Nature’s vast canvas is painted with the colors, songs, and flutters of countless birds, each etching its own unique mark in our memories. Amongst this avian abundance, the fliers whose names are christened with the letter ‘F’ stand out in fascinating ways.
Journey with us as we flit through the world of these feathered fantasies, revealing the flair and finesse they introduce to our globe’s diverse bird kingdom.
List of Birds Starting with Letter F in US
- Ferruginous Hawk
- Field Sparrow
- Fish Crow
- Flammulated Owl
- Florida Scrub-Jay
- Fork-tailed Flycatcher
- Fox Sparrow
- Franklin’s Gull
- Fulvous Whistling-Duck
- Forster’s Tern
- Falcated Duck
- Flesh-footed Shearwater
- Franklin’s Gull
- Fea’s Petrel
- Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
- Freckled Duck
- Fairy Tern (more commonly found in other regions but has been spotted in the U.S.)
- Fan-tailed Warbler
Description and appearance
The Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) is a large bird of prey known for its impressive size and striking appearance. This hawk is characterized by its long wingspan, which can reach up to 55 inches, and a length of about 22-28 inches. It has a broad wingspan, dark brown feathers on its upper body, and a white underside with rust-colored markings known as “ferruginous” coloration, from which it derives its name. Its eyes are yellow and it has a hooked beak, typical of raptors.
Habitat and distribution
The Ferruginous Hawk is primarily found in open grasslands, prairies, and deserts of North America. It favors habitats with sparse vegetation, such as shrublands and sagebrush steppe, where it can easily spot its prey. This bird can be found from the Great Plains of the United States, through the Canadian prairies, and down to northern Mexico. It is most commonly seen in states like Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. In the winter, some individuals migrate to southern parts of their range or even further south into Mexico.
Behaviors and diet
Ferruginous Hawks are solitary hunters and have excellent eyesight, allowing them to spot small mammals, birds, and reptiles from high vantage points. They often soar at high altitudes, searching for prey, and then dive down at incredible speeds to catch them. These hawks are also known for their cooperative breeding behavior, where adults and siblings help raise the young. Their diet primarily consists of rodents like ground squirrels and prairie dogs, but they also feed on snakes, rabbits, and other small animals. Overall, the Ferruginous Hawk is a remarkable predator well-adapted to its grassland habitats.
The Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) is a relatively small species of crow found in North America. It is similar in appearance to the American Crow, but there are some key physical differences. The Fish Crow measures around 16-20 inches in length and has a wingspan of about 32-36 inches. It has a sleek, all-black plumage and a short, squared-off tail. Its bill is slender and slightly curved, and its legs are black. Overall, it has a slightly smaller build compared to the American Crow.
The Fish Crow is predominantly found along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico, from southern New England to Texas. It tends to favor coastal areas, marshes, and estuaries, as well as urban environments, including cities and suburbs. It is often seen along beaches, in salt marshes, or near bodies of water, where it can find abundant food sources.
Feeding habits and behaviors
As the name suggests, the Fish Crow has a particular affinity for aquatic habitats and is often observed foraging along the shoreline for fish, crabs, and other marine creatures. However, it is not exclusively dependent on coastal areas for its diet. The Fish Crow is known to scavenge and eat a wide variety of foods, including insects, small mammals, eggs, carrion, and even garbage in urban areas. It is an intelligent crow species that can adapt to changing environments and exploit available resources.
Description and coloration
The Ferruginous Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) is a small owl species with a height of about 6-10 inches and a wingspan of approximately 14-18 inches. Despite its small size, it possesses a fierce and commanding presence. The Ferruginous Pygmy-owl has a round head with large yellow eyes and a prominent facial disc. Its plumage varies across its range, but it typically has a mix of brown, gray, and rust-colored feathers, providing excellent camouflage in its woodland habitats.
Habitat and geographical distribution
The Ferruginous Pygmy-owl can be found in a range of habitats throughout the Americas, from the southern United States, through Central America, and down to northern Argentina. It favors woodlands, forests, and dense foliage, where it can perch and hide while searching for prey. In North America, it is primarily found in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, where it inhabits scrublands, desert canyons, and open woodlands with saguaro cacti.
Prey and hunting tactics
This owl feeds primarily on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Its hunting techniques are diverse and adaptable. It may wait patiently on a branch, poised for a surprise attack on passing prey, or it can actively search for insects by hovering in mid-air. The Ferruginous Pygmy-owl is well-known for its distinctive vocalizations, particularly during mating season, where it emits a series of rhythmic “toots” or wailing-like calls. Despite its diminutive size, this owl is a formidable predator and an important part of its ecosystem.
Fischer’s Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) is a small, brightly colored parrot native to a limited geographic range in north-central Tanzania. These lovebirds measure about 5-6 inches in length and have a vibrant plumage. Their body is predominantly green, with a bright orange face and upper chest. They also have a blue rump and tail feathers, which stand out against the green background. Fischer’s Lovebirds have a short, hooked beak and dark brown eyes.
In the wild, Fischer’s Lovebirds are most commonly found in arid, grassy savannahs and dry acacia woodlands in Tanzania. They are well-adapted to these semi-arid habitats and can survive with limited water sources. These lovebirds rely on tree cavities or abandoned nests of other birds as their primary nesting sites. They are highly social birds and form small flocks that communicate with a variety of calls and displays.
Social behaviors and diet
Fischer’s Lovebirds are highly social birds known for their strong pair bonding and monogamous mating system. They form small family groups or flocks, consisting of a mated pair along with their offspring. These lovebirds are frequently seen engaging in courtship displays, which include feeding behaviors and bill touching. Their diet mainly consists of fruits, seeds, berries, and blossoms. They are also known to feed on grasses and leaves. Fischer’s Lovebirds are charming and popular pets due to their vivid colors and social nature.
The Flightless Cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi) is a unique bird species endemic to the Galapagos Islands, specifically Fernandina and Isabela Islands. It is the only cormorant that has lost its ability to fly, instead adapting to a life of diving and swimming. The Flightless Cormorant is a large bird, measuring around 35-39 inches in length. It has a dark brown plumage and a distinctive bright turquoise or turquoise-green eye ring. Its wings are significantly reduced in size, resembling stubs rather than functional wings.
As mentioned earlier, the Flightless Cormorant is found exclusively in the Galapagos Islands, particularly on the rocky shores and volcanic coastlines of Fernandina and Isabela Islands. These islands provide the perfect environment for this unique bird, with abundant food in the surrounding waters and minimal land-based predators. The Flightless Cormorant can often be seen perching on the volcanic rocks near the shoreline or swimming and diving in search of fish and other marine organisms.
Dietary preferences and behaviors
The Flightless Cormorant is well-adapted to its aquatic lifestyle, with its streamlined body and strong, webbed feet. It mainly feeds on a variety of marine species, including fish, eels, squid, and crustaceans. Unlike other cormorant species, the Flightless Cormorant dives and catches its prey underwater, using its powerful wings and feet to propel itself through the water. It can often be seen standing with wings spread, allowing them to dry after each swim. This unique adaptation to a flightless existence is a remarkable example of evolution in the Galapagos Islands.
Description and characteristics
The Fiji Goshawk (Accipiter rufitorques) is a bird of prey endemic to the islands of Fiji in the South Pacific. It is a medium-sized raptor, measuring around 18-23 inches in length. This goshawk has a broad wingspan and short, rounded wings that enable it to navigate through dense forests with agility. Its plumage is predominantly dark brown or black, with reddish-brown or russet-colored markings on its chest and underparts. The Fiji Goshawk has sharp, yellow eyes and a hooked beak that is used for tearing into its prey.
Habitats in Fiji
The Fiji Goshawk is mainly found in the lowland forests and mangrove habitats of Fiji’s islands. It thrives in dense vegetation, where it can hunt and navigate through the trees effectively. This bird can be spotted on various islands, including Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Taveuni, as well as smaller surrounding islands. It is known to adapt to different forest types and elevations, from coastal regions to montane forests.
Feeding habits and behaviors
The Fiji Goshawk is a skilled and agile hunter, preying on a variety of small to medium-sized birds and mammals. It uses its keen eyesight and sharp talons to ambush and capture its prey, often surprising them from a concealed perch. This goshawk is also known to engage in aerial displays during courtship, where it performs acrobatic flights and calls loudly. The Fiji Goshawk is an important predator in the Fijian ecosystem, helping to regulate populations of its prey species.
Appearance and colors
The Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea) is a small bird belonging to the family Petroicidae. It has a distinctive appearance, with bright colors that make it stand out in its forested habitats. The male Flame Robin has a black head, white chin, and breast, and a fiery orange-red breast and belly, which gives it its name. Its back and wings are black, and it has a white patch on its forehead. Female flame robins have a slightly duller plumage, consisting of brown and gray tones.
Habitat and distribution in Australia
The Flame Robin is found in various habitats across southeastern Australia, including forests, woodlands, and heathlands. It is most commonly seen in Tasmania and in the eastern states of Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. This bird prefers areas with a mix of open spaces and trees, such as cleared farmlands and grassy areas adjacent to forests. During the breeding season, male Flame Robins establish territories and defend them aggressively.
Diet and feeding behaviors
The Flame Robin primarily feeds on insects, including beetles, spiders, and various other invertebrates. It hunts its prey by perching on low branches or on the ground, watching for movements or using a “hawking” technique to catch flying insects. It will occasionally sally out from a perch to capture an insect in mid-air. The Flame Robin is a nomadic species, moving in response to seasonal changes and the availability of food. It is a welcome sight in Australian forests and serves as an indicator of habitat quality.
The Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) is a migratory thrush species that breeds in northern Europe and Asia. It measures around 10-11 inches in length and has a wingspan of about 15-17 inches. The Fieldfare has a robust build, with a grayish-brown plumage on its upperparts and a paler, off-white plumage on its underparts. It has a distinct black tail with white edges, visible when it flies. The head is gray with a distinctive black stripe through the eye.
Habitat and geographic range
During breeding season, the Fieldfare can be found in various habitats, including forests, woodlands, and parklands in northern Europe and Asia. It prefers open areas with abundant shrubs and trees, where it builds its nests. In the winter, many Fieldfares migrate south to escape the colder climates, reaching as far as southern Europe and North Africa. They often form large flocks during migration, which can be seen in agricultural areas and orchards, feeding on fallen fruit.
Fieldfares have an omnivorous diet, feeding on a wide variety of foods depending on the season. They primarily eat fruits, berries, and insects during the breeding season, but will also consume invertebrates, worms, and small vertebrates when available. Fieldfares are highly social birds and often gather in large flocks, both during breeding season and in winter. They communicate with a variety of melodious calls and engage in aerial displays, where individuals chase each other in flight. Their flocks are a spectacular sight and a delightful addition to the natural landscape.
Description and distinguishing features
The Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana) is a striking bird species known for its long and distinctly forked tail. It measures approximately 8-9 inches in length, with a wingspan of about 14-15 inches. The Fork-tailed Flycatcher has a shiny black plumage on its head, mantle, wings, and upper chest, contrasting with its white belly and undertail coverts. Its most notable feature is the deeply forked tail, with elongated streamers that can extend beyond the bird’s body, giving it a graceful appearance during flight.
Habitat and distribution
The Fork-tailed Flycatcher is native to the American continent, with its range stretching from southern Mexico to Argentina. Within this range, it inhabits a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, savannahs, grasslands, and agricultural areas. It often perches on exposed branches or telegraph wires, where it can spot its insect prey and perform its elaborate aerial displays.
Feeding habits and behaviors
As its name suggests, the Fork-tailed Flycatcher feeds primarily on flying insects, which it catches in mid-air during acrobatic flights. It uses its keen eyesight and agility to pursue and capture prey, often making impressive twists and turns while airborne. Males are known to engage in courtship displays, where they perform fluttering flights, accompanied by melodious calls, to attract females. The Fork-tailed Flycatcher is a captivating bird to observe, with its graceful flight and distinctive appearance.
The Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) is a unique species of jay found exclusively in Florida, United States. It is a medium-sized bird, measuring about 10-12 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 13-15 inches. The Florida Scrub-Jay has a sleek and slender build, with a blue-gray plumage on its head, wings, and tail, and a white throat and underparts. It has a black bill, legs, and feet, and its eyes are bright blue, adding to its charm. Juvenile Florida Scrub-Jays have a more mottled appearance, with brown and cream tones.
Specific habitats in Florida
The Florida Scrub-Jay is highly specialized and is only found in a specific type of habitat known as scrub. Scrub habitats consist of sandy soils, with low-growing plants such as oaks, scrubby pines, and palmettos. These habitats are typically found in sandy ridges and scrubby flatwoods, particularly in central and southern Florida. The Florida Scrub-Jay relies on the scrub habitat for its food, nesting, and protection from predators.
Diet and behaviors
The diet of the Florida Scrub-Jay primarily consists of insects, spiders, seeds, berries, and fruits found within the scrub habitat. They forage on the ground and in low vegetation, using their strong bill to pry open acorns and pine cones. Florida Scrub-Jays are also known for their intriguing social behaviors. They live in family groups, with parents and offspring staying together for multiple years. These family groups have complex social dynamics, with cooperative breeding behaviors and a hierarchical structure. The Florida Scrub-Jay is both an emblematic species for the state and a conservation concern due to the loss and fragmentation of its specialized habitat.