List of birds of Nicaragua

List of birds of Nicaragua

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Nicaragua. The avifauna of Nicaragua includes a total of 698 species, of which 2 have been introduced by humans, and 14 are rare or accidental. 8 species are globally threatened.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of Clements's 5th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflects this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Nicaragua.

The following tags have been used to highlight certain relevant categories. It must be noted that not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring, native species.

* (A) Accidental A species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Nicaragua.
* (E) Endemic A species endemic to Nicaragua.
* (I) Introduced A species introduced to Nicaragua as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions.



Order: TinamiformesFamily: Tinamidae

The tinamous are one of the most ancient groups of bird. Although they look similar to other ground-dwelling birds like quail and grouse, they have no close relatives and are classified as a single family Tinamidae within their own order, the Tinamiformes. They are distantly related to the ratites (order Struthioniformes), that includes the rheas, emu, and kiwi. There are 47 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Great Tinamou "Tinamus major"
*Little Tinamou "Crypturellus soui"
*Slaty-breasted Tinamou "Crypturellus boucardi"
*Thicket Tinamou "Crypturellus cinnamomeus"


Order: PodicipediformesFamily: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Least Grebe "Tachybaptus dominicus"
*Pied-billed Grebe "Podilymbus podiceps"

hearwaters and petrels

Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with a medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Parkinson's Petrel "Procellaria parkinsoni"
*Pink-footed Shearwater "Puffinus creatopus"
*Wedge-tailed Shearwater "Puffinus pacificus"
*Sooty Shearwater "Puffinus griseus"
*Audubon's Shearwater "Puffinus lherminieri"


Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels, and are the smallest of seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Least Storm-Petrel "Oceanodroma microsoma"
*Markham's Storm-Petrel "Oceanodroma markhami"
*Black Storm-Petrel "Oceanodroma melania"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Red-billed Tropicbird "Phaethon aethereus"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 8 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*American White Pelican "Pelecanus erythrorhynchos"
*Brown Pelican "Pelecanus occidentalis"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups comprise medium-to-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Blue-footed Booby "Sula nebouxii"
*Masked Booby "Sula dactylatra"
*Red-footed Booby "Sula sula"
*Brown Booby "Sula leucogaster"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Phalacrocoracidae

The Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium-to-large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black and white, and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Neotropic Cormorant "Phalacrocorax brasilianus"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Anhingidae

Darters are frequently referred to as "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged.The males have black and dark brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have a much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet, and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. There are 4 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Anhinga "Anhinga anhinga"


Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black and white or completely black, with long wings and deeply-forked tails. The males have inflatable coloured throat pouches. They do not swim or walk, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan to body weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There are 5 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Magnificent Frigatebird "Fregata magnificens"

Bitterns, herons and egrets

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large sized wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Unlike other long-necked birds suck as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 61 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Great Blue Heron "Ardea herodias"
*Great Egret "Ardea alba"
*Reddish Egret "Egretta rufescens"
*Tricolored Heron "Egretta tricolor"
*Little Blue Heron "Egretta caerulea"
*Snowy Egret "Egretta thula"
*Cattle Egret "Bubulcus ibis"
*Green Heron "Butorides virescens"
*Agami Heron "Agamia agami"
*Black-crowned Night-Heron "Nycticorax nycticorax"
*Yellow-crowned Night-Heron "Nyctanassa violacea"
*Boat-billed Heron "Cochlearius cochlearius"
*Bare-throated Tiger-Heron "Tigrisoma mexicanum"
*Rufescent Tiger-Heron "Tigrisoma lineatum"
*Least Bittern "Ixobrychus exilis"
*Pinnated Bittern "Botaurus pinnatus"
*American Bittern "Botaurus lentiginosus"


Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Wood Stork "Mycteria americana"
*Jabiru "Jabiru mycteria"

Ibises and spoonbills

Order: CiconiiformesFamily: Threskiornithidae

The Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*White Ibis "Eudocimus albus"
*Glossy Ibis "Plegadis falcinellus"
*White-faced Ibis "Plegadis chihi" (A)
*Roseate Spoonbill "Platalea ajaja"

Ducks and geese

Order: AnseriformesFamily: Anatidae

The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These are birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Black-bellied Whistling-Duck "Dendrocygna autumnalis"
*Muscovy Duck "Cairina moschata"
*American Wigeon "Anas americana"
*Mallard "Anas platyrhynchos" (A)
*Northern Pintail "Anas acuta"
*Blue-winged Teal "Anas discors"
*Cinnamon Teal "Anas cyanoptera"
*Northern Shoveler "Anas clypeata"
*Ring-necked Duck "Aythya collaris"
*Lesser Scaup "Aythya affinis"
*Masked Duck "Nomonyx dominica"
*Ruddy Duck "Oxyura jamaicensis" (A)

New World vultures

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Cathartidae

The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers. However, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carrion. There are 7 species worldwide, all of which are found only in the Americas, and 4 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Black Vulture "Coragyps atratus"
*Turkey Vulture "Cathartes aura"
*Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture "Cathartes burrovianus"
*King Vulture "Sarcoramphus papa"


Order: FalconiformesFamily: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the Osprey. The Osprey is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

*Osprey "Pandion haliaetus"

Hawks, kites and eagles

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and include hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 36 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Gray-headed Kite "Leptodon cayanensis"
*Hook-billed Kite "Chondrohierax uncinatus"
*Swallow-tailed Kite "Elanoides forficatus"
*Pearl Kite "Gampsonyx swainsonii"
*White-tailed Kite "Elanus leucurus"
*Snail Kite "Rostrhamus sociabilis"
*Double-toothed Kite "Harpagus bidentatus"
*Mississippi Kite "Ictinia mississippiensis"
*Plumbeous Kite "Ictinia plumbea"
*Northern Harrier "Circus cyaneus"
*Tiny Hawk "Accipiter superciliosus"
*Sharp-shinned Hawk "Accipiter striatus"
*Cooper's Hawk "Accipiter cooperii"
*Bicolored Hawk "Accipiter bicolor"
*Crane Hawk "Geranospiza caerulescens"
*Semiplumbeous Hawk "Leucopternis semiplumbeus"
*White Hawk "Leucopternis albicollis"
*Common Black-Hawk "Buteogallus anthracinus"
*Great Black-Hawk "Buteogallus urubitinga"
*Harris's Hawk "Parabuteo unicinctus"
*Black-collared Hawk "Busarellus nigricollis"
*Solitary Eagle "Harpyhaliaetus solitarius"
*Gray Hawk "Asturina nitida"
*Roadside Hawk "Buteo magnirostris"
*Broad-winged Hawk "Buteo platypterus"
*Short-tailed Hawk "Buteo brachyurus"
*Swainson's Hawk "Buteo swainsoni"
*White-tailed Hawk "Buteo albicaudatus"
*Zone-tailed Hawk "Buteo albonotatus"
*Red-tailed Hawk "Buteo jamaicensis"
*Crested Eagle "Morphnus guianensis"
*Harpy Eagle "Harpia harpyja"
*Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle "Spizastur melanoleucus"
*Black Hawk-Eagle "Spizaetus tyrannus"
*Ornate Hawk-Eagle "Spizaetus ornatus"

Caracaras and falcons

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their feet. There are 62 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Red-throated Caracara "Ibycter americanus"
*Crested Caracara "Caracara cheriway"
*Laughing Falcon "Herpetotheres cachinnans"
*Barred Forest-Falcon "Micrastur ruficollis"
*Collared Forest-Falcon "Micrastur semitorquatus"
*American Kestrel "Falco sparverius"
*Aplomado Falcon "Falco femoralis"
*Merlin "Falco columbarius"
*Bat Falcon "Falco rufigularis"
*Orange-breasted Falcon "Falco deiroleucus"
*Peregrine Falcon "Falco peregrinus"

Guans, chachalacas and allies

Order: GalliformesFamily: Cracidae

The Cracidae are large birds, similar in general appearance to turkeys. The guans and curassows live in trees, but the smaller chachalacas are found in more open scrubby habitats. They are generally dull-plumaged, but the curassows and some guans have colourful facial ornaments. There are 50 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Plain Chachalaca "Ortalis vetula"
*Gray-headed Chachalaca "Ortalis cinereiceps"
*White-bellied Chachalaca "Ortalis leucogastra"
*Crested Guan "Penelope purpurascens"
*Highland Guan "Penelopina nigra"
*Great Curassow "Crax rubra"

New World quails

Order: GalliformesFamily: Odontophoridae

The New World quails are small, plump terrestrial birds only distantly related to the quails of the Old World, but named for their similar appearance and habits. There are 32 species worldwide, all found only in the Americas, and 8 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridge "Dendrortyx leucophrys"
*Black-throated Bobwhite "Colinus nigrogularis"
*Crested Bobwhite "Colinus cristatus"
*Black-eared Wood-Quail "Odontophorus melanotis"
*Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail "Odontophorus erythrops"
*Spotted Wood-Quail "Odontophorus guttatus"
*Ocellated Quail "Cyrtonyx ocellatus"
*Tawny-faced Quail "Rhynchortyx cinctus"


Order: GruiformesFamily: Aramidae

The Limpkin resembles a large rail. It has drab brown plumage and a greyer head and neck.

*Limpkin "Aramus guarauna"

Rails, crakes, gallinules, and coots

Order: GruiformesFamily: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Ruddy Crake "Laterallus ruber"
*White-throated Crake "Laterallus albigularis"
*Gray-breasted Crake "Laterallus exilis"
*Rufous-necked Wood-Rail "Aramides axillaris"
*Gray-necked Wood-Rail "Aramides cajanea"
*Uniform Crake "Amaurolimnas concolor"
*Sora "Porzana carolina"
*Yellow-breasted Crake "Porzana flaviventer"
*Purple Gallinule "Porphyrio martinica"
*Common Moorhen "Gallinula chloropus"
*American Coot "Fulica americana"


Order: GruiformesFamily: Heliornithidae

The Heliornithidae are small family of tropical birds with webbed lobes on their feet similar to those of grebes and coots. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Sungrebe "Heliornis fulica"


Order: GruiformesFamily: Eurypygidae

The Sunbittern is a bittern-like bird of tropical regions of the Americas, and the sole member of the family Eurypygidae (sometimes spelled Eurypigidae) and genus Eurypyga.

*Sunbittern "Eurypyga helias"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found worldwide in the Tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There 8 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Northern Jacana "Jacana spinosa"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*American Oystercatcher "Haematopus palliatus"

Avocets and stilts

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and the stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Black-necked Stilt "Himantopus mexicanus"
*American Avocet "Recurvirostra americana"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Burhinidae

The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Double-striped Thick-knee "Burhinus bistriatus"

Plovers and lapwings

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water, although there are some exceptions. There are 66 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*American Golden-Plover "Pluvialis dominica"
*Black-bellied Plover "Pluvialis squatarola"
*Semipalmated Plover "Charadrius semipalmatus"
*Wilson's Plover "Charadrius wilsonia"
*Killdeer "Charadrius vociferus"
*Collared Plover "Charadrius collaris"

andpipers and allies

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Scolopacidae

The Scolopacidae are a large diverse family of small to medium sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 89 species worldwide and 26 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Wilson's Snipe "Gallinago delicata"
*Short-billed Dowitcher "Limnodromus griseus"
*Long-billed Dowitcher "Limnodromus scolopaceus"
*Marbled Godwit "Limosa fedoa"
*Whimbrel "Numenius phaeopus"
*Upland Sandpiper "Bartramia longicauda"
*Greater Yellowlegs "Tringa melanoleuca"
*Lesser Yellowlegs "Tringa flavipes"
*Solitary Sandpiper "Tringa solitaria"
*Spotted Sandpiper "Actitis macularia"
*Wandering Tattler "Heterosceles incanus"
*Willet "Catoptrophorus semipalmatus"
*Ruddy Turnstone "Arenaria interpres"
*Surfbird "Aphriza virgata"
*Red Knot "Calidris canutus"
*Sanderling "Calidris alba"
*Semipalmated Sandpiper "Calidris pusilla"
*Western Sandpiper "Calidris mauri"
*Least Sandpiper "Calidris minutilla"
*White-rumped Sandpiper "Calidris fuscicollis"
*Baird's Sandpiper "Calidris bairdii"
*Pectoral Sandpiper "Calidris melanotos"
*Dunlin "Calidris alpina"
*Stilt Sandpiper "Calidris himantopus"
*Buff-breasted Sandpiper "Tryngites subruficollis"
*Wilson's Phalarope "Phalaropus tricolor"

kuas and jaegers

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Pomarine Jaeger "Stercorarius pomarinus"
*Parasitic Jaeger "Stercorarius parasiticus"
*Long-tailed Jaeger "Stercorarius longicaudus"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large birds seabirds and includes gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*American Herring Gull "Larus smithsonianus"
*Laughing Gull "Larus atricilla"
*Franklin's Gull "Larus pipixcan"
*Sabine's Gull "Xema sabini"


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Sternidae

Terns are a group of generally general medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species now known to live in excess of 25 to 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Gull-billed Tern "Sterna nilotica"
*Caspian Tern "Sterna caspia"
*Elegant Tern "Sterna elegans"
*Sandwich Tern "Sterna sandvicensis"
*Royal Tern "Sterna maxima"
*Common Tern "Sterna hirundo"
*Least Tern "Sterna antillarum"
*Bridled Tern "Sterna anaethetus"
*Sooty Tern "Sterna fuscata"
*Black Tern "Chlidonias niger"
*Brown Noddy "Anous stolidus" (A)


Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Rynchopidae

Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Black Skimmer "Rynchops niger"

Pigeons and doves

Order: ColumbiformesFamily: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide and 21 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Rock Pigeon "Columba livia" (I)
*White-crowned Pigeon "Patagioenas leucocephala"
*Scaled Pigeon "Patagioenas speciosa"
*Band-tailed Pigeon "Patagioenas fasciata"
*Pale-vented Pigeon "Patagioenas cayennensis"
*Red-billed Pigeon "Patagioenas flavirostris"
*Short-billed Pigeon "Patagioenas nigrirostris"
*Mourning Dove "Zenaida macroura"
*White-winged Dove "Zenaida asiatica"
*Common Ground-Dove "Columbina passerina"
*Plain-breasted Ground-Dove "Columbina minuta"
*Ruddy Ground-Dove "Columbina talpacoti"
*Inca Dove "Columbina inca"
*Blue Ground-Dove "Claravis pretiosa"
*Maroon-chested Ground-Dove "Claravis mondetoura"
*White-tipped Dove "Leptotila verreauxi"
*Gray-headed Dove "Leptotila plumbeiceps"
*Gray-chested Dove "Leptotila cassini"
*White-faced Quail-Dove "Geotrygon albifacies"
*Violaceous Quail-Dove "Geotrygon violacea"
*Ruddy Quail-Dove "Geotrygon montana"

Parrots, macaws and allies

Order: PsittaciformesFamily: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak shape. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and the have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two back. There are 335 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Military Macaw "Ara militaris"
*Great Green Macaw "Ara ambigua"
*Scarlet Macaw "Ara macao"
*Pacific Parakeet "Aratinga strenua"
*Red-throated Parakeet "Aratinga rubritorquis"
*Crimson-fronted Parakeet "Aratinga finschi"
*Olive-throated Parakeet "Aratinga nana"
*Orange-fronted Parakeet "Aratinga canicularis"
*Barred Parakeet "Bolborhynchus lineola"
*Orange-chinned Parakeet "Brotogeris jugularis"
*Brown-hooded Parrot "Pionopsitta haematotis"
*White-crowned Parrot "Pionus senilis"
*White-fronted Amazon "Amazona albifrons"
*Red-lored Amazon "Amazona autumnalis"
*Yellow-naped Amazon "Amazona auropalliata"
*Mealy Amazon "Amazona farinosa"

Cuckoos and anis

Order: CuculiformesFamily: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. Unlike the cuckoo species of the Old World, North American cuckoos are not brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Black-billed Cuckoo "Coccyzus erythropthalmus"
*Yellow-billed Cuckoo "Coccyzus americanus"
*Mangrove Cuckoo "Coccyzus minor"
*Squirrel Cuckoo "Piaya cayana"
*Smooth-billed Ani "Crotophaga ani"
*Groove-billed Ani "Crotophaga sulcirostris"
*Striped Cuckoo "Tapera naevia"
*Pheasant Cuckoo "Dromococcyx phasianellus"
*Lesser Ground-Cuckoo "Morococcyx erythropygus"
*Lesser Roadrunner "Geococcyx velox"
*Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo "Neomorphus geoffroyi"

Barn owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Barn Owl "Tyto alba"

Typical owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: Strigidae

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Western Screech-Owl "Megascops kennicottii"
*Pacific Screech-Owl "Megascops cooperi"
*Whiskered Screech-Owl "Megascops trichopsis"
*Guatemalan Screech-Owl "Megascops guatemalae"
*Great Horned Owl "Bubo virginianus"
*Mottled Owl "Ciccaba virgata"
*Black-and-white Owl "Ciccaba nigrolineata"
*Crested Owl "Lophostrix cristata"
*Spectacled Owl "Pulsatrix perspicillata"
*Central American Pygmy-Owl "Glaucidium griseiceps"
*Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl "Glaucidium brasilianum"
*Striped Owl "Pseudoscops clamator"
*Stygian Owl "Asio stygius"


Order: CaprimulgiformesFamily: Nyctibiidae

The potoos (sometimes called Poor-Me-Ones) are large near passerine birds related to the nightjars and frogmouths. They are nocturnal insectivores which lack the bristles around the mouth found in the true nightjars. There are 5 species, all of which are from the South American tropical region, and 3 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Great Potoo "Nyctibius grandis"
*Northern Potoo "Nyctibius jamaicensis"
*Common Potoo "Nyctibius griseus"


Order: CaprimulgiformesFamily: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Short-tailed Nighthawk "Lurocalis semitorquatus"
*Lesser Nighthawk "Chordeiles acutipennis"
*Common Nighthawk "Chordeiles minor"
*Pauraque "Nyctidromus albicollis"
*Ocellated Poorwill "Nyctiphrynus ocellatus"
*Chuck-will's-widow "Caprimulgus carolinensis"
*Tawny-collared Nightjar "Caprimulgus salvini" (A)
*Yucatan Nightjar "Caprimulgus badius" (A)
*Buff-collared Nightjar "Caprimulgus ridgwayi"
*Whip-poor-will "Caprimulgus vociferus"
*Spot-tailed Nightjar "Caprimulgus maculicaudus"


Order: ApodiformesFamily: Apodidae

Swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Black Swift "Cypseloides niger"
*White-chinned Swift "Cypseloides cryptus"
*White-collared Swift "Streptoprocne zonaris"
*Gray-rumped Swift "Chaetura cinereiventris"
*Chimney Swift "Chaetura pelagica"
*Vaux's Swift "Chaetura vauxi"
*Great Swallow-tailed Swift "Panyptila sanctihieronymi" (A)
*Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift "Panyptila cayennensis"


Order: TrochiliformesFamily: Trochilidae

Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. There are 337 species worldwide and 35 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Bronzy Hermit "Glaucis aenea"
*Band-tailed Barbthroat "Threnetes ruckeri"
*Western Long-tailed Hermit "Phaethornis longirostris"
*Stripe-throated Hermit "Phaethornis striigularis"
*Scaly-breasted Hummingbird "Phaeochroa cuvierii"
*Violet Sabrewing "Campylopterus hemileucurus"
*White-necked Jacobin "Florisuga mellivora"
*Brown Violet-ear "Colibri delphinae"
*Green Violet-ear "Colibri thalassinus"
*Green-breasted Mango "Anthracothorax prevostii"
*Violet-headed Hummingbird "Klais guimeti"
*Emerald-chinned Hummingbird "Abeillia abeillei"
*Black-crested Coquette "Lophornis helenae"
*Canivet's Emerald "Chlorostilbon canivetii"
*Stripe-tailed Hummingbird "Eupherusa eximia"
*Violet-crowned Woodnymph "Thalurania colombica"
*Blue-throated Goldentail "Hylocharis eliciae"
*White-eared Hummingbird "Hylocharis leucotis"
*Rufous-tailed Hummingbird "Amazilia tzacatl"
*Cinnamon Hummingbird "Amazilia rutila"
*White-bellied Emerald "Agyrtria candida"
*Azure-crowned Hummingbird "Agyrtria cyanocephala"
*Blue-chested Hummingbird "Polyerata amabilis"
*Steely-vented Hummingbird "Saucerottia saucerrottei"
*Blue-tailed Hummingbird "Saucerottia cyanura"
*Snowcap "Microchera albocoronata"
*Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer "Chalybura urochrysia"
*Green-breasted Mountain-gem "Lampornis sybillae"
*Purple-throated Mountain-gem "Lampornis calolaema"
*Magnificent Hummingbird "Eugenes fulgens"
*Purple-crowned Fairy "Heliothryx barroti"
*Plain-capped Starthroat "Heliomaster constantii"
*Long-billed Starthroat "Heliomaster longirostris"
*Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird "Tilmatura dupontii"
*Ruby-throated Hummingbird "Archilochus colubris"

Trogons and quetzals

Order: TrogoniformesFamily: Trogonidae

The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colourful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. There are 33 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Black-headed Trogon "Trogon melanocephalus"
*Violaceous Trogon "Trogon violaceus"
*Collared Trogon "Trogon collaris"
*Elegant Trogon "Trogon elegans"
*Black-throated Trogon "Trogon rufus"
*Slaty-tailed Trogon "Trogon massena"
*Resplendent Quetzal "Pharomachrus mocinno"


Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Belted Kingfisher "Ceryle alcyon"
*Ringed Kingfisher "Ceryle torquatus"
*Amazon Kingfisher "Chloroceryle amazona"
*Green Kingfisher "Chloroceryle americana"
*Green-and-rufous Kingfisher "Chloroceryle inda"
*American Pygmy Kingfisher "Chloroceryle aenea"


Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Momotidae

The motmots have colorful plumage and long, graduated tails, which they display by waggling back and forth. In most of the species, the barbs near the ends of the two longest (central) tail feathers are weak and fall off, leaving a length of bare shaft, and creating a racket-shaped tail. There are 10 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Tody Motmot "Hylomanes momotula"
*Blue-crowned Motmot "Momotus momota"
*Rufous Motmot "Baryphthengus martii"
*Keel-billed Motmot "Electron carinatum"
*Broad-billed Motmot "Electron platyrhynchum"
*Turquoise-browed Motmot "Eumomota superciliosa"


Order: PiciformesFamily: Galbulidae

The jacamars are near passerine birds from tropical South America, with a range that extends up to Mexico. They are glossy elegant birds with long bills and tails, which feed on insects caught on the wing. In appearance and behaviour they show resemblances to the Old World bee-eaters, although they are more closely related to woodpeckers. There are 18 species and 1 species that occurs in Nicaragua.

*Rufous-tailed Jacamar "Galbula ruficauda"


Order: PiciformesFamily: Bucconidae

The puffbirds are related to the jacamars, and have the same range, but lack the iridescent colours of that family. They are mainly brown, rufous or grey, with large heads and flattened bills with a hooked tip. The loose abundant plumage and short tails makes them look stout and puffy, giving rise to the English common name of the family. There are 34 species and 3 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*White-necked Puffbird "Notharchus macrorhynchos"
*White-whiskered Puffbird "Malacoptila panamensis"
*White-fronted Nunbird "Monasa morphoeus"


Order: PiciformesFamily: Ramphastidae

Toucans are near passerine birds from the neotropics. They are brightly marked and have enormous, colourful bills which in some species may amount to half their body length. There are 40 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Collared Aracari "Pteroglossus torquatus"
*Yellow-eared Toucanet "Selenidera spectabilis"
*Keel-billed Toucan "Ramphastos sulfuratus"
*Black-mandibled Toucan "Ramphastos ambiguus"
*Emerald Toucanet "Aulacorhynchus prasinus"

Woodpeckers and allies

Order: PiciformesFamily: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium sized birds with chisel like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward, and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 218 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Olivaceous Piculet "Picumnus olivaceus"
*Acorn Woodpecker "Melanerpes formicivorus"
*Black-cheeked Woodpecker "Melanerpes pucherani"
*Yucatan Woodpecker "Melanerpes pygmaeus"
*Hoffmann's Woodpecker "Melanerpes hoffmannii"
*Golden-fronted Woodpecker "Melanerpes aurifrons"
*Yellow-bellied Sapsucker "Sphyrapicus varius"
*Ladder-backed Woodpecker "Picoides scalaris"
*Hairy Woodpecker "Picoides villosus"
*Smoky-brown Woodpecker "Veniliornis fumigatus"
*Rufous-winged Woodpecker "Piculus simplex"
*Golden-olive Woodpecker "Piculus rubiginosus"
*Northern Flicker "Colaptes auratus"
*Cinnamon Woodpecker "Celeus loricatus" (A)
*Chestnut-colored Woodpecker "Celeus castaneus"
*Lineated Woodpecker "Dryocopus lineatus"
*Pale-billed Woodpecker "Campephilus guatemalensis"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Furnariidae

Ovenbirds comprise a large family of small sub-oscine passerine bird species found in Central and South America. They are a diverse group of insectivores which gets its name from the elaborate "oven-like" clay nests built by some species, although others build stick nests or nest in tunnels or clefts in rock. There are 243 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Slaty Spinetail "Synallaxis brachyura"
*Plain Xenops "Xenops minutus"
*Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner "Anabacerthia variegaticeps"
*Striped Woodhaunter "Hyloctistes subulatus"
*Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner "Philydor rufus"
*Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner "Automolus ochrolaemus"
*Ruddy Foliage-gleaner "Automolus rubiginosus"
*Tawny-throated Leaftosser "Sclerurus mexicanus"
*Scaly-throated Leaftosser "Sclerurus guatemalensis"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Dendrocolaptidae

The Dendrocolaptidae are brownish birds and maintain an upright vertical posture, supported by their stiff tail vanes. They feed mainly on insects taken from tree trunks. There are 57 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Tawny-winged Woodcreeper "Dendrocincla anabatina"
*Plain-brown Woodcreeper "Dendrocincla fuliginosa"
*Ruddy Woodcreeper "Dendrocincla homochroa"
*Long-tailed Woodcreeper "Deconychura longicauda"
*Olivaceous Woodcreeper "Sittasomus griseicapillus"
*Wedge-billed Woodcreeper "Glyphorynchus spirurus"
*Strong-billed Woodcreeper "Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus"
*Northern Barred-Woodcreeper "Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae"
*Black-banded Woodcreeper "Dendrocolaptes picumnus"
*Cocoa Woodcreeper "Xiphorhynchus susurrans"
*Ivory-billed Woodcreeper "Xiphorhynchus flavigaster"
*Black-striped Woodcreeper "Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus"
*Spotted Woodcreeper "Xiphorhynchus erythropygius"
*Streak-headed Woodcreeper "Lepidocolaptes souleyetii"
*Spot-crowned Woodcreeper "Lepidocolaptes affinis"

Typical antbirds

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Thamnophilidae

The antbirds are a large family of small passerine birds of subtropical and tropical Central and South America. They are forest birds, and tend to feed on insects at or near the ground. A sizable minority of them specialize in following columns of army ants to eat the small invertebrates that leave hiding to flee the ants.Many species lack bright colour; brown, black and white being the dominant tones. There are about 212 species worldwide and 18 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Fasciated Antshrike "Cymbilaimus lineatus"
*Great Antshrike "Taraba major"
*Barred Antshrike "Thamnophilus doliatus"
*Western Slaty-Antshrike "Thamnophilus atrinucha"
*Russet Antshrike "Thamnistes anabatinus"
*Plain Antvireo "Dysithamnus mentalis"
*Streak-crowned Antvireo "Dysithamnus striaticeps"
*Checker-throated Antwren "Myrmotherula fulviventris"
*White-flanked Antwren "Myrmotherula axillaris"
*Slaty Antwren "Myrmotherula schisticolor"
*Dot-winged Antwren "Microrhopias quixensis"
*Dusky Antbird "Cercomacra tyrannina"
*Bare-crowned Antbird "Gymnocichla nudiceps"
*Chestnut-backed Antbird "Myrmeciza exsul"
*Bicolored Antbird "Gymnopithys leucaspis"
*Wing-banded Antbird "Myrmornis torquata"
*Spotted Antbird "Hylophylax naevioides"
*Ocellated Antbird "Phaenostictus mcleannani"

Antthrushes and antpittas

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Formicariidae

The ground antbirds are a family comprising the antthrushes and antpittas. Antthrushes resemble small rails while antpittas resemble the true pittas with longish strong legs, very short tails and stout bills. There are about 63 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Black-faced Antthrush "Formicarius analis"
*Scaled Antpitta "Grallaria guatimalensis"
*Streak-chested Antpitta "Hylopezus perspicillatus"
*Fulvous-bellied Antpitta "Hylopezus dives"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Cotingidae

The cotingas are birds of forests or forest edges of tropical South America. Comparatively little is known about this diverse group, although all have broad bills with hooked tips, rounded wings, and strong legs. The males of many of the species are brightly coloured, or decorated with plumes or wattles. There are 71 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Nicaragua

*Rufous Piha "Lipaugus unirufus"
*Lovely Cotinga "Cotinga amabilis"
*Snowy Cotinga "Carpodectes nitidus"
*Three-wattled Bellbird "Procnias tricarunculata"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Pipridae

The manakins are a family bird species of subtropical and tropical mainland Central and South America, and Trinidad and Tobago. They are compact forest birds, the males typically being brightly coloured, although the females of most species are duller and usually green-plumaged. Manakins feed on small fruits, berries and insects. There are 57 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*White-collared Manakin "Manacus candei"
*White-ruffed Manakin "Corapipo altera"
*Long-tailed Manakin "Chiroxiphia linearis"
*Red-capped Manakin "Pipra mentalis"
*Gray-headed Piprites "Piprites griseiceps"
*Thrush-like Schiffornis "Schiffornis turdinus"

Tyrant flycatchers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust with stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, have plain colouring. As the name implies, most are insectivorous. There are 429 species worldwide, all found only in the Americas and 67 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet "Ornithion semiflavum"
*Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet "Camptostoma imberbe"
*Yellow Tyrannulet "Capsiempis flaveola"
*Greenish Elaenia "Myiopagis viridicata"
*Yellow-bellied Elaenia "Elaenia flavogaster"
*Mountain Elaenia "Elaenia frantzii"
*Ochre-bellied Flycatcher "Mionectes oleagineus"
*Sepia-capped Flycatcher "Leptopogon amaurocephalus"
*Paltry Tyrannulet "Zimmerius vilissimus"
*Northern Bentbill "Oncostoma cinereigulare"
*Slate-headed Tody-Tyrant "Poecilotriccus sylvia"
*Common Tody-Flycatcher "Todirostrum cinereum"
*Eye-ringed Flatbill "Rhynchocyclus brevirostris"
*Yellow-olive Flycatcher "Tolmomyias sulphurescens"
*Stub-tailed Spadebill "Platyrinchus cancrominus"
*Golden-crowned Spadebill "Platyrinchus coronatus"
*White-throated Spadebill "Platyrinchus mystaceus"
*Northern Royal-Flycatcher "Onychorhynchus mexicanus"
*Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher "Terenotriccus erythrurus"
*Tawny-breasted Flycatcher "Myiobius villosus"
*Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher "Myiobius sulphureipygius"
*Tawny-chested Flycatcher "Aphanotriccus capitalis"
*Tufted Flycatcher "Mitrephanes phaeocercus"
*Olive-sided Flycatcher "Contopus cooperi"
*Greater Pewee "Contopus pertinax"
*Western Wood-Pewee "Contopus sordidulus"
*Eastern Wood-Pewee "Contopus virens"
*Tropical Pewee "Contopus cinereus"
*Yellow-bellied Flycatcher "Empidonax flaviventris"
*Acadian Flycatcher "Empidonax virescens"
*Alder Flycatcher "Empidonax alnorum"
*Willow Flycatcher "Empidonax traillii"
*White-throated Flycatcher "Empidonax albigularis"
*Least Flycatcher "Empidonax minimus"
*Hammond's Flycatcher "Empidonax hammondii"
*Yellowish Flycatcher "Empidonax flavescens"
*Black Phoebe "Sayornis nigricans"
*Vermilion Flycatcher "Pyrocephalus rubinus"
*Long-tailed Tyrant "Colonia colonus"
*Bright-rumped Attila "Attila spadiceus"
*Speckled Mourner "Laniocera rufescens"
*Rufous Mourner "Rhytipterna holerythra"
*Dusky-capped Flycatcher "Myiarchus tuberculifer"
*Ash-throated Flycatcher "Myiarchus cinerascens" (A)
*Nutting's Flycatcher "Myiarchus nuttingi"
*Great Crested Flycatcher "Myiarchus crinitus"
*Brown-crested Flycatcher "Myiarchus tyrannulus"
*Great Kiskadee "Pitangus sulphuratus"
*Boat-billed Flycatcher "Megarynchus pitangua"
*Social Flycatcher "Myiozetetes similis"
*Gray-capped Flycatcher "Myiozetetes granadensis"
*Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher "Myiodynastes luteiventris"
*Piratic Flycatcher "Legatus leucophaius"
*Tropical Kingbird "Tyrannus melancholicus"
*Couch's Kingbird "Tyrannus couchii"
*Western Kingbird "Tyrannus verticalis"
*Eastern Kingbird "Tyrannus tyrannus"
*Gray Kingbird "Tyrannus dominicensis" (A)
*Scissor-tailed Flycatcher "Tyrannus forficatus"
*Fork-tailed Flycatcher "Tyrannus savana"
*Cinnamon Becard "Pachyramphus cinnamomeus"
*White-winged Becard "Pachyramphus polychopterus"
*Gray-collared Becard "Pachyramphus major"
*Black-and-white Becard "Pachyramphus albogriseus"
*Rose-throated Becard "Pachyramphus aglaiae"
*Masked Tityra "Tityra semifasciata"
*Black-crowned Tityra "Tityra inquisitor"

wallows and martins

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Hirundinidae

The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Purple Martin "Progne subis"
*Gray-breasted Martin "Progne chalybea"
*Tree Swallow "Tachycineta bicolor"
*Mangrove Swallow "Tachycineta albilinea"
*Violet-green Swallow "Tachycineta thalassina" (A)
*Blue-and-white Swallow "Notiochelidon cyanoleuca" (A)
*Northern Rough-winged Swallow "Stelgidopteryx serripennis"
*Southern Rough-winged Swallow "Stelgidopteryx ruficollis"
*Bank Swallow "Riparia riparia"
*Cliff Swallow "Petrochelidon pyrrhonota"
*Barn Swallow "Hirundo rustica"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine birds characterized by soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax, and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter. There are 3 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Cedar Waxwing "Bombycilla cedrorum"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Cinclidae

Dippers are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They are named for their bobbing or dipping movements. There are 5 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*American Dipper "Cinclus mexicanus"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Troglodytidae

The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and a thin down-turned bill. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are 80 species worldwide (of which all but one are New World species) and 18 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Band-backed Wren "Campylorhynchus zonatus"
*Rufous-naped Wren "Campylorhynchus rufinucha"
*Rock Wren "Salpinctes obsoletus"
*Black-throated Wren "Thryothorus atrogularis"
*Spot-breasted Wren "Thryothorus maculipectus"
*Bay Wren "Thryothorus nigricapillus"
*Stripe-breasted Wren "Thryothorus thoracicus"
*Banded Wren "Thryothorus pleurostictus"
*Carolina Wren "Thryothorus ludovicianus"
*Rufous-and-white Wren "Thryothorus rufalbus"
*Plain Wren "Thryothorus modestus"
*House Wren "Troglodytes aedon"
*Rufous-browed Wren "Troglodytes rufociliatus"
*Sedge Wren "Cistothorus platensis"
*White-breasted Wood-Wren "Henicorhina leucosticta"
*Gray-breasted Wood-Wren "Henicorhina leucophrys"
*Nightingale Wren "Microcerculus philomela"
*Song Wren "Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus"

Mockingbirds and thrashers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Mimidae

The mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalizations, especially their ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. Their colouring tends towards dull greys and browns . There are 35 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Gray Catbird "Dumetella carolinensis"
*Tropical Mockingbird "Mimus gilvus"

Thrushes and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Eastern Bluebird "Sialia sialis"
*Slate-colored Solitaire "Myadestes unicolor"
*Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush "Catharus aurantiirostris"
*Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush "Catharus frantzii"
*Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush "Catharus mexicanus"
*Spotted Nightingale-Thrush "Catharus dryas"
*Veery "Catharus fuscescens"
*Gray-cheeked Thrush "Catharus minimus"
*Swainson's Thrush "Catharus ustulatus"
*Wood Thrush "Hylocichla mustelina"
*Mountain Robin "Turdus plebejus"
*Clay-colored Robin "Turdus grayi"
*White-throated Thrush "Turdus assimilis"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Polioptilidae

These dainty birds resemble Old World warblers in their build and habits, moving restlessly through the foliage seeking insects. The gnatcatchers and gnatwrens are mainly soft bluish grey in colour, and have the typical insectivore's long sharp bill. They are birds of fairly open woodland or scrub, and nest in bushes or trees. There are 15 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Tawny-faced Gnatwren "Microbates cinereiventris"
*Long-billed Gnatwren "Ramphocaenus melanurus"
*White-lored Gnatcatcher "Polioptila albiloris"
*Tropical Gnatcatcher "Polioptila plumbea"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Certhiidae

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees. There are 6 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*Brown Creeper "Certhia americana"

Crows, jays, ravens and magpies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Corvidae

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes. Some of the larger species show high levels of learning behavior. There are 120 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Steller's Jay "Cyanocitta stelleri"
*White-throated Magpie-Jay "Calocitta formosa"
*Brown Jay "Cyanocorax morio"
*Bushy-crested Jay "Cyanocorax melanocyaneus"
*Azure-hooded Jay "Cyanolyca cucullata"
*Common Raven "Corvus corax"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in colour and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There are 52 species worldwide and 15 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*White-eyed Vireo "Vireo griseus"
*Thick-billed Vireo "Vireo crassirostris"
*Mangrove Vireo "Vireo pallens"
*Bell's Vireo "Vireo bellii" (A)
*Yellow-throated Vireo "Vireo flavifrons"
*Blue-headed Vireo "Vireo solitarius"
*Warbling Vireo "Vireo gilvus"
*Brown-capped Vireo "Vireo leucophrys"
*Philadelphia Vireo "Vireo philadelphicus"
*Red-eyed Vireo "Vireo olivaceus"
*Yellow-green Vireo "Vireo flavoviridis"
*Tawny-crowned Greenlet "Hylophilus ochraceiceps"
*Lesser Greenlet "Hylophilus decurtatus"
*Green Shrike-Vireo "Vireolanius pulchellus"
*Rufous-browed Peppershrike "Cyclarhis gujanensis"

Olive Warbler

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Peucedramidae

The Olive Warbler is a small passerine bird, the only member of the family Peucedramidae. It is a long-winged bird with a grey body and some olive-green on the wings and two white wing bars. The male's head and breast are orange, the female's yellow.

*Olive Warbler "Peucedramus taeniatus"

New World warblers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Parulidae

The New World warblers are a group of small, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. There are 119 species worldwide and 45 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Blue-winged Warbler "Vermivora pinus"
*Golden-winged Warbler "Vermivora chrysoptera"
*Tennessee Warbler "Vermivora peregrina"
*Crescent-chested Warbler "Parula superciliosa"
*Northern Parula "Parula americana"
*Tropical Parula "Parula pitiayumi"
*Yellow Warbler "Dendroica petechia"
*Chestnut-sided Warbler "Dendroica pensylvanica"
*Magnolia Warbler "Dendroica magnolia"
*Cape May Warbler "Dendroica tigrina"
*Yellow-rumped Warbler "Dendroica coronata"
*Golden-cheeked Warbler "Dendroica chrysoparia"
*Black-throated Green Warbler "Dendroica virens"
*Townsend's Warbler "Dendroica townsendi"
*Hermit Warbler "Dendroica occidentalis"
*Blackburnian Warbler "Dendroica fusca"
*Yellow-throated Warbler "Dendroica dominica"
*Grace's Warbler "Dendroica graciae"
*Prairie Warbler "Dendroica discolor"
*Palm Warbler "Dendroica palmarum"
*Bay-breasted Warbler "Dendroica castanea"
*Cerulean Warbler "Dendroica cerulea"
*Black-and-white Warbler "Mniotilta varia"
*American Redstart "Setophaga ruticilla"
*Prothonotary Warbler "Protonotaria citrea"
*Worm-eating Warbler "Helmitheros vermivorus"
*Ovenbird "Seiurus aurocapilla"
*Northern Waterthrush "Seiurus noveboracensis"
*Louisiana Waterthrush "Seiurus motacilla"
*Kentucky Warbler "Oporornis formosus"
*Mourning Warbler "Oporornis philadelphia"
*MacGillivray's Warbler "Oporornis tolmiei"
*Common Yellowthroat "Geothlypis trichas"
*Olive-crowned Yellowthroat "Geothlypis semiflava"
*Gray-crowned Yellowthroat "Geothlypis poliocephala"
*Hooded Warbler "Wilsonia citrina"
*Wilson's Warbler "Wilsonia pusilla"
*Canada Warbler "Wilsonia canadensis"
*Painted Redstart "Myioborus pictus"
*Slate-throated Redstart "Myioborus miniatus"
*Fan-tailed Warbler "Euthlypis lachrymosa"
*Golden-crowned Warbler "Basileuterus culicivorus"
*Rufous-capped Warbler "Basileuterus rufifrons"
*Buff-rumped Warbler "Basileuterus fulvicauda"
*Yellow-breasted Chat "Icteria virens"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Coerebidae

The Bananaquit is a small passerine bird. It has a slender, curved bill, adapted to taking nectar from flowers and is the only member of the genus "Coereba" (Vieillot, 1809) and is normally placed within the family Coerebidae, although there is uncertainty whether that placement is correct.

*Bananaquit "Coereba flaveola"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Thraupidae

The tanagers are a large group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, mainly in the tropics. Many species are brightly coloured. They are seed eaters, but their preference tends towards fruit and nectar. Most have short, rounded wings. There are 256 species worldwide and 32 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Common Bush-Tanager "Chlorospingus ophthalmicus"
*Olive Tanager "Chlorothraupis carmioli"
*Gray-headed Tanager "Eucometis penicillata"
*White-throated Shrike-Tanager "Lanio leucothorax"
*White-shouldered Tanager "Tachyphonus luctuosus"
*Tawny-crested Tanager "Tachyphonus delatrii"
*Red-crowned Ant-Tanager "Habia rubica"
*Red-throated Ant-Tanager "Habia fuscicauda"
*Hepatic Tanager "Piranga flava"
*Scarlet Tanager "Piranga olivacea"
*Summer Tanager "Piranga rubra"
*Western Tanager "Piranga ludoviciana"
*Flame-colored Tanager "Piranga bidentata"
*White-winged Tanager "Piranga leucoptera"
*Crimson-collared Tanager "Ramphocelus sanguinolentus"
*Passerini's Tanager "Ramphocelus passerinii"
*Blue-gray Tanager "Thraupis episcopus"
*Yellow-winged Tanager "Thraupis abbas"
*Palm Tanager "Thraupis palmarum"
*Scrub Euphonia "Euphonia affinis"
*Yellow-crowned Euphonia "Euphonia luteicapilla"
*Yellow-throated Euphonia "Euphonia hirundinacea"
*Elegant Euphonia "Euphonia elegantissima"
*Olive-backed Euphonia "Euphonia gouldi"
*White-vented Euphonia "Euphonia minuta"
*Blue-crowned Chlorophonia "Chlorophonia occipitalis"
*Rufous-winged Tanager "Tangara lavinia"
*Golden-hooded Tanager "Tangara larvata"
*Blue Dacnis "Dacnis cayana"
*Green Honeycreeper "Chlorophanes spiza"
*Shining Honeycreeper "Cyanerpes lucidus"
*Red-legged Honeycreeper "Cyanerpes cyaneus"

Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Emberizidae

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with a distinctively shaped bill. In Europe, most species are named as buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as Sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are species 275 worldwide and 26 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Blue-black Grassquit "Volatinia jacarina"
*Variable Seedeater "Sporophila corvina"
*White-collared Seedeater "Sporophila torqueola"
*Ruddy-breasted Seedeater "Sporophila minuta"
*Nicaraguan Seed-Finch "Oryzoborus nuttingi"
*Thick-billed Seed-Finch "Oryzoborus funereus"
*Blue Seedeater "Amaurospiza concolor"
*Yellow-faced Grassquit "Tiaris olivacea"
*Slaty Finch "Haplospiza rustica"
*Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer "Diglossa baritula"
*Grassland Yellow-Finch "Sicalis luteola"
*White-naped Brush-Finch "Atlapetes albinucha"
*Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch "Buarremon brunneinucha"
*Orange-billed Sparrow "Arremon aurantiirostris"
*Olive Sparrow "Arremonops rufivirgatus"
*Black-striped Sparrow "Arremonops conirostris"
*Prevost's Ground-Sparrow "Melozone biarcuatum"
*White-eared Ground-Sparrow "Melozone leucotis"
*Stripe-headed Sparrow "Aimophila ruficauda"
*Botteri's Sparrow "Aimophila botterii"
*Rusty Sparrow "Aimophila rufescens"
*Chipping Sparrow "Spizella passerina"
*Grasshopper Sparrow "Ammodramus savannarum"
*Lincoln's Sparrow "Melospiza lincolnii"
*Rufous-collared Sparrow "Zonotrichia capensis"
*Volcano Junco "Junco vulcani"

altators, cardinals and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Cardinalidae

The cardinals are a family of passerine birds that are robust, seed-eating birds, with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. There are 43 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Grayish Saltator "Saltator coerulescens"
*Buff-throated Saltator "Saltator maximus"
*Black-headed Saltator "Saltator atriceps"
*Slate-colored Grosbeak "Saltator grossus"
*Black-faced Grosbeak "Caryothraustes poliogaster"
*Rose-breasted Grosbeak "Pheucticus ludovicianus"
*Blue Bunting "Cyanocompsa parellina"
*Blue-black Grosbeak "Cyanocompsa cyanoides"
*Blue Grosbeak "Passerina caerulea"
*Indigo Bunting "Passerina cyanea"
*Painted Bunting "Passerina ciris"
*Dickcissel "Spiza americana"

Troupials and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Icteridae

The icterids are a group of small to medium, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds, and New World orioles. Most species have black as the predominant plumage colour, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. There are 98 species worldwide and 23 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Bobolink "Dolichonyx oryzivorus" (A)
*Red-winged Blackbird "Agelaius phoeniceus"
*Eastern Meadowlark "Sturnella magna"
*Melodious Blackbird "Dives dives"
*Great-tailed Grackle "Quiscalus mexicanus"
*Nicaraguan Grackle "Quiscalus nicaraguensis"
*Bronzed Cowbird "Molothrus aeneus"
*Giant Cowbird "Molothrus oryzivorus"
*Yellow-backed Oriole "Icterus chrysater"
*Jamaican Oriole "Icterus leucopteryx"
*Yellow-tailed Oriole "Icterus mesomelas"
*Spot-breasted Oriole "Icterus pectoralis"
*Altamira Oriole "Icterus gularis"
*Streak-backed Oriole "Icterus pustulatus"
*Baltimore Oriole "Icterus galbula"
*Bullock's Oriole "Icterus bullockii"
*Orchard Oriole "Icterus spurius"
*Black-cowled Oriole "Icterus prosthemelas"
*Black-vented Oriole "Icterus wagleri"
*Yellow-billed Cacique "Amblycercus holosericeus"
*Scarlet-rumped Cacique "Cacicus uropygialis"
*Chestnut-headed Oropendola "Psarocolius wagleri"
*Montezuma Oropendola "Gymnostinops montezuma"

iskins, crossbills and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 137 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Nicaragua.

*Red Crossbill "Loxia curvirostra"
*Black-headed Siskin "Carduelis notata"
*Lesser Goldfinch "Carduelis psaltria"


Order: PasseriformesFamily: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Nicaragua.

*House Sparrow "Passer domesticus" (I)

ee also

*Wildlife of Nicaragua
*List of birds
*Lists of birds by region


*cite web
last = Lepage
first = Denis
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =
url =
title = Checklist of birds of Nicaragua
format =
work = Bird Checklists of the World
publisher = Avibase
accessdate = 26 April
accessyear = 2007

*cite book
title=Birds of the World: a Checklist
first= James F.
last = Clements
publisher = Cornell University Press
date = 2000
id = ISBN 0934797161
pages = 880

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