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Bird Species

Common Bird Types

Tufted Titmouse

With so many bird species, how can you begin to know them? Start with the basic types.

You likely know a number of common birds, like an American Robin or Bald Eagle. But how to grow your knowledge with so many different species out there? One easy way is to break them down into basic, common groups that share similar traits. Below is a brief description of some of the more common bird groups. 

The largest group with half of all bird species; includes warblers, sparrows, robins, nuthatches, and many more.


Northern Cardinal

Swimming birds and waterfowl

Live in water or nearby; includes ducks and loons.

 Swimming birds

Mallard Duck

Wading birds

Have longs for wading in water; includes herons, egrets, ibis, storks, and cranes.

Wading  birds

Great Blue Heron


Meat-eating birds that like to soar in the sky; includes eagles, falcons, hawks, and vultures.

raptor bird

Red-tailed Hawk


Meat-eating birds that feed at night.


Great-horned Owl


A distinctive group that climb tree trucks and hit wood.


Downy Woodpecker


Another distinctive group that hover at flowers and are tiny.

 ​Hummingbird  species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Found over bodies of water, along the coastlines or out at sea; includes gulls, pelicans, and terns.

types of seabirds


Pigeons and doves

Large-chested birds with short legs and small heads.

pigeons and doves

Rock Pigeon

Turkey-like birds

Includes wild turkeys, partridge, quail, and grouse.


Wild Turkey

If you'd like to more about common birds and quiz your bird knowledge, consider a Spark Birding online course. View courses.
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