Bird Families of North America

Random Science or North America Quiz

Can you name the Bird Families of North America?

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common name/descriptionFamily
cormorants/shags - coasts/rivers/lakes worldwide, totipalmate, foot propelled diet, fish diet
New World vultures - New World, unfeathered head, carrion diet, perforate nostrils
Limpkin - New World tropics/subtropics, twisted laterally compressed bill, snail diet
gulls/terns/skimmers - worldwide, ecologically and numerically important
albatrosses - worldwide, anisodactyl, palmate, nostrils on side of bill
pheasants/turkeys/grouse/Old World quail - worldwide, strong sexual selection
oystercatchers - worldwide, laterally compressed bill, red feet
flamingos - tropical S. hemisphere, lamellate bill, related to grebes
jaegers/skuas - polar oceans, aggressive predators
avocets/stilts - wetlands worldwide, long recurved bill, semipalmate, waders, flocking
ducks/geese/swans - worldwide (HUGE distribution), dorsoventrally compressed bill, pallmate, eclipse plumage, penis
swifts - worldwide, pamprodactyl, stiffened rectrices, wide gape
pigeons/doves/Dodo/solitaire - worldwide, huge family, string flight
trogons/quetzals - tropical forests worldwide, heterodactyl, wide gape, avacado specialists
storm-petrel - wordlwide, nocturnal, egg neglect
sandpipers/phalaropes/curlews/woodcocks - worldwide coasts, long bill, diverse mating systems
boobies/gannets - oceans worldwide, fish diet, incubate egg w/ vascularized totipalmate feet
auks/puffin/guillemots - holarctic ocean, wing propelled divers
parrots/macaws/parakeets - worldwide, zygodactyl, huge family
nightjars/poor-wills - worldwide, pectinate claw, nocturnal aerial insectivores
barn owls - worldwide, zygodactyl, distinct heart-shaped facial disk
storks - worldwide, semipalmate
anhigas/darters - tropical freshwater, lack uropygial gland
common name/descriptionFamily
cuckoos/anis - worldwide, zygodactyl, graduated tail, European spp. brood parasites
New World quail - herbivorous, small notch in bill
jacanas - aquatic tropical habitats worldwide, frontal shields, wing spurs, polyandrous
cranes - worldwide, long legs, elaborate courtship
grebes - oceans and lakes worldwide, lobbed toes, foot propelled divers, laterally compressed tarsi
kingfishers/kookaburras - aquatic worldwide, syndactyl, massive bill, fish eaters
curassows/guans - New Word tropics, wattles, omnivores
plovers/lapwings - coastlines/grasslands worldwide, short thickened bill, biparental care
woodpeckers/wrynecks - worldwide, stiffened rectrices
falcons - worldwide, hooked bill with tomial tooth, pointed wings
typical owls - worldwide, zygodactyl, rodent diet
pelicans - lakes, coastal waters worldwide, unfeathered gular pouch
hawks/eagles/kites/Old World vultures - worldwide, big family, hooked bill
Osprey - worldwide, reversible 4th toe, fish specialists
frigatebirds - tropical oceans worldwide, totipalmate, males with large colorful gular pouch
rails/coots/gallinules - wetlands worldwide, laterally compressed, rounded stuby wings
tropicbirds - tropical oceans, totipalmate, have nostrils yet divers
ibises/Spoonbill - worldwide, long curved or spatula bill
hummingbirds - New World, pamprodactyl, hover, kleptoparasites
loons/divers - holarctic (Northern continents), tarsi laterally compressed, foot-propelled divers, monogamous
shearwaters/fulmars/petrels -worldwide, nostrils on top of bill, projectile vomiting
herons/bitterns/boat-bills - shores and marshes worldwide, semipalmate, pectinate claw, colonial breeders

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