BIRDING INDIANA

The first systematic treatment of the Indiana avifauna was conducted by a physician, A.W. Brayton, who in 1879 published the Catalogue of the Birds of Indiana ,using museum specimens during the “shotgun era” of ornithology.  302 species were included in this original listing. Since then, many great contributors have provided a wealth of information.  A few of these individuals were Amos Butler, J.L. Hine, Robert Ridgway, and F.M. Woodruff.  Butler was the foremost and most notable of these ornithologists.  Indiana now sits at over 420 species of birds, and includes both common and uncommon species.  Extinct birds remind us of our past.  Indiana recently dedicated a state historic marker for the last passenger pigeon.  The dedication, in 2017 can be viewed here courtesy Marty Jones.

Situated near the heartland of America, Indiana extends from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River, from northern tamarack bogs to southern bald cypress swamps, from productive wetlands to extensive cropland, and from prairie grasslands to extensive mature forests. More than 420 bird species have been found in Indiana with 260 plus observed somewhere in the state each year. A wide variety of habitats provide for an annual breeding population of about 180 species.

Western species such as Smith’s Longspur, Lark Sparrow, and Bell’s Vireo extend their ranges into the western edge of the state, more southern species such as Black-necked Stilt, Mississippi Kite, Chuck-wills-widow, Fish Crow, Blue Grosbeak, and Black Vulture reach central and southern Indiana, northern species such as Northern Shrike, Snow Buntings and winter finches regularly invade, and northern breeders such as Sandhill Crane, Veery, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, and Swamp Sparrow extend their range into Indiana.

The shores of Lake Michigan offer almost a “pelagic” experience in migration and winter with three jaeger species, Sabine’s Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake and more observed regularly. Migrant traps near the lake create a paradise for migrating passerines where finding thirty-plus species of warblers in a day is very “do-able”. State Fish and Wildlife areas throughout the state and Muscatatuck NWR provide ample opportunities to observe marshbirds and waterfowl including the largest concentration of Sandhill Cranes east of the Mississippi River (Jasper-Pulaski FWA). Grasslands at the Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands in northwest IN, the reclaimed strip mine areas of the southwest, and Big Oaks NWR produce large numbers of grassland species such as Dickcissel, Blue Grosbeak, and the world’s largest population of Henslow’s Sparrow as well as Upland Sandpiper. The reclaimed wetlands of Goose Pond FWA in south-central Indiana is a hotspot for large numbers of waterfowl, marsh birds, shorebirds, and sparrows. The Hoosier National Forest covers much of south-central Indiana and is a haven for nesting neotropic migrants with significant populations of Wood Thrush, Worm-eating Warbler, and Hooded Warblers. River systems and reservoirs attract good numbers of Bald Eagles, especially in winter when a few Golden Eagles accompany them.

Overall Indiana offers new experiences for birders from all parts of the country.

OFFICIAL IBRC BIRD CHECKLIST

Indiana’s Official State Bird Checklist contains 420 species for which there is adequate evidence, either verified evidence (specimen, photograph, etc.) or convincing details, and for which origin is not questioned.  At the end of the Checklist are species categorized as Origin Hypothetical.  Species designated as Origin Hypothetical involve single records of that species where the correct identification has been established but for which origin is unresolved.  See the Seasonal Checklist for additional information for species appearing on the Official Bird Checklist.  Birders can now download the state’s field checklist for use when birding.

Bird Checklist

Thanks to Amy Kearns.

IBRC BIRD CHECKLIST DATA

ORDERFAMILYGENUS SPECIESCOMMON NAMESTATUS*
AnseriformesAnatidaeDendrocygna autumnalisBlack-bellied Whistling-DuckReview species
Waterfowl: Swans, Geese, and DucksDendrocygna bicolorFulvous Whistling-DuckReview species
Anser albifronsGreater White-fronted Goose
Chen caerulescensSnow Goose
Chen rossiiRoss’s Goose
Branta berniclaBrantReview species
Branta leucopsisBarnacle GooseReview species
Branta hutchinsiiCackling Goose
Branta canadensisCanada Goose
Cygnus olorMute SwanI
Cygnus buccinatorTrumpeter SwanSE
Cygnus columbianusTundra Swan
Aix sponsaWood Duck
Anas streperaGadwall
Anas penelopeEurasian WigeonReview species
Anas americanaAmerican Wigeon
Anas rubripesAmerican Black Duck
Anas platyrhynchosMallard
Anas discorsBlue-winged Teal
Anas cyanopteraCinnamon TealReview species
Anas clypeataNorthern Shoveler
Anas acutaNorthern Pintail
Anas creccaGreen-winged Teal
Aythya valisineriaCanvasback
Aythya americanaRedhead
Aythya collarisRing-necked Duck
Aythya marilaGreater Scaup
Aythya affinisLesser Scaup
Somateria spectabilisKing EiderReview species
Histrionicus histrionicusHarlequin DuckReview species
Melanitta perspicillataSurf Scoter
Melanitta fuscaWhite-winged Scoter
Melanitta americanaBlack Scoter
Clangula hyemalisLong-tailed Duck
Bucephala albeolaBufflehead
Bucephala clangulaCommon Goldeneye
Bucephala islandicaBarrow’s GoldeneyeReview species
Lophodytes cucullatusHooded Merganser
Mergus merganserCommon Merganser
Mergus serratorRed-breasted Merganser
Oxyura jamaicensisRuddy Duck
GalliformesOdontophoridaeColinus virginianusNorthern Bobwhite
Quail
PhasianidaePerdix perdixGray PartridgeI, Extirpated
Pheasants, Grouse, TurkeysPhasianus colchicusRing-necked PheasantI
Bonasa umbellusRuffed Grouse
Tympanuchus cupidoGreater Prairie-ChickenExtirpated
Meleagris gallopavoWild Turkey
GaviiformesGaviidaeGavia stellataRed-throated Loon
LoonsGavia pacificaPacific Loon
Gavia immerCommon Loon
Gavia adamsiiYellow-billed LoonReview species
PodicipediformesPodicipedidaePodilymbus podicepsPied-billed Grebe
GrebesPodiceps auritusHorned Grebe
Podiceps grisegenaRed-necked Grebe
Podiceps nigricollisEared Grebe
Aechmophorus occidentalisWestern Grebe
ProcellariiformesHydrobatidaeOceanodroma castroBand-rumped Storm-PetrelReview species
Storm-Petrels
CiconiiformesCiconiidaeMycteria americanaWood StorkReview species
Storks
SuliformesFregatidaeFregata magnificensMagnificent FrigatebirdReview species
Frigatebirds
SulidaeMorus bassanusNorthern GannetReview species
Gannets
PhalacrocoracidaePhalacrocorax brasilianusNeotropic CormorantReview species
CormorantsPhalacrocorax auritusDouble-crested Cormorant
PelecaniformesPelecanidaePelecanus erythrorhynchosAmerican White Pelican
PelicansPelecanus occidentalisBrown PelicanReview species
ArdeidaeBotaurus lentiginosusAmerican BitternSE
Bitterns, Herons, and EgretsIxobrychus exilisLeast BitternSE
Ardea herodiasGreat Blue Heron
Ardea albaGreat EgretSC
Egretta thulaSnowy Egret
Egretta caeruleaLittle Blue Heron
Egretta tricolorTricolored HeronReview species
Egretta rufescensReddish EgretReview species
Bubulcus ibisCattle Egret
Butorides virescensGreen Heron
Nycticorax nycticoraxBlack-crowned Night-HeronSE
Nyctanassa violaceaYellow-crowned Night-HeronSE
ThreskiornithidaeEudocimus albusWhite IbisReview species
Ibises and SpoonbillsPlegadis falcinellusGlossy IbisReview species
Plegadis chihiWhite-faced IbisReview species
Platalea ajajaRoseate SpoonbillReview species
AccipitriformesCathartidaeCoragyps atratusBlack Vulture
VulturesCathartes auraTurkey Vulture
PandionidaePandion haliaetusOspreySE
Osprey
AccipitridaeElanus leucurusWhite-tailed KiteReview species
Hawks, Eagles, and KitesElanoides forficatusSwallow-tailed KiteReview species
Aquila chrysaetosGolden Eagle
Ictinia mississippiensisMississippi KiteSC
Circus cyaneusNorthern HarrierSE
Accipiter striatusSharp-shinned HawkSC
Accipiter cooperiiCooper’s Hawk
Accipiter gentilisNorthern Goshawk
Haliaeetus leucocephalusBald EagleSC
Buteo lineatusRed-shouldered HawkSC
Buteo platypterusBroad-winged HawkSC
Buteo swainsoniSwainson’s HawkReview species
Buteo jamaicensisRed-tailed Hawk
Buteo regalisFerruginous HawkReview species
Buteo lagopusRough-legged Hawk
GruiformesRallidaeCoturnicops noveboracensisYellow RailReview species
Rails, Gallinules, and CootsLaterallus jamaicensisBlack RailSE, Review Species
Rallus elegansKing RailSE
Rallus limicolaVirginia RailSE
Porzana carolinaSora
Porphyrio martinicusPurple GallinuleReview species
Gallinula galeataCommon GallinuleSE
Fulica americanaAmerican Coot
GruidaeGrus canadensisSandhill CraneSC
CranesGrus grusCommon CraneReview species
Grus monachaHooded CraneReview species
Grus americanaWhooping CraneSE, FE, Extirpated
CharadriiformesRecurvirostridaeHimantopus mexicanusBlack-necked Stilt
Stilts and AvocetsRecurvirostra americanaAmerican Avocet
CharadriidaePluvialis squatarolaBlack-bellied Plover
PloversPluvialis dominicaAmerican Golden-PloverSC
Charadrius nivosusSnowy PloverReview species
Charadrius wilsoniaWilson’s PloverReview species
Charadrius semipalmatusSemipalmated Plover
Charadrius melodusPiping PloverSE, FE
Charadrius vociferusKilldeer
Charadrius montanusMountain PloverReview species
ScolopacidaeActitis maculariusSpotted Sandpiper
Sandpipers and PhalaropesTringa solitariaSolitary SandpiperSC
Tringa erythropusSpotted RedshankReview species
Tringa melanoleucaGreater YellowlegsSC
Tringa semipalmataWillet
Tringa flavipesLesser Yellowlegs
Bartramia longicaudaUpland SandpiperSE
Numenius borealisEskimo CurlewExtinct
Numenius phaeopusWhimbrelReview species
Numenius americanusLong-billed CurlewReview species
Limosa haemasticaHudsonian Godwit
Limosa fedoaMarbled Godwit
Arenaria interpresRuddy TurnstoneSC
Calidris canutusRed KnotReview species
Calidris pugnaxRuffReview species
Calidris acuminataSharp-tailed SandpiperReview species
Calidris himantopusStilt Sandpiper
Calidris ferrugineaCurlew SandpiperReview species
Calidris ruficollisRed-necked StintReview species
Calidris albaSanderling
Calidris alpinaDunlin
Calidris maritimaPurple SandpiperReview species
Calidris bairdiiBaird’s Sandpiper
Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper
Calidris fuscicollisWhite-rumped Sandpiper
Calidris subruficollisBuff-breasted SandpiperSC
Calidris melanotosPectoral Sandpiper
Calidris pusillaSemipalmated Sandpiper
Calidris mauriWestern Sandpiper
Limnodromus griseusShort-billed DowitcherSC
Limnodromus scolopaceusLong-billed Dowitcher
Gallinago delicataWilson’s Snipe
Scolopax minorAmerican Woodcock
Phalaropus tricolorWilson’s PhalaropeSC
Phalaropus lobatusRed-necked Phalarope
StercorariidaeStercorarius pomarinusPomarine JaegerReview species
JaegersStercorarius parasiticusParasitic JaegerReview species
Stercorarius longicaudusLong-tailed JaegerReview species
AlcidaeUria lomviaThick-billed MurreReview species
Murres and MurreletsBrachyramphus perdixLong-billed MurreletReview species
Synthliboramphus antiquusAncient MurreletReview species
Phalaropus fulicariusRed PhalaropeReview species
LaridaeRissa tridactylaBlack-legged KittiwakeReview species
Gulls, Terns, and SkimmersXema sabiniSabine’s GullReview species
Chroicocephalus philadelphiaBonaparte’s Gull
Chroicocephalus ridibundusBlack-headed GullReview species
Hydrocoloeus minutusLittle GullReview species
Rhodostethia roseaRoss’s GullReview species
Leucophaeus atricillaLaughing Gull
Leucophaeus pipixcanFranklin’s Gull
Larus crassirostrisBlack-tailed GullReview species
Larus canusMew GullReview species
Larus delawarensisRing-billed Gull
Larus californicusCalifornia GullReview species
Larus argentatusHerring Gull
Larus thayeriThayer’s GullReview species
Larus glaucoidesIceland GullReview species
Larus fuscusLesser Black-backed Gull
Larus schistisagusSlaty-backed GullReview species
Larus hyperboreusGlaucous GullReview species
Larus marinusGreat Black-backed GullReview species
Larus dominicanusKelp GullReview species
Onychoprion fuscatusSooty TernReview species
Sternula antillarumLeast TernSE, FE, Review species
Gelochelidon niloticaGull-billed TernReview species
Hydroprogne caspiaCaspian Tern
Chlidonias nigerBlack TernSE
Chlidonias leucopterusWhite-winged TernReview species
Sterna dougalliiRoseate TernReview species
Sterna hirundoCommon Tern
Sterna paradisaeaArctic TernReview species
Sterna forsteriForster’s Tern
Thalasseus maximusRoyal TernReview species
Rynchops nigerBlack SkimmerReview species
ColumbiformesColumbidaeColumba liviaRock PigeonI
Pigeons and DovesPatagioenas fasciataBand-tailed PigeonReview species
Streptopelia decaoctoEurasian Collared-DoveI
Zenaida asiaticaWhite-winged DoveReview species
Zenaida macrouraMourning Dove
Ectopistes migratoriusPassenger PigeonExtinct
Columbina passerinaCommon Ground-DoveReview species
CuculiformesCuculidaeCoccyzus americanusYellow-billed Cuckoo
Cuckoos and AnisCoccyzus erythropthalmusBlack-billed Cuckoo
Crotophaga sulcirostrisGroove-billed AniReview species
StrigiformesTytonidaeTyto albaBarn OwlSE
Barn Owls
StrigidaeMegascops asioEastern Screech-Owl
Typical OwlsBubo virginianusGreat Horned Owl
Bubo scandiacusSnowy Owl
Athene cuniculariaBurrowing OwlReview species
Strix variaBarred Owl
Asio otusLong-eared Owl
Asio flammeusShort-eared OwlSE
Aegolius acadicusNorthern Saw-whet Owl
CaprimulgiformesCaprimulgidaeChordeiles minorCommon NighthawkSC
Nighthawks and NightjarsAntrostomus carolinensisChuck-will’s-widow
Antrostomus vociferusEastern Whip-poor-willSC
ApodiformesApodidaeChaetura pelagicaChimney Swift
Swifts
TrochilidaeColibri thalassinusGreen VioletearReview species
HummingbirdsArchilochus colubrisRuby-throated Hummingbird
Archilochus alexandriBlack-chinned HummingbirdReview species
Calypte annaAnna’s HummingbirdReview species
Selasphorus rufusRufous Hummingbird
Selasphorus calliopeCalliope HummingbirdReview species
CoraciiformesAlcedinidaeMegaceryle alcyonBelted Kingfisher
Kingfishers
PiciformesPicidaeMelanerpes erythrocephalusRed-headed Woodpecker
WoodpeckersMelanerpes carolinusRed-bellied Woodpecker
Sphyrapicus variusYellow-bellied Sapsucker
Picoides pubescensDowny Woodpecker
Picoides villosusHairy Woodpecker
Picoides arcticusBlack-backed WoodpeckerReview species
Colaptes auratusNorthern Flicker
Dryocopus pileatusPileated Woodpecker
FalconiformesFalconidaeCaracara cheriwayCrested CaracaraReview species
Falcons and CaracarasFalco sparveriusAmerican Kestrel
Falco columbariusMerlin
Falco rusticolusGyrfalconReview species
Falco peregrinusPeregrine FalconSE
Falco mexicanusPrairie FalconReview species
PsittaciformesPsittacidaeMyiopsitta monachusMonk ParakeetI, Review species
ParakeetsConuropsis carolinensisCarolina ParakeetExtinct
PasseriformesTyrannidaeContopus cooperiOlive-sided Flycatcher
Tyrant FlycatchersContopus sordidulusWestern Wood-PeweeReview species
Contopus virensEastern Wood-Pewee
Empidonax flaviventrisYellow-bellied Flycatcher
Empidonax virescensAcadian Flycatcher
Empidonax alnorumAlder Flycatcher
Empidonax trailliiWillow Flycatcher
Empidonax minimusLeast Flycatcher
Sayornis phoebeEastern Phoebe
Sayornis sayaSay’s PhoebeReview species
Pyrocephalus rubinusVermilion FlycatcherReview species
Myiarchus crinitusGreat Crested Flycatcher
Tyrannus verticalisWestern KingbirdReview species
Tyrannus tyrannusEastern Kingbird
Tyrannus dominicensisGray KingbirdReview species
Tyrannus forficatusScissor-tailed FlycatcherReview species
Tyrannus savanaFork-tailed FlycatcherReview species
LaniidaeLanius ludovicianusLoggerhead ShrikeSE
ShrikesLanius excubitorNorthern Shrike
VireonidaeVireo griseusWhite-eyed Vireo
VireosVireo belliiBell’s Vireo
Vireo flavifronsYellow-throated Vireo
Vireo solitariusBlue-headed Vireo
Vireo gilvusWarbling Vireo
Vireo philadelphicusPhiladelphia Vireo
Vireo olivaceusRed-eyed Vireo
CorvidaeCyanocitta cristataBlue Jay
Jays, Magpies, Crows, and RavensAphelocoma californicaWestern Scrub-JayReview species
Pica hudsoniaBlack-billed MagpieReview species
Corvus brachyrhynchosAmerican Crow
Corvus ossifragusFish CrowReview species
Corvus coraxCommon RavenReview species
AlaudidaeEremophila alpestrisHorned Lark
Larks
HirundinidaeProgne subisPurple Martin
Martins and SwallowsTachycineta bicolorTree Swallow
Stelgidopteryx serripennisNorthern Rough-winged Swallow
Riparia ripariaBank Swallow
Petrochelidon pyrrhonotaCliff Swallow
Petrochelidon fulvaCave SwallowReview species
Hirundo rusticaBarn Swallow
ParidaePoecile carolinensisCarolina Chickadee
Chickadees and TitmicePoecile atricapillusBlack-capped Chickadee
Poecile hudsonicusBoreal ChickadeeReview species
Baeolophus bicolorTufted Titmouse
SittidaeSitta canadensisRed-breasted Nuthatch
NuthatchesSitta carolinensisWhite-breasted Nuthatch
Sitta pygmaea/Sitta pusillaPygmy/Brown-headed NuthatchReview species
CerthiidaeCerthia americanaBrown Creeper
Creepers
TroglodytidaeSalpinctes obsoletusRock WrenReview species
WrensTroglodytes aedonHouse Wren
Troglodytes hiemalisWinter Wren
Cistothorus platensisSedge WrenSE
Cistothorus palustrisMarsh WrenSE
Thryothorus ludovicianusCarolina Wren
Thryomanes bewickiiBewick’s WrenReview species
PolioptilidaePolioptila caeruleaBlue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gnatcatchers
RegulidaeRegulus satrapaGolden-crowned Kinglet
KingletsRegulus calendulaRuby-crowned Kinglet
MuscicapidaeOenanthe oenantheNorthern WheatearReview species
Old World Flycatchers
TurdidaeSialia sialisEastern Bluebird
ThrushesSialia currucoidesMountain BluebirdReview species
Myadestes townsendiTownsend’s SolitaireReview species
Catharus fuscescensVeery
Catharus minimusGray-cheeked Thrush
Catharus ustulatusSwainson’s Thrush
Catharus guttatusHermit Thrush
Hylocichla mustelinaWood Thrush
Turdus migratoriusAmerican Robin
Ixoreus naeviusVaried Thrush
MimidaeDumetella carolinensisGray Catbird
Mockingbirds and ThrashersToxostoma rufumBrown Thrasher
Oreoscoptes montanusSage ThrasherReview species
Mimus polyglottosNorthern Mockingbird
SturnidaeSturnus vulgarisEuropean StarlingI
Starlings
MotacillidaeAnthus rubescensAmerican Pipit
Pipits
BombycillidaeBombycilla garrulusBohemian WaxwingReview species
WaxwingsBombycilla cedrorumCedar Waxwing
CalcariidaeCalcarius lapponicusLapland Longspur
Longspurs and Snow BuntingsCalcarius pictusSmith’s Longspur
Rhynchophanes mccowniiMcCown’s LongspurReview species
Plectrophenax nivalisSnow Bunting
ParulidaeSeiurus aurocapillaOvenbird
New World WarblersHelmitheros vermivorumWorm-eating WarblerSC
Parkesia motacillaLouisiana Waterthrush
Parkesia noveboracensisNorthern Waterthrush
Vermivora chrysopteraGolden-winged WarblerSE
Vermivora cyanopteraBlue-winged Warbler
Mniotilta variaBlack-and-white WarblerSC
Protonotaria citreaProthonotary Warbler
Limnothlypis swainsoniiSwainson’s WarblerReview species
Oreothlypis peregrinaTennessee Warbler
Oreothlypis celataOrange-crowned Warbler
Oreothlypis ruficapillaNashville Warbler
Oporornis agilisConnecticut Warbler
Geothlypis philadelphiaMourning Warbler
Geothlypis formosaKentucky Warbler
Geothlypis trichasCommon Yellowthroat
Setophaga citrinaHooded WarblerSC
Setophaga ruticillaAmerican Redstart
Setophaga kirtlandiiKirtland’s WarblerSE, FE Review Species
Setophaga tigrinaCape May Warbler
Setophaga ceruleaCerulean WarblerSE
Setophaga americanaNorthern Parula
Setophaga magnoliaMagnolia Warbler
Setophaga castaneaBay-breasted Warbler
Setophaga fuscaBlackburnian Warbler
Setophaga petechiaYellow Warbler
Setophaga pensylvanicaChestnut-sided Warbler
Setophaga striataBlackpoll Warbler
Setophaga caerulescensBlack-throated Blue Warbler
Setophaga palmarumPalm Warbler
Setophaga pinusPine Warbler
Setophaga coronataYellow-rumped Warbler
Setophaga dominicaYellow-throated Warbler
Setophaga discolorPrairie Warbler
Setophaga nigrescensBlack-throated Gray WarblerReview species
Setophaga townsendiTownsend’s WarblerReview species
Setophaga virensBlack-throated Green Warbler
Cardellina canadensisCanada Warbler
Cardellina pusillaWilson’s Warbler
Icteria virensYellow-breasted Chat
EmberizidaePipilo chlorurusGreen-tailed TowheeReview species
SparrowsPipilo maculatusSpotted TowheeReview species
Pipilo erythrophthalmusEastern Towhee
Peucaea cassiniiCassin’s SparrowReview species
Peucaea aestivalisBachman’s SparrowReview species
Spizella arboreaAmerican Tree Sparrow
Spizella passerinaChipping Sparrow
Spizella pallidaClay-colored Sparrow
Spizella pusillaField Sparrow
Pooecetes gramineusVesper Sparrow
Chondestes grammacusLark Sparrow
Calamospiza melanocorysLark BuntingReview species
Passerculus sandwichensisSavannah Sparrow
Ammodramus savannarumGrasshopper Sparrow
Ammodramus henslowiiHenslow’s SparrowSE
Ammodramus leconteiiLe Conte’s Sparrow
Ammodramus nelsoniNelson’s Sparrow
Passerella iliacaFox Sparrow
Melospiza melodiaSong Sparrow
Melospiza lincolniiLincoln’s Sparrow
Melospiza georgianaSwamp Sparrow
Zonotrichia albicollisWhite-throated Sparrow
Zonotrichia querulaHarris’s Sparrow
Zonotrichia leucophrysWhite-crowned Sparrow
Junco hyemalisDark-eyed Junco
CardinalidaePiranga rubraSummer Tanager
Tanagers, Cardinals, Grosbeaks, etc.Piranga olivaceaScarlet Tanager
Piranga ludovicianaWestern TanagerReview species
Cardinalis cardinalisNorthern Cardinal
Pheucticus ludovicianusRose-breasted Grosbeak
Pheucticus melanocephalusBlack-headed GrosbeakReview species
Passerina caeruleaBlue Grosbeak
Passerina cyaneaIndigo Bunting
Passerina cirisPainted BuntingReview species
Spiza americanaDickcissel
IcteridaeDolichonyx oryzivorusBobolink
Blackbirds and OriolesAgelaius phoeniceusRed-winged Blackbird
Sturnella magnaEastern Meadowlark
Sturnella neglectaWestern MeadowlarkSC
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalusYellow-headed BlackbirdSE
Euphagus carolinusRusty Blackbird
Euphagus cyanocephalusBrewer’s Blackbird
Quiscalus quisculaCommon Grackle
Quiscalus mexicanusGreat-tailed GrackleReview species
Molothrus aterBrown-headed Cowbird
Icterus spuriusOrchard Oriole
Icterus bullockiiBullock’s OrioleReview species
Icterus galbulaBaltimore Oriole
FringillidaeFringilla montifringillaBramblingReview species
FinchesPinicola enucleatorPine GrosbeakReview species
Haemorhous mexicanusHouse FinchI
Haemorhous purpureusPurple Finch
Loxia curvirostraRed Crossbill
Loxia leucopteraWhite-winged Crossbill
Acanthis flammeaCommon Redpoll
Acanthis hornemanniHoary RedpollReview species
Spinus pinusPine Siskin
Spinus tristisAmerican Goldfinch
Coccothraustes vespertinusEvening Grosbeak
PasseridaePasser domesticusHouse SparrowI
Old World SparrowsPasser montanusEurasian Tree SparrowI, Review Species
* Key to Status: Special Concern (SC), State Endangered (SE), Federal Threatened (FT), Federal Endangered (FE), Federal Candidate (FC), I (Introduced)
* Key to Status: Special Concern (SC), State Endangered (SE), Federal Threatened (FT), Federal Endangered (FE), Federal Candidate (FC), I (Introduced)

 

Last updated: August 2013

Thanks to Amy Kearns

9982200_origSteller’s Jay

by Alex Forsythe

My family and I took a 3-week road trip out west in September, and what a time we had! We saw many of the national parks and monuments, from the majesty of Glacier National Park to the moss-covered rain forests of Olympic to the prickly flora of Joshua Tree National Monument. No one else in the family is a birder, and it seemed no other visitors at the parks were birders, either. While everyone else was commenting on the vastness of the Painted Canyon, I was running back and forth across the Canyon’s rim to get a good look at the Spotted Towhee flitting about on the ledges several feet down. Oh, sure, I appreciated the beauty of the scenery, but come on! There were lifers to see!
This Steller’s Jay is another example of our differences in interest during the trip. The rest of the family was taking photos of the beautiful mountains, pristine streams, and perfect meadows. I, on the other hand, was watching a Steller’s Jay hoping for the opportunity to photograph it up close. A family was having a picnic nearby, and the Jay flew in to convince the visitors to share the bounty. At first the family was a little perplexed that I was taking so many photos of them, but after a time they realized the bird was the subject of my fascination, not them!
Steller’s Jays hold a special place in the Jay family. They are the only western Jays to have a crest, the only western Jay to build nests from mud, and they have a great deal of variation in coloration depending on where they are located. Some have blue crests and backs, while others have black crests and backs. They are also varied in their calls; they can imitate other birds and other animals including dogs, cats and squirrels. They’ve even been observed imitating the sounds of machines! The esophagus is elastic and quite expandable, allowing the Jay to carry items as large as acorns. The food is often stored in hidden locations for the winter.
They are named after Georg Steller, the naturalist who first discovered them on an Alaskan Island in 1741. The vivid blue birds are rather common in the western states, and they’re easy to find in campgrounds and picnic areas. They’ve risen to fame and claimed the throne in Canada; in 1987 the Steller’s was voted the most popular bird in British Columbia and it became the official bird for the province. About 85,000 people cast their votes, and when the votes were counted, the Steller’s Jay had received over 2,000 votes more than its next nearest competitor: the Peregrine Falcon. The Jay is British Columbia’s only symbol to be adopted after a public vote.
This election year, any of the presidential candidates should be jealous of the Steller’s Jay’s success. He ran a clean campaign, and he didn’t take any PAC money, yet he won in a landslide! Well done, Steller’s! Well done!

About the Author

Alex Forsythe 2Alexandra (“Alex”) Forsythe is an avid birder and naturalist who enjoys teaching other young people about the natural world in which they live. In 2013, she was the first person to be named “Young Birder of the Year” by the Indiana Audubon Society and she was awarded the Charles D. Wise Conservation Award for “excellence in conservation practices by a youth under the age of 18”. Alex maintains a YouTube channel on which she reviews birding apps, and she has created two websites:MidwestBirdWatching.com and Young Conservationists.org. She gives programs and presentations across the state and she volunteers for several organizations including Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab and several state and local parks.

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INDIANA BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE

The Indiana Bird Records Committee (IBRC) evaluates the evidence for records of birds that are rare or unusual in Indiana and maintains a state checklist. The IBRC also maintains a Review List of birds that require documentation. Anyone observing a bird on the Review List should submit written documentation along with any photographic evidence to the IBRC chairman.

By judging the authenticity of these submitted reports, our aim is to contribute to the study of bird population and vagrancy.  For more information about our committee’s purpose and procedures, feel free to browse our Bylaws.

IBRC suggests birders follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

View the ABA Code of Birding Ethics here: http://listing.aba.org/ethics/

Documentation of rare birds or questions about the IBRC should be directed to the IBRC Chairman, Kirk Roth at (rothkirk@hotmail.com).

Bohemian Waxwing at Indiana Dunes State Park. Photo by John Kendall.

Roseate Spoonbill at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area 2009.  Photo by Jim Sullivan.

INDIANA BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE

The Indiana Bird Records Committee (IBRC) evaluates the evidence for records of birds that are rare or unusual in Indiana and maintains a state checklist. The IBRC also maintains a Review List of birds that require documentation. Anyone observing a bird on the Review List should submit written documentation along with any photographic evidence to the IBRC chairman.

By judging the authenticity of these submitted reports, our aim is to contribute to the study of bird population and vagrancy.  For more information about our committee’s purpose and procedures, feel free to browse our Bylaws.

IBRC suggests birders follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

View the ABA Code of Birding Ethics here: http://listing.aba.org/ethics/

Documentation of rare birds or questions about the IBRC should be directed to the IBRC Chairman, Kirk Roth at (rothkirk@hotmail.com).

Bohemian Waxwing at Indiana Dunes State Park. Photo by John Kendall.

Roseate Spoonbill at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area 2009.  Photo by Jim Sullivan.

Common Feeder Birds

Feeding backyard birds is often a lot of fun, but have you ever wondered what kind of bird is at your feeder? We’re here to help! Thanks to the photographic efforts of Marty Jones, this page will help you learn the most common birds that visit our Indiana feeders.

Thanks for visiting and THANK YOU for feeding our feathered friends!

 song_sparrowsm housesparrowsm mourning_dove_lg
 Song Sparrow House Sparrow Mourning Dove
 european_starling_sm 3718531147_a8de70ca7b_t 3662135216_3661368358_t
 European Starling Carolina Chickadee Brown-headed Cowbird
 american_robinlg downie_woodp_sm 3661342307_bc532656af_t
 American Robin Downy Woodpecker Dark-eyed Junco
 3661340055_fbd2ffd231_t 1335572681_b76c9b725d_t Ruby-ThroatedHummerSmall
 Northern Cardinal  White-breasted Nuthatch Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Know of others in Indiana? Send us the information.

Surrounding states:

Surrounding states:

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