26 Backyard Birds In South Carolina (Pictures & Facts)

A wide range of wild birds may be found in South Carolina. We’ll look at some of the more well-known and well-known South Carolina birds, particularly those that may be found in your own yard, in this article. Several of these species are migratory and only spend part of the year in South Carolina. So, let’s learn about 26 backyard birds in South Carolina by looking at them and learning a bit about them.

After that, I’ll teach you how to entice them to your yard, describe a few birdwatching hotspots in South Carolina, and give you a crash course in the 10 kinds of bird feeders that you may use.

How many different species of wild birds are in South Carolina?

It’s difficult to say exactly how many bird species exist in North America, the United States, or even South Carolina. Nonetheless, as of 2019, the official state list included 431 species, according to Wikipedia.

According to one source, North America has 2,059 species; according to another, it has 914. So I’m not sure how much I believe in these numbers, but they do provide a ballpark estimate of the number of species.

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


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


Scientific nameCardinalis cardinalis

Length: 8.3-9.1 in

Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz

Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in

Among the most recognized and widespread backyard birds in North America are Northern Cardinals. 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 distinguishes both sexes.

Since cardinals do not migrate, the Northern Cardinals can be found all year round throughout South Carolina.

Most seed feeders will be visited by the Cardinals, who will provide them with a combination of 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 frequent feeders and backyard residents. Like Cardinals, they have a little hairstyle (mohawk) that distinguishes them from other birds. Titmice have a black patch above their beaks and are silver-gray on top and lighter on the bottom.

During the year, the Tufted Titmouse may be found all throughout South Carolina.

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


Scientific namePoecile carolinensis

Length: 3.9-4.7 in

Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz

Wingspan: 5.9-7.9 in

Because of their black hat and black bib, chickadees are tiny little birds that are immediately identifiable. Their underbodies are fluffy and light, and their cheeks are solid white. Their wings and backs are gray. Birds near bird feeders are fast and inquisitive, and they may seem quite courageous around humans.

Throughout South Carolina, the Carolina Chickadee may be seen at any time of year.

Most seed feeders will be visited by chickadees, who will give them a variety of seed mixes 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 American robin. The Blue Jay is what they call it. Their back and wings are mostly blue, and they have a huge blue crest on top of their heads. Their neck is ringed in black, and their breasts and bellies are white beneath that. Black stripes and barring cover their wings and tail. The coloration of females and males is identical. The Blue Jays are among the first to alert all of the birds in the area to a nearby danger, such as a hawk, and they have several loud, metallic-sounding calls.

Another year-round resident of South Carolina’s is the Blue Jays. In backyards and feeders, they’re extremely common.

Place feeders with huge perches, such as the Blue Jays, are popular. Black sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, and peanuts are all available.


Scientific nameSialia 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 blue on top, as their name implies. The colors of females and males are identical, although females’ hues appear significantly duller and faded, particularly the blue. In the United States, they are perhaps the most coveted occupants of birdhouses. The bluebird house industry is booming, thanks to this. In the backyards, they’re prevalent, but not as common at feeders. I was able to attract a mating pair with this birdhouse on Amazon after putting it up in the garden and leaving breadcrumbs.

Bluebirds do fly south of the border in certain regions of North America, but not in South Carolina. During the year, you may see the Eastern Bluebird. To learn more about the South Carolina Bluebird Society, visit their website.

Although seed-eating bluebirds are uncommon, they may be attracted to feeders with mealworms on a tray or in a dish.


Scientific nameToxostoma rufum

Length: 9.1-11.8 in

Weight: 2.1-3.1 oz

Wingspan: 11.4-12.6 in

The heavily streaked breast and belly of the brown thrasher make it a warm brown. Their beak is black, and their eye is yellow. Since they thrash through fallen leaves hunting for beetles, I assume they’re called thrashers. The Brown Thrashers are well-known for their extensive song repertoire, which includes songs from other bird species.

Every year, Brown Thrashers may be spotted in South Carolina.

Birds feeders are seldom visited by Brown Thrashers, although they may gather seeds on the ground. These species are primarily insectivorous and dig through leaves and sticks for their food.


Scientific nameTurdus migratorius

Length: 7.9-11.0 in

Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in

Robins are most commonly spotted hopping through the grass hunting for worms and other invertebrates. They do not usually eat seeds, although they may eat them on occasion at bird feeders. They’re easy to identify because of their bright red, round bellies and yellow beaks. Throughout the winter, they retreat to the woods in many places and don’t return until spring. This gives the impression that they are leaving the state, although most of them stay through the winter in most instances.

During the year, robins may be found all throughout South Carolina.

Meal worms, native fruit-bearing plants, or a bird bath are all good ways to attract American Robins to bird feeders.


Scientific nameZenaida macroura

Length: 9.1-13.4 in

Weight: 3.0-6.0 oz

Wingspan: 17.7 in

Doves are small birds that frequent backyards and sit perched on power lines or in clusters in trees, similar to a robin. They are occasionally seen on my tray feeder, but they are more often seen on the ground wandering around. Gray with black markings on top, a delicate peachy hue below, and pink legs, Mourning Doves are mostly gray.

Throughout the whole state of South Carolina, Mourning Doves may be found year-round.

Doves are often seen at seed feeders, but when seeds fall to the ground, they prefer scouring it. scatter 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, a hundred starlings were released in New York, and they have since established themselves as the dominant bird. They will overtake feeders and destroy other birds’ nests, killing their young. They also destroy other birds’ nests and kill their young. They have yellow beaks and feet and are mostly all black with white specks on their backs and wings. In the right light, starlings may also be purple and green iridescent, and they may be rather lovely.

Unfortunately, this invasive species may be found year-round in all fifty states, including South Carolina.

Almost anything can be eaten by European Starlings. We recommend that you do not chase them since 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 the goldfinches’ bright yellow feathers are in full bloom, they’re 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 turns to a dull brownish or olive color during the winter, and they molt. The black on their wings and finch-like beaks will always identify them, no matter what the season.

Throughout the western half of South Carolina, goldfinches may be found all year long, whereas in the eastern part of the state, they are most often seen during fall and winter.

Thistle feeders are preferred by goldfinches, although sunflower chips may be eaten in addition to thistle feeders.


Scientific nameThryothorus ludovicianus

Length: 4.7-5.5 in

Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz

Wingspan: 11.4 in

The tops of these small birds are reddish-brown, while the bottoms are lighter orangish. They have a beak that is somewhat long and slightly curved, as well as a large white “eyebrow. They prefer to hide in scrub and may be difficult to locate, but their loud “teakettle-teakettle” cry is unmistakable.

All year long, Carolina Wrens can be found in South Carolina and the rest of the southeastern United States.

The Carolina Wren, as seen in the photo above, is a frequent visitor to suet feeders in backyards and may be observed eating.


Scientific nameSitta pusilla

Length: 3.9-4.3 in

Weight: 0.3 oz

Wingspan: 6.3-7.1 in

The beak of these tiny nuthatches is black, with a chisel-shaped tip and a blue-gray back. The chest is light, while the head is brown. Just a few pine woods in the United States are home to them. In the southeast, it is visible. They spend most of their time leaping up and down tree trunks, hunting forbugs and pine seeds. Many people think the nuthatches make a squeaking sound that resembles a rubber duckie.

The pine woodlands of South Carolina are home to brown-headed nuthatches all year.

You may be able to attract these birds to your yard with a suet feeder, despite the fact that they are mostly forest birds.


Scientific nameHaemorhous mexicanus

Length: 5.1-5.5 in

Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz

Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in

In South Carolina, the House Finch is another common 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 appear in huge flocks and mob your feeders if you attract them, which is extremely simple to do. Females are mostly brown in color, but males are streaked brown with red on the head and chest.

Throughout South Carolina, House Finches may be found all year.

House Finches, like other finches, are known for visiting thistle feeders. Try some black sunflower seeds to attract them, as they are more common at seed feeders than Goldfinches.


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. They have a rusty red patch that is usually unseen beneath their tails. Attract catbirds with native fruit-bearing trees and bushes since they love to eat fruit. Their cries are similar to those of a meowing cat, and they are known as catbirds.

In the spring and summer, Gray Catbirds may be found only in the western and central sections of the state, however they may stay all year along the eastern coast.

If you provide some fruits, berries, and other sweet items, you may be able to attract catbirds; however they prefer to forage on the ground or in shrubbery for food.


Scientific nameSpizella passerina

Length: 4.7-5.9 in

Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz

Wingspan: 8.3 in

In the summer, chipping sparrows have their most crisp feathers, with a buffy gray breast, brown and tan streaked wings, and a rusty red head topped by a black line. Their patterns might seem less distinct in the winter and more buffy-brown in color. Sparrows that prefer to eat on open ground are a common sight.

All year, Chiping Sparrows can be found throughout South Carolina.

Chipping Sparrows are frequently seen at feeders at people’s homes, where they prefer to stay and collect what has fallen. Sunflower and mixed seed, especially scattered on the ground, are good attractants.


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 rather frequent around feeders and yards. The bright red stripe down the back of their heads is the first thing you’ll notice, despite the fact that they’re described as “red-bellied.” Their plain white break is accompanied by a pinkish red patch that is normally not seen in their “belly.” With the white and black barring on their wings, they are instantly identifiable.

The whole state of South Carolina is home to the red-bellied woodpecker throughout the year.

While they will eat at seed feeders, particularly if peanuts are available, attract Red-bellied Woodpeckers with a suet feeder.


Scientific namePicoides pubescens

Length: 5.5-6.7 in

Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz

Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in

The common house birds, the downy, adore to visit bird feeders. They’re one of the first birds I notice at a new bird feeder, and they’re the tiniest woodpeckers in North America. The red patch on the back of their heads (in males, females have no red) and their pure white underbodies distinguish them instantly. Their black wings with white dots, black and white striped heads, and all-white underbodies distinguish them as well. Downy’s are smaller than Hairy Woodpeckers, despite their physical resemblance.

In South Carolina, the Downy Woodpecker can be found year-round.

For most types of bird feeders, Downy Woodpeckers are rather frequent. Mixed seed, black sunflower seed, and suet should be offered.


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’re typically black in hue, but blue, green, brown, and purple hues may be visible in the right light. Grackles may roost with other kinds of blackbirds and form massive clusters numbering in the millions of birds. Their dense coloring, lengthy body, and tail with a yellow ringed eye are all easy to spot.

All year, grackles may be found in South Carolina.

Grackles are considered pests because they feed on almost anything and forage for food.


Scientific nameSitta carolinensis

Length: 5.1-5.5 in

Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz

Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 in

White-breasted Nuthatches are a common feeder species that may be seen across most of their range. Nuthatches are named after the way they stuff nuts and seeds beneath tree bark, then use their sharp beaks to crack the shell open. In addition, these birds can climb trees more efficiently than most other varieties of birds. White-breasted Nuthatches have a white head with a black stripe, as well as white on both sides and in their bellies. Gray and black are the most common colors of their wings.

Throughout South Carolina, White-breasted Nuthatches may be found year-round.

Most seed feeders are visited by nuthatches, who provide black sunflower seeds, peanuts, or suet as a mixture. They typically like to grab a seed and fly away as quickly as possible, caching it in a nearby tree or eating it right away.


Scientific nameMimus polyglottos

Length: 8.3-10.2 in

Weight: 1.6-2.0 oz

Wingspan: 12.2-13.8 in

The ability of mockingbirds to mimic the songs of other bird species earned them the name. A male mockingbird may master up to 200 tunes throughout its lifetime, according to estimates. The somewhat long tail feathers distinguishes these medium-sized backyard birds, which are mostly gray and white in color. They frequently reside in tall bushes, where they may be quite defensive of invading birds.

Year-round, Northern Mockingbirds can be found across South Carolina.

Backyard Northern Mockingbirds are common, but they avoid bird feeders. Using some of the other techniques below, such as fruit-bearing bushes or a bird bath, entice them to your yard.


Scientific nameZonotrichia albicollis

Length: 6.3-7.1 in

Weight: 0.8-1.1 oz

Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 in

The White-throated Sparrow is a widely distributed species across the United States. They migrate to Canada in the summer to breed and are active during the winter. Their bold facial pattern of black and white stripe with yellow spots between the eyes makes them easier to distinguish among sparrows, as does their white throat patch. Fares often nest in secluded places of thick brush and vegetation, sometimes on or just above the ground.

White-throated sparrows can be found throughout South Carolina at any time of year, but mostly in the winter.

Feeders are visited by white-throated sparrows, who like to collect fallen seed below feeders. Sunflower, millet, and combination seed blends 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 kind of hummingbird in the United States, despite their limited range in the eastern part. Hummingbirds are also the only eastern US breeding species. Males have a vivid scarlet neck, hence their moniker. On their backs, wings, and heads, Ruby-throated hummers are emerald-green with white underparts. The crimson throat feathers are missing from females.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the most common hummingbirds found in South Carolina, but there may be a few additional species that are only seen on rare occasions. From spring to fall, they can be found all over the state.

If you put out nectar feeders, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are very common in the backyards in most cases, this should be done around April or May.


Scientific namePipilo 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 fun to watch. The head and back of both sexes are black, with white wing markings on the orange sides. Males have a dark color, whereas females have a brown color. In the woods during spring and summer, they have a lovely song that has a familiar sound. Towhees are master foragers that look for insects, seeds, and berries by searching through leaf litter and vegetation.

Throughout the year, Eastern Towhees can be found in South Carolina.

In my experience, eastern towhees do not consume much from bird feeders, although I often observe them hopping on the ground beneath my feeders. In that sense, bird feeders may attract towhees.


Scientific namePasserina cyanea

Length: 4.7-5.1 in

Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz

Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in

These lovely buntings go up from their wintering grounds in Mexico and Florida during the night, traveling up. Males are bright blue all over, with some black on their wings, while females are mostly brown with just hints of blue. The way their feathers reflect light instead of blue pigment gives them this color. They’re most likely to be heard in the summer, singing among the fields and forests.

Throughout the spring and summer, Indigo Buntings may be found all throughout South Carolina.

They will occasionally visit, especially if you offer mixed seed and nyjer, but not as often as feeders.


Scientific nameCorvus brachyrhynchos

Length: 15.8-20.9 in

Weight: 11.2-21.9 oz

Wingspan: 33.5-39.4 in

Crows are solid black in color, with a considerable stature. Like their cousin the raven, they are well-known for their intelligence as problem solvers. Crows will gather in large clusters on the upper branches of trees to take in a birds-eye view of everything below. The roost will yell out and alert everyone that there is a danger nearby if an owl or hawk appears.

All year long, crows may be found across South Carolina.

Crows are too big to fit into bird feeders, so they eat everything.


Scientific nameMelospiza melodia

Length: 4.7-6.7 in

Weight: 0.4-1.9 oz

Wingspan: 7.1-9.4 in

Most of North America’s song Sparrows have diverse plumage, which varies depending on the area. These sparrows have a brown back and wings, with deep brown streaks on their chest and a white belly in the east. Their chest stripes frequently join in a prominent brown patch, which may be used to identify them. The male of this species performs both to court females and defend his area with his voice.

Song Sparrows may be seen all year round in South Carolina’s northwestern region, but they are more prevalent during the autumn and winter.

Bird feeders are visited by Song Sparrows on occasion, who enjoy mixed seeds and sunflower seeds.


Want to attract certain of these birds to your property? Starting with the most obvious, take a look at these five simple tips.


A bird feeder or two is the simplest and most visible technique to attract birds to your yard. A basic tube feeder, hopper feeder, platform feeder, or window feeder are all good places to start. For ideas on how to deal with each, see below.


You can use something as simple as a terra cotta flower pot saucer, like this one, to create a pedestal birdbath like the one on Amazon. Birds will only nest in or drink from a water feature, so adding one to your yard will simply raise your odds of attracting them. While shifting water will attract the birds to drink more, you might want to install a solar fountain.


If placed in the appropriate location and at the proper time of year, several bird species are easily attracted to birdhouses. Among the most popular birds sought after for birdhouses are Eastern Bluebirds. A mating pair of bluebirds investigated this birdhouse in my yard the same day I positioned it, and they were as impressed as I was.


Make sure there are trees, bushes, and shrubs in your yard that the birds can retreat to when they sense danger. Predators are their primary defense mechanism. Try to add some landscaping elements that will allow birds to view your yard as a safe place if your yard is in a new subdivision with no mature trees.


Having native plants that produce nuts, berries, and seeds will only help your efforts to attract more birds for many birds that eat them. Moreover, since most songbirds feed insects to their hatchlings, native plants encourage caterpillars and other caterpillar-eating insects that support many birds and nesting bird populations. Out-competing the native flora that promote a healthy ecosystem is one goal of avoiding invasive and non-native flora.


These are the most popular bird feeders that people put up in their yards.

  1. The term “hopper feeder” refers to a bin in the middle of the device, called a hopper, that holds bird seed. Perches on the sides provide landing sites for birds and food. To keep the seed dry, many hopper feeders are shaped like a house and have a roof. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination 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, or pole-mounted. They are often referred to as tray feeders. They’re super easy to set up and are ideal for feeding most types of birds. Every animal in your yard that can reach them will devour them, despite the fact that they are entirely open. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. In the meanwhile, I’m using an outdoor platform feeder.
  3. Tube feeders are simply transparent plastic tube-shaped bird feeders that you put out for birds. They may hold from a few cups of seed to 5 pounds or more, and they come in a variety of sizes. They’re great because they allow you to easily seed when it needs to be refilled, while also keeping your seed fresh and dry. Tube feeders are used by many types of birds. In tube feeders, you can mix black sunflower seeds with other seeds. This is a great squirrel proof tube feeder from Squirrel Buster, one of the best on the market.
  4. Suet feeders, also known as suet cake feeders, are used by one kind of bird. They are a rather basic design, generally consisting of a metal wire cage with a tail-prop for bigger birds. Suet feeders are common during the winter, when woodpeckers come to visit and birds are seeking high-fat foods. I suggest getting a suet feeder with a long tail prop to attract larger woodpeckers, such as the Pileated and Northern Flicker.
  5. Window feeders are small bird feeders that use suction cups to mount onto a glass window. Tray feeders are open on top and you simply pour seed into the tray to refill them, so they’re comparable. These feeders are preferred by a wide range of species, are simple to set up, and ideal for anyone with small gardens. For this sort of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. This is, by far, the most popular bird feeder on Amazon, as well as the most popular window feeder.
  6. Thistle feeders, sometimes known as Nyjer feeders, are specialized bird feeders designed for thistle seed. Birds belonging to the finch family, which includes the American Goldfinch and House Finch, are among the most common types of birds attracted to thistle feeders. Thistle feeders are usually tube-shaped and include tiny holes along the tube’s circumference that allow birds to eat the thistle. Droll Yankees has a great thistle feeder.
  7. Tray feeders that sit on the ground level are known as ground feeders. 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 combination of birdseed. This ground feeder made of recycled plastic is a great choice.
  8. Another kind of specialized feeder for just one species of bird, orioles, is the oriole feeder. Little plastic or glass dishes designed for holding jelly, which orioles adore, are frequently used as feeders. Another food that orioles enjoy is orange halves, which they can stick onto the feeder. With four jelly trays, this simple oriole feeder can hold orange halves.
  9. Hummingbird feeders are sugar water extractors that are specifically designed for hummingbirds. I frequently see Downy Woodpeckers at mine, even though they are meant for hummingbirds, and they love that sweet nectar as much as I do. Learn how to make hummingbird nectar without boiling the water by reading this article. There is no need to pay a lot of money for a hummingbird feeder since they are so simple and cheap. Here’s one I’ve personally used and liked.
  10. Peanut feeders are tube-shaped and usually made of metal wire mesh material, similar to thistle feeders. To allow for either whole unshelled or shelled peanuts to pass through the holes, the holes in the wire mesh are spaced much farther apart. These feeders should be filled with peanuts and attract birds such as Blue Jays. Squirrel Buster’s peanut feeder is the best way to keep squirrels out if you want to do so. This basic one will suffice.


If you want to go out and about with your hobby, South Carolina is a fantastic state for birding. If you want to get more involved in Audubon South Carolina, there are meetups, seminars, field excursions, and birding trips available.

Take a look at this list I’ve put together of some popular birding spots in South Carolina if you’re a resident (or just passing through) and want to add some new species to your life list.


  • Santee National Wildlife Refuge
  • Huntington Beach State Park
  • Bear Island Wildlife Management Area
  • Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

The Carolina Bird Club’s page on South Carolina Birding Sites has even more hotspots, as does Audubon South Carolina Important Bird Areas.

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