Most Common Birds In Alabama – Habitat, Food and How To Identify

Common Birds In Alabama

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or just starting, there’s something for everyone in Alabama’s diverse avian population. You can see over 430 different species of birds. Alabama’s varied mountainous terrain, from mountains to coasts, makes the state an ideal home for many bird species.

Read on to learn about the appearance, habits, and habitats of some of the common birds in Alabama. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been birding before or if this is your first time; this guide will help you get the most out of your birdwatching experience in Alabama. 

How To Identify The Birds 

Before talking about the different types of birds that live in Alabama, it’s important to know how to recognize them. More than 400 kinds of birds are in the state, making it hard to tell them apart. So, here are some tips that will help you find them: 

Look at the Bird’s qualities

To better understand the bird’s overall appearance, examine its size, shape, color, and any markings it may have. If you see these, you should be able to tell what kind of bird it is. 

Behaviors of Birds

Learn more about the bird’s habits by observing its movements, including how it flies, where it perches, and what it eats. You can tell what kind of bird you’re looking at by doing these things.

Hear the birds chirping

Listen to what the bird is singing. The songs and calls of different birds can help you figure out what kind of bird you’re hearing.

Use a bird app

You can get an app for your phone that will help you identify the different kinds of birds you see.

10 Colorful Common Birds In Alabama

Let’s take a trip into the sky and learn about the amazing birds that call Alabama home.

1. Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

The backs, wings, and short tails of Eastern Bluebirds are all a brilliant shade of blue, with only the wingtips and the slightest hint of black on the tails providing any other coloration. 

How To Identify

You can see a white vest-like patch in the middle of their orange or red-orange breasts, and the orange forms a throat collar that you can see from above the wings and extends to a point just below the nape of the neck. The head and neck of this bird are completely blue above the orange collar, and it has a grey bill that is medium in length and slightly curved. Females are less brightly colored than males; their backs are typically grey, and their blues and oranges are very muted.


The typical wing span of these birds is between 9.8 and 12.6 inches, while their total body length ranges from 6.9 to 8.3 inches.


They prefer wide-open spaces in the forest, like meadows, or the city, like parks, to observe nature. 


Eastern bluebirds are picky eaters, but you can lure them with various foods, including suet, seeds, fruits, and even cornbread.

2. Blue Jay

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay has bright blue feathers on its back and wings that give it a unique look. The patterns on the wings are very intricate, going from large white scales with black edges to smaller blue scales near the tips of the wings.

How To Identify

The bird’s chest and belly are a pure white color that goes all the way to the back side of its tail. 

This white color can also be seen on the tops of its wings and neck. The black line that is on the back of the bird’s crest, around its throat, and to the other side of its head makes it easy to recognize. It has a long, thin, black beak and a zigzag-shaped face. 


The length of a Blue jay is 9.8-11.80 inches, and its wingspan is 12.40-16.90 inches.


Although blue jays are most commonly seen in wooded areas or near forest edges, you can also find them in suburban parks and backyards.


Blue jays like a wide variety of foods, including nuts, cracked corn, berries, seeds, and peanuts. 

3. Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

Alabama’s official state bird is the Northern Flicker. These brown woodpeckers are medium in size and have black spotting on their backs and wings.

How To Identify

They have a distinct black bib on their throats and a bright salmon or red color on the undersides of their wings and tails. Their grey heads are patched with a red or black crescent on the back. Only the males have a mustache stripe, which is black, while the females do not.


The length of a Northern Flicker is typically 11 to 14 inches, while its wingspan is typically 16 to 20 inches.


The open woodlands, fields, and suburban areas with large trees are all suitable places to spot these woodpeckers.


A Northern Flicker’s primary diet consists of ants and beetles, which the bird locates by exploring the ground with its powerful bill. In the winter, when insects are scarce, they will also eat fruits and seeds. 

4. White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

White-Eyed Vireos have yellow-green backs and grey wings with two yellow-tinged wing bars. The bird’s underbelly is white, with a grey and yellow tail about medium length.

How To Identify

These birds’ heads feature a yellow mask-like concentration around the eyes and eyerings with a line that creates a spectacled appearance. This bird has a slanted black line for an eyebrow, giving it an ‘angry’ expression, and a short, slightly curved black bill.


They have a 4.3–5.1 inches length and a wingspan of about 6.7 inches.


White-eyed Vireo prefers to live in or near dense shrubberies like thickets, brambles, and brush, as well as the forest’s edge.


Blue Jays primarily feed on insects, but they also enjoy fruits. Remember that their diet can vary depending on the season and availability of food sources.

5. Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

The Chipping Sparrow’s wings and back are mostly brown and grey, and the wings have a vertical streaking. Their tails are grey and have the same length as their bodies.

How To Identify 

The skin on their face is grey with a darker grey area around the cheek and a thin white mustache line.

The bird also has a black eyeliner that fades into the back of its head and a small but noticeable reddish crown with a black tip that sits in front of the forehead, right above their small black beak. 


The average size of these birds is between 4.7 and 5.9 inches long, and their wingspan is 8.3 inches.


Chipping Sparrows can be seen in public parks and backyards, in addition to their preferred habitats of open woodlands.


You can feed them sunflower seeds or thistle of the Nyjer.

6. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird has a brownish-gray head, a gray chest, and white outer tail feathers. When they fly, the Northern Mockingbird’s white patches and two wings bard on both wings makes them stand out, making it easy to recognize the bird.

How To Identify

Mostly its white feathers are bright on the breast side and gradually becomes fade as it moves down its body. The bird’s beak and lower cheeks are white, and a thin grey line runs from behind the eye down the side of the face to the base of the beak. The short and curved beak of this bird stands out against the upper portion of its face.


The length of these birds is 8.3 to 10.2 inches, and the width of their wings is 12.2 to 13.8 inches.


Northern Mockingbirds prefer wide-open spaces like fields and forest margins. They also like to spend time in suburban parks and backyards.


While the Northern Mockingbird isn’t particularly interested in seeds, it will happily forage for pieces of fruit like oranges and apples.

7. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Identifying a sapsucker based on its appearance alone may be challenging, but you can look out for some obvious signs and qualities.

How To Identify 

They have white bodies with black patches, black wings with a white stripe, and tiny speckles towards the wing tips.

Their black tails are tucked under their bodies, and the grey spots on their white breasts get smaller as they move down towards their white, barely yellow bellies. This bird’s face is white except for a tiny red bib on its chest.

This bird’s head has a black mask that begins just below the eye, continues all the way around the front of the head, and ends at the point where it meets the forehead. The beak of these birds is fairly long and straight.


These birds are between 7.1 and 8.7 inches long and have wings that are between 13.4 and 15.8 inches wide.


Although they prefer evergreen and hardwood forests, these birds will travel out of their comfort zones during the colder months. You can see them in parks or in your backyard foraging for food.


These birds enjoy a variety of foods, including insects, tree sap, nuts, and fruit. You can give them suet, which is a good addition in the winter because birds like it, and it gives them the energy to help them stay warm.

8. Swamp Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

The Swamp Sparrow is a small bird with a brown back with black stripes and short brown wings with dark streaks. They have an olive-colored chest and a long, spotted brown tail.

How To Identify

These birds have grey heads with olive-brown spots and a small white bib under the eye. The area above their eye is grey and curves around their neck. The middle of their head is a rich brown color, and the sides and edges are shiny black.


The length of these birds is around 4.7 – 5.9 inches, and their wingspan is about 7.1 to 7.5 inches.


They make their homes in wet areas such as flooded fields or areas next to ponds. They prefer to remain in close vicinity to dense vegetation in order to ward off any predators.


Although their diet primarily consists of seeds and insects. And blueberries are a personal favorite of these birds. Swamp sparrows can be attracted to feeders by offering a combination of blueberries and Nyjer thistle.

9. Carolina Chickadee 

Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina Chickadee is an adorable little bird with a round body, a round head, and a long tail. They have a short, strong beaks.

How To Identify

They have grey feathers on their back and black feathers on their cap; thus, their overall appearance is a blend of black and grey feathers. 

Because their face is white, they have a very striking appearance. In addition, they have a lighter shade of grey or perhaps a white color underneath. All of these features combine to make the Caroline Chickadee an appealing bird species.


This type of bird is small, only 3.9–4.7 inches long, and its wingspan is 5.9–7.9 inches.


Carolina Chickadee knows how to stay away from people and other birds. They are common birds in cities, so you can expect them to come to your feeder for a meal. 


They are not picky eaters, but if you put out some crushed peanuts, suet, and seeds, the little songbirds will be satisfied.

10. Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

The Scarlet Tanager is a tiny bird with a bright red body and black wings that sings a beautiful song. Because of its bright feathers, the male of this species stands out from the crowd.

How To Identify

It has a bright red body with black wings and a tail. It also has a yellow beak that is slightly curved. 

Unlike the males, females and young Scarlet Tanagers have olive-green bodies and dark wings that aren’t entirely black. The males turn from bright red to olive green after the mating season. But their distinctive black and yellow marked wings remain a distinctive feature. 


The length of these birds is between 6.3 – 6.7 inches, and their wingspan is between 9.8 – 11.4 inches. 


They prefer to live in natural places like untouched forests with a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. You can also see them in parks or residential areas with bushes and shrubs for cover.  


Scarlet Tanager likes suet, chopped-up oranges, mealworms, or grape jelly. 


Can I see a raven in Alabama?

You can. Some ravens are native to just that state, like the white-necked raven, which is Corvus leucognaphalus. They prefer to live in wooded areas but are also known to frequent semi-open habitats like parks and fields with a smattering of trees.

Does Alabama have ospreys?

Ospreys are widespread throughout the world as migratory birds. They prefer to have their habitats close to water sources because fish are their primary food source.

Are Swallows Found in Alabama?

In Alabama, you’re likely to see a Tree Swallow. It is a migratory bird that goes south for the winter and then returns to its breeding grounds in the spring.


Alabama is home to many common birds living in the state’s many habitats. Many common birds in Alabama bird species call Alabama home; some are more common than others. 

No matter how much or how little experience you have with birds, the state of Alabama’s various natural systems will give you plenty of chances to observe them in their natural settings.By keeping an eye out for these common birds in Alabama, you can learn more about the unique and varied birds that live there.

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