10 Types of Finches in Missouri (with Pictures)

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

The “show-me” state of Missouri is home to a wide variety of bird species.

A few of these species are year-round residents of Missouri, whereas others are nomadic and only visit during the summer or winter.

In this post, we’ll look at 10 Types of Finches in Missouri.

Chipping SparrowChipping Sparrow
Indigo BuntingIndigo Bunting
Blue JayBlue Jay
Mourning DoveMourning Dove
House FinchHouse Finch
Tufted TitmouseTufted Titmouse
American CrowAmerican Crow
Carolina WrenCarolina Wren
Song SparrowSong Sparrow
Common GrackleCommon Grackle

Types of Finches in Missouri

1. Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

The little Chipping Sparrow is widespread throughout the majority of the continent.

It has successfully adapted to changing settings despite being a bird of wide pine woods or margins originally.

Due to its docile disposition, it is increasingly common to find it building its nest in gardens and parks. 

Evidently, it was much more prevalent in towns during the 19th century, but the House Sparrow, which was brought from Europe, eventually replaced it as the most popular “sparrow” in our cities.

Mostly forages on the ground, although it will also go up in low bushes and trees. 


Makes sporadic short flights to grab insects in flight. Frequently forages in flocks, except while breeding.

Mostly seeds and insects. Seasonal changes in diet. Feeds mostly on insects throughout the summer, including certain spiders and a variety of other insects like crickets, caterpillars, beetles, leafhoppers, and true bugs. 

Additionally consumes a variety of seeds, particularly in the autumn and winter, including grass, weed, and certain waste grain seeds. A few guys have several partners.

The location of the nest varies. Normally lower than 15 feet above the soil, but can be as high as 60 feet or even higher; often in an evergreen, but can also be in a tree trunk or occasionally on the ground. 

The nest is a small, open cup lined with fine grassland and animal hair and built of grass, weeds, and rootlets.

The Chipping Sparrow was once widely known for utilizing boar bristles in its nest when Americans were still more rural in those days.

2. Indigo Bunting

indigo Bunting

The deep-blue male Indigo Bunting sings along every roadside in some regions of the East, making it the most common songbird.

The basic brown females are far less visible, and they have excellent reason to blend in—they take care of the majority of the childcare duties while hiding out in thickets. 

Habitat & Food

This species, which prefers brushy margins to continuous forests, is certainly far more widespread now than it was when the Pilgrims first arrived.

All stages of foraging, from the ground to bushes and trees. Harvests fruit from bushes, seeds from the ground or stems, and insects from leaves. Alone in the summer and in flocks in the winter

Mostly insects and seeds. Continues to feed mostly on spiders and insects during the breeding season, along with some seeds and berries.

Initially, insects are mostly given to the young in the nest. Eats a lot of seeds and some insects throughout the winter.

In the spring, the Male creates a territory and sings to protect it. A male may live in his territory with many partners at once.

The location of nest is often in a low, thick shrub or tree and is typically 1 – 3 feet above the ground. 

Late in the year, big weeds like goldenrod may provide nesting sites. An open cup-shaped nest made by the female is built with finer materials and made of hay, leaves, weeds, and bark strips.

3. Blue Jay

blue jay feeding

The Blue Jay is one of the most conspicuous and raucous birds seen in eastern backyards and woodlots.

It can eat nearly anything and is fast to reap the benefits of bird feeders because of its intelligence and adaptability.

Blue Jays are known for their loud jay! Jay! Cries, but they can also imitate the screech of a Rufous Hawk with astonishing accuracy.

Habitat & Food

When caring for their nest or traveling to plunder the nesting of another bird, they don’t always make themselves obvious and sneak stealthily through the woods.

Forages on the ground, in bushes and trees, etc. Visits feeders in search of seeds or suet. Uses a bill to pound on tough nuts or seeds to crack them open. Will gather acorns and put them in holes to be stored.

Omnivorous. Chestnuts and other nuts, several varieties of seeds, grains, berries, tiny fruits, and occasionally cultivated fruits make up the majority of the diet.

Eats a variety of insects, mainly grasshoppers, caterpillars, and beetles. It also consumes spiders, slugs, birds’ eggs, tiny rats, frogs, baby bird species, carrion, and other objects.

Aerial pursuits and feeding of the female during courtship are both possible. When a predator approaches the nest, Blue Jays become stealthy and inconspicuous around it yet will attack with shrill cries.

The location of the nest in a tree is normally 8 to 30 feet above the ground but can also be 5 to 50 feet up at the horizontal fork in a limb far from the trunk or in the tree’s vertical crotch. 

A nest is a large open cup constructed of branches, grass, plants, bark strips, moss, and occasionally mud to hold it all together.

Rootlets and other high-quality materials line the nest, which is frequently embellished with paper, rags, rope, or other trash.

4. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

One of our most recognizable bird noises is the sorrowful tweeting of the mourning dove. One of our most widespread bird species, it may be found across southern Canada to Mexico.

It is frequently abundant in open areas and the roadside. With the clearing of the forest brought about by European colonization of the continent, this species’ growth was undoubtedly aided.

It also helps itself by producing an abundance of offspring: Mourning Doves may produce up to six broods a year in warm regions than any other native bird.

Mostly forages on the ground but may occasionally perch on trees to collect seeds.

Will visit bird feeders and frequently dine on the ground beneath higher feeders. Swiftly consumes food to pack the crops with seedlings, then digests it while dozing off.

Consumes grit on a regular basis to help with digestion.


Feeds mostly on seeds. Favors the seeds of domesticated grains as well as those of grasses, ragweed, and several other species. Seldom consumes any insects, only snails on occasion.

Males perform loud wing beats while flying aloft in a courting display before gliding in a lengthy, circular motion with their wings fully extended and slightly bent down. 

The male approaches the female from the ground, his chest puffed up, bowing and cooing loudly. Feathers may be preened by members of mated couples.

Nest: The female picks a prospective nest location after the male guides her there. 

Normally lower than 40′, seldom higher than 100′, or even more above ground, the site is usually in a tree or shrub, occasionally on the ground, occasionally on a building’s ledge or other structure.

The nest is a very thin twig platform.

5. House Finch

House Finch

Today, House Finches are abundant from coast – to – coast and regular visitors to yard feeders. They are adaptable, colorful, and cheerful-sounding birds.

They are new immigrants to the East and are originally from the Southwest. 

The illegally selling New York pet store owners unleashed their finches in 1940 to avoid punishment; the finches survived and started to dominate the outskirts of the city.

By the time they met their western relatives on the Great Plains fifty years later, they had traveled halfway across the continent.

Forages on the ground, on a perch in a weed, or from a tree or shrub. Generally, forages in flocks, with the exception of during nesting.

Will visit bird feeders to eat seeds, particularly sesame seeds, and to drink sugar water from hummingbird feeders.


Mostly berries, buds, and seeds. The majority of our diet consists of vegetables.

Mostly consumes weed seed. Nodules and floral parts in the spring, as well as berries and tiny fruits in the late summer and fall, are additional significant components.

Eats a few bugs as well, mainly little ones like aphids. Reproduced seeds are consumed by the young.

During the winter, pairs may start to develop within flocks, as well as some coupled birds may stay together all year.

During the mating season, the Male conducts a flight-song show, singing as he slowly flaps his wings up and then glides them down.

The Male provides food to the female throughout courtship and pregnancy. 

All throughout the year, males can sing, while females can also sing in the spring.

Wide range of locations, mostly in evergreens, coconut trees, ivy on buildings, cacti, and holes in man-made structures; nests are often 12 to 15 feet above the ground. 

Use locations like cavities, hanging pots, and abandoned nesting of other birds sometimes. Open cup of hay, weeds, small branches, leaves, and rootlets that occasionally has feathers, twine, or other trash added.

6. Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

The whistled peter-peter-peter song of this somewhat gentle, energetic, crested small bird can be heard even during midwinter thaws in eastern woodlands.

It is related to chickadees and, like them, regularly visits bird feeders, frequently taking sunflower seeds out of the feeder one at a time. 

Given that Tufted Titmice have already been slowly moving farther north in recent years, feeders may be assisting them in expanding their range.

Forages by jumping aggressively between tree branches and twigs, sometimes hanging upside down and occasionally briefly hovering. Frequently descends to the ground in search of food.


Visits bird feeders in search of seeds or suet. Holds acorns and seeds with their foot and beats them open with the bill. Will put food items in storage and get them later. Mostly seeds and insects.

The majority of its yearly diet is made up of insects, with caterpillars being the most significant prey throughout the summer. 

It also consumes numerous insect embryos and pupae in addition to ants, honeybees, sawfly pupae, ladybugs, beetle, scale insects, and other insects. Eats some snails and spiders as well.

Dietary staples include seedlings, nuts, berries, and tiny fruits, particularly throughout the winter.

All year long, pairs may stick together until joining smaller flocks of titmice in the winter. In the late winter, flocks disperse, and pairs establish their breeding grounds.

Males frequently feed females from the time of courting until the eggs hatch. A “helper,” one of the breeding pair’s young from the previous year, may be present. 

The nest location is in a tree hole, either a natural cavity or an old woodpecker hole; it is typically 35 feet above the ground but can be anywhere between 3 and 90 feet above.

Evidently does not dig its own nest hole, unlike chickadees. 

Utilizing nest boxes as well. The nest is covered with soft materials, often animal hair, and has a base of hay, moss, leaves, and strips of bark. Birds have been known to take live raccoons, dogs, or even human hair.

7. American Crow

American Crow

The effectiveness of the American Crow in adjusting to society would appear to show that crows are some of our most intelligent bird species.

Crows are more prevalent than ever in farm fields, villages, or even towns, and their unique caw! is a familiar voice over most of the continent despite previous attempts to eradicate them.

Crows may congregate in large groups in community roosts on winter evenings.

Hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of crows have been seen to congregate in a single grove when they are not breeding.


Opportunistic, seizing new food sources with ease. Primarily on the ground, however, occasionally in trees. Scavenges in landfills and along roadways.

Will lift mollusks with hard shells into the sky and return them to the ground so they will crack open.

Pellets of indigestible food components are later coughed up. Omnivorous. Eats almost everything it can find, such as bugs, worms, snails, earthworms, frogs, tiny snakes, shellfish, carrion, trash, other birds’ eggs, and young, grains, berries, seeds, and fruit.

Males face each other during courting on the ground or in a tree, puff up their body feathers, partially stretch their wings and tails, and repeatedly bow while singing a brief rattling song.

During preening and bill touching, mated couples of birds perch close to one another. 

The breeding couple may have “helpers” who are young from prior breeding seasons.

The location of the nest is typically in a lateral fork or at the foot of a branch against the trunk, 10 to 70 feet up in a tree or big shrub. 

Rarely nests on the ground or on ledges of buildings. The term “nest” refers to a big, bulky basket made of branches, sticks, woody strips, weeds, and mud that is lined with softer materials like grass, moss, plant fibers, and feathers.

8. Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wrens are prevalent in open forests and back gardens in the Southeast. They are more colorful than other wrens and have a richly melodic song.

There, they are busy examining low tangles and brush heaps. All year long, the grownups live in couples and may perform a “duet” in which the Male sings and the female chatters. 


The northern limit of this species distribution shifts over time as it slowly moves north during a run of warm years before being forced back south by extremely harsh winters.

Frequently forages in pairs, aggressively probing the ground, low tangles, and vegetation, as well as the bark of tree trunks and branches.

Occasionally visits the bird feeds for suet, peanuts, and other foods.

Mostly insects mostly eat several kinds of insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, beetles, real bugs, and many more.

Eats a lot of spiders as well as some centipedes and snails. Occasionally captures and consumes tree frogs or tiny lizards. 

Additionally consumes some seeds, tiny fruits, and berries, especially in the winter. May have a lifelong partner.

Males and females frequently sing in duets as pairs remain together throughout the year, defending permanent territories. 

The location of the nest can be in any kind of chamber, such as a natural hollow in a tree or stump, an old woodpecker hole, a crevice among the upturned roots of a fallen tree, or even in the middle of a brush pile.

There are also nest containers, crevices in structures, a shelf in the garage, and numerous other man-made locations. Usually, little more than 10 feet above the surface. 

With a lining made of softer materials like moss, hay, animal hair, and feathers, the nest is a large tangle of twigs, leaves, and weeds.

Frequently, a snakeskin piece is included. Frequently a nest with a domed entrance on one side. While both sexes contribute, women supply the majority of the lining.

9. Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

This melodic sparrow, which is quite common throughout North America, is one of the most well-known birds in various regions, including the Midwest and Northeast.

Sometimes, it behaves very sulkily, lurking in the underbrush and only emerging to fly around bush to bush while pumping its tail. 

Usually, though, it stands out due to sheer numbers. The appearance of sparrows varies across their vast range, from huge blackbirds in the Aleutians to little, pale birds in the desert south of the United States.


Mostly forages on the ground, occasionally digging to uncover objects. Forages occasionally in tall plants and trees as well as extremely shallow water. Will visit bird feeders put near suitable cover.

Mainly seeds and insects. Eats a wide variety of insects, particularly in the summer, including grasshoppers, ants, wasps, beetles, and many other insects, as well as spiders. 

Feeds a lot, primarily on grass and weed seeds, especially in the winter. Aside from tiny fish, small invertebrates and mollusks are another source of food for birds in coastal habitats and on islands.

High Song Sparrow numbers may be seen in favorable environments because males frequently only defend tiny breeding areas. 

Males may pursue females during courting and engage in fluttering flights over the undergrowth while holding their heads high and stretching their necks outward.

The location of the nest varies; it is often under a patch of grass or a bush, although it may be lower than 4 feet above the ground, occasionally as high as 10 feet. 

The vegetation of marshes, low trees, or bushes may provide raised places that are frequently above the water. Nesting seldom occurs in tree cavities.

A nest is an open cup covered with fine hay, rootlets, animal hair, and other weeds, grass, leaves, and other plant material.

10. Common Grackle

Common Grackle

This large blackbird is a common sight in the East and Midwest, strutting around on residential lawns in quest of insects.

Numerous male Common Grackles may sit in nearby trees to sing their grating, creaking melodies. These birds frequently build small colonies where they lay their eggs. 


Large flocks are frequently observed hovering overhead in the evenings as they make their way to significant community roosts, especially from midsummer through winter.

Mostly forages when walking on land or wading in extremely shallow water; it may also be seen high up in trees and plants.

Frequently forages in flocks when not laying eggs. Occasionally takes food from Orioles or other birds. 

Has been witnessed murdering an adolescent House Sparrow. Will visit feeders for a variety of foods. Chewing dry breadcrumbs!

Omnivorous. Feeds on a variety of insects, such as grasshoppers, beetle grubs, caterpillars, and other insects, as well as spiders, centipedes, earthworms, and a variety of other things, including crustaceans, minnows, frogs, lizards, eggs, and young of other birds, as well as small rodents. 

Vegetable matter is also crucial to nutrition, and it may even make up the majority in the winter.

This includes berries, seeds, leftover grains, and acorns. Usually builds its nests in tiny colonies of 10–30 pairs, perhaps reaching 100 or more. 

Males puff up their body feathers, partially stretch their wings and tails, and sing short scraping songs during courting. They also hold their stance with their beak pointed upward.

Nesting sites are frequently well concealed near water, fewer than 20 feet above ground; occasionally, they are much higher or extremely low in marsh vegetation. 

Unusual locations include inside an ancient structure, a hole in a trunk or hollow stump, or the bottom portion of an active Osprey nest.

The female constructs the nest, which is a large open cup made of twigs, grass, twigs, and typically some mud; the interior is lined with fine grass.


The Mississippi flyway passes through Missouri. Consequently, it is a stopover for migratory birds traveling from Canada in the summertime to the Coastline in the winter.

The Mississippi flyway serves as a route for land birds as well, despite being particularly popular with waterfowl and shorebirds.

Therefore, it is imperative that you keep your eyes peeled in order to spot any beautiful birds.


What is the national bird of Missouri?

Eastern bluebird is the national state bird of Missouri.

What are finches attracted to?

Finches are attracted to flowering plants and plants bearing seeds.

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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