kestrel (Falco sparverius), also called the sparrow hawk, is the smallest and most common falcon in North America. It has a roughly two-to-one range in size over subspecies and sex, varying in size from about the weight of a blue jay to a mourning dove. It also ranges to South America and is a well-established species that has evolved into 17 subspecies adapted to different environments and habitats throughout the Americas. It exhibits sexual dimorphism in size (females being moderately larger) and plumage, although both sexes have a rufous back with noticeable barring. Its plumage is colorful and attractive, and juveniles are similar in plumage to adults. Under traditional classification, the American kestrel is the smallest raptor in America. The American kestrel is sexually dimorphic, although there is some overlap in plumage coloration between the sexes. The bird ranges from 22 to 31 cm (8.7 to 12.2 in) in length with a wingspan of 51–61 cm (20–24 in). The female kestrel is larger than the male, though less so than larger falcons, being typically about 10_ to 15_ larger within a subspecies. The more northern subspecies tend to larger sizes, with a large northern female being about twice the size of a small southern male. The male typically weighs 80–143 g (2.8–5.0 oz), and the female 86–165 g (3.0–5.8 oz). In standard measurements, the wing bone is 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in) long, the tail is 11–15 cm (4.3–5.9 in) and the tarsus is 3.2–4 cm (1.3–1.6 in).

Finch

several hundred species of small conical-billed seed-eating songbirds (order Passeriformes). Well-known or interesting birds called finches include the bunting, canary, cardinal, chaffinch, crossbill, Galapagos finch, goldfinch, grass finch, grosbeak, sparrow, euphonia, and weaver. Some 240 species of birds called the true finches are classified in the family Fringillidae. Other songbirds that are also commonly referred to as finches are classified in the families Emberizidae, Thraupidae, and Estrildidae.

Flycatcher

Number of perching birds (order Passeriformes) that dart out to capture insects on the wing, particularly members of the Old World songbird family Muscicapidae and of the New World family Tyrannidae, which consists of the tyrant flycatchers. Many taxonomists expand the family Muscicapidae to include the thrushes, warblers, and babblers, treating the Old World flycatchers in two or more subfamilies, Muscicapinae (typical flycatchers) and Monarchinae (monarch flycatchers) and, in some classification systems, Rhipidurinae (fantailed flycatchers).

Frigatebird

Frigatebirds are a family of seabirds called Fregatidae which are found across all tropical and subtropical oceans. The five extant species are classified in a single genus, Fregata. All have predominantly black plumage, long, deeply forked tails and long hooked bills. Females have white underbellies and males have a distinctive red gular pouch, which they inflate during the breeding season to attract females. Their wings are long and pointed and can span up to 2.3 metres (7.5 ft), the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.

Grebe

Member of an order of foot-propelled diving birds containing a single family, Podicipedidae, with about 20 species. They are best known for the striking courtship displays of some species and for the silky plumage of the underparts, which formerly was much used in millinery. The speed with which grebes can submerge has earned them such names as water-witch and helldiver, while the position of the feet near the tail is responsible for the early English name arsefoot, from which the family name was derived.

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

The pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) is a species of the grebe family of water birds. Because the Atitlán grebe (Podilymbus gigas) has become extinct, the Pied-Billed Grebe is now the sole extant member of the genus Podilymbus. The pied-billed grebe is primarily found in ponds throughout the Americas. Other names of this grebe include American dabchick, rail, dabchick, Carolina grebe, devil-diver, dive-dapper, dipper, hell-diver, pied-billed dabchick, pied-bill, thick-billed grebe, and water witch. Pied-billed grebes are small, stocky, and short-necked. They are 31–38 cm (12–15 in) in length, with a wingspan of 45–62 cm (18–24 in) and weigh 253–568 g (8.9–20.0 oz).[10] They are mainly brown, with a darker crown and back.[11] Their brown color serves as camouflage in the marshes they live in.[12] They do not have white visible under their wings when flying, like other grebes.[13] Their undertail is white[11] and they have a short, blunt chicken-like bill that is a light grey color,[11] which in summer is encircled by a broad black band (hence the name). In the summer, its throat is black. There is no sexual dimorphism.[13] Juveniles have black and white stripes and look more like winter adults. This grebe does not have webbed feet. Its toes have lobes that come out of the side of each toe. These lobes allow for easy paddling. When flying, the feet appear behind the body due to the feet's placement in the far back of the body.[11]

Gull

More than 40 species of heavily built web-footed seabirds of the gull and tern family Laridae (order Charadriiformes). Several genera are usually recognized for certain specialized gulls, but many authorities place these in the broad genus Larus. Conspicuous and gregarious, gulls are most abundant as breeders in the Northern Hemisphere, which has about 30 species in temperate to Arctic regions. They are mostly colonial ground nesters, and those that breed inland usually go to coasts in winter.

Hawk

The Accipitridae is one of the three families within the order Accipitriformes, and is a family of small to large birds with strongly hooked bills and variable morphology based on diet. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals, with a number feeding on carrion and a few feeding on fruit. The Accipitridae have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found on all the world's continents (except Antarctica) and a number of oceanic island groups. Some species are migratory.

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a bird of prey that breeds throughout most of North America, from the interior of Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies. It is one of the most common members within the genus of Buteo in North America or worldwide. The red-tailed hawk is one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chickenhawk", though it rarely preys on standard-sized chickens. The bird is sometimes also referred to as the red-tail for short, when the meaning is clear in context. Red-tailed hawks can acclimate to all the biomes within their range, occurring on the edges of non-ideal habitats such as dense forests and sandy deserts. The red-tailed hawk occupies a wide range of habitats and altitudes, including deserts, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forests, agricultural fields, and urban areas. Its latitudinal limits fall around the tree line in the Arctic and the species is absent from the high Arctic. It is legally protected in Canada, Mexico, and the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Red-tailed hawk plumage can be variable, depending on the subspecies and the region. These color variations are morphs, and are not related to molting. The western North American population, B. j. calurus, is the most variable subspecies and has three main color morphs: light, dark, and intermediate or rufous. The dark and intermediate morphs constitute 10–20_ of the population in the Western United States, but seem to constitute only 1–2_ of B. j. calurus in western Canada.[28][29] A whitish underbelly with a dark brown band across the belly, formed by horizontal streaks in feather patterning, is present in most color variations. This feature is variable in eastern hawks and generally absent in some light subspecies (i.e. B. j. fuertesi). Most adult red-tails have a dark-brown nape and upper head, which gives them a somewhat hooded appearance, while the throat can variably present a lighter brown "necklace". Especially in younger birds, the underside may be otherwise covered with dark-brown spotting, and some adults may too manifest this stippling. The back is usually a slightly darker brown than elsewhere with paler scapular feathers, ranging from tawny to white, forming a variable imperfect "V" on the back. The tail of most adults, which gives this species its name, is rufous brick-red above with a variably sized, black subterminal band and generally appears light buff-orange from below. In comparison, the typical pale immatures (i.e. less than two years old) typically have a mildly paler headed and tend to show a darker back than adults with more apparent pale wing-feather edges above (for descriptions of dark morph juveniles from B. j. calurus, which is also generally apt for description of rare dark morphs of other races, see under that subspecies description). In immature red-tailed hawks of all morphs, the tail is a light brown above with numerous small dark brown bars of roughly equal width, but these tend to be much broader on dark morph birds. Even in young red-tails, the tail may be a somewhat rufous tinge of brown.[30] The bill is relatively short and dark, in the hooked shape characteristic of raptors, and the head can sometimes appear small in size against the thick body frame. The cere, the legs, and the feet of the red-tailed hawk are all yellow, as is the color of bare parts in many accipitrids of different lineages.[31] Immature birds can be readily identified at close range by their yellowish irises. As the bird attains full maturity over the course of 3–4 years, the iris slowly darkens into a reddish-brown, which is the adult eye-color in all races.[30] Seen in flight, adults usually have dark brown along the lower edge of the wings, against a mostly pale wing, which bares light brownish barring. Individually, the underwing coverts can range from all dark to off-whitish (most often more heavily streaked with brown) which contrasts with a distinctive black patagium marking. The wing coloring of adults and immatures is similar but for typical pale morph immatures having somewhat heavier brownish markings.[27]

Heron

About 60 species of long-legged wading birds, classified in the family Ardeidae (order Ciconiiformes) and generally including several species usually called egrets. The Ardeidae also include the bitterns (subfamily Botaurinae). Herons are widely distributed over the world but are most common in the tropics. They usually feed while wading quietly in the shallow waters of pools, marshes, and swamps, catching frogs, fishes, and other aquatic animals. They nest in rough platforms of sticks constructed in bushes or trees near water; the nests usually are grouped in colonies called heronries.

Hummingbird

About 320 species of small, often brightly coloured birds of the family Trochilidae, usually placed with the swifts in the order Apodiformes but sometimes separated in their own order, Trochiliformes. The brilliant, glittering colours and elaborately specialized feathers of many species (usually of the males only) led the 19th-century British naturalist John Gould to give many hummingbirds exotic common names, many of which are still in use—e.g., coquette, fairy, hill star, wood star, sapphire, topaz, sun gem, and sylph.

Icterids

Icteridae, songbird family, order Passeriformes, consisting of about 100 species of great diversity in size, habits, and diet, found throughout the Americas. Members range in size from 16 to 54 cm (6 to 21 inches) long. They have conical bills, strong feet, and long, pointed wings. Most show black in varying degrees. The family includes such common birds as blackbirds (Agelaius), grackles (Quiscalus), orioles (Icterus), meadowlarks (Sturnella), cowbirds (Molothrus), and bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Tropical members are the troupials (Icterus icterus), oropendolas (Psarocolius), and caciques (Cacicus).

Mimid

There are over 30 species of mimids in two larger and some ten small or monotypic genera. They tend toward dull grays and browns in their appearance, though a few are black or blue-gray, and many have red, yellow, or white irises. They range from 20 to 33 centimetres in length, and 36 to 56 grams in weight. Many mimids have a rather thrush-like pattern: brown above, pale with dark streaks or spots below. They tend to have longer tails than thrushes (or the bigger wrens, which they also resemble) and longer bills that in many species curve downward.

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a mockingbird commonly found in North America. This bird is mainly a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south during harsh weather. This species has rarely been observed in Europe. This species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae as Turdus polyglottos. The northern mockingbird is known for its mimicking ability, as reflected by the meaning of its scientific name, "many-tongued thrush". The northern mockingbird has gray to brown upper feathers and a paler belly. Its tail and wings have white patches which are visible in flight. .mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner{display:flex;flex-direction:column}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow{display:flex;flex-direction:row;clear:left;flex-wrap:wrap;width:100_;box-sizing:border-box}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{margin:1px;float:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .theader{clear:both;font-weight:bold;text-align:center;align-self:center;background-color:transparent;width:100_}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbcaption{background-color:transparent}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-left{text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-right{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .text-align-center{text-align:center}@media all and (max-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .tmulti .thumbinner{width:100_!important;box-sizing:border-box;max-width:none!important;align-items:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow{justify-content:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{float:none!important;max-width:100_!important;box-sizing:border-box;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle .thumbcaption{text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .trow>.thumbcaption{text-align:center}}

Nightjar

Any of about 60 to 70 species of birds that make up the subfamily Caprimulginae of the family Caprimulgidae and sometimes extended to include the nighthawks, subfamily Chordeilinae (see nighthawk). The name nightjar is sometimes applied to the entire order Caprimulgiformes. (See caprimulgiform.) True nightjars occur almost worldwide in temperate to tropical regions, except for New Zealand and some islands of Oceania. They have protective colouring of gray, brown, or reddish brown. They feed on flying insects that they catch on the wing at night.

Owl

The bird of Athena, the Greek goddess of practical reason, is the little owl (Athene noctua). Owls became symbolic of intelligence because it was thought that they presaged events. On the other hand, because of their nocturnal existence and ominous hooting sounds, owls have also been symbols associated with the occult and the otherworldly. Their secretive habits, quiet flight, and haunting calls have made them the objects of superstition and even fear in many parts of the world. In the Middle Ages the little owl was used as a symbol of the “darkness” before the coming of Christ; by further extension it was used to symbolize a nonbeliever who dwells in this darkness. Similarly the barn owl (Tyto alba) was looked upon as a bird of ill omen, and it subsequently became a symbol of disgrace. Scientific study of owls is difficult owing to their silent nighttime activity, with the result that the ecology, behaviour, and taxonomy of many species remain poorly understood.

Parakeet

Numerous seed-eating parrots of small size, slender build, and long, tapering tail. In this sense the name is given to some 115 species in 30 genera of the subfamily Psittacinae (family Psittacidae) and has influenced another parrot name, lorikeet (see parrot). To indicate size only, the name is sometimes extended to little parrots with short, blunt tails, as the hanging parrots, or bat parrotlets, Loriculus species, popular cage birds in their native area, India to Malaya and the Philippines.

Parrot

Term applied to a large group of gaudy, raucous birds of the family Psittacidae. Parrot also is used in reference to any member of a larger bird group, order Psittaciformes, which includes cockatoos (family Cacatuidae) as well. Parrots have been kept as cage birds since ancient times, and they have always been popular because they are amusing, intelligent, and often affectionate. Several are astonishingly imitative of many sounds, including human speech. The family Psittacidae numbers 333 species. The subfamily Psittacinae, the “true” parrots, is by far the largest subfamily, with members found in warm regions worldwide. These birds have a blunt tongue and eat seeds, buds, and some fruits and insects. Many members of the subfamily are known simply as parrots, but various subgroups have more specific names such as macaw, parakeet, conure, and lovebird.

Pigeon

Several hundred species of birds constituting the family Columbidae (order Columbiformes). Smaller forms are usually called doves, larger forms pigeons. An exception is the white domestic pigeon, the symbol known as the “dove of peace.”

Plover

Numerous species of plump-breasted birds of the shorebird family Charadriidae (order Charadriiformes). There are about three dozen species of plovers, 15 to 30 centimetres (6 to 12 inches) long, with long wings, moderately long legs, short necks, and straight bills that are shorter than their heads. Many species are plain brown, gray, or sandy above and whitish below. The group of so-called ringed plovers (certain Charadrius species) have white foreheads and one or two black bands (“rings”) across the breast. Some plovers, like the golden (Pluvialis species) and black-bellied (Squatarola squatarola), are finely patterned dark and light above and black below in breeding dress. These two genera are sometimes included in Charadrius.

Rail

The rails, or Rallidae, are a large cosmopolitan family of small- to medium-sized, ground-living birds. The family exhibits considerable diversity and includes the crakes, coots, and gallinules. Many species are associated with wetlands, although the family is found in every terrestrial habitat except dry deserts, polar regions, and alpine areas above the snow line. Members of the Rallidae occur on every continent except Antarctica. Numerous island species are known. The most common rail habitats are marshland and dense forest. They are especially fond of dense vegetation.

Sandpiper

Numerous shorebirds belonging to the family Scolopacidae (order Charadriiformes), which also includes the woodcocks and the snipes. The name sandpiper refers particularly to several species of small to middle-sized birds, about 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches) long, that throng sea beaches and inland mud flats during migration. Sandpipers have moderately long bills and legs, long, narrow wings, and fairly short tails. Their colouring often consists of a complicated “dead-grass” pattern of browns, buffs, and blacks on the upperparts, with white or cream colouring below. They are frequently paler in autumn than in spring. Some species have distinguishing features, such as speckled breasts, white rump bands, or contrasting throat patches, but their general appearance is similar and they are notoriously difficult to identify. Most puzzling are the smallest sandpipers, known as peep, stint, or oxeyes. Most of these, formerly divided among the genera Erolia, Ereunetes, and Crocethia, are now placed in the broad genus Calidris.

Starling

Number of birds composing most of the family Sturnidae (order Passeriformes), especially Sturnus vulgaris, a 20-cm (8-inch) chunky iridescent black bird with a long sharp bill. It was introduced from Europe and Asia to most parts of the world (South America excepted). The millions in North America are descendants of 100 birds released in New York City in 1890–91. They often damage fruit and grain crops—though they also consume harmful insects—and usurp native songbirds’ nest holes. S. vulgaris feeds on the ground and flies in tight flocks; vocal year-round, it mimics other birds’ notes and utters wheezy sounds of its own. They frequently form large flocks, called murmurations, which may move in synchrony in order to avoid predators.

Stilt

Stilt is a common name for several species of birds in the family Recurvirostridae, which also includes those known as avocets. They are found in brackish or saline wetlands in warm or hot climates. They have extremely long legs, hence the group name, and long thin bills. Stilts typically feed on aquatic insects and other small creatures and nest on the ground surface in loose colonies. Most sources recognize 6 species in 2 genera, although the white-backed and Hawaiian stilts are occasionally considered subspecies of the black-necked stilt. The genus Charadrius was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus) as the type species.

Swift

The swifts are a family, Apodidae, of highly aerial birds. They are superficially similar to swallows, but are not closely related to any passerine species. Swifts are placed in the order Apodiformes with hummingbirds. The treeswifts are closely related to the true swifts, but form a separate family, the Hemiprocnidae.

Tanager

Numerous songbirds of the family Thraupidae inhabiting chiefly tropical New World forests and gardens. In some classifications, Thraupidae contains over 400 species, whereas others assign fewer than 300 species to the group. All tanagers are confined to the Americas.

Thrush

The thrushes are a passerine bird family, Turdidae, with a worldwide distribution. The family was once much larger before biologists determined that the former subfamily Saxicolinae, which includes the chats and European robins, are Old World flycatchers. Thrushes are small to medium-sized ground living birds that feed on insects, other invertebrates and fruit. Some unrelated species around the world have been named after thrushes due to their similarity to birds in this family.

Tody

Five species of small, brilliantly coloured forest birds constituting the genus Todus of the order Coraciiformes. They occur in the West Indies. Four distinct but closely related broad-billed todies may be found on the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Hispaniola (some systems of classification group them in a single species, Todus subulatus). The fifth, the narrow-billed tody (T. angustirostris), is found only on Hispaniola. About 9 to 12 cm (3.5 to 5 inches) long, all have grass-green backs and bright red bibs. They dig tiny nest burrows in sandbanks and feed on insects, caught on the wing.

Tropicbird

Tropicbirds are a family, Phaethontidae, of tropical pelagic seabirds. They are the sole living representatives of the order Phaethontiformes. For many years they were considered part of the Pelecaniformes, but genetics indicates they are most closely related to the Eurypygiformes. There are three species in one genus, Phaethon. The scientific names are derived from Ancient Greek phaethon, 'sun'. They have predominantly white plumage with elongated tail feathers and small feeble legs and feet.

Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus

The red-billed tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) is a tropicbird, one of three closely related species of seabird of tropical oceans. Superficially resembling a tern in appearance, it has mostly white plumage with some black markings on the wings and back, a black mask and, as its common name suggests, a red bill. Most adults have tail streamers that are about two times their body length, with those in males being generally longer than those in females. The red-billed tropicbird itself has three subspecies recognized, including the nominate. The subspecies mesonauta is distinguished from the nominate by the rosy tinge of its fresh plumage, and the subspecies indicus can be differentiated by its smaller size, more restricted mask, and more orange bill. This species ranges across the tropical Atlantic, eastern Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The nominate is found in the southern Atlantic Ocean, the subspecies indicus in the waters off of the Middle East and in the Indian Ocean, and the subspecies mesonauta in the eastern portions of both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans and in the Caribbean. It was one of the many species described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. The red-billed tropicbird measures 90 to 105 cm (35 to 41 in) on average,[15] which includes the 46 to 56 cm (18 to 22 in)-long tail streamers.[10] Without them the tropicbird measures about 48 cm (19 in).[15] It has a wingspan of 99 to 106 cm (39 to 42 in).[10] In overall appearance it is tern-like in shape.[16] Its plumage is white, with black wing tips, and a back that is finely barred in black.[17] It has a black mask that extends up from just above the lores to the sides of its nape, with gray mottling usually seen near the nape and hindneck. The tail has black shaft streaks, as do tail streamers. The underparts are white, with some black on the outermost primaries and tertials and occasionally with black markings on the flanks. The iris is blackish-brown, and the bill is red.[17] The legs, base of the central toe, and parts of the outer toes are orange-yellow while the rest of the feet are black. Although the sexes are similar,[10] the males are generally larger than females,[18] with the tail streamers being around 12 cm (4.7 in) longer on the male than on the female.[11]

Vireo

The vireos make up a family, Vireonidae, of small to medium-sized passerine birds found in the New World (Canada to Argentina, including Bermuda and the West Indies) and Southeast Asia. 'Vireo' is a Latin word referring to a green migratory bird, perhaps the female golden oriole, possibly the European greenfinch. They are typically dull-plumaged and greenish in color, the smaller species resembling wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. They range in size from the Chocó vireo, dwarf vireo and lesser greenlet, all at around 10 centimeters and 8 grams, to the peppershrikes and shrike-vireos at up to 17 centimeters and 40 grams.

Vulture

22 species of large carrion-eating birds that live predominantly in the tropics and subtropics, classified in the families Accipitridae (Old World vultures) and Cathartidae (New World vultures) in the order Accipitriformes. The 7 species of New World vultures include condors, and the 15 Old World species include the lammergeier and griffon vultures. Although many members of the two groups appear similar, they are only distantly related.

Warbler

Various species of small songbirds belonging predominantly to the Sylviidae (sometimes considered a subfamily, Sylviinae, of the family Muscicapidae), Parulidae, and Peucedramidae families of the order Passeriformes. Warblers are small, active insect eaters found in gardens, woodlands, and marshes. The Old World warblers of the family Sylviidae comprise almost 350 species and are intimately related to the thrushes and the Old World flycatchers. Members of the family occur mainly from Europe and Asia to Australia and Africa, but a few of these birds, notably the kinglet (Regulus) and gnatcatcher (Polioptila), live in the Americas. Many warblers of Europe are familiar enough to have received special names, such as the blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla), the whitethroat (S. communis), and the chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita). Reed (see photograph), bush, and swamp warblers (Acrocephalus, Bradypterus, Calamocichla, and Cettia) are mostly brown-plumaged and harsh-voiced birds. Among other well-known genera of Old World warblers are the fantail warblers (see cisticola) and longtail warblers (see prinia).

Whydah

Several African birds that have long dark tails suggesting a funeral veil. They belong to two subfamilies, Viduinae and Ploceinae, of the family Ploceidae (order Passeriformes). The name is associated with Whydah (Ouidah), a town in Benin where the birds are common. In the Viduinae, each species of the genus Vidua (probably eight or nine species, including those assigned by some authorities to the genera Steganura, Hypochera, or Tetraenura) is a social parasite, laying its eggs in the nests of a particular species of weaver finch for incubation and development. Males are mostly black and have four central tail feathers greatly elongated; body length is about 10 to 13 centimetres (4 to 5 inches). Common species are the pin-tailed whydah (V. macroura), the shaft-tailed whydah (V. regia), and the broad-tailed paradise whydah (V. orientalis), perhaps a race of the paradise whydah (V. paradisaea).