(I) - Introduced: Birds that have been introduced to Florida by the actions of man, either directly or indirectly.
(i) - Introduced/native: Birds that naturally occur in Florida at certain seasons, or only in parts of the state, but also have populations in Florida that have been introduced by the actions of man, either directly or indirectly.
(E) - Extinct a recent member of the avifauna that no longer exists.
(A) - Accidental: Birds that occur rarely or accidentally in Florida, and for which the FOSRC requests a full report for verification.
Only birds that are considered to have arrived in Florida without human assistance, or introduced species with established, self-sustaining populations in Florida, are included on this list. Probable escapees are not included. For example, the Ringed Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia "risoria") was previously considered to be an established exotic; however, although occasional sightings are reported from residential areas, they are probably escapees, and evidence of a true self-sustaining population is lacking. They are, therefore, not included on this list. There are 510 species on the Florida state checklist.
This list is presented in taxonomic order and follows The Check-list of North American Birds (7th ed., 51st supplement, 2010), published by the American Ornithologists' Union. The table of contents is grouped into passerines (the largest order of birds) and non-passerines. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced, casual, accidental, extirpated and extinct species are included in the total species counts for North America and Florida.
The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These are birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to special oils.
The Phasianidae is the family containing the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial birds, variable in size but generally plump, with broad, relatively short wings. Many are gamebirds, or have been domesticated as a food source for humans.
Loons are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. Their plumage is largely grey or black and they have spear-shaped bills. Loons swim well and fly adequately but, because their legs are placed towards the rear of the body, are clumsy on land.
Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land.
Flamingoes are gregarious wading birds, usually 3–5 feet in height, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. They are more numerous in the latter. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly-shaped beaks are adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume, and are uniquely used upside-down.
The storm-petrels are the smallest of seabirds, relatives of the petrels, feeding on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the ocean's surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.
Storks are large, heavy, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills and wide wingspans. They lack the powder down that other wading birds such as herons, spoonbills and ibises use to clean off fish slime. Storks lack a pharynx and are mute.
Frigatebirds are large sea-birds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black or black and white, with long wings and deeply-forked tails. The males have inflatable coloured throat pouches. They do not swim or walk, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan to body weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.
Cormorants are medium-to-large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of coloured skin on the face. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature among the Pelecaniformes order.
The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and Egrets are medium to large sized wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more secretive. Unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of the Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted.
The family Threskiornithidae includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings. Their bodies are elongated, the neck more so, with long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills.
New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers; however, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carcasses.
The family Pandionidae is a family of fish-eating birds of prey, possessing a very large, powerful hooked beak for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. The family is monotypic; its sole member, the Osprey, is found in Florida.
The family Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey that includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. They have very large, hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight.
The Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. The most typical family members occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive, making them difficult to observe. Most have strong legs with long toes, short rounded wings, and are weak fliers.
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks, and long, usually pointed, wings. They are generally found in open country, mostly in habitats near water, although there are some exceptions.
The Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds which includes the avocets and the stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills.
The Scolopacidae are a large and diverse family of small to medium sized shorebirds which includes the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. Most eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or sand. Different lengths of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
The Laridae are a family of medium to large seabirds and containing the gulls, terns, kittiwakes and skimmers. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet.
Skuas are medium to large seabirds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They have longish bills with a hooked tip, and webbed feet with sharp claws. They look like large dark gulls, but have a fleshy cere above the upper mandible. They are strong, acrobatic fliers.
Alcids are superficially similar to penguins due to their black-and-white colours, their upright posture and some of their habits; however they are not closely related to penguins, and are (with one extinct exception) able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, only deliberately coming ashore to breed.
Parrots are small to large birds with characteristic curved beaks. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two behind.
The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Unlike the cuckoo species of the Old World, North American cuckoos are not brood parasites.
Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is crypically coloured to resemble bark or leaves.
The swifts are small aerial birds, spending most of their lives flying. They have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have very long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang.
Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward, and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.
Tyrant flycatchers are passerines which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust with stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, are rather plain. As the name implies, most are insectivorous.
Shrikes are passerines known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey.
The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show levels of learned behavior of a high degree.
The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterised by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partly joined at the base.
Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike most other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet.
Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees.
The Thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly but not exclusively in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.
The Mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. They are notable for their vocalization, especially their remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. The species tend towards dull grays and browns in their appearance.
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerines with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Their plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.
The waxwings are a group of passerine birds characterised by soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax, and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter.
The Calcariidae are a group of passerine birds that have been traditionally grouped with the Emberizeridae (New World Sparrows), but differe in a number of respects, and are usually found in open grassy areas.
The Bananaquit is a small passerine bird. It has a slender, curved bill, adapted to taking nectar from flowers, and is the only member of the genus Coereba (Vieillot, 1809). It is normally placed within the monotypic family Coerebidae, although there is uncertainty whether that placement is correct (hence the assignment Genus: CoerebaIncertae sedis).
The tanagers are a large group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, mainly in the tropics. Many species are brightly colored. They are seedeaters, but their preference tends towards fruit and nectar. Most have short, rounded wings.
The Emberizidae is a large passerine family. They are seed-eating birds with a distinctively shaped bill. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are called sparrows, although they are not closely related to the Old World sparrows in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.
The Icterids are a group of small to medium, often colorful, passerines restricted to the New World, including the grackles, New World blackbirds, and New World orioles. Most have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red.
Finches are seed-eating passerines. They are small to moderately large and have strong, usually conical and sometimes very large, beaks. All have 12 tail feathers and nine primaries. They have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.
Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small plump brownish or greyish birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects.
The following species have been reviewed by the FOSRC and, while confirmed in identification, there is uncertainty as to whether they represent escaped individuals or genuine vagrants from established populations.