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Common Backyard Birds of the Northeastern United States

Updated on June 19, 2013

American Goldfinch

Northeastern birds of the US

Throughout North America, more than a hundred different common species of birds visit feeders every year. The birds that you will see at bird feeders in the Northeastern part of the country will change depending on the season that you are observing the birds in. One of the best ways to encourage visitors to your feeder is to make a bird house available for nesting pairs to call home when it comes time to breed.

Having food available during the spring and fall migration seasons will bring unusual visitors to your front door. Almost every bird species who chooses to migrate will have at least some members pass through the Northeast part of the country. Birds who are migrating often stop off at places where other species of birds are congregating at, so having your bird feeder stocked and ready for these visitors can provide a welcome relief from a long flight.

The more traditional visitors to bird feeders for the Northeast will settle in during the mid-spring season. If you'd like to encourage a high population at your bird feeder, offering a bird house for several species will increase your visiting population. In the Northeast, the American Tree Sparrow is one of the most common visitors to bird feeders. Along with several other species of sparrows, blackbirds and Blue Jays, these birds enjoy eating regular seed from platform style feeders.

Smaller bird species such as chickadees and finches add flashes of color to bird feeders around the Northeast during the summer, but they can easily be frightened away by larger birds. The Black Capped Chickadee is one of the most colorful specimens found in the Northeast. The House Finch will be easily visible at your bird feeders due to their bright yellow coloring. These bird species enjoy suet and bird seed mixtures.

Purple Martins visit the Northeast only in the summer, but these insect eaters will respond well to the colony style bird house. Wrens are another species that visit only during the summer, leaving soon after they breed for the year. Their brown and white feathers can blend in with summer backgrounds, making them difficult to spot at times in the Northeast. For a taste of something different, offer hummingbird nectar during the hot summer months.

Nuthatches remain in the Northeast throughout the winter and are easily persuaded to visit bird feeders offering suet. Cardinals are another year-round bird for the Northeast, their bright red feathers standing out against the New England snow. The American Goldfinch is another year-long resident, differing from the House Finch in its slightly larger size and black wing tips.

Watching different species of birds feeding can provide many hours of entertainment. Finches and chickadees will often cling to suet cages and eat while hanging upside down. Chickadees rarely stick around to eat though. They will grab a mouthful and fly away to eat and then return for another. To see a true acrobat in action, observe the behaviors of hummingbirds, and how they rarely ever land in order to feed.

Who's your favorite?

What is your favorite kind of bird to watch?

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      Kathy Paradis Payeur 16 months ago

      My comment above got a little messy, I will clarify, the bottom paragraph, except where the Hummingbird part comes in is the last part about the Bluejays, one line is ..they must behave where I cannot see them....and then the Brown Headed Cow bird, last year for a bit I got and the other little birds got inundated by bard black birds ......so far so good for a good year +++ Have a Birdiful and Beautiful Day All :)

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      Kathy Paradis Payeur 16 months ago

      I live in the Capital area of New Hampshire, in Pembroke. NH. I Love watching my birds, I am also a Photographer of my birds and a Freelance Photographer. I have several favorites ( Cardinals, Tufted Titmouse, several different finches.....Our State Bird, The Purple Finch, House Finches, Golden and Yellows, very light colored House finches, Pine Warblers and other Warblers, Nuthatches, Grackle(s)? How many, I usually see only one at a time, the same with blue Jays, they do not seem to scare the or pick on the little birds at my house......but there is usually a chipmunk or two, maybe a squirrel ...... the Bluejays just seem to behave when I watch them. I usually only see one, they are a beautiful bird, Blue birds, not yet this season, I am happy to here him/her arrive, lol. I get many sparrows, Indigo Bunting last year, I have a Robin right now t get the hat is pretty big my Granddaughter named him Hawkeye, I know there are more, but you can tell if it is the same one, FUNNY..etc

      sometimes get the Brown Headed Cowbirds....plural, lol. And

      have one or two at a time. Usually one, on occasion three, they mos behave elsewhere where I cannot see them. Ll a Squirrell, a Summer Favorite is my Hummingbirds,

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I love watching the birds but haven't seen any Purple Martins in my area (upstate NY). Hummers are my all time favorite but I love them all.

      Voted up, and interesting.

    • TheSavvySongbird profile image
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      TheSavvySongbird 4 years ago

      Thanks for the feedback! I can watch them for hours. It is relaxing.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I love to watch my birds. I have several bird feeders and bird houses to attract the different birds. My favorite are probably the cardinals in fall and winter and the hummingbirds in summer. I have cardinals, nuthatches, tufted titmice, black-capped chickadees, and blue birds, to name just a few. I agree with grandmapearl, they are very enjoyable and relaxing to watch. Great hub! Voting up,useful, interesting and sharing!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I can always tell when wrens are in the neighborhood--for such a small bird they sure have a big voice! Right now I have a lot of chickadees, woodpeckers and nuthatches visiting my feeders. Watching birds is so enjoyable and relaxing. Voted Up and Useful.

      Pearl