Common Backyard Birds (List)

Are you interested in discovering the diverse range of birds that visit your backyard? Bird watching is a fun and rewarding activity that allows you to connect with nature and observe the feathered inhabitants of your local environment.

In this section, we will explore the world of common backyard birds found throughout the United States. From vibrant songbirds to majestic raptors, these fascinating creatures are right at your doorstep.

Common Backyard Birds

Key Takeaways:

  • Backyard birding is a rewarding and fun activity.
  • There are many species of birds that can be observed in your backyard.
  • Observing and identifying different bird species can improve your knowledge of nature.
  • Creating a bird-friendly environment through landscaping and providing food, water, and shelter can attract various bird species.
  • Bird watching is a peaceful and relaxing way to connect with nature.

Backyard Bird Identification

Identifying different backyard bird species can be a challenge, but with a little knowledge and some useful tips, anyone can confidently identify the feathered visitors in their backyard. Here are some essential factors to keep in mind.

Physical Characteristics

The size, shape, and color of a bird are essential for identification. Observing the beak shape and the bird’s overall silhouette can also give significant clues to a bird’s identity. By noting these characteristics, birdwatchers can determine whether they are looking at a sparrow, a finch, or a thrush.


Understanding a bird’s behavior can also help with identification. Some birds, such as the acorn woodpecker, commonly stash food supplies in trees and telephone poles. Meanwhile, the mourning dove launches into a distinctive, rhythmic call during mating season. Observing these bird behaviors can guide birdwatchers toward accurate identification.

Field Marks

Field marks are the distinctive colored patterns on a bird’s body. These can include bands, spots, stripes, and other patterns that vary by species. Noting the locations of these marks and their colors is crucial for correctly identifying a bird species.

Tip: Keep a bird identification field guide handy when observing birds to help distinguish between different species.

Backyard Bird Watching

Watching birds from your own backyard can be a fulfilling and calming activity. The first step to successful bird watching is to make sure you have the proper tools, including binoculars and a field guide to identify different species.

When observing birds, it is important to be patient and quiet. Birds are easily spooked by loud noises and sudden movements, so find a comfortable spot to sit and watch without disrupting their natural behavior.

Using your binoculars, pay attention to details like the bird’s size, shape, and coloring. This will help you identify the species and distinguish it from others.

Another tip to enhance your birdwatching experience is to create a bird-friendly environment in your backyard. This can include bird feeders and nesting boxes that attract birds to your area. Learn more about attracting backyard birds in Section 4: Attracting Backyard Birds.

Get ready to be awed and delighted by the beauty and diversity of backyard birds in your own backyard!

Attracting Backyard Birds

Attracting backyard birds can be a rewarding experience for any bird enthusiast, but understanding how to create a bird-friendly environment is crucial. Providing the essentials of food, water, and shelter is the first step in attracting a variety of bird species. Consider installing bird feeders and birdbaths, and adding nesting boxes or birdhouses to provide shelter from weather and predators. Landscaping with native plants can also make your backyard more attractive to birds by providing natural food sources and creating a more natural habitat.

When choosing plants, it’s important to consider the needs of different bird species. For example, hummingbirds are attracted to brightly-colored, nectar-rich flowers, while seed-eating birds prefer plants that produce seeds like sunflowers and coneflowers. Remember to avoid using pesticides and herbicides that can harm birds and their food sources.

Creating a welcoming environment for birds in your backyard takes time and patience, but the result is worth it. Soon, you can enjoy the beauty of birdlife right in your own backyard.

Backyard Bird Feeders

Having a bird feeder in your backyard is a simple way to attract and observe a variety of bird species. When choosing a bird feeder, it’s essential to consider the specific bird species you want to attract. Different birds have different feeding preferences, so by selecting the right type of bird feeder, you can cater to their feeding habits.

Types of Bird Feeders

There are many bird feeder options available, but the most common types include:

Type of Feeder Food it Dispenses Attracts
Tube feeder Small seeds (e.g., sunflower seeds) Finches, sparrows, chickadees, titmice
Hopper feeder Mixed seeds, peanuts Cardinals, jays, woodpeckers, doves
Suet feeder Suet or suet-based products (e.g., peanut butter) Woodpeckers, nuthatches, wrens, chickadees
Hummingbird feeder Sugar water Hummingbirds

Make sure to regularly clean your bird feeders to prevent the spread of diseases among birds. Also, note that some birds might be hesitant to use a new feeder. Be patient and give them time to get used to it.

By providing the right type of bird feeder, you can create an inviting environment for your backyard birds. Not only will you be rewarded with beautiful birdsong and visual displays, but you’ll also be helping our feathered friends survive and thrive.

Backyard Bird Species

One of the joys of backyard birdwatching is the diversity of species that can be observed in one’s own backyard. Here are some of the most common backyard bird species found in the United States:

Species Physical Characteristics Habitat Preferences Unique Behaviors
American Goldfinch Small yellow bird with black wings and tail Open woodland, fields, and gardens Changes plumage color from winter to breeding season
Black-capped Chickadee Small bird with a black cap and bib and gray wings and back Woodlands, parks, and gardens Sings a distinctive “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call
Northern Cardinal Bright red bird with a crest and a black face mask Woodlands, gardens, and urban areas Male sings a loud, whistling song
American Robin Midsized bird with a rusty-red breast and gray upperparts Open fields and gardens, especially near water Famously pecks at the ground to find worms

These are just a few of the many bird species that can be observed in your own backyard! Take some time to observe and appreciate these fascinating creatures.

Backyard Birding Tips

Backyard birding is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby, but it’s important to do it right to ensure the safety and well-being of our feathered friends. Here are a few tips to get started:

Keep a Birding Journal

Keeping track of the birds you spot in your backyard can be a fun and educational activity. A birding journal allows you to document your sightings, note any changes in bird behavior or migration patterns, and reflect on your progress as a backyard birder.

Participate in Citizen Science

There are many citizen science projects available for bird enthusiasts to contribute to scientific research and conservation efforts. Programs such as eBird and Project FeederWatch allow you to report your backyard bird sightings and contribute valuable information to scientists.

Practice Ethical Birdwatching

It’s essential to respect wildlife and follow ethical guidelines when observing birds. Avoid disturbing nesting birds, never touch or handle wild birds, and maintain a safe distance to avoid causing stress or harm to the birds.

Provide a Variety of Food and Water Sources

Offering different types of feeders and food can attract a diverse range of bird species to your backyard. Be sure to provide fresh, clean water for birds to drink and bathe in, and avoid placing food sources near windows or areas where predators may be lurking.

Be Patient and Quiet

Observing birds requires patience and quietness. Move slowly and quietly, and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that may disturb birds. By taking your time and being patient, you may be rewarded with the sight of a rare or unusual bird species.

Backyard Bird Habitat

Creating a welcoming backyard bird habitat is essential for bird populations to thrive. Here are some tips to make your backyard a bird sanctuary:

  1. Provide Nesting Materials: Offer natural materials such as twigs, leaves, and grass to encourage birds to build their nests. You can also hang pre-made birdhouses or nesting boxes to provide shelter.
  2. Create Natural & Artificial Shelter: Planting a variety of trees, shrubs, and plants provides birds with natural protection from predators and harsh weather conditions. Consider adding man-made shelters such as bird feeders or bird baths for added protection.
  3. Attract Insects & Other Food Sources: Birds rely on insects and seeds for their diets, so consider incorporating native plants that attract natural food sources. Providing a bird feeder with a variety of birdseed is also an option.

By incorporating these simple tips, you can create a thriving backyard bird habitat that attracts a variety of species and fosters a healthy ecosystem. Enjoy watching birds in their natural habitat right in your own backyard!

Backyard Bird Behavior

Observing the unique behaviors of backyard birds can be both entertaining and educational. Nesting habits, courtship displays, feeding behaviors, and migratory patterns are just a few of the fascinating behaviors that can be observed. For example, did you know that some bird species, like the Eastern Bluebird, will build multiple nests before choosing one to lay their eggs in? Or that male birds often use intricate courtship displays to attract a mate?

Some birds, like the American Goldfinch, have specialized beaks adapted for their preferred feeding behavior, such as feeding on seeds. Others, like the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, have long beaks that are perfectly suited for sipping nectar from flowers. Understanding the feeding habits of different bird species can help backyard bird enthusiasts choose the right types of feeders and foods to attract specific birds to their yards.

Common Backyard Bird Behaviors

Bird Species Nesting Habits Courtship Displays Feeding Behaviors Migratory Patterns
American Goldfinch Builds multiple nests before choosing one to lay eggs Males use intricate flight displays to attract females Feeds mainly on seeds Migrates to southern US and Mexico during winter
Eastern Bluebird Builds nests in tree cavities or nest boxes Males present nesting material to females to attract mates Feeds primarily on insects and berries Migrates to southern US during winter
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Builds small cup-shaped nests in trees or shrubs Males perform impressive aerial displays to attract females Feeds mainly on nectar and insects Migrates to Central America during winter

Understanding these behaviors can also aid in the conservation of backyard bird populations. By observing and reporting on the behavior of common bird species, backyard enthusiasts can participate in citizen science projects aimed at tracking the population health and migratory patterns of different bird species.

Backyard Bird Feeding

Feeding backyard birds is an enjoyable and rewarding activity that anyone can do. Different bird species have different dietary needs, so it’s important to provide a variety of food options to attract a diverse range of birds. Here are some tips for successful backyard bird feeding:

  • Choose the right bird feeders: Different types of bird feeders are designed for different purposes and attract different bird species. Tube feeders are great for small birds, while platform feeders are ideal for larger species like doves and jays.
  • Stock up on quality bird feed: Look for blends of seeds and nuts that are specifically formulated for backyard birds. Black oil sunflower seeds are a favorite among many bird species.
  • Provide a water source: Fresh water is essential for birds, and a birdbath or fountain can attract a variety of species to your backyard. Be sure to keep the water clean and filled to the appropriate level.
  • Place feeders in a safe location: Avoid placing bird feeders near windows or in areas where cats or other predators may lurk. Providing cover nearby can also help birds feel safer while feeding.

By providing birds with a consistent source of food and water, you’ll not only attract a variety of species to your backyard, but you’ll also be providing them with essential nutrients and supporting their survival.

Understanding the Nutritional Needs of Backyard Birds

Just like humans, birds have specific dietary needs that must be met to stay healthy and strong. While the exact nutrient requirements vary between species, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

Nutrient Role in Bird Health Food Sources
Protein Essential for growth and repair of body tissues Nuts, seeds, insects, suet, mealworms
Fats Provides a long-lasting energy source and aids in the absorption of vitamins Nuts, seeds, suet, peanut butter, mealworms
Carbohydrates Provide a quick source of energy Seeds, fruit, nectar
Vitamins and Minerals Essential for overall health and well-being Fruits, vegetables, insects, eggshells, grit

Providing a well-balanced diet of these nutrients through a variety of food options will help support the health and vitality of the bird population in your own backyard.

Creating a Bird-Friendly Garden

Creating a bird-friendly garden is not only a rewarding experience but an essential one. By incorporating native plantings, water features, and strategic landscaping, you can create a habitat that provides essential elements birds need for survival and nesting. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Choose Native Plants

Native plants are vital for creating a bird-friendly environment in your backyard. They provide food and shelter for birds and also support local ecosystems. Choose plants that are native to your area and suit your garden’s conditions.

Add Water Features

Water features are a great way to attract birds to your backyard. Whether it is a bird bath, a pond, or a fountain, birds need water for bathing and drinking. Be sure to keep the water clean and fresh to avoid attracting mosquitoes.

Provide Shelter

Birds need shelter for nesting and protection. You can provide shelter by planting trees and shrubs, building birdhouses or nest boxes, and leaving dead trees or branches for woodpeckers.

Avoid Pesticides

Using pesticides in your garden can harm birds and other wildlife. Instead, use natural pest control methods, like companion planting and beneficial insects, to keep pests at bay.

Keep Your Garden Clean

A tidy garden is essential for the health and safety of your bird population. Clean up fallen leaves, fruit, and birdseed, and keep bird feeders and water features clean to avoid the spread of disease.

By following these tips, you can create a beautiful, bird-friendly garden. Not only will you be providing essential habitat for birds, but you will also enjoy the joy of watching them in your own backyard.


Creating a bird-friendly environment in your own backyard is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. By attracting common backyard birds, you can witness the beauty of nature up close and personal. Remember, patience and quietness are key when observing birds in their natural habitats.

By providing food, water, shelter, and a bird-friendly habitat, you can create a haven for birds to visit, nest, and thrive. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in your feeding station is also essential for the health of the birds.

So why not start your own backyard birding journey today? Discover the joy of observing these magnificent creatures and learn more about the diverse species that can be found right in your own backyard. By taking small steps, you can make a big difference in the lives of these common backyard birds and contribute to the preservation of nature.

Thank you for reading our guide on common backyard birds. We hope it has inspired you to take action and create a bird-friendly environment in your own backyard.


What are common backyard birds?

Common backyard birds include species such as the American Robin, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, House Sparrow, and Black-capped Chickadee.

How can I identify different backyard bird species?

To identify backyard birds, look for distinctive physical characteristics such as size, color patterns, beak shape, and behavior. Field guides and bird identification apps can also be helpful resources.

How can I enjoy birdwatching from my backyard?

To enjoy birdwatching from your backyard, find a comfortable spot with a good view, use binoculars to observe birds up close, and practice patience and quietness to avoid disturbing them.

How can I attract birds to my backyard?

You can attract birds to your backyard by providing food such as birdseed, suet, and nectar, as well as water sources and suitable nesting materials. Planting native plants and creating a bird-friendly environment will also help attract birds.

What type of bird feeder should I choose?

The type of bird feeder you choose depends on the bird species you want to attract. Tube feeders are popular for small songbirds, while platform feeders are suitable for ground-feeding birds. Consider the feeder design, material, and size when making your selection.

What should I feed backyard birds?

Backyard birds have various dietary preferences, but commonly offered foods include sunflower seeds, millet, peanuts, and mealworms. Different birds have different nutritional needs, so providing a variety of foods will attract a diverse range of species.

What are some common backyard bird species in the United States?

Common backyard bird species in the United States include the Northern Cardinal, American Robin, Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, and House Finch.

What are some tips for successful backyard birding?

Tips for successful backyard birding include keeping a birding journal, participating in citizen science projects, using field guides or birding apps, and practicing ethical birdwatching by not disturbing nesting birds or their habitats.

How can I create a bird-friendly habitat in my backyard?

To create a bird-friendly habitat, provide nesting boxes or birdhouses, plant native shrubs and trees for shelter and food, include a water source such as a birdbath, and avoid using pesticides that can harm birds and their food sources.

What are some interesting behaviors of backyard birds?

Backyard birds exhibit fascinating behaviors such as bird calls and songs, elaborate courtship displays, nest-building activities, and migration patterns. Observing and documenting these behaviors can be both educational and enjoyable.

How can I support backyard birds through feeding?

To support backyard birds through feeding, provide a variety of nutritious foods, clean feeders regularly to prevent the spread of disease, and offer specialized foods like nectar for hummingbirds or suet for woodpeckers.

How can I create a bird-friendly garden in my backyard?

Creating a bird-friendly garden involves planting native plants that provide food and shelter, incorporating water features like birdbaths or ponds, and avoiding the use of pesticides. By creating a diverse and natural environment, you can attract and support a wide range of bird species.

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