Species

HBW Alive provides full accounts for every bird species known to science up to June 2013, including distribution maps and color illustrations. Explore these sample species to better understand the monumental work that lies behind these pages.

Come back often! The sample species are being rotated every month.

Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)

Taxonomy:

Falco rusticolus

Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.

Closest to F. cherrug; genetic data indicate that these two, along with F. biarmicus and F. jugger, form a group of closely...

Descriptive notes: 48–60 cm; male 769–1450 g, female 1130–2150 g; wingspan 105–135 cm. The largest Falco, with larger head, deeper chest, relatively short but broad outer wings and longer tail than other large falcons....
figure, drawing, illustration of Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)

Asian Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon)

Taxonomy:

Ibis nippon

Temminck, 1835, Japan.

Proposed race sinensis, described around end of 19th century, turned out to be the species’ breeding plumage. Monotypic.

Descriptive notes: 55–84 cm. Distinctive bushy-crested ibis with red facial skin and legs. Non-breeding adult white, with orangish-cinnamon tones in tail and flight feathers, whereas breeding adult has grey head, neck, mantle and...
figure, drawing, illustration of Asian Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon)

Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea)

Taxonomy:

Platalea pygmea

[sic] Linnaeus, 1758, Suriname = eastern Asia.

Hitherto usually placed in monotypic genus, Eurynorhynchus, but sometimes included in present genus; recent study supports its treatment within...

Descriptive notes: 14–16 cm; male averages 29·5 g, one female 34 g. Small wader closely resembling other Calidris, but has spatulate bill; in summer, red-brown head, neck and breast with dark brown streaks; upperparts blackish with buff and...
figure, drawing, illustration of Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea)

Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis)

Taxonomy:

Scolopax madagascariensis

Linnaeus, 1766, Madagascar; error = Macassar, Sulawesi.

Monotypic.

Descriptive notes: 53–66 cm; 390–1350 g, male averaging 110 g lighter than female; wingspan 97–110 cm. Largest curlew with very long, heavy bill; female has longest bill of any wader (184 mm). Plain head pattern; upperparts have dark...
figure, drawing, illustration of Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis)

Central American Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium griseiceps)

Taxonomy:

Glaucidium griseiceps

Sharpe, 1875, tropical lowlands of Alta Vera Paz, Guatemala.

Considered a member of G. minutissimum complex, which includes also G. palmarum, G. sanchezi, G. parkeri and G....

Descriptive notes: 13–18 cm; male 50·6–58·8 g, female c. 56 g. Very small pygmy-owl; crown and nape brown-grey to grey-brown; forecrown with fine pale buff to whitish spots (can extend back to nape); nape with dark “...
figure, drawing, illustration of Central American Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium griseiceps)