38 Brown Birds In New Jersey (ID Guide, Pictures)

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

Fear not, because this helper will tell you whether a sparrow, wren, or any other brown bird is visible to you. Additionally, at various times of the year, discover which brown birds visit New Jersey.

According to checklists provided by birdwatchers on ebird for New Jersey, this guide will help you identify those brown birds visiting your yard or out in the woods and fields.

Brown Birds In New Jersey By Season

Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Carolina Wren, American Goldfinch, House Finch, House Sparrow: Northern Flicker are all year residents in New Jersey.

Common Yellowthroat, Brown-headed Cowbird, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, House Wren, Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwing, Field Sparrows, Great Crested Flycatchers and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are all common summer residents of New Jersey.

White-throated Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Brown Creeper, Purple Finch, American Tree Sparrow, Winter Wren, and Pine Siskin are some of the birds that live in New Jersey during the winter.

Swamp Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Northern Waterthrush, White-crowned Sparrow, and Swainson’s Thrush are among the birds that frequent New Jersey during migration.

Golden-crowned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, and Bewick’s Wren are all rare or accidental species found in New Jersey.

38 Brown Birds In New Jersey


1. Northern Cardinal – Female

New Jersey’s Northern Cardinals are a ubiquitous species that lives all year. Summer checklists and winter checklists submitted by bird watchers for the state include them in 53% and 41%, respectively.

With their brown coloration, sharp brown crest, red highlights, and red beaks, females Northern Cardinals are a little more showy.

But, especially against a white winter backdrop, the brilliant red male Northern Cardinal with black around their faces is an amazing sight. Red crests and beaks are also present in these birds.

  • 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 US is home to Northern Cardinals, with a few exceptions as far west as Arizona.

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

Feeders full of sunflower seeds, peanuts, millet, and milo will entice Northern Cardinals to your yard. Large tube feeders, hoppers, platform feeders, and food dropped on the ground will all be used to provide food.

2. Mourning Dove

New Jersey’s mourning doves may be seen throughout the year, but their numbers peak between March and October during mating season. Summer checklists in the state contain them 53% of the time, while winter checklists contain them 35%.

The little-headed birds with plump bodies and long tails known as Mourning Doves are graceful. The wings have black dots and are a delicate brown color. Males have a slight size advantage over 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, but may migrate after breeding from northern Michigan and southern Canada, Mourning Doves are common all year.

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

Millet sprinkled on the ground or platform feeders attracts Mourning Doves to your yard. Black sunflower seeds, nyjer, broken maize, and peanut hearts will all be devoured as well.

3. American Robin

In New Jersey, American Robins are more common during breeding season, but they may be found all year. Summer checklists have 61% of them, while winter checklists have 26%.

On lawns, American Robins can be seen eating earthworms. The heads and backs are black, while the breasts are red or orange. In the winter, they prefer to roost in trees, so you’re more likely to see them from spring onwards.

  • 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)

The lower 48 states as well as western Canada and Alaska’s coast, are home to American Robins. Those that migrate south for the winter are those that breed in Canada and inland Alaska.

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

Sunflower seeds, suet and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms will all attract American Robins to your yard. Food should be scattered on the ground, not in feeders. Also, juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood are some native berries plants that can be planted.

4. Song Sparrow

Every year, New Jersey is home to song Sparrows. In the state, they appear on 40% of summer checklists and 31% of winter checklists.

In spring and summer, song sparrows use their almost constant song to attract mates, despite the fact that they are not as remarkable looking as other backyard birds.

  • 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)

Song Sparrows can be found throughout the year in North America. Canadian breeders migrate to the southern United States for the winter.

These birds are often seen perched on a low shrub singing and can be found at backyard feeders in open, shrubby, and wet environments.

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

Place black oil sunflower seeds, broken maize, and nyjer on platform feeders to attract song sparrows to your yard.

In New Jersey, there are a surprising number of sparrows, and you may learn their songs and enjoy other information to help you identify them more promptly.

5. Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wrens are found in New Jersey throughout the year, do not migrate. During the summer, they appear on 32% of state checklists, while during the winter, they appear on 26%.

The dark brown top of the Carolina Wren and the light brown bottom make them timid birds. They have an upright tail and a loud “teakettle” song with white eyebrow stripes.

  • 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 can be found in the eastern and southeastern US. These creatures will visit outdoor feeders and may be found in woodlands or densely vegetated areas.

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

In the backyards of New Jersey, you may see several Wrens, but in marshy areas, you’ll need to look for others.

6. American Goldfinch – Female

Throughout the breeding season, American Goldfinches are found in New Jersey, although they are more common throughout the year. Summer checklists include them in 37% of the time, whereas winter checklists include them in 19%.

In the spring, American Goldfinches are a common sight, with their males having bright yellow and black plumage. During the winter, both sexes are browner.

  • 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)

The majority of North America is home to American Goldfinches, who are permanent residents. Breeding birds, on the other hand, go to the southern United States for winter.

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

Plant thistles and milkweed in your yard to attract American Goldfinches. Most bird feeders will be visited, and they favor sunflower seed and nyjer seed.

7. White-throated Sparrow

During the winter months of October through May, White-throated Sparrows may be seen in abundance in New Jersey. In 39% of winter checklists for the state, they are documented.

The black and white striped head, brilliant white throat, and yellow between the eye and beak of White-throated Sparrows distinguish them. Brown on the back, and gray on the underside.

  • 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)

During the winter, White-throated Sparrows migrate south to eastern and southern US states, as well as the Pacific Coast. They breed mostly in Canada.

White-throated Sparrows may be seen in large flocks on the ground in woods and forests, as well as along the edges of wooded areas.

Grass seeds and weeds, as well as fruits such as grape, sumac, mountain ash, blueberry, blackberry, and dogwood are the major foods of White-throated Sparrows. In the summer, they will eat a wide variety of insects from the forest floor.

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

8. House Finch – Female

New Jersey is home to House Finches all year. They don’t migrate and figure in around 25% of bird watcher checklists submitted to the state throughout the summer and winter.

Male House Finches have a crimson head and breast, while the rest of their bodies are mostly 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 first imported to the eastern United States, but have done very well, even displacing the Purple Finch.

Parks, farms, woodland borders, and backyard feeders are all places to look for them in noisy groups.

Black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders will attract House Finches to your backyard feeders.

Brown finches are not the only ones found in New Jersey; some are more colorful.

9. House Sparrow

In New Jersey, House Sparrows have become a widespread species that can be seen all year. They are seen in 28% of summer and 22% of winter checklists for the state, and they do not migrate.

Another imported species that has done exceedingly well is House Sparrows, which are now one of the most common birds. The heads are gray with brown stripes, and the cheeks are white. Their bellies are gray, and their backs and thighs are black and brown.

  • 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 may be found in the United States and southern Canada. They can be quite tame, and they may even eat out of your hand if you find them near houses and buildings.

Grain, seed, and discarded meals are the mainstays of House Sparrows. Since they are non-native, they may be considered a pest, but even if you do not give them food, they can be found in backyards.

Most types of birdseed, including millet, corn, and sunflower seeds, may be used to attract house Sparrows to your outdoor feeders.

10. Northern Flicker

New Jersey is home to northern flickers throughout the year, but they are more common during migration. During the migration, they may be found in 23% of summer checklists, 12% of winter checklists, and up to 42% of checklists.

Northern Flickers are large brown woodpeckers with black spots and a white patch on their rump in flight, plus a red nape of the neck in the males.

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

Depending on where the Southern Flickers come from, the wings and tail have red or yellow flashes. 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 US and Canada. During the winter, those who breed in Canada head south.

Ants, beetles, fruits, and seeds are the primary foods of Northern Flickers, who dig with their bent bill on the ground.

Suet is a great way to attract Northern Flickers to your yard. Other woodpecker species may be found in New Jersey, and they may visit your feeders as well.

11. Common Yellowthroat

From April to December, Common Yellowthroats may be seen in New Jersey during the breeding season. Summer checklists include them in 37% of the time.

Small brownish birds with long tails, Common Yellowthroats are a common sight across the United States. Male faces are completely encased in black masks. The yellows may be more olive in certain areas and less bright in others.

  • 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, most of North America’s common yellowthroats spend the summer breeding. Some, like the Gulf Coast and Pacific Southwest, are there year-round. After that, in the winter, they migrate south.

Yellowthroats may be seen in marshy or wetland regions, as well as among dense, intertwined vegetation, frequently.

To entice insects, plant dense vegetation and native plants in vast backyards where Common Yellowthroats may be found.

There are numerous different kinds of warblers in New Jersey, but the Common Yellowthroats are one of them. They have amazing songs that you can learn by listening to them.

12. Brown-headed Cowbird – Female

During the summer, from February to August in New Jersey, brown-headed cowbirds are most prevalent, appearing on 26% of all checklists.

In the winter, the majority migrate, although a small percentage of them remain and appear on 4% of winter checklists.

Brown with slight streaking, female Brown-headed Cowbirds are brown all over. With black bodies, brown heads, and short tails, male Brown-headed Cowbirds are bigger 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 along the Pacific Coast, Brown-headed Cowbirds stay throughout the year. Breeders, on the other hand, migrate south for the winter in northern and western US states and Canada.

Since they are parasite birds that eat the eggs of smaller songbirds in order to lay their own eggs in the nest and have their chicks fostered, they are frequently seen as pests.

13. Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are more common in New Jersey during the breeding season, which runs from April to October. While some may be seen all year, they are more common in the spring and summer. On summer checklists, they appear in 26% of the cases.

The slender, long-tailed Chipping Sparrow has a grayish belly and a brown and black streaked back. The crown is rusty, and the eye line is black. Their hues become less vivid in 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 the summer breeding in the United States and Canada. In the southern United States, some are found all year.

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

Chipping Sparrows may be seen in small groups on open ground and will even visit your own yard for various types of seed.

Seeds or Cracked Corn on Open Feeders Like Hoppers and Platforms will Attract Chipping Sparrows to your Backyard.

14. Eastern Towhee

During migration and the breeding season, from April to November, eastern towhees may be seen in New Jersey. They are seen in 19% of summer checklists, and 3% of winter checklists include them, even though they may be seen all year.

In the males, Eastern Towhees have a white belly and long tails. They are large sparrows with a black head, neck, and back. The sexes have reddish sides. Instead of being black, females are brown.

  • 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 southeastern US states.

Eastern Towhees can be found in the undergrowth, around forest and thicket borders, searching for food.

Eastern Towhees’ nests are often found beneath fallen leaves on the ground. They’re lined with soft grass and animal hair, and they’re made of twigs, bark, and leaves. They lay six eggs, which take roughly two weeks to hatch and fledge, and they lay them up for roughly two weeks.

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

Eastern Towhees prefer sunny slopes and can be found on them.

15. House Wren

In New Jersey, House Wrens are most commonly seen from April through October, and they appear in 28% of checklists throughout the season. While most migrate south for the winter, a few stay here year-round.

Little nondescript brown birds with darker barred wings and tails and a paler throat, House Wrens are tiny but nondescript. Their tails are frequently raised when they’re lying down.

  • 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 southern US states and Mexico for winter, House Wrens spend their summer breeding in the United States and southern Canada.

House Wrens may be seen foraging for insects and spiders in backyards, parks, and open woods. They may frequently be seen energetically hopping with their tails up through tangles and low branches, stopping to sing their cheery song.

When it comes to finding the best nest holes, House Wrens are fierce for their size. Largeer birds will be subjected to harassment, occasionally being dragged eggs or young out of a nest.

Leave piles of brush or construct a nest box to attract House Wrens to your yard.

16. Eastern Phoebe

During the breeding season, from March through October, Eastern Phoebes are most commonly seen in New Jersey. Summer checklists include them in 11% of the time.

Grayish-brown on the back, pale underneath, and with a blacker head, Eastern Phoebes are robust songbirds.

  • 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 southeast US states and Mexico for winter, eastern Phoebes are migrating birds that breed in northeastern and central US states as well as Canada. Birds in the south of their range may spend all year there.

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

Flycatchers subsist mostly on flying insects, although they may also consume spiders and other arthropods, tiny fruits, and seeds. They build nests out of mud and grass, which they commonly nest on bridges, barns, or houses.

Set up a nest box or native plants that produce berries to attract Eastern Phoebes to your yard.

17. Cedar Waxwing

All year, New Jersey is home to Cedar Waxwings, however they are most visible from May to November during the breeding season. They’re found in 18% of summer and 3% of winter checklists across the state, according to records.

The head, chest, and crest of Cedar Waxwings are pale brown, with the back, wings, and tail fading to gray. Cedar Waxwings are graceful social birds.

Towards the tail, their belly is bright yellow, with a pale yellow underbelly. Their eyes are hidden by a thin 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)

The northern half of the United States is home to Cedar Waxwings throughout the year. Canadians that breed migrate to the southern United States for the winter.

Berry bushes, woodlands, and streams are all home to these high-pitched callers.

Plant native trees and shrubs with tiny fruit like serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn to attract Cedar Waxwings to your yard. Fruit on platform feeders is another option.

18. Field Sparrow

During the breeding season, from March to October, Field Sparrows may be seen throughout New Jersey all year. Summer checklists have 14% of the entries, whereas winter checklists have 3%.

Little, slender brown-backed birds with black streaks are known as Field Sparrows. Their heads, as well as their undersides and beaks, are gray. They have a crimson crown and pink beak.

  • 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 that live throughout the year, but those who breed in the Midwest migrate south for the winter.

Because the males sing from a perch in the early mornings, finding Field Sparrows during breeding season is simple. They may be easily overlooked as they prefer abandoned land and are shy, feeding quietly on weeds and seeds.

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

Cracked corn, hulled sunflower seeds, and millet are all effective attractant Field Sparrows.

19. Great-crested Flycatcher

From April through October, Great Crested Flycatchers are active in New Jersey. Summer checklists include them in 24% of the time.

The back of Great Crested Flycatchers is brown, and their belly and neck are yellow. In the wing and tail feathers, they have reddish flashes. It’s not easy to spot the peak.

  • 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)

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

Large insects flying, such as butterflies, grasshoppers, moths, wasps, and spiders are attracted to the woodland where they sit perched up high. They may be spotted perched on fenceposts or other artificial constructions in mixed woodlands and along the fringes of clearings, parks, and tree-lined communities. Berries and tiny fruit will be eaten as well.

Plant native species of plants and leave brush heaps to attract insects in your lawn, and you’ll attract Great Crested Flycatchers to your yard. Also, since they readily take up residence in nest boxes, plant berry-producing plants should be placed up.

20. Swamp Sparrow

During the autumn migration in October, Swamp Sparrows are most commonly seen in New Jersey, with 26% of these checklists seeing them. Others, however, remain throughout the year and account for around 5% of the state’s summer and winter checklists.

The back of Swamp Sparrows is dark brown, and their crowns and wings are rusty. Gray breasts and a white throat distinguish them. Their beaks are yellow, and their skulls are gray with a brown face and 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)

The east is home to Swamp Sparrows. Before migrating to eastern and southern US states, as well as Mexico, they breed in Canada, northeastern US states, and North Central US states.

Wetlands, swamps, bogs, and coastal marshes are where Swamp Sparrows may be found. Throughout the winter, they eat seeds and fruit, and in the spring, they eat even more insects.

Swamp Sparrow nests are made out of twigs, leaves, and cattails and are typically concealed in vegetation on or near the ground. Grass and other plant materials are used to line the nest.

Only during migration to yards with a lot of vegetation and water do Swamp Sparrows visit backyards.

21. Wood Thrush

During the breeding season, from March to October, Wood Thrushes can be found in New Jersey and are seen on 19% of checklists.

The thick white and black-spotted bellies of Wood Thrushes give them a somewhat ridiculous look. The crown and upper back are red, while the rear 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)

In one night, Wood Thrushes fly from the United States to Central America across the Gulf of Mexico.

In mature forests, these birds stay hidden and forage for insects like beetles and flies in leaf litter. They may be heard singing a ‘flute-like’ tune in the spring.

22. Savannah Sparrow

All year long, Savannah Sparrows can be found in New Jersey, but they are more frequent between April and May and October and November. During migration, they may appear in up to 21% of checklists.

This brown bird with a yellow patch by the eye will be visible to you if you get close enough to a Savannah Sparrow. Their tails are likewise small, and their brown stripes are streaky.

  • 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 heading to the southern United States and Mexico for the winter, Savannah Sparrows breed in Canada and the US.

During the breeding season, Savannah Sparrows can be found foraging for insects and spiders on the ground in open spaces like grassland, and during the winter, they may be found eating seeds.

Savannah Sparrow nests are made of grass and are placed on or near the ground. They lay six eggs, which take two weeks to hatch and a few more weeks for the larvae to fledge.

If you keep brush piles, have long grass, and live near fields, these birds may visit your yard on a regular basis.

23. Brown Thrasher

New Jersey is home to the Brown Thrashers all year. Summer checklists contain them in 7% of cases, while winter checklists contain 1%.

Large songbirds with lengthy proportions, brown thrashers are a sight to behold. They’re around the size of a robin. Their backs are brown, while their chests and bellies are streaked with white. Gray skin with brilliant yellow eyes covers their cheeks.

  • 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)

Central and eastern North America are home to the Brown Thrashers. Birds in the southeast of their range stay here all year, while those farther north go south for the winter.

Because they spend the majority of their time in thickets and shrubbery, Brown Thrashers are difficult to detect for their size. They can, however, be seen eating berries, beetles, and flying insects from the air while rummaging around in the leaf litter and soil while looking for insects.

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

Dense cover and Berry Shrubs will attract Brown Thrashers to your yard, where they will collect fallen seeds from beneath feeders.

24. Hermit Thrush

Winters are spent in New Jersey for Hermit Thrushes, who can be found in 4% of checklists. From October through April, they’re most commonly seen, but some survive all year.

With upright posture, chunky bodies, and long tails, Hermit Thrushes are birds that stand to attention. They have brown backs and white underbellies with dots 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 United States, and the western United States, Hermit Thrushes breed. Before spending the winter along the Pacific Coast, southeast states, and Mexico, they can be seen in central states during migration.

Foraging on the ground in forest clearings, Hermit Thrushes search for insects in the leaf litter. Berries are also eaten in the winter.

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

25. Marsh Wren

During the breeding season, Marsh Wrens are more common in New Jersey, accounting for 8% of summer checklists. From April through October, they’re common, although some may be seen any time of year.

The back of a Marsh Wren is brown with black and white streaks. They have the wren’s distinctive upright tail, and their underside is grayish brown. Males and females have the same appearance.

They have longer bills than Sedge Wrens and lack stripes on their shoulders, although they appear similar.

  • 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 areas and Mexico, Marsh Wrens breed in northern US states and central Canada. Some birds, including those in the west and near the Atlantic Coast, may spend the year around. During migratory season, they may be seen in the eastern US.

Marsh Wrens are found in wetlands, grabbing onto reeds with each foot and clinging to one stalk. Listen out for singing among the reeds, particularly at dawn and dusk, because they can be difficult to spot. They consume arthropods and spiders, which they collect from near-water leaves.

Except for a tiny aperture at the top, Marsh Wren nests are completely enclosed. They’re constructed from grasses and reeds mixed together.

26. Rose-breasted Grosbeak – Female

During the breeding season, New Jersey is home to Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, which make up 9% of summer checklists. In April, they come, and in October, they begin migrating.

Brown with a lot of streaking and a flash of yellow under the wings, female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and immature males

Males of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have black heads and backs, white bellies, and red breasts. They are black-and-white birds. Their underwings are also adorned with a crimson 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)

Northeastern US states, the Midwest, and southern and central Canada are home to Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. In the southern United States, they may be spotted during migration. Winter is spent in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks forage for insects, berries, and seeds in woodlands, parks, and backyards.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak nests are built on the limbs of a small tree. Twigs, grass, and plants are used to create them. It takes two weeks for the eggs to hatch, which total about five. The eggs are then incubated alternately by both parents.

Sunflower seeds and peanuts are an easy way to attract Rose-breasted Grosbeaks to your yard.

27. Brown Creeper

From October through April, brown Creepers are seen most often in New Jersey, with 4% of winter checklists reporting them. However, throughout the year, a few may be seen.

With their streaked brown backs and white undersides, little songbirds known as Brown Creepers are difficult to spot 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’ northeast and east coast, as well as Mexico and Central America, are all home to them. During certain winters, they may also travel into the central and southeastern regions.

Look closely at the bark of mature woodland trees with big trees to find one of these little birds hunting for insects and larvae.

Unlike nuthatches, who face the tree trunk downwards, brown Creepers are often seen climbing their way up the tree and facing upwards.

These songbirds emit a loud high-piercing cry that aids in their identification instead of singing.

28. Purple Finch – Female

In New Jersey, purple finches are seen primarily from September through mid-May during the winter. In 2% of winter checklists, they are documented.

Males have reddish-purple heads and breasts, with more brown on the back and wings, while females are brown-streaked all over. They’re redder and have a reddish tint to their crown and back, much like the House Finch.

  • 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 breed in Canada and overwinter in the eastern United States, although they may be found throughout the year in the north-east and Pacific coast.

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

Purple Finch nests are found in the highest branches of trees. Twigs, barks, weeds, and moss are used to make them. The female incubates the eggs for thirteen days, which typically contain three to five eggs.

Black oil sunflower seeds attract purple finches to your property.

29. Northern Waterthrush

During migration, northern waterthrushes are most commonly seen in New Jersey from April to June and August to October. In the spring, 7% of checklists and 9% of checklists include them, whereas in the fall, they are included.

Large, thrush-like birds known as Northern Waterthrushes. Males and females have comparable features. Their heads are brown, and their eyebrows are thick. Their backs are dark brown, and their bellies have dark, heavy streaking from their throats to their rumps.

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

Before migrating to Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, Northern Waterthrushes breed in Canada, Alaska, and the northeastern US states. In Central and South America, some individuals may stay all year.

Northern Waterthrushes may be found in woody swamps, thickets, and bogs. Northern Waterthrushes are commonly found near still or sluggish water in the woods. You’ll usually find them among mangroves in the tropics during the winter.

Foragers of both land and water, the Northern Waterthrushes They may stalk water beetles, mosquitoes, slugs, crustaceans, snails, and tiny fish with their long legs by stalking shallow water in search of them. Caterpillars, moths, and ants are also eaten by them, which they discover beneath foliage.

Northern Waterthrush nests are often found near water in hollows or crevices. The nests are usually hidden among ferns, but they can be in a moss-covered stump or under a jutting bank.

30. American Tree Sparrow

In New Jersey, American Tree Sparrows are winter birds that come as early as October and remain until May, with the best months being November through March. Winter checklists record them in 5% of all cases.

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 home to American Tree Sparrows, whereas summer is home to Canadians. Except along the Pacific and Gulf Coasts, they breed in Canada’s far north and migrate to most US states throughout the winter.

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

American Tree Sparrow nests are usually formed of twigs, grass, and moss, and are placed on or near the ground. They lay five eggs, which take about two weeks to hatch and another week for the fledglings to emerge.

With black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, crumbled corn, and millet, you can attract American Tree Sparrows to your backyard platform feeders. Tube feeders’ seeds also provide food for them.

31. Winter Wren

In New Jersey, winter Wrens may be found in 3% of winter checklists and may be seen during the winter. Although some may be seen all year, October through April is the prime season to see them.

The wings, tail, and belly of winter Wrens are all darkly barred. They are little, plump brown birds. They have shorter tails that they keep upright and a lighter eyebrow stripe. Males and femen look the same.

There was once thought to be the same species as Winter Wrens and Pacific Wrens, but they are now classified as separate species and sing different 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, eastern US states, as well as northeastern US states and Canada, are home to Winter Wrens.

In woodlands and backyards, look for Winter Wrens in dense undergrowth. By rummaging through fallen leaves and rotting bark, they devour insects and spiders.

Twigs, moss, and grass are woven together in a round shape with a tiny entrance to create Winter Wren nests. The eggs are laid in clusters of 1 to 9, and the chicks take around two or two and a half weeks to fledge.

Native plants and deep vegetation will attract Winter Wrens to your yard.

32. Pine Siskin

From October through May, Pine Siskins may be seen in New Jersey, accounting for 1% of winter checklists.

The wings and tail of Pine Siskins are yellow with brown streaks. 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)

Throughout the pine forests of the western states and near the Canadian border, Pine Siskins live throughout the year. Before going south for winter, some breed in Canada.

They may be found across much of North America, depending on pine cone crops. Pine Siskins eat primarily pine seeds, but young buds and seeds from grasses and weeds are also eaten as part of their name suggests.

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

33. White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrows are most frequently observed during migration in October in the south of the state, where they spend the winter. During migration, they appear in up to 10% of checklists.

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

  • 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 migrating south for winter, White-crowned Sparrows breed in Alaska and northern Canada. Nonetheless, some may survive all year along the Pacific Coast and the highlands of the west.

White-crowned Sparrows may be found foraging for seeds of weeds and grasses or fruit such as elderberries and blackberries in weedy fields, along roadsides, forest edges, and in yards.

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

Sunflower seeds attract White-crowned Sparrows, and they will eat seeds brought by other birds at the feeders, too.

A little detail: After leaving the nest, young White-crowned Sparrows need another week or two to learn to fly.

34. Swainson’s Thrush

In May and September, Swainson’s Thrushes may be seen in New Jersey. During the spring, 10% of checklists include them, while during the autumn, 5% do.

The pale beneath with speckled chests and brown on the back, Swainson’s Thrushes are medium-sized thrushes.

  • 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 foraging for insects among leaf litter amid the forest floor, as well as red fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, and sumac. Other insects will be offered to nestlings, and ants make up a portion of their diet.

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

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

35. Louisiana Waterthrush

In 2% of summer checklists, Louisiana Waterthrushes appear. From mid-March to late September, they are most frequently seen in New Jersey.

In comparison to other warblers, Louisiana Waterthrushes are drab. On top, they’re brown, while underneath, they’re pale. White eyebrows and long pink legs distinguish them.

  • 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 can be found in the southeast United States. They come back in the spring early in the year after spending the winter in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Louisiana Waterthrush may be found hunting for insects, vertebrates, and larvae in streams and moving water in woodlands.

Louisiana Waterthrush nests are usually discovered among roots or beneath logs beside a creek’s edge. The nest is mud-bound, and it is constructed of leaves, pine needles, and other plant items.

36. Golden-crowned Sparrow

New Jersey is home to a small number of Golden-crowned Sparrows, which are considered an accidental species. They were spotted in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in 2021.

The backs of Golden-crowned Sparrows are streaked brown and they are grayish-brown on the bottom. Their crowns are black, and their foreheads are brilliant-yellow.

In the winter, their colors are duller and brown on the crown, and their forehead is yellow.

  • Zonotrichia atricapilla
  • Length: 5.9-7.1 in (15-18 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.2 oz (30-33 g)

Before going to the West Coast for winter, Golden-crowned Sparrows breed in Alaska and western Canada.

Golden-crowned Sparrow may be found in weedy fields scratching for dock, sumac, or geranium seeds. Apples, grapes, elderberry, and olives are among the fruits they consume. Some of their diets include insects such as ants, beetles, butterflies, and termites.

Golden-crowned Sparrow nests are frequently constructed of twigs, moss, and leaves and may be found on the ground. Animal hair, grass, and feathers are used to line them.

Seeds on ground feeders or planting native plants that fruit may help to attract Golden-crowned Sparrows to your yard.

37. Spotted Towhee

In New Jersey, spotted towhees are an accidental species. They were last seen near Palmyra Cove Natural Area, and they are exceedingly uncommon in the state.

In males, spotted towhees have a black head, neck, and back; in females, they have a brown head. With white bellies and wings, as well as long tails, both sexes have reddish-brown sides and white bellies.

  • 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)

During breeding, Spotted Towhees migrate south to Texas from the western United States.

Beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, wasps, and bees are among the insects spotted Towhees hunt for on the ground in dense tangles of shrubs. Acorns, berries, and seeds are also among the foods they consume.

Songs are brief notes plus rapid trills, as in the Spotted Towhee.

Nests made of leaves, stems, and bark lined with softer material are commonly found on or near the ground by Spotted Towhees. They lay six eggs, which take two weeks to birth and another ten days for the chicks to fledge.

If you leave unkempt borders, attract Spotted Towhees to your yard, and they will eat Black Oil Sunflower seeds, Hulled Sunflower seeds, Cracked Corn, Millet, and Milo from platform or ground feeders.

When trying to attract a mate, Spotted Towhee males spend the majority of their mornings singing.

38. Bewick’s Wren

The New Jersey Bird Records Committee has classified Bewick’s Wrens as an accidental species in the state, which is very unusual for birds to see in New Jersey.

Brown-backed birds with long gray upright tails, with darker barring, are known as Bewick’s Wrens. Gray bellies with a white stripe across the eye.

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

Bewick’s Wrens are found throughout the year in southern and western states, with a few migration cycles in winter.

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

Nest ledges, abandoned woodpecker nests, nest boxes, and crevices in buildings are all places where eggs are laid. They’re cup-shaped with a softer lining and are made of sticks and grasses. Hatching takes two weeks, with a additional two weeks for the fledgling.

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

How Frequently Brown Birds Are Spotted In New Jersey In Summer And Winter

birdchecklists.org is a helpful website that can tell you which birds are most often seen in your region. In New Jersey during the summer and winter, these lists depict which brown birds are most frequently observed on ebird checklists.

Brown Birds in New Jersey in summer:

American Robin 61.2%

Northern Cardinal 53.8%

Mourning Dove 53.0%

Song Sparrow 40.9%

Common Yellowthroat 37.7%

American Goldfinch 37.3%

Carolina Wren 32.3%

House Sparrow 28.3%

House Wren 28.2%

Brown-headed Cowbird 26.7%

Chipping Sparrow 26.4%

House Finch 25.3%

Great Crested Flycatcher 24.0%

Northern Flicker 23.1%

Eastern Towhee 19.6%

Wood Thrush 19.4%

Cedar Waxwing 18.0%

Field Sparrow 14.6%

Eastern Phoebe 11.8%

White-throated Sparrow 9.9%

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 9.3%

Marsh Wren 8.4%

Brown Thrasher 7.2%

Swamp Sparrow 5.0%

Northern Waterthrush 4.0%

Swainson’s Thrush 3.2%

Savannah Sparrow 2.7%

Louisiana Waterthrush 2.5%

Hermit Thrush 1.4%

White-crowned Sparrow 1.0%

Purple Finch 0.5%

Pine Siskin 0.4%

Brown Creeper 0.3%

Winter Wren 0.1%

Golden-crowned Sparrow <0.1%

American Tree Sparrow <0.1%

Spotted Towhee <0.1%

Brown Birds in New Jersey in winter:

Northern Cardinal 41.0%

White-throated Sparrow 39.0%

Mourning Dove 35.8%

Song Sparrow 31.9%

Carolina Wren 26.7%

American Robin 26.2%

House Finch 24.2%

House Sparrow 22.0%

American Goldfinch 19.8%

Northern Flicker 12.8%

American Tree Sparrow 5.5%

Brown-headed Cowbird 4.5%

Swamp Sparrow 4.5%

Brown Creeper 4.4%

Hermit Thrush 4.4%

Savannah Sparrow 3.8%

Field Sparrow 3.5%

Eastern Towhee 3.2%

Cedar Waxwing 3.1%

Winter Wren 3.0%

Purple Finch 2.1%

Pine Siskin 1.6%

Brown Thrasher 1.4%

Chipping Sparrow 1.4%

White-crowned Sparrow 1.3%

Eastern Phoebe 0.5%

Marsh Wren 0.4%

House Wren 0.1%

Common Yellowthroat 0.1%

Spotted Towhee <0.1%

Rose-breasted Grosbeak <0.1%

Golden-crowned Sparrow <0.1%

Northern Waterthrush <0.1%

Great Crested Flycatcher <0.1%

Swainson’s Thrush <0.1%

Wood Thrush <0.1%

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