37 Brown Birds In Kentucky (ID Guide, Pictures)

Since they do not always have as many distinguishing characteristics as their brighter-colored relatives, brown birds or LBJ (small brown jobs) may be difficult to differentiate.

Fear not, for this handbook will aid you determine whether a sparrow, wren, or any other brown species is present. Also check which brown birds are present in Alabama at different times of year.

This guide will assist you identify the various brown birds that come to your property or roam around outside in the woods and fields, as ranked by ebird checklists submitted by birders in Alabama.

Brown Birds In Kentucky By Season

Northern Cardinal, American Robin, Mourning Dove, Carolina Wren, American Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, House Finch, Eastern Towhee, House Sparrow and Northern Flicker are all native to Kentucky.

Brown-headed Cowbird, Chipping Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Cedar Waxwing, House Wren, Great Crested Flycatcher, and Wood Thrush are some of the Kentucky birds that come in the summer.

White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Brown Creeper, Purple Finch, Savannah Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Pine Siskin, and Winter Wren are among the birds found in Kentucky during winter.

Swainson’s Thrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Northern Waterthrush, and Marsh Wren are among the birds that visit Kentucky during migration.

Bewick’s Wren, Spotted Towhee

37 Brown Birds In Kentucky

1. Northern Cardinal – Female

The North Carolina residents are seen throughout Kentucky throughout the year and may be found there all year. These are seen on 70% of summer and 62% of winter bird watcher checklists for the state, according to records.

With its brown color, sharp brown crest, red highlights, and red beaks, the Northern Cardinals are a little showier than other Cardinals.

Nonetheless, against a white winter backdrop, the vivid red male Northern Cardinal with black around their eyes is an incredible sight to behold. Red crests and beaks characterize them as well.

  • Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Length: 8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm)
  • Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz (42-48 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in (25-31 cm)

The eastern half of the United States, as well as a few states in the south and west, are home to Northern Cardinals.

Northern Cardinals may be found foraging for seeds, fruit, and insects in thick vegetation. While they are obsessively defending their territories, Northern Cardinals occasionally attack their own reflection during the breeding season.

Sunflower seeds, peanuts, millet, and milo are all good options for attracting Northern Cardinals to your yard. Large tube feeders, hoppers, platform feeders, and food strewn on the ground will be used to feed them.

2. American Robin

During the breeding season in Kentucky, American Robins may be seen more often, but they may be seen all year. Summer checklists have them in 63% of cases, while winter checklists have them in 38%.

On lawns, American Robins can be seen eating earthworms. Their breasts are red or orange, and their heads and backs are black. In the winter, they prefer to roost in trees, so spring is the most likely time for you to spot them.

  • Turdus migratorius
  • Length: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)
  • Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz (77-85 g)
  • Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

In the lower 48 states and on the west coast of Canada and Alaska, American Robins may be found. The winter migration of those that breed in Canada and inland Alaska is south.

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

Sunflower seeds, suet, peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms are all ways to attract American Robins to your yard. Food should be scattered on the ground when using platform feeders. In addition, consider planting indigenous berries-producing plants like juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood.

3. Mourning Dove

Throughout the year, Kentucky is home to a lot of Mourning Doves. Summer checklists list them in 56% of the state’s checklists, while winter checklists list them in 43%.

Mourning Doves are plump little-headed birds with long tails that beak. The wings have black dots and are a delicate brown color. Males weigh somewhat more than females.

  • Zenaida macroura
  • Length: 9.1-13.4 in (23-34 cm)
  • Weight: 3.0 -6.0 oz (96-170 g)
  • Wingspan: 17.7 in (45 cm)

Throughout the whole of the lower 48 states, Mourning Doves are widespread throughout the year, but they may move north after breeding.

Mourning Doves can be seen perching on telephone wires and foraging for seeds on the ground in grasslands, fields, and backyards. They can also be found in open areas or woodland edges.

In grasslands, fields, and backyards, Mourning Doves may be seen pecking on telephone wires and foraging for seeds on the ground. Open areas or woodland borders are also good places to look for them.

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

4. Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wrens do not travel and can be found throughout Kentucky at all times of year. Summer checklists include them in 40% of lists, while winter checklists include them in 35%.

The top of a Carolina Wren is dark brown, while the lower part is light brown. They have an upright tail, a white eyebrow stripe, and a loud “teakettle” call.

  • Thryothorus ludovicianus
  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz (18-22 g)
  • Wingspan: 11.4 in (29 cm)

All year, Carolina Wrens may be found in the eastern and southern United States. They will feed at your backyard supplyers and may be found in wooded or highly vegetated areas.

With suet feeders, hulled sunflower seeds, or peanut hearts in large tube feeders or on platform feeders, attract Carolina Wrens to your backyard.

In Kentucky, it’s not uncommon to find a few Wrens in the backyards, but you’ll need to go to marshy areas to see more.

5. American Goldfinch – Female

Every year, throughout the year, American Goldfinches may be seen in Kentucky. In 42% of summer checklists and 33% of winter checklists submitted by birdwatchers for the state, they are recorded.

With the males’ bright yellow and black coloring in the spring, American Goldfinches are a popular bird. In the winter, both sexes are browner and duller.

  • Spinus tristis
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

Most of North America is home to American Goldfinches, who stay throughout the year. Breeding birds from Canada and the Midwest, on the other hand, migrate to the southern United States for winter.

Sunflower, thistle, and aster plants may be found foraging for them in weedy fields and overgrown areas. Suburbs, parks, and yards are also common places for them.

Plant thistles and milkweed in your yard to attract American Goldfinches. The most common bird feeders they’ll visit are sunflower seed and nyjer seed.

6. Song Sparrow

In Kentucky, Song Sparrows can be found on 37% of summer checklists and 34% of winter checklists throughout the year.

Song sparrows, which are mostly brown-streaked and have a rather steady song, are not as beautiful as other backyard birds but they use their song to entice partners in the spring and summer.

  • Melospiza melodia
  • Length: 4.7-6.7 in (12-17 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-1.9 oz (12-53 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.1-9.4 in (18-24 cm)

In the northern United States, Song Sparrows live all year. Canada’s breeders migrate to the south during the winter.

They’re frequently found perched on a low shrub singing and at backyard feeders, and can be found in open, shrubby, and damp places.

Beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms are among the insects and plants Song Sparrows consume. Buckwheat, sunflower, raspberries, wild cherries, blackberries, wheat, and rice will also be eaten by them.

Put black oil sunflower seeds, broken corn, and nyjer on platform feeders to attract song Sparrows to your yard.

You may learn the songs and find out interesting facts to help you identify sparrows in Kentucky more quickly. A surprising number of them can be seen.

In Kentucky, there are a surprising number of sparrows, and you can learn their songs and discover interesting facts to help you identify them more quickly.

7. House Finch – Female

House Finches, which are permanent residents of Kentucky, were introduced as a species. They don’t move, and up to 28% of summer and winter checklists include them.

Male House Finches have a red head and breast, and the rest of their bodies are primarily brown-streaked. Females House Finches are brown-streaked all over.

  • Haemorhous mexicanus
  • Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (16-27 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in (20-25 cm)

House Finches were brought to the eastern United States and have thrived, even displacing the Purple Finch. They were originally only found in western states.

In noisy groups that are difficult to miss, they can be found in parks, farms, forest borders, and small backyard feeders.

Black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders may be used to attract House Finches to backyard feeders.

Brown finches are not the only ones found in Kentucky, some are more brightly colored.

8. Eastern Towhee

All year, Eastern Towhees may be seen in Kentucky, but they are most frequent between March and August during the breeding season. Summer checklists include them in 25% of the lists, while winter checklists include them in 13%.

Males of the Eastern Towhees have a white belly and long tails, and they attack huge sparrows approximately the size of Robin with a black head, neck, and back. Females have a brown color instead of a black color.

  • Pipilo erythrophthalmus
  • Length: 6.8-8.2 in (17.3-20.8 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.8 oz (32-52 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)

Birds in the north migrate south for the winter, while eastern Towhees live throughout the year in southern US states.

Eastern Towhees may be seen rummaging in the bushes and around the margins of woods and thickets.

Eastern Towhees’ nests are frequently found beneath fallen leaves on the ground. They’re lined with soft grass and animal hair and constructed from twigs, bark, and leaves. They lay six eggs, which take roughly two weeks to hatch and fledge, and they lay the same amount of eggs every year.

Overgrown borders and platform feeders with black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and millet attract Eastern Towhees to your yard.

9. House Sparrow

In Kentucky, all year round, House Sparrows may be seen. They appear on 23% of summer and 20% of winter checklists, and they do not migrate.

Another foreign species that has done well and is now one of the most common birds is House Sparrows. Gray and brown heads, with white cheeks. They have black and brown backs with gray bellies.

  • Passer domesticus
  • Length: 5.9-6.7 in (15-17 cm)
  • Weight: 0.9-1.1 oz (27-30 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.8 in (19-25 cm)

Throughout the year, House Sparrows can be found in the United States and southern Canada. They can be rather tame and may even consume out of your hand, and you may locate them near homes and structures.

Grain and seed, as well as waste food, are the major foods of House Sparrows. Since they are non-native, they may be considered a pest, even if you do not provide them food.

Most types of birdseed, notably millet, corn, and sunflower seeds, attract House Sparrows to your yard feeders.

10. White-throated Sparrow

During the winter, white-throated sparrows are seen in Kentucky, with 32% of checklists containing them at this time. From October to May, they’re the most common.

The black and white striped head, vivid white throat, and yellow between the eye and beak distinguish White-throated Sparrows. Brown is their back, while gray is the underbelly.

  • Zonotrichia albicollis
  • Length: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.1 oz (22-32 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm)

Before traveling south in winter to eastern and southern US states and the Pacific Coast, White-throated Sparrows migrate back to Canada to breed.

In woods and forests, as well as along the borders of wooded areas, you may see White-throated Sparrows in huge flocks on the ground.

Grasses and weeds seeds, as well as fruits like grape, sumac, mountain ash, blueberry, and blackberry, make up the majority of the diet of White-throated Sparrows. In the summer, they’ll also eat a lot of bugs on the forest floor.

Millet and black oil sunflower seeds on platform feeders will attract White-throated Sparrows to your yard.

11. Brown-headed Cowbird – Female

From February to August, Brown-headed Cowbirds spend the summer in Kentucky, then move south for the winter. In the state, they are found in 32% of summer checklists and 4% of winter checklists.

Brown all over with slight streaking, female Brown-headed Cowbirds are brown. With black bodies, brown heads, and short tails, male Brown-headed Cowbirds are larger than females.

  • Molothrus ater
  • Length: 76.3-8.7 in (19-22 cm)
  • Weight: 1.3-1.8 oz (42-50 g)
  • Wingspan: 14.2 in (36 cm)

In the eastern United States, southern United States, and the Pacific Coast, Brown-headed Cowbirds remain throughout the year. Nonetheless, during the winter, those who breed in northern and western US and Canadian provinces migrate south.

They are parasitic birds that eat the eggs of smaller songbirds so they can lay their eggs in the nest and have the bird foster their chicks, which makes them a nuisance.

12. Northern Flicker

All year, Kentucky is home to the Northern Flickers. Summer checklists include them in 12% of the time, and winter checklists include them 15%.

In flight, large brown woodpeckers with black markings and a red nape of the neck are known as Northern Flickers.

Depending on where they come from, northern flickers have red or yellow flashes in their wings and tail. The west is home to red-shafted birds, while the east is home to yellow-shafted birds.

  • Colaptes auratus
  • Length: 11.0-12.2 in (28-31 cm)
  • Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz (110-160 g)
  • Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in (42-51 cm)

Throughout the year, Northern Flickers may be seen in the United States and Canada. During the winter, those that breed in Canada migrate south.

Ants, beetles, fruits, and seeds are the most common foods for Northern Flickers, who may be seen digging with their bent bill on the ground.

Suet attracts Northern Flickers to your yard. Other types of woodpeckers may be seen at your feeders in Kentucky.

13. Chipping Sparrow

Throughout the year, Chipping Sparrows may be seen in Kentucky. They do, however, appear in 24% of summer checklists throughout the breeding season, which runs from March to October.

The grayish belly and brown and black-streaked back of Chipping Sparrows make them slender, long-tailed birds. The crown is rusted, and the eye line is black. Their hues become more muted during the winter.

  • Spizella passerina
  • Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (11-16 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.3 in (21 cm)

Before flying to Mexico and Florida for winter, Chipping Sparrows spend their summer breeding in the United States and Canada. In southern states, some survive all year.

Chipping Sparrows may be seen in tiny flocks on open ground, where they will feed on a variety of birdseed.

Crack corn or seeds on open feeders such as hoppers or platforms to attract Chipping Sparrows to your backyard.

14. Field Sparrow

All year, Field Sparrows may be seen in Kentucky, however they are most common from March to August. Summer checklists include them in 17% of the lists, while winter checklists include them in 7%.

Little, slender brown-backed birds with black streaks on their backs are Field Sparrows. They have a reddish crown and pink beak, and their undersides are gray as well as their heads.

  • Spizella pusilla
  • Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (11-15 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9 in (20 cm)

Eastern US states have Field Sparrows throughout the year, but those that breed in the Midwest migrate south for winter.

During the breeding season, Field Sparrows may be spotted easier since males will sing from a perch in the early hours. They prefer abandoned fields and are shy, so they quietly feed on weeds and seeds and may be overlooked.

During the breeding season, Field Sparrow nests are constructed on the ground, gradually rising higher and higher. They construct their nests of grass, and the eggs take around two weeks to emerge. They lay up to five eggs. The young fledge in about a week after that.

Cracked corn, hulled sunflower seeds, and millet are all good additions to your lawn for Field Sparrows.

15. Eastern Phoebe

From March through October, eastern Phoebes may be seen in Kentucky, although some remain all year. Summer checklists include them at 17% and winter checklists at 2%.

The back of the Eastern Phoebes is grayish-brown, while the belly is white. The head is darker than that of Western Phoebes.

  • Sayornis phoebe
  • Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.7 oz (16-21 g)
  • Wingspan: 10.2-11.0 in (26-28 cm)

Before heading to the southeastern United States for winter, eastern Phoebes migrate across northeastern and central America before settling in Canada. Birds in the south of their range may stay all year.

In quiet woodland, solitary Eastern Phoebes wag their tails from low perches rather than in pairs or flocks.

Most of their food comes from flying insects, although they will also eat spiders, other insects, small fruit, and seeds. They create nests out of mud and grass, which they place on bridges, barns, or houses.

By setting up a nest box or native plants that produce berries, you can attract Eastern Phoebes to your yard.

16. Brown Thrasher

From mid-March through July, Brown Thrashers can be seen in Kentucky every year. Summer checklists have 18% of them, while winter checklists have 2%.

Longer proportions characterize the Brown Thrashers, a big songbird. They resemble a robin in terms of size. Their backs are brown, and their chests and bellies are white-streaked. Gray faces with brilliant yellow eyes adorn their looks.

  • Toxostoma rufum
  • Length: 9.1-11.8 in (23-30 cm)
  • Weight: 2.1-3.1 oz (61-89 g)
  • Wingspan: 11.4-12.6 in (29-32 cm)

In central and eastern North America, the Brown Thrashers live. However, birds farther north migrate south for the winter, while those in the southeast of their range stay throughout the year.

Because they spend most of their time in thickets and shrubbery, Brown Thrashers are difficult to spot for their size. They may be heard rummaging around in the leaf litter and soil, hunting for insects, while simultaneously eating berries, beetles, and flying insects from the air.

These most accomplished songbirds sing over 1000 distinct song types, making them one of the biggest North American songbird species.

Brown Thrashers will collect fallen seeds from beneath feeders if you provide them with ample concealment and berry bushes.

17. Common Yellowthroat

During the breeding season in Kentucky, Common Yellowthroats are frequently sighted. They are seen in 22% of summer checklists from April to October, and they can be found year-round.

Brownish-on-the-back and brilliant yellow underneath, with long tails, are characteristics of Common Yellowthroats, small songbirds. Over their faces, the males wear black masks. The yellows might be more olive in areas below, and their brightness might vary depending on where you are.

  • Geothlypis trichas
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (9-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.9-7.5 in (15-19 cm)

Except for Alaska and northern Canada, Common Yellowthroats spend the summer breeding across much of North America. Along the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Southwest, some may be found all year. Later, they go south for the winter.

Common Yellowthroats can be found in thick, intertwined vegetation in marshy or wetland areas and brushy fields.

To attract insects, attract Common Yellowthroats to huge backyards with dense vegetation and native plants.

In Kentucky, you may observe Common Yellowthroats, but there are numerous other kinds of warblers. They have songs that you can enjoy and learn from.

18. Cedar Waxwing

During the summer, cedar waxwings are most common in Kentucky, where they appear on 11% of checklists. Others, though, stay here year-round.

The head, chest, and crest of Cedar Waxwings are a delicate pale brown color that fades to gray on the back, wings, and tail.

Towards the tail, their belly is pale yellow with a brilliant yellow tip. Their eyes are hidden by a small black mask, and the wingtips are bright red.

  • Bombycilla cedrorum
  • Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)

In the northern part of the United States, Cedar Waxwings stay throughout the year. For the winter, those that breed in Canada come to the southern United States.

Berry bushes, woodlands, and streams are all places to find them making a high-pitched call.

Planting native trees and shrubs with small fruit like serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn can help attract Cedar Waxwings to your yard. Platform feeders with fruit might also be worth a try.

19. House Wren

During the summer, House Wrens are most commonly seen in Kentucky, where they make up 15% of all checklists. Although you may see a few of them here throughout the year, April and October are the best months.

Little nondescript brown birds with deeper barred wings and tails and a lighter throat, House Wrens are tiny. Their tails are often raised, and they have a lot of them.

  • Troglodytes aedon
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (10-12 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.9 in (15 cm)

Before heading to the southern United States and Mexico for winter, House Wrens spend their summer breeding in the United States and southern Canada.

House Wrens forage for insects and spiders in backyards, parks, and open woods. These may often be seen energetically leaping over tangles and low branches with their tails up, pausing to sing their cheery song.

When it comes to securing the finest nest holes, House Wrens are ferocious for their size. Larger birds will be harassed frequently, with eggs and nestlings being dragged away from a nest site.

Leave stacks of brush or construct a nest box to attract House Wrens to your property.

20. Great-crested Flycatcher

From April to mid-October, Great Crested Flycatchers are present in Kentucky during the breeding season. On summer checklists, they’re found in 18% of the lists.

The back of Great Crested Flycatchers is brown, while the belly and neck are yellow. The wing and tail feathers of these birds have reddish flashes. It’s not clear what makes up the crest.

  • Myiarchus crinitus
  • Length: 6.7-8.3 in (17-21 cm)
  • Weight: 0.9-1.4 oz (27-40 g)
  • Wingspan: 13.4 in (34 cm)

The Great Crested Flycatchers spend the winter in southern Florida, southern Mexico, and Central America, breeding across much of eastern North America.

Large insects flying, such as butterflies, grasshoppers, moths, wasps, and spiders, are attracted to them because they sit perched up high in the woods. They may be spotted perched on fenceposts or other artificial constructions, as well as in mixed woodlands and around the edges of clearings, parks, and tree-lined communities. Berries and small fruits will be eaten as well.

Plant native species of plants and leave brush mounds for insects to attract Great Crested Flycatchers to your yard. Moreover, since they readily take up residence in plant berry-producing plants, hang up a nest box.

21. Wood Thrush

During the breeding season, from April to October, Wood Thrushes can be found in Kentucky at 17% of checklists.

The rotund white and black-spotted bellies of Wood Thrushes lend them a humorous look. The crown and upper back are reddish in color, while the back is brown.

  • Hylocichla mustelina
  • Length: 7.5-8.3 in (19-21 cm)
  • Weight: 1.4-1.8 oz (40-50 g)
  • Wingspan: 11.8-13.4 in (30-34 cm)

During one night, Wood Thrushes fly from the eastern United States to Central America.

In mature forests, these birds stay hidden and forage in leaf litter for beetles and flies. They create a ‘flute-like’ noise in the springtime.

22. White-crowned Sparrow

During the winter in Kentucky, White-crowned Sparrows can be found on 8% of winter checklists, with sightings beginning in September and ending in June.

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

  • Zonotrichia leucophrys
  • Length: 5.9-6.3 in (15-16 cm)
  • Weight: 0.9-1.0 oz (25-28 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.3-9.4 in (21-24 cm)

Before traveling south to the lower 48 and Mexico for winter, White-crowned Sparrows breed in Alaska and arctic Canada. Yet, throughout the year, some individuals may survive along the Pacific Coast and in the highlands.

White-crowned Sparrows forage for seeds of weeds and grasses, as well as fruit like elderberries and blackberries, in weedy fields, along roadwaysides, forest edges, and in yards.

Nests of White-crowned Sparrows are made from twigs, grass, moss, and pine needles, often low to the ground in shrubs or on the ground in the tundra. They lay up to seven eggs, which take up to two weeks to hatch and around nine days for the chicks to fledge.

White-crowned Sparrow nests are frequently found in shrubs or on the ground in the tundra, and are constructed from twigs, grass, moss, and pine needles. They lay seven eggs, which take two weeks to develop and nine days for the chicks to fledge.

White-crowned Sparrow nests are typically low to the ground in shrubs or on the tundra, with twigs, grass, moss, and pine needles. The eggs take two to two weeks to hatch and the chicks fledge after nine days. They lay seven eggs and spend up to two weeks incubating them.

Sunflower seeds attract white-crowned sparrows to your yard, and they will eat the seeds that other birds drop at the feeders as well.

23. Swamp Sparrow

During the winter, Swamp Sparrows may be seen in Kentucky, and 5% of winter checklists report their presence. From October through May, they may be seen in the state.

The backs of Swamp Sparrows are dark brown, while the crown and wings are rusty. Gray breasts and white throats distinguish them from other species. Their beaks are yellow, and their heads are gray with brown faces with a black eye line.

  • Melospiza georgiana
  • Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.5-0.8 oz (15-23 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.1-7.5 in (18-19 cm)

In the east, you’ll find Swamp Sparrows. Before going to eastern and southern US states as well as Mexico, they breed in Canada, northern US states, and the North Central United States.

Swamp Sparrows may be found in marshes, bogs, and coastal swamps, as the name would indicate. Throughout the winter, they feast on seeds and fruit, and in the spring, they eat more insects.

Swamp Sparrow nests are constructed of twigs, leaves, and cattails and are frequently hidden in vegetation on or near the ground. Grass and other plant materials are used to line the nest.

Except during migration to yards rich in vegetation and water, Swamp Sparrows do not visit backyards.

24. Swainson’s Thrush

Throughout migration from April to May and September to October, Swainson’s Thrushes are mostly visible in Kentucky. During spring and fall, they are seen on 21% and 17% of checklists, respectively.

Swainson’s Thrushes are a brown-backed medium-sized thrush with a pale underside and speckled breasts.

  • Catharus ustulatus
  • Length: 6.3-7.5 in (16-19 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.6 oz (23-45 g)
  • Wingspan: 11.4-12.2 in (29-31 cm)

During the breeding season, Swainson’s Thrushes may be found in the woods foraging for insects on the ground and red fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, and sumac. Some insects are given to nestlings, and ants are also consumed.

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

Ground-level birdbaths and the provision of tree and shrub cover will attract Swainson’s Thrushes to your yard.

25. Rose-breasted Grosbeak – Female

During migration, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are most often seen in Kentucky from April to May and September to October. Throughout the spring and autumn, they are seen in 25% of checklists, respectively.

Brown with extensive streaking and a flash of yellow under the wings, female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and immature males are brown.

Males of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are black-and-white birds with crimson faces, crimson bellies, and crimson breasts. Under their wings, they have a red flash.

  • Pheucticus ludovicianus
  • Length: 7.1-8.3 in (18-21 cm)
  • Weight: 1.4-1.7 oz (39-49 g)
  • Wingspan: 11.4-13.0 in (29-33 cm)

Northern states, the Midwest, and southern and central Canada are all home to Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. They can be found in southern US states during migration. Winter is spent in Central America and the Caribbean, as well as Mexico.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks forage for insects, berries, and seeds in woodlands, parks, and gardens around the country.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak nests are built in the low limbs of a tree. They’re built with loosely connected twigs, grasses, and flora. Two weeks are required to hatch the eggs, which number in the hundreds. The eggs are then incubated alternately by both parents.

Sunflower seeds and peanuts attract Rose-breasted Grosbeaks to your yard.

26. Brown Creeper

From October through April, Brown Creepers may be found in Kentucky, and they have been seen on 5% of winter checklists.

With their streaked brown backs and white undersides, Brown Creepers are tiny songbirds that are difficult to see against tree trunks.

  • Certhia americana
  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (5-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.7-7.9 in (17-20 cm)

In the winter, brown Creepers may go south or from higher altitudes, but they do not migrate. Alaska, southern Canada, the United States’ northeastern and eastern states, and as far south as Mexico and Central America are all home to these creatures. During some winters, they migrate into central and southeastern states.

Observe the bark of big tree trunks in mature woodland with large trees for one of these little birds hunting for insects and larvae hidden in the bark.

Unlike nuthatches, who face down the tree trunk, brown Creepers are typically discovered climbing the tree and looking up.

These songbirds make a high-pitched piercing cry that helps them to be located rather than singing.

27. Louisiana Waterthrush

In 4% of summer checklists, Louisiana Waterthrushes are found. From March to August, they’re most commonly seen in Kentucky.

In comparison to other warblers, Louisiana Waterthrushes are drab. They have a dark top and a pale underbelly. Their eyebrows are striped white, and their legs are long and pink.

  • Parkesia motacilla
  • Length: 5.9-6.1 in (15-15.5 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz (18.2-22.9 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.4-10.6 in (24-27 cm)

During migration, Louisiana Waterthrushes may be seen in the southeast. They are found in eastern US states. They return in the early spring after spending the winter in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Louisiana Waterthrush searches for insects, vertebrates, and larvae in streams and moving water in woodlands.

Louisiana Waterthrush nests are located in the roots or beneath woodwork along the bank of a creek. The nest is constructed with mud and includes leaves, pine needles, and other plant materials.

28. Purple Finch – Female

From September through May, purple finches can be found throughout Kentucky. On 4% of winter checklists, they are documented.

Males have reddish-purple heads and breasts with more brown on the back and wings, and females have a paler belly. Male Purple Finches are brown-streaked throughout, but females are reddish-purple on the head and breasts. They’re redder and have a reddish tint on the top of their backs, similar to House Finches.

  • Haemorhous purpureus
  • Length: 4.7-6.3 in (12-16 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-32 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.7-10.2 in (22-26 cm)

Purple Finches overwinter in the eastern US states, but can be found throughout the year in the north-east and Pacific coasts.

Purple Finch feeds on seeds, buds, nectar, and berries in evergreen woods.

Purple Finches build their nests high in the trees. Twigs, barks, weeds, and moss are used to create them. Females incubate three to five eggs for thirteen days.

Black oil sunflower seeds will attract purple finches to your yard.

29. Savannah Sparrow

From September through May, Savannah Sparrows may be found in Kentucky, and they appear on 2% of winter checklists. Several, however, are permanent residents of the state, mostly in the north.

This brown bird has a noticeable yellow patch around the eye if you get close enough to a Savannah Sparrow. Their tails are small and their skin is streaked with brown.

  • Passerculus sandwichensis
  • Length: 4.3-5.9 in (11-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.5-1.0 oz (15-28 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-8.7 in (20-22 cm)

Before migrating to southern US states and Mexico for the winter, Savannah Sparrows breed in Canada and the United States.

During the breeding season, Savannah Sparrows may be found foraging for larvae and spiders on the ground in open areas like grassland and seeds during winter.

Savannah Sparrow nests are made of grass and are found on or near the ground. They deposit six eggs, which take two weeks to hatch and another one or two weeks for the chicks to fledge.

If you maintain brush heaps, have long grass, and reside near fields, these birds may come to your yard on a regular basis.

30. Hermit Thrush

At this time of year, Hermit Thrushes are found in 2% of checklists in Kentucky. Between October and May, they’re most visible.

With an upright stance, stocky bodies, and long tails, Hermit Thrushes are birds that stand at attention. They have brown on the back and white underbelly, with spots on the neck and breast.

  • Catharus guttatus
  • Length: 5.5-7.1 in (14-18 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.3 oz (23-37 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.4 in (25-29 cm)

In Canada, the northeast US states, and the western US, Hermit Thrushes breed. Before spending the winter along the Pacific Coast, southeast states, and Mexico, they may be seen during migration in central states.

In forest clearings, where there is leaf litter on the ground, Hermit Thrushes forage for insects. Berries are also consumed in the winter.

They seldom go backyards, although their melancholy song may be heard in the spring and summer.

31. Pine Siskin

During the winter in Kentucky, Pine Siskins may be seen from October to May. On 2% of winter checklists, they are documented.

Little brown finches with yellow streaks on the wings and tail, Pine Siskins are a small species. With a short pointed beak, they have a forked tail and pointed wings.

  • Spinus Pinus
  • Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (12-18 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in (18-22 cm)

The pine forests of the western United States and along the Canadian Border are home to Pine Siskins all year. Before heading south for winter, some of them breed in Canada.

These may be found across most of North America, depending on the pine cone crops. Pine Siskins primarily consume conifer seeds, although young buds and seeds from grasses and weeds are also consumed.

Thistle and nyjer feeders will attract Pine Siskins to your yards, as will black oil sunflower seeds and suet.

32. Winter Wren

Winter Wrens are seen in 2% of checklists during this time of year and are mostly seen in Kentucky during winter. While September through May are the best months to spot them, they start arriving as early as September and continue until May.

The wings, tail, and belly of winter Wrens are all striped with deeper stripes. They have short tails that they keep upright and a lighter eyebrow stripe. Males and females have the same appearance.

Although Winter Wrens were once believed to be the same species as Pacific Wrens, they are now officially recognized as distinct, and they sing distinct songs.

  • Troglodytes hiemalis
  • Length: 3.1-4.7 in (8-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)
  • Wingspan: 4.7-6.3 in (12-16 cm)

In the winter and in the summer, Winter Wrens may be found in eastern and northern US states, as well as Canada.

In woodlands and backyards, look for Winter Wrens amid tangled vegetation. By rummaging through fallen leaves and rotting wood, they consume insects and spiders.

Winter Wrens build nests out of twigs, moss, and grass that are woven into a spherical form with a small entrance. The eggs are laid in a sequence of nine and hatch around two or two and a half weeks.

Native plants and thick vegetation can help attract winter wrens to your yard.

33. American Tree Sparrow

The best months to see American Tree Sparrow in Kentucky are November through March, as they arrive in October and some remain until April. On winter checklists, they account for 2% of the total.

In Kentucky, American Tree Sparrows arrive in October and depart in April, but the best months to see them are November through March. On 2% of winter checklists, they are documented.

Long-tailed brown-streaked fat birds with a rusty head, gray faces, and a rusty eye line, American Tree sparrows are long-tailed fat birds.

  • Spizelloides arborea
  • Length: 5.5 in (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.5-1.0 oz (13-28 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.4 in (24 cm)

In the United States, winter is spent with American Tree Sparrows, while summer is spent in Canada. Except along the Pacific and Gulf Coasts, they breed in Canada’s far north and migrate to most states during the winter.

In weedy fields and beneath bird feeders, you may see American Tree Sparrows foraging in small groups.

Nests of American Tree Sparrows’ are usually on or near to the ground and are made of twigs, grass, and moss. They lay around five eggs, and these take just under two weeks to hatch and just over a week for the young to fledge.

Nests made of twigs, grass, and moss are frequently found on or near to the ground in American Tree Sparrow colonies. They placed five eggs, and the young take roughly a week to fledge after they hatch.

Black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and millet are all effective ways to attract American Tree Sparrows to your backyard platform feeders. Seeds dropped from tube feeders are also eaten by them.

34. Northern Waterthrush

Throughout migration from April to May and August to October, Northern Waterthrushes may be seen in Kentucky, though they are uncommon.

Large, thrush-like birds known as Northern Waterthrushes Both males and females have characteristics that are similar. They have dark brown backs and white rumps, with black, heavy streaking from their throats all the way to their rumps. They both have brown heads with thick, white eyebrows.

  • Parkesia noveboracensis
  • Length: 5.75 inches (15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8 oz (23 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.75 inches (22 cm)

Before going to Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, northern waterthrushes breed in Canada, Alaska, and northeastern US states. Several may survive the winter in South and Central America.

Dark, woody bogs, thickets, and swamps are all home to Northern Waterthrushes. Northern Waterthrushes are frequently found near still or sluggish water in the woods. Mangroves are common in the tropics throughout the winter.

Foragers of both land and water, the Northern Waterthrushes Water beetles, mosquitoes, slugs, crustaceans, snails, and even tiny fish are among the creatures they may hunt for with their lengthy legs. Caterpillars, moths, and ants are among the insects they consume.

Northern Waterthrushes’ nests are often found around water, in hollows or crevices. The nests are frequently hidden among ferns and may be found on a moss-covered stump or beneath a jutting bank.

35. Marsh Wren

During the spring and fall migrations, Marsh Wrens may be seen in Kentucky. They are, however, more prevalent in October and account for 1.8% of checklists at this time.

Brown wrens with black and white streaks on their backs are called Marsh Wrens. They have the wren’s distinctive upright tail and are grayish brown on their underside. Males and females have the same appearance.

They have broader bills than Sedge Wrens and lack stripes on their shoulders.

  • Cistothorus palustris
  • Length: 3.9-5.5 in (10-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-14 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.9 in (15 cm)

Before heading to southern states and Mexico, Marsh Wrens breed in northern US states and Central Canada. Many birds may stay around all year in the west and along the Atlantic Coast. In the eastern United States, they may be found during migration.

Marsh Wrens, which cling to reeds with each foot grabbing a different stalk, may be found in wetlands. Singing among the reeds, particularly at dawn and dusk, may be difficult to detect. Insects and spiders are eaten, with the latter being picked off nearby watery leaves.

Except for a tiny aperture in the top, Marsh Wren nests are fully enclosed. They’re made of interwoven reeds and grasses.

36. Bewick’s Wren

In Kentucky, Bewick’s Wrens are an accidental species, having been discovered in Bowling Green in 2020, according to records.

Brown-backed birds with lengthy gray upright tails with deeper stripes, Bewick’s Wrens are brown-backed. Gray bellies and a white stripe across the eye distinguish them.

  • Thryomanes bewickii
  • Length: 5.1 in (13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)

Bewick’s Wrens spend the year in southern and western states, with a few movements in the winter.

Bewick’s Wrens may be observed hopping from branch to branch, flicking their long tails, in scrub, thickets, and open woodland. Bees, bugs, caterpillars, and beetles are among the insects and larvae they consume.

Nesting sites include rock ledges, abandoned woodpecker nests, nest boxes, and cracks in buildings. They’re shaped like cups and are lined with a softer material. The eggs take two weeks to hatch, and the young take another two weeks to fledge.

Suet, mealworms, and hulled sunflower seeds will attract Bewick Wrens to your yard.

37. Spotted Towhee

In Kentucky, Spotted Towhees are a rare or accidental species, having been last seen in the state in 2020.

The males of Spotted Towhees are black on the head, neck, and back, while the females are brown. Males and females have white bellies, white wings and a long tail. The males have reddish-brown sides while the ladies have white.

  • Pipilo maculatus
  • Length: 6.7-8.3 in (17-21 cm)
  • Weight: 1.2-1.7 oz (33-49 g)
  • Wingspan: 11.0 in (28 cm)

After breeding, Spotted Towhees migrate south to Texas from their western US habitat.

Spotted Towhees, which include beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, wasps, and bees among other insects in their search for food on the ground in thick tangles of shrubs. Acorns, berries, and seeds are also eaten by them.

If you leave overgrown borders, Spotted Towhees will come to your yard for Black Oil Sunflower seeds, Hulled Sunflower seeds, Cracked Corn, Millet, and Milo. They’ll visit platform feeders or ground feeders.

How Frequently Brown Birds Are Spotted In Kentucky In Summer And Winter

To determine which birds are frequently seen in your area, use checklists. On checklists in Kentucky during summer and winter, these lists show which brown birds are most commonly seen.

Brown Birds in Kentucky in summer:

Northern Cardinal 70.7%

American Robin 63.6%

Mourning Dove 56.4%

American Goldfinch 42.1%

Carolina Wren 40.0%

Song Sparrow 37.7%

Brown-headed Cowbird 32.4%

House Finch 27.0%

Eastern Towhee 25.7%

Chipping Sparrow 24.2%

House Sparrow 23.0%

Common Yellowthroat 22.3%

Brown Thrasher 18.4%

Great Crested Flycatcher 18.2%

Field Sparrow 17.9%

Wood Thrush 17.7%

Eastern Phoebe 17.6%

House Wren 15.2%

Northern Flicker 12.0%

Cedar Waxwing 11.8%

Swainson’s Thrush 7.3%

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 6.4%

Louisiana Waterthrush 4.7%

White-throated Sparrow 3.8%

White-crowned Sparrow 1.6%

Northern Waterthrush 1.3%

Savannah Sparrow 0.9%

Pine Siskin 0.7%

Swamp Sparrow 0.5%

Purple Finch 0.3%

Hermit Thrush 0.2%

Marsh Wren 0.1%

Bewick’s Wren <0.1%

Brown Creeper <0.1%

Winter Wren <0.1%

Brown Birds in Kentucky in winter:

Northern Cardinal 62.2%

Mourning Dove 43.4%

American Robin 38.4%

Carolina Wren 35.8%

Song Sparrow 34.5%

American Goldfinch 33.2%

White-throated Sparrow 32.3%

House Finch 28.7%

House Sparrow 20.7%

Northern Flicker 15.0%

Eastern Towhee 13.9%

White-crowned Sparrow 8.0%

Field Sparrow 7.2%

Swamp Sparrow 5.5%

Brown Creeper 5.4%

Purple Finch 4.7%

Brown-headed Cowbird 4.3%

Eastern Phoebe 2.9%

American Tree Sparrow 2.7%

Cedar Waxwing 2.7%

Hermit Thrush 2.5%

Pine Siskin 2.4%

Savannah Sparrow 2.1%

Winter Wren 2.1%

Brown Thrasher 2.0%

Chipping Sparrow 1.7%

House Wren 0.2%

Common Yellowthroat <0.1%

Marsh Wren <0.1%

Spotted Towhee <0.1%

Northern Waterthrush <0.1%

Rose-breasted Grosbeak <0.1%

Swainson’s Thrush <0.1%

Bewick’s Wren <0.1%

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