List of birds of Vanuatu

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Vanuatu. The avifauna of Vanuatu includes a total of 136 species, of which 9 are endemic, 8 have been introduced by humans, and 30 are rare or accidental. 12 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 Vanuatu.

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

__NOTOC__

Grebes

Order: PodicipediformesFamily: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large sized freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Australasian Grebe "Tachybaptus novaehollandiae"

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 17 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Antarctic Giant Petrel "Macronectes giganteus" (A)
*Cape Petrel "Daption capense"
*Tahiti Petrel "Pterodroma rostrata"
*Providence Petrel "Pterodroma solandri" (A)
*Kermadec Petrel "Pterodroma neglecta" (A)
*Herald Petrel "Pterodroma arminjoniana" (A)
*White-necked Petrel "Pterodroma cervicalis"
*Gould's Petrel "Pterodroma leucoptera"
*Black-winged Petrel "Pterodroma nigripennis" (A)
*Vanuatu Petrel "Pterodroma occulata"
*Antarctic Prion "Pachyptila desolata" (A)
*Bulwer's Petrel "Bulweria bulwerii" (A)
*Grey Petrel "Procellaria cinerea"
*Wedge-tailed Shearwater "Puffinus pacificus"
*Short-tailed Shearwater "Puffinus tenuirostris"
*Fluttering Shearwater "Puffinus gavia"
*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 4 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Wilson's Storm-Petrel "Oceanites oceanicus" (A)
*Black-bellied Storm-Petrel "Fregetta tropica" (A)
*White-bellied Storm-Petrel "Fregetta grallaria" (A)
*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 Vanuatu.

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

Pelicans

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 8 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Australian Pelican "Pelecanus conspicillatus" (A)

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 Vanuatu.

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

Cormorants

Order: PelecaniformesFamily: Phalacrocoracidae

The Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium-to-large coastal, fish-eating sea-birds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black and white, and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Little Black Cormorant "Phalacrocorax sulcirostris"
*Little Pied Cormorant "Phalacrocorax melanoleucos"

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 Vanuatu.

*Great Frigatebird "Fregata minor" (A)
*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 5 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*White-faced Heron "Egretta novaehollandiae" (A)
*Pacific Reef-Heron "Egretta sacra"
*Striated Heron "Butorides striata"
*Rufous Night-Heron "Nycticorax caledonicus" (A)
*Australasian Bittern "Botaurus poiciloptilus"

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 4 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Gray Teal "Anas gracilis"
*Mallard "Anas platyrhynchos" (I)
*Pacific Black Duck "Anas superciliosa"
*White-eyed Duck "Aythya australis"

Hawks, Kites and Eagles

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and include hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Brahminy Kite "Haliastur indus" (A)
*Swamp Harrier "Circus approximans"
*Brown Goshawk "Accipiter fasciatus"

Caracaras and Falcons

Order: FalconiformesFamily: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their feet. There are 62 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Peregrine Falcon "Falco peregrinus"

Megapodes

Order: GalliformesFamily: Megapodiidae

The Megapodiidae are stocky, medium-large chicken-like birds with small heads and large feet. All but the Malleefowl occupy jungle habitats, and most have brown or black colouring. There are 21 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Vanuatu Scrubfowl "Megapodius layardi" (E)

Pheasants and Partridges

Order: GalliformesFamily: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they may vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Red Junglefowl "Gallus gallus" (I)

Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, and Coots

Order: GruiformesFamily: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Buff-banded Rail "Gallirallus philippensis"
*Spotless Crake "Porzana tabuensis"
*White-browed Crake "Porzana cinerea"
*Purple Swamphen "Porphyrio porphyrio"

Oystercatchers

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*South Island Oystercatcher "Haematopus finschi" (A)
*Variable Oystercatcher "Haematopus unicolor" (A)

Thick-knees

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Burhinidae

The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Beach Thick-knee "Burhinus magnirostris"

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 4 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Pacific Golden-Plover "Pluvialis fulva"
*Double-banded Plover "Charadrius bicinctus" (A)
*Lesser Sandplover "Charadrius mongolus" (A)
*Oriental Plover "Charadrius veredus" (A)

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 10 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Bar-tailed Godwit "Limosa lapponica"
*Whimbrel "Numenius phaeopus"
*Far Eastern Curlew "Numenius madagascariensis"
*Common Sandpiper "Actitis hypoleucos"
*Gray-tailed Tattler "Heterosceles brevipes"
*Wandering Tattler "Heterosceles incanus"
*Ruddy Turnstone "Arenaria interpres"
*Red-necked Stint "Calidris ruficollis"
*Pectoral Sandpiper "Calidris melanotos" (A)
*Sharp-tailed Sandpiper "Calidris acuminata"

Gulls

Order: CharadriiformesFamily: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large birds seabirds and includes gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Silver Gull "Larus novaehollandiae" (A)

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 9 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Great Crested Tern "Sterna bergii"
*Roseate Tern "Sterna dougallii" (A)
*Black-naped Tern "Sterna sumatrana"
*Common Tern "Sterna hirundo"
*Bridled Tern "Sterna anaethetus" (A)
*Sooty Tern "Sterna fuscata"
*Black Noddy "Anous minutus" (A)
*Brown Noddy "Anous stolidus"
*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 8 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Metallic Pigeon "Columba vitiensis"
*Mackinlay's Cuckoo-dove "Macropygia mackinlayi"
*Emerald Dove "Chalcophaps indica"
*Santa Cruz Ground-dove "Gallicolumba sanctaecrucis"
*Tanna Fruit-dove "Ptilinopus tannensis" (E)
*Red-bellied Fruit-dove "Ptilinopus greyii"
*Pacific Imperial-pigeon "Ducula pacifica"
*Vanuatu Imperial-pigeon "Ducula bakeri" (E)

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 2 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Rainbow Lorikeet "Trichoglossus haematodus"
*Palm Lorikeet "Charmosyna palmarum"

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 3 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Fan-tailed Cuckoo "Cacomantis flabelliformis"
*Shining Bronze-Cuckoo "Chrysococcyx lucidus"
*Long-tailed Koel "Eudynamys taitensis"

Barn owls

Order: StrigiformesFamily: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Barn Owl "Tyto alba"

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 3 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Glossy Swiftlet "Collocalia esculenta"
*White-rumped Swiftlet "Aerodramus spodiopygius"
*Uniform Swiftlet "Aerodramus vanikorensis"

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 3 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher "Todirhamphus farquhari" (E)
*Collared Kingfisher "Todirhamphus chloris"
*Sacred Kingfisher "Todirhamphus sanctus"

Bee-eaters

Order: CoraciiformesFamily: Meropidae

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colorful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Rainbow Bee-eater "Merops ornatus"

wallows and Martins

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Hirundinidae

The Hirundinidae family is a group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Pacific Swallow "Hirundo tahitica"

Cuckoo-shrikes

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Campephagidae

The cuckoo-shrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured. There are 82 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Melanesian Cuckoo-shrike "Coracina caledonica"
*Polynesian Triller "Lalage maculosa"
*Long-tailed Triller "Lalage leucopyga"

Thrushes and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Island Thrush "Turdus poliocephalus"
*Song Thrush "Turdus philomelos" (A)

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 Vanuatu.

*Guadalcanal Thicketbird "Megalurulus whitneyi"

Fantails

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Rhipiduridae

The Fantails are small insectivorous birds which are specialist aerial feeders. There are 44 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Grey Fantail "Rhipidura fuliginosa"
*Streaked Fantail "Rhipidura spilodera"

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 3 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Buff-bellied Monarch "Neolalage banksiana" (E)
*Southern Shrikebill "Clytorhynchus pachycephaloides"
*Melanesian Flycatcher "Myiagra caledonica"

Australasian robins

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Petroicidae

Most species of the Petroicidae have a stocky build with a large, rounded head, a short, straight bill, and rounded wingtips. They occupy a wide range of wooded habitats, from subalpine to tropical rainforest, and mangrove swamps to semi-arid scrubland. All are primarily insectivorous, although a few supplement their diet with seeds. There are 43 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Scarlet Robin "Petroica multicolor"

Whistlers and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Pachycephalidae

The family Pachycephalidae includes the whistlers, shrike-thrushes, shrike-tits, pitohuis and Crested Bellbird. There are 57 species worldwide and 1 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Golden Whistler "Pachycephala pectoralis"

Thornbills and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Acanthizidae

Thornbills are small passerine birds, similar in habits to the tits. There are 65 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Fan-tailed Gerygone "Gerygone flavolateralis"

White-eyes

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Zosteropidae

The white-eyes are small and are mostly of undistinguished appearance, the plumage above being generally either some dull color like greenish olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests many species have a white ring around the eyes. There are 96 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Silver-eye "Zosterops lateralis"
*Yellow-fronted White-eye "Zosterops flavifrons" (E)

Honeyeaters

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Meliphagidae

The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family of small to medium-sized birds most common in Australia and New Guinea. They are nectar feeders and closely resemble other nectar-feeding passerines. There are 174 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Dark-brown Honeyeater "Lichmera incana"
*Cardinal Myzomela "Myzomela cardinalis"
*New Hebrides Honeyeater "Phylidonyris notabilis" (E)

Woodswallows

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Artamidae

The woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. They are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. There are 11 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*White-breasted Woodswallow "Artamus leucorynchus"

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 4 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Rusty-winged Starling "Aplonis zelandica"
*Mountain Starling "Aplonis santovestris" (E)
*Common Myna "Acridotheres tristis" (I)
*European Starling "Sturnus vulgaris" (A)

Waxbills and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed-eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have a wide variation in plumage colours and pattern. There are 141 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Vanuatu.

*Common Waxbill "Estrilda astrild" (I)
*Red Avadavat "Amandava amandava" (A)
*Red-browed Firetail "Neochmia temporalis" (A)
*Blue-faced Parrotfinch "Erythrura trichroa"
*Red-throated Parrotfinch "Erythrura psittacea" (I)
*Red-headed Parrotfinch "Erythrura cyaneovirens"
*Royal Parrotfinch "Erythrura regia" (E)
*Chestnut Munia "Lonchura atricapilla" (I)
*Chestnut-breasted Munia "Lonchura castaneothorax" (I)

iskins, Crossbills and allies

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 137 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*Common Redpoll "Carduelis flammea" (A)

parrows

Order: PasseriformesFamily: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed-eaters, and they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Vanuatu.

*House Sparrow "Passer domesticus" (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=vu&pg=checklist&list=clements
title = Checklist of birds of Vanuatu
format =
work = Bird Checklists of the World
publisher = Avibase
accessdate = 30 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

External links

* [http://www.positiveearth.org/vanbirds/ VanBirds] Bird Research in Vanuatu, Images, Sounds and Surveys.


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