25 Brilliant Backyard Birds of Arizona to look out for

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Backyard Birds of Arizona

Arizona birds are synonymous with the desert and are some of the most exciting and unique birds in North America. The harsh sun and dry climate that Arizona birds live in make them so special. It’s no wonder that many people want to know what birds live in their backyard or visit their bird feeders.

Many birds call Arizona home, but this blog post will focus on the most common birds in the backyards and bird feeders throughout the state.

We have compiled a list of the 25 most common backyard birds of Arizona that we found by surveying Arizona residents and utilizing data from ebird and other citizen science databases. By reading this article, we hope you will identify some new species and find out which ones live near you!

Backyard Birds Of Arizona

According to the latest data from ebird, there are 559 documented species of Birds in Arizona. This data comes from over 1.3 million checklists from almost 32,000 avid birdwatchers. Trying to identify and see all 559 may be quite an exciting challenge, so we have chosen to focus on the birds you are more likely to see in your home, backyard, or bird feeders.

Here are some things to know about Backyard Birds of Arizona:

  • 559 documented species
  • The Mourning Dove is the most common backyard bird of Arizona
  • The House Finch is the most common feeder bird of Arizona
  • The Costa’s Hummingbird is the smallest feeder bird in Arizona
  • The Cooper’s Hawk is the largest backyard bird on this list
  • The Gila Woodpecker is the most common woodpecker in Arizona
  • The Cactus Wren is Arizona’s state bird

What are the Most common backyard birds in Arizona

  1. House Finch
  2. White-crowned Sparrow
  3. Mourning Dove
  4. Lesser Goldfinch
  5. Anna’s Hummingbird
  6. Gila Woodpecker
  7. Gambel’s Quail
  8. Curve-billed Thrasher
  9. House Sparrow
  10. Verdin
  11. Cooper’s Hawk
  12. Abert’s Towhee
  13. Cactus Wren
  14. Northern Cardinal
  15. Northern Mockingbird
  16. Dark-eyed Junco
  17. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  18. Pine Siskin
  19. White-winged Dove
  20. Costa’s Hummingbird
  21. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  22. Greater Roadrunner
  23. Northern Flicker
  24. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  25. Bewick’s Wren

Top 5 Hotspots For Birdwatching In Arizona

If you prefer to venture away from home to do birding, visit one of Arizona’s best hotspots for birdwatching. These hotspots are determined by the number of species observed by fellow birdwatchers in Arizona.

  1. Patagonia Lake State Park
  2. Riparian Preserve (Gilbert Water Ranch)
  3. Lake Cochise and Twin Lakes Golf Course
  4. Sweetwater Wetlands
  5. Whitewater Draw Wildlife area

Top 25 Backyard Birds of Arizona

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

1. House Finch

The House Finch is the most common bird in Arizona.

The House Finch is a small bird found in most of North America, including parts of the United States and Southern Canada. This finch is the most common bird of Arizona and can be seen all year round in the state.

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

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 mainly 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:

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

Feeder Food:

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

2. White-crowned Sparrow

Birds of Arizona: White-Crowned Sparrow

The White-crowned Sparrow is a medium-large-sized sparrow found throughout North America, and spend most of their time in Arizona during the winter months.

Males and Females are about 15-16cm (5.9-6.3 inches) long and weigh between 25-28g (0.9-1.0oz). They have relatively long tails and short pointed bills. Their bill can vary from pink to orange to yellow, depending on the subspecies and geographic location.

Their color is generally grayish-brown and has a distinctive bland and white striped crown.

They live in most open areas such as forest edges, scrublands, wetlands, marshes, farmlands, grasslands year-round in North America. They breed primarily in Canada during the summer and migrate south to the United States in winter.

White-crowned Sparrows eat mainly insects in the summer and seeds and berries the rest of the year.

They are common backyard birds that visit bird feeders if they offer cracked corn or millet. They prefer seeds scattered on the ground or a platform feeder.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

3. Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is a common Bird in Arizona

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

They are about the size of an American Robin, with adults between 23-34cm (9.1-13.4 inches) long and weighing between 86-170g (3-6oz). Mourning Doves have grayish-brown feathers, and their heads are pale gray; however, they lack crests or head adornments.

Mourning Doves prefer open habitats in rural and urban areas and weedy fields.

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.

They are frequent visitors to backyard bird feeders and typically eat seeds that have fallen on the ground or platform feeders.

Feeder Type:

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

4. Lesser Goldfinch

The Lesser goldfinch is one of the smallest birds in Arizona

The Lesser Goldfinch is a common species of songbird found in the western half of North and Central America. These birds of Arizona can be seen in the north during the summer months and in southern Arizona all year round.

Both males and females are 9-11cm (3.5-4.3 inches) long and weigh between 8-11.5g (0.3-0.4oz). They have stubby bills, long pointed wings, and short tails.

Male Lesser goldfinches are bright yellow below, black or green above (depending on location), white patches on their wings, and white corners on a black tail. Female Lesser Goldfinches are dull olive above and pale yellow below.

Lesser Goldfinches live in various habitats but prefer areas with budding trees and bushes. They are also seen in weedy residential areas, often in large groups.

The Lesser goldfinches mainly eat seeds, tree buds, berries, and sometimes insects. They prefer composite plants such as thistle and purple coneflower.

Lesser goldfinches are very common in backyards, and will visit bird feeders that offer a variety of seeds.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed
  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Nyjer

5. Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird is a tiny bird of Arizona

Anna’s Hummingbird is a common species of bird found in the far western region of the United States and Canada (British Columbia). They can be seen in the southern half of Arizona all year round.

They are about 10cm (4 inches) long and weigh between 3-6g (0.1-0.2oz). They are stockier than most hummingbirds and have a short, straight bill and broad tail.

Anna’s hummingbirds are metallic green above and grayish-white and green below. Males have rose-red coloring around their heads and throat, while females have a white throat with green and red spots.

They can be found in woodlands near streams or rivers, coastal scrubs, city parks, and yards.

Anna’s Hummingbirds feed mainly on nectar from flowers but will also eat insects, such as spiders, when the opportunity presents itself.

Anna’s Hummingbirds are common in backyards with flower gardens or hummingbird feeders.

Feeder Type:

  • Nectar Feeder

Feeder Food:

  • Sugar Water

6. Gila Woodpecker

Birds of Arizona: Gila Woodpecker

The Gila Woodpecker is found almost exclusively in Southern Arizona and Western Mexico. These birds of Arizona can be seen in the southern half of the state all year round.

Gila woodpeckers are about 22-24cm (8.7-9.4 inches) long and weigh around 51-79g (1.8-2.8oz). They are grayish-brown with black and white barring on their wings, back, and tail. Males have an unmistakable bright red patch on their heads.

Gila Woodpeckers live in desert woodland, cactus areas, and canyon woodlands.

Gila Woodpeckers are rarely found away from trees as they spend almost all of their time foraging for insects inside of trees. They are also known to eat berries and cactus fruits.

Gila Woodpeckers will visit backyard bird feeders regularly, especially if suet, nuts, or corn is on offer.

Feeder Type:

  • Large Tube Feeder
  • Platform Feeder
  • Suet Feeder

Feeder Food:

  • Suet
  • Peanuts and Peanut Hearts
  • Cracker Corn

7. Gambel’s Quail

The gambel's Quail is one of the larger birds in Arizona

Gambel’s Quail is a small species of Quail found in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. They can be seen in Arizona all year round.

They are about 25cm (9.8 inches) long and weigh around 160-200g (5.6-7oz). They are rather plump birds with short, broad wings, short necks, small bills, and squared tails. Both males and females have a topknot of black feathers on top of their heads that curve outward.

Both males and females have gray, rufous, and cream coloration patterns. Males have a reddish-brown crest, reddish-brown sides with white stripes, and a cream-colored belly with a black patch. Females are grayer than males and do not have the same colored head.

Gambel’s Quail are mostly terrestrial birds that live in desert scrubland, thickets, shrublands, and cacti. Gambel’s Quails are very social birds that travel in coveys of 12 or more individuals. They usually forage on the ground but will fly into trees when startled by predators – making them one of the few quail species that can fly.

Their diet consists of buds and shoots of desert plants, seeds, fruits, and insects.

They often frequent backyards and urban areas close to their desert habitat and visit feeders that have seeds or grain on the ground or at a platform feeder.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed
  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Cracked Corn
  • Millet
  • Milo

8. Curve-billed Thrasher

The curve-billed thrasher is a insectivorous bird of Arizona

The curve-billed Thrasher is a medium-sized bird found in the deserts of Southwestern United States, Southeast California, and Mexico. These birds of Arizona can be seen all year round in the southernmost part of the state that borders Mexico.

They are about 27-28cm (10.5-11 inches) long and weigh 61-93g (2.1-3.3oz). They have a long, curved bill, long tail, and thick, strong legs and feet that allow them to perch on spikey cacti.

They are a dull brownish-gray above and paler white below with spots and a white-tipped tail. They have orange-yellow eyes that stand out against their brownish-gray feathers.

Curve-billed Thrashers prefer living in desert areas with plenty of cacti, arid brushland, or suburban desert areas where cholla cactus grows.

Curve-billed Thrashers are agile insectivores that constantly forage for insects. They feed on the ground using their bills to flip leaf litter, dig for insects, or probe into crevices. Their diet consists of beetles, grasshoppers, and other large invertebrates and small cactus fruits, seeds, and wild berries if available.

Curve-billed thrashers will often visit backyard feeders that offer seeds, suet, and mealworms on a platform feeder. They will often dominate smaller birds at feeders.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Suet
  • Cracked Corn
  • Millet
  • Milo
  • Mealworms

9. House Sparrow

Bird of Arizona: House Sparrow

The House Sparrow is a common species of bird found throughout the world, and can be seen in Arizona all year round.

Males and Females are about 15-17cm (5.9-6.7 inches) long and generally weigh between 27-30g (0.9-1.1oz). They have gray color on their head and chest, black spots on the feathers around their eyes, and brownish tails; however, they also have distinctive white spots on their wings.

House Sparrows are prevalent backyard visitors that can be identified by the distinctive appearance of two white spots on each side of the wing. They typically live in cities and towns with large populations, although they will visit backyards if suet feeders or birdseed is available.

House Sparrows eat mainly weed seeds, grain, and insects during breeding time. They typically prefer sunflower hearts and suet, although they also eat thistle seed, safflower seeds, and fruit when available.

Sparrows are highly social birds living in large flocks outside of breeding season that can sometimes become aggressive towards other birds.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

10. Verdin

Verdin are small chickadee-sized birds of Arizona

The Verdin is a small chickadee-sized bird found in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico deserts. These birds of Arizona can be seen in the southern half of the state all year round.

They are about 9-11cm (3.5-4.3 inches) long and weigh around 5-8g (0.2-0.3oz). They have a long tail and a small, sharp bill.

Both males and females are gray overall with a bright yellow head and throat and chestnut spots on either shoulder. Juveniles have a similar coloration but lack the yellow and chestnut color.

They live in thorny desert scrub and desert trees to forage and build their nests.

Verdins are insectivores that feed primarily on insects and spiders they can glean from desert scrubs but will supplement their diet with desert fruits and nectar from flowers. They sometimes hang upside to forage in hard-to-reach places.

Verdins often visit backyard birdfeeders that offer nectar from hummingbird feeders.

Feeder Type:

  • Nectar Feeder

Feeder Food:

  • Nectar or Sugar Water

11. Cooper’s Hawk

The Cooper's Hawk is one of many birds of prey in Arizona

The Cooper’s Hawk is a medium-sized hawk found throughout North America, and can be seen in Arizona all year round.

Males are about 37-39cm (14.6-15.3 inches) long and weigh 220-410g (7.8-14.5oz). Females are about 42-45cm (16.5-17.7 inches) long and weigh 330-680g (11.6-24oz).

They have broad rounded wings, a long, rounded tail, and a large head. Adults are bluish-gray above, with rusty colored bars below and thick darker bands on their tails. Juveniles are brown above, with orange-colored highlights on the head and dark streaks below.

Cooper’s hawks are often found in riparian woodlands, suburbs, and parks where they can find plenty of prey.

The Cooper’s Hawk is a versatile predator that preys on small mammals such as squirrels and rats and small birds up to the size of a Blue Jay. They often hunt by perching on a branch and waiting for prey to pass by. When prey is spotted, they will swoop down, grasp it with their feet and kill using a sharp blow of the bill.

In suburban areas, they sometimes hunt birds at bird feeders or squirrels in backyards and small rodents such as mice and rats.

Feeder Type:

  • N/A

Feeder Food:

  • Unsuspecting Doves, Jays and Robin-sized birds

12. Abert’s Towhee

Abert's Towhee is a large sparrow bird in Arizona

The Abert’s Towhee is a large sparrow located in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico. They can be seen in the southern half of Arizona all year round.

Abert’s Towhees measure about 21-23cm (8.3-9.1 inches) long and weigh between 42-55g (1.5-1.9 oz). They have a long tail and short, conical bill. They are grayish-brown above and a pale rusty color under the tail. Their bills are pale gray and bordered by black feathers.

Abert’s Towhees prefer low, dense cover in desert areas such as canyons, scrublands, and woods near water sources. They spend most of their time on the ground, where they forage for food in the dense undergrowth of trees and scrubs.

Abert’s Towhees are insectivores and will eat a variety of insects they can find while foraging on the ground.

Abert’s Towhees will visit backyards with a water source, loads of native plants, and bird feeders that offer mealworms and various seeds.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

  • Mealworms
  • Black Oil and Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Cracked Corn
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Millet and Milo

13. Cactus Wren

The Cactus Wren is the State Bird of Arizona

The Cactus Wren is a large wren that can be found in the Southwest United States and Northwestern Mexico. The Cactus Wren is the State Bird of Arizona and can be seen in the southern half of the state all year round.

Cactus Wrens are about 18-22cm (7.1-8.7 inches) long and weigh between 32-47g (1.1-1.7 oz). They have a long rounded tail, plump body, and short, rounded wings. Their bill is long and heavy with a slight downward curve.

The Cactus Wren is recognizable by its speckled brown plumage above and paler speckled plumage below. They have a white stripe that looks like eyebrows and extends from bill to the back of their heads.

Their preferred habitat is in arid regions such as desert scrub, chaparral, or open woodlands – often near cactus plants.

They do not behave as secretly or shy as other wrens but prefer to perch atop of cacti for all to see.

They are ground foragers who prefer eating insects and other arthropods and will eat seeds from cacti plants.

They often appear at backyard bird feeders to clean up any spilled sunflower seed or suet cakes left out by people hoping to attract local birds with their tasty treats.

Feeder Type:

  • Large Tube Feeder
  • Large and Small Hopper
  • Suet Cage
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms

14. Northern Cardinal

Birds of Arizona: Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a common species of bird found in the United States. These colorful birds can be seen in the southern half of Arizona all year round.

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.

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:

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

Feeder Food:

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

15. Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird can be seen in Arizona all year round

The Northern Mockingbird is a common species of bird found in North America, Mexico and some areas of Central America.  They can be seen in Arizona all year round.

They are very similar to American Robins except for their size – with both sexes 21-26cm (8.3-10.2 inches) long and weighing between 45-58g (1.6-2oz). They have grayish-brown feathers with black spots on their wings and tails; however, they also have white bellies, making them recognizable.

Northern Mockingbirds are not migratory but instead stay in the same location year-round. They prefer dense shrubby areas with open patches nearby, descriptive of most backyards.

Northern Mockingbirds build open-cup nests found high in trees or bushes – making them easy to see. 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 will typically visit suet feeders.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

16. Dark-eyed Junco

The Dark-eyed Junco is a winter bird of Arizona

The Dark-Eyed Junco is a medium-sized bird with a round head, short conical bill., and long tail. These Sparrows are found in the Northern Hemisphere from Alaska to Newfoundland, and can be seen in Arizona 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). 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:

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

17. Eurasian Collared-Dove

Birds of Arizona

The Eurasian Collared-Dove is a small dove that lives in the Northern Hemisphere. They are abundant throughout Europe, North America, and South Asia. These Doves can be found anywhere in the US besides the Northeast and Canada, and can be seen in Arizona all year round.

Males and Females are about 29-30cm (11.4-11.8 inches) long and weigh 140-180g (4.9-6.3oz). They are plump doves with long, squared-off tails and small heads. They have broad, round, black-tipped wings. Their plumage is a pale gray with darker flight feathers, and adults have a black hindneck collar.

Eurasian Collared Doves usually perch on tree branches, telephone wires, or other elevated structures. They are very social birds and can be seen in small to large flocks. They usually roost together at night in tall trees.

These Doves live in suburbs, towns, and agricultural areas and avoid heavily forested areas and city centers.

Eurasian Collared-Doves eat mainly seeds and some wasted grain, berries, and insects. They will visit backyard bird feeders that offer sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, corn, and millet.

Feeder Type:

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil and Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Cracked Corn
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Millet
  • Milo
  • Oats

18. Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin - Bird of Arizona

The Pine Siskin is widespread throughout North America and some parts of Canada and Mexico. These birds of Arizona can be seen throughout the state all year round.

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 a small finch with a sharply pointed bill and a short notched tail.

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 bird 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:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer

19. White-winged Dove

The White-winged Dove is a medium-to-large-sized Dove found in southwestern United States, Central America, and the Caribbean. They are mostly seen in the southern half of Arizona during the summer months.

Males and Females are about 23-35cm (9.1-13.5 inches) in length and weigh between 125-187g (4.4-6.6oz). They have small heads, long thin bills, and orange eyes with black pupils. It has a bulky body with broad wings and a square-tipped tail.

They are generally a pale brown color above and grayer below with a dark line on their cheeks. They have a white patch on their wings and white tips on their squared-shaped tail.

They live in southwestern habitats such as mesquite woodlands, riparian woodlands, cactus desert, citrus groves, and wooded gardens and suburbs.

They are social birds that usually form flocks during foraging, roosting, and migrating. White-winged Doves forage on the ground for seeds and in trees and cacti for fruits and berries.

White-winged Doves are common backyard birds that visit bird feeders if the feeder offers small grain, seeds, or millet. They prefer elevated feeders or seeds scattered on the ground or a platform feeder.

Feeder type:

  • Large Hopper
  • Ground
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed
  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Cracked Corn
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Milo

20. Costa’s Hummingbird

The Costa's Hummingbird is the smallest bird in Arizona

The Costa’s hummingbird is one of the smallest birds found in North America. They are located primarily in Southwest deserts in the United States and Mexico’s pacific coast. They can be seen in southwestern Arizona all year round.

Males are just under 9cm (3.5 inches) long and weigh 2-3g (0.1oz). They have a very short, rounded tail and short wings.

Male Costa’s Hummingbirds have green plumage on their back, green and white vests, and a spectacularly noticeable violet/iridescent purple crown and throat patch. Females are green above and white below with a white eyebrow.

Costa’s hummingbirds are found in southwestern deserts, woodlands, and gardens from California to Texas. They live near flowers where they sip nectar and catch tiny insects for food.

Costa’s hummingbirds visit feeders if they offer nectar. They like nectar feeders with small ports for them to fit their beak through, and they often perch on the edge of the feeder while feeding.

Feeder Type:

  • Nectar Feeder

Feeder Food:

  • Sugar Water

21. Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped warblers can be seen in Arizona during different times of the year.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are small songbirds found throughout North and Central America from Canada down to Panama. These birds of Arizona are seen in the north during summer months, southwest in the winter months, and all year round in southeast Arizona.

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.

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.

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:

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

Feeder Food:

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

22. Greater Roadrunner

Birds of Arizona - Greater Roadrunner

The Greater Roadrunner is a large, slender ground bird found primarily in the southwestern areas of North America. These large birds can be seen throughout Arizona all year round.

Males and females are about 52-54cm (20.5-21.3 inches) long and weigh around 220-538g (7.8-19oz). They have long tails, long legs, long necks, short rounded wings, and a long, heavy bill. They have a short crest on their heads they can raise or flatten.

Overall, the Greater Roadrunner is brown with darker streaking above (wings too) and on their chest. Their crest is black with small white spots, and they have a small patch of blue-colored skin behind the eye.

The Greater Roadrunner is a common permanent resident of the southwestern deserts in the United States, Mexico, and Central America. They live in open country near cactus and other succulents, thorn scrub, oak woodlands, riparian corridors, and farmland.

When hunting for food, greater roadrunners typically run along roads or on the ground. They eat small mammals, smaller birds, lizards, snakes, scorpions, and giant insects like grasshoppers or cicadas, which they can swallow whole.

Greater Roadrunners are common in backyards with bird feeders or shallow water sources to drink from. They do not typically eat the food provided in the feeder but are more likely to hunt the smaller birds that visit.

Feeder Type:

  • N/A

Feeder Food:

  • Unsuspecting smaller birds

23. Northern Flicker

Birds of Arizona - Norther Flicker

The Northern Flicker is one of the most common woodpecker species in North America. These Arizona birds can be seen in the northern half of the state all year round.

They are about 28-31cm (11-12.2 inches) long and weigh 110-160g (3.9-5.6oz). They are slim woodpeckers with rounded heads, long pointy tails, and a long, slightly downward curving bill

Northern Flickers are brownish-gray above and paler below. They have a crescent-looking black bar on their chest and black spots on their bellies.

Eastern males have black whiskers, a red nape, and bright yellow under their tails, while females lack the same black whiskers as males.

Western males have red whiskers and red under their tails, while females lack the same red whiskers as males.

Northern Flickers live in open areas such as fields, pastures, woods but can also be seen around towns and suburbs.

Northern Flickers are seen foraging for ants and other insects on the ground, but they also eat fruits, nuts, and seeds. They use their long curved bill to pry insects out of logs or trees.

They will often visit backyard bird feeders that offer sunflower seeds, suet, or peanut butter.

Feeder Type:

  • Suet Cage
  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil and Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Safflower
  • Suet
  • Peanuts and Peanut Hearts
  • Cracker Corn
  • Millet

24. Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Bird In Arizona - Ladder-backed Woodpecker

The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is a small woodpecker that lives in the southwestern United States and Mexico. They are primarily seen in the southwestern part of Arizona all year round.

Males and females are about 16-18cm (6.3-7.1 inches) long and weigh around 21-48g (0.7-1.7oz). They are messy-looking woodpeckers that are active among the thorns of desert cacti.

They have black and white ladder-like bars on their backs and wings, with lighter underparts and dark spots. They have pale faces with black stripes. Males have a red crown, and females have a black crown.

They live primarily in dry open country with low trees, such as desert scrub, mesquite woodlands, arroyos, and oak in Texas. They are often seen in residential areas close to their native desert habitat. 

Ladder-backed woodpeckers primarily eat insects and larvae they can probe and glean from trees, cacti, and scrubs. They will also eat cactus fruits and seeds when they can find them.

Ladder-backed woodpeckers are common in backyards that have trees with nesting holes or where there are other insects to eat. They will often visit bird feeders that offer mealworms or black oil sunflower seeds.

Feeder Type:

  • Suet Cage
  • Large Hopper
  • Platform

Feeder Food:

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

25. Bewick’s Wren

These Birds of Arizona can be seen all year round

The Bewick’s Wren is a medium-sized wren found primarily in the southwestern United States and Central America. These birds of Arizona can be seen throughout the state all year round.

Both sexes are about 13cm (5.1 inches) long and weigh 8-12g (0.3-0.4oz). They have short rounded wings, a long tail cocked upward, and a long downward curving bill.

Their plumage varies depending on location but is primarily grayish-brown above (southwest) or brown (pacific coast) above. They are grayish-white below and have white eyebrows. Their tail has black barring and is tipped with white bars at the end.

They live primarily in bushy woodlands, coastal and desert scrub, thick brush in open woods, residential parks, and gardens.

Bewick’s Wrens eat mostly small insects and spiders it can glean from bark crevices, roots, and rocks. They will also occasionally eat seeds and fruit, especially during winter when insects are harder to find.

Bewick’s Wrens can be found year-round in backyards with some low vegetation or brush piles. They will often visit bird feeders that offer mealworms, hulled sunflower seeds, and suet nuggets.

Feeder Type:

  • Large Tube Feeder
  • Suet Cage
  • Large and Small Hopper
  • Ground
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food:

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Mealworms

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

  • House Finch
  • Mourning Dove
  • Lesser Goldfinch (Southern Arizona)
  • Anna’s Hummingbird (Southern Arizona)
  • Gila Woodpecker (Southern Arizona)
  • Gambel’s Quail
  • Curve-billed Thrasher (Southernmost part of Arizona)
  • House Sparrow
  • Verdin (Southern Arizona)
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Abert’s Towhee (Southern Arizona)
  • Cactus Wren (Southern Arizona)
  • Northern Cardinal (Southern Arizona)
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Eurasian-collared Dove
  • Pine Siskin
  • Costa’s Hummingbird (Southwest Arizona)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Southeast Arizona)
  • Greater Roadrunner
  • Northern Flicker (Northern Arizona)
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Southwest Arizona)
  • Bewick’s Wren

What Are The Most Common Backyard Birds During Summer and Winter In Arizona

Most of the birds we have listed above are year-round residents of specific areas in Arizona. Still, Arizona has such a diverse climate; some birds choose to spend their summers and winters in a different region of Arizona, and some fly in from out of state to spend their summers and winters in Arizona.

Common Backyard birds during winter in Arizona

Birds such as the White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco migrate to Arizona for their winter, and the Yellow-rumped Warbler migrates from the Southeast to the Southwest in Winter.

Common Backyard birds during summer in Arizona

These birds below are year-round residents of Arizona but spend in their summers in a different region:

  • Lesser Goldfinch (Northern Arizona)
  • White-winged Dove (Southern Arizona)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Northern Arizona)

Birds To Spot Beyond The Backyard In Arizona

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. Tree Swallow
  2. Red-winged Blackbird
  3. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  4. Sandhill Crane
  5. Brown-headed Cowbird
  6. European Starling
  7. Lark Bunting
  8. Brewer’s Blackbird
  9. Cattle Egret
  10. Violet-green Swallow
  11. Cliff Swallow
  12. Barn Swallow
  13. Purple Martin
  14. Vesper Sparrow
  15. Swainson’s Hawk
  16. Lazuli Bunting
  17. Common Raven
  18. White-throated Swift
  19. Lesser Nighthawk
  20. Brewer’s Sparrow
  21. Cassin’s Finch
  22. Western Bluebird
  23. Pinyon Jay
  24. Killdeer
  25. Mountain Bluebird
  26. Inca Dove
  27. Evening Grosbeak
  28. Cedar Waxwing
  29. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  30. Western Kingbird

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What birds are common in Arizona?

Some of the most common birds seen in Arizona include the House Finch, Mourning Dove, Lesser Goldfinch, Greater Roadrunner, Gambel’s Quail, Tree Swallow, and Gila Woodpecker.

What is the most common backyard bird seen in Arizona?

The most common backyard bird seen in Arizona is the House Finch.

What is the State Bird of Arizona?

The Arizona State bird is the Cactus Wren.

How many species of birds have been seen in Arizona?

To date, 559 species have been observed in Arizona.

What birds of prey live in Arizona?

Arizona has a diverse group of raptors covering a vast Arizona range. Hawks, Owls, Falcons, and Eagles are all birds of prey in Arizona.

Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, Great Horned Owls, Peregrine Falcons, and Golden Eagles are all common birds of prey in Arizona.

Keeping a watchful Eye for the backyard birds of Arizona

Arizona is home to an amazing diversity of birds, many of which can be seen in people’s backyards and at bird feeders. The birds on this list are some of the most common backyard birds of Arizona, and we hope that you will be able to identify them by reading this article.

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

Please share with us in the comments below or on our social media pages. Don’t forget to also check out our other blog posts for more information about birds and nature.

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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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