New Hampshire's popular backyard birds

New Hampshire's most popular backyard birds (part 2)

The most common birds in your backyard are listed and discussed in this article. The birds featured in this article were chosen based on data from the eBird citizen science program. As a result, it is more precise than some other identical articles on the internet. Photographs of each of the bird species are included in this article.  This article explains how to get them to come to your backyard.

In New Hampshire, the following are the popular backyard birds:

  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Song Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Red-winged Blackbird

What is the content of this article?

  • State overview of birds and bird watching in New Hampshire
  • Photos and identification of common backyard birds
  • Most common birds by season
  • New Hampshire birds and Birding in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is home to around 420 different bird species, according to eBird.

The most prevalent bird is the Black-capped Chickadee, which is the most common bird in New Hampshire. It is reported on 55% of bird-watching lists. Purple Finch is the state bird of New Hampshire. Check out eBird for New Hampshire if you're serious about learning about the birds that call New Hampshire home.   Join a local bird group if you wish to meet other people who are interested in birds in your region. Each state's list of bird-watching clubs is maintained by the American Birding Association.

Identification of Birds in New Hampshire

This section describes species. These are provided to help you in identifying birds in your backyard.  Each species profile begins with a photo. Before evaluating the color or patterns on the birds, size, shape, and bill type are used in the identification phase. When trying to identify an unknown bird, these are more reliable. Pay attention to the shape of the bird's body and tail, as well as the shape of its bill, rather than just the color of its plumage.

How to attract each species is covered in the section on bird feeders and foods. Feeders will not attract all sorts of backyard birds. Water, on the other hand, can attract all backyard birds.

Most birds that appear in this article are found across the state and are generally year-round inhabitants. Even if a species is found throughout a large area, it only occurs in the habitat that it prefers. As a result, the exact habitat of your area has a role in the presence or absence of specific bird species.

1. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

Range in New Hampshire: Tufted Titmice are year-round residents in most of New Hampshire, with the exception of extreme northern New Hampshire.


Size: This species is bigger than chickadees, around the size of a junco or House Finch.

Shape: Rounded body, long full tail, large head, and long legs.

Bill: Short and stout, compressed (taller than wide), black.

Color: Above, dark blue-gray, bottom, pale. Black feathers around the eye enhance its size.

Habitat, range, and behavior: Found in densely forested areas and parks. Its distribution is increasing north and west, with origins in the eastern and southeastern United States.

Food and feeder preference: Insects and seeds are preferred foods. They prefer black oil sunflower seeds and suet in hopper or tray feeder.

2. Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

This small woodpecker can be found all around the country.

Range in New Hampshire: Downy Woodpeckers can be found throughout the year in New Hampshire.


Size: Similar to a junco or a House Finch in size. Tiny compared to a Red-winged Blackbird in size. Similar in size to a White-crowned Sparrow, but with a shorter tail.

Shape: Stocky, with a huge head and a stiff, short tail.

Bill: Chisel-shaped and short.

Color: Head with a black-and-white striped pattern. White dots on black wings. Back is a solid white colour. Underparts are white. White outer tail feathers with black bars or patches on the blacktail. A little red spot on the back of the head of a male.

Habitat, range, and behavior: Small deciduous trees, willows, and even weed stocks like teasel, especially near water, are all good places to look. Ranges from the northernmost sections of Canada and Alaska to the southernmost parts of the United States. Southwest desert lacks it .

Food and feeder preference: Insects, fruits, and seeds are preferred foods . Arthropods are extracted from tree bark. Use a suet feeder to draw them in. Will consume black oil sunflower seeds as well.

3. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

In the eastern side of the United States, this is among the most frequent and popular backyard birds.

Range in New Hampshire: Northern Cardinals live in southern New Hampshire throughout the year.


Size: Cardinals are almost the same size as Red-winged Blackbirds, however they are a little smaller than American Robins.

Shape: Plump body with a full tail that is fairly long. The crest is wispy.

Bill: Pink, short, heavy, conical.

Color: A few other birds have the same vivid red color. The face is black. The female has a crest and is grayer, with traces of red on her wings and tail.

Habitat, range, & behavior: Cardinals can be found year-round in shrubby forest borders from the eastern United States to Texas and Arizona, and south into Mexico. Large conical bill for eating seeds. 

Food and feeder preference: Black oil sunflower seeds are the preferred food . Larger hopper or tray feeders holding a variety of seeds, berries, and nuts.

4. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

It's a common bird, but it's also variable, and it looks like a lot of other streaked brown sparrows.

Range in New Hampshire: Song Sparrows can be found across New Hampshire during the summer and year-round in central and southern New Hampshire.


Size: A smaller bird that looks like a House Finch or a junco. Chickadees and goldfinches are smaller than this bird. White-crowned Sparrows and Spotted/Eastern towhees are larger than this one .

Shape: Plump with a round head and a long rounded tail.

Bill: Conical and short.

Color: Throughout its range, it is quite diverse in terms of darkness and colour saturation (dark rusty to pale gray). Above gray-brown, with dark brown streaks on the back. An intricate pattern design for the head. Side and breast streaking converge in a concentrated center breast spot.

Habitat, range & behavior: Thickets, especially near water. Shrubbery in the backyard. The western United States, western Canada, coastal southern Alaska, and the northeastern United States are all home to this species. It also moves  into the middle of Canada and the northern part of the United States. During the winter, it can be seen throughout the lower 48 states of the United States. In addition, there is a population in central Mexico.

Food and feeder preference: Song  Sparrows eat seeds and insects. For mixed birdseed, they will visit hopper and tray feeders.

5. Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

Mostly known as "snowbirds", arrive in backyards in the winter from adjacent mountain forests or more northern climes.

Range in New Hampshire: Dark-eyed Juncos can be found most of the year in New Hampshire.


Size: About the same size as a House Finch.

Shape: Round body, short neck, round head, and a square-ended tail that is fairly lengthy.

Bill: Pink, pointy, conical, and short.

Color: Eastern birds have a darker all-gray color with a white belly. Western birds have a jet-black hood overhead, a brown back, a white belly, and pink sides. Females have a paler complexion.

Habitat, range & behavior: Breeding happens in Coniferous forests.  Avoids dense brush, and favors sparsely spaced bushes. Breeds in the western half of the United States, Alaska, and much of Canada. Winters in southern Canada and the lower 48 states of the United States, as well as in far northern Mexico. They spend a lot of time hopping around and feeding on the ground.

Food and feeder preference: Dark-eyed Juncos consume largely seeds, and insects in the summer. Feed mixed seeds in hopper or tray feeders and on the ground at backyard feeders.

6. Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus)

Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus)

Hairy Woodpeckers have identical plumage to Downy Woodpeckers. Hairy Woodpeckers are slightly larger than Downy Woodpeckers, with a heavier, longer bill.

Range in New Hampshire: Hairy Woodpeckers are year-round residents of New Hampshire.


Size: Downy Woodpecker's size is slightly smaller than this one. Of the s ize of red-bellied or acorn woodpeckers.

Shape: It has a stout body type.  The head is quite large. The tail is short and pointed. The legs are short, and the feet are large. Wings are short and rounded.

Bill: Shorter than head. Stout. Chisel-shaped.

Color: Wings and upper body portions are usually black. Back is white. Face with black and white lines. White underparts. A red spot on the nape of the male.

Habitat, range, and behavior: They can be found in open or dense forests on large trees.  Except in treeless deserts and grasslands, these birds can be found all over North America.  These birds always perch on the trunks or heavy branches of huge trees, usually conifers. Downy Woodpeckers, on the other hand, are found on little branches, weed stalks, and willows.

Food and feeder preference: Prefer to eat insects. In the winter, they will visit the hopper or platform feeders for suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

7. Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

The marshes are the most common habitat for these noisy flocking birds. In the winter, though, they can be spotted in backyards.

Range in New Hampshire: They are summer residents throughout New Hampshire, as well as year-round dwellers in southeastern New Hampshire.

Identification: This is a key species to compare to an unfamiliar bird.

Size: From bill tip to tail tip, it's about 8-3/4 inches long. Approximately the same size as a Northern Cardinal. Smaller than an American Robin.

Shape: Pot-bellied, with a large bill and a flat head. Average tail.

Bill: Long with a  sharp point.

Color: Males have red and yellow shoulder patches and are black in color. Females have brown and rusty streaks.

Habitat, range, and behavior: Cattail marshes and wetlands are their summer habitat.  They feed in crop fields during the winter. They can be found breeding across the majority of the North American continent. During the winter, they leave the majority of Alaska and Canada. In the summer, they live in colonies, and in the winter, they migrate in vast flocks.

Food and feeder preference: Insects are their preferred food in the summer. They eat grain and seeds throughout the winter. They visit feeders, especially in huge winter flocks, and eat a wide variety of seeds and suet.

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