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In the scrolling list below you can click on species group names (CAPITALIZED words) or the individual species names to see pictures of the corresponding bird groups. Multiple selections can be made by using control+click.

Can't find a match? Go to the questions page to narrow or widen the list of presented birds.
Pics and descriptions of birds in left column...
Note: Since the pictures below represent only a few examples of birds in a given species category, you may not see a picture of the exact species you have found. Use text descriptions as a guide to the best match.
Baby Bittern
Baby Bittern

Baby BITTERN


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, long toes
Covered in long, silky down at hatching; skin visible in places
Down on head stands upright, giving an electrified appearance
Beak long (longer than the bird's head) and straight
Black tip on beak
Down colour reddish, or yellowish-orange, lighter on underside (Least Bitterns white underside)


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.

Baby Cormorant

Baby CORMORANT


Defining characteristics:
Webbed feet – all four toes connected by webbing (other species have only three webbed and one unconnected back toe)
Naked at hatching with brownish-purple skin, then grows black down coat before feathers emerge
Top part of beak hooked over bottom
Loose skin around throat


Cormorants have distinctive long, hooked beaks, and usually nest in colonies near a water source.
(Picture credit: NPS Photo, Source: weforanimals.com. Image edited by TWC.)
Baby Cuckoos
Baby Cuckoo

Baby CUCKOO


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, has two forward-facing toes and two backward facing toes (this pattern is best observed when clinging or perching)
Mostly naked at hatching; has black skin with stringy white down
Inside of mouth red with white spots, observable when the baby is gaping—to make the baby gape, wave your fingers in front of its face
Greyish-yellow gape flanges (tissue at corners of the beak near face)
Once feathers develop colour two-toned—brown on back and white on underside


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Call Ducks/Baby Muskovy Mix Duck

Baby DOMESTIC DUCK


Defining characteristics:
Webbed feet
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Colour varies widely but sometimes solid yellow – this colouration certainly indicates a domestic bird, though domestic ducks may be other colours as well
Beak and feet often pink or orange, though not exclusively


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Mourning Dove
Baby Mourning Dove
Baby Mourning Doves

Baby DOVE


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet
Covered in stringy yellow or white down or hairs; skin visible through down
Beak has bump on top, near face
No gape flanges (yellow or white tissue at the corners of the beak near face)—doves do not gape for food
Make soft whistling or peeping noise
Once feathers have developed, Mourning Doves are light brown with a thin cream-coloured edging to their feathers


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Mallard
Baby Mergansers

Baby DUCK


Defining characteristics:
Webbed feet
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
In Mallards and other duck species commonly encountered by people, down is yellow and the back brown with a few patches of yellow, as well as a brown stripe over each eye.
Other duck species have similar colour patterns (light-coloured underside and dark back with light patches), though in some species the underside is white and the back dark brown ot reddish-brown


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Egrets
Baby Egret

Baby EGRET


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, long toes
Covered in long, silky down at hatching; skin visible in places
Down on head stands upright, giving an electrified appearance
Beak long (longer than the bird's head) and straight
Down colour white


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Falcon
Baby Falcon

Baby FALCON


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, toes have sharp talons
Covered in short soft down at hatching
Down typically solid white at first, second down coat often darker.
Top part of beak hooked sharply over bottom
Once feathered, have characteristic vertical black stripe under both eyes
American Kestrels, once feathered, have reddish back and cap, and a white face (with black stripes).


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.

Baby Pheasant

Baby FOWL


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, legs short
Body shape chicken-like
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Down light coloured (white or yellow) and unmarked on underside, with elaborate patterns of spots and/or stripes on the head and back
Beak short and wide


Wild fowl tend to be less commonly encountered in urban areas. Fowl-like chicks with no markings–such as those that are yellow or brown in colour—are likely domestic.
(Picture credit: Stephen Kramer)
Baby Canada Goose
Baby Canada Geese

Baby GOOSE


Defining characteristics:
Webbed feet
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Down yellow with darker brown patches on back. Older babies have a yellowish-green hue
Beak rounded at tip


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Grebe
Lobed toes of a grebe

Baby GREBE


Defining characteristics:
Lobed toes—each toe is surrounded by wide flaps of skin, though toes are not connected to each other. No other Ontario bird has similar feet
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Light coloured with bold dark stripes and spots down the head and back
Legs are set far back on their bodies, toward the tail – as a result, grebes have difficulty walking on land


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Gull
Baby Gulls

Baby GULL


Defining characteristics:
Webbed feet
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Down white or light grey, back mottled with dark spots/stripes
Beak often black with orangey-pink tip or orangey-pink with black tip


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Hawk
Baby Hawk
Baby Hawk

Baby HAWK/EAGLE


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, toes thick and scaly with sharp talons
Covered in short soft down at hatching
Down typically solid white or greyish at first, second down coat often darker. Typically have spots or streaking on body once feathers begin to develop.
Top part of beak hooked sharply over bottom
Eyes on the sides of the head, as opposed to the front as in owls (more evident in feathered babies)


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Heron
Baby Heron

Baby HERON


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, long toes
Covered in long, silky down at hatching; skin visible in places
Down on head stands upright, giving an electrified hairdo
Beak long (longer than the bird's head) and straight
Down colour grey, white, or reddish


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Hummingbirds
Baby Hummingbird

Baby HUMMINGBIRD


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet
Naked at hatching, have two thin rows of yellowish hairs down the centre of their backs
Once feathers develop, babies appear somewhat mottled (different colours interspersed) on back, lighter on underside
Beak thin, longer than head, needle like
Smallest bird species in Ontario; unfeathered babies only ½ cm long


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Kingfisher
Baby Kingfisher

Baby KINGFISHER


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, the two outer toes on both feet “fused” together for half of their length, legs short
Naked at hatching
Once feathers develop, babies have blue and white colouring (sometimes mistaken for Blue Jays based on colouring but lack the black marking on the back of the neck)
Beak heavy, longer than bird's head
Inside of mouth pink, observable when the baby is gaping (to encourage the baby to gape, wave your fingers in front of its face)


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.

Baby Loon

Baby LOON


Defining characteristics:
Webbed Feet
Uniformly dark (black or dark grey) on most of the body, with a white or light patch covering their underside
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Legs are set far back on their bodies, toward the tail. As a result, loons often have difficulty walking on land


Like grebes, baby loons have difficulty walking on land due to their legs being set far back on their body, an adaptation that aids them in diving for prey.
(Picture credit: Toronto Wildlife Centre)
Baby Nightjar
Baby Nightjar

Baby NIGHTJAR


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, legs short (bird's body appears close to the ground when standing)
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Down yellowish-red or whitish-grey, lighter on underside
No distinct spots or stripes but colour is mottled (different colours interspersed). Similar colour pattern once feathers develop
Relative to the size of its head, beak is very small and eyes very large. Eyes sometimes have a misshapen appearance—eye openings not perfectly circular


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.

Baby Osprey

Baby OSPREY


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, toes thick and scaly with sharp talons
Covered in short soft down at hatching
Down brown on back with a light-coloured streak down the centre of the back, lighter on underside
Top part of beak hooked sharply over bottom


Downy Osprey babies can be distinguished from other birds of prey by the white streak down the centre of their brown backs. Once feathers develop, babies begin to show the white chin and black “mask” characteristic of adult Osprey.
(Picture credit: Marc Payne/Avian Haven)
Baby Owl
Baby Owl
Baby Owl

Baby OWL


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, toes thick and scaly with sharp talons
Covered in short soft down at hatching
Down typically solid white or greyish at first, second down coat often darker. Typically have spots or streaking on body once feathers begin to develop.
Top part of beak hooked sharply over bottom
Eyes both on front of head, as opposed to the sides as in hawks (more evident in feathered babies)


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Crows
Baby Red-winged Blackbird
Baby Robin
Baby Goldfinch
Baby Waxwing
Baby Cardinal
Baby Wren
Baby Blue Jay
Baby Barn Swallow
Baby House Sparrow
Baby House Sparrow
Baby Starlings
Baby Starling

Baby PASSERINE (SONGBIRD)


Defining characteristics:
*Note: Passerines are a group that includes hundreds of species, only a few common ones pictured here. Babies are identified by species in the caption when you click the picture
Non-webbed feet
Naked at hatching, sometimes with tufts of down
Generally the size of a golf ball/apricot or smaller before feathers develop (crows are also Passerines, though they are the notable exception to this rule, being as large as an orange before they are feathered)
Passerines gape their mouths open for food (to encourage the baby to gape, wave your fingers in front of its face), revealing a red, pink, orange, or yellow mouth
Many Passerines have noticeable gape flanges (yellow or white tissue at corners of the beak near face)


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Pigeons
Baby Pigeon

Baby PIGEON


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet
Covered in stringy yellow or white down, or hairs; skin visible through down
Beak has bump on top, near face
No gape flanges (yellow or white tissue at the corners of the beak near face)—pigeons do not gape for food
Make soft whistling or peeping noise
Once feathers develop colour is variable (Rock Pigeons may be grey, black, brown, white, or any combination of these colours)


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Rail
Baby Coots

Baby RAILS AND COOTS


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, toes have a slightly lobed appearance (flat, fleshy toes)
Long legs
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Down on body is uniformly black (coots have red-orange down around head)
Have a small claw at the wrist joint of both wings


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Sandpiper
Baby Woodcock
Baby Killdeer

Baby SHOREBIRD


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, legs long (as long as body is tall)
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Down light coloured (white or yellow) and unmarked on underside, with elaborate patterns of spots and/or stripes on the head and back
Killdeer have brown back with bold black and white striping around the neck
Beak short and narrow


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Swans
Baby Swan

Baby SWAN


Defining characteristics:
Webbed feet (black in Mute Swan, orangey-pink in Trumpeter Swan)
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Long neck
Down greyish-white in colour (underside may be lighter than back)
Beak rounded at tip (beak black in Mute Swan, orangey-pink in Trumpeter Swan)


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Swifts
Baby Swifts

Baby SWIFT


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, all four toes face forward in a rake-like pattern
Naked at hatching; when feathering begins appear uniformly covered in dark spiny “pins” or “tubes” which are casings for adult feathers (may appear mottled due to whitish colour of feather casings)
Inside of mouth pink, observable when the baby is gaping—to encourage the baby to gape, wave your fingers in front of its face


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Tern
Baby Tern

Baby TERN


Defining characteristics:
Webbed feet
Fully covered in down at hatching; no naked areas
Down white, grey, brown or reddish, back mottled with dark spots/stripes
Beak often orangey-pink with black tip


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Vulture
Baby Vulture
Baby Vultures

Baby VULTURE


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, feet large and chicken-like
Covered in short soft down at hatching except for face/head
Down solid white
Face naked with black skin
Top part of beak hooked slightly over bottom, long beak with elongated nostrils
Once feathers develop, baby Turkey Vultures often have a two-toned appearance—dark feathers on back and white down on underside or around neck


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.
Baby Woodpecker
Baby Woodpecker
Woodpecker toes

Baby WOODPECKER


Defining characteristics:
Non-webbed feet, has two forward-facing toes and two backward facing toes (this pattern is best observed when clinging or perching)
Naked at hatching, skin pinkish
Once feathered babies are typically dark in colour with lighter spots on back, may species have white underside and/or red on head
Gape flanges (tissue at corners of the beak near face) white or whitish-pink


Click on the picture in the icon panel to enlarge it and see its caption. Click again on the enlarged picture to return to picture selection icons.