Before you go birding In New Mexico, you must know that:
- Summer brings Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Mourning Doves, Lesser Goldfinch, and Western Kingbirds, while winter brings Dark-eyed Juncos, White-crowned Sparrows, and Northern Flickers.
- New Mexico’s state bird is the Greater Roadrunner.
- New Mexico is home to 558 different bird species. Black-chinned Hummingbird, Golden Eagle, Wild Turkey, Pyrrhuloxia, American White Pelican, Osprey, White-faced Ibis, Long-eared Owl, Rough-legged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Great Blue Heron, Sandhill Crane, Northern Shoveler, and Greater Roadrunner are some of the state’s most notable birds.
- The California Condor is a giant bird in New Mexico.
- The Calliope Hummingbird is New Mexico’s tiniest bird.
- The House Finch is the most frequent bird in New Mexico.
- If you want to get out and see birds in their natural habitat, New Mexico has two national parks, five national forests, eight national wildlife refuges, and 35 state parks.
Continue reading to learn more about the other species you might see if you go birding in New Mexico and how to attract and identify birds. So, if you’re ready to go backyard birding in New Mexico, keep reading to learn how to recognise birds and get more birds to visit your yard.
Top 20 Most Common Backyard Birds In New Mexico
- Dark-eyed Junco
- House Finch
- Mourning Dove
- Black-chinned Hummingbird
- American Robin
- White-crowned Sparrow
- Northern Flicker
- American Crow
- Lesser Goldfinch
- Spotted Towhee
- White-winged Dove
- Western Kingbird
- Barn Swallow
- House Sparrow
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- Broad-tailed Hummingbird
- Say’s, Phoebe
- Song Sparrow
- Northern Mockingbird
- Yellow-rumped warbler
1. 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 can be found in open and slightly wooded areas, generally on the ground. Some people live there in the west and the Appalachian Mountains all year. Those who breed in Canada and Alaska move south to the United States in the winter.
Black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts can all be used to attract additional Dark-eyed Juncos to backyard feeders. It’s ideal to use platform feeders or sprinkle the seed on the ground.
2. House Finch
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House Finches have a redhead and breast in the males and brown-streaked colouring in the females. Originally they were only found in western states, but it was introduced to the eastern states and has done very well, even pushing out the Purple Finch.
They can be found in parks, farms, forest edges, and backyard feeders. They can be found in noisy groups that are hard to miss. You can attract more House Finches to backyard feeders with black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders.
3. Mourning Dove
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Mourning Doves have a graceful appearance, a plump body, and long tails. The wings have light brown colour with black markings. In grasslands, pastures, and backyards, they can be observed perching on telephone wires and foraging 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. In addition to black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts, they will consume black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts.
4. Black-chinned Hummingbird
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Hummingbirds with black cheeks have a dull metallic green back and greyish-white underbelly. Females have a pale throat, and males have a black neck with a thin iridescent base.
Black-chinned Hummingbirds migrate from eastern states to western Mexico and the Gulf Coast in the winter. They devour nectar, tiny insects, and spiders, and when feeding on nectar, their tongues may lick 13-17 times per second.
They are frequently spotted perched on tiny bare branches at the tops of dead trees, and they often return to a favourite perch. They can be found in the southwest among canyons and rivers or on the Gulf Coast near shade oaks. Make nectar with sugar and water in Hummingbird feeders and native trumpet flowers in red and orange to attract more Black-chinned Hummingbirds to your yard.
5. 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 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 various environments, including woods, 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. Also, consider growing berries-producing natural plants like juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood.
6. White-crowned Sparrow
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Large grey sparrows with long tails and small bills and striking black and white stripes on their heads, White-crowned Sparrows are large grayigreyishrows with long tails and short noses. They breed in Alaska and arctic Canada before migrating south for the winter to the lower 48 states and Mexico. Some may, however, stay for the entire year in a narrow area along 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 more White-crowned Sparrows to your yard.
7. Northern Flicker
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Northern Flickers are large woodpeckers with brownish colouring, black spots, bars, and crescents, and red on the neck, about the size of a robin or a crow. Eastern birds’ tails and wing feathers are bright yellows, while western birds’ are red.
They can be spotted in woods and forest margins on the ground, hunting for ants and beetles. Those that breed in Canada or Alaska travel south, but the rest of the year, they can be found all around the lower 48.
Suet and black oil sunflower seeds will attract more Northern Flickers to your garden feeders.
8. American Crow
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Crows in the United States are giant blackbirds that produce a harsh cawing sound. They can be found in various settings, including treetops, woods, fields, beaches, and cities.
They eat a wide variety of foods and like to graze on the ground, where they eat earthworms, insects, seeds, and fruit. They also eat 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 nuisance if you leave garbage or pet food out.
9. Lesser Goldfinch
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Lesser Goldfinches have long pointed wings and short notched tails and are little bright yellow and black songbirds. Females have a soft yellow underbelly and olive backs—residents in the extreme southwest, with those in their area to the north breeding and moving south. Large flocks of Lesser Goldfinches can be found in open settings such as thickets, weedy fields, woodland clearings, parks, and gardens.
They forage on seeds, particularly sunflower seeds, and fruits from elderberry, coffeeberry, and cottonwood, willow, sycamores, alders, and buds from cottonwoods willows sycamores, and alders. Sunflower seeds and nyjer in tube feeders or platform feeders will attract more Lesser Goldfinches to your yard.
10. Spotted Towhee
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Spotted Towhees are large 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 breeding and appear in a swath from north to south across 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.
11. White-winged Dove
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White-winged Doves are pale brown with a black line on the cheek and a white stripe on the closed wing’s edge, which stands out against a dark branch in flight.
Found throughout Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies and along the border with Mexico. Those living to the north of the range may migrate south for the winter, possibly to Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Deserts, dense, thorny forests, woodlands, and suburban settings are all home to White-winged Doves.
They eat grains and fruits and giant seeds primarily, forage on the ground. Plant sunflower, corn, safflower, and milo on platform feeders to attract more White-winged Doves to your yard and natural berry-producing bushes.
12. Western Kingbird
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Huge flycatchers with yellow bellies, whitish chests, grey heads, greyish-brown wings, and a darker tail, Western Kingbirds are large flycatchers with yellow bellies, whitish chests, grey heads, greyish-brown wings, and a darker bottom. They reproduce throughout western North America and are a common sight during the summer before travelling to Mexico and Central America, where some may overwinter.
They prefer open areas and are frequently seen sitting on fences and utility wires, waiting for insects to fly by before grabbing them mid-flight. They like to nest in the trees and forage in the open. Thus they’re commonly found near the edge of woodlands. They will also build their nests in artificial structures. Making your yard insect-friendly and planting elderberry or hawthorn, which they will eat the fruit from, will attract more Western Kingbirds.
13. Barn Swallow
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Barn Swallows are tiny birds with a dark blue back, wings, tail, reddish-brown underbelly and across the face. Long outer feathers form a deep fork in the bottom. They breed across 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 build mud nests in artificial 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.
14. House Sparrow
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Another introduced species that has thrived and is now one of the most frequent birds is the House Sparrow. Males have brown and black backs, grey underbelly, and white on the cheeks. Females have a lighter brown colour than males.
House Sparrows are ordinary near homes and buildings, and they may be pretty docile, eating from your hand. They are pests since they are non-native, yet you will find them in your backyard even 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.
15. White-breasted Nuthatch
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White-breasted Nuthatches are small, energetic birds with a grey-blue back and white face and belly and a black crown. They often have a chestnut colour on the lower abdomen and under the tail.
They’re common in deciduous forests, woodland edges, parks, yards with trees, and bird feeders. Beetles and their larvae, caterpillars, ants, and spiders are among the insects they devour.
White-breasted Acorns, hawthorns, sunflower seeds, and maise 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 source out.
Sunflower seeds and peanuts in tube feeders or suet feeders will attract more White-breasted Nuthatches to your yard.
16. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
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Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are iridescent green on the back, brownish in the wings, white on the chest and abdomen, and reside at higher elevations. Females and youngsters have green dots on their necks and cheeks, while males have an iridescent rose throat.
Between late May and August, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds breed in high meadows and open forests between 5,000 and 10,000 feet in the mountain west before migrating to southern Mexico for the winter. The Broad-tailed Hummingbird can slow their heart rate and lower its body temperature to reach a condition of inactivity due to the cold at higher elevations.
Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds will visit hummingbird feeders to drink from larkspur, red columbine, sage, and scarlet gilia. They eat tiny insects to augment their nutrition, and their young are also fed insects.
Put sugar water in a hummingbird feeder and add tubular plants to your yard to attract more Broad-tailed Hummingbirds.
17. Say’s, Phoebe
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Say’s Phoebes are slender, long-tailed flycatchers with a cinnamon belly, grey breast, and blackish tail. Above, they are brownish-grey with a cinnamon belly, grey breast, and blackish tail.
Say’s Phoebes prefer dry open territory, including badlands, canyons, and desert borders. Before travelling south to the southwestern states and Mexico, these birds breed in Alaska, northwestern Canada, and the northern United States. Those in southern states stay for the entire year.
Flycatchers, Say’s Phoebes, primarily eat insects such as beetles, crickets, bees, and flies. They are typically observed perched on fence posts and surrounding buildings or in the nest under an eave, where they build their nest.
Install a nest box or a shelf attached to a building to encourage nesting and grow native trees and shrubs to attract more Say’s Phoebes to your yard.
18. Song Sparrow
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Song sparrows aren’t as noticeable as other backyard birds, but these primarily brown-streaked birds use their almost continual song to attract mates in the spring and summer.
They can be found in open, shrubby, and moist regions and are frequently seen sitting on a low shrub singing and visiting backyard feeders. Beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms are among the insects and plants that Song Sparrows eat. Buckwheat, sunflower, raspberries, wild cherries, blackberries, wheat, and rice are among the foods they will eat.
Put black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders to attract more song sparrows to your backyard feeders.
19. Northern Mockingbird
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Northern Mockingbirds are little songbirds with long tails and small heads. They have a grey-brown tint, with the underside being significantly paler than the back. In-flight, they have two white wing bars visible.
They are typically observed alone or in couples, defending their area vigorously. A male mockingbird may learn roughly 200 songs in his lifetime by imitating the melodies of other birds, and they can sing all day and all night.
It is typically found in the south and east but may travel to the north of its range. They don’t come to feeders very regularly, although they will come to open lawn areas. Plant fruiting trees or shrubs, such as hawthorns, mulberries, and blackberry brambles, to attract more Northern Mockingbirds.
20. Yellow-rumped warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warblers have a grey body with yellow flashes on the face, flanks, rump, and white wings. Females are slightly browner than males, and winter birds are paler brown with bright yellow tails and sides, which turn bright yellow and grey in spring.
After reproducing primarily in Canada, they migrate in vast numbers south through most southern and central North America, the Pacific Coast, and Mexico and Central America.