27 Awesome Backyard Birds of Alabama To Watch

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Backyard Birds of Alabama

Many bird watchers and nature lovers enjoy watching the diverse array of birds that visit their backyards and bird feeders. If you want to see which backyard birds of Alabama come to your area, this article is for you.

We have compiled a list of 27 of the most common backyard birds of Alabama that we found by surveying Alabama residents and utilizing data from ebird databases. We hope, by reading this article, you will identify some new species and find out which ones live near you!

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Backyard Birds in Alabama

According to the latest data from ebird there are 454 documented species of Birds in Alabama. This data comes from over 270,000 checklists from 11,000 avid birdwatchers.

Trying to identify and see all 454 may be quite an exciting challenge. We have chosen to focus on the birds you are more likely to see in your home, backyard, or feeders.

Here are some things to know about Backyard Birds in Alabama:

What are the Most Common Backyard Birds in Alabama

  1. Northern Cardinal
  2. House Finch
  3. Carolina Chickadee
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Carolina Wren
  6. Tufted Titmouse
  7. American Goldfinch
  8. Northern Mockingbird
  9. Pine Siskin
  10. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  11. Downy Woodpecker
  12. American Robin
  13. Purple Finch
  14. Dark-eyed Junco
  15. Blue Jay
  16. Eastern Bluebird
  17. White-throated Sparrow
  18. Chipping Sparrow
  19. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  20. Brown Thrasher
  21. Eastern Towhee
  22. Brown-headed Cowbird
  23. Pine Warbler
  24. White-breasted Nuthatch
  25. Red-winged Blackbird
  26. American Crow
  27. Eastern Phoebe

Top 5 Hotspots for Birdwatching in Alabama

  1. Fort Morgan State Historic Site
  2. Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area
  3. Dauphin Island, Shell Mound Park
  4. Dauphin Island, Audubon Bird Sanctuary
  5. Blakely Island

27 Backyard Birds of Alabama

The list below is determined by the number of bird watchers in Alabama who have seen a species visiting their feeder at least once, divided by the number of bird feeder sites in the state.

1.Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is the most common Backyard Bird of Alabama

The Northern Cardinal is a common species of bird found in the United States.

Northern Cardinals are small songbirds, with males and females generally weighing less between 42 – 48g (1.5 – 1.7 oz), and are 21-23cm (8.3-9.1 inches) long.

The Northern Cardinal is the most common bird of Alabama and can be seen all year round in the State.

Northern cardinals have a distinctive crest on their head that can be raised when they feel threatened or aggressive; however, this behavior is not often observed in wild populations and has been lost to captive ones.

The Northern Cardinal’s feathers range from bright red in males to brownish orange in females, and their bills are short but wide at the base – giving them an upturned appearance, making them easy to identify.

Northern Cardinals have a varied diet that consists of fruits, seeds, berries, and insects and are very common at most bird feeders but prefer to eat seeds such as sunflower, safflower, and cracker corn from the ground.

Feeder Type for Northern Cardinals

  • Large Tube feeder
  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Northern Cardinals

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Millet
  • Milo

2. House Finch

The House Finch is one of the most common backyard birds of Alabama

The House Finch is a small bird found in most of North America, including parts of the United States and Canada.

The males are known for their bright red heads and breast with brown wings, tails, and back.

These birds are very common birds of Alabama and can be seen in the state all year round.

House Finches are 12-15cm (5.1-5.5 inches) long and weigh between 16-27g (0.6-0.9oz).

They have short wings that allow for a quick flight, and their beaks are stubby and slightly curved on top with a long flat head.

Their preferred habitat is open, grassy areas with some trees – often near farmlands. They will also be found around towns and suburbs to find food quickly on the ground, such as birdseed spilled from backyard bird feeders (or even at pet food bowls left out for our furry friends).

They are ground forages whose preferred diet consists primarily of seeds, buds, and fruit. They are common at backyard bird feeders and will often feed in large numbers, especially when black oil sunflowers seeds are present in your feeders.

Feeder Type for House Finches

  • Large & Small Tube Feeder
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food for House Finches

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Nyjer

3. Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina Chickadee is the smallest feeder bird in Alabama

The Carolina Chickadee is a small species found throughout the Eastern and Central parts of North America.

The third most common backyard bird of Alabama, the Carolina Chickadee can be seen all year round in the State.

Carolina Chickadees are only about 11cm (about four inches) long and weigh between 8-12g (0.3-0.4oz).

They have gray-white feathers with a distinct dark cap on their head and dark throat with white cheeks and gray bill, giving them the “chickadee” appearance from where they get their name.

Carolina Chickadees are omnivorous birds that eat both insects and seeds – making them widespread backyard visitors. They prefer feeding on seeds and sunflower seed mixes from bird feeders but will also eat suet in wintertime.

Their preferred habitat is deciduous or mixed woods with large trees for roosting and nesting.

Feeder Type for Carolina Chickadees

  • Large & Small Tube Feeder
  • Suet Cage
  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food for Carolina Chickadees

  • Black Oil & Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Nyjer
  • Suet
  • Peanuts & Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms

4. Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is one of many Birds of Alabama that can be seen in backyards all year round.

The Mourning Dove is a common species of bird found throughout North America and can be seen in Alabama all year round.

They are about the size of an American Robin, with adults weighing between 96 – 170g (3.3 to 6 oz) for males and 86-156g (3-5.5oz) for females.

Mourning Doves have grayish-brown feathers, and their heads are pale grey; however, they lack crests or head adornments.

Mourning Doves are ground foragers meaning that they eat seeds, grains, and other vegetation found on the ground. They have a varied diet but prefer to eat weed seeds such as dandelions or grasses in open fields rather than forest floors.

Mourning doves also drink water from puddles created by rain which they find near trees and shrubs.

Mourning Doves are known to visit birds feeders and can often be seen eating bird seed that has been spilled onto the ground by other birds.

Feeder Type for Mourning Doves

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Mourning Doves

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Nyjer
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Millet & Milo
  • Oats

5. Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren is a very common backyard bird of Alabama that can be seen all year round.

The Carolina Wren is a common bird species in the southeastern part of North America. They are common in backyards all across Alabama and can be seen all year round.

They have rusty-brown feathers with white spots on their tails and wings, with lighter brown-orange chest and belly, and a bold white line above the eye, making them very easy to identify from other birds.

Carolina Wrens are small backyard birds typically between 12 – 14cm (4.7-5.5 inches) long and weigh between 18-22g (0.6-0.8oz), with males slightly larger than females.

Carolina Wrens spend most of their time in thick vegetation such as underbrush or shrubs, looking for insects and spiders to eat – making it easy to see when they fly out from their hiding place.

They are the only wren that will visit backyard bird feeders regularly and typically prefer suet feeders.

Feeder Type for Carolina Wrens

  • Large Tube feeder
  • Suet Cage
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Carolina Wrens

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms

6. Tufted Titmouse

The Tufted Titmouse is one of the smaller backyard birds of Alabama and can be seen all year round.

The Tufted Titmouse is a small species of bird that can be found throughout much of the Eastern half of North America.

They are one of the smaller backyard birds of Alabama and can be seen all year round in the State. They are gray above and white below with a crested head and small black forehead.

Tufted Titmice are only about 14 – 16cm (5.5-6.3 inches) long and weigh around 18-26g (0.6-0.9oz).

Tufted Titmice are sociable birds found in pairs or groups living in deciduous woods, towns, wooded suburbs, and parks. They are omnivorous with a diet that consists mainly of insects and some seeds and berries.

Although they prefer to glean foliage for their preferred food, Tufted Titmice will readily visit bird feeders searching for sunflower seeds, peanuts or suet.

Feeder Type for Tufted Titmouse

  • Large & Small Tube Feeder
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Suet Cage
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food for Tufted Titmouse

  • Black Oil and Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Nyjer
  • Suet
  • Peanuts & Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms

7. American Goldfinch

A tiny bird of Alabama, the American Goldfinch can be seen in the State most of the year.

The American Goldfinch is a common species of bird found throughout North America. These tiny birds can be seen all year round in northern Alabama and during winter in the southern part of Alabama.

Breeding adult males have a bright yellow color on their heads and rump with a black cap and black-tipped wings, making them easy to identify from other birds.

Winter adult males are tan above and pale gray below with a yellow face and throat.

Breeding adult females are olive-brown above and yellow below, and winter adult females are generally grey overall.

They are small songbirds that are 11-13cm (4.3-5.1 inches) long and weigh between 11 – 20g (0.4-0.70 oz), with males being slightly larger than females.

They mainly eat seeds from wild sunflowers, composite flowers or thistles, and very few insects.

American Goldfinches are frequent visitors of backyard bird feeders – making them easy to spot around the yard. They prefer hulled sunflower and nyjer seeds.

Feeder Type for Goldfinches

  • Large & Small Tube feeder
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Goldfinches

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer

8. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird is one of the more common birds of Alabama

The Northern Mockingbird is a common species of bird found in the southern part of North America, including Mexico and some areas of Central America. They are year-round residents of Alabama.

They are very similar in size to American Robins and are between 21-26cm (8.3-10.2 inches) long and weigh between 45-58g (1.6-2oz).

Northern Mockingbirds are not migratory but instead stay in the same location year-round. They have grayish-brown feathers with black spots on their wings and tails; however, they also have white bellies, making them easy to recognize.

Northern Mockingbirds build open-cup nests that can be found high in trees or bushes.

They are primarily carnivorous, feeding mainly on insects during the summer months and switching to berries or fruit in autumn and winter.

They are a frequent visitor to backyards and prefer platform or suet feeders.

Feeder Type for Mockingbirds

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground
  • Suet Cage

Feeder Food for Mockingbirds

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Fruit
  • Mealworms

9. Pine Siskin

The Pine Siskin is one of the more common winter birds of Alabama

The Pine Siskin is a small finch with a sharply pointed bill and a short notched tail. They are widespread throughout North America and are common in Alabama during Winter.

Both males and females are about 11-14cm (4.3-5.5 inches) long and weigh between 12-18g (0.4-0.6oz).

Both males and females are brown, with dark streaking throughout their bodies. 

They are slightly darker above and paler below with two whitish-yellow wing bars. A yellow wing stripe can be seen during flight but is more difficult to see when perched.

They prefer open coniferous forests where they can forage in trees, looking for seeds among needles of the branches. Pine siskins are social birds and often travel in a few hundred birds flocks.

They are very active and can be seen hopping around on the ground or flying quickly from tree to tree.

Pine siskins eat seeds almost exclusively but will take insects or larvae when available if seeds are not readily accessible.

They are also frequent visitors to backyard bird feeders that offer sunflower seeds, or nyjer seeds.

Feeder Type for Pine Siskins

  • Large & Small Tube Feeder
  • Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Pine Siskins

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer

10. Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied woodpecker is a common backyard bird of Alabama and can be seen all year round

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a long, chisel-like bill. They are found in eastern and southern United States and parts of Mexico and Central America. They can be seen all year round in Alabama.

Males and Females are about 24cm (9.4 inches) long and weigh around 56-91g (2-3.2oz). Red-bellied Woodpeckers have black-and-white stripes above and a paler below.

The male has red from its bill to its nape, while the female only has a red nape. Red bellies can be seen during flight but are more challenging to see when perched.

They live in various habitats, including woodlands, bottomland forests, swamps, riversides, and parks. They are most commonly found near water to find insects to eat. 

They will seldom peck at the wood of trees to find food but instead will forage for insects whenever the opportunity presents itself. They also feed on nuts, fruits, and seeds and store their food in bark crevices.

Red-bellied woodpeckers also visit backyard bird feeders that offer suet, sunflowers seeds, or peanuts mixed with birdseed.

While at backyard feeders, they are bullish birds and will often dominate other smaller birds and their cousins (Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers).

Feeder Type for Red-bellied Woodpeckers

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Nectar Feeder
  • Suet Cage

Feeder Food for Red-bellied Woodpeckers

  • Black Oil & Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Suet
  • Cracker corn
  • Peanuts & Peanut Hearts
  • Sugar Water
  • Fruit
  • Mealworms

11. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker bird in Alabama.

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America and can be seen in Alabama all year round.

They are smaller than most woodpeckers at about 14-17cm (5.5-6.7 inches) long and have a petite-looking bill compared to their other woodpecker relatives.

Downy Woodpeckers weigh between 21-28g (0.7-1oz) and have a black back and white stripe down the middle.

They are white below, and their wings have a checkered black and white detailing them. The males have a red patch at the back of the head, and females have a black head.

Their beaks are short, solid, and pointed at the end, which they use to chisel wood for excavation or peck at the bark to find food underneath.

Their preferred habitat is wooded areas with plenty of trees near rivers, ponds, or wetlands, and even urban areas with a mix of grasslands, shrubs, and woodlands.

They are acrobatic foragers whose main diet consists of insects it can glean and probe from trees.

They will also eat seeds, berries, or fruit when needed and are more common at bird feeders than their larger relatives. They prefer suet feeders and enjoy black oil sunflowers seeds, peanuts, peanut butter, seeds, and millet.

Feeder Type for Downy Woodpeckers

  • Suet Cage
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food for Downy Woodpeckers

  • Black Oil & Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Suet
  • Peanuts & Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms

12. American Robin

American Robin is one of the most common birds of Alabama

The American Robin is a common species of bird found throughout North America, and can be seen in Alabama all year round.

Adults are between 20-28cm (7.9-11 inches) long and generally weigh between 77-85g (2.7-3oz).

American Robins have a distinctive orange chest with black spots; however, their backs’ feathers are brownish gray. Their beaks are tiny but comprehensive at the base, giving them a very distinct appearance.

The American Robin is known to poke around in leaf litter, looking for insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, and earthworms to eat in the summer months. They prefer berries or fruit during the autumn and winter months.

They are also known for being very friendly birds found at most bird feeders and prefer feeders that offer live mealworms.

Feeder Type for Robins

  • Platform feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Robins

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Fruit
  • Mealworms

13. Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is a common winter bird of Alabama

The Purple Finch is a small finch about the same size as a house finch but with a chunkier appearance. They are found mainly in the eastern half of the North American continent, and can be seen in Alabama during the winter months.

They have short notched tails and a robust conical bill, perfect for cracking seeds.

Males and Females are about 12-16cm (4.7-6.3 inches) long and weigh between 18-32g (0.6-1.1oz). Contrary to the name, Purple Finches are not really purple.

The males have a raspberry-colored head, breast, and rump, with their wings and back having a pinky tinge. The females have no red and a patterned head and are more brown and white above and streaked below.

They live in coniferous forests, woodlands, gardens, and parks. They primarily forage on the ground or in trees for seeds, buds, fruit, and some insects and spiders.

They are also common at backyard bird feeders that offer sunflower seeds, thistle, or nyjer seed during the winter.

Feeder Type for Purple Finches

  • Large & Small Tube Feeder
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food for Purple Finches

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer
  • Millet

14. Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-Eyed Juncos are found in the Northern Hemisphere from Alaska to Newfoundland, and can be seen in Alabama during the winter months.

Males and Females are about 14-16cm (5.5-6.3 inches) long and weigh between 18-30g (0.6-1.1oz). They are medium-sized birds with a round heads, short conical bills, and long tails.

The Dark-Eyed Junco varies in color depending on what region you are in but are mainly dark gray or brown with a light/pale pink bill and white outer tail feathers that are noticeable in flight.

The three most common sub-types and colors are:

  • Slate-colored Junco – Alaska, and East of the Rocky Mountains
  • Oregon Junco – Northern Rockies and Farther West
  • Gray-headed Junco – Southern Rockies

They live in coniferous forests, woodlands, scrubland, and tundra across the United States and Canada. You are more likely to find them in open areas like backyards, fields, and parks in winter.

They are ground foragers and eat insects, seeds, and berries. They eat mostly insects in the spring and summer and seeds and berries in the fall and winter.

They are also expected at backyard bird feeders in the winter, especially ones that offer sunflower seeds, millet, or cracked corn.

Feeder Type for Dark-eyed Juncos

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Dark-eyed Juncos

  • Black Oil Sunflower seed
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Nyjer
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Millet & Milo
  • Oats

15. Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is a common backyard bird in Alabama

The Blue Jay is a common species of bird found throughout North America, and one of the more familiar birds of Alabama. They can be found in the state all year round.

They have very distinctive bright blue feathers on the top with white spots and gray-white color below, making them easy to identify from other birds.

Blue Jays range in size depending on the subspecies but are 26-30cm (9.8-11.8 inches) and generally weigh between 70 – 100g (2.5-3.5oz). They have a very short neck and bill with a thick blue crest on their head.

Blue Jays are loud, boisterous birds that will eat almost anything they can find – making them one of the most common backyard visitors.

They are widespread at backyard bird feeders and will typically dominate smaller birds that visit simultaneously. They love sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and whole peanuts.

Feeder Type for Blue Jays

  • Large Tube feeder
  • Suet Cage
  • Large Hopper
  • Platform feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Blue Jays

  • Hulled & Black oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Suet
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanuts & Peanut Hearts
  • Fruit
  • Mealworms

16. Eastern Bluebird

Birds of Alabama: Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird is a small thrush that is common throughout the eastern half of North America and can be seen in Alabama all year round.

They are about 16-21cm (6.3-8.3 inches) long and weigh only 28-32g (1-1.1oz).

Their preferred habitat is an open area such as pasture or farmland with short grasses and some trees.

The males are known for their beautiful blue feathers above and a rusty reddish-brown throat and breast. Females are gray above with blue wings and blue tail and a more orange-brown breast.

Their preferred diet consists mainly of insects and other small invertebrates that they find by probing the ground. They may also eat some small fruits in winter, but insects make up many of their diets.

They are very social birds, often found in pairs or flocks – especially during migration to warmer climates for wintertime.

Eastern Bluebirds will occasionally visit bird feeders when mealworms are offered.

Feeder Type for Bluebirds

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Bluebirds

  • Mealworms
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Fruit
  • Suet

17. White-throated Sparrow

Birds of Alabama: White-throated Sparrow

The White-Throated Sparrow is a medium-large sparrow with a round head, long legs, and long tail that lives primarily in the eastern half of the United States, and can be seen in Alabama during the winter months.

Males and Females are about 16-18cm (6.3-7.1 inches) long and weigh between 22-32g (0.8-1.1oz).

Both sexes are brown above and gray below with a black and white striped head and a yellow spot above the eye and bill.

Another morph is tan striped instead of black and white striped. Both morphs have a strongly outlined white throat.

They live in brushy woodlands, forest edges, wooded urban areas, parks, and gardens across the Eastern United States. Most often seen in backyards during the winter months.

They are ground foragers that often flock together to eat insects in summer and seeds and berries the rest of the year.

They are common backyard birds that will visit feeders in the winter, especially ones that offer seeds scattered on the ground or a platform feeder.

Feeder Type for White-throated Sparrows

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for White-throated Sparrows

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Cracker Corn
  • Millet
  • Milo

18. Chipping Sparrow

Bird of Alabama: Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are ubiquitous sparrows that are found throughout North America, and can generally be seen in Alabama all year round.

They are slender, long-tailed birds with gray faces, chestnut heads, and a white belly. They have a black line through the eye back and wings, where they get the name ‘chips sparrow.’

Their beaks are short but thick at the end for catching insects and eating seeds from grasses or trees.

They are about 12-15cm (4.7-5.9 inches) long, weigh between 11-16g (0.4-0.6oz.), and have relatively short wings that allow for quick travel through thick vegetation or high into the trees where they will find their nests on a thin branch close to the trunk of a tree.

Their preferred habitat is open woodland, forest edges, and clearings. It will also be found in parks and residential areas.

Chipping Sparrows eat insects they can glean from the ground, vegetation, or the air in summer months and forage for seeds in wild grasses and weeds in the fall and winter months.

They are frequent visitors at bird feeders and prefer to eat seeds such as black oil sunflower seeds, millet, or cracked corn from a platform feeder or the ground. You will often see them in small flocks around your feeders.

Feeder Type for Chipping Sparrows

  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Chipping Sparrows

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer
  • Cracked Corn
  • Millet

19. Yellow-rumped Warbler

Backyard birds of Alabama: Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers are small songbirds that can be seen in Alabama during the winter months.

They are light gray with flashes of white in their wings. They have a yellow patch under their chin and yellow sides.

Females’ colors are duller than the males, and winter plumage for both is a pale brown.

They are about 12-14cm (4.7-5.5 inches) long, weigh between 12-13g (0.4-0.5oz) and have long wings that allow for quick travel in thick vegetation or high into the trees where they will find their nests on a thin branch close to the trunk of a tree.

Their beaks are short, solid, and pointed at the end, which they use to catch insects.

The Yellow-rumped Warbler prefers coniferous and mixed woodland habitats that provide plenty of shrubs, underbrush, and leafy trees for protection. They can also be found in parks and residential areas in the fall and winter.

They are insectivores that will prey on many insects they can catch. They will also eat small fruits or berries from early fall to spring.

Feeder Type for Yellow-rumped Warblers

  • Large & Small Tube Feeders
  • Suet Cage
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Nectar Feeder

Feeder Food for Yellow-rumped Warblers

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Sugar Water
  • Fruit
  • Mealworms

20. Brown Thrasher

Backyard birds of Alabama: Brown Thrasher

The Brown Thrasher is a common species found in North America, and can be seen in Alabama all year round.

They are about the size of an American Robin, with both sexes weighing between 61 – 89g (2.1-3.1oz).

Brown thrashers have dark brown feathers above and a lighter white color with dark streaks below.

They have long tails that are usually about the same length as their bodies, and their wings have two white wing bars, which also aids in distinguishing them from other species of birds. They have a gray-brown face with yellow eyes.

Brown Thrashers have a varied diet but prefer to eat insects such as grasshoppers or beetles found under rocks, leaves, or logs in the summer and fruits, nuts (acorns), and seeds in the winter.

Brown thrashers are most commonly found in forests near open fields where they can forage for insects on the ground; however, you can find a brown thrasher hanging around a bird feeder in the backyard, especially if suet and seeds are offered.

Feeder Type for Brown Thrashers

  • Platform
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Brown Thrashers

  • Black oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled sunflower seeds
  • Suet
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanut Hearts

21. Eastern Towhee

Backyard Birds of Alabama: Eastern Towhee

The Eastern Towhee is a medium-sized sparrow that can be seen in Alabama all year round.

The Eastern Towhee is about 17-21cm (6.8-8.2 inches) long and weighs 32-52g (1.1-1.8oz) and resembles a thrasher with a long tail.

They can be found in deciduous, mixed, or coniferous forests throughout much of eastern North America and prefer a habitat in dense thickets near forest edges and clearings where leaf litter is abundant.

They vary in color depending on their region but are usually sooty black above with a reddish undertone and lighter white belly.

The females have the same pattern, but they have a brown color above instead of dark black. Males will also sing their very particular song often described as “drink your teeeeeea”.

The Eastern Towhee is a ground foraging omnivore that prefers a diet that consists of insects and other small invertebrates that they find on the foraging on the ground.

They may also be found eating some seeds and berries in winter if available, but insects make up a large portion of their diet during warmer months.

They are very secretive birds, difficult to spot as they prefer dense undergrowth or areas with thick shrubbery.

You can often see them flicking their tails up and down while feeding on the ground which is a particularly recognizable behavior if you know what you’re looking for.

Eastern Towhees will visit backyard bird feeders, especially platform feeders where seed is easily accessible.

Feeder Type for Eastern Towhees

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for Eastern Towhees

  • Black Oil & Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Millet
  • Milo

22. Brown-headed Cowbird

Backyard Birds of Alabama: Brown-headed Cowbird

These birds are found across North America and can be seen in Alabama all year round.

The Brown-headed cowbird is a small blackbird with a short tail and thick sharp-tipped beak.

The males range between 19-22cm (7.5-8.7 inches) long and weigh between 42-50g (1.5-1.8oz). The females range between 16-20cm (6.3-7.9 inches) long and weigh 42-50g (1.3-1.6oz).

The males have a glossy black body with a dark brown head, and the females are grayish-brown above and a paler color below.

Brown-headed Cowbirds prefer open areas with scattered trees like grasslands, pastures, meadows, marshes, or even agricultural fields.

The Brown-headed Cowbird is a brood parasite, which means that it doesn’t build a nest of its own, but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species. The host birds will then incubate and raise the cowbird chick as their own.

Cowbirds can be seen hopping around on the ground or flying low to the ground looking for food. They eat mainly seeds and grain but will also eat insects and spiders if given a chance.

Since they don’t build their own nests,  they will often be found close to humans in places like parks, golf courses, and even the backyard, which means they will often visit backyard bird feeders, especially if you use a  platform feeder or scatter seed on the ground.

Brown-Headed cowbirds can often be a nuisance, and some people even take their feeders down in the spring or summer if they see too many cowbirds visiting.

Feeder Type for Cowbirds

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground Feeding

Feeder Food for Cowbirds

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Milo

23. Pine Warbler

Birds of Alabama: Pine Warbler

Pine Warblers are found in the eastern United States, and are a common backyard bird of Alabama all year round.

As the name suggests, they prefer to live in pine forests, mainly along the edges of open fields, but can also be found in residential areas with similar deciduous woods.

Pine Warblers are heavy warblers with stout bills that are yellow with an olive-green back, gray-white bellies, and two white wing bars. Males and females look alike, but young warblers are a bit duller in coloration than adults.

Pine Warblers are insectivores that eat insects they catch or glean from vegetation like leaves or bark or even find on the ground when seeds aren’t around. They will supplement with berries and seeds in winter.

They will often visit bird feeders in the winter, especially if suet is offered in an elevated feeder. They will also eat millet, peanut hearts, sunflower seed, and cracked corn if presented.

Feeder Type for Pine Warblers

  • Large & Small Tube feeder
  • Suet Cage
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food for Pine Warblers

  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms
  • Millet

24. White-Breasted nuthatch

Backyard Birds of Alabama: White-breasted Nuthatch

The White-breasted Nuthatch is an exciting species to observe and can be found from southern Canada down into South America. They can be seen in Northern Alabama all year round.

They have a distinctive appearance with blue-gray feathers on their back and a white face with a darker “hood” that runs from the top of their beak to the back, making them easily identifiable from other birds.

White-breasted Nuthatches are about 13-14cm (5.1-5.5 inches) in length and weighing between 18-30g (0.6-1.1oz). They have short tails with a thick dark bill.

White-breasted Nuthatches are very energetic birds that spend most of their time climbing trees and searching for food in the bark.

They mainly eat insects they can glean from bark and foliage but will also eat seeds in winter.

They are known to visit backyard bird feeders and prefer suet feeders, shelled peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

Feeder Type for White-breasted Nuthatches

  • Large & Small Tube Feeder
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Suet Cage
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food for White-breasted Nuthatches

  • Black Oil and Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Suet
  • Peanuts & Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms

25. Red-winged blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird is one of the common backyards birds of Alabama seen all year round

Red-winged Blackbirds are found in abundance in North America and Central America, and are a common backyard bird of Alabama all year round.

Males and Females are about 17-23cm (6.7-9.1 inches) long and weigh between 32-77g (1.1-2.7oz). They are a stocky bird with short tails.

Males are all black with red shoulder patches tipped with a golden yellow color.

Females have mostly dark brown plumage above, are heavily streaked below, and have some orange coloration on their face and throat.

They live in open habitats such as wetlands, marshes, prairies, meadows, pastures, agricultural fields, and suburban parks. They nest in marshes, wet prairies, and hayfields across the Northern half of North America from Alaska to Newfoundland.

They eat insects, seeds, and berries primarily during nesting or feeding their young and grain in the winter. Red-winged blackbirds gather in large flocks during the winter.

They will often visit bird feeders that offer mixed seeds and grains and prefer to feed on the ground.

Feeder Type for Red-winged Blackbirds

  • Ground feeding
  • Large Tube Feeder
  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food for Red-winged Blackbirds

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Milo

26. American Crow

The American Crow is a large bird found throughout most of North America and is a year-round resident of Alabama.

American Crows are large at about 40-53cm (115.8-21 inches) long and weigh between 316-620g (11.2-22oz). They are black all over, including their legs, feet, bill, and eyes.

They have a very distinct, short tail with broad wings that allow for a quick flight. They are known to be brilliant birds – able to use tools to obtain the food they otherwise couldn’t reach.

Their preferred habitat is open areas such as pastures with some trees – either deciduous or coniferous to roost at night when they sleep. They will often be found in urban areas where food is plentiful – for example, at dumpsters behind supermarkets or garbage bins.

They are omnivores and very opportunistic and will eat small mammals, insects, and amphibians but may also be found eating fruits or grain in the wintertime when other food sources are scarce.

We have even personally seen crows stealing chicks from other nests and flying away to eat them.

Not your typical visitor to backyard bird feeders but may hang around yards that offer a compost heap, easy access to garbage, or pet food lying around.

Feeder Type for American Crows

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food for American Crows

  • Black Oil & Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Cracker Corn
  • Peanuts & Peanut Hearts
  • Fruit
  • Millet & Milo
  • Oats

27. Eastern Phoebe

The Eastern Phoebe is a small plump songbird found primarily in the eastern half of North and Central America. They can be seen throughout most of Alabama all year round and in southwest Alabama during the winter.

They are about 14-17cm (5.5-6.7 inches) long and weigh between 16-21g (0.6-0.7oz). Their beaks are short, thin, and slightly decurved at the end and have short wings that allow easy travel through thick brush or up into trees to find their nests above ground level.

They are brownish-gray above and whites below with slightly darker wings

The plumage on their heads has a dark cap which they sometimes raise into a peak.

The males are darker than females, but both sexes have similar coloration in their plumage – they only differ by the slight thickness of the bill, which is thicker in the male.

Eastern Phoebes prefer open habitats such as parks, yards, and woodlands – often nesting on human structures like bridges or buildings that provide protection. They will also be found around farmlands to find insects to prey on.

They are insectivores that prey on flying insects such as wasps and bees. They will also eat small fruits from early fall to spring.

Feeder Type for Eastern Phoebe’s

  • Large and Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Large and Small Tube Feeder

Feeder Food for Eastern Phoebe’s

  • Nyjer
  • Cracked Corn
  • Millet
  • Fruit

What Are The Most Common Backyard Birds all-year-round In Alabama

Below is a list of the year-round birds who winter in a different Alabama region:

  • Northern Cardinal
  • House Finch
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • American Goldfinch (Northern Alabama)
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • American Robin
  • Blue Jay
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Pine Warbler
  • White-breasted Nuthatch (Northern Alabama)
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • American Crow
  • Eastern Phoebe

What Are The Most Common Backyard Birds During Winter In Alabama

  1. American Goldfinch (Southern Alabama)
  2. Pine Siskin
  3. Purple Finch
  4. Dark-eyed Junco
  5. White-throated Sparrow
  6. Yellow-rumped Warblers
  7. Eastern Phoebe

Birds To Spot Beyond The Backyard In Colorado

When you decide to venture away from your home to do some birdwatching, these are some of the other birds to look out for:

  1. Passenger Pigeon
  2. American Coot
  3. Rusty Blackbird
  4. Ring-billed Gull
  5. Purple Martin
  6. Brown Pelican
  7. Chimney Swift
  8. Bank Swallow
  9. Tree Swallow
  10. Cattle Egret
  11. Northern Pintail
  12. Green-winged Teal
  13. Northern Shoveler
  14. Blue-winged Teal
  15. Royal Tern
  16. White Ibis
  17. Cliff Swallow
  18. Cedar Waxwing
  19. Great Egret
  20. Indigo Bunting
  21. Northern Gannet
  22. American Pipit
  23. Common Nighthawk
  24. Eastern Meadowlark
  25. Brewer’s Blackbird
  26. Common Goldeneye
  27. Palm Warbler
  28. Great Blue Heron
  29. Eastern Kingbird
  30. Horned Lark

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What birds are common in Alabama?

Some of the most common birds seen in Alabama include the Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Goldfinch, Northern Mockingbird, Pine Siskin, American Robin and Red-bellied Woodpecker.

What is the most common backyard bird seen in Alabama?

The most common backyard bird seen in Alabama is the Northern Cardinal.

What is the State Bird of Alabama?

The Alabama State bird is the Northern Flicker.

How many species of birds have been seen in Alabama?

To date, 454 species have been observed in Alabama.

What birds stay in Alabama for the winter?

Most birds in Alabama are year-round residents, but some typically spend their winter in another area of Alabama instead of flying out of state. The American Goldfinch is a year-round resident that moves to southern Alabama for its winters.

Other birds such as the Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, and White-throated Sparrow fly into the state to spend their winters in Alabama.

What birds of prey live in Alabama?

Common birds of prey in Alabama include the Bald Eagle, Cooper’s hawk, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, Barn Owls, and osprey.

Keep a watchful eye for the backyard birds of Alabama

There are so many types of birds that can be found in Alabama, and we have only scratched the surface with this list. We hope you take some time to go out and see these amazing creatures for yourself!

If you want to venture beyond your backyard, visit one of Alabama’s best hotspots for birdwatching. We would also love to hear about your favorite birdwatching spots or experiences in Alabama.

We would love to hear from you about your favorite bird watching spots or experiences in Alabama.

If you have questions about identifying more species or finding out which ones live near you, let us know! We would love to help identify new bird species for our readers.

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Author
I am an avid birdwatcher with a passion for learning all I can about these fantastic creatures. I love finding new species of birds in my backyard, neighborhood, or when I travel. I enjoy sharing everything I learn about how these creatures live their lives; feedback and experience is much appreciated!

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