29 Brilliant Backyard birds of Missouri to explore

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Backyard Birds of Missouri

If you’re a Missouri resident, you know there is no shortage of beautiful wildlife in your backyard. The state is home to various amazing creatures, including dozens of different types of birds. There’s something for everyone, and the backyard birds of Missouri range from colorful songbirds to big, burly woodpeckers.

The climate in Missouri is perfect for birds because it isn’t too hot or too cold. The state also has a lot of trees and other foliage for them to nest in. Missouri is known for its rolling hills, forests, and rivers.

These factors provide a comfortable and safe environment for birds to live in.

This blog post will look at 29 of Missouri’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!

Backyard Birds Of Missouri

According to the latest data from ebird, there are 419 observed species of Birds in Missouri.

This data comes from over 690,000 checklists from over 20,800 avid birdwatchers. Identifying and seeing all 419 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 Backyard Birds of Missouri:

  • 419 observed species
  • The Northern Cardinal is the most common backyard bird in Missouri
  • The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the smallest backyard bird in Missouri
  • The American Crow is the largest backyard bird on this list
  • The Eastern Bluebird is Missouri’s state bird

What Are The Most Common Backyard Birds Of Missouri?

  1. Northern Cardinal
  2. Black-capped Chickadee
  3. Dark-eyed Junco
  4. Downy Woodpecker
  5. House Finch
  6. Mourning Dove
  7. American Goldfinch
  8. Tufted Titmouse
  9. Carolina Wren
  10. Blue Jay
  11. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  12. European Starling
  13. White-breasted Nuthatch
  14. House Sparrow
  15. American Robin
  16. White-throated Sparrow
  17. Northern Flicker
  18. Hairy Woodpecker
  19. Purple Finch
  20. Eastern Bluebird
  21. Common Grackle
  22. Northern Mockingbird
  23. Song Sparrow
  24. Brown-headed Cowbird
  25. Red-winged Blackbird
  26. Carolina Chickadee
  27. American Crow
  28. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  29. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Top 5 Hotspots For Birdwatching In Missouri

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

  1. Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  2. Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Eagle Bluffs CA
  4. Smithville Lake (Clay Co.)
  5. Schell-Osage CA (Vernon Co.)

Types Of Backyard Birds In Missouri

1. Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a common species of bird found in the United States and can is the most common backyard feeder bird in Missouri. They can be seen throughout Missouri 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.

2. Black-Capped Chickadee

The Black-Capped Chickadee is a widespread species of bird found throughout the Northern half of North America. These small birds can be seen year round in the northern half of Missouri.

They have a black cap and black throat with white cheeks, and mostly gray-olive feathers on their back with a white chest and belly.

Black-capped Chickadees are tiny in size – with males and females only about 12-15cm (4.7-5.9 inches) long and weighing between 9-14g (0.3-0.5oz). They have a large head and short neck, and long narrow tails with short thick dark bills.

They can survive the harshest winter weather by eating high-calorie foods, fluffing their feathers for insulation, and roosting in tree cavities at night, often in small groups.

The Black-Capped Chickadee is an energetic species that prefers deciduous woods often found in forests or residential areas and parks where plenty of large trees are used for roosting and nesting.

Their diet consists of insects, spiders, small fruits, and seeds, but they are also familiar visitors to backyard bird feeders where they will readily eat sunflower seeds or suet.

They will often make multiple trips to feeders to store extra food in tree crevices throughout the day.

3. Dark-eyed Junco

The Dark-Eyed Junco is a medium-sized sparrow found in the Northern Hemisphere from Alaska to Newfoundland. These birds can be seen in Missouri 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.

4. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is a small woodpecker found throughout North America and can be seen year round in Missouri.

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.

5. House Finch

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

6. Mourning Dove

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

7. American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is a common species of bird found throughout North America and can be seen in Missouri year-round. 

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.

8. Tufted Titmouse

The Tufted Titmouse is a small species of bird that can be found throughout much of the Eastern half of North America. These small birds can be seen all year round in Missouri.

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.

9. Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren is a common bird species in the eastern part of North America and can be seen in Missouri year-round.

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.

10. Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is a common species of bird found throughout North America and can be seen all year round in Missouri.

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.

11. 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. These birds can be seen in Missouri year-round.

These beautiful birds are also one of the most commonly seen woodpeckers in Missouri!

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).

12. European Starling

The European Starling, also known as the Common Starling or just simply Starling, is a loud, boisterous bird that can be found throughout most of North America, Europe, and parts of Asia to North Africa in wintertime. These birds can be seen in Missouri all year round.

European Starling is roughly the size of a Robin at about 20-23cm (7.9-9.1 inches) long and weighing around 60-96g (2.1-3.4oz).

Their breeding plumage is a glossy purplish-green with yellow beaks, and winter plumage is brown with white spots and a black bill.

They have short wings which allow for a quick flight and a short tail. They have a long, slender bill and legs that are pinkish.

European Starlings winter in large flocks – often roosting with other bird species such as Blackbirds or Fieldfares to keep warm at night.

Their preferred habitat is open, grassy areas with some trees, but they can also be found in towns, suburbs, or human settlements out in the countryside.

They are opportunistic feeders that mainly eat insects and feed on berries, seeds, and grains. They are known to visit bird feeders in backyards to eat almost any type of food available – including suet mixes or peanuts.

13. White-breasted Nuthatch

The White-breasted Nuthatch is an exciting species to observe and can be found from southern Canada down into Central America. These birds can be seen in Missouri all year round.

White-breasted Nuthatches are small in size – only 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. 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 prefer mature mixed forests and wooded areas in towns, suburbs and parks.

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.

14. House Sparrow

The House Sparrow is a small, sparrow-sized bird found in most parts of the world and can be seen in Missouri year-round.

House Sparrows measure about 15-17cm (6-6.7 inches) long and weigh between 27-30g (0.9-1.1oz).

They have a large head, stocky build, short tail, and a heavy bill. They are streaked with brown and black backs and wings, white below, and black bib and gray heads.

Males have chestnut-colored sides on their heads, and females are noticeably duller.

House Sparrows are found chiefly around farms, towns, or human settlements where they can easily find food scattered on the ground from humans, such as spilled grain during harvest season or breadcrumbs at picnics.

They will also nest in the eaves or holes of houses or other buildings.

House Sparrows are very social birds and can be seen in large flocks, either foraging or roosting together at night. They are very active and noisy, often chirping and whistling to each other.

House Sparrows are omnivores that eat seeds and grain and primarily insects during the breeding season.

They prefer areas with tall trees or shrubs for roosting at night and nesting inside walls, eaves of houses, or holes in buildings.

They are frequent visitors to backyard bird feeders where they eat sunflower seeds, millet, and corn.

15. American Robin

The American Robin is a common species of bird found throughout North America and can be seen in Missouri backyards 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.

16. White-throated Sparrow

The White-Throated Sparrow is a medium-large sparrow that lives primarily in the eastern half of the United States. These birds can be seen in Missouri during winter months.

Males and Females are about 16-18cm (6.3-7.1 inches) long and weigh between 22-32g (0.8-1.1oz). They have a round head, long legs, and long tail.

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.

17. Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is one of the most common woodpecker species in North America and can be seen in Missouri 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.

18. Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker found throughout North America and Southern Canada. These birds can be seen in Missouri year-round.

The hairy woodpecker has a long chisel-like bill and long stiff tail feathers. Males and Females are about 18-26cm (7.1-10.2 inches) long and weigh around 40-95g (1.4-3.4oz).

They have black-and-white feathers: black back checkered with a white, white stripe down the middle back, and white below.

The male has a red patch on the back of its head, while the female does not. They get their name from the “hairy” quality of the white on their backs.

They live in various habitats, including woodlands, bottomland forests, wooded suburbs, and parks.

They will actively probe and drill into wood to look for insects under the bark. They will also feed on fallen or rotting logs to chisel through dead wood to find insect larvae. They will also eat fruits and seeds when given a chance.

They are common at backyard bird feeders that offer suet, sunflower seeds, or peanut butter mixed with birdseed.

19. 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. These small birds can be seen in Missouri during the winter months.

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.

20. Eastern Bluebird

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

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.

21. Common Grackle

The Common Grackle is a large blackbird found in abundance throughout the Eastern and Mid-Eastern parts of North America. These large birds can be seen in Missouri year-round.

They are about the size of a Mourning Dove and are around 28-34cm (11-13.4 Inches) long and weigh between 74-142g (2.6-5oz).

Males are slightly larger than females. They have a flat head with yellow eyes and a stout beak to eat insects, seeds, fruits, small invertebrates, and snails. 

They have a long tail and shiny black plumage. The male has a greenish iridescence to their feathers, while the female is less glossy with brown feathers on her head.

The Common Grackle is usually found in large flocks in open habitats that include farmlands or grassland areas. Still, it will also be seen around residential areas where food scraps are available, like compost piles or bird feeders. They can sometimes be found near wetlands too.

Common Grackles are opportunistic omnivores that eat mainly insects and some grain but supplement with food items like seeds, fruits, small invertebrates, and snails.

They usually feed or forage on the ground but will also scavenge in the garbage around residential areas if given the opportunity.

The common grackle will often visit backyard bird feeders and don’t seem to be too picky when it comes to the type of feed present.

22. Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird is a common species of bird found in the United States, Mexico and some areas of Central America. These birds can be seen year-round in Missouri.

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.

23. Song Sparrow

The Song Sparrow is a medium-sized sparrow found throughout North America. These birds can mostly be seen in the southern part of Missouri during the winter months and year-round in the northern part of Missouri.

Males and Females are about 12-17cm (4.7-6.7 inches) long and weigh between 12-53g (0.4-1.9oz). They have relatively long, rounded tails and broad wings.

Song Sparrows are generally brown above with brown streaking on white below. They have a reddish-brown crown, a pale gray eyebrow, and a brown streak through the eye.

They live in most open areas such as forests edges, scrublands, wetlands, marshes, farmlands, and grasslands year-round in North America.

They mainly eat insects in the spring and summer and seeds and berries the rest of the year.

Song Sparrows are common backyard birds that visit bird feeders if the feeder offers cracked corn or millet and over some good cover. They prefer seeds scattered on the ground or a platform feeder.

24. Brown-headed Cowbird

The Brown-headed cowbird is a small blackbird found across North America. These small birds can be seen all year round in Missouri.

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.

25. Red-winged Blackbird

The Red-Winged Blackbird is a stocky blackbird with a red shoulder and short tail. They are found in abundance in North America and Central America. These stocky birds can be seen in Missouri 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).

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.

26. Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina Chickadee is a small species found primarily in the southeastern United States and in the southern half of Missouri all year round.

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.

27. American Crow

The American Crow is a large bird found in North America and can be seen in Missouri all year round.

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.

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.

28. Red-breasted Nuthatch

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a small songbird found across most of North America and much of Canada and can be seen in Missouri during the colder non-breeding season.

Both males and females are about 11-12cm (4.3 inches) long and weigh between 8-13g (0.3-0.5oz). They have a long, pointy bill, short, broad wings, and very short tails.

Both sexes are blueish-gray above and reddish-cinnamon below. Their heads are striped with a black cap, white eyebrows, a black line through the eye, and finally, white cheeks. Very similar looking to the white-breasted nuthatch.

Red-breasted nuthatches can be found in coniferous forests such as spruce and fir, where they like to forage on the trunks and branches.

They are very energetic and acrobatic birds and can often be seen hanging upside down while searching for food.

Their diet is primarily insects and spiders they glean from trees and bark in the summer and eat seeds in the winter.

They are also familiar visitors to backyard bird feeders where they eat seeds and suet.

29. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a tiny bird found only in eastern North America and Central America and is a resident of Missouri during the warmer breeding season.

They are the most commonly seen hummingbirds throughout their range, except for southern Florida, where they are seen less frequently.

Males and females are about 7-9cm (2.8-3.5 inches) long and weigh around 2-6g (0.1-0.2oz). They have long, slender bills and short wings.

They are metallic green above and grayish-white below with red throats (males), or pale gray throat with reddish sides of their head/throat (females).

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can be found in various habitats, including woodlands, open spaces, and backyards. They breed in the eastern United States and Canada, and during winter/migration, they migrate south to Central America.

They eat mostly nectar from flowers but also feed on insects by catching them mid-flight. They forage mainly in the upper part of trees and hover in place while searching for food.

They have been known to visit bird feeders with nectar, especially during their migration months.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many species of birds are in Missouri?

There are 419 documented species of birds that have been observed in Missouri.


What kind of birds do we have in Missouri?

Missouri is home to many kinds of bird species like Song Birds, Water Birds, and Birds of Prey. The most common of which include the Northern Cardinal (64% frequency), Blue Jay (48% frequency), Mourning Dove (44% frequency), Great Blue Heron (19% frequency), Canada Goose (27% frequency), Bald Eagle (11% frequency), Red-shouldered Hawk (10% frequency) and the Turkey Vulture (26% frequency).


What birds of prey are in Missouri?

Missouri is home to many raptor species such as Hawks, Falcons, Eagles, Owls and Vultures. Some of the most common include the Broad-winged Hawk, Rough-Legged Hawk, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Coopers Hawk, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcon, Great horned owl, Long-eared Owl and the Barred Owl.

What Is The State Bird Of Missouri?

The Eastern Bluebird is the State bird of Missouri.

What Is The Most Common Backyard Bird Seen In Missouri?

The most common backyard feeder bird in Missouri is the Northern Cardinal.

Keep an Eye out for the backyard birds of Missouri

Missouri is home to a wide variety of birds, from small songbirds to large woodpeckers. The state’s diverse landscape and perfect climate make it an ideal habitat for many different types of birds.

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or just getting started, Missouri is the perfect place to go birdwatching.

If you are interested in birdwatching away from the backyard, visit any of Missouri’s top five hotspots listed above. We would also love to hear from you about your favorite birdwatching spots or experiences in Missouri.

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.

So grab your binoculars and head outdoors! You never know what you might see.

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Author
When I was going through a really tough time in my life, I began watching birds as a way to find peace during the most stressful parts of my day. Now I am an enthusiastic birdwatcher and love feeding the wild birds in my backyard. It's so peaceful to be surrounded by nature and watch these beautiful creatures flit around.

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