Most Common Birds of Connecticut

Connecticut is a small state with diverse habitats, ranging from coastal marshes to dense forests. These varied ecosystems support a variety of bird species, some year-round residents and others just passing through during migration. Here are some of the most commonly spotted birds in Connecticut.

Common Backyard Birds of Ct

European Starlings

European Starling

European Starlings are small birds, approximately 8 inches in length with glossy black feathers and a long, pointed yellow beak. They have short tails and triangular wings.

In terms of diet, European Starlings mainly eat insects and fruit.

They can be found in a variety of habitats including parks, fields, and open woodland areas.

In terms of behavior, European Starlings are highly social and can often be seen in large flocks. They have a loud and varied vocalization and are also known for their mimicking abilities.

In Connecticut, European Starlings can be found year-round and are common throughout the state. They were introduced to North America in the late 1800s and have since spread across the continent.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

(Agelaius phoeniceus) can be identified by their black bodies with distinctive red and yellow patches on their wings. They are omnivorous, feeding on insects, seeds, grains, and berries. The average size of a Red-winged Blackbird is 8 to 9 inches in length with a wingspan of 12 to 16 inches.

They can be found in marshlands and wet meadows, as well as agricultural fields and suburban areas. In the spring, male Red-winged Blackbirds are known for their loud and melodic territorial songs and displays of their red and yellow wing patches to attract mates.

Females build cup-shaped nests on reeds or cattails and lay anywhere from 2 to 5 eggs, which are incubated for about 12 days before hatching. Both males and females take part in feeding and caring for the young until they fledge, usually within a month of hatching.

Red-winged Blackbirds can often be seen flying in large flocks and can commonly be heard in the spring and summer months. They may even join mixed species flocks with other blackbirds, grackles, and starlings during their winter migrations.

These birds have a lifespan of 8 years in the wild and can even live up to 14 years in captivity. They are a common sight throughout North America, including in the state of Connecticut.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch is a small, stocky bird with a white face and chest, gray back, black crown, and stout, pointed bill. These birds are often seen climbing up and down tree trunks searching for food, using their strong feet and sharp claws.

In Connecticut, they can be found in deciduous or mixed woodlands where there are mature trees with thick bark for them to forage on.

Their diet consists mainly of insects and seeds, which they often store in crevices and cracks for later consumption.

White-breasted Nuthatches also have a unique behavior of wedging large seeds or nuts into tree bark and hammering at them with their strong bills to crack them open.

They are often seen in small flocks, especially during the winter months, and have a loud, high-pitched “yank yank” call. Overall, these little acrobatic birds make a charming addition to any backyard bird feeder.

White-breasted Nuthatch range map

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker can be identified by its red head and neck, black and white barred back, and a white underbelly. Its diet consists of insects, nuts, fruits, and seeds. It typically ranges in size from 9 to 12 inches in length.

In Connecticut, Red-bellied Woodpeckers can be found in deciduous forests and residential areas. They are known for their drumming behavior on trees, as well as excavating nest holes in dead trees or wooden structures. They also store excess food in tree crevices for later consumption.

This species is not currently threatened, but its population has been declining in recent years due to loss of habitat and competition with the invasive European Starling. Conservation efforts include preserving mature forest habitats and creating nest boxes for woodpeckers.

Red-bellied Woodpecker range map

Tufted Titmouse

tufted titmouse

is a small songbird with a distinctive black crest on its head and white cheeks. Its diet consists of insects, seeds, nuts, and berries. In Connecticut, it can typically be found in deciduous forests and suburban yards.

It is known for its bold behavior and will often join mixed-species flocks of other backyard birds. It also has a distinctive whistled “peter- peter- peter” call.

Northern Cardinals

Northern Cardinals

Northern Cardinals, also known as “redbirds,” are easily identified by their vibrant red plumage and prominent crest. These birds primarily feed on seeds and insects, but will also eat fruits and berries. Male Northern Cardinals can grow up to 9 inches in length, while females tend to be slightly smaller at around 7 inches.

These birds can be found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, shrublands, and suburban areas. In Connecticut, they can commonly be seen in backyard bird feeders or on low tree branches.

Northern Cardinals are monogamous birds and often mate for life. They build cup-shaped nests in dense vegetation and female cardinals typically lay 3-4 eggs at a time. Both male and female cardinals participate in nest building and incubating the eggs, as well as caring for the young hatchlings.

These birds have a noticeable sharp “chee-dee” call and also sing loud, clear songs to mark their territory and attract mates. They are not migratory, but may move to different areas within their range to find food or establish territories during different seasons.

Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura

Mourning Doves

The Mourning Dove is a fairly small bird, measuring around 12 inches in length with a wingspan of 18-22 inches. It has a grayish-brown body with black spots on its wings, and a long tail with white edges. Its most distinguishing feature is its long pointed tail and soft, cooing call.

In terms of diet, Mourning Doves primarily eat seeds and grains, but will also consume insects and fruits. They forage on the ground, using their small feet to scratch and uncover food.

Mourning Doves can be found in a variety of habitats, including open fields, woodland edges, and even urban areas. They build flimsy nests made of twigs, typically placed in trees or on structures like telephone poles.

Mourning Doves are often seen in pairs or small groups, and can sometimes be observed performing mating rituals such as cooing to each other and displaying their wings. They also engage in dust baths to keep their feathers clean and healthy. These birds are fairly calm and unaggressive, although they may become territorial during breeding season.

In Connecticut, Mourning Doves can be observed year-round and are a common sight in backyard bird feeders.

Pine Siskin – Spinus pinus

Pine Siskin

The Pine Siskin is a small bird, measuring around 4.3 to 5.1 inches in length with an average wingspan of 7.9 inches. Its identifying characteristics include its streaky brown plumage with yellow patches on the wing and tail feathers, as well as its pointed bill.

This bird primarily feeds on seeds and can often be spotted at bird feeders. In the wild, it also feeds on buds, insects, and tree sap.

Pine Siskins can be found in coniferous forests and open woodlands. They are known to form large flocks during migration and winter seasons.

In terms of behavior, Pine Siskins are known for their acrobatic abilities, often hanging upside down and swinging from thin branches while feeding. They also have a unique flight call, described as a high pitched “seesee” or “tsee-tsi.”

Pine Siskin range map

House Finch – Haemorhous mexicanus

House Finch

This small songbird can be easily identified by its red head and chest, dark brown back, and streaky sides. It typically feeds on seeds, fruits, and insects. In Connecticut, they can be found in open areas with trees or shrubs, such as yards, parks, and farmland.

They commonly build cup-shaped nests in tree branches and shrubs, and are often seen in small flocks. Male House Finches can be spotted showing off their colorful plumage to attract mates during breeding season. However, they may also exhibit aggressive behavior towards other finches or birds for territory.

In recent years, the population of House Finches in Connecticut has increased dramatically due to successful adaptation to urban environments. They are among the most commonly seen backyard birds in the state.

However, they can also carry diseases such as mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, also known as “House Finch Eye Disease,” which can be spread through contact with contaminated food or nesting materials. It is important to practice good hygiene and clean backyard feeders regularly to prevent the spread of this disease.

House Finch range map

Blue Jay – Cyanocitta cristata

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is easily recognized by its bright blue feathers and crest on top of its head. It also has a black necklace, white underparts, and a blue tail with white edges. Its diet consists primarily of nuts and black oil sunflower seeds, but it also eats insects, frogs, and even smaller birds.

The average size of a Blue Jay is 9-12 inches in length and weighs 2.3-3.4 ounces.

In Connecticut, the Blue Jay can be found in forests, suburban areas, and even backyard bird feeders.

Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and problem solving abilities, as well as their loud calls and aggressive behavior towards other birds. They have also been known to mimic the calls of hawks in order to scare other birds away from feeding areas. Blue Jays are highly social and often gather in groups or flocks.

House Sparrows – Passenger domesticus

House Sparrow

The male House Sparrow can be identified by its gray crown and cheeks, black throat and upper breast, and pale brown back. The female is duller in color with lighter streaks on her chest.

They primarily eat seeds, grains, and insects.

These birds are small, measuring about 6 inches in length.

They can be found in urban and agricultural areas, often near human habitation.

Their behavior is often described as aggressive, as they will compete with native species for food and nesting sites. They may also damage crops and disrupt bird feeders. Despite this, they are still a common sight in Connecticut.

House Sparrow range map

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco is a small and sparrow-like bird that can be found in various habitats throughout Connecticut, including forests, fields, and even urban areas.

These birds have distinct dark gray bodies with white bellies and dark streaks on their back and tail. They also have noticeable white outer tail feathers that can often be seen flicking during flight.

In terms of diet, Dark-eyed Juncos mainly eat seeds and insects.

They are known to forage on the ground, scratching at the soil with their feet to uncover food.

During the breeding season, they may also eat spiders, snails, and small berries.

The average size of a Dark-eyed Junco is around 5-6 inches in length with a wingspan of 9 inches.

In terms of behavior, these birds are often seen in flocks and can be quite social. They may form small groups during the non-breeding season and can sometimes be seen mixed in with other sparrow species. During the breeding season, they become more territorial and can often be heard singing from bushes or low trees.

Common Grackle

Common Grackle

Common Grackle, also known as the Common Blackbird, can be identified by its iridescent black feathers and long, keel-shaped tail. These birds are omnivorous, eating a variety of insects, grains, and fruits. The Common Grackle ranges in size from 11 to 13 inches in length with a wingspan of 16 to 21 inches.

Their preferred habitat is open areas near water, including fields, parks, and wetlands. In terms of behavior, grackles are often seen in large flocks and have a loud, harsh call. They may also engage in aggressive behaviors towards other birds at feeding sites.

Common Grackle range map

House Wren – Troglodytes aedon

House Wren

The House Wren, found in Connecticut, is a small songbird with brown plumage and white barring on its wings and tail. It has a stumpy appearance with a short bill and tail.

Their diet consists mainly of insects such as beetles, caterpillars, and grasshoppers. They will also eat berries and seeds.

The House Wren ranges in size from 4.3-5.1 inches, with a wingspan of 7.5-8.7 inches.

They are commonly found in open woods, fields, and suburban areas with thick vegetation for nesting sites. They build their nests in cavities such as holes in tree trunks or old nests of other birds.

House Wrens are known for their energetic behavior, constantly flitting about and searching for food. They have a loud, high-pitched song that is often heard during breeding season. They may also mimic the songs of other bird species. They are also known to be aggressive towards larger cavity-nesting birds, often destroying their nests and eggs.

House Wren range map

Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor

Tree Swallow

The Tree Swallow can be easily identified by its glossy blue-green back and white underside. It has a pointed tail and wings, black chin and throat, and a small bill.

Tree Swallows primarily feed on flying insects, such as flies, midges, beetles, and moths. They may also eat some berries and seeds.

On average, Tree Swallows measure about 5-6 inches in length and have a wingspan of 9-11 inches.

Tree Swallows prefer open areas near water, such as marshes, ponds, lakes, and agricultural fields. They build their nests in cavities in trees or manmade structures, such as nest boxes.

These birds are very social, often gathering in large flocks during migration and winter. They are also skilled aerial acrobats, performing intricate flight patterns and diving for prey mid-air. However, they can become aggressive during nesting season, defending their territory from potential predators or intruding birds.

Cedar Waxwing – Bombycilla cedrorum

Cedar Waxwing

The Cedar Waxwing is a medium-sized songbird with a crest and striking black mask on its face. Its body is predominantly brown with a yellow belly and bright yellow tips on its wing feathers, giving it a distinctive wax-like appearance.

In terms of diet, these birds primarily feed on fruit and insects. They have been known to eat berries, cedar cones, and even flower nectar.

On average, Cedar Waxwings measure 7-8 inches in length and have a wingspan of 12 inches.

These birds can be found in open woodlands, orchards, and suburban areas throughout the United States and southern Canada. They are often seen in large flocks, particularly during migration.

In terms of behavior, Cedar Waxwings are known for their acrobatic flight and social nature. They have a habit of catching insects mid-flight and passing fruit to each other before consuming it. These birds also engage in an interesting mating ritual called “anting,” where they will spread ants over their feathers in order to rid themselves of parasites.

In Connecticut, the Cedar Waxwing can be found year-round and is a common sight during migration seasons. They can often be observed in backyard bird feeders or spotted foraging for food in open wooded areas.

Red-eyed Vireo – Vireo olivaceus

Red-eyed Vireo

The Red-eyed Vireo is a small, stocky songbird with olive green upperparts and white underparts. It has red eyes, a dark grey crown, and white wing bars. This species can be found in deciduous or mixed forests of the eastern United States during the summer breeding season.

Insects make up the majority of the Red-eyed Vireo’s diet, with some fruits also being eaten. They forage by actively searching through leaves and branches for food.

The average size of a Red-eyed Vireo is 4.7 inches in length and weighing 0.5 ounces.

In Connecticut, the Red-eyed Vireo can be found in wooded areas, especially along streams or rivers. They are known for their constant singing during the breeding season and will also aggressively defend their territory from intruding birds.

During the winter, these birds migrate to southern parts of the United States or Central and South America. Some Red-eyed Vireos have been recorded to migrate over 1,500 miles during their yearly migration.

Red-eyed Vireo range map

Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus

Red-winged Blackbird

The red-winged blackbird is easily recognizable by its glossy black feathers and distinctive red shoulder patches. This species can be found in a variety of habitats, including marshes, wetlands, grasslands, fields, and agricultural areas.

In terms of diet, the red-winged blackbird feeds on insects, seeds, grains, and berries. They will also occasionally eat frogs, snakes, and small fish.

These birds typically measure 9-11 inches in length and have a wingspan of 13-17 inches. Males are slightly larger than females.

Red-winged blackbirds are known for their loud, distinctive calls and territorial behavior during breeding season. They are also known to engage in cooperative breeding, where several males will help a single female raise her young. Overall, this species plays an important role in controlling insect and weed populations.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

s can be identified by their streaked brown plumage and white eyebrow stripe. They primarily feed on seeds and insects, although they will also eat berries and fruits. These birds range in size from 5-6 inches in length with a wingspan of 7-9 inches. They can be found in a variety of habitats including marshes, fields, and suburban areas.

Song Sparrows are often seen scratching on the ground to search for food and will defend their territory with loud songs and aggressive chasing of other birds. They build cup-shaped nests in shrubs or grasses and typically lay 2-5 eggs per clutch. These birds are year-round residents of Connecticut and can also be found throughout North America.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

(Dryobates pubescens) can be identified by its black and white spotted feathers, with a small red patch on the back of its head. Its diet consists mainly of insects, including beetles and caterpillars, but it will also eat nuts and berries. It is a small bird, measuring about 6-7 inches in length.

Downy Woodpeckers can be found in wooded areas, especially deciduous and mixed forests. They are known for their behavior of drilling holes into tree trunks to find food or make nests. They also drum on trees to establish territory and attract mates. In Connecticut, Downy Woodpeckers can be seen year-round, or may migrate to southern states in the winter.

Black-capped Chickadee – Poecile atricapillus

Black-capped Chickadee

The black-capped chickadee is a small bird, measuring only 4 to 5 inches in length. They have a distinct black cap and bib, with white cheeks and a gray wings.

These birds primarily feed on seeds and insects, foraging both on the ground and in trees. They have been known to cache food for later consumption.

In Connecticut, the black-capped chickadee can be found in deciduous and mixed forests, as well as residential areas with mature trees. They are often seen in small flocks, and have a recognizable call of “chick-a-dee-dee-dee.” These birds are year-round residents in the state, and some may even stay for the winter rather than migrating.

American Robin – Turdus migratorius

American Robin

The American Robin is a common sight in Connecticut, with its familiar reddish-orange breast and black head. They have a diet primarily consisting of earthworms and insects, but also eat fruit and berries. They can range in size from 9-11 inches in length with a wingspan of 12-15 inches.

In Connecticut, American Robins can be found in a variety of habitats including woodlands, residential areas, and parks. They are often seen on lawns, where they search for food or perch in trees.

American Robins are active during the day and have a characteristic hopping gait when walking on the ground. They also have a distinct, musical song which they use to communicate with other birds. They often form large flocks during the winter months for foraging and roosting.

American Robin range map

Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis

northern cardinal

One of the most easily identified birds in North America, the Northern Cardinal is known for its bright red plumage and distinctive crest.

These songbirds mainly eat seeds and fruits, supplementing their diet with insects during the breeding season.

Males can reach a length of 8 inches and females 7 inches, with an average weight of 2.3 ounces.

They can be found in wooded areas, thickets, and suburban gardens throughout the eastern and southern United States, including Connecticut.

In addition to their loud and varied songs, Northern Cardinals are known for their social behavior. They often form long-term pair bonds and will defend their territory aggressively. They also have unique courtship displays, including feeding seeds to one another.

American Crow

American Crow

(Corvus brachyrhynchos) can be easily identified by their glossy black feathers and distinctive cawing call. They are omnivorous, feeding on grains, insects, small animals, and even garbage. American Crows range in size from 17 to 21 inches in length with a wingspan of 33 to 39 inches.

They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, parks, and even urban areas. American Crows are social birds, often seen in large flocks and using cooperative hunting techniques. In Connecticut, they can be found year-round and are common breeding residents.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch, also known as “Wild Canary,” is easily identified by its bright yellow feathers and black wings with white stripes. In the summer, they primarily feed on seeds and insects. In the winter, they switch to mainly eating seeds from plants such as thistle and dandelion.

American Goldfinches typically measure around 4.5 inches in length and have a wingspan of 7.5 inches.

In Connecticut, American Goldfinches can be found in open woodlands, meadows, parks, and backyard bird feeders. They are often seen in flocks, especially during migration and winter months.

American Goldfinches are known for their playful behavior, often swinging and hanging upside down from plants while feeding. They also have a distinctive flight pattern, flying in a swooping up-and-down motion. During breeding season, male Goldfinches will perform acrobatic flight displays to attract a mate.

American Goldfinch range map

What are common birds in Connecticut?

Some common birds in Connecticut include American robins, northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, and red-winged blackbirds. Other popular species found in the state are blue jays, mourning doves, and barn swallows.

Some rarer bird sightings in Connecticut include great horned owls, ruby-throated hummingbirds, and yellow-billed cuckoos. Connecticut is also a popular stopover spot for migrating birds such as warblers and turkey vultures.

What birds stay for the winter in CT?

Some common winter birds in Connecticut include the American robin, the black-capped chickadee, the dark-eyed junco, and the northern cardinal. Other winter visitors to Connecticut may include Canada geese, snow buntings, red-winged blackbirds, and various species of finches and sparrows.

Some migratory birds, such as the ruby-throated hummingbird, may stay for the winter if there are adequate food sources available. It is always a good idea to keep bird feeders stocked during the colder months to attract a variety of winter birds to your backyard.

Do finches live in Connecticut?

The answer is yes! The most commonly seen finch in Connecticut is the American goldfinch, but other finch species such as house finches, purple finches, and pine siskins can also be found in the state. These colorful birds can often be spotted at bird feeders or flitting through forests and backyard gardens.

What is the Connecticut bird?

The state bird of Connecticut is the American robin. It was officially designated as the state bird in 1943, chosen for its widespread presence and song throughout the state. The American robin is a familiar sight in yards and parks, known for its brown back and orange breast.