Identification Backyard Birds Of Michigan

Michigan Birds: Pictures And Identification Help

Michigan Backyard Birds

A total of approximately 450 birds make the official Michigan birds checklist. Most experts suggest that Michigan hosts a healthy 360 bird species over the course of a year, with 233 of them documented as breeding birds.

The people of Michigan are especially fond of their songbirds, having designated the American Robin, or Robin Redbreast as the official state bird. Dont expect them at the feeder because as the video clip shows, they are the iconic early birds out looking for worms from dawn until dusk. This introduction to Michigan birds provides basic highlights of local bird topics along with relevant bird pictures. The green birds button leads to additional videos, pictures and identification tips covering over two dozen bird families.

Backyard birding tends to be seasonal. Some Robins might overwinter in Michigan. However, the snow and cold limits food supply, so the majority tend to migrate south for the winter. By February and March, when the weather warms they return. During the winter months the most common backyard birds are listed below. With the exception of the American Crow and the Mourning dove, all the listed birds will stop by the feeder. Actually, crows eat almost anything including dog food left out or pizza dropped on the ground. Goldfinch prefer thistle feeders. Woodpeckers prefer suet. The woodpeckers button provides a great overview of all the Michigan woodpeckers.

  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • American Goldfinch
  • Mourning Dove

Backyard Birds Of Michigan: Top 18 Bird Species With Pictures

Known for the longest freshwater shoreline in the USA and the whole world, the State of Michigan is famous for fishing, kayaking, jet-skiing, and other water activities. But did you know that its also home to about 450 bird species?

If you live in Michigan or are coming for a visit, you can actually meet some of these fantastic birds in your backyard. Keep on reading to learn more about them.

European Starling Sturnus Vulgaris

Coloration and Markings: When it is warm European Starlings appear black from a distance, but up close you can see that their overall plumage is a lovely mix of purples and greens. They have medium-length wings and short, stubby tails, and facially they have long, thick, and pointed yellow bills. In the winter, they make a dramatic change into brown plumage with beautiful white spots on them, so try to spot them in the warm and the cold months youll appreciate the contrast!

Size: These birds measure 7.9 9.1 inches from tip to tail and have a wingspan of 12.2 to 15.8 wide.

Habitat: Starlings are found most often in the same places that we are. These birds know that the foraging is good when humans are nearby, so you most commonly see them in farms or in the city, on fences and phone lines, and sometimes even in local parking lots. They will definitely visit your feeder once they have become aware of it!

Diet: Starlings love fruits and most kinds of grains as well, but their favorite is suet. They will eat all of it that youve got, in many cases, and if this is a problem then you might want to leave out some wheat, oats, and raisins and invest in a Starling-proof suet feeders so that you can save some for the other birds.

Read Also: Pool Decks For Above Ground Pool

American Goldfinch Range Map

American Goldfinches love feeding on Nyjer seed, which not many other birds eat, along with sunflower kernels.

Its helpful to include bird feeders specially designed for goldfinches. These small birds are easily scared off by larger bullies. They will appreciate having places that only they can use! I like the fact they can feed in any position, even upside down.

American Goldfinches are strict vegetarians. Their diet is exclusively made of seeds with no insects, which is rare in the bird world. Naturally, they feast on seeds from asters, thistles, sunflowers, grasses, and many types of trees.

Because of their diet, American Goldfinches breed later than other birds. They wait until June or July, when most plants are in full seed production, ensuring there is enough food for them to feed their babies.

How To Attract Birds To Your Yard In Michigan

Michigan Backyard Birds Field Guide Art Print

If you would like to attract more birds to your backyard in Michigan there are some tips:

  • Provide bird feeders for different types of birds to get the most species to visit your yard.
  • Provide a water feature such as a birdbath fountain or stream. Ensure that the water is clean and not stagnant
  • Grow native plants that will provide food and shelter. Plants, trees, and shrubs that provide fruit, berries, and nuts. Blackberries, wild grasses, elderberries, serviceberries, Oaks, Beeches, Cherries, sumacs, hemlocks, Purple Coneflowers, Sunflowers, Milkweed, Cardinal Flowers, Trumpet Honeysuckle, Virginia Creeper, Buttonbush, and Dogwoods.
  • Let your grass grow long to provide cover and seeds.
  • Leave a brush pile to provide food, protection, and nesting opportunities for birds.
  • Dont use pesticides and herbicides as these may be toxic to birds and prevent the natural foraging opportunities for insects and seeds that birds will seek in your yard.
  • Set up nest boxes to attract breeding birds and ensure they are cleaned every year.
  • Read Also: Lawn Care Fort Collins Co

    What Kinds Of Birds Can You Find In Michigan

    This question is hard to answer because of the vast number of birds found in Michigan. Did you know there have been over 450 species recorded here?

    As you can imagine, there was no way to include this many birds in the below article. So instead, I tried to focus on the birds that are most regularly seen and observed.

    House Finch Range Map

    House Finches are often the first birds to discover new bird feeders. These birds are intensely curious and rarely travel alone, so their arrival often helps other birds find your feeders too! I see them eating sunflower seed, Nyjer seed, and safflower the most in my backyard.

    House Finches have a pleasant and enjoyable song, which can be heard year-round.Listen below to a series of jumbled, warbled notes.

    • A large bird that is entirely black with an iridescent sheen.
    • Long black bill, black legs, and black feet.

    American Crows are adaptable birds and common in Michigan in almost every habitat.

    Recommended Reading: Pool Ideas For Small Backyards

    Here Are My Three Favorite Ways To Attract Cardinals To My Backyard:

    • Supply their favorite foods, which include sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, corn, and peanuts.
    • Use bird feeders that are easy for them to use, such as trays and hoppers.
    • Keep a fresh supply of water available in a birdbath.

    And with a little practice, its easy to identify Northern Cardinals by their songs and sounds. Interestingly, unlike most other songbirds in Michigan, even females sing

    • The most common song you will probably hear is a series of clear whistled melodies that sound like the bird is saying birdie-birdie-birdie or cheer-cheer-cheer.
    • Backs are covered in beautiful blue feathers with black bars throughout. Underparts are white.
    • Their head is surrounded by a black necklace and has a blue crest on top.
    • Males and females look the same.

    Some people dislike Blue Jays, but I love their bold personalities. Their high intelligence makes these birds interesting to observe, not to mention their plumage is stunning.

    Blue Jay Cyanocitta Cristata

    Your backyard observations could help scientists study wild birds in Michigan and beyond

    Coloration and Markings: Blue Jays have quite striking plumage and have inspired many to take up birdwatching. They have light blue backs with medium-length blue wings and long, broad, and rounded tails. The wings have 1 white wingbar each and display a scaling patter of blue outlined in black above the wingbars and display some below, towards the center, as well. Here you will also see large white spots outlined in black while the tail will have more symmetrical patterns, with light blue squares on each side of the tail that are outlined in darker blue and accompanied with white outer feathers. The underbelly and breast of the Blue Jay are a snowy white which goes up into the face, interrupted briefly by a black line that starts at the back of the birds lovely blue crest and goes down to encircle the throat and back up the other side. Facially, these birds are mostly white, with the exceptions of the crest and the birds somewhat abstract black eyemask and its long, straight black bill.

    Size: These birds measure in at 9.8 11.8 inches in length and have wingspans of 13.4 to 16.9 inches wide.

    Habitat: Blue Jays love spending time at the forests edge and are especially fond of Oak stands, where they may obtain acorns to smash open as a delicious snack. They are bold, however, so you can see them quite often in parks or cities as well.

    You May Like: How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From Backyard

    Most Common Birds In Michigan

    Did you know that Michigan is home to more than 300 different species of birds? Some of these birds are common, while others are rare. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most common birds in Michigan. We will also discuss their habits and how to identify them. So, if youre interested in learning more about Michigans feathered friends, keep reading!

    Baltimore Oriole Range Map

    These birds spend most of their time at the tops of deciduous trees, fluttering around, building beautiful woven nests, and looking for food. They are most often found in open woodlands, riverbanks, and on the edges of swamps and forests. Even though they enjoy trees, they normally arent seen in deep, dark forests.

    Recommended Reading: Home Depot Wood For Deck

    American Robin Range Map

    Even though they are abundant, American Robins rarely visit bird feeders because they dont eat seeds. Instead, their diet consists of invertebrates and fruit. For example, I see robins frequently in my backyard, pulling up earthworms in the grass!

    These birds also commonly nest near people. Look for an open cup-shaped nest that has 3-5 beautiful, distinctive sky blue color eggs.

    American Robins sing a string of clear whistles, which is a familiar sound in spring.

    Many people describe the sound as sounding like the bird is saying cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up.

    Identifying Characteristics:

    • These woodpeckers have a short bill and are relatively small.
    • Color-wise, they have white bellies, with a mostly black back that features streaks and spots of white.
    • Male birds have a distinctive red spot on the back of their head, which females lack.

    Downy Woodpeckers are one of the most common birds in Michigan! You probably recognize them, as they are seen in most backyards.

    Luckily, this woodpecker species is easy to attract to your backyard. The best foods to use are suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts . You may even spot them drinking sugar water from your hummingbird feeders! If you use suet products, make sure to use a specialized suet bird feeder.

    Believe It Or Not American Crows Are One Of The Smartest Birds In Michigan

    Michigan Backyard Birds Field Guide Art Print  Kate Dolamore Art

    For example, they can use tools, solve problems, and recognize human faces. It seems that crows even do things just for fun! Seriously, if you search the internet, its easy to find videos of them using round objects to sled down roofs.

    American Crows have a large vocabulary. Listen for any number of caws, rattles, cackles, and clicks. The most common sound is a caw-caw.

    Identifying Characteristics:

    • Chest has brown streaks that converge onto a central breast spot.
    • Head has a brown crown with a grey stripe down the middle. Also, look for a grey eyebrow and cheek.
    • Back and body are mostly rust-brown with gray streaks throughout.

    Sparrows can be incredibly difficult to identify, due to how many types of sparrows there are and the fact they look very similar. But luckily, Song Sparrows are one of the easier sparrow species to determine correctly.

    These birds are common in Michigan, especially in wet, shrubby, and open areas.

    Unlike other birds that nest in trees, Song Sparrows primarily nest in weeds and grasses. Many times you will find them nesting directly on the ground.

    My favorite feature of Song Sparrows is their beautiful songs that can be heard across the continent. The typical one, which you can listen to below, consists of three short notes followed by a pretty trill. The song varies depending on location and the individual bird.

    • Both sexes look almost the same.
    • Males have a black cap on the top of their heads
    • Females display a lighter, more gray crown.

    Also Check: Laura’s Home And Patio

    Common Birds At Different Times Of Year In Michigan

    The birds that are attracted to backyards in Michigan change throughout the year. The lists below show the backyard birds that are most commonly seen at different times of the year in Michigan.

    Notable differences show that American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds are more common birds in summer in Michigan.

    Downy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers are more common birds in winter in Michigan.

    Common birds in Michigan all year

    Black-capped Chickadee 46%

    Common Backyard Birds Of Detroit Michigan

    The following list uses eBird data to compare the birds of Detroit with the birds of the state as a whole. Detroit is in Wayne County, Michigan. I will use data for Wayne County to represent birds in the Detroit area.

    Here are the most common backyard birds throughout the year in Detroit:

  • Northern Cardinal
  • Don’t Miss: Prefab Backyard Guest House With Bathroom

    Top 16 Beautiful Backyard Birds In Michigan

    • Post author

    Did you know that Michigan is home to the longest freshwater shoreline in the world? The state also has tons of mountains, forests, and lakes, which makes it a popular vacation spot for migratory birds!

    Jokes apart, Michigan is a very inhabitable area for birds, and the state hosts over 450 different species of them. In fact, the chances of seeing beautiful and rare backyard birds in Michigan are always against the odds! In Michigan, some of the birds are part-time residents, while the others live there all year long.

    In this article, well be looking at more than a dozen famous birds of Michigan and learn a bit about them. Lets get started!

    Northern Cardinal Cardinalis Cardinalis

    Identify Your Backyard Birds

    Coloration and Markings: Male Cardinals have amazing plumage, being almost completely red all over their bodies. They have medium-length red wings and long, red tails, both of which will sometimes have bits of brown if the bird is molting. Facially, youll notice first the majestic, red crest of the Cardinal and its distinctive black mask, which covers the eyes and pulls sharply down to the birds chin. These birds have short, stout, conical orange-red bills and the females, while very different in color, are no less striking. Female Cardinals exhibit a brown plumage, with reddish tinges at the crest, wings, and tail.

    Size: These birds measure in at 8.3 98.1 inches in length and have wingspans of 9.8 to 12.2 inches in width.

    Habitat: Cardinals like the forests edge, especially if there is some dense vegetation in the form of shrubs, brambles, of thorns where they can occasionally get a little cover for relatively-safe foraging. These bold birds are also found quite often in parks and backyards, however, so be sure to keep an eye out for them. That stunning plumage is very hard to miss!

    Diet: White milo, crushed peanuts, and cracked corn are 3 favorites of the Northern Cardinal that you can use to tempt a Cardinal to your feeder so that you can get a closer look!

    Read Also: Sun And Beach Patio Furniture

    Northern Cardinal Range Map

    Without a doubt, the Northern Cardinal is one of the most popular birds in Michigan. They are not only beautifully colored, but they are common to see at bird feeders!

    In this video, you can see both male and female cardinals. If you look closely you can even see a juvenile!

    European Starling Range Map

    Back in 1890, one hundred starlings were brought over from Europe and released in New York Citys Central Park. The rest is history as starlings easily conquered the continent, along the way out-competing many of our beautiful native birds.

    Their ability to adapt to human development and eat almost anything is uncanny to almost no other species.

    When starlings visit in small numbers, they are fun to watch and have beautiful plumage. Unfortunately, these aggressive birds can ruin a party quickly when they visit in massive flocks, chasing away all of the other birds while eating your expensive bird food. To keep these blackbirds away from your bird feeders, you will need to take extreme action and implement some proven strategies.

    Recommended Reading: Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer With Lawn Food

    Starlings Are Impressive Vocalists

    Listen for a mix of musical, squeaky, rasping notes. They are also known to imitate other birds.

    Identifying Characteristics:

    • Look for a stocky, chunky blackbird with a thick, conical bill.
    • Males have completely black bodies with a brown head . In poor light, it can be hard to tell that the head is actually brown.
    • Females are a plain brown color. There is slight streaking on the belly and a black eye.

    Backyard Birds To Know

    Backyard Birds of Michigan Poster

    I’ve put this resource together for you to answer yourquestion: What birds are in my backyard in Michigan?

    Thisarticle lists and discusses the identification of the most commonbirds in your backyard. The birds chosen in this article are compiledfrom actual data from the citizen science program eBird. Thus,it is more accurate than some other similar articles you may find onthe web. I provide pictures of each bird species mentioned. I tellhow to attract them to your backyard.

    Theseare the most common backyard birds in Michigan:

  • Black-capped Chickadee
    • Stateoverview of birds and bird watching in Michigan
    • Mostcommon birds by season
    • Commonbirds of Detroit, Michigan

    You May Like: Behr Deck Paint Home Depot