Texas is home to a diverse array of bird species, including both resident and migratory birds. Some of the most commonly seen birds in the state include Northern Cardinals, American Robins, Great-tailed Grackles, and Red-winged Blackbirds.
We’ll introduce you to the most commonly seen birds in Texas with pictures and key data. The information was checked for accuracy by an Ornithologist and only comes from reliable sources.
Common Backyard Birds of Texas
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
The Yellow-rumped Warbler is easily identified by its bright yellow patches on the sides of its chest and rump. These birds have a primarily insectivorous diet, but will also eat fruit and berries during migration and in the winter.
They range in size from 4 to 5 inches in length and can be found in a variety of habitats, including deciduous and coniferous forests, as well as coastal areas. These warblers are known for their energetic behavior, often seen actively foraging for food on tree branches or flying catch insects in mid-air.
They also have a distinct vocalization, described as a high-pitched “cheewink” or “chink.”
During the breeding season, Yellow-rumped Warblers form monogamous pairs and build cup-shaped nests in trees or shrubs. They are commonly found in Texas during spring and fall migration, as well as being year-round residents in some parts of the state.
Orange-crowned Warbler – Vermivora celata
The Orange-crowned Warbler is a small songbird, measuring at around 4.5 inches in length and weighing only 0.3 ounces. It has greenish-olive upperparts and yellow underparts with an orange stripe on its crown (hence its name).
In terms of diet, this bird primarily feeds on insects and spiders, but may also consume berries and other plant material.
This warbler can be found in a variety of habitats including open woodlands, brushy areas, marshes, and scrubby clearings.
In terms of behavior, the Orange-crowned Warbler is often seen foraging low to the ground and frequently flicking its tail. It also typically breeds in low shrubs or trees, building a cup-shaped nest to lay its eggs.
In Texas, the Orange-crowned Warbler can be found during spring migration as well as throughout the summer months. Some may even spend their winters in the southern parts of the state.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a small bird, measuring only about 4 inches in length. Its upperparts are olive green and it has a white underside with distinct yellowish stripes on its sides. The male can be identified by the bright red patch on its crown, which is only displayed when threatened or during mating displays.
These birds primarily feed on insects and spiders, foraging for food in shrubs and trees.
In Texas, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet can be found in coniferous forests during the breeding season. During the winter, they may also be found in deciduous woodlands or suburban areas.
These birds are very active and constantly flitting about as they search for food. They also have a high-pitched song that is often heard in the spring mating season. Overall, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a common and widespread bird in Texas and throughout North America.
Eastern Phoebe – Sayornis phoebe
The Eastern Phoebe can be easily identified by its gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, and dusky tail with white edges. It also has a dark eye line and bill.
In terms of diet, the Eastern Phoebe primarily eats insects such as flies, beetles, and butterflies. They will also eat berries and seeds during the winter months.
This bird measures about six inches in length, with a wingspan of nine inches.
In Texas, the Eastern Phoebe can be found near streams, ponds, and open woodlands. They also inhabit suburban areas and agricultural land.
During the breeding season, male Eastern Phoebes will perform aerial displays, diving, and swooping to attract a mate. They build cup-shaped nests made of mud and grass, typically attaching them to bridges or buildings. The female Eastern Phoebe will lay four to five eggs, which she alone incubates for about two weeks.
Both parents will then feed the chicks until they fledge at about 18 days old. Outside of the breeding season, these birds can often be seen perching on low branches or wires, scanning for insects to eat.
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis
The Northern Cardinal is a fairly large songbird, with a distinctive crest on the top of its head and bright red plumage. They are mainly seed-eaters, but also eat insects and fruits.
In Texas, they can be found in a variety of habitats such as woodland edges, gardens, and parks. They are typically found in pairs or small family groups and are known for their loud and distinctive songs. They also have a tendency to defend their territory aggressively against other birds.
Song Sparrows can be identified by their streaky brown plumage, white underside, and distinct dark central breast spot. These birds primarily eat seeds and insects, occasionally supplementing their diet with berries and fruit. Adults typically reach a size of 5-6 inches in length with a wingspan of 7-9 inches.
They can commonly be found in open habitats such as fields, meadows, and wetlands. Song Sparrows are territorial and will defend their area with aggressive singing and chasing. They build cup-shaped nests on the ground or low in vegetation and usually lay 3-5 eggs per clutch. These birds typically mate for life and often raise multiple broods each year.
During the winter months, Song Sparrows may form small flocks with other sparrow species and can often be spotted at bird feeders. These adaptable birds are found throughout the continental United States, including in Texas where they can be seen year-round in a variety of habitats.
(Carpodacus mexicanus) can be easily identified by their red forehead and breast, brown back, and white belly. They are primarily seed eaters, but will also feast on insects and berries. The average size of a male house finch ranges from 4.3-5.1 inches, with females being slightly smaller at 4-4.7 inches.
In Texas, house finches can be found in a variety of habitats including residential areas, open woodlands, and grasslands. They often build their nests in sheltered places like trees or shrubs.
Behaviorally, the male house finch is known for its beautiful singing and display of bright plumage during mating season. They also have a tendency to flock with others of their kind, and can often be spotted at backyard bird feeders.
American Goldfinch, also known as the “wild canary,” is easily identified by its bright yellow plumage and black wings with white markings. These birds primarily eat seeds but also may feed on insects and nectar from flowers.
American Goldfinches typically grow to be about 4-5 inches in length and can be found in open woodlands, parks, and residential areas. They are often seen in flocks and can be heard chirping their high-pitched, twittering song.
These birds also have a unique habit of hanging upside down while feeding on seeds from plants.
Downy Woodpecker, the smallest of the North American woodpeckers, can be identified by its black and white barred back, white belly, and black cap. It has a small bill and short tail feathers.
In their diet, Downy Woodpeckers mainly eat insects such as ants, beetles, and caterpillars, but they also enjoy berries and suet.
Downy Woodpeckers are small birds, measuring only about 6-7 inches in length with a wingspan of 9-12 inches.
They can be found in a variety of habitats including deciduous forests, urban parks, and residential areas with trees.
In terms of behavior, Downy Woodpeckers are often seen clinging to tree trunks, searching for food. They also engage in drumming behavior, using their beaks to make a loud tapping noise on trees or other surfaces. This is used for communication and territory marking.
Downy Woodpeckers form long-term pair bonds and will often nest in cavities in dead trees or wooden fence posts. Both male and female parents take part in caring for their young.
(Corvus brachyrhynchos) can be identified by their glossy black feathers and distinctive cawing call. They are omnivorous, feeding on insects, small mammals, fruits, and grains.
On average, they measure around 17-21 inches in length with a wingspan of 33-40 inches. In Texas, American Crows can be found in open fields, forests, and urban areas.
They are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities, as well as their social behavior – they often gather in large flocks and have complex communication systems. American Crows are year-round residents in Texas and do not migrate.
Vermilion Flycatcher – Pyrocephalus obscureus
The Vermilion Flycatcher is a small songbird with bright red plumage on its head, breast, and belly. It has gray wings and a tail, a black eye-line, and a slender black bill.
In Texas, these birds can mostly be found near rivers or creeks in wooded riparian habitats. They primarily eat insects, snatching them out of the air or plucking them off plants.
This bird measures about six inches in length and has a wingspan of nine inches.
During the breeding season, males can often be seen perching on prominent branches and performing aerial displays to attract mates. They also construct cup-shaped nests using grass and other plant materials, which they place on branches or in shrubs. Both sexes participate in incubating the eggs and caring for the young.
Outside of the breeding season, Vermilion Flycatchers often form small flocks with other bird species to forage and roost together. However, they can also be quite territorial, aggressively chasing away any intruders in their areas.
Northern mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
The Northern mockingbird is a medium-sized songbird with grayish-brown upperparts and a paler belly. It has white patches on its wings, long legs, and a long tail. Its most distinctive feature is its loud and varied singing ability, earning it its name as the “mimic” of many other bird species.
In Texas, the Northern mockingbird can be found in a variety of habitats including grasslands, forests, and suburban areas. Its diet consists mostly of insects and fruits.
When it comes to behavior, the Northern mockingbird is known for being territorial and will defend its territory with aggression against other birds, animals, and even humans. It is also known for its continuous singing, even at night, and will often perch on high places to sing its varied songs.
Brown-headed Nuthatch – Sitta pusilla
Brown-headed Nuthatches are tiny birds, measuring only 4 to 4.5 inches in length with a wingspan of 6 to 7 inches. Its upperparts are gray and its underparts are white. It has a brown head and black eyes, giving it its namesake.
This bird primarily eats insects, but will also feed on seeds, nuts, and berries.
In Texas, the Brown-headed Nuthatch can be found in pine forests and other coniferous habitats. It typically nests in tree cavities or nest boxes.
This bird is known for its acrobatic behavior as it searches for food by climbing up and down tree trunks, often hanging upside down. It also has a distinctive call, described as a high-pitched “tsee” or “churr.”
The Brown-headed Nuthatch is currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN and its numbers are stable. However, habitat loss due to logging and urbanization can be a threat to its population. Conservation efforts, such as preserving pine forests and providing nesting boxes, can help support the Brown-headed Nuthatch in Texas.
Inca Dove – Columbina inca
The Inca Dove is a small bird, approximately 9-10 inches in length. It has a gray body with dark spots and white stripes on its wings. Its distinguishing feature is the black stripe on its neck and chest.
In Texas, the Inca Dove can be found in open areas such as fields or deserts. It primarily feeds on seeds and grains, but may also eat insects.
In terms of behavior, Inca Doves are often seen in flocks and can often be heard cooing softly. They nest in bushes or low trees and lay 2-3 white eggs at a time. When threatened, they have been known to feign injury to distract predators from their nest.
Bachman’s Sparrow – Peucaea aestivalis
Bachman’s Sparrows are about 5.5 inches long and have a wingspan of about 9.8 inches. They have a brown back, buff-colored underparts, and a black face and throat.
They eat insects and other small invertebrates. Bachman’s Sparrows live in open woodlands, prairies, and savannas in Texas and the southeastern United States. They build their nests on the ground near dense vegetation.
Bachman’s Sparrows are shy birds and are not often seen. They are permanent residents in Texas and the southeastern United States. They live in open woodlands, prairies, and savannas and eat insects and other small invertebrates.
Bachman’s Sparrows are shy birds and are not often seen. They are permanent residents in Texas and the southeastern United States. They live in open woodlands, prairies, and savannas and eat insects and other small invertebrates.
They are usually very hard to see because they stay hidden in dense underbrush. They are usually brown or black in color with a pale underside. They have short tails and thin beaks. They typically eat insects, but can also consume small fruits and seeds. These sparrows live in open woodlands, prairies, and savannas in the southeastern United States.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo – Coccyzus americanus
The Yellow-billed Cuckoo can be identified by its yellow bill, gray body, and white streaked tail feathers. This bird primarily feeds on insects such as caterpillars and grasshoppers, but will also consume berries and other fruit. They typically measure about 10-12 inches in length with a wingspan of 16-19 inches.
In Texas, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo can be found in deciduous forests and woodlands near water sources. They are known for their repetitive “ka ka ka” call and are often seen hovering above trees while searching for food before diving down to catch prey.
These birds also engage in a behavior called “brood parasitism,” laying their eggs in the nests of other bird species and leaving the task of raising their young to the host parents.
Conservation efforts have been put in place for this bird as its population has decreased due to habitat loss and degradation. Protecting and restoring wooded areas is important for the continued survival of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
House Sparrow – Passenger domesticus
The House Sparrow is a small bird, measuring about 6 inches in length with brown and gray feathers and a distinct black patch on its throat. They are commonly found in urban areas and agricultural fields, where they feed on seeds and grains.
In terms of behavior, House Sparrows often form large flocks and can be aggressive toward other birds when competing for food and nesting sites. They are also known to nest in building structures, such as eaves and windowsills.
In Texas, the House Sparrow is a familiar sight due to its adaptation to human-altered environments. However, their numbers have been declining in recent years, along with other sparrow species. Conservation efforts are focused on preserving natural habitats and reducing pesticides in agricultural areas.
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
The Pileated Woodpecker can easily be identified by its large size, red crest, black body, and white stripes on the face and neck. It is the largest woodpecker in North America, measuring up to 16 inches in length with a wingspan of 26 inches.
In terms of diet, these birds mainly feed on insects and their larvae, which they find by slashing at tree bark with their strong beaks. They also eat fruits, nuts, and berries.
Pileated Woodpeckers can be found in mature forests – both coniferous and deciduous – across the eastern United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. They prefer to make their nests in dead trees or snag cavities.
In terms of behavior, Pileated Woodpeckers will often create and use multiple nesting and roosting cavities throughout the year. They also engage in loud drumming behavior, where they rapidly peck on trees or other objects to assert their territory and attract mates. Their loud call, which has been described as a “laughing” sound, can also be heard in forested areas.
In Texas, Pileated Woodpeckers can primarily be found in the eastern and northeastern regions of the state. They may also occasionally be spotted in urban parks and green spaces with mature trees.
White-winged Dove – Zenaida asiatica
The White-winged Dove, also known as the “Texas dove,” is easily identifiable by its white wing patches and dark-colored body. Its diet consists mainly of seeds and grains, but it also feeds on insects and fruits.
In terms of size, this bird ranges from 11 to 13 inches in length with a wingspan of 17 to 20 inches.
In Texas, the White-winged Dove can be found in open woodlands and brushy areas near water sources. It also frequents suburban and urban areas where food is readily available.
This bird typically forages on the ground and uses its slender legs to walk or hop. It can also perch on low branches for roosting and nesting. White-winged Doves often gather in large flocks, particularly during the winter season.
During the breeding season, these birds form monogamous pairs and build nests on tree branches or shrubs. The female usually lays 2 white eggs, which both parents take turns incubating for around 14 days. The young hatch naked and helpless, but the adults continue to care for them until they are able to fly at 18 to 20 days old.
In Texas, White-winged Doves can be seen year-round with a peak population in the summer months. They also migrate south during winter.
Blue Jay birds can be identified by their blue and white plumage, black head crest, and noisy calls. In Texas, they can primarily be found in wooded areas such as forests and parks.
Their diet consists of nuts, seeds, insects, and fruits. On average, these birds measure about 9-12 inches in length and have a wingspan of 12-17 inches.
In terms of behavior, Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities. They also have a tendency to mimic the sounds of other birds and animals. Additionally, they are highly territorial and will aggressively defend their space from intruders.
Carolina Wrens are small birds with rounded bodies and long, slender brown and white-streaked tails. They have a distinct white eyebrow stripe and reddish-brown underparts.
These birds primarily eat insects, but will also eat berries and other fruits.
Carolina Wrens measure about 4 to 5 inches in length and have a wingspan of 7 to 9 inches.
In Texas, Carolina Wrens can be found in forested areas, particularly near thick underbrush and shrubs. They may also inhabit suburban or urban gardens with dense vegetation.
Carolina Wrens are active during the day and communicate through a loud, musical trill. They often live in pairs and build large, dome-shaped nests made from sticks and other plant material.
They may also use man-made birdhouses or nest boxes. These birds are territorial and will aggressively defend their territory against intruders.
Mourning doves can be identified by their gray and brown plumage, long tail feathers, and soft cooing call. They primarily eat black oil sunflower seeds and grains, but will also feed on insects and fruit.
Mourning doves typically measure around 12 inches in length with a wingspan of 18-24 inches. In Texas, they can be found in open habitats such as fields, grasslands, and urban areas. They are mostly active during the day and can often be seen perched on telephone wires or foraging on the ground.
Mourning doves typically mate for life and build flimsy nests out of twigs to raise their young. These birds can also be commonly seen in backyard bird feeders.
Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
The Barn Swallow is easily recognizable by its long, pointed wings and forked tail. It has a dark blue back and throat, with lighter brown underparts and white breast. They have a distinct red patch on their forehead.
Barn Swallows primarily eat insects, which they catch while flying in the air.
These birds typically have a length of about 5.5 to 7.1 inches and a wingspan of 11 to 13 inches.
Barn Swallows can be found in a variety of open habitats, including fields, pastures, and marshes. They often build their mud cup nests on structures such as barns, buildings, or bridges.
During the breeding season, Barn Swallows are very social and can often be seen flying in large flocks. They perform aerial displays during courtship, including diving and chases. They may also engage in “mud-slinging,” where they gather mud to strengthen their nest structure. Outside of the breeding season, they may form large flocks with other swallow species.
Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are identifiable by their iridescent green backs, red throats and forked tails. These birds primarily feed on nectar from flowers, but will also eat small insects for protein. They typically weigh around 3-4 grams and can reach lengths of 3-3.5 inches.
In Texas, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds can be found in open woodlands and suburban areas with flowers and trees. They are known for their aerial acrobatics and high-speed wing beats, often performing dives and loops while in flight.
These hummingbirds also have unique mating rituals, where the males will perform a dive display to attract a mate. During this display, they will fly high up in the air before diving towards the ground, producing a loud humming noise with their wings. Males will also sometimes engage in territorial fights by flying at each other and striking with their beaks.
In the winter months, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds migrate to areas in Central America for better food sources and warmer climates. They can occasionally be spotted during winter in southern parts of Texas, but are more commonly seen during the spring and summer months.
Hummingbird feeders and gardens with native flowers can attract these birds to urban and suburban areas. It is important to use nectar without red dye, as the artificial color can be harmful to hummingbirds. Additionally, keeping bird baths clean and filled with fresh water can provide essential hydration for these small birds.
Red-bellied woodpeckers can be identified by their red cap extending to the nape of their neck and red belly. They mainly eat insects and nuts, but will also feed on fruits, berries, and tree sap. They can measure around 9-10 inches in length with a wingspan of 13-17 inches.
In Texas, these woodpeckers can be found in wooded habitats, including deciduous and mixed forests. They often make their nests in dead or decaying trees.
In terms of behavior, these birds are known for their drumming on tree trunks to mark territory and attract mates. They also have a habit of storing excess food in crevices and bark for future consumption.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers typically form monogamous pairs and stay together for multiple breeding seasons. They are also known to be quite vocal, with a range of different calls and sounds.
Green Jay, a vibrant and playful bird, can be identified by its bright green plumage with a black head and blue accents on its wings. Its diet consists primarily of fruits, nuts, insects, and eggs from other birds. On average, it measures around 9 inches in length and has a wingspan of 13 inches.
In Texas, Green Jays can typically be found in dense brush and woodland areas. These social birds are often seen foraging and playing in small groups, making loud calls to communicate with each other.
However, during the breeding season, they establish territories and can become aggressive toward intruders. Green Jays have also been known to imitate the sounds of other animals, such as hawks, to scare off potential threats.
Black-crested Titmouse is a small songbird with a black crest on top of its gray head. It has a white throat and breast, and pale gray wings and underside.
These birds can be found in woodland areas with oak trees, as well as parks and suburban neighborhoods with mature trees.
Their diet consists mainly of insects and seeds, which they forage for on tree branches and shrubs.
In terms of behavior, Black-crested Titmice are often seen in small flocks and can be quite vocal. They have been known to join mixed-species flocks with other small birds, such as chickadees and warblers.
The average size of a Black-crested Titmouse is 4.5 to 5 inches in length and weighs 0.3 to 0.5 ounces.
In Texas, Black-crested Titmice can be found year-round in the eastern and central regions of the state. They may also occasionally be seen in the southern tip of Texas during winter months.
European Starling, native to Europe, was introduced to North America in the late 1800s. These birds have glossy black feathers with speckles of white and yellow, and a long, pointed beak.
They are omnivores, feeding on insects, fruits, seeds, and grains. On average, they measure about 8.5 inches in length and have a wingspan of 15 inches.
In Texas, European Starlings can be found in a variety of habitats such as open grasslands, farmland, and urban areas. They often congregate in large flocks and can be seen perched on power lines or foraging on the ground.
Their loud and varied vocalizations include mimicry of other bird species. These opportunistic birds will nest in cavities and will aggressively compete with native cavity-nesting species for nesting sites.
(Turdus migratorius) can be identified by its dark brown or black head, gray feathers on its back and wings, and orange breast. It primarily feeds on worms and insects, but also eats fruits and berries.
The average size of an American Robin ranges from 9-11 inches in length with a wingspan of 13-15 inches. It can be found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, fields, and suburban neighborhoods. In terms of behavior, American Robins are highly social birds and often seen in large flocks. They are also known for their loud and distinctive song.
In Texas, the American Robin is a common year-round resident and can also be found during the winter migrating from northern regions. It is the state bird of Michigan and Connecticut, as well as the provincial bird of Ontario, Canada.
Golden-fronted Woodpeckers can be identified by their red cap, black and white stripes on the back, and yellow patch on the front of its head. This bird primarily feeds on insects, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It has an average size of 9-10 inches in length with a wingspan of 15 inches.
In Texas, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers can be found in open woodlands, riparian areas, and suburban parks. They often create cavities in dead trees for nesting and foraging for food. This species is known to be territorial and will defend its territory by drumming on trees or chasing intruders away.
Eastern Bluebird, a member of the thrush family, can be easily identified by its bright blue plumage and red breast. These birds primarily feed on insects, berries, and fruits.
In Texas, Eastern Bluebirds typically measure around 6-7 inches in length with a wingspan of 9-11 inches.
They can be found in open woodlands, fields, and suburban areas with scattered trees.
During the breeding season, male bluebirds can often be seen perching on branches and singing to attract a mate. They build nests in tree cavities or birdhouses and typically have 2-3 broods per year.
Outside of the breeding season, Eastern Bluebirds often form small flocks and can be seen feeding on the ground or perched on tree branches.
Carolina Chickadee is a small, black-capped bird with a white chest and gray back. Its diet consists mainly of insects and seeds. It can be found in forests, woodlands, and residential areas across the state of Texas.
Its behavior includes foraging for food in tree branches, storing extra food for later consumption, and forming flocks with other chickadees during the winter. The Carolina Chickadee can be identified by its distinctive “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call.
What kind of birds are common in Texas?
Some common bird species in Texas include the Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, Red-winged Blackbird, and Great-tailed Grackle. Other popular birds found in the state include various types of waterfowl, raptors such as hawks and eagles, and migratory songbirds like warblers and sparrows.
Texas is also home to the rare and endangered Whooping Crane. Bird watching opportunities in Texas are plentiful, with many state and national parks and wildlife refuges offering prime birding spots.
How many species of birds are in Texas?
This is a difficult question to answer with certainty, as new species are occasionally discovered and the populations of certain species may fluctuate. However, based on current data, it is estimated that there are approximately 650 species of birds in Texas.
This makes up roughly 25% of all bird species found in the United States. Some notable examples include the Greater Roadrunner, the Northern Bobwhite, and the American White Pelican.
Texas also serves as a migratory stopover for many bird species, leading to a diverse array of birds that can be found in the state at any given time.
What Texas Bird has an orange breast?
The answer is the Northern Cardinal. The male cardinal has a bright orange-red breast, while the female has a pale reddish color. Cardinals are common backyard birds in Texas and can be found year-round in wooded areas, including parks and residential neighborhoods. They eat a variety of seeds, fruits, and insects.
Fun fact: Cardinals mate for life and often build their nests in dense shrubbery or low tree branches.
What bird is only found in Texas?
The Golden-cheeked Warblers are texas birds. This small songbird is only found in the oak-juniper woodlands of central Texas, making it a unique and beloved piece of the state’s wildlife.
The warbler is listed as endangered due to loss and fragmentation of its habitat, so conservation efforts are important for protecting this species. Fun fact: the male warblers have a bright yellow cheek patch, hence their name.
Are there finches in Austin Texas?
The answer is yes, there are finches in Austin Texas. Some of the most common finch species found in the area include American goldfinches, house finches, and purple finches. These birds can often be spotted visiting bird feeders or foraging in backyard gardens.