Birds of Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta

This list includes 403 species of birds which have been recorded in the state of Mississippi. All species except those enclosed in brackets have been documented through specimen or photograph. Bracketed species are those for which good written details are on file in the records of the Mississippi Ornithologists' Society, but for which additional documentation is needed.

Area Description
The State of Mississippi is composed of a variety of geographical areas and habitat types, from the bottomland hardwoods of the Delta, to the mixed pines and hardwoods of the Interior Flatwoods, to the longleaf pines of the Lower Coastal Plain. The Mississippi Delta is comprised of 19 counties in northwest Mississippi, bounded to the north by Memphis, to the south by Vicksburg, to the west by the Mississippi River, and to the east by the Loess Hills. The mixture of wetlands, cropland, bottomland hardwood forest, and catfish ponds in close proximity to the Mississippi River work to complement each other and attract an unusual variety and number of migrating birds, as well as a variety of indigenous species.

How to use this list
This list includes all species which have been recorded in Mississippi; however, those species which have been observed in the Delta are emphasized. This list is arranged in the order established by the American Ornithologists' Union, and was designed to be informative and simple to use. Symbols which appear in the checklist are to aid the observer in determining the location and time of year that a particular species is likely to be seen, and are represented by the following:

M - species observed in Mississippi;
D - species observed specifically in the Delta;
GC - usually recorded on Gulf Coast only;
B - breeds in Mississippi (although not necessarily in the Delta).

Seasonal Appearance in Mississippi:
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August)
Fall (September - November)
Winter (December - February)

Seasonal Abundance (listed only for birds observed in the Delta):
Common (certain to be seen in suitable habitat)
Uncommon (present but difficult to find)
Occasional (seen only a few times in a season)
Rare (seen at irregular intervals)

Occurance in Mississippi
Location   Abundance
Red-throated Loon C   Ot
[Pacific Loon] M   A
Common Loon C, D   Cw, Ft
Pied-billed Grebe M, D N Us, Cw
Horned Grebe M,D   Fw
Red-necked Grebe M   Ot
Eared Grebe M, D   Uw
[Western Grebe] M   Ot
Shearwaters and Storm Petrels  
[Sooty Shearwater] C   A
[Audubon's Shearwater] C   A
[Wilson's Storm Petrel] M   A
Gannets and Boobies  
[Masked Booby] C   A
Northern Gannet C   Fw
Pelicans and Allies  
American White Pelican M, D   Cw
Brown Pelican C   Cp
Great Cormorant C   At
Double-crested Cormorant M, D N Rs, Cw
Neotropical Cormorant M   At
Anhinga M, D N Us, Rw
Magnificent Frigatebird C   Fs
Herons, Egrets and Allies  
American Bittern C,M,D   Uw, Ut
Least Bittern M, D N Us
Great Blue Heron M, D N Cp
Great Egret M, D N Cp
Snowy Egret M, D N Cp
Little Blue Heron M, D N Cp
Tricolored Heron M, D N Fp
Reddish Egret C   Rp
Cattle Egret M, D N Cs, Uw
Green-backed Heron M, D N Cs, Uw
Black-crowned Night-Heron M, D N Up
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron M, D N Fs, Rw
Ibises, Spoonbills and Storks  
White Ibis M, D N Fp
Glossy Ibis C,D   Rt
White-faced Ibis C   Rt
Roseate Spoonbill M, D   Fw
Wood Stork M, D   Us
Fulvous Whistling- Duck M, D   Rt
Black-bellied Whistling Duck   At
Tundra Swan M, D   Rw
Trumpeter Swan M, D   At
Greater White-fronted Goose M, D   Cw
Snow Goose M, D   Cw
Ross' Goose M, D   Rw
Brant M, D   Aw
Canada Goose M, D N Cp
Wood Duck M, D N Cp
Green-winged Teal M, D   Cw
American Black Duck M, D   Fw
Mottled Duck C N Up
Mallard M, D   Cp
Northern Pintail M, D   Cw
Blue-winged Teal M, D   Os, Ct, Uw
Cinnamon Teal M, D   Ot
Northern Shoveler M, D   Cw
Gadwall M, D   Cw
[Eurasian Wigeon] M   At
American Wigeon M, D   Cw
Canvasback M, D   Fw
Redhead M, D   Uw
Ring-necked Duck M, D   Cw
Greater Scaup M, D   Fw
Lesser Scaup M, D   Cw
King Eider M   At
Oldsquaw M, D   Rw
Black Scoter M   Rw
Surf Scoter M, D   Rw
White-winged Scoter M, D   Rw
Common Goldeneye M, D   Fw
Bufflehead M, D   Cw
Hooded Merganser M, D N Cw
Common Merganser M, D   Rw
Red-breasted Merganser M, D   Cw
Ruddy Duck M, D   Cw
Vultures, Hawks and Falcons  
Black Vulture M, D N Cp
Turkey Vulture M, D N Cp
Osprey C, M, D N Up, Rs, Ft
American Swallow-tailed Kite M, D N Us
White-tailed Kite C, D N Ot
Mississippi Kite M, D N Cs
Bald Eagle M, D N Rs, Fw
Northern Harrier M, D   Cw
Sharp-shinned Hawk M, D   Fw
Cooper's Hawk M, D N Us, Fw
Northern Goshawk M   At
Harris' Hawk M   At
Red-shouldered Hawk M, D N Fp
Broad-winged Hawk M, D N Fs
Swainson's Hawk M   Ot
Red-tailed Hawk M, D N Cp
[Ferruginous Hawk] M   At
Rough-legged Hawk M, D   At
Golden Eagle M, D   Rt
Crested Caracara M, D   A
American Kestrel M, D N Us, Cw
Merlin M, D   Ut, Rw
Prairie Falcon M   At
Peregrine Falcon M, D   Ut, Rw
Gallinaceous Birds  
Wild Turkey M, D N Cp
Bobwhite Quail M, D N Cp
Rails, Limpkins and Cranes  
Yellow Rail M   Ot
Black Rail M   A
Clapper Rail C N Cp
King Rail M, D N Up
Virginia Rail C, M, D   Ut, Rw
Sora C, M, D   Ut, Rw
Purple Gallinule M, D N Us
Common Moorhen M, D N Cp
American Coot M, D N Rs, Cw
Limpkin M   A
Sandhill Crane C, M, D N Rw
Plovers, Sandpipers and Allies  
Black-bellied Plover C, M, D   Fw
Lesser Golden Plover M, D   Ft
Snowy Plover C N Rp
Wilson's Plover C, M, D N Us
Semipalmated Plover C, M, D   Fw, Ft
Piping Plover C, M, D   Uw, Rt
Killdeer M, D N Cp
Mountain Plover M   A
American Oystercatcher C N Up
Black-necked Stilt C, M, D N Up
American Avocet C, M, D   Up, Rt
Greater Yellowlegs M, D   Ft,Uw
Lesser Yellowlegs M, D   Ct, Uw
Solitary Sandpiper M, D   Ct
Willet C, M, D N Fp, Rt
Spotted Sandpiper M, D N Ct, Uw
Upland Sandpiper M, D N Ut
Whimbrel C   Rt
Long-billed Curlew C   Ot
Hudsonian Godwit M, D   A
Marbled Godwit C, D   Rw
Ruddy Turnstone C, M   Fw
Red Knot C, D   Uw
Sanderling C, M, D   Cw
Semipalmated Sandpiper M, D   Ct
Western Sandpiper C, M, D   Cw
Least Sandpiper C, M, D   Cw
White-rumped Sandpiper M   Ut
Baird's Sandpiper M, D   Ut
Pectoral Sandpiper M, D   Ct
Purple Sandpiper C   A
Dunlin C, M, D   Cw, Ft
Stilt Sandpiper M, D   Ft
Buff-breasted Sandpiper M, D   Ut
[Ruff] M   A
Short-billed Dowitcher C, M, D   Fw, Ut
Long-billed Dowitcher C, M, D   Fw, Ut
Common Snipe M, D   Cw
American Woodcock M, D N Up
Wilson's Phalarope C, M, D   Ut
Red-necked Phalarope M, D   Ot
Red Phalarope M   Ot
Gulls, Terns and Skimmers  
Pomarine Jaeger M   A
Parasitic Jaeger M   O
Laughing Gull C, M, D N Cp
Franklin's Gull M, D   Rt
Little Gull M   O
Common Black-headed Gull M   A
Bonaparte's Gull M, D   Cw
Ring-billed Gull M, D   Cw
Herring Gull M, D   Uw
Lesser Black-backed Gull M   A
Glaucous Gull M   O
Great Black-backed Gull M   O
Black-legged Kittiwake M   O
Sabine's Gull M   A
Gull-billed Tern C, M N Us
Caspian Tern C, M, D N Fp, Ut
Royal Tern C N Cp
Snadwich Tern C N Us
[Roseate Tern] M   A
Common Tern C, M N Us, Rt
Forster's Tern C, M, D   Cp, Ft
Least Tern C, M, D N Cs
Bridled Tern C   A
Sooty Tern C   A
Black Tern M, D   Ct
Brown Noddy C   A
Black Skimmer C N Fp
Pigeons and Doves  
Rock Dove M, D N Cp
[Band-tailed Pigeon] M   A
Eurasian Collared-Dove M, D N Fp
White-winged Dove C, D   R
Mourning Dove M, D N Cp
Common Ground Dove C, M, D N Rp
Black-billed Cuckoo M, D   Rt
[Greater Roadrunner] D   A
Yellow-billed Cuckoo M, D N Cs
Groove-billed Ani C   Rt
Barn Owl M, D N Up
Eastern Screech-Owl M, D N Cp
Great Horned Owl M, D N Cp
Snowy Owl M   A
Burrowing Owl M, D   O
Barred Owl M, D N Cp
Long-eared Owl M   A
Short-eared Owl M, D   Uw
Northern Saw-whet Owl M   A
Common Nighthawk M, D N Cs
Chuck-will's-widow M, D N Cs
Whip-poor-will M, D N Fs
Chimney Swift M, D N Cs
Buff-bellied Humminbird M   O
Ruby-throated Humminbird M, D N Cs
Black-chinned Humminbird M   Rw
Calliope Humminbird C   A
Broad-tailed Humminbird M   A
Allen's Humminbird C   A
Rufous Humminbird C   Uw
White-eared Humminbird M   A
Anna's Humminbird M   A
Belted Kingfisher M, D N Fp
Red-headed Woodpecker M, D N Cp
Red-bellied Woodpecker M, D N Cp
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker M, D   Cw
Downy Woodpecker M, D N Cp
Hairy Woodpecker M, D N Up
Red-cockaded Woodpecker M N Rp
Northern Flicker M, D N Cp
Pileated Woodpecker M, D N Cp
Ivory-billed Woodpecker Possibly Extirpated
Olive-sided Flycatcher M, D   Ut
[Western Wood-Pewee] M   A
Eastern Wood-Pewee M, D N Cs
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher M, D   Ut
Acadian Flycatcher M, D N Fs
Alder Flycatcher M   Rt
Willow Flycatcher M N As, Rt
Least Flycatcher M, D   Ut
Eastern Phoebe M, D N Cp
Say's Phoebe M   A
Vermillion Flycatcher M, D   Rw
Ash-throated Flycatcher M   A
Great-crested Flycatcher M, D N Cs
[Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher] M   A
Western Kingbird M, D   Rt
Eastern Kingbird M, D N Cs
Gray Kingbird M, D N O
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher M, D N Rt
Cassin's Kingbird M   A
Horned Lark M, D N Cp
Martins and Swallows  
Purple Martin M, D N Cs
Tree Swallow M, D N As, Ct
Northern Rough-winged Swallow M, D N Fs
Bank Swallow M, D N Rs, Ut
Cliff Swallow M, D N Cs
Cave Swallow M   A
Barn Swallow M, D N Cs
Jays and Crows  
Blue Jay M, D N Cp
American Crow M, D N Cp
Fish Crow M, D N Cp
Chickadees and Titmice  
Carolina Chickadee M, D N Cp
Tufted Titmouse M, D N Cp
Red-breasted Nuthatch M, D   Uw
White-breasted Nuthatch M, D N Fp
Brown-headed Nuthatch M, D N Fp
Brown Creeper M, D   Fw
Carolina Wren M, D N Cp
Bewick's Wren M, D N Rw
House Wren M, D   Uw
Winter Wren M, D   Fw
Sedge Wren M, D   Uw
Marsh Wren C, M, D N Ut, Rw
Kinglets and Gnatcatchers  
Golden-crowned Kinglet M, D   Cw
Ruby-crowned Kinglet M, D   Cw
Blue-gray Kinglet M, D N Cs, Rw
Bluebirds, Thrushes and Robins  
Eastern Bluebird M, D N Cp
Mountain Bluebird M   A
[Townsend's Solitaire] M   A
Veery M, D   Ut
Gray Cheecked Thrush M, D   Ut
Swainson's Thrush M, D   Ft
Hermit Thrush M, D   Fw
Wood Thrush M, D N Cs
American Robin M, D N Cp
Mockingbirds and Thrashers  
Gray Catbird C, M, D N Ct, Us
Northern Mockingbird M, D N Cp
Brown Thrasher M, D N Cp
Wagtails and Pipits  
Citrine Wagtail M   A
American Pipit M, D   Cw
Sprague's Pipit M   O
Cedar Waxwing M, D N As, Cw
Loggerhead Shrike M, D N Fp
European Starling M, D N Cp
White-eyed Vireo M, D N Cs, Rw
Bell's Vireo M   O
[Black-capped Vireo] M   A
Solitary Vireo M, D   Uw
Yellow-throated Vireo M, D N Fs
Warbling Vireo M, D N Us
Philadelphia Vireo M, D   Ut
Red-eyed Vireo M, D N Cs
[Black-whiskered Vireo] M   O
Bachman's Warbler Possibly Extirpated
Blue-winged Warbler M, D   Ft
Golden-winged Warbler M, D   Ut
Tennessee Warbler M, D   Ct
Orange-crowned Warbler M, D   Uw
Nashville Warbler M, D   Ut
Northern Parula M, D N Cs
Yellow Warbler M, D   Cw
Chesnut-sided Warbler M, D   Ft
Magnolia Warbler M, D   Ct
Cape May Warbler M, D   Rt
Black-throated Blue Warbler M   Rt
Yellow-rumped Warbler M, D   Cw
[Black-throated Gray Warbler] M   A
Townsend's Warbler M   A
Black-throated Green Warbler M, D   Ct
Blackburnian Warbler M, D   Ft
Yellow-throated Warbler M, D N Fs
Pine Warbler M, D N Cp
Prairie Warbler M, D N Fs
Palm Warbler C, M, D   Fw, Ft
Bay-breasted Warbler M, D   Ft
Blackpoll Warbler M, D   Ft
Cerulean Warbler M, D   Ut
Black-and-white Warbler M, D N Cs
American Redstart M, D N Us, Ct
Prothonotary Warbler M, D N Cs
Worm-eating Warbler M, D N Us
Swainson's Warbler M, D N Us
Ovenbird M, D N Us, Ft
Northern Waterthrush M, D   Ut
Louisiana Waterthrush M, D N Fs
Kentucky Warbler M, D N Cs
[Connecticut Warbler] M, D   O
Mourning Warbler M, D   Rt
Common Yellowthroat M, D N Cs, Uw
Hooded Warbler M, D N Cs
Wilson's Warbler M, D   Ut
Canada Warbler M, D   Ft
[Painted Redstart] M   A
Yellow-breasted Chat M, D N Cs
Summer Tanager M, D N Cs
Scarlet Tanager M, D N Us, Ft
Western Tanager M, D   O
New World Finches  
Northern Cardinal M, D N Cp
Rose-breasted Grosbeak M, D   Ft
Black-headed Grosbeak M, D   O
Blue Grosbeak M, D N Cs
[Lazuli Bunting] M   A
Indigo Bunting M, D N Cs
Painted Bunting M, D N Us
Dickcissel M, D N Cs
[Green-tailed Towhee] M   A
Rufous-sided Towhee M, D N Cp
Bachman's Sparrow M N Us
American Tree Sparrow M, D   Ca
Chipping Sparrow M, D N Fs, Cw
Clay-colored sparrow C   O
Field Sparrow M, D N Fs, Cw
Vesper Sparrow M, D   Uw
Lark Sparrow M, D N Rs
Lark Bunting M   A
Savannah Sparrow M, D   Cw
Grasshopper Sparrow C, M, D   Rw
Henslow's Sparrow M   Rw
LeConte's Sparrow M, D   Uw
Sharp-tailed Sparrow C, M, D   Uw
Seaside Sparrow C N Up
Fox Sparrow M, D   Fw
Song Sparrow M, D   Cw
Lincoln's Sparrow M, D   Ut, Rw
Swamp Sparrow M, D   Cw
White-throated Sparrow M, D   Cw
White-crowned Sparrow M, D   Fw
Harris' Sparrow M, D   O
Dark-eyed Junco M, D   Cw
Lapland Longspur M, D   Cw
Smith's Longspur M   O
Snow Bunting M   A
Blackbirds, Grackles, Cowbirds and Orioles  
Bobolink M, D   Ct
Red-winged Blackbird M, D N Cp
Eastern Meadowlark M, D N Cp
Western Meadowlark M, D   Rw
Yellow-headed Blackbird M, D   O
Rusty Blackbird M, D   Fw
Brewer's Blackbird M, D   Fw
Boat-tailed Blackbird C N Cp
Common Grackle M, D N Cp
Shiny Cowbird C   A
Bronzed Cowbird C   O
Brown-headed Cowbird M, D N Cp
Orchard Oriole M, D N Cs
Northern Oriole (Baltimore race) M, D N Cs
Northern Finches  
Purple Finch M, D   Fw
House Finch M, D N Fs, Cw
Red Crossbill M N O
Pine Siskin M, D   Cw
American Goldfinch M, D N Cp
Evening Grosbeak M, D   Uw
Old World Sparrows  
House Sparrow M, D N Cp