Virginia Birds: Common Birds in Virginia (With Pictures)

When it comes to birding, Virginia is a fantastic destination. They were not only the first state to create a statewide wildlife and birding path system, but they also encompassed a diverse range of settings. Virginia is simply a great site for birdwatchers, with mountains, rivers, and everything in between.

Common Birds in Virginia
Common Birds in Virginia

Some birds to search for in your backyard are listed in this post, along with some feeder suggestions and a few trails for when you feel like going for a walk to observe some new feathered friends.

ImageName
Eastern BluebirdEastern Bluebird
White-throated SparrowWhite-throated Sparrow
Evening GrosbeakEvening Grosbeak
Dark-eyed JuncoDark-eyed Junco
Tufted TitmouseTufted Titmouse
Blue-gray GnatcatcherBlue-gray Gnatcatcher
Purple FinchPurple Finch
Common RedpollCommon Redpoll
Downy WoodpeckerDowny Woodpecker
Carolina ChickadeeCarolina Chickadee
European StarlingEuropean Starling
Barn SwallowBarn Swallow
American RobinAmerican Robin
Northern MockingbirdNorthern Mockingbird
American GoldfinchAmerican Goldfinch

There are many birds to be found in Virginia. As per the Virginia Avian Records Board, the state of Virginia has 474 recognized species.

This article will detail their interesting patterns, sizes, and even a little about what you may place in your feeder to entice these natural creatures. Although there’s no guarantee that this will entice them, this knowledge should give you a leg up.

1. Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Color

There is some color difference between both the genders as with many birds. The male Eastern Bluebird has a rust-red breast and vivid blue wings and tail. This color extends up the body, forming a rust-colored belt that connects the head with the wings.

The underbelly, on the other hand, is completely white. The bill is medium-sized and somewhat curved, and the face is blue. Female Bluebirds have a more muted blue and rust color scheme, with grey incorporated into their upper plumage.

Length

From head to tail, these birds are 6.3–8.3 inches long, with wingspans ranging from 9.8 to 12.6 inches.

Food

Fill that feeder to the brim, and you might just catch their interest. Eastern Bluebirds are finicky eaters. Mealworms will be the key if you want them to come to your feeder.

2. White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Color

White-throated Sparrows feature long brownish tails and dark wings with white accents on the shoulder parts. Their chests and underside are gray, and the grey extends over their faces, from the chin to the back of the neck and the bottom of the eye.

A black line goes from below the eye to the back of the neck on this bird’s chin. Just in front of the small, conical bill, a conspicuous white brow emerges, becoming yellow.

The color is completed by the bird’s skunk cap, which is simply a white center stripe on top of the black upper portion of the head. It’s an eye-catching bird that you’ll easily recognize once you’ve seen one.

Sometimes you’ll notice a type with brown and white stripes rather than black and white, and these Sparrows are known as tan striped.

Length

These birds have wingspans of 7.9 to 9.1 inches and measure 6.3 – 7.1 inches in length.

Habitat

These birds prefer dense woodlands and thickets, as well as water. They are not afraid to go into people’s backyards, so plan accordingly. They prefer to forage on the ground, so when you’ve loaded your feeder, sprinkle a bit around the base for maximum results.

3. Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak

Color

The wings of grosbeaks are yellow around the shoulders, followed by a huge white patch, and the rest of the wing is black. Their backs are black and grey with yellow breasts and a yellow underside.

Their faces are basically the same gray-black, with the exception of a prominent yellow eyebrow over their strong and slightly curved light-yellow bills. Females are grayer and have a greenish-yellow coloring.

Length

This bird is between 6.3 and 7.1 inches long, with an 11.8 to 14.2-inch wingspan.

Habitat

These birds spend their winters in the woods, preferring oaks and pines alike, but they also enjoy backyard feeders, so be ready.

Food

Sunflower seeds will be devoured by these birds, who adore them. Berries are tasty, but we recommend going with the seeds and watching those Grosbeaks shell wildly.

4. Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Color

While there are minor regional variations, the Dark-eyed Junco’s back and long tail are all brown or dark grey.  The center of the breast will be white but it will be bordered by the upper body color and the underbelly and underside of the tail will be completely white. This bird has a short thick pink beak and a dark grey or brown face.

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Length

These birds are between 5.5 and 6.3 inches long with wingspans ranging from 7.1 to 9.8 inches.

Habitat

Dark-eyed Juncos spend the majority of their time in coniferous woods throughout the summer however they will occasionally venture out into open areas.

Food

When it comes to foraging fields and backyards are all fair game so keep a lookout throughout the year and you could just receive a visit. Any passing Juncos would be thrilled if you set up a ground feeder with broken corn and hulled Black Oil Sunflower seeds.

5. Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

Color

The Tufted Titmouse’s back and medium-length somewhat rounded tail is all a beautiful gray-blue. This bird’s breast and bottom are white with a faint peach border on the sides, and it has a beautiful blue-gray crest that starts at the top of the head and runs down the neck, giving the eyes a broad shape.

The bottom half of the bird’s face is white, and it has a distinctive black square over its small slightly curved black beak.

Length

The length of these birds ranges from 5.5 to 6.3 inches with wingspans ranging from 7.9 to 10.2 inches.

Habitat

These birds are found in both evergreen and deciduous forests but they also visit parks and backyards with well-stocked feeders.

Food

A Tufted Titmouse will eat a variety of foods. You may give those peanuts or Black Oil Sunflower seeds to name a couple of options. After a few repeat visits, you may always switch things around to see if you can figure out what they like.

6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Color

The Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher resembles a cartoon bird in appearance. The back of this bird is blue-gray, and the short wings have black highlighting at the tips, as well as a medium-length tail that is black on top and white below.

The white of this bird’s breast and bottom continues upward to just past the eye, then runs levelly over the face to the back of the neck, and is visible in front of the wings.

This bird’s top half is blue-gray, with a large black forehead mark that gives him an angry expression. This bird has a white eyeing and a slender medium-length straight beak.

Length

These little birds are between 3.9 and 4.3 inches long and have a wingspan of around 6.3 inches.

Habitat

These birds spend their time in deciduous woods on the edges of them and anywhere there is dense foliage for cover. If you have some bushes in your garden, you’ll have a better chance of getting a visit since they help these birds feel secure.

Food

One may not have had much luck with the feeders since these birds prefer to grab their meal fresh. However, you might try dried mealworms, and if they notice you could get a feeder visit.

7. Purple Finch

Purple Finch

Color

The male Purple Finch is easy to recognize and highly beautiful, with brown wings that are raspberry-stained and emphasized at the shoulders with some minute white border.

They feature short grey tails with white tips as well as a white breast and underside with raspberry streaks. This striping is more prominent at the breast and gradually fades as the coloring moves down the underbelly.

You’ll note that this bird’s face is totally raspberry from the throat up although certain markings are a deeper hue. This usually appears as a darker raspberry with a thin stripe running down the middle of the head a line on the lower face defining the cheek and a raspberry mask that curves downward after crossing the eyes.

Females on the other hand lack the raspberry color and have heavier streaking at the breast a lighter eye stripe and a black line that runs down the throat. The bills of these birds are big and conical grey with a splash of black on the top part of the beak.

Length

The length of these lovely little birds ranges from 4.7 to 6.3 inches with a wingspan of 8.7 to 10.2 inches.

Habitat

Coniferous trees are their preferred habitat with deciduous trees coming in second.

They will occasionally visit parks and this frequency rises in the winter when they will also go into fields and their backyard excursions will become much more frequent as they search for food.

Food

The Purple Finch is fairly easy to please when it comes to the regular feeder configuration, preferring Black Oil Sunflower seeds the most. This bird’s favorite food so make sure to leave enough out to attract their interest.

8. Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll

In the Common Redpoll, there is a lovely merging of hues.

Color

The wings and tail are streaked with brown and white but the breast and lower belly have a greater white content in the underbelly and some rose-red coloring at the top of the breast that runs all the way up under the bill.

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The remainder of the face is brown and white, save for a bright red patch on the front part of the skull. The beak of these birds is tiny, golden, and barely curled.

Length

The length of these birds ranges from 4.7 to 5.5 inches, with wingspans of 7.5 to 8.7 inches.

Habitat

Fields and coniferous forests are ideal habitats for these birds.

Food

They frequent backyard feeders so keep a lookout for them. Broken up or little Black Oil sunflower seeds and Nyjer are preferred by these birds.

9. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Color

Do you enjoy woodpeckers but think they’re a touch too big in general? Try to identify one of these men. Downy Woodpeckers have white backs and black wings with white blocks and dots across them making them easy to detect.

The bird has a short black tail with white undersides and outer feathers, giving the wings a checkered look. This bird’s breast and underside are snow-white with only a black mustache a mask-band that runs from the front of the eye to the rear of the head and a black cap to break up the whiteness.

This hat has a prominent red patch at the rear of the head in men. The beak of this bird is tiny and slender and it is black.

Length

These mini-Woodpeckers are just 5.5–6.7 inches long with wingspans ranging from 9.8 to 11.8 inches.

Habitat

Look for these birds in meadows or at the forest’s edge since they like open woodland settings. They also like locations with a thick brush or untended weed and they frequent parks and backyards when they range out.

Food

Suet is preferred by these birds but if you don’t have any peanuts, White Proso millet will suffice. Satisfy this little bird’s sweet hunger.

10. Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

Color

Light grey wings with black accents and short grey tails distinguish Carolina Chickadees. They have white and grey breasts that deepen slightly at the underside but are significantly lighter than the rest of their body.

These birds have a black chin and throat while the rest of their face is snow-white from behind the eye to the back of the neck. A huge black cap covers the remainder of the face above this. The bill of this bird is very small and black.

Length

These tiny birds have a wingspan of 5.9 to 7.9 inches and a length of 3.9 to 4.7 inches.

Habitat

These birds like huge trees in the woods, so if you do have one or more in your garden you’re in luck. Even if you don’t, they may come to your backyard in search of the correct feeder combo.

Food

When it comes to the Carolina Chickadee, suet and little Black Oil sunflower seeds are a great combo. If someone notices that you have these in your feeder, you may see a lot of that bird.

11. European Starling

European Starling

Color

The purple-green colors of European Starling’s plumage make them easy to spot. This covers their entire bodies but their long straight yellow bills are another distinguishing feature. They molt out of their gleaming plumage in the winter and replace it with a brown coloring speckled with white dots.

Length

These birds have wingspans ranging from 12.2 to 15.8 inches from wingtip to wingtip and from 7.9 to 9.1 inches in length.

Habitat

These species can be found pretty much anywhere. They like populated settings whether on a farm or in a city. You could spot one on a telephone line or wandering along the street as their lengthy cohabitation has accustomed them to being around people.

Food

These birds consume a diverse range of foods. They consume berries and other things when they aren’t consuming insects. Grains are an excellent option and putting some White Proso millet and oats in your feeder may entice a European Starling to pay you a visit and it may return for more.

These creatures have an unhealthy obsession with grain and they may be a problem when they attack grain warehouses, causing contamination concerns.

12. Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Color

Barn Swallows are swallows with blue wings and long forked blue tails. Their breast and bottom are a cinnamon hue, and the blue from the wings extends across the breast like a cape.

The bottom part of the bird’s face, up to the cheek, is the same cinnamon color as the rest of the head. These birds have a black beak that is short and straight.

Length

Barn Swallows have wingspans of 11.4 to 12.6 inches and a length of 5.9 – 7.5 inches.

Habitat

These birds prefer open spaces like parks and fields, but they also appear to enjoy the water.

Food

Mealworms are a fantastic choice for Barn swallows because they like insects. Surprisingly, if you leave eggshell parts out, they will eat them. This is thought to aid their digestion.

13. American Robin

American Robin

Color

With grayish-brown back large wings of the same hue and a deeper gray-brown at its long tail, the American Robin has a unique look. The chest and underside have a soft or thick brownish-orange tint that goes all the way up to just behind the chin and the tail is white on the undersides, with the white originating from the bird’s rump.

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This bird has a broken white eyeing on its face and a black head with a tiny amount of white under its short curved yellow beak. Females will have similar appearances to males, with the exception of paler coloring on the head.

Length

The length of these birds ranges from 7.9 to 11 inches with wingspans ranging from 12.2 to 15.8 inches.

Habitat

American Robins have a broad range of habitats so you may find them in evergreen or deciduous forests as well as on a golf course. Foraging areas for these birds include parks and unkempt fields and they are more than glad to visit well-stocked household feeders.

Food

Because these birds are omnivores they have a wide variety of dietary options. Use some diced apples and any berries you have on hand to make a fruit salad. When they’re not eating insects robins like fruits and feeding them can provide some nice results.

14. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Color

The wings and tail of Northern Mockingbirds are greyish brown, with stunning white wing bars and white outer tail feathers. The hue of the bird’s breast and underbelly is white to greyish white, and it extends to the bottom part of the bird’s face.

The top half of the bird is the same grayish-brown as the wings, and the bill is small and straight.

Length

These birds range in size from 8.3 to 10.2 inches in length, with wingspans ranging from 12.2 to 13.8 inches.

Habitat

They can be found in playgrounds, back gardens, or simply hanging out in a nearby tree.

Food

These birds are cautious of feeders but they will be fascinated by fruits growing in your yard. Blackberry vines are a simple and lovely addition to your yard if you wish to attract these birds.

15. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Color

These birds have a beautiful color scheme that will draw your attention. Their black wings have white lines and patches, which are also visible on their black tails. By contrast, their backs, breasts, and underbelly are all bright yellow.

When the bird is flying there is some white under the base of the tail which is more noticeable. The top of this bird’s head is yellow, with a black cap that continues down to a short, conical orange beak.

Females have a duller yellow on the lower part of their bodies and olive-green above and in the winter they are brown with wing bar patterns.

Length

The average length of these small birds is 4.3–5.1 inches, with wingspans ranging from 7.5 to 8.7 inches.

Habitat

The American Goldfinch prefers the undergrowth, therefore any area with thistles or thickets will appeal to them. Birds also don’t mind coming to feeders, so start stocking up and start meeting new species.

Food

Once you’ve gotten their attention, the dynamic pair of Nyjer and Black Oil sunflower seeds will keep them coming back.

Conclusion

We hope you have enjoyed reading this list of Virginia’s Most Popular Backyard Birds. Virginia is one of those states that demonstrate a strong commitment to wildlife, and its support for birders and other wildlife enthusiasts is greatly appreciated. You should have a great day bird-watching, and don’t forget to keep the feeders well-stocked.

FAQ

What kind of sparrows can you find in Virginia?

The Song Sparrows can be spotted in Virginia. These birds can be found across Virginia, particularly in damp and open places. Song Sparrows, unlike other birds who build their nests on trees, prefer to build theirs in weeds and grasses. They frequently build their nests straight on the ground.

What is the best way to recognize a bird in my backyard?

The easiest way to identify backyard birds is to utilize a balanced observation strategy that takes into account the bird’s behavior, sound, color, and field marks. A field guide can also aid in the identification of the most frequent garden birds in your area.

What kind of Falcons can you find in Virginia?

In Virginia, the peregrine falcon is among the two falcon types that nest. The American kestrel, on the other hand, is North America’s tiniest raptor. The merlin, which is slightly larger, is a typical winter visitor, particularly in the tidewater region.

Are there any eagles in Virginia?

Virginia’s Bald Eagle nesting numbers are part of a bigger breeding population in the Chesapeake Bay area. This regional population is physically separated from other breeding populations along the Atlantic Coast and elsewhere in North America.

Last Updated on February 18, 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.