Priority Bird Species

Black-and-white Warbler. Photo: Sean Graesser / Audubon Connecticut

Audubon Connecticut’s priority bird species are birds of significant conservation need, for which our actions, over time, can lead to measurable improvements in status. Some of these species are listed as vulnerable or near threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Redlist. Others are species of conservation concern on the National Audubon Society’s Watchlist or identified as priorities by Partners in Flight. Many priority species are also listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern in Connecticut and are included in Connecticut’s Wildlife Action Plan. The breadth of this list reflects the dramatic loss of habitat and the pervasive threats that confront birds and other wildlife.

To enhance and monitor bird populations, Audubon uses a number of conservation strategies, from the identification of Important Bird Areas to Sharing our Shores, to our Bird-Friendly Communities and Working Lands initiatives.

Some of our priority bird species can be found among the many species that inhabit the sanctuaries of Audubon Connecticut. The Audubon Center at Bent of the River, Audubon Center in Greenwich, and Sharon Audubon Center maintain species checklists for their respective sanctuaries.

List last updated March 2019

Coastal Birds

American Black Duck

Latin:  Anas rubripes

Illustration for American Black Duck

American Oystercatcher

Latin:  Haematopus palliatus

Illustration for American Oystercatcher

Black Scoter

Latin:  Melanitta americana

Illustration for Black Scoter

Black Skimmer

Latin:  Rynchops niger

Illustration for Black Skimmer

Common Eider

Latin:  Somateria mollissima

Illustration for Common Eider

Common Loon

Latin:  Gavia immer

Illustration for Common Loon

Common Tern

Latin:  Sterna hirundo

Illustration for Common Tern

Horned Grebe

Latin:  Podiceps auritus

Illustration for Horned Grebe

Least Tern

Latin:  Sternula antillarum

Illustration for Least Tern

Long-tailed Duck

Latin:  Clangula hyemalis

Illustration for Long-tailed Duck

Peregrine Falcon

Latin:  Falco peregrinus

Illustration for Peregrine Falcon

Piping Plover

Latin:  Charadrius melodus

Illustration for Piping Plover

Red Knot

Latin:  Calidris canutus

Illustration for Red Knot

Roseate Tern

Latin:  Sterna dougallii

Illustration for Roseate Tern


Latin:  Calidris alba

Illustration for Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Latin:  Calidris pusilla

Illustration for Semipalmated Sandpiper

White-rumped Sandpiper

Latin:  Calidris fuscicollis

Illustration for White-rumped Sandpiper

Salt Marsh Birds

Clapper Rail

Latin:  Rallus crepitans

Illustration for Clapper Rail

Glossy Ibis

Latin:  Plegadis falcinellus

Illustration for Glossy Ibis

Nelson's Sparrow

Latin:  Ammospiza nelsoni

Illustration for Nelson's Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Latin:  Ammospiza caudacuta

Illustration for Saltmarsh Sparrow

Seaside Sparrow

Latin:  Ammospiza maritima

Illustration for Seaside Sparrow

Wetland Birds

American Bittern

Latin:  Botaurus lentiginosus

Illustration for American Bittern

Black Rail

Latin:  Laterallus jamaicensis

Illustration for Black Rail

Common Gallinule

Latin:  Gallinula galeata

Illustration for Common Gallinule

Great Egret

Latin:  Ardea alba

Illustration for Great Egret

King Rail

Latin:  Rallus elegans

Illustration for King Rail

Least Bittern

Latin:  Ixobrychus exilis

Illustration for Least Bittern

Little Blue Heron

Latin:  Egretta caerulea

Illustration for Little Blue Heron

Marbled Godwit

Latin:  Limosa fedoa

Illustration for Marbled Godwit

Rusty Blackbird

Latin:  Euphagus carolinus

Illustration for Rusty Blackbird

Snowy Egret

Latin:  Egretta thula

Illustration for Snowy Egret

Willow Flycatcher

Latin:  Empidonax traillii

Illustration for Willow Flycatcher

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Latin:  Nyctanassa violacea

Illustration for Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Blue-winged Teal

Latin:  Spatula discors

Illustration for Blue-winged Teal

Open Air and Open Water Birds

Chimney Swift

Latin:  Chaetura pelagica

Illustration for Chimney Swift

Pied-billed Grebe

Latin:  Podilymbus podiceps

Illustration for Pied-billed Grebe

Purple Martin

Latin:  Progne subis

Illustration for Purple Martin

Grassland Birds

American Golden-Plover

Latin:  Pluvialis dominica

Illustration for American Golden-Plover

American Kestrel

Latin:  Falco sparverius

Illustration for American Kestrel

Barn Owl

Latin:  Tyto alba

Illustration for Barn Owl


Latin:  Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Illustration for Bobolink

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Latin:  Calidris subruficollis

Illustration for Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Common Nighthawk

Latin:  Chordeiles minor

Illustration for Common Nighthawk

Eastern Meadowlark

Latin:  Sturnella magna

Illustration for Eastern Meadowlark

Grasshopper Sparrow

Latin:  Ammodramus savannarum

Illustration for Grasshopper Sparrow

Horned Lark

Latin:  Eremophila alpestris

Illustration for Horned Lark

Northern Harrier

Latin:  Circus hudsonius

Illustration for Northern Harrier

Savannah Sparrow

Latin:  Passerculus sandwichensis

Illustration for Savannah Sparrow

Sedge Wren

Latin:  Cistothorus platensis

Illustration for Sedge Wren

Short-eared Owl

Latin:  Asio flammeus

Illustration for Short-eared Owl

Upland Sandpiper

Latin:  Bartramia longicauda

Illustration for Upland Sandpiper

Vesper Sparrow

Latin:  Pooecetes gramineus

Illustration for Vesper Sparrow

Shrubland Birds

Alder Flycatcher

Latin:  Empidonax alnorum

Illustration for Alder Flycatcher

Blue-winged Warbler

Latin:  Vermivora cyanoptera

Illustration for Blue-winged Warbler

Brown Thrasher

Latin:  Toxostoma rufum

Illustration for Brown Thrasher

Eastern Towhee

Latin:  Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Illustration for Eastern Towhee

Golden-winged Warbler

Latin:  Vermivora chrysoptera

Illustration for Golden-winged Warbler

Gray Catbird

Latin:  Dumetella carolinensis

Illustration for Gray Catbird

Prairie Warbler

Latin:  Setophaga discolor

Illustration for Prairie Warbler

Yellow-breasted Chat

Latin:  Icteria virens

Illustration for Yellow-breasted Chat

Woodland Birds

American Woodcock

Latin:  Scolopax minor

Illustration for American Woodcock

Bald Eagle

Latin:  Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Illustration for Bald Eagle

Baltimore Oriole

Latin:  Icterus galbula

Illustration for Baltimore Oriole

Black-and-white Warbler

Latin:  Mniotilta varia

Illustration for Black-and-white Warbler

Black-billed Cuckoo

Latin:  Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Illustration for Black-billed Cuckoo

Blackburnian Warbler

Latin:  Setophaga fusca

Illustration for Blackburnian Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Latin:  Setophaga caerulescens

Illustration for Black-throated Blue Warbler

Broad-winged Hawk

Latin:  Buteo platypterus

Illustration for Broad-winged Hawk

Canada Warbler

Latin:  Cardellina canadensis

Illustration for Canada Warbler

Cerulean Warbler

Latin:  Setophaga cerulea

Illustration for Cerulean Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Latin:  Setophaga pensylvanica

Illustration for Chestnut-sided Warbler

Eastern Whip-poor-will

Latin:  Antrostomus vociferus

Illustration for Eastern Whip-poor-will

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Latin:  Contopus virens

Illustration for Eastern Wood-Pewee

Hairy Woodpecker

Latin:  Dryobates villosus

Illustration for Hairy Woodpecker

Least Flycatcher

Latin:  Empidonax minimus

Illustration for Least Flycatcher

Long-eared Owl

Latin:  Asio otus

Illustration for Long-eared Owl

Louisiana Waterthrush

Latin:  Parkesia motacilla

Illustration for Louisiana Waterthrush

Northern Goshawk

Latin:  Accipiter gentilis

Illustration for Northern Goshawk

Northern Parula

Latin:  Setophaga americana

Illustration for Northern Parula

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Latin:  Aegolius acadicus

Illustration for Northern Saw-whet Owl


Latin:  Seiurus aurocapilla

Illustration for Ovenbird

Purple Finch

Latin:  Haemorhous purpureus

Illustration for Purple Finch

Red-headed Woodpecker

Latin:  Melanerpes erythrocephalus

Illustration for Red-headed Woodpecker

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Latin:  Pheucticus ludovicianus

Illustration for Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Scarlet Tanager

Latin:  Piranga olivacea

Illustration for Scarlet Tanager

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Latin:  Accipiter striatus

Illustration for Sharp-shinned Hawk


Latin:  Catharus fuscescens

Illustration for Veery

Wood Thrush

Latin:  Hylocichla mustelina

Illustration for Wood Thrush

Worm-eating Warbler

Latin:  Helmitheros vermivorum

Illustration for Worm-eating Warbler

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