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Wild About Birds - Illinois Waxwings, Pipits and Finches!

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: 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: Bombycillidae (Waxwings) - Waxwings have what appear to be waxy red tips on the secondary wing feathers. The head feathers form a crest. These birds feed in groups on fruits and insects.
     Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)
     cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Family: Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits) - Pipits spend most of their time on the ground, where they travel by walking. The breast feathers are streaked, and they have white outer tail feathers. The backward-pointing toes have a long claw. The tail is wagged. They eat seeds and insects. Only two wagtail species are found in North America, breeding in Alaska.
     American pipit (Anthus rubescens)

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.
     evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)
     pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator)
     house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) [nonnative]
     purple finch (Haemorhous purpureus)
     common redpoll (Acanthis flammea)
     hoary redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni)
     red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
     white-winged crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)
     pine siskin (Spinus pinus)
     American goldfinch (Spinus tristis)