Put out seeds and they will come. If you want birds in your yard, leaving out feeders is the way to do it. You’ll attract birds from all over who want to partake in the free meal.
You’ll see all sorts of colorful characters depending on where you live and the time of year it is. If you’re trying to become a bird watcher, there are plenty of species that you should be on the lookout for.
Backyard birds such as mourning doves, American goldfinches, and northern cardinals are normal sights almost every time of year. Check out this list to see what birds are common in the US and learn what types of foods and environments attract them.
1. Mourning Doves
Mourning doves are the largest and one of the most common backyard birds you’ll see. If you want to know how to attract birds to your yard, the answer is seeds. Mourning doves will land and eat tons before heading out.
They’re light brown in color with black spots on their body and dark-tipped wings. They make up for the money you spend on seed by gracing you with a beautiful call. Due to the way their wings are shaped, they make a distinctive whirring sound when they fly away.
Where you see one mourning dove, you can trust there are others. These birds tend to be shy, so they never go anywhere without having some of their buddies close by. You’ll run into mourning doves quite often if you live in a rural or suburban location.
2. American Goldfinch
American goldfinches are highly desired due to their beautiful, bright yellow feathers. You’ll be able to recognize the males due to their distinctive black-capped wigs. Females don’t have the black caps and are a little duller in color.
You’ll see more of these birds in your backyard in the spring and summer. They’ll still be around in the winter, but their color will be a little lighter than it is normally.
They will go out of their way to get thistle seeds, but they like sunflower seeds as well. Sometimes they sit on flowers that bear seeds and pluck them out. They also won’t say no to a nice birdbath.
3. Northern Cardinal
Even though they’re called northern cardinals, you’ll find them in large numbers in the eastern US. While you have a small chance of seeing them pretty much any time of year, they love the cold. This means you’ll run into them more often in the winter.
The males are known for their bright red feathers. The females have mostly brown feathers with red-tinged tips. So, you might be asking “how do I bring these gorgeous birds in my backyard”?
The answer is black oil sunflower seeds. They can’t get enough of them.
4. Downy Woodpecker
The downy woodpecker is the smallest one that resides in the northern US. The males are known for having a red patch on the nape of their necks. Females don’t have this red patch, but they do have the same stripped face.
Identifying backyard birds becomes a challenge when you’re trying to compare downy woodpeckers and hairy ones. The only difference between the two is the downy woodpecker has a shorter beak.
You might not catch a glimpse of this woodpecker species if you don’t have a yard that’s full of healthy trees. They also like yards that have brush landscaping.
5. Blue Jay
Blue jays make their home all over Canada and the Western US. They’re gorgeous birds, but they have a horrible reputation. They tend to bully other birds and discourage them from partaking in the food you leave out.
Still, they’re not all that bad. When they’re in the right mood, they can be fun and playful too. Unlike many of the other birds on this list who go for seeds, blue jays prefer peanuts.
They can and will hog a bird feeder faster than pretty much any other species. As long as you keep your feeder filled, you’ll find them in your yard. They also like to grab foil and other shiny things to bring back to their nests.
6. Black-Capped Chickadee
Whereas blue jays are the most aggressive backyard birds, black-capped chickadees are the friendliest. If you’ve ever wanted a bird to eat out of the palm of your hand like in Disney cartoons, this is the bird that will help you fulfill that dream.
They’re also adorable. They’re small with large black feather heads. They also have one of the cutest calls that you can hear out of a bird.
Black-capped chickadees will come to both yard and window feeders if you use peanuts, sunflower seeds, or suet to try and attract them.
7. American Robin
American robins are known for appearing in the spring, but you can see them pretty much year-round. You might not get too many of them in your backyard in the winter, however.
They stick to the forest so they can dig underground and get all the bugs that are hiding from the cold weather. When they do appear in your yard, you’ll notice them by their redbreasts and black wings.
They enjoy birdbaths and any yard that is overrun with mealworms. They’ll also munch on suet if you leave it out.
Backyard Birds You Might Run Into
Are you an inspiring birdwatcher trying to attract species into your yard? Even the most elusive bird on this list can be brought out if you put the right seed in your feeder. You may have to worry about blue jays picking a fight over a meal, but if you follow the steps on this list, you’re sure to see some of these common backyard birds at some point during the year.
Are you looking for more ways to bring the beauty of nature into your yard? Check out our blog daily for all the latest tips and tricks.