Mississippi Birds: Common Birds in Mississippi

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

Mississippi is an excellent site for birding, with the Holly Springs National Forest, the Red Clay Hills, and the Gulf Island Seashore as just a few examples of the state’s natural abundance.

Today we’ll talk about the most common backyard birds in Mississippi, tell you a bit about the many Avian species you could see, and offer you some helpful hints for finding these birds, tempting them to your backyard feeder, and more.

A diverse range of wild birds calls Mississippi home. Due to the peculiar topography of Mississippi, it is home to a variety of birds. In this write-up, we will discuss some of the birds that are most prevalent in Mississippi, which can be seen all around the year.

Among these, some of the birds are migratory that can be seen at a particular time of the year, whereas some are present all year round throughout the length and breadth of Mississippi.

Common YellowthroatCommon Yellowthroat
Blue-gray GnatcatcherBlue-gray Gnatcatcher
Brown-Headed CowbirdBrown-Headed Cowbird
Purple MartinPurple Martin
Carolina Chickadee Carolina Chickadee 
Common GrackleCommon Grackle
Pine WarblerPine Warbler
American RobinAmerican Robin
American GoldfinchAmerican Goldfinch
Pileated WoodpeckerPileated Woodpecker
Brown ThrasherBrown Thrasher
Eastern KingbirdEastern Kingbird
Mourning DoveMourning Dove
Red-headed WoodpeckerRed-headed Woodpecker
Northern CardinalNorthern Cardinal
Belted KingfisherBelted Kingfisher

Most Birds of Mississippi

1. Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

The Geothlypis trichas, or Common Yellowthroat, is a little new world warbler from the Parulidae family. They are found all across North America. As its name suggests, this bird’s neck is lemon-yellow.


The Common Yellowthroat’s whole body is covered in light yellow plumage. A black stripe runs from the tip of the head to the eyelids, then back to the rear of the head on the Common Yellowthroat. The bird’s feathers and upper regions have a greenish-yellow color.

Length & Weight

The typical body length is 4.3-5.1 in, with a wingspan of almost 5.9-7.5 in. A Common Yellowthroat typically weighs approximately 0.3 oz.


This bird forages on nearby trees and the grass in search of food. Cherries, fruits, cereals, and nuts are their primary sources of nutrition. This bird eats caterpillars, larvae, and beetles, among other small insects.

2. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a tiny singing bird. This bird belongs to the Polioptilidae genus of birds. These birds are easily identified due to their peculiar grey feathers.


The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher’s whole body is covered with blue and grey feathers. Their upper parts are black, and their bottoms are grey. Their tummy and breasts appear greyish white instead of blue and white.

Length & Weight

The typical length of this bird is 10–13 cm, with a wingspan of 6.3 in on average (16 cm). A mature Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is only 5–7 g in weight.


They preferably reside in tiny shrubs and trees’ water bodies. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher bird mostly enjoys tiny insects such as moths, bugs, and beetles. Some of the insects’ larvae and eggs are also enjoyed by them.


Tiny nuts and grains of small plants are also eaten by the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher bird. They also feed on a variety of nuts and grains. They also visit the bird feeders to feed themselves when hungry.

3. Brown-Headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

The Brown-headed Cowbird, usually known as the Molothrus ater, is a North American bird with a medium build. This migratory bird moves from one region to another depending on food availability, weather, and environment. its rear is more colorful.


They usually go to the northwest in the summer. This bird’s black plumage is much more bluish-black than absolute black. Males have more vibrant and colorful plumage. Excluding the brown neck and head that females have, the Brown-headed Cowbird’s appearance is totally black.

The female has brown and black plumage. Females have a lower wingspan and weigh less than males. Female birds are easily identified from males in the flock due to their varied coloration. They are migratory birds, meaning they go from one location to another.


Insects, blossoms, berries, fruits, and cherries are all eaten by the Brown-headed Cowbird.

4. Purple Martin

Purple Martin

Purple Martins, also known as Progne subis, is a bird known to be one of the largest swallow bird species in North America. Their name originates from the color of their plumage, which is blackish-blue but turns a brilliant purple when they soar high in the sky and sunlight falls on them.

Greenish-blue colors may be seen in their shiny feathers. They’re migratory birds who go south during the winter. They are very well for their gliding and rapid flight ability.

Females differ from males in their build that they are thinner and lighter than males. Females have a different plumage color in addition to these characteristics. The upper parts of these birds are purple, which eventually faded to white as they got closer to the margins.

Length & Weight

An adult’s body length ranges from 7.5-7.9 inches, with a wingspan of around 15.3-16.1 inches. An adult’s weight ranges from 7.5-to 7.9 pounds. Purple Martins weigh between 1.6 and 2.1 ounces.


This species migrates to the south and makes a brief halt in Cuba. They migrate to the North as early as the cold weather is through. The birds feed on insects and worms from the skies. They attack their prey. They seldom visit bird feeders in North America.

5. Carolina Chickadee 

Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadees have silky grey backs, small wings, and long, slender tails that are the same color as their backs. However, there will be some white edging on the wings and white tail feathers, so keep an eye out for them as well.

This bird’s underside and breast are white, but it has a little black bib and a huge black cap that ends at approximately mid-eye level, with the middle color between the cap and bib being white. The beaks of these birds are triangular and black.


The length of this bird is 3.9–4.7 inches, and its wingspan is 5.9–7.9 inches broad.

Habitat & Food

These birds are common visitors to gardens and well-stocked backyard feeders, but they can also be seen in the woods. These birds mostly consume insects.

6. Common Grackle

Common Grackle

These birds are huge songbirds and are endemic to North America. This bird’s eyes are white with a little black mark on them. They have a greater size, a longer tail, and a slate black beak. They live in the North all year, but they do travel to other parts of the nation.


This bird is distinguished by its black wings, shining golden neck, and black underparts. Both sexes are essentially identical in appearance and cannot be discriminated against only based on appearance. The male and female grackle populations are slightly varied. From afar, however, it’s hard to tell them distinct.


They often feed on the bird feeders. These birds feed on meat as well as vegetables; hence are omnivores. Among their preferred diets are small worms, spiders, bugs, reptiles, minnows, caterpillars, berries, nuts, and seeds. They are seen competing with other birds for food.

7. Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

The Pine Warbler, commonly known as Setophaga pinus, is a tiny new world warbler belonging to the Parulidae family. This songbird is known for its lovely song with which it attracts males and communicates with others. Pine warblers derive their name from their habit.


They spend more time devouring the twigs and trunks of pine trees. They are wanderers that usually move to the northern hemisphere during winters. A white abdomen and white wing bands distinguish this bird’s plumage. The longer beak is foraging in the pine trees and on the floor.

The adults of the Pine Warbler have a completely olive-yellow plumage, with olive-yellow breasts and upper parts. The breasts and necks of females and Juvenile Pine Warbler have a different color from males and are somewhat pale.

Length & Weight

A mature pine warbler has a body length of 5–5.75 inches and a wing of up to 8.75 inches. A mature Pine Warbler can weigh up to 12 grams.


These birds most like tiny insects, berries, and nuts grains. To find food, they graze on tree branches and the ground.

8. American Robin

American Robin

The American Robin is a tiny migratory songbird with red and black plumage. It visits several locations in the United States.


Male American Robins differ from female American Robins in that the males have more colorful plumage. A Male’s body is mostly colored vibrantly, while females are more subdued. Both of the sex’s bodies are also diverse in size and shape, with female bodies being thinner and smaller and male bodies being somewhat bigger.


Tiny creatures and their eggs, small nuts, and cherries are among their favorite foods. They feed on the seeds of plants, tiny shrubs, and bushes.

9. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

They are a stunning bird species, with plumage that is more vibrant than many other birds. The male and their counterpart females of these species are identical in appearance, except that the females do not have the black mark on their heads that the males do.


The bird is bright yellow in color, having golden upper parts and underparts. In contrast, the American Goldfinch has jet black wings. The underside of the wings is white. Their tail is black having beautiful white designs. The pigment of their beak is a magnificent golden pink. Both males and females are identical in size, weight, height, and color.


The American Goldfinch readily enjoys small insect seeds and fruits from tiny plants and bushes. They are friendly but stay safe from humans and escape when approached too closely.

10. Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is a woodpecker with a medium build and is native to North America. This red hat of a pileated Woodpecker is well known. They are easily distinguishable due to the red crown present on their head.


They are similar to the other woodpecker species except for their red crest mounted on the top of their head. Their distinct head makes them unique from the other Woodpecker species. Male and their counterpart females have a minimal difference in their appearance. The line from the beak to the neck is red in males while black in females.

The wings are also different in males and females; male wings are black, while female wings are brownish. These species, like other species, drill holes in tree trunks.


They feed on the bird feeders daily. Ants, caterpillars, beetle and arthropod larvae, grasses seeds, and microscopic grains are among the foods they eat.

11. Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Mockingbirds and birds have a genetic relationship. The bird is fully coated in brown plumage, as its name indicates. On their feathers and the tops of their wings, they have black patches. Brownish-grey plumage covers the underbelly, belly, and breasts of the bird. The huge Brown Thrasher may be seen over the whole eastern United States.

It forages brazenly on open lawns at times, but it scurries into deep cover at the first sign of trouble, hiding amid the briar tangles and emitting loud crackling call notes. The male Brown Thrasher sings a rich, beautiful song of repeated phrases from the top of a tall tree, despite the fact that the bird spends most of its day low to the earth.


Brown Thrasher has a dull coloration and no markings when they’re young. Brown Thrashers weigh between 61 and 89 grams as adults.


It rummages for insects on the ground, flipping fallen leaves aside or digging in the earth with its bill. To consume berries, it perches in bushes and trees. Will pound acorns open with its beak to break them open Insects, berries, and nuts are among the many options.

Bees, larvae, bugs, crickets, dragonflies, and other insects make up more than half of the food; it also consumes spiders, earthworms, slugs, crustaceans, lizards, and frogs. Berries and tiny fruits are very significant in the diet, particularly in the autumn and winter, and it consumes a lot of nuts and seeds, especially acorns.

Microscopic creatures and worms are the primary foods of the Brown Thrasher. They also enjoy the larvae of tiny little insects. Wheat, grains, berries, and nuts also are consumed by the Brown Thrasher. They will come on a constant schedule if bird feeders offer suet and other comparable food.

12. Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

The Tyrannus, often known as the Eastern Kingbird, is one of the largest flycatchers in North America. The Eastern Kingbird makes an open nest in thick woodlands. The abdomen of the Eastern Kingbird is large with white.

Their bill is black, and its neck is dark grey. These birds have elongated and pointed plumage. Their plumage is composed of grey feathers entirely. The whole belly, underarms, and breast area are tinted white.

In a few respects, adult Eastern Kingbirds vary from their adolescent counterparts. It’s difficult to tell both male and female Eastern Kingbirds apart since their plumage colors and body structures are nearly identical.

Length & Weight

The Eastern Kingbird has a wing of almost 33–38 cm and a body length of 19–23 cm. On average, this Eastern Kingbird weighs 33–55 g.


The birds search for food on the ground as well as tree branches. They feed on both meat and vegetables and hence are called omnivores. Beetles, small flies, and other invertebrates are readily enjoyed by the Eastern Kingbird. Green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains are also consumed.

13. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

The Zenaida macroura, popularly known as the Mourning Dove, is a moderate dove in the Zenaida family. It has a reddish-brown tint throughout its plumage. The feathers above the wings have a few black dots. The Mourning Dove is a popular visitor to bird feeders in many parts of the United States.

Mourning, both female and male Doves have body forms and sizes that are almost identical. They have white and brown plumage as well.

Length & Weight

They may reach a length of 12 inches and a wing of up to 19 inches. They may be up to 120 grams in weight.

Because of their appearance, they are simple to recognize and identify. The male and female mate in the spring and fall, and the male lures the female with a beautiful song-like mating scream.


While the female lays the eggs and sits on them, the male feeds and protects her and the eggs. The Mourning Dove eats insects from bird feeders and grains, seedlings, and tiny insects strewn about on the ground or in the soil.

14. Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-Headed Woodpecker

They are tiny woodpeckers native to North America. They are wanderers that spend the winter moving from North to South. The Red-Headed Woodpecker got its name from the bright redhead.

This bird’s plumage is magnificent and dazzling, with backs black having a white zigzag pattern, with their tails of the same hue. Their beak is powerful and blunt, and they use it to peck the tree.

The underside of the Woodpecker’s belly and breast is brilliant white. The feathers of both males and females have the same colors. The heads of immature Red-headed Woodpeckers are grey.

Length & Weight

An adult Red-headed Woodpecker’s body length can range from 19 to 25 cm, with a wingspan of up to 42.5 cm. An adult Red-headed Woodpecker usually weighs from 56 to 97 grams.


The Red-headed Woodpecker usually bores a hole in the tree’s trunk and enjoys living inside the tree trunk. This bird captures most of its prey, insects, in mid-flight. They hardly seldom graze on the ground. They mostly seek food in the top reaches of trees. They also enjoy cereals, seeds, grains, and nuts.

15. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a stunning songbird species that can be observed in Mississippi. The males are blazingly red, while female Northern Cardinals have duller coloring than males. They have been expanding their species in the North.

Now, it graces the northern and southeastern parts of Canada with its beautiful presence and melody with its color and whistles. Sunflower seed feeders may have helped its northward expansion. The Cardinal is mainly absent west of the Great Plains, but it is regionally prevalent in the arid Southwest.


They are simple to distinguish since males and females have distinct colors, body shapes, and sizes. Forages primarily on the grass or in low shrubs, with occasional foraging higher in trees. They often visit the bird feeders and mostly enjoy the sunflower seeds.

Length & Weight

Northern Cardinals have a body length of 21–23.5 centimeters and a wingspan of 25–31 centimeters. They are around 33.6–65 g in weight. The Northern Cardinal has a red beak and red plumage with black and white markings.


Small insects, such as spiders and worms, are favorites of the Northern Cardinals. Crushed nuts, tiny seeds from various herbs, and berries from various small trees are also eaten by them.

16. Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

These are medium-sized birds with bands around their necks. Females are more vibrant and have more brilliant colors than males. Their head has a slate blue hue with a white-collar. A wide blue band is present on the breast, whereas the underparts are white. Their wings are of blue and black color, and also they have tiny white spots on them.

Because of the reverse dimorphism, the females are bigger than their males and have more masses and a larger wingspan than their male counterparts.


Waterways, rivers, ponds, and riverside lands are good places for the Belted Kingfisher to lay its eggs.


Small amphibians, tiny fish, insects, small animals, and even reptiles are among the foods they consume. Females lay eggs, which they sit on until they hatch.


Several beautiful birds have been discussed in this segment. We have discussed their distinctive features, due to which you can easily distinguish them if you happen to see them around.

Besides that, their eating regime has also been discussed if you want to lure these birds into your backyards and what type of food you need to put in your installed feeders.


What is known to be the state bird of Mississippi?

The mockingbird is said to be the state bird of Mississippi.

Are the females of Belted Kingfisher bigger than males?

Yes, the females of belted kingfisher are bigger than their male counterparts.

Are brown thrasher omnivores?

Yes, these birds feed on plants and tiny ground crawlers and flies.

What is the most common bird in Mississippi?

The mockingbird is prevalent in Mississippi.

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.

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