Backyard Birds In New York (26 Species With Pictures)

In the state of New York, there are various species of wild birds. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular and well-known New York birds, particularly those that may be seen close to home, in this article. Some of the species are migratory and visit New York only occasionally, while others reside there all year. Let’s explore 26 species of backyard birds in New York, starting with a quick overview of each.

After that, I’ll demonstrate you how to draw them to your yard, give you a crash course in the ten distinct forms of bird feeders available for that purpose, and even recommend a few birdwatching destinations and clubs in New York.

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

It’s impossible to compute an precise number of bird species that may be found in North America, the United States, or even New York. Nonetheless, as of 2020, there were 494 species recognized on the official state list, according to the New York Avian Records Committee.

According to one source, North America is home to 2,059 species, while according to another source, it has just 914. So I’m not sure how reliable these numbers are, but they do provide us with a rough estimate of the number of species.

We’re going to focus on some of our favorite backyard species in New York for the purposes of this article.


In New York, we’ll take a look at 26 different species of bird that are year-round residents and others that aren’t. These are some of the more notable and recognizable New York backyard birds, many of which you can see at your bird feeders, but they aren’t all the species in the state, or even close to it. 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

The Northern Cardinal is one of the most popular and ubiquitous backyard birds in North America. Females have browner hues and a black face, while males have vivid red feathers with a black face. The “mohawks” and reddish orange beaks of both males and females are easily distinguished.

New York is home to the Northern Cardinals all year.

Most seed feeders will be visited by the Cardinals, who will offer them a combination of black sunflower seeds and other seed types.


Scientific nameBaeolophus bicolor

Length: 5.5-6.3 in

Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz

Wingspan: 7.9-10.2 in

Within their range, these little birds are quite common at feeders and in gardens. Like Cardinals, they have a tiny mohawk crest that distinguishes them from other birds (similar to the way humans). The top of titmice is silver-gray, whereas the bottom is lighter and has a black patch above their beaks.

In New York, the Tufted Titmouse can be seen at any time of year.

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


Scientific namePoecile atricapillus

Length: 4.7-5.9 in

Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz

Wingspan: 6.3-8.3 in

Because of their “black cap” and black bib, chickadees are tiny little birds with rounded bodies that are simple to identify. Their underbodies are fluffy and light, with solid white cheeks and blackish gray wings and backs.

They’re rather frequent at bird feeders, where they swoop back and forth from a source to cover the food and then return. Chickadees, for their size, are rather bold and are always among the first birds I see at a new feeder in my yard.

Throughout New York, black-capped chickadees can be seen at any time of the year.

Most seed feeders will be visited by chickadees, who will provide mixed seed blends and black sunflower seeds.


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 bird species is the mourning doves. The Blue Jay is a song written by Paul McCartney. They have a white chest and belly with a big blue crest on top of their skulls, which has mostly blue feathers. They have black stripes on their wings and tail. They also have a necklace-like black ring around their necks. They’re among the first to alert all the birds in the area of a predator like a hawk, and they emit several loud, metallic sounding calls.

Another year-round resident of New York is the Blue Jays. Backyards and feeders are common places to see them.

Platform feeders, peanut feeders, and feeders with broad perches are popular with Blue Jays. Black sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, and peanuts are good options.


Scientific name: Sialia sialis

Length: 6.3-8.3 in

Weight: 1.0-1.1 oz

Wingspan: 9.8-12.6 in

New York’s state bird is the Eastern Bluebird. Bluebirds feature a bright royal blue head with a rusty reddish-orange chest and white belly, as their name suggests. Females have duller, more faded colors, particularly the blues, however males and females have similar coloration. These are almost the most popular birdhouse tenants in the United States. The bluebird house business is booming right now. Backyards, although not feeders, are full of them. I was able to attract a mating pair with this birdhouse on Amazon, which I put up.

Most of New York state is home to the Eastern Bluebird all year, however in the winter, they migrate south from areas north of Utica.

Bluebirds may be persuaded to visit feeders with mealworms on a tray feeder or in a dish if you offer them seeds.


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 brown, with heavy brown streaks on the white breast that frequently end in a center brown spot. Song Sparrows have a diverse range of plumage, which may vary somewhat from area to area across North America. Both to attract females and to defend his territory, the male of the species uses his song.

All year long, Song Sparrows may be seen in New York.


Scientific nameTurdus migratorius

Length: 7.9-11.0 in

Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in

Robins are typically spotted hopping around the grass, hunting for worms and other inanimals to eat, and are especially frequent in backyards. They don’t normally eat seeds, but they’ll go to birdfeeders from time to time. They are easily identified by their brilliant red, circular bellies and yellow beaks. Throughout the winter, they retreat to the woods in many regions, and until spring, they don’t return to yards. They seem to be leaving the state, but in most instances, they stay through the winter as a result of this.

If you want to attract American Robins to your bird feeder, use meal worms, native fruit-bearing plants, or a bird bath.


Scientific nameZenaida macroura

Length: 9.1-13.4 in

Weight: 3.0-6.0 oz

Wingspan: 17.7 in

Mourning Doves, which are about the size of a robin and frequently perch perched on telephone wires or in clusters in trees, are widespread in backyards. A popular backyard sound is their soft cooing. They are frequently seen walking around on the ground, rather than on my tray feeder. Mourning Doves have a light peachy color below and pink legs. They are mostly gray with black dots on top.

All year long, throughout New York State, Mourning Doves may be found.

Seed feeders are often visited by doves, although they prefer to scour the ground for fallen seeds. Sprinkle some seeds on the ground or try a ground feeder with 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, 100 starlings were released in New York, and they have spread across the United States since. They’ll overtake feeders, destroying other birds’ nests and killing their young before destroying your own. They have yellow beaks and feet and are mostly dark with white specks on their backs and wings. In the right light, starlings may also be a purple and green iridescent hue, which is quite lovely.

Unfortunately, this destructive species may be found year-round in every state except New York.

Nearly anything may be eaten by European Starlings. We recommend that you do not try to attract them, because they are an invasive species and will anyway appear.


Scientific nameSpinus 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 their bright yellow feathers are in full bloom, goldfinches are among my favorite birds to watch at feeders. Males have a black cap on top of their heads during this time, and they are mostly yellow or “gold” with black-tipped wings. Their bright yellow fades to a dull brownish or olive tone during the winter, and they molt. Their black wings and finch-like beaks are always visible, no matter what time of year it is.

Throughout New York, goldfinches may be found year-round.

Sunflower chips are a good option for Goldfinches, but a thistle feeder is your greatest bet to attract 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 The head, chest, back, wings, and tail are all dark gray. The slate-colored variant is what it’s called. They have a white belly that extends all the way to their tail’s bottom. Females can be buffy brown rather than gray in color. The pale pink beak and spherical form of the junco are two excellent characteristics to look for. These may be seen hopping around on the ground in forests and wooded regions, where they are particularly common.

In New York, dark-eyed Juncos can be seen all year, but they seem to be more common in the winter.

Juncos will occasionally visit feeders, but they favor to eat seed on the ground beneath your feeders, rather than the seed that other birds are dropping. Mixed seeds are preferred by them.


Scientific nameDumetella carolinensis

Length: 8.3-9.4 in

Weight: 0.8-2.0 oz

Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in

The color of a catbird ranges from dark slate gray to black, with a long tail and a black head on top. A rusty red patch appears beneath their tails, which is usually unseen. Catbirds are attracted to native fruit-bearing trees and bushes because they love to eat fruit. Their calls, which sound like those of a meowing cat, gave them the moniker catbird.

In the spring and summer, Gray Catbirds may be found across New York and almost all of the United States. They may stay in New York all year, for example.

If you offer some fruits, berries, and other sweet items, catbirds may be able to attract them, but they prefer to forage on the ground or in bushes 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 York, the House Finch is a frequent backyard bird. They are not as despised as other invasive birds like House Sparrows or European Starlings, despite being invasive to the eastern United States. They may congregate in huge flocks and swarm your feeders if you attract them, which is rather simple to do. Females have no red coloration, while males are mostly streaked brown with some red on the head and chest.

Throughout New York, House Finches stay year-round.

House Finches eat thistle seeds, as do other finches. They’re more common than Goldfinches at seed feeders, so offer them some black sunflower seeds to entice them.


Scientific nameAgelaius phoeniceus

Length: 6.7-9.1 in

Weight: 1.1-2.7 oz

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in

Male Red-winged Blackbirds are easily identified by their crimson and yellow “shoulders,” which stand out against their black coarseness. They are among the most common birds in North America. Females, on the other hand, are brown with light streaks and look quite different from males. Males will have up to 15 different females that they are mating with, which makes them a polygynous species. Unfortunately, they are frequently found in flocks at feeders and consume seed quickly.

All year, New Yorkers may see red-winged blackbirds.

Most kinds of feeders attract red-winged blackbirds, who will take seed as well as suet.


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 streaked wings, rusty red cap, and a black line through the eye with white above, chipping sparrows have their most crisp feathers during the summer. Their markings may lose definition in the winter, and their color may turn buffy-brown. Sparrows that prefer to feed on open ground are common throughout the year.

During the breeding season, Chipping Sparrows can be found throughout New York.

At neighborhood feeders, Chipping Sparrows are widespread and often prefer to stay on the ground and gather up spilled food. Sunflower and mixed seed, which is scattered on the ground, are good attracts for them.


Scientific namePicoides pubescens

Length: 5.5-6.7 in

Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz

Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in

Birds that visit bird feeders are often called upy’s, and they’re quite common in the yard. They’re one of the first species I see at a new bird feeder because they’re the smallest woodpeckers in North America. Their white underbodies, black wings with white specks, black and white striped heads, and a red spot on the back of their skulls (in males, females have no red) are easily visible. Downy’s are significantly smaller than the Hairy Woodpecker, another prevalent New York woodpecker, despite their resemblance to him.

New York is home to the Downy Woodpecker, which can be found year-round.

Most kinds 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 can be found at birdfeeders and around homes. You may initially notice the bright red stripe down the back of their skulls, even though they are described as “red-bellied.” They have a simple white break with a pinkish red patch lower down in their belly region that is usually not seen. With the white and black barring on their wings, they’re really easy to identify.

Much of the southern and western parts of the state are home to red-bellied woodpeckers year-round. In the state’s northeastern sections, they are less common.

While they will occasionally eat at seed feeders, especially if peanuts are provided, 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 quite beautiful in the right light with their iridescent feathers, despite being classified as a bully bird like the starling. They’re frequently black in hue, but you can see blue, green, brown, and purple hues in bright light. Grackles may be found in enormous crowds of millions of birds, sometimes roosting alongside other types of blackbirds. The solid color, long, slender body, and yellow ringed eye are all easy to see.

Grackles can be found all year round in New York.

Grackles are often considered pests because they are foragers and will eat just about 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 this species stuffs nuts and seeds beneath tree bark and hatching the seed with its sharp beak. These birds are also better at vertical climbing on trees than most other species. On top of their heads, white-breasted Nuthatches have a strong black stripe, with white on both sides and on their bellies. Gray and black are the most common colors of their wings.

White-breasted Nuthatches, which are common backyard birds, can be found year-round in New York State.

Most seed feeders will be visited by nuthatches, who will offer them combinations of black sunflower seeds, peanuts, or suet. Grabbing a seed and flying off to eat or cache it in a nearby tree is their preferred behavior.


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 domesticated wild bird in the United States, and they are often seen as pests. In addition to legal starlings that may be trapped and killed humanely. They, like starlings, were first sighted in New York in the 1800s and have since grown like wildfire across America. Their wings and buffy chest are streaked with black and brown streaks, and they are mostly brown in color. They are typically hostile to other birds, particularly at nests.

In New York, you may find House Sparrows in many places.

House Sparrows, like European Starlings, are invasive and pose a danger to indigenous creatures. Almost anything may 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

White-throated Sparrows are largely only seen during the winter in most of the nation, however in New York, where they may be found across much of the southern half of the state, they may be seen all year. Their bold facial pattern of black and white stripe with yellow spots between the eyes, as well as their white throat patch, make them easier to identify among Sparrows. Females often nest in hidden areas of thick brush and vegetation, usually on or just above the ground.

The state’s white-throated sparrows may be seen all year in the middle and southern parts, but only during the spring and summer in the north. They’re only common throughout the winter months in New York City and Long Island.

feeders are visited by white-throated sparrows, who like to collect dropped seed. Sunflower, millet, and blended seed mixes are available.


Scientific nameArchilochus 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 common type of hummingbird in the United States, and they are only found in the eastern half. In addition, they are the only hummingbirds found in the Eastern United States. Males have a vivid scarlet neck, hence the name. On the backs, wings, and heads of Ruby-throated Hummers, emerald-green with white underparts. The red throat feathers aren’t seen in females.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the only hummers that may be found in New York, however other types of hummers may visit from time to time. From spring to fall, they can be found all over the state.

If you put out nectar feeders, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are typically seen in gardens around March or April.


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 makes them easy to spot. The head and chest are tawny brown, the belly is yellow, the wings are dark gray, and the short tail is yellow. Their eyes are black, with a white eye mask and a massive fluffy brown crest. Little, crimson waxy nubs at the ends of their wings earned them the name “waxwing.”

They’re frequently difficult to detect, and no one knows what they’re for. They might help you find a spouse. Fruit is one of the only foods that cedar waxwings can eat for many months. Insects and other foods are added to their diets, but they can eat a lot more fruit than other birds.

New York is home year-round to Cedar Waxwings.

Seed feeders aren’t used by Cedar Waxwings. Native trees and shrubs, which produce tiny fruits and berries, may entice them to your yard.


Scientific nameTroglodytes aeon

Length: 4.3-5.1 in

Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz

Wingspan: 5.9 in

The little brown bird with a giant voice is the House Wren. They are common in the United States and prefer to nest in tiny holes, including boots or old cans, if they think them suitable. Birdhouses are likely to at least be inspected, if not chosen to utilize them, if you put them up. The birds that have nested in my birdhouses the most often are these. The drab color and small size of House Wrens make them easy to overlook, even as they zip around through the shrubs in your yard catching insects. Their wings and tail are barred in black, with a lighter underside.

Only during the spring and summer months do House Wrens can be found across New York.

House Wrens don’t feed at a bird feeder because they eat almost entirely insects and spiders. Insect-supporting plants or a bird house in the yard, on the other hand, are likely to draw them in.


Scientific nameColaptes auratus

Length: 11.0-12.2 in

Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz

Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in

In backyards all around the United States, these medium to big sized woodpeckers are quite common, although not especially common at feeders. They are, in my opinion, some of North America’s most gorgeous birds. Flickers prefer to discover insects on the ground rather than in the trees, similar to other woodpeckers. The black specks on their bellies, solid black bib, crimson patch on the back of their necks, and barred black and gray wings will help you identify them. A black “mustache” is found on males. The yellow-shafted variety is found in New York, and their wings and tail have brilliant yellow feathers on the bottom.

Throughout central and southern New York, Northern Flickers may be seen all year, but only in the spring and summer may they be seen in the northern part of the state.

A suet feeder may be visited by Northern Flickers on rare occasion, but they are more likely to find their own food. If you have one, they will stop by and see the birds at it.


Scientific nameCorvus brachyrhynchos

Length: 15.8-20.9 in

Weight: 11.2-21.9 oz

Wingspan: 33.5-39.4 in

The colors of American Crows are solid black, and they are rather large. Like their cousin the raven, they are also well-known for their quick problem solving skills. Crows will gather in huge numbers and roost higher up in the tree tops, gaining a birds-eye view of everything below. The roost will alert everyone if an owl or hawk arrives, indicating that there is a danger nearby.

Throughout New York State, crows may be found year-round.

Crows are too big to feed on bird seed, thus they eat a variety of foods.


Interested in enticing some of these birds to your property? Starting with the most obvious, take a look at these five simple tips.


putting out a bird feeder or two is the greatest and simplest technique to attract birds to your yard. A simple tube feeder, hopper feeder, platform feeder, or window feeder are all good places to start. For each of the following, there are ideas below.


You can use a simple terra cotta flower pot saucer, like this one, instead of a pedestal birdbath. Birds need water not only to wash in, but also to drink and sip, so adding a water feature to your yard is a great way to attract more birds. Consider also installing a solar fountain, which will tempt the birds to come visit more because of the moving water.


If placed in the suitable location at the proper time of year, many types of birds will readily take up residence in birdhouses. Among the most popular birds sought after for birdhouses are Eastern Bluebirds. A mating pair of bluebirds were investigating my birdhouse the same day I put it up, and they came back next day.


When the birds sense danger, make sure there are trees, plants, and shrubs in your yard that they can dart back and forth to. Predators are kept at bay by this. If your yard is in a freshly developed neighborhood with no mature trees, try to incorporate some landscaping elements that will make birds feel at ease.


Native plants that produce nuts, berries, and seeds will help your efforts to attract more birds for many birds who eat them. Moreover, since most songbirds feed insects to their hatchlings, native plants support caterpillars and other insects that feed many birds and help nesting birds. Invasive and non-native plants may out-compete the native vegetation, destroying the ecosystem in the process.


In the yards of thousands of people, there are 10 of the most popular bird feeders.

  1. Hopper feeders have a hopper in the center, which holds the bird seed, and they are called hopper feeders because of this. Birds can land on the sides of the perches and eat from them. To keep the seed dry, many hopper feeders are shaped like a house and have a cover on top. For this type of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a mix of birdseed. This is one of my favorite squirrel-proof hopper feeders.
  2. Platform feeders are open on top and may be hung from a tree or hook, or pole-mounted. They are sometimes referred to as tray feeders. They’re simple to set up and provide a great meal for most types of birds. Every animal in your yard that can reach them will devour them, despite the fact that they are completely open. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. At the moment, I’m employing this as a platform feeder for my garden.
  3. Tube feeders are simply clear plastic tube-shaped bird feeders that are used to feed birds. They may hold a few seeds or 5 pounds or more of seed, and they may be anywhere from small to huge. They’re terrific since they protect your seed from drying out while also allowing you to refill it when it’s time. Tube feeders are used by various kinds of birds. In tube feeders, you can use black sunflower seeds and mixes. This Squirrel Buster tube feeder is fantastic, and it’s squirrel-resistant, so it’s one of the best on the market.
  4. Suet feeders are used to feed suet cakes to one kind of bird. They are a very basic idea, generally constructed of a metal wire cage with a tail-prop for bigger birds and occasionally with an air tube. In the winter, as birds search for high-fat foods and are often visited by woodpeckers, suet feeders are popular. To attract larger woodpeckers, such as the Pileated and Northern Flicker, I recommend purchasing a suet feeder with a long tail prop.
  5. Window feeders are tiny bird feeders that use suction cups to mount onto a glass window. They’re open on top and you pour the seed into the tray region to replenish them, similar to tray feeders. These feeders are popular with a wide range of birds and are perfect for individuals that don’t have large yards because they’re so simple to set up. This kind of feeder may be made with black sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed. This is, without a doubt, the most popular bird feeder on Amazon, and maybe the entire Internet.
  6. Thistle seed feeders (also known as Nyjer seed feeders) are specialized bird feeders that are especially designed for thistle seeds. Birds in the finch family, which includes the American Goldfinch and House Finch, are among the most common birds attracted to thistle feeders. Thistle feeders have tiny holes all around the tube’s sides, allowing birds to pick thistle out of it. They’re often shaped in a tube shape. Droll Yankees has a great thistle feeder for sale.
  7. Ground feeders are tray feeders that sit on the ground surface. Birds such as Mourning Doves and Juncos, as well as squirrels, raccoons, and other types of ground animals, will adore them. For this style of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. This recycled plastic ground feeder is a great option for you.
  8. Another sort of specialty feeder for one species of bird, orioles, is the oriole feeder. The feeder is usually orange in color and comes with little plastic or glass jelly holders, which orioles adore. Another treat that orioles enjoy is orange halves, which you may place onto the feeder. Here’s an easy oriole feeder that holds four jelly trays, each capable of holding orange halves.
  9. Hummingbird feeders, also known as hummingbird feeders, are created specifically for hummers to drain sugar water from flowers. I often see Downy Woodpeckers at mine, even though they are meant for hummingbirds, and they love that sweet nectar as much as I do. For instructions on how to make hummingbird nectar without boiling the water, check out this article. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on a hummingbird feeder, as this one is simple and inexpensive.
  10. Peanut feeders are tube-shaped and generally made of metal wire mesh material, similar 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 little further apart. These feeders should be filled with peanuts and attract birds like Blue Jays. This one by Squirrel Buster is your best bet if you want to keep squirrels out of your peanut feeder. Instead, this basic one will suffice.


If you want to expand your birding beyond your own neighborhood, New York is a great place to start. If you’d like to become more engaged, the New York Audubon Society has meetups, training sessions, field excursions, and bird-watching tours.

Take a look at this list of popular birding sites in New York if you’re a New York resident and would like to add some new species to your life list.


  • Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  • Finger Lakes National Forest
  • Whiteface Mountain
  • High Peaks Wilderness Area
  • Adirondack Park

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