10 Interesting Birds You’re Likely To See In Your Backyard

5 min read

Are you always seeing the same birds in your backyard? Would you like to know more about them?

Continue reading to learn about birds commonly found in backyards in the U.S. and how to attract more of them to your yard.

10. Mourning Dove

The most widespread dove in North America is the Mourning Dove. Mourning Doves are typically in rural and suburban settings. If you live in one of these areas, you’ve likely seen these gentle songbirds on many occasions because they do very well in close association with humans.

Even if you’re unsure you’ve ever seen one, you’ve definitely heard one cooing before. You probably thought it was an owl, though, as many people often do.

ALL TIME TIP: You can easily attract more of these birds to your backyard with seeds — either on the ground or on a platform feeder. Just be sure to put out plenty of seeds as they tend to eat large amounts of them. Their favorites are millet, milo and sunflower seeds.

9. Blue Jay

Blue Jays can be seen year-round in the forests and suburban habitats of the eastern United States. These colorful, vibrant birds are very smart and playful. They’re also known for being bullies.

According to an article published by Birds & Blooms Magazine, Blue Jays have a habit of scaring other birds away from feeders. A Blue Jay’s call can be very loud, too.

In fact, it’s one of the loudest jays in existence. So, if you don’t mind the noise and the “bullying,” just put some peanuts out to attract more of these birds to your backyard.

8. American Crow

Ok, so you’ve likely seen plenty of crows in your lifetime. But you probably didn’t know what type of crow is in front of your eyes. The American Crow looks almost identical to the Fish Crow and the Northwestern Crow.

The way to distinguish it from the other two is by its size and caw. It’s larger than the other two, and its caw is lower than the Fish Crow but higher-pitched than the Northwestern Crow.

American Crows are more common in rural and open areas but are becoming more populous in cities and suburbs. And, you will often find them gathered in big flocks in the winter.

7. Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbirds are usually in suburban areas across the United States. Mockingbirds have their name because they mock, or mimic, a variety of sounds.

Northern Mockingbirds can mimic other birds, car horns and alarms, squeaky doors, and more. Not only that, but Northern Mockingbirds have over 100 songs and calls in their repertoire.

Unfortunately, their incessant singing, particularly at night, can keep you awake. If, however, you are a night owl and don’t mind listening to this bird’s melodious tunes, you can attract them to your backyard by putting out mealworms or by planting berry bushes in your yard.

6. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are the smallest and most abundant woodpeckers in North America. They are commonly seen (and heard) across the U.S. year-round in various habitats, including deep woods, urban parks and backyards. They regularly visit yards with mature trees, but you can always attract more of them with suet feeders.

FUN FACT: Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers are very similar in appearance. The main differences are in the beak, which is shorter on the Downy Woodpecker, and in the overall size of the birds, with the Hairy Woodpecker being the larger of the two.

5. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinches are easy to spot. The male birds have bright yellow feathers with black feathered caps. The female birds tend to be a lighter shade of yellow and don’t have a black cap.

To attract more of these birds to your backyard, put out a Nyjer or thistle seed feeder. They also eat sunflower seeds and love seed-bearing flowers, which they often perch on to pluck the seeds out. Something else to add to your yard is a birdbath, which American Goldfinches tend to enjoy.

4. Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-Capped Chickadees are the friendliest and one of the cutest birds in America. They’re so friendly that they will land and eat seeds right from your hand! Speaking of seeds, these birds love to eat sunflower seeds, peanuts and suet.

Found primarily across the northern United States and parts of the Appalachian Mountains, Black-Capped Chickadees prefer to live in mixed, open woods and forest edges. However, they can live in suburban areas as well.

Attracting these little birds is easy. Put their favorite treats (see above) in a bird feeder or window feeder.

3. Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is common in the East, so common that it is the official state bird for seven states! With its red body and black face, the male Northern Cardinal is one of the most well-known and recognized birds in all of North America.

The female, on the other hand, has tawny feathers. Cardinals often travel in pairs. You can attract more of them with black oil sunflower seeds, which are their favorite.

FUN FACT: Not only are cardinals well-known and very recognizable, but they’re also quite popular. As just mentioned, they are the official state bird for seven states. But, they are also the mascot for quite a few sports teams, including the Arizona Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Ball State University Cardinals.

2. American Robin

American Robins are very common and can be found all over the United States — and in every province in Canada. They live in cities, towns, parks and forests. You’ve likely seen them running or hopping across your yard, particularly in the spring.

American Robins are known for being the harbingers of spring, although they are actually in the U.S. year-round. These birds love to feast on insects and berries. They are also attracted to birdbaths and water features, where they love to bathe and get a cool, refreshing drink.

1. Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawks are North America’s most common hawks and can be found all over the continent, as well as in Central America and the West Indies.

They prefer fields, deserts and other open areas where they can perch up high and watch for prey nearby. They also dwell in mountains and tropical rain forests.

The name “Red-Tailed Hawk” is derived from the bird’s brick-colored tail feathers, although there are more than a dozen subspecies, and not all of them have red tail feathers.

Additionally, these birds are quite large — adult Red-Tailed Hawks can reach 18 to 26 inches, have a wingspan of 38 to 43 inches and weigh 24.3 to 51.5 ounces.

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