California is home to a number of bird species. It is home to 709 different species of birds. States such as Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona border California and as such, have a number of birds that they share in common. Birds in California range from more frequently seen birds such as the House Finch to less seen birds such as the Red-naped Sapsucker. The state bird of California is the California quail which was declared the state bird in 1931. The California quail, also known as Valley quail, is a prized game bird known for its hardiness and adaptability.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bird watcher, are you looking to attract birds to your backyard? Check out this article on how to easily attract birds: HOW TO EASILY ATTRACT BIRDS TO YOUR FEEDER
BIRDS OF CALIFORNIA
Below is a list of birds of California that you can find in your backyard. The birds have pictures as well as bird identifier information. Whether you are looking for brown birds or more colorful birds, you are sure to find them in the list below.
1. Yellow-rumped Warbler
The Yellow-rumped Warbler, which is also known as the Setophaga coronata, is a small-sized bird native to North America and belongs to the Parulidae family of small birds. They have white, black, brown, and yellow color on their back and wings, and neck, while their belly is white with some black stripes that cover the neck part.
They have a body length of 5.9 inches, a wingspan of 10 inches, and a bodyweight of 14 grams. Male and female slightly differ in shape and dimensions. Females have dull colors as compared to males. They visit the feeders frequently, they mostly visit the feeders for the sunflower seeds, raisins, peanut butter, and suet.
Their diet mostly consists of insects, and larvae of insects but they also eat small seeds, fruits, and berries. They produce a melodious tune that they use to attract the female or declare their territory. They are aggressive and mostly displace other birds from their nests if they are around.
The American Bushtit bird, which is also known as the Psaltriparus minimus, is a small size bird from the Aegithalidae family. This is the only bird of this genus and is simply known as the Bushtit. They are commonly found in the different regions of North America. The American Bushtit bird nests in the deep woods and oak trees mostly. The American Bushtit bird is completely brown. They have dark brown upperparts and wings and lite brown underparts and breasts. The bird also has a longer tail.
The male and female American Bushtit bird has different colored plumage. The plumage of the female is slightly dull. The female’s eyes are yellow while the male has dark black eyes. They have a short but strong beak. The American Bushtit bird has an average body length range of 11 cm (4.3 in), with a wingspan that covers almost 17 cm (7 in). The average weight of an adult American Bushtit bird is between 5–6 g (0.18–0.21 oz). The females are slightly shorter and carry less weight as compared to males.
The young American Bushtit bird looks like their mother as compared to the male bird but as they age, they change their appearance according to their sexes. The American Bushtit bird is omnivorous. They eat all kinds of stuff, from insects to bread. They also eat grains and seeds of different types and fruits of different trees. They occasionally visit the bird feeders to get some food.
3. American Robin
The American Robin bird, which is also known as the Turdus migratorius, is a small-sized red and black colored, migratory songbird. It travels to different parts of the United States. Its shape and size resemble the European Robin, but it lives in the United States of America, that’s why it is named the America Robin.
The male American Robin is different from the female ones, the male American robins have more colorful plumage as compared to the female. The females have duller colors, while the male American Robins have the brightest colors. The body size and shape also differ between the male and female, the body of females is thin, and smaller while the body of a male is slightly bigger than the female.
The male sings a song to attract the female during the mating season, the female protects the eggs and sits on them while the male provides the food and protection during this. They like to eat small insects and their larvae, small nuts, and berries. They also eat the seeds of small bushes and shrubs.
4. Western Bluebird
The Western Bluebird, which is also known as the Sialia mexicana, is a small size thrush bird from the Turdidae family. The Western Bluebirds are native to North America, but they migrate towards South and Central America during the winter. They are known for their bluish colors that cover almost all of their upperparts and belly area. They have brownish patches on their back and their bellies are grey.
The male and female Western Bluebird are different from one another in plumage colors. The Male has shiny and more vibrant colors, while the females are mostly duller and have dull blue to brown color mixture. The body length of an adult Western Bluebird can be between 15 to 18 cm (5.9 to 7.1 in), and it can have a wingspan that covers almost 13 inches. The weight of an adult Western Bluebird can be upto 26 grams.
The Western Bluebird is an insect eater species of birds and they eat all kinds of small insects and worms. These insects make up almost 50% of their total food. They also eat small grains and seeds of different plants and weeds. They also eat nuts, berries, and fruits of some plants. They are also seen at different bird feeders’ backyards during the winter
5. Lesser Goldfinch
The Lesser Goldfinch bird, which is also known as the Spinus psaltria, is a small songbird from the Fringillidae family. This bird is native to North America and migrates from one region to another during the winter. The male and female of the Lesser Goldfinch birds are different from one another. The male Lesser Goldfinch birds can easily be identified due to their lemon-yellow underparts and white patches that appear on their tails. The males of this species also have a solid black back and upper head. Their neck is also lemon yellow from the front and blackish yellow from the backside.
The Lesser Goldfinch has a strong black beak. The female Lesser Goldfinch birds are browner in color as they show dimorphism. The young Lesser Goldfinch birds are also like the female. They appear more greenish-brown. But once they age to maturity, they gain their actual plumage colors. The Lesser Goldfinch can have a body length that ranges between 9 to 12 cm (3.5 to 4.7 in) with males being slightly bigger than the females. They can have a wingspan of range between 19–22 cm (7.5–8.7 in). The weight of an adult bird can range between 8 to 11.5 g (0.28 to 0.41 oz) with males being slightly heavier than the females.
This bird builds its nests in the deep woods to avoid the detection of the prey. They mostly eat small size insects, including worms, caterpillars, larvae of the insects, and eggs as well. They also eat small grains of wheat and other crops, and seeds of the different plants as well. They also visit the backyards of the bird feeders to get some food.
6. Anna’s Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird, which is also known as the Calypte anna, is a medium-sized hummingbird from the Trochilidae family. Anna’s Hummingbird is named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli. This bird is native to North America and is mostly seen in the California region. Their bodies are tiny if compared to the other small birds, but among the hummingbirds, they have a decent body length and weight. Their body plumage comprises the bronze-green back, a pale grey chest and belly, and green flanks. Their beak is slim and long and that helps them sip the liquid nectar from the flowers.
Anna’s Hummingbird has a body length of 4 inches, and a wingspan of 4.8 inches. The average weight of an adult ranges between 0.1 to 0.2 oz (3-6 g). Females are slightly different from the males as they have red-colored gorgets. The females are smaller than the males and have less bright colors in their plumage. The young Anna’s Hummingbirds and females also have a small dull green crown that surrounds their heads. They usually live in the woodlands and bushy areas, where they can get nectar from the flowers easily, but they also visit the human neighborhoods with gardens.
The major component of their food is the nectar they sip from the flowers with the help of their long bill. They penetrate the bill into the flower and then suck up nectar. This bird also eats small insects, arthropods, and worms. They move their wings extremely fast; this helps them maintain a suspended posture while sucking the nectar. This also helps them prey and catch the food.
7. Oak Titmouse
The Oak Titmouse bird, which is also known as the Baeolophus inornatus, is a small size passerine bird from the tit family Paridae. This bird is native to North America and is seen almost all over the Oak woodlands in North America. They have crests above their heads. Their plumage color is brownish grey.
The Oak Titmouse bird has a plain face with light grey undersides. They have a small but strong bill that they use to hunt small insects. The male and female are slightly different from one another. The body length of an adult Oak Titmouse bird is between 4 to 5 inches and they have a wingspan that can cover almost 7 inches. The weight of an adult Oak Titmouse bird is between 16 grams.
The Oak Titmouse bird eats almost all the types of small insects as a food including the caterpillars, moths, and worms. They also eat small nuts and seeds of the different trees and plants. They also eat small fruits, berries, and vegetables. They also visit the backyards of the bird feeders to get some food.
8. California Scrub-Jay
The California Scrub-Jay bird, which is also known as the Aphelocoma californica, is a medium size bird from North America. This bird is a species of Scrub-Jay birds that lives entirely in the California region, hence got its name. The California Scrub-Jay bird is a non-migratory bird that is also found in urban areas as well. They look like the blue jay but, they are different from them and are a separate species, they only have a blue-colored plumage in common.
The head, wings, and tail of the California Scrub-Jay bird are covered with blue, while the neck, underparts, and breasts are covered in white, grayish-white feathers. Their voice is extraordinarily scratchy, and they use it to communicate. The male and female have similar plumage, but slightly different body sizes and weight. The body length of an adult, California Scrub-Jay bird, is between 27–31 cm (11–12 in), and they have a wingspan of 39 cm (15 in). The California Scrub-Jay bird has an average weight of about 80 g (2.8 oz).
The California Scrub-Jay bird is an insect eater bird. They mostly eat small size insects as a part of their food. They also eat small animals such as lizards and frogs and the kids of other small birds. They also eat some types of seeds, grains, and nuts. The California Scrub-Jay bird also eats small amounts of berries and tree fruits. As they live near the human neighborhood, they are frequent visitors to the bird feeders.
9. Orange-crowned Warbler
The Orange-crowned Warbler bird, which is also known as the Leiothlypis celata, is a small size new world warbler bird from the Parulidae family. They are called orange crowned because of the orange color spot that is present on their heads. The Orange-crowned Warbler is native to North America. They are a migratory bird and migrate from the north towards the southern regions during the winter. This bird has a beautiful plumage that contains yellow, brown, grey colors.
The Orange-crowned Warbler has olive grey upperparts and yellow underparts. This bird has a pointed bill. The male and female are slightly different from one another. Females and immature, Orange-crowned Warbler are smaller, and they also have a dull appearance as compared to the male, Orange-crowned Warbler. The body size of an adult, Orange-crowned Warbler can be between 4.8–5.3 in (120–130 mm) and they can have a wingspan that can cover almost 7.25 in (184 mm). The average weight of an adult can be up to 9 g (0.32 oz).
The female lays 4 to 7 eggs and sits on them and male provides food for the nest. The Orange-crowned Warbler eats almost all kinds of small invertebrates and insects. They also eat the small seeds and grains. This bird also visits the backyards of the bird feeders to get some food while they are travelling.
10. White-breasted Nuthatch
The White-Breasted Nuthatch bird, which is also known as the Sitta carolinensis, is a small-sized songbird from the nuthatch family. They are very commonly found in temperate North American regions. They have a short tail, big head, strong bill, and feet. Their face, flanks, and chests are white, while the cap is black, and their back is blue-grey. They have 9 different varieties that can be easily identified by their plumage color.
The White-breasted Nuthatches have a maximum body length of 14 cm or 5.5 inches, while they have a maximum wingspan of 27cm or 10 inches almost. Their body weight ranges between 0.6 oz to 1.0 oz. The male and female have slightly different body shapes, and colors on their back. They can produce different types of songs, depending upon the situation.
They frequently visit bird feeders to get some food. They mostly eat insects and seeds of small plants and shrubs. They also eat and store the nuts of different plants such as hickory in the tree trunks, they eat these trunks during the winter season.
11. Black Phoebe
The Black Phoebe bird, which is also known as the Sayornis nigricans, is a small size passerine bird from the tyrant-flycatcher family and is known for its beautiful black colored plumage. They are from the migratory bird’s family, but they migrate less often. The adult Black Phoebes have all-black plumage except for their belly, which is white. The male and females have similar body colors, but the young Black Phoebes have less black and more brown shade in their plumage.
The Black Phoebe bird has 6 inches or 16cm long body length including the tail and has a wingspan of 10 inches. The weight of an adult Black Phoebe is between 15 to 22 g (0.5 to 0.8 oz). They are known for their tail-wagging motion. The bird has a high-pitched song that males use to attract females for mating and breeding. Their breeding grounds include a vast area in South America.
The Black Phoebe birds mostly eat small-sized insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, wild bees, wasps, flies, moths, caterpillars, and larvae of some insects and arthropods as well. As they live near the water bodies, they also eat fishes of small size. They also visit the bird feeder’s backyards in different areas to get the food.
12. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet bird, which is also known as the Regulus calendula, is a small size passerine bird from the kinglet family Regulidae. These birds are native to North America but migrate towards the south during the winter. Their common name refers to the small crown that they have above their heads. This bird is known to have gray-green upperparts and olive-green underparts. Their wings contain two white wing bars, that are masked by a dark layer of feathers.
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet bird has a plain face and head. Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet birds have a similar plumage color, but they do not have the iconic crown that they are known for. The young Ruby-crowned Kinglet birds are also similar to the female. The body length of an adult Ruby-crowned Kinglet bird can be between 9 to 11 cm (3.5 to 4.3 in) and they can have a wingspan of upto 16 to 18 cm (6.3 to 7.1 in). The average body weight of an adult Ruby-crowned Kinglet bird can be between 5 to 10 g (0.2 to 0.4 oz).
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet forages in the branches of trees in search of small insects. They mostly eat these small insects and worms as food. They also eat small fruits and berries and tree sap. They also visit the bird feeder’s backyards to get some food.
13. Dark-eyed Junco
The Snowbird or Dark-eyed Junco bird, which is also known as the Junco hyemalis, is a small-sized bird from the junco family. They are frequent visitors to the bird feeders in the different parts of the United States, but they are mostly seen during the winter. The Dark-eyed Juncos are from the north but spend most of their time in the south in search of food and shelter, as the winter in the North is extremely cold and the bird needs a little warm environment and food.
They are a migratory bird and keep migrating from one place to another for various reasons. They visit the south during the winter and move back to the north during the summer. The male and female of this species are like each other, but females have slightly brown plumage while the males have black and grey plumage. The females are also shorter in size than the males and weigh less than their male counterparts as well.
The Dark-eyed Junco has a high-pitched voice that it uses to attract females for breeding. The Dark-eyed Junco mostly eats the small insects and worms, this makes up almost 60% of its entire food, they also eat the small seeds, nuts, and berries of small trees and plants.
14. American Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch bird, which is also known as the Spinus tristis, is a small-sized songbird native to the different regions of North America. They are a very beautiful bird species, their plumage has more bright color than many other birds. Male and female of this species look similar except that the female has no black spot on their heads like the male counterparts.
The bird has beautiful yellow plumage, the underparts and upperparts are also yellow. While the wings of the American Goldfinch are black. The surface below the wings of American Goldfinch is white. Their tail has black feathers, with small white markings. Their beak is bright yellowish pink. The male and female almost have similar size, weight, and wingspan.
The American Goldfinch likes eating small insects, different berries, and seeds of the small herbs and shrubs. They are very social but maintain a distance when it comes to humans, do not try to get close to them otherwise, they will fly away.
15. Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove bird, which is also known as the Zenaida macroura is a medium-sized bird from the dove family. Its plumage is all covered with rusty brown color. The plumage also has a few black spots above the wings. The Mourning Dove is a frequent visitor to the bird feeders in the different parts of the United States.
Female and male Mourning Doves almost look identical in body shapes and dimensions. They also have a similar brown and white plumage. They can reach up to 12 inches in body length while their wingspan can be up to 18 inches. Their body weight can be up to 120g. Their appearance makes it easier to spot and identify them.
The male and female mate during the spring and winter, the male attracts the female with its beautiful mating call like the song. The female lays eggs and sits on them while the male provides food and protection to the female and eggs. The Mourning Dove visit the bird feeders that provide them nuts, seeds, and insect-based bird feeds. They also eat the small worms picked up from the ground or the trees.
16. Brewer’s Blackbird
The Brewer’s Blackbird, which is also known as the Euphagus cyanocephalus, is a small size bird from the Icteridae family of birds. They are native to the North American region and are known for their beautiful black colored plumage. The male and female of this species are slightly different from one another.
The whole body of the male Brewer’s Blackbird is covered with shiny black plumage and bluish highlights, while the head is slightly purple. The female Brewer’s Blackbird has brownish-grey body plumage. The body of the female is also slightly thicker but short in size in comparison to a male. The body length of an adult ranges between 8–10.3 in (20–26 cm), while their wingspan ranges between 13 to 15.5 in (30 to 39 mm). They only weigh 60 g (2.1 oz), male and female body weight also varies.
They flock to the bird feeders in different areas during the spring and summer and keep visiting regularly for food. The Brewer’s Blackbird mostly eats seeds of different species and insects of small size. They also eat some small-sized berries. They mostly feed in the flock.
17. American Kestrel
American Kestrel bird or Sparrow Hawk, which is also known as the Falco sparverius, is a small size bird from the falcon family. The American Kestrel is native to North and is one of the smallest hawk birds in North America as well. They have blue, black, brown, and white colors in their plumage. The females are larger and have more beautiful dark and shiny shades of colors as compared to the males.
The Sparrow Hawk has a body length of 12 inches, a wingspan of 20 to 24 inches, and an average body weight between 90 to 140 g or 2.5 to 5 oz. The American Kestrel shows a body deformation, as the females of this species are 10 to 15 percent larger than the male counterparts and have brighter colors as well. They also have a larger tail that almost is half of the body size of the American Kestrel.
The American Kestrel is a hunter, they scan the ground for their food and then suddenly attack. They mostly attack small size lizards, grasshoppers, sparrows, and other small birds and insects. Apart from these, they can also kill snakes, bats, and squirrels. They sometimes visit the bird feeders that provide them food that contains suet.
18. Steller’s Jay
The Steller’s Jay bird, which is also known as the Cyanocitta stelleri, is a large size bird from the Corvidae family. This bird is native to North America and is closely related to the Blue Jay bird. This bird also has many other common names such as long-crested jay, mountain jay, and pine jay. All of these refer to one or more of its habits. They have a long crest, they live in mountains, and mostly forage on the pine trees. They have a very beautiful appearance and plumage colors. They have many subspecies that also live in the same region. The Steller’s Jay bird has a black to brown head depending upon the subspecies. Their bill is cylindrical, and this helps them get food.
They have a crown above their heads. They have dark shoulders that fade into the blue back, their wings are dark blue. The tail, underparts, breasts, and upper parts of the bird are all covered with blue plumage. The subspecies that live in the far North are duller than the species that live in low altitude areas. The body length of an adult Steller’s Jay can be between 30–34 cm (12–13 in), and they can have a wingspan that covers almost 16 inches. The weight of an adult Steller’s Jay can be between 100–140 g (3.5–4.9 oz).
The bird lays eggs in the nests that they built in the high altitude pine trees. The female sits on these eggs till they hatch. Male searches for food and eats small insects that they catch during the flight or while foraging on the branches and trunk of the pine trees. They also eat small animals. They also eat small seeds, nuts, berries, and different fruit. If they live near a human neighborhood, they also visit the bird feeders to get some food.
19. Say’s Phoebe
The Say’s Phoebe bird, which is also known as the Sayornis saya, is a medium-sized passerine bird from the tyrant flycatcher bird from the Tyrannidae family. They are the native bird of the dry western side of the United States. The Say’s Phoebe bird is named after an American Ornithologist Thomas Say. The Say’s Phoebe bird is a heavy, chunky, and darb bird. Their upperparts are all grey-brown and they have a black tail. Their tail is long but they have a short and pointy beak that they use to forage on the ground and tree branches.
The bird is known to have small thin legs. When they fly, their wings seem pale colored. The body length of an adult Say’s Phoebe bird can be up to 7.5 in (19 cm), and their wingspan can be up to 13 in (33 cm) wingspan. The weight of an adult Say’s Phoebe bird can be up to 0.75 oz (21 g). The male and female have similar plumage, but slightly different body weight and size. Females are shorter than males and they also weigh less.
The female Say’s Phoebe bird can lay up to 5 unmarked white eggs. Males provide for the females during these days. The young birds have a duller plumage as compared to the adults. They eat small insects that they catch during the flight. Some of them have also been seen eating small berries and seeds. They also visit the bird feeders to get some protein-based food.
20. Chestnut-backed Chickadee
The Chestnut-backed Chickadee bird, which is also known as the Poecile rufescens, is a small size passerine songbird from the tit family Paridae. This bird is found in the United States, Alaska, and Canada. They are non-migratory birds but move away from their nests if they face a food shortage in the winter. The Chestnut-backed Chickadee bird builds its nest in the open woods and bushes. They make their nests with fur and hairs.
This bird has an average body length of 11.5–12.5 cm (4.5–4.9 in) and a wingspan that covers 13–14 cm (5–5.5 in). The weight range of an adult Chestnut-backed Chickadee bird is between 8.5–12.6 g (0.30–0.44 oz). The male and female of this species look almost identical and are difficult to identify separately based on their plumage colors. Their heads are blackish-brown and have white streaks. They have dark grey rings with fringes. They have a brown-colored back and brown chests.
The belly area of the bird is covered with white feathers. The Chestnut-backed Chickadee bird eats small size insects and worms. They also eat invertebrates. The Chestnut-backed Chickadee bird also eats small seeds and grain. They eat the flesh from the berries of different types and fruits as well. If they nest near human neighborhoods, they visit the bird feeders frequently to get some food.
21. White-crowned Sparrow
The White-crowned Sparrow bird, which is also known as the Zonotrichia leucophrys, is a small size passerine bird from the new world sparrow’s family Passerellidae. This bird has a sweet song/call. They are called White-crowned Sparrow birds because they have a white colored crown above their heads. This white crown is striped with black lines that go from the eyes towards the neck. The White-crowned Sparrow bird is a migratory bird that moves towards the south during the winter.
The male and female, White-crowned Sparrow bird appears to be similar in this species in plumage colors, but females lack the crown that adult males have above their heads. The body length of an adult, White-crowned Sparrow bird can be between 5.9-6.3 in (15-16 cm), and it can have a wingspan that covers almost 8.3-9.4 in (21-24 cm). The weight of an adult, White-crowned Sparrow bird can be between 0.9-1.0 oz (25-28 g).
They build their nests in cup shapes. They mostly live near the human presence. They eat small seeds and grains. They also eat small nuts, berries, and fruits. The White-crowned Sparrow bird also eats small insects and worms of different kinds. As they live near the human neighborhoods, they frequently visit the bird feeders to get food.
22. Golden-crowned Sparrow
The Golden-crowned Sparrow bird, which is also known as the Zonotrichia atricapilla, is one of the largest sparrows of the new world. The Golden-crowned Sparrow bird belongs to a bird family commonly known as the Passerellidae. They are like the common sparrows but have a much larger body than a common sparrow. The Golden-crowned Sparrow bird has a beautiful plumage that contains black, dark brown, light brown, grey, and white colors. Most of their plumage consists of brown feathers.
Male and female Golden-crowned Sparrow birds have a similar plumage color. They do not show sexual dimorphism, that is why they are hard to identify. They have a square tail and a tipped head. The body size of the male is higher than the females; they also have more weight than a female of the same age. The Golden-crowned Sparrow bird measures between 15–18 cm (6–7 in) in the length. The Golden-crowned Sparrow bird has a wingspan that covers almost 24.75 cm (9.74 in. The Golden-crowned Sparrow bird has an average weight between 19.0 to 35.4 g (0.67 to 1.25 oz).
The female lays four to five eggs and sits on them. The Male provides food to the female during the incubation time. The Golden-crowned Sparrow bird small size insects, seeds, grains, small fruits, and berries as well. They destroy a lot of different types of crops and weeds as they eat their seeds and prevent them from growing. They forage on the ground and scratch the soil and expose the seeds. They also visit the backyards of bird feeders to get food.
23. Common Yellowthroat
The Common Yellowthroat bird, which is also known as the Geothlypis trichas, is a small size, new world warbler bird from the Parulidae family. They are seen in large numbers all over North America. As the name suggests this bird has a lemon-yellow throat. The body of the Common Yellowthroat bird is all covered with light yellow to greenish-yellow plumage. The Common Yellowthroat bird has a black streak that goes from the beak to the eyes and towards the back of the head. The Common Yellowthroat bird has an olive-colored back.
The wings and upper parts of the bird are all covered with a greenish-yellow color. The male and female of the Common Yellowthroat bird are slightly different from one another (sexual dimorphism). The males have a black mask that covers their entire face, but the females lack this mask. This makes the males and females to be easily spotted and differentiated into separate sexes. The Common Yellowthroat bird has an average body length between 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm), and a wingspan that covers almost 5.9-7.5 in (15-19 cm). The Common Yellowthroat bird has an average weight of about 0.3-0.3 oz (9-10 g).
The Common Yellowthroat bird forages in the branches of the trees and on the ground in search of food. They mostly eat seeds, green fruits, berries, and sometimes nuts. The Common Yellowthroat bird also eats small size insects of different types including caterpillars, spiders, and beetles.
24. House Sparrow
The House Sparrow bird, which is also known as the Passer domesticus, is a bird from the sparrow family. They are found everywhere in the world and are one of the most common bird species as well. House Sparrows are small and have a thick fat belly. The females and young House Sparrows have pale brown and grey color while the males have more black and brown marking above their wings and upperparts.
The house sparrows typically weigh only 30 grams and have a body length of 16 cm with a wingspan of almost 30 cm. Males and females have different colors of their plumages that’s why they are easy to identify. They are human-friendly and bold birds; they visit human settlements and houses regularly for food and shelter. They regularly visit the bird feeders in different areas in search of food.
The major part of their diet is the seeds of small herbs and plants, also the fruits of small size and berries. They also eat different kinds of insects, including caterpillars, spiders, worms, and larvae of small insects. Bird feeders can attract them to their backyard by spreading the grains, seeds, and other shredded and small food items including cracked nuts and corn.
25. Bewick’s Wren
The Bewick’s Wren bird, which is also known as the Thryomanes bewickii, is a small size bird Native to North America. Their body shape and size are like that of Carolina Wren. This bird has a long tail that is tipped with white color. They are known for their brown plumage and loud song, that they use to call the females for mating and to declare their territory. They mostly nest near the water bodies and deep woodlands. Apart from the brown color, they also have grey and black feathers in their plumage and underparts as well.
The Bewick’s Wren bird has a body length of 5.1 inches (13 cm) with a total wingspan of 8 inches. The average weight of a Bewick’s Wren is between 0.3 to 0.4 ounces (8 -12 g). Females are like males. The juveniles are also like the adults as well, but their plumage color is slightly different. The males and females have sweet and high-pitched sounds, and they use this to attract each other and to declare the area or territory.
The Bewick’s Wren bird eats small-sized insects from the plants and trees. Their diet includes nuts, berries, and some seeds as well. This bird also visits the bird feeders in the different areas of North American. They mostly visit the bird feeders that provide them suet, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
26. California Towhee
The California Towhee bird, which is also known as the Melozone crissalis, is a medium size bird from the passerine bird family. Their name refers to their native habitat, California. The bird is like many other small size birds from the same family in shape and color and that is why sometimes is disregarded as a subspecies. The bird has an all brown rusty plumage that covers the entire body. Their wings, back, and upperparts have dark-colored patches all over them.
The male and female of the California Towhee bird are similar in plumage colors, but they have different weight and body sizes. The females are smaller and carry less weight as compared to the male California Towhee bird. The average body size of an adult California Towhee bird is between 20–25 cm (7.9–9.8 in). The California Towhee bird has an average wingspan of 12 in. The weight of an adult male California Towhee bird is between 48.6–61.2 g (1.71–2.16 oz, meanwhile the females weigh between 46.3–61.2 g (1.63–2.16 oz).
The difference is not that much to tell but on average the females are shorter and have less weight. The California Towhee bird feeds on the ground and looks for the small insects, grains, seeds, and other food items of small size such as slices of bread and other food items. They also visit the bird feeders to get some food during the harsh days.
27. House Finch
The House Finch bird, which is also known as the Haemorhous mexicanus, is a small size bird from the Finch family. The House Finch is a very social bird, and it visits the human settlements frequently. They are native to the west but now are found all over the United States. The House Finch is also a very bold and brave bird as it does not hesitate to come closer to humans as well.
The House Finch has a high-pitched sound that male House Finch mostly uses to attract the female for breeding. An adult House Finch is only 5 to 6 inches long, has a wingspan of 10 inches, and a weight of 21g on average. The House Finch male has a different body plumage and feather color than a female.
The males are brown and have dark brown spots above their wings, meanwhile, the females have brown and grey colored plumage. The House Finches visit the bird feeders to get some food. The House Finches like to eat the small worms, insects, seeds of small plants, and berries of some plants as well.
28. Northern Flicker
The Northern Flicker bird, which is also known as the Colaptes auratus, Yellowhammer, and a Common Flicker. It is a bird from the woodpecker family. It is a migratory bird and mostly keeps traveling. They build their nests in the deep woods. The Northern Flicker has a similar appearance to the Downy Woodpecker, but it lacks the red dot above the head and its plumage is duller.
The bird has all brown, white, and black plumage. The upperparts and wings are brown with black dots while the underparts and belly are brownish greys with black spots. The male and female also have pinkish feathers below their tail. The male and the female of the Northern Flickers are similar, but the male has a red neck ring that females do not have. Also, the weight, size, and wingspan of the males are higher than the females.
The male has a high-pitched melodious tone that it uses to attract the females for breeding. They are frequent visitors to feeders in different areas. They visit the feeders to get their food during the summer. They mostly eat insects, larvae, worms, seeds, nuts, and berries of different types.
29. Song Sparrow
The Song Sparrow bird, which is also known as the Melospiza melodia, is a small-sized songbird with a beautiful voice. It produces a sweet sound to communicate with other Song Sparrows, this sweet song is melodious. The bird has a brown plumage color. Their whole body is covered with small brown feathers. These brown feathers also contain black spots. The bird has a brownish belly and underparts with black markings.
The male and female of this species look very similar to one another. Both have a similar plumage color and body shape. The male of this species has a slightly bigger body size, weight, and wingspan. Male and female mate mostly during the mating season, females lay eggs and sit on them while the male provides the food and protection.
The Song Sparrow mostly eats the worms and small insects including the larvae of different small insects. They also eat the green seeds of small plants and shrubs. The Song Sparrow also eats the berries of different small trees.
30. Red-winged Blackbird
The Red-winged Blackbird bird, which is also known as the Agelaius phoeniceus, is mostly identified with its black plumage color and red wings. The female of this species is different from the males. The females have a different body plumage color. They have a mixture of black, brown, and red colors in their plumage.
The Red-winged Blackbird is seen in almost all the Northern States. The bird has a complete black plumage, with a bright red spot on its wings. They have a shiny black color that depicts a blue shade when exposed to the sunlight. Male and females are different from each other, the males have a bigger body size, more bright plumage color, and more weight as compared to the females. The male and female are easy to see and identify them separately.
The Red-winged Blackbird likes eating worms, small insects including spiders and many other insect larvae, they also eat the seeds, cracked nuts, and berries of different trees and shrubs.
31. Tree Swallow
The Tree Swallow bird, which is also known as the Tachycineta bicolor, is a small size bird from North America, known for its tree chipping habit. it belongs to the Tachycineta genus, this genus has only nine species of birds closely related to each other. The Tree Swallow is a beautiful bird with blue and white plumage.
The Tree Swallow has two colors on its plumage, its whole back and wings are covered with shiny blue color, meanwhile, its belly and underparts are all white. The bird also has black color in its eyes and its tail as well. The male and female are different in plumage colors, shape, size, and weight. The male Tree Swallows have more shiny blue, black, and white plumage while the females have brownish blue, black, and white plumage. The females are slightly short in body size, weight, and wingspan as well.
The Tree Swallow are migratory birds and they keep on migrating from one place to another. They frequently visit the bird feeders in their area of stay to get some food. They like to eat small seeds and nuts, they also eat berries and fruits. The Tree Swallow also eats small insects and worms including the larvae of insects as well.
32. Eurasian Collared-Dove
The Eurasian Collared-Dove bird, which is also known as the Streptopelia decaocto, is a large size dove bird from the Columbidae bird family. The name of the Eurasian Collared-Dove bird refers to their origin, they are native to Europe and Asia and they have a collar around their necks. The Eurasian Collared-Dove bird has a grey buff to pinkish-grey plumage with underparts being even darker. The Eurasian Collared-Dove bird also has blue patches under their wings.
The Eurasian Collared-Dove bird has a grey-buff toned tail, with sloppy feathers. The underparts of the tail feathers appear to be whitish. Their beak is slim, strong, and black. The Eurasian Collared-Dove bird also has dark black eyes. The male and female appear to be similar in shape, size, and color. The Eurasian Collared-Dove bird has an average body size for an adult bird about 32 cm (13 in) and a wingspan that can span in the surface between 47–55 cm (19–22 in). The weight of an adult Eurasian Collared-Dove bird can be between 125–240 g (4.4–8.5 oz).
The female Eurasian Collared-Dove bird lays two eggs that are white and sits on them. The male provides for the female during this. The Eurasian Collared-Dove bird eats almost all kinds of food that they can find near human neighborhoods. They eat small insects, grains, seeds of crops, and wild plants. They also visit the bird feeder’s backyards to get some food as well. Mostly they get their food from barns and fields of grain crops.
33. Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker bird, which is also known as the Melanerpes formicivorus, is a medium-size woodpecker bird from the Picidae family and is known for its large piercing beak. This beautiful bird has a mostly black colored plumage that covers the whole body except the belly and some parts of the face near the beak, that is white. The heads of the Acorn Woodpeckers are covered in a shiny, red-colored cap. The upperparts and wings are also covered in black feathers and tail as well, while the underparts and feathers below the tail are white.
The Acorn Woodpecker bird has a longer body than many other species of the same family. The average body size of an adult Acorn Woodpecker is 8 inches, and the average weight is 3 oz or 85g. The male and female are slightly different from each other, males have more vibrant colors, and they also have a heavier belly, larger wingspan, and body size. Their song or call is high-pitched, and they use it to attract females for brooding and to declare their territory.
Based on their appearances, you can easily identify the male, female, and juveniles Acorn Woodpeckers. The Acorn Woodpecker barely visits the bird feeders during the summer but in winter, they look for food everywhere and visit the bird feeders in different areas. They mostly eat Acorn or oak nuts, apart from these the Acorn Woodpecker also eats small insects, worms, small nuts, seeds, and fruits.
The Wrentit bird, which is also known as the Chamaea fasciata, is a small size passerine songbird from North America. It belongs to a bird family known as the Paradoxornithidae. They are a migratory bird that moves from North to the South during the winter. The Wrentit bird has a uniform olive-brown colored plumage.
The wings of the Wrentit bird are short. Their bill is pointy, black, and stout. The male and female look similar. The body length of an adult Wrentit bird can be between 5.5-5.9 in (14-15 cm), and it can have a wingspan that covers almost 6.9-7.1 in (17.5-18 cm). The weight of an adult Wrentit bird can be between 0.5-0.6 oz (13-16 g). The female lays 3 to 6 eggs and sits on them till they hatch.
The male provides food and protection for the nest. The Wrentit bird eats small insect worms and invertebrates. They also eat small animals. The Wrentit bird also eats small grain, seeds, and nuts of different kinds. They rarely visit the bird feeders.
35. Allen’s Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird, which is also known as the Selasphorus sasin, is a small size beautiful, and colorful bird from the Hummingbird family. They are extremely small birds and only reach 3 inches in body length. They are migratory birds and mostly found in California and other neighboring states. The male Allen’s Hummingbird has a beautiful green back and forehead, with rust-colored (rufous) flanks, and a colorful tail.
The females and young Allen’s Hummingbirds are similar but are slightly different from the males. Allen’s Hummingbird is very small, and an adult male of this species typically has a body length of 3 inches and a body weight of a few grams. They are excellent divers and can dive for almost 30 meters. Their small body and aerodynamic body allow them to do so. Apart from this, their small wings move at a very high speed and help the bird be suspended in the air at the same place.
They are not frequent visitors to the bird feeders; they occasionally visit the feeder’s gardens to drink the nectar from the flowers. Allen’s Hummingbird mostly drinks nectar from these flowers, Indian paintbrush, gooseberry, currant, columbine, and monkeyflower. Their beak is like a vessel/pipe that allows them to suck from the plant’s flowers. Apart from the nectar from the flowers, they also eat small insects and worms to get proteins.
36. Nuttall’s Woodpecker
The Nuttall’s Woodpecker bird, which is also known as the Dryobates nuttallii, is a medium-size woodpecker bird from the Picidae family. They are named after an American naturalist, Thomas Nuttall. They have a habit of living in the Oak woodlands. They peck the trunks of Oak trees and eat the small insects that they can find. The male and female Nuttall’s Woodpecker birds are slightly different from one another.
The Nuttall’s Woodpecker bird’s plumage has black and white colors. The back of the bird has black and white colors that form a zebra pattern. Males have a red spot above their heads. Their beak is strong and pointy and helps them dig in the tree trunks. The body length of an adult Nuttall’s Woodpecker bird is between 16 to 18 cm (6.3 to 7.1 in) and it can have a wingspan of about 20 to 24 cm (8 to 10 in). The weight of an adult Nuttall’s Woodpecker bird is between 30 to 45 g (1.1 to 1.6 oz).
The Nuttall’s Woodpecker is an insectivore bird and feeds on small insects including caterpillars, beetles, and worms. They also eat small seeds and grains of crops such as wheat and other grains. They also eat small nuts and fruits. They also visit the backyards of the bird feeders to get some food.
37. Northern Mockingbird
The Northern Mockingbird, which is also known as the Mimus polyglottos, is the only species of Mockingbirds found in North America. This is a permanent resident in the northern states and does not migrate. They frequently visit the backyards of the bird feeders to get food.
The Northern Mockingbird has gray upperparts and whitish-gray underparts. The bird has longer legged than many other birds of the same size and has a long tail as well. The male Northern Mockingbird looks like the females as both have the same plumage color and a similar size, shape, and wingspan. The males are heavier than the females in weight. Black feathers are also a part of their long tail and wings.
The Northern Mockingbirds can live up to 20 years. They frequently visit bird feeders in different areas. The Northern Mockingbird likes eating small grains, seeds of grass, fruits, berries, worms, and small insects.
38. Spotted Towhee
The Spotted Towhee bird, which is also known as the Pipilo maculatus, is a small size new world sparrow bird from the passerine bird family, Passerellidae. They are a songbird but their call is harsh for human ears. The Spotted Towhee bird is native to North America but they migrate towards South and Central America during the winter. Their size is similar to a robin bird, but they have different plumage.
Their tail is large and black colored with white spots on the upperparts. They also have black wings with white spots. Their head, neck, and breasts are completely black. The underwings of the Spotted Towhee bird have a brownish color. Their belly and underparts are white. Their legs are dull pink and their beak is blackish as well. The body length of an adult Spotted Towhee bird can be between 17 cm (6.7 in) and 21 cm (8.3 in), and they can have a wingspan that covers almost 11.0 in (28 cm). The weight of an adult Spotted Towhee bird can be between 33 g (1.2 oz) and 49 g (1.7 oz).
The Spotted Towhee bird mostly eats small size insects including caterpillars, worms, small ants, spiders, aphids, and many others as well. They forage on the branches of the trees to get food. They also eat small size grains and seeds that they pick from the fields. They also eat small berries and fruits as well. They also visit the bird feeders to get some food.
39. European Starling
The European Starling bird, which is also known as the Sturnus vulgaris is a small size bird found in the North American States. The European Starling belongs to the starling family. The bird has a beautiful and colorful plumage that covers its whole body. They are only 8 inches long and have a wingspan of 13 inches.
The European Starling has a shiny black plumage color. Their upperparts and wings also have some blueish black feathers, that give it a beautiful appearance. The male and female have an almost similar appearance, but females are slightly shorter in body size, weight, and wingspan. Some of the females also have a different plumage color as well, instead of black they have brown plumage all over their bodies.
It is also a frequent visitor to bird feeders in different areas. The European Starling likes to eat small insects, worms, small seeds, and berries. It mostly gets its food from the trees and soil, but sometimes it also visits the feeders to get its food.
CLUES TO IDENTIFY BIRDS
Birds come in a number of shapes and colors. Below are some pointers to identify birds:
- Shape: Knowing a bird’s shape will help you put it in the right family. Take a minute to study what the shape of the bird is. You may want to pay close attention to the bird’s bill. The shape of the bill as well as its size often help to indicate what family the bird belongs to. A family is made up of bird species that are closely related. For example, sparrows have short, thick bills while warblers have short, thin bills. The tail of a bird will also help in the identification process.
- Behavior: A bird’s behavior is a great clue to identity a bird. For example, if the bird is climbing a tree, it may be hopping like a woodpecker. Even knowing if the bird is part of a flock or alone be a good indicator of the behavior identity of the bird.
- Habitat: The habitat of a bird is another clue to its identity. For example, you may see a Red-eyed Vireo in a treetop. You may possibly see a Horned Lark habitat be on bare ground or on very short vegetation. But, it is unlikely that may be a Horned Lark feeding on top of a tree. As such, it is important to know what the habitat of the bird is as a clue to its identity.
- Season: Certain birds can be spotted during a certain season. For example, up north in states like Illinois, you may see the Great Crested Flycatcher from the months from April to September but rarely during the colder months. In Illinois, some birds regardless of the season can be seen year-round such as the American Robin.
TIPS TO ATTRACT BIRDS TO YOUR BACKYARD
- Install birdhouses – Apart from food, a safe shelter is also needed for birds.
- Use different colors: Birds are attracted by color. As such, use different colors to attract birds. Did you know birds can see and identify more colors as compared to humans? Coloring birdhouses, water pots, etc. will help attract birds.
- Have the right feeder/food: There are a lot of feeders to choose from that will attract different types of birds. Birds also differ in the type of food they eat. As such, it is important to have the right food to attract specific types of birds.
- Keep the area around feeders clean: Birds like clean areas.
- Install water fixtures: Apart from food, water is one of the basic needs for birds. You may consider installing water fountains and baths.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Question: What are some common birds seen year-round in California?
Some of the most commonly seen birds year-round in California are the Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Allen's Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Acorn Woodpecker, Nuttall's Woodpecker, and the Northern Flicker.
- Question: What is the state bird of California?
The beautiful California Quail is the state bird of California.
- Question: How many specifies of birds are there in California?
There are more than 709 species of birds in California.
- Question: What is the most common bird seen in California?
The most common bird seen in California is the House Finch.