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Vermont, with its myriad of lakes, rivers, and marshes, is home to a spectacular array of water birds that significantly enrich its diverse ecosystem.
Lake Champlain, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Champlain, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area
Northeast Kingdom lakes
Lake Champlain, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Champlain, city landfill sites
Lake Champlain, city landfill sites
Great Black-backed Gull
Lake Champlain, city landfill sites
Lake Champlain during summer
Water Bird Species Found in Vermont
American White Pelican
Scientific Name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
Length: 50–70 in
Wingspan: 95–120 in
Weight:11 and 20 lb
The American White Pelican is a large water bird known for its impressive size, distinct white plumage, and extraordinary cooperative feeding behavior. They are commonly found in the inland freshwater lakes of North America during the summer and along the coastlines in the winter.
Appearance: American White Pelicans have a pure white body with black wingtips that are visible in flight. Their large yellow-orange bill is equipped with a stretchy pouch used for catching prey, and during the breeding season, they develop a unique, horn-like plate on the upper part of their bill.
Diet: Unlike their Brown Pelican cousins, American White Pelicans do not dive for their food. Instead, they catch their prey while swimming. They primarily xatch fish, but occasionally supplement their diet with crustaceans and amphibians. Interestingly, they often feed in groups, moving together to herd fish into shallow waters where they can easily scoop them up.
Reproduction: American White Pelicans typically nest in colonies on isolated islands. The female lays 2 to 3 eggs in a nest on the ground, which is made from dirt and vegetation.
Listen to Double-crested Cormorant
Scientific Name: Nannopterum auritum
Length: 28 to 35 in
Wingspan: 45 – 48 in
Weight: 2.6 – 5.5 lb
The Double-crested Cormorant is a large waterbird recognized for its long neck, hooked bill, and notable diving abilities.
Appearance: Double-crested Cormorants have a dark body with a somewhat iridescent sheen. The bird’s name derives from the presence of two tufts or crests of feathers that appear on the sides of the head during the breeding season. They have striking greenish-yellow to bright orange skin around the throat and cheeks, and their eyes are an interesting, bright turquoise color.
Diet: Double-crested Cormorants are excellent divers and their diet primarily consists of fish. They dive beneath the water’s surface from the air or while swimming to catch their prey. After a successful dive, they can often be seen standing with their wings outstretched to dry.
Reproduction: These birds typically nest in trees, on cliffs, or on ground colonies on islands. The female lays a clutch of 3 to 4 eggs, which both parents incubate for about a month.
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Listen to Great Blue Heron
Scientific Name: Ardea herodias
Wingspan: 66–79 in
Weight: 4.0–7.9 lb
The Great Blue Heron is a large species of wading bird recognized for its majestic stature, stately flight, and impressive hunting prowess.
Appearance: Great Blue Herons are strikingly tall and slender, with a gray-blue body, a wide wingspan, and a long, pointed bill. They have a white head with a black stripe above the eye extending into feathery plumes, and long, reddish-brown legs.
Diet: Great Blue Herons are skilled hunters, primarily feeding on a variety of aquatic animals such as fish, frogs, and crustaceans. They can often be seen standing motionless in shallow water, waiting patiently for prey to come within striking distance.
Reproduction: Great Blue Herons nest in large colonies, often high in trees near bodies of water. The female lays a clutch of about 3 to 5 eggs, which both parents incubate for around a month. After hatching, the young herons are fed by both parents and start to explore outside the nest within a few weeks.
Scientific Name: Ardea alba
Length: 80 – 100 cm
Wingspan: 1.3 – 1.7 m
Weight: 0.7 – 1.5 kg
The Great Egret is a large, stunningly white bird commonly found in both freshwater and saltwater habitats across the United States. Known for its elegant flight and poised hunting stance, it is a symbol of conservation success.
Appearance: Great Egrets are recognized by their bright white plumage, long, black legs, and a yellow, dagger-like bill. Their slender, long necks and large wings are highlighted when they take flight, creating an elegant and captivating sight.
Diet: Primarily, the Great Egret feeds on fish, making use of its sharp bill to spear its prey in shallow water. However, its diet is diverse and can include other aquatic creatures like amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals, and invertebrates.
Reproduction: The Great Egret typically nests in trees or shrubs near water bodies, often in colonies with other water birds. A female lays 3 to 4 eggs, with both parents participating in the incubation process.
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Scientific Name: Egretta thula
Length: 22.1–26.0 in
Wingspan: 39.4 inches
Weight: 13.1 oz
The Snowy Egret is a small, graceful bird celebrated for its striking white plumage and contrasting black and yellow details. Found across the United States in a variety of water habitats, this bird is known for its animated hunting style.
Appearance: Snowy Egrets are particularly noticeable due to their pure white feathers, slender black legs, and bright yellow feet, which are often described as looking like they’ve been dipped in golden paint. They also sport a thin, black bill and expressive, yellow eyes.
Diet: Their diet mainly consists of fish, but they are known to consume a variety of aquatic animals such as crustaceans, insects, and small amphibians. Notably, their unique yellow feet are used to stir up prey from the bottom of shallow water.
Reproduction: Snowy Egrets typically nest in trees or shrubs in colonies with other water birds. The female lays 3 to 5 eggs, and both parents take turns incubating them.
Scientific Name: Butorides virescen
Length: 25 to 31 in
Wingspan: 53 to 65 in
Weight: 4.5 to 6.0
The Green Heron is a small yet captivating bird, famous for its tool-using abilities and its striking appearance. This species can often be found around the edges of freshwater and saltwater habitats across much of North America.
Appearance: Green Herons possess a dark greenish-blue back, a rich chestnut body, and a dark cap on their head. Their bill is long and sharp, allowing them to be proficient hunters, while their relatively short legs give them a stocky appearance compared to other heron species.
Diet: As opportunistic feeders, Green Herons feed mainly on small fish, but their diet also includes a variety of invertebrates, insects, amphibians, and occasionally even small mammals and birds. They’re known for a unique hunting technique – using baits such as insects, feathers, or twigs to attract fish.
Reproduction: Green Herons build their nests in trees or shrubs, usually over or near water. The female typically lays 3 to 5 eggs, with both parents sharing the responsibilities of incubation.
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Scientific Name: Nycticorax nycticorax
Length: 22.8-26.0 in
Wingspan: 45.3-46.5 in
Weight: 25.6-35.8 oz
The Black-crowned Night-Heron is a medium-sized heron species that is known for its nocturnal habits, standing out among other, mostly diurnal herons.
Appearance: Black-crowned Night-Herons have a stocky appearance, with adults characterized by a black crown and back, contrasting sharply with a white or gray body. Their eyes are notably red. The legs are yellow to greenish yellow, but become pinkish or even red during the breeding season. Young birds are brown, speckled with white and gray.
Diet: As opportunistic feeders, Black-crowned Night-Herons eat a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals. They primarily consume fish, but their diet can also include crustaceans, insects, small mammals, reptiles, and even other birds. They usually feed at night, which gives them a unique niche among heron species.
Reproduction: Black-crowned Night-Herons are colonial nesters, often forming nesting colonies with other heron species. They build platform nests in trees or shrubs, usually over water. The female lays 3 to 5 eggs, and both parents share the responsibility of incubation.
Listen to Mallard
Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos
Length: 20–26 in
Wingspan: 32–39 in
Weight: 1.5–3.5 lb
The Mallard is a well-known species of duck they are particularly recognized for their adaptability and can thrive in both urban and wild environments.
Male Mallards are renowned for their striking plumage, with a glossy green head, a white collar, and a chestnut-colored chest, while females sport mottled brown feathers. They both have blue speculum feathers on their wings, which can be seen during flight. Both sexes also exhibit a distinct curl on the tail feathers, more noticeable in males.
Mallards are omnivorous in nature. Their diet is diverse and includes seeds, aquatic vegetation, insects, and small fish. They are frequently seen ‘dabbling’ in the water, where they dip their head and neck below the surface while upending their body to forage for food.
In terms of reproduction, Mallards usually nest on the ground near water bodies, camouflaged by vegetation. The female lays a clutch of 7 to 10 eggs, and she incubates them for about a month. After hatching, the ducklings are precocial – they are active and able to feed themselves, but they continue to stay with their mother for protection until they can fly, which usually takes about two months.
Mallards are an iconic species that have significantly contributed to the genetic makeup of many domestic duck breeds. They are beloved for their rich colors, distinctive quacks, and playful demeanor.
Scientific Name: Aix sponsa
Length: 19 to 21 in
Wingspan: 26 to 29 in
Weight: 16.0-30.4 oz
The Wood Duck is an exquisitely colorful waterfowl known for its unique nesting habits and is commonly seen in wooded swamps, marshes, and streams across North America.
Appearance: With their dazzling plumage, Wood Ducks are among the most stunning birds. Males display a multitude of colors, including a green and purple crested head, red eyes, and a white-striped chest, all contrasted with a bronze-colored body. Females, though more subdued with a gray-brown body and white eye-ring, also possess their own charm.
Diet: Wood Ducks have a diverse diet that includes seeds, fruits, and insects, as well as other invertebrates. Their broad diet helps them to adapt to a variety of habitats, whether in the wild or in urban areas with suitable nesting sites.
Reproduction: Unlike most other ducks, Wood Ducks prefer to nest in tree cavities near water, leading to their common name. They will also readily use nest boxes if they’re available. A typical clutch consists of 9 to 14 eggs, which the female incubates alone.
Listen to Blue-winged Teal
Scientific Name: Spatula discors
Length: 16 in
Wingspan: 23 in
Weight: 13 oz
The Blue-winged Teal is a small species of dabbling duck known for its striking plumage and its extensive migratory habits.
Appearance: Male Blue-winged Teals are quite colorful, with a slate gray head and neck, a white crescent in front of the eyes, and a predominantly brown body with specks of black. The name “Blue-winged” comes from the patch of blue feathers visible on their wings during flight. Females, in contrast, are primarily brown and subtly mottled to provide camouflage.
Diet: The Blue-winged Teal feeds mainly on plant matter, such as seeds and aquatic vegetation. However, they also supplement their diet with small invertebrates, especially during the breeding season. They are known for their “dabbling” behavior, where they feed at the surface of the water rather than diving.
Reproduction: Blue-winged Teals prefer to nest on the ground in grassy areas near water. The female typically lays a clutch of 9 to 13 eggs, which she incubates alone for about three weeks. After hatching, the ducklings can feed themselves but remain under the mother’s protection until they are capable of flying.
Listen to Northern Pintail
Scientific Name: Anas acuta
Length: 23–30 in
Wingspan: 31–37 in
Weight: 1 –3 lb
The Northern Pintail is a graceful species of duck recognized for their elegance in flight and their sleek bodies and long tails which is pin-shaped.
Male Northern Pintails are celebrated for their distinctive appearance, featuring a chocolate brown head, a white neck, and a grayish body. The most notable characteristic is the long, pointed tail feathers, which give this species its name. Females are more understated in color, sporting a mottled brown plumage.
Diet: Consists primarily of plant matter, including seeds and aquatic vegetation. They are also known to eat insects, especially during the breeding season. The Northern Pintail is often seen dabbling and upending in water bodies to forage for food.
Reproduction: Northern Pintails usually nest on the ground, near water bodies. The female lays a clutch of 7 to 9 eggs and is solely responsible for their incubation, which lasts for about three weeks.
Listen to American Wigeon
Scientific Name: Bucephala clangula
Length: 18-20 inches
Wingspan: 30.3-32.7 inches
Weight: 1.8-2.2 lbs
The Common Goldeneye is a medium-sized diving duck, recognized for its golden-yellow eye and distinct whistling sound made during flight.
Appearance: Male Common Goldeneyes have a glossy green-black head, a circular white patch between the eye and the bill, and a golden-yellow eye. They have a dark back and white underparts. Females have a chocolate-brown head and a similar golden-yellow eye but lack the white facial patch.
Diet: Common Goldeneyes feed on a variety of aquatic life including crustaceans, insects, and small fish. They are diving ducks and will often plunge below the surface to search for food.
Reproduction: The female nests in tree cavities near water, typically laying between six and fifteen eggs. After hatching, the young ducks will follow their mother, who guides them to feeding areas but does not feed them directly.
Listen to Hooded Merganser
Scientific Name: Lophodytes cucullatus
Length: 15.8-19.3 in
Wingspan: 23.6-26.0 in
Weight: 16.0-31.0 oz
The Hooded Merganser is a distinctive species of diving duck known for its showy crest and its excellent diving skills.
Appearance: Male Hooded Mergansers are especially striking with a large, fan-shaped, black and white crest, which can be expanded or contracted. They have bright yellow eyes, a dark back, and a white chest. The females have a more understated appearance with a brownish body, a smaller, reddish-brown crest, and dark eyes.
Diet: Consists of small fish, aquatic insects, and crustaceans. Their eyes are specially adapted for underwater vision, allowing them to spot and catch prey while diving.
Reproduction: Similar to Buffleheads, Hooded Mergansers often nest in tree cavities near water bodies. The female lays a clutch of about 10 to 12 eggs and incubates them alone for about a month.
Scientific Name: Mergus merganser
Length: 23–28 in
Wingspan: 30 – 38 in
Weight: 2 lb 0 oz – 4 lb 10 oz
The Common Merganser is a large and elegant diving duck, famous for its unique fishing abilities and seen often in the lakes, rivers, and coastal areas across North America.
Appearance: The male Common Merganser is quite striking with its dark green, almost black, crested head, bright red bill, and white body tinged with salmon-pink. The females have a reddish-brown crested head, a white neck, and a grayish body, but share the same red bill as the males.
Diet: True to their diving duck status, Common Mergansers are exceptional hunters, primarily feeding on fish. They’re also known to consume aquatic invertebrates and, on occasion, small mammals and birds. Their serrated bills are specialized to hold slippery fish tightly.
Reproduction: Like the Wood Duck, Common Mergansers also nest in tree cavities or nest boxes close to water bodies, but can also use rock crevices or holes in the ground. A clutch usually contains 9 to 12 eggs, incubated solely by the female.
Scientific Name: Mergus serrator
Length: 20–24 in
Wingspan: 28–34 in
Weight: 28.2 to 47.6 oz
The Red-breasted Merganser is a fascinating diving duck species, recognized for its swift flight and exceptional diving capabilities. They inhabit freshwater and saltwater environments and are quite common in North America and Eurasia.
Appearance: The Red-breasted Merganser boasts an interesting appearance. Males display a dark green head, bright red eyes, and a distinctive, long reddish-brown breast. Their bodies are mainly grey, and they also have a white collar and a thin, serrated bill. Females are more subdued, featuring a rusty cinnamon head with a shaggy crest and grey body.
Diet: Predominantly includes small fish, which they catch by diving underwater. They can also feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans, and occasionally amphibians. Their serrated bill helps them grip slippery prey effectively.
Reproduction: The breeding ground for Red-breasted Mergansers is typically near freshwater lakes or rivers. Females build nests in tree cavities, on the ground hidden in vegetation, or use abandoned nests of other birds. The female lays a clutch of 6 to 12 eggs.
Scientific Name: Fulica americana
Length: 13–17 in
Wingspan: 23 to 28 in
Weight: 1.270 to 1.870 lb
The American Coot is a ubiquitous water bird commonly seen in the wetlands, lakes, and ponds of North America, recognized for its adaptability and striking features.
Appearance: American Coots are easily identifiable by their slate-gray bodies, offset by a white, chicken-like bill and a red eye. Their legs are also distinctive, equipped with lobed toes, as opposed to the webbed feet seen in ducks, which assist them in navigating both land and water adeptly.
Diet: While aquatic plants form the bulk of an American Coot’s diet, they aren’t strictly herbivores. These versatile birds also consume small invertebrates and fish, demonstrating their ability to adapt and survive in a variety of habitats.
Reproduction: Nesting for the American Coot usually happens in shallow water bodies, where they construct a floating nest hidden among the vegetation. A clutch can contain between 8 to 12 eggs, all of which are incubated by both parents.
Scientific Name: Antigone canadensis
Length: 2 ft 7-4 ft 6 in
Wingspan: 16.5–23.6 in
Weight: 4 – 4.5 kg
The Sandhill Crane is a tall, elegant bird known for its impressive size and striking appearance. They are found across North America, in habitats ranging from wetlands to grasslands.
Appearance: Sandhill Cranes are recognized for their tall stature, gray body, long legs, and long neck. Their most distinctive feature is a red forehead, which contrasts with their otherwise primarily gray plumage. During the breeding season, their gray feathers often take on a rusty-brown hue due to them rubbing iron-rich mud onto their feathers.
Diet: Sandhill Cranes are omnivorous birds and their diet is quite diverse, consisting of seeds, grains, berries, insects, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. They are known to forage while walking in shallow water or in fields.
Reproduction: Sandhill Cranes mate for life and their complex courtship dance is a sight to behold. They nest in marshy areas and the female typically lays two eggs.
Listen to American Wigeon
Scientific Name: Mareca americana
Length: 17–23 in
Wingspan: 30–36 in
Weight: 1 –3 lb
The American Wigeon is a medium-sized duck species that is a popular sight in wetlands, ponds, and lakes and is often seen in mixed flocks with other ducks.
Males of the species are recognized by their distinctive appearance. They sport a unique white forehead and crown, coupled with a green band stretching from the eye to the back of the head. The body is mainly gray with a pinkish hue on the chest. Females are more subdued in color, with primarily gray and brown tones.
Diet: comprising mainly plant material like aquatic vegetation and grasses, but it also includes insects and other small invertebrates. They are known for a feeding behavior called “kleptoparasitism,” where they often snatch food from other ducks.
American Wigeons usually breed in the northernmost parts of North America. The females create their nests on the ground, often hidden in tall grass near water bodies. They lay a clutch of 6 to 11 eggs which they incubate for about three to four weeks and the ducklings feed on small aquatic invertebrates and aquatic insects.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Scientific Name: Pandion haliaetus
Length: 50–66 cm (19+1⁄2–26 in)
Wingspan: 127–180 cm (50–71 in)
Weight: 0.9–2.1 kg (2 lb 0 oz – 4 lb 10 oz)
The Osprey, a fascinating bird of prey, is universally known for its exceptional hunting prowess and striking physical characteristics. Osprey are dark brown hawks on the upperparts, contrasting beautifully with the predominantly white underparts, and a distinctive dark band that stretches across the eyes towards the sides of its head.
Equipped with specialized talons and a reversible outer toe, the Osprey’s hunting strategy involves a spectacular plunge-dive into bodies of water, often emerging with a fish securely gripped in its claws.
Found on every continent except Antarctica, the Osprey is a cosmopolitan species favoring habitats near water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and coastal areas, reflecting its piscivorous diet. This bird has a diet almost exclusively of fish, making it a unique member of the raptor family and often referred to as the sea hawk or fish hawk. They locate their prey from the air, often hovering before plunging feet-first to capture a fish. When it comes to breeding, Ospreys are monogamous, often mating for life.
They construct large, bulky nests made of sticks, lined with softer materials, and prefer elevated or isolated areas such as treetops or artificial structures like utility poles. Both parents share the responsibility of incubating the eggs and rearing the chicks.
Scientific Name: Gavia immer
Length: 24-39 in
Wingspan: 50-56 in
Weight: 6.4-13.6 lbs
The Common Loon is a large, iconic water bird that can be found in many parts of North America. It is known for its haunting calls, often heard in the early morning or late evening across the region’s lakes and ponds.
Appearance: The Common Loon is celebrated for its striking black-and-white breeding plumage, a red eye, and a robust, black bill. In winter, its plumage turns to a more subdued gray, but its large, sturdy body and pointed bill remain distinctive.
Diet: Common Loons primarily feed on fish, but also consume crustaceans, frogs, and aquatic insects. They are expert divers, capable of plunging deep underwater to catch their prey, and are often observed popping their heads above water before diving for their next meal.
Reproduction: The Common Loon nests near water, typically on lakes and larger ponds in the northern parts of North America. The female generally lays 1-2 eggs per year in a nest made from vegetation on the ground. Both parents share the responsibility of incubating the eggs and feeding the young.
Scientific Name: Podilymbus podiceps
Length: 12–15 in
Wingspan: 18–24 in
Weight: 8.9–20.0 oz
The Pied-billed Grebe is a small, elusive water bird well-known for its unique ability to adjust its buoyancy and often “sink” out of sight. It can be found in a wide variety of wetland habitats across the United States.
Appearance: Pied-billed Grebes have a stocky build with a short neck and a chicken-like bill that is conspicuously ringed in black during the breeding season – hence the name “pied-billed”. Their plumage is primarily a muted brown, which can vary in tone depending on the season.
Diet: Their diet consists predominantly of aquatic invertebrates, small fish, and amphibians. Pied-billed Grebes are adept divers and can stay underwater for impressive lengths of time to catch their prey.
Reproduction: Pied-billed Grebes usually nest in dense marsh vegetation, where the female lays 5 to 7 eggs. Both parents share responsibilities for incubation. After hatching, the chicks are often seen riding on their parents’ backs while they learn to navigate their aquatic world.
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
Scientific Name: Larus delawarensis
Length: 16.9-21.3 in
Wingspan: 41.3–46.1 in
The Ring-billed Gull is a common North American gull species recognized for its distinctive bill markings and widespread presence, particularly around human habitats.
Appearance: Ring-billed Gulls have a light-gray back, white head and underparts, and yellow eyes. Their most notable feature is the black ring around their yellow bill, which gives the species its name.
Diet: They have a varied diet that includes fish, insects, earthworms, rodents, grain, and garbage. They’re known for their opportunistic and scavenging feeding behaviors, often found near human-populated areas.
Reproduction: Ring-billed Gulls typically nest in large colonies on the ground near bodies of water. The female usually lays two to three eggs per season.
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Scientific Name: Larus argentatus
Length: 22.1-26.0 in
Wingspan: 53.9–57.5 in
Weight: 28.2-44.1 oz
The Herring Gull is a versatile bird often found near coastlines, known for its distinct call and adaptive lifestyle.
Appearance: Herring Gulls have a white body, gray back, and yellow bill with a red spot. Juvenile gulls are brown, becoming whiter as they age.
Diet: These gulls are opportunistic eaters. They consume a variety of food, including fish, insects, small birds, carrion, and human refuse.
Reproduction: Herring Gulls nest in colonies on islands or cliffs, laying two to three eggs per season. Both parents share incubation and chick-raising responsibilities.
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
The Great Black-backed Gull is a large, sturdy gull that has a wingspan of up to 3 feet. It has distinctive black markings on its back and a yellow bill with red at the tip.
Scientific Name: Larus marinus
Length: 64–79 cm (25–31 in)
Wingspan: 1.5–1.7 m (4 ft 11 in – 5 ft 7 in)
Weight: 0.75–2.3 kg (1 lb 10 oz – 5 lb 1 oz)
Great Black-backed Gull Description
It has a black back, white cheeks, a yellow bill, and red legs. It has a strong territorial instinct, which can make them aggressive toward other birds and humans alike. They are known for their loud calls and their ability to soar for hours without flapping their wings.
Great Black-backed Gull Sound
Great Black-backed Gull Habitat & Range
This gull lives all over Europe, Asia, and North America. It lives in coastal areas and can be found on beaches and near freshwater lakes. There are two populations, one in North America and one in Europe.
Great Black-backed Gull Diet
The Great Black-backed Gull’s diet consists mostly of fish, insects, small mammals, and birds. They hunt for food by spotting prey from high above and swooping down to catch them with their claws. They will also scavenge for food on land or on the water’s surface when necessary.
Great Black-backed Gull Nesting
This species nests in colonies on cliffs or islands, sometimes laying eggs in trees when no appropriate nest sites are available. They lay three to five eggs each year.
These birds form monogamous pairs during the breeding season, which lasts from April through June depending on location; they will mate for life after finding their perfect partner. After mating, they build nests made out of sticks lined with seaweed or grass, which they place high up in trees or cliffs so they can see over long distances easily while keeping an eye on their eggs at all times.
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
The Caspian Tern is a small seabird with a long, pointed bill and long, pointed wings.
Scientific Name: Hydroprogne caspia
Length: 48–60 cm (19–24 in)
Wingspan: 127–145 cm (50–57 in)
Weight: 530–782 g (18.7–27.6 oz)
Caspian Tern Description
It has a black cap and back with white cheeks and underparts. It has a dark brown back and wings. Its bill is yellow at the base turning black toward the tip. Its legs are pinkish-red. The body is white, with a black cap and tail.
Caspian Tern Sound
Caspian Tern Habitat & Range
Its habitat includes lakes, rivers, ponds, marshes and estuaries. It can be found in the wetlands and around the coast of Central Asia, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. In the winter months, it migrates south to Africa, India, and Australia.
Caspian Tern Diet
The Caspian Tern feeds on fish, crustaceans and insects. They have been known to dive up to 65m (200 feet) below the surface of water to catch their prey. They will also steal food from other birds such as gulls or crows by swooping down onto their backs while they are feeding on the surface of water so they can take food right out of their bills.
Caspian Tern Nesting
They nest colonies on islands or coastal areas, trees near lakes or large rivers that are surrounded by marshes where there are lots of insects for them to eat during breeding season (April-May). These nests are made from twigs lined with grasses or other soft material that protects eggs from falling out if wind blows them off their perch. The Caspian Tern’s population is stable but declining due to habitat loss and pollution.
Where to Spot Vermont’s Water Birds
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, Swanton: This refuge consists of extensive wetlands and is home to over 200 species of birds. It is known for its water bird populations including the American Black Duck, Wood Duck, and Green-winged Teal.
Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area, Addison: A popular location for bird watchers, Dead Creek is best known for the fall migration of Snow Geese. It also provides a habitat for a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, and marsh birds.
Lake Champlain: As the largest freshwater body in the state, Lake Champlain attracts a variety of water birds. Species such as the Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, and various duck species can be observed here.
Sandbar State Park, Milton: Situated on the broad lake plain of Lake Champlain, this state park is a nesting habitat for many species of waterfowl. It’s a great place to spot ducks, gulls, and other water birds.
Bomoseen State Park, Fair Haven: The park’s swamp and marsh areas are home to many water birds, including various duck species, Great Blue Herons, and Belted Kingfishers.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Cape Cod National Seashore, Plum Island
FAQS About Waterbirds in Vermont
What birds are common in Vermont?
Vermont, located in the northeastern United States, is home to a variety of bird species due to its mixed forests, wetlands, and open fields. Some common birds found in Vermont include:
American Goldfinch – The state bird of Vermont, it is bright yellow in the summer and olive-brown in the winter.
Common Loon – Especially in the northeastern lakes during summer.
What is the famous bird from Vermont?
The most famous bird from Vermont is the American Goldfinch, primarily because it is the state bird.
What is the bright yellow bird in Vermont?
The bright yellow bird you’re thinking of is again the American Goldfinch, especially the males during the summer breeding season.
It’s worth noting that while the American Goldfinch is bright yellow during the summer, its plumage changes in the winter to a more muted olive-brown. The females and juveniles are not as bright as the adult males but still have some yellow tones.
In Vermont, wild birds flourish in areas with dense vegetation. Among the medium-sized birds and wading birds, little blue herons with their dark gray plumage stand out. Additionally, the majestic bald eagles can often be spotted soaring above the state’s waterways.