Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The area of coverage is west central Mississippi.
The five refuges contain 73,320 acres between Greenwood, Yazoo City, and the Mississippi River; they provide a mixture of marshes, swamps, sloughs, cropland, and bottomland hardwood forests. The surrounding area of catfish ponds and croplands often works in conjunction with this refuge habitat to attract an unusual variety and number of migratory birds on their travels up and down the Mississippi flyway.
Most listed species are found on all five refuges.
The areas that have been most thoroughly studied are those that have been most accessible and acquired earliest. Yazoo NWR has been staffed since 1958; Hillside was acquired 20 years later and the other three refuges were obtained in the 1980's. Locations designated in the list are not intended to show range limits. Most of the listed species are found on all five refuges. The location designations indicate where a species has been seen most commonly. With more study, some designations may need revision. Undoubtedly, more species will also be added. This wide variety of birdlife can be observed by driving paved or graveled roads or by hiking along levees and refuge trails.
Report unusual sightings.
Reports of any unusual sighting, particularly of birds not included in this list would be appreciated.
Ethics for birdwatching
Take care not to disturb nesting birds. This exposes eggs and young to extreme temperatures and predation.
Disturb wintering wildlife as little as possible, particularly during critical feeding and resting periods. They need all of their energy reserves to withstand the stresses of harsh weather and migration.
How to use your checklist
The bird checklist was designed to be informative and simple to use. The list is arranged in the order established by the American Ornithological Union.
This checklist includes 281 species of birds and is based on observations by refuge personnel and visiting ornithologists. Special acknowledgment is given to Dr. Julian L. Dusi, Auburn University, for compiling this list from years of personal observation. If you should find an unlisted species, please let us know at Refuge Headquarters. We appreciate your help in updating our records.
h - Hillside NWR
p - Panther Swamp NWR
y - Yazoo NWR
v - Vicinity/Off Refuges
c - Complex Area (All Refuges)
No location codes are listed for Mathews Brake or Morgan Brake NWR. Due to their close proximity to Hillside NWR, birds on Hillside should also be found on Morgan Brake and Mathews Brake refuges.
Species known to occur off refuge but not yet documented on one of the five refuges are designated by v (vicinity). Birds found in similar numbers on all five refuges are designated by c (complex).
Sp - Spring - March to May
S - Summer - June to August
F - Fall - September to November
W - Winter - December to February
c - common: certain to be seen in suitable habitat
u - uncommon: present but difficult to find
o - occasional: seen only a few times in a season
r - rare: seen at irregular intervals
* - breeding
These bird species have been seen since 1956 by refuge personnel and prominent ornithologists. This is the sixth list in 15 years. The 1971 list had 140 species. Mr. Ed Alexander provided much additional information about all area birds from his studies, observations, and Christmas bird counts. For additional information contact:
LOONS Location Sp S F W ___ Common Loon v - - - r
GREBES Location Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe y* c c c c ___ Horned Grebe v - - - o ___ Eared Grebe v - - - r
PELICANS AND ALLIES Location Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican c o - u o ___ Double-crested Cormorant c o - u c ___ Anhinga y* c c c o
HERONS AND ALLIES Location Sp S F W ___ American Bittern c o - o o ___ Least Bittern y* u c u - ___ Great Blue Heron c* c c c c ___ Great Egret c* c c c u ___ Snowy Egret c* c c c - ___ Little Blue Heron c* c c c o ___ Tricolored Heron c - o o - ___ Cattle Egret c* c c c u ___ Green Heron c* c c c o ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron c o o o o ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron c* u u u o
IBISES AND ALLIES Location Sp S F W ___ Glossy Ibis y - - r r ___ White Ibis c o u c o ___ Roseate Spoonbill - - r - ___ Wood Stork c - - o o
WATERFOWL Location Sp S F W ___ Fulvous Whistling-Duck v - - - r ___ Black-bellied Whistling-Duck y r - - - ___ Tundra Swan h,y - - - o ___ Greater White-Fronted Goose c - - c c ___ Snow Goose c - - c c ___ Ross' Goose - - o o ___ Canada Goose c,y* u c c - ___ Wood Duck c* c c c c ___ Green-winged Teal c u - u c ___ American Black Duck c o - o u ___ Mallard c* c u c c ___ Northern Pintail c o - o u ___ Blue-winged Teal c c - c u ___ Cinnamon Teal c - - r r ___ Northern Shoveler c c - c c ___ Gadwall c c - c c ___ American Wigeon c c - c c ___ Canvasback c o - o o ___ Redhead c - - - o ___ Ring-necked Duck c c - u c ___ Greater Scaup c - - - o ___ Lesser Scaup c o - u c ___ Oldsquaw v - - - r ___ Surf Scoter v - - - r ___ White-winged Scoter v - - - r ___ Common Goldeneye c - - - o ___ Bufflehead c o - c c ___ Hooded Merganser c* u u - c ___ Common Merganser c - - - r ___ Red-breasted Merganser p - - - r ___ Ruddy Duck c u u - c
VULTURES, HAWKS, AND ALLIES Location Sp S F W ___ Black Vulture h,p o o o o ___ Turkey Vulture h,p c c c c ___ Osprey c o - r o ___ Mississippi Kite c* c c u - ___ Bald Eagle c o - o u ___ Northern Harrier c u - u c ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk c u - u u ___ Cooper's Hawk c u - u u ___ Red-shouldered Hawk c u - u u ___ Broad-winged Hawk c u o o - ___ Red-tailed Hawk c c u c c ___ Harlan's Hawk y - - u u ___ Golden Eagle c - - r o ___ Crested Caracara h - - r - ___ American Kestrel c c o c c ___ Merlin c - - o u
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Location Sp S F W ___ Wild Turkey h,p*,y* u u u u ___ Northern Bobwhite c* u u u u
RAILS AND ALLIES Location Sp S F W ___ King Rail h,y r r r - ___ Sora h,p,y u o u o ___ Purple Gallinule y* u u u r ___ Common Moorhen h*,y* c c c u ___ American Coot c c o o c ___ Sandhill Crane v r - r r
PLOVERS AND SADNPIPERS Location Sp S F W ___ American Golden Plover c c - c - ___ Semipalmated Plover c o - o o ___ Killdeer c* c c c c ___ Black-necked Stilt c o c c - ___ American Avocet c - - r - ___ Greater Yellowlegs c c - c o ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c c - c - ___ Solitary Sandpiper c c - c - ___ Spotted Sandpiper c c - c - ___ Upland Sandpiper c o - o - ___ Marbled Godwit y r - - - ___ Sanderling y - - r - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper c o - c - ___ Western Sandpiper c o o c - ___ Least Sandpiper c o - c o ___ Baird's Sandpiper h,y o - o - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper c o o c - ___ Dunlin y o - o o ___ Long-billed Dowitcher h,y u - c - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher h,y - - o - ___ Common Snipe c c - c c ___ Red-necked Phalarope - r - - ___ American Woodcock c u - u u
GULLS AND TERNS Location Sp S F W ___ Franklin's Gull y - - r - ___ Bonaparte's Gull y - r o - ___ Ring-billed Gull y c - c c ___ Herring Gull c o - u u ___ Least Tern y o o o o ___ Black Tern v r - r -
PIGEONS AND DOVES Location Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove c* c c c c ___ White-winged Dove v - - r - ___ Mourning Dove c* c c c c ___ Common Ground-Dove h - o o o
CUCKOOS Location Sp S F W ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo c* c c o -
OWLS Location Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl y,h*,p* o o o o ___ Eastern Screech-Owl c* c c c c ___ Great Horned Owl c* u u u u ___ Burrowing Owl v - - - r ___ Barred Owl c* c c c c ___ Short-eared Owl c - - r r
GOATSUCKERS Location Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk c* u u o - ___ Chuck-will's-widow c o o - - ___ Whip-poor-will c o o - -
SWIFTS Location Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift c* u c u - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird c* u c u - ___ Rufous Hummingbird c - - r r
KINGFISHERS Location Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher c u o u u
WOODPECKERS Location Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker c* c c c c ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker c* c c c c ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker c u - u c ___ Downy Woodpecker c* c c c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker c* u u u u ___ Northern Flicker c* c c c c ___ Pileated Woodpecker c* u u u u
FLYCATCHERS Location Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher y r - r - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee c* u u u - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher c - - r - ___ Acadian Flycatcher c* u c o - ___ Eastern Phoebe c u u u u ___ Vermilion Flycatcher y - - - o ___ Great Crested Flycatcher c* u u - - ___ Western Kingbird v - - r - ___ Eastern Kingbird c* u c c o ___ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher y - - o -
LARKS Location Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark c* c u u c
MARTINS AND SWALLOWS Location Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin c* c c c - ___ Tree Swallow c c - c o ___ Northern Rough-wing Swallow c u u u - ___ Cliff Swallow v r - - - ___ Barn Swallow c* u c u -
JAYS AND CROWS Location Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay c* c c c c ___ American Crow h*,p,y u u u u ___ Fish Crow h,p o o o o
CHICKADEES AND TITMICE Location Sp S F W ___ Carolina Chickadee c* c c c c ___ Tufted Titmouse c* u u u u
NUTHATCHES Location Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch y - - o o ___ White-breasted Nuthatch c r - r o
CREEPERS Location Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper c - - r o
WRENS Location Sp S F W ___ Bewick's Wren v - - - r ___ House Wren c u u u u ___ Winter Wren c u - u u ___ Sedge Wren c o - o o ___ Marsh Wren c o - o u
KINGLETS AND GNATCATCHERS Location Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet c u - u u ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c u - u c ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher c* o u u o
BLUEBIRDS, THRUSHES AND ROBINS Location Sp S F W ___ Eastern Bluebird c u o u u ___ Veery y u - u - ___ Gray-cheecked Thrush y u - u - ___ Swainson's Thrush y u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush c u - u u ___ Wood Thrush c* u c u - ___ American Robin c* c c c c
THRASHERS Location Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird c* u o o o ___ Northern Mockingbird c* c c c u ___ Brown Thrasher c* c c c u
PIPITS Location Sp S F W ___ American Pipit c u - u -
WAXWINGS Location Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing c u - u u
SHRIKES Location Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike c,y* u u u c
STARLINGS Location Sp S F W ___ European Starling c* c c c c
VIREOS Location Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo c* u u u o ___ Solitary Vireo y o - o u ___ Yellow-throated Vireo c* o u o - ___ Warbling Vireo h - - r - ___ Philadelphia Vireo y o - o - ___ Red-eyed Vireo c o u o -
WARBLERS Location Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler c o - o - ___ Golden-winged Warbler c - o o - ___ Tennessee Warbler c c - u - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler c - - - u ___ Nashville Warbler c u - u - ___ Northern Parula c* c c u - ___ Yellow Warbler c u - u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler c u - u - ___ Magnolia Warbler c c - u - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler y r - r - ___ Black-and-white Warbler c u - u u ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c u - c c ___ Black-throated Green Warbler c c u - o ___ Blackburnian Warbler c u - o - ___ Yellow-throated Warbler c u u u - ___ Pine Warbler c o - - u ___ Prairie Warbler v o - - r ___ Bay-breasted Warbler c u - o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler c u - o - ___ Cerulean Warbler c o - - - ___ American Redstart c u o u - ___ Prothonotary Warbler c* c c u - ___ Worm-eating Warbler c o - - - ___ Swainson's Warbler h o o - - ___ Ovenbird c u - u - ___ Northern Waterthrush c r - - - ___ Louisiana Waterthrush c u u u - ___ Kentucky Warbler y u u u - ___ Mourning Warbler v r - r - ___ Common Yellowthroat c* c c u u ___ Hooded Warbler c u - u - ___ Wilson's Warbler c o - u - ___ Canada Warbler c u - u - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat c* c c - -
TANAGERS Location Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager c* c c c - ___ Scarlet Tanager c u - u -
NEW WORLD FINCHES Location Sp S F W ___ Northern Cardinal c* c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak c u - o - ___ Blue Grosbeak h,y o o - - ___ Indigo Bunting c* c c c - ___ Painted Bunting c* u u u - ___ Dickcissel c* c c c r
SPARROWS Location Sp S F W ___ Rufous-sided Towhee c* u u u u ___ Spotted Towhee v - - - r ___ American Tree Sparrow v - - - r ___ Chipping Sparrow c u - u u ___ Field Sparrow c u u u u ___ Vesper Sparrow v u - u u ___ Lark Sparrow v - - - r ___ Savannah Sparrow c u - u c ___ Grasshopper Sparrow y* u u u u ___ Henslow's Sparrow y r - - - ___ Le Conte's Sparrow y o - - o ___ Fox Sparrow c u - u u ___ Song Sparrow c u - c c ___ Lincoln's Sparrow y o - o u ___ Swamp Sparrow c u - c c ___ White-throated Sparrow c u - c c ___ Dark-eyed Junco c u - u c ___ Lapland Longspur y - - - o
BLACKBIRDS AND ALLIES Location Sp S F W ___ Bobolink c u - o - ___ Red-winged Blackbird c* c c c c ___ Eastern Meadowlark c* c c c c ___ Rusty Blackbird c u - u c ___ Brewer's Blackbird c u - u u ___ Common Grackle c c c c c ___ Brown-headed Cowbird c* c c c c ___ Orchard Oriole c* u c u - ___ Northern Oriole c* u c u r
NORTHERN FINCHES Location Sp S F W ___ Purple Finch c u - u u ___ House Finch c u u u c ___ Pine Siskin y - - - u ___ American Goldfinch c u - u c ___ Evening Grosbeak y - - r -
OLD WORLD SPARROWS Location Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow c* c c c c
Refuge Manager Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge Complex Route 1, Box 286 Hollandale, Mississippi 38748 Telephone: 601/839-2638This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. Birds of Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge Complex. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Unpaginated.This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. Birds of Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge Complex. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Unpaginated. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govyazoo.htm (Version 22MAY98).