In the summer, Robins and Western Meadowlarks are more common, but in the winter, Dark-eyed Juncos, Blue Jays, and woodpeckers are more common.
So, if you’re ready to go birding in your backyard in Nebraska, keep reading to learn how to recognize birds and how to attract more birds to your yard. Nebraska’s state bird is the Western Meadowlark. In 1929, this bird was chosen. This bird is frequently recorded in Nebraska state checklists, accounting for 20% of all sightings.
According to ebird, Nebraska is home to 440 different bird species. Sandhill Cranes, Black-crowned Night-Herons, Great Blue Herons, Orioles, Bald Eagles, Tanagers, Snow Goose, Greater Prarie Birds, White Pelicans, and Great Horned Owls are some of Nebraska’s most notable birds.
The Bald Eagle is Nebraska’s largest bird, with females having a wingspan of up to 8 feet (2.5 m). A formidable bird of prey, the white-headed national bird emblem of the United States is a powerful white-headed national bird symbol of the United States.
The American Robin is the most common bird in Nebraska, appearing in 51 percent of all recorded checklists for the state on ebird.org during the year. If you want to get out and view birds in their natural habitat, Nebraska has five national parks, two national forests, three National Grasslands, eight national wildlife refuges, and eight state parks.
Top 20 Most Common Backyard Birds in Nebraska
- American Robin
- Mourning Dove
- Northern Cardinal
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Common Grackle
- Dark-eyed Junco
- Blue Jay
- European Starling
- Downy Woodpecker
- Barn Swallow
- Brown-headed Cowbird
- House Wren
- House Sparrow
- American Goldfinch
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- Black-capped Chickadee
- Eastern Kingbird
- Western Meadowlark
- Baltimore Oriole
- Orchard Oriole
Top 20 Most Common Backyard Birds in Nebraska
1. American Robin
American Robins, which consume earthworms, are a common sight on lawns. Their heads and backs are black, while their breasts are crimson or orange. Because they prefer to roost in trees during the winter, you’re more likely to see them in your backyard starting in the spring.
American Robins can be found in a variety of environments, including woodlands, forests, and mountains, as well as fields, parks, and lawns. Earthworms, insects, certain snails, and fruit are among their favorite foods.
Sunflower seeds, suet and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms can all be used to attract more American Robins to your yard. Platform feeders or food distributed on the ground are ideal. Plant juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood, which are natural plants that produce berries.
2. Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves are small, graceful birds with plump bodies and long tails. The wings have a light brown tint with black markings.
In grasslands, pastures, and backyards, they can be observed perching on telephone wires and hunting for seeds on the ground. Mourning Doves can be found in open regions or along woodland edges. Mourning Doves are found across the lower 48 states throughout the year, but they may migrate after reproducing in the far north.
By distributing millet on the ground or using platform feeders, you can attract more Mourning Doves to your yard. They’ll consume black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts, among other things.
3. Northern Cardinal
|Length||21 – 24 cm|
The image of a bright red male Northern Cardinal with black around his face, especially against a white winter background, is breathtaking. The females’ brown hue, pointed brown crest, red accents, and red beaks make them stand out.
During the breeding season, Northern Cardinals will occasionally attack their reflection to defend their territories. Sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo attract more Northern Cardinals to backyard feeders.
Large tube feeders, hoppers, platform feeders, and food was thrown on the ground will all be used to feed them.
4. Red-winged Blackbird
The all-black plumage of red-winged blackbirds, save for the vivid red and yellow shoulder patches, makes them simple to distinguish. In comparison to the streaky brown pigmentation of the males, the females are quite drab.
They are frequently seen sitting on telephone wires, and during the breeding season, the males will fiercely protect their territory, even attacking individuals who come too close to nests. During the winter, they roost in huge flocks, numbering in the millions.
Spread mixed grain and seeds on the ground to attract more Red-winged blackbirds to your yard. They’ll eat enormous tube feeders or platform feeders as well.
5. Common Grackle
|Length||28 – 34 cm|
The Common Grackle is a blackbird with glossy iridescent bodies that is taller and longer-tailed than other blackbirds.
They eat a variety of crops, but primarily maize, and congregate in noisy groups high in the trees. They will also devour trash, making them a nuisance. Open forests, marshes, parks, and fields are among their many habitats. In the winter, they may congregate in the millions to forage and roost alongside other blackbird species.
The Common Grackle spends the entire year in much of the east and all of the southeast but migrates south after mating in the far north and west of its range. Most mixed grain and seed spread on ground feeders or platform feeders can attract more Common Grackles to your backyard.
6. Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Juncos are sparrows that come in a variety of hues depending on where they are found. In the east, they are slate-colored, whereas, in the west, they are black, white, and brown.
They are abundant over the continent and can be found in open and slightly wooded areas, generally on the ground. In the west and the Appalachian Mountains, some people live there all year. In the winter, those who breed in Canada and Alaska move south to the United States.
Various seeds, including black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts, can be used to attract additional Dark-eyed Juncos to backyard feeders. It’s better to sprinkle them on the ground or platform feeders.
7. Blue Jay
|Length||22 – 30 cm|
|Weight||65 – 110 g|
Blue Jays are large songbirds with a blue upright crest, blue and black backs, and white undersides that are prevalent in the United States.
They are loud birds that fly in family groups in search of acorns. Mostly resident, but may migrate in huge flocks along the Great Lakes and Atlantic coast from the far northwest of the United States.
They live in woodlands but like to be near oak trees because they eat acorns. They can also be found near feeders in backyards. They eat insects, nuts and seeds, and grain in addition to acorns. They may also remove eggs or nestlings from nests.
If you want to attract more Blue Jays to your yard, try feeding them peanuts, sunflower seeds, or suet in tray feeders or hopper feeders on a post. They’ll also appreciate a birdbath.
8. European Starling
European starlings are not native to the United States, yet they have become one of the most common songbirds. They’re stocky black birds with purple, green, and blue iridescent tones.
Some consider these birds to be pests because of their aggressive demeanor. They can be found perched in groups on the tops of trees or flying over fields in flocks.
Beetles, flies, caterpillars, earthworms, and spiders are among the insects that starlings eat. Fruit such as cherries, holly berries, mulberries, Virginia Creeper, sumac, and blackberries, as well as grains and seeds, are consumed by them.
Black oil sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, and peanuts can all be used to attract more European Starlings to your backyard feeders.
9. Downy Woodpecker
|Length||14 –17 cm|
|Weight||21 – 28 g|
Downy Woodpeckers are tiny birds that use feeders in backyards. They’re frequently mistaken for other birds like chickadees and nuthatches.
They have a red patch on the back of their heads and are black and white in appearance. They resemble the Hairy Woodpecker but are smaller. Downy woodpeckers eat insects, beetle larvae, berries, acorns, and grains and can be found in woodlots, along streams, city parks, and backyards.
Suet feeders are a good way to attract more Downy Woodpeckers to your yard, but they will also eat black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts from platform feeders.
10. Barn Swallow
Barn Swallows are little birds with a dark blue back, wings, and tail, as well as a reddish-brown underbelly and across the face. Long outer feathers form a deep fork in the tail.
They breed across the majority of North America before migrating to Central and South America to breed. They are commonly seen soaring over meadows, farms, and fields in search of insects, and they build mud nests in man-made structures such as barns.
Put up nest boxes or cups to attract more Barn Swallows, and they may eat ground-up eggshells on a platform feeder.
11. Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird males have short tails and thick heads and have a black body and brown head. Females are brown with faint striping all over.
They are frequently seen as a nuisance since they destroy the eggs of smaller songbirds to place their eggs in the nest and have the bird care for their offspring. They breed in much of northern and western North America before moving south, although they spend the entire year in the Eastern and Southern states, as well as the Pacific Coast.
12. House Wren
|Length||11 to 13 cm|
|Weight||10 to 12 g|
House Wrens are little brown birds with a lighter throat and darker banded wings and tails. Before moving to the extreme south and Mexico for the winter, they breed in most states.
Foraging for insects and spiders such as beetles, caterpillars, and earwigs in brush heaps, House Wrens can be found in backyards, parks, and open woodlands. They’re frequently seen hopping through tangles and low branches with their tails raised, pausing to sing their happy song.
When it comes to getting the best nest holes, House Wrens are aggressive for their size, and they will often disturb larger birds, yanking eggs, or nestlings out of a nest site they prefer.
By leaving brush piles or erecting a nest box in your backyard, you might attract more House Wrens.
13. House Sparrow
Another introduced species that has thrived and is now one of the most frequent birds is the House Sparrow. They’re common near homes and buildings, and they’re extremely tame, so they’ll eat right out of your hand.
They are pests since they are non-native, yet they will still be found in backyards if you do not feed them.
Most types of birdseed, such as millet, corn, and sunflower seeds, will attract more House Sparrows to your backyard feeders.
14. American Goldfinch
The males of American Goldfinches have a striking yellow and black plumage in the spring. In the winter, females and males are both a dull brown color.
American Goldfinches breed in the far north and Canada before moving to the south, where they spend the entire year. They forage for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants in weedy fields and overgrown places. They’re also common in parks, backyards, and suburbs.
Plant thistles and milkweed in your yard to attract more American Goldfinches. Most bird feeders will attract them, and they like sunflower and nyjer seed.
15. White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatches are small, energetic birds with a gray-blue back and white face and belly, as well as a black crown. On the lower belly and under the tail, they often have a chestnut color.
They’re common in deciduous forests, woodland edges, parks, and yards with trees, as well as at bird feeders. Beetles and their larvae, caterpillars, ants, and spiders are among the insects they devour.
White-breasted Acorns, hawthorns, sunflower seeds, and maize crops are among the seeds and nuts eaten by nuthatches. They cram huge nuts and acorns into tree bark and then beat them open with their bills to get the seed out.
Sunflower seeds and peanuts in tube feeders or suet feeders will attract more White-breasted Nuthatches to your yard.
16. Black-capped Chickadee
|Length||four to six inches|
The Black-capped Chickadee has a small body and a large round head. These birds will happily eat from backyard feeders and will inspect everything, including you!
Their beaks and heads are black, their faces are white, and their backs, wings, and tails are gray.
Forests, open woods, and parks are all good places to look for them. Seeds, berries, insects, spiders, and suet are eaten by black-capped chickadees.
Suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts or peanut butter are all good ways to attract additional Black-capped Chickadees to your yard. They’ll even eat from your hand, and they’re usually the first to notice new feeders. They’ll use nest boxes as well, especially if they’re filled with wood shavings.
17. Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbirds are large-headed, medium-sized flycatchers with a blackish back and white underbelly. Their heads are a darker black, and their tails have a white tip.
When defending their nests, they demonstrate violence toward each other and other birds, earning them the epithet “king.” When they defend themselves or their nest, they raise a hidden crown of yellow, orange, or red feathers.
They breed across much of the United States before wintering in Central and South America. They frequently lay their eggs in fields, orchards, and woodland margins. They frequently build their nests near bodies of water, such as rivers or lakes.
Bees, wasps, ants beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, bugs, and flies are among the insects caught by Eastern Kingbirds in mid-flight. They frequently hang above fields, watching for insects to fly by. Fruit, such as serviceberries, cherries, blackberries, and elderberries, will also be consumed.
With natural berry bushes and plenty of insect-attracting native vegetation, you can attract more Eastern Kingbirds to your yard.
18. Western Meadowlark
Western Meadowlarks may brighten your day with their beautiful yellow bellies and delightful voice. This is most likely why they are so popular, to the point where they are the official bird of six states.
Western Meadowlarks are blackbirds with brown and white upper parts with a black V-shaped band across the brilliant yellow chest that fades gray in the winter.
Breeding in the northern United States and Canada before migrating to the southern United States. Those in the west and middle of the country stay all year. Western Meadowlarks can be found foraging on insects and seeds from weeds and seeds in grasslands, meadows, and fields, either alone or in small flocks.
Use hulled sunflower seeds and broken corn in ground feeders to attract more Western Meadowlarks to your yard.
19. Baltimore Oriole
In the east of North America, the Baltimore Orioles represent a bright symbol of spring. The adult males have vivid orange and black wings with white wing bars. Females have a yellowish underbelly and on the head, grayish-brown wings, and brownish-yellow backs. They are members of the blackbird family and are roughly the size of a Robin but more slender.
Baltimore Orioles breed in eastern and central North America from April to July, then travel to Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean for the winter. They weave amazing hanging bag-like nests out of fibers.
Baltimore Orioles can be seen foraging for insects and fruit in open woodland, riverbanks, and forest margins, and they frequently visit parks and backyards. Beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers, as well as spiders and snails, are among their favorite foods, and they assist in the control of pest species. They devour a wide range of fruits, including raspberries, mulberries, cherries, bananas, and oranges, and can cause damage to crops.
Cut oranges in halves and place them on a platform feeder or hang them from trees to attract more Baltimore Orioles to your yard. Oriole feeders with sugar water are also available. Plant raspberries, crab apples, and trumpet vines, as well as other fruit and nectar plants.
20. Orchard Oriole
The males’ heads and backs are black, and they are reddish-chestnut beneath, therefore Orchard Orioles are not as bright as other orioles. Females have a greenish-yellow overall coloration, paler below and darker on the back, and darker wings with white wingbars.
Before traveling south to Mexico and Central America, Orchard Orioles breed in the central and eastern United States. They can also be found in Florida during migration. They make pouch-like nests that hang from the ceiling.
Orchard Orioles prefer open woods, but they can also be seen near riversides, open shrubland, farms, and backyards. Ants, caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, and spiders make up the majority of their diet. They’ll also consume mulberries and chokeberries, as well as drink nectar from flowers.
Hummingbird feeders or platform feeders with cut oranges or mango will attract Orchard Orioles to your yard. Plant native berry plants like mulberries and chokeberries as well.
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