Arkansas Birds: Most Common Birds in Arkansas (With Pictures)

Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Lily Aldrin

Arkansas State is famous for its natural and beautiful habitat with rivers, lakes, mountains, waterfalls, parks, hot springs, and diverse animal and birds species. People from everywhere in the United States come to spend their vacations in this State to get close to nature.

There are above four hundred and twenty-one species of birds reported till now in the State of Arkansas.

Arkansas state bird is a Northern mockingbird that is mostly seen in open spaces and is most popular among farmers because of its beautiful songs that it can sing throughout the day. The most common is Northern cardinals, after which Carolina chickadee, indigo bunting, ruby throat hummingbird, etc., are common.

The rarest bird, on the other hand, is Ash throat Flycatcher. These birds are common in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Missouri, too, as they form borders with Arkansas state.

Northern CardinalNorthern Cardinal
Carolina ChickadeeCarolina Chickadee
Indigo BuntingIndigo Bunting
Eastern BluebirdEastern Bluebird
Brown-headed CowbirdBrown-headed Cowbird
Ruby-throated HummingbirdRuby-throated Hummingbird

1. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

You will find Northern Cardinals in bushy areas or visiting your backyard feeders. They are quite comfortable around humans, and you will see them flying or hopping near you on the ground. There is a specific time called the “Cardinal Cocktail Hour” that is named after their habitual routine of feeding on safflower at the start of the morning or by the end of the day.

Northern cardinals are very popular throughout the United States of America, so whenever one is passing by, people can easily identify it. They are usually the residents of random dense bushes and tall elongated trees that are not too far from the bird feeders. By keeping the least distance, they can easily get their food whenever hungry.

Both male and female Northern Cardinals have different identifying characteristics; for example, the male species has a full face covered in a black-colored mask with feathers of bright red color. On the other hand, females have a dull and lighter tone with a little bit of blend of red and brown color. Their beaks are reddish-orange.

  • Scientific name: Their scientific name is Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Frequency: They have a frequency of around sixty-one percentage point
  • Habitat: They reside in the open woodlands, city public parks, lawns, and gardens that have a lot of plantations, in the backyards of people’s homes, and in wetlands.
  • Color: They mainly have a small bill with a reddish-orange color. Their face is covered in black color with red-colored bodies
  • Range: They range in the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada.
  • Size: Their sizes in inches are about 8.2 to 9.3 in
  • Food and feeder preference: They usually feed on fruits, seeds, berries like mulberry and blueberry, and insects like grasshoppers, wasps, snails, etc.
  • Weight: Their weight is about 33 to 65 in grams
  • Family: They belong to the Cardinalidae family
  • Genus: They belong to the Cardinalis genus

2. Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

Carolina chickadees are the second most common bird in Arkansas after the northern cardinals. These are tiny, lightweight, and carry a cap of black color on their bulky heads. Their throats are also black-colored, which helps with their identification. Unlike many other birds who fly away as soon as they get a hint of a human appearance, these birds are not afraid of humans and will not bother if you pass by or appear in front of them.

Just do not try to make any close contact with them because that will scare them away.

Their wings are feathery and have gray color, just like the backside of their bodies. Their cheeks form elongated white strips that stretch from the front all the way to the back of their heads. Its white cheek is the best identification hint. You will find them in city parks, forest areas, and bird feeders.

They are equally similar to another chickadee called Black-capped Chickadee.

Carolina Chickadees would be most often seen around the bird feeders that contain sunflower seed oil, peanuts pieces, seeds of Nyjer, etc. Below are the characteristic features of Carolina Chickadees:

  • Scientific name: Their scientific name is Poecile carolinensis
  • Frequency: They have a frequency of around forty-five percentage points
  • Color: They are mostly gray colored on the back sides of the body and have a black-colored head with a black throat too. Their cheeks have a strip of white color that stretches towards the back. Their wing and tail are also of light grayish color.
  • Habitat: They reside in the diminishing forest, city park, suburb, and in the home backyards
  • Size: Their sizes in inches are about 4.5 to 5.1 in length
  • Weight: Their weight is about 9 to 12 grams
  • Diet: They usually feed Insects that are small, berries that are juicy, and other seeds. They do not mind the type of feeder being provided, so they will eat from any of the platform feeders, tube feeders, and suet cages.
  • Family: They belong to the Paridae family
  • Genus: They belong to the Poecile genus
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3. Indigo Bunting

indigo Bunting

Their scientific name is Passerina Cyane. The Indigo bunting has varying characteristics for both sexes, which makes it easier to distinguish between them. Males stand out because of their bright and sharp features that can be easily detected from afar.

Males have white color over their bodies, and their bodies are fully covered in indigo blue colored lines that are strikingly bright and beautiful. There is also a long and thin line that moves from the front of their eyes.

They are overall medium-sized birds with almost an equal and medial length with a grayish tone of tail and wings.

Females, on the flip side, are not very striking, but they are easily differentiated by their colors. They have an olive, brownish color all over their bodies and have a crest. Their lower parts close to the stomach are of dull shades and have a white-colored neck which makes it look like there’s a partition of the head and body.

Males have a distinctive blue color in them which grows over their whole bodies as the years pass by. Their bills are sharp at the edges and have medium size overall.

  • Scientific name: Passerina cyanea is their scientific name.
  • Frequency: 23 percentage points is their frequency of occurrence.
  • Size: Their sizes in inches are about 4.7 to 5.1 inches in length and have a wingspan of between 7.5 to 8.7 inches.
  • Weight: Their weight is about 0.4 to 0.9 oz or 12 to 26 grams
  • Color: They exist in green or olive colors on top of their bodies and pale yellow with white bottoms in females. Blue indigo color occurs In males with white color over their bodies.
  • Habitat: They reside in the Large deciduous forest with large vegetative growth, specifically the old trees with large and wide leaves, for example, the maple tree leaves. You will also see them around you in city parks, on the roadsides, backyards feeding, or just hopping here and there in search of food.
  • Range: They range from the South of Canada to the north of Florida. Also, from the north of South America. to the south of Florida.
  • Food and feeder preferences: They usually feed Acorn nuts, berries, ants, wasps, hickory nuts, scaled and small insects, pine weevils, caterpillars, and many others. They are open to feeding in all types of feeders; you just only need to put their favorite choice of food in these feeders to attract them.
  • Family: They belong to the Cardinalidae family
  • Genus: They belong to the Passerina Vieillot genus

4. Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern bluebirds are also known as the western bluebirds or as the rusty browns. Usually, when something becomes common, people might not pay attention to it, but for Eastern Bluebirds, it is not the case. Even though these birds are common throughout Arkansas yet they are still very popular and adored by bird watchers.

They have a very beautiful combination of colors which helps them stand out from the rest of the common everyday birds. They can stretch up to the maximum size of about eight point one inches in length.

They have different identification hints for both sexes of male and females; for example, the male Eastern Bluebird is of blue color with its stomach area being a combination of red and white color. On the other hand, you will notice that the females consist of grayish color on their tails and wings with blue spots on some places.

These birds are not aggressive birds, so they do not harm other birds. Mainly it feeds on the nectar of the flowers and slits the plants through its sharp beak. Another extraordinary feature of this bird is that it has four toes, with the help of which it can simply climb trees and reach the treetops.

  • Scientific name: Their scientific name is Sialia Cialis
  • Frequency: They have a frequency of around 21.67 percentage points.
  • Size: Their sizes in inches are about 5.5 to 7.1″ (13.97 to 18.034 in centimeters)
  • Weight: Their weight is about 20 to 33 grams
  • Color: They are mostly of blue color with some hints of brown-red color at the stomach areas.
  • Habitat: They reside in the wide and spacious woodlands, open farmlands, sometimes orchards and agricultural fields too.
  • Range: Eastern bluebirds are found in the eastern United States and range from Southern Canada to the Gulf states. They are also found in southern Arizona and in Nicaragua, which is in Mexico.
  • Food and feeder preference: They usually feed on small insects and many other invertebrates
  • Family: They belong to the Turdidae family
  • Genus: They belong to the Sialia genus
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5. Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

A brown-headed cowbird, as its name suggests, is a bird that likes to chase around cows. It chases the cows in order to feed on the insects or pests that these cows have grown and inhabited on their skin, so because of it, these birds are named the “cowbirds.”

These are not adored by people as they have parasitic nature and endanger other species of birds.

The brown-headed cowbird we see today is the modified version of the original bird, which has changed over the years through evolution. These primitive birds of this species probably used to feed on the grass insects or the insects on the Bison herds.

These birds in recent years have grown to a large number as they have good adaptability skills, and because of this surge in growth, a lot of other birds have been affected as these birds lay eggs in the nest made by them. This has resulted in the endangerment of many species.

You will see them around the State of Arkansas, either flying around in the form of groups in the cold season or on the ground walking and looking for food. Around bird feeders, they will mostly be present.

  • Scientific name: Their scientific name is Molothrus Ater
  • Size: Their size in inches is about seven point five-inch or eighteen centimeter
  • Weight: Their weight is about 44 grams or 1.5 oz
  • Color: Both sexes are of different colors; for example, males have a black-colored overall body and Dark brown colored head. In comparison, females have a yellow grayish body and head, both with a throat having dull light color.
  • Voice: Their voices are sharp and noisy when they are flying around or when someone irritates them. You will listen to a high note from them when this happens.
  • Habitat: These brown-headed cowbirds reside in places like woody area edges, barnyards, roadsides, and farms. You will see them in places where there are many insects nearby, and the place is spacious.
  • Range: In the cold season, these are found on the southern sides of the US, and In the breeding season, these are found in the northern parts. You will usually find them in the west and south of Virginia throughout the year.
  • Food and feeder preferences: They feed on the millipedes, spiders, caterpillars, beetles, etc. Their favorite ones are grasshoppers. In the colder weather, almost ninety percentage points of their feed consist of seeds, and in the warmer season, their diet is half seeds of waste grains, weeds, and grass seeds. You will find them feeding upon insects and seeds commonly.
  • Amazing Facts: These birds are parasitic, so they tend to lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. These other birds are usually kind and welcoming for these little eggs. These birds take care of these cowbirds’ eggs like their own, and when they hatch, they even feed them and nurture them. But these little cowbirds are not so friendly in nature, so once they are big enough, they would force the other birds out of the nest. The nest would be taken over by them. The bird still continues to feed and nurture this cowbird until it can fully be healthy to fly on its own.
  • Family: They belong to the Icteridae family
  • Genus: They belong to the Molothrus genus

6. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

From Costa Rica to the south of Canada, these birds will be seen flying around. Even though these ruby-throated hummingbirds are very small in size, they still manage to migrate to various places. In just one second, these birds flap their wings about fifty times. These movements of their wings are super fast to human eyes.

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You will find them feeding upon the nectar of various flowers and dancing around them. In gardens and In the open spaces, you can find them in the warmer seasons when they can bathe in the beautiful sunlight and enjoy the warm weather.

These would mostly be seen in the plains towards the eastern side of the United States. While on the western side of the US, you will see many of the other species of hummingbirds. In the tropical places of the US, too, you will find different varieties of hummingbirds, but these specific species would only be found in the east.

Whenever there are some intruders in the surroundings of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird or in the area where it usually feeds, then they become very aggressive. They would do everything to protect their territory. Their flights are amazing as if they have mastered it, just like the Rufous and the Calliope species of the hummingbirds.

  • Scientific Name: Their scientific name is Archilochus colubris
  • Weight: Their weight is about 0.07 to 0.21 ounces. Even nickel weighs more than them.
  • Size: Their sizes in inches are about 3 to 4 in and in centimeters 7.62 to 10.16
  • Habitat: They reside in the gardens where they can find many flowers to feed on their nectar, orchards, and Open wide spaces like woodlands. These are very important in maintaining the ecosystem as they play a major part in pollinating. They also feed on sap.
  • Food and feeder preference: In order to attract them, their feeder should contain sugar water. They feed on orange or red-colored flowers mostly because these flowers contain more sugar. Since the movements of their wings are too fast, the energy required by these birds is a lot too. This energy is used up quickly, so these ruby-throated hummingbirds will feed twice a day in order to maintain their energy levels. They feed on spiders and other types of insects. They are omnivores, so they choose a diet accordingly.
  • Amazing facts: Their sight can detect the ultraviolet spectrum, which is not visible to human eyes. Their eyes are good at detecting the specific coloration, just like several other birds. Although they have strong color differentiation, it does not mean that you should go due to their feeders of red or orange in order to attract them.
  • Population: They are 34 million in number.
  • Family: They belong to the Trochilidae Hummingbirds family.
  • Genus: They belong to the Archilochus Reichenbach genus.


Arkansas, with its four hundred species of unique and beautiful birds, is the best place for a birding experience. Our detailed article will help you identify not only some amazing birds in Arkansas but also learn some interesting facts and information about them.

Let us know about what birds visited your feeders today in the comments. Relating to these beautiful birds, You can also request us your questions below.


What big birds live in Arkansas?

The red-tailed hawk

In Arkansas, the biggest bird you will find is the red-tailed hawk. It has a chest and neck of cinnamon color, and its bottom is of creamy brown color. Its wings top and its back is colored brownish gray. It is four pounds in weight and four feet in its wingspan, with a length measuring up to 18 – 25 inches in total.

Are Cardinals common in Arkansas?

Yes, these are some of the most common birds in Arkansas; you will find them at the bird feeders commonly. They have beautiful, distinctive colors that will make them stand out from the rest of the birds.

What are the top 10 most common birds?

The most common birds throughout the year in the United States are these:

  • European Starling (25 percentage points frequency)
  • Red-winged Blackbird (25 percentage points frequency)
  • Song Sparrow (25 percentage points frequency)
  • Blue Jay (28 percentage points frequency)
  • American Crow (32 percentage points frequency)
  • American Robin (33 percentage points frequency)
  • Northern Cardinal (34 percentage points frequency)
  • Mourning Dove (35 percentage points frequency)

Are there Indigo Buntings in Arkansas?

Yes, you can find Indigo buntings throughout Arkansas. They are numerous with a brilliant blue color that makes them stand out. You can easily point them out if you see them flying around. Usually, they raise their babies here in the warmer seasons. These birds are the favorite of bird watchers.

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.