List of birds of the Marshall Islands
This is a list of the bird species recorded in the Marshall Islands. The avifauna of the Marshall Islands include a total of 84 species, of which one has been introduced by humans and four are rare or accidental. Five species are globally threatened.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for the Marshall Islands.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in the Marshall Islands
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to the Marshall Islands as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
- 1 Albatrosses
- 2 Shearwaters and petrels
- 3 Austral storm petrels
- 4 Northern storm petrels
- 5 Tropicbirds
- 6 Boobies and gannets
- 7 Frigatebirds
- 8 Bitterns, herons and egrets
- 9 Ducks, geese and swans
- 10 Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots
- 11 Pratincoles and coursers
- 12 Plovers and lapwings
- 13 Sandpipers and allies
- 14 Gulls, terns, and skimmers
- 15 Pigeons and doves
- 16 Cuckoos and anis
- 17 Typical owls
- 18 Swifts
- 19 Kingfishers
- 20 Swallows and martins
- 21 Old World sparrows
- 22 See also
- 23 References
The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds.
Shearwaters and petrelsEdit
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.
- Kermadec petrel, Pterodroma neglecta
- Juan Fernandez petrel, Pterodroma externa
- White-necked petrel, Pterodroma cervicalis
- Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca
- Black-winged petrel, Pterodroma nigripennis
- Stejneger's petrel, Pterodroma longirostris
- Bulwer's petrel, Bulweria bulwerii
- Flesh-footed shearwater, Ardenna carneipes
- Wedge-tailed shearwater, Ardenna pacificus
- Sooty shearwater, Ardenna griseus
- Short-tailed shearwater, Ardenna tenuirostris
- Christmas shearwater, Puffinus nativitatis
Austral storm petrelsEdit
The austral storm petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.
Northern storm petrelsEdit
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.
Boobies and gannetsEdit
Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black and white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable 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.
Bitterns, herons and egretsEdit
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.
Ducks, geese and swansEdit
Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.
- Snow goose, Anser caerulescens (A)
- Cackling goose, Branta hutchinsii (A)
- Canada goose, Branta canadensis
- Eurasian wigeon, Mareca penelope (A)
- Gadwall, Mareca strepera
- Eurasian teal, Anas crecca
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta
- Northern shoveler, Spatula clypeata
- Canvasback, Aythya valisineria
- Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula
Rails, crakes, gallinules and cootsEdit
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.
- White-browed crake, Porzana cinerea
Pratincoles and coursersEdit
Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long pointed bills which curve downwards.
- Oriental pratincole, Glareola maldivarum
Plovers and lapwingsEdit
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 found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.
Sandpipers and alliesEdit
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
- Latham's snipe, Gallinago hardwickii
- Black-tailed godwit, Limosa limosa
- Bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
- Bristle-thighed curlew, Numenius tahitiensis
- Greater yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
- Wood sandpiper, Tringa glareola
- Grey-tailed tattler, Tringa brevipes
- Wandering tattler, Tringa incanus
- Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
- Red-necked stint, Calidris ruficollis
- Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos
- Sharp-tailed sandpiper, Calidris acuminata
- Buff-breasted sandpiper, Calidris subruficollis
- Ruff, Calidris pugnax
Gulls, terns, and skimmersEdit
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.
- Franklin's gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan (A)
- Laughing gull, Leucophaeus atricilla (A)
- Greater crested tern, Thalasseus bergii
- Black-naped tern, Sterna sumatrana
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo
- Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea
- Little tern, Sternula albifrons
- Spectacled tern, Onychoprion lunatus
- Bridled tern, Onychoprion anaethetus
- Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscatus
- Black noddy, Anous minutus
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus
- Blue noddy, Anous cerulea
- White tern, Gygis alba
Pigeons and dovesEdit
Cuckoos and anisEdit
- Long-tailed koel, Eudynamys taitensis
The 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.
Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang.
- Pacific swift, Apus pacificus
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails.
- Sacred kingfisher, Todirhamphus sanctus
Swallows and martinsEdit
The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
Old World sparrowsEdit
Old World sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.
- Eurasian tree sparrow, Passer montanus (I)