20 Stunning Backyard Birds In California You Must Know About

Backyard Birds In California

Many different types of wild birds, from common to exotic, may be found in California. We’ll look at some of the more identifiable and well-known birds found in the state in this article.

Some of these species are year-round inhabitants in California, while others are migratory and only visit the state occasionally.

Note: If you’re short on time I have compiled a table of all the backyard birds with identification and their Diet. You can also read about these birds in detail below.

Backyard Birds in CaliforniaLengthWeightIdentification(Color)Favorite Food
Yellow-rumped Warbler14 cm12.5 gm (0.44oz)Gray with flashes of yellow, with slightly brownish tones in females.Insects and fruits like wax myrtle and bayberry.
House Finch14 cm19-22 gm (0.67-0.77oz)These birds have a redhead and breast in the males and a brown streak of colors in females. They are generally noisy and move in flocks.Seeds, buds, and fruits like thistle, cactus, cherries, apricots, plums, blackberries, figs, and strawberries.
Mourning Dove22-36 cm120 gm (4.23oz)Soft brown in color with hints of black on the wings. Millet, black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, peanut hearts.
Black Phoebe16 cm (6.3 in)15 to 22 g (0.5 to 0.8 oz)It has black plumage, with a white belly. This bird has brown irises, black legs, and beaksMostly eats insects
Anna’s Hummingbird3.9 to 4.3 in (9.9 to 10.9 cm)0.1 to 0.2 oz (2.8 to 5.7 g)This bird has a bronze-green back, a pale grey chest, and green flanksThis bird mostly feeds on nectar and insects
American Crow40-53 cm320-620 gm (11.28-21.86oz)These birds are large with all black bodies. They are found on treetops, beaches, and towns.Earthworms, seeds, insects, fruits, fish, young turtles, clams, eggs, mussels, and nestlings of different species of birds.
California Towhee8.3-9.8 inches (21-25 cm)1.3-2.4 oz (37-67 g)This bird has a matte brown body with a rusty patch beneath its tail and billThis bird mostly eats seeds and insects
Song Sparrow12-17 cm19 gm (0.67oz)Brown streaked birds and are well known for singing all day just in order to attract mates during the season. They eat a wide variety of insects like caterpillars, beetles, midges, spiders, and earthworms, along with buckwheat, raspberries, sunflower, wild cherries, wheat, and rice.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet9-11 cm6.8 gm (0.23oz)These are small songbirds, olive green in shade with a striking red crown. They feed on hulled sunflower seeds, mealworms, and peanuts.
Spotted Towhee17 cm (6.7 in) and 21 cm (8.3 in)33 g (1.2 oz) and 49 g (1.7 oz)This new-world sparrow has a long, dark, fan-shaped tail with a round body, bright red eyes, and dull pink legsThis bird mostly eats insects, seeds, berries
American Robin23-28 cm77 gm (2.71oz)These birds have black heads and backs with a hint of red or orange in their breast.Mostly insects, berries, earthworms. In early summer, insects make up the majority of the diet; they also feed on many earthworms, snails, spiders, and other invertebrates.
Dark-eyed Junco12-16 cm19 gm (0.67oz)These are dark-eyed variants of Sparrows. These birds are long-distance migratory birds.Black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts.
Bushtit1 cm (4.3 in)5–6 g (0.18–0.21 oz)This bird has a gray-brown body, with a large head, a short neck, a long tail, and a short stubby billThis bird mostly eats insects, seeds, berries
European Starling22 cm58-100 gm (2.04-3.52oz)These birds are stocky black, with a purple, green and blue hue. These birds are famous for their aggressive behavior.They eat insects like flies, beetles, caterpillars, earthworms, and spiders, along with fruits like cherries, holly berries, mulberries, Virginia Creeper, sumac, blackberries, and even seeds and grains.
Northern Flicker 30-35 cm120 gm(4.23oz)Large woodpeckers, with a size in between crows and Robins, with brown body color and black spots, bars, and crescents all over their bodies along with a red nape. They also have hints of yellow on their bodies as well. Black oil sunflower seeds are their favorite.
Northern Mockingbird 21-26 cm47-51 gm (1.6-1.7oz)Small heads and long tails, with gray-brown body color. They have white wing bars. Hawthorns, mulberries, blackberry brambles.
Steller’s Jay30–34 cm (12–13 in)100–140 g (3.5–4.9 oz)This bird has a Blackish-brown-head with a slender bill and long legs.This bird mostly eats insects, seeds, berries
Red-winged Blackbird24cm/37cm85 gm (2.99oz)All black only with a bright red and yellow patch on the top of their wings. The female is pale brown. Mixed grains.
Western Bluebird15 to 18 cm (5.9 to 7.1 in)26gm (0.9 oz)This bird has a bright blue on top and on the throat with orange sides and breasts, a brownish patch on the back, and a grey belly and undertailThis bird mostly eats insects, seeds, berries
Chestnut-backed Chickadee11.5–12.5 cm (4.5–4.9 in)8.5–12.6 g (0.30–0.44 oz)This bird is dark blackish-brown with white cheeks. The wing feathers are dark gray with paler fringesBlack oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts.

Backyard Birds In California In Different Seasons

Summer birds

  • House Finch 
  • Mourning Dove 
  • Black Phoebe 
  • Anna’s Hummingbird 
  • American Crow
  • California Towhee 
  • Song Sparrow 
  • Spotted Towhee 

Winter birds 

  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Black Phoebe 
  • House Finch 
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • American Crow 
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet 
  • California Towhee 
  • Mourning Dove 

Year-round birds

  • House Finch 
  • Black Phoebe 
  • Anna’s Hummingbird 
  • American Crow 
  • Mourning Dove 
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • California Towhee 
  • Song Sparrow 

Backyard Birds Of California In Detail

Yellow-rumped Warbler

yellow rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler is a common winter visitor to treetops and weedy regions in the southern United States.

They are smaller than juncos and House Finches. With a shorter tail, plump and neckless. In the spring, the breeding plumage is blue-gray on the top portions, black on the sides and breast, yellow on the rump, and yellow on the sides. Both types have grey-brown upper plumage and creamy cream lower plumage in the winter.

During the nesting season, they are usually found in coniferous or mixed woods in the western Alps. Open regions with fruiting shrubs and scattered trees in the winter.

Breed across Canada and Alaska, as well as in western coniferous woods. Through Middle America, warblers may be found on both coasts and in the southern regions.

If you want to attract Yellow-rumped Warblers to your backyard then feed them sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter.

House Finch

House Finch

Originally a Western bird, it may now be found across the United States. Other red finches exist, but house finches are the ones that are most likely to be found in residential environments.

From bill tip to tail tip, the House Finch is around 6 inches long. Goldfinches and chickadees are smaller. White-crowned Sparrows and Spotted/Eastern towhees are smaller.

With a medium-long notched tail, round head, it has a medium-sized physique. Males have a crimson head, chest, and rump (occasionally orange or yellow).

Small flocks can be seen on wires, on treetops, and in shrubs. Originally, these areas were deserts and grasslands. They’re presently most frequent in rural and urban locations.

Black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders can attract more House Finches to backyard feeders.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

The mourning dove is a native member of the Columbidae family of doves. The mourning dove, rain dove, wetland dove, turtle dove, and, more lately, simply the mourning dove are all names given to the species.

It’s currently largely recognized in the southeastern United States, as well as Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, California, and Ontario, Canada.

It also can be found frequently in metropolitan locations, including major cities, pastures, farm fields, parks, resorts, and even some residential areas.

If you want to attract Mourning Doves to your backyard then start by distributing millet, black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts on the ground or using platform feeders.

Black Phoebe

Black Phoebe

Black Phoebes are tiny flycatchers with black backs, heads, chests, and a white underbelly.

They are mostly found in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America, while some individuals from the north of their range may travel south after reproducing.

Coastal locations, rivers, lakes, and ponds are all good places to look for Black Phoebes. They perch above the ground and prey on insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, wasps, flies, bees, spiders, etc.

If you want to attract Black Phoebes to your yard, put in some water features and natural plants. They may also make a nest under the roof if there is a nearby source of mud for them to use.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbirds

Anna’s Hummingbirds are little birds with a green and gray color scheme. The female’s neck is gray with traces of red spotting, while the male’s head and throat are iridescent reddish-pink.

Anna’s Hummingbirds are the most abundant hummingbird throughout the Pacific Coast, despite the fact that they do not migrate.

During the spring, they may be seen near enormous colorful flowers and frequently visit hummingbird feeders, which you can fill with homemade hummingbird food and which they may visit throughout the year.

American Crow

American Crow

The American Crow is a bright and colorful bird. This is one of the most common birds in the area, and it can be found all around the province.

Birders frequently discover these birds breeding in trees along the sides of roadways or even in people’s backyards.

They are frequently found grazing on the roots of trees and plants, although they seldom nectar from flowers. They are one of the most active species of birds, meaning they are always on the search for new foods.

If you want to attract American Crows to your backyard then start by throwing peanuts in your yard.

California Towhee

California Towhee

California Towhees are huge, chubby sparrows with long tails, short wings, and a reddish spot under the tail. They may be found in California, Oregon, and Baja California’s coastal chaparral scrub habitats.

They’ll also go to backyards and perch on fence posts, chasing their reflections in-vehicle mirrors and windows.

California Towhees consume largely grass and plant seeds, although they sometimes eat berries including elderberry, coffeeberry, and acorns.

Use millet on-ground feeders and natural berry bushes to attract more Califonia Towhees to your yard.

Song Sparrow

song sparrow

The song sparrow is a New World bird of middling size. The Song Sparrow is perhaps one of the least well-known and least popular of all North American birds.

It’s certainly one of the most prolific, versatile, and adaptable species among North American native birds.

And it’s exciting to think that if this gorgeous bird decides to build a home in our backyard, we may be among the first to witness it.

They may live in a range of habitats, including tree bark, rocks, logs, and even steep rocky outcrops.

If you want to attract song sparrows to your backyard then feed them black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are little olive-green songbirds with a beautiful red crown on the males that is normally flat and difficult to notice, but spectacular if you do.

They breed in Canada and the western Rockies before wintering in the southern and southwestern states of the United States and Mexico. During migration, they’ll be visible in large numbers.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are fast-moving, silent birds that dart among the foliage of lower branches, bushes, and trees in search of spiders and insects.

Use suet feeders or platform feeders with hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and mealworms to feed these birds.

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhees are big sparrows with blackheads, throats, and backs in males and brown heads, throats, and backs in females.

Males and females both have reddish-brown sides, white bellies, and white dots on their wings and backs. They are roughly the size of a Robin and have lengthy tails.

Foraging for insects such as beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, wasps, and bees. Spotted Towhees can be seen on the ground among dense tangles of plants. They also like to eat acorns, berries, and seeds.

If you allow overgrown borders in your yard, more Spotted Towhees will visit your yard. You can also use platform or ground feeders to feed them black Oil Sunflower seeds, Hulled Sunflower seeds, Cracked Corn, Millet, and Milo.

American Robin

American Robin

The American Robin is a tiny songbird that belongs to the common thrush family, the Turdidae family, and the genus Thrush.

Their breasts are reddish-orange, while their head, back, wings, and tail are all covered with black feathers. They also have long pointed beaks and white patterns on the margins of their wings.

They are timid and like to live in woodland settings. They are herbivores in their native environment, eating berries, leaves, and insects.

If you want to attract American Robins to your yard then feed them sunflower seeds, suet, peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms.

You can either disperse food on the ground or use a platform feeder. You can also grow berry-yielding plants like juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

The dark-eyed junco is a dainty and attractive New World sparrow with a small range through central to southern Canada and northern the United States.

Small dark-eyed birds appear to favor gardens with small open spaces, such as meadows, where they may feed on a diverse range of plant species.

Seed, particularly sunflower seeds, is the most common diet for these birds, but nectar and even caraway appear to be effective favorites as well.

If you want to attract Dark-eyed Juncos to your backyard then feed them black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts. The ideal feeders are platform feeders or those that are dispersed on the ground.



Bushtits are little grey birds with long tails and stubby bills that are virtually spherical. Their faces and underbelly have faint brown tinges.

Bushtits can be found in open woods or scrubby environments, as well as parks and backyards. Caterpillars, beetles, wasps, and ants are among the insects and spiders that they eat. 

Plant native shrubs and trees to attract more bushtits to your yard, and they may come to feeders stocked with black oil sunflower seeds, suet, or mealworms.

European Starling

European Starling

The European starling, often known as the common starling in the United Kingdom, is a medium-sized passerine bird that belongs to the Sturnidae family of the avian order songbirds.

It’s around 20 cm long and has metallic green plumage with a faint golden sheen that’s mottled with white at different times of the year. 

Similar to many other songbirds, It has a tinny, high-pitched tone to it. In busy places like backyards, they are usually observed together, In the months of July and August.

Black oil sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, and peanuts may all be used to attract more European Starlings to your backyard feeders.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

The northern flicker is a woodpecker that is modest in size. It’s widespread over North America, and it’s even endemic to portions of Central America, Mexico, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands.

Because they can forage almost everywhere, they make excellent bird feeders. You’ll encounter them in deciduous woods, evergreen forests, coniferous forests, and grasslands.

Northern Flickers are most active at night, although they are quiet during the day, spending much of their time on the wing or perched on branches.

They are often seen eating only seeds or insects, making them an ideal choice for bird watchers.

Suet and black oil sunflower seeds can attract more Northern Flickers to your garden feeders.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Throughout the year, and especially at night, Northern mockingbirds sing from exposed perches.

They have an endless supply of their own distinctive short phrases that they repeat three times each, but they regularly intersperse other birds’ songs.

They have long legs, tails and are slender. Gray with white spots on the wing and tail, darker above.

Edge environments with dispersed trees and shrubs, parks, and residential areas are preferred. They may be found in the eastern and southern United States, the West Indies, and as far south as Mexico.

In the summer, birds migrate a little further north. They bravely protect their nests from intruders, such as other birds and cats.

They don’t come to feeders very regularly, although they will come to open grass areas. To attract this bird you can also grow fruiting trees or shrubs, such as hawthorns, mulberries, and blackberry brambles.

Steller’s Jay

Steller's Jay

Huge songbirds with black triangular crests that protrude from their heads, Steller’s Jays are large songbirds. They have blue bodies with black heads, chests, and backs.

They may be found in the mountains’ evergreen woods, as well as near picnic tables, campers, and home feeders.

They build their nests out of the mud. Insects, seeds, nuts, berries, eggs, and nestlings are among the foods Steller’s Jays consume.

Peanuts and suet can be used to attract Steller’s Jays to your yard.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

The Red-winged blackbirds have an all-black plumage with vivid red and yellow shoulder patches, making them easy to distinguish. In comparison to the streaky brown hue of the males, the females are quite drab.

They are frequently seen perched on telephone lines, and during the mating season, the males will fiercely protect their territory, even attacking individuals who come too close to nests.

These birds gather in huge numbers during winter. The majority of the United States is home to Red-winged Blackbirds.

If you want to attract Red-winged blackbirds to your backyard then spread mixed grain and seeds on the ground. 

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebirds are tiny, stocky thrushes with a rust-orange breast and upper back in the males and a sparkling blue back in the females.

Females are a drab buff-gray with mild orange on the breast and blue tints to the wings and tail, rather than being as vivid as males.

Western Bluebirds are common inhabitants, but some move south or to lower elevations in the extreme northwest.

They prefer wooded places over open spaces, and they can be found in locations with dead trees, such as burnt woods and logged areas.

In the summer, add mealworms and a nest box to attract more Western Bluebirds to your yard. You may also plant berry bushes like elderberry, raspberries, and blackberries.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Chestnut-backed Chickadees are little birds with black and whiteheads, rich chestnut backs, grey wings, and grey bellies.

They are common visitors to backyard feeders and reside in flocks in damp evergreen woods along the Pacific Coast.

Caterpillars, spiders, wasps, and aphids make up the majority of their food, with seeds, berries, and fruit accounting for the remainder.

Black-oil sunflower seeds, suet, nyjer, peanuts, or mealworms in tube feeders, platform feeders, or suet cages can all be used to attract Chestnut-backed Chickadees to your yard. 

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