34 Backyard Birds of the Pacific Northwest – Picture and ID Guide

With this picture and identification guide, you can learn to recognize a number of common Pacific Northwest backyard birds.

For Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and the Canadian Province of British Columbia, print out a picture ID guide for each of the Pacific Northwest states.

If you’re curious about what kinds of birds are visiting your property or need assistance identifying common kinds, keep reading.

34 Backyard Birds in the Pacific Northwest:

1. American Robin

On lawns, American Robins are often seen eating earthworms. Their breasts are red or orange, and their heads are black. In the winter, they prefer to roost in trees, so you’re more likely to encounter them in the spring.

From woodlands, forests, and mountains to fields, parks, and lawns, American Robins may be found in a variety of habitats. Earthworms, insects, snails, and fruit are among the foods they consume.

Sunflower seeds, suet and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms can all help to attract more American Robins to your yard. Food should be scattered on the ground when using platform feeders. Also, juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood are some of the native berries producers that you may try planting.

2. Song Sparrow

Song sparrows, which are mostly brown-streaked and have a near-constant song, are not as interesting as other backyard birds. Yet, in spring and summer, they use their song to attract mates.

They’re often perched on a low shrub and singing in open, shrubby, and wet areas. Backyard feeders are where they’re most often found. Beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms are among the insects and plants Song Sparrows consumes. Buckwheat, sunflower, raspberries, wild cherries, blackberries, wheat, and rice will all be eaten by them.

Placing black oil sunflower seeds, broken corn, and nyjer on platform feeders will help you attract more song sparrows to your backyard feeders.

3. American Crow

Crows, also known as American crows, are big black birds with a hoarse cry. They can be found in most environments, from treetops to woods to fields to beaches to towns, and are common birds.

They consume earthworms, insects, seeds, and fruit and eat most things that they come across. They’ll also devour eggs and nestlings of many bird species, as well as fish, immature turtles, mussels, and clams.

In the winter, millions of American Crows assemble in communal roosts, which can number up to two million crows.

Scattering peanuts in your backyard may attract more American Crows, but if they are left out for too long, they may become a nuisance.

4. Northern Flicker

With brownish coloring and black markings, bars, and crescents on the nape, northern flickers are big woodpeckers that range in size between that of a robin and a crow. Eastern birds have bright yellow undersides of tail and wing feathers, whereas western birds have red undersides.

In woodlands and forest borders, they may be found on the ground hunting for ants and beetles. They migrate to southern states, but can be found all year across the lower 48 in Canada and Alaska, where they breed.

Suet and black oil sunflower seeds may help you attract more Northern Flickers to your feeders.

5. Dark-eyed Junco

Juncos with dark eyes are a variety of sparrows that change color as they grow older. In the east, they’re slate-colored, while in the west, they’re black, white, and brown.

They are widespread across the continent and may be found in open and partially wooded places, frequently on the ground. In the west and the Appalachian Mountains, some individuals stay permanently. Canada and Alaska’s breeders travel to the United States during the winter.

A range of seeds, such as black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts may be used to attract more Dark-eyed Juncos to backyard feeders. Best is to place them on the ground in a platform feeder.

6. European Starling

The European Starling is a common songbird that is not indigenous to the area. Iridescent purple, green, and blue hues adorn these stocky black birds.

Due to their aggressive behavior, some consider them pests. These birds may be found perched in clusters on trees or flying through fields in flocks, and they fly in big, cacophonous flocks.

Insects, particularly beetles, flies, caterpillars, earthworms, and spiders are the principal foods of starlings. Cherries, holly berries, mulberries, Virginia Creeper, sumac, blackberries, and grains and seeds are among the fruits that they consume.

Black oil sunflower seeds, suet, broken corn, and peanuts may all help you attract more European Starlings to your yard feeders.

7. American Goldfinch

The males of American Goldfinches are vivid yellow and black in the spring, making them a popular species. In the winter, both sexes are browner and gloomier.

Before heading to southern states, American Goldfinches breed in extremely northern countries and Canada. In the rest of the United States, they are visible all year.

Foraging for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants, they may be found in weedy fields and overgrown areas. Suburbs, parks, and backyards are also home to them.

Planting thistles and milkweed may help entice more American Goldfinches to your yard. Most bird feeders will be visited, and sunflower seed and nyjer seed will be preferred.

8. Spotted Towhee

Mature men are black on the head, neck, and back, while mature ladies are brown on the head, neck, and back. The bellies of both sexes are white, and the wings and back have white markings. Both sexes have a reddish-brown coloration. They’re about the size of a Robin and have long tails.

Beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, wasps, and bees are among the insects spotted Towhees seek out on the ground in thick knots of shrubs. Acorns, berries, and seeds are also eaten by them.

After breeding, they migrate from northern central states to the Pacific coast, where they are resident, but appear in winter in a swath from north to south across all central states.

Overgrown borders may attract more Spotted Towhees to your property, and they will feed on platform feeders or ground feeders for Black Oil Sunflower seeds, Hulled Sunflower seeds, Cracked Corn, Millet, and Milo.

9. Red-winged Blackbird

With the exception of the bright red and yellow shoulder patches, red-winged blackbirds are very common and easily recognized. In comparison to the streaky brown color of the males, the females are dull.

Males will violently protect their areas during the breeding season, even biting persons who get too close to nests. They may frequently be seen sitting on telephone wires. They millions of roosting in the wintertime.

Mixed grain and seed sprinkled on the ground is a good way to entice more Red-winged blackbirds to your yard. Large tube feeders or platform feeders will be devoured as well.

10. Black-capped Chickadee

With a huge spherical head and a tiny body, the Black-capped Chickadee is a lovely bird. These birds will happily accept backyard feeds and investigate everything, including you!

They’re gray on the back, wings, and tail, with black hats and beaks. They have white cheeks.

Forests, open woods, and parks are all good places to look for them. Seeds, berries, insects, spiders, and suet are all eaten by Black-capped Chickadees.

Suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts or peanut butter are good options for attracting more Black-capped Chickadees to your yard. They are frequently one of the first birds to discover new feeders, and they will even feed on your hand. If you fill nest boxes with wood shavings, they’ll also utilize them.

11. Barn Swallow

The reddish-brown under and across the face of Barn Swallows makes them small birds with a deep-blue back, wings, and tail. The deep fork of the tail is caused by long outer feathers.

Before moving to Central and South America, they breed throughout most of North America. They build mud nests on artificial structures such as barns, and can be found flying over meadows, farms, and fields looking for insects.

Nest boxes or cups can help attract additional Barn Swallows, and ground-up eggshells may be eaten on a platform feeder.

12. White-crowned Sparrow

Large grayish sparrows with long tails, tiny bills, and bold black and white stripes on their heads, White-crowned Sparrows are large grayish sparrows.

Before going south for the winter, they breed in Alaska and northern Canada. Others may persist for the whole year in a tiny region along the Pacific Coast and west.

White-crowned Sparrows forage for seeds of weeds and grasses or fruit like elderberries and blackberries in weedy fields, beside the road, forest borders, and in yards.

Sunflower seeds and a variety of different seeds dropped by other birds at the feeders can help you attract additional White-crowned Sparrows to your yard.

13. House Sparrow

Another introduced species that has done well is the House Sparrow, which is now one of the most common birds. They may be quite tame and may eat out of your hand since they are found around houses and buildings.

They’re non-native, but they can be found in backyards even if you don’t offer them food. They’re a pest. Most active places, especially cities, towns, farms, and other humanized places may attract House Sparrows. Grain and seed, as well as discarded food, are the primary sources of nutrition.

Most types of birdseed, such as millet, corn, and sunflower seeds, can help you attract more House Sparrows to your backyard feeders.

14. House Finch

The males of House Finches have a crimson head and breast, while the females have a brown streaked appearance. It was first only seen in the western United States, but it has quickly expanded to the east and even displaced the Purple Finch.

Parks, farms, forest borders, and home feeders are all good places to look for them. They congregate in large groups that are difficult to overlook.

Black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders may entice more House Finches to your yard.

15. Cedar Waxwing

The head, chest, and crest of Cedar Waxwings are pale brown, fading to gray on the back and wings while tail. These birds are social birds. The edge of their belly is brilliant yellow, while the rest is pale yellow. Their eyes are covered by a small black mask, and the wingtips are crimson.

Northern states host them throughout the year, while the south hosts them during the winter. They may be located in berry bushes, woodlands, and along streams and emit a high-pitched call.

Plant native trees and shrubs with small fruit such as serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn to attract Cedar Waxwings to your yard. On platform feeders, you can also try fruit.

16. Swainson’s Thrush

Swainson’s Thrushes are brown-backed medium-sized thrushes with a pale belly and chest markings.

During the breeding season, Swainson’s Thrushes feed on insects and red fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, and sumac in woodlands foraging along the ground in leaf litter. Ants are likewise fed to nestlings, as are other insects.

Swainson’s Thrushes breed in Canada and Alaska before heading into Central and South America for winter, and they are only seen during migration in the lower 48 states throughout the spring and fall.

Ground-level birdbaths and tree and shrub coverings may help you attract more Swainson’s Thrushes to your yard.

17. Red-breasted nuthatch

In winter, if cone crops are poor, red-breasted Nuthatches may migrate across all of North America in the northeastern and western states, Alaska, and Canada.

They have a rusty underside and black and white stripes on their head. They are blue-gray birds.

Coniferous woodlands are home to red-breasted nuthatches, which may be seen foraging for cones and visiting feeders.

Black oil sunflower seeds, suet feeders, peanuts, and mealworms are all good options for attracting more Red-breasted Nuthatches to your yard.

18. Anna’s Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are tiny green and gray birds that live in Anna’s garden. The iridescent reddish pink on the male’s head and neck is stunning. A grayish female has crimson splotches on her neck.

The most common hummingbird along the Pacific Coast, Anna’s Hummingbirds do not migrate. When the males ascend to 130 feet into the air before diving back to the ground with a burst of noise from their tail feathers, they perform a spectacular dive display during courtship.

They may be seen around humongous colorful blossoms in the spring, and they will come to your hummingbird feeders, which you can fill with home-made hummingbird food.

19. Chestnut-backed Chickadee

The heads of Chestnut-backed Chickadees are black and white, with a rich chestnut back and gray wings and belly.

They are regular visitors to backyard feeders and raise flocks in damp evergreen woods along the Pacific Coast. The majority of their diet is made up of insects, including caterpillars, spiders, wasps, and aphids. Seeds, berries, and fruit make up the rest.

Black-oil sunflower seeds, suet, nyjer, peanuts, or mealworms in tube feeders, platform feeders, or suet cages may all be used to attract Chestnut-backed Chickadees to your yard. Nest boxes will be utilized as well.

20. Pine Siskin

The wing and tail of Pine Siskins are striped brown with yellow streaks. They are small finches. With a small pointed beak, they have a forked tail and pointed wings.

Pine Siskins are a Canadian breed that may overwinter in most of the United States, however their migration is reliant on pine cone harvest. In the pine forests of the west, certain birds stay all year.

Pine Siskins eat primarily conifer seeds, although young buds and seeds from grasses and weeds are also eaten, as their name suggests.

Backyard thistle and nyjer feeders, as well as black oil sunflower seeds and suet, may attract Pine Siskins.

21. Yellow-rumped Warbler

The face, sides, and rump of yellow-rumped Warblers are gray with flashes of yellow, while the wings are white. The winter birds are lighter brown, with a brilliant yellow rump and sides that turn brilliant yellow and gray in the spring. The females are somewhat browner.

They migrate in enormous numbers south across most of southern and central North America and the Pacific Coast, as well as Mexico and Central America, after breeding mainly in Canada.

Sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter are all good options for attracting Yellow-rumped Warblers to your yard.

22. Yellow warbler

Males of Yellow Warblers have chestnut streaks on the breast, which are a common sight in summer. They are small bright yellow birds with a yellow-green back.

The males have chestnut streaks on the breast, which is a common sight in the summer, and Yellow Warblers are tiny bright yellow birds with a yellow-green back.

Insects, including caterpillars, midges, beetles, bugs, and wasps are foraged for by Yellow Warblers in thickets and along the borders of fields.

Because they are timid and eat mostly insects, warblers are tough to entice to your yard. You may attract Yellow Warblers by using suet, oranges, and peanut butter, as well as planting berries and native plants that include insects. To provide protection, there are birdbaths with fountains nearby.

23. Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlarks can brighten up your day with their vibrant yellow belly and melodious song. They are the state bird of six states, which is why they are so popular.

With brown and white upperparts and a black V-shaped band across the brilliant yellow breast that turns gray in winter, Western Meadowlarks are connected to blackbirds. They are about the size of a Robin.

Before moving to more southern states, breed in northern U.S. and Canada. Those in the west and Midwest are permanent residents. In open ground alone or in small flocks in grasslands, meadows, and fields, Western Meadowlarks can be found foraging for insects and seeds from weeds and seeds.

Try hulled sunflower seeds and cracked corn on ground feeders to attract more Western Meadowlarks to your yard.

24. Chipping Sparrow

With a gray belly and brown and black-streaked back, Chipping Sparrows have a rusty crown and black eye line. They are slender, long-tailed birds. The hues are softer in the winter.

Breeding, then migrating to Mexico and Florida during the winter across most of North America and Canada. They may survive all year in the extreme south. In grassy woodlands, woodlands, parks, and gardens, they may be seen foraging on the ground for seeds and insects.

Little flocks may be observed on open areas, and they may be attracted to a variety of birdseed in gardens.

25. House Wren

Little nondescript brown birds with darker barred wings and tails and a lighter throat, House Wrens are small. Before heading to the colder south and Mexico for winter, they breed in most states.

Wrens in the genus House Wren search for insects in brush piles and other areas, such as beetles, caterpillars, and earwigs. House Wrens may assault much bigger birds and even carry eggs and young out of a nest site they have chosen, if they are aggressive over nesting sites.

Leave brush for House Wrens to use as protection or install a nest box to attract a breeding pair, and you may draw more House Wrens to your yard.

26. Mourning Dove

Little-headed birds with fat bodies and long tails, mourning doves are graceful. The wings have black specks and are a light brown color.

In grasslands, fields, and backyards, they may be seen perched on telephone wires foraging for seeds and on the ground. In open areas or along the woodland border, Mourning Doves may be found.

Throughout the rest of the lower 48 states, Mourning Doves may migrate after breeding from the far north.

By spreading millet on the ground or on platform feeders, you may attract more Mourning Doves to your yard. Black sunflower seeds, nyjer, broken maize, and peanut hearts will also be devoured.

27. Downy Woodpecker

At backyard feeders, the Downy Woodpeckers are tiny birds that may be found. Other birds, such as chickadees and nuthatches, are frequently mixed in with them.

They have a crimson patch at the back of their heads, which is black and white in color. They have a similar appearance to the Hairy Woodpecker, albeit they are smaller.

Insects, beetle larvae, berries, acorns, and grains are the main foods of downy woodpeckers, which can be found in woodlots, near streams, in city parks, and in backyards.

Try suet feeders if you want to attract more Downy Woodpeckers to your yard, but on platform feeders, they will also consume black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts.

28. Golden-crowned Kinglet

When excited, golden-crowned Kinglets, little songbirds with a bright orange crown patch, can lift and display it. With a black-and-white striped face and a white wingbar, their bodies are olive on the back and pale underneath.

All of the United States is crossed by Golden-crowned Kinglets that breed in Canada. Others may spend the whole year in the Appalachians, as well as the high West and Pacific Coast, all the way up to Alaska.

Forests, parks, backyards, and ancient fields are just a few of the habitats where they may be found. Swamps and cities are also possible habitats. Insects make up the majority of the diet of golden-crowned Kinglets, which are generally found in thick coniferous needles throughout the winter.

Plant native plants that encourage a lot of insects and suet feeders to attract Golden-crowned Kinglets.

29. Golden-crowned Sparrow

The underside of Golden-crowned Sparrows is grayish-brown, with a brown back pattern. Their crowns are black, and their foreheads are brilliant-yellow. The crown’s brown coloration is muted in the winter, and the yellow forehead is muted as well.

Before migrating to the West Coast for winter, they breed in Alaska and far western Canada. They scratch for dock, sumac, and geranium seeds in weedy fields during the winter and devour fruit like apple, grape, elderberry, and olives. Ants, beetles, butterflies, and termites are among the insects that consume them.

With seeds in ground feeders or native plants that fruit, you may encourage more Golden-crowned Sparrows to visit your yard.

30. Lesser goldfinch

Little bright yellow and black songbirds with long pointed wings and short notched tails, Lesser Goldfinches are tiny bright yellow and black songbirds. The backs of females are olive, and the underbelly is duller yellow.

Those to the north of their range bred then migrated further south, and those in the far southwest were the first to do so.

Open habitats, such as thickets, weedy fields, forest clearings parks, and gardens, are home to Lesser Goldfinches in huge flocks. They forage for seeds, particularly sunflower seeds, as well as elderberry, coffeeberry, and cottonwoods, willows, sycamores, and alders.

Sunflower seeds and nyjer in tube feeders or platform feeders may help you attract additional Lesser Goldfinches to your yard.

31. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Male Ruby-crowned Kinglets have a stunning red crown that is typically flat and difficult to perceive, but it is magnificent when you do see it.

Before heading to southern and southwestern states for the winter, they breed throughout Canada and the western mountains. They’re also common when they’re migrating, and you might see them.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are fast-flitting, quiet birds that flit around the foliage of lower branches and shrubs and trees looking for spiders and insects. They can be difficult to spot.

Hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and mealworms are fed to them at suet feeders or platform feeders.

32. Steller’s Jay

Steller’s Jays are huge songbirds with prominent black triangular crests that protrude from their skulls. Their bodies are blue, with the remainder of their skulls and chests and back being black.

They may be located around picnic tables, campgrounds, and backyard feeders in evergreen forests in the mountains. Mud is used to create nests.

Insects, seeds, nuts, berries, eggs, and nestlings are among the foods that Stellar’s Jays consume when they can forage for them. They make a nuisance of themselves around trash and your unprotected lunch!

Peanuts and suet may attract Stellar’s Jays to your yard.

33. Common Yellowthroat

Little brownish-backed birds with long tails, Common Yellowthroats are little songbirds with a bright yellow underbelly. Over their faces, the males wear a black mask. The yellows may be more olive in sections underfoot and vary in brightness depending on the locality.

They can be found in marshy or wetland environments and brushy fields, breeding across much of North America, throughout the spring and summer. They prefer to eat insects and can be found in large backyards with thick vegetation.

34. Western Tanager

The head of Western Tanagers is bright orange-red, while the rest of the body is yellow. They breed north, then migrate south for the winter, can be found all over western states.

Despite their bright coloring, they reside in open conifer woodlands and stay hidden in the canopy. The Western Tanagers’ crimson tint is thought to be caused by insect larvae that contain a pigment that the birds can’t make on their own.

Dry fruit, chopped oranges, and other fruits from bird feeders may entice Western Tanagers.

Best Bird Feeders to Attract Birds in The Pacific Northwest

The most species of birds will be attracted to a variety of different bird feeders.

  1. Several types of birdseed can be used to fill Tube Feeders, and various species will be attracted depending on the seed. Goldfinches, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and Pine Siskins are all attracted to black oil sunflower seeds.
  2. Cardinals, Jays, Finches, and Sparrows are drawn to black oil sunflower tube feeders on ground feeders or a tray underneath a Tube Feeder.
  3. Sparrows, Blackbirds, Towhees, Juncos, Doves, Grackles, and Starlings are all attracted to platform feeders containing Millet or Corn.
  4. Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Titmice, Jays, Juncos, Finches, and Sparrows are attracted to peanut feeders.
  5. Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Kinglets, Wrens, and Chickadees all appreciate Suet Feeders in the winter.
  6. These little fascinating birds are drawn to hummingbird feeders, but they’re also drawn to other things.

How to Attract Birds to Your Yard in The Pacific Northwest

There are a few ways to get more birds in your British Columbia yard if you want:

  1. To attract the most species to your yard, provide bird feeders for various types of birds.
  2. A birdbath fountain or stream are examples of water features. Make sure the water is nice and not stagnant.
  3.  Native plants should be grown to provide food and protection. Fruit, berries, and nuts are produced by plants, trees, and shrubs. Wild berries, elderberries, serviceberries, oaks, beeches, cherries, sumacs, hemlocks, Purple Coneflowers, Sunflowers Milkweed and Cardinal Flowers.
  4. To offer cover and seeds, let your grass grow long.
  5. Birds may feed, be protected, and nest in a brush pile.
  6. Pesticides and herbicides may be harmful to birds and block the natural foraging options for insects and seeds that birds will seek in your yard, so don’t use them.
  7. To attract breeding birds and ensure they are cleaned every year, set up nest boxes.

How to Identify Birds in The Pacific Northwest

To help you identify birds, here are a few tips:

  1. The easiest thing to identify about a bird is its size. In guide books, birds are often expressed in inches or centimeters. In order to find the bird later, it’s best to take a note of its size: small, medium, or big. A sparrow is the size of a small bird, a pigeon is the size of a medium bird, and a goose is the size of a large bird.
  2. Get a look at the bird’s silhouette and record or sketch it down, if possible. Tail length, beak shape, wing shape, and overall physique form are all factors to consider.
  3. Main color and any additional colors or patterns – Note the main color of the head, back, belly, and wings, as well as the tail. Also keep an eye on any trends, such as banding, dark patches, or bright spots.
  4. Are they on the ground or in the trees, and how are they behaving? Are they alone or in flocks? Can you tell what they’re eating from their photos?
  5. Woodlands, parks, shrubs, grasslands, and meadows are all habitats for this species.
  6. Using an app like ebird or Audubon, identify the bird.

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