American Harpy Eagle (Birds)

ORDER Falconiformes FAMILY Accipitridae GENUS & SPECIES Harpia harpyja KEY FEATURES • The heaviest bird of prey, with the largest feet and talons of any eagle • Strong enough to snatch adult monkeys and sloths from the treetops in midflight • pairs mate for life and raise a single chick once every three years • […]

American Redstart (Birds)

ORDER Passeriformes FAMILY Parulidae GENUS & SPECIES Setophaga ruticilla KEY FEATURES Flicks tail conspicuously when chasing insects Resembles a black-and-orange butterfly as it flutters between tree branches Droops its wing and fans its tail in display One of the most common American wood warblers nesting in North America WHERE IN THE WORLD? Found throughout North […]

American Robin (Birds)

ORDER Passeriformes FAMILY Turdidae GENUS & SPECIES Turdus migratorius KEY FEATURES • Largest North American thrush and one of the most well-known songbirds in the U.S. • Raises up to 8 young in two broods per year • its song is a sign that spring is coming; honored as the state bird in connecticut, Michigan […]

American Swallow-tailed Kite (Birds)

ORDER Falconiformes FAMILY Accipitridae GENUS & SPECIES Elanoides forficatus KEY FEATURES • Highly predatory, the swallow-tailed kite often takes and eats insect prey in midair • Snatches entire nests of smaller birds and eats the young as it flies with the nest clutched in its extremely sharp talons ‘% Builds its nests at the very […]

Andean Condor (Birds)

ORDER Falconiformes FAMILY Cathartidae GENUS & SPECIES Vultur gryphus KEY FEATURES • Soars at altitudes up to 18,000′ and can spot an animal carcass from a distance of several miles • Has the largest wing area of any bird (nearly 6.5 sq. ft., allowing it to glide on rising air currents • Can devour up […]

Anhinga (Birds)

ORDER Pelecaniformes FAMILY Anhingidae GENUS & SPECIES Anhinga anhinga KEY FEATURES Llegant wateird i with S-shaped neck; basis for its alternative name, snake bird • Often swims with only its head and neck above water surface • Hunts for fish mostly in freshwater, catching its prey with a darting movement of its head • Breeding […]

Arctic Tern (Birds)

ORDER Charadriiformes FAMILY Laridae GENUS & SPECIES Sterna paradisaea KEY FEATURES Elegant and agile bird with great stamina Migrates farther than any other animal Follows the sun through the seasons; in a year experiences more daylight than any other animal in its lifetime, may fly farther than the total distance to the moon and back […]

Atlantic Puffin (Birds)

ORDER Charadriiformes FAMILY Alcidae GENUS & SPECIES Fratercula arctica KEY FEATURES • Small, but tough and hardy seabird able to swim and dive for fish on storm-tossed seas • Nests in vast clifftop or island colonies where pairs occupy a nesting burrow dug into the turf • Equipped with a massive and colorful bill, which […]

Bald Eagle (Birds)

ORDER Falconiformes FAMILY Accipitridae GENUS & SPECIES Haliaeetus leucocephalus KEY FEATURES • Feet are equipped with spiny scales on the soles of the toes and sharp talons for gripping slippery fish • Has been the national bird of the U.S. since 1782 — ; symbolizing freedom, power and majesty “Bald” refers not to the white […]

Bananaquit (Birds)

ORDER Passeriformes FAMILY Coerebidae GENUS & SPECIES Coereba flaveola KEY FEATURES Drills a hole in the side of a flower with its long bill, then licks the sweet nectar with its feathered tongue Builds two types of dome-shaped nests, one for roosting, the other for breeding Despite its name, it does not eat bananas WHERE […]