Backyard Birds

Discovering and Identifying Common Backyard Birds in the US

Common Backyard Birds – As a backyard birdwatching enthusiast, I am always amazed by the incredible diversity of bird species that visit my garden. From tiny hummingbirds to majestic eagles, our backyards are home to a fascinating array of feathered creatures. In this section, we will explore the world of common backyard birds found throughout the United States.

Whether you are a seasoned birdwatcher or simply curious about the birds in your backyard, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into the characteristics, behaviors, and habitats of common backyard birds. You will learn how to identify and appreciate these fascinating creatures and how to create an inviting environment to attract them to your backyard.

Key Takeaways

  • Common Backyard Birds are a diverse and fascinating group of bird species that can be found throughout the United States
  • Backyard birdwatching is a rewarding and educational experience that can deepen our connection with nature
  • Attracting birds to your backyard requires providing food, water, and shelter
  • Learning to identify common backyard birds can enhance your birdwatching experience
  • Conservation efforts, such as bird counts and habitat restoration, can help protect these vital avian populations

Types of Backyard Birds

Backyard Birds
Backyard Birds

Backyard birds can be grouped into various types based on their characteristics and behaviors. By understanding these types, we can identify and appreciate them better. Some of the most common types of backyard birds are:


Songbirds are known for their melodious songs, making them a favorite among backyard bird enthusiasts. They are usually small and have colorful plumage, with some exceptions like the brown Sparrow. Examples of songbirds include the American Goldfinch, Eastern Bluebird and Black-capped Chickadee.


Waterfowl are birds that are adapted to living in water and are commonly found near lakes, ponds, and rivers. They are generally large in size and have webbed feet for swimming. Examples of waterfowl include the Mallard Duck, Canada Goose and Wood Duck.


Woodpeckers are birds that are well adapted to living in trees. They have strong beaks for drilling into wood and long tongues for extracting insects. Examples of woodpeckers include the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker and Downy Woodpecker.

Birds of Prey

Birds of prey are also known as raptors and are known for their sharp talons and beaks, making them efficient hunters. They are generally large in size and have keen eyesight. Examples of birds of prey include the Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk and American Kestrel.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of birds that you may encounter in your backyard. By learning to identify them, you can better appreciate the diversity of avian life that surrounds us.

Attracting Birds to Your Backyard

Backyard Bird
Backyard Bird

Creating a welcoming environment for birds is a joy for both bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. In this section, I will discuss effective ways to attract birds to your backyard, including feeding, providing water, and creating shelter.

Backyard Bird Feeding

One of the most effective ways to attract birds to your backyard is to provide a variety of bird feeders. Different bird species are attracted to different kinds of feed, so it’s essential to offer a range of options to increase the diversity of birds visiting your yard.

Bird SpeciesPreferred Food
CardinalsSunflower seeds, safflower seeds
FinchesNyjer seeds, sunflower chips
HummingbirdsHummingbird nectar (four parts water to one part sugar)
WoodpeckersSuet, peanuts, sunflower seeds

It’s important to keep your bird feeders clean and regularly stocked to attract and maintain a healthy bird population in your yard. Additionally, consider placing feeders at different heights and locations to accommodate various bird species’ feeding preferences.

Providing Water

Water is another essential element in attracting birds to your backyard. A bird bath or shallow water source can provide a place for birds to drink and bathe, which is especially important during hot summer months, when water may be scarce.

When choosing a bird bath, make sure to select one that is shallow and has a gradual slope to enable easy entry and exit for birds. Additionally, change the water frequently to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and other contaminants.

Creating Shelter

Many bird species use plants and trees for shelter and nesting. Creating a diverse landscape with different trees and shrubs can provide an ideal shelter and nesting environment to attract a wide variety of bird species.

You can also install nesting boxes to encourage birds to nest in your backyard. Nesting boxes should be appropriately placed and sized for the specific bird species you are trying to attract.

By implementing these effective strategies, you can create a bird-friendly environment in your backyard, attracting a diverse range of bird species and fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world around us.

Popular Backyard Bird Species

As I mentioned earlier, there are many common backyard birds species found throughout the US. In this section, we will take a closer look at some of the most popular ones.

American Robin

The American Robin is a familiar sight in many backyards with its distinctive red breast and gray-brown back. They are often found hopping along lawns, searching for worms and other insects to eat.

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is another colorful backyard favorite, with the male’s bright red plumage and distinctive crest making it easily recognizable. They are known for their beautiful song and can often be heard singing from the treetops.

Black-capped Chickadee

The Black-capped Chickadee is a small, lively bird with a black cap and bib, and white cheeks. They are active year-round and can often be seen hanging upside down from tree branches as they search for insects to eat.

House Finch

The House Finch is a small, sparrow-like bird with brown and gray plumage and distinctive red coloring on the male’s head and breast. They are often found perched on feeders, eating seeds and fruits.

American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is a bright yellow bird with black wings and tail feathers. They are often found feeding on thistle and other seeds, and are known for their cheerful, twittering songs.

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is a striking bird with blue and white plumage, a distinctive crest, and a loud, raucous call. They are often found perched on tree branches, looking for acorns and other nuts to eat.

These are just a few of the many bird species you can expect to see in your backyard. By learning to identify them, you can enhance your birdwatching experience and deepen your appreciation for the natural world.

Birdwatching Techniques


Backyard birdwatching is a wonderful way to connect with nature and observe the fascinating behavior of common backyard birds. To enhance your birdwatching experience, consider the following techniques:

Use Binoculars

Binoculars are an essential tool for birdwatching, allowing you to observe birds from a distance without disturbing them. When choosing binoculars for backyard birdwatching, look for models with a magnification of at least 7x and a lens diameter of 35-50mm.

Get a Field Guide

A field guide is a book or app that provides detailed information about different bird species, including their physical characteristics, range, and behavior. Using a field guide can help you identify birds with accuracy and confidence.

Listen for Bird Songs

Many backyard birds are known for their distinctive songs, which can help you identify them even if you can’t see them. Take the time to listen for these songs and try to match them to the birds that produce them.

Practice Patience

Backyard birdwatching requires patience and a willingness to wait for birds to appear. Remember that birds are more active in the early morning and late afternoon, so plan your birdwatching sessions accordingly.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

When birdwatching, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid disturbing birds or their habitats. Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements, and be sure to stay a safe distance away from nests and other sensitive areas.

Keep a Birding Journal

A birding journal is a great way to track your sightings and observations over time. Use your journal to record the date, time, location, and species of each bird you observe, as well as any interesting behaviors or interactions you witness.

By using these techniques, you can become a skilled backyard birdwatcher and develop a deeper appreciation for the fascinating world of common backyard birds.

Backyard Bird Photography


One of the most rewarding ways to appreciate backyard birds is through photography. Capturing their beauty on camera can provide a deeper appreciation for their colors, patterns, and behaviors. Here are some tips and techniques for backyard bird photography:


Choosing the right camera equipment is crucial for capturing quality photos of birds. A DSLR camera with a telephoto lens is ideal, but a point-and-shoot or smartphone with a zoom lens can also work. A tripod or monopod can help steady the camera, reducing blur.

Location and Setup

The best location for backyard bird photography is near a natural perch or bird feeder. To create an ideal setup, position the camera at eye level with the bird and focus on the eyes. Use a wide aperture to blur the background and make the bird stand out.


Good lighting is essential for quality bird photography. Avoid shooting in bright sunlight or harsh shadows, which can create harsh contrasts and unflattering shadows. Overcast or soft light is ideal for capturing birds in their natural habitat.

Patience and Practice

Backyard bird photography requires patience and practice. Sit patiently near the bird’s natural perch or feeder and wait for the perfect shot. Practice adjusting the camera settings and experimenting with different angles until you capture the perfect shot.

By following these tips and techniques, you can capture stunning images of backyard birds and create lasting memories of these beautiful creatures.

Bird Conservation and Citizen Science

As backyard bird enthusiasts, we have a unique opportunity to contribute to bird conservation efforts through citizen science initiatives. By participating in activities such as bird counts, nest monitoring, and habitat restoration, we can help support and protect bird species in our own backyards and beyond.

Common backyard birds play a vital role in our ecosystems and are indicators of environmental health. By monitoring their populations and behavior, we can gain valuable insights into the health of our environment and take action to protect it.

Bird Counts

Bird counts, such as the Great Backyard Bird Count and the Christmas Bird Count, provide a snapshot of bird populations across the country. These counts rely on the efforts of citizen scientists to collect data on bird sightings and behavior, which is then compiled and used to inform conservation efforts.

To participate in a bird count, simply choose a location and record the birds you see over a designated period of time. You can submit your data online and contribute to a valuable source of information for bird researchers and conservationists.

Nest Monitoring

Nest monitoring involves observing and recording the behavior of nesting birds, such as their egg-laying and chick-rearing habits. This information can be used to better understand the reproductive success of different bird species and identify potential threats to their survival.

To participate in nest monitoring, you can set up a birdhouse or nesting box in your backyard and observe the birds that use it. You can also contribute to larger nest monitoring projects, such as the NestWatch program run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Habitat Restoration

Creating a bird-friendly backyard is an important step in supporting common backyard birds, but we can also contribute to habitat restoration efforts on a larger scale. By volunteering with local conservation organizations or participating in habitat restoration projects, we can help create and maintain healthy habitats for birds and other wildlife.

Restoration efforts may involve planting native plants, removing invasive species, or creating bird-friendly landscapes in urban areas. These projects not only benefit birds, but also improve the health and biodiversity of our ecosystems.

By participating in bird conservation and citizen science initiatives, we can contribute to a greater understanding and appreciation of common backyard birds in the US. Let’s work together to protect these feathered visitors and the habitats they depend on.


In conclusion, I hope this guide has helped you discover and identify the common backyard birds that can be found across the United States. By understanding the types of backyard birds, their behaviors, and their unique characteristics, we can enhance our birdwatching experience and foster a deeper appreciation for these magnificent creatures.

Remember, attracting birds to your backyard requires more than just providing food and water. It’s essential to create an inviting environment that includes shelter and suitable nesting places. By doing so, you can encourage a diverse range of bird species to visit your backyard and make it their home.

By participating in citizen science initiatives and bird conservation efforts, we can contribute to the protection and preservation of Common Backyard Birds and other bird species in our backyard. By monitoring their nesting sites and restoring their habitats, we can ensure that these vital avian populations continue to thrive.

So, whether you’re an experienced birder or a novice, grab your binoculars and get ready to explore the exciting world of backyard birdwatching. From the colorful songbirds to the majestic birds of prey, there’s always something new to discover and appreciate in your own backyard.


What are some common backyard bird species in the US?

Some common backyard bird species in the US include the American Robin, Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, and House Finch, among others.

How can I attract birds to my backyard?

You can attract birds to your backyard by providing food, water, and shelter. Setting up bird feeders and bird baths can help create an inviting environment for birds.

What are some effective birdwatching techniques?

Effective birdwatching techniques include using binoculars, field guides, and smartphone apps to help identify and observe birds. Patience and mindfulness are also important in this rewarding hobby.

How can I take better backyard bird photographs?

To capture better backyard bird photographs, choose the right camera equipment and set up an ideal bird photography setup in your backyard. Practice patience and use techniques to attract birds to your chosen spot.

How can I contribute to bird conservation?

You can contribute to bird conservation by participating in citizen science initiatives such as bird counts, nest monitoring, and habitat restoration efforts. These activities help support the protection and understanding of common backyard bird species.

Why is it important to identify and appreciate backyard birds?

Identifying and appreciating backyard birds fosters a deeper connection with nature and contributes to their conservation. By understanding these birds and their habitats, we can take steps to protect and preserve their populations.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Similar Posts