25 Backyard Birds in Tennessee in 2022 (Pictures & Facts) | startbirdwatching.com (2023)

Last updated xx-xx-xx by Mathias

In this article, we try to help you answer the question: What species of backyard birds can I find in Tennessee?

With its state bird being the Northern Mockingbird, Tennessee is a great place to find birds with 423 confirmed species being found in “The Volunteer State”. Almost half of Tennessee is farmland, one of their top resources is fertile soil. This state is known for mining minerals like zinc, marble, pyrite, fluoride, and calcite. Today we will be going over the top 25 most common backyard birds in Tennessee.

25 most common backyard birds in Tennessee:

  1. Northern Cardinal (98.03% frequency)
  2. Carolina/Black-capped Chickadee (97.04% frequency)
  3. Tufted Titmouse (94.09% frequency)
  4. Carolina Wren (93.10% frequency)
  5. House Finch (92.61% frequency)
  6. Mourning Dove (87.68% frequency)
  7. Red-bellied Woodpecker (87.19% frequency)
  8. American Goldfinch (86.70% frequency)
  9. Blue Jay (85.22% frequency)
  10. Downy Woodpecker (84.73% frequency)
  11. American Robin (83.74% frequency)
  12. Dark-eyed Junco (83.25% frequency)
  13. White-breasted Nuthatch (74.38% frequency)
  14. Northern Mockingbird (71.92% frequency)
  15. White-throated Sparrow (67.00% frequency)
  16. Eastern Bluebird (66.01% frequency)
  17. Spotted/Eastern Towhee (Rufous-sided Towhee) (64.04% frequency)
  18. European Starling (61.08% frequency)
  19. Purple Finch (54.68% frequency)
  20. Brown-headed Cowbird (51.23% frequency)
  21. Song Sparrow (49.75% frequency)
  22. Common Grackle (45.81% frequency)
  23. American Crow (44.83% frequency)
  24. Red-winged Blackbird (44.34% frequency)
  25. Brown Thrasher (43.84% frequency)

1.Northern Cardinal

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Image: © Suzie McCann | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis

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)

Found in 98.03 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

Male Northern Cardinals are completely red on the outside, with a black face and a slightly red bill. Female Northern Cardinals are pale brown in color with a slight reddish tinge on their wings, tail, and crest. They share the males’ black face and reddish bill.

Male cardinals will fight tooth and nail to defend their territory against other male cardinals. When a male cardinal sees its own reflection, it frequently spends hours battling it. Cardinal females are one of the few female songbirds in North America that sing; they frequently do so while sitting in the nest. This will inform the male cardinal when to gather food for the nest.

Northern Cardinals are year-round residents of Tennessee. They are primarily found in the midwest and east coast of North America, but have also been found in Arizona, Texas, and even parts of Mexico.

Northern Cardinals will eat from a variety of feeder types, including large tube feeders, large hoppers, platforms, and ground feeders. Black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, safflower, cracked corn, millet, and milo are the seeds they consume.

2.Carolina/Black-capped Chickadee

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Image: © Evan Lipton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Poecile atricapillus/Poecile carolinensis

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

Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-14 g)

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

Found in 97.04 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

The Black-capped Chickadee’s colors are black, white, and grey. The crown of the head and the bib are black, while the feathers on the wings are a mixture of grey and white. The bird’s eyes are difficult to notice due to the black cap that extends past its black eyes. Chickadees have a short neck and a huge head that is nearly spherical in shape. The tail is long and slender, whereas the bill is short and stout.

The Black-capped Chickadee is capable of memorizing hundreds of hiding sites; they enjoy hiding their food and seeds in a variety of locations to return to later. They are inquisitive birds with a proclivity for inquiring about everything in their own zone, including people. In Tennessee, the Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees are year-round residents; they are quick to discover bird feeders, making them a popular first bird for many people.

Chickadees are among the easiest birds to attract using bird feeders. This bird visits feeders in search of suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. You can offer future nesting places for chickadees by planting willow, birch, or alder trees.

3.Tufted Titmouse

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Image: © Darlene Friedman | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Baeolophus bicolor

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)

Found in 94.09 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

The Tufted Titmouse is primarily silver-grey in color with a white underside. Their flanks are washed in a peach hue. Above its bill is a little black spot. These birds appear to be quite enormous in comparison to the little birds that visit feeders; they have large heads and eyes. Their necks are extremely thick. Tufted Titmice are the most similar in size to Sparrows.

Tufted Titmice are highly acrobatic foragers; unlike chickadees, they move more carefully and slowly. They frequently congregate with woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches, and they frequent feeders. Tufted Titmice are more forceful than smaller birds at feeders.

The Tufted Titmouse is a year-round resident of Tennessee. They spend the majority of their time in the Midwest, Southwest, East Coast, and some areas of the South.
In parks and backyards, look for the Tufted Titmouse perching on outer branches of tree canopies. You may occasionally hear their high-pitched, whistled song; this is frequently heard prior to viewing the Tufted Titmouse.

The Tufted Titmouse is a frequent visitor to backyard feeders, and its numbers increase significantly throughout the winter. They frequently consume peanuts, seeds, and suet, but prefer sunflower seeds. To attract them to your backyard, try installing nest boxes; this will encourage them to breed there. Simply ensure that you install the nesting boxes well in advance of breeding season.

4.Carolina Wren

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Image: © Don Danko | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Thryothorus ludovicianus

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

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

Wingspan: 11.4 in (29 cm)

Found in 93.10 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

Normally, this wren is a reddish brown above and a warmer orange below. The Carolina Wren is a large, round-bodied bird with a hefty build. They have a lengthy tail that cocks upward. These wrens have enormous heads, slender necks, and a big, downward-curving beak.

Carolina Wrens prefer to sneak through dense vegetation and scale tree trunks in search of fruit and insects. They enjoy snooping through yards, woodpiles, and even garages. These birds will constantly sing to defend their area.

The Carolina Wren is a year-round resident of Tennessee. These wrens are resident, which means that they do not migrate.

Keep an eye out for male Carolina Wrens. It has a loud and piercing song that is frequently heard coming from densely planted or wooded locations.

During the winter, Carolina Wrens will occasionally visit suet feeders. When food is available, this species will congregate in backyards. Carolina Wrens prefer hulled sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts, and mealworms as food. They are frequently observed feeding from tube feeders, suet cages, platforms, hoppers, and even the ground.

5.House Finch

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Image: © Martina Nordstrand | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Haemorhousmexicanus

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)

Found in 92.61 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

The adult male House Finch’s face and upper breast area are rosy crimson. Their back, belly, and tail are streaked brown. Adult females are not red; they have a plain grey-brown color with an unmarked face. The House Finch is petite in stature, with huge beaks and flatheads. They have short wings, which give the appearance of a larger tail. While several finches have notched tails, the House Finch’s notch is quite modest in comparison to that of other finches.

The House Finch is a social bird that congregates at feeders or atop trees. When they are not at feeders, they can be found nibbling on weed stalks or on the ground. Their flying is quite bouncy, comparable to that of the majority of finches.
These finches are year-round residents of Tennessee. House Finches migrate south for the winter from the northeastern United States and Great Lakes.

House Finches can be found in established habitats such as city parks, urban centers, woodland edges, farms, and backyards. They are found in large groups that are extremely noisy, making them difficult to overlook.

If you use little, black oil sunflower seeds in your feeders. If these birds discover your feeders, they will bring groups of up to 50 birds or more. They prefer platforms, hoppers, and tube feeders for feeding. Additionally, they enjoy hulled sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and Nyjer.

6.Mourning Dove

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Image: © Ryan Schain | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Zenaida macroura


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

Weight: 3.0-6.0 oz (96-170 g)

Wingspan: 17.7 in (45 cm)

Found in 87.68 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

Mourning Doves have hues that frequently complement their open rural environments. They are brown-tan in color, with black dots on their wings and white tail feathers bordered by black. These doves have a chubby body, lengthy tails, and small legs.

Mourning Doves are swift flyers with powerful wingbeats, frequently performing abrupt descents, ascents, and dodges. During the breeding season, three Mourning Doves can be observed flying in close formation, with the male of a married couple often leading. The second is an unmated male pursuing his opponent to a nesting site. The third is the mated pair’s female.

While the Mourning Dove is present year-round in Tennessee, during breeding season, they migrate north of Minnesota, near Michigan and Canada.
They frequently perch on telephone lines and other perches in your neighborhood. Keep an eye out for bare areas of land where birds congregate to stock up on food.

Distribute seeds like as millet on platform feeders or on the ground to attract these doves to your backyard. If you grow thick bushes and evergreen trees, you can give potential nesting sites for them. Keep your cats indoors, though, as birds that spend a lot of time on the ground are particularly vulnerable to cat assault.

7.Red-bellied Woodpecker

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Image: © Scott Martin | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Melanerpes carolinus

Length: 9.4 in (24 cm)

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

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

Found in 87.19 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is frequently pallid overall; it has a sharply striped black-and-white back, a brilliant red head, and white patches on the wingtips. They have a sleek appearance, a round head, and are about the same size as the Hairy Woodpecker.

The Red-bellied Woodpecker, like the majority of woodpeckers, like to perch on medium to big tree trunks and branches and pick at the bark with their long beak. Additionally, like other woodpecker species, the Red-bellied Woodpecker flies in an undulating manner.

These woodpeckers spend the entire year in Tennessee. They are found throughout the mid-west, southeast, and east coasts of the United States of America.

Keep an eye out for these woodpeckers throughout year in eastern forests, mostly along major branches at medium heights and on tree trunks. During the spring and summer, the woodpecker cries frequently, so it may be worthwhile to memorize their calls.

If you want to attract these birds to your backyard, use suet in the winter, peanuts in the summer, and even sunflower seeds in the winter. Additionally, they have been observed sipping from hummingbird feeders. They like suet cages, huge hoppers, and platform feeders as food sources. Additionally, these woodpeckers enjoy sunflower seeds, safflower, cracked maize, and mealworms.

8.American Goldfinch

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Image: © Darren Clark | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Spinus Tristis

Length: 4.3-5.12 in (11-13 cm)

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

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

Found in 85.22 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

Adult males are brilliant yellow with a black forehead in early spring. They have black wings with white markings. Female adults are duller yellow in color and have a more olive hue overall. The Goldfinch is dull in the winter, with unstreaked brown feathers and blackish wings.

The American Goldfinch is an acrobatic and lively little bird that clings to weeds and seed socks. They may congregate in huge flocks at feeders or on the ground underneath feeders. They frequently fly in an undulating, bouncing fashion, and they also call during flight to attract attention.

These finches are year-round residents of Tennessee, although they breed in northern Michigan, Minnesota, and even Canada. When they are not reproducing, they are found across the United States of America.

The American Goldfinch is attracted to nearly all types of bird feeders, including hanging, platform, and hopper feeders. Plant native thistles or other composite plants in your yard to attract Goldfinches. They are mostly drawn to sunflower and Nyjer seeds.

9.Blue Jay

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Image: © Scott Martin | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Cyanocitta cristata

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

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

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

Found in 85.22 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

Blue Jays come in a variety of hues, from vivid blue at the wing tips to pastel blue on the back and blue on the crown of the head. Additionally, they have black accents on their necks, wings, and eyes. Additionally, they are white around some areas of the eyes, neck, and abdomen. The Blue Jay is a big crested songbird with a rounded tail and a wide crest. They are slightly bigger than robins but not as massive as crows.

Blue Jays create a range of calls that are audible from great distances. The majority of Blue Jay calls are produced from a perch in a tree. Blue Jays are extremely quiet fliers, particularly during migration. They store food in a pouch in their neck.

The Blue Jay is a year-round resident of Tennessee; it has been reported as far north as Oregon, Washington, and even eastern Canada.

Blue Jays are frequently identified by their sounds, as they are quite loud birds. When they move close to shorelines, the Blue Jay migrates in loose flocks. While resident birds may form flocks, they typically fly silently across open regions one at a time.

Blue Jays like tray feeders or hopper feeders for feeding. They prefer post-mounted feeders overhanging feeders. Suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts are among their favorite foods. If there are oak trees nearby, they will eventually produce acorns for the jays.

10.Downy Woodpecker

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Image: © Evan Lipton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Dryobates pubescens

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)

Found in 84.73 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

Downy Woodpeckers have black-and-white checkered wings, a black-and-white striped head, and males have a little red patch on the back of their heads. Downy Woodpeckers are often darker in the West than they are in the East. They have whiter wings in eastern North America than they do in the west. They have an overall dark wash in the Pacific Northwest.

Downy Woodpeckers are seen in mixed-species flocks throughout the winter; since they are flocked, they may spend less time watching out for predators and have a higher chance of obtaining food due to the presence of other birds.

The Downy Woodpecker is found year-round throughout Tennessee and the majority of North America.

These Woodpeckers are the most often encountered Woodpeckers at backyard feeders. They like suet cages, but will also consume black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and chunky peanut butter. Occasionally, they may drink from hummingbird feeders.

11.American Robin

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Image: © Alex Eberts | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Turdus migratorius

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)

(Video) Identify Your Backyard Birds

Found in 83.74 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

The American Robin is mostly grey-brown in color with a dark brown head and white dots around the eyes. It also has a brilliant yellow beak and warm orange underparts. Females have lighter heads that contrast less with their grey backs. The American Robin is a huge songbird, with a broad, spherical body, a long tail, and long legs. Robins are often used as a standard for comparing the size and morphology other birds.

The American Robin is a diligent bird that enjoys bounding over lawns and standing erect with its mouth bent forward to observe its surroundings. They frequently form big flocks during the winter seasons and linger in trees to eat berries or even sleep. American Robins can occasionally become inebriated when they consume solely honeysuckle berries. In the fall and winter, the American Robin consumes a large amount of fruit.

These Robins are year-round residents of Tennessee. American Robins are found almost wherever south of Canada; some have been discovered as far south as the Gulf Coast, the Southwest, and even Mexico.

These Robins can be found dashing across your yard or digging up worms in your neighborhood park. You can locate them by listening to their distinct, lilting, and melodious cry. In the winter, they congregate in huge flocks in the treetops and around fruit trees, and their low call notes may be heard.

American Robins eat on the ground or from platform feeders. Fill your feeders with suet, fruit, mealworms, hulled sunflower seeds, and peanut hearts to attract these birds to your yard.

12.Dark-eyed Junco

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Image: © Chris Wood | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Junco hyemalis

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

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

Wingspan: 7.1-9.8 in (18-35 cm)

Found in 83.25 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

Juncos are available in a variety of hues throughout the nation, although they are often dark grey or brown. Their beak is pink, and their tail feathers are white. When it comes to the Dark-eyed Junco, there is a great deal of regional variety. The Junco is classified into fifteen races, including the Slate-Colored, Oregon, Pink-Sided, Red-Backed, Grey-Headed, and White-Winged.

Dark-eyed Juncos are among the most numerous birds in North America’s woods. Additionally, they are one of the most numerous birds in North America, with populations ranging from Alaska to Canada, California, New York, and even Mexico. They feed on the ground and nest on the ground; they bounce around the ground among trees and bushes looking for fallen seeds.

Outside of mating season, the Dark-eyed Junco is found in Tennessee.

Juncos frequent bird feeders, where they dine on black oil sunflower seeds, oats, cracked corn, and Nyjer. They are ground feeders, which means you may scatter seeds on the ground and they will eat them; they also enjoy huge hopper feeders and platform feeders.

13.White-breasted Nuthatch

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Image: © Ryan Schain | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Sitta carolinensis

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)

Found in 92.63 percent of sites visited in Michigan

The back of the White-breasted Nuthatch is grey-blue. Their face and underparts are white, while their cap and neck region are black. Chestnut is the color of the lower belly and tail.

Nuthatches are small, nimble, and energetic birds with a voracious appetite for large seeds and insects. They derive their name from pushing nuts, seeds, or acorns into tree bark then “hatching” the nut, seed, or acorn with their beak to consume the interior. Despite their little size, Nuthatches are quite vocal, and their booming calls frequently direct you directly to them.

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a year-round resident of Tennessee.

They are widespread feeder birds that prefer peanuts, mealworms, suet, and hulled sunflower seeds. They are frequently seen at tube feeders and suet cages.

14.Northern Mockingbird

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Image: © Jay McGowan | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Mimus polyglottos

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)

Found in 71.92 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

Northern Mockingbirds are medium-sized songbirds that are grey-brown in color with lighter breast and belly feathers. On the wings, there are white patches and two white wing bars. Mockingbirds are comparable in size to robins.

Northern Mockingbirds are conspicuous in their appearance, frequently perched on fences, foliage, and telephone poles. These birds are frequently seen in couples and can occasionally fiercely chase away intruders to their area.

These are resident birds, which means they do not migrate or relocate during the winter. The Northern Mockingbird breeds across the United States of America, including Tennessee.

Mockingbirds are occasionally seen dashing or hopping around your yard, particularly after it has been mowed. Alternatively, the Northern Mockingbird can be seen perched high on thick bushes, telephone poles, or even utility wires.

Although the Northern Mockingbird is a popular garden bird, it is uncommon at feeders. Maintain an open grass, fruiting trees, and shrubs in your yard to attract them. Mulberries, hawthorns, and blackberry brambles are among their favorite foods.

15.White-throated Sparrow

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Image: © Keenan Yakola | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Zonotrichia albicollis

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)

Found in 67.00 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

The White-throated Sparrow’s plumage is brown on top and grey on the underside, with a striped head pattern. These birds are huge and plump, with prominent beak, round heads, extremely long legs, and long, slender tails. Between the beak and the eye, there is a yellow patch.

This sparrow prefers to remain on the ground. They will scavenge for food by scratching through leaf litter on the ground. In the summer, the White-throated Sparrow feeds on new buds found around the base of bushes.

Outside of the mating season, White-throated Sparrows can be found in Tennessee; these sparrows are short- to medium-distance migrants. Year-round residents of the northeastern United States will depart for the fall.

White-throated Sparrows are frequently seen on the ground in wooded areas or along brushy margins. During the winter, these birds graze in big flocks, making them simpler to locate by recognition of their whistling sound.

This bird is a frequent visitor to feeders, eating the seeds that fall beneath. Sunflower seeds, broken corn, milo, and millet are all favorites of White-throated Sparrows.

16.Eastern Bluebird

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Image: © Keith Kennedy | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Sialia sialis

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)

Found in 66.01 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

Male bluebirds have a brilliant blue on top and tan on the neck and breast. Female Eastern Bluebirds are brownish above, with a bluish tail and wings. Eastern Bluebirds are around the size of a sparrow or a robin, with large round heads, huge eyes, and a plump body.

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Eastern Bluebirds prefer to sit on wires, low branches, and occasionally even on posts. They frequently perch in open areas and survey the ground for prey. These bluebirds graze on fruiting trees during the cooler months and on insects during the summer months.

The Eastern Bluebird is a year-round resident of Tennessee. They are either permanent residents or migrants traveling a moderate distance.

Eastern Bluebirds like open land or regions with little vegetation, huge trees, and nest boxes. These birds prefer to perch in open areas, such as on power lines or fences.

These bluebirds do not frequent feeders, but they will visit a backyard if food is supplied. If you supply mealworms, you can attract this bird to your backyard feeder. They are frequently observed feeding from platform feeders and from the ground. Mealworms, fruit, peanut hearts, and suet are all favorites of Eastern Bluebirds.

17.Spotted/Eastern Towhee (Rufous-sided Towhee)

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Image: © Mason Maron | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Pipilo maculatus/erythrophthalmus

Length: 6.7-8.3 in (17-21 cm)

Weight: 1.2-1.7 oz (33-49 g)

Wingspan: 11.0 in (28 cm)

Found in 64.04 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

The Spotted Towhee is a large sparrow with a broad, pointed beak, a short neck, a stocky body, and a long, rounded tail. Male Towhees have a jet-black upper body and neck. It has reddish cinnamon flanks and a pure white belly.

Spotted Towhees enjoy backward hopping to uncover seeds and tiny invertebrates to feed on; this is referred known as “double-scratching.” These birds like hopping around on the ground beneath plants and ascending onto lower branches in search of insects and food.

Year-round, the Eastern Towhee may be found throughout Tennessee. Towhees are both permanent and transient migrants.

Towhees are frequently seen leisurely strolling along the borders of woodlands and unkempt areas. They have a mew cry similar to that of a cat and a quick song to be aware of. Additionally, search low in bushes and along the ground in areas with a lot of leaf litter.

The Spotted Towhee is a frequent visitor to backyard feeders; in some cases, they may even make their home in your yard. They like to feed from platforms or directly from the ground. To attract these Towhees to your backyard feeder, fill it with sunflower seeds, cracked corn, millet, milo, and peanut hearts.

18.European Starling

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Image: © Matt Davis | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris

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)

Found in 61.08 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

While European Starlings appear to be black at first glance, they are actually an iridescent purple-green tint with bright yellow beaks in the summer. In the winter, these starlings are dark with white dots. They are around the size of an American Robin, with short tails and big, stubby beaks. When they fly, they have short, pointed wings that give them the appearance of being fairly little.

The European Starling first came in the United States in the 1800s, when 100 were released in New York’s famed Central Park. The reason these starlings were purposefully released was to satisfy a group of persons who desired to own every bird listed by Shakespeare in America. Today, North America is home to almost 200 million European Starlings. They have been reported as far north as Alaska, while some have been recorded as far south as Mexico.

The European Starling is a year-round resident in Tennessee. They can be observed as far south as Mexico and the Caribbean when they are not mating.

The European Starling is most frequently encountered in urban areas. Look for these starlings on lawns, in city parks, and in fields. You’ll be able to watch them making their way over the grass in a zig-zag pattern. Every few steps, these starlings stab their beak into the earth. However, in the countryside, the European Starling is more likely to be found at the tops of trees, sitting in flocks, or even soaring over fields and highways in flocks.

These starlings prefer suet cages, hoppers, platform feeders, tube feeders, and feeding directly from the ground. If you wish to attract these birds to your yard, fill your feeders with peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds, oats, peanut hearts, cracked corn, millet, and hulled sunflower seeds.

19.Purple Finch

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Image: © Henry Trombley | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Haemorhous purpureus

Length: 4.7-6.3 in (12-16 cm)

Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-32 g)

Wingspan: 8.7-10.2 in (22-26 cm)

Found in 54.68 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

The male Purple Finch has a pinkish-red breast and head, and a darker back. The belly of the finch is white, with hues of pinkish-red on the head. Female Purple Finches lack any red on their bodies; instead, they are a lighter brown with streaking on the underside. Females are distinguished by a white eye stripe. Purple Finches are huge and hefty, around the size of a House Sparrow. They have strong conical beaks and a notched tail. Purple Finches from the Pacific Coast are significantly duller in appearance than their Eastern counterparts.

The Purple Finch will split open seeds and devour the nut using its beak and tongue. They also employ this technique to get nectar from flowers. These finches breed mostly in coniferous forests or mixed deciduous and coniferous forest habitats.

Purple Finches can be observed in Tennessee during the non-breeding season. These birds are migratory short-distance travelers who are irregular in their movements and follow cone crops. When they migrate south from their nesting grounds in Canada for the winter, they spread widely over the central and southeastern United States.

Due to the Purple Finch’s irregular behavior, if you reside in their winter range and do not see them this winter, there is a chance they will appear the next year.

Fill your tube feeder, hopper, or platform feeder with sunflower seeds, Nyjer, and millet to attract the Purple Finch to your yard. They are particularly drawn to coniferous trees, so if you have some in your yard, they will visit.

20.Brown-headed Cowbird

25 Backyard Birds in Tennessee in 2022 (Pictures & Facts) | startbirdwatching.com (20)

Image: © Jack & Holly Bartholmai | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Molothrus after


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

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

Wingspan:14.2 in (36 cm)


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)

Found in 81.23 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

Brown-headed Cowbirds are little blackbirds with a shorter tail and a thicker head than the majority of blackbirds. Males are mostly glossy black with a dark brown head; females are plain brown with a matching brown head.

These blackbirds like to eat mostly from the ground, and they frequently do so in mixed-species flocks of blackbirds and starlings. Brown-headed Cowbirds are extremely loud birds; they create a gurgling song with many clicks, whistles, and yells.

This species is a short-distance migratory, traveling up to 530 miles from breeding grounds in search of food in the winter. Brown-headed Cowbirds are year-round residents of Tennessee.

Cowbirds are found in fields, meadows, and lawns. They can be found in mixed-species groups throughout the winter; check for the glossy black and slight brown head. A excellent approach to locate these birds is to become familiar with their cries; they sing frequently, so keep an ear out for their song.

Brown-headed Cowbirds are frequently spotted feeding on sunflower seeds, cracked corn, milo, oats, peanut hearts, and millet. These birds will be eating on hoppers, platform feeders, and the ground.

21.Song Sparrow

25 Backyard Birds in Tennessee in 2022 (Pictures & Facts) | startbirdwatching.com (21)

Image: © Jonathan Irons | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Melospiza melodia

(Video) Live Sea Otter Cam - Monterey Bay Aquarium

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)

Found in 49.75 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

The Song Sparrow is a streaky brown bird with strong white streaks on the sides and breast. These sparrows are medium-sized and rather hefty. The head of a Song Sparrow is rounded, the beak is small, the tail is long, and the wings are wide.

Song Sparrows like to travel through low plants or branches, frequently making their way into open regions in search of food. Male Song Sparrows frequently sing from open perches, such as tiny trees. This sparrow is distributed over the majority of North America.

Year-round, the Song Sparrow may be found in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Midwest, Eastern, and Western United States. They can be spotted across the remainder of the United States and Mexico during the non-breeding seasons. The Song Sparrow breeds in Canada.

Keep an eye out for the Song Sparrow as it makes its way across marshes and thick foliage. Males enjoy singing on exposed trees.

Song Sparrows eat from platforms and on the ground. Fill your feeders with milo, sunflower seeds, millet, safflower, peanut hearts, nyjer, and cracked corn to attract these birds to your yard.

22.Common Grackle

25 Backyard Birds in Tennessee in 2022 (Pictures & Facts) | startbirdwatching.com (22)

Image: © Jack & Holly Bartholmai | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Quiscalus quiscula

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

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

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

Found in 45.81 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

Common Grackles are around the size of Mourning Doves. They are a big species with lanky bodies and lengthy legs. Their heads are flat and their bills are longer than those of most blackbirds. Their wings seem small in relation to their large tail when they fly. Male Grackles are bigger than females. While the Common Grackle looks to be black from a distance, closer examination reveals purple-blue glossy heads and green-purple iridescent bodies.

Grackles are frequently encountered in big groups grazing on lawns and agricultural areas or soaring. Rather than scratching for food, the Common Grackle pecks. The Common Grackle is an extremely resourceful bird; occasionally, they may be seen following plows in search of rodents and invertebrates. Grackles frequently intimidate smaller birds at feeders.

Year-round, Common Grackles may be seen throughout Tennessee. Grackles may be found as far north as northern Canada during the mating season. They can be observed in southern Texas when they are not breeding.

If you want Common Grackles in your yard, provide suet, milo, oats, millet, cracked corn, safflower, hulled sunflower seeds, and fruit in your large hopper or platform feeder. Grackles will be attracted to your seeds if you spread them on the ground near the feeder.

23.American Crow

25 Backyard Birds in Tennessee in 2022 (Pictures & Facts) | startbirdwatching.com (23)

Image: © Henry Burton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Corvus brachyrhynchos

Length: 15.8-20.9 in (40-53 cm)

Weight: 11.2-21.9 oz (316-620 g)

Wingspan: 33.5-39.4 in (85-100 cm)

Found in 44.38 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

The American Crow is entirely comprised of black. Everything: legs, beak, and so on. However, when they molt, the older feathers might seem somewhat brown in comparison to the shiny fresh feathers. They are substantial birds with lengthy legs and a robust neck. When the crow flies, it has a straight beak and broad, rounded wings. The feathers on the wingtips resemble spread-out fingers. They have a short tail with a somewhat squared-off tip.

These crows are extremely gregarious birds, forming flocks of thousands of them. American Crows are frequently naughty and excellent problem solvers. They have been observed sometimes infiltrating garbage cans and going through old food items.

While American Crows are year-round residents of Tennessee, they typically breed further north in Canada. The Canada-breeding Crow population frequently winters in the United States.

The American Crow is quite frequent in the lower 48 states and in areas other than the southern deserts. These crows congregate in open places adjacent to wooded regions, as well as in municipal parks, rubbish dumps, groomed lawns, cemeteries, and campers. You’ll know they’re nearby if their noisy cawing is audible.

American Crows are not frequently seen at feeders in backyards. Crows may be attracted to areas with plenty of open space, diverse tree species, or food. Alternatively, you might spread peanuts over an open area to attract crows. Additionally, they may consume food from your waste can or compost.

24.Red-winged Blackbird

25 Backyard Birds in Tennessee in 2022 (Pictures & Facts) | startbirdwatching.com (24)

Image: © Connor Charchuk | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus

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)

Found in 44.34 percent of sites visited in Tennessee

The Red-winged Blackbird Blackbirds are stocky, broad-shouldered, and have a short cone-shaped beak and a somewhat long tail. They are shiny black on the outside and bright red and yellow on the shoulders. When perched, Red-winged Blackbirds can seem hump-backed. With their brilliant shoulders, these birds are difficult to miss.

Male Red-winged blackbirds will do virtually everything to attract attention; they will perch on high perches and sing their song continuously throughout the day. Females, on the other hand, remain lower and dash through plants in search of food, even hastily constructing nests. For the winter, Red-winged Blackbirds assemble massive flocks, which occasionally include starlings and other blackbird species.

These blackbirds are year-round residents of Tennessee. The southern states and Mexico’s blackbird populations do not migrate, but the northern states’ blackbird populations spend their winters around 800 miles from their breeding regions.

While driving through the countryside, the Red-winged Blackbird is frequently seen perched on telephone lines. Additionally, they can be spotted while exploring cattail marshes and wetlands. These blackbirds will very certainly be the most visible and loudest birds.

If you fill your feeders with a mixture of grains and seeds, you may attract Red-winged Blackbirds to your yard. You might scatter seed or grain on the ground to attract Red-winged Blackbirds.

25.Brown Thrasher

25 Backyard Birds in Tennessee in 2022 (Pictures & Facts) | startbirdwatching.com (25)

Image: © Martina Nordstrand | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Toxostoma rufum

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)

Found in 43.84 percent of the sites visited in Tennessee

Brown Thrashers are smaller than Blue Jays but larger than Northern Mockingbirds. Brown with black stripes on their white underparts, these birds are brown. Their faces are grey-brown with vivid yellow eyes.

Thrashers like to conceal themselves in shrubs and bushes or feed on the ground behind cover. They like singing loudly from trees and shrubs. Brown Thrashers are extremely aggressive and defensive birds; they will hit humans and dogs hard enough to cause blood.

Brown Thrashers are local migrants. They migrate south during the winter from the northern section of their breeding territory to the southeastern region. Year-round, these thrashers may be seen throughout Tennessee.

Keep an eye out for the Brown Thrasher in dense woods, along forest borders, and in hedgerows. Although these birds are often difficult to see, they create a lot of noise as they move through the leaf litter.

If food is given, the Brown will accept it. Thrashers may frequent backyards; they may visit feeders or the ground beneath to gather dropped seeds. You may attract thrashers by planting berry-producing plants, as they like the deep cover provided by shrubs and bushes.


How do I identify a bird in my backyard? ›

The best way to identify backyard birds is to use a balanced observation approach that includes noting the behavior, voice, color, and field markings of the bird. A field guide may also help you identify the most common backyard birds in your region.

How do I know what birds are in my area? ›

You can use eBird to find out what birds are in your area now or in the past. The eBird database is free to all and uses real bird sightings gathered by bird watchers around the world. Your area can be as small as a local park, county or state, depending upon where you live.

What is the most common bird in Tennessee? ›

The most common bird in Tennessee: the most frequently seen bird in the state is Northern Cardinal. It is reported on 61% of bird watching lists.

What is the name of the bird that sings in the morning? ›

The most common kind of birds heard in the morning, in order of song in the morning chorus are Blackbirds, Robins, Eurasian Wrens, and Chaffinches. But these species may vary depending on where you live.

How do I know what kind of bird I saw? ›

Merlin, the Cornell Lab's popular bird ID app, has spawned a new tool called Merlin Bird Photo ID, and you can help test it out! Just upload a photo, click on the bird's bill, eye, and tail, and let computer vision help you ID the bird. It currently recognizes 400 common North American bird species.

What birds visit your backyard at home? ›

If do all these little things right, even in urban areas of India Sparrows, Barbets, Robins, Fantail, Sunbirds, tailorbird, Bulbul, Golden Oriole, Cuckoo, Parakeet, Myna, spotted dove & much more will definitely visit your garden. Happy Gardening!

Is there a free app to identify birds? ›

The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to over 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you've seen, and get outside to find new birds near you.

What is the best free bird identification app? ›

Explore which ones are right for you and your kids.
  • eBird Mobile App. If you are looking for a convenient and paperless way to log your bird sightings, consider the eBird mobile app. ...
  • Merlin. ...
  • Audubon Bird Guide. ...
  • BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide. ...
  • EyeLoveBirds. ...
  • iBird Pro. ...
  • Sibley Birds (Version 2)

What is the rarest bird in Tennessee? ›

Bachman's Sparrow, Peucaea aestivalis. The Bachman's Sparrow is a fairly drab, secretive sparrow and has become extremely rare in Tennessee.

What is the red bird in Tennessee? ›

"Redbird" is a popular common name for the Northern Cardinal. This non-migratory bird is abundant in Tennessee and can be found in a variety of habitats from suburban neighborhoods and rural areas, to bottomland forests and mountainsides. A cardinal will often spend its entire life within a mile of where it hatched.

What big birds are in Tennessee? ›

100 Common Birds of Tennessee
  • Canada Goose. Wood Duck. Mallard. ...
  • Pied-billed Grebe. Double-crested Cormorant. Great Blue Heron. ...
  • Cattle Egret. Green Heron. Black-crowned Night-Heron. ...
  • Black Vulture. Turkey Vulture. ...
  • Cooper's Hawk. Bald Eagle. ...
  • Killdeer. Spotted Sandpiper. ...
  • Eurasian Collard-Dove. Mourning Dove. ...
  • Great Horned Owl. Barred Owl.

What can you feed birds? ›

  • Other seeds and nuts. Black sunflower seeds. ...
  • Bird cake and food bars. Fat balls and other fat-based food bars are excellent winter food. ...
  • Live foods and other insect foods. ...
  • Dog and cat food. ...
  • Rice and cereals. ...
  • Fats, margarines and oils. ...
  • Milk and coconut.

Why do some birds stay for the winter? ›

Some birds stay for the winter because they have developed adaptations to deal with the cold winter. These adaptations include changing their diet, insulative feathers, high metabolic rates, shivering, fluffing of feathers, cuddling, countercurrent heat exchange, and tucking in of their extremities.

Which bird has the most beautiful voice? ›

Of all the birds on this list, the common nightingale may have the most beautiful voice. These small birds are known for their song's beauty. With various trills and whistles, the common nightingale's song is thought to be one of the most emotionally overwhelming.

What bird sings at 4 in the morning? ›

Do some birds sing at an earlier hour than others? Yes. Some of the birds known to be out singing earliest in the morning include doves, thrushes, wrens, robins, warblers, and blackbirds. These birds are out especially early because they start their foraging and other activities earlier than other birds.

What bird has prettiest songs? ›

Some people believe the thrushes, such as the Wood Thrush, or the Veery, have the most beautiful bird songs. Many people love the cry of the Common Loon.

Can Google identify a bird from a picture? ›

If you have a smartphone, either Android or iPhone, you have access to a very powerful tool for identifying birds from photographs through the Google Photos app. For Android users, the Google Photos app should come standard on your phone but iPhone users may have to download it from the Apple App Store.

What is the only bird that Cannot fly? ›

It may seem strange that among the more than 10,000 bird species in the world today is a group that literally cannot fly or sing, and whose wings are more fluff than feather. These are the ratites: the ostrich, emu, rhea, kiwi and cassowary.

How do I identify a bird by its song? ›

It's like Shazam® for birds—just hold up your phone, record the bird singing, and BirdGenie™ will help you identify the species. The app's highly developed sound identification engine and expert matching system enable anyone to achieve results with previously unheard of accuracy.

What should you not feed wild birds? ›

Among the most common foods that are toxic to birds are:
  • Avocado. The leaves of the avocado plant contain persin, a fatty acid-like substance that kills fungus in the plant. ...
  • Caffeine. ...
  • Chocolate. ...
  • Salt. ...
  • Fat. ...
  • Fruit pits and apple seeds. ...
  • Onions and garlic. ...
  • Xylitol.

Do birds Know Who feeds them? ›

Birds primarily use vision, their sense of sight, to locate food. Birds may see seeds that they recognize as food in your feeder. But to do so, they have to be pretty close.

Why do birds throw seed out of feeder? ›

Birds throw seed hulls from the feeder

Birds eat the meat of the seed, the kernel. They discard the seed's fibrous outer covering, the hull. If you examine the seeds under the feeder you may see that it is mostly the two inedible halves of the hull that have been tossed on the ground.

Is there an app to identify birds by picture? ›

Merlin features the best of community contributed photos, songs, and calls, tips from experts around the world to help you ID the birds you see, and range maps from Birds of the World—all powered by billions of bird observations submitted to eBird.

Can iPhone identify birds? ›

No. It's a camera, not a bird or other object identifier.

Is there a Shazam for birds? ›

With a groundbreaking new update, you can now identify a bird just by holding up your phone. The new feature users are calling the "Shazam for birds" listens along with you, using AI technology to identify each species in an instant, displaying a list and photos of the birds that are singing or calling.

How can you tell if a bird is on your phone? ›

An online tool called BirdNET uses artificial intelligence to identify bird songs and calls. And Cornell's well-known Merlin Bird ID app now has sound ID, too. It's as simple as opening the app, choosing “Sound ID,” and hitting record. It can pick out multiple species in the same recording.

What is the difference between eBird and Merlin? ›

In addition to being a step-by-step ID wizard, Merlin includes more than 1,400 photos, more than half of them taken by eBird project leaders Chris Wood and Brian Sullivan. It features ID tips, more than 800 audio recordings from the Macaulay Library, and range maps from The Birds of North America Online.

What do u feed a baby bird? ›

So, what do baby birds eat? They tend to eat the same food their parents eat. That typically includes things like insects, seeds, and earthworms. When a bird parent hunts for food to feed its young, it will find and eat insects, worms, or seeds.

What Tennessee birds are blue? ›

If you see a remarkably all-blue bird along the roadside during the summer in Tennessee, it is more than likely an Indigo Bunting. Unlike the Eastern Bluebird with its rusty and white belly, the male Indigo Bunting is entirely blue, startlingly so when seen in good light.

Are there blue jays in Tennessee? ›

In Tennessee, Blue Jays are year round residents with more northerly nesting jays joining the local population in winter. Description: The Blue Jay is blue above, grayish-white below, has a prominent blue crest, and a bold black "necklace" across the chest.

What birds are yellow in Tennessee? ›

Most Tennesseans are familiar with the striking yellow and black plumage of the male American Goldfinch.

What does a tanager bird look like? ›

Adult male Summer Tanagers are entirely bright red. Females and immature males are bright yellow-green—yellower on the head and underparts and slightly greener on the back and wings. The bill is pale. Molting immature males can be patchy yellow and red.

What bird is red with black wings? ›

Male Scarlet Tanagers are among the most blindingly gorgeous birds in an eastern forest in summer, with blood-red bodies set off by jet-black wings and tail. They're also one of the most frustratingly hard to find as they stay high in the forest canopy singing rich, burry songs.

What does a scarlet tanager look like? ›

Measurements. In spring and summer, adult males are an unmistakable, brilliant red with black wings and tails. Females and fall immatures are olive-yellow with darker olive wings and tails. After breeding, adult males molt to female-like plumage, but with black wings and tail.

What is the biggest hawk in Tennessee? ›

The largest hawks in Tennessee are Rough-legged Hawks and the smallest hawks in Tennessee are Sharp-shinned Hawks. The most common hawk in Tennessee is the Red-tailed Hawk.

Is there Golden Eagles in TN? ›

Status in Tennessee: Golden Eagles are a rare, but regular migrant and winter resident across the state, and very rare in summer. They usually arrive in mid-November and depart by early March.

Are there any falcons in Tennessee? ›

The Peregrine Falcon winters through most of its breeding range, retreating from the northernmost areas. It can be found in Tennessee during any season, but it is never common.

What is the best bird identification app? ›

Explore which ones are right for you and your kids.
  • eBird Mobile App. If you are looking for a convenient and paperless way to log your bird sightings, consider the eBird mobile app. ...
  • Merlin. ...
  • Audubon Bird Guide. ...
  • BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide. ...
  • EyeLoveBirds. ...
  • iBird Pro. ...
  • Sibley Birds (Version 2)

What bird looks like a sparrow but is smaller? ›

Dickcissel. Dickcissel are small-sized bird from the sparrow family, that can be found in fields, grasslands and prairies throughout North America, migrating from Central America during the winter months.

What is the name of a little brown bird? ›

Small brown birds at your feeder are likely to be sparrows or female finches. However, they might be female blackbirds. They might be wrens!

What is a black bird with a grey head? ›

Coloeus monedula

Measuring 34–39 centimetres (13–15 in) in length, the western jackdaw is a black-plumaged bird with a grey nape and distinctive pale-grey irises.

Is there a free bird ID app? ›

The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to over 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you've seen, and get outside to find new birds near you.

Is there an app that you can take a picture of a bird and it will tell you what it is? ›

The Merlin Bird Photo ID mobile app can recognize hundreds of North American species it “sees” in photos, then show you a list of birds that match your description and are expected in your area.

Is there a phone app to identify birds? ›

Shazam for birds: this new bird call identifier app works on 400 species, for free. A new (and free) bird call identifier app from Cornell identifies the sounds of 400 bird species, in real time.

What bird is all black with a white belly? ›

So, what is the black bird with a white belly? If you saw a small black bird with a white belly hopping on ground, it is likely a Dark-eyed Junco. However, it can also be birds like the Black-Capped Chickadee, Black-Billed Magpie, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, or others based on the bird's body, color, behavior, and habitat.

What bird is gray with a white belly? ›

All juncos have prominent white outer tail feathers. Male "Slate-colored" form is mostly gray with white belly.

What bird looks like a sparrow but is bigger? ›

Grosbeaks: These birds look similar to sparrows but are usually much larger, with very heavy, thick bills with wide bases for cracking the largest seeds. These birds have larger heads, and may often show crests or other unique head shapes.

What does it mean when sparrows fly around you? ›

Sparrow Encounters and Omens

Sparrows are often seen as good luck charms or positive omens that signify peace and ease.

What bird looks like a sparrow but has a black head? ›

Black-capped Chickadee Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

What does it mean when a crow visits you? ›

Crows appear to alert you to the presence of spiritual shifts taking place around you and to remind you to pay close attention to the spiritual signs that are being conveyed to guide you in the right direction. They are symbols of change, phases, telepathic powers, and the ability to see into the realms of the unseen.

What bird looks like a small crow? ›

It might be one of them. So, you may also be wondering which birds look like crows. Crow look-alike birds are common ravens, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, brown-headed cowbirds, western jackdaws, pied currawongs, western rooks, black-billed magpies, alpine choughs, European starlings, and more.

Are crow and Raven the same? ›

Ravens differ from crows in appearance by their larger bill, tail shape, flight pattern and by their large size. Ravens are as big as Red-tailed Hawks, and crows are about the size of pigeons. The raven is all black, has a 3.5-4 ft wingspan and is around 24-27 inches from head to tail.


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