Featuring beautiful illustrations of backyard birds, Birds of North America is sure to delight any birder and puzzler. With a little imagination, you can see many of the featured species on your own!
These birds are among the most common in North America, with numbers estimated at 150 million to 200 million. Learn how to attract these backyard visitors with seed and feeders.
Purple Martins are long-distance migratory birds, breeding in eastern North America and wintering in South America. They are insectivores, feeding on insects that fly high in the air.
They breed in large colonies and migrate together. They also spend a lot of time exploring their environment.
Female Purple Martins make their nests from green leaves, twigs, grass, sticks, mud, and feathers. Males, on the other hand, gather all materials for their nest and defend it.
Although martins used to nest in natural cavities, their populations east of the Rocky Mountains have become dependent on human-provided birdhouses and gourds. This shift is important to their survival.
The Red-winged Blackbird is one of the most common and widely distributed species in North America. It is also an aggressive bird that will defend its territory against other birds and animals.
Males have distinctive red shoulder patches, or “epaulets,” which are visible when they fly or display. This is a clear sexual dimorphism that differentiates them from other blackbirds.
Adult males are glossy black with a red patch on their shoulders and a yellow wing bar. Females are dark brown overall, with crisply streaked breasts and a rusty wash on their faces.
The Yellow-bellied Woodpecker is a medium-sized bird that ranges throughout North America. Its body is black with white markings, and it has a red head and throat.
This species is a migratory bird, and it often migrates in the spring and summer. It eats insects and berries.
They also drill holes in trees to catch ants, worms, and other small creatures. This can damage and kill a tree.
Males drum in spring to announce their territory and attract a mate. This species usually lays one clutch of eggs per season.
The Northern Cardinal is one of North America’s most common songbirds. It is also the official state bird of seven eastern states.
It is easily recognized by its bright red feathers with a black mask and orange beak. Male cardinals have a crest of feathers on top of their heads that they can raise and lower.
They use songs and body signals to communicate with their mates. These include loud, beautiful whistled phrases like “whoit whoit whoit” and “whacheer whacheer.”
During mating season, the female will build a cup-shaped nest composed of twigs, leaves, bark, grasses and pine needles in forks of trees or vine clumps. The eggs are 0.9 to 1.1 inches in length and weigh approximately 0.16 ounces.
The Yellow-throated Vireo is one of our most strikingly plumaged birds. It has an olive back and head, yellow lores and spectacles around its eyes, bright yellow throat and breast, and two bold white wing bars.
A thick bill with a hook helps separate this bird from other vireos. They can be found in the upper portions of mature deciduous forests, especially those with large oaks and sycamores (Rodewald and James 1996).
In a similar fashion to Red-eyed Vireos, they forage through the middle and upper levels of trees for insects and spiders. They also feed on berries before they migrate to South America and during the winter.
The White-throated Sparrow is one of the most common and well-studied songbirds in North America. This species is known for its clear whistle-like song, which is often sung by pairs or flocks of birds.
These birds are common breeders and migrants in coniferous or mixed forests throughout much of Canada, from New England to the northern Great Lakes region, and in the eastern United States.
These birds are also commonly seen at bird feeders in the spring and fall as they migrate north or south. They feed on a variety of plant matter, including seeds, buds, fruit and insects.
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