Table of Contents Hide
- Blue Jay
- Brown Creeper
- Brown Thrasher
- Canada Goose
- Cedar Waxwing
- Downy Woodpecker
- Green Heron
- House Sparrow
- House Wren
- Mourning Dove
- Myrtle Warbler
- Purple Martin
- Red-Headed Woodpecker
- Red-Winged Blackbird
- Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
- Song Sparrow
- Sparrow Hawk
- Tufted Titmouse
- White-Breasted Nuthatch
- White-Crowned Sparrow
- Wood Pewee
- Wood Thrush
Here is a list of the most common backyard birds that are commonly found in urban areas. Some of these species are found all over the world, and others are native only to North or South America, but all of them are beautiful, intriguing, and easy to identify.
Length about 5 inches. Resident in most of North America. The chickadee is one of our most well-known birds, thanks to its beautiful sounds, darting ways, and bravery.
It reacts to human stimulation, and by hanging a steady supply of suet, this black-capped visitor may be made a regular feeder in suburban gardens or city yards.
Despite their tiny size, these titmice relatives are quite effective at repelling insects, which they obtained mostly from tree twigs and branches.
The chickadee’s diet consists primarily of insects and seeds, primarily pine seeds, with a few poison ivy, weeds, and sunflowers thrown in for good measure.
Bluebirds are around 6 inches long and breed in the United States, southern Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala.
They spend the winter in the eastern United States and as far south as Guatemala. The bluebird was formerly a common city dweller, heralded as the harbinger of a new spring season and marked by distinctively home behaviours.
Its population began to decline at the same time as starlings became so common. Nobody knows why its population has declined, although competition for nesting places by starlings and house sparrows is undoubtedly a factor.
It has recently resurfaced in a number of locations. Natural holes in ancient trees, boxes constructed for it, and nooks in structures are among its preferred nesting places. Nesting boxes may be restoring the species.
The bluebird’s food is made up of 68% insects and 32% vegetative stuff. Grasshoppers are the most frequent type of insect food, followed by beetles, while caterpillars come in third place. Small flocks sometimes invade yards for the red fruits of flowering dogwood trees.
Easily identified by its brilliant colours. The blue jay may be found throughout the eastern United States and southern Canada, as well as in the Dakotas, Colorado, and Texas.
Like most insolent creatures, this jay has a dual nature. It is cautious and quiet around its nest, yet brave and loud away from it.
It is sly in the conduct of mischief and is always ready to call “thief” at anything poaching on its realm.
As is customary in such instances, its moniker applies to none other than itself, as neighbouring nest bearers have discovered to their chagrin; during the breeding season, the jay preys heavily on the eggs and young of other birds.
Back yards, with all their faults of pride and desire, are enlivened by the presence of blue jays.
This quail, about 10 inches long, is known by the clear call that suggests its name.
It is endemic to the United States east of the Rockies and has been introduced in numerous areas across the West.
The bobwhite, and its call, is loved by every countryside visitor. It is one of the most popular game birds and is appreciated as a gourmet delight.
Quail have come into our suburbs, yet their populations have declined in several states due to habitat degradation.
About half the food of bobwhites consists of weed seeds, a tenth of wild fruits, and a fourth grain.
The majority of the grain it eats is derived from stubble.
Insects make up 15% of the bobwhite diet, including some of the most severe pests, but their greatest value is purely ornamental.
5 inches in length. Breeds from Alaska and Canada south to the Great Lakes states and Connecticut, as well as in the highlands south to Nicaragua; winters across most of its range.
The creeper is rarely observed at repose. It appears to spend its whole life scrambling over tree trunks and branches, gleaning insect food.
It is so brightly colored that its opponents can’t see it, and despite its fragile build, it has powerful feet and claws. Its tiny eyes are sensitive enough to identify insects that most other species miss.
The creeper occupies a unique position among our insect destroyers, feeding on minute insects, their eggs and larvae, moths, caterpillars, tiny wasps, scales, and plant lice.
It does not present in large groups. Single birds or couples will occasionally eat on beef suet at bird stations, although it is rarely a regular visitor.
11 inches in length. Breeds from the Gulf of Mexico to southern Canada and west to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana; spends the winter in the eastern portion of the United States.
The brown thrasher is more reserved than the mockingbird or catbird, yet it, too, is an excellent singer. Its song is sometimes mistaken for that of its better-famous relative, the mockingbird.
It prefers thickets and receives most of its nourishment from the ground. Its quest for this is generally accompanied by a lot of scratching and leaf dispersion, thus the popular name.
Its call is a harsh smacking sound, important in distinguishing this long-tailed, thicket-haunting bird that dislikes close inspection. The brown thrasher, while not as fond of wild fruit as the catbird and mocker, consumes a significantly higher proportion of animal food.
This most recognized and common of the wild geese are well known in metropolitan areas as spring and fall visitors.
The size of these geese varies, but the head and neck patterns make it easy to identify.
Canada geese nest largely on lake beaches and coastal marshes in Canada and migrate in organized groups using the well-known V-formation, but they may occasionally fly in lengthy strings of birds.
Flying at all hours of the day and night, Canadas have landed in large groups in city squares, presumably mistaking a pool of light for a water surface. They rarely dwell in cities or towns, however, they do visit urban parks on occasion.
Many an urbanite’s blood has been aroused by their honking screams in migration on an autumn night when traffic noises let the wild call from the heavens slip through.
Cardinals are popular because of their color. Their eye-catching plumage is immediately noticed and remembered. Though they are mild-mannered, they will occasionally chase each other away from a feeding station in early winter, but by late winter and spring, they eat side by side.
They will thrive in city yards and parks, preferring vines, shrubs, and thickets. Cardinals do not migrate, therefore they will stay in the same yard all year if food is available.
They frequently have multiple broods a year, typically nesting in bushes by busy sidewalks or close enough to homes that their every move may be observed.
Their standard tune is a crisp, ringing whistle. While no two birds appear to have the same song, their melodies are individual and, once learned, will always provide joy.
These magnificent birds may now be found in the majority of states and as far north as southern Canada.
The slaty Gray plumage and black head and tail are distinguishing features of this 9-inch-long bird. Breeds across the United States, west to New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, and Washington, as well as in southern Canada; winters from the Gulf States to Panama.
In some localities, the catbird is fairly common. Tangled growths are their preferred nesting and retreat sites, and beautiful shrubbery near houses will attract and retain them inside a city.
The bird has a lovely singing, which is periodically interrupted by my wing like a cat.
Its behaviours are similar to those of its cousin, the mockingbird, and its song is almost as diverse, but it is more secretive and generally sings when hidden in the bushes.
It feeds on fruit and insects and can be enticed to shelves and windows with raisins, cherries, or sliced apples.
This sleek, crested brown bird, about the size of a sparrow or a robin, can be found in open or bushy forests or at the edges of agricultural and residential areas.
Its voice is a high, thin lisp, with a wide golden band at the tip of the tail. It is the only brown bird with a long crest that is sleek and elegant.
It breeds from Canada to north Georgia and west to Kansas, and its nests may be found in suburban areas. It spends the winter in erratic patterns across the United States.
In contrast to the other North American birds, the cowbird exclusively deposits its eggs in other species’ nests and raises their young with foster parents.
Warblers, finches, and sparrows, all of which are smaller than cowbirds, are the primary victims of this behaviour, with the foster chick monopolizing food and space at the expense of the genuine progeny.
This is the smallest blackbird, and it congregates in small groups or mixes with grackles and red-winged blackbirds. They are generally silent, with only a faint whistle like a song.
They migrate north into Canada and spend the winter in the southeastern United States. Grasshoppers, beetles, and a variety of insects are consumed, and they, like other blackbirds, do some damage to grain.
Crows are intelligent enough to adapt rapidly to urban life, nesting in odd areas like as near the Pentagon and feeding on the grounds of the White House in Washington.
They often forage early in the morning before many people are awake, fleeing to parks or fields when disturbed. Their propensity of stealing nests and damaging crops is sometimes overstated, and less attention is devoted to their diet of grubs, beetles, mice, and other pests.
Grackles, martins, flycatchers, and other smaller birds will hunt crows in the spring and summer, identifying them as marauders. It’s quite a spectacle to see the small feathered dive-bombers assault the lumbering crow, with the larger bird usually fleeing as best he can, occasionally losing a few feathers but never his dignity.
At 6 inches, our tiniest woodpecker is speckled with black and white. It may be distinguished from the similar but bigger hairy woodpecker by dark bands on the outer tail feathers.
Resident in the United States, as well as areas of Canada and Alaska that are heavily wooded. This woodpecker may be found in a variety of habitats, including woods, orchards, and gardens.
It beats a tattoo on a dry resonant tree branch, just like the hairy woodpecker. It has the quality of woodland song to receptive ears. The downy woodpecker lays four to six eggs in a hole dug in a dead limb.
This and the hairy woodpecker are excellent human friends, as their meal consists of some of the orchard and shade trees deadliest bug enemies. Downies will be drawn to a feeding station if beef suet is fixed too high for dogs to steal.
The yellow under surfaces of the wing and tail, as well as the white rump, are distinguishing features of this 13-inch-long bird.
It breeds across the United States and in wooded areas of Canada, and it spends the winter in the majority of the southern United States.
The flicker prefers wide terrain and thrives in park-like settings where trees are plentiful yet well-spaced. It is possible to ensure the presence of this helpful bird in the home and grow its population.
It will nest in any big hollow in a tree and will happily accept an artificial nesting box. It is the most terrestrial of our woodpeckers, obtaining the majority of its food from the ground.
Ants are the most important source of animal food, and it consumes more of them than any other common bird. The flicker is more suited to suburbia than to major cities.
The male is the only tiny yellow bird with black wings and tail and a very undulating flight. During the winter, the species congregates in regions with a high density of seed-bearing plants.
They breed from Canada to Mexico and spend the winter in the same area, nesting in July and August after most other birds have ended their breeding season. The melody lasts a long time, is clear and light, and sounds like a canary.
Goldfinches can be found in hedgerows, wood edges, brushy meadows, and flower gardens, particularly where the cosmos grows.
12″ in length. It breeds throughout the western United States, as far west as Texas, Colorado, and Montana, as well as in southern Canada, and spends the winter in the southern part of its breeding area.
This is a lovely blackbird that is widely known for congregating and breeding in city parks year after year. It, like other animals that congregate in big groups, is capable of causing agricultural damage.
like crows and blue jays, raids tiny bird nests, but it does a lot of good by killing plant pests, notably white grubs, weevils, grasshoppers, and caterpillars.
A tiny, black heron is found in all bodies of water, nesting in a mix of forested or brush environments and marshes. It can also be found on the forested edges of lakes and ponds.
It frequently displays more blue than green and is readily mistaken with the little blue heron. At a distance, its flying seems crow-like, with slow, arched wing beats.
Frequently be heard in regions near metropolitan populations. It breeds from the Gulf of Mexico north to southern Canada and spends the winter in Florida.
This import, maybe the most citified of birds, is distinguished from our local sparrows by its constant chattering, quarrelsome nature, and wealth of information about human habits. It’s a weaver finch instead of a sparrow.
The house sparrow, which was almost universally despised when it arrived in the United States, not only held its own but even increased in numbers and range. It now has its own place in our inner cities, where it is seen with laughter and affection.
It causes some harm to fruit, vegetables, and grain in rural regions. On the other hand, it consumes a variety of insects that wreak havoc on the same crops.
This small bird, which is less than 5 inches long, appears to be at ease in a man-made structure. It breeds in the United States, except for the South Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and nests in southern Canada.
The familiar tiny house wren’s rich, bubbling melody is one of the finest associations with city or suburban living.
Because of its small size, it can go into all kinds of nooks and crannies in search of insects to eat.
As a nesting location, a cavity in a fence post or porch roof, a wren box, or a hole in a tree will be appreciated. Grasshoppers, beetles, bugs, spiders, cutworms, ticks, and plant lice are among their favourite foods.
Even though wren are well-known as kind neighbours, they still have their quirks. Wrens may pierce the eggs of other tiny species nesting nearby because they are jealous of their home regions, and Johnny may have two, possibly three partners at one time.
White outer tail feathers and a white belly distinguish this dark, slate-gray sparrow. It is a common bird that nests in brushy, cutover forests and is frequently observed by city people when transitory or wintering flocks pass through. Juncos frequently spend their winters at feeding stations in cities, suburbs, and towns.
It breeds from the tree line south to the northern states, with the mountains being further south. In much of the United States, it is winter.
The piercing and often-repeated screams of “killdeer” characterize these birds, which have a common look and are just 10 inches long. They breed over the United States and much of Canada, then spend the winter in Central America and South America.
The killdeer is arguably the most well-known of the shorebirds, because of its striking coloration and distinctive call.
As people, it is noisy and restless, yet the majority of its actions are helpful to man. It eats dangerous insects such as weevils and beetles, flies, ticks, and, surprisingly, mosquitos and their larvae.
The four-pointed eggs have a pebble-like marking and are deposited in an unlined hole on the ground. Gravel roads, quarries, and even potato patches have been utilized as dangerous locations.
This bird of the Old South, ten inches long and cleanly yet solemnly feathered, is now found from southern Mexico north to Michigan, Maine, and even Wyoming, and appears to be spreading farther.
The mockingbird is the most well-known singer in the Western Hemisphere, thanks to its outstanding medleys and ability to imitate other birds, whistles, clocks, and bells.
It is a superb performer even in captivity, and many were captured and sold as cage birds in the nineteenth century. This technique was outlawed and closely monitored for a long time.
Mockers will consume cultivated fruits, although they have gained so much human sympathy that this is rarely used against them, owing to their reputation as a singer and the fact that they devour a variety of pest insects.
They will be drawn to a feeding station by raisins, oranges, or apples. To avoid them chasing all other birds away from your tray, keep the mocker’s rations out of the way, ideally across the yard or on the other side of the house.
With the exception of the white-winged dove of the southwest, this bird is distinguished by a black mark on the side of the neck.
The “mourner,” sometimes known as the turtle dove, nests in suburban and city shrubbery across the United States, Mexico, and southern Canada; it winters from the central United States to Panama and is a folklore figure in all three nations.
Mourning doves feed on plant seeds, including grain, as well as berries and tiny wild fruits in the areas they travel through.
They are restless migratory creatures, despite that melancholy but peaceful. Doves may be found in major cities, small towns, villages, and the countryside; songs have been written about them, and poetry have been written about them; and they have valued game birds that may nest in your yard trees.
Myrtle warblers are little mites that light up the branches and shrubs during the spring migration.
They appear to roam in small groups and are constantly on the move, darting from branch to branch in pursuit of little insects and their eggs.
They, like flycatchers, capture larger insects while flying. To a calm observer, they appear to be trustworthy birds, singing regularly at close range.
Others move south, while others spend the winter as far north as the New England coast, where bayberry thickets provide food and shelter.
They migrate from these wintering grounds to breeding grounds in Canada’s evergreen forests and northern states. In their fall migration south, the brilliant yellow on the head and sides has faded, leaving just the lemon-coloured rump as a prominent feature.
The long thin wings of nighthawks enhance their size and may be observed on dull days as well as at dawn or dusk. They’re just 10 inches long, but they appear to be much longer.
They perch lengthwise on branches, cross arms, or logs, or on the ground, while they are at rest. Their flight consists of a succession of fluttering bursts followed by lengthy glides in the air.
Nighthawks had their own “sonic boom” before aviators broke the sound barrier, which they generated by falling vertically from a great height then flaring abruptly upward near the ground.
They only eat flying insects, such as mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. Nighthawks do not build nests, and their two young are reared on the ground or on flat roofs.
Except for Hawaii, nighthawks breed in every state and spend the winter in South America.
The common pigeon, which may be seen in every city in the United States, is a descendent of the wild European rock dove, which was domesticated in our nation early in our history.
It is a year-round resident of cities and suburbs, where it breeds and lives. It is frequently so numerous that it becomes a nuisance, fouling building ledges, park benches, sculptures, and even humans.
Feeding pigeons in city parks is a long-standing tradition, especially among the young and old. This bird is arguably the most well-known and recognized among city inhabitants, and it may be their only interaction with the natural world.
These birds may be seen breeding in the United States, southern Canada, and central Mexico. Their winters are spent in South America.
The swallow tribe’s biggest member (8 inches long). It used to build its nest in tree cavities, and it still does in some wild areas, but once it learned to live near to humans, it quickly adapted domestic behaviours.
The easiest approach to keep martins around is to build a feeder for them near appropriate nesting grounds and keep other birds out. Cats should not be able to access the nest boxes, which should be around 15 feet from the ground.
Because the birds not only feed on insects but also rear their young on the same diet, a colony of martins has a significant impact on the insect population.
This is a medium-sized woodpecker found in the eastern states, measuring around 9 inches in length.
Even in its declared range, the red-head isn’t particularly frequent, but it’s easy to identify when it’s out and about.
It prefers wide, deciduous woodlands, park-like settings, and towns with mature trees along the roadways. Its diet of poisonous grubs, beetles, and other insects, makes it a desirable bird, and the tiny amounts of fruit and corns it consumes are never noticed.
The red-winged blackbird, which is about 91/3 inches long, breeds across North America and winters in the southern part of the country, all the way down to Costa Rica.
The upper Mississippi Valley grasslands, with their numerous sloughs and ponds, provide perfect nesting habitat for red-winged blackbirds, and this region has become a major breeding site for the species, resulting in massive flocks that may cause havoc in grain fields.
Red-winged blackbirds are sociable birds that live in flocks and reproduce in colonies. One-fourth of their diet consists of insects, while the other three-fourths consist of vegetables.
Adults are 10 inches long and are probably the most well-known of the United States birds, as well as a widely held belief that they are a herald of spring.
They breed throughout North America and Canada, and spend the winter in most of the United States, from Alaska to Guatemala.
The robin is an omnivorous feeder and one of our most beloved natural birds. While it eats a variety of worms and insects, it prefers fruit, especially cherries, mulberries, and strawberries. It’s a thrush, like a bluebird.
It is very adaptive, sociable, and trusting in cities and towns yet wild and wary of humans while living in the wild.
The ruby-throated hummingbird is a commonly observed hummingbird east of the Great Plains, capable of amazing flight, flying in any direction on wings vibrating faster than sight or hovering still while onlookers remain breathless.
They are numerous; nevertheless, the term “common” should not be used to describe this wonderful pulse of brilliant energy.
They feed on the nectar of garden flowers or blossoming “weeds,” and are lured to yards or gardens by correctly hanging sugar water tubes.
They also consume insects. In the West, there are many different types of hummingbirds, all of which are the tiniest of American birds with feathers that hum as they beat their wings.
All of them hover while eating, usually by plunging their lengthy beaks into flowers, and they’re all extremely ferocious for such a small creature.
This is the most widely dispersed of all our native sparrows, ranging in hue from light to dark brown and occurring in various forms from Florida to Alaska.
They prefer water and are most abundant where streams, ponds, or marshes provide dense cover, although they will also be attracted to yards with bushes and vines. They only need a tiny amount of room.
A couple will survive and breed on less than 11% of an acre. They build their nests on or near the ground, both parents assist in the rearing of their young, and they can have up to four broods per year.
Cowbirds are known for laying eggs in their nests, and their main predators are dogs, cats, and rodents. Many sparrows have spotted breasts, but this one stands out because of the large dot in the center of the chest and the streaks on the breast and sides.
One of the most well-known and attractive, as well as the smallest, of North American hawks, with a length of around 10 inches. Breeds throughout the United States, Canada, and northern Mexico, and spends the winter in the United States and Guatemala.
True falcons, the sparrow hawk dwells in open places and makes its nest in hollow trees. It is frequently seen around power poles, where it may rest and eat, and can be seen hovering high above its intended prey.
Insects, small animals, birds, spiders, and reptile tiles are among its favourite foods. Grasshoppers, crickets, terrestrial beetles, and caterpillars provide for over half of its yearly food supply, while field mice, house mice, and shrews account for nearly a quarter of it.
They quickly spread over the country, as well as southern Canada and northern Mexico, and became permanent inhabitants.
In the winter, they use enormous communal roosts in city parks and building cracks; you can hear the tribe assembling along the face of many a downtown office building on frigid evenings.
They are frequently labeled as pests, and they are in fact numerous. Their original call is a jittery squeak, but they imitate a variety of birds and their plumage shimmers in the sunshine.
They consume practically everything, although insects like Japanese beetles are among their favourite foods. Don’t dismiss starlings; they’re combative, quarrelsome, and tenacious, and they’re here to stay.
The bird is similar to a robin, although it is smaller and more slender. It prefers bushy areas and is easily identified by its loud digging among decaying leaves.
From Canada to the Gulf Coast, it breeds in open brushy areas, barrens, slashings, and forest margins, and frequently goes into landscaped yards.
The southern birds have a true Southern drawl, a slurred shrink, and their call is a loud chewink.
This busy mite, about the size of a sparrow, is frequently heard before it is seen. Its spring call, peter, peter, peter, is a clear whistle that may be heard from afar. Insects are a big part of its diet, but it also eats seeds and nuts from a station and will chastise you if your feeder is empty.
It also responds to “squeaking,” a method used by bird watchers to attract a variety of species. It prefers forested places and can be found in small groups in the winter.
It builds its nest in cavities and bird boxes, and because it is non-migratory, it frequently utilizes the same locations for winter roosting. Although the tufted titmouse is only found in the eastern half of the nation, it has relatives in the western half.
With a 6 inch length, this inhabitant of the United States, southern Canada, and Mexico may easily be mistaken for a tiny woodpecker by a casual observer.
However, its call, a repeating “yank,” is uncharacteristic of a woodpecker. Unlike woodpeckers and creepers, it climbs down head first as effortlessly as it goes up, seemingly defying gravity.
The name “nuthatch” comes from the habit of wedging nuts in bark cracks to break them open with strikes with a sharp, powerful bill. The white-breast takes its food from tree trunks and branches, which it travels across from day tonight. About half of its diet consists of insects and spiders.
Acorns and other nuts or big seeds make up more than half of its vegetable diet. It’s a suburban bird that feeds on suet, sunflower seeds, or nuts at covered feeding stations.
This chirpy flier is 7 inches long from tail to beak and appears similar to the white-throated sparrow, although the latter has a yellow patch beside its eyes.
White-crown breeds in New Mexico’s high region, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and the Pacific coast, and winters in the southern part of the United States and northern Mexico.
This lovely sparrow is common in the West but uncommon elsewhere, so keep an eye out for it if you’re in the East, where it’s timid and retiring.
The white-crown, on the other hand, is bolder and more noticeable in the Far West, frequenting gardens, parks, and yards. Like other sparrows, prefers to consume seeds and may be found frequently in covered feeding stations. Insects account for less than 10% of its food.
The bird depicted in this artwork has a range that stretches from the east coast to the Mississippi Valley, where it joins the range of the western wood pewee.
Although the tunes are fairly distinct, it’s difficult to tell them apart visually. Because both species resemble eastern phoebes, finding this bird with certainty needs considerable research.
All of these birds’ names are derived from their cries, and they are all flycatchers.
Pewees like mixed-tree forests and the eastern species produce a mournful whistled song at dusk that is longer and more diverse than its daylight song.
Because these birds require thick trees and cannot be heard over traffic noises, you are far more likely to observe or hear them in outer suburban housing areas than in the inner city or shopping center parking lots.
This bird may be found in suburban groves all across the eastern US.
Adults are around 7 inches long, with a flute phrase followed by a gentle trill that may be heard at dawn or twilight.
There are a variety of different thrushes that may be seen in the area. Summering in mid-Canada and wintering in the southern United States and Mexico, the hermit has a broad range.
Veery, Swainson’s, and Gray-cheeked thrushes can also be seen in large numbers. The wood thrush is the biggest and, in terms of living in wooded regions near cities, the most citified. It’s also the only one with a breast that’s highly spotted.
The nest is similar to a robin’s, but it is generally twenty-five feet or less from the ground in a tree or shrub, and it is usually twenty-five feet or less from the ground.
This is a cheerful little warbler that may be found across the United States and much of Canada, at least during the summer, anywhere there are wet shrubby regions.
It lives in the southernmost United States, northern Mexico, and all the way up the Pacific coast to San Francisco.
Yellowthroats dwell in wet bushes and display their unique patterns to passers-by. The female isn’t wearing a black mask, but she generally resembles the man.
These warblers build their nests on or near the ground in wet places and feed mostly on insects, especially plant lice; they aren’t found in the tops of towering trees. Adults have a length of around 5 inches.
Of course, there are many warblers across the continent, but the yellowthroat is one of the most widely dispersed and loved. If you want to keep yellowthroats around, keep your damp areas clean.