Birds of Wisconsin: The Complete Guide + Photos for Fast & Accurate ID

Inside: List of birds in Wisconsin plus a color photo of each bird, details about habitat, diet, appearance, nesting habits, and a range map for accurate and fast identification.

You spotted a bird in Wisconsin – but what type is it? There are more than 80 species of birds in Wisconsin to enjoy and I’ve included them all in this complete list of Wisconsin birds.

With more than 20 years of experience attracting backyard birds to my yard in Wisconsin, I’ve studied many of the birds in my area so I have the information you’re looking for. For the remaining species, I rely on my field guides and friends at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology to guide me.

This article includes the species of wild birds in Wisconsin you might find in and around your backyard (excludes waterfowl). They could be red, blue, brown or some other color. They could be tiny, small, medium, large, or enormous – all size variations are here! Some wild birds live in Wisconsin year-round, others are here to breed, and others are just migrating through. The range maps are color-coded so you know if it’s a year-round bird, there to breed, migrating through, or there during a nonbreeding time.

range map color coded key

I also included a beautiful closeup photo to help you identify your new feathered friends along with detail such as:

  • Size + appearance description
  • Diet in the wild and at the feeder
  • Habitat
  • Nest & eggs description
  • Range map

My hope is that this article will help you easily identify the bird you saw or plan to see one day.

If it’s a blue-colored bird in Wisconsin you’re trying to identify, check out Blue Birds in Wisconsin.

Let’s meet the birds of Wisconsin!

Table of Contents

American Crow

American crow sitting on a fence
American crow. Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash
AppearanceLarge all-black bird about 16-20″ long, wide neck with a long straight bill. Male and females have the same appearance.
DietOpportunistic scavengers eat just about anything they can find on the ground – especially garbage. Natural living fare includes insects, spiders, frogs, snakes, and other birds’ eggs & young.
Feeder FoodNot likely to visit a feeder.
HabitatCommon birds found in every contiguous US state and most of Canada. Types of habitat include fields, open wooded and forested areas, river edges, shores, towns, cities, parks, and more. The only place you won’t find them is in the hot desert.
NestingNest: Builds nests in a large shrub or tree as high as 20′
Broods: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 3-9 eggs per brood
Egg color: Ranging from brighter blue-green to a dull green or blue-gray with heavy gray and brown blotching
Egg size: 1.4 – 1.9 inches by 1 inch
Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for about 18 days.

Range Map

american crow range map
American crow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

American Goldfinch

American goldfinch perched on a pole
American goldfinch. Photo by Stephen Walker on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall bird about 4.5″ long, bright yellow body, black wings with white stripes, black forehead, short orange beak. During winter has a dingy brown body, duller yellow head, and thicker white stripes on its wings. Breeding females are similar to males except their bodies are lemon yellow and wings have more white tips
DietSeeds from flowers, weeds, grasses, and small trees. Some insects.
Feeder FoodThistle seed (Nyjer)
HabitatCommon bird throughout contiguous US and southern part of Canada. Weedy fields, roadsides, orchards, and backyards.
NestingNest: Builds nest in deciduous shrub or tree, sometimes conifers, placed on branch’s fork as high as 20′
Broods: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 2-7 eggs per brood
Egg color: Very pale blue to white, occasionally faint brown spots on the larger end.
Egg size: 0.5 inches by 0.5 inches
Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for about 12-14 days while the male brings food to the female.

Range Map

American goldfinch map range
American goldfinch range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

American Kestrel

American kestrel perched
American kestrel. Image by Pixamio from Pixabay
AppearanceThe American kestrel is a small raptor at about 10 1/2″ in length. They have blue/gray wings, cinnamon back with black bars, cinnamon tail with a black bar near the tip, and tan underneath with dark spots. The female is the same except she has reddish-brown underparts and a tail with dark bars. And, her underparts have reddish streaks.
DietLarge insects, lizards, rodents, and small birds.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatOpen areas especially rural and suburban fields.
NestingAmerican kestrels nest in an old woodpecker hole or some other natural cavity. They have 1-2 broods/season and 4-5 eggs/brood. Eggs are white-yellow or light brown with spots. Incubation is for 29-30 days and fledglings leave the nest at 28-31 days.

Range Map

American kestrel range map.
American kestrel range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

American Redstart

american redstart sitting on a branch
American redstart. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 4.5-5″ long, mostly black, white belly, orange stripes and patches on the tail, wings, and side. Female have soft gray head, olive back and sings, white belly and yellow/orange stripes & patches on the tail, wings, and side.
DietInsects, small berries and fruits from shrubs.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatFound in every contiguous US state and parts of Canada. Prefers open wooded areas especially those with deciduous trees.
Nesting1-5 eggs, eggs are white with brown or reddish spots, incubation is 10-13 days.

Range Map

American redstart range map
American redstart range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

American Robin

American robin perched on a branch
American robin. Photo by Trac Vu on Unsplash
AppearanceMedium-size bird about 10″ long, gray/brown upper, brown/orange underparts, yellow beak, white chin, white surrounding eyes. orange beak. The Female has a lighter head and underparts.
DietEarthworms, insects, and fruit.
Feeder FoodNot a feeder visitor.
HabitatCommon and pervasive throughout US and Canada. Found in fields, parks, wooded and forested areas, mountains, and backyards.
NestingNest: Nesting sites vary from the lower half of a tree to rain gutters, outdoor lights, and more.
Broods: 1-3 broods/season,
Clutch: 3-5 eggs/brood,
Egg color: Bright sky blue or blue-green, without spots
Egg size: 1.1″ long x 8″ wide
Incubation: 12-14 days.

Range Map

american robin bird on a branch
American Robin range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

American Tree Sparrow

American tree sparrow
American tree sparrow. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceThe American tree sparrow is a small bird about 6″ long. It’s brown with a tan breast and rust-colored crown. They have a single black spot in the center of the chest, a dark upper bill, and a yellow lower bill. Eyes are accented with gray eyebrows. The female looks the same.
DietInsects, seeds.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts.
HabitatWooded areas, especially on edges.
NestingA cup-shaped nest. They have 1 brood/season, 3-5 gree & white eggs per brood with brown marketing. Incubation is for 12-13 days.
American tree sparrow range map
American tree sparrow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Bald Eagle

a bald eagle flying in the air
Bald eagle. Image by Sven Lachmann from Pixabay

Appearance: The bald eagle is the United State’s national bird. It’s enormous at about 30-38″ in length with an equally impressive wingspan. They’re brown with a white head and tail, gold bill, and yellow eyes.

Diet: Bald eagles are opportunistic eaters but prefer fish. They’ll also eat small mammals, other birds, carrion (dead animals), and anything they can retrieve from the garbage.

Feeder food: Bald eagles do not visit feeders (Thank goodness!)

Habitat: Bald eagles are found year-round along the US east and west coast, in Canada during the breeding season, and throughout the US during winter. They prefer to be near lakes, rivers, marshes, and coasts so they can fish.

Nesting: Bald eagles build enormous nests – about 6′ in diameter and 3′ tall. Together the male & female gather materials including sticks and grasses. The female is the primary nest builder weaving the sticks with moss and other grasses and then lined with softer materials such as lichen and downy feathers. They have only 1 brood/year and 1-3 large ivory eggs. Incubation lasts for 56-98 days.

Range Map

Bald eagle range map.
Bald eagle range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore oriole sitting on a branch
Baltimore oriole. Photo by Lonnie Gilstrap.
Female Baltimore oriole on a deck rail approaching food
Female Baltimore oriole. Photo by Donna Cooper.
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 8.25″ long. Male Baltimore orioles have a flaming orange body and black head with black and white wing bars. The tail is orange with black and white streaks.
The female and juvenile birds have pale yellow heads and bodies with grayish-brown wings and white wing bars.
Both genders have a gray bill and dark eyes.
Diet Insects, berries, and nectar from flowers.
Feeder FoodBaltimore Orioles will eat sweet foods such as nectar, oranges, and regular grape jelly.
HabitatBaltimore orioles can be found in residential areas and wooded edges rich with high, deciduous shade trees – especially during breeding. They often nest near natural water sources such as ponds and rivers.
NestingThe female builds a 4-6″ hanging long purse-style nest suspended on the end of a forked branch and only has one brood per year. About 4-5 bluish-colored eggs with brown markings are incubated for 12-14 days.

Range Map

map of Baltimore oriole migrating, breeding, and winter range
Baltimore oriole migration, breeding, wintering map.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow. Photo by Lisa Minica.
Appearance7″ long, steel blue glossy on top, chestnut forehead and throat, and rust-orange underparts. Long forked tail with a white base. The female’s coloring is lighter and the tail shorter.
DietInsects, preferably beetles, wasps, and flies. Drinks by skimming the surface of the water.
Feeder FoodNot likely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen fields and pastures.
NestingTypically nests in or on a manmade structure such as a barn. Builds nests of mud. 2 broods/season, 4-5 eggs per brood, eggs are white with brown markings, incubation from 13-17 days.

Range Map

barn swallow range map
Barn swallow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Barred Owl

Barred owl
Barred owl. Image by Dawn Huddlestone from Pixabay
AppearanceBarred owls are large birds about 21″ long. They have large round faces with dark eyes and yellow bills. They’re primarily brown with white spots on the upperparts and tan underneath with dark brown streaks.
DietAs a bird of prey, barred owls eat small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and large insects.
Feeder FoodBarred owls do not visit feeders.
HabitatMature forests, especially along side water sources like rivers and swamps in their southern range.
NestingThey nest in a natural tree cavity, often the reused nest of another large bird such as a hawk. They 1 brood/season, 2-3 eggs/brood that are white with a rough surface, and incubate for 28-33 days. The fledglings leave the nest about 28-35 days after hatching.

Range Map

Barred owl range map.
Barred owl range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted kingfisher on a perch
Belted kingfisher. Image by Katherine Durtnell from Pixabay
AppearanceLarge 13″ long bird with a large head, long bill, and stocky body.  Blue/gray throughout with white ring around neck and white chest. Female is same but with additional chestnut band on chest.
DietMostly fish with some crustaceans, insects, amphibians, reptiles, young birds, small mammals, and berries.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to come to the feeder but often attracted to yards with streams or ponds.
HabitatNear streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and calm marine waters – especially unclouded water with little vegetation.
NestingDig burrows along waters edge. 1-2 broods/season, 5-8 eggs/brood – large white glossy eggs (1.5″ long), 22-24 days incubation.

Range Map

belted kingfisher range map
Belted kingfisher range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Black Throated Blue Warbler

Black-Throated Blue Warbler.
Black-Throated Blue Warbler. Photo by Forest Jarvis.
Appearance5″ long, midnight/steel blue back, black throat, white belly
DietInsects and fruit.
Feeder FoodSuet, peanut butter, and nectar.
HabitatPrefer mature deciduous and mixed evergreen woodlands with plenty of thick shrubs.
NestingCup-shaped nest in shrub made of bark and spider webs. 1-3 broods/season, 2-5 eggs/brood, eggs are small .6″-.8″, creamy white and speckled. 12-13 days incubation and fledges at x

Range Map

Black throated blue warbler range map
Black-throated blue warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Black-and-White Warbler

Black and white warbler perched on a tree
Black and white warbler. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceThe black-and-white warbler is a small bird about 5″ long and has similar colorings as a zebra. They have a white belly and black chin with black-and-white stripes on the crown with a black patch on their cheek.
The female is the same only duller and without the black chin and cheek patch.
DietInsects.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatDeciduous as well as mixed forests.
NestingThey build a cup-shaped nest and have 1 brood/season. There are about 4-5 eggs/brood – white with brown markings. Incubation is for 10-11 days.

Range Map

Black-and-white warbler range map.
Black-and-white warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Black-Capped Chickadee

Black capped chickadee on a blackberrybramble
Black-capped chickadee on a blackberry bramble. Photo by Alain Yvan Séguin, Member of the Wild Birds Unlimited group.
AppearanceBlack-capped chickadees are small birds about 5 1/4″ long. They have a black cap – as well as a black throat and cheek. They have a white breast and belly, body and wings are a gray-olive color with edges of white and the wing/belly edge is a soft “buff” tan.
During the summer, the buff area is more faded.
DietInsects & spiders (including their eggs & pupae), seeds, and small fruits, and berries.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower & safflower seeds (They peck a hole in the shell to get at the tiny seed bits inside), suet, peanut butter, and hulled peanuts.
HabitatYou’ll find this bird along the edges of forests and open wooded areas – including your backyard or even tree-lined parks in the city. They will also hang out in shrubs and willow thickets. Trees are still important for this bird because they are cavity nesters.
NestingWill next in an existing woodpecker hole high in a tree or man-made nesting box. They have 1 brood /season. The female lays anywhere from 1-13 eggs. Eggs are white with burgundy colored spots and about .5″ wide x .6″ long. She will incubate them for 12-13 days.

Range Map

Black capped chickadee range map
Black-capped chickadee range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Black-Throated Green Warbler

Black throated green warbler perched on a pine tree branch
Black-throated green warbler. Photo by Cheryl Anne.
AppearanceSmall bird about 4.5″ long with a bright yellow head, black throat, and green back. Black and white streaks over the sides.

The female is similar but has a white throat.
DietPrimarily insects. Will dine on berries while migrating.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatThey prefer forests with a mix of coniferous and other deciduous trees.
NestingThe female builds a small cup-shaped nest 3-10′ off the ground in a tree. They have one brood/year. There are about 3-5 tiny eggs, white with brown spots. Incubation is 12 days.

Range Map

Black-throated green warbler range map.
Black-throated green warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Blue Jay

Blue jay on snowy branch
Blue jay. Photo by Cathy Cardone.
AppearanceLarge bird 12″ long, medium blue & white body, blue crest (which he flattens at will), gray belly and white face. White & blue wings with black spots. Female look the same.
DietInsects, fruit, seeds, nuts, other birds’ eggs and nestlings.
Feeder FoodWhole peanuts, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn.
HabitatForested areas with mixed trees types. Also common in suburbs and urban areas.
NestingNest: bulky large nest made from twigs, bark, and mud resting on a tree branch about 5-50′ up.
Broods: 1-2 broods/season,
Clutch: 2-7 eggs/brood,
Egg color: Pale blue to a light brown base color, and these eggs usually have brown or gray spots.
Egg size: 1 inch by just under 1 inch
Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 17-18 days and the young fledge between 17-21 days.

Range Map

Blue jay range map
Blue jay range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Wouldn’t you love to have blue jays in your yard? Check out: 7 Proven Ways to Attract Blue Jays to Your Yard.


Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash
AppearanceTiny birds 4.25″ long, soft blue/gray upperparts, white eye-rings, white underparts, long black long tail with white under. Females are the same. The breeding male is accented with narrow black eyebrows.
DietInsects and spiders.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit the feeder.
HabitatDeciduous forested areas.
NestingNest: Tidy cup-shaped nest of natural fibers, bark, and spiderweb about 3-80′ high in a tree or shrub.
Broods: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 3-5 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue with red/brown spots.
Egg size: 0.5 – 0.6 inches by 0.4 – 0.5 inches
Incubation: 11-15 days and the young fledge at about 10-15 days.

Range Map

Blue gray gnatcatcher range map
Blue gray gnatcatcher range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Brewer’s Blackbird

Brewer's blackbird staring at the camera
Brewer’s blackbird. Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash
AppearanceBrewer’s blackbird is a large bird about 9″ long. They’re all black with purple and green iridescence on the head and body. The female is dull gray/brown instead.
DietInsects, seeds, and berries.
Feeder FoodAny type of seed offered on a platform feeder or scattered on the ground.
HabitatInhabits a variety of habitats – open woodlands, mountain meadows, city sidewalks, and suburban backyards.
NestingThey nest in a tree 20-40 feet up. The nest is a bulky cup shape comprised of twigs, grasses, and other plant material. They have 1-2 broods/season and 4-6 eggs/brood. The eggs are light gray to greenish/white and often spotted. Incubation is for 12-14 days and fledglings leave the nest at 13-14 days.

Range Map

Brewer's blackbird range map.
Brewer’s blackbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Broad-Winged Hawk

Broad-winged hawk perched on a fence
Broad-winged hawk. Photo by Justin Wei on Unsplash
AppearanceBroad-winged hawks are about 16″ long, brown with reddish/brown streaks underneath and a dark stripe on their cheek. They have a short tail and broad-based wings with pointed tips.
DietThey eat frogs, snakes, lizards, small birds, and small mammals.
Feeder FoodBroad-winged hawks do not visit feeders.
HabitatThey inhabit forested areas.
NestingBroad-winged hawks build nests made from bark chips and fresh plant twigs, corn husks, grapevine, feathers, and pine needles. They have 1 brood/season and 2-3 white, creamy or blue eggs/brood that have rough surfaces. Incubation is for 28-31 days and fledglings leave the nest about 35-42 days after hatching.
Broad-winged hawk range map.
Broad-winged hawk range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Brown Creeper

Brown creeper climbing up a tree trunk
Brown creeper. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceThe brown creeper is a small bird about 5″ long. They have a brown body with a white belly, long tail, and thin curved bill. They have a white streak above each eye. The female looks the same.
DietInsects, nuts, and seeds.
Feeder FoodHulled sunflower seeds, suet, and hulled peanuts.
HabitatForested areas.
NestingCup-shaped nest They have 1 brood/season and 5-6 eggs/brood. Eggs are white with tiny brown marks. Incubation is for 14-17 days.

Range Map

Brown creeper range map.
Brown creeper range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Brown Creeper in Winter

Brown creeper climbing up a tree trunk
Brown creeper. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash

Appearance: The brown creeper is a small bird about 5″ long. They have a brown body with a white belly, long tail, and thin curved bill. They have a white streak above each eye. The female looks the same.

Winter diet: Insects hibernating beneath the bark, nuts, and seeds.

Winter feeder food: Hulled sunflower seeds, suet, and hulled peanuts.

Winter habitat: While many brown creepers remain in their year round range, some head south for the winter. As a result there are brown creepers found in every state of the US and Canada during winter. They prefer to be in forested areas.

Range Map

Brown creeper range map.
Brown creeper range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Brown Thrasher

Brown thrasher perched on a fence
Brown thrasher. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
AppearanceLarge rusty-red bird about 11″ long. Long, thin tail, heavily streaked chest and belly. Long curved bill and bright yellow eyes. Also has two white wing bars.
DietInsects and fruit.
Feeder FoodNot a common feeder bird but may stop to dine on fallen seeds.
HabitatThick shrubs, wooded edges, and hedgerows in the east. In the western part of the range, they can be found living in tree lines, fence rows, and woodlands.
NestingBulky cup-shaped nest about 3.5″ in diameter located low in a thorny shrub or tree. They have about two broods per year, 4-5 pale blue 1″ eggs with brown markings.

Range Map

Brown thrasher range map. Compliments of <a href="https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home">The Cornell Lab</a>.
Brown thrasher range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Brown-Headed Cowbird

Brown-headed cowbird perched on a fence
Brown-headed cowbird. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 7 1/2″ long. The male is a glossy black with a chocolate brown head with a long pointed gray bill. The female is a dull brownish-gray.
DietInsects and seeds.
Feeder FoodMixed birdseed.
HabitatThick shrubs, wooded edges, and hedgerows in the east. In the western part of the range, they can be found living in tree lines, fence rows, and woodlands.
NestingBrown-headed cowbirds don’t build nests. They lay about 5-7 white eggs with brown markings in other birds’ nests to incubate and raise the young.

Range Map

Brown-headed cowbird range map
Brown-headed cowbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Canada Goose

Canada goose
Canada goose. Photo by Craige McGonigle on Unsplash
AppearanceThe Canda goose is a large bird about 30-43″ long with a long black neck and a black head with a white “chin strap”. The body is brown and tan-white underneath.
DietThey eat grass, grains and berries.
Feeder FoodCanada geese do not visit feeders.
HabitatSuburban areas including parks, golf courses, and reservoirs.
NestingCanada geese nest on the ground, usually on an elevated piece of land close to water. They have one brood/season, and 2-8 eggs/brood that are creamy white in color. Incubation lasts 25-28 days and fledglings leave the nest about 42-50 days after hatching.

Range Map

Canada goose range map.
Canada goose range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Canada Jay (Gray Jay)

Gray jay perched on pine tree
Gray jay. Image by Hans Toom from Pixabay
AppearanceThe gray jay often referred to as the Canada jay, is a large bird about 11 1/2″ long. It’s gray all over with black on the back of its neck, a white chest, a short bill, and a dark eye. Also sports a white patch on his forehead. The female is the same as the male.
DietInsects, seeds, fruit.
Feeder FoodAny kind of birdseed, peanuts, fruit, mealworms, and suet.
HabitatNorth woods.
NestingCup-shaped nest. They have 1 brood/season, 304 gray/white eggs/brood, and incubate for 16-18 days.

Range Map

Gray jay range map
(Canada) gray jay range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing sitting on a branch
Cedar Waxwing. Photo by Mike Carmo.
AppearanceThe cedar waxwing is about 7 1/4″ long, primarily light brown with a silky crest of the same color, yellow belly, a bright yellow tip on the tail, varying shades of brown underneath, and a touch of red at the tip of the upper wings. The beak is black, short, and pointy.
Male and female adults look pretty much the same with one very subtle difference – the black on the male’s chin encompasses a slightly larger area than the female
DietMostly fruit. Insects if no fruit is available.
Feeder FoodFruit (oranges)
HabitatOpen forests, orchards, and wooded residential areas especially near berry bushes.
NestingThe pair builds an open-cup-style nest 6-20′ high in a tree. She lays 3-5 eggs and incubates for 12-14 days. The eggs are blue-gray and often spotted with black or gray.

Range Map

US map showing the migration range of the cedar waxwing
Map depicting where cedar waxwings can be found throughout the year. Compliments of Cornell University.

Cerulean Warbler

Cerulean Warbler
Cerulean Warbler. Photo by Ruth Cornwell.
AppearanceSmall 4.3″ long bird, sky-blue above, white wing bars, darker blue streaks on back, white belly, steel/blue neck band & stripes on the sides. Females are light blue/green above, soft yellow belly, brown wings, and a bit of white under the eye.
DietInsects and plants.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit feeder.
HabitatDeciduous forests with mature tall trees.
NestingCup-shaped nests of twigs, grass and spiderwebs placed in tree 16-115′ up. 1 brood/season, 1-5 eggs/brood, eggs are .6-.8″ long, gray/green and speckled with brown, incubation lasts 11-12 days.

Range Map

Cerulean warbler range map.
Cerulean warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

Chestnut sided warbler perched on a branch
Chestnut-sided warbler. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceThe chestnut-sided warbler is a small bird about 5″ long. It has an array of colors: a yellow cap, black mask, white on the face, chin, chest, and belly, yellow wing bars, and chestnut below the gray wings. The female is the same except she has brown below the wings rather than chestnut.
DietInsects and berries.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatThickly forested areas with young deciduous trees.
NestingA cup-shaped nest. They have 1 brood/season, and 3-5 eggs/brood that are white with brown markings. Incubation is for 12-13 days.
Chestnut-sided warbler range map.
Chestnut-sided warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Chimney Swift

Chimney swift and babies
Chimney swift and babies. Photo by David Pizzino.
AppearanceA small bird about 5″ long, all brown in color. The long, thin body is accented with a pointed tail and head. Male and female look the same.
DietInsects
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen areas within their range, especially near water.
NestingCommonly make a nest of tiny swigs, cemented in saliva and attached to the inside of chimneys or hollow trees. They have 1-2 broods/year, 3-5 eggs/brood, eggs are white with no markings, and incubation is 19-21 days.

Range Map

Chimney swift range map.
Chimney swift range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping sparrow perched on a branch
Chipping sparrow. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall bird about 5″ long, gray/brown with a light gray chest and rusty crown. Eyes have white eyebrows with a black eye lining, a thin gray-black bill, and 2 wing bars. Male and female look the same.
DietInsects and seeds.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seed, mixed seeds. Mostly a ground feeder.
HabitatOpen areas and edges of woodlands.
NestingThe nest is placed low in dense shrubs. They have 2 broods/year and 3-5 eggs/brood that are blue/green with brown markings. Incubation lasts 11-14 days.

Range Map

Chipping sparrow range map.
Chipping sparrow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Cliff Swallow

Cliff swallow perched on the edge of a cliff
Cliff swallow. Image by TootSweetCarole from Pixabay
AppearanceCliff swallows are small birds about 5 1/2″ long with a chunky body, and short, square tail, and a short, pointy bill. They have a dark navy blue head & throat, white forehead, black wings with a navy patch, cinnamon throat, striped chest, and rump. Underparts are primarily white.
DietFlying insects.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatOpen areas, overhanging cliffs, and man-made structures for nesting.
NestingThey build their nests plastered to a sheltered rock wall of building often in large colonies with nests tightly packed in. They have 1-2 broods/season with 1-6 white, creamy or pink eggs in each brood. Incubation is for 10-19 days and nestlings fledge the nest about 20-26 days after hatching.

Range Map

Cliff swallow range map.
Cliff swallow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Common Grackle

Common Grackle
Common Grackle. aPhoto by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
Appearance12.5″ long bird with iridescent blue with purple and bronze. Eyes are yellow, long flared tail. Female is similar with less vibrant coloring (more brown) and shorter tail.
DietInsects, grains, seeds, fruit, scavenged garbage.
Feeder FoodSunflower seeds, black-oil sunflower seeds.
HabitatFields with scattered trees, open woodlands, farmlands, and marshes. Common in suburban yards.
NestingBulky cup-shaped nest of twigs placed 3-20′ high in conifer tree. 3-5 eggs incubated for 12-15 days. Young fledge at about 12-15 days.

Range Map

Common grackle range map.
Common grackle range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Common Nighthawk

Common nighthawk perched on a fencepost
Common nighthawk
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 9″ long with camouflaged brown and white coloration. Chin is white and white bands displayed across wings and tail that you can only see while they’re in flight. Female same as male except for a tan chin and no white tail band.
DietInsects caught in the air.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatThey’re found throughout the US and Canada wherever open areas are found, edges of woods, residential and urban, prairies, grasslands, etc.
NestingThey don’t build or use nests. They lay eggs on the ground, usually on rocks or a rooftop (when gravel vs smooth surface). 1-2 broods/year, 2 eggs/brood that is cream color with lavender spots. Incubation lasts 19-20 days.

Range Map

Common nighthawk range map.
Common nighthawk range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Common Raven

Raven sitting on the branch
Common raven
AppearanceThe common raven is a very large bird about 22-27″ long. It’s all black with a large black bill and a jagged array of feathers on its chin. The tail is also large and shaped like a wedge. The female is the same as the male.
DietInsects, fruit, small animals, carrion.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seed, suet, cracked corn, peanuts, and peanut hearts.
HabitatForested areas.
NestingThey build a platform nest and have 1 brood/season. They have 4-6 eggs/brood that are pale green with brown marketings. Incubation is for 18-21 days.

Range Map

Common raven range map.
Common raven range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Common Redpoll

Common redpole perched on a b ranch
Common redpoll. Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay
AppearanceThe common redpoll is a small bird about 5″ long. It’s a heavily streaked bird with a bright red crown, a black spot beneath the chin, and raspberry splotch on its chest. The female is similar except without the raspberry chest.
DietSeeds, insects.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seed, and nyjer.
HabitatOpen areas lined with trees.
NestingCup-shaped nest. They have 1 brood/season and 4-5 eggs/brood that are pale green with purple markings.

Range Map

Common redpole range map.
Common redpole range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Common Yellowthroat

Common yellowthroat perched on a branch
Common yellowthroat. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall bird about 5″ long, olive-brown color with bright yellow throat and breast, and white belly. Black mask outlined in white. Long, thin, and pointy black bill. The Female is the same except with no black mask.
DietInsects.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatCommon in thick brush, open fields, and marshes.
NestingCup-shaped nest located near the ground, often in a thick shrub. They have 2 broods/year, 1-6 eggs/brood, eggs are white with brown markings, and incubation lasts 11-12 days.

Range Map

Common yellowthroat range map.
Common yellowthroat range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut warbler on a tree branch
Connecticut warbler. Photo by Glenn Bartley.
AppearanceSmall bird about 5 1/2″ long with a gray head, white eyering, yellow belly, and brownish wings. Females are a duller version of the male and tend to be more brown than gray.
DietInsects and spiders.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen woodland areas, often in wet, marshy areas as well.
NestingTheir cup-shaped nest is located near the ground. They have 1 brood/year with 3-5 eggs/brood. Eggs are ivory with dark spots.

Range Map

Connecticut warbler range map.
Connecticut warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's hawk perched on a tree branch
Cooper’s hawk. Image by SK_Zurcher from Pixabay
AppearanceCooper’s hawk is a medium-sized bird about 15-18″ long. They’re blue-gray with rusty underparts, and a black cap.
DietBirds less than 12″ long and small mammals.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatForests and forested areas.
NestingThey build large nests, about 27″ in diameter, in trees about 25-50 up where branches intersect in a forked manner. They have 1 brood/season, and 2-6 eggs/brood that are pale blue to blue/white. Incubation is for 30-36 days and fledglings leave the nest at about 27-34 days after hatching.

Range Map

Cooper's hawk range map.
Cooper’s hawk range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark-eyed junco. Photo by Lonnie Gilstrap.
Dark-eyed junco. Photo by Lonnie Gilstrap.
AppearanceDark-eyed juncos are tiny birds about 5.5″ – 6.5″ long. Males are dark gray with a white underside and pink bill. Females are the same except brownish gray.
DietInsects, spiders, seeds.
Feeder FoodNyjer, black-oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, cracked corn, hulled peanuts, and suet.
HabitatJuncos are found across the US and Canada so can be found in a variety of habitats including forested areas (both coniferous and deciduous), wide-open spaces, partially wooded edges, parks, and backyards.
NestingNests are located in a variety of locations from ground-level surrounded by vegetation to in a hanging basket. They have 1-3 broods/season, 3-6 eggs per brood that can be any of these colors: White, gray, pale bluish-white, or pale-greenish white speckled with brown, gray, and green. Occasionally unmarked. Incubation lasts 9-13 days.

Range Map

Map of the dark-eyed junco range
Map of the dark-eyed junco range.

Want to see dark-eyed juncos in your yard? Check out my article: 7 Proven Ways to Attract Dark-Eyed Juncos.

Downy Woodpecker

Male downy woodpecker at suet
Male downy woodpecker. Photo by John Holland Jr of JEHJR Photography
AppearanceDowny woodpeckers are small birds 6″ – 7″ long. Males are tuxedo-black with a white stripe on the back, white belly, white outer tail feathers, some spotted areas of white on the wings, a yellow/tan spot above the beak, and the infamous red patch on his head at the back of the crown. Females are nearly identical without the red coloring.
DietInsects, and fruit from trees/shrubs.
Feeder FoodSuet, peanut butter spread, Sunflower seeds, Safflower seeds, hulled peanuts, corn, fruits, nectar (sugar water).
HabitatAnywhere there are trees.
NestingDowny woodpeckers nest in cavities – either a hole in a tree trunk or a nesting box. Usually only one brood per season, 3-6 all-white eggs. Incubation is about 11-12 days.

Range Map

Downy woodpecker range map
Downy woodpecker range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eastern Bluebird

Male eastern bluebird
Male eastern bluebird. Photo by Mike Carmo.
Appearance7″ long, royal blue, orange throat & breast, white belly & undertail. Female is similar but more muted colors
DietInsects & spiders in spring/summer. Small fruit in Fall/Winter. 
Feeder FoodSuet, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, jelly. 
HabitatWide-open spaces, fields, meadow.
NestingNest: Cavity nesters. The male bluebird determines the nest site (an old woodpecker hole in a tree or manmade nestbox), but the female is the one who builds the nest. She keeps the nest for multiple broods.
Brood: 2-7 broods/season
Clutch: 4-5 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue eggs (sometimes white) with no blemishes or discoloration. 
Egg size: 0.9 inches by 0.8 inches
Incubation: 11-19 days

Range Map

US map showing the migration range of the eastern bluebird
Map depicting where Eastern bluebirds can be found throughout the year. Compliments of Cornell University.

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern kingbird perched on a rock
Eastern kingbird. Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay
AppearanceMedium0sized bird about 8″ long. They’re mostly charcoal gray with a black head, white belly, and white chin. A white band goes across the end of their tail and they have a red crown that is mostly concealed.
DietInsects and fruit.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen fields and prairies.
NestingCup-shaped nest. They have 1 brood/year with 33-4 eggs/brood. Eggs are white with brown markings and incubation lasts 16-18 days.

Range Map

Eastern kingbird range map.
Eastern kingbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark singing on a fence post
Eastern meadowlark. Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash
AppearanceLarge bird about 9″ long with brown back, lemon yellow-colored chest, and black v-shape around the neck. White outer tail feathers. Female and male look the same.
DietInsects and seeds.
Feeder FoodHulled sunflower seeds and cracked corn.
HabitatOpen grassy areas.
NestingCup-shaped nest on the ground within a dense cover. They have 2 broods/year and 3-5 eggs/brood. Eggs are white with brown markings and incubation lasts 13-15 days.

Range Map

Eastern meadowlark range map
Eastern meadowlark range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern phoebe perched on a branch
Eastern phoebe. Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay
AppearanceThe eastern phoebe is a medium-sized bird about 7″ long with brown/gray above, darker on the wings & tail, white throat, and pale yellow underparts.
DietFlying insects and small fruits.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatCommonly found around rural homes but need some wooded area nearby as well as water.
NestingThey build a cup-shaped nest and place it on a building, bridge, or other crevice-type location. They have 1-2 broods/season and usually 5 eggs/brood. The eggs are white and sometimes speckled. Incubation is for 14-16 days and fledglings leave the nest about 15-17 days after hatching.

Range Map

Eastern phoebe range map.
Eastern phoebe range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern screech owl perched
Eastern screech owl. Image by Irene K-s from Pixabay
AppearanceThe eastern screech-owl is a small owl about 8 1/2″ long with a big head, little tufts of ears sticking up, and yellow eyes. There are 2 variations of coloration – primarily reddish/brown (rufous) and primarily gray. They’re darker above with white spots and tiny streaks and underparts are marked with vertical dark streaks.
DietTheir diet is mostly comprised of songbirds and rodents. They also eat insects, earthworms, snakes, lizards, frogs, and crayfish.
Feeder FoodEastern screech-owls do not visit feeders.
HabitatWooded habitats include forests, wooded lots, suburban backyards, and large city parks.
NestingEastern screech-owls nest in existing tree cavities and sometimes manmade nesting boxes. They have 1 broods/season and 2-6 eggs/brood that are all white. Incubation is for 27-34 days and fledglings leave the nest about 26-30 days after hatching.

Range Map

Eastern screech owl range map.
Eastern screech owl range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eastern Towhee

Eastern towhee on a branch
Eastern towhee. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall-medium-sized bird about 7-8″, mostly charcoal black with rusty-orange on the sides and a white belly. They have a long black tail with a white tip. The bill is short and pointy. They have ruby red eyes. The Female is the same but brown not black.
DietInsects, seeds, and fruit.
Feeder FoodGround feeder and will eat black-oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, millet, milo, and peanut hearts.
HabitatScrubby areas along wooded edges, thick fields, and backyards.
NestingThe cup-shaped nest is typically located on the ground. They have 2 broods/year, and 3-4 eggs/brood. Eggs are ivory with brown spots and incubation lasts 12-13 days.
Eastern towhee range map.
Eastern towhee range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern wood-pewee
Eastern wood-pewee.
AppearanceSmall bird about 6″ long. They are mostly gray/brown with an ivory belly, throat, and wing bars. They have short legs, upright posture, and short crowns. Short, pointy bill with orange-yellow underneath. Male and female look the same.
DietSmall insects, berries, and seeds.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatForests and wooded areas that are thick with deciduous trees but sometimes open areas.
NestingThey nest in trees high off the ground more than 15′ up. They have 2-4 eggs/brook. Eggs are ivory with brownish speckles. Incubation lasts 12-14 days.

Range Map

Eastern wood-pewee  range map
Eastern wood-pewee range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian collared dove perched on concrete block
Eurasian collared dove. Image by Markéta Machová from Pixabay
AppearanceThe Eurasian collared-dove is a large bird about 12 1/2″ long, gray/tan with a black collar on the back of its neck. Eyes are large and black, bill long and slightly curved down. They have a long, squared-off tail with a white tip best seen from underneath.
DietSeeds, grain, berries, and insects.
Feeder FoodMillet on the ground or platform feeder.
HabitatLive in towns, suburbs, and farms.
NestingThey build their flimsy platform nest of twigs and stick then place them in a tree or shrub about 1/2 way up. They have 3-6 broods/season with 1-2 eggs/brood. Eggs are white and slightly glossy. Incubation is for 14-19 days and fledglings leave the nest about 16-20 days after hatching.

Range Map

Eurasian collared dove range map.
Eurasian collared dove range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

European Starling

European starling singing on a branch
European starling.
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 7 1/2″ long with iridescent shades of purple and black with white speckles throughout. They have a long pointed gray bill in fall and yellow in spring. The tail is short. The Female looks the same.
DietInsects, seeds, fruit.
Feeder FoodEverything and anything you could offer at the feeder.
HabitatUrban and residential areas throughout the US and Canada including backyard lawns, parks, and fields.
NestingNest: They are cavity nesters
Brood: 2 broods/year.
Clutch: 4-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Glossy bluish or a pale green
Egg size: 1.1 – 1.3 inches by 0.8 – 0.9 inches
Incubation: 12-14 days.

European starling range map
European starling range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Evening Grosbeak

Male evening grosbeak perched on a branch
Male evening grosbeak. Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay
female evening grossbeak perched on feeder
Female evening grosbeak. Image by Veronika Andrews from Pixabay
AppearanceThe evening grosbeak is a medium-sized bird about 8″ long. They have an olive-yellow head with a yellow streek above each eye extending across and above the bill. The wings and tail are black and white. The belly and rump are bright yellows. their beak is large, stocky, and yellow-blue/green.

The female has softer colors than the male and has a gray head and throat instead.
DietSeeds, insects, fruit.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seeds and hulled sunflower seeds
HabitatForested areas
NestingCup-shaped nest. They have 1 brood/season with 3-4 blue eggs with brown spots in each brood. Incubation is 12-14 days.

Range Map

evening grosbeak range map
Evening grosbeak range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Field Sparrow

AppearanceSmall bird about 5 1/4″ long with muted coloring throughout. Gray face with a bright white eye ring, a rusty patch behind the eye, and a rusty crown. Underparts are gray with tan on the breast and sides. The short but stout bill is pink. The Female is similar but does not have a patch behind the eye, the crown is more muted, and the belly has light brown streaks.
DietInsects and small seeds.
Feeder FoodHulled sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn when scattered under the feeder.
HabitatBrushy woodlands with clearings and fields of tall grasses.
NestingCup-shaped nest low in a shrub or on the ground. 3-5 eggs incubated for about 10-12 days.

Range Map

Field sparrow range map.
Field sparrow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Fox Sparrow

Fox sparrow perched on a branch
Fox sparrow. Photo by Christina Brinza on Unsplash
AppearanceThe fox sparrow is a medium-sized bird about 7 1/2″ long with rusty-red color. It has a heavy streaking of rust color on its breast and tail. The head and back are shades of gray. The female looks like the male.
DietInsects and seeds.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seed, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and milo.
HabitatScrubby areas with thick vegetation.
NestingA cup-shaped nest. They have 2 broods/season with 2-4 pale green eggs with reddish spots, per brood. Incubation is for 12-14 days.

Range Map

Fox sparrow range map
Fox sparrow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Golden-Crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned kinglet
Golden-crowned kinglet. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash.
AppearanceGolden-crowned kinglets are small birds about 4″ long, olive-green in color with crowns striped with reddish/orange and white stripes above & below eyes. Females are the same except for their crowns are yellow instead.
DietInsects and spiders.
Feeder FoodSuet.
HabitatIn their year-round area, they generally inhabit mountainous regions with abundant coniferous trees. They nest in mixed forested areas and within small groups of trees with minimal or no undergrowth.
NestingThe golden-crowned kinglet builds a 3″x3″ cup-shaped, deep nest and places it at the intersection of several branches. They have 1-2 broods/season and 7-8 eggs/brood that are white/cream colored with specks of brown or lavender. Incubation lasts 15 days.

Range Map

Golden-crowned kinglet  range map
Golden-crowned kinglet range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Golden-Winged Warbler

Golden-winged warbler.
Golden-winged warbler.
AppearanceA small bird about 5″ long with a short tail and thin & pointy bill. They are silvery gray with a black mask and throat. A bright yellow crown and stripe of yellow on the upper wings. The female is similar with a green-yellow crown and dark gray throat & mask instead
DietInsects
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatDuring breeding, they can be found in shrubby open areas. Otherwise, the forest is their primary habitat.
NestingThe nesting site is on the ground. They have 1 brood/year, 3-6 eggs/brood, eggs are ivory or pale pink with tiny spots. Incubation is from 10-12 days.

Range Map

Golden-winged warbler range map.
Golden-winged warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Gray Catbird

Gray catbird.
Gray catbird. Image by Hans Toom from Pixabay
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 9″ long. Slate gray with a black crown and dark eyes. Bill is long, thin, and black. Usually concealed, a chestnut patch is under the tail. The female is the same.
DietInsects and fruit.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen woodlands.
NestingNest: The nest is cup-sized.
Broods: 2 broods/year,
Clutch: 4-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Bright, turquoise-green sometimes with fine, red spots or no markings.
Egg size: 1 inch by 0.5 inches
Incubation:12-13 days

Range Map

Gray catbird range map.
Gray catbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Great Blue Heron

great blue heron wading in water
Great blue heron. Image by terrysartifacts from Pixabay
AppearanceGreat blue herons are enormous waterbirds about 45-55″ long. They have a large body with blue/gray feathers, long legs, a white face with a black streak on the cheek and crown, a long pointy orange bill, and a curvy neck which they often curl into the shape of an “S”.
DietFish, frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, insects, small mammals, and birds.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatThe Great Blue Heron is a highly adaptable bird evidenced in its wide year-round range that spans much of the US and British Columbia coast. They prefer calm freshwaters, rivers, and shallow coastal areas.
NestingNest: A large, round platform-style nest is weaved by the female from sticks collected by the male and lined with pine needles, moss, grass, and other soft materials and placed on the ground.
Brood: 1 – 2 broods/year
Clutch: 2 – 6 eggs/brood
Egg color: They lay large eggs ranging from pale blue to white. The lighter the color, the older the egg is. If you see near white eggs, they are close to hatching.
Egg size: 2.4 – 3 inches by 2 inches
Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for about 25-30 days.

Range Map

Great blue heron range map.
Great blue heron range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Great crested flycatcher.
Great crested flycatcher. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
AppearanceA medium-sized bird about 8 1/2″ long with dark olive-brown underparts, gray throat & breast, and lemon yellow belly. It has a small crest and long pointy bill.
DietInsects and small wild fruits.
Feeder FoodThey do not visit feeders.
HabitatOpen deciduous forested areas.
NestingThey build a bulky nest inside an old woodpecker hole or natural cavity. They have 4-8 eggs/brood that are ivory to light pink with brownish-purple spots. Incubation is 13-15 days.

Range Map

Great crested flycatcher range map.
Great crested flycatcher range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Great Horned Owl

Great horned owl
Great horned owl. Image by Amber Dawn from Pixabay
AppearanceThe Great horned owl is a large bird about 22″ long. They have a large barrel-shaped body with tufts of feathers that stick up and appear as though they’re ear (but they’re not). They’re mostly brown with dark bars and specks throughout and a subtle white stripe across the throat. Large yellow eyes with a short bill.
DietMammals, large birds, snakes, and large insects.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatWoodlands with open areas but will live just about anywhere.
NestingThey use the nest of another large bird typically located in a tree or will nest in a tree cavity. They have 1 brood/year and 1-4 eggs/brood. Eggs are white and round with a rough surface. Incubation lasts 30-387 days and fledglings leave the nest about 30-45 days after hatching.

Range Map

Great horned owl range map.
Great horned owl range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Greater White-Fronted Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose walking along the grass
Greater White-fronted Goose. Image by Dr. Georg Wietschorke from Pixabay
AppearanceLarge mostly brown waterbird about 25-32″ long. They have a heavy, stocky body with an orange bill and legs, white between the bill and head, and buffy underparts.
DietDiet includes plants such as grasses, berries, seeds, and grain.
Feeder FoodN/A
HabitatNear wetlands, rivers, and ponds.
NestingThe greater white-faced goose is a ground nester. The female constructs the nest on the shore of a lake or wetland area. She scrapes the ground and incorporates grass and sedge to form a large bowl-shaped nest.
Broods: 1/season
Clutch: 1-8 eggs/brood
Egg color: white – tan
Egg size: About 3.2″ x 2.1″
Incubation: Incubation lasts about 22-27 days and fledglings leave the nest after a short 2 days.

Range Map

Greater white-fronted goose range map.
Greater white-fronted goose range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Green Heron

green heron
Green heron. Image by zoosnow from Pixabay
AppearanceLarge bird about 16-22″ long. They have a blue-green back, rusty red neck, and chest. The crest is dark green. Legs are normally yellow but turn bright orange during the breeding season. Female appearance is the same as the male.
DietFish, insects, aquatic plants.
Feeder FoodThey do not visit feeders.
HabitatWetlands include swamps, marshes, lakes, rivers, ponds, along the coast, etc.
NestingThey build a platform-style nest and have 2 broods/year. 2-4 eggs/brood that are light green with no markings. Incubation is 21-25 days.

Range Map

Green heron range map.
Green heron range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy woodpecker hopping up a tree
Hairy woodpecker. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceA medium-sized black-and-white bird about 9″ long with a white belly, black wings with white spots. A white stripe runs down the back. They have a red mark on the back of the head and a long black bill. The Female is the same except with no red mark.
DietInsects, seeds, nuts.
Feeder FoodSuet, hulled peanuts.
HabitatMature forested areas, urban and suburban areas where dense trees are found.
NestingThey are cavity nesters generally excavating their own holes. They have 1 brood/year, 3-6 white eggs per brood. Incubation is 11-15 days.

Range Map

Hairy woodpecker range map.
Hairy woodpecker range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Harris’s Sparrow

Harris's sparrow on a bird feeder
Harris’s sparrow. Photo by Ginny Fuhrer.
AppearanceThe Harris’s sparrow is a medium-sized bird about 7 1/2″ long. It has black and charcoal in its head all the way to the back of its neck. The neck and belly are white with brown spots, brown wings, and a pink bill and legs.
The female is the same/
DietSeeds, insects, berries.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and millet.
HabitatShrubby areas dense with vegetation.
NestingThe cup-shaped nest is located on the ground. They have 1 brood/season with 4-5 white eggs with brown spots in each brood. Incubation is 13-14 days.

Range Map

Harris's sparrow range map
Harris’s sparrow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Hermit Thrush

Hermit thrush perched on a branch
Hermit thrush. Photo by Dietra Semple on Unsplash

Appearance: The Hermit thrush is about 7″ long. In the east, they’re rich brown with brown flanks (belly area below the wing). In the west, they’re gray/brown with gray flanks. They have a cinnamon-colored tail, dark round eyes with a white eye-ring, and tan breasts with dark spots.

Diet: Insects and fruit.

Feeder food: Unlikely to visit a feeder.

Habitat: Forested areas that are rich with coniferous and hardwood trees.

Nesting: They build a cup-shaped nest made of grass and placed it on the ground. They have 1-2 broods/season, usually, 4 eggs/brood, and the eggs are light blue – sometimes with brown spots. Incubation is for 12-13 days and fledglings leave the nest about 12-13 days after hatching.

Range Map

Hermit thrush range map.
Hermit thrush range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Herring Gull

Herring gull
Herring gull. Photo by Ray Harrington on Unsplash
AppearanceThe herring gull is a large bird about 25″ long. They’re pal gray above with a white yead and underparts. The head has brown specks except for the summertime when it’s pure white. They have yellow eyes and bills, and pink legs.
Dietfish, marine life (shellfish, sea urchins, crabs…), insects, other bird eggs, and bird nestlings.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatOpen water areas both coastal and inland.
NestingHerring gulls nest on the ground. They have 1 brood/season and 3 eggs/brood. The eggs are light green/tan with spots. Incubation is for 27-30 days and fledglings leave the nest after a few days.

Range Map

Herring gull range map.
Herring gull range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Horned Lark

horned lark in the snow
Horned lark.
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 8″ long. Tan to brown with a black necklace and yellow chin. Bill is black. They have two tiny “horns” on the top of their head. The tail is black with white outer feathers.
DietSeeds and insects.
Feeder FoodThey do not visit feeders.
HabitatShort grassy areas such as prairies, deserts, beach dunes and farmers’ fields.
NestingThey have 2 broods/year, 3-4 eggs/brood that are gray with brown markings. The nest is located on the ground. Incubation from 11-12 days.

Range Map

Horned lark range map.
Horned lark range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

House Finch

House finch on a branch
House finch (male). Photo taken by Tammy Poppie.
AppearanceSmall bird about 5″ long, orange/red face chest and rump. Brown wings streaked with white. White belly with brown streaks. The Female and juvenile are brown with streaks of white.
DietSeeds, fruit, tree buds.
Feeder FoodBlack oil sunflower seed is their favorite.
HabitatHouse finches are found in the western and eastern parts of the US. They prefer to live around human dwellings (buildings, backyard trees, and shrubs, barns. Also are found in parks and other urban areas.
NestingNest: Small cup about 3-7″ wide, constructed from stems, leaves and plant roots, and feathers. The nests are built in coniferous or deciduous trees or even any place that holds a nest (ledges, vents, hanging plants).
Broods: 1-6 broods/season
Clutch: 2-6 eggs/brood (typical is 4-5)
Egg color: Eggs are pale blue and speckled with black and purple dots.
Egg size: 0.6 – 0.8 inches by 0.5 inches
Incubation: 13-14 days and the young fledge between 12-19 days.

Range Map

House finch range map.
House finch range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

House Sparrow

Male and female house sparrows perched facing one another
Male and female house sparrows. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall bird about 6″ long. Brown with a large black spot on the chin down to the chest. White wing bar and gray belly & crown. The Female is a bit smaller, all light brown and no black.
DietSeeds, insects, fruit.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seed, cracked corn, peanut hearts, millet, and milo.
HabitatAround people and buildings in the city, towns, villages, suburbs, and farms.
NestingDom-shaped nest within a cavity. They have 2-3 broods/year, 4-6 white eggs with brown markings. Incubation is 10-12 days.

Range Map

House sparrow range map.
House sparrow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

House Wren

House wren
House wren. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall bird about 5″ long. Brown bird with faint patterns throughout and a muted throat and belly. Long pointy bill and dark eyes.
DietInsects.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatShrubby edges of woods, towns, and suburbs.
NestingThey are cavity nesters so will use an old woodpecker hole or manmade nesting box. They have 1-2 broods/year, 3-10 eggs/brood incubated for 14 days. Eggs are white, light pink, or light gray with brown blotches.

Range Map

House wren range map.
House wren range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Indigo Bunting

Indigo bunting male
Male indigo bunting. Photo by Lonnie Gilstrap.
AppearanceSmall bird 5″ long. Breeding males are bright blue with short, gray, triangle-shaped beaks, and dark blue wings with a brush of tan. Wintering male and first-spring male are patchy brown and blue. Females are a soft yellowish-brown and some light streaking on the underparts.
DietSmall seeds, insects, and fruits. 
Feeder FoodAlthough not a regular at the feeder you may entice them with nyjer/thistle and white millet seeds.
HabitatBrushy fields, on weedy plants, scrub, and along the edges of the woods. Also in clearings within deciduous woods, and edges of swamps.
NestingCup-shaped nest in shrubs or trees 3′ high. Shrubs or trees 3′ high. 1-3 broods/season, 3-4 eggs/brood, eggs are white with few brown spots.

Range Map

Indigo bunting range map
Indigo bunting range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

For more detail about the Indigo Bunting such as its mating & nesting, how to attract them to your yard, and more: check out Proven Ways to Attract Indigo Buntings.


Killdeer

Killdeer
Killdeer. Photo by Y S on Unsplash
AppearanceMedium-large sized bird about 11″ long. Brown with black two bands around the neck, a white belly, red-orange rump, large orange eyes, long beaks, and long legs. Female looks like the male.
DietInsects.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatOpen grasslands.
NestingThey nest on the ground. They have 2 broods/year, 3-5 tan eggs/brood, and incubation is 24-28 days.

Range Map

Killdeer range map.
Killdeer range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Kirtland’s Warbler

Kirtland's warbler.
Kirtland’s warbler.
AppearanceSmall bird about 5 1/2″ long. They are steel gray above with yellow throat, chest, and belly. White crescents appear above and below each eye. On the male, a dark mark appears in front of the eyes but does not on the female. The female also has more muted colors than the male.
DietInsects and fruit.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatThey primarily are found in wooded areas, specifically where younger Jack pine trees exist (e.g. less than 15 years old)
NestingThe nest is located on the ground. They have 1-2 broods/year, 3-6 eggs/brood that are white or ivory with brown specks. Incubation is from 13-15 days.

Range Map

Kirtland's warbler range map.
Kirtland’s warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Lark Sparrow

Lark sparrow perched on a branch
Lark Sparrow.
AppearanceThe lark sparrow is a medium-sized bird about 7″ long. They’re primarily brown with striped patterns of chestnut, tan, white, and dark brown on its head. Underneath is a buffy tan with a dark brown spot in the middle of its chest.
DietWeed and grass seeds as well as insects.
Feeder FoodMillet and cracked corn scattered beneath the feeder.
HabitatVaried habitats comprised of grassy areas, trees, shrubs, prairies, hedgerows, and desert scrub.
NestingLark sparrows usually nest on the ground. They have 1 brood/season and 4-5 eggs/brood. Incubation is for 11-12 days and fledglings leave the nest after about 9-12 days.

Range Map

Lark sparrow range map.
Lark sparrow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia warbler on a branch
Magnolia warbler. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall bird about 5″ long with slate gray top and bright yellow under with black stripes. A black mask surrounds the eyes with a white strip above that. Short pointy bill and long, narrow tail. The female is lighter gray with a yellow belly but only a faint black stripe. She has no black mask, her eyes have white eye rings and splotches of yellow on her back.
DietInsects and sometimes fruit in fall.
Feeder FoodUnlike to visit feeders.
HabitatThickly forested areas with conifer trees.
NestingThey nest deep in coniferous trees. They have 1-2 broods/year, 3-5 eggs/brood that are white some speckled. Incubation lasts 11-13 days.

Range Map

Magnolia warbler range map.
Magnolia warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Mallard

Male and female mallard floating on water together
A pair of mallards. Photo by Massimo Adami on Unsplash
AppearanceMallards are large ducks about 23″ long. The male has a metallic green head, chestnut breast, and yellow bill. The female is a mottled brown with an orange bill and heavily streaked dark brown.
DietInsect larvae, snails, seeds.
Feeder FoodThey’re not feeder visitors.
HabitatAround freshwater habitats.
NestingMallards nest on the ground near water. The nest is typically made from plant materials and lined with feathers and down. They have 1-2 broods/season and 10-12 eggs/brood. Incubation lasts for 28 days and fledglings leave their mom at about 7-8 weeks.

Range Map

Mallard range map.
Mallard range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Mourning Dove

Mourning dove.
Mourning dove. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
AppearanceA large bird about 12″ long smooth with fawn colors. Black spots on the wings and tail. A single black spot below and behind the eyes. Wide brown tail with white edges. Red-orange legs. Gray patch between head and back and iridescent colors around the neck. Large black eyes with light blue around the eyes. Pointy bill.
DietSeeds.
Feeder FoodWill come to eat seeds that drop below the feeder.
HabitatOpen areas.
NestingThey build a platform-style nest that’s located on a tree branch. Sometimes will nest on the ground. They have 2 broods/year, 2 eggs/brood that are white. Incubation is 13-14 days.

Range Map

Mourning dove range map.
Mourning dove range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Mute Swan

mute swan swimming in lake
Mute swan. Photo by Robert Woeger on Unsplash
AppearanceMute swans are enormous waterbirds at about 50-60″ in length. They’re white with an orange bill and black at the base of the bill on the face.
DietFish and plant material
Feeder FoodN/A
HabitatMute swans are found floating on the water in urban ponds (parks), lagoons, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas where saltwater meets freshwater rivers and streams.
NestingMute swans are ground nesters. They construct the nest on beaches, dikes or even on nearby islands.
Clutch: 5-7 eggs/brood on average
Egg color: pale green
Incubation: Incubation is about 36 days. The young fledge after about 4-5 months.

Range Map

Mute swan range map.
Mute swan range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Mute Swan in Winter

mute swans beside open water in winter
Mute swans. Photo by Tom van Ooijen on Unsplash

Appearance: Mute swans are enormous waterbirds at about 50-60″ in length. They’re white with an orange bill and black at the base of the bill on the face.

Winter diet: Fish and plant material.

Winter feeder food: They don’t visit feeders.

Winter habitat: Mute swans spend winters in their year-round homes in southern Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Mute swans are found floating on the water in urban ponds (parks), lagoons, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas where saltwater meets freshwater rivers and streams. Mute swans are found floating on the water in urban ponds (parks), lagoons, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas where saltwater meets freshwater rivers and streams.

Range Map

Mute swan range map.
Mute swan range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Northern Bobwhite

Male and female northern bobsites sitting amidst purple flowers
Northern bobwhite pair. Image by PublicDomainImages from Pixabay
AppearanceNorthern bobwhites are a type of quail and are about 10″ long. They’re reddish-brown with streaking and spotting throughout. They have a whisp of a crown (hardly noticeable), and a white stripe starts at the bill and goes over the eye all the way to the back. Their throat is also white. Females are the same except the head is brown and tan.
DietSeeds, berries, and insects.
Feeder FoodThey will indulge in seed or crack corn scattered beneath the feeder.
HabitatFound in rural and farm areas.
NestingNorthern bobwhites nest on the ground in a sheltered location. They have 1-3 broods/season and 12-14 eggs/brood. Incubation is for 23 days and fledglings leave the nest about 7-10 days after hatching.

Range Map

Northern bobwhite range map
Northern bobwhite range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Northern Cardinal

male cardinal on platform feeder
male cardinal perched on platform feeder
female cardinal perched on a branch
Female cardinal. Photo by Cheryl Anne.
AppearanceNorthern cardinals are medium-sized bright red birds about 8 1/2″ long with a black mask, red crown, orange beak, and black areas on wings and tail. The female also has an orange beak but is buff-brown with a tan crown + a tinge of red, red spots on the wings & tail.
DietInsects, spiders, centipedes, snails, and slugs. Fruit and seeds from plants.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seed, safflower seed, mealworms, striped Sunflower seed, hulled peanuts, and cracked corn.
HabitatEdges of wooded areas to thickets, tangled vines, city parks, and our backyard gardens.
In the southwest live around desert washes, areas thick with mesquite, and along the riverbanks of wooded areas.
NestingOpen-cup nest in a dense shrub about 3-10′ up. They have 2-3 broods/year, 1-5 eggs/brood that are beige with brown spots. Incubation is 12-13 days.

Range Map

Northern cardinal range map
Northern cardinal range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Northern Flicker

Red-shafted northern flicker
Red-shafted northern flicker. Photo by Kathy Overfield.
Northern flicker
Yellow-shafted northern flicker. Photo by Mike Carmo.
AppearanceA large bird about 12.5″ long. They have brown backs with black bars, a black crescent on the upper chest, and white with black spots on the belly and underparts.
• In the eastern part of their range, they are referred to as “yellow-shafted northern flickers” and have bright yellow underwings and undertail. They have a gray crown, tan face, and a red patch on the nape. The male has a black swipe on his cheek, the female does not.
• In the western part of their range, they are referred to as “red-shafted northern flickers” and have pink underwings and undertail, brown crown, gray face, and crown & nape are brown. The male has a red swipe on his cheek, the female does not.
DietInsects, especially ants.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen areas near trees.
NestingThey are cavity nesters and have 1 brood/year. 5-8 white unmarked eggs per brood. Incubation is 11-14 days.

Range Map

Northern flicker range map
Northern flicker range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern mockingbird standing on an electrical box
Northern mockingbird. Image by zoosnow from Pixabay
AppearanceNorthern mockingbirds are about 10″ long. They have gray above and white below. Wings are dark gray with patches of white. They have long beaks and yellow eyes.
DietInsects and berries.
Feeder FoodSuet.
HabitatNorthern mockingbirds prefer thickets and brushy areas with open areas nearby.
NestingNest: They nest in a thick shrub or tree between 1-10′ up. Northern mockingbird males select several nesting sites and begin building nests in each. The female will pick her favorite and finish the nest. They won’t abandon these nests but move to another with each brood
Brood: 2-3 broods/season
Clutch: 2-6 eggs/brood
Egg color: Light blue to greenish-white sporting brown or red spots.
Egg size: 1.1 inches by 0.8 inches
Incubation: 12-14 days and fledglings leave the nest at 11-15 days.

Range Map

Northern mockingbird range map.
Northern mockingbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Northern Parula

Northern Parula on a branch
Northern Parula. Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall bird about 4.5″ long, blue/gray with a yellow throat and back patch, bluish-gray overall with a yellow-green patch on the back, a brown band on lower, white strips above and below each eye. Females are similar but more muted colors. neck, and 2 white wing bars.
DietSpiders, insects, berries, seeds, nectar.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatPrefer forested areas especially when water is present (streams, marshes) and in the lowland where moss is present.
NestingNests are built in mossy vegetation as high up as 100′ at the end of a branch. 1-2 broods/season, 2-7 eggs/brood, eggs are about .65″ long, white with red/brown/purple speckles and incubation lasts about 12-14 days.

Range Map

Northern parula range map.
Northern parula range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Northern Shoveler

Male and female northern shovelers flying
Male and female northern shovelers. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash,
AppearanceNorthern shovelers are medium-sized waterbirds at about 17-20″ in length. They have shovel-shaped heads. The male has a dark green head, black back and feathers, white neck, and brown chest. The female has an orange bill & eggs with brown and white markings throughout her body.
DietMollusks, insects, crustaceans, sometimes small fish, aquatic plants, and seeds.
Feeder FoodN/A
HabitatNorthern shovelers can be found in shallow wetland areas with plenty of vegetation. They’ll also be found in salt marshes, lakes, flooded fields, and other overflow areas that collect water.
NestingNorthern shovelers are grounds nesters. The female generally
Broods: 1 broods/season
Clutch: 8-12 eggs/brood
Egg color: pale olive
Egg size: About 2″ x 1.4″
Incubation: Incubation lasts 21-27 days. The young follow their mom out of the nest within a few hours of hatching. They’re able to fly about 52-60 days after hatching.

Range Map

Northern shoveler range map
Northern shoveler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Orange-Crowned Warbler

Orange crowned warbler perched on a branch
Orange-crowned warbler. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
AppearanceThe orange-crowned warbler is a small bird about 5″ long. They are olive-green and yellow throughout with an orange crown that is barely visible. There’s a subtle dark line that runs through the eyes. They have yellow underneath that’s smudged with olive green.
DietInsects, small berries, and nectar.
Feeder FoodSuet and peanut butter spread.
HabitatThe orange-crowned warbler is found in a variety of habitats within its range from low-growing shrubs and thickets to coastal canyons and backyard gardens.
NestingThey build a cup-shaped nest of twigs and other plant material placed on or near the ground. They have 1 brood/season and 3-6 eggs/brood. The eggs are white/cream with spots. Incubation is for 11-13 days and fledglings leave the nest at 10-13 days.

Range Map

Orange-crowned warbler range map.
Orange-crowned warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Ovenbird

ovenbird
Ovenbird. Image by Hans Toom from Pixabay
AppearanceSmall bird about 5″ long. Olive-green with dark brown stripes on chest and belly, black and orange stripes on crown. Black eyes surrounded by a white eyering. Pink legs and short pointy tan bill. The female is the same.
DietInsects, sometimes seeds.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatForested areas with deciduous and coniferous trees that offer a canopy.
NestingThey nest on the forest floor deep inside the thick trees. They have 1-2 broods/year, 3-6 eggs/brood that are white with brown specks. Incubation is 11-14 days.

Range Map

Ovenbird range map.
Ovenbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Pileated Woodpecker

Male pileated woodpecker
Male pileated woodpecker. Photo by Anne Spiers
AppearanceA large bird about 19″ in length. They’re mostly black with white stripes on their face and neck with white underwings. The flaming red triangle-shaped crest is unmistakable and the male also has a red stripe on his cheek. The female is the same except her crest does not go all the way to her bill. And, she does not have a red stripe on her cheek.
DietInsects, especially carpenter ants.
Feeder FoodSuet, shelled peanuts, safflower seed, sunflower seed, and
songbird fruit & nut seed mix.
HabitatForests and wooded areas that offer tall deciduous (leafy trees like maple &  beech), coniferous trees (like evergreen & pine), and lower fruit & nut-bearing trees & shrubs.
NestingThey excavate their own cavity in a tree. They have 3-6 white eggs per brood and incubate them for 15-18 days.

Range Map

US map showing the range of the pileated woodpecker
Map depicting where pileated woodpeckers live. Compliments of The Cornell University.

Pine Grosbeak

Male pine grosbeak
Male pine grosbeak. Photo by Janet Jarzynski.
AppearanceSturdy bird approx 8-10″ long, soft pinkish-red with gray & charcoal body, short charcoal beak, medium tail with black tip, wings of black, white, and red. No crown. The Female is gray with a yellow head and tail.
DietMostly seeds and fruits from their habitat (pine trees). Sometimes supplements with insects.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seeds and suet.
HabitatOpen areas with coniferous trees and deciduous trees in winter.
NestingAbout 20′ up in evergreen trees rests their rather large nest constructed with roots and twigs then lined grass, pine needles, and feathers. 1 brood/season, 3-4 eggs/brood, incubation lasts 13-14 days and they fledge between 13-20 days. Eggs are light blue and dotted.

Range Map

Pine Grosbeak range map.
Pine Grosbeak range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Pine Siskin

Pine siskin.
Pine siskin. Photo by Bryan Hanson on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall brown bird about 5″ long with streaks on back, breast, and belly. Some yellow in wing bars at end of the tail. The Female is the same.
DietSeeds, insects.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, suet & fruit.
HabitatOpen areas, wooded edges.
NestingCup-shaped nest for 2 broods/year. 3-4 eggs/brood that are green/blue with brown spots. Incubation is 12-13 days.

Range Map

Pine siskin range map.
Pine siskin range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Pine Warbler

pine warbler on a tree
Pine warbler.Image by Mickey Estes from Pixabay
AppearanceThe pine warbler is a yellow bird about 5 1/2″ long. The wings are brown with white and rump tan. They have short stubby bills, a subtle dark streak behind the eye, and bright yellow eyering. The female is duller and has a white belly.
DietInsects, berries, and seeds.
Feeder FoodMillet, sunflower seed, cracked corn, peanuts, and suet.
HabitatMixed forested areas.
NestingPine warblers build their open-cup nest high in a pine tree – as high as 50′ up. They have 1-2 broods/season and 4 eggs/brood. Incubation is for 10 days and fledglings leave the nest after 10 days.

Range Map

Pine warbler range map.
Pine warbler range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Purple Finch

Male purple house finch
Male purple house finch. Photo by Chris Harris.
AppearanceSmall bird about 6″ long with a raspberry-red head with lighter shades on breast, back, and rump. The wings and tail are brown. Females are brown with brown striped breasts and white streaks across their eyes.
DietSeeds, insects, and fruit.
Feeder FoodBlack oil sunflower seeds are their favorite.
HabitatPrefer coniferous forests in summer along with mixed forests near streams and tree-lined backyards.
NestingNests are found anywhere from 2-60′ off the ground on a tree branch and constructed from twigs, sticks, and plant roots. Lined with grass and hair.

Range Map

Purple finch range map.
Purple finch range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Purple Martin

Purple Martin
Purple Martin. Photo by Ruth Cornwell.
Appearance8.5″ large bird with blue/purple head, back, and belly with black wings and tail.
DietInsects especially dragonflies.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatUsually within 100′ of human dwelling. Purple Martins exist in large colonies.
NestingCavity nester primarily using manmade nest boxes which accommodate a colony of birds. 1 brood/season, 4-5 white eggs/brood, 15-18 days incubation, fledge after 26-30 days.

Range Map

Purple martin range map.
Purple martin range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker climbing a tree
Red-bellied woodpecker. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
AppearanceMedium-sized bird about 9 1/4″ long. Zebra-like striped back with a white rump. The red crown extends down the nape of the neck. The chest is tan with just a tinge of red on the belly. The females are the same except they don’t have a red crown.
DietInsects, nuts, fruit.
Feeder FoodSuet, hulled peanuts.
HabitatIn or near forests and woodlands.
NestingThey’re cavity nesters and prefer dead trees or fence posts. They have 1-3 broods/year, 2-6 eggs/brood. Eggs are white without markings. Incubation is 12-14 days.

Range Map

Red-bellied woodpecker range map.
Red-bellied woodpecker range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted nuthatch on a suet cage
Red-breasted nuthatch. Photo by Robert Heyer.
Appearance4.5″ long, gray/blue backs, white head with black stripes running over either eye, orange-cinnamon-colored breast, and a pointy pick-like beak. Females look the same except their underside is a more faded color. Usually spotted climbing upside-down a deciduous tree foraging for insects beneath the bark.
DietInsects, spiders, and other bugs.
Feeder FoodSuet, sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts, fruit.
HabitatForested areas primarily comprised of coniferous trees (i.e. pines). Woodsy areas of deciduous trees in the east. Southern birds prefer mountainous regions until winter comes in which case they head to lower land.
NestingCavity nesters – prefer to excavate their own holes. 1 brood/season, 6 eggs/brood, eggs are white & speckled with red-brown.

Range Map

Map of the red-breasted nuthatch range
Red-breasted nuthatch range. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

For more details about the Red-Breasted Nuthatch such as its mating & nesting details, how to attract them to your yard, and more: check out 7 Ways to Attract Red Breasted Nuthatches to Your Yard.


Red-Eyed Vireo

Red-eyed vireo.
Red-eyed vireo. Image by Hans Toom from Pixabay
AppearanceSmall bird about 6″ long. Olive-green bird with a black stripe above and across eye, gray crown, white underparts, and red eyes. Short pointed bill. Females are the same.
DietInsects and small fruits.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatMature deciduous forests and mixed pin forests as well as residential areas and parks.
NestingNests in a low tree or shrub between 5-10′ up. They have 1-2 broods/year, 3-5 eggs/brood, and are incubated for 11-14 days.

Range Map

Red-eyed vireo range map.
Red-eyed vireo range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-headed woodpecker.
Red-headed woodpecker. Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
AppearanceRed-headed woodpeckers are medium-sized birds about 9″ long with a red head, black back, white rump, chest, and belly. Also has white patches on its wings, black tail, and gray legs and bill. The female is the same as the male.
DietInsects, fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Feeder FoodSuet and hulled peanuts.
HabitatOpen woodlands especially when ample deciduous trees are present.
NestingThese birds are cavity nesters and will choose a tree hole or manmade nesting box. They have 1 brood/year, 4-5 white eggs/brood, and incubate for 12-13 days.

Range Map

Red-headed woodpecker  range map.
Red-headed woodpecker range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Red-Shouldered Hawk

red shouldered hawk
Red-shouldered hawk. Photo by Aaron Doucett on Unsplash

Appearance: Red-shouldered hawks are large birds of prey about 17-24″ in length with broad, brownish-red shoulders (wings) and breasts, round heads with a curved beak, dark eyes, and black tails with white stripes. The female looks the same.

Diet: Small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds.

Feeder food: They don’t dine on feeder food.

Habitat: Wooded areas with deciduous trees and often streamsides and swamps.

Nesting: Nests are built high in a tree (40+ feet high) located in the fork of branches or beside the trunk. ]They have 1 brood/year, 3-4 eggs/brood, and eggs are bluish white with spots. Incubation lasts about 33 days.

Range Map

Red-shouldered hawk range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-tailed hawk perched on a branch
Red-tailed hawk. Photo by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
AppearanceThe red-tailed hawk is a large bird about 22″ long and primarily brown with white patches underneath with dark streaks, and a broad-squared tail. In the west, the tail is red/brown (rufous) underneath while those found in the east have a more washed-out reddish tail.
DietSmall mammals, reptiles, and larger birds.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatRed-tailed hawks live in a variety of habitats including mountainous, woodlands, prairies, and deserts.
NestingThey place their bulky platform-style nests high in a large tree – sometimes on power-line towers or building ledges as well. They have 1 brood/season, 1-5 eggs/brood, and incubation for 28-35 days. Fledglings leave the nest 6-7 weeks after hatching.

Range Map

Red-tailed hawk range map.
Red-tailed hawk range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged blackbird.
Red-winged blackbird. Photo by Richard Sagredo on Unsplash
AppearanceA medium-sized jet black bird about 8 1/2″ long with a red and yellow patch on the shoulder of the upper wing. Pointy black bill. The females are brown and heavily streaked. She has white eyebrows and a brown bill.
DietInsects, seeds.
Feeder FoodBlack-oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seeds, cracked corn, peanut hearts, millet.
HabitatWet areas like marshes but also found in meadows, fields, and even wooded edges.
NestingNest: Cup-shaped nest located low in shrubs or trees. Broods: 1-2 broods/year
Clutch: 2-4 eggs/brood
Egg color: Bluish-green to gray with brown or black markings
Egg size: 1″ by about .6 – .8″
Incubation: 10-12 days.

Range Map

Red-winged blackbird range map.
Red-winged blackbird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Ring-Billed Gull

Ring-billed gul standing beside water
Ring-billed gull. Image by Lee Dusing from Pixabay
AppearanceRing-billed gulls are about 17 1/2″ long. They’re light gray above and white below. The bill is yellow with a black ring. Their legs and eyes are yellow.
DietScavenges along water edges for garbage refuse, fish, insects, earthworms, and grains.
Feeder FoodThey don’t visit feeders.
HabitatIn and around water.
NestingRing-billed gulls are ground nesters. They have 1 brood/season and 2-4 eggs/brood. Incubation lasts 20-31 days and fledglings leave the nest after 4-5 days.

Range Map

Ring-billed gull range map.
Ring-billed gull range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

We Wisconsinites are lucky – we get to experience so many different species of birds that live or are just passing through. Keep this article handy. When you see an amazing wild bird in Wisconsin I guarantee you’ll want to know the species and details about it. Trust me! 

Happy Birding!


Sources

All About BirdsThe Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2021
eBirdThe Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2021
Noah, Strycker, and Alderfer Jonathan. National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America. 2nd ed., National Geographic, 2019. 

More than 25 years ago, Tammy put her first bird feeder outside her kitchen window. Since then she learned how to attract wild birds to her backyard. Studying the meaning & symbolism of wild birds is also a passion of hers.