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Birds in Alabama

Birds are warm-blooded (Body temperature is internally regulated and constant, regardless of the external temperature), egg-laying, feathered vertebrates with forelimbs modified to form wings.

Bird watching has become a popular pastime for many people in the state.  Not only do birds offer tremendous recreational, economic, and psychological benefit, they are often great indicators of environmental health.  Decreasing populations and threats to certain species may indicate an ecosystem in peril.  To ignore the warning signs may eventually be detrimental to our own species.  To ensure that Alabama birdlife remains healthy, a diversity of healthy ecosystems in the state must be maintained and protected.  The primary purpose of this list is to educate the reader about the birds that breed, overwinter, and migrate through our beautiful state.  It is hoped that an increasing awareness of Alabama's birdlife will stimulate a greater appreciation and protection of Alabama's natural resources so that future generations will have an opportunity to enjoy and benefit from them.

This list is composed of 420 species that comprise the official Alabama Ornithological Society (AOS) state list.  A total of 178 species are known breeders including 158 species that regularly breed in the state.  Additionally, 174 species regularly winter, and 80 species migrate through Alabama.  This list also contains 38 accidental, three extinct, two extripated (no longer occuring in Alabama, but may occur in other states), and four exotic (non-native) species.

Blackbirds, Finches and Allies - Grackles, Blackbirds, Orioles, Meadowlarks, Finch, Grosbeak, Sparrow, Bobolink, Cowbird, Redpoll, Siskin, Crossbill

Chickadees, Titmice, Nuthatches and Creepers - Chickadee, Titmouse, Nuthatches, Creeper

Cranes, Rails and Allies - Coot, Rails, Moorhen, Limpkin, Gallinule, Cranes, Sora

Crows, Jays, Larks and Swallows - Crows, Swallows, Raven, Lark, Blue Jay, Purple Martin

Cuckoos - Cuckoos, Ani

Emberizids, Cardinals and Allies - Sparrows, Grosbeaks, Junco, Dickcissel, Towhees, Buntings, Longspur, Cardinal

Flycatchers, Shrikes and Vireos - Flycatchers, Vireos, Kingbirds, Phoebe, Wood-Pewee, Shrike,

Goatsuckers - Nighthawks, Whip-poor-will

Grebes - Grebes

Grouse, Turkeys and Quail - Bobwhite, Grouse, Turkey

Herons - Bittern, Vulture, Herons, Egrets, Ibis, Spoonbill, Stork

Kingfisher - Kingfisher

Loons - Loons

Ospreys, Hawks and falcons - Kestrel, Eagles, Hawks, Caracara, Merlin, Kite, Goshawk, Harrier, Osprey, Falcons, Kites

Owls - Owls

Parrots - Parakeet

Pigeons - Pigeons, Doves

Shearwaters and Petrels - Shearwaters, Storm-Petrels

Shorebirds - Avocet, Plovers, Oystercatcher, Woodcock, Sandpipers, Shimmer, Terns, Kittiwake, Stilt, Gulls, Noddy, Snipe, Dunlin, Yellowlegs, Godwits, Killdeer, Curlew, Dowitchers, Jaegers, Red Knot, Phalaropes, Turnstone, Sanderling, Whimbrel, Willet

Starlings, Pipits and Waxwings - Starling, Pipits, Waxwing

Swans, Geese and Ducks - Ducks, Wigeon, Scoter, Teals, Geese, Brant, Bufflehead, Swan, Mergansers

Swifts - Hummingbirds, Swift

Thrushes, Mockingbirds and Thrashers - Bluebird, Robin, Thrushes, Mockingbird, Thrashers

Tropicbirds - Pelicans, Cormorants, Booby, Gannet, Tropicbirds, Anhinga, Frigatebird

Wood-Warblers and Tanagers - Warblers, Redstarts, Tanagers

Woodpeckers - Flicker, Sapsucker, Woodpeckers

Wrens, Kinglets and gnatcatchers - Wrens, Gnatcatcher, Kinglets

References Cited:

Mirarchi. Ralph E., ed. 2004. Alabama Wildlife, Volume One.  A Checklist of Vertebrates and Selected Invertebrates: Aquatic Mollusks, Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals.  The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 209 pp.

Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
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