List Of The Most 30 Common Birds Found In North America

The Most Common Birds Found In North America
The Most Common Birds Found In North America

Have you ever watched birds in your backyard and wondered what kinds they were? North America is home to many beautiful and interesting birds. In this article, we’ll look at 30 of the most common birds you might see across the continent. Whether you’re a bird watcher or just curious about the feathered friends in your neighborhood, this guide will help you learn more about the abundant birds in North America.

Why Learn About Common Birds?

Learning about common birds is fun and helpful. It can:

  • Make your time outside more interesting
  • Help you understand nature better
  • Let you share cool facts with friends and family

Now, let’s dive into our list of common North American birds!

Backyard Birds: The Frequent Flyers

1. American Robin

The American Robin is one of the most common birds in North America. You can spot these birds easily by their:

  • Red-orange breast
  • Gray back and wings
  • Yellow beak

Robins love to hop on lawns looking for worms. In spring, you might see them pulling worms from the ground after it rains.

2. House Sparrow

House Sparrows are small birds found all over North America. They’re easy to spot because:

  • They have brown and gray feathers
  • Males have a black bib under their beak
  • They often gather in noisy groups

These little birds are not shy. They’ll visit bird feeders and hang out near people.

3. Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a bright and beautiful bird. Here’s what makes them special:

  • Males are bright red all over
  • Females are light brown with red touches
  • Both have a pointy crest on their head

Cardinals don’t migrate, so you can see them all year round in many parts of North America.

4. Blue Jay

Blue Jays are known for their loud calls and bright blue feathers. You can identify them by:

  • Their blue, white, and black feathers
  • The crest on top of their head
  • Their noisy “jay-jay” call

These smart birds are part of the corvid family, which includes crows and ravens.

5. Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves are gentle birds named for their soft, sad-sounding coo. Look for:

  • Plump bodies with small heads
  • Pale brown or gray feathers
  • Long, pointed tails

These birds are often seen on the ground or perched on wires.

Woodpeckers: The Tree Drummers

6. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America. You can spot them by:

  • Their black and white spotted wings
  • The red patch on the back of males’ heads
  • Their small size (about as big as a sparrow)

These little birds love to visit backyard feeders, especially if you offer suet.

7. Red-bellied Woodpecker

Despite its name, the Red-bellied Woodpecker’s belly isn’t very red. Instead, look for:

  • A red cap and nape (back of the neck)
  • Black and white barred back
  • A pale belly with a hint of red

These woodpeckers are common in forests and wooded suburbs in the eastern United States.

Songbirds: Nature’s Musicians

8. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinches are bright, cheerful birds. In summer, males are:

  • Bright yellow with black wings
  • Have a black cap on their head

Females and winter birds are more olive-colored. These birds love to eat seeds from flowers like sunflowers and coneflowers.

9. Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadees are small, friendly birds. They’re easy to spot with their:

  • Black cap and bib
  • White cheeks
  • Gray back and wings

These little birds are known for their “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call.

10. House Finch

House Finches are common visitors to bird feeders. Look for:

  • Males with red heads and chests
  • Females that are brown and streaky all over
  • Thick, curved beaks for cracking seeds

These birds like to gather in small flocks and sing cheerful songs.

Water-Loving Birds

11. Mallard Duck

Mallards are probably the ducks you think of when someone says “duck.” They’re known for:

  • Males (drakes) with green heads and yellow bills
  • Females (hens) that are mottled brown
  • The familiar “quack” sound

You can find Mallards in ponds, lakes, and even city parks with water.

12. Canada Goose

Canada Geese are large birds often seen in parks and fields. They have:

  • Long black necks
  • White cheek patches
  • Brown bodies

These geese often fly in V-shaped formations and make loud honking noises.

Birds of Prey

13. Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawks are big birds that soar high in the sky. Look for:

  • Their broad, rounded wings
  • A short, wide tail that’s often red on top
  • A pale chest with a dark band across the belly

These hawks hunt for small animals in open fields and along roadsides.

More Backyard Favorites

14. European Starling

European Starlings were brought to North America long ago. Now they’re everywhere! They have:

  • Dark feathers with spots that look like stars
  • Short tails and pointed wings
  • A way of walking that looks like waddling

Starlings often gather in large, noisy flocks.

15. White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatches are fun to watch as they climb down trees headfirst. They have:

  • A white face and chest
  • A blue-gray back
  • A black cap (on males)

These birds make a nasal “yank-yank” sound as they look for insects in tree bark.

16. Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Juncos are small, sparrow-like birds. In most of North America, they have:

  • Dark gray or brown bodies
  • White bellies
  • White outer tail feathers that flash when they fly

Juncos are often called “snowbirds” because they show up in many areas when it gets cold.

17. American Crow

American Crows are big, all-black birds known for being smart. They have:

  • Glossy black feathers all over
  • Strong, thick beaks
  • A loud “caw-caw” call

Crows are very clever and can solve problems and use tools.

18. Common Grackle

Common Grackles are blackbirds with a lot of attitude. They have:

  • Iridescent feathers that shine purple and green
  • Long tails
  • Pale yellow eyes

These birds often gather in large, noisy flocks in fields and near bird feeders.

19. Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmice are small, active birds. Look for:

  • Their gray bodies
  • Black foreheads
  • Small crests on their heads

These birds are known for their fast, acrobatic movements as they look for food.

20. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbirds are famous for their ability to mimic other birds and sounds. They have:

  • Gray bodies
  • White patches on their wings and tail
  • Long tails that they often raise and lower

Mockingbirds can learn and repeat up to 200 different songs!

Even More Backyard Visitors

21. Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbirds are a common sight in wetlands and fields. Look for:

  • Males with glossy black bodies
  • Bright red and yellow shoulder patches on males
  • Females that are brown and streaky

These birds often perch on cattails and sing their distinctive “conk-la-ree” song.

22. Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebirds are a favorite among bird watchers. They have:

  • Males with bright blue backs and rusty-red breasts
  • Females with duller blue-gray backs and lighter orange breasts
  • A gentle, warbling song

These birds like open areas with scattered trees and are often seen perching on wires or fence posts.

23. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinches are bright, cheerful birds. In summer, males are:

  • Bright yellow with black wings and a black cap
  • Females and winter birds are more olive-colored

These birds love to eat seeds from flowers like sunflowers and coneflowers.

Forest Friends

24. Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in North America. They’re known for:

  • Their large size (almost as big as a crow)
  • A bright red crest on their head
  • Black body with white stripes on the face and neck

These impressive birds make large, rectangular holes in trees as they search for insects.

25. Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owls are powerful birds of prey. They have:

  • Large, yellow eyes
  • Feather tufts on their head that look like horns
  • A deep, hooting call often heard at night

These owls are found in many habitats, from forests to city parks.

Colorful Characters

26. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are tiny but mighty. They’re known for:

  • Males with a bright red throat patch
  • Emerald green backs
  • The ability to hover and fly backwards

These small birds migrate long distances, even flying across the Gulf of Mexico!

27. Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Orioles are bright and beautiful birds. Look for:

  • Males with bright orange and black feathers
  • Females with yellow-orange and brown colors
  • Their distinctive, hanging sock-like nests

These birds love fruit and will visit feeders with orange slices or grape jelly.

Water’s Edge Residents

28. Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons are tall, elegant birds often seen near water. They have:

  • Long legs for wading
  • A long, S-shaped neck
  • Blue-gray feathers

These birds stand very still as they hunt for fish in shallow water.

29. Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfishers are often seen near streams and ponds. They’re known for:

  • Their large heads with shaggy crests
  • Blue-gray feathers with a white collar
  • Females having a rusty band across their belly

These birds dive headfirst into water to catch fish.

City Dwellers

30. Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeons, often called city pigeons, are common in urban areas. They have:

  • Plump bodies with small heads
  • Various colors, but often blue-gray with two dark wing bars
  • A cooing call

These birds are very adaptable and can live in many different environments.

Table: Quick Guide to Additional Common North American Birds

Here’s a table with the requested information about 30 common birds found in North America:

Bird NameMain ColorsWhere to FindFun Fact
American RobinRed-orange breast, gray backCities, towns, parks, forestsOften considered a harbinger of spring
House SparrowBrown and grayUrban and suburban areasIntroduced from Europe in the 19th century
Northern CardinalMales: bright red, Females: light brown with red touchesMixed habitats in East and SouthwestState bird of seven states
Blue JayBlue, white, blackForests, parks, suburban areasKnown for their loud calls and mimicry
Mourning DovePale brown or grayOpen habitats, suburbs, urban parksNamed for its mournful cooing sound
Downy WoodpeckerBlack and white, males have red patchWoodlands, parks, gardensSmallest woodpecker in North America
Red-bellied WoodpeckerRed cap and nape, black and white barred backForests, wooded suburbs in East USBelly has a hint of red
American GoldfinchMales: bright yellow, Females: olive-coloredFields, meadows, gardensState bird of New Jersey and Iowa
Black-capped ChickadeeBlack cap and bib, white cheeksForests, parks, suburban areasKnown for their “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call
House FinchMales: red heads and chests, Females: brown and streakyUrban areas, parks, gardensGather in small flocks and sing cheerful songs
Mallard DuckMales: green heads, Females: mottled brownPonds, lakes, city parks with waterFamiliar “quack” sound
Canada GooseLong black necks, white cheek patches, brown bodiesParks, fieldsFly in V-shaped formations
Red-tailed HawkBroad, rounded wings, red tailOpen fields, roadsidesKnown for their distinctive scream
European StarlingDark feathers with white spotsUrban areas, farmlands, open woodlandsIntroduced to North America in the 1890s
White-breasted NuthatchWhite face and chest, blue-gray backWoodlands, suburban areasClimbs down trees headfirst
Dark-eyed JuncoDark gray or brown, white belliesForests, fields, gardensOften called “snowbirds”
American CrowGlossy blackAlmost everywhere, including urban areasHighly intelligent and social
Common GrackleIridescent black, long tailsOpen areas, fields, urban areasOften seen in large, noisy flocks
Tufted TitmouseGray bodies, black foreheadsWoodlands, gardensKnown for fast, acrobatic movements
Northern MockingbirdGray bodies, white patches on wings and tailOpen habitats with shrubs and small treesCan mimic up to 200 different sounds
Red-winged BlackbirdMales: glossy black with red and yellow shoulder patches, Females: brown and streakyWetlands, fieldsKnown for their distinctive song
Eastern BluebirdMales: bright blue backs, rusty-red breasts, Females: duller blue-gray backs, lighter orange breastsOpen areas with scattered treesOften seen perching on wires or fence posts
Pileated WoodpeckerBlack body with white stripes, bright red crestForests, woodlandsMakes large, rectangular holes in trees
Great Horned OwlLarge, yellow eyes, feather tuftsVarious habitats, including forests and city parksKnown as the “tiger owl” for its hunting prowess
Ruby-throated HummingbirdMales: bright red throat patch, emerald green backsGardens, woodlandsThe only hummingbird that breeds in the eastern US
Baltimore OrioleMales: bright orange and black, Females: yellow-orange and brownOpen woodlands, gardensKnown for their hanging nests
Great Blue HeronBlue-gray feathers, long legsNear waterStands very still as they hunt for fish
Belted KingfisherBlue-gray feathers, large heads with shaggy crestsStreams, pondsDives headfirst into water to catch fish
Rock PigeonBlue-gray with two dark wing barsUrban areasVery adaptable and can live in many environments

This table provides a concise overview of each bird’s main colors, where they can be found, and a fun fact about them.


North America is home to many amazing birds. From the bright red Northern Cardinal to the clever American Crow, there’s always something interesting to see in the sky or at your bird feeder. By learning about these common birds, you can start to understand the natural world around you better.

Remember, birds are more than just pretty things to look at. They play important roles in nature by:

  • Spreading seeds
  • Controlling insect populations
  • Pollinating flowers

So next time you’re outside, take a moment to look and listen for these feathered friends. You might be surprised at how many you can spot now that you know what to look for!

Happy bird watching!

Picture of Nathan


I absolutely adore birds, especially lovebirds, and I’m passionate about exploring forests for bird watching. I wanted to create a space for fellow bird lovers to connect, learn, and share experiences.