There are hundreds of birds in North Carolina, with over 482 birds calling the state home. North Carolina’s impressive bird population makes it one of the best states in the country for bird watching. Some of these birds live in the state year round, while others migrate here during certain parts of the year and are only part-time residents.
It would be impossible to cover all 400 kinds of birds that live here, so we will cover the 29 most common songbirds and backyard birds in the state.
I’ll give you information on which birds you’re most likely to see in the yard, as well as helpful advice to attract some of the shyer birds.
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1. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
The Northern Cardinal is the most common bird in North Carolina and was named the official bird of North Carolina in 1943.
Cardinals are beautiful birds that are extremely recognizable. The males have bright red feathers all over their bodies with a dark black mask over their face. The females are a bit duller in color; their bodies are more brown with just a hint of red. Both males and females have long and spiky mohawk-like crowns on their heads. Their beaks are reddish-orange in coloration.
They are a medium-sized birds with a body length of about 8.3-9.1 inches/21-23.1 centimeters. Their wingspan reaches even further at about 9.8-12.2 inches/24.8-31 centimeters, and they can weigh between 1.5-1.7 ounces/42.5-48.2 grams. They can live up to 15 years.
Cardinals prefer to live near the edges of forests, along hedgerows, and open places with thick underbrush.
These birds like to feed on seeds, and can often be seen at backyard feeders. If you want to attract them, try sunflower seeds or a blend of seeds. In the wild, they will eat insects in addition to seeds. Some of their favorite seeds to eat are from dandelions, clovers, and grasses.
You can find Northern Cardinals throughout the state of North Carolina year-round.
2. Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
These little birds are blue over most of their body. Their head, back, and wings are all a beautiful deep blue. Only their breasts are a reddish-brown color.
They are on the smaller side, with their bodies reaching about 5.5-7.1 inches/14-18 centimeters in length. Their wingspan can reach 9.8-12.6 inches/24.8-32 centimeters, and they may weigh between 1.0-1.1 ounces/28.3-31.2 grams. They will live for about 6-10 years.
They prefer to live in deciduous forests or near agricultural land. They can also sometimes be found in orchards.
Eastern bluebirds are mostly carnivorous, preferring to eat insects and other small invertebrates. However, during the winter months, they will feed more on berries and fruits when insects are not available.
Eastern bluebirds love to frequent birdhouses, and they are one of people’s favorite birds. People commonly purchase birdhouses just for these birds, because they won’t come to feeders as frequently as other bird species.
You can see these birds all throughout North Carolina year-round. Most will stay in the state as permanent residents, but some will travel south over the winter.
3. Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
The northern mockingbird is a larger bird whose body length can grow up to 11 inches/28 centimeters. They will weigh between 1.4-2 ounces/40-58 grams. They can live up to 8 years in the wild, but have been known to live up to 20 years in captivity.
These birds are recognizable because of the gray coloration on their bodies combined with their white belly and breast. Their wings are barred in black and white. The thing that makes them stand out the most is their exceptionally long legs coupled with their short tail. Their bills are also long and black, with a slight decurve.
Northern mockingbirds don’t love woodland, but instead prefer open areas as well as the edges of forests. People will also commonly see them in urban areas, farmland, inside parks, and along roadways.
They prefer to feed on berries, fruits, seeds, and insects. They will even occasionally eat small lizards as well.
Since their diet is so varied, you are not as likely to see these birds gathering at your bird feeder. However, they do still love their seed, so keep an eye out for when they do stop by.
Northern mockingbirds are very common in the southeastern portion of the United States and are year-round residents of North Carolina.
4. White-Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
The white-breasted nuthatch is also on the smaller side with a body length of about 5.1-5.5 inches/12.9-14 centimeters. Their wingspan can reach 7.9-10.6 inches, and they can weigh between 0.6-1.6 ounces/17-45.3 grams.
Bird watchers will recognize these birds because of the white feathers on the side of the head and on their underside and breast. Their wings are gray to black, and they have a black stripe on the top of their head.
White-breasted nuthatches like to live in temperate climates with coniferous and deciduous woods.
These birds are one of the species most commonly found at birdfeeders. They like to grab nuts and seeds from the feeders and then take them back to a tree. They will then burrow the seeds or nuts under the bark. They will then use their long, sharp beaks to peck, or “hatch” them out of their shell.
If you want to attract white-breasted nuthatches to your feeder, try a combination of peanuts, sunflower seeds, and mixed seeds. They are also partial to blocks of suet.
These birds can be found throughout North Carolina year-round.
5. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
American crows are one of the largest birds on this list with a body length of 15.8-20.9 inches/40.1-53 centimeters. Their wingspan is double the size of their body length, reaching 33.5-39.4 inches/85-100.3 centimeters. They can weigh 11.2-21.9 ounces/317.5-620.8 grams. They can live up to 14 years.
These birds are very easy to spot because of their large size and their al-black bodies. They also have a very distinctive call that sounds like a “caww”. They will frequently use this call to warn their family members of danger, and they will even gather in groups to chase off larger birds like owls and hawks.
They prefer to sit at the top of trees where they’re high up and can watch everything. They are social and incredibly intelligent, so they stay together in large flocks.
Since they are so big, you will not usually see them gathering at your bird feeder. However, you can try throwing seeds on the ground for them to eat. Because they are so smart, crows will remember the faces of humans that are kind to them. Sometimes, as a sort of thanks, they will bring you little trinkets.
American crows can be found throughout North Carolina year-round.
6. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Carolina wrens are smaller birds that grow to about 5.0-5.5 inches/12.7-14 centimeters, and they can weigh between 0.6-0.8 ounces/18-23 grams. They are known to live up to 6 years.
These birds are generally a dark brown on their backs, wings, tails, and tops of their heads. The belly and breast is a light orange-brown color. Their beak is long and slightly curved downward. They have a long white stripe above their eyes that runs down their head toward their back.
Unlike some of the other birds on this list, Carolina wrens prefer more dense and woody habitats. They like brush, shrub, and moist woodlands such as swamps.
Carolina wrens will typically feed on insects like ants, crickets, beetles, and spiders. However, you’re still likely to see them at your bird feeder because they’ll happily eat bird seed when it’s available. They will also eat fruit when they can find it, so if you have fruiting plants, you will be even more likely to see them in your backyard.
7. Red-Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Red-bellied woodpeckers are one of the larger birds on this list with a body length of about 9.4 inches. Their wingspan is quite large as well, reaching about 13.0-16.5 inches/33-41.9 centimeters, and they weigh 2.0-3.2 ounces/56.7-90.7 grams. They may live up to 12 years.
They are named “red-bellied” woodpeckers because they have a spot of reddish-pink coloration on their belly. However, the coloration is often so light that you can barely notice it. What is more noticeable is the long, bright red streak that goes down the back of their head.
What makes them even more noticeable is their white beak combined with the white and black barring that travels down their wings.
These beautiful birds are found in almost every terrain in North America except for mountainous regions. They prefer wooded areas of deciduous trees, but are commonly seen in parks and yards as well.
Red-bellied woodpeckers will not commonly come to regular bird feeders. However, they love to drill through suet blocks, so you should try hanging these up if you’d like to see them in your yard. In the wild, they prefer to eat insects, small frogs, sap, fish, and bird eggs.
They can be seen throughout North Carolina year-round.
8. Carolina Chickadee (Parus carolinensis)
The Carolina chickadee is a small bird. Their bodies usually only reach about 4.7 inches/12 centimeters in length, and they weigh only 0.3-0.4 ounces/9-12 grams. They may live up to 11 years.
You can easily recognize them because of their black bib or “cap” on their face, and the solid white of their cheeks. The wings and back of the birds are gray to black in coloration. The underside of the bodies and their breasts are white with puffy feathers.
Their favorite place to inhabit is wooded deciduous areas near clearings and waterways. In the wild, they will eat insects like beetles, caterpillars, ants, and spiders. They also like to snack on seeds, fruits, and berries.
These birds are very skittish, so while they like to visit bird feeders, they won’t stay for long. Usually, they will fly to the feeder, grab a few seeds, and fly back to a shrub or tree for cover. You can try feeding them sunflower seeds or a mix of seeds.
Carolina chickadees can be found throughout the state of North Carolina.
9. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
The blue jay is another larger-sized bird with a body length of about 9.8-11.8 inches/24.8-30 centimeters. Their wingspan can reach 13.4-16.9 inches/34-42.9 centimeters, and they can weigh between 2.5-3.5 ounces/70.8-99.2 grams. Most live up to about 7 years old, but they may live as long as 17 years.
They are very distinguishable because their feathers are mostly bright blue. They should not be confused with the eastern bluebird because they also have a bright blue crest at the top of their head.
To make them stand out even more, their underside and breast are pure white, and the wings are barred with blacks, blues, and whites. You will also notice that they have a thin, black band around their neck.
They are not very picky about their habitat and can be found in deciduous and coniferous forests, as well as woodlands. In the wild, they prefer to feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects.
Blue jays also love to frequent bird feeders, but they are a bit more picky. They prefer bird feeders with platforms and large perches. To attract them, you should add peanuts to your mixed seeds and sunflower seeds.
They can be found throughout North Carolina year-round.
10. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Downy woodpeckers are a medium-sized bird with a body length of about 5.5-6.7 inches/14-17 centimeters. Their wingspan reaches about 9.8-11.8 inches/24.8-29.9 centimeters, and they can weigh about 0.7-1.0 ounces/19.8-28.3 grams. They may live up to 11 years.
You can recognize these woodpeckers because they are the smallest woodpecker species in North America. Their bellies and breasts are all white, but their wings are black with white spots. To contrast the spots, their heads are striped with white and black. The males also have a bright red spot on the back of their head.
Their habitats consist mostly of deciduous forests, but they also need to be surrounded by lots of deadwood. The deadwood is where they will build their nests. Their diet consists mostly of insects, but they will eat seeds, berries, and nuts as well.
Unlike the red-bellied woodpecker, downy woodpeckers love hanging out at bird feeders, and will snack on almost anything. You can provide them with a mixture of sunflower seeds, seed mix, and suet.
Downy woodpeckers can be seen throughout North Carolina year-round.
11. White-Throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
White-throated sparrows are a medium-sized bird that can grow to 7.5 inches/19 centimeters in length, and may weigh 0.7-1.1 ounces/22-32 grams. They can live up to 10 years.
They are brown and gray on their back, head, and wings. The belly and breast are a lighter gray color. The head has black stripes, and the neck is white. They also have yellow around their eyes.
These birds live in grasslands, the edges of deciduous or coniferous woodlands, and in parks. They prefer areas that are semi-open with lots of shrubbery or brush. They migrate seasonally and like to flock with other white-throated sparrows.
White-throated sparrows will build their nests on the ground, usually at the edges of forests where there is shrubbery to hide in. The nests are built around stumps, logs, or trees so that the parents can keep watch over their nests while perched above the ground.
They are omnivorous and like to eat seeds, berries, and insects. They will forage for their seeds off the ground of the forest or in grassy clearings.
12. Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
Eastern Phoebe’s are medium-sized birds that can grow to about 5.6-6.6 inches/14.2-16.8 centimeters in length, and they can weigh up to 0.7 ounces/21.6 grams. They can live up to 10 years.
These birds are not usually particularly colorful and are rather dull so that they blend in with their surroundings. Their backs and wings are usually olive, gray, or brown, but their breasts and bellies are pale. Their bill is a solid black color.
The Eastern Phoebe prefers to live in deciduous woodlands with lots of wooden vegetation. They tend to live near the edges of forests or locations that are more open. Researchers believe that they prefer to live near sources of water when possible. They tend to migrate northward with the insect populations.
These birds are fun to watch because they will sweep their tails up and down, and side-to-side when sitting on a perch. They prefer to roost and inhabit their living area alone, although they will come together during the breeding season, of course. Sometimes, though, the female does not want any contact and will aggressively chase the male away.
Eastern Phoebe’s are mostly insectivores and prefer to dine on flying insects. Their favorite foods include wasps, flies, bees, and flying ants. They’ve also been known to eat things like grasshoppers and dangling spiders. Because they mostly feed on insects, it’s not likely that you’ll see them at your birdfeeder.
13. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Mourning doves are one of the larger birds on this list with a total body length of about 9.1-13.4 inches/23.1-34 centimeters. Their wingspans reach 17.7 inches/44.9 centimeters, and they weigh in at about 3.0-6.0 ounces/85-170 grams. They can live up to 20 years.
Their bodies are mostly a uniform light-gray color on their backs and wings, although they do have black spots. Their underside and breast is usually a pale orange-pink.
They are not picky about where they live and can be found in many places throughout North America. They are often seen in woodlands and along the edges of forests, but they are no strangers to grasslands, fields, parks, and urban areas.
Mourning doves are similar to robins in that they prefer to search the ground for their food. They like to feed on seeds, grains, insects, and fruits.
Unlike robins, though, doves like to eat seeds and will sometimes come to visit feeders. If you want to attract more doves to your birdfeeder, try choosing a ground feeder filled with a mix of seeds. You could also just sprinkle some seeds directly on the ground for them.
When they’re not at your birdfeeder, they are still seen frequently around the yard. They prefer to perch high up in trees or on telephone polls.
14. American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
American goldfinches are smaller birds whose body lengths are about 4.3-5.1 inches/10.9-12.9 centimeters. Their wingspans are almost double their body length at 7.5-8.7 inches/19-22 centimeters, but they only weigh 0.4-0.7 ounces/11.3-19.8 grams. They can live up to 11 years.
During the spring and summer, their feathers are bright yellow, which is where they get their name, “goldfinch”. Their wings will be tipped in black, and they have a black cap on their head.
In the winter time, these birds are not so stunning. They molt their bright yellow feathers so that they can better blend in with the surroundings. They trade their yellow feathers for a more brown or olive coloration. However, they will always have the black wingtips no matter what time of year.
American goldfinches are a bit picky when it comes to bird feeders. They will likely only come to your yard if you have a thistle feeder. If all you have is a regular feeder, you can try to bribe them with sunflower seeds, but it may not work.
These birds can be found throughout most of North Carolina year-round.
15. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Song sparrows are a medium-sized bird with a body length of 4.7-6.7 inches/11.9-17 centimeters. Their wingspans are about 7.1-9.4 inches/18-23.8 centimeters, and they can weigh 0.4-1.9 ounces/11.3-53.8 grams. They can live up to 11 years.
You will notice that these birds are mostly brown across their back and wings. However, they also have darker brown streaks going down their breast.
Song sparrows were given their name because of the uniqueness of their call. They use their voice to attract females during the mating season, and they also use it to scare other males from their territory.
You can search for these birds around the edges of ponds and streams in a bushy habitat. They can also be seen at the edges of woodlands and occasionally in uninhabited grasslands.
They do not visit bird feeders as commonly as some other species, but you may get lucky from time to time. They like to feed on sunflower seeds and seed mixes.
These birds are found mostly in the western part of the state, but they can be seen all throughout the state as well. Some types of sparrows will only winter in the eastern side of the state.
16. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
The tufted titmouse is a small bird with a body length of about 5.5-6.3 inches/14-16 centimeters. The wingspan is larger at 7.9-10.2 inches/20-25.9 centimeters, and their body only weighs between 0.6-0.9 ounces/17-25.5 grams. They can live up to 13 years.
Their bodies are a silver-gray color on the tops of their bodies and wings. Their lower body and breast is a similar color, but is lighter. There is also a black patch above their beaks, and they have a large crest.
These birds can be found near deciduous forests, particularly in areas that are moist, like in swamps or near rivers. They can sometimes be seen near residential areas and parks where there are plenty of trees.
Tufted Titmouses are fun birds to watch because they’re very active. They’ll fly quickly from tree-to-tree. They’ve also been known to hang upside-down in their search for insects.
They frequently like to visit bird feeders and prefer mixes of seeds and sunflower seeds. However, they generally feed on invertebrates. Some of their favorite foods include caterpillars, flies, spiders, insect eggs, moths, and even snails.
You can find the tufted titmouse throughout the state of North Carolina year-round.
17. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
The house finch is another small-sized bird that has a body length of about 5.1-5.5 inches/12.9-14 centimeters. Their wingspan is significantly larger though at 7.9-9.8 inches/20-24.8 centimeters, and they weigh about 0.6-0.9 ounces/17-25.5 grams. They can live up to 12 years.
You can recognize these birds because the males will have stripes of brown across their bodies. They will also have some red feathers on their head and chests. The females, on the other hand, are a uniformly dull brown color.
House finches are an invasive species, but they are not as terrible as the European starlings. They are not violent and will not usually cause problems with other wild birds.
However, house finches love bird feeders, and they will show up in giant flocks. You may find that your bird feeder is drained off all its seed after a flock of house finches has been by.
If you’d like to attract these birds, you should try out a thistle feeder because they are their favorites. However, they do like seed feeders as well, especially if you fill them with sunflower seeds.
18. American Robins (Turdus migratorius)
The American robin is a medium-sized bird with a body length of about 7.9-11.0 inches/20-27.9 centimeters. Their wingspan is quite large with a width of 12.2-15.8 inches/31-40.1 centimeters, and their bodies can weigh between 2.7-3.0 ounces/76.5-85 grams. They can live up to 14 years.
These birds are one of the most common birds in North America and across the United States. They are easily recognized because of their brown back and wings combined with their brownish-red belly and breast. Their beaks are a bright yellow that also helps them to stand out.
Robins don’t typically eat seeds, so it’s not likely that you’ll see them at your birdfeeder. Don’t be discouraged though, because you will see them around your yard anyway. They are often seen in the yard, hopping around the grass looking for worms and bugs to eat. If you’d like to see them in your yard more often, try installing a bird bath, or plants that produce fruit.
They can be seen throughout North Carolina year-round.
19. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
European starlings are a medium-sized bird with a body length of about 7.9-9.1 inches/20-23.1 centimeters. Their wingspan can reach 12.2-15.8 inches/31-40.1 centimeters, and they can weigh about 2.1-3.4 ounces/59.5-96.3 grams. They can live up to 15 years.
They somewhat resemble crows and ravens with their bodies that are mostly black. However, you will notice distinctive white speckling on their backs and wings. What really makes them beautiful is the iridescent purple and green colorations that show in the feathers in the right light. What also makes them stand out is the bright yellow coloration of their feet and beaks.
As you can probably tell by the name, European starlings are not native to the United States, and they are considered quite invasive in some areas. They came to the United States as pets, but 100 of them were released in New York in the 1890s.
Since then, these birds have all but taken over, destroying the nests of other birds, killing and eating hatchlings, and driving other bird species away from bird feeders.
As I’ve said, European starlings are invasive, demanding, and pushy. They will likely show up at your feeder whether you want them to or not. I don’t encourage feeding them any additional food or you might find your birdfeeder absent of your other favorite species.
These birds can be found throughout North Carolina year-round.
20. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House sparrows are a medium-sized bird with a body length of 5.9-6.7 inches/15-17 centimeters. Their wingspans can reach 7.5-9.8 inches/19-24.8
centimeters, and they may weigh about 0.9-1.1 ounces/25.5-31.1 grams. They can live up to 13 years.
These birds are brown in color, but they also have some black and dark brown stripes going down their breast and wings.
Like European starlings, house sparrows are also considered invasive, and they were introduced to the United States in much the same way. The birds were brought to America and were released in New York in the 1800s. Today, you can find them almost everywhere across the United States.
Also like the starlings, house sparrows are aggressive towards other birds and can cause quite a commotion. Because of this, the house sparrow and the European starling are the only wild birds in the United States that you can legally and humanely trap and kill.
House sparrows do like to feed on seed, so it’s likely that you’ll notice them at your birdfeeder. Unfortunately, they may chase away other birds so that they can’t get at the seed. They will also eat insects on occasion.
House sparrows can be found throughout North Carolina year-round.
21. Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Red-winged blackbirds are on the larger size and can reach body lengths of 6.7-9.1 inches/17-23.1 centimeters. Their wingspans are large, reaching 12.2-15.8 inches/31-40.1 centimeters, and they can weigh 1.1-2.7 ounces/31.1-76.5 grams. They can live up to 20 years.
These birds are very easy to spot because they look a lot like crows because their bodies are nearly all black. However, what really makes them stand out is the bright red patches on either side of their wings. This only applies to the males, though, as the females are much more subdued. Their color is mostly a dull brown with occasional yellow feathers.
Red-winged blackbirds are a polygynous species, so a single male may have up to 15 different mates.
These birds love to gather around bird feeders and will eat all kinds of seeds. If you really want to attract them, try putting out a block of suet. In the wild, they feed mostly on plant matter when they’re not breeding. This consists mostly of seeds, rice, and corn. When they’re breeding, they will feed mostly on things like snails, baby birds, frogs, worms, and carrion.
They can be spotted all across North Carolina year-round.
22. Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Common grackles are one of the larger birds on this list with a body length of 11.0-13.4 inches/27.9-34 centimeters. Their wingspan can reach 14.2-18.1 inches/36-45.9 centimeters, and they may weigh 2.6-5.0 ounces/73.7-141.7 grams. They can live up to 22 years.
These birds can be recognized because they look very similar to the crow. Their bodies are almost completely black, although their feathers have an iridescent shine in the right kind of light. The one thing that makes them stand out is the yellow ring around their eye.
Because common grackles look so much like crows and other blackbirds, they will roost with other species that look like them. Sometimes, you will see a flock of thousands of birds consisting of grackles and other blackbirds.
Like starlings, common grackles are quite aggressive and will attack other birds.
You may often see common grackles around your bird feeder because they will eat just about anything. However, most people don’t like to see them at their feeders because of the way they bully the other birds.
They can be found throughout North Carolina year-round.
23. Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Hairy woodpeckers are a medium-sized bird with a body length of about 7.1-10.2 inches/18-25.9 centimeters. Their wingspan can reach 13.0-16.1 inches/33-40.8 centimeters, and they may weigh 1.4-3.4 ounces/36.9-96.4 grams. They can live up to 16 years.
Hairy woodpeckers look very similar to downy woodpeckers because of their coloration and markings. The main difference between the two birds is that the hairy woodpecker is larger than the downy woodpecker.
You will mostly find these birds in wooded areas where there are lots of dead trees. They create their nests by digging out cavities in dead trees, so this is essential.
These birds don’t seem to like to visit the bird feeder as much as the downy woodpeckers do, and this could possibly be related to their larger size. However, if you’d like to try and attract them, you can put out some mixed seed and suet for them to snack on.
Another reason they aren’t seen at bird feeders very often is because they feed mostly on insects. Some of their favorites are moths, grasshoppers, beetles, and ants. However, they do sometimes eat seeds, nuts, and fruits.
Hairy woodpeckers are found throughout North Carolina year-round.
24. Golden-Crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)
The Golden-crowned kinglets are one of the smallest on the list, and they can often be hard to see because of how small they are. In fact, they are the smallest bird in North Carolina besides hummingbirds. Their bodies only reach about 3-4.4 inches/7.8-11.2 centimeters, and they only weigh about 0.2 ounces/6.3 grams. They can live up to 7 years.
They are named as such because of the golden “crown” of feathers plumbing from the top of their head. The back and wings are a dark olive color, but there is a white band around the wings. The belly and breast is a light tan color, and the bill is black.
They like to hang out in deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs. They are not particular about the density of the forest as they will choose areas both dense and sparse. You are also likely to see these birds in urban, suburban, and even swampy areas.
Golden-crowned kinglets are not permanent residents of North Carolina, and are only seen in the winter when it is not the breeding season.
You won’t see these little birds visit bird feeders very often, possibly because they feel too threatened with their small size. Still, you may see them on occasion, so keep your eyes peeled.
25. Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
Baltimore orioles are medium-sized birds with a body length of about 6.7-7.5 inches/17-19 centimeters. Their wingspan can reach about 9.1-11.8 inches/23.1-29.9 centimeters, and they only weigh between 1.1-1.4 ounces/31.2-39.6 grams. They can live up to 12 years.
You can recognize these types of orioles because the males will have a dark “covering” over their head. Their backs are also black, but they have white stripes running down their wings. What really makes them stand out is the orange feathers of their breast, belly, and rump. Some birds will also have orange feathers in their tail.
The females are not nearly as brightly colored, although they do have some orange. Their bodies are generally a dull orange to yellow color.
You won’t see these birds at bird feeders very often because they feast on fruits and berries. If you’d like to attract these beautiful birds to your yard, you should consider planting fruit crops. You can also purchase a feeder designed specifically for these birds and fill it with orange slices and jelly.
Baltimore orioles can be seen throughout North Carolina, but they are not permanent residents. Instead, they only come around during the breeding season which occurs in the spring and summer.
26. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common hummingbirds in the United States. They’re also one of the smallest birds in the country with a body length of only 2.8-3.5 inches/7.1-8.9 centimeters. Their wingspans aren’t much bigger at 3.1-4.3 inches/7.8-10.9 centimeters, and they only weigh 0.1-0.2 ounces/2.8-5.6 grams. They can live up to 10 years.
They are named as such because the males have a bright ruby-colored throat. Both males and females have deep green feathers on their wings, backs, and heads. Their underside and breast are white.
You will find ruby-throated hummingbirds throughout North Carolina, and they are usually the only kind of hummingbird you’ll find here. They do not stay in the state year-round, but you can see them from spring to fall while they’re breeding.
These little birds do not eat seeds, so you won’t see them at a regular bird feeder. If you’d like to attract them to your yard, you’ll need to hang out nectar feeders. Be sure not to use the nectar that is colored red, as the artificial coloring is actually bad for the birds. Also, change the nectar at least every other day, or else it grows bacteria that can kill the birds.
27. Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)
Brown thrashers are mostly brown on their backs, wings, and heads. Their breast and belly is white with some dark brown striping. They can live up to 12 years.
These birds are very talented singers and have over 1,100 different songs. Many of these songs have been picked up from other species of birds. Although the coloration of their bodies doesn’t make them the most exciting bird to look at, they are one of the most entertaining birds to listen to.
They prefer to live in areas where the air is dry and warm. They stay near the edges of forests that are dense and have lots of shrubbery. You can also find them in urban, suburban, and agricultural areas as well.
You won’t see these birds at your bird feeder very often because they prefer to forage for bugs in the ground. However, they do enjoy the occasional seed, so you could try spreading some seeds across your grass and see if they come by.
Brown thrashers can be found throughout North Carolina.
28. Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
The gray catbird is a medium-sized bird with a body length of about 8.3-9.4 inches/21-23.8 centimeters. The wingspan is not much larger at 8.7-11.8 inches/22.1-30 centimeters, and they weigh 0.8-2.0 ounces/22.6-56.7 grams. They can live up to 11 years.
These birds are recognizable because their bodies are a dark gray across the back, wings, and tail. They have a black cap on their heads, and their tails are quite long.
Gray catbirds get their name because of their call. The unique sound they produce resembles the meowing of a cat.
They will not visit bird feeders very often because they prefer to eat fruit and berries. If you’d like to see them in your yard, you should try to plant some fruit-bearing trees and shrubs.
Gray catbirds can be found throughout North Carolina, but they are not usually permanent residents. Most of the birds will only live in the state during the breeding season. However, the catbirds that live near the coastline will inhabit the state year-round.
29. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Northern flickers are another one of the bigger birds on this list with a body length of 11.0-12.2 inches/27.9-31 centimeters. Their wingspan is often double their body length, reaching 16.5-20.1 inches/41.9-51 centimeters. They are also quite large in body weight, reaching a whopping 3.9-5.6 ounces/110.5-158.7 grams. They can live up to 9 years.
These woodpeckers are some of the most uniquely colored birds in the state. Their backs, wings, and the tops of their heads are a light to medium gray color. However, they also have thick black banding running down their back and wings. The breast and belly is white, but there are black spots speckling their underside.
These birds are most easily recognizable because of the thin, bright red spot at the back of the neck. They also have a thick black band at the base of their neck that looks almost like a necklace. Their cheeks are light brown with a thick black band on either side.
You won’t commonly see northern flickers at bird feeders because they mainly feed on insects. If you’d like to entice them to come to your yard, try installing a bird bath.
Northern flickers can be found throughout North Carolina year-round.