25 Diverse Backyard Birds of New Mexico to explore

Last Updated on
Backyard Birds of New Mexico

The backyard birds of New Mexico are a diverse and exciting bunch. There are many species of backyard birds in New Mexico, thanks to the state’s varied geography and climate. Whether you’re in the high desert or the lowlands, there’s a good chance you’ll see some unique backyard birds.

One of the reasons why New Mexico has such a diverse array of backyard birds is because of the state’s varied geography. New Mexico has everything from high plains to wooded mountains, and each habitat is home to different birds.

Another reason why New Mexico has such a diverse array of backyard birds is because of the state’s climate. New Mexico has a temperate climate, allowing various kinds of backyard birds to thrive in the state.

Whether in the mountains or the plains, you’re likely to see different kinds of backyard birds.

So, if you’re looking for a state with a diverse array of backyard birds, New Mexico is a great place to start your search. With so many different habitats and climates, there’s sure to be a backyard bird that’s perfect for you.

In this blog post, we’ll look at 25 of New Mexico’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 New Mexico

According to the latest data from ebird, there are 558 observed species of Birds in New Mexico. This data comes from over 560,000 checklists from over 19,000 avid birdwatchers. Identifying and seeing all 558 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 New Mexico:

  • 558 observed species
  • The House Finch is the most common backyard bird in New Mexico
  • The Dark-eyed Junco is the most common feeder bird in New Mexico
  • The Lesser Goldfinch is the smallest most common feeder bird in New Mexico
  • The Cooper’s Hawk is the largest backyard bird on this list
  • The Greater Roadrunner is New Mexico’s state bird

What Are The Most Common Backyard Birds Of New Mexico?

  1. Dark-eyed Junco
  2. House Finch
  3. American Robin
  4. Pine Siskin
  5. Spotted Towhee
  6. Northern Flicker
  7. White-winged Dove
  8. White-crowned Sparrow
  9. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay
  10. Mountain Chickadee
  11. Lesser Goldfinch
  12. Bushtit
  13. Canyon Towhee
  14. House Sparrow
  15. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  16. White-breasted Nuthatch
  17. Curve-billed Thrasher
  18. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  19. Mourning Dove
  20. Cooper’s Hawk
  21. Cassin’s Finch
  22. Bewick’s Wren
  23. Downy Woodpecker
  24. European Starling
  25. American Crow

Top 5 Hotspots For Birdwatching In New Mexico

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

  1. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
  2. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  4. Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
  5. Percha Dam State Park

Top 25 Backyard Birds Of New Mexico

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

1. Dark-eyed Junco

The Dark-Eyed Junco is a medium-sized sparrow found in the Northern Hemisphere from Alaska to Newfoundland. They are they most common backyard feeder bird in New Mexico and can be seen in Northwestern New Mexico all year round and in southeastern New Mexico 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 95% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

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

2. 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 tiny birds can be seen in New Mexico 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 94% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

3. American Robin

The American Robin is a common species of bird found throughout North America and is a year-round resident of New Mexico.

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 76% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

4. Pine Siskin

The Pine Siskin is widespread throughout North America and some parts of Canada and Mexico. These tiny birds can be seen in central and western New Mexico all year round and in eastern New Mexico during the winter.

Both males and females are about 11-14cm (4.3-5.5 inches) long and weigh between 12-18g (0.4-0.6oz). Both males and females are brown, with dark streaking throughout their bodies. They are 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 75% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer

5. Spotted Towhee

The Spotted Towhee is a large-sized sparrow that lives in the western half of North America and Mexico and are year-round residents of New Mexico.

Males and females are about 17-21cm (6.7-8.3 inches) long and weigh around 33-49g (1.2-1.7oz). They are a chunky sparrow with a thick conical bill, and a long rounded tail tipped with white.

Male Spotted Towhees are black above and white below, with a black hood and throat with white spots on their wings. Their sides are a rusty-orange color, and they have ruby red eyes. Females are similar in color but are a slate gray color above.

They live primarily in open areas close to native habitats such as forest edges, thickets, underbrush, or ravines with brushy vegetation for shelter. They also live around agricultural land and residential areas with trees or hedgerows where they can find food sources like insects and spiders.

Spotted towhees eat mostly insects all year round. They prefer to forage on the ground through leaf litter and amongst the thicket or undergrowth of bushes and shrubs. They will supplement their diet with berries, nuts, and seeds when insects aren’t available.

Spotted towhees will often visit backyards with some low vegetation, brush piles, and bird feeders that offer mealworms, sunflower seeds (hulled or shelled), cracked corn, and suet nuggets.

The Spotted Towhee has been seen at 68% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

6. Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is the most common woodpecker species in New Mexico and is a year-round resident of the state.

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.

The Northern Flicker has been seen at 68% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

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

7. White-winged Dove

The White-winged Dove is a medium-to-large-sized Dove found in southwestern United States, Central America, and the Caribbean. These doves can be seen in southern New Mexico 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.

The White-winged Dove has been seen at 66% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder type:

  • Large Hopper
  • Ground
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food:

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

8. White-crowned Sparrow

The White-crowned Sparrow is a medium-large-sized sparrow found throughout North America and can be seen in New Mexico 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.

The White-crowned Sparrow has been seen at 62% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

9. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay

The Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is a medium-sized jay found in western North America and can be seen in the majority of New Mexico all year round.

Males and females are about 28-30cm (11-11.8 inches) long and weigh around 70-100g (2.5-3.5oz). They are slender, long-tailed Jays with a long, straight bill with a pointed tip.

Their heads, tails, and wings are blue, and they have a grayish-brown back. Below, they are gray with a white throat and a blue band that separates the white throat from the gray belly.

They live in various habitats, including chaparral, oak woodlands, pine-juniper forests, and open areas with scattered trees.

Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are omnivores and feed on various food items such as insects, acorns, berries, snakes, bird eggs, and lizards. They forage primarily on the ground and visit bird feeders if sunflower seeds or peanuts are available.

Thanks to their intelligence and adaptability, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are one of the most common backyard birds across western North America.

The Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay has been seen at 59% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed
  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Peanuts
  • Suet
  • Mealworms

10. Mountain Chickadee

The Mountain Chickadee is a small-sized songbird that is found in mountains of North America, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains located in California to the Rocky Mountains range that runs through Alberta, British Columbia, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and into South Dakota. They can be seen in New Mexico all year round.

Males and females are about 11-14cm (4.3-5.5 inches) long and weigh around 11g (0.4oz). They have large heads, rounded wings, tiny bills, and long rounded wings.

Like other chickadee species, they are gray above and paler grayish-white below. They have a black cap and throat and a white stripe over the eye that resembles an eyebrow. The white line is what differentiates Mountain Chickadees from other species.

They live across mountainous coniferous forests but will also be seen in mixed woodlands, urban parks, and gardens with similar habitats at lower elevations.

Mountain Chickadees are insectivores and will feed on insects, spiders, caterpillars, beetles, and insect eggs. They mostly forage by gleaning from tree branches and trunks and hovering to catch their prey.

They can be found in backyards with bushes and trees and will often visit bird feeders that offer black oil sunflower seeds and suet cakes.

The Mountain Chickadee has been seen at 55% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Large and Small Tube Feeders
  • Large and Small Hoppers
  • Platform Feeder
  • Suet Cage

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms
  • Nyjer

11. Lesser Goldfinch

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

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.

The Lesser Goldfinch has been seen at 55% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed
  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Nyjer

12. Bushtit

The Bushtit is a tiny bird that lives in western areas in North America. Bushtits can be seen all year round in most of New Mexico except for central New Mexico.

Males and females are about 7-8cm (2.8-3.1 inches) long and weigh around 4-6g (0.1-0.2oz). They are plump-looking birds with a long tail, large head, seemingly no neck, and a short, stout bill. Bushtits are dull gray above and slightly paler gray below.

They live in various habitats such as forests, woodlands, shrublands, woody areas near streams, and urban areas such as gardens and parks. You will usually always see flocks of bushtits moving together.

Bushtits eat primarily insects and spiders year-round. They glean insects from foliage and catch them mid-air as they fly off branches or pick them from leaves.

They can be found visiting bird feeders that offer mealworms, suet balls, sunflower hearts (hulled or shelled), and sometimes whole peanuts or peanut hearts.

The Bushtit has been seen at 53% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Sunflower Seeds (Black Oil and Hulled)
  • Mealworms
  • Peanuts (Hearts and Whole)
  • Suet

13. Canyon Towhee

The Canyon Towhee is a medium-sized bird found in the southwestern United States and central Mexico, and are a year-round resident of New Mexico.

Males and females are about 21-25cm (8.3-10 inches) long and weigh around 37-53g (1-2 ounces). They have a large round body, long tail, short wings, and a short, thick bill.

Canyon towhees are brownish-gray overall with a rusty crown and undertail and a white belly with a single dark breast spot. They have faint dark streaks from their throat to the dark breast spot.

Canyon towhees prefer southwestern habitats such as deserts, canyons, scrubs, and desert community gardens. They prefer areas with dense shrubs and trees for nesting but will also use cacti or rock outcroppings.

Canyon towhees are ground foragers that eat seeds primarily but will also supplement their diet with insects.

They have been known to visit bird feeders that offer sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, or millet.

The Canyon Towhee has been seen at 52% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Ground
  • Platform Feeder

Food Type:

  • Sunflower Seeds (black oil and hulled sunflower)
  • Milo
  • Millet
  • Cracked corn
  • Peanut hearts

14. House Sparrow

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

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 51% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

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

15. Eurasian Collared-Dove

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.

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.

The Eurasian Collared-Dove has been seen at 50% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

16. 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 beautiful birds can be seen in New Mexico 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.

The White-breasted Nuthatch has been seen at 50% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

17. Curve-billed Thrasher

The curve-billed Thrasher is a medium-sized bird found in the deserts of Southwestern United States, Southeast California, and 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.

The Curve-billed Thrasher has been seen at 47% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

18. Ladder-backed Woodpecker

The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is a small woodpecker that lives in the southwestern United States and Mexico. They can be seen in southeastern New Mexico 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.

The Ladder-backed Woodpecker has been seen at 47% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Suet Cage
  • Large Hopper
  • Platform

Feeder Food:

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

19. Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is a common species of bird found throughout North America and is a year-round resident of New Mexico.

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 39% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

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

20. Cooper’s Hawk

The Cooper’s Hawk is a medium-sized hawk found throughout North America and can be seen throughout New Mexico 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.

The Cooper’s Hawk has been seen at 39% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • N/A

Feeder Food:

  • Unsuspecting Doves, Jays and Robin-sized birds

21. Cassin’s Finch

The Cassin’s Finch is a small, sparrow-sized bird found in the western half of North America. These tiny birds can be seen in New Mexico primarily during the winter months.

Males and females are about 16cm (6.3-6.5 inches) long and weigh around 24-34g (0.8-1.2oz). They are similar to the Purple Finch and House Finch but have longer and heavier pointed bills and longer wings. They have notched short to medium-length tails and a peaked head.

Males and females have streaked undertail coverts, wings, and backs. Males have a bright red cap, rosy pink face, breast, and rump. The females are brown and white with fine steaks on their chests and underparts.

Cassin’s Finches can be found in evergreen forests located in the mountains during the warmer months and tend to move to lower elevations during the colder months.

They eat mostly seeds, berries, and buds but also feed on insects when available. They forage mainly in the trees with other finches like Pine Siskins and crossbills.

Cassin’s Finches have been known to visit bird feeders that offer sunflower seeds, millet, or thistle seeds in the winter months.

The Cassin’s Finch has been seen at 37% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Large and Small Hooper
  • Large and Small Tube feeder

Feeder Food:

  • Nyjer Seed
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Millet

22. Bewick’s Wren

The Bewick’s Wren is a medium-sized wren found primarily in the southwestern United States and Central America, and are a year-round resident of New Mexico.

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.

The Bewick’s Wren has been seen at 34% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Mealworms

23. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is a small woodpecker found throughout North America and can be seen in most of New Mexico except for the southern and eastern edges all year round.

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 32% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Suet Cage
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food:

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

24. 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. 

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.

The European Starling has been seen at 32% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

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

Feeder Food:

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

25. American Crow

The American Crow is a large bird found throughout most of North America, except in some areas in the southern United States along the border with Mexico. These large birds can be seen year-round in northwest New Mexico and northcentral and northeast areas during the winter.

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

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

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

They are omnivores and very opportunistic and will eat small mammals, insects, and amphibians but may also be found eating fruits or grain in the wintertime when other food sources are scarce. We have even personally seen crows stealing chicks from other nests and flying away to eat them.

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

The American Crow has been seen at 31% of all feeder sites in New Mexico.

Feeder Type:

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food:

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

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

  • House Finch (47% frequency)
  • Dark-eyed Junco (36% frequency)
  • Mourning Dove (29% frequency)
  • American Robin (29% frequency)
  • White-winged Dove (27% frequency)
  • Spotted Towhee (25% frequency)
  • Northern Flicker (25% frequency)
  • White-crowned Sparrow (22% frequency)
  • House Sparrow (22% frequency)
  • Lesser Goldfinch (21% frequency)

What Are The Most Common Winter Backyard Birds Of New Mexico?

  • Dark-eyed Junco (69% frequency)
  • House Finch (47% frequency)
  • White-crowned Sparrow (33% frequency)
  • Northern Flicker (33% frequency)
  • American Crow (28% frequency)
  • American Robin (28% frequency)
  • White-winged Dove (26% frequency)
  • Spotted Towhee (23% frequency)
  • House Sparrow (22% frequency)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch (17% frequency)

Birds To Spot Beyond The Backyard In New Mexico

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. Greater Roadrunner
  2. Yellow-throated Warbler
  3. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  4. Violet-green Swallow
  5. Barn Swallow
  6. Swainson’s Thrush
  7. Golden-winged Warbler
  8. Swainson’s Warbler
  9. Black-capped Vireo
  10. Brewer’s Blackbird
  11. Mountain Bluebird
  12. Lark Bunting
  13. Brewer’s Sparrow
  14. Pinyon Jay
  15. Bohemian Waxwing
  16. Black Rosy-Finch
  17. Cedar Waxwing
  18. Rufous Hummingbird
  19. Swainson’s Hawk
  20. Western Tanager
  21. Vesper Sparrow
  22. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  23. Western Bluebird
  24. Western Meadowlark
  25. Red Crossbill
  26. Common Nighthawk
  27. Gambel’s Quail
  28. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  29. Western Kingbird
  30. Steller’s Jay

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of birds live in new mexico

New Mexico is home to many kinds of bird species like small song birds, water birds, and birds of prey. The most common of which include the House Finch (47% frequency), Dark-eyed Junco (36% frequency), Mourning Dove (29% frequency), Mallard Duck (14% frequency), Canada Goose (14% frequency), Red-tailed Hawk (14% frequency), Turkey Vulture (14% frequency) and the American Kestrel (13% frequency).

How many species of birds are there in New Mexico

There are 558 documented species of birds that have been observed in New Mexico.

What Birds Of Prey Are In New Mexico?

New Mexico is home to many raptor species such as Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, Owls and Vultures. Some of the most common include the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Coopers Hawk, American Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcon, Great Gray Owl, Barn Owl and the Burrowing Owl.

What Is The State Bird Of New Mexico?

The Greater Roadrunner is the state bird of New Mexico.

What Is The Most Common Backyard Feeder Bird In New Mexico?

The Dark-eyed Junco is the most common backyard feeder bird in New Mexico.

Keep an eye out for the backyard birds of New Mexico

There you have it, the top backyard birds of New Mexico! We hope this article helped you identify some new species and discover which ones live near you. With so many kinds of backyard birds in New Mexico, there’s sure to be a backyard bird for you to find.

If you’re looking to venture out and do some birding, then visit one of New Mexico’s best hotspots for birdwatching.

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

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.

Happy birdwatching!

Photo of author
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!

Leave a Comment