Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Lily Aldrin
Hello there! If you’ve ever found yourself marveling at the diverse birdlife in Alabama, you’re in for a treat.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 14 common bird species that call Alabama home.
From vibrant warblers to majestic raptors, these birds grace our skies and add beauty to our surroundings.
Join me as we explore the fascinating world of Alabama’s avian residents, uncovering interesting facts and features about each feathered friend.
So grab your binoculars and let’s embark on a captivating journey through the wonderful world of birds in Alabama.
|Great Blue Heron|
There are approximately 452 distinct species of birds in Alabama that may be spotted at various periods of each year.
Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas share a border with Alabama, and as a result, their birds are similar.
Alabama’s state bird is the Northern flicker, which was designated as such in 1927.
Common Birds in Alabama
1. Bewick’s Wren
Thryomanes bewickii is the scientific name for this little bird that is exclusively located in North America or Canada.
Carolina Wren has a comparable body shape and size to them.
Their black plumage and loud voice, which they use to lure females during mating and also to advertise their territory, set them apart.
They like to construct their nests near water sources and highly wooded places.
In addition to its brown hue, its feathers or rump are coated in grey and black feathers.
The Bewick’s Wren has an 8-inch wing as well as a 5.1-inch body length.
On average, a Bewick’s Wren counts about 0.3 and 0.4 oz (8 -12 g).
The young are identical to the adults.
However, their plumage is a little different in color.
The Bewick’s Wren feeds on little insects found among the greenery.
Their diet also includes nuts, berries, and some seeds.
This species can be spotted feeding birds at bird feeders in several parts of North America.
They regularly visit the bird feeders, which provide suet, hazelnuts, or wheat seeds, along with other items.
Below are the characteristics of the Bewick’s Wren,
|Scientific Name||Thryomanes bewickii|
|Length||12 cm (4.7 inches)|
|Wingspan||18-22 cm (7-8.7 inches)|
|Habitat||Woodlands, shrublands, gardens, and parks|
|Food||Insects, spiders, small invertebrates, and occasionally fruits and seeds|
2. Brown Pelican
The Brown Pelican, which is alternatively called Pelecanus occidentalis or Common Pelican, is a big bird found throughout Alabama.
The brown pelican is a huge aquatic bird with a wingspan of approximately 7 feet and a weight of close to 8 lbs.
Having a white-brown head and a pale yellow cap, the mature pelican is dark greyish to silvery in color.
Youngsters have a greyish-brown coloration with a white underbelly.
Pelican possesses lengthy bills, small legs, and webbed fingers, as well as an inflatable bag 3 times the volume of its stomach.
The two pelican varieties found in Alabama include the brown pelican as well as the American white pelican.
Five additional species can be found in a variety of places across the globe.
The brown pelican is the tiniest member of the pelican family, noted for flying down above the surface of the ocean and plunging for food.
Below are the characteristics of the Brown Pelican,
|Scientific Name||Pelecanus occidentalis|
|Length||106-137 cm (42-54 inches)|
|Weight||2.75-5.5 kg (6-12 pounds)|
|Wingspan||198-244 cm (78-96 inches)|
|Habitat||Coastal areas, bays, estuaries, and lagoons|
|Food||Fish (primarily small to medium-sized species)|
3. Dark-Eyed Junco
Juncos possess dark grey faces, throats, backs, flippers, and tails and are found in northeastern America.
It’s known as the “slate-colored” kind.
Its belly is white from the top of its head towards the end of its tail.
Instead of grey, females can exhibit a shiny brown look.
Juncos have a light pink beak as well as a rounded body shape, which are some distinguishing features to look for while recognizing these birds.
In woodlands and forested places, they may generally be observed bouncing around on the floor.
Throughout Maine, Dark-eyed Juncos may be seen year-round. Juncos may regularly visit feeders.
However, these birds prefer to take food that has fallen on the floor beneath your feeders from various birds.
They eat a wide range of seeds.
Below are the characteristics of the Dark-Eyed Junco,
|Scientific Name||Junco hyemalis|
|Length||13-15 cm (5-6 inches)|
|Weight||18-30 grams (0.6-1.1 ounces)|
|Wingspan||18-25 cm (7-10 inches)|
|Habitat||Forests, woodlands, mountains, and gardens|
|Food||Seeds, insects, berries, and small invertebrates|
4. Cooper’s Hawk
The Cooper’s Hawk, which is alternatively called Chicken Hawk, is a huge bird found throughout Alabama.
Cooper’s hawk is moderate-sized species with small, rounded wings and a lengthy, thin body.
These birds have a strong tail with multiple black stripes crisscrossing it and a noticeable whitish stripe at the end.
The Cooper’s hawk possesses a deep blackhead and a paler neck, alongside a bluish-grey rear.
During flying, the extended striped tail stands out further than the tiny, rounded wings.
In youngsters, the eyes are yellowish, then orange, and eventually turn red in grownups.
The apex of the curving beak is blackish, while the bottom is blue.
Legs and claws have a bright golden hue.
Male hawks are often shorter compared to females, but they exhibit eloquent colors.
They are accipiters, a type of hawk that hunts largely beneath treetop height and feeds mainly on tiny birds and animals.
The Cooper’s hawk has a peculiar flying path that consists of many quick wing beating followed by a short phase of gliding.
While chasing its victim, Cooper’s hawk exhibits rapid speed and wild enthusiasm.
The title “blue darter” comes from its habit of darting across the woodland and forest floor in search of little birds.
Below are the characteristics of the Cooper’s Hawk,
|Scientific Name||Accipiter cooperii|
|Length||36-46 cm (14-18 inches)|
|Weight||300-700 grams (10.6-24.7 ounces)|
|Wingspan||71-94 cm (28-37 inches)|
|Habitat||Forests, woodlands, and wooded areas|
|Food||Birds (primarily small to medium-sized), small mammals, and occasionally reptiles|
5. White-Throated Sparrow
The White-throated Sparrow is a tiny songbird belonging to the Passalidae family of sparrows.
This bird is only found in the northern areas of the United States.
Their white necks are well-known.
They are relatively little, with a body length ranging from 15 to 19cm and a wingspan of only 23cm.
An adult White-Throated Sparrow weighs between 20 and 30 grams.
The adults’ plumage is striped, with two black and one white stripe in the center of their heads.
Male and female White-throated Sparrows have nearly identical appearances, body sizes, and colors.
They build their breeding nests among tiny bushes or on the ground.
Worms and other tiny insects found in trees or crawling on the floor are eaten by them.
The White-throated Sparrow is only found in Alabama during the winter months, from October to April.
The White-throated Sparrow has a 14 percent observation frequency in Alabama, according to bird watchers’ observations.
Below are the characteristics of the White-Throated Sparrow,
|Scientific Name||Zonotrichia albicollis|
|Length||16-18 cm (6-7 inches)|
|Weight||22-32 grams (0.8-1.1 ounces)|
|Wingspan||20-23 cm (8-9 inches)|
|Habitat||Forest edges, shrubby areas, and brushy clearings|
|Food||Seeds, berries, insects, and small invertebrates|
6. Eastern Wood-Pewee
The Eastern Wood-Pewee is a little flycatcher that is only found in North America.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee looks similar to the Western Wood-Pewee, but its cry is distinct.
The Eastern Wood-male Pewee and female share an identical look.
Juvenile birds differ from adults in a few ways.
The above parts of the adult Eastern Wood-Pewee have a lovely gray-olive color.
Their breasts are olive-gray as well.
Two pale bands go across their wings.
Their wings have sharp edges, and their beak has a black top section and a somewhat yellow interior part.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee is a songbird that makes a beautiful call to lure females for breeding.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee has a body length of 13.5 to 15 centimeters and a wingspan of nearly 9.1 to 10.2 inches.
The females sit on three to four eggs that they have laid. For the female, the male offers food and protection.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee is an omnivore bird, which means it can consume practically any type of food.
Insects and larvae are their favorite foods.
They also consume vegetables, fruits, berries, and plant seeds.
If the bird feeders give suet as food, they will come more often.
Below are the characteristics of the Eastern Wood-Pewee,
|Scientific Name||Contopus virens|
|Length||13-15 cm (5-6 inches)|
|Weight||12-18 grams (0.4-0.6 ounces)|
|Wingspan||23-28 cm (9-11 inches)|
|Habitat||Deciduous and mixed forests, woodlands, and parks|
|Food||Insects, especially flies, beetles, and bees|
7. Curve-billed Thrasher
The thrasher bird is a moderately mimed bird belonging to the Mimidae group.
The bird’s name comes from its curled beak.
This raptor may be found across the United States and Mexico.
Although that was one of the species that will allow individuals to touch them, if they feel threatened, they can become aggressive.
From dark brown to light brown, the Curve-billed Thrasher’s feathers have almost little variation in hue.
The top regions are darker, and the feathers appear to be covered with scales or patches.
The underbelly, breasts, and neck, on either hand, are all gray-brown.
The Curve-billed Thrasher measures 10.6-11.0 inches in length and almost 13.4-13.6 inches in wingspan.
The Curve-billed Thrasher is a medium-sized bird that measures between 2.1 and 3.3 ounces as an adult.
They prefer to live in crowded regions.
Larvae, caterpillars, insects, centipedes, and snails are all eaten by Billed Curve Thrashers, which are insectivorous birds.
This bird will also consume vegetables, berries, and fruits.
Nuts, grains, and the seeds of small plants and weeds are among the foods they ingest.
This bird visits the bird feeders for food as well.
Below are the characteristics of the Curve-billed Thrasher,
|Scientific Name||Toxostoma curvirostre|
|Length||23-27 cm (9-11 inches)|
|Weight||60-90 grams (2.1-3.2 ounces)|
|Wingspan||30-35 cm (12-14 inches)|
|Habitat||Arid and semi-arid regions, deserts, scrublands|
|Food||Insects, small vertebrates, fruits, and seeds|
8. Eastern Towhee
The Passerellidae group of passerine birds includes the Eastern Towhee, a small worldwide bird.
Because of its rufous-sided markings, the Eastern Towhee is also known as the rufous-sided towhee.
They have a lovely look with a feather coat that is a mixture of black plus red colors.
The Eastern Towhee has rufous on both sides and a white belly.
This bird possesses a lengthy and has white dots or borders.
The Eastern Towhee has scarlet eyes.
Males and females have minimal differences in appearance.
Males do have a black tail & upper chest, while females have a brown rear and upper body.
The Eastern Towhee has a wingspan of roughly 20 to 30 centimeters and a length of 17.3 to 23 cm on average.
A male Eastern Towhee may range anywhere between 32 and 53 grams when they are mature.
Eastern Towhees build their nests in shrubs or small trees.
They have a beautiful song that they perform to entice mates to join them.
The Eastern Towhee consumes a wide variety of tiny insects, such as flies, beetles, and worms.
Below are the characteristics of the Eastern Towhee,
|Scientific Name||Pipilo erythrophthalmus|
|Length||17-23 cm (7-9 inches)|
|Weight||32-48 grams (1.1-1.7 ounces)|
|Wingspan||22-30 cm (9-12 inches)|
|Habitat||Woodlands, thickets, shrubby areas, and forests|
|Food||Seeds, fruits, insects, and invertebrates|
9. Red-Eyed Vireo
In the eastern United States, Red-Eyed Vireos are among the most common summer birds.
They relocate to America for the mating period after spending the winters throughout South America.
The backs and tails of these birds are shaded as olive in color.
Likewise, they have lighter chests and bellies.
Their eye has a black stripe running through it.
These birds feature a black cap as well as a whitish brow.
As the name of Red-eyed Vireo suggests, it features a red eyering.
During the dark, though, it might be tough to see, and its eyes appear black.
Although they are abundant, these birds are seldom seen unless you go out of your way to look for them.
This is only due to their nature of not coming down from the trees very often.
Keep the focus on the trees in your yard.
Pay heed to their melodies and whistles, which you might hear all over the place this summertime once you learn to recognize these birds, as vireos are known for conversing the whole day.
Red-eyed Vireos can be found all around Maine throughout the springtime and early summertime.
Red-eyed Vireos eat bugs primarily and do not use bird feeders whenever these birds visit America during the hot season.
Plant indigenous deciduous trees or plants that attracts insects to lure Red-eyed Vireos to your garden.
Below are the characteristics of the Red-Eyed Vireo,
|Scientific Name||Vireo olivaceus|
|Length||13-14 cm (5-5.5 inches)|
|Weight||12-19 grams (0.4-0.7 ounces)|
|Wingspan||20-23 cm (8-9 inches)|
|Habitat||Woodlands, forests, and shrubby areas|
|Food||Insects, caterpillars, spiders, and berries|
10. Brown-headed Nuthatch
The Brown-headed Nuthatch belongs to the Sittidae species and is a tiny bird.
This is a bird that is indigenous to Mexico and Southeastern America.
The Brown-headed Nuthatch is a gorgeous bird with a brown head and multi-colored plumage.
In the rear, feathers, as well as the above parts, are gray-blue, black, or brown.
These birds have white-gray bottoms with a hint of brown.
The Brown-headed Nuthatch has dimorphism, which means that the men and females are somewhat different.
Females are slimmer and lighter than men.
The feminine Brown-headed Nuthatch possesses distinct color feathers than the males.
The female Brown-headed Nuthatch has a distinct color plumage on her body.
The female Brown-headed Nuthatch communicates by using a high-pitched cry.
The Brown-headed Nuthatch consumes largely tiny insects of various kinds.
Fully grown Brown-headed Nuthatches are 9 to 11 centimeters (3.5 to 4.3 inches) in length, while they have a wingspan of nearly 16 to 18 centimeters (6.3 to 7.1 inches).
A Brown-headed Nuthatch weighs approximately 10 to 12 grams when fully grown up.
A high-pitched voice is used by female Brown-headed Nuthatch birds to communicate.
Bumblebees, worms, and moths are among their favorite foods.
They also consume a variety of tiny seeds and fruits.
The bird feeds on berries and grains from various plants.
They frequently come to the bird feeders for food and water.
In Alabama, the Brown-headed Nuthatch may be observed all year.
The Brown-headed Nuthatch does have an occurrence probability of 11% in Alabama, as per bird observers’ reports.
Below are the characteristics of the Brown-headed Nuthatch,
|Scientific Name||Sitta pusilla|
|Length||10-11 cm (4-4.3 inches)|
|Weight||9-14 grams (0.3-0.5 ounces)|
|Wingspan||18-21 cm (7-8 inches)|
|Habitat||Pine forests, pine woodlands, and savannas|
|Food||Insects, spiders, and seeds|
11. Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue Heron, which is alternatively called Ardea herodias, is a huge bird found throughout Alabama.
The Great Blue Heron is 46″ long and features a wingspan of 72″.
It is a huge greyish bird having a dagger-like beak with lengthy legs, as well as a snowy crown and blackish stripe stretching over the eyes and a whitish neck striped with black color.
Adults with intricate feathers over the head, throat, and rear possess a yellow beak.
Adults that aren’t reproducing don’t have feathers, and their bills are yellower.
Young birds possess no feathers and a blackish crown.
The necks of all herons are folded when they soar.
Cranes, ducks, ibises, swans, and seabirds, on the other hand, all glide with their necks outstretched.
Below are the characteristics of the Great Blue Heron,
|Scientific Name||Ardea herodias|
|Length||97-137 cm (38-54 inches)|
|Weight||2-3.6 kg (4.4-7.9 pounds)|
|Wingspan||167-201 cm (66-79 inches)|
|Habitat||Wetlands, marshes, swamps, and coastal areas|
|Food||Fish, frogs, small mammals, and invertebrates|
12. Indigo Bunting
The Indigo Bunting is a tiny cotyledon bird belonging to the Cardinalidae group of birds.
This bird is indigenous to North America, but during the winter, it migrates to the southern United States.
When migrating, they generally relocate at nighttime and spend their time seeking food.
This bird is so named because its feathers are indigo blue in hue.
The male Indigo Buntings have a gleaming blue indigo coloration with indigo wings, stomachs, and bottoms, whereas the female birds are brown.
The male Indigo Bunting’s wings are likewise blackish in color.
Females possess grey-white bottoms and brown as well as dark brown above parts.
The Indigo Bunting is renowned for its seed-eating behavior; they rely nearly exclusively on seeds found in fields to survive.
The male Indigo Bunting has a gleaming bluish-indigo coat that covers its wings, back, head, bottom, stomach, and over parts; the female, on the other hand, is brownish.
The male birds’ wings are likewise black in color.
Females possess greyish-white bottoms and brownish bottoms.
A fully grown Indigo Bunting’s overall length ranges from 11.5 to 13 centimeters (4.5 to 5.1 inches) to 18.5 to 23 centimeters (7.1 9.1 inches), with a wingspan of nearly 18 to 23 centimeters (7.1 to 9.1 inches).
A fully grown mating male bird may weigh anywhere from 11.2 to 21.4 grams.
They forage the ground for seeds, which they then consume.
They consume grains, berries, cherries, or vegetative stuff in addition to seeds.
The Indigo Bunting consumes both large and small insects.
They also go to other regions to gather food from bird feeders.
In Alabama, the Indigo Bunting can only be seen throughout the summertime.
The Indigo Bunting has a 14 percent observation probability in Alabama, as per bird enthusiasts’ reports.
Below are the characteristics of the Indigo Bunting,
|Scientific Name||Passerina cyanea|
|Length||12-14 cm (4.7-5.5 inches)|
|Weight||11-16 grams (0.4-0.6 ounces)|
|Wingspan||20-23 cm (8-9 inches)|
|Habitat||Woodlands, brushy areas, and edges of forests|
|Food||Seeds, insects, berries, and small fruits|
13. Cedar Waxwing
The Cedar Waxwing is a medium-sized bird belonging to the Bombycillidae family.
It’s a penultimate songbird with a high-pitched call used for interaction.
The Cedar Waxwing is a tiny brownish bird having lustrous silky grey and lemon yellow streaks on its feather coat.
In addition, these birds wear a black mask that conceals their full face.
A brilliant red dot sits in the midst of silky brown plumes on its wings.
This bird likewise possesses a brown crest on top of its head.
The eyes of this bird are blackish, and a stripe runs from the forehead to the rear of the skull.
Its beak is small, yet it is powerful enough to crack nuts and tiny bugs.
The Cedar Waxwing has a total length of nearly 6 to 7 inches (15 to 18 centimeters) and a wingspan of 8.7 to 11.8 inches (22 to 30 centimeters).
A fully grown Cedar Waxwing bird weighs around 30 grams.
The mother Cedar Waxwing waits on the eggs while the male mates in the vast woodlands.
The Cedar Waxwing consumes a variety of small berries as well as fruits from a variety of small plants, including evergreens, hawthorn, dewberries, and redwood. Larvae, worms, and maggots are among the minute creatures eaten by this bird.
If they hatch near a human neighborhood, they will also frequent bird feeders for food.
In Alabama, the Cedar Waxwing may only be seen in the wintertime, from October to April.
The Cedar Waxwing is observed 8 percent of the time in Alabama, as per bird monitors’ records.
Below are the characteristics of the Cedar Waxwing,
|Scientific Name||Bombycilla cedrorum|
|Length||14-17 cm (5.5-6.7 inches)|
|Weight||32-48 grams (1.1-1.7 ounces)|
|Wingspan||23-30 cm (9-12 inches)|
|Habitat||Woodlands, orchards, parks, and gardens|
|Food||Berries, fruits, insects, and flower buds|
14. Common Yellowthroat
The Parulidae family includes the Common Yellowthroat bird.
This is a tiny bird found in most parts of Alabama.
They’re common across North America.
This bird’s neck appears lemon-yellowish, just like the name of this bird manifests.
A black stripe runs from the rear to the eyes, then back to the rear of the head over this Common Yellowthroat bird.
The rear of this Common Yellowthroat appears olive in color.
A greenish-yellow shade covers the bird’s wings as well as over parts.
The Common Yellowthroat’s male and female are a bit distinct from each other.
Males wear full-face black masks.
Males and females may easily be distinguished and categorized into two sexes as a result of this.
The Common Yellowthroat bird can be seen in modest concentrations across Alabama throughout the year.
As per findings of bird watchers in Alabama, the Common Yellowthroat is only seen 6% of the time.
Below are the characteristics of the Common Yellowthroat,
|Scientific Name||Geothlypis trichas|
|Length||12-14 cm (4.7-5.5 inches)|
|Weight||9-15 grams (0.3-0.5 ounces)|
|Wingspan||17-20 cm (6.7-7.9 inches)|
|Habitat||Wetlands, marshes, meadows, and shrubby areas|
|Food||Insects, spiders, small invertebrates, and seeds|
In conclusion, Alabama is a birdwatcher’s paradise, boasting an array of remarkable avian species.
Throughout this article, we’ve encountered 14 common birds that bring joy and enchantment to our state.
From the melodious songs of the Northern Cardinal to the graceful flights of the Red-tailed Hawk, these birds remind us of the incredible diversity and beauty of nature.
By appreciating and protecting these winged creatures, we can contribute to the preservation of their habitats and ensure their continued presence in Alabama’s skies.
Whether you’re an avid birder or a casual observer, I hope this article has sparked your curiosity and deepened your appreciation for the remarkable birdlife that surrounds us.
So, the next time you find yourself outdoors, take a moment to listen to the cheerful chirps, spot the vibrant plumage, and witness the marvels of flight displayed by these 14 common birds in Alabama.
Let us cherish these extraordinary creatures and strive to create a harmonious environment where they can thrive for generations to come.
Are there any endangered bird species in Alabama?
Yes, there are several endangered bird species in Alabama. Some examples include the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, the Bachman’s Sparrow, and the Mississippi Sandhill Crane. Efforts are being made to conserve and protect these species and their habitats.
Can I attract birds to my backyard in Alabama?
Absolutely! You can attract birds to your backyard in Alabama by providing food, water, and shelter. Setting up bird feeders with a variety of seeds, offering a birdbath or water source, and planting native vegetation can all help create an inviting habitat for birds.
What is the best time of year for birdwatching in Alabama?
Birdwatching in Alabama can be enjoyed throughout the year, but spring and fall are particularly rewarding seasons. During these times, you can witness migratory birds passing through the state, as well as observe the nesting and breeding behaviors of resident species.
Are there any birding hotspots in Alabama?
Yes, Alabama offers several renowned birding hotspots. Some popular locations include the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Dauphin Island, Gulf State Park, and the Sipsey Wilderness. These areas provide diverse habitats and attract a wide variety of bird species.
How can I contribute to bird conservation efforts in Alabama?
You can contribute to bird conservation in Alabama by supporting local conservation organizations, participating in citizen science initiatives like bird counts or monitoring programs, and advocating for the protection of natural habitats. Additionally, minimizing the use of pesticides and creating bird-friendly landscapes in your own yard can make a positive impact.