The Orniphile

Birding Website
of Robert D. Hughes

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Articles About Chicago Area Birds and Birding

The Birds of Illinois

Part 3: Vireos to Cardinalids

This is a list of the birds that have been officially recorded in Illinois. Status information is also provided. A total of 445 species have been seen in the state as of July 2019. The 3 species pairs (White-crested/Small-billed Elaenia, Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher, and California/Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay) are not included in the total. Note: Most of the information presented here is from The Illinois Ornithological Society (IOS) website.

Recent additions: Barnacle Goose, Red-naped Sapsucker, Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher, White-crested/Small-billed Elaenia, Cassin’s Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo, Wandering Tattler

Recent removals: Western Gull

Status and Breeding Information  


Status Information

  • Regular = Species for which there are records in at least eight of the past ten years.
  • Casual = Species for which there are accepted records in three to seven of the past ten years.
  • Accidental = Species for which there are accepted records in no more than two of the past ten years.
  • Extirpated = Species which were formerly Casual or Regular in Illinois but which have not been recorded in the wild in the state for at least 50 years.
  • Extinct = Species which have occurred in the state but no longer occur anywhere in the world.

Breeding Information

  • For species that have bred in Illinois, an additional notation appears in the entry, following a slash ("/").
  • B = Species which currently breed more or less regularly in the state. In general, this is defined by breeding in at least eight of the last ten years or 40 or more of the last 50 years.
  • b = Species which have bred at least once in the past 50 years, but do not currently breed regularly.
  • (B) = Species which formerly bred more or less regularly in the state, but which have not been confirmed as breeding in the past 50 years.
  • (b) = Species which have been confirmed as breeding in the state, but never regularly, and with no confirmed records of breeding in the past 50 years.

Two terms are restricted to breeding species, based on Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) designations. These are:

  • Endangered = Species whose breeding populations are in danger of extirpation within Illinois; listed as endangered by the IDNR.
  • Threatened = Species whose breeding populations are at risk of becoming endangered within Illinois; listed as threatened by the IDNR.

Order Passeriformes

Family: Vireonidae (Vireos)

  • White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) Regular / B
  • Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii) Regular / B
  • Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) Regular / B
  • Cassin's Vireo (Vireo cassinii) Accidental
  • Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius) Regular / b
  • Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeus) Accidental
  • Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) Regular
  • Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) Regular / B
  • Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) Regular / B

Family: Corvidae (Jays, Nutcrackers, Magpies, Crows, and Ravens)

  • Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) Regular / B
  • California/Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica/woodhouseii) Accidental
  • Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) Accidental
  • Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) Accidental
  • American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Regular / B
  • Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) Regular / B (S)
  • Common Raven (Corvus corax) Extirpated / (B)

Family: Alaudidae (Larks)

  • Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) Regular / B

Family: Hirundinidae (Swallows)

  • Purple Martin (Progne subis) Regular / B
  • Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) Regular / B
  • Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) Accidental / b (cross-breeding)
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) Regular / B
  • Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) Regular / B
  • Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) Regular / B
  • Cave Swallow (Petrochelidon fulva) Casual
  • Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) Regular / B

Family: Paridae (Chickadees and Titmice)

  • Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) Regular / B
  • Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) Regular / B
  • Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus) Accidental
  • Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) Regular / B

Family: Sittidae (Nuthatches)

  • Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) Regular / b (N)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) Regular / B
  • Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) Accidental

Family: Certhiidae (Creepers)

  • Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) Regular / B

Family: Troglodytidae (Wrens)

  • Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) Casual
  • House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) Regular / B
  • Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis) Regular
  • Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis) Regular / B
  • Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) Regular / B
  • Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) Regular / B
  • Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) Regular / B (endangered)

Family: Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) Regular / B

Family: Regulidae (Kinglets)

  • Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) Regular / b (N)
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) Regular

Family: Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)

  • Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) Accidental

Family: Turdidae (Thrushes)

  • Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) Regular / B
  • Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) Accidental
  • Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) Casual
  • Veery (Catharus fuscescens) Regular / B
  • Gray-cheeked Thrush (Catharus minimus) Regular
  • Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus) Regular
  • Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) Regular
  • Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) Regular / B
  • American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Regular / B
  • Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius) Regular

Family: Mimidae (Mockingbirds, Catbirds, and Thrashers)

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  • Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) Regular / B
  • Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) Accidental
  • Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) Regular / B
  • Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus) Casual
  • Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) Regular / B

Family: Sturnidae (Starlings)

  • European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Regular (introduced) / B

Family: Bombycillidae (Waxwings)

  • Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) Casual
  • Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) Regular / B

Family: Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

  • House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Regular (introduced) / B
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) Regular (introduced) / B

Family: Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

  • American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) Regular
  • Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii) Casual

Family: Fringillidae (Finches)

  • Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) Regular
  • Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) Casual
  • Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis) Accidental
  • House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) Regular (introduced) / B
  • Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) Regular / (b)
  • Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea) Regular
  • Hoary Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni) Casual
  • Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) Regular / b
  • White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera) Regular
  • Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) Regular / b
  • American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) Regular / B

Family: Calcariidae (Longspurs and Snow Bunting)

  • Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) Regular
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus) Accidental
  • Smith's Longspur (Calcarius pictus) Regular
  • Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) Regular

Family: Passerellidae (American Sparrows)

  • Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus) Accidental
  • Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) Regular
  • Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) Regular / B
  • Cassin's Sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) Accidental
  • Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) Accidental / (b)
  • American Tree Sparrow (Spizelloides arborea) Regular
  • Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) Regular / B
  • Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida) Regular / b (N, local)
  • Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri) Accidental
  • Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla) Regular / B
  • Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) Regular / B
  • Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) Regular / B
  • Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) Accidental
  • Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) Casual
  • Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) Regular / B
  • Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) Regular /
  • Henslow's Sparrow (Centronyx henslowii) Regular / B
  • Le Conte's Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii) Regular / (b) (N)
  • Nelson's Sparrow (Ammospiza nelsoni) Regular
  • Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) Regular
  • Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) Regular / B
  • Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) Regular
  • Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) Regular / B
  • White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) Regular / b (NE)
  • Harris's Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula) Regular
  • White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) Regular
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) Accidental
  • Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) Regular

Family: Icteriidae (Yellow-breasted Chat)

  • Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) Regular / B

Family: Icteridae (Bobolink, Blackbirds, Meadowlarks, and Orioles)

  • Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) Regular / B (endangered)
  • Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) Regular / B
  • Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) Regular / B
  • Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) Regular / B
  • Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) Regular / B
  • Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii) Accidental
  • Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) Regular / B
  • Scott's Oriole (Icterus parisorum) Accidental
  • Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) Regular / B
  • Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) Regular / B
  • Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) Regular
  • Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) Regular / B (N)
  • Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) Regular / B
  • Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Casual

Family: Parulidae (New World Warblers)

  • Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) Regular / B
  • Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum) Regular / B
  • Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) Regular / B
  • Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis) Regular
  • Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) Regular / b (N)
  • Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus) Regular / B
  • Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia) Regular / B
  • Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) Regular / B
  • Swainson's Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) Casual / b (S) (endangered)
  • Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlyipis peregrina) Regular
  • Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlyipis celata) Regular
  • Nashville Warbler (Oreothlyipis ruficapilla) Regular / b
  • Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis) Regular
  • MacGillivray's Warbler (Geothlypis tolmiei) Accidental
  • Mourning Warbler (Geothlypis philadelphia) Regular / b
  • Kentucky Warbler (Geothlypis formosa) Regular / B
  • Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) Regular / B
  • Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina) Regular / B
  • American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) Regular / B
  • Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) Casual
  • Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina) Regular
  • Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) Regular / B (threatened)
  • Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) Regular / B
  • Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia) Regular
  • Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea) Regular
  • Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca) Regular
  • Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) Regular / B
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica) Regular / B
  • Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata) Regular
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) Regular
  • Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) Regular
  • Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus) Regular / B
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) Regular
  • Yellow-throated Warbler (Setophaga dominica) Regular / B
  • Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor) Regular / B
  • Grace's Warbler (Setophaga graciae) Accidental / B
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) (phot) Casual
  • Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) Casual
  • Hermit Warbler (Setophaga occidentalis) Accidental
  • Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens) Regular / b
  • Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) Regular / b
  • Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla) Regular

Family: Cardinalidae (Tanagers, Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings, and Dickcissel)

  • Hepatic Tanager (Piranga flava) Accidental
  • Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) Regular / B
  • Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) Regular / B
  • Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) Casual
  • Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Regular / B
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) Regular / B
  • Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) Accidental
  • Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea) Regular / B
  • Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) Accidental
  • Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) Regular / B
  • Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) Casual / b (local)
  • Dickcissel (Spiza americana) Regular / B

Total: 445 species

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The Birds of Illinois