In this article, we’ll look at some of the more well-known and visible wild birds found in Florida. Several of these species are migratory and only spend part of the year in Florida, while others are permanent residents. So let’s take a look at 25 Florida backyard birds and discover more about each one!
After that, I’ll teach you how to entice them to your property, discuss a variety of birdfeeding devices that you may employ to do so, and even provide you with a few birdwatching hotspots in Florida.
How many different species of wild birds are in Florida?
It’s difficult to say precisely how many bird species live in North America, the United States, or even in Florida alone. Nonetheless, at least 525 different species of birds have been documented in Florida, according to Wikipedia.
According to one account, there are 2,059 species in North America, but according to another account, there are just 914. Thus, I’m not sure how much I can trust these figures when it comes to the number of species.
We’re going to focus on a few of our favorite species found in Florida for the purposes of this article.
25 BACKYARD BIRDS IN FLORIDA
We’ll take a look at 25 species of Florida backyard birds, some of which are permanent residents and some of which aren’t. These are just a few of the most well-known and recognizable Florida courtyard birds, although they are from among the most species in the state. Let’s take a look now, without further ado!
1. NORTHERN CARDINAL
Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis
Length: 8.3-9.1 in
Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz
Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in
In North America, the Northern Cardinals are one of the most well-known and plentiful backyard birds. Females have duller hues and are more pale brown with some reddish tint, while males have brilliant crimson feathers and a black mask. The “mohawks,
Because cardinals do not migrate, Northern Cardinals can be found throughout Florida year-round.
Most seed feeders will be visited by the Cardinals, who will provide them with a combination of black sunflower seeds.
2. TUFTED TITMOUSE
Scientific name: Baeolophus bicolor
Length: 5.5-6.3 in
Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz
Wingspan: 7.9-10.2 in
In their range, these little birds are very common at feeders and in backyards. They, like Cardinals, have a tiny mohawk that distinguishes them from other birds. Titmice have a black patch just above their beaks and are silver-gray on top and lighter on bottom.
Except for the southern tip, south of Miami, where they are less frequent, the Tufted Titmouse can be found year-round in Florida.
Most seed feeders will be visited by titmice, who will offer a variety of seed blends and black sunflower seeds.
3. CAROLINA CHICKADEE
Scientific name: Poecile carolinensis
Length: 3.9-4.7 in
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
Wingspan: 5.9-7.9 in
Because of their black cap and black bib, chickadees are small little birds that are exceedingly simple to identify. Their underbodies are puffy and whitish, and their cheeks are solid white. Their wings and backs are blackish gray.
The Carolina Chickadees are found all throughout the panhandle and into Central Florida, and should not be confused with their closely related cousins, Black-capped Chickadees. In Southern Florida, Carolina Chickadees are not as common. They’re often spotted dashing back and forth from a feeder to cover and uncover themselves for more food. Whenever I put a new feeder in my yard, chickadees are usually among the first birds to come.
Most seed feeders will be visited by chickadees, who will offer customers black sunflower seeds and mixed seed blends.
4. BLUE JAY
Scientific name: Cyanocitta cristata
Length: 9.8-11.8 in
Weight: 2.5-3.5 oz
Wingspan: 13.4-16.9 in
In North America and the United States, another very well-known bird species is the pewee. The Blue Jay is the name of this bird. Their heads are adorned with a huge blue crest, which has mostly blue feathers on top and white feathers on the bottom. Their necks are also ringed by a black necklace-like ring. White, blue, and black are the colors of their wings.
Another year-round resident of Florida is the Blue Jays. Backyards and feeders are both common places to find them.
Platform feeders, peanut feeders, and feeders with large perches are all favorites of the Blue Jays. Black sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, and peanuts are an excellent gift.
5. EASTERN BLUEBIRD
Scientific name: Sialia sialis
Length: 6.3-8.3 in
Weight: 1.0-1.1 oz
Wingspan: 9.8-12.6 in
Bluebirds have a rusty reddish-orange belly and are true to their name, they are blue on top. In the United States, they are possibly the most coveted birdhouse tenants. The bluebird house business is booming as a result of this. They may be found in both backyards and feeders, but they are not as common. I managed to attract a mating pair with this birdhouse, which is why I recommend putting one up and trying your luck.
Apart from parts of South Florida, where they are less common, Eastern Bluebirds may be found across most of Florida all year.
Bluebirds are attracted to feeders with mealworms on a tray feeder or in a dish, but they don’t usually eat seeds.
6. FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY
Scientific name: Aphelocoma coerulescens
Length: 9.1-11.0 in
Weight: 2.3-3.3 oz
Wingspan: 13.0-14.2 in
Blue and white birds closely related to Blue Jays and California Scrub-jays make up the Florida scrub-jays. They are omnivorous, like other Jays, and will eat insects, tiny invertebrates, and tiny vertebrates in addition to insects.
The Florida Scrub-jay is the only bird that is native to the state of Florida, despite its patchy distribution in Central Florida. As a result, I decided to include them on this list in light of that. They do stay around all year long if you live in one of the areas where they can be found.
Florida Scrub-jays love peanuts, sunflower seeds, and other seeds and will readily eat at bird feeders.
7. AMERICAN ROBIN
Scientific name: Turdus migratorius
Length: 7.9-11.0 in
Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz
Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in
Robins are common in backyards, where they search the grass for worms and other invertebrates to eat. They do not usually eat seeds, although they will occasionally visit bird feeders. They’re easy to identify due to their vibrant red bellies and yellow beaks.
In the colder months, robins return north, while in the warmer months they have a statewide winter range.
Attract them with meal worms, native fruit-bearing plants, or a bird bath if they don’t often visit bird feeders.
8. MOURNING DOVE
Scientific name: Zenaida macroura
Length: 9.1-13.4 in
Weight: 3.0-6.0 oz
Wingspan: 17.7 in
Doves are generally seen perched on electrical wires or in clusters in trees, and they are approximately the size of a robin. They are occasionally seen on my tray feeder, but they are more often seen walking around on the ground. The majority of mourning doves are gray with black markings on top, and their underside is pale peachy.
All throughout Florida, Mourning Doves may be seen at any time of year.
Seed feeders are visited by doves on occasion, but they prefer to rummage through the soil after seeds have fallen. Sprinkle some seeds on the ground or try a ground feeder with a mixed seed blend.
9. EUROPEAN STARLING
Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris
Length: 7.9-9.1 in
Weight: 2.1-3.4 oz
Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in
Around the 1890s, 100 starlings were released in New York, and they have since spread across the nation. They destroy other birds’ eggs, kill their offspring, and prevent other birds from accessing the food you provide. They have yellow beaks and feet and are generally all dark with white specks on their backs and wings. In the right light, starlings may be exceedingly lovely. They may also be a purple and green iridescent hue.
Unfortunately, this invasive species can be found year-round in every state except for Florida.
Almost anything will attract European Starlings. We recommend against attempting to attract them because they are an invasive species and will find their way in.
10. AMERICAN GOLDFINCH
Scientific name: Spinus tristis
Length: 4.3-5.1 in
Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz
Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in
In the spring and summer, when the goldfinches have their bright yellow feathers, they are one of my favorite birds to watch at feeders. They have black-tipped wings and a black cap on top of their heads during this time, and they are mostly yellow or “gold.” These beautiful colors will wear off during the winter, and they’ll turn more drab brownish or olive. The black on their wings and finch-like beaks will always clue you in to them.
During the winter, look for goldfinches in Florida because they do not breed there.
Thistle feeders are preferred by goldfinches, but sunflower chips are a better option if you want to attract them.
11. CAROLINA WREN
Scientific name: Thryothorus ludovicianus
Length: 4.7-5.5 in
Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz
Wingspan: 11.4 in
The upper parts of these little birds are reddish-brown, while the underparts are lighter orangish. The size and white stripe on the sides of their head, just above their eyes, are always identifying marks for Carolina Wrens. Bluebird houses are often used by wrens. We’re glad to have them, even if they aren’t the kind of people we wanted.
Throughout the year, Carolina Wrens may be found across Florida and the southeastern United States.
The Carolina Wrens, as seen in the photograph above, are very frequent in backyards and frequently visit suet feeders.
12. HOUSE SPARROW
Scientific name: Passer domesticus
Length: 5.9-6.7 in
Weight: 0.9-1.1 oz
Wingspan: 7.5-9.8 in
House Sparrows are the only other wild bird species in the United States, and they are often viewed as pests. In addition to legally capturing and humanely killing starlings, They were imported in New York in the 1800s, and since then, they have spread like wildfire across the United States. Their wings and buffy chest are streaked with black and brown, and they are mostly brown in color. They are generally aggressive toward other birds, particularly those in the nests.
Throughout Florida, as well as the other 48 lower states, House Sparrows may be found.
House Sparrows, like the European Starling, are a invasive species that poses a danger to native animals. Almost anything will be consumed, and native birds will be bullied.
13. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD
Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
Length: 6.7-9.1 in
Weight: 1.1-2.7 oz
Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in
These are some of the most common birds in North America. Because of their red wings, male Red-winged Blackbirds are unmistakable. Females of this species, on the other hand, are brown with yellow highlights and appear somewhat different. Males will have up to 15 different females that they are mating with, making them a polygynous species.
Every year, throughout the state of Florida, you may see red-winged blackbirds.
Most types of feeders attract red-winged blackbirds, who will consume both seed and suet.
14. AMERICAN CROW
Scientific name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
Length: 15.8-20.9 in
Weight: 11.2-21.9 oz
Wingspan: 33.5-39.4 in
Crows are black in color and have a big build. Like their cousin the Raven, they’re also recognized for their exceptional intelligence as problem solvers. Wherever crows may get a birds-eye view of everything below, they will roost higher up in the tree tops in enormous groups. The roost will yell out if an owl or hawk comes, letting everyone know there is a danger in the area.
Throughout the year, crows may be seen all throughout Florida.
Crows are too big to visit bird feeders, so they eat both meat and vegetables.
15. SONG SPARROW
Scientific name: Melospiza melodia
Length: 4.7-6.7 in
Weight: 0.4-1.9 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-9.4 in
The back and wings of these sparrows are mostly brown, with a white breast that has heavy brown streaks. The plumage of song Sparrows varies somewhat from area to area and they may be seen all over North America. In both attracting females and defending his area, the male of the species employs his song.
Most of Florida is home to Song Sparrows, although they are only active during the non-breeding season.
16. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER
Scientific name: Melanerpes carolinus
Length: 9.4 in
Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
Wingspan: 13.0-16.5 in
Feeders and in the backyards of most homes, these medium-sized woodpeckers are very common. The bright red stripe down the back of their heads is what you’ll notice first, despite the fact that they’re called “red-bellied.” They feature a simple white break with a pinkish red patch at the bottom of their “belly,” which is typically not seen. The white and black barring on their wings gives them a distinct look that makes them easy to identify.
All year, Red-bellied Woodpeckers can be found across Florida.
While they will occasionally consume seed feeders, attract red-bellied woodpeckers with a suet feeder.
17. DOWNY WOODPECKER
Scientific name: Picoides pubescens
Length: 5.5-6.7 in
Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz
Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in
The common backyard birds, the Downy’s, like to visit bird feeders. They are one of the first birds I notice at a new bird feeding, and they are the smallest woodpeckers in North America. Their white underbodies, black wings with white dots, black and white striped heads, and red spot on the back of their heads (in males, females have no red) distinguish them easily. Although they resemble the Hairy Woodpecker, Downy’s are a little smaller than that bird.
Throughout the whole state of Florida, you may find Downy Woodpeckers year-round.
Most types of bird feeders attract Downy Woodpeckers. Mixed seed, black sunflower seed, and suet should be offered.
18. COMMON GRACKLE
Scientific name: Quiscalus quiscula
Length: 11.0-13.4 in
Weight: 2.6-5.0 oz
Wingspan: 14.2-18.1 in
Grackles are also lovely in the right light, with their iridescent feathers, despite being bullies like the starling. They will roost with other types of blackbirds, occasionally in huge flocks numbering in the millions of birds, and appear mostly black in color. Their solid coloring and yellow ringed eye distinguish them easily.
Throughout Florida, Grackles can be found all year.
Grackles are considered pests because they forage and eat almost anything.
19. HAIRY WOODPECKER
Scientific name: Leuconotopicus villosus
Length: 7.1-10.2 in
Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz
Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in
Apart from its larger size and a few other significant characteristics, there isn’t much to differentiate Hairy Woodpeckers from Downy Woodpeckers. These animals have virtually identical patterns and are typically discovered in the same regions of the nation. I discovered, however, that the Hairy Woodpecker is far less likely than Downy’s to visit a bird feeder.
Throughout Florida, hairy woodpeckers may be seen at any time of year.
Hairy Woodpeckers will feed on suet and seed feeders in addition to Downy Woodpeckers.
20. NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD
Scientific name: Mimus polyglottos
Length: 8.3-10.2 in
Weight: 1.6-2.0 oz
Wingspan: 12.2-13.8 in
Mockingbirds are named after their capacity to imitate the sounds of other birds. A male mockingbird is believed to be capable of mastering up to 200 distinct songs throughout its lifetime. These gray and white medium-sized backyard birds have rather long tail feathers that may be used to identify them. They are frequently aggressive of intruding birds and may be seen living in tall bushes.
Throughout the year, Northern Mockingbirds may be found across Florida.
Backyards are home to a lot of Northern Mockingbirds, but they don’t usually visit bird feeders. With some of the other suggestions below, such as fruit-bearing shrubs or a bird bath, you can entice them to your yard.
21. BALTIMORE ORIOLE (WINTER RANGE)
Scientific name: Icterus galbula
Length: 6.7-7.5 in
Weight: 1.1-1.4 oz
Wingspan: 9.1-11.8 in
Orioles devour fruit and prefer dark-colored berries and fruits. You have a good chance of attracting Baltimore Orioles if your yard contains native fruit-bearing trees and plants. Males are completely orange on their breasts and underbodies, with a black hood over their whole head. They have black backs with white stripes on their wings. An orange rump and tail feathers are also present. Females have a much duller yellowish-orange coloration.
Many Orioles spend their winters in Florida, as they are migratory birds. So if you’re planning to attract them in your backyard this is the ideal season to put out your oroles feeders.
When the Orioles are in town, provide them jelly and orange halves to entice them to put out an oriole feeder.
22. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
Length: 2.8-3.5 in
Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
Wingspan: 3.1-4.3 in
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the most numerous kind of hummingbird in the United States, although only widespread in the eastern half. They’re also the only hummingbirds native to the Eastern United States. The crimson throat of males earned them the title. The backs, wings, and heads of Ruby-throated Hummers are emerald-green, with white underparts. The crimson throat feathers are not present in females.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the most common type of hummingbird in Florida, however there are a few other kinds of wandering hummingbirds. From spring to fall, they may be found all throughout the state.
If you set up nectar feeders in your backyard, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are very likely to appear. This should be done around April or May.
23. EASTERN TOWHEE
Scientific name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Length: 6.8-8.2 in
Weight: 1.1-1.8 oz
Wingspan: 7.9-11.0 in
The Eastern Towhee is a delightful backyard bird that’s always a delight to observe. Their heads are black, their bellies are white, and their sides are rufous. Reddish-brown or rust color is also known as rufous. We were fortunate enough to capture some fantastic images and videos of the kids running around and learning to hunt for food with their parents this spring. That’s really cool.
Every year, the Eastern Towhees can be found all across Florida.
In my experience, Eastern Towhees rarely eat food off of bird feeders, although I often see them hopping around on the ground below my feeders. In that sense, bird feeders may attract towhees.
24. PAINTED BUNTING
Scientific name: Passerina ciris
Length: 4.7-5.1 in
Weight: 0.5-0.7 oz
Wingspan: 8-9 in
Oh, the Painted Bunting! One of our favorite backyard birds in Florida and perhaps the most colorful bird in North America. Sadly, the box on my life list for Painted Bunting remains unchecked. The males of this species have blue heads, green backs, red rumps, red bellies, and yellow markings mixed throughout that give them the appearance of being multicolored. The females are not as vividly colored as the males, even though they remain attractive.
The majority of painted bunting sightings in the state occur during the winter in Southern Florida, although they may be found across the rest of the state.
Just placing out bird seed will attract Painted Buntings, but they may or may not appear. During breeding season, they are more likely to eat insects.
25. NORTHERN FLICKER
Scientific name: Colaptes auratus
Length: 11.0-12.2 in
Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz
Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in
Although not particularly abundant at feeders, these medium to huge sized woodpeckers are rather prevalent in backyards across the US. Flickers are slightly less common at feeders than other woodpecker species on this list, but if you know where to look, you’ll spot them in your backyard. They mainly eat insects. The black specks on their bellies, solid black bib, crimson patch on the nape of their necks, and barred black and gray wings will help you identify them.
In Florida’s backyards throughout the year, Northern Flickers may be seen.
A suet feeder is visited by Northern Flickers on occasion, but they usually find their own food. However, if you have a bird bath outside, they may stop by.
HOW TO ATTRACT BIRDS TO YOUR YARD
Want to attract some of these birds to your yard? Take a look at the first five guidelines, which are the most basic.
1. PUT OUT BIRD FEEDERS
putting out a bird feeder or two is the finest and simplest strategy to draw birds to your yard. A basic tube feeder, hopper feeder, platform feeder, or window feeder are good places to start. The following are some options for each.
2. ADD A WATER SOURCE
You may utilize a simple terra cotta flower pot saucer, like this one, instead of a pedestal birdbath similar to the one on Amazon. Water is an important part of a bird’s diet, and adding a water feature to your yard will merely enhance your odds of attracting birds. Also, since moving water attracts more birds, consider installing a solar fountain.
3. OFFER BIRDHOUSES
If placed in the proper position at the proper time of year, several types of birds will readily take residence in birdhouses. Among the most popular birds sought after by birdhouse enthusiasts are Eastern Bluebirds. The day I put up the birdhouse, a mating pair of bluebirds was seen checking it out in my yard.
4. PROVIDE SHELTER
When the birds sense danger, make sure your yard contains trees, bushes, and shrubs that they can dart back and forth to. Predators pose the greatest threat to them. Do your best to add some landscaping elements that will allow birds to view your yard as safe if your yard is in a new development with no mature trees.
5. ADD NATIVE PLANTS
Having native plants that produce nuts, berries, and seeds will simply help your efforts to attract more birds for many birds that eat them. Since non-native plants may harm native birds that are not acclimated with them, endeavor to avoid them.
10 DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIRD FEEDERS
In the yards of most households, there are ten of the most popular bird feeders.
- Hopper feeder – Hopper feeders get their name because they have a compartment in the middle, the hopper, that holds the bird seed. There are perches on the sides for birds to land on and eat from. Many hopper feeders are in the shape of a house and are covered on top to keep the seed dry. Use black sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed for this type of feeder. Here’s one of my favorite hopper feeders, it’s squirrel-proof too.
- Platform feeder – Sometimes called tray feeders, platform feeders are open on top and can usually be hung from a tree or hook, or pole-mounted. They are great for feeding most types of birds and are easy to get set up. Though since they are completely open, every animal in your yard that can reach them will eat from them. Use black sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed for this type of feeder. I’m using this platform feeder in my backyard right now.
- Tube feeder – Tube feeders are nothing more than clear plastic tube-shaped bird feeders. They can range in size from holding a few cups of seed to holding 5 lbs or more. They are great because they keep your seed fresh and dry while also allowing you to easily seed when it needs to be refilled. Many types of birds will use a tube feeder. You can use black sunflower seeds and mixed seeds in tube feeders. Squirrel Buster makes some of the best tube feeders on the market, this one is great and is of course squirrel proof.
- Suet feeder – Suet feeders are for one type of bird food, suet cakes. They are a very simple concept, usually made of nothing more than a metal wire cage, sometimes with a tail-prop coming down for larger birds. Suet feeders are popular in the winter time when birds are looking for high-fat foods and are frequently visited by woodpeckers. I suggest getting a suet feeder with a long tail prop so you can attract larger woodpeckers, like the Pileated and Northern Flicker.
- Window feeder – Window feeders are small bird feeders that typically mount right onto a glass window by means of suction cups. They are similar to tray feeders in that they are open on top and you just pour the seed into the tray area to refill them. These feeders are popular with many different types of birds, are super easy to get started with, and great for people who don’t have big yards. Use black sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed for this type of feeder. This is by far the most popular window feeder on Amazon, and maybe the most popular bird feeder on Amazon overall.
- Thistle feeder – Thistle feeders, aka Nyjer feeders, are specialized bird feeders made especially for thistle seed. The main types of birds that thistle feeders attract are birds in the finch family, which includes the American Goldfinch and House Finch whom are both on this list. Thistle feeders are often in a tube shape and have tiny holes all along the sides of the tube allowing the birds to pick out the thistle. Here’s a good thistle feeder from Droll Yankees.
- Ground feeder – Ground feeders are more or less tray feeders that sit on ground level. They will be very popular with birds like Mourning Doves and Juncos as well as squirrels, raccoons, and any other type of ground animal. Use black sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed for this type of feeder. You might like this ground feeder made from recycled plastic.
- Oriole feeder – Oriole feeders are another type of specialty feeder for pretty much one type of bird, orioles. The feeder itself is often orange in color and usually has little plastic or glass dishes made for holding jelly, which orioles love. They also allow you to stick orange halves onto the feeder, another food that orioles relish. Here’s a simple oriole feeder with 4 jelly trays that holds for orange halves.
- Hummingbird feeder – Nectar feeders, aka hummingbird feeders, are designed specifically for hummingbirds to extract sugar water. Even though they are designed for hummingbirds, I frequently see Downy Woodpeckers at mine who also loves that sweet nectar. See this article to learn how to make hummingbird nectar without boiling the water. Hummingbird feeders are simple and inexpensive so there’s no need to spend much on one, here’s one that I’ve personally used and had success with.
- Peanut feeder – Similar to thistle feeders, peanut feeders are tube-shaped and usually composed of a metal wire mesh material. Only the holes in the wire mesh are much further apart to allow for either whole unshelled or shelled peanuts to pass through the holes. These feeders attract birds like Blue Jays and as the name suggests, should be filled with peanuts. If you want to keep squirrels out of your peanut feeder, then this one by Squirrel Buster is your best bet. Otherwise this simple one will do the trick.
BIRD WATCHING IN FLORIDA
If you want to go outside of your own backyard for your hobby, Florida is a wonderful state. If you’d like to get a little more engaged, the Florida Audubon Society has 40 local chapters and hosts meetups, seminars, field excursions, and birding trips on a regular basis.
Have a look at this list I’ve prepared of some popular birding sites in Florida if you’re a Florida resident who wants to add some new species to your life list.
FLORIDA BIRDING LOCATIONS
- Everglades National Park is located in Florida.
- Dry Tortugas and Florida Keys
- Loxahatchee National Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Florida.
- The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is located in the state of Florida.
- The Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located in Flintstone.
- Ocala National Forest
- In Fort Desoto County Park, you’ll find it.
- Honeymoon Island State Park is a popular attraction.
- St. is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and The National Wildlife Refuge (Marks) is located near Winchester.