Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Arizona are home to many birds from the smallest hummingbirds and parrots (likely pet escapees) to waterfowl and massive birds of prey. Some birds are native to the area, while others are passing through during migration. A handful were introduced by being purposefully released into the ecosystem. Take a look at the birds you can see living wild in Phoenix and the Sonoran Desert area of the Southwest U.S.
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Gila Woodpecker on a Saguaro Cactus
A Gila woodpecker photographed sitting atop a saguaro flower, Arizona's state flower. This bird is native to the Southwest and northern Mexico.Continue to 2 of 47 below.
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A photo of this rare hybrid hummingbird was snapped at Boyce Thompsom Arboretum in Superior, Arizona. This cross is a broadbill hummingbird with a violet-crowned hummingbird. This rarity was last spotted in the wild in Mexico in the 1890s.Continue to 3 of 47 below.
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Great Blue Heron
The great blue heron, one of the largest herons in the world, was spotted on a rooftop. It lives year-round in Phoenix.Continue to 4 of 47 below.
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Great Blue Heron and Great Egret
This great blue heron and egret usually live in similar climate zones. Egrets, like herons, can be found year-round in Phoenix's Maricopa County in areas with large ponds and marshes, as well as agricultural fields.Continue to 5 of 47 below.
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Great Egret with American White Pelicans
Great egrets are more common in Phoenix, although great white pelicans are increasing in numbers. American white pelicans breed in Canada and the upper Midwest, and they typically winter near the Gulf of Mexico and coastal Southern California. More and more, these enormous wetland birds are wintering in Arizona for the Sonoran Desert's human-made lakes stocked with fish and the balmy weather.Continue to 6 of 47 below.
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Beautiful hummingbirds live in the Phoenix area year-round. Arizona boasts the most diverse types of hummingbirds in the United States. Many pass through the state during migration.Continue to 7 of 47 below.
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Turkey vultures are the most common vulture in North America. They resemble wild turkeys. They have a keen sense of smell and can identify carrion by sight and odor. They are year-round residents in the Sonoran Desert area.Continue to 8 of 47 below.
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Black-Bellied Whistling Duck
This beautiful black-bellied whistling duck lives on ponds and slow rivers, including the Salt River and urban lakes and ponds of Phoenix.Continue to 9 of 47 below.
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This turkey vulture is in flight above Gilbert, Arizona, a town in Maricopa County, southeast of Phoenix, and within the Phoenix metropolitan area.Continue to 10 of 47 below.
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The great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is a medium-sized songbird that is native to North and South America. It is also called a Mexican grackle.Continue to 11 of 47 below.
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Great Blue Heron
This majestic great blue heron, shown here in flight, usually nest in trees or shrubs and prefer their nests 20 to 60 feet above the ground.Continue to 12 of 47 below.
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Immature Black-crowned Night Heron
The black-crowned night heron, here seen in Gilbert, Arizona, hides out in the shade during the day. As night approaches, this short-necked heron comes out to hunt fish and amphibians. They commonly live around urban ponds and lakes.Continue to 13 of 47 below.
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Burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) are pigmy owls, a small variety of owls that are active during the day hunting insects and mice. They live in abandoned burrows of ground squirrels and other mammals. This particular owl was near a nature trail near Gilbert Library in Gilbert, Arizona.Continue to 14 of 47 below.
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This peach-faced lovebird is one of several lovebirds living at the Gilbert Water Ranch, a riparian or wetland preserve. This bird is not native to the U.S., but feral flocks thrive in the Greater Phoenix area.Continue to 15 of 47 below.
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This northern mockingbird was in Gilbert, Arizona. These birds are permanent residents in Arizona. In Maricopa County, they are easily found in the city in parks, neighborhoods, and lawns and have adapted to people. They prefer living in open fields, deserts, and open foothills.Continue to 16 of 47 below.
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Anna's hummingbirds are common in gardens and backyard feeders in Arizona. Before the 1960s, they were temporary residents during the winter months, but they have since remained. This male was in the vicinity of the Westbrook Village Golf Course in Peoria, Arizona.Continue to 17 of 47 below.
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Gambel's quail (Callipepla gambelii) is a small, ground-dwelling quail common in the Phoenix area. The male is more colorful than the female. You will rarely see them flying; they mostly walk or run. The desert region is its native habitat.Continue to 18 of 47 below.
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Gambel's Quail Eggs
Gambel's quails do not build nests for their eggs. Usually, they will deposit them under a bush or some foliage.Continue to 19 of 47 below.
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Gambel's Quail Chick
This Gambel's quail chick is no more than a week old and no larger than 1-inch tall.Continue to 20 of 47 below.
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A Cooper's hawk perches on a porch in Prescott, Arizona, a town north of Phoenix. Cooper’s hawks (Accipiter cooperii) are frequent nesters in the Southwest, where they live year-round.Continue to 21 of 47 below.
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Long-legged roadrunners can run up to 20 miles per hour. The greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), a member of the cuckoo family, is commonly seen in the Phoenix area.Continue to 22 of 47 below.
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This mallard duck hybrid was near the public library in Gilbert. Mallards can be found all over North America and are extremely common in Maricopa County throughout the year, especially during the winter months when northern birds migrate south.Continue to 23 of 47 below.
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These rock pigeons photographed in Scottsdale, Arizona, is easily found in cities and urban settings, and everywhere in Arizona. This bird came to North America in the 1600s with European settlers.Continue to 24 of 47 below.
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This great egret at the Phoenix Zoo looks like it is dancing on the water.Continue to 26 of 47 below.
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These Harris hawks hang out at a private bird sanctuary in Fountain Hills, Arizona, in Maricopa County.Continue to 27 of 47 below.
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The Crissal thrasher is a drably colored desert wash or wetland thicket bird native to the American Southwest and central Mexico. It is one of the finest desert songbirds.Continue to 28 of 47 below.
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Western bluebirds are colorful, year-round residents of northern Arizona. They will migrate to southeastern and northwestern parts of the state to spend their winters. This bird was near Wickenburg, Arizona, a town on the border of Maricopa and Yavapai counties.Continue to 29 of 47 below.
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These neotropic cormorants are drying their wings in Chandler, Arizona, a suburb southeast of Phoenix. These birds prefer freshwater lakes, ponds, lagoons, and slow-moving rivers around Phoenix, including the lower Salt and Gila rivers and the Gillespie Dam.Continue to 30 of 47 below.
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Black-Crowned Night Heron
This black-crowned night heron was in the Chandler area of Maricopa County.Continue to 31 of 47 below.
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Great Egret and Snowy Egret
A great egret (left) and a snowy egret (right) seen at a pond in Chandler, Arizona. Snowy egrets are common year-round in Maricopa County and prefer habitats like lake edges, ponds, marshes, rivers, and agricultural fields.Continue to 32 of 47 below.
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This northern mockingbird was in Tempe, Arizona, a relatively dense, urbanized city just east of Phoenix, in Arizona.Continue to 33 of 47 below.
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This American coot spied in Chandler, Arizona, is a duck-like water bird often found in city parks, marshes, reservoirs, lake edges, roadside ditches, sewage treatment ponds, and saltwater inlets or saltmarshes.Continue to 34 of 47 below.
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This curve-billed thrasher seen in Chandler is a non-migratory native bird to the Sonoran Desert.Continue to 35 of 47 below.
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Acorn woodpeckers live in oak and pine forests in Arizona. This one was at a feeder in Strawberry, Arizona.Continue to 36 of 47 below.
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This male black-headed grosbeak perched in an alligator juniper tree in Strawberry, Arizona, is common in the West. It breeds in higher-elevation forests in Arizona, such as the pine and oak woodlands, among mixed conifers, and in wetland thickets.Continue to 37 of 47 below.
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This pair of pygmy nuthatches were at a birdbath in Strawberry, Arizona. They typically live in pine forests in the Western U.S. (especially ponderosa pines), among Douglas firs, and other conifers.Continue to 38 of 47 below.
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This Steller's jay in Strawberry, Arizona, is the largest of the jay species. In the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, it inhabits arid pine and oak woodlands.Continue to 39 of 47 below.
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Red-Shafted Northern Flicker
This female red-shafted northern flicker in Strawberry, Arizona, was held by its photographer after it had stunned itself by hitting a window. It shortly flew away. These substantial woodpeckers have sharp chiseled beaks to extract carpenter ants and other insects from nests in tree trunks.Continue to 40 of 47 below.
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A rare find, a northern cardinal was spotted in Gisela, a town northeast of Phoenix in Gila County. Northern cardinals are usually only found in southeastern Arizona.Continue to 41 of 47 below.
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This Harris hawk perched on a light pole is a medium-large bird of prey that breeds from the southwestern United States south to Chile, central Argentina, and Brazil.Continue to 42 of 47 below.
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This northern pintail photographed at the Phoenix Zoo typically lives in open unwooded wetlands, such as wet grassland, lakesides, or tundra. In winter, it migrates to sheltered estuaries, brackish marshes, and coastal lagoons.Continue to 43 of 47 below.
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This white-winged dove rests on a saguaro cactus with red blooms in Fort McDowell near Scottsdale. A Sonoran Desert native, the fruit pulp and seeds of the saguaro cactus are a vital food source. The fruit ripens around the end of June, in time for the appearance of the dove's hatchlings.Continue to 45 of 47 below.
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The cactus wren is Arizona's state bird. Here, it is sitting atop the state flower, a blooming saguaro.Continue to 46 of 47 below.
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Black Necked Stilt
This black-necked stilt walks in the water at the Riparian Bird Sanctuary at the Gilbert Water Ranch in Gilbert, Arizona. This bird's natural range is the southern and western U.S., including the Great Basin, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts near bodies of water.Continue to 47 of 47 below.
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