Page Contents

Introduction

Orders

Genus and Species

Specific Species

Links

Introduction

Birds are animals of the class Aves (Latin for "birds"). Most birds fly and all the birds observed on and around French Hill Pond do fly. Birds are fairly easy to identify because they tend to have distinctive markings and body shapes. The parts of a bird are indicated in the following photograph of the American Robin.

The Parts of a Bird

Some of these parts require further explanation. The nares are the nostrils of the bird. The singular form of this word is naris. The upper mandible is the upper part of the beak and the lower mandible is the lower part of the beak.  Feathers that cover the ear opening are the auriculars, which are distinctively colored in some birds. The scapulars are the feathers covering the shoulder of a bird where the wings attach to the body. Coverts are small feathers covering a part of the bird. The feathers that comprise the wings are the primaries, the outermost and longest feathers, and the secondaries, located along the edge of the wing. The mantle is comprised of the back feathers and the visible wing feathers. The tarsus is the lower part of the bird's leg and is normally featherless.

Some birds will have crests that are tufts of feathers on the crown. Special coloring on the wings that is a crosswise mark is called a wing bar. A mark that runs along the opened wing is called a wing stripe. A colored patch on the wing, especially on ducks, is called a speculum.

Some birds change their plumage at various times during the year. However, the birds inhabiting Mount Desert Island have colors and markings that permit identification under most conditions and year-round.

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Orders

The class of birds is further divided into orders. About half of all birds belong to the order Passeriformes (Latin for "sparrow-like"). Birds in this order perch. Another order of birds found on French Hill Pond are the Anseriformes (Latin for "goose-like"). These birds have webbed feet and are usually at home in water.  Another Aves order is the Ciconiiformes (Latin for "stork-like"), which are birds with long legs, big bills and wade in water as opposed to swimming. Columbiformes (from the Latin for "dove") is the order of doves and pigeons. The order Piciformes (from the Latin for "woodpecker") are woodpeckers and similar birds. The Strigiformes are owls.

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Genus and Species

The genus and species of a bird will be in parenthesis following the common name of the bird when the bird is described. The genus name begins with an uppercase letter. The species name is always in lowercase letters. For example,  Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) denotes that the Blue Jay's genus name is Cyanocitta and its species name is cristata. Latin scholars will recognize that the Blue Jay's genus name means "dark blue" and the species name means "crested."

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Specific Species

The following columns correspond to orders of birds found on or near French Hill Pond. Click on the photograph or name of a specific species of bird to display details about that bird. The common name in black is a link under development.

Species will be added as information becomes available.

Anseriformes Ciconiiformes Columbiformes Passeriformes Piciformes Strifgiformes
Black Duck
Black Duck
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove
American Robin
American Robin
Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Barred Owl (Strix varia)
Barred Owl
Canada Goose
Canada Goose
    Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee
   
Common Merganser
Common Merganser
    Blue Jay
Blue Jay
   
Mallard
Mallard
    Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
   
 Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Ruddy Duck
    Common Crow
Common Crow
   

    Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco
   
      Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Pheobe
   
      Ovenbird
Ovenbird
   
      Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
   
       Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Song Sparrow
   

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Links

Fauna of French Hill Pond