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Bird Checklists of the United States

Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Sumner, Missouri


Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located in north central Missouri, was established in 1937 as a resting and feeding area for waterfowl, primarily ducks, and as a sanctuary for prairie-chickens. It has now become one of the main wintering areas for the Eastern Prairie Population of Canada geese whose numbers average 72,000. The refuge's 10,795 acres comprise a wide variety of habitat types. Silver Lake is a permanent body of water covering 3,000 acres. An additional 3,500 acres are wetlands in which water levels are manipulated to produce natural waterfowl foods. To supplement natural foods about 2,000 acres of land are farmed (without chemicals) for corn, milo, clover, and wheat. Bottomland forests, abandoned fields in various stages of succession, and a native prairie provide other types of wildlife habitat. This diversity of habitat supports a large variety of birds.

This bird list contains 237 species which have been recorded on the refuge. Another eight birds, listed under Accidentals have been reported but are not normally expected to be present.


* - indicates species known to breed on or near Swan Lake, Missouri
# - Endangered

Sp - March-May
S - June-August
F - September-November
W - December-February

a - abundant: common species that is very numerous
c - common: almost certain to be seen in suitable habitat
u - uncommon: present but not certain to be seen
o - occasional: seen only a few times during a season
r - rare: seen only at intervals of 2 to 5 years


LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon o - o -
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe c o c - ___ Horned Grebe u - u - ___ Eared Grebe o - r -
PELICANS, CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican c u c - ___ Double-crested Cormorant u o u -
BITTERNS, HERONS, IBISES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern u u u - ___ Least Bittern u o u - ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c u ___ Great Egret c a a - ___ Snowy Egret o u - - ___ Little Blue Heron r u o - ___ Cattle Egret u u u - ___ Green Heron* u c u - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron u u o - ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron* o o - -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Trumpeter Swan r - - r ___ Tundra Swan (Whistling Swan) r - r r ___ Greater White-fronted Goose u - u u ___ Snow Goose c o a u ___ Ross' Goose - - r r ___ Canada Goose a u a a ___ Wood Duck* c c c u ___ Green-winged Teal c o c u ___ American Black Duck o - o o ___ Mallard* c u c c ___ Northern Pintail a u a o ___ Blue-winged Teal c u c u ___ Cinnamon Teal r - r r ___ Northern Shoveler c o u u ___ Gadwall c - c - ___ American Wigeon c - c r ___ Canvasback c - u r ___ Redhead c - o u ___ Ring-necked Duck c - u o ___ Lesser Scaup c o c o ___ White-winged Scoter - - r - ___ Common Goldeneye u - u u ___ Bufflehead c - u o ___ Hooded Merganser u - u o ___ Common Merganser c - u u ___ Red-breasted Merganser o - o - ___ Ruddy Duck c o u -
VULTURES, HAWKS, FALCONS Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture c c c - ___ Osprey o - o - ___ Bald Eagle# u - c c ___ Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk)* c o c c ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u o u u ___ Cooper's Hawk u o u u ___ Northern Goshawk - - r r ___ Red-shouldered Hawk u o o o ___ Broad-winged Hawk c - c - ___ Swainson's Hawk o - u r ___ Red-tailed Hawk* c c c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk u - u u ___ Golden Eagle o - o o ___ American Kestrel* c u c u ___ Merlin o - o - ___ Peregrine Falcon# r - r -
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ Ring-necked Pheasant r r r r ___ Wild Turkey* o o o o ___ Northern Bobwhite* c c c c
RAILS Sp S F W ___ King Rail* o o - - ___ Virginia Rail u u - - ___ Sora c c u - ___ American Coot* c u c r ___ Sandhill Crane r - r r
SHOREBIRDS, GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover c u u - ___ American Golden-Plover (Lesser Gol-Pl.) u u u - ___ Semipalmated Plover u u u - ___ Piping Plover o r o - ___ Killdeer* c c c o ___ American Avocet u r u - ___ Greater Yellowlegs c u c - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs a c a - ___ Solitary Sandpiper u u u - ___ Willet r r r - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* c c c - ___ Upland Sandpiper* u u u - ___ Hudsonian Godwit u - r - ___ Marbled Godwit r - - - ___ Ruddy Turnstone o - o - ___ Red Knot r - - - ___ Sanderling u u o - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper c u c - ___ Western Sandpiper o o o - ___ Least Sandpiper c u c - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper u - u - ___ Baird's Sandpiper u r u - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper a c a - ___ Dunlin o - o - ___ Stilt Sandpiper u u u - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper o r o - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher u u u - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher c u c - ___ Common Snipe c u c r ___ American Woodcock c u u - ___ Wilson's Phalarope u r u - ___ Red-necked Phalarope r - r - ___ Franklin's Gull c o c - ___ Bonaparte's Gull u - u - ___ Ring-billed Gull c o u - ___ Herring Gull u o u - ___ Caspian Tern o r u - ___ Common Tern u o u - ___ Forster's Tern c o o - ___ Least Tern o - - - ___ Black Tern c u c -
DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove* u u u u ___ Mourning Dove* a a a u
CUCKOOS Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo u - - - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* c c c o
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl r r r r ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* c c c c ___ Great Horned Owl* c c c c ___ Snowy Owl - - - r ___ Barred Owl* c c c c ___ Long-eared Owl u - u u ___ Short-eared Owl u - - u
GOATSUCKERS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* u u u - ___ Whip-poor-will* u u u -
SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift* c c c - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird c u u -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher* c c c o
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u r u r ___ Downy Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Northern Flicker (Common Flicker)* c c c u ___ Pileated Woodpecker* u o o c
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher r o r - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee* c c c - ___ Acadian Flycatcher o - o - ___ Willow Flycatcher c - - - ___ Eastern Phoebe* c c c - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* u o u - ___ Western Kingbird r - r - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c -
LARKS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* c c u u
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin u u u - ___ Tree Swallow* c u a - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow c c a - ___ Bank Swallow* c c c - ___ Cliff Swallow u o u - ___ Barn Swallow* c c c -
JAYS, CROWS Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* c c c c ___ American Crow* c c c c
CHICKADEES Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* c c c c ___ Tufted Titmouse* c c c c
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch - - - r ___ White-breasted Nuthatch u u u u
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper u - u u
WRENS Sp S F W ___ Carolina Wren r r r r ___ House Wren* c c c - ___ Winter Wren - - - u ___ Sedge Wren* u u u - ___ Marsh Wren u u u -
KINGLETS, THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet u - u u ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u - u r ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* u u o - ___ Eastern Bluebird* u u u o ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush u - - - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush c - c - ___ Wood Thrush* c c c - ___ American Robin* c c c o
THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird* c c c - ___ Northern Mockingbird* u u u u ___ Brown Thrasher* c c c -
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ American Pipit (Water Pipit) u - u -
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing c - c c
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike* u u u u
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling* c c c c
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo u u u - ___ Bell's Vireo* c c u - ___ Solitary Vireo u - u - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo u r u - ___ Warbling Vireo* u u u - ___ Red-eyed Vireo* c c u -
WOOD WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Tennessee Warbler u - u - ___ Nashville Warbler u - u - ___ Northern Parula u - u - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c c - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler u - u - ___ Magnolia Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c o ___ Blackburnian Warbler u - u - ___ Blackpoll Warbler c - u - ___ Black-and-white Warbler u r u - ___ American Redstart* c u c - ___ Prothonotary Warbler u r r - ___ Ovenbird u r u - ___ Louisiana Waterthrush u r u - ___ Kentucky Warbler r - - - ___ Mourning Warbler u - r - ___ Common Yellowthroat c c c - ___ Wilson's Warbler u - c - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat o o u -
SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager o o o - ___ Northern Cardinal* c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak* u u u - ___ Indigo Bunting* c c c - ___ Dickcissel* c c - - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* c c c o ___ American Tree Sparrow u - u c ___ Chipping Sparrow* u u u - ___ Field Sparrow* u u u - ___ Vesper Sparrow u - u - ___ Lark Sparrow u u u - ___ Savannah Sparrow u - u - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* c c c - ___ Le Conte's Sparrow o - o - ___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow o - o - ___ Fox Sparrow u - u - ___ Song Sparrow* c c c u ___ Lincoln's Sparrow o - o - ___ Swamp Sparrow u - u u ___ White-throated Sparrow c - c u ___ White-crowned Sparrow c - c c ___ Harris' Sparrow u - u o ___ Dark-eyed Junco u - u c ___ Lapland Longspur r - - o ___ Snow Bunting - - - r
MEADOWLARKS, BLACKBIRDS, ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink u o u - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a c ___ Eastern Meadowlark* c c c c ___ Western Meadowlark r - r r ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird o - r r ___ Rusty Blackbird c - c o ___ Brewer's Blackbird o - o - ___ Common Grackle* a c a c ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c c u ___ Orchard Oriole* c c c - ___ Baltimore Oriole* c c c -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ House Finch u - - - ___ Purple Finch u - u o ___ Common Redpoll o - o - ___ American Goldfinch* c c c o
OLD WORLD SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow* c c c c
ACCIDENTAL SPECIES Tricolored Heron Common Moorhen White-faced Ibis Sprague's Pipit Greater Scaup Prairie Warbler Surf Scoter Lark Bunting Little Gull

Birdwatching is encouraged. Please check at the refuge office for times and places of entry. PLEASE OBEY POSTED SIGNS. For further information contact:
                       Refuge Manager
                       Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge
                       Rt. 1, Box 29A
                       Sumner, Missouri 64681
                       Telephone: 816/856-3323
                       Fax: 816/856-3687

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1987.  Birds of Swan Lake National Wildlife 
     Refuge, Missouri.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1987.  Birds of Swan Lake National Wildlife 
     Refuge, Missouri.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govswanlake.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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