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Which 51? (Updated: Which 55?)

Spotted Towhee
Spotted Towhee image: Jeff Larsen.

So the redesign of our All About Birds website is live, and one of the big features is an upgrade to our online bird guide. We picked a set of 51 common species and improved them, adding photos, ID tips, sounds, video, and lots more natural history. UPDATE: we now have 55 expanded species and are getting in gear for more updates in the near future!

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It was a lot of work, but we still have one question left to answer:  Which 55 birds are on the list?

Let me start by saying that it’s hard to get a list of 50 species for the whole continent that everyone can be happy with. (That 51st species helps, but only a little.) Rest assured we’ll keep working and revising until we’ve got everyone’s favorite species and then some updated. For now, scan down this list to see the updated accounts – and click to visit them. Read more about the new design here.

American Crow

American Goldfinch

American Kestrel

American Robin

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Blue Jay

Brewer’s Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

California Quail

California Towhee

Canada Goose

Carolina Chickadee

Cedar Waxwing

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Chipping Sparrow

Common Grackle

Common Raven

Cooper’s Hawk

Dark-eyed Junco

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Towhee

European Starling

Gray Catbird

Hairy Woodpecker

Hermit Thrush

House Finch

House Sparrow

House Wren


Mountain Chickadee

Mourning Dove

Northern Cardinal

Northern Flicker

Northern Mockingbird

Purple Finch

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-winged Blackbird

Rock Pigeon

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Song Sparrow

Spotted Towhee

Steller’s Jay

Tufted Titmouse

Turkey Vulture

Western Meadowlark

Western Scrub-Jay

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-crowned Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Cornell Lab

All About Birds
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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library