2021 | BEAUTIFUL BACKYARD BIRDS IN IOWA WITH PICTURES

Iowa has a number of beautiful native bird species. There are more than 428 different species of birds found at different times of the year in Iowa. States such as Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Illinois border Iowa and as such, have a number of birds that they share in common. Birds in Iowa range from more frequently seen birds such as the Black-capped Chickadee to less seen birds such as the Yellow-headed Blackbird. The state bird of Iowa is the American Goldfinch which was declared the state bird in 1933. The American Goldfinch is commonly found in Iowa and stays through the winter. This bird has a brilliant yellow color and black wings and tail.

Below we have compiled a list of beautiful common backyard birds found in Iowa with pictures and identification. We also included information on how frequently the birds can be seen along with what time of the year they are observed.

BIRDS OF IOWA

Below is a list of birds of Iowa 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. Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal bird, which is also known as the Cardinalis cardinalis, is a small-sized songbird known for its beautiful plumage. The male of this species has a red-colored plumage with a bright red shade. While the female Northern Cardinals have duller colors. They are very easy to identify as the male and female have different color and body shape and size. 

 The body length of a Northern Cardinal is between 21–23.5 cm (8.3–9.3 in), while the whole wingspan of the Northern Cardinals can be between 25–31 cm (9.8–12.2 in). They weigh almost 33.6–65 g (1.19–2.29 oz). 

The Northern Cardinal has a red beak, red plumage, with a few black and white spots on their feathers. The Northern Cardinals like to eat small insects, including spiders, worms. They also earth the crushed nuts, small seeds of different herbs, and the berries of different small trees and plants.

2. 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.

3. Black-capped Chickadee

The Black-capped Chickadee, which is also known as the Poecile atricapillus bird, is a small size bird from North America. This small and beautiful songbird belongs to the Chickadee family. They have a beautiful appearance, with a white belly, a black cap above their heads, streaks of black and white color that covers their whole plumage. They also have a brown underpart below their wings.

The male is slightly different from the female, as the females have dull colors and are smaller in size and also has less weight than male. They only weigh between 10 to 14 g, with a body length of 12 to 15cm and a wingspan of only 15 to 21 cm.

They have a small but strong beak that helps them get their food and break the hard nuts. The Black-capped Chickadee likes eating small insects, nuts, seeds of small bushes, and berries as well. They are one of the birds that do not hesitate to come closer to humans. If you are feeding them, there are chances that they might sit on your hands as well.

4. Blue Jay

The Blue Jay bird, which is also known as the Cyanocitta Cristata, is native to eastern North America but also found in different other parts as well. and it belongs to the Corvidae family. They like the woodland environment and they mostly breed in the forests. They have a distinctive blue and white look; the chest of the bird is white while the back and wings are blue. 

The male and female both have a similar overall body color, shape and weight, and wingspan. The average body length of the Blue Jay is between 22–30 cm (9–12 in), while the wingspan average of Blue Jay is 34–43 cm (13–17 in). They can weigh up to 100 g or 3.5 oz. The Blue Jay also has a feathery crown on its head, they use this crown to express their feelings or mood.

The Blue Jay also has a black collar line across the neck. They like eating nuts, seeds, berries, soft fruits, and some insects and worms. They are excellent at cracking different kinds of nuts. They breed in the trees; the female protects the eggs and young birds when the eggs hatch while the male provides her all the food during this period. They stay with their parents for almost two months, and then they are ready to fly alone.

5. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker which is also known as the Dryobates pubescens, is a small bird from the woodpecker family. The bird has mostly a black plumage color, with white dots above the wings, and black and white stripes over its head. The male and female of this species have a similar plumage color, but the female lacks the small red dot that is seen on the head of the male. 

The Downy Woodpecker has a white belly and white spots above their wings as well. The male has more body-weight and wingspan than a female Downy Woodpecker. The body size of the female Downy Woodpeckers is also slightly shorter than the male counterparts. They are frequent visitors to the bird feeders.  They do not travel to farther distances for food.

The Downy Woodpecker likes to eat small-sized insects, worms, seeds, nuts, and berries of the small shrubs. They are attracted to the feeders that provide them suet. They are more frequently seen during the winter in the feeder areas as compared to the summer.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker bird, which is also known as the Melanerpes carolinus, is known for its red-colored belly. This is a bird from the Woodpecker family, known for its woodpecker habit. They have a very strong beak that they use to dig into the trees and create holes of different sizes and shapes. The bird has black and white wings and back, while a red neck and head. 

This small-sized bird has a high-pitched melodious tone, it uses this to attract the females for mating. Males are slightly heavier and bigger than the females, male mostly weigh around 73g while the female’s weight is only 65g. The males also have a slightly bigger wingspan than the females. 

They have a strong beak, and they use this beak to cut through the woods. They create circular holes in the woods with their beak. Their food includes different kinds of insects, worms, seeds, berries, and nuts.

9. 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.

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. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. House Wren

The House Wren bird, which is also known as the Troglodytes aedon, is one of the smallest songbirds from the wren family (Troglodytidae) in North America. They are also one of the most abundantly found birds in North and South America. They are brave and extremely social birds and they do not hesitate to come closer to humans. They also build their nests near the human presence. This bird has 7 different subspecies that have different plumage colors and different sizes. 

The House Wren bird has brown colored plumage with stripes and patterns of white and dark brown colors. Breeding adults are slightly different from the nonbreeding birds. The male House Wren bird is slightly bigger than the female. The House Wren bird can have a body length range between 11 to 13 cm (4.3 to 5.1 in), and they have wings that can span up to 15 cm (5.9 in). The weight of an adult House Wren bird can be between 10 to 12 g (0.35 to 0.42 oz).

The House Wren builds its nests mostly near human houses, barns, parks. They built an open nest. The House Wren eats small insects of different types including caterpillars, moths, and small invertebrates. The House Wren also eats small grains and seeds of different plants and weeds. The House Wren visits backyards of bird feeders to get some food.

16. Gray Catbird

The Gray Catbird, which is also known as the Dumetella carolinensis is a medium size bird from the mimid family of small and medium-size birds. This songbird is native to Central and North America but now is seen in the different other parts of as well. Their population migrates to the other states during the winter, that is why they are less often spotted during the Winter. 

The size of an adult Gray Catbird is only 8 inches on average, with a wingspan of 11 inches. The weight of an adult Gray Catbird is between 30 to 50 grams. The whole body of the Gray Catbird is covered with lead-gray feathers. The wings and head parts are darker than the belly and neck parts of the body. Male and female of the Gray Catbird species are the same as one another, that is why it is hard to identify them.

The male has a beautiful and melodious voice that attracts the females for breeding. They visit the bird feeders to get their food. They visit more frequently during the summer. The Gray Catbird eats small worms and insects. They also eat fruits and berries of different small plants. They eat the seeds and grains of different small shrubs and grasses as well.

17. 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.

18. Common Grackle

The Common Grackle bird, which is also known as the Quiscalus quiscula is a large size bird from the Icterids family of songbirds, Native to North America. This bird has white eyes with a small black spot in them. They are longer in size, have a slate black bill, and a lengthy tail. They are a permanent resident of the North but also migrate to some other parts as well. 

The bird has black wings, a shiny blow neck, and black underparts. Male and female are almost look-alikes and cannot be differentiated based on their appearance. The male and female populations of grackles are slightly different from one another, but it is hard to identify them separately from a distance. 

They frequently visit the bird feeders to get their food. They are omnivorous and eat a lot of different things. They eat small birds, mice, insects, worms, minnow, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, and small grains of crops. They fight other birds to snatch their foods as well.

19. 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.

20. Chipping Sparrow

The Chipping Sparrow bird, which is also known as the Spizella passerina, and belongs to the Sparrow family. It is a small-sized songbird with brown, black, and mostly grey plumage, upperparts, and underparts. The Chipping Sparrow is mostly seen in North America during the summer season. 

The Chipping Sparrow male and female are mostly like one another and it is hard to identify them. The male in the Chipping Sparrows are slightly heavier, bigger than the females and they also have a slightly bigger belly and wingspan as well. Their black, brown, and grey color is shinier in the males than the females. The male has a beautiful song with a very high pitch, it utilizes this song to attract the females for breeding.

The Chipping Sparrow frequently visits the bird feeders in summer to get some food. They like eating the small worms and their larvae, insects, seeds of small trees, and berries of some plants.

21. Brown-headed Cowbird

The Brown-headed Cowbird, which is also known as the Molothrus ater, is a medium size bird native to North America. The Brown-headed Cowbird is a migratory bird that travels from one place to another depending upon the food availability, weather, and climate situations. The bird has a similar shape to the normal crow, but it has a more colorful back. They mostly visit the north during the summer season.

The Brown-headed Cowbird has all-black plumage, except the head and neck, this part of the body of the Brown-headed Cowbird is brown instead of black. The black plumage of this bird reflects a more bluish-black color rather than pure black. The male plumage is shiny and more colorful than females. The female’s plumage is brown black. The females are shorter than the males and have less wingspan and weight. Females can be easily spotted among the flock as they are different in color than the normal males.

The bird produces a high pitch tune to attract the females for mating. They are migratory birds and mostly they are traveling from one place to another. The Brown-headed Cowbird eats different kinds of insects, worms, plant seeds, fruits, and berries.

22. Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker bird, which is also known as the Junco hyemalis, is a medium-sized bird from the Woodpecker family. The bird has black and white plumage, male Hairy Woodpeckers also have a red dot above their heads, the females do not have this dot. 

They are similar in shape to the downy woodpeckers. They have a strong beak that they use to dig holes in the tree trunks. Males have brighter colors than female ones. The body length, wingspan, and weight of the male Hairy Woodpeckers are more than the female Hairy Woodpeckers as well.

The male has a distinct mating call to attract the females during the mating season. They visit the bird feeders frequently to get their food. They are constantly seen year-round in different parts as well. The Hairy Woodpeckers eat small worms, insects, seeds, and berries, they also eat the larvae of different birds. They frequently visit the feeders that feed them suet.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird, which is also known as the Sialia sialis, is a small size bird that belongs to a family of North American songbirds known as the Turdidae. It is mostly found in farmlands, orchids, gardens, and open woods. It is a frequent visitor to the different parts of the United States and mostly visits the feeders. It produces a beautiful melody with its vocals. 

The Eastern Bluebird is mostly known for its blue wings, head, and upperparts. They have an orange-brown collar around their necks. Their belly is fat and white, their tail is also blue. They have a body length between 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in), their wingspan is between 25–32 cm (9.8–12.6 in) and they weigh almost 27–34 g (0.95–1.20 oz. The male and female are almost identical and there is no special difference between them, the only difference between males and females is their color, the males are blue while the females are dull blue to brownish pale in color.

Their diet mainly consists of small fruits, berries, seeds, and worms. Worms and insects are the major food items for the grown-up Eastern Bluebird. They eat grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and katydids.

26. Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole bird, which is also known as the Icterus galbula, is a small size migratory bird from North America. The bird is native to North America but migrates to the different parts of the United States. Their migration is synched with the weather and climate patterns in northern parts of America. 

The Baltimore Oriole has a beautiful yellow, white, brown, and black plumage. The wings and upper parts of the bird have brown, black and white markings. The Head of the male is black while the female head is yellow. The belly and underparts of the male are yellow while the female has white underparts. The Baltimore Oriole migrates from the North to the other parts during the summer and visits different parts of the United States.

They eat small insects, like spiders, worms, etc. They also eat seeds of green plants and grass; they also eat the berries and fruits of different kinds as well. They visit the feeders frequently during the summer in different areas to get their food.

27. Indigo Bunting

The Indigo Bunting bird, which is also known as the Passerina cyanea, is a small size seed-eating bird from the cardinal family, Cardinalidae. This bird is native to North America but migrates towards the South during the winter season. They can see through the darkness and even through the night. They mostly travel in the night when migrating and spend their days searching for food. The Indigo Bunting bird is all covered with an indigo blue colored plumage; hence they are named indigo. 

The male Indigo Buntings are covered with a shiny blue, indigo plumage, their wings, back, face, upperparts, belly, and underparts are all indigo, meanwhile, the females are brown. The male Indigo Bunting also has some blackish shade in its wings. The females have brown and dark brown upperparts and grey-white underparts. The body length of an adult Indigo Bunting bird can be between 11.5–13 cm (4.5–5.1 in) and it can have a wingspan that can cover almost 18–23 cm (7.1–9.1 in). The weight of an adult breeding male bird can be between 11.2–21.4 g (0.40–0.75 oz). 

The Indigo Bunting is known for its seeds eating habit, they live almost entirely on the seeds that they find from fields. They search the ground and expose the seeds and eat them. Apart from the seeds, they also eat grains, fruits, berries, and vegetative matter. The Indigo Bunting bird also eats small size insects as well. They also visit the bird feeders in different areas to get some food.

28. Red-headed Woodpecker

The Red-headed Woodpecker bird, which is also known as the Melanerpes erythrocephalus, is a small size woodpecker bird from North America. They are migratory birds and move from the North to the South during the winter. Their name Red-headed Woodpecker bird refers to their shiny, red-colored head. This bird has a beautiful and shiny plumage. Their back is black and has a pattern of Black-white-black colors. Their tail is black as well. They have a strong, pointy beak, that they use to peck in the wood trunks. 

The Red-headed Woodpecker has a complete white belly, underparts, and breasts. The male and female have similar plumage colors. The young Red-headed Woodpecker birds have a grey head. The body length of an adult Red-headed Woodpecker bird can be between 19 to 25 cm (7.5 to 9.8 in) and their wingspan can be up to 42.5 cm (16.7 in). The weight of an adult Red-headed Woodpecker can be between 56 to 97 g (2.0 to 3.4 oz). 

The Red-headed Woodpecker is known for its wood pecking ability, they dig holes in the tree trunks and live inside these holes. This bird mostly catches its prey, the insects, in midair flight. They rarely forage on the ground. They mostly look for food in the upper parts of trees. They also eat small seeds, nuts, and grains. They also visit the backyards of the bird feeders to get some food.

29. White-throated Sparrow

The White-throated Sparrow bird, which is also known as the Zonotrichia albicollis, is a small size passerine songbird from the new world sparrow family known as the Passerellidae. As the name refers, they have a white throat. Their eyes have yellow spots. The head of the White-throated Sparrow bird is covered with white-black-white streaks. The breasts and underparts of the White-throated Sparrow bird are brownish white. 

The White-throated Sparrow bird has streaks of black, brown, and white colors above its shoulders, back, and wings. Their tail is also brownish. The male and female are slightly different from each other. The body length of an adult White-throated Sparrow bird can be between 15 to 19 cm (5.9 to 7.5 in), and it can have a wingspan that covers almost 23 cm (9.1 in). The weight of an adult White-throated Sparrow can be between 22 to 32 g (0.78 to 1.13 oz). 

The White-throated Sparrow builds its nests in bushy areas. The White-throated Sparrow eats small seeds and grains. The White-throated Sparrow also eats small nuts, berries, and fruits. The White-throated Sparrow bird also eats small insects and worms of different kinds. They also visit the bird feeders to get some food. 

30. Eastern Phoebe

The Eastern Phoebe bird, which is also known as the Sayornis phoebe, is a small size bird from the passerine family phoebes. They are also migratory birds and migrate to western parts during the winter. It looks similar to the sparrow in shape but has a different feather color and plumage. They are very small and are only five inches long with a wingspan of 9 inches and a bodyweight of 21g. 

The male and female have similar body size and shape, but males weigh more than the females and females have duller plumage than an adult male. The bird has a grey-white brownish chest and brown blackish wings and tail. The beak and eyes are black.

The Eastern Phoebe frequently visits the bird feeders in different areas during the summer to get food. They mostly eat seeds, fruits, and berries, and sometimes they also eat insects and small worms.

31. Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak | Pixabay

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak bird, which is also known as the Pheucticus ludovicianus, is one of the largest grosbeaks from the cardinal’s family Cardinalidae. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak bird’s name refers to its appearance, as they have rose-colored breasts and underparts. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak has a black head, upperparts, and wings. Their tail is also black, upperparts and wings are marked with white spots. They have a white-colored belly. Their beak is short and strong. Male and female are different from one another. 

An adult male has all the colorful features, but the female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have brownish upperparts, wings, and tail. The females also have metallic white underparts, breasts, and belly area. The young birds have a similar appearance to the female. The body length of an adult can be between 18–22 cm (7.1–8.7 in), and they can have a wingspan of about 29–33 cm (11–13 in). The weight of an adult can be between 35–65 g (1.2–2.3 oz). The male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are slightly larger than the females and also have more weight. 

The female lays 3 to 4 eggs and sits on them. The male provides her food during this. They eat a lot of different small insects and worms. They also eat small seeds and nuts. They are especially called a seed eater bird because they mostly visit the farm areas and pick the seeds from the fields. They also visit the bird feeders to get some food.

32. Cedar Waxwing

The Cedar Waxwing bird, which is also known as the Bombycilla cedrorum, is a medium size bird from the Bombycillidae or Waxwing family of the birds. It is a passerine songbird and has a high-pitched call that they use for communication. The Cedar Waxwing bird is one of the smallest species of waxwing birds in North America. The Cedar Waxwing bird has brown plumage with shiny silky, gray, lemon yellow markings. They also have a black mask that covers the entire face region. Their wings have a bright red dot in the middle of brown silky feathers.  

This bird also has a crest above its head that is also brown. The Cedar Waxwing bird has black eyes and a streak that stretches from the eyes towards the back of the head. Their beak is short but strong enough to break the nuts and small insects. The Cedar Waxwing bird can have a body length that spans almost 6–7 in (15–18 cm) and a wingspan that covers 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm) area. The weight of an adult Cedar Waxwing bird is about 30g. The Cedar Waxwing bird breeds in the open woods and the female sits on the eggs.  

The male provides for the female till the eggs hatch and the female can also fly away and search for food. The Cedar Waxwing bird eats a lot of different types of small berries and fruits of small plants including the junipers, dogwood, serviceberry, and cedar as well. This bird also eats small size insects including caterpillars, spiders, and worms. They also visit the bird feeders to get some food if they nest near a human neighborhood.

33. Eastern Kingbird

The Eastern Kingbird, which is also known as the Tyrannus, is one of the largest flycatcher birds in America. This bird belongs to a bird family commonly known as the Tyrannidae. The Eastern Kingbird builds an open nest in the deep woods. The Eastern Kingbird has a swollen white colored belly. Their neck part is dark gray, and their bill is black. They have a pointy and elongated bill. The plumage of the Eastern Kingbird is all covered with dark gray colored feathers. The belly, underparts, and breast area are covered entirely with the white color.  

The Eastern Kingbird adults are slightly different from their young ones. The male and female Eastern Kingbird look almost identical and have no major difference in their plumage colors or body shape that is why it is difficult to differentiate their sexes. The Eastern Kingbird has an average body length size between 19–23 cm (7.5–9.1 in) and they have a wingspan that covers almost 33–38 cm (13–15 in). The Eastern Kingbird has an average weight of about 33–55 g (1.2–1.9 oz). 

The bird searches for food on the branches of the trees and the ground as well. They are omnivores meaning that they eat almost all kinds of foods. The Eastern Kingbird mostly eats small size flies, insects, and other invertebrates. They also eat green vegetables, fruits, seeds, and grains. They also visit the backyards of the bird feeders in different areas.

34. 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.

35. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, which is also known as the Archilochus colubris, is a small size hummingbird from North America. The name of the Ruby-throated hummingbird refers to their ruby-colored throat. They are one of the migratory hummingbird species and move towards the south during winter. The upper parts of the Ruby-throated hummingbird are metallic-green colored, and the underparts have white-grey color. Their wings are blackish, and they have a long bill. They use this bill to suck the nectar from different flowers. 

The Ruby-throated hummingbird females are similar to the male, but the young ones lack the iconic ruby-colored throat. The body length of an adult Ruby-throated hummingbird can be between 7 to 9 cm (2.8 to 3.5 in) and they can have a wingspan of up to 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 in). The average weight of an adult Ruby-throated hummingbird can be between 2 to 6 g (0.071 to 0.212 oz). They are an extremely small bird species. 

They have a long bill; they use this to sip the nectar from different flowers including many garden plants as well. They insert their long bill inside the ovary of the flower and suck up the nectar. They also eat small insects and worms during their flight and migration. They also visit the backyards of the bird feeders that provide them suet and sugared water.

36. American Redstart

American Redstart | Pixabay

The American Redstart bird, which is also known as the Setophaga ruticilla, is a small size warbler bird from the Parulidae family. They have jet black color in the upper parts of their plumage, with large orange patches that surround the blackish upperparts. They have a white belly and orange breasts. Their tail is also covered with black feathers. The males have different and more vibrant colors than the females and young American Redstarts. 

The female and young American Redstarts have dull orange color instead of bright orange color in their upperparts, and wing patches. They are very small in size as compared to the other warbler birds, they also have a shorter wingspan and less weight as well. The average weight of an American Redstart is 7g only. Females weigh even less than the males. The body length of an adult male is about 13 cm or 5.3 inches with a wingspan of 23 cm or 9 inches. Females have shorter body lengths and wingspans as compared to males as well. 

The American Redstart’s diet consists of small insects and worms. They attack these small creatures from the air and eat them. They also chase the small insects inside the woods, trunks, and branches as well.  Caterpillars, moths, flies, leafhoppers and planthoppers, small wasps, beetles, aphids, stoneflies, and spiders are a major part of their diet. They also eat some berries and small seeds of different plants.

37. Brown Thrasher

The Brown Thrasher bird, which is also known as the Toxostoma rufum, is a large size bird from the thrasher family commonly known as the Mimidae. The bird is genetically related to the mockingbirds. The Brown Thrasher bird is commonly seen in the different rocky regions of the United States and other parts of the world as well. As their name suggests, the bird is covered entirely with brown plumage. They have patches of dark brown to black color above their wings and upper parts of the plumage. The underparts, belly, and breasts area of the bird’s body is covered with brownish-gray colored plumage. 

The male and female Brown Thrasher bird are similar in shape, color, and body size, that is why it is hard to identify the sexes. The young ones of the Brown Thrasher bird have dull colors and no plumage in the early days. The Brown Thrasher bird has an average body size range between 23.5 to 30.5 cm (9.3 to 12.0 in) and has a wingspan of 29 to 33 cm (11 to 13 in). The average weight of an adult Brown Thrasher bird is between 61 to 89 g (2.2 to 3.1 oz). The male appeared to be slightly bigger than the females.

The female Brown Thrasher bird lays between three to five eggs and sits on them till they hatch. The male provides food for these days. The Brown Thrasher bird mostly eats small size insects and small worms. They also eat the larvae of small insects. The Brown Thrasher bird also eats small size seeds, grains, fruits, and berries of some birds. They visit the bird feeders regularly if the feeders provide them suet and other foods of this type.

38. American Tree Sparrow

39. Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher bird, which is also known as the Megaceryle alcyon, is a medium size bird from the kingfisher family, known for a belt around its neck. Their heads have a shaggy crest and have a long and strong bill. The females of this species are brighter than the males and have more vibrant colors. They have a slate blue head, large white collar, a large blue band on the breast, and white underparts, they also have blue and black wings with white dots. 

The male Belted Kingfisher measures between 27 to 34 cm (10.9 to 13.9 in) in body length with a wingspan that ranges between 47 to 57 cm (18 to 22.9 in). The weight of an adult Belted Kingfisher ranges between 113 to 178 g (4.0 to 6.3 oz). As they show reverse dimorphism, the females are bigger than the males and have a larger wingspan and more weight as well. 

The Belted Kingfisher nests near the water bodies, canals, lakes, and River lands. They eat small amphibians, small fishes, insects, small mammals, and some reptiles as well. The females lay eggs and sit on them until they hatch. The male provides food to their young ones and the female as well.

40. Yellow Warbler

The Yellow Warbler bird or American Yellow Warbler bird, which is also known as the Setophaga petechi is a small size bird. It belongs to the Warbler family of small songbirds native to North America. They are native to the northern parts of America but seen in the south as well. They are known for their yellow-colored plumage.

The male and female yellow warbler are slightly different from one another as the male has more bright colors as compared to the females. The male yellow warblers are also heavier, and larger than the females. 

They like eating the worms and insects that they pick from the ground or trees. They also eat the small grains of seeds, berries, and fruits of different trees. They frequently visit the bird feeders during the summer to get 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.

HUMMINGBIRDS FOUND IN IOWA

NATIONAL BIRD ASSOCIATIONS

BIRDING LOCATIONS IN IOWA