New Hampshire is home to many bird species, including year-round residents and seasonal visitors. Common sightings in the state include several types of finches, such as American goldfinches and pine siskins, as well as northern cardinals and black-capped chickadees. Woodpeckers, including downy woodpeckers and northern flickers, can often be seen in the state’s forests and backyard bird feeders.
Among New Hampshire’s waterfowl, common species include Canada geese, mallards, and American black ducks. During migration seasons, various types of gulls can also be spotted along the coast or in lakes and rivers.
Common Backyard Birds of New Hampshire:
Cedar Waxwing birds can be identified by their sleek bodies, dark brown and gray feathers, black mask-like markings on their faces, and vibrant yellow tips on their wing feathers. These birds mainly eat insects, berries, and fruits. On average, they measure about 7 inches in length and have a wingspan of 12 inches.
Cedar Waxwings are often found in open woodlands and forests, as well as suburban areas with fruit-bearing trees. They are social birds, often seen in flocks foraging for food or resting together on branches. When feeding on berries, multiple waxwings will gather around one berry-laden branch, taking turns plucking the fruit and passing it from bird to bird before finally consuming it.
Additionally, these birds are known for their aerial acrobatics, performing mid-air catches and passing items back and forth while in flight.
(Agelaius phoeniceus) can be identified by their black bodies with red and yellow shoulder patches. They are omnivores, feeding on insects, black oil sunflower seeds, and grains. They measure about 9-11 inches in length and have a wingspan of 13-17 inches.
In New Hampshire, Red-winged Blackbirds can be found in marshes, wetlands, fields, and backyard feeders. They are very social birds, often seen gathering in large flocks or nesting in colonies with other blackbirds.
Their loud, distinctive songs can often be heard among reed beds and cattails. In the winter months, they may migrate to southern regions or form large flocks with other blackbirds and starlings.
(Cardinalis cardinalis) is a medium-sized songbird with a distinctive red plumage. Male cardinals have a black face mask and a prominent red crest on their heads. Females are duller in color, with a reddish brown crest and no black mask.
Their diet consists primarily of seeds and fruits, but they will also eat insects and small invertebrates.
Northern cardinals range in size from 21-23 cm in length and have a wingspan of 25-31 cm.
They can be found in woodland edges, shrubby areas, and suburban gardens throughout the eastern United States and parts of the southwestern United States.
Cardinals are territorial and normally found alone or in pairs. They have a loud, clear song and will also make clicking or chuckling sounds. They are year-round residents and do not migrate.
Red-breasted Nuthatch is a small bird with gray upperparts, white underparts, and a black cap. It has a red breast and a white stripe above the eye. Its diet consists mainly of insects and seeds.
In New Hampshire, Red-breasted Nuthatches can be found in coniferous forests, especially during the winter months when they often form flocks with other nuthatches and chickadees.
These birds are acrobatic, often climbing up and down tree trunks in search of food.
They also have a habit of storing excess food by wedging it into tree crevices for later consumption.
Red-breasted Nuthatches also have a distinctive call, described as a rapid “yank-yank” sound.
(Geothlypis trichas) can be identified by their yellow throat and breast, brown back, and white belly. They are insectivores, feeding on insects and other small invertebrates. They are small birds, measuring about 4-5 inches in length. In New Hampshire, they can be found in marshy areas and thick brush.
Common Yellowthroats are skulking birds, preferring to stay hidden in dense vegetation. They may also be seen foraging on the ground or in low shrubs. During the breeding season, males can be heard singing their distinctive “witchity-witchity-witchety” song from concealed perches.
It is important to protect the habitats of Common Yellowthroats and other marsh-dwelling birds, as wetland areas are often threatened by development and pollution. By conserving these important ecosystems, we can ensure the survival of this and many other bird species.
Dark-eyed Junco is a small songbird found in North America. It has a round body and short tail, with blue gray or brown upperparts and white underparts. Its most distinguishing feature is its dark eyes, which give it its name.
In the winter, these birds can often be found in flocks foraging on the ground for seeds and insects. In the summer, they inhabit coniferous or mixed forests, where they build their nest on the ground or in low shrubs.
Dark-eyed Juncos are known for their quiet and skulking behavior, often staying hidden in dense underbrush. They will also migrate to higher altitudes in the winter months.
Downy Woodpecker, a small black and white woodpecker, can be identified by its short bill and black spot on the back of its head. This bird mainly eats insects, but will also feed on seeds and berries. It ranges from 6-7 inches in length and can be found in wooded areas such as forests or parks.
Their behavior includes tapping loudly on trees to find food and drumming on hollow trees to declare their territory.
They are also known for hanging upside down while feeding. In New Hampshire, Downy Woodpeckers can be seen year-round, but may migrate to southern areas during the winter months.
Gray Catbird is a medium-sized bird, about 9-11 inches in length with gray upperparts, black cap and tail, and pale underparts. They have a distinctive “meow” call that gives them their name.
In New Hampshire, Gray Catbirds can be found in deciduous forests and shrubby habitats during the breeding season. They forage on the ground and in shrubs for insects, fruits, and berries.
During breeding season, males establish their territory by singing loudly and defending it against intruders. They build their nests low in shrubs or small trees, lining them with grasses and other plant material. Both male and female participate in incubating the eggs and raising the young.
Outside of breeding season, Gray Catbirds join mixed flocks with other bird species to forage and migrate. They are commonly seen in backyard bird feeders during winter, when they will eat sunflower seeds and suet.
Tufted Titmouse is a small bird with a large head, black forehead, gray upperparts, and pale underparts. It has a distinctive crest on its head, giving it its name. Its diet consists primarily of insects and seeds.
In New Hampshire, Tufted Titmice can be found in deciduous forests and wooded suburbs. They are active and social birds, often seen in small flocks. They are known for their loud, sibilant vocalizations.
Tufted Titmice may also be spotted visiting a bird feeder, where they particularly enjoy suet and sunflower seeds. In the winter, they also sometimes join mixed-species flock with chickadees and nuthatches, foraging together.
These adaptable birds may also nest in birdhouses and will readily use nesting material provided by humans. They have been known to live up to 9 years in the wild.
Mourning Doves are a common sight in New Hampshire, with their small, slender body and long pointed tail. They have a grayish-brown color on their back and wings, with a pale tan underside and black spots on their neck. Their diet mainly consists of seeds and grains, which they forage for on the ground.
Mourning Doves typically have a body length of around 12 inches and a wingspan of 16-18 inches. They can be found in open fields and woodlands, as well as near human development such as farms and suburban areas.
In terms of behavior, Mourning Doves are social birds and are often seen in flocks. They have a distinctive cooing call and often build flimsy nests in trees or on structures such as telephone poles. The female will typically lay two eggs, which both parents will take turns incubating and feeding the hatchlings.
Mourning Doves are also popular game birds and are hunted during the fall hunting season in New Hampshire. However, their populations have decreased in recent years due to the loss of habitat and resources. It is important to protect and conserve these beloved birds for future generations to enjoy.
Chipping Sparrows are small, brown birds with a white eyebrow stripe and chest stripes. They typically eat seeds and insects and can be found in open woodlands and grassy areas. These sparrows often forage on the ground, hopping along as they search for food.
They build cup-shaped nests in trees or shrubs and usually lay 4-5 eggs at a time. Chipping Sparrows often form small flocks, and their high-pitched “chip” calls can often be heard in these groups.
In New Hampshire, they are common breeding birds and can also be seen during migration. These sparrows also have a distinctive breeding display, where the male will fly up and sing, before dropping back down to the ground with his wings spread.
Song Sparrows, found in New Hampshire, can be identified by their brown backs with streaks and a distinct central spot on their chest. Their diet consists mainly of insects and seeds. These birds are small, measuring about 5-6 inches in length.
They typically inhabit open fields or marshy areas near bushes and shrubs for shelter. Song Sparrows are known for their territorial behavior and loud, varied songs. They build cup-shaped nests in low shrubs or on the ground and typically have 2-3 broods per year. This species is common throughout much of North America.
(Corvus brachyrhynchos) can be identified by their all black feathers, as well as their distinctive cawing call. In the wild, they mainly eat insects, grains, fruits, and small animals. On average, they measure around 17-21 inches in length with a wingspan of 33-39 inches.
They can be found in a variety of habitats such as open fields, forests, and even urban areas. Their behavior includes forming large flocks, scavenging for food, and using tools to obtain food. They are also known for their impressive mimicry abilities.
In New Hampshire, American Crows can be commonly seen throughout the state, including in cities such as Manchester and Concord. They can also be found in various habitats, including forests, fields, and wetlands.
Blue Jays are identified by their blue and white plumage, black head crest, and dark barring on their wings and tail. They primarily eat nuts, seeds, insects, fruits, and occasionally smaller birds or mammals.
Their size ranges from 9-12 inches in length with a wingspan of 12-15 inches. Blue Jay can be found in woodland areas across the United States, including New Hampshire. In addition to their diet, they are known for their loud and aggressive behaviors, such as stealing food from other birds and defending their territory against intruders.
They also have the ability to mimic the calls of hawks in order to scare off potential threats. Blue Jays typically form monogamous pairs and can be seen building large nests in tree branches to raise their young.
(Turdus migratorius) is a common bird found throughout New Hampshire. Its identifying characteristics include a dark gray-brown back, orange breast, white belly, and black head with white eye-ring.
The American Robin feeds on worms, insects, fruits, and berries. It forages by hopping along the ground or perching on branches to search for food.
The average size of an American Robin is 9-11 inches in length with a wingspan of 12-15 inches.
These birds can be found in open woodlands, lawns, orchards, and residential areas. They build their nests in trees or on building ledges.
American Robins are active during the day and communicate through chirps, trills, and whistles. They can also mimic sounds from their surroundings. During the winter, they often form large flocks to forage together. Breeding pairs may engage in a dancing display where they hop and spread their wings in front of each other.
Black-capped Chickadees are small birds with black heads and a white throat and chest. Their diet consists mainly of insects, seeds, and berries. These birds can be found in forests or residential areas.
They are known for their intelligence and ability to use tools to obtain food, as well as their distinctive “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call. Chickadees also have a habit of storing excess food in tree branches or other hiding places for later consumption.
In New Hampshire, these birds can be seen year-round and often form flocks during the winter months. Overall, Black-capped Chickadees are energetic and curious creatures that make a welcome addition to any backyard birdwatching outing.
American Goldfinch, also known as wild Canary, is a small bird with bright yellow feathers and black wings with white markings. They have a unique, tweedle-dee call and can often be seen perching on thistle plants and feeding on seeds.
In New Hampshire, American Goldfinches can be found in open woodlands, fields, and backyard bird feeders. They are social birds and can often be seen in large flocks. During the winter, they form small flocks with other finches and forage for food together. These birds also have a unique mating behavior known as “flutter flights,” where pairs will fly high into the air and then float back down together.
American Goldfinches primarily eat seeds and insects, but will also feed on nectar from flowers. They have adapted to use bird feeders as a source of food, making them a common sight in backyard habitats.
Adult American Goldfinches typically measure around 4.5 inches in length and weigh about 0.5 ounces.
Hairy Woodpecker is a medium-sized black and white bird with a long bill and a prominent white stripe down the back of its head. Its diet primarily consists of insects, but it also eats nuts and fruit.
In New Hampshire, Hairy Woodpeckers can be found in deciduous or mixed forests, often near dead trees or snags. They typically live alone or in pairs and can often be seen vigorously pecking at tree trunks in search of food.
Hairy Woodpeckers have a distinctive call, described as a rapid “chur-chur-chur.” They also drum on trees with their bill to claim territory and attract mates. During the breeding season, they excavate nest holes in dead trees or wooden fence posts.
White-breasted Nuthatch is a small bird, measuring about 4.5 inches in length and weighing just 0.4 ounces. They have a white chest and belly, gray back, black eye stripe, and a black cap on their head. Their diet consists mainly of insects and seeds, which they forage for by climbing up and down tree trunks.
White-breasted Nuthatches can be found in deciduous and mixed forests, typically near oak and pine trees. They are often seen hanging upside down while foraging for food, and will also store excess food in tree crevices to eat later.
They have a vocal chirping call and may form pairs with mates for life. These birds also have a unique behavior of using their beaks to wedge into tree bark and make small holes, known as “nuthatches.” This helps them search for insects to eat.
(Haemorhous mexicanus) can be easily identified by their red head and breast, brown back, and white belly. They are a small bird that primarily feed on seeds and grains, but will also eat insects and fruit.
In New Hampshire, House Finches can be found in a variety of habitats including urban areas, farms, and forests. They often build their nests in trees or on buildings.
In terms of behavior, House Finches are social birds and can often be seen in flocks with other finches and sparrows. They have a distinctive song that sounds like a repetitive warble or trill. During breeding season, the male will often display for the female by fluffing up his feathers and singing.
House Sparrows, also known as English Sparrows, are small birds with a stout build and distinctive black markings on their heads. They have brown upperparts and grey underparts.
In New Hampshire, they can be found in urban and agricultural areas where there are human-made structures for nesting.
Their diet primarily consists of grains and seeds, but they will also eat insects and small invertebrates.
In terms of behavior, House Sparrows are known to be aggressive towards other birds and will actively defend their nesting sites. They often form large flocks outside of the breeding season.
The average size for a male House Sparrow is around 5.5 inches in length and 1 ounce in weight.
The common Grackle is a medium-sized bird with iridescent black feathers, a long tail, and a yellow-greenish eye. They have a broad diet consisting of insects, grains, seeds, fruits, and small vertebrates. In New Hampshire, they can be found in open habitats such as fields, parks, and wetlands.
Grackles are known for their loud, raucous calls and are often seen in large flocks. They can also be aggressive towards other birds, particularly at bird feeders. Despite this, they play an important role in controlling insect and weed populations.
In the winter, Common Grackles often join mixed flocks with other blackbird species, such as Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds. These large flocks can be a familiar sight in New Hampshire during the colder months.
European Starlings, commonly found in New Hampshire, can be identified by their glossy black feathers with speckles of green and purple. These birds primarily feed on insects, fruits, and grains. They typically measure around 8-9 inches in length and have a wingspan of 13-15 inches. Starlings can be found living in open fields and woodlands, as well as in urban areas such as parks and gardens.
In terms of behavior, European Starlings are known for their vocal abilities and mimicry of other bird species’ songs. They also form large flocks and engage in unique displays such as flying in formations or performing “wave dances.”
What is the biggest bird in New Hampshire?
The answer may surprise you – it is the Great Blue Heron! These impressive birds can have a wingspan of up to 6 and a half feet and stand over four feet tall. They can be found near bodies of water, where they hunt for fish and other small prey. If you are lucky enough to spot one, be sure to admire its elegant beauty from a distance as they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
What kind of sparrows live in New Hampshire?
The most common sparrows found in New Hampshire are house sparrows, song sparrows, white-throated sparrows, chipping sparrows, and American tree sparrows. Other less commonly seen species include fox sparrows, Savannah sparrows, and Lincoln’s sparrows.
In winter months, some rarer species such as Junco sparrows may also be seen. In addition to these native species, house sparrows have been introduced to the state and can often be found in urban areas.
Birders in New Hampshire may also spot rare vagrant sparrows from other regions, such as Harris’s sparrows or Henslow’s sparrows. As with all bird watching, being familiar with identification characteristics and keeping a field guide on hand can help identify these rare sightings.
What are the top 10 most common birds?
1. House Sparrow
2. Rock Pigeon
3. American Robin
4. European Starling
5. Northern Mockingbird
6. Cedar Waxwing
7. American Goldfinch
8. Dark-eyed Junco
9. Barn Swallow
10. Canada Goose
How many species of birds are in New Hampshire?
According to the New Hampshire Audubon, there are approximately 315 species of birds have been recorded in New Hampshire. This includes both year-round residents and seasonal visitors, as well as rare and accidental sightings. Some notable bird species found in New Hampshire include Bald Eagles, Wild Turkeys, Common Loons, and Eastern Bluebirds.