25 Exciting Backyard Birds of Louisiana to watch

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Backyard Birds of Louisiana

Louisiana is an excellent place for birdwatching! The state has a warm climate and diverse habitats that are home to many bird species.

Louisiana is a humid subtropical climate with long, hot, and humid summers and short, mild winters. Many birds live in Louisiana year-round, but its mild winters bring many more birds who migrate through the state or choose to winter in Louisiana to escape the cold up north.

The state also has a wide variety of habitats, including wetlands and marshes, forests, swamps, islands, woodlands, and grasslands. This variety of habitats provides birds with the food and shelter they need to survive.

Luckily, this means there is always an opportunity to get out and watch the beautiful birds of Louisiana any time of the year.

In this blog post, we’ll look at 25 of Louisiana’s most common backyard birds by surveying 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!

Birds Of Louisiana

According to the latest data from ebird, there are 475 observed species of Birds in Louisiana. This data comes from over 322,000 checklists from just over 12,000 dedicated birdwatchers. Identifying and seeing all 475 may be an overwhelming 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 Birds of Louisiana:

  • 475 observed species
  • The Northern Cardinal is the most common backyard bird in Louisiana
  • The Northern Cardinal is the most common feeder bird in Louisiana
  • The Carolina Chickadee is the smallest most common feeder bird in Louisiana
  • The White-winged Dove is the largest backyard bird on this list
  • The Brown Pelican is Louisiana’s state bird

What Are The Most Common Backyard Birds Of Louisiana?

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

Top 5 Hotspots For Birdwatching In Louisiana

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

  1. Peveto Woods Sanctuary
  2. Grand Isle
  3. Willow Island
  4. Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge
  5. Rutherford Beach

Top 25 Backyard Birds Of Louisiana

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

1. Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a common species of bird found in the United States and is the most common backyard bird of Louisiana. These beautiful red birds can be seen in Louisiana 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 cracked corn from the ground.

The Northern Cardinal has been seen at 100% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

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

2. Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is a common species of bird found throughout North America and is a year-round resident of Louisiana.

Blue Jays are about 25-30cm (9.8-11.8 inches) long 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. 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 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.

The Blue Jay has been seen at 93% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

3. American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is a common species of bird found throughout North America. These tiny birds can be seen primarily during the winter months in Louisiana.

They are small songbirds 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. 

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 gray overall.

Their preferred habitat is overgrown, weedy fields, pastures, and well planted suburban areas and backyards.

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.

The American Goldfinch has been seen at 89% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer

4. House Finch

The House Finch is a small bird found in most of North America, including parts of the United States and Southern Canada. They can be seen in eastern Louisiana 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. 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.

The House Finch has been seen at 85% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

5. Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina Chickadee is a small species found primarily in the southeastern United States and is a year-round resident of Louisiana.

Carolina Chickadees are only about 11cm (4 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 which they get their name.

Their preferred habitat is deciduous or mixed woods with large trees for roosting and nesting. They also inhabit woodlands around towns, suburbs and parks. 

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.

The Carolina Chickadee has been seen at 85% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

6. Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is a common species of bird found throughout North America and can be seen throughout Louisiana 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.

The Mourning Dove has been seen at 82% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

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

7. Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren is a common bird species in the eastern part of North America and is a year-round resident of Louisiana.

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. 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 spend most of their time in thick vegetation such as brushy woods, 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.

The Carolina Wren has been seen at 81% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms

8. Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird is a common species of bird found in the United States, Mexico and some areas of Central America. They can be seen in Louisiana 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.

The Northern Mockingbird has been seen at 81% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

9. House Sparrow

The House Sparrow is a common species of bird found throughout the world and is a year-round resident of Louisiana.

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.

The House Sparrow has been seen at 70% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

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. American Robin

The American Robin is a common species of bird found throughout North America. These familiar birds can be seen throughout Louisiana all year round.

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

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

They are common in most environments across North America, especially in gardens, parks, and wooded areas around towns and suburbs.

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.

The American Robin has been seen at 70% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

11. Pine Siskin

The Pine Siskin is widespread throughout North America and some parts of Canada and Mexico. These tiny birds can be seen in Louisiana during the winter months when they migrate down from the North.

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.

The Pine Siskin has been seen at 63% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer

12. Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is a small finch found mainly in the eastern half of the North American continent. They can also be seen on the west coast of the United States and southern Canada. They can be seen in Louisiana during the winter months when they migrate down from the North.

Males and Females are about 12-16cm (4.7-6.3 inches) long and weigh between 18-32g (0.6-1.1oz). They are about the same size as a house finch but with a chunkier appearance. They have short notched tails and a robust conical bill, perfect for cracking seeds.

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.

The Purple Finch has been seen at 63% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

13. Tufted Titmouse

The Tufted Titmouse is a small species of bird that can be found throughout much of the Eastern half of North America and is a year-round resident of Louisiana.

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.

The Tufted Titmouse has been seen at 63% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

14. Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a long, chisel-like bill. They are found in the eastern half of the United States and are a year-round resident of Louisiana. They are also the most common woodpecker in Louisiana!

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

The Red-bellied Woodpecker has been seen at 63% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Types:

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

Feeder food:

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

15. Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers are small songbirds found throughout North and Central America from Canada down to Panama. These tiny birds can be seen in Louisiana during the winter months when they migrate down from the north.

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.

The Yellow-rumped Warbler has been seen at 59% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

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

16. Dark-eyed Junco

The Dark-Eyed Junco is a medium-sized sparrow found in the Northern Hemisphere from Alaska to Newfoundland and can be seen in Louisiana 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 have a round head, short conical bill, and long tail.

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.

The Dark-eyed Junco has been seen at 48% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

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. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is a small woodpecker found throughout North America and is a year-round resident of Louisiana.

They are smaller than most woodpeckers at about 14-17cm (5.5-6.7 inches) long and weigh between 21-28g (0.7-1oz).

Downy Woodpeckers 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. They have a petite-looking bill compared to their other woodpecker relatives.

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 – 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 sunflower seeds, peanut butter, seeds, and millet.

The Downy Woodpecker has been seen at 48% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

  • Suet Cage
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food:

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

18. Orange-crowned Warbler

The Orange-crowned Warbler is a small warbler found in North America and is a winter resident of Louisiana.

Males and females are about 11-14cm (4.3-5.5 inches) long and weigh around 7-11g (0.3-0.4 oz). They have a short tail, short wings, and a slim pointy bill.

Adults are yellowish-olive above with a yellow undertail covert. They have grayish wings, a dark line through the eye, and blurry streaks on their breast. They also have an orange patch atop their heads but are rarely seen.

Adults in the west are more yellow than in the east. Juveniles are similar to adults but grayer around their heads and neck.

Orange-crowned Warblers breed in dense shrubbery areas near woods or forests like spruce, larch, alder, pine, and willow. During the non-breeding season and migration, they can be found in almost any habitat, such as weedy fields, shrubs, backyards, parks, or agricultural areas of the great plains.

They eat insects, berries, and nectar primarily during the summer months and mostly eat tiny seeds in the winter. They forage mainly in dense shrub and low trees and bushes but can also be seen sifting through leaf litter on the ground.

Orange-crowned Warblers visit bird feeders that offer suet, peanut butter, and nectar.

The Orange-crowned Warbler has been seen at 48% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

  • Large and Small Tube Feeder
  • Suet Cage
  • Platform Feeder
  • Small Hopper
  • Nectar Feeder
  • Peanut Butter Feeder

Feeder Food

  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts and Peanut Butter
  • Mealworms
  • Nectar

19. Eastern Phoebe

The Eastern Phoebe is a small plump songbird found primarily in the eastern half of North and Central America. The can be seen in Louisiana during the winter months when the migrate down from the north.

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.

The Eastern Phoebe has been seen at 48% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Nyjer
  • Cracked Corn
  • Millet
  • Fruit

20. Brown-headed Cowbird

The Brown-headed cowbird is a small blackbird found across North America and is a year-round resident of Louisiana.

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). They have a short tail and thick sharp-tipped beak.

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

They 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.

The Brown-headed Cowbird has been seen at 44% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground Feeding

Feeder Food:

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

21. Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are ubiquitous sparrows that are found throughout North America and are a summer/spring resident of Louisiana.

They are about 12-15cm (4.7-5.9 inches) long, weigh between 11-16g (0.4-0.6oz). Chipping Sparrows 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.

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

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.

The Chipping Sparrow has been seen at 44% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

22. Pine Warbler

Pine Warblers are heavy warblers found in the eastern United states and are a winter resident of louisiana.

They are about 13-14cm (5.1-5.5 inches) long and weigh 9-15g (0.3-0.5oz). They have stout bills and long notched tails. They are primarily yellow with an olive-green back, gray-white bellies, and two white wing bars. Males and females look alike, but female warblers are a bit duller in coloration than males.

They are. 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 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.

The Pine Warbler has been seen at 44% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

23. Brown Thrasher

The Brown Thrasher is a common species of songbird found in North America and can be seen throughout Louisiana all year round.

Males and Females are about 23-30cm (9.1-12 inches) long and weigh between 61-89g (2.1-3.1oz). They are slender birds with long legs, bills, and tails that often cock up much the same way as a Carolina Wren.

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.

The Brown Thrasher has been seen at 44% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder type:

  • Platform
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

24. 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 can be seen along the Louisiana coast during the winter 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.

The White-winged Dove has been seen at 41% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder type:

  • Large Hopper
  • Ground
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food:

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

25. Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird is a small thrush that is common throughout the Eastern half of North America and is a year-round resident of Louisiana.

They are about 16-21cm (6.3-8.3 inches) long and weigh only 28-32g (1-1.1oz). 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. You can find them in other colors depending on the region they live in – such as black or white bodies instead of blue, grayish underparts, or orange neck patches.

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

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 visit bird feeders when mealworms are offered.

The Eastern Bluebird has been seen at 41% of all feeder sites in Louisiana.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

  • Mealworms
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Fruit
  • Suet

What Are The Most Common Backyard Birds All Year Round In Louisiana?

  • Northern Cardinal
  • Blue Jay
  • House Finch (Eastern Louisiana)
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Mourning Dove
  • Carolina Wren
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • House Sparrow
  • American Robin
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Eastern Bluebird

What Are The Most Common Winter Backyard Birds Of Louisiana?

  • American Goldfinch
  • Pine Siskin
  • Purple Finch
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Orange-crowned Warbler
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Pine Warbler
  • White-winged Dove (Louisiana Gulf Coast region)

Birds To Spot Beyond The Backyard In Louisiana

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. Brown Pelican
  2. Tree Swallow
  3. Common Grackle
  4. Purple Martin
  5. Fish Crow
  6. Boat-Tailed Grackle
  7. European Starling
  8. Great-tailed Grackle
  9. Broad-winged Hawk
  10. Barn Swallow
  11. Savannah Sparrow
  12. Killdeer
  13. Eastern Kingbird
  14. Indigo Bunting
  15. Blue Grosbeak
  16. Swainson’s Thrush
  17. Brewer’s Blackbird
  18. Rusty Blackbird
  19. Swamp Sparrow
  20. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  21. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  22. Gray Catbird
  23. Bronzed Cowbird
  24. Orchard Oriole
  25. American Redstart
  26. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  27. Common Yellowthroat
  28. Magnolia Warbler
  29. Summer Tanager
  30. Scarlet Tanager

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of birds are in Louisiana?

Louisiana is home to many kinds of bird species like songbirds, water birds, and birds of prey. The most common of which include the Northern Cardinal (60% frequency), Blue Jay (53% frequency), Northern Mockingbird (52% frequency), Great Egret (40% frequency), Great Blue Heron (21% frequency), Turkey Vulture (23% frequency), Red-tailed Hawk (16% frequency) and the Red-shouldered Hawk (13% frequency).

How many species of birds are in Louisiana?

There are 475 documented species of birds that have been observed in Louisiana.

What birds of prey are in Louisiana?

Louisiana is home to many raptor species such as Falcons, Hawks, Eagles, Owls and Vultures. Some of the most common include the Black Vulture, Mississippi Kite, Copper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Barn Owl, and the Barred Owl.

What Is The State Bird Of Louisiana?

The Brown Pelican is the state bird of Louisiana.

What Is The Most Common Backyard Bird Seen In Louisiana?

The most common backyard bird in Louisiana is the Northern Cardinal.

Keep a watchful eye for the backyard birds of Louisiana

We hope you enjoyed learning about the top backyard birds of Louisiana! Remember, you don’t have to venture far to do some birdwatching. By simply spending time in your own backyard, you can see many different species of birds.

If you’re interested in seeing more birds, we suggest checking out one of Louisiana’s top hotspots for birdwatching or attending local events such as birding festivals and classes.

We would also love to hear from you about your favorite birdwatching spots or experiences in Louisiana.

If you have any 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.

Do you have a favorite backyard bird in Louisiana? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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