24 Backyard Birds In New Jersey (Pictures & Facts)

New Jersey is home to a variety of wild bird species. We’ll look at several of the most frequent and well-known New Jersey birds, mostly those that may be found locally, in this essay. Some of the species are migratory and only spend part of the year in New Jersey, while others are permanent residents. So, to understand a little about each species, let’s take a look at 24 backyard birds in New Jersey.

After that, I’ll demonstrate you how to entice them to your property, provide you with a crash course in the 10 distinct styles of bird feeders available for attracting birds, and even provide you with some birdwatching Hotspots and clubs in New Jersey.

How many different species of wild birds are in New Jersey?

It’s tough to say precisely how many kinds of birds live in North America, the United States, or even New Jersey. The official state list, on the other hand, lists 485 species, according to Wikipedia.

According to one source, North America contains 2,059 species; according to another, 914. So I’m hesitant to trust these numbers because they don’t tell us how many species there are, but they do give us a ballpark figure.

We’re going to look at a few of our favorite backyard creatures in New Jersey for the purposes of this article.


In New Jersey, we’ll examine 24 species of backyard birds, some of which are permanent residents and others that aren’t. These are some of the more notable and recognizable New Jersey backyard birds, many of which you can see at your bird feeders, but they aren’t all the species in the state. Let’s get started!


Scientific nameCardinalis cardinalis

Length: 8.3-9.1 in

Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz

Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in

In North America, Northern Cardinals are one of the most frequently seen and recognized bird species. Females have duller colors and are more pale brown with some reddish coloring, while males have bright red feathers and a black mask. The presence of mohawks and reddish orange beaks distinguish both sexes from one another.

New Jersey is home to the Northern Cardinals all year.

Most seed feeders will be visited by the Cardinals, who will provide them with mixed seed blends and black sunflower seeds.


Scientific nameBaeolophus bicolor

Length: 5.5-6.3 in

Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz

Wingspan: 7.9-10.2 in

In their range, these small birds are common at feeders and in backyards. They have a mohawk, like Cardinals, that distinguishes them from other birds and serves as a distinguishing feature. Titmice have a black patch just above their beaks and are silver-gray on top and lighter on bottom.

Throughout New Jersey, the Tufted Titmouse may be found all year.

Most seed feeders will be visited by titmice, who will give them a combination of black sunflower seeds.


Scientific nameThryothorus ludovicianus

Length: 4.7-5.5 in

Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz

Wingspan: 11.4 in

The upper parts of these small birds are reddish-brown, while the bottom parts are pale orangish. They have a longish beak with a somewhat bent shape and a large white “eyebrow.” They prefer to lurk in the brush and may be difficult to locate, however their loud “teakettle-teakettle” cry is unmistakable.

Every day of the year, Carolina Wrens may be seen around New Jersey.

The Carolina Wrens, as seen in the photograph above of one we observed in our yard, are rather frequent in backyards and frequently visit suet feeders.


Scientific nameCyanocitta 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 well-known avian species is the red-winged blackbird. The Blue Jay is the one who speaks. Their back and belly are mostly white, while their crest is enormous blue on top of their heads with predominantly blue feathers. They have black stripes on their wings and tail. They also wear a necklace that is black and has a ring around their necks. They emit a variety of strong, metallic trills that are among the first to notify all of the birds in the area of a predator such as a hawk.

Another year-round resident of New Jersey is the Blue Jays. In backyards and feeders, they are very common.

Platform feeders, peanut feeders, and feeders with big perches are popular with Blue Jays. Black sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, and peanuts should be offered to them.


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 royal blue head with rusty reddish-orange chests and white bellies, as their name suggests. The females’ hues, particularly the blues, appear duller and more faded than males’. In the United States, they are perhaps the most coveted occupants of birdhouses. The bluebird house industry is booming, especially during the winter months. They’re common around feeders, but not as much in backyards. I was able to attract a mating pair with this birdhouse, which I put up on Amazon.

New Jersey is home to the Eastern Bluebird all year. The NJ Bluebird Society can tell you more about it.

Seeds are not usually eaten by bluebirds, but they may be persuaded to visit a tray feeder with mealworms or in a dish.


Scientific nameMelospiza melodia

Length: 4.7-6.7 in

Weight: 0.4-1.9 oz

Wingspan: 7.1-9.4 in

The backs and wings of these sparrows are usually brown, while the breast is mostly white with heavy brown streaks that frequently culminate in a central brown spot. The plumage of song Sparrows varies somewhat depending on the area, and they are fairly widespread across most of North America. Males of this species sing both to attract females and defend their area.

New Jersey is home to song Sparrows throughout the year.

Song Sparrows may snack on mixed seeds and sunflower seeds at bird feeders from time to time.


Scientific nameTurdus migratorius

Length: 7.9-11.0 in

Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in

Robins are commonly seen hopping around the grass in search of worms and other invertebrates, and they can be found in backyards. They do not eat seeds and seldom eat bird feeders. They are easily recognized because of their vivid red bodies and yellow beaks. During the winter, they retreat to the woods in many places, and until spring, they don’t return to yards. They appear to be leaving the state, but in most situations, they remain through the winter.

All year, robins stay in New Jersey.

Attract them to a bird bath, meal worms, native fruit-bearing plants, or a bird feeder if they don’t visit often.


Scientific nameZenaida macroura

Length: 9.1-13.4 in

Weight: 3.0-6.0 oz

Wingspan: 17.7 in

Mourning Doves are a little bird that may be seen perched on telephone lines or in groups in trees and may be seen around the size of a robin. A common backyard sound is their soft cooing. They’re more commonly seen walking around on the ground than they are on my tray feeder. The majority of mourning doves have gray feathers with black markings on top, a pale peachy below, and pink legs.

Every year, throughout the whole state of New Jersey, Mourning Doves may be found.

Doves love to eat seeds from seed feeders, but they prefer looking for dropped seeds. Spread some seeds on the ground or experiment with a ground feeder using a mixed seed blend.


Scientific nameSturnus vulgaris

Length: 7.9-9.1 in

Weight: 2.1-3.4 oz

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in

In the 1890s, a hundred starlings were released in New York, and they have since overrun the nation. They will bypass feeders and destroy the nests of other birds, murdering their offspring. They will also overrun you while you’re putting out food for others. They have yellow beaks and feet and are mostly dark with white specks on their backs and wings. In the right light, starlings may appear to be quite lovely, with a purple and green iridescent color.

Unfortunately, this detrimental species can be found year-round in every state except New Jersey.

Almost anything gets devoured by European Starlings. We recommend that you do not try to attract them, since they are an invasive species and will appear regardless.


Scientific nameSpinus tristis

Length: 4.3-5.1 in

Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz

Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in

When the bright yellow feathers of goldfinches are in bloom in the spring and summer, they’re one of my favorite birds to watch at feeders. Males have a black cap on top of their heads and are predominantly yellow, or “gold” during this time period. Their bright yellow fades to a more dull brownish or olive tone during the winter months as they molt. Their black wings and finch-like beaks are always visible, no matter when of year it is.

New Jersey’s state bird, the goldfinch, may be seen all year.

Sunflower chips are popular with goldfinches, but a thistle feeder is your best bet for attracting them.


Scientific nameJunco hyemalis

Length: 5.5-6.3 in

Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz

Wingspan: 7.1-9.8 in

In the eastern United States, Juncos may be found. The head, chest, back, wings, and tail are all dark gray. The slate-colored variety is what it’s called. They have a white belly all the way down to their tail. Females may appear to be buffy brown, rather than gray, in certain lights. The pale pink beak and roundish body shape of junco are two things to look for when identifying them. They’re most frequently seen hopping around on the ground in woods and forested regions.

Only during the fall and winter do Dark-eyed Juncos appear in New Jersey.

Juncos prefer to eat seed buried under your feeders, rather than seed dropped by other birds, and will visit feeders on occasion. Mixed seeds are something they appreciate.


Scientific nameDumetella carolinensis

Length: 8.3-9.4 in

Weight: 0.8-2.0 oz

Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in

Catbirds are robin-sized birds with a black head and a long tail. They have dark slate gray coloring all over their body. A rusty red patch can be seen just below their tails, although it is frequently unseen. Attract catbirds by planting native fruit-producing trees and shrubs nearby. Their calls, which sound like those of a meowing cat, gave them the moniker catbird.

Summer birds, but you may see them all year in New Jersey. Gray Catbirds are summer birds.

If you provide some fruits, berries, and other sweet foods, catbirds may be attracted to you. Catbirds prefer to forage on the ground or in shrubs for food.


Scientific nameHaemorhous mexicanus

Length: 5.1-5.5 in

Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz

Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in

In New Jersey, the House Finch is another frequent backyard bird. They aren’t as despised as other invasive birds such as House Sparrows or European Starlings, despite being invasive in the eastern United States. They may appear in big flocks and swarm your feeders if you attracts them, which is rather simple to do. Females have no red coloring, while males are mostly streaked brown in color with some red on the head and chest.

Throughout New Jersey, House Finches stay throughout the year.

House Finches, like other finches, like to eat thistle seed. They’re more likely to be seen around seed feeders than Goldfinches, so offer them some black sunflower seeds to attract them.


Scientific nameMimus polyglottos

Length: 8.3-10.2 in

Weight: 1.6-2.0 oz

Wingspan: 12.2-13.8 in

The ability to imitate the songs of other bird species gives mockingbirds their name. A male mockingbird is believed to remember up to 200 different songs throughout its lifetime. The rather long tail feathers of these medium-sized backyard birds, which are mostly gray and white in color, may help you identify them. They may be aggressive with intruding birds and frequently reside in tall bushes.

Throughout the year, Northern Mockingbirds may be found across New Jersey.

Backyard Northern Mockingbirds are ubiquitous, but they don’t visit bird feeders on a regular basis. Using some of the other techniques below, such as fruit-bearing shrubs or a bird bath, you may entice them to your yard.

Backyard Northern Mockingbirds are common, but they don’t feed at birdfeeders. Using some of the other suggestions below, such as fruit-producing bushes or a bird bath, tempt them to your yard.


Scientific nameSpizella passerina

Length: 4.7-5.9 in

Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz

Wingspan: 8.3 in

With a buffy gray breast, brown and tan streaks on their wings, a rusty red head, and a black stripe through the eye with white above, chipping sparrows have their most crisp feathers in the summer. Their patterns may seem less defined in the winter, and they will look more buffy-brown. Sparrows that prefer to feed on open land are common.

Only during the spring and summer breeding season are Chipping Sparrows found throughout New Jersey.

Backyard feeders are home to Chipping Sparrows, who like to pick up spilled food on the ground. Sunflower and mixed seed, especially scattered on the ground, are recommended to attract them.


Scientific namePicoides pubescens

Length: 5.5-6.7 in

Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz

Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in

These common backyard birds love to feed at bird feeders and are often seen. They’re one of the first species I notice at a new bird feeder, and they’re the tiniest woodpeckers in North America. Their underbodies are completely white, their wings have white dots, their heads are black and white striped, and they have a red patch on the back of their skulls (males and females do not). Downy’s are significantly smaller than the Hairy Woodpecker, another frequent New Jersey woodpecker.

In New Jersey, you’ll find Downy Woodpeckers year-round.

Most types of bird feeders attract Downy Woodpeckers. Mixed seed, black sunflower seed, and suet should be offered.


Scientific nameMelanerpes carolinus

Length: 9.4 in

Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz

Wingspan: 13.0-16.5 in

In the eastern United States, these medium-sized woodpeckers are frequent at feeders and gardens. You may initially observe the vivid red streak down the back of their heads, despite being labeled as “red-bellied.” Their break is plain white, with a pinkish red patch at the bottom of their belly portion that is normally not visible. With the white and black barring on their wings, they’re extremely easy to spot.

In New Jersey, red-bellied woodpeckers can be found year round.

While they will occasionally eat at seed feeders, especially when peanuts are offered, attract Red-bellied Woodpeckers with a suet feeder.


Scientific nameQuiscalus 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 classified as a bully bird like the starling. They frequently appear black in color, but under a bright enough light, you may see blue, green, brown, and purple hues. Grackles may roost alongside other types of blackbirds and be seen in vast numbers, numbering in the millions of birds. Their solid coloring, long body, and tail with a yellow ringed eye make them easy to distinguish.

Grackles can be found year-round in New Jersey.

Grackles are considered pests because they are foragers and will eat practically anything.


Scientific nameSitta carolinensis

Length: 5.1-5.5 in

Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz

Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 in

The name “white-breasted nuthatch” comes from the fact that these birds stuff nuts and seeds beneath tree bark and then use their sharp beaks to crack the shell. In addition to being better at walking vertically on trees than many other species, these birds are also able to do so. White-breasted Nuthatches have a white stripe on the top of their heads, as well as on both sides of their bellies. Gray and black are the most common colors of their wings.

White-breasted Nuthatches are common backyard birds that can be found all year in New Jersey.

Most seed feeders will be visited by nuthatches, who will offer black sunflower seeds, peanuts, or suet to the birds. They like to grab a seed and flee, either caching it in a nearby tree or eating it right away.


Scientific namePasser domesticus

Length: 5.9-6.7 in

Weight: 0.9-1.1 oz

Wingspan: 7.5-9.8 in

Houses Sparrows are the only other wild bird species in the United States, and they are often seen as pests. In addition to legal starlings, you may humanely kill them. They, too, were first seen in New York in the 1800s and have since spread across the United States like wildfire. They have brown wings and a buffy chest, with some black and brown streaking. They’re usually hostile to other birds, particularly when they’re nesting.

New Jersey is home to a variety of House Sparrows.

House Sparrows, like the European Starling, are invasive and endanger native animals. Almost anything can be eaten by them.


Scientific nameZonotrichia albicollis

Length: 6.3-7.1 in

Weight: 0.8-1.1 oz

Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 in

Much of the United States is home to white-throated sparrows. They migrate to Canada in the summer to breed during the winter. Together with their bold facial pattern of black and white stripe with yellow spots between the eyes, their white throat patch makes them easier to identify among sparrows. Females prefer to nest in secluded spots of thick brush and vegetation, where they may be found on or just above the ground.

Throughout New Jersey, white-throated sparrows may be found year-round, however only in the autumn and winter.

Feeders are visited frequently by white-throated sparrows, who like to collect fallen seed. Sunflower, millet, and combination seed blends are available.


Scientific nameHirundo rustica

Length: 5.9-7.5 in

Weight: 0.6-0.7 oz

Wingspan: 11.4-12.6 in

Birds of the open field, such as barn swallows. The back of these vividly colored birds is dark blue, with orange around the eyes and neck. They may range in color from a light tawny to a vivid orange on their breasts and belly. Their long, deeply forked tail is one of their distinguishing characteristics. They’re graceful fliers that swoop through the air, snaring insects as they go. They fly over water, fields, farms, and meadows. Cup-shaped nests are frequently found in the eaves of barns, gazebos, covered pavilions, and under bridges and are made of mud and grass.

The US is the destination for barn swallows. Throughout the spring and summer, you may find them throughout New Jersey, particularly in parks.

Barn Swallows won’t visit a bird feeder since they eat flying insects. If you have a barn, outbuilding, or gazebo, you can try to attract them by putting up a nestbox.


Scientific nameBombycilla cedrorum

Length: 5.5-6.7 in

Weight: 1.1 oz

Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in

The distinctive color of Cedar Waxwings serves as a quick identifier. The tawny brown head and chest, yellow belly, black gray wings, and a yellow tipped short tail distinguish these medium-sized birds. Their eyes are rimmed in white, and their head is covered with a huge fluffy brown crest. Little, red, waxy nubs at the ends of their wings give the term “waxwing” its name.

They can be difficult to find and no one knows what they’re for. They might help you find a partner. One of the only North American birds that can survive on fruit alone for many months is the Cedar Waxwing, which loves fruit. Insects and other foods do supplement their diets, but they can eat a much greater percentage of fruit than other birds.

Year-round, New Jersey is home to Cedar Waxwings.

Seed feeders are not acceptable to Cedar Waxwings. Native trees and shrubs that produce tiny fruits and berries can entice them to your yard.


Scientific nameColaptes auratus

Length: 11.0-12.2 in

Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz

Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in

In backyards across the United States, these medium to big woodpeckers are rather widespread, although they are not particularly common at feeders. In my opinion, they are also among the most gorgeous birds in North America. Flickers prefer to find insects on the ground rather than in trees, which is unusual for other woodpeckers. The black patches on their bellies, solid black bib, red patch on the back of their necks, and barred black and gray wings help to identify them. Males have a black mustache that they grow. The New Jersey “yellow-shafted” variety has bright yellow feathers on the underside of its wings and tail, and they get the variety in New Jersey.

Throughout New Jersey, Northern Flickers may be found year-round.

A suet feeder is visited by Northern Flickers on occasion, but they usually find their own food. If you have a bird bath, they’ll stop by for a visit.


Want to attract some of these birds to your yard? Take a look at the five basic steps, starting with the most basic.


Placing out a bird feeder or two is the finest and simplest technique to entice birds to your yard. A basic tube feeder, hopper feeder, platform feeder, or window feeder is a good place to start. For more ideas, check out the sections below.


You can utilize a basic terra cotta flower pot saucer, such as this one, rather than an A pedestal birdbath like this one on Amazon. Birds need water not only for bathing but also for drinking, and adding a water feature to your yard will substantially increase your chance of attracting birds. Additionally, since moving water attracts birds to the pond even more, consider installing a solar fountain.


If placed in the correct location at the correct time of year, several bird species will readily take up residence in birdhouses. Among the most popular birds sought after for birdhouses are Eastern Bluebirds. The same day I put this birdhouse in the yard, a mating couple of bluebirds came to investigate.


Make sure there are trees, shrubs, and bushes in your yard that the birds can use to escape danger if they sense it. Predators are their primary defense mechanism. If your yard is in a newly developed neighborhood with no mature trees, try to install some landscaping elements that will make birds feel welcome.


Native plants that produce nuts, berries, and seeds will only help you attract more birds for many birds that eat them. In addition, local plants help caterpillars and other insect feeders, which supports many bird species while their hatchlings are eating insects. Invasive and non-native plants may crowd out the native flora that support a thriving ecosystem, so avoid them wherever possible.


People commonly set up 10 of the most popular bird feeders in their yards.

  1. Hopper feeders are named after the hopper, which is a compartment in the center that holds bird seed. Birds may land on the perches and feed from them on the sides. Several hopper feeders look like a house and are topped with a roof to keep the seed dry. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a mixture of birdseed. This is one of my favorite hopper feeders, and it’s squirrel-proof as well.
  2. Platform feeders are open on top and may be hung from a tree or hook, pole-mounted, or placed against a wall. They’re also known as tray feeders. They’re simple to install and ideal for feeding a wide range of birds. Every animal in your yard that can reach them will eat from them, despite the fact that they are completely open. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. In my back yard, I’m currently using this platform feeder.
  3. Tube feeders are transparent plastic tube-shaped bird feeders that have no more purpose than that. They may hold a few cups of seeds or 5 pounds or more, and they come in a variety of sizes. They’re fantastic because they allow you to fertilizer your seed when it’s needed without keeping it wet and dry. Tube feeders are used by several types of birds. In tube feeders, you can use both black sunflower seeds and mixed seeds. This tube feeder is excellent and, of course, squirrel proof. Squirrel Buster makes some of the best tube feeders on the market.
  4. Suet feeders are designed for one type of bird food, suet cakes. They’re a rather basic design, generally consisting of just a metal wire cage with a tail-prop for bigger birds. Suet feeders are commonly visited by woodpeckers in the winter since birds are seeking for high-fat foods. I recommend the Pileated and Northern Flicker as a good woodpecker species to attract with a suet feeder with a long tail prop.
  5. Window feeders are small bird feeders that use suction cups to attach to a glass window. They’re open on top, and you just fill the tray with seed to replenish them, similar to tray feeders. These feeders are well-liked by numerous different sorts of birds, and they’re especially simple to get started with. They’re also ideal for smaller yards. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. On Amazon, this is by far the most popular window feeder, and it’s also the most popular bird feeder.
  6. Thistle feeders, also known as Nyjer feeders, are specialized thistle seed bird feeders that are manufactured exclusively for thistle seed. Birds in the finch family, which includes the American Goldfinch and House Finch, are among the main types of birds that thistle feeders attract. Thistle feeders are often cylindrical and have tiny openings along the sides of the cylinder, allowing birds to remove thistle with ease. Droll Yankees has a great thistle feeder.
  7. Ground feeders are tray feeders that sit on the ground surface. Birds like Mourning Doves and Juncos, as well as squirrels, raccoons, and other ground animals will love them. For this type of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a mix of birdseed. This recycled plastic ground feeder might appeal to you.
  8. Another kind of specialized feeder for one type of bird, orioles, is the oriole feeder. A typical feeder is orange in color and includes little plastic or glass cups designed for holding jelly, which orioles adore. Another food that orioles like is orange halves, which you can put onto the feeder. Here’s a 4-square jelly tray feeder that holds orange halves, which is a great size for orioles.
  9. Hummingbird feeders, also known as hummingbird feeders, are designed to collect sugar water from hummingbirds. I regularly observe Downy Woodpeckers at mine, despite the fact that they’re meant for hummingbirds, because they adore that sweet nectar. Hummingbird nectar may be made without boiling the water, as described in this article. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on a hummingbird feeder since they’re so simple and cost-effective.
  10. Peanut feeders are tube-shaped devices made of metal wire mesh material that work similarly to thistle feeders. To allow for whole unshelled or shelled peanuts to pass through the holes, the holes in the wire mesh are only a few centimeters apart. These should be filled with peanuts and attract birds such as Blue Jays. This Squirrel Buster squirrel feeder is the best way to keep squirrels out of your peanuts. This basic one should suffice.


If you want to expand your horizons beyond your own backyard, New Jersey is a great place to start birding. If you’d like to get a little more involved, the New Jersey Audubon Society offers meetups, workshops, field trips, and birding tours.

Take a look at this list I’ve compiled of some popular birding sites in New Jersey if you’re a New Jersey resident and want to add some new species to your life list.


From birdwatchersdigest.org, you can learn more about the different attractions (and local birding events) in each of these areas.

  • Liberty State Park
  • Island Beach State Park
  • Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
  • Sandy Hook
  • Cape May

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