Birdwatching 101 – 6 Birds You’ll Commonly See in North America
Out of the many hobbies that exist, birdwatching is not only satisfying but also educational. North America has some of the most amazing species of birds you’ll ever see. Some are more common than others, but they’re equally beautiful to observe.
So that’s why we decided to give you a birdwatching 101 article on the 6 most common birds in North America. With all that said, let’s start.
The red-winged blackbird is one of the most common birds on the entire North American continent. Male red-winged blackbirds are far more common than their female counterpart. They hunt for their partner, not that they can catch anything other than insects, and go out more. With a total population of over 190 million throughout North America, the red-winged blackbirds can easily adapt to any marsh, pond, or brushy field so long as they have access to water.
These birds are found in the southern areas of the continent, and states like Mississippi have the highest concentration of red-winged blackbirds.
There isn’t a bird with more personality than the Blue Jay. Birdwatchers admire this species because they’re quite challenging. This is all because Blue Jays are quite intelligent. They’re so smart that finding one can be a nightmare. Although they look stunning and amazing, they’re not complete show-offs. Many are curious about what does it means when you see a blue jay?
This species of birds are quite common in North America but their numbers are nowhere near the Red-Winged Blackbird. With a total population of only 13 million, successfully finding and observing a Blue Jay is a challenge for even the most veteran of birdwatchers.
The name gives away the fact that the American Goldfinch is native to the North American continent. Although they’re slightly more common than Blue Jays, with a total population of 24 million, many birdwatchers find them more interesting to observe.
Observing an American Goldfinch isn’t difficult nor challenging. What makes this species of birds so interesting is the way they act when they’re around one another. They have particularly interesting feeding habits. They can feed their partner or offspring’s from any position, even upside down. Their favorite choice of food is nyjer seed, which cannot be said about most species of birds.
American Goldfinches change their color depending on the season. In the summer, they have a golden yellow back in combination with black wings. During the winter, the golden yellow color shifts to a pale brown and sometimes even olive color. The only way to identify an American Goldfinch in the winter months is by observing the black wings, which stay the same.
The House Sparrow isn’t native to the North American continent. They are some of the earliest settlers of birds to arrive from Europe along with the Europeans when colonizing the new world. Nowadays, there are 82 million House Sparrows throughout North America, with the majority living in the US.
The origins of this species are quite interesting. The Europeans seem to love taking the House Sparrow wherever they go. Contrary to popular belief, this species originates from the Middle East. But it is their superior adaptability that makes it possible to live on so many continents. More so, they love being around humans, making them one of the most social birds.
Their favorite choice of food is grain, bread, and popcorn. Birdwatchers have no trouble observing this species as they can be found anywhere from lush forests to your local park.
In the US alone there are more than 180 million Mourning Doves. This species of birds are some of the most common in the world! The Dove comes in many colors. There are white Doves, Black Doves, Mourning Doves, etc. What separates the Mourning Dove from all other subspecies is its unique gray color with black dots. These dots are found on the wings and they also have a black bill. Their legs are pinkish-red and their eyes have a particularly unique shade of light blue around the edges.
The Mourning Dove loves black-oil sunflower, nyjer, cracked corn, and similar types of foods. Birdwatchers have no problem observing this species as it is quite adaptable to live among humans the same as the House Sparrow.
Yet another North American native on this list, the Black-Capped Chickadee can be found in the central parts of the continent.
Both US and Canada have an abundance of Black-Capped Chickadees, so much that the IUCN classifies this species as “least concern” when it comes to endangerment. Birdwatchers make this particular species their first one to observe whenever starting the hobby. Since they’re quite common, they are frequent guests that visit feeders. Some are so likable that they will eat from your hand.
To easily recognize a Black-Capped Chickadee, all you have to do is hear their distinctive call of “fee-bee” or “chickadee dee dee”. They’re quite small, similar to House Sparrows, and have a black bib with white cheeks. Their body color consists of gray, brown, and white shades.
If you’re looking to start a birdwatching hobby, these are the birds you’ll commonly see throughout North America. Thus, it would be smart to learn their habits and observe them before moving on to more challenging species.