Kentucky Birds: Common Birds in Kentucky (with Pictures)

Last Updated on February 27, 2022 by Lily Aldrin

A variety of native bird species may be found in Kentucky, which has beautiful terrain ranging from ponds to farms. In Kentucky, there are over 392 distinct bird species that may be spotted at different times of the year.

Ohio, West Virginia, and Missouri all border Kentucky, and as a result, they share a number of bird species. Birds in Kentucky range from common species like the Blue Jay to uncommon species like the Rusty Blackbird.

Kentucky’s state bird is the Northern Cardinal, which was designated as such in 1942. A list of Kentucky’s most gorgeous backyard birds, along with images and descriptions, is provided below. There is also information on how often the birds can be seen, as well as when the time of year they may be spotted.

Pileated WoodpeckerPileated Woodpecker
Common GrackleCommon Grackle
Gray CatbirdGray Catbird
Golden Fronted WoodpeckerGolden Fronted Woodpecker
Northern FlickerNorthern Flicker
Chimney SwiftChimney Swift
European StarlingEuropean Starling
Bay-breasted WarblerBay-breasted Warbler
Hermit ThrushHermit Thrush
Purple FinchPurple Finch
Baltimore OrioleBaltimore Oriole
Eastern KingbirdEastern Kingbird
Field SparrowField Sparrow

A collection of Kentucky species which can be spotted in your yard is provided below. Pictures of the species are included, as well as for instructions so that these birds can easily be recognized. Even if you’re searching for brown birds or even more colorful birds, the list below will help you discover them.

1. Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker, which is alternatively called Dryocopus pileatus, is a medium-sized woodpecker that is indigenous to the United States.


The pileated red hat of this bird is particularly well-known. The reddish crest on top of its head makes it easy to spot it. With the exception of its reddish crest atop their heads, they resemble the different woodpecker species. They are distinguished from related Woodpecker species by their distinctive crown.

Males and females have slightly distinct appearances. The male possesses a red line from its beak to its neck, whereas the female has a black line. The males’ wings are black, whereas the females’ are somewhat brownish.

Length & Weight

The typical body length of a fully grown Pileated Woodpecker is 17 inches, having a wingspan of about 28 inches. A fully grown woodpecker may weigh anywhere from 8-24 ounces.


These birds, just like all woodpeckers, bore cracks in tree trunks. They eat from the bird feeders on a regular basis. They consume a variety of bugs, worms, larvae of bugs and invertebrates, grass seedlings, and tiny grains. They consume a variety of foods, berries, and veggies as well.

2. Common Grackle

Common Grackle

The Common Grackle, which is alternatively called Quiscalus quiscula, is a big bird belonging to the Icteridae family that is indigenous to Northern America.


The eyes of these birds are white, having a little black mark in between. These birds possess a lengthier tail, a pitch-black beak, and a larger body. They are a year-round inhabitant of northern America, but they do move to other regions of the country.

Black wings, a gleaming golden throat, and black bottoms distinguish this bird. Male and female birds are nearly identical and cannot be distinguished simply by looks.

The male and female grackles appear a little different, although it is difficult to tell them apart from far away. They eat from the bird feeders on a regular basis.


These birds are omnivores, meaning they consume a wide variety of foods. Smaller birds, rats, bugs, worms, minnows, frogs, larvae, fruits, seeds, and tiny grains of crops are among their favorite foods. These birds also engage in combat with rival birds in order to seize their prey.

3. Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

The Gray Catbird, alternatively called Dumetella carolinensis, is a medium-sized bird belonging to the mimid family of tiny and medium-sized birds. This bird is indigenous to Central and Northern America, although it may now be found in a number of other locations. Throughout the wintertime, its population relocates to different states, which is the reason for its frequent sightings.

Length & Weight

A fully grown Gray Catbird is just 8 inches long in general, having an 11-inch wingspan. A fully grown Gray Catbird weighs approximately 30-50 grams.


The Gray Catbird’s entire body is coated with lead-grayish feathers. The body components of the wings, as well as the head, appear darker compared to the stomach and neck. Gray Catbird males and females are nearly identical, so it isn’t easy to distinguish between these birds.

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The male bird has a lovely, musical voice that entices female birds to mate with him.


To acquire the food, it goes to the bird feeders. Throughout the summertime, they come more regularly. The Gray Catbird eats smaller worms and insects. These birds consume the fruits and berries of a variety of tiny plants as well. They also consume the seeds as well as grains of several smaller shrubs and grasses.

4. Golden Fronted Woodpecker

Golden Fronted Woodpecker

This Wonderful Woodpecker is a moderate woodpecker indigenous to North America. The Golden-fronted Woodpecker is a tropical woodpecker that dwells in wet tropical woods and shrubs.


Their plumage is golden in hue, and they have a golden patch on their head near the beak, as their name indicates. To create their nests, they nibble the olive tree trunks.

Their tail is black and short. White belly, breasts, and underpants distinguish the Golden-fronted Woodpecker. Gray-white feathers cover the Golden-fronted Woodpecker’s throat. The Golden-fronted Woodpecker possesses a shining stripe that goes from the top of its head to the back of its neck.

Length & Weight

The Golden-fronted Woodpecker has an average body length of 8.7-10.2 inches and a wingspan of almost 16.5-17.3 inches. An adult Golden-fronted Woodpecker weighs between 2.6 and 3.5 oz. The young’s have the same appearance as the adults, but their plumage is drab.


While pecking at tree trunks, the Golden-fronted Woodpecker consumes nearly every sort of tiny bug it can locate. Grain, fruits, and other foods are also consumed. They also go to the suet feeders, which give them protein.

5. Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker, which is alternatively called Colaptes auratus, Yellowhammer, or Common Flicker, is a small bird that lives throughout Northern America. The Northern Flicker belongs to the woodpecker family. This bird is a migrating bird that spends a high percentage of its time in travel.

It makes its nests hidden in the forest. The Northern Flicker resembles the Downy Woodpecker in shape. However, it does not have a red dot atop the head and also possesses paler feathers.


The bird’s feather coat is entirely brown, white, and black. The bottom and stomach are brownish-greys containing black spots, whereas the above and wings appear brownish with black dots. Beneath their tails, both the male and female possess pink feathers.

Male Northern Flickers are identical in appearance to females, although males feature a red neck ring whereas females lack it. In addition, males have a heavier mass, larger size, and wingspan compared to females.

The male possesses a high-pitched melodic voice that it employs to lure the females for reproduction.


These birds come to feeders in plenty of places on a regular basis. Throughout the summer, these birds come to the feeders to receive their food. Bugs, maggots, larvae, grains, nuts, and various berries make up the majority of their diet.

6. Chimney Swift

Chimney Swift
Credits – Wikipedia

The Chimney Swift, which is alternatively called Chaetura pelagica, is a small bird that lives throughout Northern America. Identifying Chimney Swifts is a piece of cake.


These birds are nearly entirely grayish-brown, having long wings, shorter, pointy tails, as well as a distinctive cigar-shaped body.

A white eyebrow marking with black surrounding the eyes can be seen at the front of the bird’s small, sturdy, and arched black bill and some paler colors near the neck.


These are little birds with wingspans varying from 10.6-11.8 inches and a body length of 4.7 to 5.9 inches.


These birds like to live in confined spaces, like tree hollows, tunnels, or more urban settings like ventilation systems or chimneys. Once they have the opportunity, they prefer to live close to water since the hunt is excellent.


Chimney Swifts are insect eaters, consuming huge numbers of mosquitos, moths, and other insects per day! Fortunately, their form makes them easier to see hovering above, and if you’re lucky, they could choose your chimney as a nesting location.

7. European Starling

European Starling

Length & Weight

The length and weight range from 7.9 to 9.1 inches and 2.1 to 3.4 ounces, respectively. The wingspan of these birds ranges from 12.2 to 15.8 inches. Invasive species such as European starlings, which are often considered pests, are a good example. Because of their amazing adaptability, they’ve taken the county by storm since then.


Their beauty hides their violent habits, which include annihilating the nests of rival birds and killing their babies. In daylight, these birds’ black bodies emit a mixture of purple, green, and blue iridescence, giving them a striking look.

Their beaks, feet, wings, and backs are all yellow, with white spots. They live in the state all year and may be found all throughout.


Furthermore, because of their versatility, they can eat nearly everything. You don’t need to feed these birds anything special to attract them; they’ll come to your yard on their own.

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8. Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

The Bay-breasted Warbler, which is alternatively called Setophaga castanea, is a small bird that lives throughout Northern America. The Bay-breasted Warbler is an eloquent creature to behold.


These birds have moderate-length grey wings featuring a black border and two noticeable white wing bars on either wing and also grey backs having straight, zigzag black patterning.

This bird has a white chest, underside, and hind with a prominent bordering of rich, reddish color. This crimson extends over the bird’s face, finishing just below the beak and highlighting the cheekbones.

Black surrounds the eyes and ends at the bottom of the bill, peaking just over the bill towards the head. Consider it a ’round mask.’ The white coloring can also be found upon the face, beginning a little above eye level slightly at the back of the throat and arching downwards to the start of the face.

This bird possesses a high, vertical black bill with the tiniest of bends on the upper beak and a striking reddish cap above. On the other hand, females possess yellow-greenish upper bodies, white chests and bottom, and a subtle brownish-red splash on the bottom sometimes.

They possess grey and black wings, whitish backsides, and the unique wing bars are still present.


These birds are small, averaging around 5.5″ from nose to tail, and with wingspans ranging from 7.9-8.7 inches.


This bird prefers northern woods and coniferous zones but may migrate to tropical locations when it becomes too cold. This bird will occasionally visit parks and feeders.


This little bird is mostly an insect eater, but they may be enticed by a full suet feeder on occasion.

9. Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush

The Hermit Thrush, which is alternatively called Catharus guttatus, is a small bird that lives throughout Northern America.


A Hermit Thrush is easily identifiable because of its deep brown backs, large wings, and bouncy, lengthy tails. The tails will have a fox-red hue to them.

Its chest is striking white with black markings that smudges at the sides to reveal an olive smudge of color that runs all the way down to the belly.

These black dots diminish down to the underside, but they extend up into the bird’s face, beginning beneath the cheekbones and narrowing to a point behind the bill, the patches growing denser and much more like striping in the end.

The remainder of the bird’s head is similarly brown like the back, featuring a thin white eye-line, as well as a moderate-length, upright black and yellow beak.


Thrushes vary in size from 5.5-7.1 inches in length, with wingspans of nearly 9.8-11.4 inches.


These birds like the perimeter of the woods, grasslands, and thickets and will cheerfully travel to playgrounds and home feeders once they are hungry.


A triple-combination of suet, figs and ripe grapes will usually entice a Hermit Thrush. These tiny fellas adore it!

10. Purple Finch

Purple Finch

The Purple Finch, which is alternatively called Haemorhous purpureus, is a small bird that lives throughout Central and Northern America.


Purple Finches have brilliant raspberry-colored behinds featuring brown flecks, lengthy brown-purple wings having white accents, and two narrow white wing bars on either wing.

Their tails are shorter and pale brown, with a thick white border and white underside. This bird’s chest has a medium to strong raspberry color that fades and becomes mild, with raspberry streaks on the bottom till the hind, which is totally white.

This bird’s face is a combination of pale and deep raspberry, with a broad darker eye-stripe that bends down across a lighter cheek and a softer pinkish hue in a line over the eye and beneath the beak.

The bill is upright, dirt-yellow, and robust enough to crush into old Sunflower seeds. You will see what we’re talking about! Females lack the elegant raspberry color but retain the design, which includes thicker striping and a black line at the neck region, as well as a conspicuous whitish eye-stripe.


The length of these birds ranges from 4.7 to 6.3 inches, with wingspans of 8.7 to 10.2 inches.


These birds prefer coniferous woods, and broadleaf and conifer mixed forests come in second. They like to roam and can be spotted in weedy fields, densely wooded regions, and backyards.


Suet, Sunflower Seeds, as well as Safflower Seeds are excellent feeder options for these birds.

11. Baltimore Oriole

baltimore oriole

The Baltimore Oriole, which is alternatively called Icterus galbula, is a small bird that lives throughout Eastern and Northern America. These birds are slimmer and shorter compared to an American Robin.

Baltimore Orioles are moderate-sized birds having broad necks and lengthy legs that have a solid body. Watch for its long, thick-based, sharp bills, which are distinctive of the blackbird family.


Light orange and a black grown-up male has a pitch-black head and a whitish band on its black wings. Females and young males have two prominent white wing bars and are yellowish-orange on the chest and brownish on the crown and rear.

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The female bird constructs the nest that is normally 3-4 inches deeper and features a little aperture on top that is 2-3 inches broad and a protruding bottom area that is 3-4 inches wide. This is the place where the eggs will be laid by the female bird. Females frequently reuse fibers from an old nest while constructing a new one. Males may supply nesting material, but they don’t participate in the weaving process.


Baltimore Orioles eat bugs, fruits, and nectar. The percentage of each meal changes according to the season: in the summertime, while mating and nursing their offspring, insects make up a large part of the food, as they are high in the proteins necessary for development.

12. Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

The Eastern Kingbird is among America’s biggest flycatchers. The Tyrannidae are a family of birds that includes this species. In the dense forests, the Eastern Kingbird builds its open home. The belly of the Eastern Kingbird is large and white.


Their bill is black, and their neck is dark grey. Their bill is elongated and pointed. The Eastern Kingbird’s plumage is entirely made up of dark grey feathers. The white tint covers the entire abdomen, underparts, and breast region.

Adult Eastern Kingbirds differ from their juvenile counterparts in a few ways.​​​​​​​ Because male or female Eastern Kingbirds are almost similar and therefore have no variation in feathers’ colors or body structure, it’s tough to tell them apart.


The bird forages hunt food on tree branches as well as on the ground. These birds are omnivores, meaning that they consume a wide variety of foods.

Small bugs, beetles, as well as other crustaceans are predominantly eaten by the Eastern Kingbird. Green veggies, fruits, nuts, and grains are also consumed. They also pay a visit to the back gardens of bird feeders in various locations.

13. Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow

The Field Sparrow is a tiny bird with a long tail. The Field Sparrow belongs to the Passerellidae bird family.

Length & Weight

This black-eyed, rusty-skinned bird barely weighs approximately 12 g and measures about 6 inches in length.


The white plumage on their belly contrasts with brown and black stripes on their back. They don’t dwell in densely forested areas; instead, they prefer bushy areas or grasslands.

Throughout the summertime, they mate, and the ladies lay eggs & stay on them until they emerge, whereas the male guards the nest and provides nourishment. Male Field Sparrows have a marginally greater pitch than female Field Sparrows.

They employ this high-pitched song to announce their dominance over an area and to recruit females for reproduction throughout the reproductive cycle.

The male and female Field Sparrows have a stubby tail and bronze breast with reddish upper parts. They feature noir black eyes as well as a grey forehead with a reddish crown. Field Sparrows construct their nests in tiny trees and shrubs.


They come to the feeders on a daily basis to obtain their food. They reside near human settlements and largely consume vegetable seeds, tiny herbs, as well as the berries of young plants and fruits. Bugs, including such larvae, scorpions, and larva of many other flies, are also eaten by them.


Kentucky is an excellent place to broaden your birding horizons beyond your own backyard. If you live in Kentucky and want to add to your bird list, check out this list of popular birding locations. Around 350 bird varieties have been reported in Kentucky.


What types of red birds may be found in Kentucky?

The Northern Cardinal, also known as Cardinalis, is a tiny songbird located in Kentucky that is recognized for its gorgeous plumage. This species’ male has a bright red color to his plumage.

In Kentucky, how many distinct species of birds can you consider?

Around 350 bird species are known in Kentucky. Only about 150 kinds nest in the region, with the remainder being seasonal visitors or transients traveling through on their route to or from somewhere else.

How many distinct species of birds can you find in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, about 350 bird varieties have been reported. About 150 kinds dwell in the region, with the rest being seasonal inhabitants or drifters passing on through their way to or from another location.

What is the simplest bird?

The domestic chicken is perhaps the most prevalent bird in the globe, with roughly 50 billion chickens. The red-billed quelea is regarded to be the most widespread exotic bird. The males do have a red bill to varying facial expression identifying marks and are bird birds to brown bodies.

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.