Wyoming is a great place to watch and feed birds. Birdbaths, misters and drippers are especially effective in attracting birds in the drier parts of the state. Those in higher elevations will also find birdbaths useful and will enjoy a different group of visitors.
Species expected at bird feeders include: Black-headed Grosbeak, Cassin’s Finch, Downy Woodpecker, Pine Siskin, Red-winged Blackbird and Steller’s Jay. Each of these species is shown in the Nifty Fifty mini-guide.
Common Feeder Birds in Wyoming
|Common Name||Scientific Name||Foods|
|Black-headed Grosbeak||Pheucticus melanocephalus||Sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, fruit|
|Cassin’s Finch||Haemorhous cassinii||Sunflower seeds, nyger thistle|
|Downy Woodpecker||Dryobates pubescens||Suet, peanuts, sunflower seeds|
|Pine Siskin||Spinus pinus||Nyger thistle, sunflower seeds|
|Red-winged Blackbird||Agelaius phoeniceus||Sunflower seeds, cracked corn|
|Steller’s Jay||Cyanocitta stelleri||Peanuts, sunflower seeds, suet|
Attracting Birds with Feeders
There are many types of bird feeders that can help attract different species to your backyard. Here are some of the most common:
- Hopper or platform feeders – for seeds, these allow easy perching and access for birds. Good for cardinals, finches, sparrows.
- Tube feeders – holds seeds and lets birds like chickadees feed while hanging upside down. Has feeding ports and perches.
- Suet feeders – specially designed for suet cakes which attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, etc.
- Oriole feeders – contain fruit jelly/nectar to appeal to orioles and hummingbirds.
- Ground feeding stations – platform allows ground feeding birds like doves to access.
Place feeders in different spots around your yard to attract more species. Have a mix of seeds and suet for variety. Clean feeders regularly to prevent disease.
Native Plants for Bird Habitats
Incorporating native plants into your landscape is a great way to provide food, shelter and nesting spots for birds. Here are some native plants in Wyoming that attract birds:
- Trees – Crabapples, Hawthorn, Mountain Ash, Aspen, Willow
- Shrubs – Serviceberry, Mountain Mahogany, Rabbitbrush, Woods Rose, Currant
- Wildflowers – Lavender, Sunflowers, Asters, Black-eyed Susan, Columbine
Group plantings together based on height. Add water features like small ponds or fountains. Avoid using pesticides which can harm birds. Vegetation density and diversity are key for healthy bird habitats.
Specialists – Bluebirds and Hummingbirds
Wyoming has prime habitat for specialized bird species like bluebirds and hummingbirds. Follow these tips to attract them:
Bluebirds of Wyoming
- Provide open grassy areas with scattered trees or fence posts for perching
- Put up bluebird nesting boxes
- Offer mealworms, suet, raisins, peanut butter mixes
- Use open feeders like platforms which bluebirds prefer over tube feeders
Hummingbirds of Wyoming
- Have nectar feeders with 1 part sugar 4 parts water (no dye)
- Use red around feeders to attract hummingbirds
- Plant tubular flowers like honeysuckles, trumpet vine, columbine
- Place feeders in open areas to avoid predators
- Leave feeders up until late summer/fall when migration ends
Major Birding Events and Resources
The Platte Valley Festival of Birds held annually in June in Saratoga, WY offers guided birdwatching, float trips, and educational activities focused on the many species found in the Platte River valley.
Wyoming has several active Audubon chapters across the state that organize field trips, conduct research, and advocate for bird conservation. These include:
- Bighorn Audubon Society in Sheridan
- Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon Society in Cheyenne
- Laramie Audubon Society in Laramie
- Meadowlark Audubon Society in Cody
- Wyoming Birding Drives – self-guided itineraries across WY (audubon.org)
- eBird Hotspots – popular birding locations mapped in WY (ebird.org/wyoming)
- All About Birds – ID tips, sounds, range maps (allaboutbirds.org)
Wyoming’s varied habitat and climate zones make it a prime birding destination. From high mountain forests to open prairies, a diverse range of songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl can be observed. This guide covers the essentials to get started with birdwatching and feeding in the state, but there’s always more to learn about our feathered friends!