Maybe you’ve lived in Ohio your whole life, but you’ve never shown much interest in birds until now. Maybe you and your family are avid bird watchers who’s moving to Ohio, and you want to know which birds to look out for. Or, maybe you’re just a traveler that enjoys nature and wants to look out for birds while you’re visiting.
Either way, Ohio is a great place for bird watching. There are at least 440 types of birds that are reported to live in Ohio for at least part of the year, and it’s likely that there may be more than that.
There are so many birds that it would be difficult to cover, so we’re going to explore the most common backyard birds here.
If you’re a bird watcher, you may have to hunt for a glimpse of some of these birds. But, most of them are so common that you just need to look out your back window to see them. That is why they’re called backyard birds, after all!
Share this image on your site
<a href="https://outforia.com/birds-of-ohio/"><img style="width:100%;" src="https://outforia.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/birds-of-ohio-inforgraphic-410x1024.jpg"></a><br>birds of Ohio <a href="https://outforia.com">Outforia</a>
The 40 Amazing Birds of Ohio: ID Guide with Photos
1. Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Red-winged blackbirds are larger birds with an average body size of 7-9.4 in (18-24 cm), and a wingspan of about 11.8-14.6 in (30-37 cm). They may live up to 20 years.
Their feathers are dark black and shiny, but their shoulders are covered in bright red and yellow feathers. As with most birds, the males are brighter than the females who are usually brown in color with dark stripes on their undersides. The females also have white eyebrow-like markings above their eyes.
Red-winged blackbirds are found all across Ohio, although they prefer habitats that are open and wet. They can most often be found in places like wet meadows, cattail marshes, and other open habitats. If you’re looking for one of these birds, the good news is that they can be spotted almost everywhere.
Fun Fact: You will commonly see these birds along roadsides because they like to perch on telephone wires, fences, and on roadside shrubs. They’re very easy to recognize because of their red wings and their loud and jarring, “conk-a-ree-onk” call.
2. Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
Eastern bluebirds are medium-sized birds with an average body length of 6.3-8.2 in (16-21 cm), and a weight of about 0.95-1.2 oz (27-34 g). They can live up to 11 years.
Their bodies look quite large compared to their short, stubby legs and beak. They are easily recognizable because their back and wings are a bright blue, and their breasts are red. The belly is white with some light blue. Females look similar, but are usually duller in color.
Eastern bluebirds are common all over Ohio, and many of them even stay year-round. They are most readily spotted in open, rural areas such as agricultural fields, meadows, pastures, and golf courses.
These birds are easily drawn to bird houses, so placing one in your backyard is the best way to see them up close. If you don’t have a bird house, you can always head to a local park that has bird houses installed..
Fun Fact: Eastern Bluebirds are very social and may congregate in flocks of over 100 birds. However, during the breeding season they become very territorial and will aggressively defend their nest.
3. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Northern cardinals are larger birds with an average body length of about 8.2-9.2 in (20.9-23.5 cm), and a wingspan of 12 in (30.5 cm). They can live up to 16 years.
Cardinals are very easy to spot because they are one of the brightest and most beautiful birds in the state. The males’ bodies are bright red all over except for a black “mask” on their face. The females are much more subdued with bodies that are light brown. They do, however, have some red accents, but they lack the black mask.
Northern cardinals are very common and can be found all across Ohio. They are incredibly adaptable and are not picky about their homes. You can just as easily see them in woodlands and forests as you would your own backyard. Be sure to set-up a bird feeder if you’d like to see them.
Fun Fact: The northern cardinal is the state bird of Ohio and is often seen on license plates. It is also one of the few species of birds where the females can sing as well as the males.
4. Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Black-capped chickadees are smaller birds with an average length of 5.2 in (13.3 cm), and a wingspan of 7.8 in (20 cm).
Their bodies are very small and chubby, and they look much like the Carolina chickadee. Their head is all black except for the cheeks which are white. The back and wings are a green-gray color, and there are white stripes down the wings. The bellies are also white, but the beaks are black.
Black-capped chickadees are not generally seen all throughout Ohio, but are found in the northernmost part of the state. They usually occupy from Mansfield, northward. They prefer habitats like woodlands, but visit suburban and urban areas as well.
They love to come to bird feeders, so if you’re in the area, you can usually spot them. Another good location to look for them is the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area.
Fun Fact: The black-capped chickadee and Carolina chickadee are often confused. However, they can be distinguished by their call. Their calls are very similar, but the black-capped chickadee has a deeper and raspier voice. They also call out more slowly, and the sound of their call is subtly different.
Their singing sounds like “fee-bee fee-bee”, and their call sounds like, “chik-a-dee-dee”.
5. Carolina Chickadee Bird (Poecile carolinensis)
Carolina chickadees are an average-sized bird with a length of about 4.7 in (12 cm) and a weight of 0.32-0.42 oz (9-12 g). They can live up to 11 years.
In general, chickadees will have a black crown, throat, and neck. Their cheeks, bellies, and breasts will be white, and the wings and tails are a light gray.
Carolina chickadees are not usually found all throughout Ohio. Instead, they congregate mostly in the lower portion of the state from the Ohio River up until about Mansfield. They love to inhabit woodlands, but they also frequently come to yards and parks.
These birds love to visit bird feeders, so if you are visiting the area, you are likely to spot them somewhere.
Fun Fact: Carolina chickadees are often mistaken for the black-capped chickadee, but they can easily be distinguished by their call. When it sings, the Carolina chickadee makes a “fee-bee, fee-bay” sound, while their calls sound like their name, “chik-a-dee-dee-dee”.
6. Brown-Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
Brown-headed cowbirds are rather large birds that have an average body length of 6.3-8.6 in (16-22 cm), and a wingspan of 12.6-14.9 in (32-38 cm). They can live up to 17 years.
The males have dark, glossy, black bodies with a brown head. Their beaks are also long, pointed, and gray. The females are a dull brown, but may have some darker streaks on their breasts. They also have a long, pointed, and gray beak.
Brown-headed cowbirds are one of the most common birds across Ohio and are not picky about where they live. They can be found in almost any habitat except very dense woodlands. You should not have trouble spotting them, even in your backyard.
Fun Fact: These birds are parasitic and lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. When the hatchlings are born, they usually prevent the hatchlings of the original parents from eating. This leads to the original hatchlings usually dying, and can have a negative impact on songbird populations.
7. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
American crows are large birds that can weigh up to 16 oz (450 g). They can live up to 14 years.
They are pretty easy to spot as their entire bodies are black. However, their feathers have an iridescent shine to them with a slight green coloration. Their beaks are also black with a bit of a hook, and their legs are very strong.
American crows are very common across Ohio and the entire United States. They are opportunistic and are not picky about where they wind up. They prefer rural areas with agricultural fields and woodlands, but they can be found almost anywhere, including suburban and urban areas.
If you’re having trouble spotting them, take a look in Columbus, Mansfield, and Springfield where they form large flocks over the winter months.
Fun Fact: Crows are cooperative breeders. This means that some of the birds will choose to stay near the area they were born to help raise future young and defend the nest. They choose to do this rather than producing offspring of their own.
8. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Mourning Doves are medium-sized birds that are subdued in coloration. Their bodies are generally about 8.8-14.1 in (22.5-36 cm) long, and their wingspans are 5.6-5.9 in (14.2-15 cm). They can live up to 20 years.
Their backs and wings are generally a medium brown with darker brown spotting. Their underside and breast is usually a lighter brown or tan coloration.
Mourning doves are very abundant throughout Ohio because they have a high reproductive rate. They are not picky about where they live. They can be found most often in open land like agricultural fields and grasslands, but they may also live in areas of open woodland.
You’ll most likely find them in Deer Creek, Killdeer Plains, and Paint Creek.
Fun Fact: They are called the “mourning” dove because their call sounds quite sad. You can easily recognize their “oh-woo-woo-woo” calls.
9. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Northern flickers are larger birds with a body length of 11.8-13.8 in (30-35 cm), and a wingspan of 21.3 in (54.1 cm). They can live up to 9 years.
They can be spotted because of their grayish-brown back that is barred. Their rump is white, while the head is tan, the crown is gray, and the nape is red. Their underside is a lighter brown color with black speckling.
The northern flicker is a common bird across the state of Ohio, particularly in the spring when they are migrating. They can be found in more open areas like woodlands with scattered trees.
They aren’t as common at bird feeders, so to spot them, be sure to check out the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in April and May when the birds are migrating.
Fun Fact: They can often be seen hopping across the ground searching for ants.
10. Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens)
The acadian flycatcher is on the smaller side with a body length of about 5.1-5.9 in (13-15 cm), and a wingspan of about 9 in (23 cm). They can live up to 11 years.
They are harder to distinguish from other flycatchers, but their bodies are an olive color with a whitish-yellow rump and belly. There are white bars on the wings. The upper portion of their bill is black, while the bottom portion is yellow or pink.
Acadian flycatchers are common across Ohio and are found most commonly in riparian woodlands. They gather together in large numbers, and may sometimes be seens in swampy areas as well. In any case, they prefer to be near bodies of water like streams.
If you’d like to spot these birds, check out Mohican state forest, Clear Creek, Goll Woods, Davey Woods, and Grand River.
Fun Fact: These birds are incredible flyers and have even been known to fly backwards.
11. Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)
Willow flycatchers are smaller birds with a length of about (13.3-17 cm) and a weight of 0.4-0.58 oz (11.3-16.4 grams). They can live up to 11 years.
Their backs are a brownish-olive color with cream-colored breasts. The throats are white. The most noticeable characteristic is the flat head combined with the long bill.
Willow flycatchers are somewhat common in Ohio and like to live in areas with lots of shrubs. They prefer moist areas with lots of thickets, but as long as there is plenty of shrubbery, they are happy in dry grasslands, too.
To spot them, check out some reclaimed strip mines like Crown City and Woodbury Wildlife Areas.
Fun Fact: They are aggressively territorial, defending nesting areas that are larger than what they need.
12. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher Bird (Polioptila caerulea)
Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers are small birds that only weigh about 0.23 oz (6.5 g). They can live up to 5 years.
Although their bodies are small, their tails are abnormally long. Their backs and wings are a blueish-gray coloration that blends into black at the bases of the wings. The underside of the bird white. The tail is black, but has white stripes, and there is a rim of white around the eyes.
Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers are common across the state of Ohio and prefer to live in deciduous trees. They need trees that are large which are usually found in well forested areas like parks.
If you’d like to spot these birds, try heading over to Davey Woods or Lawrence Woods state nature preserves. You are most likely to see them during the springtime because they travel to more tropical areas over the winter.
Fun Fact: Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers produce sounds that are high-pitched and squeaky. If you want one to come close to you, you can sometimes lure them in by mimicking their calls.
13. American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
American goldfinches are smaller birds that are about 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm) in length, with a wingspan of 7.5-8.6 in (19-22 cm). They can live up to 11 years.
These birds are very easy to spot, especially during the breeding season. When they are about to breed, the males will molt to take on a very bright yellow coloration. The gold feathers will cover their throat, back, and bellies. What really makes them stand out is the contrasting black on their wings, tails, and heads.
Females, and males during the off-season, are simply olive-brown on their backs and wings, with a bit of yellow on their underside.
American goldfinches are found all across Ohio, but prefer open habitats like yards, parks, and gardens. They are not difficult to spot throughout the state, and they like to come to bird feeders, so they can often be spotted right in your backyard.
Fun Fact: American goldfinches are interesting flyers. They will beat their wings several times to get themselves high into the air. Then, they will descend briefly with their wings closed. This leads to a kind of undulating flight pattern that resembles dancing.
14. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are one of the smallest birds in Ohio with a body length of just 2.9-3.5 in (7.5-9 cm) and a weight of about 0.12 oz (3.6 g). They will live about 5-10 years.
They are easily recognized by the bright and beautiful green found on the back of their heads. Their underside is white. The males will have a deep red throat, as the name suggests, but the female’s throat will be gray.
Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are common around Ohio and you are likely to see them in your backyard. They are not very picky and will travel through forests as well as grassland, gardens, and yards. They are more drawn to areas with flowering plants that they can feed on.
Hummingbirds are hard to spot because they are so small and quick. Their wings can move at 80 wing beats per second. You can tell that one is close by though because of the humming their quick wing-beating creates. They also create high-pitched squeaking calls.
Fun Fact: When the climate becomes too cold — particularly at night — hummingbirds will enter a state of torpor. Torpor is similar to hibernation and allows the birds to conserve energy.
15. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
Blue jays are larger birds with a body length of 8.6-11.8 in (22-30 cm) and a weight of about 2.3-3.8 oz (65-109 g). They can live up to 30 years.
They are very beautiful birds with a stunning blue coloration on their backs and wings. The belly and chin is a whitish-gray color, and their crest is a gray-blue. There are also white and black bands going across the blue wings.
Blue jays can be found across Ohio and are found in various different habitats. They are most commonly found in woodland areas with oaks and hickory trees. However, you can see them in suburban areas and parks as well.
For a beautiful experience, travel to Lake Erie in May where the birds will gather in large migratory flocks. Magee Marsh Wild Area is a great place for this.
Fun Fact: Blue Jays are most recognizable by their extremely loud calls that sound like a scream. They use this loud scream as an alarm to warn other birds and animals of nearby threats. They also mimic sounds very easily and can perfectly imitate the call of a red-shouldered hawk.
16. Dark-Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Dark-eyed juncos are medium-sized birds with a body length of about 4.9-6.5 in (12.5-16.5 cm), and a wingspan of about 9.2 in (23.5 cm). They can live up to 11 years.
Although their bodies are a similar size to many of the birds on this list, their bodies are also very slim. Their heads, breasts, backs and wings are dark gray, while their bellies are bright white. Females tend to be browner than the males.
Dark-eyed junco are most commonly found in Ohio over the winter months, although they will stick around for the fall and spring as well. They like habitats that are wooded and open, but when they’re breeding, they like to stick to hemlock gorges.
They are very easy to spot out and about because they are found in almost any habitat. They are very drawn to feeders, so you are likely to spot them in your backyard.
Fun Fact: Dark-eyed juncos love to hop along the ground and can travel 11.8 in (30 cm) in a single hop. They can also run quickly along the ground if needed to get away from predators or catch their own prey.
17. Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)
Eastern kingbirds are quite large, averaging about 7.7-9 in (19.5-23 cm) in length. However, they are quite small compared to many of their family members. The average lifespan is not known.
You can recognize these birds because they have dark black feathers on their back and wings, but have bright white feathers on their underside. There is also a gray band of feathers across their chest, and there is a large crest at the top of their head.
The eastern kingbird can be found throughout Ohio and likes to live in areas with lots of open space. Woodlots are pretty typical as well as small tree lines, parks, and power lines.
If you’d like to see these birds, be sure to check out the state’s wildlife areas like Indian Creek, Mercer, and Crown City Wildlife Areas.
Fun Fact: It’s likely that these birds are called “kings” because of their aggressive and dominant nature. They will frequently harass birds larger than themselves like crows, and even raptors.
18. Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
Eastern meadowlarks are bigger birds with an average body length of 7.5-10.2 in (19-26 cm), and a wingspan of about 14-15.7 in (35-40 cm). They can live up to 9 years.
They are most recognized for their tails which are short and rigid as well as their beaks which are light gray. They have brown eyes, and their legs are quite long. Their heads are gray with black stripes and a yellow stripe above the eye. The wings and back are barred with light and dark brown, and the underside is more of a cream color.
Eastern meadowlarks are very common across the state of Ohio, and as the name suggests, they prefer open habitat. They are most often seen in places like meadows, pastures, grasslands, and hayfields.
You usually don’t need to hunt to find these birds, but if you’re having trouble spotting them, try searching in reclaimed strip mine grasslands.
Fun Fact: Eastern meadowlarks are social and will gather in large flocks over fall and winter. There is no social hierarchy, and the birds will just gather together loosely.
19. White-Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
White-breasted nuthatches are a medium-sized bird with an average length of 5.9 in (15 cm), and a body weight of 0.72 oz (20.5 g). They can live up to 10 years.
The thing that sets white-breasted nuthatches apart from the other nuthatches is actually their bill. The bill is much longer than that of other nuthatches and is about the same length as their head. They have black crowns, white cheeks and undersides, and black, white, and blue wings.
White-breasted nuthatches are found all throughout Ohio and are not overly particular about where they live. They prefer to have plenty of trees, but can be found throughout woodlands, neighborhoods, and parks.
These birds love to come and visit bird feeders, so setting one up in your backyard is your best chance at seeing one up close.
Fun Fact: These birds are most recognizable by the way they climb trees and in their search of food. Unlike woodpeckers who travel vertically up trees, nuthatches travel vertically down tree trunks.
20. Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
Eastern phoebes are larger birds with a length of 5.6-6.6 in (14.2-16.8 cm), and a weight of about 0.76 oz (21.6 g). They can live up to 11 years.
The back and wings of these birds are typically a gray color with hints of olive. Their belly and breasts are usually a pale brown. Males are typically darker than females.
Eastern phoebes can be found throughout most of the state, but they are not common in agricultural areas in the west. They prefer to live in woodland areas with more open space. The edges of forests and clearings are common. They also like to stay close by to a source of water.
They are not fearful of humans, though, and often build their nests on buildings, bridges, and various human-made structures.
To spot these birds, check out Hocking Hills. There is a mated pair that has nested on the Howald mausoleum for years. Their nest can be found on the building near the pond in the Green Lawn Cemetery.
Fun Fact: This is another bird that’s gotten its name from its call. It makes a sound like “fee-bee”.
21. American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
American robins are a larger bird that can grow to an average body length of 9-11 in (23-28 cm), with a wingspan of about 4.7-5.4 in (11.9-13.7 cm). They can live up to 14 years.
These birds are so common that, although their bodies are rather dull, everyone can recognize them. Their backs and wings are medium-brown, but they do have some red on their breast. The belly and throats are white, although there is a bit of black streaking on the throat as well.
American robins are one of the most common and abundant birds in the state of Ohio. They are not picky at all about where they choose to live, and can be found almost anywhere. They frequent yards and bird feeders a lot, so you shouldn’t have trouble spotting them.
Fun Fact: The males are avid singers, and surely everyone in Ohio has heard their call, even if they don’t realize it. Some people have even referred to their early morning singing as the “dawn chorus” because so many robins will join in at one time.
22. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House sparrows are medium-sized birds that have a wingspan of about 3 in (7.6 cm) and weigh about 1 oz (28.5 g). They can live up to 13 years.
Their bodies are short and bulky, and they have very short legs. Their bills are thick. The backs and wings are brown with black stripes, while the belly and breast is a lighter brown. On males, you will notice white cheeks and black on the neck that females do not have.
House sparrows can be found all throughout Ohio and prefer to live in places that have been created or altered by humans, like the name suggests. They are most commonly found on farms, in neighborhoods, and sometimes in urban areas. They will not live in areas of woodlands, deserts, or grasslands that are absent from humans.
Because they like to be around humans, it is very easy to spot these little birds. They prefer foraging for their food on the ground, so try sprinkling some seed in your grass.
Fun Fact: House sparrows are extremely territorial of their nesting sites. They only seem to defend a small area surrounding their nest, but they will attack any birds that come too close.
23. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Song sparrows are medium-sized birds with a body length of about 4.7-6.7 in (12-17 cm), and a weight of about 0.67 oz (19.1 g). They can live up to 11 years.
These birds are most easily recognized because of the streaking across their plumage that forms a spot in the middle of their chest. You will also notice that the head is brown with a white crown and stripe at its eye. The tail is long, round, and rust colored.
Song sparrows are found all across Ohio and are not very picky about their habitat. They simply prefer open space like that of grasslands, but will choose semi-open spaces as well. They are very adaptable to a changing habitat. Because of this, you should be able to see these birds almost anywhere you go throughout the state.
Fun Fact: This type of sparrows mostly feed on seeds, grasses, and berries, but mothers are more likely to add insects to their diet when they are preparing to lay eggs.
24. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
European starlings are large birds with an average body length of 8.5 in (21.5 cm), and a wingspan of about 15.7 in (40 cm). They can live up to 15 years.
These birds are very beautiful because their feathers are iridescent and shine in the sunlight. Their feathers are deep green on the nape of the neck, the back, and the breast. The wings are black, but you will sometimes notice a hint of green or purple as well.
European starlings can be found throughout much of Ohio, but they prefer lowlands, and avoid mountainous areas. They can be found in moors, or marshes, and even on the rooftops of buildings. They create their homes in the holes or crevices of trees.
Fun Fact: European starlings are bad news for other birds because they will steal nests from other birds rather than creating one themselves.
25. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Barn swallows are medium-sized birds with an average length of 5.7-7.8 in (14.6-19.9 cm), and a wingspan of 12.5-13.5 in (31.8-34.3 cm). They can live up to 8 years.
These birds are quite pretty because their backs are a dark blueish-black color, while their underside is a light cream color. Their throat and forehead is also a light brown. They are most distinguishable for their tails which are deeply forked.
Barn swallows love the Ohio countryside, particularly wide open areas like agricultural land. They are easily spotted because they will create large flocks over the summer.
Fun Fact: These birds get their name because they most commonly build their nests inside of barns. You can find the nests on support beams, under overhangs, or anywhere else in the barn that is protected.
26. Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
Chimney Swifts are a dull soot-gray coloration all over their body. Some birds may also have a bit of a brown tint. What makes them stand out is the tail whose tips are sharp and spiny. They also have very large eyes. Their wingspan averages about 5.1 in (13 cm) and they weigh about 0.7 oz (21.3 g).
Chimney Swifts are fairly common across Ohio and are commonly spotted over urban areas. They like to roost in larger cities because it makes for easier hunting.
They only eat while they’re flying, soaring high in the air and capturing insects mid-flight. Cities and towns are best for this hunting, but they may also look for insects over water as well.
Fun Fact: Chimney Swifts are also referred to as the “flying cigar” because of its coloration. They are incredible flyers and can perform impressive maneuvers to catch insects. However, they don’t sing, but rather create a sound like, “chitter chitter chitter”.
27. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
Tufted Titmouse are medium-sized birds with a body length of about 5.9-6.7 in (15-17 cm), and a wingspan of 9-11 in (23-28 cm). They can live up to 13 years.
Their color is nothing spectacular, but they are easy to spot because their colors contrast. Their backs and wings are gray, but their underside is whtie. They also have a bit of a rusty color on their wings, and they have a large, pointed crest on their head.
Tufted titmouse can be found all throughout Ohio and are not very particular about the land they inhabit. As long as there are plenty of trees, they will be happy choosing forests, woodlands, and even neighborhoods.
These birds love to gather at feeders, and they’re incredibly fun to watch. If you want to entice them to your yard, simply put up a feeder with lots of seed.
Fun Fact: The tufted titmouse is a very vocal bird that loves to sing all times of the year. Locals can easily recognize the sound of their “peter-peter-peter” call. They are also very social birds who often spend time with other species like chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers.
28. Eastern Towhee Bird (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
Eastern towhees are medium-sized birds with a body length of about 6.8-8.2 in (17.3-20.8 cm), and a wingspan of about 7.9-11 in (20-28 cm). They can live up to 12 years.
Their bodies stand out beautifully because their back and wings are a dark black with some white streaking on the wings. The belly and breasts are a deep orangish-red in contrast. The females look similar except that their wings and back are dark brown instead of black.
The eastern towhee is fairly common across Ohio and is not overly picky about their habitat. They can be seen in overgrown fields, the openings of woodlands and forests, in thickets, and in cedar groves. You should search for these types of places if you’d like to see these birds.
Fun Fact: These birds are often recognized by the sound they produce with their feet rather than their mouths. The forage for food on the ground, so they scratch their feet around the leaf litter on the ground, producing a unique sound.
The singing they produce is also quite unique though, as their song sounds like, “drink your teeeaaa”, while their call sounds like, “chewink”.
29. Red-Eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)
Red-eyed vireos are medium-sized birds with an average body length of 5.9 in (15.2 cm), and a wingspan of 10 in (25.4 cm). They can live up to 10 years.
They are most well known because of the dark red coloration of their eyes. Their beaks are large and hooked, and they are subtly colored. Their backs, wings, and tails are olive, but the throat, breast, and belly are white.
Red-eyed vireos can be found all across Ohio and are not picky about where they live. They prefer deciduous trees, but they are often found in parks and suburban areas with lots of trees. You should easily be able to see them in your backyard or around town.
Fun Fact: These birds love to sing and can sing up to 40 different phrases in the span of just one hour. They sing constantly, and their call is very common in the state.
30. White-Eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus)
White-eyed vireos are medium-sized birds with a body length of 5 in (12.7 cm) and an average wingspan of 7.5 in (19 cm). Their lifespan is currently unknown.
These birds are quite pretty with dark olive-colored backs. Their wings and tails are black, but they have white bars on their wings.
White-eyed vireos are found across Ohio and like to inhabit grasslands with lots of shrubbery and brush. They can also be found in strip mines and woodland clearings. It can be pretty difficult to get a glimpse of these birds because they like to hide inside the brush.
However, they love to sing which can make it much easier to find them. They sing very quickly and the sound carries for quite a distance.
If you’d like to see these birds, make sure you check out Crown City, Egypt Valley, Tri-Valley, and Woodbury Wildlife Areas.
Fun Fact: They are incredibly aggressive during the breeding season, especially over their food. However, they form flocks with other birds during the migrating season. Flocks may be made up of other vireos, or other kinds of birds.
31. Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)
Yellow warblers are moderately-sized birds with a body length of about 3.9-7 in (10-18 cm), and a wingspan of about 7.8 in (20 cm). They can live up to 10 years.
These birds are incredibly easy to recognize because of their bright coloration. They are the most brightly colored of the warblers with bright yellow feathers down their backs and wings with streaks of brown. Their underparts are also yellow, and their beaks are quite thin and tiny. The males tend to be slightly brighter in color.
Yellow warblers are found across the state of Ohio, but prefer to live in habitats with lots of shrubbery. Their favorite place to hide out are the thickets of willow-dominated forests.
The best place to spot these birds is the marshes of western Lake Erie.
Fun Fact: Yellow warblers are often victims of the parasitic cowbirds who will lay their eggs in the yellow warbler’s nest. If the eggs are allowed to hatch, it will cause the yellow warbler hatchlings to suffer and possibly die. Many times, the parents know the eggs don’t belong and will bury the intruders in nesting material, sometimes smothering their own eggs in the process.
32. Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Cedar waxwings are medium-sized birds with a body length of about 6 in (15.5 cm), and an average weight of 1 oz (30 g). They can live up to 9 years.
Their feathers are rather dull as they are brownish-gray in coloration on the back and wings. However, their feathers have a silky shine to them that makes the bird truly stand out. The belly and breast is a pale yellow, and their secondary wing feathers have deep red tips. You will also notice a bright splash of yellow at the tip of the tail.
Cedar waxwings are found all across Ohio, but they prefer riparian woodlands when they are breeding. Otherwise, they are most drawn to areas where there are plenty of berry plants.
If you’d like to spot one, try searching along rivers and streams over the summer months. During the winter, you’re more likely to see them in the shrubs and trees of berry-producing plants.
Fun Fact: Cedar waxwings can produce calls at such a high frequency that humans with hearing problems often can’t hear them. This reputation has earned them the nickname, “the hearing test bird”. Their call sounds like, “tsee tsee tsee”.
33. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Downy woodpeckers are the most common and also smallest woodpecker found in Ohio. Their bodies are about 5.7-6.9 in (14.5-17 cm) long and their wingspans are 3.2-4.1 in (8.3-10.5 cm) long. They can live up to 12 years.
They look very similar to the hairy woodpecker, but there are a few subtle differences. Their backs are black with white down the middle. The wings are also black with white spots. Downy woodpeckers are smaller than hairy woodpeckers, and their bills are shorter and more broad.
Downy woodpeckers are found all across the state of Ohio. They are very adaptable and are not as picky about their habitat as other woodpeckers. They are found most often in open woodland areas, but they also like to soar across woodlands.
You can find them just about anywhere, and they love coming to bird feeders, so you just need to set one up with some seed.
Fun Fact: Males will defend their home against other males and females will defend it against other females. They aggressively flick their wins, raise their crest, and fan their tail.
34. Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Hairy woodpeckers are much larger than downy woodpeckers. They reach lengths of about 6.5-10.5 in (16.5-26.7 cm), with a wingspan of about 17.5 in (44.5 cm). They can live up to 16 years.
Their coloring is very similar to the downy woodpecker because their backs and wings are black and speckled with white. Their bills are much larger though.
There are also significantly fewer hairy woodpeckers than there are downy woodpeckers. You can’t miss them, though, because their call is extremely loud, more so than that of the downy woodpecker.
Hairy woodpeckers are not as common as many other woodpecker species, but they can still be seen across the state. They are usually limited to older and larger woodland areas because they don’t deal well with forest destruction or fragmentation.
If you’d like to see these guys up close, be sure to visit any of Ohio’s state forests like Hueston Woods or Davey Woods.
Fun Fact: Their loud call sounds much like a rattle preceded by a higher pitched, “peek” sound. They may also produce a “brrup” sound when feeling threatened.
35. Pileated Woodpecker (dryocopus pileatus)
The pileated woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in the state. They can reach a size of about 12.8 oz (364 grams). They can live up to 15 years.
Their bodies are very large and are black in coloration. The crest stands out because it’s a bright red. The bill is very large and shaped like a chisel which allows the bird to drill large holes. The wood chips they produce are often quite larger than those of other woodpeckers.
Pileated woodpeckers are found across the state of Ohio, but aren’t very common in the northern and western parts of the state. They prefer to live in large, mature forests. One breeding pair alone needs 100 acres of woodland.
If you’d like to spot these birds, try heading to large forests like the state forests of Lake Katharine and Cuyahoga Valley.
Fun Fact: These birds are most adept at searching along the ground for food, as well as climbing vertical tree trunks. They are strong, but slow flyers, and they don’t handle slim branches well.
36. Red-Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Red-Bellied Woodpeckers are one of the larger woodpeckers with a body length of 9-10.5 in (22.9-26.7 cm), and a wingspan of 15-18 in (38-46 cm). They may live up to 12 years.
Unlike what the name suggests, they barely have any red on their bellies. The color is very faint, and you often won’t notice it. What makes them stand out more is the black and white striped pattern on their back and wings. The face and the rest of the belly is a light gray.
Red-Bellied Woodpeckers are pretty common across Ohio and are most often found in small woodland areas with lots of open space. They may also be seen in urban areas where there are plenty of trees.
To watch them, your best bet is to visit county parks like Blendon Woods. You can also set up bird feeders in your backyard as they are very fond of them.
Fun Fact: These woodpeckers get around by an interesting method called, “hitching”. They will essentially hop vertically up and down the trunk of a tree, pecking at it to find food.
37. Red-Headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)
Red-Headed Woodpeckers are small woodpeckers with a body length of 7.8-9.8 in (21-25 cm) and a wingspan of 13-14.5 in (33-37 cm). They may live up to 12 years.
They are beautiful birds whose head, neck, and throat are a bright red. This color really stands out because their bodies, wings, and tail are a blue-black. You will also notice bright white patches on the wings and the rump that also make it stand out.
Red-Headed Woodpeckers cannot be found throughout all of Ohio, but are most commonly seen in the northern and western parts of the state. They like to live in large woodlots with plenty of open space. They need dead trees to create their nests, but they need space to hunt for their food.
You are most likely to see these woodpeckers in the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area, in Goll Woods, Lawrence Woods, and Killbuck and Funk Bottoms Wildlife Areas.
Fun Fact: When these birds call, their voice is incredibly loud, and they create a “krrr” sound. They like to chatter, especially amongst family members as they are quite social during the breeding months. They are solitary the rest of the year.
38. Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)
The eastern wood-pewee is a medium-sized bird with a body length of 5.9 in (15 cm), and a wingspan of 9-10.2 in (23-26 cm). They can live up to 9 years.
Their feathers are mostly gray in color but may have hints of olive and yellow. Their wings have white and gray barring, and the tips of the bills are black against the orange of the rest of their beak.
Eastern wood-pewees can be found all across Ohio, usually in woodlots. Sometimes, they can be found in larger forests with taller trees, or even in more open areas. If you’d like to spot them, try checking out a woodlot like the Lawrence Woods.
Fun Fact: These birds get their names because their call sounds like “pee-ah-wee”. It’s much easier to identify these birds by the sound of their call than by their appearance.
39. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Carolina wrens are a moderately-sized bird with a body length of about 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm), and a body weight of about 0.62 oz (17.5 g). They can live up to 7 years.
Although these birds are small, they are quite a bit larger than other wren species. Their back is a deep brown, while their underside is a light, creamy brown color. The throat and chin are white while the wings and tails are black.
Carolina wrens can be found all throughout Ohio, but they are most common in the southernmost portion of the state. They live in all kinds of woodland areas, but are most frequently found along the edges of woods where there is thick shrubbery.
They are often found in parks and suburban areas, so they are not hard to find. If you’re looking for them, your best bet is to check out a local state park, forest, or wildlife area.
Fun Fact: Carolina wrens used to be inhabitants solely of southern states. They expanded their habitat upwards, and now live in Ohio and other northern states, even throughout the winter time. Because they don’t migrate south for the winter, they become vulnerable during years that are especially harsh.
40. House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
House Wrens are medium-sized birds with a body length of about 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm), and a body weight of about 0.35-0.42 oz (10-12 g). They can live up to 7 years.
These birds are very stout, but they stand up very straight with their tails high in the air. The head, neck, and back are a medium brown, but you will notice some darker brown striping. The throat and breast are light gray, and you may notice some darker spots on their tails and wings.
House wrens are found across Ohio and like to live in open areas with lots of shrubbery and trees. Their favorite places are along the edges of forests and clearings.
Because they like to live in open areas, they can be found almost anywhere where there are some trees for them to perch on. You will see them at local parks, in neighborhoods, and even in cemeteries.
Fun Fact: House wrens like to create their nests in cavities, so they will often build their nests very close to houses and other buildings. If you scare them, they will let you know with their loud, raspy yelling.