Missouri and its Birds 435 species White-crowned Sparrow Photo by Jason Harrison Horned Grebe Photo by Peter Kondrashov Northern Cardinal Photo by Peter Kondrashov Scarlet Tanager Photo by Al Smith Snowy Egret Photo by Al Smith Ruby-throated Hummingbird Photo by Jason Harrison Yellow-headed Blackbird Photo by Peter Kondrashov Snowy Owl Photo by Jason Harrison Prairie Warbler Photo by Peter Kondrashov Mourning Warbler Photo by Al Smith Ruby-throated Hummingbird Photo by Peter Kondrashov Red Crossbill Photo by Al Smith Common Yellowthroat Photo by Jason Harrison Buff-breasted Sandpiper Photo by Peter Kondrashov Cape May Warbler Photo by Andy Reago/Chrissy McClarren Green-winged Teal Photo by Al Smith Field Sparrow Photo by Peter Kondrashov Rose-breasted Grosbeak Photo by Al Smith Eastern Bluebird Photo by Jason Harrison Black-throated Green Warbler Photo by Andy Reago/Chrissy McClarren Purple Finch Photo by Peter Kondrashov Nelson's Sparrow Photo by Al Smith Carolina Wren Photo by Al Smith Blue-winged Warbler Photo by Peter Kondrashov Green Heron Photo by Al Smith Northern Shoveler Photo by Peter Kondrashov Red-breasted Nuthatch Photo by Al Smith American Bittern Photo by Peter Kondrashov American Avocet Photo by Peter Kondrashov Harris's Sparrow Photo by Al Smith Peregrine Falcon Photo by Peter Kondrashov Bald Eagle Photo by Peter Kondrashov Red-shouldered Hawk Photo by Peter Kondrashov Rusty Blackbird Photo by Peter Kondrashov Le Conte's Sparrow Photo by Peter Kondrashov American Kestrel Photo by Andy Reago/Chrissy McClarren Yellow Warbler Photo by Al Smith Barn Swallow Photo by Al Smith Kentucky Warbler Photo by Al Smith Bobolink Photo by Al Smith Dickcissel Photo by Al Smith American Redstart Photo by Peter Kondrashov Indigo Bunting Photo by Peter Kondrashov Hudsonian Godwit Photo by Peter Kondrashov Black-bellied Plover Photo by Al Smith Swamp Sparrow Photo by Peter Kondrashov Baltimore Oriole Photo by Peter Kondrashov Ruby-crowned Kinglet Photo by Al Smith Great Crested Flycatcher Photo by Peter Kondrashov Chestnut-sided Warbler Photo by Peter Kondrashov Canada Warbler Photo by Al Smith Lincoln's Sparrow Photo by Peter Kondrashov Cedar Waxwing Photo by Al Smith Golden-crowned Kinglet Photo by Al Smith Eurasian Tree Sparrow Photo by Al Smith Cape May Warbler Photo by Al Smith Snowy Owl Photo by Peter Kondrashov Black-and-white Warbler Photo by Andy Reago/Chrissy McClarren American Tree Sparrow Photo by Peter Kondrashov Bonaparte's Gull Photo by Al Smith Louisiana Waterthrush Photo by Peter Kondrashov Painted Bunting Photo by Jason Harrison Blackburnian Warbler Photo by Al Smith Red-headed Woodpecker Photo by Al Smith Yellow-throated Warbler Photo by Andy Reago/Chrissy McClarren Blue Grosbeak Photo by Peter Kondrashov Palm Warbler Photo by Peter Kondrashov Ring-billed Gull Photo by Al Smith Bay-breasted Warbler Photo by Andy Reago/Chrissy McClarren Summer Tanager Photo by Jason Harrison Hooded Warbler Photo by Al Smith Wood Thrush Photo by Al Smith Yellow-billed Cuckoo Photo by Al Smith Golden-winged Warbler Photo by Al Smith Missouri lies in the middle of the great North American heartland, with a fauna that reflects influences from all directions. Being east of center, our state will always fall within the “eastern” volume of any two-volume field guide; yet one can feel a pull from the West at the sight of a Swainson’s Hawk or a Greater Roadrunner…or a Collared Lizard on a cedar glade. Missouri is also equidistant from the Canadian border and the Gulf coast, so that we have such nesting birds as Swainson’s Warbler and Painted Bunting in the southernmost counties, and Mississippi Kite more widely, while winter visitors like Northern Shrike, Rough-legged Hawk, and Glaucous Gull are regular in the more northerly parts. Missouri’s topography is defined mainly by rolling farmland with remnant prairie to the north and west, and the forested Ozarks and the flat alluvial plain in the south and southeast. These habitats make the state a haven both for woodland species like Cerulean Warbler and for open-country birds like Dickcissel. The Mississippi River, forming the eastern border, and the Missouri River, which bisects the state, offer migration corridors and stopover locations for waterfowl, shorebirds, larids, raptors, and landbirds, as do several large National Wildlife Refuges and an abundance of state Conservation Areas. With this strategic location and diverse terrain, Missouri has a healthy bird list of 434 species; this includes five that are extinct, three others that formerly lived here but have been extirpated, and 11 that are provisional. As in every state, many of our listed birds are accidental or casual visitors; these amount to another 80 or more, leaving us with about 330 regular birds that are seen annually somewhere in the state. The Annotated Checklist is a great resource to help you pin down where and when you might find Missouri’s birds, and how likely they might be. Have fun birding!