Backyard Bird Varieties
Learn about some of the country's most popular varieties of backyard birds, their habitats and unique characteristics.
Cardinals are iconic American backyard birds and often provide a splash of color on dreary winter days at the bird feeders. They live as pairs and can often be seen together with their mates year-round. They eat seeds and berries and will nest in backyards.
Chickadees are prime examples of birds that love to frequent bird feeders during winter months. These birds do not migrate and often depend on the kindness of people to help them get through winter. They are acrobatic and eat small insects from branches high in trees.
There are many varieties of Titmice across the country. They are active, feisty birds that love to hang out at bird feeders in backyards. They are resident birds that stay put all year long. This variety is called a Bridled Titmouse, found in the Southwestern portion of the United States.
Woodpeckers can be found throughout the United States. Their diet mainly consists of insects obtained by drilling holes into trees and bark. Here, these acorn woodpeckers are collecting acorns and storing them in the holes they have made in trees.
Wrens are small, feisty birds with lots of attitude in a wee body. They often make nests in window boxes, birdhouses and other man-made structures. They are very inquisitive, and tend to hatch two to three babies at a time. Despite their size, they can be aggressive at the feeders. They dine on grubs, bugs and seeds.
Here, a male Baltimore oriole sits perched high in a tree. Orioles love to dine on oranges and jelly at the feeders. Their bright colors are matched by their bright whistled songs. They make hanging, round nests in the highest of tree tops.
Grosbeaks are known for their large bills, which they use to crush and open seeds. They range across the entire country and are frequently seen at feeders. They are also great foragers of wild berries. Here, a variety of grosbeak called a dickcissel makes a meal out of pokeberries.
Swallows are found nationwide. They are highly skilled insect eaters and readily devour flies, gnats and mosquitoes. They spend most of their time in the air and will nest in bluebird boxes.
Sparrows are abundant across the United States. They are well known for their dull, tawny appearance and frequently can be found dining on the ground around bird feeders. Song sparrows are known for their lovely songs. Here, a Savannah sparrow catches a breeze while perched on a branch.
Catbirds are known for mimicking the songs of other backyard birds. They often hide in yard vegetation, but can occasionally be seen scavenging off the ground at backyard bird feeders.
Blackbirds are one of the most common and abundant bird families in the United States. There are many varieties, including this red-winged blackbird. They generally feed on grain and seeds and often form large breeding colonies.
Warblers are among the most vibrant and colorful songbirds. There are over 40 varieties in the United States. Their diet mainly consists of insects. Though they don't commonly visit bird feeders, they will nest and live in a variety of backyard habitats. This yellow warbler prefers willows and other shrubs to call home.
This Kingbird, a type of Flycatcher, is known for its territorial aggressive behavior. It will fight off other birds that invade its natural feeding grounds, including much larger birds such as Robins and Blue Jays. They consume huge quantities of insects, including mosquitoes.
Bobwhite Quail can be found over the eastern United States. They hang out in low shrubbery and grassy fields. They can be found visiting bird feeders in colder months. They have unique whistle-like calls that often make them easier to find.
Hawks are predatory birds with incredibly sharp eyesight, and can be seen preying on small rodents, birds, lizards and other small prey. Here, a red shouldered hawk surveys the landscape for its next meal.