Types of Birds in Your Backyard

Wherever you live, you will see all types of birds flying, eating or nesting close to you. Knowing what kinds of birds you share your home with can add to your outdoor pleasure.

Common Types of Birds in Your Backyard
The types of birds you can spot depend, in part, on where you live. Some birds don't move too far from their local habitat. Other birds migrate in order to avoid cold weather and continue to find food, so while a given bird may stay put all year long in Southern California, the same bird may only stay through the summer in a colder climate. That being said, there are birds that are pretty common throughout the United States.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are a crowd favorite. These tiny, three and three-quarters inch birds can be quite territorial and are known to dive bomb people who get too close to their food sources. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are thought to be able to fly as fast as 50 mph. The humming sounds that these birds make when they fly make ruby-throated hummingbirds hard to miss.

Who has not heard the "caw caw" of the American crow? Crows are intelligent birds that will work together to chase predators such as hawks and owls from the crows' area. These black colored, fan-tailed birds mate for life.

Pigeons, or rock doves, haven't always been reviled. In fact, ancient Egyptians may have raised them for food, making pigeons one of the first domesticated birds. Like crows, pigeons mate for life.

Male song sparrows use their songs, at least 20 in number with some 1,000 variations, to defend their territories. They sing constantly. The number of songs that a male sings decreases to about 10 per hour after the male accepts a female mate. These birds are about five to six inches long.

You can recognize mourning doves by their unforgettable "cooing," which is actually a sign that these birds are getting ready to start setting up a territory and looking to reproduce. These 12 inch long birds have grayish, brownish feathers and are topped with gray patches on their heads. Mourning doves also have black dots on their wings.

You might want to buy a guide book that covers the types of birds that habituate your area for more clues on your feathered friends. Set up a bird feeder to take a look at them.

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