List of birds of New Jersey

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The American goldfinch is the state bird of New Jersey.

This list of birds of New Jersey includes species credibly documented in the U.S. state of New Jersey and accepted by the New Jersey Bird Records Committee (NJBRC) as of April 2017. There are 476 species and two species pairs included in the official list. Six additional species of uncertain origin are also included in this page.[1]

This list is presented in the taxonomic sequence of The Check-list of North American Birds (7th edition through the 57th supplement, 2016), published by the American Ornithological Society.[2] Common and scientific names are also those of the Check-list.

The following tags are used to designate some species:

  • (R) Rare or accidental - Review List ; birds that if observed require more comprehensive documentation than regularly seen species (139 species and two species pairs)
  • (R*) Review List, in part - "Identifiable form/race/subspecies, seen from shore, etc." per the NJBRC (16 species)
  • (E) Extinct - a recent species that no longer exists (four species)
  • (Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in New Jersey, but populations survive elsewhere (one species)
  • (I) Introduced - a species established in North America by direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native or non-indigenous (eight species)
  • (PU) Provenance uncertain - species which might have been released or escaped from captivity (six species)

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl

Brant, Branta bernicla
Wood duck, Aix sponsa
Bufflehead, Bucephala albeola

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, bills which are flattened to a greater or lesser extent, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to special oils. There are 46 New Jersey species.

New World quail

Order: Galliformes   Family: Odontophoridae

The New World quails are small, plump terrestrial birds only distantly related to the quails of the Old World, but named for their similar appearance and habits. There is one New Jersey species.

Pheasants, grouse, and allies

Wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

Phasianidae consists of the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial species, variable in size but generally plump with broad relatively short wings. Many species are gamebirds or have been domesticated as a food source for humans. There are four New Jersey species.

Grebes

Pied-billed grebe, Podilymbus podiceps

Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large diving birds that breed on fresh water. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are five New Jersey species.

Pigeons and doves

Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are seven New Jersey species.

Cuckoos and anis

Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners, and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails, and strong legs. There are three New Jersey species.

Nightjars and allies

Chuck-will's-widow, Antrostomus carolinensis

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs, and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is cryptically colored to resemble bark or leaves. There are four New Jersey species.

Swifts

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Apodidae

The swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are two New Jersey species.

Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris

Order: Apodiformes   Family: Trochilidae

Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. There are seven New Jersey species.

Rails, gallinules, and coots

King rail, Rallus elegans

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. The most typical family members occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers. There are 10 New Jersey species.

Cranes

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged, and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There is one New Jersey species.

Stilts and avocets

American avocet, Recurvirostra americana

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are two New Jersey species.

Oystercatchers

American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large, obvious, noisy plover-like birds with strong bills used for smashing or prying open molluscs. There is one New Jersey species.

Lapwings and plovers

Piping plover, Charadrius melodus

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short thick necks, and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 10 New Jersey species.

Sandpipers and allies

Sanderling, Calidris alba
Purple sandpiper, Calidris maritima
Willet, Tringa melanoleuca

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large, diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds which includes the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. Most species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of legs and bills enable multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 40 New Jersey species.

Skuas and jaegers

Parasitic jaeger, Stercorarius parasiticus

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

Auks, murres, and puffins

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Alcidae

Alcids are superficially similar to penguins in their black-and-white colors, their upright posture, and some of their habits. However they are only distantly related to the penguins and are able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, deliberately coming ashore only to nest. There are seven species that have occurred in New Jersey.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers

Great black-backed gull, Larus marinus
Least tern, Sternula antillarum

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, terns, kittiwakes, and skimmers. They are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 37 New Jersey species.

Tropicbirds

Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their long wings have black markings, as does the head. There are two New Jersey species.

Loons

Common loon, Gavia immer

Order: Gaviiformes   Family: Gaviidae

Loons are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely gray or black, and they have spear-shaped bills. Loons swim well and fly adequately, but are almost hopeless on land, because their legs are placed towards the rear of the body. There are three New Jersey species.

Albatrosses

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Diomedeidae

The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds. One species has appeared in New Jersey.

Fulmars, petrels, and shearwaters

Great shearwater, Puffinus gravis

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterized by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary. There are eight New Jersey species.

Storm-petrels

Leach's storm- petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are the smallest seabirds, relatives of the petrels, feeding on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are four New Jersey species.

Storks

Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

Storks are large, heavy, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills and wide wingspans. They lack the powder down that other wading birds such as herons, spoonbills, and ibises use to clean off fish slime. Storks lack a pharynx and are mute. There is one New Jersey species.

Frigatebirds

Order: Suliformes   Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black, or black-and-white, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have colored inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There is one New Jersey species.

Boobies and gannets

Northern gannet, Morus bassanus

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are three New Jersey species.

Cormorants

Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus

Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Cormorants are medium to large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of colored skin on the face. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed. There are three New Jersey species.

Anhingas

Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

Anhingas are cormorant-like water birds with very long necks and long, straight beaks. They are fish eaters which often swim with only their neck above the water. There is one New Jersey species.

Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga (A)

Pelicans

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. Like other birds in the order Pelecaniformes, they have four webbed toes. There are two New Jersey species.

Bitterns, herons, and egrets

Great blue heron, Ardea herodias
Great egret, Ardea alba

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and egrets are medium-sized to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter-necked and more secretive. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills. There are 13 New Jersey species.

Ibises and spoonbills

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

The family Threskiornithidae includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings. Their bodies tend to be elongated, the neck more so, with rather long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills. There are four New Jersey species.

New World vultures

Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura

Order: Cathartiformes   Family: Cathartidae

The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers, but unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, some New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they find carcasses. There are two New Jersey species.

Osprey

Osprey, Pandion haliaetus, preparing to dive.

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

Hawks, kites, and eagles

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, and Old World vultures. These birds have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 15 confirmed and two "PU" New Jersey species.

Barn-owls

Barn owl, Tyto alba

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn-owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There is one New Jersey species.

Typical owls

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are nine New Jersey species.

Kingfishers

Belted kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There is one New Jersey species.

Woodpeckers

Red-bellied woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus

Order: Piciformes   Family: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails, and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 10 New Jersey species.

Caracaras and falcons

American kestrel, Falco sparverius

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey, notably the falcons and caracaras. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are seven New Jersey species.

New World and African parrots

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two to the back. Two species have occurred in New Jersey.

Tyrant flycatchers

Eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are Passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, are rather plain. As the name implies, most are insectivorous. There are 17 New Jersey species and two species pairs.

Shrikes

Northern shrike, Lanius excubitor

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A shrike's beak is hooked, like that of a typical bird of prey. There are two New Jersey species.

Vireos

Blue-headed vireo, Vireo solitarius

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in color and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are eight New Jersey species.

Jays, crows, magpies, and ravens

Blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence. There are four confirmed and two "PU" New Jersey species.

Larks

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There is one New Jersey species.

Swallows and martins

Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings, and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are nine New Jersey species.

Chickadees and titmice

Black-capped chickadee, Poecile atricapillus

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Paridae

The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are four New Jersey species.

Nuthatches

White-breasted nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sittidae

Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails, and powerful bills and feet. There are three New Jersey species.

Treecreepers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Certhiidae

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There is one New Jersey species.

Wrens

Carolina wren, Thyrothorus ludovicianus

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Troglodytidae

Wrens are small and inconspicuous birds, except for their loud songs. They have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are seven New Jersey species.

Gnatcatchers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Polioptilidae

Kinglets

Golden-crowned kinglet, Regulus satrapa

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Regulidae

The kinglets are a small family of birds which resemble the titmice. They are very small insectivorous birds in the genus Regulus. The adults have colored crowns, giving rise to their name. There are two New Jersey species.

Old World flycatchers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

Thrushes

Wood thrush, Hylocichla mustelina

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly but not exclusively in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 11 New Jersey species.

Mockingbirds and thrashers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Mimidae

The mimids are a family of passerine birds which includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalization, especially their remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. The species tend towards dull grays and browns in their appearance. There are four New Jersey species.

Starlings

An immature female European starling

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized Old World passerine birds with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct and most are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country and they eat insects and fruit. The plumage of several species is dark with a metallic sheen. One introduced species occurs in New Jersey.

Waxwings

Cedar waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine birds with soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and cedar waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There are two New Jersey species.

Old World sparrows

House sparrow, Passer domesticus

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump brownish or grayish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There are two New Jersey species.

Wagtails and pipits

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Motacillidae

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws, and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There is one New Jersey species.

Finches

House finch, Haemorhous mexicanus

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 11 confirmed and two "PU" New Jersey species.

Longspurs and snow buntings

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Calcariidae

Wood-warblers

Yellow warbler, Setophaga petechia
Chestnut-sided warbler, Setophaga pensylvanica
Yellow-rumped warbler, Setophaga coronata
Blackburnian warbler, Setophaga fusca

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Parulidae

The wood-warblers are a group of small often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are more terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. There are 41 New Jersey species.

New World sparrows

Eastern towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus
American tree sparrow, Spizelloides arborea
Dark-eyed junco, Junco hyemalis

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

Emberizidae is a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are 29 New Jersey species.

Cardinals and allies

Northern cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cardinalidae

The cardinals are a family of robust seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. There are 11 New Jersey species.

Blackbirds, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles, and New World orioles

Brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Icteridae

The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds, and New World orioles. Most species have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange, or red. There are 13 New Jersey species.

See also

References

  1. ^ Larson, Laurie; Hanson, Jennifer W.; Boyle, Bill (20 September 2016). "New Jersey State List" (PDF). New Jersey Bird Records Committee. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Check-List of North American Birds, 7th Edition, 57th Supplement retrieved 25 July 2016
  3. ^ "2017D Vote Summary" (PDF). New Jersey Bird Records Committee. WordPress. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 

External links

  • RedKnot.org links to shorebird recovery sites, movies, events & other info on red knot rufa & horseshoe crabs.
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