Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by Lily Aldrin
Howdy! Welcome to my article on 13 Common Birds in Texas.
If you’re a nature enthusiast or just curious about the avian wonders of the Lone Star State, you’ve come to the right place.
Texas is home to a diverse range of bird species, from majestic raptors to vibrant songbirds.
Join me as we explore the fascinating world of these feathered friends and discover some of the most frequently spotted birds in Texas.
So grab your binoculars and let’s dive into the enchanting realm of Texas birdwatching!
Officially, there are 664 species of birds registered on the state list as of 2023.
It speaks volumes regarding the natural richness of Texas.
But how many birds in Texas can you identify?
The Northern Mockingbird was designated as the official state bird of Texas in 1927, and the most common bird that is sighted throughout Texas is Northern Cardinal.
If you don’t have the time to read the whole article, check out this video on 13 Common Birds in Texas for a quick understanding.
Common Birds in Texas
1. House Sparrow
House Sparrow is abundantly distributed throughout the western hemisphere.
It has expanded from Alaska through Argentina and all places within, notably Texas since it was first brought almost a hundred years ago.
The first glimpse of this bird in Texas state was witnessed in 1867.
House sparrows can be found in areas where there exist numerous homes or grain silos.
People who have discovered their hefty nests made of tender grass might vouch for the fact that they are weaver finches.
Purple Martin landowners who don’t keep an eye on the nest boxes risk becoming overwhelmed by these obnoxious birds.
The male House Sparrow possesses a black goatee, while the female is bland and simple, although the pale brow remains visible.
House Sparrow is a common sparrow that can be found in parks throughout cities, where they commonly assemble in large, loud flocks every evening.
Grains, seeds, and worms are among their favorite foods.
Feeding these birds remaining human meals will keep them away from the hopper as well as tray feeders.
Tube feeders are a little harder for them to consume.
They have larger heads, broader chests, small necks, moderate tails, and shorter legs as compared to native North American birds.
Below are the characteristics of the House Sparrow,
|Scientific Name||Passer domesticus|
|Habitat||Urban areas, farmlands, gardens, and parks|
|Food||Seeds, grains, insects, and scraps|
2. White-winged Dove
The White-winged Dove, which is alternatively called Zenaida asiatica, is a big bird belonging to the Columbidae family of doves.
The White-winged Dove has been given its name owing to the whitish border running down its wings.
These birds are migrating birds that migrate from the south towards the northern hemisphere with the arrival of the winter.
They have brownish and greyish bottom and breast regions.
Their bellies are covered with whitish spots.
Their tail is similarly greyish-brown in color and appears V-like in shape.
The male White-winged Dove possesses a purplish coloration, while the females do not.
The baby White-winged Doves look a lot like the females.
A fully grown White-winged Dove’s body length ranges from 29-31 centimeters (11-12 inches), and its wingspan ranges from about 18.9-22.8 inches (48-58 centimeters).
And weigh up to 150 grams (5.3 oz).
As a granivore, the White-winged Dove forages for meals in the wilderness and on the land around human settings.
The White-winged Dove feeds on smaller to moderate-sized seeds and nuts from a variety of plants, such as maize, barley, and arid plants.
This bird likes to make its nests in the wilderness and isolated places.
They also go to other regions to gather food from bird feeders.
Below are the characteristics of the White-winged Dove,
|Scientific Name||Zenaida asiatica|
|Habitat||Woodlands, deserts, scrublands, urban areas|
|Food||Seeds, fruits, grains, and insects|
3. Eastern Phoebe
The Eastern Phoebe, which is alternatively called the Sayornis phoebe, is a tiny bird that belongs to the Phoebe family.
These birds are migrating birds that spend the wintertime in the southwestern United States.
The appearance of this bird is identical to that of a sparrow, but its feathers have color and coat that are distinct.
These birds are tiny, measuring just 5 inches in length, having a wingspan of nine inches, and weighing barely 21 grams.
Males and females possess comparable body sizes and shapes, although the male weighs more and the female has paler coloration compared to mature males.
Eastern Phoebe’s breast is brown-white greyish, while its wings and tail are brown-blackish.
Its eyes and beak are both black in color.
Throughout the summertime, the Eastern Phoebe regularly visits bird feeders in various locations for feeding.
These birds consume grains, berries, and fruits mostly, but these birds might eat insects and tiny worms occasionally.
Below are the characteristics of Eastern Phoebe,
|Scientific Name||Sayornis phoebe|
|Habitat||Woodlands, forests, open areas near water|
|Food||Insects, spiders, small fruits|
4. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet, which is alternatively called Regulus calendula, is a tiny bird belonging to the Regulidae family of kinglets.
This kinglet is indigenous to North America.
However, as the winter arrives, they travel towards the south.
The little crown these birds wear over their heads is the basis of their common name.
These birds possess greyish-green upper bodies with olive-green bottoms.
Their wings have 2 white wing stripes that are hidden behind a black coating of plumage.
These birds possess a simple head and body.
The female ones have identical feather coloration to their male counterparts.
However, they lack the famous crown.
The female bird has a comparable appearance to the baby Ruby-crowned Kinglets.
A fully grown Ruby-crowned Kinglet’s overall length can range from 9-11 centimeters (3.5-4.3 inches), with a wingspan of approximately 16-18 centimeters (6.3-7.1 inches).
A mature Ruby-crowned Kinglet can weigh somewhat between 5 and 10 grams.
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet scavenges upon tiny bugs on the tree branches.
These little bugs and worms are their primary sources of nutrition.
These birds also consume small fruits and berries, as well as sap from trees.
These birds also go to the backyards of the bird feeders to feed.
Below are the characteristics of the Ruby-crowned Kinglet,
|Scientific Name||Regulus calendula|
|Habitat||Coniferous forests, mixed woodlands, and shrubby areas|
|Food||Insects, spiders, and small invertebrates|
5. Black-crested Titmouse
The Black-crested Titmouse, which is alternatively called Baeolophus atricristatus or Mexican Titmouse, belongs to the Paridae family.
It is a tiny bird. Texas, Oklahoma, as well as Mexico, are inhabited by these birds.
These birds have an identical look to several other titmouse species, but their black crest distinguishes them from the rest.
The head of this bird is adorned with a black crest.
Its sides are reddish, its upper parts are grey, and its belly and bottom are whitish.
Their wings have a dark greyish black.
The bird’s overall length is 5.5-6.0 inches (14-15 centimeters), and its wingspan is 9.2-10 inches (22-25 centimeters).
Their bill is brief but powerful.
They frequently visit metropolitan areas and build their nests close to human bustle.
Males and females have similar appearances, making it difficult to distinguish between them.
The Black-crested Titmouse consumes largely tiny insects, such as spiders, bugs, worms, and insect larvae.
These birds also consume the eggs of certain insects.
They also consume grains, tiny plant seeds, and shrubs.
This bird also consumes a variety of little fruits and nuts.
Black-crested Titmouse may go to bird feeders in search of food.
Below are the characteristics of the Black-crested Titmouse,
|Scientific Name||Baeolophus atricristatus|
|Habitat||Woodlands, forests, scrublands, and urban areas|
|Food||Insects, seeds, nuts, and berries|
6. Orange-crowned Warbler
The Orange-crowned Warbler, which is also called Leiothlypis celata, is a little bird that belongs to the Parulidae family of birds.
This bird is a North American species.
It is a migrating bird that spends the winter migrating from the northern areas to the southern region.
They have a lovely feather coat of yellow, brown, and grey shades.
The top part of the Orange-crowned Warbler is olive-grey, with yellowish bottoms.
The beak of this bird is sharp.
The females and males have a little difference in appearance.
In comparison to male Orange-crowned Warblers, females and young Orange-crowned Warblers are smaller and possess a bland look.
A fully grown Orange-crowned Warbler’s body length ranges from 4.8 to 5.3 inches (120 to 130 millimeters), with a wingspan of approximately 7.25 inches (184 millimeters).
An adult’s weight might range from 8 to 9 grams.
The female rests on her eggs and deposits 4-7 eggs, while the male feeds the family.
Almost all minute organisms and insects are eaten by the Orange-crowned Warbler.
They consume little seeds and grains as well.
While on the go, these birds stop by the backyards of bird feeders to obtain some food.
Below are the characteristics of the Orange-crowned Warbler,
|Scientific Name||Leiothlypis celata|
|Habitat||Woodlands, shrubby areas, and thickets|
|Food||Insects, spiders, and small berries|
7. Savannah Sparrow
The Savannah Sparrow, which is also called Passerculus sandwichensis, is among the tiniest sparrows in the Passerellidae family.
The tail of Savannah Sparrow is believed to be lengthier.
This bird is a migrating bird that travels southwards in the cold season to avoid the snowy conditions in the northern parts.
Their popular name alludes to the city of Savannah, Georgia.
The rear of the Savannah Sparrow is striped with blackish-brown to light brown shades.
This bird has a whitish bottom and striped sides, with fading black chest.
Their head is adorned with a white crown with darkish grey-brown stripes.
Their simple face features a tiny yet powerful beak and brown cheeks as well as a whitish neck.
The feather coloring and stripe designs of the subspecies that dwell in various places vary slightly.
A fully grown Savannah Sparrow’s overall length ranges from 11-17 centimeters (4.3-6.7 inches), with a wingspan of nearly 18-25 centimeters (7.1-9.8 in).
And it can weigh anywhere from 15-29 grams.
To get food, the Savannah Sparrow tends to be found on the ground and among low shrubs and trees.
The grains that this bird collects from the farms and plains make up a large portion of its diet.
They also consume tiny bugs and larvae that they catch up from the land or during flying, in addition to seeds and grains.
As they migrate, Savannah Sparrow also stops by the backyards of bird feeders in various places to collect something to eat.
Below are the characteristics of the Savannah Sparrow,
|Scientific Name||Passerculus sandwichensis|
|Habitat||Grasslands, meadows, marshes, and open fields|
|Food||Seeds, insects, and small invertebrates|
8. Loggerhead Shrike
The Lanius ludovicianus, which is alternatively called Loggerhead Shrike, is a tiny passerine bird belonging to the Laniidae family.
Because they are primarily carnivorous in nature, this species is also referred to as the butcherbird.
This bird is an indigenous bird species throughout North America, and attempts are being made to expand its number.
The huge head of this Loggerhead Shrike bird gives it its name.
This bird has massive wings and a nearly 4-inch lengthy tail.
Grey, white, light grey, as well as black shades, are seen in the feathers.
The top part of the Loggerhead Shrike is greyish, including one white stripe separating the wings from the rear.
The black and grey wings of these birds also include light-colored patches.
The top of its tail is likewise black and white, with a greyish bottom.
Its chest and belly are totally grey, while its legs are black.
It is a bird with a body length of 7.9 to 9.1 inches (20 to 23 centimeters) and a wingspan of 11 to 12.6 inches (28 to 32 centimeters).
The weight of a Loggerhead Shrike may vary from 35 to 50 grams.
This carnivorous bird feeds on frogs, beetles, lizards, tiny mammals, and even smaller birds.
The Loggerhead Shrike strikes its target on the throat and afterward uses its powerful beak to pierce its prey’s body to kill and consume it rapidly.
Even the deadliest poisonous snakes are no match for these birds.
Below are the characteristics of the Loggerhead Shrike,
|Scientific Name||Lanius ludovicianus|
|Habitat||Grasslands, open fields, and shrubby areas|
|Food||Insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles|
9. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, which is alternatively referred to as Tyrannus forficatus, is a large-tailed flycatcher found in North America.
This bird is a migrating bird subspecies that spend the winters in South and Central America.
The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher has been given its name owing to its extraordinarily lengthy tail that resembles a scissor.
The faded dark-greyish wings and black tail top part of this bird are well-known.
The back of this tiny bird is white in color.
Its head, as well as its upper body, is light grey. It bears patches on the undersides of its wings.
The bird’s belly, chest, and underbelly are predominantly greyish-white.
Mature Scissor-tailed Flycatchers reach an overall length of approximately 15 inches (38 centimeters) and a wingspan of approximately 15 centimeters (5.9 inches).
A fully grown Scissor-tailed Flycatcher may weigh around 43 grams.
Due to its extraordinarily long tail, its body length exceeds that of its wings.
It constructs its nests far inside the woods.
4 to 6 eggs are laid by the mother Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.
It feeds on little insects, which they usually catch during flight.
They devour tiny amphibians and fish as well.
As they migrate, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher birds make stops at the bird feeders to eat.
Below are the characteristics of the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher,
|Scientific Name||Tyrannus forficatus|
|Habitat||Open woodlands, savannas, and grasslands|
|Food||Insects, beetles, grasshoppers, and small fruits|
10. Blue-winged Teal
The Blue-winged Teal, which is alternatively called Spatula discors, is among huge ducks, geese, and swans that belong to the duck family.
This bird is renowned for its vibrant appearance, which includes shades of blues, blacks, browns, whites, as well as yellows.
The Blue-winged Teal is a bird that is indigenous to central and northern parts of America, with the majority of its sightings occurring in Texas.
They’ve also been spotted in other places on the planet.
This bird has blue wings and a grey-bluish head having a crescent over it, as its name indicates.
This bird has a brown abdomen with patterns of black and blue.
Males and females have varied appearances and plumage colors.
That is the reason for their easy identification and differentiation.
This bird has a wingspan of 58 centimeters (23 in and can reach a body n overall length of 40 centimeters (16 inches).
The Blue-winged Teal weighs around 370 grams on average.
The male is somewhat larger compared to the female, and the male’s feathers have a variety of color markings.
The food of the Blue-winged Teal comprises vegetative stuff, which they gather from the land’s surface and shallower waterways.
This bird mostly consumes seeds, stalks, and foliage of submerged plants.
Snails, invertebrates, and tiny insects are also among their food.
Below are the characteristics of the Blue-winged Teal,
|Scientific Name||Spatula discors|
|Habitat||Wetlands, marshes, and shallow lakes|
|Food||Aquatic plants, seeds, insects, and invertebrates|
11. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
The Dryobates scalaris, popularly known as Ladder-backed Woodpecker, is a medium-sized woodpecker that belongs to the Picidae family.
This bird is a North American bird that may also be found in southern parts of America.
Ladder-backed alludes to the look of its back, which features lines of whitish and blackish feathers aligned in a ladder-like pattern.
The whitish, blackish, reddish, and creamy shades of feathers on this bird look stunning.
The back, as well as the wings of this bird, are marked with black and white ladder-like markings.
The white stomach and chest of the Ladder-backed Woodpecker are spotted with blackish patches on either side.
This bird’s southern variations differ considerably from their northern counterparts.
The male Ladder-backed Woodpecker is very identical to the female.
The overall length of this bird can vary from 16.5-19 centimeters (6-7 inches).
It is a little woodpecker that may weigh approximately 48 grams.
The bird pecks on tree stems in quest for food.
It generally constructs its nest in holes dug into tree trunks.
The Ladder-backed Woodpecker eats tiny bugs and larvae.
It also consumes grains and seeds from many plant species.
Ladder-backed Woodpeckers also stop by the backyards of bird feeders searching for protein-rich food.
Below are the characteristics of the Ladder-backed Woodpecker,
|Scientific Name||Picoides scalaris|
|Habitat||Deserts, scrublands, woodlands, and arid regions|
|Food||Insects, ants, beetles, and tree sap|
12. Inca Dove
The Inca Dove, which is alternatively called Mexican Dove and sometimes Columbina Inca, is a dove of moderate size belonging to the Columbidae family.
It is among the tiniest doves in this family, and it may be found throughout North America.
The Inca Dove possesses a brown-colored body and is fully blanketed with brown feathers.
Across its body, these feathers take the appearance of spikes.
The tail of this bird is long but not very thick.
Its black beak is also long, narrow, and powerful.
The Inca Dove’s eyes are likewise black.
When the Inca Dove opens its wings during a takeoff, the crimson underwings may be viewed.
Once this dove takes off or land, its wings make plenty of noise.
The Inca Dove is a small bird with an overall length of 16.5 to 23 centimeters (6.5 to 9.1 inches) as well as a wingspan of 28.5 to 32 centimeters.
The male Inca Dove bird has a striking resemblance to its female counterpart.
Young birds resemble grownups in appearance.
They make exposed nests in the forests, where the female bird delivers eggs and stays on them, and the male feeds the entire family.
This bird consumes a diverse diet, particularly seeds and grains from tiny plants and bushes.
They consume tiny insects and larvae as well.
This bird also stops by the bird feeders throughout the winter for food.
Below are the characteristics of the Inca Dove,
|Scientific Name||Columbina inca|
|Habitat||Arid regions, scrublands, and open areas|
|Food||Seeds, grains, and small fruits|
13. Great-tailed Grackle
The Quiscalus mexicanus, which is often referred to as the Great-tailed Grackle and sometimes Mexican Grackle, is a moderate-sized bird that belongs to the Icteridae family.
The Great-tailed Grackle, which may be spotted in both northern as well as southern parts of America, is among the most social avians.
This bird gets its name from its lengthy tail.
The Great-tailed Grackle’s feathers are totally black and glossy.
Their heads, necks, and top portions have a stunning purple-bluish sheen that glows.
Male birds are unlike female ones in appearance.
In comparison to females, men have more vivid colors.
The females’ feathers have a dark black-brownish color.
The overall length of the Great-tailed Grackle ranges from 38 centimeters (15 inches) to 46 centimeters (18 inches), with a wingspan of nearly 18.9 to 22.8 inches (48 to 58 centimeters).
A fully grown male Great-tailed Grackle may weigh anywhere from 203 grams to 265 grams.
This is a highly social bird; these birds prefer flying in flocks and therefore avoid flying independently from them when looking for food.
The Great-tailed Grackle forages on the nearby plant stem and the land for food.
They consume tiny lizards, different birds’ eggs, hatchlings, and bugs off cattle skins.
These birds also consume bananas, as well as numerous other fruits and berries from other trees.
Below are the characteristics of the Great-tailed Grackle,
|Scientific Name||Quiscalus mexicanus|
|Habitat||Urban areas, agricultural fields, wetlands|
|Food||Insects, fruits, grains, and small vertebrates|
If you need information on Types of Owls in Texas then check out this article.
In conclusion, the great state of Texas offers a rich and vibrant birding experience for enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
From the regal Bald Eagle to the melodious Northern Cardinal, we’ve explored 13 of the most common birds found in this vast land.
Each of these avian species brings its unique beauty, behaviors, and contributions to the diverse ecosystem of Texas.
By learning about these common birds, we gain a deeper appreciation for the intricate web of life that surrounds us.
Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a beginner, Texas provides ample opportunities to observe and admire these remarkable creatures in their natural habitats.
So, grab your field guide, put on your walking shoes, and embark on your own birding adventure in the Lone Star State.
Remember, birdwatching is not only a delightful hobby but also an important way to contribute to conservation efforts.
By observing and protecting our feathered friends, we play a crucial role in safeguarding their habitats and ensuring their survival for generations to come.
So, let the symphony of bird songs guide you through the enchanting landscapes of Texas, and may your birding journeys be filled with wonder, discovery, and a deep connection to the natural world.
What is the best time of year to go birdwatching in Texas?
Texas is a year-round birding destination, but the spring and fall seasons are particularly popular. Spring migration brings a wave of colorful songbirds, while fall migration showcases raptors and waterfowl. However, Texas offers birdwatching opportunities throughout the year, so you can enjoy feathered wonders regardless of the season.
Where are the best places to go birdwatching in Texas?
Texas boasts numerous excellent birding locations. Some notable spots include the High Island along the Gulf Coast, Big Bend National Park, the Rio Grande Valley, and the Davis Mountains. These areas offer diverse habitats and attract a wide variety of bird species.
How can I attract birds to my backyard in Texas?
To attract birds to your backyard, consider providing food, water, and suitable shelter. Install bird feeders with a variety of seeds and suet. Plant native flowers and shrubs that provide nectar, berries, or seeds. Birdbaths and small ponds can serve as water sources. Also, minimize the use of pesticides in your yard to create a bird-friendly environment.
Are there any rare or endangered bird species in Texas?
Yes, Texas is home to some rare and endangered bird species. The endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Whooping Crane are two notable examples. Birdwatchers should be mindful of protected species and follow ethical guidelines to minimize disturbance to these vulnerable populations.
Can I photograph birds in Texas?
Yes, bird photography is a popular activity in Texas. However, it’s crucial to maintain a respectful distance and avoid disturbing the birds or their habitats. Adhering to the principles of ethical bird photography ensures the welfare of the birds and allows others to enjoy their natural behavior.