Only 1 in 50 people can identify these birds that soar the American sky! Can you?

By: Madeleine
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Many North American birds resemble those of Eurasia (since the lands were connected as the supercontinent Laurasia some 60 million years ago), but many birds also are uniquely North American, including hummingbirds, cardinals, warblers, and more. Find out if your eye catches the differences in our homeland birds quiz!

The Acorn Woodpecker is famed for hoarding acorns, which it does by drilling into its chosen tree and storing its scavenged acorns in its drill holes until winter when it's time to eat. One tree may be used for generations and covered with up to 50,000 holes.

The Mute Swan, originally from Europe, was brought to North America to decorate parks and estates, but eventually grew into a significant population (especially in the northeast where it's considered a pest). It's quieter than the native American swans ( which is why it was dubbed "mute"), but it actually has a hoarse voice when it chooses to squawk.

The Hook-billed Kite is a tropical hawk that originally arrived from south of the border, but has been a regular resident of South Texas since 1975. It spends most of its time in the canopy of the woods where it eats tree snails.

The Mallard is one of the world's most abundant ducks. In the wild, it's known for its slimness and grace.

The Long-tailed Duck mostly lives in the Arctic, but over the winter, may travel as far south as the Great Lakes. It's known for its loud, lyrical call, which mostly comes from the males.

Originally from Africa, the Cattle Egret didn't arrive in North America until the 1950s, but its population has grown dramatically ever since. To feed, the bird follows cattle (or other animals), and patiently waits for insects to be churned out of the dirt.

The Fork-tailed Flycatcher ventures up the Atlantic Coast from the tropics every year in the fall. However, those that reach as far north as the U.S. hail from southern South America and made some errors in navigation.

The Blue Mockingbird is distantly related to the Northern Mockingbird, but originally comes from Mexico. It lives in dense bushes and trees, and strays into Arizona where it will stay for several months out of the year.

The California Quail mostly lives in small flocks along the California coast. It has adapted well to wooded suburbs, and in some instances, even spends time in large city parks. An interesting fact, it nods its head at each step as it walks.

Allen's Hummingbirds mostly live in California. They are one of the two most common hummingbirds found nesting in California gardens, especially in the northern part of the state.

The Barnacle Goose mostly lives along Arctic coasts that stretch from Greenland to Siberia. However, it winters in northwestern Europe and sometimes reaches northeastern North America.

The Great Blue Heron (often called a "crane") is the largest type of heron in North America. It lives along inland rivers and lakeshores, and since it's highly adaptable, survives on every kind of inland water, from Floridian swamps to Arizonian rivers to Alaskan lakes.

The Hermit Warbler lives along the coast and mountains from northern California up through southern Washington, and nests in forests of needle trees (aka conifers). It's closely related to the Townsend's Warbler - so much so, that sometimes the two interbreed.

The Greater Roadrunner is the most famous bird of the American southwest, and accordingly, featured in a lot of folklore and old cartoons. While the bird mostly walks and runs (it actually can go up to 15 mph), it also flies when needed.

The Jabiru is a huge tropical stork that mostly lives in South America, but it's also found in southern Mexico, and ventures up to Texas in the late summer or fall.

In North America, the Magnificent Frigatebird mostly lives in Florida, but it also appears along the Gulf Coast. The breed is famous for its throat pouches among its males who inflate them into huge, red balloons to attract females.

The Least Bittern is one of the smallest types of herons in the world. It lives in dense marshes where it climbs on stems with its long toes, instead of wading through shallow waters like other herons do. While the small bird is hard to see unless it's flying, one can listen for its calls at sunrise and sunset.

The Hudsonian Godwit is a big sandpiper that spends time in marshes and flooded fields. In the spring, the bird flies north across the Great Plains, and every fall, flies down to South America (although some stop in the U.S. on the Atlantic Coast).

Clark's Grebe is almost identical to the Western Grebe in almost all aspects of behavior, although, one study found the Clark's feeds farther from shore in deeper water. They also have minor differences in their face pattern, bill color, and voice.

The Falcated Duck, an Asian bird originally dubbed "Falcated Teal," has become a sighting in western Alaska. If it's seen in other parts of North America, the bird has likely escaped captivity.

The Blue-footed Bobby is most famous for its abundant population on the Galapagos in South America, but it actually nests as far north as Mexico, and in some years, small numbers venture up to California's Salton Sea. The bird likes to bow and shuffle with a partner, and show off its blue feet.

In the summer, the Atlantic Puffin lives in colonies along the ocean in Maine and Canada, but in the winter, becomes solitary and moves inland. It carries as many as 12 small fish in its bill at a time, and acts quite social with its peers at its nesting sites.

The American Three-toed Woodpecker lives in conifer forests, and particularly loves standing dead trees after a big fire or flood. It's a great pest controller, especially of the spruce bark beetle, which is a major forest pest.

The Baltimore Oriole is a very brightly colored songbird that lives east of the Great Plains in open woods and groves. Its nests stand out because they hang down from trees in the shape of a big bag.

The Aplomado Falcon had been widespread across the Southwest's desert grassland up to the 1920s, but then became rare to see north of Mexico. Recently, however, the bird has been spotted in New Mexico and Texas, especially in the Lone Star State where a big effort has been made to reintroduce the species.

The California Condor feeds on large, dead animals, and spends its time flying around steep, rugged cliffs and rock faces. Since it reproduces very slowly and lost a lot of its habitat in Southern California, the bird almost went extinct in the 1980s. A breeding program recently released flocks of condors that are now living successfully in parts of California and Arizona.

The American Flamingo originally comes from the Bahamas, but regularly migrates to Florida's Everglades National Park along the Florida Bay. A small number of them, which are believed to have migrated from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, also live in coastal Texas,

The Greater Prairie-Chicken is known for a booming, hollow moaning produced by its males, and living across central and eastern North America. While the bird has recently become localized, it still thrives in the grassland of the Midwest.

The Eastern Bluebird is the most common type of the three bluebirds. It mostly lives in the eastern United States but its range extends down to Nicaragua. When roaming, the bird enjoys flying the countryside in small flocks with its peers.

The American Goldfinch is famous for its males that turn a bright yellow (or gold) in the summer and make pretty musical calls as they fly the countryside. In winter, the males turn into a brown color similar to that of their female counterparts.

The Barn Owl earned its name from roosting in farmers's barns, but it's also known to nest in places like church towers. At night, it preys on mice and rats, flies high over farmland and marshes, and makes loud, high-pitched, rasping calls.

The American Kestrel is the world's smallest falcon, and lives mostly in North America. It eats things like grasshoppers and small lizards, nests in tree cavities, and enjoys perching on roadside wires.

The Gray Partridge had been a popular game bird in Europe, and as immigration to North America grew in the 1700s, people brought the bird over by the 1790s. It now lives in the farm country of northern prairies where it spends its time in flocks most of the year.

The American Avocet likes to wade in the shallow waters of lake shores and mudflats in the big, open spaces of the west. It eats by dipping its bill into the water, leaving its beak slightly open, and then filtering tiny foods into its mouth.

The Bald Eagle is the emblem bird of the U.S. It eats animal carcasses, like dead fish that wash up on shore, and steals food from other smaller birds. But it's also a fantastic predator. Large populations live in Alaska where in some areas they're considered a major nuisance.

The Black-necked Stilt has thin legs and wings, and a needle-like bill. It lives in sun-baked flats around shallow lakes (sometimes in searing climates), but also grassy marshes and pools of water (fresh and alkaline).

The Blue-crowned Parakeet, also known as the “Little Macaw,” is mostly green with a blue face and head, and a tinted red tail. In flight, the bird can be spotted by its long tail, and pale beak and legs. It feeds on foods like berries and other fresh fruits, grains, and nuts.

The Altamira Oriole is big tropical oriole that lives in southern Texas and parts of Mexico. It's known for the pouch-like nest that it makes, which hangs up to two feet down off the end of a branch.

The American Coot is a highly adaptable waterbird that spends time in flocks, swims in open water like ducks, and is known to be aggressive and noisy. It has strong legs and big feet with lobed toes, which it uses to fight against its peers over territory.

The Green-breasted Mango is a large hummingbird with a slightly curved beak. It lives near forest edges and in tropical lowlands. Its population is abundant in the American tropics, but it has also been found in Texas, Georgia, and even Wisconsin.

The Hooded Merganser is the world's only duck that specializes in eating fish. It lives in mild climates of North America, near wooded swamps and ponds, and nests in holes along those wooded waters.

The Indigo Bunting is one of world's the most abundant songbirds. Males are a deep blue or indigo hue (pictured), while the females are brown and much harder to see in the dense thickets where they live with their eggs and young.

The King Eider is a sea duck that lives in the frigid cold of the Arctic where it swims in near-freezing waters and rests on sheets of floating ice. The females and young look plain and brown compared to the adult males, which are quite ornate and stunning.

The Mangrove Cuckoo lives in the mangrove swamps and tropical hardwoods of Florida, Florida Keys, and the tropics. It's hard to find as it's shy and lives in dense tangles, but its distinct calls sometimes give it away.

The Lilac-crowned Parrot is mostly lime green with a lilac blue across the top of its head and neck. It lives in deciduous, semi-deciduous, and pine-oak forests in Mexico and California, but it's also sometimes seen in Florida.

The Crested Auklet is a seabird with a loose crest that hangs down in front of its face and looks like a floppy mohawk. It lives in crevices among rocks in Alaska, where it eats, swims, dives and flies with its peers in large groups.

The Brown Pelican lives in abundance along coastal waters in the U.S., and spends time flying low over waves in a single file behind its peers. To eat, the bird dives head first straight into the ocean to find fish.

The Blue Jay is loud, smart and adaptable, and eats almost anything. While it's known for its "jay" call, it makes many other notes and sounds, including mimicking the scream of a Red-shouldered Hawk.

The Least Auklet is about the size of a sparrow, and accordingly, the smallest member of the auk family (hence, its name). It lives around the Bering Sea between eastern Russia and western Alaska, and enjoys standing on rock piles near the beach.

The Broad-winged Hawk is small for a hawk, but its broad wings stand out when it flies in flocks during migration. In the summer, the bird lives in eastern woodlands, but in the fall, travels south for warmer climates in Central and South America.

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