20 Breathtaking Backyard Birds Of Minnesota: You Must Know About

Backyard Birds Of Minnesota

Minnesota has a wide variety of backyard birds. And In this article, I’ll list and explain all the backyard birds of Minnesota in detail.

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 MinnesotaLengthWeightIdentification(Color)Diet/Favorite Food
American Robin23-28 cm77 gm (2.7 oz)These birds have black heads and backs with a hint of red or orange on 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.
Song Sparrow12-17 cm19 gm (0.6gm)Brown streaked birds 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.
Red-winged Blackbird24cm/37cm85 gm (2.9oz)All black only with a bright red and yellow patch on the top of their wings. The female is pale brown. Mixed grains.
American Goldfinch11-13 cm14 gm (0.4oz)They are quite popular, with bright yellow and black colors in males. The female counterparts however tend to be dull brown in shade.Mostly seeds, some insects. Diet is primarily seeds, especially those of the daisy (composite) family, also those of weeds and grasses, and small seeds of trees such as elm, birch, and alder. Also eats buds, the bark of young twigs, maple sap.
American Crow40-53 cm320-620 gm (11.2- 21.8oz)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.
Black-Capped Chickadee 10-15 cm12 gm (0.4oz)Small bird with a big round head. They have black caps and beaks, white cheeks, with a gray back, wings, and tail. They eat seeds, different berries, insects, suet, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and spiders.
Downy Woodpecker 14-17 cm21-28 gm (0.7-0.9oz)They are b&w in color with patches of red here and there. They are found in woodlots, in backyards, and along streams.Insects, beetle larvae, acorns, berries and grains, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, millets.
Common Yellowthroat11-13 cm9 gm (0.3oz)Small songbirds with a brown back with a hint of yellow and a long tail. They have an apparent black mask across their face. They might also have olive undertones.They eat all kinds of insects.
Blue Jay22-30 cm65-110 gm (2.2- 3.8oz )Blue crest, black backs, and white undersides. Acorns, insects, grain, nuts, and seeds.
Mourning Dove22-36 cm120 gm (4.2 oz)Soft brown in color with hints of black on the wings. Millet, black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, peanut hearts.
White-breasted Nuthatch27-28 cm20 gm(0.7oz)These are active little birds with a grayish-blue back and white face and belly with a black cap. Their lower belly and tails are mostly of the chestnut shade.They feed on insects and larvae like caterpillars, ants, and even spiders. Other than that, they also feed on acorns, sunflower seeds, hawthorns, and corn crops.
Chipping Sparrow13-15 cm12 gm (0.4oz)Slender long-tailed birds that have a gray belly and a streaked back with a rusty crown and blackish eyeliners. They largely feed on insects.
Common Grackle28-34 cm110 gm (3.8oz)Tall blackbird with a long tail and glossy texture. These birds move in huge flocks. Eats mostly insects, berries, seeds, fruit, bird eggs, although it is also known to eat frogs and snakes.
Hairy Woodpecker7.1-10.2 in (18-26 cm)1.4-3.4 oz (40-95 g)This bird has a black and white body. The black wings are checkered with white. And the head has two white stripesMostly insects, berries, seeds, and nuts
Northern Cardinal 21-24 cm43 gm (1.5 Oz)Males are red with a black patch around their faces. Females have brown shades with red highlights and beaks.Sunflower seeds, millet, milo, peanut hearts.
Barn Swallow15-20 cm17-20 gm (0.5-0.7oz)These are small birds in a combination of deep blue, black, and reddish-brown. Their tails have long outer feathers. Ground-up eggshells are their favorite.
House Wren11-13 cm11 gm (0.3oz)Small brown birds with dark wings and tails and pale throats. Insects like spiders, beetles, earwigs, brush piles caterpillars.
Gray Catbird21-24 cm35 gm (1.2oz)Their songs sound like a cat’s mew. Gray in color with a black cal and reddish patch on the tails.Fruits like dogwood, winterberry, and serviceberry.
Red-bellied Woodpecker23-27 cm72 gm (2.5oz)A pale red belly with a red cap b&w stripped back. Insects, spiders, nuts, seeds, acorns, pine cones, grapes, oranges, hackberries, mangoes, sunflower seeds, peanuts.
Brown-headed Cowbird7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)1.5-1.8 oz (42-50 g)This bird has a glossy black plumage and a rich brown head.This bird mostly eats seeds and insects.

Backyard Birds Of Minnesota In Different Seasons

Summer Backyard Birds

  • American Robin (54%)
  • Red-winged Blackbird (45%)
  • Song Sparrow (43%)
  • American Goldfinch (42%)
  • American Crow (37%)
  • Black-capped Chickadee (36%)
  • Blue Jay (30%)
  • Mourning Dove (29%)
  • Chipping Sparrow (27%)
  • Northern Cardinal (27%)
  • Common Grackle (26%)
  • Barn Swallow (25%)
  • House Wren (25%)
  • Gray Catbird (25%)
  • Red-eyed Vireo (24%)
  • Tree Swallow (23%)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch (20%)
  • Downy Woodpecker (20%)
  • Brown-headed Cowbird (19%)
  • Cedar Waxwing (18%)

Winter Backyard Birds

  • Black-capped Chickadee (55%)
  • American Crow (43%)
  • Downy Woodpecker (35%)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch (32%)
  • Blue Jay (29%)
  • Hairy Woodpecker (24%)
  • Dark-eyed Junco (22%)
  • Northern Cardinal (21%)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker (18%)
  • House Sparrow (16%)
  • American Goldfinch (16%)

Backyard Birds Of Minnesota In Detail

American Robin

They have reddish-orange breasts and black feathers on their head, back, wings, and tail. Their beaks are large and sharp, and the margins of their wings are white.

They are fearful creatures that like to live in the forests. In their native habitat, they are herbivores, consuming berries, leaves, and insects.

Sunflower seeds, suet and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms are all great American Robin attractants. It’s wonderful to eat on the ground or on platforms.

Plant trees and shrubs that bear berries, such as juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood are also their favorite food.

Song Sparrow

The song sparrow is a little bird that is endemic to the Americas. It is without a doubt one of the most abundant, varied, and adaptable native bird species.

It’s incredible to think that if this lovely bird decides to make our backyard home, we may be among the first to see it.

They may be found in a range of habitats, such as tree bark, rocks, logs, and even steep rocky outcrops.

To attract more song sparrows to your backyard feeders, use black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders.

Red-Winged Blackbird

red winged blackbird

Red-winged blackbirds have an all-black plumage with brilliant red and yellow shoulder patches. In comparison to the males’ streaky brown coloring, the females are somewhat drab.

Males will fiercely protect their area during mating season, even fighting anyone who gets too close to nests.

During the winter, they congregate in massive flocks numbering in the millions. Red-winged Blackbirds may be found across the United States.

If you want to attract red-winged blackbirds to your backyard then spread mixed grain and seeds on the ground or you can use a tube feeder and a platform feeder.

American Goldfinch

The American goldfinch, often known as the black-throated goldfinch or just the goldfinch, is a charming little bird.

They are known to travel considerable distances each year, with some traveling as far north as southern Mexico and as far south as the eastern side of the Canadian border.

They enjoy marshes, backyards, meadows, forests, brushlands, fields, hedgerows, long grasses, and oaks, to mention a few habitats. They enjoy spruce and oak trees and live near creeks, rivers, and streams.

To attract more American Goldfinches, plant thistles, and milkweed in your yard. They are attracted to most bird feeders and eat sunflower and Nyjer seed.

American Crow

The plumage of the American Crow is vividly colored. This is one of the most frequent birds in the region, and it can be seen almost anywhere.

These birds are commonly spotted breeding in trees beside roads or even in people’s backyards birdwatchers. They generally feed on tree and plant roots and seldom on flower nectar.

They are one of the most active species of birds, meaning that they are always looking for fresh food.

You may attract more American Crows by scattering peanuts in your yard.

Black-Capped Chickadee

The back, wings, and medium-sized tail of the chickadee are light grey with white highlighting in the form of minute feather edging.

A buff-colored white breast and underbelly, a black bib with a white face, and a huge black cap that reaches just below the eyes distinguish this bird.

This bird has a black conical and short beak. This bird prefers wooded areas, but it can tolerate thick vegetation such as brush or bushes.

Marshes are also popular with this species, as long as they provide sufficient cover for the Black-capped Chickadee.

This bird prefers peanuts and peanut butter, although it also likes Black Oil Sunflower seeds, grains, and suet.

Downy Woodpecker

downy woodpecker

In a high, difficult-to-reach tree, the downy woodpecker can frequently be heard screeching or chirping. They can be found in sagebrush thickets and forests.

They have a red patch on the back of their heads, white underbodies, black wings with white markings, and black and white striped heads. Males have a red mark on their wings, but females do not.

You can use suet feeders or platform feeders to attract Downy Woodpeckers and their favorite food consist of black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts.

Common Yellowthroat

Yellowthroats are little songbirds with long tails that are brownish on the back and brilliant yellow on the underside. The men’s faces are hidden under black masks.

The intensity of the yellow varies depending on location, and certain sections beneath the surface may be more olive than others.

In the spring and summer, they may be found in marshy or wetland habitats, brushy fields, and thick, tangled vegetation over most of North America. They eat insects and can be found in large, highly planted backyards.

Blue Jay

blue jay

Blue jays are a beautiful bird genus that may be found in large groups in parks, near water sources, and near human settlements.

This species is found in mountainous areas with steep cliffs and exposed soil. It’s a popular visitor’s bird, and its vibrant, colorful plumage has long made it a photographer’s favorite.

Blue jays are often regarded as the best bird for bird watchers and hikers due to their shyness and ability to hide in deep grass and oak trees.

They consume a variety of seeds, but their favorite is sunflower seeds. They also like to consume berries, suet, insects, worms, and carrion. If you give blue jays peanuts, sunflower seeds, or suet, they will come to your yard.

Mourning Dove

The mourning dove is a Columbidae family native bird. The mourning bird has been given the titles rain dove, wetland dove, turtle dove, and, most often, mourning dove.

It is currently popular in the southeastern United States, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, California, and Ontario, Canada.

It also travels to major cities, meadows, farm fields, parks, resorts, and even some residential areas.

If you want to attract mourning doves to your backyard then start by distributing millet on the ground or using platform feeders.

They also like to consume black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts.

White-Breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

They are frequently seen in deciduous woods, woodland edges, parks, and tree-filled yards, as well as at bird feeders. Beetles and their larvae, caterpillars, ants, and spiders are among the insects they eat.

They wedge huge nuts and acorns into tree bark, then pound them open with their bills to get the seed.

Sunflower seeds and peanuts in suet or tube feeders may entice more White-breasted Nuthatches to visit your yard.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows have long, thin tails, a greyish belly, a brown and black-streaked back, a rusty cap, and a black eye line. In the winter, the colors are more muted.

They breed over most of North America and Canada before migrating to Mexico, Florida, or farther south to spend the whole year.

They can be found in small groups on open terrain and will visit backyards in search of different varieties of birdseed.

Common Grackle

The Common Grackle is a lovely bird that is easy to recognize. They’re purple and blue all the way through, yet they appear black till you look closely.

Their color darkens from the breasts upward, with a stronger blue saturation from here on out and towards the face.

They have enormous wings and medium-sized tails, as well as bronze-metallic eyes and a massive, straight black beak. Females have a duller appearance, although young individuals have darker skin and eyes.

The bird likes white Proso millet, wheat, oats, and Black Oil Sunflower seeds. For optimal results, combine grains with some seeds.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpeckers have a red patch on the back of their heads and are black and white. They are significantly larger than their Downy Woodpecker kin.

They may be found in woodlands, forests, and parks, but they can also be spotted at backyard feeders.

Suet feeders, as well as peanut and black oil sunflower seeds on platform feeders, might attract more Hairy Woodpeckers to your garden.

Northern Cardinal

northern cardinal

Northern Cardinals are one of North America’s most well-known and common garden birds. Males have bright red feathers and a black mask, but females have duller, paler brown feathers with a reddish pattern.

Males and females are identified by their distinct “mohawks” and bright orange beaks. Northern Cardinals may be observed all year in almost every section of the nation.

Northern Cardinals are drawn to backyard feeders with sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo.

Barn Swallow

The back, wings, and tail of a Barn Swallow are dark blue, with a reddish-brown underside and across the face. The long outer feathers of the tail form a deep fork.

They breed over the majority of North America before migrating to Central and South America to reproduce.

They are usually seen soaring above meadows, farms, and fields looking for insects, and they make mud nests in man-made buildings such as barns.

To attract additional Barn Swallows, place nest boxes or cups, and ground-up eggshells on a platform feeder.

House Wren

House Wrens are little brown birds with dark banded wings and tails and a whiter neck. 

House Wrens can be seen hunting for insects in brush heaps in backyards, parks, and open woodlands. You might entice more to your backyard by leaving brush piles or erecting a nest box.

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbirds are named from their distinctive catty mew sound, which can last up to 10 minutes. They have slate-grey plumage, a black head and tail, and a red patch under their tails.

Gray Catbirds are commonly found in thick shrubs, small trees, especially along forest edges or hedgerows. They dwell along the Atlantic Coast, but after reproducing, they migrate to the Gulf Coast.

Fruit and fruit trees or shrubs like dogwood, winterberry, and serviceberry will help in attracting Gray Catbirds flock to your backyard feeders.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are massive for a backyard bird. They’re around the size of a Starling or an American Robin. They are a smaller version of the Northern Flicker.

They have huge heads and short tails. They cling to tree trunks with their short stiff tails and sturdy short legs.

Their bodies are pale grey with a few tiny black-and-white stripes on the back and wings. A crimson nape protrudes from the crown of the male.

Suet feeders will attract more Red-bellied Woodpeckers, who will occasionally feed on hummingbird feeders.

Brown-Headed Cowbird


The Brown-headed Cowbird looks like a Blackbird from a distance, but when you go close, you’ll notice a small difference.

The male Cowbird has a completely black back, long black wings, a short black tail, breast, and underside, and a plain brown head.

Female Cowbirds, on the other hand, are completely brown, with lighter brown on their heads, breasts, and undersides, as well as some streaking on the underbelly.

Cowbirds enjoy wide areas and feed on the ground, but they also favor towering limbs for surveying.

These birds enjoy insects, fruits, and grains, so try some chopped apples and White Proso millet to tempt them.

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