This is a list of the bird species recorded in American Samoa. The avifauna of American Samoa include a total of 75 species as of 2021, according to Bird Checklists of the World.[1] Of them, 15 are rare or accidental, four have been introduced by humans, and one, the mao, is extirpated. American Samoa has no endemic bird species but several near-endemics occur and many of the land birds occur in good numbers.[2] A variety of seabirds breed in the islands. Hunting and introduced predators have reduced their numbers but there are still some important breeding sites such as Lata Mountain on Ta'u Island.[3]

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (English and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2021 edition.[4]

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence.

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl

Pacific black duck or tolo'a, resident in small numbers
Pacific black duck or tolo'a, resident in small numbers

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.

Pheasants, grouse, and allies

Order: Galliformes   Family: 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 vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings.

Pigeons and doves

Many-colored fruit-dove or manuma, rare and threatened by hunting
Many-colored fruit-dove or manuma, rare and threatened by hunting

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

Cuckoos

Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners, and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails, and strong legs. The Old World cuckoos are brood parasites.

Swifts

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Apodidae

Swifts are small birds which spend 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 which resemble a crescent or boomerang.

Rails, gallinules, and coots

Australasian swamphen or manuali'i, widespread in thick cover
Australasian swamphen or manuali'i, widespread in thick cover

Order: Gruiformes   Family: 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, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.

Plovers and lapwings

Pacific golden-plover or tulī, a migrant seen on coasts and grassy areas
Pacific golden-plover or tulī, a migrant seen on coasts and grassy areas

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: 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.

Sandpipers and allies

Bristle-thighed curlew or tuli'olovalu, a migrant in small numbers from Alaska
Bristle-thighed curlew or tuli'olovalu, a migrant in small numbers from Alaska

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is 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 these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers

Sooty tern or gogo'uli, 67,500 nests were counted on Rose Atoll in 1998
Sooty tern or gogo'uli, 67,500 nests were counted on Rose Atoll in 1998

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with gray 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 known to live in excess of 30 years.

Tropicbirds

White-tailed tropicbird or tava'e, a common seabird
White-tailed tropicbird or tava'e, a common seabird

Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.

Southern storm-petrels

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Oceanitidae

The southern storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.

Shearwaters and petrels

Tahiti petrel or tai'o, breeds in the mountains
Tahiti petrel or tai'o, breeds in the mountains

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.

Frigatebirds

Lesser frigatebird or atafa, breeds on Rose Atoll
Lesser frigatebird or atafa, breeds on Rose Atoll

Order: Suliformes   Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white, or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have colored inflatable 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.

Boobies and gannets

Red-footed booby (left) and brown booby (right), common offshore
Red-footed booby (left) and brown booby (right), common offshore

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish.

Herons, egrets, and bitterns

Pacific reef-heron or matu'u, common resident
Pacific reef-heron or matu'u, common resident

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons, and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises, and spoonbills.

Barn-owls

Barn owl or lulu, a widespread nocturnal bird
Barn owl or lulu, a widespread nocturnal bird

Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn-owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.

Kingfishers

Pacific kingfisher or ti'otala is common in a variety of habitats
Pacific kingfisher or ti'otala is common in a variety of habitats

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails.

Old World parrots

Blue-crowned lorikeet or segavao, breeds in the Manu'a islands
Blue-crowned lorikeet or segavao, breeds in the Manu'a islands

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittaculidae

Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly colored, and some are multi-colored. In size they range from 8 cm (3.1 in) to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length. Old World parrots are found from Africa east across south and southeast Asia and Oceania to Australia and New Zealand.

Honeyeaters

Eastern wattled-honeyeater or iao, a common resident
Eastern wattled-honeyeater or iao, a common resident

Order: Passeriformes   Family: 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.

Monarch flycatchers

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Monarchidae

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching.

Bulbuls

Red-vented bulbul or manu pālagi, introduced to Tutuila in the 1950s
Red-vented bulbul or manu pālagi, introduced to Tutuila in the 1950s

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pycnonotidae

Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colorful with yellow, red, or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests.

Starlings

Polynesian starling or miti vao, a native bird of forests
Polynesian starling or miti vao, a native bird of forests

Order: Passeriformes   Family: 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.

Thrushes

Island thrush
Island thrush

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly but not exclusively 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.

References

  1. ^ Lepage, Denis (October 10, 2019). "Checklist of birds of American Samoa". Avibase bird checklists of the world. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  2. ^ Watling, Dick (2001) A Guide to the Birds of Fiji & Western Polynesia, Environmental Consultants (Fiji), Suva.
  3. ^ O'Connor, P. J. & Rauzon M. J. (2004) Inventory and monitoring of seabirds in National Park of American Samoa. Archived 2008-06-12 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 25 September 2008.
  4. ^ Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/ Retrieved August 15, 2021

See also