There are a wide variety of endemic birds species that can be found only in the United States of America. This article will highlight a few of the many endemic species of birds in America by discussing their physical characteristics, habitats, dietary patterns and more. It will also touch on if the species in endangered at all and if so what conservation efforts are being taken. It will then conclude by discussing what can be done to help support and protect the endemic birds species across America.
Endemic Bird Species of the United States
Florida Scrub Jay
The Florida Scrub Jay, scientific name Aphelocoma coerulescens, is a member of the Corvidae Family of birds. This bird species is a large songbird that has a blue colored head, wings and tail, while its lower body is a whitish-grey color. An adult averages between being 9.1 to 11 inches (23 to 28 centimeters) in length, with a wingspan of 13 to 14.2 inches (33 to 36 centimeters) and weighs between 2.3 to 3.2 ounces (66 to 92 grams). It eats various insects as well as harvesting acorns and other nuts to eat, which they will sometimes store for later. The species is only found in central and southern Florida in scrubby flatwoods and oak scrubs. The species has been listed as being vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 2000 and its numbers have been declining due to the loss of its rare habitat because of land development by humans.
Greater Prairie Chicken
The Greater Prairie Chicken, scientific name Tympanuchus cupido, is a part of the Phasiandae Family of birds. This bird species is a medium to large sized chicken bird that is completely covered in a brown and white stripped pattern with a rounded, short tail. An adult averages around 16.9 inches (43 centimeters) in length, and weighs between 24.7 and 42.3 ounces (700 and 1,200 grams). It eats various insects, as well as a variety of different leaves, seeds, grains and buds from plants. The species if found residing in the oak savannas and open prairies of the mid-west, especially in Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas. The species has been listed as being vulnerable by the ICUN Red List since 2004. Its numbers in the wild have managed to increase in the last two decades, which bucked a trend of decades of a decline in population. The main threats to the species are the loss or modification of its habitats due to conversion of the land into cropland or from farm animals grazing in the area.
The Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, scientific name Leuconotopicus borealis, belongs to the Picidae Family of birds. This bird species is a small woodpeckers that is mostly black and white, with a horizontally stripped back, although the males in the species have a extremely small, almost invisible red streak on the upper portion of their cheek. These birds also have short, straight bills. An adult averages between being 7.9 to 9.1 inches (20 to 23 centimeters) in length, with a wingspan around 14.2 inches (36 centimeters) and weighs between 1.5 to 1.8 ounces (42 to 52 grams). They eat the eggs and larvae of various insects, as well as fully grown adult insects and sometimes eat the fruits and seeds from a variety of different plants. The birds where once found exclusively in pine forests, but due to habitat loss have spread out to a variety of other forest areas and even grassy wetlands. These birds are found across the southern United States, from Virginia to as far east as Texas and all the way into South Florida. The species has been listed as being vulnerable by the ICUN Red List in 1994, but has since improved and in 2013 was upgraded to only being listed as near-threatened. Most of the species population currently lives on protected federal lands and its biggest threats are its loss of habitat due to deforesting, the conversion of the traditional tree species it lives in and fire suppression.
The Salt-Marsh Sparrow, scientific name Ammodramus caudacutus, is a member of the Emberizidae Family of birds. This bird species is a small songbird that has a orange-yellow face with a light to dark brown colored body and has a short, rounded tail with pointed feathers. An adult averages between being 4.3 to 5.1 inches (11 to 13 centimeters) in length and weighs between 0.5 to 0.7 ounces (14 to 19 grams). They eat a variety of insects, especially spiders, as well as small marine invertebrates and sometimes also eat plant seeds. These birds are found exclusively in salt marshes along the east coast from South Florida all the way up to southern Maine and are also found up Florida's west coast. The species has been listed as being vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN's) Red List of Threatened Species in 2004, and its population has been on the decline. The biggest threats to the species are loss of its habitat due to commercial development, the degradation of its habitat from pollution and chemical spills and invasive species coming into its native habitat.
What Can be Done to Help Conserve these Endemic Birds in America?
There are a number of actions that can be taken to help in the conservation and support efforts for the endemic bird species in the United States of America. People can help to donate either their time or money to any of the many local, state or national organizations across America that work to help conserve, support and save these endemic birds and their natural habitats. People in American can also try and push for change by contacting their local, state and national elected officials to get them to support environmental issues. One could also sign and support petitions or even help to educated others on the issue to try and help raise awareness and support.