Black Grouse

Lyrurus tetrix


Tetrao urogallus

Haze grouse

Bonasa bonasia


Lagopus mutus

Medium-large birds, sedentary in mountain areas and boreal forests, terrestrial. They have nostrils and feathered legs and lack of spurs, rounded wings with rigid primaries. They nidify on the ground and the young born are able to carry out short flights only after 1-2 weeks. Generally different sexes.





Rock Ptarmigan

Lagopus lagopus scoticus


Common Pheasant

Phasianus colchicus

Chukar Partridge

Alectoris chukar

Red-legged Partridge

Alectoris rufa

Grey Partridge

Perdix perdix

Terrestrial birds resembling hens with featherless legs. They can be observed in the plains and on mountain slopes above the tree line. Pheasants have a long tail, partridges and quails are much smaller, rounder with very short tails. They nest on the ground.





Common Quail

Coturnix coturnix




Mute Swan

Cygnus olor

Whooper Swan

Cygnus cygnus

Bewick's Swan

Cygnus bewickii

Black Swan

Cygnus atratus


Very large water birds with long necks used for feeding in shallow waters. They are massive birds which, for taking off, must run and beat strong the wings, gait on the clumsy and wavy ground. They feed on mostly submerged vegetables, they’re monogamous, faithful all their lives. Three species, the black swan is of Australian origin, introduced is able to self-sustain, present in Holland, in Italy and in other countries.

Swan trumpeter

Cygnus buccinator

North America


Greylag Goose

Anser anser

Greater White-fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

Lesser White-fronted Goose

Anser erythropus

Barnacle Goose

Branta leucopsis

Big aquatic birds specialized in grazing, with strong legs. Beak with serrated edges in the upper jaw. Gregarious species especially in winter, migrants follow traditional routes flying in V formation. They nourish of vegetables and nidify on the ground. There are two types of geese the " gray" ( Anser ) and the " dark " ( Branta ).


Brant Goose

Branta bernicla nigricans

Tundra Bean Goose

Anser fabalis rossicus

Red-breasted Goose

Branta ruficollis

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis


Snow Goose

Chen caerulescens

Egyptian Goose

Alopochen aegyptiaca

Bar-headed Goose

Anser indicus

Ross's Goose

Anser rossii


Cackling Goose

Branta hutchinsii

Common Shelduck

Tadorna tadorna

Ruddy Shelduck

Tadorna ferruginea



Anas platyrhynchos


Anas strepera

Northern Pintail

Anas acuta

Northern Shoveler

Anas clypeata

Waterfowl from small to big, feed by sieving the water or dipping in half. They easily fly up from the water. Sexes usually very different from each other, the summer males get a feather similar to the females during the simultaneous moulting of the remiges.


Eurasian Wigeon

Anas penelope

Eurasian Teal

Anas crecca


Anas querquedula

Marbled Duck

Marmaronetta angustirostris


Blue-winged Teal

Anas discors

Baikal Teal

Anas formosa

Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata

Wood Duck

Aix sponsa


Common Pochard

Aythya ferina

Red-crested Pochard

Netta rufina

Ferruginous Duck

Aythya nycora

Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

Group of ducks that nourish diving and run on the surface of the water for getting up in flight. Some are found in shallow lakes while others are mostly marine (orcs, eiders).


Greater Scaup

Aythya marila

Ring-necked Duck

Aythya collaris

Common Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula

Barrow's Goldeneye

Bucephala islandica


Common Eider

Somateria mollissima


Mergellus albellus

Long-tailed Duck

Clangula hyemalis

Ruddy duck

Oxyura jamaicensis

North America



Mergus merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus serrator

Hooded Merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus


They are aquatic birds with thin and serrated beak, most have a tuft and slender body. In flight they appear with the elongated body with beak, head and neck kept horizontal. They nidify on the ground or in cavities.


European Nightjar

Caprimulgus europaeus


They are medium-sized birds, specialized in catching flying insects at sunset and at night. They have very wide mouth cavities, long and hard vibrissae on the sides of the beak. The wings and the tail are long and narrow, short legs and neck, small beak. camouflaging brown mottled plumage. They spend the day or on the ground or perched on a branch in the direction of the length. Nest on the ground.




Common Swift

Apus apus

Alpine Swift

Apus melba

Pallid Swift

Apus pallidus


Medium-spicy birds with long, pointed and sickle wings. Flying birds, they spend their lives in flight. They mate and sleep in flight. Tiny legs, are used for clinging but not for resting on the ground, equipped with curved nails of raptor. Similar sexes, insectivorous.





Common Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus


Medium-sized birds with elongated body, narrow wings and long tail. They parasitize other species, laying their eggs in the nest of other birds, leaving them to care for their young. Similar sexes.






Common Wood Pigeon

Columba palumbus

Stock Dove

Columba oenas

Rock Dove

Columba livia

Pigeon, domestic

Columba livia domestica

Fast flyers, compact with strong pectoral muscles and small head. The bigger species with ample tail are indicated by the terms "pigeon" or " pigeon" whilst the turtle doves are the smallest and slender species with longer tail. They drink by dipping their beak in the water " sucking it " unlike other birds. The chicks are fed with the "picket milk " from the goiter.




Eurasian Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

European Turtle Dove

Streptopelia turtur

Mourning Dove

Zenaida macroura

North America


Water Rail

Rallus acquaticus

Spotted Crake

Porzana porzana

Little Crake

Porzana parva

Common Moorhen

Galinula chloropus

Aquatic birds that live hidden in the vegetation of wetlands. Compact and rounded body with rounded and short wings, they fly reluctantly and for short stretches. Reserved habits one hears the song, often emitted at night. Nocturnal migration.






Eurasian Coot

Fulica atra

Corn Crake

Crex crex

Western Swamphen

Porphirio Porphirio

American Coot

Fulica americana

North America


Common Crane

Grus grus

Crane, Black crowned

Balearica pavonina


Very big birds with long neck and legs, terrestrial. Sailplanes, fly with the neck elongated in V-shaped formation or with regular oblique lines. The voice resembles the sound of a trumpet. They feed on fields and uncultivated at slow paces. Nest on the ground.






Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

Black-necked Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis

Slavonian Grebe

Podiceps auritus

Red-necked Grebe

Podiceps grisegena

Five species present in the Palearctic and one accidental American. Aquatic birds experienced divers. Aerodynamic body with feet far back. Lobed fingers ( have no interdigital menbrane like the ducks ). The flight is often close to the surface of the water and appears heavy, the wings are small.





Little Grebe

Podiceps ruficollis


Pied-Billed Grebe

Podilymbus podiceps

North America


Greater Flamingo

Phenicopterus ruber

Big wading birds, they live in shallow brackish habitats. The legs and the neck are very long. The beak, bent downwards, is equipped with gills to filter water and retain food. Nest made of mud on islands or beaches unfit for sale. Colonial.





Waders include a large number of variously long-legged and beaked species, which usually live in wetlands and some species in drier habitats. They include numerous families, two of which with numerous species ( Charadrids and Scolopacids ).


Eurasian Stone-curlew

Burhinus oedicnemus

They are medium-large birds with strong yellow or yellow-black beaks, yellow eyes and mimetic plumage; they have long yellow or greenish legs and a very prominent knee joint.






Eurasian Oystercatcher

Haematopus ostralegus

They are medium-large birds, noisy and showy, with strong and long red or orange beaks that allow them to split or force the shells of the molluscs.







Black-winged Stilt

Himantopus himantopus

Pied Avocet

Recurvirostra avosetta


They are big birds, with bright black and white plumage with a stocky neck and very long legs. They look for food by moving the beak fast sideways or forward in shallow water.






Northern Lapwing

Vanellus vanellus

Spur-winged Lapwing

Hoplopterus spinosus

Little Ringed Plover

Charadrius dubius

Common Ringed Plover

Charadrius hiaticula

They are revision birds with compact structure, thicker neck and colouration with neat contrasts, the beaks are shorter and bigger, the eyes bigger. Sexes usually similar, nest on the ground.






European Golden Plover

Pluvialis apricaria

Grey Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

Kentish Plover

Charadrius alexandrinus

Eurasian Dotterel

Charadrius morinellus


Greater Sand Plover

Pluvialis leschenaultii


Charadrius vociferus

North America


Common Snipe

Capella gallinago

Eurasian Woodcock

Scolopax rusticola

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa

Bar-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica

They have rather long legs, at times conspicuously long, pointed wings, easily recognizable when flying, long and thin beaks. The feathers are various, and change during the year so for the identification it is necessary to rely on the stripping of the wings, on the design of the colors of the rump and of the tail. Most scolopacids are gregarious birds, except during the breeding period. The exception is the woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), which is a solitary bird. Usually they nidify on the ground, at times some gather in large crowds along the seashore.


Common Sandpiper

Tringa hypoleucos

Wood Sandpiper

Tringa glareola

Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

Terek Sandpiper

Xenus cinereus


Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularius

North America


Philomacus pugnax

Common Redshank

Tringa totanus

Common Greenshank

Tringa nebularia


Spotted Redshank

Tringa erythropus

Marsh Sandpiper

Tringa stagnatilis

Eurasian Curlew

Numenius arquata


Numenius phaeopus


Curlew Sandpiper

Calidris ferruginea


Calidris alpina


Calidris alba

Red Knot

Calidris canutus


Little Stint

Calidris minuta

Temminck's Stint

Calidris temminckii

Grey Phalarope

Phalaropus fulicarius

Ruddy Turnstone

Arenaria interpres


Collared Pratincole

Glareola pratincola

Black-winged Pratincole

Glareola nordmanni


They are slender birds, long and pointed wings, short and black legs, they fly in crowds hunting insects ( sea partridges ); the corrione has a sharp and curved beak, a plover-like behaviour, it runs quickly and squats to escape the sight; general pale appearance with long legs.






Black-headed Gull

Larus ridibundus

Mediterranean Gull

Larus melanocephalus

Yellow-legged Gull

Larus michahellis

European Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

Some of the 19 species of gulls nesting in the Palearctic are very common. They nest in marine areas, coastal and inland wetlands, in large colonies. Seagulls are attracted by ports, landfills, fishing boats, fish farms and many species gather in large flocks on uncultivated fields or plowed in search of food.





Caspian Gull

Larus cachinnans

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Larus fuscus

Great Black-backed Gull

Larus marinus

Audouin's Gull

Larus audouinii


Slender-billed Gull

Larus genei

Black-legged Kittiwake

Rissa tridactyla

Common Gull

Larus canus

Ring billed Gull

Larus delawarensis

North America


Little Gull

Hydrocoloeus minutus

Western Gull

Larus occidentalis

North America


They differ from the Tern for slower and wavier flight, dancing on the surface of the water. They have shorter and wider wings, less forked tail. They feed with dives towards the surface of the water from which they collect insects ( very rarely they dive to catch small fishes). They nest in colonies in wet zones of fresh water.

Black Tern

Chlidonia niger

White-winged Tern

Chlidonia lecopterus

Whiskered Tern

Chlidonia hybrida


Marine birds, slender, with long, narrow and very pointed wings, long and forked tail and long pointed beak. Exceptional flyers, migrating can travel longer distances than any other bird. They frequently make the holy spirit before diving to catch the fish. They nest in colonies.

Common Tern

Sterna hirundo

Caspian Tern

Hydroprogne caspia

Arctic Tern

Sterna paradisaea

Gull-billed Tern

Gelochelidon nilotica


Sandwich Tern

Sterna sandvicensis

Little Tern

Sterna albifrons



Alca torda


Common Guillemot

Uria aalge

Guillemot, common - spp. albionis

Uria aalge

Black Guillemot

Cepphus grylle

Small and compact marine birds, with white-black plumage. They frequent the mainland only for nidifying, pelagic for the rest of the year. Elongated body with webbed legs and small and narrow wings. They dive from the surface of the water with a beat of wings, then "fly" under using wings and feet. They winter in the high sea and nest on cliffs.




Atlantic Puffin

Fratercula arctica




Red-throated Diver

Gavia stellata

Black-throated Diver

Gavia arctica

Four species present in the Palearctic. Body and neck long, the legs are placed much behind and when walking are clumsy. For catching the preys they swim tranquilly and stay under water for a minute or more covering long distances. They nest in wetlands, lakes surrounded by the forest and in the tundra. The nest is a cup near the water. In winter they are seen along the coasts or the inlets, at times in lakes often with isolated individuals or in small groups. Migratory species, in Italy February-March and October-November, never in formation. They fly very high and in a straight line.

Northern Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis


Eleven species ( Berte, Fulmari and Petrelli ). Oceanic birds that touch the ground only to nest. They are distinguished by the outer tubular nostrils: the nasal glands secrete the salt of sea water. The Shearwaters have thin beak and elongated body, the Fulmari are thicker, similar to the seagulls, but fly with rigid wings. They nest in cavities or on rocky walls.




White Stork

Ciconia ciconia

Black Stork

Ciconia nigra

Big birds with long legs and neck, long and pointed beak. The flight is slow with the neck straight and slightly leaning.They walk with calm and dignity. similar sexes nest on trees or roofs ( white stork ).






Northern Gannet

Sula Bassana

Two species. Big sea birds with long and pointed wings and tail, with straight and pointed beak. They perform spectacular dives from a height of 30 and more meters with their heads forward to the subaqueous pursuit of the fish. Similar sexes.






Great Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo

Pygmy Cormorant

Phalacrocorax pygmaeus

European Shag

Phalacrocorax aristotelis

Three species. Medium-large aquatic birds, with generally dark plumage. Elongated body, strong beak with hooked tip, the fingers are webbed. After the dives it rests on the rocks with the wings stretched to dry up. They fly in linear or V-shaped formation like geese. They nest in colonies on rocks or trees.





Glossy Ibis

Plegadis falcinellus

Northern Bald Ibis

Geronticus eremita

Eurasian Spoonbill

Platalea leucorodia

African Sacred Ibis

Threskiornis aethiopicus

They are similar to small storks or herons, but have a long beak curved like a spatula. They keep the neck extended in flight. Similar sexes. They nest in reeds, bushes or trees.






Great Egret

Egretta alba

Grey Heron

Ardea cinerea

Purple Heron

Ardea purpurea

Western Cattle Egret

Ardeola ibis

Group of swamp birds, with long neck, long legs and beak. In flight the head is held back between the shoulders. The crest is formed by few long and filiform feathers placed on the head. They nest on the trees or among the marsh reeds.






Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

Western Reef Heron

Egretta gularis

Black-crowned Night Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

Squacco Heron

Ardeola ralloides


Eurasian Bittern

Botaurus stellaris

Little Bittern

Ixobrychus minutus

Great blue heron

Ardea herodias

North America

Green heron

Butorides virescens

North America


Snowy Egret

Egretta thula

North America


Great White Pelican

Pelecanus onocrotalus

Dalmatian Pelican

Pelecanus crispus

Two species, both much diminished. Very big aquatic birds, with enormous beak equipped with an elastic skin bag on the lower jaw with which they catch the fishes. They whirl in ordered and synchronized groups, similar sexes. They nest in shallow waters rich of fish.





Western Osprey

Pandion haliatus

Only one species, the osprey, specializes in catching fish through quick dives. Equipped with very strong legs and tarsi. The species has a wide range that includes North America and South America, Eurasia, and Africa. Since 2011 it has returned to nest in the Province of Grosseto, within the areas of the Natural Park of Maremma and the Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve in Castiglion della Pescaia (2014 and 2015), thanks to a successful reintroduction intervention.



Griffon Vulture

Gyps fulvus

Cinereous Vulture

Aegypius monachus

Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus


Gypatus barbatus

Family of diurnal birds of prey with several species, wide and digitate wings suitable for twisting and slipping.

Vultures: very big birds, with huge wingspan, short tail and naked head ( except the Bearded vulture ). Carrion eaters, linked to the warm air currents for the flight. They are often observed in flocks looking for food.



Rüppell's Vulture

Gyps rueppelli


Eagles: big and powerful raptors, with wide wings, massive beak and strong legs with sharp and very long claws. The sexes are similar, but the female is bigger.


Golden Eag

Aquila chrysaetos

Lesser Spotted Eagle

Aquila pomarina

Steppe Eagle

Aquila nipalensis

Booted Eagle

Aquila pennata


White-tailed Eagle

Haliaeetus albicilla

Eagle Steller's sea

Haliaeetus pelagicus

Short-toed Snake Eagle

Circaetus gallicus


Kites: they have long, angled wings and forked tails. The flight is agile and gliding. they eat small animals and carrion.


Black Kite

Milvus migrans

Red Kite

Milvus milvus

Black-winged Kite

Elanus caeruleus


Harriers: slender raptors with narrow and long wings, long tail. Low and wavy flight, with few wing beats and slides with raised wings to "V". Nest on the ground or among the reeds.


Western Marsh Harrier

Circus aeruginosus

Hen Harrier

Circus cyaneus

Montagu's Harrier

Circus pygargus

Pallid Harrier

Circus macrourus


Buzzards: birds of prey with wide wings, rounded tails. They are often observed in high vaults in the sky and glide with motionless wings or laid motionless on poles or on top of trees. They feed on small mammals, reptiles, insects or birds.


Common Buzzard

Buteo Buteo

Hawk, red-tailed

Buteo jamaicensis

North America


Honey Buzzards: medium-sized birds of prey, similar to buzzards, although more closely related taxonomically to kites, especially in flight. They share with the buzzards the habit of using the upward currents of hot air to whirl. They differ for the smaller head, more protruding neck, thick down around the eyes and at the base of the beak. It nourishes mainly of nests of wasps.


European Honey Buzzard

Pernis apivorus


Sparrowhawks - Goshawks : medium-small birds of prey with wide wings and long tail, skilled hunters through quick surprise attacks in dives. Their structure allows them to hunt also in thick woods. They mainly eat birds which are then plucked and eaten on the ground.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus

Northern Goshawk

Accipiter gentilis

Cooper's Hawk

Accipiter cooperii

North America


Western Barn Owl

Tyto alba


In appearance they are extremely similar to the Strigids. However, they are classified in a separate family due to two peculiar skeletal characteristics: the clavicles fused with the sternum (the Strigidi have separated them) and the claw of the serrated central finger.






Eurasian Eagle-Owl

Bubo bubo

Long-eared Owl

Asio otus

Snowy Owl

Nyctea scandiaca

Tawny Owl

Strix aluco

Birds of night prey, with big head, flattened face whose feathers form facial discs. The eyes are placed frontally, have adunchi beaks and robust nails. The flight is silent thanks to the soft plumage and velvety feathers. Some species are equipped with auricular tufts, the sexes are similar. They nest in holes, old nests or on the ground.





Ural Owl

Strix uralensis

Northern Hawk Owl

Surnia ulula


Eurasian Scops Owl

Otus scops


Little Owl

Athena noctua


Tengmalm's Owl

Aegolius funereus





Eurasian Hoopoe

Upupa epops

Only one species ( Hoopoe ), unmistakable. Pink brown plumage and white and black bar wings, erectile crest, long and curved beak.







European Roller

Coracias garrulus

They are a family of birds commonly known as marine jays, with genera widespread in the Old World, arboreal, and characterized by hooked beak and free front fingers.







Common Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis

Belted Kingfisher

Megaceryle alcyon

North America

Small or medium size birds, compact with large head and beak, short neck and small legs. They live close to the water and are skilled in diving to prey on fish.






European Bee-eater

Merops apiaster


Rather small, slender, with thin beak, long and curved downwards. They are birds that love the heat, prefer plain areas. Specialists in catching flying insects, gregarious habits, nest in common in holes on the ground.






Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopus major

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopus minor

European Green Woodpecker

Picus viridis

Grey-headed Woodpecker

Picus canus

Specialists in climbing and digging holes in the trunks of trees, except for the Wryneck. They have strong legs with mobile fingers ( the species with four fingers have two front and two rear ), rigid tail feathers that serve as support on the vertical surfaces of the trunks. They nourish of insects which they extract from the trunks with their tongue ( very elongated base ). Only the Wryneck is a migrant, the other species are resident.




Black Woodpecker

Dryocopus martius

Eurasian Wryneck

Jynx torquilla

Downy Woodpecker

Dryobates pubescens

North America


Common Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

Lesser Kestrel

Falco naumanni

Eurasian Hobby

Falco subbuteo

Red-footed Falcon

Falco vespertinus

Raptors with pointed wings, agile and fast flight. Preys captured mostly in flight with dives at dizzying speed.








Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus


Falco rusticolus


Falco columbarius

North America


Monk Parakeet

Myopsitta monachus


Family of birds mainly spread in the tropical and subtropical zones of the world, such as Latin America, India, south-eastern Asia, Africa and Oceania. Imported for almost five centuries in Europe, many species have by now settled in real colonies in the metropolises or in the adjacent countryside.





Rose-ringed Parakeet

Psitaccula krameri

Diffused in Africa and Asia, where they prefer the not too thick forests and the thickets along the water streams. Some of these species are bred in captivity, now has settled groups in various European countries.






Red-backed Shrike

Lanius collurio

Woodchat Shrike

Lanius senator

Great Grey Shrike

Lanius excubitor

Lesser Grey Shrike

Lanius minor

Family of birds commonly called Shrikes, medium-sized with long tail, hooked beak and sharp claws. Feed on insects, lizards, small rodents and small birds. Long-distance migratory.






Eurasian Golden Oriole

Oriolus oriolus

Commonly known as orioles; the term oriole seems to be derived from the Latin aureolus, «golden» or «yellow». Elongated thrush structure, hidden in the canopy of the trees.






Hooded Crow

Corvus corone cornix

Carrion Crow

Corvus corone


Corvus frugilegus

Northern Raven

Corvus corax

The biggest sparrows with long and robust beak. Similar sexes, social and omnivorous. They build big nests on the foliage of the trees.






Western Jackdaw

Corvus monedula

Alpine Chough

Pyrrhocorax graculus

Red-billed Chough

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

Spotted Nutcracker

Nucifraga caryocatactes


Eurasian Jay

Garrulus glandarius

Eurasian Magpie

Pica pica

Iberian Magpie

Cyanopica cyanus

American crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

North America


Bohemian Waxwing

Bombycilla garrulus

Plump and rounded birds, with a squared head and a squat and conical beak, as well as an erectile crest, whilst the wings are pointed, the legs short and the tail is short and squared. They feed mainly on fruit, while insects become the main source of food during the warmer months. They live in the boreal forest and in the pine forests.




Great Tit

Parus major

Eurasian Blue Tit

Parus caeruleus

Coal Tit

Parus ater

Crested Tit

Lophophanes cristatus

Small and lively birds, chubby with short beak performing acrobatics looking for food. Especially sedentary, but wandering in mixed flocks in winter.






Marsh Tit

Poecile palustris

Willow Tit

Poecile montanus

Chickadee, black-capped

Poecile atricapillus

North America


Eurasian Penduline Tit

Remiz pendulinus

Inserted in a family also distinguished for its reproductive biology. It nidifies in deciduous trees on hanging branches with a bag nest equipped with entrance tunnel. Polygamous.






Bearded Reedling

Parurus biarmicus

Only one species in this family. A singular appearance in the male (which also explains the common name in Italian: sideburns) are two showy black sideburns, triangular in shape, on each side at the base of the beak, the latter of yellow colour.





Eurasian Skylark

Alauda arvensis

Horned Lark

Eremophila alpestris

Crested Lark

Galerida cristata


Lullula arborea


They are singing passerines of small-medium size. The plumage is usually striped brown, with showy white or black spots in some species. This dull colouration allows them to camouflage on the ground, especially during the reproductive period. They have long rear claws that give them stability when they land.




Calandra Lark

Melanocorypha calandra



Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

Eurasian Crag Martin

Ptyonoprogne rupestris

Red-rumped Swallow

Cecropis daurica

Common House Martin

Delichon urbica

Family of birds characterized by their adaptation to aerial nutrition and known as "swallows" and "mice". Their ability to hunt insects in flight is due to a slender and aerodynamic body and long pointed wings. They usually feed at a speed of about 30-40 km/h, although they can reach speeds of between 50 and 65 km/h.




Sand Martin

Riparia riparia

Purple Martin

Progne subis

North America

Tree Swallow

Tachycineta bicolor

North America

American cliff Swallow

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

North America


Cetti's Warbler

Cettia cetti


Small insectivorous songbirds that form the nucleus of the new family Cettiidae, previously placed in the family of the Silvidae. They live in densely vegetated habitats like thick forests and reed beds. The color of the plumage and the lifestyle make these birds difficult to see and identify.





Long-tailed Tit

Aegithalos caudatus

American Bushtit

Psaltriparus minumus

North America

Chubby and rounded look, equipped with a big rounded head with short conical beak with upper mandible slightly curved downwards, short but pointed wings and tail almost as long as the body and the cuneiform extremity. Very cheerful and lively birds, which, apart from the reproductive season, live in small groups of 6-30 individuals.





Common Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita

Willow Warbler

Phylloscopus trochilus

Wood Warbler

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Western Bonelli's Warbler

Phylloscopus bonelli

They nest in the woods, spend a lot of time on the tops of the trees, but nest on the ground. Small size with legs and thin beak. They are always moving, the plumage is usually green-gray above and white or yellowish white below. The singing is loud and pleasant.





Hume's Leaf Warbler

Phylloscopus humei

Chiffchaff, Siberian

Phylloscopus collybita ssp. tristis



Eurasian Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Marsh Warbler

Acrocephalus palustris

Great Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus arundinaceus

Melodious Warbler

Hippolais polyglotta

They live mainly in humid zones, reeds and bushes. Agile and active, they jump on the stems of the reeds and dive in the vegetation. Brown plumage above, white suede below. Similar sexes.






Icterine Warbler

Hippolais icterina

Sedge Warbler

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Moustached Warbler

Lusciniola melanopogon



Common Grasshopper Warbler

Locustella naevia

Savi's Warbler

Locustella luscinioides


Similar to acrocephalus, but have a wider and more rounded tail and more striated plumage. They stay more on the ground in low vegetation and often run away on the ground rather than fly. A monotonous song like the sound of a bug at night.






Zitting Cisticola

Cisticola juncidis


The family has a vast range, but in southern Europe there is only one species, Cisticola juncidis, known in Italy as beccamoschino.








Sylvia atricapilla

Lesser Whitethroat

Sylvia curruca

Common Whitethroat

Sylvia communis

Subalpine Warbler

Sylvia cantillans

Species living in bushes or in the woods. Robust birds with rather heavy beak and strong feet. The colour of the plumage is usually brown or grey above and white or chamois below. The males are red-rust or pinkish on the throat and chest and black on the head.





Sardinian Warbler

Sylvia melanocephala

Garden Warbler

Sylvia borin

Dartford Warbler

Sylvia undata

Marmora's Warbler

Sylvia sarda



Regulus regulus

Common Firecrest

Regulus ignicapillus

They are small birds, which, with their 8-11 cm of length per 5-10 g of weight, are the lesser-sized passerines in absolute size. Chubby and rounded look, equipped with a big rounded head with very short neck, rounded wings, short tail and with a forked tip and short but thin beak.





Eurasian Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes

Birds commonly known as wrens. Only one species, the common wren is also present in Eurasia. In Italy it is sedentary, nidifying, migratory and regular wintering. The song is very powerful for such a small bird.






Eurasian Nuthatch

Sitta europaea

Corsican Nuthatch

Sitta whiteheadi



Sitta carolinensis

North America


Size from small to medium, with big head and robust feet, able to climb on sloping surfaces, able to descend upside down or to proceed upside down on the lower side of the branches. Long beak and short tail. Nests in holes with the walled aperture of mud.






Tichodroma muraria

Only one species in this family, close relative of the masonry peaks, diffused in the mountainous regions of Europe and Asia.






Short-toed Treecreeper

Certhia brachydactyla

Eurasian Treecreeper

Certhia familiaris

Brown creeper

Certhia americana

North America

Small birds (11-15 cm), with an unmistakable look, stocky and chubby, long thin beak and curved downward, pointed wings, long tail with very rigid feathers and strong and elongated legs, with long curved claws. They nourish mainly of insects, found performing characteristic helical trajectories around trunks and tree branches.




Common Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Spotless Rosy

Pastor roseus

Spotless Starling

Sturnus unicolor


Very gregarious birds, are characterized by robust legs and by a direct flight. Many species live in contact with the man. They eat insects and fruits even if some species are omnivorous.






Common Blackbird

Turdus merula

Ring Ouzel

Turdus torquatus

Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos


Turdus iliacus

They are medium-sized birds (total length between 11,5 and 33 cm). They have a very wide diffusion all over the globe residing in the most diverse territories, from the Mediterranean maquis to the desert and from the tundra to the humid tropical forest, but their preferred habitats are formed by regions where small groves alternate, expanses of bushes, clearings and meadows. They’re really good singers.




Mistle Thrush

Turdus viscivorus

Mistle Thrush

Turdus viscivorus subsp.deichleri


Turdus pilaris


Turdus migratorius

Nord America


Eastern bluebird

Sialia sialis

Nord America


Spotted Flycatcher

Muscicapa striata

Red-breasted Flycatcher

Muscicapa parva

European Robin

Erithachus rubecula


Luscinia svecica

The appearance of these birds is very varied, but they are all excellent songbirds. They have medium-small dimensions ( 10-21 cm). Many species have uniform brown plumage, while others are brightly coloured, especially males. Almost all have broad, flattened beaks, suitable for catching insects in flight, whilst the few species nourishing on the ground usually have thinner beaks.




Common Nightingale

Luscinia megarhynchos

Northern Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe

Wheatear ssp. leucorhoa

Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa

Isabelline Wheatear

Oenanthe isabellina


Red-rumped Wheatear

Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca

Common Redstart

Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Black Redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros


Saxicola rubetra


European Stonechat

Saxicola torquata

Common Rock Thrush

Monticola saxatilis

Blue Rock Thrushstrong

Monticola solitarius

European Pied Flycatcher

Muscicapa hypoleuca


Mediterranean Flycatcher

Muscicapa tyrrhenica



Cinclus cinclus

Medium-small size (14 - 23 cm, with the males bigger than the females), with a physical appearance overall similar to that of the wrens. In spite of the semi-aquatic habits of these birds, none of them has hints of palmation of the legs. Among the adaptations related to life in the aquatic environment, there are full bones instead of quarries that act as ballast during immersion and nostrils with sphincters, to avoid the entry of water during diving.



House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Italian Sparrow

Passer italiae

Spanish Sparrow

Passer hispaniolensis

Tree Sparrow

Passer montanus

They are small birds, with robust and pointed conical beaks, wide and blunt wings, and relatively short tails; the colouration of the plumage occurs in various combinations of brown, beige, grey, white and black, at times even yellow. They are also comfortable in urban contexts. Some species, such as the Eurasian sparrow , are also found in the countryside.




Rock Sparrow

Petronia petronia

White-winged Snowfinch

Montifringilla nivalis



Prunella modularis

Alpine Accentor

Prunella collaris


Birds with characteristics of sparrows, silvids and small thrushes. thin beak, brown plumage with short and rounded wings. feed on the ground.






White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

Grey Wagtail

Motacilla cinerea

Wagtail, black

Motacilla alba yarrellii

Wagtail, ashy-headed

Motacilla flava ssp. cinereocapilla

Land birds that run and walk quickly. The pylons are brown striated birds, they are less slender than the ballerinas and the cutrettole, with long back nail. The ballerinas and cutrettole are very elongated with long tail, thin beak and slender legs. They nidify on the ground or on the rocks.





Wagtail Western Yellow

Motacilla flava ssp. beema

Wagtail Western Yellow

Motacilla flava ssp. dombrowskii

Wagtail Western Yellow

Motacilla flava ssp. feldegg

Wagtail Western Yellow

Motacilla flava ssp. flava


Wagtail, yellow

Motacilla flava ssp. thunbergii

Meadow Pipit

Anthus pratensis

Tree Pipit

Anthus trivialis

Olive-backed Pipit

Anthus hodgsoni


Tawny Pipit

Anthus campestris

Water Pipit

Anthus spinoletta

Rock Pipit

Anthus petrosus


European Serin

Serinus serinus

European Greenfinch

Carduelis chloris

European Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis


Coccothraustes coccothraustes

They are birds with a generally robust and massive conformation, although they are small in size . They usually have a rounded head, dark eyes, pointed but not elongated wings and conical beaks, thinner in the insectivorous diet species and more robust in those mainly granivorous. The species belonging to this family prove very adaptable, occupying the most varied habitats.




Common Redpoll

Carduelis flammea

Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra


Fringilla coelebs


Fringilla montifringilla


Eurasian Bullfinch

Pyrrhula pyrrhula


Carduelis spinus

Citril Finch

Serinus citrinella

Corsican Finch

Carduelis corsicana


Common Linnet

Acanthis cannabina


Acanthis flavirostris

Grosbeak, Japanese

Eophona personata



Spinus tristis

North America


Snow Bunting

Plectrophenax nivalis


They are small birds (13,5-19 cm), with a robust and massive look, equipped with squared head with short robust and conical beak, pointed wings, tail with a slightly forked tip and strong legs. Most species live in North America, but two (the Lapland bunting and the snow bunting) are also found in Eurasia.






Emberiza citrinella

Cirl Bunting

Emberiza cirlus

Black-headed Bunting

Emberiza melanocephala

Rock Bunting

Emberiza cia

More terricolous than close relatives finches, most have triangular beak and typical color and plumage design. The favorite food are the seeds of herbaceous plants. Nest in tufts of grass or down in the bushes.






Little Bunting

Emberiza pusilla

Ortolan Bunting

Emberiza hortulana

Corn Bunting

Emberiza calandra

Common Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus


Junco, dark - eyed

Junco hiemalis

North America

Fox Sparrow

Passerella iliaca

North America

Song Sparrow

Melospiza melodia

North America

White-throated Sparrow

Zonotrichia albicollis

North America

The Passerellids are a family of birds belonging to the order of the Passeriforms distributed all over America. Although they share the name sparrow, catwalks are more closely related to Old World buntings than to sparrows (family Passeridae). On the contrary, they are similar both for appearance and for habit to the finches, with whom they were sometimes classified.





Tree American Sparrow

Spizelloides arborea

North America

Savannah Sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis

North America


Cardinal, northern

Cardinalis cardinalis

North America

Indigo, bunting

Passerina cyanea

North America


The members of this family are medium-small passerines often with showy colours and marked sexual dimorphism. The family is closely related to that of the Parulids and the Thraupids.






Brown thrasher

Toxostoma rufum

North America


Family of New World sparrow birds. There are over 30 species of mimidia in two larger genera and a dozen small or monotypic. They tend to dull gray and brown in their appearance, although some are black or blue-gray, and many have red, yellow or white irises. They range from 20 to 33 centimeters in length and 36 to 56 grams in weight.






Warbler, American yellow

Setophaga petechia

North America


Family of birds of the order of the Passeriforms, spread in the New World. The family Parulidae contains 119 species divided into 18 genera.







Polioptila caerulea

North America


Family of small passerine birds known as mosquito nets or flycatchers. Most of the polypeptiles are grey tending to blue and have the typical elongated beak of the insectivores. Many species have characteristic black marks on the head and long white and black tails. The family includes 17 species in 3 genera : Microbates , Ramphocaenus and Polioptila. They are found throughout the Americas, except in the far south and in the higher Andes. Most species are settled in sub-tropical and tropical areas, except for the blue-gray mosquito net that migrates in winter from the United States and Canada to the south. They live mainly in the undergrowth of the forests, often humid.


Blackbird, red-winged

Agelaius phoeniceus

North America

Baltimore, oriole

Icterus galbula

North America

Common grackle

Quiscalus quiscula

North America

Long Tailed grackle

Quiscalus mexicanus

North America

They are a family of birds of the order of the Passeriforms diffused only in the New World. They are medium-small birds often brightly coloured. Most species are covered with black plumage, often mottled with yellow, orange, or red.






Kingbird, eastern

Tyrannus tyrannus

North America


Family of passeriform birds of the American continent, migratory, insectivorous, with short beak and surrounded by bristles, including about a thousand species, most of which diffused in South America.






Vulture, black american

Coragyps atratus

North America


This family includes 5 genera ( Cathartes , Coragyps, Gymnogyps , Sarcoramphus and Vultur ) and 7 living species. The catartids, known as vultures of the New World, are a family of birds of the order Accipitriformes, exclusive to the American continent. They have characteristics such as the hooked bill, the claw nails and the digestive system adapted to a meat diet, common to the other Accipitriformes, from which they differ for the absence of the nasal septum, the fact of using the sense of smell rather than sight to identify food, as well as the poorly developed syringe. The Urubù is the only species of the genus Coragyps.


All photographs are protected under Italian Law " Legge 22 April 1941 n. 633" on copyright. The photographs cannot be shared, used and manipulated without the consent of the author.

Text taken from : " A Field Guide to the Birds of Europe ". Peterson-Mountfort-Hollom . Franco Muzzio Editore - 2015

" Collins Bird Guide ". Svensson-Mullarney-Zetterstrom. Ricca Editore - 2012

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