38 Brown Birds In North Carolina (ID Guide, Pictures)

Because they do not have as many distinguishing characteristics as their brighter-colored counterparts, brown birds (LBJ) or LBJ (little brown jobs) can be difficult to identify.

Fear not, for this handbook will aid you identify a sparrow, a wren, or any other dark bird you may see. Brown birds are also present in North Carolina at different times of the year, so you should check that out as well.

From the most common to the least common, this guide will assist you identify those brown birds that come to your property or alternatively go into the woods and fields in North Carolina.

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

Brown Birds In North Carolina By Season

Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Mourning Dove, American Robin, Eastern Towhee, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe are all seen in North Carolina throughout the year.

Brown-headed Cowbird, Common Yellowthroat, Great Crested Flycatcher, House Wren, Wood Thrush, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak are among the birds that can be seen in North Carolina during the summer.

Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Swamp Sparrow, Pine Siskin, Savannah Sparrow, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Purple Finch and White-crowned Sparrow are among the North Carolina birds that winter.

Swainson’s Thrush, Marsh Wren, and Northern Waterthrush are among the birds that migrate through North Carolina.

Golden-crowned Sparrow, Bewick’s Wren, and Spotted Towhee are among the rare or accidental species in North Carolina.

38 Brown Birds In North Carolina

1. Northern Cardinal – Female

North Carolina is home to the northern cardinal, who can be found all year. Summer checklists from bird watchers for the state show them in 63% of cases, while winter checklists show them in 57% of cases.

With its brown coloration, sharp brown crest, red highlights, and red beaks, the Northern Cardinals are a little more flashy.

The vivid red male Northern Cardinal, on the other hand, is a stunning sight against a white winter backdrop. The males have black around their eyes. 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 section of the United States is home to Northern Cardinals, as well as certain parts of the southern United States.

Northern Cardinals are active foragers, searching for seeds, fruit, and insects in thick vegetation. During the breeding season, Northern Cardinals will sometimes attack their own reflection, which they are obsessed with defending.

Sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo are all available as feeders for Northern Cardinals in your neighborhood. Large tube feeders, hoppers, platform feeders, and food strewn on the ground will all be used to feed them.

2. Carolina Wren

In North Carolina, the Carolina Wrens are a permanent resident. Summer and winter checklists have them appear in over half of all items.

The dark brown top of the Carolina Wrens contrasts with the light brown underbelly. They have an upright tail and a loud “teakettle” call, as well as a white eyebrow stripe.

  • 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 southeastern United States. They may be found in woods and thickly vegetated areas, and they will visit backyard feeders.

Suet feeders, hulled sunflower seeds, and peanut hearts in large tube feeders or on platform feeders are all good options for attracting Carolina Wrens to your backyard.

3. Mourning Dove

During the year, North Carolata may see MourningDoves. In the state’s 46 summer and 37 winter checklists, they appear in 46% and 37%, respectively.

Mourning Doves are tiny-headed, fat-bodied birds with long tails that fly in a graceful manner. They have black specks on their wings and are a delicate brown hue. Males and females have about the same weight.

  • 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 may migrate after breeding from northern Minnesota and southern Canada.

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

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

4. American Robin

In North Carolina, American Robins may be seen all year. In the state, they are found in 35% of summer and 30% of winter checklists.

On lawns, American Robins are regularly seen devouring earthworms. The breasts are red or orange, and the heads and backs are black. During the winter, they favor to roost in trees, so you’re more likely to find them around your yard from spring.

  • 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 western coast of Canada and Alaska, American Robins may be found. Those that breed in Canada and northern Alaska migrate south for the winter.

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 and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms are all attractants for American Robins in your yard. Food scattered on the ground is best for platform feeders. Also, juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood are some of the native berries plants that you can try.

5. Eastern Towhee

All year, 37% of summer checklists and 25% of winter checklists include Eastern Towhees, which may be seen in North Carolina.

In males, the eastern towhees have a white belly and striking large sparrows about the size of Robin, with a black head, neck, and back. Females are brown instead of black, and they look a lot like males.

  • 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 move south for the winter, while eastern Towhees live throughout the year in southern states.

Eastern Towhees may be seen rummaging around in the bushes and around the borders of forests and thickets.

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

6. American Goldfinch – Female

Throughout the year, North Carolina is home to American Goldfinches. In the state’s summer and winter checklists, they are seen in 29% of bird watchers’ lists.

In the spring, males of American Goldfinches dress in vivid yellow and black, making them highly appealing. During the winter, both sexes are darker brown.

  • 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 are permanent residents. Breeding Canadians and Midwesterners, on the other hand, go to southern US states for winter.

Foraging for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants, they can be found in weedy fields and overgrown areas. In suburbs, parks, and gardens, they are also frequent.

Plant thistles and milkweed to attract American Goldfinches to your yard. They prefer sunflower seed and nyjer seed, so they’ll visit most bird feeders.

7. House Finch – Female

All year, House Finches live in North Carolina. They are seen in 27% of summer and 29% of winter checklists, despite their non-migratory behavior.

Male House Finches have a red head and breast, with the remainder of their bodies being mostly brown-streaked. Females are brown-streaked throughout, but Males are red.

  • 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 introduced to eastern states, but have done exceedingly well, even acing the Purple Finch.

Parks, farms, forest borders, and backyard feeders are all good places to look for them in noisy clusters.

Black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders can attract house finches to your backyard feeders.

8. Song Sparrow

Throughout the winter, Song Sparrows are frequently seen in North Carolina and appear on 32% of these checklists. They’re most visible from October to April, but they can be found all year in the west of the state and make up 18% of summer checklists.

Song sparrows, which are mostly brown-streaked and have a rather constant song, aren’t as remarkable as other backyard birds. However, in spring and summer, these birds use their song to attract mates.

  • 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 throughout the year. For the winter, those that breed in Canada move to southern US states.

These birds may be found perched on low shrubs singing in open, privet, and wet environments and at backyard feeders.

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.

Put black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders to attract song sparrows to your outdoor feeders.

In North Carolina, there are a lot of sparrows that may be spotted, and their songs may help you identify them more quickly. You can also learn additional information about them.

9. White-throated Sparrow

During the winter, white-throated sparrows are frequently seen in North Carolina and account for 35% of checklists at this time. From October through mid-May, you may see them.

The black and white striped head, brilliant white throat, and yellow between the eye and beak distinguish White-throated Sparrows. Brown on their backs, with a gray layer underneath.

  • 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)

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

In wooded areas and along the margins of wooded places, White-throated Sparrows may often be found in large flocks on the ground.

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

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

10. Chipping Sparrow

North Carolina’s Chipping Sparrows may be seen at any time of year, however they are more visible from March to July. Summer checklists have them at 25%, while winter checklists have them at 14%.

With a grayish belly and brown and black-streaked back, Chipping Sparrows are slender, long-tailed birds. The crown is rusted, and the eye line is black. Their hues are muted throughout 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 going to Mexico and Florida for winter, Chipping Sparrows spend their summer in the United States and Canada. In southern states, some are found all year.

Chipping Sparrows may be seen in small groups on open areas and will visit your yard for a variety of birdseed.

Seeds or cracked corn on open feeders like hoppers and platforms will attract Chipping Sparrows to your yard.

11. Eastern Phoebe

Throughout the year, North Carolina may be seen with Eastern Phoebes. Summer checklists include them in 16% of lists, while winter checklists include them in 13%.

Grayish-brown on the back, white below, and with a darker head, Eastern Phoebes are plump 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 southern United States for winter, eastern Phoebes are nomadic birds that breed across northeastern and central America before moving to Canada. Birds in the south of their range may stay throughout the year.

In contrast to their Southern Phoebes counterparts, Eastern Phoebes prefer to be solitary in quiet woodland, wagging their tails from low perches.

Flycatchers eat the most flying insects, but they will also consume spiders and other creatures, tiny fruit, and seeds. They build nests out of mud and grass, which they place on bridges, barns, or houses.

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

12. Brown Thrasher

Throughout the year, brown thrashers may be seen in North Carolina. Summer checklists contain 21%, whereas winter checklists include 11%.

Longer proportions characterize Brown Thrashers, which are huge songbirds. They resemble a robin in size. Their backs are brown, and their chests and bellies are streaked with white. Gray faces with brilliant yellow eyes adorn their skulls.

  • 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, Brown Thrashers live. Birds farther north migrate south for the winter, while those in the southeast of their range stay all year.

The Brown Thrashers, who spend much of their time in thickets and shrubs, are difficult to detect for their size. They can, however, be heard rummaging through the leaf litter and soil, hunting for insects while also devouring berries, beetles, and flying insects from the air.

These most skilled songbirds sing over 1000 distinct types of songs, making them one of the biggest in North America.

Brown Thrashers will collect fallen seeds from under feeders if you provide them with thick cover and berry bushes in your yard.

13. Northern Flicker

North Carolina has year-round occurrence of Northern Flickers, but they are most common during the winter. Summer checklists include them in 7% of the lists, whereas winter checklists include them in 16%.

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

Depending on where the northern flickers come from, the wings and tail have red or yellow flashes. In the west, red-shafted birds dwell, whereas in the east, yellow-shafted birds dwell.

  • 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)

During 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 main foods of Northern Flickers, who may be seen digging with their bent beak on the ground.

Suet is a good attractant for Northern Flickers in your yard. In addition, North Carolina is home to various other woodpeckers that feed on your feeders.

14. Brown-headed Cowbird – Female

Brown-headed Cowbirds are seen throughout the summer, but they may be found throughout North Carolina at any time of year. Summer checklists have 19% of them, while winter checklists have 3%.

Brown all over with slight streaking, female Brown-headed Cowbirds are brown. Brown-headed Cowbirds have black bodies, brown heads, and short tails. Females are smaller than males.

  • 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 on the Pacific Coast, Brown-headed Cowbirds stay all year. Breeders in northern and western states, as well as Canada, migrate south for the winter.

Because they are parasite birds that ravage the eggs of smaller songbirds in order to lay their own eggs in the nest and have the bird foster their chicks, they are frequently viewed as anuisancees.

15. Common Yellowthroat

All year, Common Yellowthroats may be seen in North Carolina, however they are most often seen during breeding season. Summer checklists for the state list them at 18% of total.

Little brownish-backed birds with long tails, Common Yellowthroats are predominantly little songbirds. Males have black masks over their faces that cover their whole heads. The yellows’ brightness varies depending on where you are, and underparts may be olive in color.

  • 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 most of North America. In the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Southwest, some of them may be found all year. During the winter, they migrate south.

Yellowthroats may be found in thick, tangled vegetation in marshy or wetland environments and brushy fields.

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

In North Carolina, there are several different kinds of yellowthroats, but they’re all common. They have songs that are both beautiful and educational.

16. Great-crested Flycatcher

From April to October, Great Crested Flycatchers breed throughout North Carolina. Summer checklists have a 20% chance of containing them.

Brown on the back with a yellow belly and gray throat, Great Crested Flycatchers are a species of flycatcher. The wing and tail feathers have red flashes. It’s not clear what the crest is.

The back of Great Crested Flycatchers is brown, while the belly while throat are yellow. In the wing and tail feathers, they have a reddish flash. It’s not clear what the crest is.

  • 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 breed extensively in eastern North America and migrate to southern Florida, Mexico, and Central America during the winter.

They wait for huge insects flying, such as butterflies, grasshoppers, moths, wasps, and spiders to come down from the trees and sit perched up high. They may be seen perched on fenceposts or other artificial constructions, as well as in mixed woodlands and at the margins of clearings, parks, and tree-lined areas. Berries and tiny fruit will be eaten as well.

Plant native species of plants and leave brush mounds to attract insects to your back yard, then attract Great Crested Flycatchers. Also, since they readily take up residence in nest boxes, put up a plant berry-producing plant.

17. Cedar Waxwing

In North Carolina, Cedar Waxwings can be found throughout the year, with 8% of summer checklists and 5% of winter checklists containing them.

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

Towards the tail, their belly is bright yellow, whereas their belly is pale yellow. Their eyes are masked by a small black mask, and their wingtips are crimson.

  • 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)

Throughout the northern half of the United States, Cedar Waxwings may be seen all year. Canadian breeders migrate to the southern United States for the winter.

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 will attract Cedar Waxwings to your yard. Fruit may also be used on platform feeders.

18. Field Sparrow

Summer and winter checklists show that Field Sparrows may be found in North Carolina throughout the year.

Little, pale brown-backed birds with black streaks are known as Field Sparrows. They have a crimson crown and pink beak, as well as gray undersides and 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 that stay throughout the year, but those that breed in the Midwest migrate south for winter.

During the breeding season, you may easily detect Field Sparrows because they sing from a footing in the early mornings, making them easier to see. They are otherwise difficult to detect since they prefer abandoned fields and are shy and feed on weeds and seeds quietly.

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

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

19. House Sparrow

In North Carolina, House Sparrows are a foreign species that may be seen year-round. They’re found in 7% of summer and 5% of winter checklists for the state, and they don’t migrate.

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

All year, House Sparrows may be seen in the United States and southern Canada. They may be quite tame and may even consume from your hand if you locate them near residences and structures.

Grain and seed, as well as discarded food, are the major foods for House Sparrows. Since they are non-native, they may be considered a pest, but even if you do not give them food, they may still be seen in your yard.

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

20. House Wren

House Wrens are most often seen in North Carolina during the summer, however they can be found all year. Summer checklists have a 7% occurrence, whereas winter checklists have a 1% occurrence.

Little nondescript brown birds with deeper barred wings and tails and a lighter neck, house wrens are tiny. Their tails are frequently sticking up.

  • 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 are common in backyards, parks, and open woods, where they hunt for insects and spiders. With their tails up and periodically stopping to sing their cheery song, they may often be seen energetically hopping through tangles and low branches.

When it comes to finding the best nest holes, House Wrens are ferocious for their size. They’ll frequently torment bigger birds by dragging eggs or nestlings out of the nest they’ve chosen.

By leaving piles of brush or setting up a nest box, you may attract House Wrens to your yard.

21. Hermit Thrush

At this time of year, Hermit Thrushes are found on 8% of checklists in North Carolina. From November through April, they’re most often seen, although they may stay longer.

Hermit Thrushes are a kind of bird with chunky bodies, upright posture, and long tails that stands at attention. They feature spots on the neck and breast and are brown on the back and white underneath.

  • 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 may be seen in central states during migration.

Hermit Thrushes hunt for insects on the ground in forest clearings, where they forage. Berries are also eaten throughout the winter.

They seldom visit backyards, but their mournful song may be heard in the spring and summer.

22. Wood Thrush

During the breeding season, from April to October, Wood Thrushes are seen in North Carolina at a frequency of 11% on checklists.

The plump white and black-spotted bellies of Wood Thrushes give them a peculiar look. The crown and upper back are reddish, 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)

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

In mature woods, these birds remain hidden, feeding on insects like beetles and flies in leaf litter. They may be heard singing a flute-like song in the spring.

23. Swamp Sparrow

In North Carolina, Swamp Sparrows are winter birds that come in September and stay until May, with the best months to see them being October and April. On winter checklists, they are seen in 6% of cases.

The backs of Swamp Sparrows are black, and their crowns and wings are rusty. Gray breasts and white throats distinguish them. Their beaks are yellow, and their heads are gray with a brown face with a dark 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 migrating to eastern and southern US states, as well as Mexico, they breed in Canada, northeastern US states, and North Central US states.

Swamp Sparrows may be found in marshes, bogs, and coastal swamps as the name implies. In the winter, they eat seeds and fruit, while in the spring, they eat more insects.

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

Except during migration to yards with a lot of greenery and water, Swamp Sparrows do not visit backyards.

24. Pine Siskin

From October through May, Pine Siskins may be seen throughout North Carolina, with 7% of checklists having them at the time.

Little brown finches with yellow streaks on their wings and tails, Pine Siskins are a tiny 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)

In the pine woodlands of the western United States and along Canada’s border, Pine Siskins stay throughout the year. Before heading south for winter, some breed in Canada.

They may be found across most of North America, depending on the pine cone crops. Pine Siskins primarily eat conifer seeds, but they will also eat young buds and seeds from grasses and weeds, as their name implies.

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

25. Savannah Sparrow

From October through May, Savannah Sparrows may be seen breeding in North Carolina. Winter checklists have a 4% chance of containing them.

This brown bird has a unique yellow patch near the eye, and if you get close enough to a Savannah Sparrow, you’ll notice it. They have little tails and a streaked brown coloration as well.

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

During the breeding season, Savannah Sparrows may be seen foraging for insects and spiders on the ground in open areas like grassland, and seeds throughout the winter.

Savannah Sparrow nests are made of grass and are placed on the ground. They lay six eggs, which take two weeks to hatch and another week or two for the young to fledge.

If you maintain brush piles, have long grass, and reside near fields, these birds may come to your yard from time to time.

26. Winter Wren

During the winter months, Winter Wrens may be found in North Carolina, accounting for 4% of all checklists. While some may be seen all year, they are most prevalent from November to March.

The wings, tail, and belly of winter Wrens are striped with deeper brown lines. They have shorter tails and a lighter eyebrow stripe that they maintain upright. Males and females have the same appearance.

Winter Wrens are sometimes mistaken for Pacific Wrens, as they may seem to be the same species and sing the same melodies, but they are actually different.

  • 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)

Throughout the winter, eastern US states, as well as northeastern US countries and Canada, are home to Winter Wrens.

In woodlands and backyards, look for Winter Wrens amid entangled vegetation. By rummaging through fallen leaves and rotting bark, they devour insects and spiders.

Twigs, moss, and grass are woven into a round shape with a tiny aperture to create Winter Wren nests. Hatching takes around two or two and a half weeks, and the chicks fledge at around the same time.

Native plants and thick vegetation are ideal for attracting winter wrens to your yard.

27. Brown Creeper

From October through March, Brown Creepers are seen on 4% of winter checklists and are most common in North Carolata. However, throughout the year, some may be visible.

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)

During the winter, brown Creepers may travel south and from higher elevations. Alaska, southern Canada, the northeastern and eastern United States, as well as Mexico and Central America, are all home to them. During particular winters, they may also go into central and southern regions.

Study the trunk trunks of mature woodland with huge trees, where you may see them hunting for insects and larvae hidden in the bark, to find one of these small birds.

In contrast to nuthatches, who face the tree trunk downward, brown Creepers are generally discovered climbing the tree and looking up.

These songbirds use a piercing call instead of singing to locate themselves.

28. Rose-breasted Grosbeak – Female

The breeding season is spent in North Carolina, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are only seen on 2% of summer checklists. From April through October, they’re most commonly seen, although they can be seen throughout the year.

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

The males of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are black-and-white birds with a black head and back, white belly, and crimson breast. Under their wings, they have 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)

Northern US states, as well as the Midwest and southern and central Canada, are home to Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. They may be seen in the southeastern United States during migration. Throughout the winter, she visits Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks forage for insects, berries, and seeds in the woods, parks, and gardens of our neighborhoods.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak nests are built in the limbs of a small tree. Loosely constructed twigs, grass, and flora are used to make them. It takes two weeks for the eggs to hatch. Following that, both parents incubate the eggs at equal intervals.

Sunflower seeds and peanuts are a tasty treat for Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in your garden.

29. Purple Finch – Female

Purple Finches arrive in North Carolina in September and depart until April, but the best months to see them are October until April. On 4% of winter checklists, they are documented.

Males have reddish-purple heads and breasts with more brown on the back and wings, while females have a paler belly. They are brown-streaked all over. These are redder than House Finches, with a crimson tint on the crown of their back.

  • 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 spend the winter in the United States, however they may be found all year along the north-east and Pacific coasts.

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

Purple Finches build nests high in the trees. Twigs, barks, weeds, and moss are used to make them. The female lays three to five eggs and takes thirteen days to incubate them.

Attract Purple Finches to your backyard with black oil sunflower seeds.

30. Louisiana Waterthrush

In 2% of summer checklists, Louisiana Waterthrushes are found. From March to September, they may be found most frequently in North Carolina.

In comparison to other warblers, Louisiana Waterthrushes are drab. On top, they’re brown, and on the bottom, they’re white. Long pink legs with a white eyebrow stripe.

  • 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 a breed endemic to eastern US states. They return in the spring early in the year after spending the winter in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Louisiana Waterthrush may be located in woodlands hunting for insects, vertebrates, and larvae, where they can be found along streams and moving water.

Louisiana Waterthrush nests are found amongst roots or beneath logs along the bank of a creek. The nest is held together with mud and constructed of leaves, pine needles, and other plant materials.

31. Swainson’s Thrush

Around May and from September to October, Swainson’s Thrushes may be seen in North Carolina. In spring, 6% of checklists and in fall, 12%, they are documented.

Swainson’s Thrushes are brownish on the back with spotted chests and are medium-sized thrushes that are light beneath.

  • 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 seen foraging on the ground in leaf litter for insects, as well as red fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, and sumac. Ants are also given to nestlings, and other insects are given to them.

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

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

32. Marsh Wren

Throughout the spring and autumn migrations, Marsh Wrens may be seen in North Carolina, but some stay year-round.

Brown warblers with black and white streaks on their backs belong to the Marsh Wren family. They have the wren’s unique upright tail and are grayish brown on the underside. Males and females have the same appearance.

These lack stripes on their shoulders and have longer bills than Sedge Wrens, but they seem 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 moving to southern states and Mexico, Marsh Wrens breed in northern US states and central Canada. Several birds in the west and near the Atlantic Coast may spend the year there. During migration, they may be seen in the eastern United States.

Marsh Wrens are found in marshes, where they cling to reeds and grab hold of separate stalks with each foot. Although they’re difficult to detect, pay attention for singing among the reeds at daybreak and dusk. Insects and spiders, which they collect from near the water, are consumed.

Except for a small hole in the top, Marsh Wrens’ nests are totally enclosed. Reeds and grasses are woven together to create them.

33. Northern Waterthrush

From April through May and August through November, Northern Waterthrushes may be found in North Carolina. During migration, they appear in 3% of checklists.

Large, thrush-like birds, northern waterthrushes are a sight to see. Males and females have a lot in common. Both have black backs with heavy streaking from their necks all the way to their rumps, and 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 migrating to Mexico, Central, and South America, as well as the Caribbean, Northern Waterthrushes breed in Canada, Alaska, and northeastern US states. In Central and South America, some may stay all year.

Northern Waterthrushes may be found in damp, woody vegetation and bogs. You may expect to hear a Northern Waterthrush sing if there is any still or sluggish water in the woods. They are frequently found among mangroves in the winter in the tropics.

Foragers of both water and land, the Northern Waterthrushes They can walk on shallow water in search of water beetles, mosquitoes, slugs, crustaceans, snails, and occasionally little fish with their long legs. Caterpillars, moths, and ants are likewise consumed by them when they discover them underneath leaves.

Northern Waterthrushes’ nests are often found near water, in hollows or crevices. The nests are generally hidden among ferns, and they may be found on a moss-covered stump or under a protruding bank.

34. White-crowned Sparrow

In North Carolina, white-crowned sparrows are only seen during the winter. From September through May, they may be found in the state, although they are most frequent from October to January.

Large grayish sparrows with long tails, small beaks, and bold black and white stripes on their heads, White-crowned Sparrows are a common sight.

  • 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 going south to the lower 48 and Mexico for winter, White-crowned Sparrows breed in Alaska and northern Canada. Others, however, may stay all throughout the year on the Pacific Coast and in the highlands.

In weedy fields, along roadways, forest borders, and in yards foraging for seeds of weeds and grasses or berries like elderberries and blackberries, you may see White-crowned Sparrows.

Sunflower seeds attract White-crowned Sparrows, who will eat seeds provided by other birds at the feeders, and they will also eat seeds dropped by others.

35. Golden-crowned Sparrow

In North Carolina, golden-crowned Sparrows are a rare or accidental species, having only been recorded in Harbinger in 2018 and 2019.

The underside of Golden-crowned Sparrows is grayish-brown, while the back is streaked brown. A brilliant-yellow forehead and a black crown greet their heads.

In the winter, their colors are duller and brown on the crown, as well as their yellow foreskull.

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

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

Golden-crowned Sparrows may be seen scratching for dock, sumac, and geranium seeds in weedy fields. Apples, grapes, elderberry, and olives are among the fruits they eat. Ants, beetles, butterflies, and termites are among the insects that consume some of their food.

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

With ground feeders or native plants that fruit, attract Golden-crowned Sparrows to your yard.

36. American Tree Sparrow

In North Carolina, American Tree Sparrows are rare, although a few have been reported during the winter season.

Long-tailed brown-streaked tree sparrows have rusty caps, gray faces, and a rusty eye line. They are plump birds with a long tail.

  • 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, American Tree Sparrows are a winter bird, while in Canada, they are a summer bird. Except along the Pacific and Gulf Coasts, they breed in Canada’s far north and migrate to most US states during the winter.

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

The nests of American Tree Sparrows are made out of twigs, grass, and moss and are frequently found on or near the ground. They only lay five eggs, and the young take around a week to fledge after they hatch.

Black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, broken corn, and millet are all ideal additions to your yard platform feeders to attract American Tree Sparrows. Seeds thrown to the ground by tube feeders are also eaten by them.

37. Bewick’s Wren

In North Carolina, Bewick’s Wrens are very uncommon, and they haven’t been seen in recent years, according to records.

Brown-backed birds with long upright gray tails with black edging, Bewick’s Wrens are a common sight. Their bellies are gray, with a white stripe across their eye.

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

Bewick’s Wrens migrate throughout the United States throughout the year, with a few minor migrations in winter.

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

Nesting places include rock ledges, abandoned woodpecker nests, nest boxes, and cracks in structures. They’re cup-shaped, with a softer lining, and are made of sticks and grasses. Hatching takes roughly two weeks, with a further two weeks required for fledging. Thye lay three to eight eggs.

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

38. Spotted Towhee

In North Carolina, Spotted Towhees are an accidental species. They’ve been missing in the state for a long time and have only been seen once or twice.

The males of Spotted Towhees have a black head, neck, and back, while the females have a brown head, neck, and back. The adults have white bellies, with white dots on their wings and back, as well as long tails. They have reddish-brown edges and sides.

  • 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 move south to Texas from their home in the western United States.

Beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, wasps, and bees are among the insects spotted Towhees scratch for on the ground in dense tangles of shrubs. Acorns, berries, and seeds are also eaten by them.

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 hatch and another ten days for the chicks to fledge.

If you leave overgrown boundaries, attract Spotted Towhees to your property, and they’ll come to platform feeders or ground feeders for Black Oil Sunflower seeds, Hulled Sunflower seeds, Cracked Corn, Millet, and Milo.

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

How Frequently Brown Birds Are Spotted In North Carolina In Summer And Winter

Knowing which birds are prevalent in your state can be found out using checklists. During the summer and winter in North Carolina, these lists reveal which brown birds are most often seen on eBird checklists.

Brown Birds in North Carolina in summer:

Northern Cardinal 63.8%

Carolina Wren 53.6%

Mourning Dove 46.1%

Eastern Towhee 37.4%

American Robin 35.9%

American Goldfinch 29.6%

House Finch 27.1%

Chipping Sparrow 25.0%

Brown Thrasher 21.2%

Great Crested Flycatcher 20.1%

Brown-headed Cowbird 19.0%

Song Sparrow 18.5%

Common Yellowthroat 18.1%

Eastern Phoebe 16.5%

Wood Thrush 11.7%

Cedar Waxwing 8.1%

House Wren 7.8%

House Sparrow 7.0%

Northern Flicker 6.9%

Field Sparrow 6.7%

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2.9%

Louisiana Waterthrush 2.7%

Swainson’s Thrush 1.7%

White-throated Sparrow 1.5%

Northern Waterthrush 1.1%

Pine Siskin 1.0%

Winter Wren 1.0%

Hermit Thrush 0.8%

Brown Creeper 0.6%

Marsh Wren 0.4%

Savannah Sparrow 0.4%

Swamp Sparrow 0.3%

White-crowned Sparrow 0.1%

Purple Finch 0.1%

Bewick’s Wren <0.1%

Brown Birds in North Carolina in winter:

Northern Cardinal 57.2%

Carolina Wren 51.6%

Mourning Dove 37.9%

White-throated Sparrow 35.7%

Song Sparrow 32.2%

American Robin 30.6%

House Finch 29.6%

American Goldfinch 28.0%

Eastern Towhee 25.7%

Northern Flicker 16.0%

Chipping Sparrow 14.3%

Eastern Phoebe 13.6%

Brown Thrasher 11.5%

Hermit Thrush 8.9%

Pine Siskin 7.0%

Swamp Sparrow 6.6%

House Sparrow 5.9%

Field Sparrow 5.7%

Cedar Waxwing 5.5%

Savannah Sparrow 4.3%

Brown Creeper 4.2%

Purple Finch 4.2%

Winter Wren 4.0%

Brown-headed Cowbird 3.9%

House Wren 1.9%

Marsh Wren 0.9%

Common Yellowthroat 0.9%

White-crowned Sparrow 0.8%

Golden-crowned Sparrow 0.1%

Swainson’s Thrush <0.1%

Rose-breasted Grosbeak <0.1%

American Tree Sparrow <0.1%

Northern Waterthrush <0.1%

Louisiana Waterthrush <0.1%

Wood Thrush <0.1%

Bewick’s Wren <0.1%

Spotted Towhee <0.1%

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