Desert Birds

While deserts are considered barren wastelands, they are also biomes with a wealth of wildlife. Naturally, some birds can also adapt to the harsh conditions of the desert.

Desert Birds

List of Desert Birds

  • American Kestrel
  • American White Pelican
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher
  • Bearded Vulture
  • Bendire’s Thrasher
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird
  • Black-throated Sparrow
  • Broad-billed Hummingbird
  • Brown Pelican
  • Brown-crested Flycatcher
  • Brown-necked Raven
  • Burrowing Owl
  • Cactus Wren
  • Canyon Wren
  • Common Ostrich 
  • Common Raven 
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Costa’s Hummingbird
  • Cream-colored Courser
  • Crowned Sandgrouse
  • Curve-billed Thrasher
  • Desert Sparrow
  • Egyptian Nightjar
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Elf Owl
  • Eurasian Bittern
  • European Starling
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Ferruginous Pygmy Owl
  • Gambel’s Quail
  • Gila Woodpecker
  • Gilded Flicker
  • Golden Eagle
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Great Reed Warbler
  • Greater Roadrunner
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Harris’s Hawk
  • House Finch
  • House Sparrow
  • Hwamei
  • Inca Dove
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Inyo California Towhee
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  • LeConte’s Thrasher
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Lesser Nighthawk
  • Lucifer Hummingbird
  • Marsh Hawk
  • Mourning Dove
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Flicker
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Northern Harrier
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Osprey
  • Pallid Swift
  • Phainopepla
  • Pharoah Eagle-owl
  • Pin-tailed Sandgrouse
  • Pinyon Jay
  • Purple Martin
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Red-tailed Hawk 
  • Rosy-faced Lovebird
  • Scott’s Oriole
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Steller’s Jay
  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Transvolcanic Jay
  • Tristram’s Warbler
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Verdin 
  • Vermilion Flycatcher
  • Western Kingbird
  • Western Screech-owl
  • Western Scrub-jay
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • White-crowned Wheatear
  • White-winged Dove
  • Yellow-billed Stork

How do birds adapt to the lack of water in the desert?

Birds that live in the desert still require water to live. Some species, like the verdin and the Lucifer hummingbird, get all the water they need from the plants they feed on. Other birds, like the indigo bunting, can migrate a long distance, searching for a water source.

There have been some other behavioral and physical features that are common to most birds in the desert. Their kidneys excrete very little water as waste to conserve resources efficiently. They will also stay in the shade during the day as much as possible to avoid losing water by panting.


What birds live in the deserts of Arizona?

Gila Woodpecker, Cactus Wren, Greater Roadrunner, etc.

Which birds live in the Sonoran Desert?

Verdin, Gila Woodpecker, Cactus Wren, etc.

What birds live in the Mojave Desert?

LeConte’s Thrasher, Cactus Wren, Scott’s Oriole, etc.

Are there any birds in the deserts of California?

Costa’s Hummingbird, Greater Roadrunner, Phainopepla, etc.

Which birds live in the deserts of Nevada?

Red-tailed Hawk, Lesser Goldfinch, Verdin, etc.

What birds live in the Sahara Desert?

Common Ostrich, Desert Sparrow, Egyptian Nightjar, etc.

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