North Carolina Birds: Most Common Birds in North Carolina

A variety of bird species may be found in North Carolina, which has magnificent terrain ranging from the coastal plains to the mountains. There are over 482 bird species that call it home.

Most Common Birds in North Carolina
Most Common Birds in North Carolina

The Northern Cardinal is a common bird in North Carolina, while the Baltimore oriole is a less common species. In 1943, the Northern cardinal was named the official bird of North Carolina. An abundance of Northern Cardinals may be found in North Carolina.

These three states share a number of birds with North Carolina. It’s no secret that North Carolina’s bird population is one of the best in the country.

Birds such as the blue heron, woodcock, nuthatch, swallow, robin, songbird, red-winged blackbird, vireos, and different warblers may be found in the eastern and central parts of the state. The most frequent birds in North Carolina will be discussed in this article.

eastern bluebirdEastern Bluebird
Northern MockingbirdNorthern Mockingbird
white-breasted nuthatchWhite-breasted Nuthatch
northern cardinalNorthern Cardinal
American crowAmerican Crow
Carolina WrenCarolina Wren
red bellied woodpeckerRed-bellied Woodpecker
carolina chickadeeCarolina Chickadee
blue jayBlue Jay
Downy WoodpeckerDowny Woodpecker
white throated sparrowWhite-throated Sparrow
eastern phoebeEastern Phoebe
mourning doveMourning Dove
american goldfinchAmerican Goldfinch
yellow-rumped warblerYellow-rumped Warbler
song sparrowSong sparrow
chipping sparrowChipping sparrow
tufted titmouseTufted Titmouse
house finchHouse Finch
american robinAmerican Robin

Most Common Birds in North Carolina

1. Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

This small North American bird may be found in the eastern United States, where it is known as the Eastern Bluebird. Southern Canada, the eastern United States, and northern Mexico are all part of the Eastern Bluebird‘s range. They’re usually found in deciduous woods and agricultural settings.

During the summer, they consume mostly insects, but in the winter, they will eat berries if they are available. Their migration patterns vary depending on where they reside; some travel south to warmer climes during the winter, while others stay put all year.

  • Color: The head, back, and wings are all blue. Breasts that are reddish-brown.
  • Family: Turdidae
  • Habitat: Open woods, farmlands, and orchards.
  • Frequency: 33.61%
  • Genus: Sialia
  • Range: South of the Rockies, east of the Rockies, and south of the Rockies to Arizona and Nicaragua.
  • Size: 5.5′′ – 7.1′′ in length
  • Weight: 20–33 grams
  • Food: Insects and other invertebrates.

2. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird belongs to the Mimidae family of birds, which includes mockingbirds and thrashers. In the Eastern United States, the Northern Mockingbird is a common bird.

The bird’s range includes North Carolina to Maine, as well as Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas in the west. It feeds on insects, earthworms, and small vertebrates like lizards and frogs and may be found in forests, thickets, residential areas, and gardens.

  • Color: Grey top body with a white underbelly. Wing bars in black and white.
  • Habitat: Forested regions, parks, and gardens.
  • Family: Mimidae
  • Frequency: 31.49%
  • Range: Coastal areas of Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico, as well as the Cayman Islands and the Greater Antilles
  • Length: 0 – 11 inches
  • Genus: Mimus
  • Weight: 40–58 grams
  • Food: Berries, fruits, seeds, arthropods, earthworms, and lizards are just a few of the items they like eating.

3. White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

From southern Canada to Central America, the White-breasted Nuthatches may be found. They live in both coniferous and deciduous kinds of wood, with some favoring temperate temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere and others tropical environments in the Southern.

They travel south for the winter, but as soon as spring arrives, they return north. Some populations stay in their mating grounds all year. During the winter, when food is limited, they move to southern parts of the United States and Central America.

  • Color: Face, flanks, and breast are all white. It wears a black hat, has a bluish-grey upper body, and a brown belly.
  • Family: Sittidae
  • Habitat: Deciduous woods, conifers, waysides, rivers, backyards, and parks.
  • Frequency: 23.29%
  • Range: In the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean
  • Genus: Sitta.
  • Weight: 20 grams.
  • Food: There are acorn nuts, hickory nuts, ants, caterpillars, and pine weevils.
  • Length: 5.9

4. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

In the United States, the Northern Cardinal is a red bird that lives in the east. They’re most commonly found near forest margins, hedgerows, and other semi-open places with thick undergrowth. Insects and seeds from a range of plants, such as clover, dandelions, and grasses, are consumed.

During the winter, the Cardinals move south to warmer areas, but if there is enough food, they will stay north. The Northern Cardinal’s range stretches from North Carolina to Illinois, passing via Kentucky.

  • Color: Most of the body is red, with a black face mask on top.
  • Range: USA, Canada, and Mexico are included in the range.
  • Genus: Cardinalis
  • Length: 2 – 9.3 inch
  • Frequency: 60.67%
  • Weight: 33–65 grams
  • Food: Fruits, berries, and insects.
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5. American Crow

American Crow

Among North American crows, the American Crow is by far the largest. In the eastern United States, they’re the second most frequent migratory bird. The bird has been seen from small islands off the coast to huge mountains in the interior of the state.

The bird’s journey from southern Ontario to the Carolinas has been documented on several occasions. Most of the state’s open spaces, including swamps, marshes, and rivers, are occupied by the American Crow. They build their nests in hollow trees, stumps, and hollows in trees.

  • Family: Corvidae
  • Color: Black.
  • Habitat: Open country, farms, parks, forests, villages, and cities.
  • Range: the United States, Canada, and Mexico
  • Frequency: 46.17%
  • Weight: 315 to 620 grams.
  • Length: 16– 21 inches
  • Genus: Corvis
  • Food: Invertebrates, carrion, seeds, eggs, fish, cereals, mice, frogs, and other tiny creatures.

6. Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren is a tiny North American bird that lives in the woods. The Carolina wren has a range that stretches from northern Canada through Florida and west to Texas. They like to nest in deciduous woods, meadows, suburbs, and parks with big trees or bushes.

The Carolina wren consumes mostly insects such as ants, beetles, crickets, and spiders, although it will also eat fruit and seeds if they are accessible. They do not migrate, however, they may wander locally in response to changes in food supply or environment, such as storms.

  • Family: Troglodytidae
  • Colour: Reddish-brown on top, buff-orange underneath, with white chin and neck. On the brow, there is a white stripe.
  • Genus: Thryothorus
  • Range: United States, Canada, and Mexico
  • Length: 5.0 – 5.5 inches
  • Frequency: 53.86%
  • Weight: 18–23 grams.
  • Food: Fruits, berries, seeds, and insects.

7. Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

North America’s red-bellied woodpecker is a species of bird. It may be found all throughout North America except for some mountainous areas. This species’ distribution comprises primarily deciduous woods, but also parks, golf courses, and residential yards.

Ants, termites, caterpillars, beetle larvae, and other insectivores make up the majority of their food. During the winter months, Red-bellied Woodpeckers move to avoid the cold and return when the weather warms up.

  • Frequency: 39.25%.
  • Color: Gray across the torso, face, and underparts. The wings, back, and tail have a black and white pattern.
  • Habitat: Forests and backyards.
  • Range: Southern Canada and Florida.
  • Length: 9 – 10.6 inches
  • Family: Picidae.
  • Weight: 56-91 grams.
  • Food: Insects, tree frogs, and tiny birds’ eggs as well as leaky sap and small fish

8. Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina Chickadee is a tiny bird native to North America’s eastern coast. It may be found from southern Canada to northern Mexico, but it prefers deciduous woods in the eastern US and southern Ontario and Michigan.

Ants, beetles, caterpillars, and spiders are among the tiny invertebrates eaten by the Carolina Chickadee. Fruits such as cherries, mulberries, and blueberries are also consumed. During the winter, they travel south to Central America.

  • Color: Faces are white except for a black cap and neck. Wings, back, and tail are all light grey.
  • Habitat: Deciduous woods, suburbia, parks, and backyards.
  • Frequency: 52.92%
  • Range: United States of America
  • Length: 4.5 – 5.1 inches
  • Family: Paridae
  • Weight: 9–12 grams
  • Food: Insects, berries, and seeds.

9. Blue Jay

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is a bird native to North America. Ecosystems such as deciduous forests, coniferous forests, and woodlands are all quite prevalent. Nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects make up the majority of the blue jay’s diet.

They also eat tiny animals like frogs and snakes, as well as eggs from other birds’ nests, in addition to this diet. When food supplies become low owing to harsh weather conditions, blue jays move south during the winter, but they return north once the weather warms up.

  • Color: With a white face and a blue body, the bird’s head, wings, back, and tail are all blue.
  • Habitat: Deciduous and mixed woods, mixed woodlands, backyards, and parks.
  • Frequency: 38.89%
  • Range: Florida and Texas.
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Length: 8 to 12 inches
  • Weight: 70–100 grams
  • Food: Nuts, seeds, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles.

10. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is a bird native to North America that may be found from Canada to the United States. Their preferred habitat is deciduous forests, and they will only nest in areas with a lot of deadwood.

The Downy Woodpecker eats insects mostly, but also nuts, berries, and seeds. During the winter months, the Downy Woodpeckers migrate as far south as Panama.

  • Color: The throat, belly, and back are all white. Wings have white patches.
  • Habitat: Deciduous woods and thickets, roadside, meadows, backyards, and parks.
  • Frequency: 31.98%
  • Range: Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans may be able to find this species in their countries.
  • Length: 5.5 – 7.1 inches
  • Family: Picidae
  • Weight: 20–33 grams
  • Food: Insects, beetles, ants, gall wasps, and caterpillars.
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11. White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

The White-throated Sparrow is a widespread bird in North America, with populations found across the continent. The white-throated sparrow is most commonly observed in the spring when it migrates to breed its young for the summer.

Grasslands, woodland borders, parks, and gardens are all possible habitats for them. These birds eat insects, seeds, berries, and other foods that they come upon while on the lookout for prey.

  • Color: Brown and grey color scheme for the head. Head striped in black and white, white neck, and yellow around the eye.
  • Habitat: Deciduous woods and thickets, roadside, meadows, and backyards.
  • Frequency: 20.66%
  • Range: Eastern North America and Atlantic Canada.
  • Length: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 22–32 grams
  • Food: Seeds, insects, and berries.

12. Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

During the spring and summer months, eastern phoebes nest in the ground near sources of water. They spend the winter in Central America, resting on lakes and ponds for food and safety from predators.

Eastern phoebes eat flying insects such as flies, bees, wasps, butterflies, and dragonflies, which they catch by hovering above a body of water and then plunging with their mouth open.

  • Frequency: 86%
  • Color: The upper body color is grey-brown, with grey breasts and underbelly, and a white neck.
  • Habitat: Farmland, parks, and gardens.
  • Range: Mexico and the Southern United States.
  • Length: 5 – 6.7′′
  • Weight: 16–21 grams
  • Food: Mostly insects and berries.

13. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

North America is a common home to the mourning dove. It breeds from eastern North America west to middle Texas, then south to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. They mostly live in the United States as permanent residents.

This bird loves damp soil environments such as swamps and wet meadows, where it feeds on earthworms, insects, crustaceans, and seeds.

Their migration pattern is determined by their breeding territory; northern breeders may travel south for the winter, while southern breeders may remain in their breeding area all year.

  • Color: Light grey-brown on top, lighter and pinkish on the bottom. There are black dots on the wings.
  • Habitat: Open environments, cities, farms, prairies, grasslands, and forested regions
  • Range: Canada, United States of America, Central America, Mexico, and the Greater Antilles
  • Frequency: 42.75%
  • Length: 12 inches.
  • Weight: 112–170 grams
  • Food: Corn, safflowers, rapeseed, sesame, sunflower seeds, and wheat.
  • Family: Columbidae.

14. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Most of North America is home to American Goldfinches. They may be found in the United States and Canada in wooded areas, hedgerows, and thickets. These little birds like wide fields or meadows to eat on seeds from plants including clover, thistle, dandelion, and crabgrass. If insects are accessible, they will consume them.

With an average flying distance of 1500 miles each way, the American Goldfinch has one of the most extensive migrations of any North American bird. The birds will begin flying south in August, covering roughly 50 miles each day until they arrive in Central America for the winter.

  • Color: The face, throat, and underside are yellow, while the wings are black with white bands.
  • Habitat: This includes deciduous forests and thickets as well as grassland habitats in the garden or on the roadside.
  • Frequency: 31.15%
  • Range: Canada, the United States of America, and Mexico
  • Length: 3 – 5.5 inch
  • Weight: 12 – 18 g
  • Food: Grass, dandelions, chickweed, sunflowers, ragweed, thistle, red alder, birch, and spruce seeds.

15. Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

The Yellow-Rumped Warbler is a North American migratory bird. They’re quite frequent and have a wide range of habitats. The majority of these birds travel to the Central American coast for the winter, although some remain in Canada’s northern areas all year.

Eastern North America is the most abundant location for these birds, where they dwell amid coniferous trees or other densely vegetated areas such as bogs, fens, and meadows. Flies, mosquitoes, and ants are among the insects they eat, but they also eat berries from bushes and trees if they can locate them.

  • Color: Yellow spots on the head, flanks, and rump, as well as blackish-blue stripes on the back, breast, and wings.
  • Habitat: Deciduous woods and thickets, roadside, meadows, and backyards.
  • Frequency: 19.17%
  • Range: The U.S.A. and Canada as well as Central America and the Caribbean.
  • Length: 4.7 – 5.9″ inches
  • Weight: 10–18 grams
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Food: Caterpillars, Grasshoppers, wasps, aphids, beetles, spiders, gnats, and berries.

16. Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

The Song Bird is a tiny brown sparrow with prominent head stripes. They may be observed across the eastern and central United States at any time of year; however, they travel south for the winter. This bird may be found from Alaska to Nova Scotia, and further west to Texas, where it is known as the Song Sparrow.

In the summer, they like rural regions or farms with fields, brushy areas, or hedgerows; in the winter, they prefer woods with shrubs and big trees for cover. During the summer, they eat mostly insects, while during the winter, they eat mostly seeds.

  • Family: Passeridea
  • Color: Grey head with white cheeks, black bib, and rufous neck
  • Habitat: Urban areas, farms, backyards, borders, yards, and parks.
  • Frequency: 25.29%
  • Range: Europe, Australasia, Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Americas.
  • Genus: Passer
  • Length: 5.5 to 7.0 inches
  • Weight: 25–40 grams
  • Food: Grains, seeds, and insects.
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17. Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

In North America, the Chipping Sparrow is a common and ubiquitous sparrow. Southern Canada, the United States, Mexico, North America, and the Caribbean are all home to Chipping sparrows.

Agricultural fields, meadows, and brushy regions, as well as open forests, are all places where the chipping sparrow may be found.

Caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles, as well as plant seeds, are among the insects that the Chipping Sparrow eats. They travel south through Texas and into central Mexico in late winter, then return north as early as March or April.

  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Color: Upperparts are rusty, the head is grey, and the underparts are grey with a reddish cap.
  • Habitat: Coniferous woods, woodlands, farms, parks, and gardens.
  • Frequency: 19.08%
  • Genus: Spizella
  • Range: The Southern United States and Mexico.
  • Length: 7 – 5.9 inches
  • Weight: 11–16 grams
  • Food: Seeds and spiders.

18. Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

In North America, the Tufted Titmouse is a medium-sized bird. They spend the entire year in the eastern United States’ deciduous and mixed woods, which stretch from the Rocky Mountains to northern Mexico.

The Titmouse may be found from Canada to Mexico, although it does not travel across the Open Ocean. Forests, woodlands, scrubland, pastures, and residential gardens with trees and hedges are among its preferred habitats.

Titmice are mostly insectivores, although they may consume seeds, berries, nectar, and insects as well. During the winter, titmice fly south. March through July is usually the breeding season.

  • Color: Gray upper with a white front and a tufted grey crest on the head.
  • Habitat: Deciduous woods, river basins, backyards, and wetlands.
  • Frequency: 47.81%
  • Range: Canada, the United States, and Mexico
  • Length: 5.5 – 6.4 inches
  • Weight: 18–26 grams
  • Food: Nuts, insects, berries, seeds, tiny fruits, and snails.
  • Family: Paridae.

19. House Finch

House Finch

House Finches may be found all across North America, even in the Arctic Circle. They can be found all the way down to Panama, but beyond Arizona and New Mexico, their numbers are small. Between Kansas and South Carolina, the majority of the people reside.

The House Finch prefers to live near people because they provide food for its diet, which consists primarily of seeds from weeds or grasses but also includes insects and occasional fruit. House Finches can be seen throughout the year, although migratory populations go south for the winter.

  • Color: The face and upper breast are crimson, while the back, abdomen, and tail have brown stripes.
  • Habitat: Backyards, borders, yards, and parks are common habitats in urban and suburban settings.
  • Frequency: 27.12%
  • Range: Canada, the United States, and Mexic
  • Length: 5 – 6 inches
  • Weight: 16–27 grams
  • Food: Aphids, berries, nettle, grains, dandelion, seeds, and sunflowers

20. American Robin

American Robin

The American Robin is a migratory songbird found in eastern North America, with populations in eastern Canada and the eastern United States. A large portion of the birds’ wintering grounds is in Mexico. As far as eastern North America goes, this bird may be found from Maine to Florida and as far as Texas.

During migration season, their habitat is primarily woodland edges, fields, parks, and gardens, as well as forest edges. Throughout the year, robins eat bugs and berries. They also consume earthworms, spiders, centipedes, and slugs in the summer, when they are most numerous.

  • Color: The back is mostly brown, with an orange-colored patch.
  • Habitat: Wooded regions, backyards, parks, and fields.
  • Frequency: 34.08%
  • Range: United States, Canada, and Mexico
  • Length: 12 to 16 inches.
  • Weight: 72 to 95 grams.
  • Food: Fruits, berries, and insects.


Today, we spent some time researching the Northern Cardinal birding area. In this location, there are plenty of bird species to keep you occupied for a long time. Just remember to replenish those feeders, and because the winters can be brutal, a heated birdbath is also a smart idea.


What is North Carolina’s state bird?

North Carolina’s state bird is the lovely Northern Cardinal.

How many bird species are there in North Carolina?

Four hundred and eighty-two species of birds live in North Carolina.

In North Carolina, what is the biggest bird?

When it comes to North Carolina’s largest birds, it has to be the Great Horned Owl. The tiger owl is another name for this species. This bird may reach a length of 26 inches and a wingspan of 62 inches.

Are there Golden Eagles in North Carolina?

Southern Appalachia may be an important wintering habitat for Golden Eagles, according to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Last Updated on February 2, 2022 by Lily Aldrin

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.