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 We are building a bird guide to help you discover the amazing birds of Southwestern Newfoundland. Check back often or like us on Facebook to receive regular updates.

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american-black-duck

American Black Duck

piping-plover

Piping Plover

killdeer

Killdeer

greater-yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

black-headed-gull

Black-headed Gull

great-blue-heron

Great Blue Heron

osprey

Osprey

northern-goshawk

Northern Goshawk

rough-legged-hawk

Rough-legged Hawk

merlin

Merlin

yellow-bellied-flycatcher

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

canada-jay

Canada Jay

boreal-chickadee

Boreal Chickadee

ruby-crowned-kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

swainson’s-thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

pine-grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak

fox-sparrow

Fox Sparrow

savannah-sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

lincoln’s-sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

rusty-blackbird

Rusty Blackbird

northern-parula

Northern Parula

yellow-warbler

Yellow Warbler

blackpoll-warbler-(female)

Blackpoll Warbler (female)

black-throated-green-warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

wilson’s-warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

Anas rubripes

American Black Duck

Canard noir
Ánade sombrío
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
A

merican black duck was the most abundant dabbling duck in eastern North America, until the mid-20th century when numbers declined sharply across its traditional range. Habitat loss, overhunting, and intense competition with intruding mallards were named as contributing factors. While hunting restrictions helped stabilize numbers, high rates of mallard hybridization sparked concerns about the future of American black duck as a species. One recent study suggests mallard-black duck hybrids rarely breed with “pure” black ducks resulting in little gene flow, thus preserving the American black duck population. A hopeful sign although habitat loss remains a problem.

Lavretsky, P., T. Janzen, and K. G. McCracken. 2019. Identifying hybrids & the genomics of hybridization: Mallards & American black ducks of Eastern North America. Ecology and Evolution 9(6):3470-3490.

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Source: Martin St-Michel, XC142767. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/142767
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
Seasons to see this bird
spring
summer
fall
winter
american-black-duck
Charadrius melodus

Piping Plover

Pluvier siffleur
Chorlitejo silbador
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
P

iping plovers typically raise one brood per season, with the same pair attempting to renest if the clutch is lost. Chicks are precocial meaning they can run and feed themselves almost immediately after hatching. Females abandon the brood before chicks have fledged, leaving males to finish raising the young. However, they are not entirely monogamous. Sometimes females abandon the brood early, in order to produce a second brood with a different mate – a behaviour known as sequential polyandry. Sequential polyandry in female piping plovers is thought to be uncommon particularly at northern latitudes, although how often they actually practice this behaviour is unknown.

1. Amirault, D. L., J. Kierstead, P. MacDonald, and L. MacDonnell. 2004. Sequential polyandry in Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) nesting in eastern Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 118(3): 444-446. 2. Hunt, K. L., L. R. Dinan, M. J. Friedrich, M. B. Brown, J. G. Jorgensen, D. H. Catlin, and Fraser, J. D. 2015. Density dependent double brooding in Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) in the Northern Great Plains, USA. Waterbirds 38: 321–329.

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Source: Patrick Turgeon, XC328023. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/328023
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0
Seasons to see this bird
spring
summer
piping-plover
Charadrius vociferous

Killdeer

Pluvier kildir
Chorlitejo culirrojo
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
K

illdeer are visual foragers and like other plovers use “foot-trembling” as a foraging technique in shallow water. The technique involves patting the muddy bottom using one foot at a time, in a rapid quivering motion that lasts about 5 seconds. The transfer of vibrations from the foot through the muddy substrate causes cryptic prey to move as well as startle insects on the surface. Prey movement in response to the vibrations make them visible allowing killdeer to capture them. Killdeer also “run quickly, stop, wait, and run again” when searching terrestrial environments for food. It's a common behaviour enjoyed by many observers.

Smith, S. M. 1970. Foot-trembling feeding behavior by a killdeer. The Condor 72(2): 245.

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Source: Martin St-Michel, XC149942. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/149942
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
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spring
summer
killdeer

Greater Yellowlegs

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Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Black-headed Gull

Mouette rieuse
Gaviota reidora
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
T

he black-headed gull is abundant across most of Europe and Asia, normally breeding at mid-Palearctic latitudes. This uncommon but regular visitor to North America, was first observed in the 1920s. Observations grew more frequent after the 1950s and in 1977, a small breeding colony was discovered at Stephenville Crossing, NL and is currently the only known breeding colony in North America. The black-headed gull practices empty-shell disposal, a behaviour in which adults carry pieces of eggshell away from the nest as chicks begin to hatch. The white shell membrane can attract the attention of predators and removing them is considered to be a method of nest camouflage.

1. Tinbergen, N., G. J. Broekhuysen, F. Feekes, J. C. W. Houghton, H. Kruuk, and E. Szulc. 1962. Egg shell removal by the Black-headed Gull, Larus ridibundus L.: a behaviour component of camouflage. Behaviour 19: 74-117. 2. Montevecchi, W.A., D.K. Cairns, A.E. Burger, R.D. Elliott, and J. Wells. 1987. The status of the Common Black-headed Gull in Newfoundland and Labrador. American Birds 41:197-203.

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Source: Niels Van Doninck, XC631803. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/631803
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0
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black-headed-gull

Great Blue Heron

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Osprey

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osprey

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Northern Goshawk

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northern-goshawk

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Rough-legged Hawk

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rough-legged-hawk

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Merlin

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merlin

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Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

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Perisoreus canadensis

Canada Jay

Mésangeai du Canada
Arrendajo canadiense
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
T

he Canada jay is a year-round resident of Canada’s boreal forest. Territorial pairs are life-long mates that rarely leave each other’s side. Nesting takes place in the heart of winter where females incubate eggs at sub-zero temperatures as low as -30° C. They survive winter by storing large quantities of food that our frigid northern conditions "refrigerates" for late-winter consumption and nesting. Food items are hidden above the snow line under upper tree parts and secured in place by wads of sticky salvia produced by their enlarged salivary glands. A good memory allows them to find and retrieve food parcels when needed.

1. Derbyshire, R., D. Strickland, and D.R. Norris. 2015. Experimental evidence and 43 years of monitoring data show that food limits reproduction in a food-caching passerine. Ecology 96(11): 3005–3015. 2. Strickland, D. and H. R. Ouellet (2020). Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis), version 1.0. in Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

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Source: Peter Boesman, XC322985. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/322985
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0
Seasons to see this bird
spring
summer
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winter
canada-jay
Poecile hudsonicus

Boreal Chickadee

Mésange à tête brune
Carbonero boreal
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
T

he boreal chickadee has a range that is almost entirely restricted to the boreal forests of Canada. During the non-breeding season, individuals associate in small flocks that survive winter by visiting feeders or accessing cached food items. As spring approaches, pair bonding begins to develop and chasing activity within the flock becomes more aggressive. The flock is disassembled as each pair departs to establish or reclaim a territory. A pair may examine a number of tree cavities and several excavating events can occur before one is chosen as a nest site, which seems to depend on the level of heartwood decay.

1. Ficken, M. S., M. A. McLaren, and J. P. Hailman. 2020. Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus) version 1.0 in Birds of the World (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. 2. M. McLaren. 1975. Breeding Biology of the Boreal Chickadee. The Wilson Bulletin 87(3), 344-354.

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Source: Martin St-Michel, XC194720. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/194720
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0
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boreal-chickadee

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

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Swainson’s Thrush

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Pine Grosbeak

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Fox Sparrow

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fox-sparrow

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Savannah Sparrow

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Lincoln’s Sparrow

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Rusty Blackbird

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Northern Parula

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Yellow Warbler

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Setophaga striata

Blackpoll Warbler (female)

Paruline rayée
Reinita estriada
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
T

he breeding range of the blackpoll warbler spans the boreal forest of North America. In the fall, blackpolls undertake one of the longest migrations of any North American warbler. These birds first travel east from all parts of their breeding range to gather along the eastern seaboard, with some western residents travelling thousands of kilometers across North America to reach the continent’s eastern edge. On the east coast, they refuel doubling their body weight and timing their departure to coincide with prevailing tailwinds. This may jump-start their 3-day nonstop flight over the Atlantic Ocean, helping them reach their wintering grounds in northern South America.

DeLuca, W., R. Holberton, P. D. Hunt, and B. C. Eliason. 2020. Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata), version 1.0 in Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

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Source: Lucas Berrigan, XC328702. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/328702
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0
Seasons to see this bird
spring
fall
blackpoll-warbler-(female)
Setophaga virens

Black-throated Green Warbler

Paruline à gorge noire
Reinita dorsiverde
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
T

he black-throated green warbler possesses a strong degree of site fidelity meaning they return each spring to their former breeding territories. These territories can range in size from ¼ to 1 acre and usually contain a mature confer component or large diameter spruce, where they like to forage and nest. Males can be very agonistic when defending their territory against another male. Aggressive behaviour can include striking the intruder with his wing or stabbing at the intruder's head with his beak. Males fighting in flight briefly lock beaks and feet and can continue fighting once they reach the ground.

1. Morse, D. H. and A. F. Poole (2020). Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. 2. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. 2014. Black-throated Green Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler and Cape May Warbler Conservation Management Plan 2014-2019. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. Species at Risk Conservation Management Plan No. 10. Edmonton, AB. 33 pp.

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Source: Martin St-Michel, XC394529. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/394529
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0
Seasons to see this bird
spring
fall
black-throated-green-warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

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