Wisconsin has a wide variety of backyard birds. And In this article, I’ll list and explain all the most common backyard birds 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 Of Wisconsin||Length||Weight||Identification(Color)||Diet/Favorite Food|
|Black-Capped Chickadee||10-15 cm||12 gm (0.42oz)||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.|
|American Crow||40-53 cm||320-620 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.|
|American Robin||23-28 cm||77 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 an early summer, insects make up the majority of the diet; they also feed on many earthworms, snails, spiders, and other invertebrates.|
|American Goldfinch||11-13 cm||14 gm (0.49oz)||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.|
|Northern Cardinal||21-24 cm||43 gm (1.51oz)||Males are red with a black patch around their face. Females have brown shades with red highlights and beaks.||Sunflower seeds, millet, milo, peanut hearts.|
|Mourning Dove||22-36 cm||120 gm (4.23oz)||Soft brown in color with hints of black on the wings.||Millet, black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, peanut hearts.|
|Blue Jay||22-30 cm||65-110 gm (2.2- 3.8oz )||Blue crest, black backs, and white undersides.||Acorns, insects, grain, nuts, and seeds.|
|Downy Woodpecker||14-17 cm||21-28 gm (0.74-0.98oz)||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.|
|Red-winged Blackbird||24cm/37cm||85 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.|
|Barn Swallow||15-20 cm||17-20 gm (0.59-0.70oz)||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.|
|Song Sparrow||12-17 cm||19 gm (0.67oz)||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.|
|Cedar Waxwing||16 cm||32 gm (1.12oz)||These birds with a pale brown head, chest, and crest, are elegant and extremely social. They have a pale shade of yellow on their bellies. A narrow black mask on their faces.||They feed on small fruits like serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn.|
|Common Yellowthroat||11-13 cm||9 gm (0.31oz)||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.|
|Dark-eyed Junco||12-16 cm||19 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.|
|Indigo Bunting||4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)||0.4-0.6 oz (12-18 g)||This bird is covered in blue color, with slightly shiny blue on his head and a shiny, silver-gray bill.||This bird’s diet mostly consists of insects, seeds, and berries.|
|White-breasted Nuthatch||27-28 cm||20 gm (0.70oz)||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.|
|Red-bellied Woodpecker||23-27 cm||72 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.|
|House Wren||11-13 cm||11 gm(0.38oz)||Small brown birds with dark wings and tails and pale throats.||Insects like spiders, beetles, earwigs, brush piles caterpillars.|
|Gray Catbird||21-24 cm||35 gm (1.23oz)||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.|
|Chipping Sparrow||13-15 cm||12 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.|
Backyard birds Of Wisconsin In Different Seasons
Winter Backyard Birds
- Black-capped Chickadee (55%)
- American Crow (45%)
- Dark-eyed Junco (41%)
- Downy Woodpecker (40%)
- White-breasted Nuthatch (38%)
- Northern Cardinal (38%)
- American Goldfinch (34%)
- Mourning Dove (31%)
- Blue Jay (30%)
- Red-bellied Woodpecker (27%)
- House Sparrow (27%)
- Hairy Woodpecker (24%)
- House Finch (21%)
Summer Backyard Birds
- American Robin (64%)
- Red-winged Blackbird (53%)
- Song Sparrow (50%)
- American Goldfinch (47%)
- Mourning Dove (44%)
- American Crow (41%)
- Black-capped Chickadee (38%)
- Blue Jay (37%)
- Northern Cardinal (36%)
- House Wren (35%)
- Gray Catbird (35%)
- Chipping Sparrow (34%)
- Common Grackle (29%)
- Barn Swallow (28%)
- Indigo Bunting (28%)
- Cedar Waxwing (27%)
- White-breasted Nuthatch (24%)
Year-round Backyard Birds
- Black-capped Chickadee (49%)
- American Crow (46%)
- American Robin (44%)
- American Goldfinch (42%)
- Northern Cardinal (40%)
- Mourning Dove (38%)
- Blue Jay (37%)
- Red-winged Blackbird (36%)
- Downy Woodpecker (34%)
- White-breasted Nuthatch (32%)
- Song Sparrow (30%)
- Red-bellied Woodpecker (25%)
- House Sparrow (23%)
- European Starling (21%)
- Dark-eyed Junco (20%)
- House Finch (20%)
- Common Grackle (20%)
Backyard Birds Of Wisconsin In Detail
The Black-Capped chickadee’s back, wings, and medium-sized tail are light grey with white edging in the shape of minute feathers.
This bird is distinguished by a buff-colored white breast and underbelly, a black bib with a white face, and a large black cap that reaches just below the eyes. The birds have short and conical black beaks.
- Where To Find Them: This bird favors woodland environments, but it can endure brush or bushes in dense vegetation. Marshes, as long as they provide enough cover for the Black-capped Chickadee, are also popular with this species.
- Attract Them: This bird favors peanuts and peanut butter as feeder food, although it also enjoys Black Oil Sunflower seeds, and suet.
The American Crow’s plumage is brightly colored. This is one of the most common birds in Wisconsin, and it may be seen practically at any place.
Birdwatchers frequently see these birds breeding on trees alongside roadways or even in people’s backyards. They mostly eat tree and plant roots, with flower nectar being a rare exception.
They are one of the most active bird species, which means they are continually on the lookout for new food.
- Attract Them: By throwing peanuts in your yard, you can attract enough American Crows.
Their breasts are reddish-orange, and their head, back, wings, and tail are all covered with black feathers. Their beaks are huge and pointed, and their wings have white borders.
They are savage creatures who prefer to live in the woods. They are herbivores in their natural habitat, eating berries, leaves, and insects.
- Attract Them: Sunflower seeds, suet and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms are all excellent attractants for American Robins. Eating on the ground or on platforms is fantastic. Plant berries-bearing trees and shrubs including juniper, sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood will also attract them.
The black-throated goldfinch, sometimes known as the goldfinch, is a lovely little bird. They have been known to travel long distances each year, with some going as far north as southern Mexico and as far south as the Canadian border’s eastern side.
- Where To Find Them: To name a few habitats, they like marshes, backyards, meadows, woodlands, brushlands, fields, hedgerows, tall grasses, and oaks. They reside near creeks, rivers, and streams and prefer spruce and oak trees.
- Attract Them: To attract American Goldfinches you can plant milkweed and thistles in your backyard. Nyjer and Sunflower seed are their favorite foods, and they are drawn to most bird feeders
Northern Cardinals are one of the most well-known and common garden birds in North America. Females have duller, paler brown feathers with a reddish pattern than males, who have vivid red feathers and a black mask.
Males and females are distinguished by their brilliant orange beaks and unique “mohawks.” Northern Cardinals can be seen throughout the year in practically every part of the country.
- Attract Them: Sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo attract Northern Cardinals to backyard feeders in Wisconsin.
The mourning dove belongs to the Columbidae family of birds. Rain dove, wetland dove, turtle dove, and, most commonly, mourning dove have all been given to the mourning bird.
It is currently popular in the Southeast, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, California, and Ontario, Canada.
- Where To Find Them: It also visits large cities, meadows, farm fields, parks, resorts, and even residential neighborhoods.
- Attract Them: You can attract more Mourning Doves to your yard by scattering millet on the ground or utilizing platform feeders. Among the foods, they’ll eat are black sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts.
Blue jays are a lovely bird genus that can be found in huge flocks in parks, near water sources, and in close proximity to human populations.
This species can be found in hilly places with exposed soil and steep cliffs. It’s a popular visitor’s bird, and its bright, colorful plumage has long made it a favorite of photographers.
Because of their shyness and ability to hide in dense grass and oak trees, blue jays are frequently regarded as the greatest bird for bird watchers and hikers.
- Attract Them: They eat a variety of seeds, but sunflower seeds are their favorite. Berries, suet, insects, worms, and carrion are among the foods they eat. Blue jays will come to your yard if you feed them peanuts, sunflower seeds, or suet.
The downy woodpecker can often be heard shrieking or chirping in a high, difficult-to-reach tree. In sagebrush thickets and woods, they can be found.
Their backs have a red patch, white underbodies, black wings with white markings, and black and white striped heads. Females do not have a red mark on their wings, but males do.
- Attract Them: Suet feeders attract more Downy Woodpeckers, but platform feeders provide them with black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts as well.
The red-winged blackbird’s all-black plumage is marked by vivid red and yellow shoulder patches. The ladies are drab in comparison to the males’ streaky brown coloring.
During mating season, males will fiercely defend their territory, even battling anyone who approaches nests too close.
They cluster in large flocks numbering in the millions during the winter. Red-winged Blackbirds can be found all throughout the country.
- Attract Them: To attract more Red-winged blackbirds to your yard, scatter mixed grain and seeds on the ground. Massive tube and platform feeders can be used as well.
A Barn Swallow’s back, wings, and tail are dark blue, with a reddish-brown underside and face. The tail’s long outer feathers form a deep fork.
Before moving to Central and South America to reproduce, they breed across the majority of North America.
- Where To Find Them: They are commonly observed soaring above meadows, farms, and fields in search of insects, and they build mud nests in man-made structures like barns.
- Attract Them: Nestboxes or cups, as well as ground-up eggshells on a platform feeder, can be used to attract more Barn Swallows.
The song sparrow is a little native American bird. It is unquestionably one of the most numerous, diverse, and adaptable native bird species. It’s amazing to think that if this magnificent bird decides to make our backyard home, we might be the first to see it. They live in a variety of environments, including tree bark, rocks, logs, and even steep rocky outcrops.
- Attract Them: Use black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders to attract more song sparrows to your backyard feeders.
Cedar Waxwings have a light brown head, breast, and crest. They have grey on the back, wings, and tails.
The tail tip is brilliant yellow, and the belly is of pastel yellow color. They have blazing red wingtips and their eyes are hidden under a black mask.
They spend the entire year in the north and the winter in the south. They have a high-pitched cry and live in berry bushes, forests, and beside streams.
- Attract Them: Plant natural trees and shrubs with tiny fruit, such as serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn, to attract Cedar Waxwings to your yard. You may also experiment with fruit on platform feeders.
Yellowthroats are little songbirds with brownish backs and vivid yellow undersides. The men’s faces are obscured by black masks. The strength of the yellow varies based on location, with some areas under the surface being more olive than others.
Throughout much of North America in the spring and summer, they may be found in marshy or wetland environments, brushy fields, and thick, tangled vegetation.
- Attract Them: They feed on insects and can be found in big, densely forested backyards. You’ll need a dense backyard to attract this species.
The dark-eyed junco is a small and attractive New World sparrow found in central to southern Canada and northern North America.
Little dark-eyed birds appear to favor gardens with little open areas, such as meadows, where they may graze on a diverse range of plant species.
Seed, mostly sunflower seeds, is the most common food for these birds, while nectar and even caraway appear to be effective favorites as well.
- Attract Them: Try black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts to attract more Dark-eyed Juncos to backyard feeders. Platform feeders or those scattered on the ground are appropriate to attract them.
Indigo Buntings have vivid blue males and brown females, as well as black wings and tail stripes. During the winter, they move from their breeding grounds in the eastern United States to Florida, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
Indigo Buntings can be seen eating seeds and insects in weedy fields and shrubby places.
- Attract Them: Nyjer and thistle seeds are little seeds that can help you attract this species to your backyard.
They can be seen in deciduous woodlands, woodland margins, parks, and tree-filled yards, as well as at bird feeders.
Among the insects they consume include beetles and their larvae, caterpillars, ants, and spiders. They wedge large nuts and acorns into the bark of trees, then pound them open with their bills to obtain the seed.
- Attract Them: Sunflower seeds and peanuts in suet or tube feeders may attract additional White-breasted Nuthatches.
For a backyard bird, Red-bellied Woodpeckers are enormous. They are around the size of a Starling or an American Robin. They are a little form of the Northern Flicker.
They’re big and stocky, with a large head and a short tail. With their short stiff tails and robust short legs, they cling to tree trunks.
Their bodies are pale grey, with a few black-and-white stripes on the back and wings. Males have a red nape that protrudes from their crown.
- Attract Them: Suet feeders will attract more Red-bellied Woodpeckers, who will feed on hummingbird feeders on occasion.
House Wrens are little brown birds with black bands on their wings and tails and a whitish throat. Before wintering in the extreme south and Mexico, most states have breeding populations.
House Wrens can be found searching for insects in brush piles in backyards, parks, and open forests.
- Attract Them: You may attract more birds to your yard by leaving brush piles or installing a nest box.
Gray Catbirds get their name from their characteristic catty mew sound, which may last up to ten minutes. Their plumage is slate grey, with a black head and tail and a red spot under their tails.
Gray Catbirds are usually found in dense shrubs and tiny trees, particularly along forest margins or hedgerows. They live near the Atlantic Coast but move to the Gulf Coast after breeding.
- Attract Them: Fruit trees and shrubs such as dogwood, winterberry, and serviceberry might attract Gray Catbirds to your backyard feeders.
Long, thin tails, a greyish belly, a brown and black-streaked back, a rusty cap, and a black eye-line distinguish Chipping Sparrows.
The colors of chipping sparrows are more subtle in the winter. They reproduce over the majority of North America and Canada before migrating to Mexico, Florida, or farther south to spend the whole year.
They are seen in small groups on open terrain and will visit backyards in quest of various types of birdseed.
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