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33 Common Backyard Birds in Maryland (with Pictures)

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northern mockingbird

The state of Maryland is home to a wide variety of airborne creatures, and many of them can be seen right behind your house. Depending on where you live, some may be more common than others. Below is a list of 33 common backyard birds in Maryland and what makes them special. Save this page and come back to it once you’ve found a Maryland songbird or bird of prey that you think is interesting—maybe you’ll learn more about them!shutter camera divider 2

The 33 Most Common Backyard Birds in Maryland

1. American Robin

american robin perched on a tree trunk
Image Credit: tdfugere, Pixabay
Scientific name: Turdus migratorius
Family: Turdidae
Endangerment: Stable

The classic American Robin is known as one of the most popular small birds in North America and resides in Maryland in both urban and rural environments year-round. They are omnivorous and enjoy feeding on sunflower seeds, various fruits, and worms.

Generally, their distinct orange belly contrasted with the rest of their black and gray body is an easy identification feature. Songs of the robin are also recognizable, as they chirp in an uplifting fashion. This is especially the case for males.

2. American Crow

american crow perching on a tree trunk
Image Credit: JackBulmer, Pixabay
Scientific name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
Family: Corvidae
Endangerment: Stable

Contrary to many of the other birds on this list, the American Crow has a singular black coat and can be found almost anywhere in the country through a variety of living areas. They mostly scavenge off dead animal carcasses or food scraps.

Some mistake the crow for the raven because of their similar color scheme. However, American Crows are much smaller and don’t have the same size beak.

3. Black-Capped Chickadee

black-capped chickadee perching on a branch
Image Credit: edbo23, Pixabay
Scientific name: Poecile atricapilluss
Family: Paridae
Endangerment: Stable

One of the most adorable birds you can see throughout the western part of Maryland is the Black-Capped Chickadee. They live here year-round, feeding on insects that crawl upon leaves in forests.

This species is also famous for its “chickadee-dee-dee” song when they feel endangered. Using a birdfeeder will likely attract them to your backyard since they’re reasonably tame around humans.

4. Northern Cardinal

male northern cardinal bird eating
Image Credit: Ami Parikh, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis
Family: Cardinalidae
Endangerment: Stable

The saturated, popping shades of red that Northern Cardinals exhibit is the kind that draws utmost attention among birdwatchers. Males have especially bold colors and have a consistent hue along with their bodies.

On the other hand, the females have only partially red areas and are otherwise a shade of yellow or brown. They feed on seeds while searching the forest floor and hide in bushes.

5. American Goldfinch

american goldfinch perching on metal bar
Image Credit: milesmoody, Pixabay
Scientific name: Spinus tristus
Family: Fringillidae
Endangerment: Stable

Similar to the Northern Cardinal, the American Goldfinch has striking colors, especially in breeding males. You can find them year-round in any part of Maryland. They love seeds, so attracting them should be fairly easy. In the woodlands, they do enjoy picking at leaves or branches to find small bugs that are feeding on greens. 

6. Blue Jay

blue jay bird perching on a branch of tree
Image Credit: Scottslm, Pixabay
Scientific name: Cyanocitta cristata
Family: Corvidae
Endangerment: Stable

Many people may not know this, but the Blue Jay is related to the American Crow. However, they generally are sought after for their beautiful blue tones and bright chirps. They’re a considerable size, though, so if you do have a feeder, make sure it’s sturdy enough.

Blue Jays can be found anywhere in the state during all seasons, and you’ll likely encounter them on forest trails foraging for food on the ground.

7. Downy Woodpecker

downy woodpecker bird perching on a tree
Image Credit: JackBulmer, Pixabay
Scientific name: Dryobates pubescens
Family: Picidae
Endangerment: Stable

As common woodpeckers across the United States, Downy Woodpeckers are known for their persistence in making their homes inside of trees or wooden objects so they can protect their young. It’s unlikely that they will come to your feeder unless you put some worms in there, as they’re more drawn to insects. Watch out, though, because they have been found to build their nests on the sides of residential homes. 

8. Baltimore Oriole

baltimore oriole
Image Credit: diapicard, Pixabay
Scientific name: Icterus galbula
Family: Icteridae
Endangerment: Stable

With a name that matches one of Maryland’s premier cities, the Baltimore Orioles are exceptionally unique with their orange and black colors. In this state, they breed and migrate to the south during winter. While they live here, they’re enticed by fruits or insects that can be found while foraging the forest branches.

9. Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker
Image Credit: Scottslm, Pixabay
Scientific name: Melanerpes carolinus
Family: Picidae
Endangerment: Stable

This species of woodpecker has a visible contour across its head that displays deep reds, oranges and pinks. The Red-Bellied Woodpecker can be found all around Maryland and can be heard making thudding or knocking noises while drilling away to make a cavity for their eggs. As most woodpeckers do, they primarily eat insects.

10. House Finch

house finch bird perching on a tree trunk
Image Credit: bryanhanson1956, Pixabay
Scientific name: Haemorhous mexicanus
Family: Fringillidae
Endangerment: Stable

As its name suggests, these birds live in residential areas with a lot of people around. Luckily, that makes it a whole lot easier to attract them to your home, and they’ll be quite content with basic birdseed. They can sometimes come in flocks, too, so you may have more company even if you only see a single one. Males have a distinct red color on their upper portion, whereas females look like typical brown birds in Maryland. 

11. White-Breasted Nuthatch

a white-breasted nuthatch bird on a tree trunk
Image Credit: JackBulmer, Pixabay
Scientific name: Sitta carolinensis
Family: Sittidae
Endangerment: Stable

This species of bird is a common sight across the nation, living through winters and into the spring. In Maryland, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them since they’re found pretty much everywhere and feed on insects, seeds, and nuts that they can finagle into tight spaces to store for later. The females tend to move downwards on tree trunks and have a lighter color on the top of their heads.

12. Common Grackle

common grackle bird on the ground
Image Credit: Bernell, Pixabay
Scientific name: Quiscalus quiscula
Family: Icteridae
Endangerment: Unstable

Common Grackles are not as common as they used to be—their population has decreased significantly, although their numbers are still high. Males exhibit a teal color on their heads, in addition to a multi-colored coat. They’re omnivorous and search the open ground for food. Unfortunately, they’ve been known to go through trash for a meal as well. 

13. Gray Catbird

gray catbirds nest
Image Credit: Paul Tessier, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Dumetella carolinensis
Family: Mimidae
Endangerment: Stable

In the east of Maryland, you can view the Gray Catbird year-round. In the western half of Maryland, this species only retains its space for breeding purposes and then migrates south for the cold season. In the open woodlands, they nest in bushes and gather insects from the ground. They mimic the calls of other bird species, which is an ability found more commonly with mockingbirds. 

14. Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird
Image Credit: Steve Byland, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Sialia sialis
Family: Turdidae
Endangerment: Stable

Incredible blue and orange colors are boasted by males to attract mates, and they may not be difficult to see since their habitat consists of wide-open grasslands. In Maryland, the area you will most often see a breeding pair is in the western region. If you do see Eastern Bluebirds here, they will likely be perched on the top of shrubs or small vegetation.  

15. Red-Winged Blackbird 

Red-winged Blackbird
Image Credit: Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
Family: Icteridae
Endangerment: Stable

Red-Winged Blackbirds look completely different depending on their sex. Females have a consistent brown and white pattern with a slightly reddish spot on the top of their wings. However, the males do follow their name more accurately, as they have a black body with deep red, orange, and yellow hues on the base of their wings. They also live in marshlands, so picking out those colors can be straightforward. 

16. Tufted Titmouse

a tufted titmouse bird on a tree trunk
Image Credit: JackBulmer, Pixabay
Scientific name: Baeolophus bicolor
Family: Paridae
Endangerment: Stable

Tufted Titmice are forest-dwellers that also prefer to eat insects that crawl on tree branches but will also eat your seeds in a feeder if you make it available to them. It’s recommended that you walk on trails or paths to find them since they hang out near the edges of wooded regions. They may bring nuts or hard food items up to the canopy to crack them with their bill.

17. Northern Mockingbird

northern mockingbird
Image Credit: Bishnu Sarangi, Pixabay
Scientific name: Mimus polyglottos
Family: Mimidae
Endangerment: Stable

It’s unlikely that you haven’t seen a gray mockingbird in your local area because they flourish in towns and main roads. They eat a variety of foods, such as fish, berries, insects, and seeds. Frequently they can be a nuisance to other birds because they’re highly protective of their boundaries. Northern Mockingbirds can be found state-wide.

18. Osprey

western osprey
Image Credit: Wang LiQiang, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Pandion haliaetus
Family: Pandionidae
Endangerment: Stable

If you live along the coast of Maryland, you’ll have the chance to witness this bird of prey roaming the skies in search of a fishy meal. Their nests are perched high in the trees, with a dense volume of branches and sticks to shield their eggs or babies. It’s an amazing sight to see them dive into the sea with their talons ready to strike. 

19. Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk
Image Credit: amberdawn1111, Pixabay
Scientific name: Accipiter cooperii
Family: Accipitridae
Endangerment: Stable

Cooper’s Hawks are large, determined carnivores that hunt rodents and smaller birds. That’s why you may want to be cautious when putting your feeder out for too long, as they may swoop in unknowingly to grasp them for dinner. They can be found in urban areas, too, but they mostly stick to the forests as their main territory.

20. Mourning Dove

a mourning dove bird on a birdhouse
Image Credit: GeorgiaLens, Pixabay
Scientific name: Zenaida macroura
Family: Columbidae
Endangerment: Stable

The recognizable songs of the Mourning Dove are heard throughout the country, where they often perch on telephone wires or branches. They primarily eat seeds on the woodland floors and nest in bushes and trees for protection. Their population is safe. However, they are hunted at an abundant rate across the nation. 

21. Song Sparrow

song sparrow bird on a tree trunk
Image Credit: JackBulmer, Pixabay
Scientific name: Melospiza melodia
Family: Passerellidae
Endangerment: Stable

The color pattern of Song Sparrows may vary depending on its location, but Maryland’s eastern dominion holds a brown, white, and reddish-toned version. They eat bugs on woodland floors and nest in low-lying shrubs. Males may perch with confidence in open spaces to communicate with other birds nearby.

22. Great-Horned Owl

close up of a great horned owl in winter
Image Credit: Wild0ne, Pixabay
Scientific name: Bubo virginianus
Family: Strigidae
Endangerment: Stable

Owls are amazingly elusive because they’re a nocturnal predator that watches over the forests. At night, they hunt their prey while moving their head in a circular motion to search for dinner. Mice, rats, squirrels, and other rodents are their favorite meal, but they may settle for other small animals if successful. You’ll be able to hear the Great-Horned Owl’s famous “hoot” during the night. 

23. Red-Tailed Hawk

a red-tailed hawk
Image Credit: sondinh2000, Pixabay
Scientific name: Buteo jamaicensis
Family: Accipitridae
Endangerment: Stable

Red-Tailed Hawks are the most common type of hawk in the country, soaring the skies with their eyes focused below. They search for small animals like frogs, rodents, or smaller critters to eat. You’ll find them in almost any location, especially near rivers or fishing spots where they can pursue their prey. Their nests are fairly large and are built on treetops or telephone poles with a mixture of branches and debris.

24. Dark-Eyed Junco

dark-eyed junco perched
Image Credit: JackBulmer, Pixabay
Scientific name: Junco hyemalis
Family: Passerellidae
Endangerment: Stable

Depending on where a Dark-Eyed Junco is located, there are variations in how these birds look. In the eastern US, Maryland residents will see the grayish-colored Junco with a black hood, whereas, in the western US, they have an orange body with a black hood. Unlike other birds on this list, this species nests on the forest floor, where it also forages for seeds.

25. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

a ruby-throated hummingbird on a feeder
Image Credit: GeorgiaLens, Pixabay
Scientific name: Archilochus colubris
Family: Trochilidae
Endangerment: Stable

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are some of the few red birds in Maryland and naturally have vibrant green and red colors on their body and neck area. If you want to attract them to your backyard, it’s best to use a special feeder that liquid can be poured into. Sugar water will work, or you can find specific hummingbird nectars for sale. Either way, hummingbirds have extraordinarily fast wings and can hover effortlessly. You’ll be able to see them in Maryland during their breeding season in the spring and summer months.

26. Indigo Bunting

indigo bunting in the middle of the garden
Image Credit: engalapag, Pixabay
Scientific name: Passerina cyanea
Family: Cardinalidae
Endangerment: Stable

As mentioned with the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, the Indigo Bunting is found in this state only during their breeding season. If you do manage to find them, they have brilliant blue feathers and a happy song. To go along with their majestic tones, they’ve garnered the nickname the “blue canary.” They are fond of insects and scrape leaves for bugs in forest canopies. 

27. Chipping Sparrow

chipping sparrow bird perching on metal bar
Image Credit: magaliiee13, Pixabay
Scientific name: Spizella passerina
Family: Passerellidae
Endangerment: Stable

This species of Sparrow is one that migrates to the central region of the United States but stays in almost the entire nation while breeding. They may live in towns or in the woods and have a quick, constant song that can be heard from afar. The Chipping Sparrow primarily feeds on seeds on the ground. 

28. Carolina Wren

carolina wren perched
Image Credit: GeorgiaLens, Pixabay
Scientific name: Thryothorus ludovicianus
Family: Troglodytidae
Endangerment: Stable

This year-round species can be found anywhere in Maryland, although the name suggests it originates from the Carolinas. Carolina Wrens are commonplace in the east and will even visit your feeder during the winter if you accommodate for it, although they do prefer bugs. Similar to a woodpecker, these wrens will live in small holes inside trees to stay warm and tough out the cold.

29. Tundra Swan

mute swan
Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay
Scientific name: Thryothorus ludovicianus
Family: Anatidae
Endangerment: Stable

Swans are known for their picturesque white feathers and long necks. The Tundra Swan is no different, being a large, floating bird that lives among marshes and ponds. For food, they poke their heads under the water’s surface and seek out certain brushes or plants that they can nibble on. Their migration length is what is so impressive, though, as they’re able to stay warm enough all the way up into the Arctic, where they breed. 

30. Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper
Image Credit: Canadian-Nature-Visions, Pixabay
Scientific name: Calidris minutilla
Family: Scolopacidae
Endangerment: Stable

On the shorelines and marshlands of Maryland, you won’t have a problem finding a Least Sandpiper, which is a miniature bird that uses its long legs to stay up on the sand. They love consuming crabs or other creatures that live close to the coast. They nest on the ground and migrate to this state during certain times of the year. 

31. Eastern Screech Owl

eastern screech owl sitting in a tree
Image Credit: MiniMe-70, Pixabay
Scientific name: Megascops asio
Family: Strigidae
Endangerment: Stable

If you hear some odd noises in the distance at night, it could most definitely be an Eastern Screech Owl. They’ve got distinct, pointy ears that jut out to the sides, and their colors blend perfectly into the tree cavities that they call home. As other owls do, these little birds hunt down mammals to eat and do so from dusk to dawn. 

32. Black Skimmer

black skimmer bird on the sand
Image By: 12019, Pixabay
Scientific name: Rynchops niger
Family: Laridae
Endangerment: Unstable

It’s not great to hear that this species’ population is in decline. This coastal critter is one that predominantly stays in South America. However, they come up to some scattered spots along the east coast for mating, and Maryland is luckily one of those few places. They scour the shorelines for fish, so if you can manage to find fishing spots, you may be able to see some during specific times of the day. 

33. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

rose-breasted grosbeak perched on the tree
Image By: simardfrancois, Pixabay
Scientific name: Pheucticus ludovicianus
Family: Cardinalidae
Endangerment: Stable

The last bird on this list is the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. This bird has different colorations for males and females. Males have a red, black, and white tone, while the females have a universal brown, yellow and white mix of shades. Only a small region of southern Maryland is home to their migratory territories, whereas the rest of the state is used as mating grounds. 

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After a huge selection of 33 common backyard birds in Maryland, you can pick out many that you like and take note of which may be available to watch in your area. Fortunately, most of them are plentiful, while others may be a bit rarer. We wish you good luck on your journey to view the coolest bird species, and remember to respect the wildlife to the best of your ability!

See also:

Featured image Credit By Steve Byland, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.