Rhode Island Birds: Backyard Birds in Rhode Island

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

The Ocean State of Rhode Island is an ideal site for birding, including Coastal Lowlands, beaches, lagoons, and woodlands west of the bay. There are over 431 different avian species that can be found here.

We will talk about those prevalent birds in Rhode Island, and the majority of these birds can be seen visiting backyard feeders.

House wrenHouse wren
White-breasted NuthatchWhite-breasted Nuthatch
Blue-gray GnatcatcherBlue-gray Gnatcatcher
Palm WarblerPalm Warbler
Hairy WoodpeckerHairy Woodpecker
Barn SwallowBarn Swallow
Rusty BlackbirdRusty Blackbird
Northern MockingbirdNorthern Mockingbird
White-throated SparrowWhite-throated Sparrow
Baltimore orioleBaltimore oriole
Belted KingfisherBelted Kingfisher
Mourning DoveMourning Dove
Red-eyed VireoRed-eyed Vireo
Blue JayBlue Jay
Brown-headed CowbirdBrown-headed Cowbird
Black-capped ChickadeeBlack-capped Chickadee
Common GrackleCommon Grackle

Backyard Birds in Rhode Island

1. House Wren

House Wren

The House Wren is among the smallest songbirds in North America, belonging to the wren family (Troglodytidae)., They are among the most abundant species in the south and north of America.

They are social and bold birds that approach humans without reluctance. They also build their nests near human settlements. This bird is divided into seven subspecies, each with its feather color and size.

The House Wren is a brown-colored bird with white and dark brown stripes and patterns on its plumage. In a few respects, adult breeding birds differ from nonbreeding birds. The male House Wren is somewhat bigger than the female House Wren.

Length & Weight

The House Wren has a height of about 11 to 13 cm and has a wingspan of approximately 15 centimeters. An adult can weigh anything from 10 to 12 grams.


The House Wren eats moths, butterflies, and tiny invertebrates, among other small insects. The House Wren also eats tiny seeds and grains from different plants and weeds. You can locate them in your backyards feeding on bird feeders.

2. White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

The White-Breasted Nuthatch is a tiny melodious singing avian that is traced back to the nuthatch family. They’re mostly found in intermediate North American climates. Their tails are short, along with a large head, a powerful beak, and robust feet. Their face, sides, and chest are white, with a black cap and a blue-grey back.

They come in nine distinct types, each of which may be distinguished by the color of its plumage.


They have a length of 14 cm, and a maximum wingspan of up to 27 cm the size of their bodies ranges from 0.5 to 1.1 ounces. Body shapes and back colors differ somewhat between males and females. They may compose a range of melodies depending on the occasion.


They frequently pay a visit to bird feeders in search of food. Worms and seeds obtained from small plants and bushes are their main sources of food. They also tend to eat and gather nuts.

3. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher are known to be tiny songbirds with melodious voices. The southern, as well as the eastern United States and Mexico, are home to this songbird. They get this name because of their blue-gray feathers that cover almost the whole body.


Blue and grey feathers cover the whole body of the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher bird. Their upper portion is black, with the upper parts having darker shades, and the bottom section is found to be grey.

Length & Weight

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a medium-sized bird that is 10–13 cm (3.9–5.1 in) in length and has a 6.3-inch wingspan (16 cm). A grownup bird is only 5–7 g in weight. They tend to reside in the shrubs and tiny trees near water bodies.


Beetles, flies, beetles, and other tiny insects are the favorite foods of the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher bird. They also take eggs laid by various species of insects and larvae in their daily meal. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher bird also eats tiny nuts and grains of small plants. They also prefer berries and a variety of nuts. They tend to also go to the bird feeders to feed themselves.

4. Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

These birds have olive-brown backs, short wings, and perky, medium-length tails of the same hue. These birds have olive-colored faces with yellow-streaked chins. This bird has a long, pointed, upright brown and yellow beak and a brown and cinnamon crown.


The cap is most vibrant during the warmer breeding months but fades once the mating season is through. These little beauties are 4.7–5.5 inches long and have wingspans of 7.9–8.3 inches.


These birds prefer open habitats like forest edges, meadows, and fields, although they may be found almost anyplace with a few trees and shrub cover. 

They prefer boreal woods for nesting, although they may occasionally venture out and visit backyards if the feeders are well-stocked enough to attract their attention. These birds mostly consume insects, although they also like berries to complement their diet.

5. Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpeckers, commonly known as Junco hyemalis, are medium-sized Woodpecker species. Hairy Woodpeckers feature white and black plumage, and males have red spots above their heads that females do not have.

They inherit a very strong beak and use it to drill holes in the trunks of the tree. Males have more vibrant hues than females. Male Hairy Woodpeckers have a longer body, wider wingspan, and heavier weight than female Hairy Woodpeckers. 

During the specific season in which they tend to breed, the male attracts the female by a very well distinguished cry for mating. They eat from the bird feeders every now and then regularly. They may also be observed all year in different sections of the country.


Tiny insects, bugs, seeds, and berries are eaten by Hairy Woodpeckers, as well as the larvae of many birds. They come to the suet feeders on a regular basis.

6. Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Their backs are dark blue, and they have long wings and tails that are short but have expanded wingtips on either side, forming a forked tail. This bird’s underside and breast are orange to reddish-orange,


These birds range in size from 5.9 to 7.5 inches in length, with wingspans of 11.4 to 12.6 inches.


Lakes, hillsides, waterways, and marshes are all good areas to look for these birds.


These birds consume insects, dried mealworms, crickets, as well as live mealworms.

7. Rusty Blackbird

Rusty blackbird
Credits – Wikipedia

These species have moderate wings and long tails, and their backs, shoulders, abdomen, and chest, as well as the sides of their tails, will be rusty in the winter months. They have black masks on their faces and are rust-colored.

These birds have lengthy, straight black bills and white eyes. Females will be dark with a pale eyebrow line and some ‘rust’ around the edges.


These birds range in size from 8.3 to 9.8 inches in length from head to tail, with wingspans of 14.6 inches.


These birds can be seen around swamps, wetlands, creeks, and ponds, as they are virtually always found near water. Rusty Blackbirds can be found in areas prone to flooding, such as overgrown, abandoned pastures.


They consume insects, crabs, fishes, and even smaller birds in the wild.

8. Ovenbird


The Ovenbird is a small passerine songbird that is traced back to the Parulidae family of New World Warblers. They are birds that do not acquire a consistent habitat and spend the cold season of winter migrating from cold to places with warmer climates. 

They may be found practically everywhere in North America. The upper portions of the Ovenbird are olive-brown, while the underparts are white with gorgeous black dots. This bird’s eyes have a white ring around them, which is bordered by brown plumage. 

Males and females are similar, although young ones have a paler appearance. In the woods and shrubs, this bird constructs a cup-shaped nest.

Length & Weight

The adult Ovenbird has an 11–16 cm body length and a wingspan ranging from 19–to 26 cm. An adult mating Ovenbird may weigh between 14 and 28.8 g. Females are thin, short, and weigh less in comparison to males.


They eat worms and tiny insects. They also eat tiny grains, seeds, and nuts. They also may pay a visit to the bird feeders found in the backyard to gather food.

9. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

The only mockingbird species present in North America is the Northern Mockingbird, also known as Mimus polyglottos. They are the permanent inhabitants of the northern states. They haunt the backyards of bird feeders in search of food.

The upperparts, which are of grey color, and their underparts, are a blend of white and grey, distinguish the Northern Mockingbird. These birds have longer tails, and the same goes for their legs when compared to other birds of the same size.

Both the sexes have the same plumage color and also the same wingspan and size. In terms of weight, males are bulkier than females, and males weigh more. Their lengthy tail and wings are similarly covered with black feathers.

These birds are known to live for 20 years. They attend bird feeders in various locations.


Small seeds, grain, shrubs, berries, fruits, and worms are all taken by Northern Mockingbirds in their meals.

10. White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

The White-throated Sparrows are small-sized birds belonging to the Passalidae family of sparrows. The only habitat of this melodious creature is the northern part of the United States. They are famous for their unique white necks.


They are relatively little, with a wingspan of just 23cm and height ranging from 15 to19cm.


The feather of the adults is striated, with two black and only one white striation in the middle of their heads. Male and females share almost similar appearances, body sizes, and colors.

They construct their nests hidden among tiny bushes or even on the ground may be a possibility where they build their nests.


Grains and seeds that are obtained from minor crops, plants, berries, and various kinds of flies contribute to the major part of their diet apart from them. Insects, spiders, and small creatures living on the surface are also a part of their diet.

11. Baltimore Oriole

baltimore oriole

The Baltimore Oriole is a North American migratory bird of modest size. This bird is native to North America. However, it migrates to various sections of the country. Their journey is timed to coincide with weather and climatic patterns in the northern United States.


The Baltimore Oriole’s plumage is a stunning mix of white, yellow, black, and brown. Black and white patterns may be found on the bird’s wings and upper body. The male has a blackhead, while the female has a yellow one. The male’s belly and underparts are yellow, while the females are white.

During the summer, these birds move from north to the south, visiting various locations in the United States.


They devour spiders, worms, and other tiny insects. They also consume seeds, berries, and fruits of various sorts. During the summer, they attend the feeders in various locations to acquire their food.

12. Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher is a medium-sized kingfisher with a band around its neck. They have a robust and large beak. Females are vibrant and brighter and have more brilliant colors than males. They inherit a blue head, and they have a huge white collar, a thick blue band on the breast, and a white under section.

Length & Weight

The males have a body length ranging from 27 to 34 centimeters and a wingspan of 47 to 57 centimeters. A grownup Belted Kingfisher weighs between 113 and 178 grams. The females are bigger in size than the males, with a greater wingspan and heavier weight, due to reversal dimorphism.


Nesting areas for the Belted Kingfisher include canals, waterways, ponds, and river lands. Small amphibians, tiny fish, insects, small animals, and even reptiles are among the foods they consume—females deposit eggs, which they wait on until they hatch. The male provides sustenance for his young as well as the female.

13. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is a medium-sized dove of the Zenaida family. A Rusty brown hue covers its whole plumage. Few black patches can be seen above the wings. In various locations in the United States, these birds tend frequently visit the bird feeders.

Mourning Doves, both female and male, are nearly identical with the same body sizes and lengths. They have white and brown plumage as well.


They may weigh up to 120 grams. It’s easy to notice and identify them because of their look.

During spring and winter, they tend to mate, and the male lures the female with a well-distinguished mating cry that sounds like a song. The female lays the eggs and sits on them while the male guards the eggs and the female.


The Mourning Dove feeds on seeds nuts from bird feeders. They also consume insects that they find on the ground or in trees.

14. Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

The Vireo olivaceus, often known as the Red-eyed Vireo, is a tiny songbird that is endemic to North America. This is amongst the most frequent bird species in North America. They are migratory birds that spend the winter migrating south. The Red-eyed Vireo has olive-brown plumage as an adult.


White underparts contrast with olive-green upperparts. Their beak is long and slender, with a sharp tip. The young Red-eyed Vireo bird differs from the adults in that it is paler than the adults.


An adult’s body length ranges from 4.7 to 5.1 inches, with a wingspan of 9.1 to 9.8 inches.

Four to six eggs are usually laid by the females, and she sits on them until the time comes for them to hatch.


Beetles, parasitic insects, worms, and ants are among the little insects that they devour. They also consume nuts, fruits, and berries. During their trips, they also stop by different places’ bird feeders.

15. Blue Jay

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is a bird that is endemic to eastern North America but may also be found in other regions of the world. They prefer the wooded environment and prefer to breed in the woods. They have a striking blue and white appearance, with white on the breast and blue on the back and wings.

Both males and their counterpart females have a similar shape, the color of their bodies, and weight as well. They can be up to 100 g in weight.

Blue Jays have a crown on their heads that is made up of feathers, and they use it to demonstrate their emotions and mood. Over the neck of the blue jay, a black collar line runs.


Soft fruits Seeds, nuts, cherries, berries, invertebrates, and worms are among their favorite foods.

They are skilled in breaking away the hard shell of nuts. When it comes to breeding, they tend to mate in trees afterward, females will be looking after their eggs, and the male becomes the bread provider to the female during all this tenure. The new hatchlings spend their first two to three months with their parents before taking out on their own.

16. Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

The Brown-headed Cowbird is a North American bird that has a medium size. These birds are migratory birds that migrate from one location to another based on food, weather, and climate conditions. They look similar to a crow but more vibrant. During the summer, they generally visit the north.


Their plumage is totally black apart from the neck and head, which are brown in color. Instead of completely black, their plumage is a blend of blue and black. Male plumage is more vibrant and bright than females.

The female plumage is of black and brown color. Females are small in size when compared to their male counterparts, with a smaller wingspan and weight.

To lure females to mating, the bird sings a high-pitched song. They are nomadic birds, meaning they migrate from one location to another.


Bugs, insects, plant seeds, berries, and fruits are all eaten by the Brown-headed Cowbird.

17. Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

The Poecile atricapillus bird, popularly known as the Black-capped Chickadee, is a tiny North American bird. Their bellies being brown and a black crown over their heads, and black and white streaks across their whole plumage, they have a stunning look. Their belly is mostly brown, and the wings are also brown.

There is a variation in color between females and males. The female’s color is dull, and they weigh less than the male.

Length & Weight

Their body length ranges from 13 to 15 cm and a wingspan of 15 to 21 cm, and they only weigh 10 to 15 g.


They have a small but strong beak that helps in acquiring nutrients and breaking hard nuts. Tiny invertebrates, worms, seeds, grains, and berries are very much liked by these birds. Bugs, nuts, and berries are the most common.  

Seeds and fruits may make up no more than 10% of the diet in the summer, but up to 50% in the winter. The summer diet consists primarily of caterpillars and other insects, with some snails, worms, and other invertebrates; it also consumes fruits. The fat of deceased animals.

18. Common Grackle

Common Grackle

The Common Grackle is a big songbird belonging to North America. These birds have white eyes with a little black mark on them. Their beaks are black, and they have elongated tails. They dwell all around the year in the north

Black wings and black underparts distinguish this bird. Both sexes are nearly identical and cannot be distinguished simply by looks.


They are omnivores and tend to eat a wide range of foods. They can also be seen on bird feeders. Small birds, rodents, insects, worms, minnows, frogs, eggs, fruits, nuts, and food grains of crops are among their favorite meals. They compete with other birds for food.


We have discussed a variety of common backyard birds of Rhode Island. Few of the above-stated species are also migratory birds that you won’t be able to see all around the year.

Moreover, we have talked about their forage regime, their preferences, and most importantly, the bodily features that will help you identify them.


What is the name of the state bird of Rhode Island?

The red chicken is the state bird of Rhode Island.

What is the black-capped chickadee also known as?

The Poecile atricapillus bird, popularly known as the Black-capped Chickadee

Which family does the mourning dove belong to?

Mourning doves belong to the Zenaida family.

Can we find cardinals in Rhode island?

Yes, they are in abundance in Rhode island.

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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