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Wild About Illinois Birds - Nonnative Species!

Family and Species Gallery

Kingdom: Animalia - Animals are multicellular organisms that rely on other organisms for nourishment. There cells do not have cell walls. Most animals are capable of movement at least in some portion of their life cycle. Reproduction is generally sexual, but in some animals asexual reproduction may be utilized at certain times.
Phylum: Chordata - The Phylum Chordata contains the vertebrate animals. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes are included in this phylum. These animals have a notochord at some point in their development. They have a tubular nerve cord along the back. Gill slits and a tail are present at some point in their life cycle. They have an internal skeleton.
Class: Aves - Birds are the only organisms with feathers. They are endotherms, maintaining a nearly constant body temperature. They have a hard bill but no teeth. A gizzard, which functions to grind food, is present in the digestive tract. Fertilization is internal. A nest is built in which the hard-shelled eggs are deposited and incubated.
Order: Anseriformes - Waterfowl are medium-sized, aquatic birds with small legs. These birds are adapted for their aquatic life by having webbed feet (for movement), down feathers (for warmth), oily feathers (to prevent them from getting wet) and a wide bill with a fringed edge (for straining food).
Family: Anatidae (Ducks, Geese and Swans) - Swans, geese, ducks, mergansers and whistling ducks have an aquatic lifestyle. The body is covered with down feathers for added warmth. Three of the toes are webbed to help with swimming. These birds have a medium- to large-sized body and average-sized legs (except for the long-legged swans and geese). The bill is flattened and has a tooth-like fringe on its edge to help strain food from the water. The wings are narrow.
      mute swan Cygnus olor

Order: Galliformes - Grouse, quail and turkeys are varied in size with short, rounded wings and small, broadened bills. These birds eat vegetation. They spend a lot of time on the ground so their feet are adapted for walking and scratching the turf.
Family: Phasianidae (Partridges, Grouse, Turkeys, and Old World Quail) - Partridges, pheasants, grouse, ptarmigans and turkeys have a medium- to large-sized, brown body and spend most of their time on the ground.
     ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Order: Columbiformes - The pigeons and doves have a short beak, a short neck and short legs.
Family: Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves) - Pigeons and doves can be recognized by their cooing call. These birds have a small head and fly fast.
     rock pigeon (Columba livia)
     Eurasian collared-dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae (African and New World Parrots)
     monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

Order: Passeriformes - These are birds with adaptations for holding on to thin twigs or stems. Three of the toes on each foot face forward and one backward to help it grasp and balance on small branches.
Family: Sturnidae (Starlings) - Starlings have a long, sharp bill and a short tail. They feed and roost in groups. The diet is composed of a variety of foods, including insects and seeds. These are species that were introduced to North America.
     European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Family: Passeridae (Old World Sparrows) - These "Old World" sparrows are small birds with a short tail and a thick beak. They have a more pronounced ridge on their bill than native sparrows of the Family Passerellidae, an extra bone in their tongue and a vestigial outer primary feather. Both Passeridae species residing in Illinois are not native to North America.
     house sparrow (Passer domesticus)
     Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus)

Family: Fringillidae (Fringilline and Cardueline Finches and Allies) - These birds are small and have a small, stout bill. The tail is notched in the center. In most species the male and female have different coloration. They spend much of their time in trees. They feed on seeds, insects and fruits.
     house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)