Tennessee Backyard Birds

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Bird watching is a great way to get closer to nature. What better way than watching birds from the comfort of your backyard!

Tennessee is home to a variety of bird species. A number of these birds live in Tennessee year-round while others are migratory birds and thus, only appear during certain seasons.

So, if you are wondering, what birds are in my backyard in Tennessee, read on to find out how to attract and identify these beautiful birds to your backyard.


Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)

Weight: 0.6-0.9 Oz (18-26 g)

Wingspan: 7.9-10.2 in (20-26 cm)

The Tufted Titmouse is a small songbird that belongs to the chickadee family Paridae and is mainly found in the US. The scientific name of this bird is Baeolophus bicolor.

Description

The Tufted Titmouse look large among the small birds that come to the same feeders with them, an impression that comes from their large heads and eyes, thick necks, and full-bodied. The pointed crest and stout bill help identify them even in silhouette.

These birds are soft silver-grey above and white below with a rusty or peach-colored wash down the flanks. A black patch just above the bill makes the bird look snub-nosed.

The average weight of this bird is 18 to 26 grams with a length of 14 to 16 cm. The wingspan ranges from 20 to 26 cm.

Habitat

The Tufted Titmouse is mostly found in the woodlands below 2000 feet elevation, including the deciduous and evergreen forest. These birds are also common to visitors at the feeders and can be found in backyards, orchards, and parks.

Food

If you want to attract the Tufted Titmouse, the ideal feeders are large and small tube feeders, suet cage, and platform, large and small hopper. In these feeders, you can put food such as safflower, peanuts, suet, black oil sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and hulled sunflower seeds.

They also feed on insects, especially during the summer. They include the caterpillars, bugs, treehoppers, wasp, and ants, among others. They also feed on berries to supplement their diet.

Nesting

The Tufted Titmouse lay a clutch of 3 to 9 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 14 days. The eggs are white to creamy white, spotted with chestnut red, brown, purple, or lilac. They experience one brood in a year. The chicks are hatched naked, pink, and with their eyes closed.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm)

Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz (42-48 g)

Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in (25-31 cm)

The Northern Cardinal, also known as the Redbird, Red Cardinal, or the Common Cardinal. It is a medium-sized songbird in the genus Cardinalis. The scientific name for Northern Cardinal is Cardinalis cardinalis.

Description

The Northern Cardinal has a long tail, short thick bill, and a prominent crest. The birds usually sit with a hunched-over posture with the tail pointing straight down.

Northern Cardinals have a black face and red-orange bill. Male Northern Cardinals are brilliant red with a reddish bill, black throat, and a black face around the bill. Female cardinals are pale brown with warm reddish tinges in the tail, wings, and crest.

Northern Cardinals weigh 42 to 48 grams and are 21 to 23 cm long. The birds have a wingspan of 25 to 31 cm.

Habitat

Northern Cardinals are found in dense shrubby areas such as forest edges, overgrown fields, hedgerows, marshy thickets, regrowing forests, mesquite, backyards, and ornamental landscaping. The birds usually nest in dense foliage and look for conspicuous high perches for singing.

Food

The ideal feeders to attract Northern Cardinals are ground, platform, large hopper, and large tube feeders. In these feeders, you can put milo, black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, safflower, and cracked corn. Northern Cardinals also eat beetles, flies, centipedes, spiders, moths, butterflies, leafhoppers, cicadas, and crickets.

Nesting

Northern Cardinals lay 2 to 5 eggs and incubate them for 11 to 13 days.  The eggs are greyish-white, buffy white, or greenish-white with pale grey to brown speckles. The birds have 1 to 2 broods in a year. The chicks are hatched clumsy, eyes closed and naked except for the sparse tufts of greyish down.

Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 3.9-4.7 in (10-12 cm)

Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)

Wingspan: 5.9-7.9 in (15-20 cm)

The Carolina Chickadee is a small Passerine bird that belongs to the family of tit Paridae. The scientific name is the Poecile carolinensis.

Description

The Carolina Chickadee is a small approachable bird that has a short neck and large head, and this gives it a unique spherical body shape. It has a fairly long tail, and the bill is thicker than that of warblers but thinner than that of a finch.

These birds have a black cap and a bib separated by a stark white cheek. The wings, back, and tail are soft gray in color. The average weight of this bird is 8 to 12 grama and has an average length of 10 to 12 cm. The wingspan ranges between 15 to 20 cm.

 Habitat

The Carolina Chickadee mainly resides in the forested areas or in the urban and suburban yards, or in the parks with large trees.

Food

If you want to attract the Carolina Chickadees, the most appropriate feeders to use are the suet cage, platform, large and small tube feeders, and the large hopper. Inside these feeders, you can put foods such as the hulled sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds, safflower, Nyjer, and peanut hearts.

 In the winter season, the diet of these birds is half plants and half animals, while the rest of the year, they mainly feed on insects and spiders.

Nesting

The Carolina Chickadees lay a clutch of 3 to 10 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 15 days. The eggs are white with fine dots to small blotches of reddish-brown. The average length of the eggs is 1.5 c and a width of 1.1 cm. They experience one brood in a year. The hatched chicks are usually naked except for wisps down on the head, wings, and the rump.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)

Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz (18-22 g)

Wingspan: 11.4 in (29 cm)

The Carolina Wren is a popular species of the wren that resides in most parts of the Americas. The scientific name of this bird is the Thryothorus ludovicianus.  

Description

The Carolina Wren is a small Chunky bird with a round body and a long tail that it cocks upwards so often. The head is large with a little neck, and the distinctive bill marks it as a wren; long, slender, and downcurved. The birds are bright unpatterned reddish-brown with a long white elbow stripe, dark bill, and white in and throat.

The average weight of the bird is 18 to 22 grams with a length of 12 to 14 cm. The wingspan average is 29 cm.

Habitat

If you want to see or listen to the Carolina Wrens as they sing and call, you should go to the dense vegetation in the wooded areas and more so in forest ravines and neighborhoods. They love to move low through tangled understory; they frequent backyard brush piles and areas chocked with vines and bushes.

Food

If you want to attract the Carolina Wrens, the ideal feeders are large and small hoppers, suet cage, large tube feeder, ground, and platform. Inside these feeders, you can put foods such as the suet, hulled sunflower seeds, and peanut hearts.

These birds also feed on insects and spiders. Insects include beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, and moths. They also feed on fruits and berries in small amounts.

Nesting

The Carolina Wrens lay a clutch of 3 to 7 eggs and incubate them for  12 to 16 days. The eggs are white, cream, or pinkish-white with fine rusty brown spots. They usually have one brood in a year.  The hatched chicks have their eyes closed with a pale grayish down.

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Length: 9.8-11.8 in (25-30 cm)

Weight: 2.5-3.5 oz (70-100 g)

Wingspan: 13.4-16.9 in (34-43 cm)

The Blue Jay is a bird from the Cervidae family and lives in most parts of the US. Some of its population is migratory while other is not. Its scientific name is the Cyanocitta cristata.

Description

The Blue Jay is a large crested songbird with a broad, rounded tail. They are bigger than the robins but smaller than the crows.  The color of this bird is white or light grey in the underparts, with some shades of blue, black, and white on the upper part. The crest is bluish too.

The average weight of the Blue Jay is between 70 to 100 grams with a length of between 25 to 30 cm. The average wingspan is 34 to 43 cm.

Habitat

The blue Jays are birds of forest edges.  They mainly feed on acorns, and they are often found near oaks, forests, towns, woodlots, cities, and parks.

Food

If you want to attract the Blue Jays, the ideal feeders are the platform, ground, large and small tube feeders, and the suet cage. Inside these feeders, you can put seeds such as millet, cracked corn. Milo, peanuts, peanut hearts, suet, safflower, hulled sunflower seeds, and the black oil sunflower seeds. These birds also can feed on insects’ fruits and injured small vertebrates.

Nesting

The Blue Jays lay a clutch of between 2 to 7 eggs and incubate them for 17 to 18 days. The eggs are usually bluish or light brown with some brownish spots. They have one brood in a year. The hatched chicks are usually helpless, naked, and their eyes are closed with their mouth lining red.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

MEASUREMENTS

Male

Length: 9.1-13.4 in (23-34 cm)

Weight: 3.4-6.0 oz (96-170 g)

Wingspan: 17.7 in (45 cm)

Female

Weight: 3.0-5.5 oz (86-156 g)

Wingspan: 17.7 in (45 cm)

Mourning Dove, also known as the American Mourning Dove or the Rain Dove, is a medium-sized member of the dove family, Columbidae. Other names used to refer to the Mourning Dove are the Turtle Dove, Carolina Pigeon, and Carolina Turtledove. The scientific name for the Mourning Dove is Zenaida macroura.

Description

Mourning Doves have plump bodies with short legs and small bills. The head of the bird appears small in comparison to the body. They have a long, pointed tail that is unique among other North American Doves.

Mourning Doves are grey to delicate brown above with large black spots on their wings and a black-bordered white tip to the tail feathers. They have a pale peach-colored below. The birds have a long thin tail and a thin black bill. The legs of the birds are pinkish. The eyes are dark, surrounded by light skin. Adult male Mourning Doves have a distinct bluish-grey color on their crowns. Females have more brown coloring and are a little smaller than males.

Male Mourning Doves weigh 96 to 170 grams and are 23 to 24 cm long. Their wingspan is approximately 45 cm. Females weigh 86 to 156 grams and have a wingspan of 45 cm.

Habitat

Mountain Doves live in the open country, scattered trees, and woodland edges. You will rarely find these birds in the deep woods. The birds feed on the ground in grasslands, agricultural fields, roadsides, and backyards.

Food

To attract Mourning Dove, you can use a large hopper, platform, and ground feeders. In these feeders, you can put milo, oats, Nyjer, cracked corn, millet, peanut hearts, black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, and safflower. The birds sometimes eat snails, weeds, herbs, and berries.

Nesting

Mourning Doves lay two white eggs and incubate them for 14 days. The birds have 1 to 6 broods in a year. The chicks are hatched with their eyes closed, helpless, sparsely covered in cream-colored down, and dependent on the adults for warmth. The young doves stay in the nest for 12 to 15 days.

American Robin

American Robin

Length: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)

Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz (77-85 g)

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Description

The American Robin is a migratory songbird named after the European Robin because of its reddish-orange breast. The scientific name of the American Robin is Turdus migratorius. The bird is largely distributed in the north.

There are seven subspecies of the American Robin, namely, the eastern Robin, the Newfoundland Robin, the Southern Robin, the Western Robin, the Northwestern Robin, the Mexican Robin, and the San Lucas Robin.

The American Robins are large songbirds with a round body, long legs, and a long tail. They are the largest North American thrushes. They are gray-brown in color with warm orange underparts. A white patch on the lower belly and under the tail is conspicuous when they are flying. They have pointed, thin beaks. Female American Robins have paler heads than the male.

The birds weigh between 72 to 94 grams for the male and females 59 to 91 grams. They are 20 to 28 centimeters long and have a wingspan ranging from 31 to 40 cm.

Feeding

American Robins are attracted by platform and ground feeders.  They love feeding on peanut hearts, suet, sunflower seeds that have been hulled, fruits, and mealworms. The Robins feed mainly on fruit during the fall and winter. They sometimes become intoxicated when they feed exclusively on berries such as the honeysuckle.

Habitat

The birds usually breed in woodlands, open farmlands, and urban areas. The birds prefer large shade trees on lawns. During winter, they inhabit more open areas.

Nesting

American Robins construct their nests 1.5 to 4.5 meters above the ground in the dense bush. The female Robin lays a clutch of 3 to 5 light blue eggs and incubates them for 14 days.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 9.4 in (24 cm)

Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz (56-91 g)

Wingspan: 13.0-16.5 in (33-42 cm)

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are medium-sized Woodpeckers in the Picidae family. The name of this bird is misleading as the prominent red part of its plumage is on the head and not the belly. The scientific name for Red-bellied Woodpecker is Melanerpes carolinus.

Description

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are shinny and round-headed. They are the same size as the Hairy Woodpecker but lacks blocky outlines. The birds have long chisel-shaped bills and central tail feathers.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are pale with boldly black and white striped back, wings and tail, and a flashing red cap and nape. The belly of the birds is pale, and the bill is brownish and black in adults. The birds have white perches near the wingtip when in flight. Female Red-bellied Woodpeckers lack the red crown.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers weigh 56 to 91 grams and are approximately 24 cm long. The birds have a wingspan of 33 to 42 cm.

Habitat

Red-bellied Woodpeckers can be found in most forests, woodlands, and wooden suburbs, including oak-hickory forest, pine-hardwood forest, maple and tulip-poplar stands, and Pine Flatwoods. They also inhabit the river bottoms and wetlands.

Food

Feeders that attract Red-bellied Woodpeckers are large hopper, suet cage, platform, and nectar feeders. In these feeders, you can put foods such as black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, safflower, peanut, mealworms, peanut hearts, cracked corn, sugar water, suet, or fruits. The birds also feed on insects, spiders, and other arthropods.

Nesting

Red-bellied Woodpeckers lay 2 to 6 smooth white eggs and incubate them for 12 days. The birds experience 1 to 3 broods in a year. The chicks are hatched naked, helpless, and with their eyes closed. Nestling takes 24 to 27 days.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 8.3-10.2 in (21-26 cm)

Weight: 1.6-2.0 oz (45-58 g)

Wingspan: 12.2-13.8 in (31-35 cm)

The Northern Mockingbird is a Mockingbird in North America known for its mimicking ability. The scientific name of the Northern Mockingbird is Mimus polyglottos.

Description

Northern Mockingbirds are medium-sized mockingbirds, leaner than a thrush and with a long tail. The birds have small heads and long thin bills with hints of a downward curve. They have long legs and short, round and broad wings that make the tail appear long when they fly.

Northern Mockingbirds are grey-brown with paler breasts and bellies. The birds have two white wing bars on each wing. Perched birds have a visible white patch in each wing that becomes large white flashes when the birds fly. The white outer tail feathers of the mockingbirds are flashy when they are flying.

Northern Mockingbirds weigh 45 to 58 grams and are 21 to 26 cm long. The wingspan of the birds is 31 to 35 cm.

Habitat

Northern Mockingbirds are common in areas with open ground and shrubby vegetation like hedges, fruiting bushes, and thickets. The birds prefer grassy areas to bare spots when foraging on the ground. You can find the birds in parks, cultivated land, suburban areas and backyards.

Food

To attract Northern Mockingbirds, you can use platform or ground feeders. In these feeders, you can put peanut hearts, mealworms, fruits, hulled sunflower seeds, or suet. During summer, the birds mostly feed on insects such as beetles, moths, butterflies, earthworms, grasshoppers, and wasps.

Nesting

Northern Mockingbirds lay 2 to 6 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 13 days. The eggs are pale blue or greenish-white with red or brown spots. The birds experience 2 to 3 broods in a year. Chicks are hatched naked, blind, helpless, and with a light grey down.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)

Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz (21-28 g)

Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in (25-30 cm)

Description

The scientific name of Downy Woodpecker is Dryobates pubescens. They are small with a chisel-shaped straight bill, which appears too small for the bird’s size. The birds have blocky heads, wide shoulders, and straight-backed posture.

Downy Woodpeckers have a checkered black and white body. Their above is black checked with white on the wings, and the head is boldly striped. The back of a Downy Woodpecker has a broad white stripe down the center. The male Woodpeckers have a small red patch on the back of their heads, and the outer tail feathers are white with a few black spots.

Downy woodpeckers weigh 21 to 28 grams and are 14 to 17 cm long. The birds’ wingspan ranges between 25 to 30 cm.

Habitat

Downy Woodpeckers are often found in open woodlands, especially in the deciduous woods, brushy or weedy edges, and along the streams. They can also be found in orchards, city parks, backyards, and vacant lots.

Food

To attract Downy Woodpeckers, the ideal feeder types to use is platform feeder, large hopper, small hopper, or a suet cage. In the feeders, you can put peanut hearts, safflower, peanuts, mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, and suet.  The birds also feed on insects like beetle larvae, caterpillars, bark beetles, and apple borers.

Nesting

Downy Woodpeckers lay 3 to 8 white eggs and have one brood in a year. The eggs are 1.9 to 2 cm long and 1.4 to 1.5 cm wide. Incubation takes 12 days, and nesting takes 18 to 21 days. The nestlings are hatched naked with pink skin, eyes closed, and with a sharp egg tooth at the tip of the bill.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern bluebird

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 6.3-8.3 in (16-21 cm)

Weight: 1.0-1.1 oz (28-32 g)

Wingspan: 9.8-12.6 in (25-32 cm)

Description

The scientific name for this bird is Sialia sialis. The Eastern Bluebird is a small thrush with a big round head. The bird has large eyes, a plump body, and an alert posture. Eastern Bluebird’s bill is short and straight.

The male Eastern Bluebirds are deep blue on the top side and brick-red or rusty on both the breast and throat. They often look plain gray-brown from a distance. Female Eastern Bluebirds are greyish above and have bluish wings and tails. They have a subdued orange-brown breast.

The birds forage by fluttering to the ground and grabbing insects or catching them mid-air.

Eastern Bluebirds weigh 28 to 32 grams and are 16 to 21 centimeters long. The wingspan of the birds ranges between 25 to 32 cm.

Habitat

The Eastern Bluebirds are mostly found in meadows, open areas surrounded by trees, and areas with sparse ground cover. They are also common in golf courses, along roads, field edges, and other open areas like suburban parks and backyards.

Food

The ideal feeder type to attract Eastern Bluebird is Platform and ground feeders. In these feeders, you can put mealworms, fruits, peanut hearts, and suet. These birds also feed on insects like caterpillars, crickets, spiders, grasshoppers, and beetles.

Nesting

Eastern Bluebirds lay 2 to 7 eggs and have 1 to 3 broods in a year. The eggs are pale blue or rarely white. The eggs are 1.8 to 2.4 cm long and 1.5 to 1.9 cm wide. The incubation period is 11 to 19 days, and the nesting period is 17 to 21 days. The nestlings are hatched naked except for sparse tufts of dingy grey down and their eyes closed.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-14 cm)

Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)

Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

The American Goldfinch is a migratory bird widely distributed in North America. The scientific name of the American Goldfinch is Spinus tristis. There are four subspecies of the American Goldfinch, namely, the Eastern Goldfinch, the Pale Goldfinch, the NorthWestern Goldfinch, and the Willow Goldfinch.

The American Goldfinch is the only Finch in its subfamily that undergoes complete sloughing twice a year. The bird sheds all its feathers apart from the wing and the tail feathers in the autumn and spring seasons of the year.

Description

The adult male American Goldfinch is vibrant yellow with a black forehead and black wings with white marks in summer and olive in color during the winter season. The female American Goldfinch is dull yellow with two distinct wing bars in the summer and buffy brown during winter.

The birds have a short conical bill, long wings, a small head, and a small tail with notches.

The American Goldfinch weighs between 11 to 20 grams and has a length of between 11 to 14 centimeters. The birds have a wingspan of 19 to 22 centimeters.

Habitat

The birds are mostly found in weedy fields, cultivated areas, roadsides, backyards, floodplains, gardens, and orchards where thistles and asters are common.

Feeding

American Goldfinches are attracted by almost all bird feeders, including tube, platform, hanging, ground, and hopper feeders.  To be able to attract these birds, feed them on sunflower seeds that have bee hulled, Nyjer, and black oil sunflower seeds. American Goldfinches are strict vegetarians and feed on a vegetable diet only, and swallow insects occasionally only by accident.

Nesting

The birds build their nests on branches of trees or shrubs at a height of up to 10 meters.  The female American Goldfinch lays 4 to 6 bluish-white peanut size oval eggs. Incubation takes 12 to 14 days.

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 6.8-8.2 in (17.3-20.8 cm)

Weight: 1.1-1.8 oz (32-52 g)

Wingspan: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)

Description

The Eastern Towhee is a large new wild sparrow. The scientific name is the Pipilo erythrophthalmus.

The Towhees are more of large sparrows.  They have a thick, triangular, seed cracking bill as a tip-off; they are in the family of sparrows. They also have a chunky body and a long-rounded tail.  The males are bold sooty black on the upper part and on the chest with warm rufous sides and whitish on the abdomen. Females have a similar pattern but are rich brown, whereas the males are black.

Habitat

The Eastern Towhees are mainly found in brush, tangles, thickets, and along forest edges where there is plenty of leaf litter for the birds to forage in.

Food

If you want to attract the Eastern Towhees, the ideal feeders are the platform and ground. Inside these feeders, you can put foods such as the millet, milo, cracked corn and peanuts hearts, black oils, sunflower seeds, and the hulled sunflower seeds.

Nesting

The birds lay a clutch of between 2 to 6 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 13 days.  The eggs are usually creamy, grayish, pinkish, or greenish-white spotted and speckled down. They experience 1 to 3 broods in a year. The average length of the bird is 2 to 2.6 cm, with an average width of 1.7 to 1.9 cm. The chicks are born naked except for the sparse tufts of grayish down and with their eyes closed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

European Starling

European Starling

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm)

Weight: 2.1-3.4 oz (60-96 g)

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Description

The Common Starling, also known as the European Starling, is a medium-sized bird that belongs to the family of Sturnidae.  In Great Britain, it is simply known as the Starling. Its scientific name is the Sturnus vulgaris.

The Starlings are chunky and blackbird-sized but with short tails and long slender beaks. During the flights, their wings are short and pointed, which makes them look like small, four-pointed stars.

The Starlings look black when viewed from a distance.  They are purplish-green during the summer with yellow beaks. While In winter, they are brown covered in brilliant white spots. The average weight of these birds is 60 to 96 grams and an average length of 10 to 23 cm. The wingspan ranges from 31 to 40 cm.

Habitat

The Starlings are mainly found in the urban areas, suburbs, and countryside near human settlements. They feed on the ground on lawns, fields, sidewalks, and parking lots. They perch and roost high on wires, trees, and buildings.

Food

If you want to attract the Starlings, the ideal feeders include the large hopper, suet cage, platform, ground, and large tube feeder. Inside these feeders, you can put foods such as oats, milo, peanuts, cracked corn, suet, millet, black oil sunflower seeds, and hulled sunflower seeds.

The Starlings eat almost everything, but mainly they eat the insects, invertebrates when they are available.  The common preys include grasshoppers, flies, spiders, millipedes, snails, earthworms, and beetles. They also feed on fruits and wild berries.

Nesting

The Starlings lay a clutch of 3 to 6 eggs and incubate them for 12 days. The eggs are bluish or greenish-white. They experience 1 to 2 broods a year. The hatched chicks are usually helpless with sparse grayish down.

House Finch

House Finch

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)

Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (16-27 g)

Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in (20-25 cm)

The House Finch is a small bird in the finch family, which is common in the US. The scientific name of the bird is the Haemorhous mexicanus.

Description

These birds are small in body size, and they too have a fairly large beak and a long flat head. The wings are short, making their tail seem long by comparison. The majority of the finches have uniquely notched tails, but the house finch has a relatively shallow notch in its tail.

On the face side and upper breasts, the male Finches are rosy with streaky brown back, belly, and tail. During the flight, the red rump is conspicuous.  The adult females are not red, and they are grayish-brown with thick, blurry streaks and an indistinctly marked face.

The average weight of the bird is 16 to 27 grams and has a length of  3 to 14 cm. Its wingspan ranges from 20 to 25 cm.

Habitat

The House Finches are mainly found in the city parks, backyards, urban centers, farms, and forest edges across the US. They are also found in their native habitats of deserts, grasslands, chaparral, and open woods.

Food

If you want to attract the House Finches, the ideal feeders to use are the small and large hoppers, large and smaller tube feeders, and the platform. The ideal food to put inside these feeders includes the black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, Nyjer, and safflower.

 They also feed in insects, buds, and fruits. Some of the wild foods they feed on are mulberry, cherries, peaches, pears, blackberries, plums, strawberries, and figs.

Nesting

The House Finches lay a clutch of 2 to 6 eggs and incubate them for 13 to 14 days. The eggs are pale blue to white, speckled with fine, black, and pale purple. Within a year, they experience 1 to 6 broods.  The chicks are hatched naked except for the sparse white down along feather tracts with the eyes closed.

Song Sparrow

Song sparrow

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.7-6.7 in (12-17 cm)

Weight: 0.4-1.9 oz (12-53 g)

Wingspan: 7.1-9.4 in (18-24 cm)

Song sparrows are medium-sized New World Sparrow. The name Song Sparrow is derived from its colorful collection of songs. The scientific name of Song Sparrow is Melospiza melodia.

Description

A song sparrow is a bulky, medium-sized sparrow with a long round tail. The birds have a heavily built bill that is considered short for a Sparrow and a round head. The birds have broad wings.

Song sparrows are brown and heavily streaked on their white chest and flanks. The birds have an attractive mix of warm red-brown and slaty gray on their head. The shade of the colors and the amount of streaking varies extensively across North America. The coarse streaks on the breast of the birds converge into a central spot. The birds have russet stripes on the crown and through their eyes and broad mustache stripe.

Song Sparrows weigh 12 to 53 grams and are 12 to 17 cm long. The wingspan of the birds is 18 to 24 cm.

Habitat

Song Sparrows occur in an enormous variety of open habitats like tidal marshes, desert scrub, pinyon pine, arctic grasslands, prairie shelterbelts, pacific rain forests, aspen parklands, chapparal, agricultural fields, overgrown pastures, forest edges, freshwater marsh, lake edges, and the suburbs. The birds can also be found in mixed woodlands of deciduous woodlands.

Food

Song Sparrows are attracted by ground and platform feeders. In these feeders, you can put foods such as milo, peanut hearts, cracked corn, millet, Nyjer, safflower, black oil sunflower seeds, or hulled sunflower seeds. The birds also feed on weevils, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, spiders, snails, earthworms, and midges, among others.

Nesting

Song Sparrows lay 1 to 6 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 15 days. The eggs are blue, blue-green, or gray-green with brown, red-brown, or lilac speckles. The birds experience 1 to 7 broods in a year. The chicks are hatched blind, clumsy, and naked with sparse blackish down and are nestled for 9 to 12 days.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)

Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)

Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 in (20-27 cm)

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a small songbird that belongs to the family of nuthatch, and it is mostly found in the US. Its scientific name is the Sitta carolinensis.

Description

The White-breasted Nuthatch is the largest among the nuthatches but still a small bird with a large head and almost no neck. The tail is very short, and the long, narrow bill is straight or slightly upturned.  This bird is gray-blue on the back.

The cap and neck frame the face, and it ends up looking like this bird is wearing a hood. The lower belly and under the tail are often chestnut. The average weight of the bird is 18 to 30 grams and has a length of 13 to 14 cm. The wingspan length ranges from 20 to 27 cm.

Habitat

These birds are agile, and they inhabit along large branches and trunks as they probe into bark furrows using their bills that are straight and pointed.

Food

If you want to attract the White-breasted Nuthatch, the ideal feeders are the suet cage, large and small hoppers, platform, large and small tube feeders. Inside these feeders, you can put food such as safflower, suet, peanut hearts, and peanuts.

These birds also feed on insects such as the weevil larvae, beetles, treehoppers, and beetle larvae.

Nesting

These birds lay a clutch of five to nine eggs and proceed to incubate them for 13 to 14 days. The eggs are creamy-white to pinkish-white speckled with reddish-brown, gray, or purple. These birds experience one brood in a year. The hatched chicks are usually helpless and naked except for some down.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow
Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)

Weight: 0.8-1.1 oz (22-32 g)

Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm)

The White-throated Sparrow is a bird of the new world sparrow family passerellidae. The scientific name of the bird is Zonotrichia albicollis.

Description

The White-throated Sparrow is a large, full-bodied sparrow with a prominent bill, long legs, rounded head, and narrow bill. This bird is brown above and gray below with a similar pattern on the head.  The head is striped with black and augmented by a yellow between the eye and the bill and bright white throat.

 You will also see a less boldly marked form with a buff on brown face pattern instead of white and black. The average weight of the bird is 22 to 32 grams with a length of 16 to 18 cm. The wingspan ranges from 20 to 23 cm.

Habitat

The ideal places to find the White-throated Sparrows are in woods, at forest edges, in the regrowth that follows logging or forest fires, at pond and bog edges, and in corpses near the tree line.  During the winter season, you will find them in thickets, overgrown fields, suburbs, parks, and woodsy. They sometimes come into the backyard for birdseed.

Food

If you want to attract the White-throated Sparrow, the ideal feeders include the platform and ground. Inside these feeders, you can put food such as milo, cracked corn, millet, black oil sunflower seeds, and hulled sunflower seeds.

These birds also feed on the weeds and grasses, including buckwheat, ragweed. They also eat fruits such as the grape, sumac, rose, blueberry, cranberry, mountain ash, and dogwood. They sometimes eat some insects such as beetles, flies, caterpillars, spiders, beetles, and dragonflies.

Nesting

These birds lay a clutch of one to six eggs and incubate them for 11 to 14 days. The eggs are very pale blue or greenish-blue speckled with purplish, chestnut, and lilac.  They experience one to two broods in a year. The hatched chicks are usually naked except for sparse patches of brown down on the head, back and wings with closed eyes.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 6.7-9.1 in (17-23 cm)

Weight: 1.1-2.7 oz (32-77 g)

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Red-winged Blackbirds are passerine birds of the Icteridae family. The scientific name for Red-winged Blackbird is Agelaius phoeniceus.

Description

Red-winged Blackbirds have broad shoulders and slender conical bills. The birds have a medium-length tail. The birds usually show a hump-backed silhouette while perched. The male Blackbirds sit with their tail slightly flared.

Male species of this bird are glossy black with shoulder badges that are red and yellow in color. The females are crispy-streaked and dark brownish with paler breasts. The birds have a whitish eyebrow and a yellowish wash around the bill.

Red-winged Blackbirds weigh 32 to 77 grams and are 17 to 23 cm long. The wingspan of the birds is 31 to 40 cm.

Habitat

Red-winged Blackbirds usually breed in wet places like fresh or saltwater marshes and rice paddies. They also breed in dry places such as the sedge meadows, fallow fields, and alfalfa fields. The birds occasionally nest in wooded areas along waterways. During winter, the birds can be found in feedlots, pastures, grasslands, and agricultural fields.

Food

To attract red-winged Blackbirds, you can use large tube feeders, large hopper, platform, and ground feeders. In these feeders, you can put foods such as oats, millet, cracked corn, black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and milo. Red-winged Blackbirds also feed on insects.

Nesting

Red-winged Blackbirds lay 2 to 4 eggs and incubate them for 11 to 14 days. The eggs are pale blue-green to gray speckled with black or brown. The birds experience 1 or 2 broods in a year. The chicks are hatched blind, clumsy, and naked with scant buffy or grayish down. The nesting period is 11 to 14 days.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)

Weight: 0.6-0.7 oz (16-21 g)

Wingspan: 10.2-11.0 in (26-28 cm)

Description

The Eastern Phoebe is a small passerine bird. The scientific name of this bird is the Sayornis phoebe.

The Eastern Phoebe is a plumb songbird with a medium-length tail. It appears big-headed for a bird of its size. The head appears flat at the top, but phoebe sometimes raises the feather up into a peak. They have a short, thin bill used for catching insects.

These birds are brownish-gray above and off-white below with a dusky wash to the sides of the breast.  The head is the darkest part among the upper parts.  Birds in the fresh fall plumage show whitish edging on the folded wing feathers and faint yellow on the belly.

The average weight of the bird is 16 to 21 grams with a length of 14 to 17 cm. The wingspan ranges from 26 to 28 cm.

Habitat

The Eastern Phoebe prefers open woods such as yards, parks, woodlands, and woodland edges.  They usually breed around the buildings and bridges on which they construct their nests under the protection of the eave or ledge.

Food

The Eastern Phoebes mainly feed on flying insects.  The common preys include wasps, beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, midges, flies, moths, and cicadas.  They also eat spiders, ticks, millipedes, and sometimes small fruits.

To attract the birds, you need to ensure the environment attracts the insects, which are the primary food. You can keep the bushes and shrubs.

Nesting

The Eastern Phoebe lays a clutch of between 2 to 6 eggs, and they incubate them for 15 to 16 days. The eggs are white, sometimes speckled with reddish-brown. They experience one to two broods a year.  The hatched chicks are usually helpless with their eyes closed and with a sparse gray down.

Common Grackle

Common Grackle

Length: 11.0-13.4 in (28-34 cm)

MEASUREMENTS

Weight: 2.6-5.0 oz (74-142 g)

Wingspan: 14.2-18.1 in (36-46 cm)

Description

The Common Grackle is a large icterid that is mostly found in the US. The scientific name of this bird is the Quiscalus quiscula.  

The Common Grackles are large, blackbirds that have long legs and long tails.  It also has a flat head and a bill that is longer than most of the blackbirds, with the hint of a downward curve. Whenever they are in flight, the wings appear shoer as compared to the tail. The males are a bit larger than the females.

They appear black from a distance but up close, their glossy purple heads contras with bronzy iridescent bodies. The females are less glossy compared to males. The chicks are dark brown with dark eyes.

The average weight is 74 to 142 grams with an average length of 28 to 34 cm. The wingspan ranges between 36 to 46 cm.

Habitat

The Common Grackles mainly live in agricultural fields, feedlots, parks, and suburban lawns. They are also popular around open habitats, including the woodland, forest edges, meadows, and marshes.

Food

If you are interested in attracting the Common Grackles, the ideal feeders are the Platform, ground, and the large hopper. Inside these feeders, you can put foods such as the milo, millets, peanut hearts, peanut, cracked corn, safflower, suet, hulled sunflower seeds, and black oil sunflower seeds.

These birds also feed on fruits and small animals such as fish, frogs, caterpillars, spiders, grasshoppers’ mice and other birds.

Nesting

The Common Grackles lay a clutch of 1 to 7 eggs and incubate them for a period of 11 to 15 days. The eggs are light blue, pearl grey, white, or dark brown, usually spotted with brown. They experience 1 to 2 broods a year. The chicks are hatched blind and naked.

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 9.1-11.8 in (23-30 cm)

Weight: 2.1-3.1 Oz (61-89 g)

Wingspan: 11.4-12.6 in (29-32 cm)

The Brown Thrasher is a bird that belongs to the family of Mimidae, which includes the mockingbirds and New World catbirds.  The scientific name of this bird is the Toxostoma rufum.

Description

The Brown Thrasher is a fairly large, slender songbird that contains long, sturdy legs and a long and slightly down-curved bill.  The tail is long as well and often cocked upwards like in the Wren.

The average weight of this bird is 61 to 89 grams with a length of 23 to 30 cm. The average wingspan of this bird is 29 to 32 cm.

Habitat

The Brown Thrashers live in the scrubby fields, dense regenerating woods, and the forest edges.  They rarely move far from the thick undergrowth into which they can easily retreat.

Food

If you want to attract Brown Thrasher, the most appropriate feeders are ground and platform. You can put foods such as suet, cracked corn, peanut hearts, hulled sunflower seeds, and black oil sunflower seeds inside these feeders.

These birds also feed on insects, arthropods, along with fruits. They literally form on the ground by sweeping their bills through the leaf litter soil with quick, sideways motions.  They feed on insects such as bees, wasps, leafhoppers, treehoppers, grasshoppers, etc. The berries include blueberry, hackberries, currant, grapes, cherry, and strawberry.

Nesting

These birds lay a clutch of 2 to 6 eggs, and they incubate for 10 to 14 days. The eggs are glossy pale blue, pale greenish-blue, with many red-brown speckles. The length of the eggs is 2.6 to 2.7 cm, with a width of 1.9 to 2 cm. The chicks are hatched with closed eyes, pink skin with scattered tufts of grey-white down. They usually have 1 to 2 broods a year.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrows

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)

Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (11-15 g)

Wingspan: 7.9 in (20 cm)

Description

The Field Sparrow is a small New World Sparrow that belongs to the family of Passalidae. The scientific name of this bird is the Spizella pusilla

The Filed Sparrows are small, slender Sparrows that have a relatively short conical bill, rounded head, and somewhat long tails. These birds are warm-colored with a unique eye-ring, a pink bill, and pale grayish underparts with soft orangey highlights.

The head is pale gray with a bright rufous crown and a wide rufous line behind the eye. The whitish throat is bordered by soft orange rufous lateral throat stripes. The backside is brown with black streaks, all of which contrasts with the gray rump and tail.

The average weight of these birds is 11 to 15 grams with a length of 12 to 15 cm. The wingspan average is 15 cm.

Habitat

The Field Sparrows are known to many as the old field specialists. They are mainly found in areas with tall grasses and brush that are growing up into small trees and shrubs and particularly thorny shrubs such as the reses and briars.

Food

If you want to attract the Field Sparrows, the ideal feeders are the large and small hoppers, platform, and the ground. You can put foods such as millet, cracked corn, and hulled sunflower seeds inside those feeders.

They also feed on the insects such as butterflies, weevils, beetles, grasshoppers, and cicadas.

Nesting

The Field Sparrows lay a clutch of 1 to 5 eggs and incubate them for 10 to 17 days. The eggs are white to creamy with pale purple, reddish-brown, or gray spots. They experience one to five broods a year. The freshly hatched chicks are helpless, eyes close and with mouse-gray down along feather tracts.

Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Male

Length: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

Weight: 1.5-1.8 oz. (42-50 g)

Wingspan: 14.2 in (36 cm)

Female

Length: 6.3-7.9 in (16-20 cm)

Weight: 1.3-1.6 Oz (38-45 g)

Wingspan: 12.6-15.0 in (32-38 cm)

The brown-headed Cowbird is a small parasitic bird that originates from the US. Its scientific name is the Molothrus later.

Description

The Brown-headed Cowbird is a small blackbird that has a shorter tail and a thicker head than most blackbirds. The bill has a unique shape, and it is much shorter and thicker as compared to other blackbirds, almost finch-like at first sight.  In-flight, look for a shorter tail.

The male birds have black plumage and a thick brown head that sometimes look dark when there is not enough lighting or in a distance. The females are plain brown birds, lightest on the head and underparts, with the fine streaking on the belly and a dark eye.

The average weight of a male Cowbird is 42 to 50 grams, while the female is 38 to 45 grams. The average length is 16 to 20 cm for a female, while the male is 19 to 22 cm. The wingspan average is 36 cm.

Habitat

They mostly live in open areas such as the fields, pastures, meadows, forest edges, and lawns.

Food

If you want to attract the Brown-headed Cowbirds, the ideal feeders are platform, ground, and large hopper. Inside these feeders, you can put food such as cracked corn, milo, millet, oats, hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and black oil sunflower seeds.

These birds also feed on grasses and weeds.  They also eat insects such as grasshoppers and beetles.

Nesting

These birds lay a clutch of 1 to 7 eggs and incubate them for 10 to 12 days. The eggs are white to grayish-white with brown or gray spots. The chicks are hatched naked with eyes closed.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 15.8-19.3 in (40-49 cm)

Weight: 8.8-12.3 oz (250-350 g)

Wingspan: 26.0-29.5 in (66-75 cm)

Pileated Woodpecker is the second largest, Woodpecker widely distributed in North America. The scientific name of Pileated Woodpecker is Dryocopus pileatus.

Description

Pileated Woodpeckers are very large, with long necks and a  crest that is triangular shaped and sweeps off the back of the head. The birds have a long chisel-shaped bill about the same size as their head. The wings are broad when on flight.

Pileated Woodpeckers are mostly black and have white stripes on the face and the neck. The birds have a flaming-red crest. Male Pileated Woodpeckers have a red stripe on the cheek. The bird reveals large white underwings and small white crescents on the upper side and at the base of the speculum when flying.

Pileated Woodpeckers have a weight of 250 to 350 grams and a length of 40 to 49 cm. the wingspan of the birds is 66 to 75 cm.

Habitat

Pileated Woodpeckers are mostly found in mature deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous woodlands. The birds also occur in younger forests that have scattered, large, dead trees or downed woods. The birds have started inhabiting suburban areas with large trees and patches of woodland.

Food

The ideal feeder to attract Pileated Woodpeckers is the suet cage. In the cage, you can put foods such as mealworms, peanut hearts, peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds or suet. The birds also feed on wild fruits and nuts, and carpenter ants, woodboring beetle larvae, termites, caterpillars, and grasshoppers.

Nesting

Pileated Woodpeckers lay 3 to 5 white eggs and incubate them for 15 to 18 days. The birds have only one brood in a year. Nesting takes 24 to 31 days. The chicks are hatched naked and helpless.

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)

Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (12-18 g)

Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

The Indigo Banting is a small seed-eating bird that belongs to the cardinal family, Cardinalidae. It is migratory. The scientific name of this bird is the Passerina cyanea.     

Description

The Indigo Buntings are small, stocky birds with short tails and short thick conical bills. Whenever they are on the flight, they appear plumb with short, rounded tails.

A breeding male species of this bird is usually blue almost everywhere, with slight rich blue on the head and a small silver-gray bill. The females are usually brown with a faith streaking on the breast, a whitish throat, and sometimes a touch of blue on the wings, tail, or rump. The young males are patchy blue and brown.

The average weight of this bird is 12 to 18 grams with a length of 12 to 13 cm. The wingspan ranges from 19 to 22 cm.

Habitat

These birds are commonly found in weedy and bush areas, especially where the field meets the forest. They love edges, hedgerows, overgrown patches, and brushy roadsides. When they are not singing from the tallest perches in the area, they can be seen foraging among the seed laded shrubs and grasses.

Food

The Indigo Buntings feed on small seeds, berries, buds, and insects.  Some of the seeds they feed on include thistles, goldenrods, dandelions, and grains such as oats. Some of the berries include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, serviceberries, and elderberries.  They feed on insects such s caterpillars.

Nesting

The Indigo Bunting lay a clutch of 3 to 4 eggs and incubate them for 11 to 14 days. The eggs are usually unmarked white, and some have brownish spots. They experience 1 to 3 broods in a year.  The chicks are hatched naked, helpless, and with closed eyes.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted kingfisher

Length: 11.0-13.8 in (28-35 cm)

Weight: 4.9-6.0 oz (140-170 g)

Wingspan: 18.9-22.8 in (48-58 cm)

Description

The scientific name of Belted Kingfisher is Megaceryle alcyon. The Belted Kingfishers are broad, large-headed birds with a shaggy crest on the top and back of their heads. They have a thick, straight, and pointed bill. The birds have short legs and medium-length square-tipped tails.

Belted Kingfishers are blue-gray in color with white spotting on the tail and wings. They have a white below with a broad blue breast band. Immature Kingfishers have irregular rusty spotting in their breast band.

The Belted Kingfisher weighs between 140 to 170 grams and has a length ranging between 28 to 35 centimeters. The wingspan of the birds ranges between 48 to 58 centimeters.

Habitat

Belted Kingfishers live near streams, ponds, lakes, rivers, and estuaries. They can also be found in road buildings, gravel pits as a result of the numerous human activities.

The birds hunt either by falling steeply and directly to their prey or by hovering over water with their straight bills downward before diving after a fish they spotted.

Food

To attract the Belted Kingfisher, it is most advisable that you construct a pond or a pool in your backyard. In the pool put Goldfish, arthropods, and small fish like mummichogs, trout, and stone rollers. They also feed on insects, mollusks, young birds, small mammals, and berries as well.

Nesting

These birds nest in burrows that they dig into soft earthen banks. They nest adjacent to or directly over the water. They lay 5 to 8 white eggs and incubate them for 22 to 24 days. The birds have 1 to 2 broods in a year.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 2.8-3.5 in (7-9 cm)

Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz (2-6 g)

Wingspan: 3.1-4.3 in (8-11 cm)

The Rudy-throated Hummingbird is a small bird that is a species of hummingbirds, and it breeds in the US.  It is also migratory. Its scientific name is the Archilochus colubris.

Description

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a small hummingbird that has a slender, slightly downcurved bill and short wings that do not reach all the way to the tail whenever the bird is sitting.

On the back and crown, these birds are bright or golden-green, with gray-white underparts. Male species of this bird have a brilliant red throat that seems dark when it is not exposed to good light. The average weight of this bird is 2 to 6 grams with a length of 7 to 9 cm. The wingspan ranges from 8 to 11 cm.

Habitat

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird lives in open woodlands, meadows, forest edges, and in parks, backyards, and gardens.

Food

If you want to attract the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, the ideal feeder is the nectar feeder, and inside this feeder, you can put sugar water. These birds mainly feed on nectar from plant flowers such as trumpet creeper, cardinal flower, jewelweed, honeysuckle, red buckeye, and the red morning glory.

These Hummingbirds can also catch small insects’ midair and pull them out of spider webs. Some of these insects include small bees, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, among others. They also can pick small caterpillars from the plant leaves.

Nesting

These Hummingbirds lay a clutch of 1 to 3 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 14 days. The eggs are very tiny, white, weighing probably half a gram. They experience one to two broods in a year. The hatched chicks are usually naked apart from two tracks of gray down along the back, and the eyes are closed.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Length: 3.9-4.3 in (10-11 cm)

Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (4.8-8.9 g)

Wingspan: 6.3 in (16 cm)

Description

This Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a tiny songbird that is mainly found in parts of the US. Its scientific name is the Polioptila caerulea.

This bird is generally small in size, slim, and with long legs. This bird has a long tail with a thin, straight bill. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a pale bluebird with grayish-white underparts, and the tail is usually black with white edges. The below area is mainly white, while the face is highlighted by a thin eye-ring.  These birds have a dark V on their foreheads extending above their eyes.

The average weight of the birds is between 4.8 to 8.9 grams, with a length of between 10 to 11 cm. The average wingspan of this bird is 16 cm.

Habitat

The Gnatcatchers can inhabit the deciduous forest and near edges, often in moister areas. They can also be found in woodlands, the shrublands, which include the oak woodlands.

Food

Mainly the Blue-gray Gnatcatchers feed on insects, spiders, and other invertebrates. In order to attract them, you can plant shrubs and other areas where the insects will be attracted, and this will consequently attract the birds.  They feed on prey such as the leafhoppers, plant bugs, leaf beetles, grasshoppers, froghoppers, and weevils.  TheThe young chicks are also fed with these same foods by their parents.

  Nesting

The Blue-gray Gnatcatchers lay a clutch of about 3 to 5 eggs which are incubated for a period of 11 to 15 days. The eggs are pale blue with some reddish to dark brown spots. They usually have 1 to 2 broods in a year. The hatched chicks are hatched helpless and naked with their eyes closed and can have little movements.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)

Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)

Wingspan: 7.1-9.8 in (18-25 cm)

Description

The Dark-eyed Junco is a species of the junco, a group of small, grayish new world sparrows. This bird is common in some parts of the United States. The scientific name of this bird is the Junco hyemalis.

The Dark-eyed Junco is a medium-sized sparrow that has a rounded head, a short, stout bill, and a fairly long tail. The Juncos vary according to regions, but in general, they are dark gray or brown birds with a pink bill and outer tail feathers that are white and periodically flash open, on flight.

The average weight of the bird is 18 to 30 grams with an average length of 14 to 16 cm. The wingspan ranges from 18 to 25 cm.

Habitat

The Dark-eyed Juncos bred in coniferous or mixed coniferous forests in Most parts of America.  You can likely find these birds in woodlands, fields, parks, and roadsides.

Food

If you want to attract the Dark-eyed Junco, the ideal feeders are the Platform, ground, and the large hopper. Some of the foods you can put inside these feeders are milo, oats, millets, safflower, Nyjer, peanut hearts, hulled sunflower seeds, and black oil sunflower seeds.

During the breeding season, these also eat insects, including butterflies, beetles, caterpillars, ants, wasps, and flies.

Nesting

These birds lay a clutch of 3 to 6 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 13 days. The eggs are white, gray, pale bluish-white, or pale greenish-white with brown, gray, and green speckles. They experience 1 to 3 broods a year.  The chicks are hatched naked except for the dark gray down on the back, and their eyes are closed.

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo
Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)

Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (10-14 g)

Wingspan: 6.7 in (17 cm)

The White-eyed Vireo is a small songbird that breeds in the United States. The scientific name of this bird is the Vireo griseus.

Description

The White-eyed Vireo is a small songbird that has a thick, straight, and slightly hooked bill. It has a rather compact body and a thick neck.  These birds wear a yellow spectacle surrounding their white eyes, and yellow washed sides, a gray head, a white chest and throat, and two white wing bars.  The chicks have a dark eye that turns white in their first winter or spring.

The average weight of the bird is 10 to 14 grams with an average length of 11 to 13 cm. The wingspan average is 17 cm

Habitat

The White-eyed Vireos are found mainly in deciduous scrub, overgrown pastures, forested edges, old fields, second-growth forests, and streamside thickets. In some areas, they also inhabit mangroves.

Food

The White-eyed Vireos mainly feed on caterpillars, beetles, leafhoppers, moths, lacewings, and spiders. They swallow small items on the spot, but for the large ones, they pin them down using their feet before eating them. 

During the non-breeding season, they also feed on fruits such as poison ivy, dogwood, pokeweed, sumac, as well as tropical fruits.

Nesting

These birds lay a clutch of 3 to 5 eggs and incubate them for 13 to 15 days. The laid eggs are white in color and with sparse spotting. They experience one or two broods in a year. The hatched chicks are naked and with closed eyes.

Red-eyed Vireo

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)

Weight: 0.4-0.9 oz (12-26 g)

Wingspan: 9.1-9.8 in (23-25 cm)

A Red-eyed Vireo is a small American songbird that looks like a warbler but not closely related to New World Warblers. The scientific name for this bird is Vireo olivaceus.

Description

Red-eyed Vireos are large and chunky with long angular heads. The birds have a thick neck and a strong long bill with a visible hook at the tip. The birds generally have a broad body and a short tail.

Red-eyed Vireos have olive-green upper parts and a white below. The head of the birds has a strong pattern with a gray crown and white eyebrow stripe bordered by blackish lines. The flanks and under the tail of the birds have a green-yellow wash. Adult Red-eyed Vireos have red eyes that appear dark from a distance. Immature Red-eyed Vireos have dark eyes.

Habitat

Red-eyed Vireos can be found in residential areas, parks, cemeteries with large trees, and deciduous trees such as maples. Red-eyed Vireo’s breed in deciduous and mixed forests with shrubby understories during summer. During winter, the birds occur in high elevation rainforests, mangroves, plantations, forest edges, gardens, and arid areas with adequate vegetation.

Food

To attract Red-eyed Vireos, you can use the suet cage feeder and put suet, mealworms, or fruits in the feeder. The bird also feeds on insects like caterpillars, moths, beetles, treehoppers, scale insects, beetles, ants, and wasps, as well as spiders and snails.

Nesting

Red-eyed Vireos lay one to 5 eggs and have 1 to 2 broods in a year. The eggs are dull white with sparse sepia speckles and are incubated for 11 to 15 days. Chicks are hatched helpless, eyes closed with sparse down on the pinkish-orange skin of their head, back, and wings.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)

Weight: 0.6-0.9 Oz (16-25 g)

Wingspan: 11.8-13.8 in (30-35 cm)

The Tree Swallow is a migratory bird that belongs to the family of Hurundinidae. The scientific name of this bird is the Tachycineta bicolor.

Description

The Tree Swallows are tiny songbirds that are usually streamlined and have both a squared or notched tail and long, pointed wings. They have very short and flat bills.

The adult male species of this bird are blue-green above and white below with blackish flight feathers and a thin black eye mask. The females are duller with more brown in their upper parts, while the young ones are completely brown above. The young ones and some females can show a weak, blurry grey-brown breast band.

Habitat

The Tree Swallows breed in open habitats such as the wetlands, usually adjacent to the water. They nest in artificial nest boxes as well as in tree cavities. Foraging flocks can be seen frequently over wetlands, water, and agricultural fields.

Food

The Tree Swallows live on a diet of insects, but they occasionally catch other small animals and may also eat plant food during the bad weather when the preys are scarce. In the east, all kinds of insects, including sawflies, bees, ants, wasps, beetles, stoneflies, mayflies, and more.

During the breeding season, they eat high calcium items such as fish bones, clamshells, and others.

Nesting

The Tree Swallows lay a clutch of 4 to 7 eggs and incubate them for 11 to 20 days. The eggs are pale pink, turning to pure white within four days. They experience one or two broods every year.  The hatched chicks are helpless, with closed eyes and pink skin sparsely covered with down.

House Sparrow

House Sparrow

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.9-6.7 in (15-17 cm)

Weight: 0.9-1.1 oz (27-30 g)

Wingspan: 7.5-9.8 in (19-25 cm)

The House Sparrow is a small bird from the sparrow family Passalidae, and it is widespread through most parts of the world. The scientific name of the bird is Passer domesticus.

Description

The House Sparrows are chunkier compared to the North American Sparrows and fuller in the chest with a larger rounded head, shorter tail, and stouter bill than most American Sparrows.

The male Sparrows are bright-colored birds with gray heads, white cheeks, a black bib, and ferrous neck, although, in the urban areas, you may see some that are dull and grubby. The females are plain buffy-brown overall with dingy gray-brown underparts. Their backs are noticeably striped with buff, black and brown.

The average weight of this bird is 27 to 30 grams with a length of 15 to 17 cm. The wingspan ranges from 19 to 25 cm.

Habitat

The House Sparrows are known to love living around people.  They are mainly found in the city streets, taking handouts in parks and zoos, or cheeping from a perch on your roof or trees in your yard. They are also in the countryside around the farmsteads.

Food

If you want to attract the House Sparrows, the ideal feeders are the platform, ground, large hoppers, and large tube feeders. In these feeders, you can put foods such as millet, milo, cracked corn, hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and the black oil sunflower seeds.

During the summer, they also feed on insects and also feed them to their chicks.

Nesting

These birds lay a clutch of v1 to 8 eggs and incubate them for 10 to 14 days. The eggs are light white to grayish-white or bluish-white with some gray or brown spots. They experience 1 to 4 broods a year. The hatched chicks are usually naked with bright pink skin and closed eyes.

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Wood Pewee
TonyCastro, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.9 in (15 cm)

Weight: 0.3-0.7 oz (10-19 g)

Wingspan: 9.1-10.2 in (23-26 cm)

Description

The Eastern Wood-Pewee is a small tyrant that resides in some parts of the US. The biological name is the Contopus virens.

The Eastern Wood Pewees are medium-sized flycatchers with long wings and tails. Just like the Pewee species, they have short eggs, upright postures, and a peaked crown that give the head a triangular soap.

The birds are olive-gray with dark wings and a little to no yellow on the underparts.  The sides of the breasts are dark with an off-white throat and berry giving a vested appearance of typical pewees. They show little or no eye-ring.  The adults have thin, white wing bars while the young are buffy.  The underside of the bill is mostly yellow-orange except for the young ones.

The average weight of the bird is 10 to 19 grams with an average length of 15 cm. The wingspan ranges from 23 to 26 cm.

Habitat

The Eastern Wood-Pewee is mostly found in deciduous forests and woodlands, but you may find them in ideally any forested places. This includes the woodlots for breeding as long as it is fairly open.

Food

These birds capture small insects by sallying out from a dead branch partway up in the canopy. It may also glean insects from foliage or the ground.  Some of the insects include moths, wasps, beetles, stoneflies, grasshoppers, bees, and mayflies.  They also feed on a small number of vegetables, including the berries and fruits such as dogwood, blueberry, raspberry, and poison ivy. To attract these birds, you need to have a place where the insects can breed, like in shrubs and bushes.

Nesting

The Eastern Wood Pewees lay a clutch of between 2 to 4 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 14 days. The eggs are white or creamy with a wreath of brown or purple speckles. The hatched chicks are usually helpless with sparse down feathers and closed eyes.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar waxwing

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)

Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)

Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)

  Description

The scientific name of Cedar Waxwing is Bombycilla cedrorum. It is a medium-sized sleek bird with a large head. The birds have short necks and short wide bills. The crest on their head often lies flat and droops over the back of the head. The birds have broad wings that are pointed like those of Starling’s and short square-tipped tails.

Cedar Waxwings are pale brown on the head and chest and light gray on their wings. The underpart is pale yellow, and the tail is gray with a bright yellow tip. The face of a Cedar Waxwing has a narrow black mask outlined in white. Their wing feathers have red waxy tips that are not much conspicuous.

The birds fly in big unruly flocks that grow, shrink, divide and rejoin like starling flocks. Cedar Waxwing weighs approximately 32 grams and is 14 to 17 cm long. The wingspan of the birds ranges from 22 to 30 cm.

Habitat

Cedar Waxwing can be found low in berry bushes, high in evergreens, or along rivers and over ponds. They inhabit deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands, especially areas along streams, sagebrush, and desert washes. Cedar Waxwing, during winters, is found in open woodlands, parks, gardens, forest edges, and second-growth forests.

Food

To attract Cedar Waxwing birds, the ideal feeder type is a platform feeder. In the feeder, you can put fruit such as berries for the bird to feed on. They also feed on protein-rich insects like mayflies, dragonflies, stoneflies, and leaf beetles.

Nesting

Cedar Waxwing lay two to 6 eggs and have 1 to 2 broods in a year. The eggs are pale blue or blue-gray, sometimes with black or gray spots, and are 1.6 to 2.9 cm long and 1.4 to 1.8 cm wide. Incubation takes 11 to 13 days, while nesting takes 14 to 18 days.

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

Weight: 1.2-1.9 oz (33-55 g)

Wingspan: 13.0-15.0 in (33-38 cm)

Eastern Kingbird is a medium-sized songbird in the tyrant family. Its scientific name is Tyrannus tyrannus.

Description

The bird has a large head with an upright posture and a square-tipped black tail. Their bills are short and straight. Eastern Kingbirds are black on the top and white underparts. The head of the flycatcher has a darker shade than the wings and the back. The tail has a conspicuous white tip.

Eastern Kingbirds usually have concealed crowns of yellow, orange, or red feathers on their heads. The birds raise the bright crown patch and stretch its beak wide open, revealing a red gape when it spots a potential predator.

 Eastern Kingbird weighs 33 to 55 grams and is 19 to 23 cm long. They have a wingspan ranging between 33 to 38 cm. the birds are the size of robins.

Habitat

Eastern Kingbirds can be found in open habitats such as yards, fields, pastures, grasslands, or wetlands habitats. They are often spotted sited on fence wires waiting to catch an insect. During winters, they mostly inhabit the forests and forage in flocks in the forest canopies.

Food

The ideal feeder to attract Eastern Kingbirds in the ground feeder. In the feeder, you can put fruits and berries like blackberries and cherries. Eastern Kingbirds may visit open yards with scattered vegetation, trees, and many insects. They feed on insects like locusts, bugs, flies, beetles, bees, grasshoppers, among others.

Nesting

Eastern Kingbirds lay 2 to 5 oval eggs and have only one brood in a year. The eggs are pale and smooth with a striking ring of irregular reddish spots. The eggs are 2.1 to 2.7 cm long and 1.6 to 2 cm wide. Incubation takes 14 to17 days, and nesting takes 16 to 17 days.

Common Yellowthroat

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT
Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)

Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (9-10 g)

Wingspan: 5.9-7.5 in (15-19 cm)

Description

The Common Yellowthroat is a new world warbler. In the US, it is commonly known as the Yellow Bandit. Its scientific name is the Geothlypis trichas.    

The Common Yellowthroat is a small songbird that has a chunky, rounded head and medium length, slightly rounded tails. The adult males are bright yellow below with a sharp black face mask and olive underparts.  A thin whitish line sets of the black mask from the head and neck.

The young males show traces of the full mask of the adult males. The females are plain olive-brown with a yellow brightening the throat and the undertail. They have no black masks.

The average weight of this bird is 9 to 10 grams with a length of 11 to 13 cm. The wingspan ranges from 15 to 19 cm.

Habitat

The Yellowthroats live in open areas with thick, low vegetation ranging from marsh to grassland to open pine forest. They use even a wider suite of habitats during the migration.

Food

The Yellowthroats mainly eat from the ground, eating spiders, insects from the leaves, barks, branches, flowers, or fruits. Some of these insects include grasshoppers, bees, wasps, beetles, flies, and bugs. If you want to attract these birds, the ideal thing is to ensure there are shrubs and some ground vegetation on the compound, and they will come hunting for food.

Nesting

The Common Yellowthroats lay a clutch of between 1 to 6 eggs, and they incubate them for 12 days. The eggs are white with markings of grey, lilac, reddish-brown or black. They experience one or two broods a year. The hatched chicks are usually helpless with dark orange skin and a wisp of greyish down.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

MEASUREMENTS

Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)

Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (11-16 g)

Wingspan: 8.3 in (21 cm)

Description

The scientific name of Chipping Sparrow is Spizella passerine. The chipping sparrow is a slender, long-tailed sparrow. The bird has a medium-sized bill which is a little bit small for a sparrow.  Chipping sparrows are clean and crisp, have frosty underparts, and have a pale face. They have a black line through the eye and a bright rusty crown.

During winters, the birds are subdued, buff-brown, and have darkly streaked upper parts. The black line through their eye is still visible in winter, and the cap is still warm but more subdued reddish brown. Non-breeding birds are paler than breeding birds.

Chipping Sparrows weigh between 11 to 16 grams and are 12 to 15 centimeters long. The wingspan of the bird is 21 centimeters.

Habitat

The Chipping Sparrow is mostly found in open woodlands and forests with grassy clearings. They can also be found in parks, along roadsides, and residential areas, especially in shrubby and tree-lined backyards. The birds mostly inhabit trees like birch, oak, eucalyptus, aspen, and pecan tree.

Food

To attract Chipping Sparrows, you can use a large hopper, small hopper, platform, or ground feeders. In the feeders, you can put hulled sunflower seeds, Nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and milo. Chipping Sparrows also feed on protein-rich insects and small fruits like cherries.

Nesting

Chipping Sparrows lay 2 to 7 eggs and have 1 to 3 broods per year. The eggs are pale blue to white, lightly streaked or spotted with black, brown, or purplish in color. The incubation period is 0 to 15 days, while nesting takes 9 to 12 days. Hatched nestlings are naked, helpless, eyes closed with a few feathers on the head and body.

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