Whether they’re frequent guests at your feeder or building nests in your trees, here are some things to look for in 10 common backyard birds.

American Goldfinch

This frequent feeder visitor will bring a sure sign of spring each year, when the male trades in his brownish feathers for bright yellow plumage.

Black-capped Chickadee

Also frequent diners at your feeder, these tiny birds are curious and not shy around humans. The chickadee is capable of remembering thousands of places in which he has hidden food.

Blue Jay

Watch them hold seeds and nuts with their feet to peck them open, as well as stuff them in their throats to store later.

Dark-eyed Junco

Look for these brown and gray sparrows hopping around near your feeder and making high-pitched "chip" sounds, in search of fallen seeds.

House Finch

As these birds gather at feeders, which they love to do, the males are identified by their red heads and breasts, while females are grayish brown. Watch them pause as they shell their feed.

Carolina Wren

These brown birds have distinctive long tails that cock upward. They are constantly singing to defend their territories, with rapid calls that sound like "teakettle" or "Germany."


The woodpecker loves to eat at feeders. It nests in holes of dead trees or poles. Its favorite foods are insects, nuts and dried fruits. It will visit feeders with sunflower seeds, nuts and suet.

Mourning Dove

If you haven’t seen these birds perched on high wires or feeding seeds off the ground, you have most definitely have heard their coos.

Northern Cardinal

This bird is a stunning sight on a snowy day, as it does not lose its bright red plumage when the weather turns cold. In the spring, it’s not unusual to see males and females alike attacking their own reflections in windows and car mirrors, in defense of their territories.

Purple Finch

Often mistaken for house finches, these birds bear a brighter shade of red in their head and breast feathers. In song, they sometimes add the sounds of other birds, such as goldfinches, Eastern towhees and brown-headed cowbirds.

Tufted Titmouse

If these little gray birds are in hoarding mode, they will transport the seeds one at a time to their storage site, which is usually about 130 feet from the feeder.

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Dark-eyed Juncos are common winter feeders across the U.S. iStock/Thinkstock
Male American Goldfinches sport bright yellow plumage in the spring. iStock/Thinkstock