A Caring World

Wild Bird Life List of Sharon Lee Hudson

Welcome to the wild bird life list! This is a list of many of the species of birds I have seen and identified in the wild. There are over 40 species on this list.

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Bird was seen hanging out with gulls: on the ground, flying, and landing. On the ground, it let out its loud vocals and one of the gulls near it moved over.

September 29, 2001
4:30 pm
Schenectady, New York

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) Bird was in a tree expressing harsh vocals, then flew away. I was able to see the blue and white coloring.

September 29, 2001
4:30 pm
Schenectady, New York

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Bird was seen resting on the ground.

September 29, 2001
6:30 pm
Schenectady, New York

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Two were sitting together, up high. They had already started to turn their winter colors.

September 30, 2001
2:30 pm
Union College campus, Schenectady, New York

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
I was surprised to see it so late in the year.

October 7, 2001
5:45 pm
Schenectady, New York

Update: I found out much later that robins are in the general area all year round. Throughout the winter, they are probably at feeders. I saw robins on the Union College campus in February. However, robins up North, migrate.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Probably the best day of bird watching, though I was only there for a short while. Over 100 Canada geese were there. There was a lot of honking and hinking. Lots of behaviors seen. It was just wonderful.

October 20, 2001
Late afternoon
Collins Park, Scotia, New York

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
At the lake there were gulls as well. I saw one juvenile. There were adult gulls- probably ring-bills as well. The juvenile had soft gray wing feathers that fell on the back and brown dots- dots that were lighter than those of a herring gull juvenile.

October 20, 2001
Late afternoon
Collins Park, Scotia, New York

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)
Bird was on the trunk of a tree, facing downward. It was so little. I thought it was a baby robin at first. It was flying around making whining noises. But when I saw it on the trunk of a tree after it landed, I knew where to look in my field guide book. It was a nuthatch.

October 27, 2001
12:30 pm
Union College campus, Schenectady, New York

Update: I found out that baby robins look very different from adult robins.

Rock Pigeon [Rock Dove] (Columba livia)

Seen while walking down Liberty Street. Bird flew across my path, low, a little below eye level.

December 1, 2001
9:16 am
Schenectady, New York

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
Seen from the terrace door way. It was a male-female pair. I was surprised to see it so late in the year.

December 11, 2001
10:13 am
Schenectady, New York

Update: I found out that that bird is here all year long. Maybe during winter they hang out at feeders.

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)
Bird was seen fluttering from tree to tree.

December 14, 2001
11:04 am
Schenectady, New York

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) (Parus bicolor)

Did not get a good look at it. However, I saw the gray crest and the buff flanks. Seen previously before that day at the SUNY Albany campus bus stop in Albany, NY. There it was, in a tree, looking right at me, I think. But back then, I mistakenly looked for buff colored wings, to help me identify it. These birds don't have buff colored wings. They have buff colored flanks. The bird I identified on this list was also on the SUNY campus. However, I'm not sure if this bird was seen in Albany, NY. The front of the campus is in Albany, NY. The back of the campus is in Guilderland, NY (according to what I've been told). I'm not sure where the cutoff point is.

January 22, 2002
2 pm
SUNY Albany campus, in or near Albany, New York

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Several couples were seen together in the water near the woods.

January 22, 2002
2 pm
Suny Albany campus, in or near Albany, New York

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
It was a male (had red on the back of its head). The bill looked like a little triangle. Confirmed 2/16/02 when I saw the long bill of the hairy woodpecker, since they look so much alike.

January 22, 2002
2 pm
SUNY Albany campus, in or near Albany, New York

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

Bird was seen on a tree trunk. It was walking on a tree branch as well. Seen during the Great Backyard Bird Count.

February 16, 2002
2:15 pm
Riverside Park, Schenectady, New York

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

Was seen with other gulls. Then seen near ducks, in the same area, on an island between Schenectady and Scotia that is in the Mohawk river (considered part of Schenectady according to the Schenectady post-office). One mallard was very close, maybe one feet away. It's mate, some feet away. Well, this predator gull paid them no mind. Later on it took off with some gulls, it's beautiful white tail and hot pink hanging feet shone in sunlight. Seen during the Great Backyard Bird Count.

February 16, 2002
3:45 pm
Seen from Riverside Park, Schenectady, New York

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
This bird had a much longer bill than the bird that looked like it on the SUNY Albany campus. With this being a hairy, I was able to confirm that the one I saw the day of 01/22/2002 on the Suny Albany campus was a downy.

February 16, 2002
3:45 pm
Schenectady, New York

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Seen from the terrace doorway. It flew my way and then turned. I could see the underside. It was black, deep-black and it looked like velvet. The bronze of the mid-section did not appear, perhaps due to the angle of the sunlight.

February 25, 2002
11:16 am
Schenectady, New York

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Bird flew across my path and into a tree. It was pinkish-red or reddish-pink. Whatever the case may be, the coloring it had, had a large pink component.

April 5, 2002
Washington Ave., Schenectady, New York

Update, June 4, 2016: Looking back, that bird was a little weird looking. I think it was a juvenile. It's possible the pink component was due to youth. I need to research more.

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Never thought I would see on. Beautiful cat-like sounds. It was in vegetation. I could see its gray body and large reddish-brown undertail coverts.

May 11, 2002
Union College campus, Schenectady, New York

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Never thought I would see one in Schenectady. It was perched on a cattail. I heard vocals. The red and yellow shoulder patch appeared as a mere slither. Perhaps the black feathers next to it were covering it.

June 2, 2002
Early evening
Schenectady, New York

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Male was in a tree, up high, chirping.

June 21, 2001
2:30 pm
Schenectady, New York

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
Beautiful bird, yellow with black cap. Black wings with white sections. So cute. I was glad to see it.

July 4, 2002
Union College campus, Schenectady, New York

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) (yellow-shafted race)
Can't believe I saw one. Saw the white rump patch and wondered, what is that? Had a black mustache, so it was a male. Saw the yellow shafted undertail. It was with starlings...in the same area. I don't think it was with them. Still, I thought it was strange. I worried about it. I was worried that the starlings would take over its nest.

July 6, 2002
5:00 pm
Union College campus, Schenectady, New York

Update: I found out that Northern flickers nest late in the breeding season. I was glad. Some days later, David and I were sitting upstairs in the garden of the campus. A female popped out of a tree cavity. Was that the mate of the male we saw on July 6th?

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

A year after first seeing it...maybe 2 years, I was finally able to identify it. There it was- right there. I could see it through the terrace window. It ate a berry- it was cute. If flew- it was beautiful.

August 15, 2002
Schenectady, New York

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Oh my gosh! There were two of them. In a species that varies so much, they looked so alike- like siblings! They were not brown. They were actually gray, maybe slate gray with rusty-red tails (on the topside). One was on a multiple light fixture; one on a low building's roof. Oh my!

February 15, 2003
5 pm
Union College campus, Schenectady, New York

Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)
Kept this off my life list long enough. I waited, maybe two years. Heard AH-OH before, and nasally caws. But I needed to be sure. I needed to hear that UH-UH vocal. I didn't. So I did not put it on my list. But this time I heard UH-HUH, with the accent on the first syllable, sounding almost like UH-UH. Hearing it in that fish crow voice, that was enough for me. Bird flew overhead in the sunlight. It was almost spiritual. I saw with naked eyes. With outstretched wings it flew.

March 16, 2003
Union College campus, Schenectady, New York

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) white stripe type and tan stripe type.

Many were out and about. I saw some birds scratching in the dirt- jumping backwards while at the same time scratching the earth. I saw 2 birds doing this at the same time- it was so cure. They were right near each other both jumping backwards and scratching. Delightfully I heard vocals. I really did hear POOR-SAM-PEABODY!

May 3, 2003
Late afternoon
Union College campus, Schenectady, New York

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
What a treat it was- a group of swans- seven of them and two more birds far off to the side, probably also mute swans. Seeing one swan was great...but a group? It was a lovely moment.

May 25, 2003
Seen in the Bronx River from Soundview Park, Bronx, New York

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

A male on the branch seen and grey birds nearby, probably females.

June 8, 2003
Hudson-Mohawk Trail, in or near Schenectady, New York

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
David with his new binoculars, got a lovely look. I was able to see it, but I just wish I had a better view. I saw the black mask, the yellow lower underside, the red tips on the wings, and the yellow tips on the tail. Still (sigh), wish I had had a better view. It was taking a bath in the creek, and it had a friend! Two waxwings in one area! How wonderful.

July 4, 2003
Seen at the creek in the garden.
Union College campus, Schenectady, NY

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
There were two, probably 3 flying low in an open area. The area had low grass.

June 11, 2006
5:13 pm
Seen on or near the campgrounds not far from Hy-Vee.
Vermillion, South Dakota

Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)

I'm so glad they are here. They don't have the songs of their Whippoorwill cousins, but their BEET-BEET makes me smile when I hear it. On this day, one flew overhead- the lowest I have ever seen any of them fly. Up close the white stripes on the underwings looked more like large, white spots. I saw the striped underside as well.

June 11, 2006
5:05 pm
Seen from Cherry Street
Vermillion, South Dakota

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Identified by sound, although I believe I saw it as well. Yes, it was one. While according to some books, these birds are not in the area, there clearly is a population in Vermillion, as I have heard them over the years.

April 12, 2009
4:58 pm
Vermillion, South Dakota

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata), Myrtle type
Birds were fluttering back and forth all over the branches of a large tree. It was hard to identify, as it looks a little different in different books. Identified by the yellow patch on the sides near the upper wing, the black coming down the sides, and the white throat. This bird is not found in this area. I have never seen the Myrtle type before (although it is possible I have seen the Audubon type just once.) It's possible that this area may be a migration stop for these birds while they are on their way to Canada.

May 2, 2009
University of South Dakota campus, Vermillion, South Dakota

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
I had suspected we had these birds in the area, but I couldn't be sure. I went back to the place I thought they might be. Two came flying by down the street. I still remember that day. There was an eerie silence when they were flying down the street...pretty low...low enough for me to get a good look at their underside with the naked eye. The underside of the wing was dark above, and white below, which I read is actually gray. Bill was yellow. On one of them I saw a hint of red where the head was. A group was perched on a structure nearby. It was nice finally being able to identify them with confidence.
Seen April 19, 2009
6:30 pm
Vermillion, South Dakota

Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
Two were flying overhead. I heard twittering.

May 6, 2009
Late Evening
Vermillion, South Dakota

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
It was walking on the ground. Seen through the door windows of the Al Neuharth Center.

May 16, 2009
7:40 pm
University of South Dakota campus, Vermillion, South Dakota

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), Slate gray race
It was a terribly windy, snowy day with blizzard-like conditions. The snow was blowing. Birds were on the ground, on the snow, in front of the shed across from the apt. I was so happy to see them. It's been years since I've seen one. They were of the slate-gray race. November 30, 2010
3:30 pm
Vermillion, South Dakota

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) (Mergus cucullatus)
It's crest was fanned out. I could see the white on the side. I could see the black of the head and the black bill. I could see white stripes coming through the black at the far end of the back. Seen swimming in a stream with another duck, probably a mate. The mate didn't have a crest of bright white, which makes sense because females do not have that. I can't believe I came across this duck. I was so surprised!

May 3, 2013
about 5:18 pm
Grand Forks, North Dakota

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
Identified by vocals. Bird kept saying PHOE-BE (talking, not singing). Wow. I saw a bird in a tree. I think that was that bird, but I was more focused on the voice. Heard by the same stream I saw the hooded merganser.

May 3, 2013
about 5:26 pm
Grand Forks, North Dakota

Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)
Bird was in a tree. I went back and forth as to whether or not to bring my field guide with me on an errand I was running. I'm glad I did. Identified by the grey cap, the yellow underside, and the black sweeping lines on the yellow underside. It was one of the most exotic looking birds I had ever seen in person.

May 22, 2013
Late evening
Grand Forks, North Dakota

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
I heard they were in the area, but I wanted to be sure I was seeing one. I thought I had seen one in the same general area before- in air, but when I looked up, I just saw a plain black head, so I didn't record it. This bird was perched high up and my binoculars are not strong. I stood there, in the heat, tired, waiting...waiting. When it turned its head good enough for me to get a good look above, I saw the white coming down the throat, separating the black.

June 24, 2013
4:02 pm
Grand Forks, New York

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Last year I heard this bird all the time. It sounded like a killdeer, but different. I came "face to face" with a little hawk the other day- there it was in air above, but low, and I began to think about the laughs I had been hearing even more. Upon investigating, I was not surprised when I found out the laughs belonged to the sharp-shinned. Identified by voice as I looked up and saw the silhouette of a small hawk with tapered wings flying in a huge ray of sun. As the bird flew away, the laughs lowered in volume and disappeared.

July 18, 2014
abt. 8:54 am
Grand Forks, North Dakota

Update: I just looked at pictures of the sharp-skinned hawk. That was not the bird I came face to face with. It looks very different. The bird I saw was light brown and white. It does not look like the pictures I've seen. The eyes are very different. Perhaps I saw a juvenile. I do not know. However, I did not identify that bird. I identified the second bird, and by voice, so the entry stands.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
It was a dank and dreary September morning- colder than what I was dressed for. I was walking, sad, lost in thought about an intense conversation I had had last night with a good friend of mine. Then suddenly, there it was. I wasn't too shocked. After all, I was familiar with the hummingbird moth, but always in the evening. But I watched it...no antennae, no bee-like abdomen...no long cray-fish like legs. It was an actual hummingbird! The wings moved like lightening. It went from flower to flower and hovered. I think it was drinking, even though the flowers were flat and not cup-like. Then it perched. It had a green body and black tail tips....and yes, it had that hummingbird face. Wow, never-ever thought I'd see a hummingbird up here!

September 19, 2014
abt. 10:20 am
Grand Forks, North Dakota

Update: upon visiting the area again, I realized those flowers were not as flat as I thought. There was somewhat of a "cup-like" shape to the flowers.

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
I haven't thought about owls as a species in years, and I think...think I've heard an owl once before, only once, several years earlier. It was during the day and I don't believe it was a great horned. But on this dark, dark night there were hoots in the air! They were in a series-sometimes fast in trilling fashion. I was with a friend. He said he heard more than one. Vocals seemed to be above us, off in the near distance. Identified by voice.

December 18, 2014
9 pm
Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Wild Bird Life List: © Sharon Lee Hudson

A Caring World: © Sharon Lee Hudson