List of birds of the Cook Islands

List of birds of the Cook Islands

This is a list of the bird species recorded in the Cook Islands. The avifauna of the Cook Islands includes a total of 50 species, of which 6 are endemic, 1 has been introduced by humans, and 3 are rare or accidental. Ten 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 the Cook Islands.

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 the Cook Islands.
* (E) Endemic A species endemic to the Cook Islands.
* (I) Introduced A species introduced to the Cook Islands as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions.

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Albatrosses

Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Diomedeidae

The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds. There are 21 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in the Cook Islands.

*Royal Albatross "Diomedea epomophora"

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 12 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Hall's Giant Petrel "Macronectes halli" (A)
*Cape Petrel "Daption capense"
*Tahiti Petrel "Pterodroma rostrata"
*Phoenix Petrel "Pterodroma alba" (A)
*Murphy's Petrel "Pterodroma ultima"
*Kermadec Petrel "Pterodroma neglecta" (A)
*Herald Petrel "Pterodroma arminjoniana"
*Gould's Petrel "Pterodroma leucoptera"
*Black-winged Petrel "Pterodroma nigripennis"
*Sooty Shearwater "Puffinus griseus"
*Christmas Shearwater "Puffinus nativitatis"
*Audubon's Shearwater "Puffinus lherminieri"

torm-Petrels

Order: ProcellariiformesFamily: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels, and are the smallest of sea-birds. 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 2 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*White-bellied Storm-petrel "Fregetta grallaria"
*Polynesian Storm-petrel "Nesofregetta fuliginosa"

Tropicbirds

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 2 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Red-tailed Tropicbird "Phaethon rubricauda"
*White-tailed Tropicbird "Phaethon lepturus"

Boobies and Gannets

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups comprise medium-to-large coastal sea-birds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 9 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

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

Frigatebirds

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large sea-birds 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 2 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Great Frigatebird "Fregata minor"
*Lesser Frigatebird "Fregata ariel"

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 1 species which occurs in the Cook Islands.

*Pacific Reef-Heron "Egretta sacra"

Ducks, Geese and Swans

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 3 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Mallard "Anas platyrhynchos"
*Pacific Black Duck "Anas superciliosa"
*Northern Pintail "Anas acuta"

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 2 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Pacific Golden-Plover "Pluvialis fulva"
*Black-bellied Plover "Pluvialis squatarola"

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 4 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Bristle-thighed Curlew "Numenius tahitiensis"
*Gray-tailed Tattler "Heterosceles brevipes"
*Wandering Tattler "Heterosceles incanus"
*Ruddy Turnstone "Arenaria interpres"

Terns

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Sternidae

Terns are a group of generally general medium to large sea-birds 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 6 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Black-naped Tern "Sterna sumatrana"
*Common Tern "Sterna hirundo"
*Sooty Tern "Sterna fuscata"
*Brown Noddy "Anous stolidus"
*Blue Noddy "Procelsterna cerulea"
*White Tern "Gygis alba"

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 3 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Rock Pigeon "Columba livia"
*Cook Islands Fruit-dove "Ptilinopus rarotongensis" (E)
*Pacific Imperial-pigeon "Ducula pacifica"

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 1 species which occurs in the Cook Islands.

*Blue Lorikeet "Vini peruviana"

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 1 species which occurs in the Cook Islands.

*Long-tailed Koel "Eudynamys taitensis"

wifts

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 1 species which occurs in the Cook Islands.

*Atiu Swiftlet "Aerodramus sawtelli" (E)

Kingfishers

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 2 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Mangaia Kingfisher "Todirhamphus ruficollaris" (E)
*Chattering Kingfisher "Todirhamphus tuta"

Old World warblers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. The Sylviidae mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs. There are 291 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in the Cook Islands.

*the Cook Islands Reed-Warbler "Acrocephalus kerearako" (E)

Monarch flycatchers

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Monarchidae

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines, which hunt by flycatching. There are 99 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in the Cook Islands.

*Rarotonga Monarch "Pomarea dimidiata" (E)

tarlings

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in the Cook Islands.

*Rarotonga Starling "Aplonis cinerascens" (E)
*Common Myna "Acridotheres tristis" (I)

ee also

*List of birds
*Lists of birds by region

References

*cite web
last = Lepage
first = Denis
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =
url = http://www.bsc-eoc.org/avibase/avibase.jsp?region=ck&pg=checklist&list=clements
title = Checklist of birds of the Cook Islands
format =
work = Bird Checklists of the World
publisher = Avibase
accessdate = 28 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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