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Do you ever look outside and see all the birds flitting around in the yard and wonder what they are? Oregon is home to dozens of unique bird species that can be found around nearly any birdfeeder throughout the state. Each bird is special in its own way. There are dozens of songbirds as well as beautiful red birds in Oregon, all waiting to be discovered.
Here is a comprehensive list of 27 of the most common backyard birds in Oregon for you to enjoy. The next great discovery could be perched in your yard right now.
The American crow is one of the most common birds in North America. It has a sleek black body and is known for its jarring caw sound. American crows are also one of the most intelligent birds in the area. They can be found everywhere, from the playground to empty rolling fields. If crows find a spot that they like, they will return every day. Keep your eyes and ears out, and you are sure to spot these common birds almost anywhere.
The American goldfinch is one of the most recognizable birds on this list. It is a small bright yellow bird with a big personality. The American goldfinch adores eating seeds. American goldfinches will flock to nearly any bird feeder that will offer them their favorite treat, sunflower seeds. Goldfinches won’t nest until summer, so if you want to attract some for nesting season, keep the seeds out during the hottest months.
The American robin is one of the most iconic birds in Oregon. These birds are easily recognizable by their red breasts. American robins love eating earthworms and can sometimes be seen pulling wriggling worms out of the ground in the early morning hours. Robins are common birds that often appear in people’s yards, much to their delight.
Anna’s hummingbird is one of the only hummingbirds that can be spotted in Oregon year-round. These tiny, brightly colored birds love flowering currants and can be attracted by installing hummingbird feeders in your yard. These birds are distinctive for their bright pink heads and soft green bodies. When you spot them, they look like something out of a tropical resort rather than a soggy Oregon day.
Barn swallows get their name from the fact that they like to nest primarily in human-made barns. These birds can be identified by their long, forked tails and the way that they fly extremely close to the ground in search of bugs and fish. The barn swallow is one of the most common birds in the world, they can be found all over North America and South America, so there is a good chance they can be found in your yard as well.
Bewick’s wren is one of the most musical birds on this list and a staple of Oregon songbirds. These wrens trill, peep, whistle, and hoot their way to finding mates and alerting each other to nearby danger. Bewick’s wrens are common throughout the American west, but they are most likely to be spotted in the dense urban areas along Oregon’s Pacific coast.
Black-capped chickadees are some of the most adorable and recognizable Oregon songbirds. These small fluffy birds travel in large flocks and give off a very recognizable song. They have a high-pitched whistling call that sounds like their name chick-a-dee-dee. Chickadees are well adapted to urban environments, and they can be found in backyards across Oregon.
Black-headed grosbeaks are dashing songbirds that usher in the spring with their warbling cries. These birds have a dusty cinnamon color and love eating sunflower seeds. Their thick beaks are perfect for shucking seeds right out of the shells in record time. If you want to attract black-headed grosbeaks, be sure to stock your feeders with plenty of sunflower seeds.
California scrub-jays are unique birds with quirky personalities and a lot of intelligence. California scrub-jays love peanuts and acorns and will flock to areas where they can gather these nuts and hide them for later. Putting out peanuts will attract scrub-jays, and they will provide no end of entertainment as they fly around and hide their nuts around your property. Jays can be notorious thieves, and these birds will choose their hiding spots carefully to keep their haul away from other nosey jays.
Cedar waxwings are one of the most eye-catching birds on our list. Cedar waxwings are gorgeous red birds in Oregon and immediately brighten up any yard that they appear in. Cedar waxwings love fruit and will often spend many hours in yards with natural fruit. If you love the colors of the cedar waxwing plant, some native fruit plants in your yard and these birds are sure to follow.
The dark-eyed junco is one of the most populous birds in the United States and is a common bird adorning Oregon yards. The dark-eyed junco can be distinguished by its dark head and bright white tail feathers. There are estimated to be over 630 million of these small birds in North America, so spotting one flitting around your bird feeder shouldn’t be too hard to do.
Despite its name, the European starling is one of the most common birds in North America. This European native was brought over to the United States in the 19th century, where it now thrives. The European starling is a common Oregon songbird, and they often flock to yards in large, noisy numbers. The European starling sports white spots in the winter and a glossy black covering in the summer.
The golden-crowned sparrow is a small bird that is recognized by the yellow spot on its head. It is a common sight in Oregon during the winter. However, these birds migrate north into Canada and Alaska during the summer. Their name is also connected to gold rush miners and settlers that poured into California and Alaska over the last couple of centuries. The fortune hunters found comfort in the presence of these sparrows in the loneliest places in western North America.
House finches are some of the most vibrant red birds in Oregon. These small finches get their bright red color from the food that they eat. The redder the house finch, the more attractive it will be to nearby mates. Female house finches appreciate the reddest males because it shows them that they are adept at foraging for food which will come in handy when feeding adorable finch babies in the future.
As the name suggests, the lesser goldfinch is a bright yellow bird that graces the western United States. These birds are sparser in Oregon than in other western states, but they can still be seen in suburban yards. Lesser goldfinches love bird baths and bird feeders, and if you have a safe setup, they will stop by when they are in the area. Keep an eye out for their bright yellow feathers.
The mourning dove is one of the most common birds in North America. They are known for their distinct mournful call that lends them their name. These birds look similar to pigeons and have orange rings around their eyes. Mourning doves fly quickly in straight lines and are often spotted on fence posts and overhead power lines. When you see these familiar birds, keep your ear out for their unique calls.
Northern flickers are technically a species of woodpecker, but you won’t often see them hanging on the sides of trees. These colorful birds forage for insects in the underbrush, where they snap up ants and beetles. They have blue and red heads with speckled breasts. If you want to attract some northern flickers to your yard, set up bird feeders with sunflower seeds and suet, and they will happily stop by for a snack.
The red-breasted nuthatch is a small bird known for its rust-colored belly. These birds are year round inhabitants of Oregon, and they grace the forests and mountains of the state. These songbirds have long beaks and short tails. Their beaks are used to break up soft bark in search of insects that they enjoy munching on during the day.
The red-winged blackbird is a classic American bird that can be found in Oregon. These birds have a very fine appearance that is best noted for the red wings. The red-winged blackbird is one of the most recognizable red birds in Oregon. These birds are common sights on local bird feeders and bring joy to those who recognize them. If you want to catch a glimpse of this iconic bird, check overhead power lines. They like to perch on the lines during the summer.
The ruby-crowned kinglet is a tiny, adorable bird noted for the small red spot on the crown of its head. These birds can be found all over Oregon throughout the year. They differentiate themselves from similar-looking chickadees by their frantic behavior. They are almost constantly moving and flicking their wings. They like to flit, fly and hop in bushes and trees around people’s houses.
The song sparrow is a common Oregon songbird that has a very distinctive call. Every song, sparrow starts their trill with the same three notes. Once you learn the sound of these birds, you will hear them often. Song sparrows are common sights in yards all across Oregon, and they are a welcome sight for people who enjoy melodic bird songs in the morning. These tiny birds are one of the most well-known brown birds in Oregon.
Spotted towhees are a type of sparrow known for their camouflage. Spotted towhees spend their days hopping around in the dead leaves that blanket the floors of Oregon’s forests. Their brown color helps them blend in, so they are hard to spot when they are in their natural habitat. If you have areas of your property coated in dead leaves, there is a good chance you have spotted towhees as well. These birds spend most of their mornings singing to attract friends and mates.
Steller’s jay is a bird that looks like a blue jay with a black head. These are a favorite species of backyard bird watchers who enjoy their stern appearance. You can attract Steller’s jays to your yard with suet and have the best chance of seeing them if you live in a wooded area. Steller’s jays like to live in dense forests and come out to eat suet from friendly people’s yards.
Swainson’s thrushes are tiny Oregon songbirds that fill the air with beautiful songs that sound like someone playing the flute. When they are not singing, they emit an adorable peeping sound. These birds are handsome but small, and they are much more likely to be seen than heard. There is a good chance you’ve heard the light song of the Swainson’s thrush in your yard at some point during the year.
The western meadowlark is the state bird of Oregon. This popular breed of meadowlark is one of the most recognizable Oregon songbirds. They live in open fields and in rural areas where their beautiful songs can be heard year-round. If you live in an area with open land and lots of grass, you will be able to spot meadowlarks flying through your area or hopping along the ground.
Western tanagers are one of the most striking red birds in Oregon. They have a color pallet reminiscent of a campfire with bright yellows, deep oranges, and bright reds. These birds come north to breed in Oregon, so they won’t be around throughout the year. If you spot one of these gorgeous birds, enjoy them before they migrate back south for the winter.
Western Wood-pewees are adorable Oregon songbirds with handsome crowns. Their song sounds like a version of their name pe-wee. They inhabit old forests with dead trees or areas that have recently burned. They are flycatchers, so they will sit in the trees and wait for bugs to drift by so that they can swoop in and eat them. These tiny birds often flock with other birds of a similar size and may appear in a group of chickadees in your yard.
Not all birds share a common diet. If you are trying to attract certain types of birds, look up what kinds of seeds they like to eat. A bird that likes sunflower seeds might not like suet and vice versa. Some birds like bugs. Other birds like birdbaths. Knowing what types of environments are likely to attract each type of bird will help you tailor your yard to attract your favorite flyers.
If you want to attract the most birds as possible, keep pests and predators away from your yard. The presence of cats, dogs, and aggressive squirrels can dissuade birds from stopping by. If a bird spots a predator like a cat, it will likely send out an alarm call which will warn nearby birds to stay away from your yard, which will decrease the likelihood of attracting the birds you want to see.
Bird watching can be a long slow hobby. Some birds are only in Oregon for certain seasons. Other birds are very small, shy, or rare. If, at first, you are not spotting the birds you were expecting, be patient and keep with it. Looking up the migration patterns of your favorite birds and what season they nest in can also help you narrow down when to keep your eyes open.
It is likely that over the course of a year, you can spot most, if not all, of these birds in your yard if you have a bird-friendly environment. Birds like to travel in groups, and having an area that birds know is safe and good to hang out in will increase the number of species that stop by. There are beautiful songbirds, colorful finches, and adorable chickadees waiting to be spotted.
Featured Image Credit By tdfugere, Pixabay
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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.
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