Perching, Near Water

Alder Flycatcher


   Empidonax alnorum

Sparrow sized or smaller

Difficult to distinguish from the willow flycatcher, other than by their song.  A small flycatcher which lives in northern wet thickets.

Belted Kingfisher


Megaceryle alcyon

Robin sized

Belted Kingfishers spend much of their time perched alone along the edges of streams, lakes, and estuaries, searching for small fish. They also fly quickly up and down rivers and shorelines giving loud rattling calls. They hunt either by plunging directly from a perch, or by hovering over the water, bill downward, before diving after a fish they’ve spotted.

Photo by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Red-winged Blackbird


 Empidonax alnorum 

Robin sized

Male Red-winged Blackbirds do everything they can to get noticed, sitting on high perches and belting out their conk-la-ree! song all day long. Females stay lower, skulking through vegetation for food and quietly weaving together their remarkable nests. 



Pandion haliaetus 

Smaller than a Bald Eagle; larger and longer-winged than a Red-tailed Hawk


Ospreys search for fish by flying on steady wingbeats and bowed wings or circling high in the sky over relatively shallow water. They often hover briefly before diving, feet first, to grab a fish. You can often clearly see an Osprey's catch in its talons as the bird carries it back to a nest or perch. Photo by George Kendrick

Bald Eagle


Haliaeetus leucocephalus 

Goose sized or larger


One of the largest birds in North America, wingspan slightly greater than Great Blue Heron. You'll find Bald Eagles soaring high in the sky, flapping low over treetops with slow wingbeats, or perched in trees or on the ground. Bald Eagles scavenge many meals by harassing other birds or by eating carrion or garbage. They eat mainly fish, but also hunt mammals, gulls, and waterfowl. 

Photo by Kerry Hardy