Most Common Backyard Birds In Washington
Have you ever wondered what those birds in your Washington backyard are called? Do you require assistance in recognising common backyard birds in Washington?
Putting up bird feeders and seeing what comes to visit is fun, but it’s more fun if you know who they are. Now you may learn about the most popular birds that visit your feeders or hop across your yard in Washington.
In summer, summer brings American Goldfinches and Barn Swallows to Washington, while winter brings Dark-eyed Juncos and Anna’s Hummingbirds.
So, if you’re ready to go birding in your backyard in Washington, keep reading to learn how to recognise birds and attract more birds to your yard. But, before we proceed, know that:
- Washington’s state bird is the American Goldfinch,
- In Washington, 511 different bird species have been identified.
- The Bald Eagle is Washington’s most giant bird.
- The American Robin is the most frequent bird in Washington.
- If you want to get out and see birds in their natural habitat, Washington has three national parks, five national forests, 23 national wildlife refuges, and 100 state parks.
Top 20 Most Common Backyard Birds In Washington
- American Robin
- Song Sparrow
- American Crow
- Spotted Towhee
- American Goldfinch
- Black-capped Chickadee
- Barn Swallow
- Dark-eyed Junco
- European Starling
- Northern Flicker
- White-crowned Sparrow
- House Finch
- Cedar Waxwing
- Swainson’s Thrush
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Anna’s Hummingbird
- Rufous Hummingbird
- Chestnut-backed Chickadee
- Steller’s Jay
- Red-breasted nuthatch
Top 20 Most Common Backyard Birds In Washington
1. American Robin
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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 like to roost in trees throughout the winter, you’re more likely to see them in your backyard starting in the spring. American Robins may be found in various environments, including woodlands, forests, mountains, fields, parks, and lawns. Earthworms, insects, snails, and fruit are among their favourite 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, dogwood, and other natural plants that yield berries.
The backs of American Robins are greyish-brown, with medium-length greyish-brown wings and long greyish-brown tails. The underside and breast are a vivid orange, while the rump is white. This bird has a medium-length, somewhat curved yellow beak and a black head with a ‘broken’ white eyering. Females’ heads will be paler in colour, contrasting less with the back and wings.
2. Song Sparrow
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Singing sparrows aren’t as noticeable as other backyard birds, but these primarily brown-streaked birds utilise their almost continual song to attract mates in the spring and summer.
They’re commonly perched on a low shrub singing in open, shrubby, and damp settings. Usually, they may be seen at backyard feeders. Beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms are among the insects and plants that Song Sparrows consume. Buckwheat, sunflower, raspberries, wild cherries, blackberries, wheat, and rice are among the foods they consume.
Put black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders to attract more song sparrows to your backyard feeders.
3. American Crow
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Crows in the United States are substantial blackbirds that produce a harsh cawing sound. They are common birds found in various environments, such as trees, woodlands, fields, beaches, and cities.
They consume a wide variety of foods and like to graze on the ground, where they eat earthworms, insects, seeds, and fruit. They also consume fish, young turtles, mussels, clams, eggs, and nestlings from various bird species.
American Crows congregate in enormous flocks of up to two million birds to sleep in communal roosts in the winter. If you toss peanuts in your backyard, you can attract more American Crows, but they can become a problem if you leave rubbish or pet food out. American Crows are intelligent and easily identifiable, as they are entirely black from head to toe!
Their wings are big and broad, while their tails are short and square. Their bills are long and straight, with a distinct curve in the top tab. The only exception to the American Crow’s ‘always black’ rule is when they moult into feathers and seem a bit brown.
4. Spotted Towhee
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Spotted Towhees are giant sparrows with blackheads, throats, and backs in males and brown heads, throats, and backs in females. Males and females both have reddish-brown sides, white bellies, and white dots on their wings and backs. They are roughly the size of a Robin and have lengthy tails.
Scratching for insects such as beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, wasps, and bees, Spotted Towhees can be seen on the ground among dense tangles of plants. They also eat acorns, berries, and seeds.
They are native to the Pacific coast, but they move from northern central states after mating and emerge in a swath from north to south throughout all of the significant conditions in the winter.
If you allow overgrown borders in your yard, more Spotted Towhees will visit platform or ground feeders for Black Oil Sunflower seeds, Hulled Sunflower seeds, Cracked Corn, Millet, and Milo.
5. American Goldfinch
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The males of American Goldfinches have a striking yellow and black plumage in the spring. Males and females are both drab brown in the winter. Before travelling to the southern states, American Goldfinches breed in the far northern states and Canada. In the remainder of the United States, they are present all year. They forage for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants in weedy fields and overgrown places. They’re also prevalent in parks, backyards, and suburbia.
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.
6. Black-capped Chickadee
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The Black-capped Chickadee has a petite body and a large spherical head. These birds will happily eat from your backyard feeders and investigate everything, including you! Their beaks and caps are black, their cheeks are white, and their backs, wings, and tails are grey. Forests, open woodlands, and parks are all excellent places to look for them. Black-capped chickadees eat seeds, berries, insects, spiders, and suet.
Suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts or peanut butter are 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 find new feeders. They’ll also utilise nest boxes, especially if they’re filled with wood shavings.
7. Barn Swallow
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Barn Swallows are tiny birds with a dark blue back, wings, tail, reddish-brown underbelly across the face. Long outer feathers form a deep fork in the bottom.
They breed over most of North America before migrating to Central and South America to breed. They are commonly seen soaring over meadows, farms, and fields, searching for insects, and they make mud nests on artificial buildings such as barns. Put up nest boxes or cups to attract additional Barn Swallows, and they may eat ground-up eggshells on a platform feeder.
8. Dark-eyed Junco
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Dark-eyed Juncos are sparrows that come in various hues depending on where they are found. In the east, they are slate-coloured, whereas, in the west, they are black, white, and brown.
They are abundant over the continent and may be found in open and slightly forested regions, generally on the ground. Some people live there in the west and the Appalachian Mountains all year. Those who breed in Canada and Alaska in the winter move south to the United States.
Black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts can all be used to attract additional Dark-eyed Juncos to backyard feeders. The ideal feeders are platform feeders or those dispersed on the ground.
9. European Starling
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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 people consider them a pest because of their aggressive demeanour. These birds can be observed sitting in groups on the tops of trees or soaring over fields in flocks, and they fly in vast, loud flocks.
Beetles, flies, caterpillars, earthworms, and spiders are the most common insects eaten by starlings. Fruit such as cherries, holly berries, mulberries, Virginia Creeper, sumac, blackberries, and grains and seeds are also consumed. Black oil sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, and peanuts may all be used to attract more European Starlings to your backyard feeders.
10. Northern Flicker
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Northern Flickers are big woodpeckers with brownish colouration, black patches, bars, and crescents, and red on the neck, about the size of a robin or a crow. Eastern birds’ tails and wing feathers are brilliant yellows, whereas western birds’ are red.
They can be spotted in woodlands and forest margins on the ground, hunting for ants and beetles. Those that breed in Canada or Alaska moves to the southern states, although they may be seen throughout the lower 48 states all year. Suet and black oil sunflower seeds can attract more Northern Flickers to your garden feeders.
11. White-crowned Sparrow
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Huge grey sparrows with long tails and small bills and striking black and white stripes on their heads, White-crowned Sparrows are large greyish sparrows with long tails and short noses.
They breed in Alaska and northern Canada before migrating south to the lower 48 states and Mexico for the winter. Some may stay throughout the entire year near the Pacific Coast and west. White-crowned Sparrows forage for seeds of weeds and grasses and fruit such as elderberries and blackberries, in weedy fields, along roadsides, woodland margins, and in yards. Sunflower seeds and various other seeds dropped by other birds at feeders will attract additional White-crowned Sparrows to your yard.
White-crowned Sparrows have brown backs with streaks and little brown wings with black highlights and two small white wing bars on each branch. Their tails are long and dark, with a white rump and a warm brown underbelly that fades to grey as the colour progresses up and into the breast. The grey colouring extends over the bird’s long, sturdy grey neck and ends just behind the eyes, where a narrow, black eyestripe may be seen. The white face appears above this, followed by another black stripe and white at the crown. These birds have triangular orange beaks that are short and thick.
12. House Finch
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Male House Finches have a redhead and breast, while females have brown-streaked colouration. It was initially exclusively found in western states, but it was brought to eastern states and has thrived, even displacing the Purple Finch.
Parks, farms, woodland margins, and backyard feeders are good places to look for them. They congregate in large, noisy groups that are difficult to miss. Black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders can attract more House Finches to backyard feeders. Male House Finches have grey backs and short grey wings with two white wing bars and vertical black lines running their length.
Their tails are long and grey with white borders, and while their underbellies are white with black or dark brown streaks, the colour swiftly changes to a rosy red as it travels up the breast. This red colouring on the ordinarily grey head extends to the throat and immediately in front of the cheekbones and over the eyes. These birds have short, substantial bills with some curvature showing in the top and lower statements and a greyish-brown eyestripe that goes through the eyes and arcs around to frame the cheek. Females will lack a red hue, faint streaks on the underside and breast, and no facial marks.
13. Cedar Waxwing
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Cedar Waxwings are graceful sociable birds with a light brown head, breast, and crest that fades to grey on the back, wings, and tail. The tip of their tail is brilliant yellow, and their belly is pastel yellow. Their eyes are hidden under a tight black mask, and their wingtips are blazing red. The backs of Cedar Waxwings are light brown at first and, after that, grey. They have little grey wings with brown shoulders and a waxy-red arrangement of vertical lines that resembles a pan-pipe and a white line at the wing’s inner terminal.
They have short, squared grey tails with yellow ends, a white rump, and a yellow underside. This yellow extends up the breast, turning brown at the top section, and the birds’ faces are mainly brown. They feature remarkable curving black masks with some white above and below at the front of the eyes and enormous brown crests and brown ‘beards’ that come down into the breast. These birds have triangular black beaks that are short, thick, and triangular.
They spend the entire year in northern states and the winter in southern states. They may be found in berry bushes, forests, and near streams and have a high-pitched cry. Natural plant trees and shrubs that bear tiny fruit, such as serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn, attract Cedar Waxwings to your yard. Fruit can also be used in platform feeders.
14. Swainson’s Thrush
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Swainson’s Thrushes can be seen foraging along the forest floor in leaf litter for insects and primarily red fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, and sumac during the breeding season. Ants are also a part of their diet, and the nestlings will be fed other insects. Swainson’s Thrushes breed in Canada and Alaska before migrating to Central and South America for the winter. They are rarely seen in the lower 48, except during migration in the spring and autumn.
Ground-level birdbaths and tree and shrub cover might help attract more Swainson’s Thrushes to your yard.
15. Red-winged Blackbird
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The all-black plumage of red-winged blackbirds, save for the vivid red and yellow shoulder patches, makes them simple to distinguish. The females are pretty drab compared to the males’ streaky brown pigmentation. They are frequently seen perched on telephone lines, and during the mating season, the males will fiercely protect their territory, even attacking individuals who come too close to nests. They roost in huge flocks during the winter, 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.
16. Anna’s Hummingbird
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Anna’s Hummingbirds are tiny birds with a green and grey colour scheme. The male has an iridescent reddish-pink head and throat. The female has a grey throat with red markings.
Anna’s Hummingbirds are the most abundant hummingbird throughout the Pacific Coast, even though they do not migrate. During courting, the males ascend to 130 feet in the air before falling back to the earth with a blast of noise from their tail feathers. They may be seen near enormous colourful flowers during the spring and frequently visit hummingbird feeders, which you can fill with homemade hummingbird food they may call throughout the year.
Hummingbirds with Anna’s backs have grey and greenbacks with yellow above and below their short, curved grey wings. They have broad grey tails with green and yellow highlights and white on the bird’s rump. This bird’s underside and breast are greenish-grey, with a yellow border and some white and grey towards the top of the breast. These birds have reddish-grey faces with splashes of yellow and green and a brilliant, neon pink under the cheekbones and towards the rear and top of the head. This bird has a long, narrow, and straight black beak and a yellow eyebrow line.
17. Rufous Hummingbird
Male Rufous Hummingbirds have a vivid orange back and belly, a white patch beneath the throat, and an iridescent red throat. Females have a creamy belly and are greenish-brown on the back and rusty on the sides.
After breeding in northwest Alaska and Canada, rufous Hummingbirds move down to Mexico and the Gulf Coast. They migrate north along the Pacific Coast; then, they move north via the Rocky Mountains in the late summer and fall. They can be found in mountain meadows during migration and in woodlands and forests throughout the winter. The nectar from colourful tubular flowers and insects such as gnats, midges, and flies are Rufous Hummingbirds’ primary food sources. They use soft plant down and spider webs to hold their nest together up in the trees.
During migration, they are hostile and chase away any other hummingbirds that emerge, including more giant hummingbirds and resident hummingbirds. About their size, they are one of the most long-distance migratory birds.
Hang hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water nectar and grow colourful tubular flowers to attract Rufous Hummingbirds to your yard. During migration, though, they won’t stay long and will chase away most other hummingbirds if given a chance.
18. Chestnut-backed Chickadee
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Chestnut-backed Chickadees are tiny birds with black and whiteheads, a rich chestnut back, grey wings, and a grey belly. They are familiar visitors to backyard feeders and reside in flocks in damp, evergreen woods along the Pacific Coast. Caterpillars, spiders, wasps, and aphids make up most of their food, with seeds, berries, and fruit accounting for the remainder.
Black-oil sunflower seeds, suet, nyjer, peanuts, or mealworms in tube feeders, platform feeders, or suet cages can all be used to attract Chestnut-backed Chickadees to your yard. They’ll also make use of nest boxes.
19. Steller’s Jay
Huge songbirds with black triangular crests that protrude from their heads, Steller’s Jays are large songbirds. The remainder of their heads, chests, and backs are all black, while the rest of their bodies are blue.
They may be found in the mountains’ evergreen woods and near picnic tables, campers, and home feeders. They build their nests out of the mud. Insects, seeds, nuts, berries, eggs, and nestlings are among Stellar’s Jays’ foods, but they can make a nuisance of themselves around waste and your unsecured picnic! Peanuts and suet can attract Stellar’s Jays to your yard.
20. Red-breasted Nuthatch
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Red-breasted Nuthatches spend the entire year in northeastern and western states, Alaska, and Canada. Still, if cone harvests are weak in the winter, they may migrate south throughout North America.
They have a reddish underbelly and a blue-grey body with black and white stripes on the head. Red-breasted Nuthatches can be seen scavenging for cones in coniferous woodlands, and they come to backyard feeders. Black oil sunflower seeds, suet feeders, peanuts, and mealworms can all help to attract additional Red-breasted Nuthatches to your yard.