27 Common Backyard Birds of Texas to spot

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Backyard Birds of Texas

Texas is known for its diverse bird population. From the red-tailed hawk to the Carolina wren, a wide variety of birds can be found in Texas backyards. This abundance of species is due, in part, to the state’s varied habitats. From the Gulf Coast to the Hill Country, Texas has something to offer every type of bird.

The habitats of Texas support an impressive variety of bird species. The state’s many ecosystems include the pine forests of East Texas, the prairies of the Panhandle, and the marshes of the Gulf Coast.

In addition to its many habitats, Texas also enjoys a long growing season and ample rainfall, which help support many bird species. And while winter can be tough on some birds, most Texans enjoy watching backyard birds year-round.

One of the best ways to enjoy all these bird species is in your backyard, even more so if you have set up a bird feeder. A well-stocked feeder will attract a wide variety of birds, allowing you to see them up close. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see some rare species!

This blog post will look at 27 of Texas’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 at any time of the year.

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Backyard Birds Of Texas

According to the latest data from ebird, there are 674 observed species of Birds in Texas. This data comes from over 3.3 million checklists from over 62,500 avid birdwatchers.

Identifying and seeing all 674 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 Texas:

  • 674 observed species
  • The Northern Cardinal is the most common bird species in Texas.
  • The Northern Cardinal is the most common feeder bird of Texas.
  • The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is the smallest most common feeder bird in Texas.
  • The White-winged Dove is the largest backyard bird in the top 25 list.
  • The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird of Texas.

What Are The Most Common Backyard Birds Of Texas?

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

Top 5 Hotspots For Birdwatching In Texas

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

  1. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
  2. Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
  3. South Padre Island
  4. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
  5. Goose Island State Park

Types Of Backyard Birds Of Texas

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

1. Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a common species of bird found in the United States and is a year-round resident of Texas backyards.

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.

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. Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina Chickadee is a small species found primarily in the southeastern United States and can be seen in the eastern half of Texas 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.

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

3. 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 the western half of Texas 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.

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

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

4. American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is a common species of bird found throughout North America and can be seen in Texas during the colder non-breeding months.

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.

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer

5. 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 large birds can be seen in western and southern Texas during the warmer breeding months.

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

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

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

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

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

Feeder Type

  • Large Hopper
  • Ground
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food

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

6. American Robin

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

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.

Feeder Type

  • Platform feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food

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

7. Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird is a common species of bird found in the United States, Mexico and some areas of Central America, and is a year-round resident of Texas.

They are very similar to American Robins except for their size – with both sexes 21-26cm (8.3-10.2 inches) long and weighing between 45-58g (1.6-2oz).

They have grayish-brown feathers with black spots on their wings and tails; however, they also have white bellies, making them recognizable.

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

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

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

They are a frequent visitor to backyards and will typically visit suet feeders.

Feeder Type

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food

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

8. Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is a common species of bird found throughout North America and can be seen on the Texas border with Mexico during the winter months and the rest of Texas all year round.

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.

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

9. Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren is a common bird species in the eastern part of North America and can be seen in eastern Texas all 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.

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Suet
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Mealworms

10. Pine Siskin

The Pine Siskin is widespread throughout North America and some parts of Canada and Mexico, and can be seen in Texas during the colder non-breeding months.

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

Both males and females are brown, with dark streaking throughout their bodies. They are a small finch with a sharply pointed bill and a short notched tail.

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

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

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

Pine siskins eat seeds almost exclusively but will take insects or larvae when available if seeds are not readily accessible. They are also frequent visitors to backyard bird feeders that offer sunflower seeds, or nyjer seeds.

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Hulled Sunflower Seeds
  • Nyjer

11. Mourning Dove

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

They are about the size of an American Robin, with adults between 23-34cm (9.1-13.4 inches) long and weighing between 86-170g (3-6oz).

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

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

Mourning Doves are ground foragers meaning that they eat seeds, grains, and other vegetation found on the ground.

They have a varied diet but prefer to eat weed seeds such as dandelions or grasses in open fields rather than forest floors.

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

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

Feeder Type

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food

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

12. House Sparrow

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

Males and Females are about 15-17cm (5.9-6.7 inches) long and generally weigh between 27-30g (0.9-1.1oz).

They have gray color on their head and chest, black spots on the feathers around their eyes, and brownish tails; however, they also have distinctive white spots on their wings.

House Sparrows are prevalent backyard visitors that can be identified by the distinctive appearance of two white spots on each side of the wing.

They typically live in cities and towns with large populations, although they will visit backyards if suet feeders or birdseed is available.

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

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

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

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

13. Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwings can be found across much of North America and is a resident of Texas during the colder non-breeding months.

They are about 14-17cm (5.5-6.7 inches) long and weigh around 32g (1.1oz). The Cedar Waxwing is a medium-sized bird with a sleek brown head and crest, black mask (like a bandit) soft brown above that fades to soft gray wings. 

They are a pale yellow below with bright yellow tips to their gray tail. They have distinctive red waxy tips to their secondary wings but are not always easy to see.

Cedar Waxwings are social birds that often travel in small flocks of 20-30 birds. They are very vocal birds and can often be heard while they forage for fruit.

They can be found in woodlands, orchards, farms, gardens, or any area with fruiting trees.

They primarily feed on fruits and berries but supplement with insects in the summer months and will often visit backyard bird feeders that offer grapes or sliced oranges if available.

The Cedar Waxwing is an exciting bird to watch and observe. Its unique plumage makes it easy to identify, and its social nature makes it fun to see them traveling in flocks. Plus, who doesn’t love a good berry snack?

Feeder Type

  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food

  • Fruits

14. Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers are small songbirds found throughout North and Central America from Canada down to Panama. These small birds can be seen in Texas during the colder non-breeding months.

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

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

They are light gray with flashes of white in their wings. They have a yellow patch under their chin and yellow sides. Females’ colors are duller than the males, and winter plumage for both is a pale brown.

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

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

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

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

15. 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 can be seen all year round in eastern Texas.

They are gray above and white below with a crested head and small black forehead. Tufted Titmice are only about 14 – 16cm (5.5-6.3 inches) long and weigh around 18-26g (0.6-0.9oz).

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

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

Feeder Type

  • 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

16. Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a long, chisel-like bill. They are the most common woodpecker species in Texas and can be seen in the eastern half of the state all year round.

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).

Feeder Type

  • 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

17. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is a small woodpecker found throughout North America and can be seen in eastern Texas 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.

Feeder Type

  • Suet Cage
  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder

Feeder Food

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

18. Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are ubiquitous sparrows that are found throughout North America and can be seen in Texas during the warmer breeding months.

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.

Feeder Type

  • Large & Small Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food

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

19. Dark-eyed Junco

The Dark-Eyed Junco is a medium-sized sparrow found in the Northern Hemisphere from Alaska to Newfoundland and is a resident of Texas during the colder non-breeding 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.

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

20. Orange-crowned Warbler

The Orange-crowned Warbler is a small warbler found in North America and is a resident of Texas during the colder non-breeding months.

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.

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

21. Eastern Phoebe

The Eastern Phoebe is a small plump songbird found primarily in the eastern half of North and Central America. These tiny birds can be seen in central Texas all year round and along the border of Mexico and the gulf coast during the colder months.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

  • Nyjer
  • Cracked Corn
  • Millet
  • Fruit

22. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a small bird found throughout much of North America and can be seen in Texas during the colder non-breeding months.

Males and females are about 9-11cm (3.5 to 4.4 inches) long and weigh around 5-10g (0.2 to 0.3oz). They have a small round body, a short tail, and a small head with a thin, straight bill.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are olive green, white around the eye, and have two white wing bars. The adult male has a ruby-red crown that is only visible when he is excited or singing.

Ruby-crowned kinglets can be found in forests up north into Canada and the Rocky Mountains to the west during the breeding season.

In winters, they move to lower elevations in the southern US and Mexico, such as woodlands, gardens, parks, and backyards.

Ruby-crowned kinglets eat small insects such as spiders, mites, and bugs but will also eat some fruit during the winter months.

They have been known to visit bird feeders that offer sunflower seeds or suet. However, they prefer to eat insects, so a bird feeder with live mealworms would be more attractive.

Feeder Type

  • Platform Feeder
  • Suet Cage

Feeder Food

  • Mealworms
  • Peanut Hearts
  • Sunflower seeds (Hulled)
  • Suet

23. 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, and are year-round residents of Texas.

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.

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

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

24. Brown-headed Cowbird

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

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.

Feeder Type

  • Large Hopper
  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground Feeding

Feeder Food

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

25. 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.

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

26. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

Feeder Type

  • Platform Feeder
  • Ground

Feeder Food

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

27. Lesser Goldfinch

The Lesser Goldfinch is a common species of songbird found in the western half of North and Central America.

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

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

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

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

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

Feeder Type

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

Feeder Food

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed
  • Hulled Sunflower Seed
  • Nyjer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Kind Of Birds Are In Texas?

Texas is home to many species of birds that range in size from small Song Birds to larger Water Birds and Birds of Prey. The most common of which include the Northern Cardinal (50% frequency), Northern Mockingbird (45% frequency), Mourning Dove (36% frequency), Great Blue Heron (22% frequency), Double-crested Cormorant (12% frequency), Black Vulture (21% frequency), Red-tailed Hawk (14% frequency) and the Red-shouldered Hawk (11% frequency).

How Many Species Of Birds Are In Texas?

There are 674 documented species of birds in Texas.

What birds of prey are in Texas?

Texas is home to many birds of prey species such as Falcons, Hawks, Eagles, Owls and Vultures. Some of the most common include the American Kestrel, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Black Vulture and the Turkey Vulture.

What is the State Bird Of Texas?

The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird of Texas.

What Is The Most Common Backyard Bird In Texas?

The most common backyard bird of Texas is the Northern Cardinal.

Keep an eye out for the backyard birds of Texas

Texas is a great place to live if you’re a bird lover. With over 674 observed species of birds, there’s always something new to see. And while some birds are only around during certain seasons, many backyard birds can be seen all year round.

If you’re looking to venture out and do some birding, then visit one of Texas’s best hotspots for birdwatching. We would also love to hear about your favorite birdwatching spots or experiences in Texas.

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

Happy Birdwatching

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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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