Bird Sector

Common Birds In North Carolina

North Carolina is home to a diverse array of bird species, with over 400 different kinds of birds having been spotted in the state. While the region is famous for its migratory birds that stop by during the spring and fall, there are also several common birds that can be found throughout the year. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common birds in North Carolina. We’ll explore their unique characteristics, behaviors, and habitats, as well as provide tips on where and when to spot these fascinating creatures. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a birdwatcher, or simply someone who enjoys the outdoors, join us on this journey through the world of North Carolina’s common birds.

Which birds are seen in North Carolina?

The birds that are seen in North Carolina vary depending on the season. In the winter, birds such as cardinals, blue jays, and chickadees can be seen.

During the spring and summer, birds such as warblers, vireos, and flycatchers can be found in the state. And in the fall, migrants such as thrushes and sparrows can be observed.
Many birders enjoy watching these different species of birds while they migrate through North Carolina.

9 Most common birds in North Carolina

The most common birds in North Carolina are the Northern Cardinal, American Robin, Carolina Wren, Morning Dove, American Crow, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, European Starling and the Tufted Titmouse. 

These birds can be found in various parts of the state throughout the year.

Northern Cardinal - State Bird of North Carolina

The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a medium-sized songbird native to North America. This bird is known for its striking appearance, with the male sporting a bright red plumage and a distinctive crest on its head. The female, on the other hand, is a duller brownish-red color, with a crest and a bright red beak.

Male and Female Northern Cardinal Birds perched on a branch. Native bird North Carolina, State Bird North Carolina, Red cardinal distinctive red crest

Northern Cardinals are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. They are a common sight at bird feeders, where they are known to feed on seeds and grains.

In addition to their striking appearance, Northern Cardinals are also known for their distinctive songs. The male’s song is a series of clear, whistled notes, while the female’s song is a softer, more musical version of the male’s.

Northern Cardinals are monogamous and breed in the spring and summer. They build their nests in shrubs, bushes, and trees, using twigs, grass, and other plant materials. The female lays between 2 to 5 eggs, which hatch after approximately 11 to 13 days.

The Northern Cardinal is a beloved and easily recognizable bird, known for its striking appearance and beautiful song.

American Robin

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a medium-sized songbird that is widespread throughout North America, including North Carolina. The Robin is known for its distinctive appearance, with a reddish-orange breast, gray-brown back, and a white belly. The bird also has a yellow beak, dark wings, and a dark tail.

Robins are commonly found in open woodlands, parks, and residential areas in North Carolina. They feed mainly on insects, fruits, and berries, and are known for their habit of pulling earthworms out of the ground.

During breeding season, American Robins build cup-shaped nests out of twigs, grass, and mud in trees, shrubs, and other elevated areas. The female lays a clutch of 3 to 4 pale blue eggs, which hatch after about two weeks.

In North Carolina, American Robins are most commonly seen in the spring and summer, but some also overwinter in the state. They are a familiar sight and sound in many areas, as they are known for their cheerful, melodic song, which is often heard early in the morning.

The American Robin is an iconic bird in North Carolina, known for its striking appearance, melodic song, and important role in local ecosystems as a seed and insect disperser.

Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is a small, round-bodied bird native to the southeastern United States, including North Carolina. These birds have a distinctive appearance, with rich brown upperparts and a buff-colored underbelly. They also have a long, curved bill and a distinctive white eyebrow stripe above their eyes.

Carolina Wrens are typically found in dense vegetation, such as forests, woodlands, and overgrown fields, but they are also common in suburban and urban areas with plenty of trees and bushes. They are known for their loud, melodious songs, which can be heard year-round in North Carolina.

In addition to their distinctive appearance and song, Carolina Wrens are known for their energetic and curious behavior. They are often seen hopping along the ground or perching on low branches, where they search for insects and other small prey.

During breeding season, Carolina Wrens build nests in cavities, such as tree hollows, birdhouses, or even abandoned plant pots. The female lays a clutch of 3 to 7 eggs, which hatch after about two weeks.

Overall, the Carolina Wren is a beloved and easily recognizable bird in North Carolina, known for its distinctive appearance, energetic behavior, and beautiful song.

Morning Dove

The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a small to medium-sized bird found throughout North Carolina. These birds have a distinctive plump body, small head, and a long, pointed tail. They are known for their soft, cooing calls, which are a familiar sound in many urban and suburban areas in North Carolina.

Mourning Doves are typically found in open habitats, such as fields, gardens, and woodland edges. They feed mainly on seeds, grains, and other plant material, but they will also eat insects and small invertebrates.

During breeding season, male Mourning Doves attract females by performing a series of flight displays, in which they fly up and then dive back down with a loud wing whistle. The female then selects a nesting site, often in a tree or shrub, and lays a clutch of two white eggs.

Mourning Doves are a popular game bird and are often hunted in North Carolina, but they are also beloved by many for their peaceful demeanor and soothing calls. They are an important part of local ecosystems, as they help to disperse seeds and control insect populations.

American Crow

The American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a large, all-black bird that is a common sight in North Carolina. These birds have a distinctive cawing call and are known for their intelligence, adaptability, and social behavior.

American Crows are found in a wide range of habitats, from urban and suburban areas to forests and farmland. They are omnivorous and will eat almost anything, including insects, small mammals, carrion, fruits, and seeds.

During breeding season, American Crows build bulky nests out of twigs, sticks, and grass in trees or other elevated areas. The female lays a clutch of 3 to 6 eggs, which hatch after about 18 days.

American Crows are often seen in large flocks, and they are known for their complex social behavior, including communication through a variety of calls and body language. They are also highly intelligent and have been observed using tools and problem-solving to obtain food.

While American Crows are sometimes considered a nuisance due to their habit of raiding crops and scavenging in urban areas, they are an important part of North Carolina’s ecosystems as scavengers and seed dispersers. They are also an iconic bird, featured in many works of art, literature, and folklore.

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a strikingly beautiful bird with a distinctive blue crest on its head, white belly, and blue and black wings. These birds are common in North Carolina and are known for their loud, raucous calls and bold behavior.

Blue Jays are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas. They are omnivorous and will eat insects, seeds, fruits, and even small vertebrates.

 

A blue jay is standing on a tree branch. Keeping blue jays as pets

Blue Jays are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas. They are omnivorous and will eat insects, seeds, fruits, and even small vertebrates.

During breeding season, Blue Jays build nests in trees or bushes, typically using a mixture of twigs, grass, and other plant material. The female lays a clutch of 3 to 6 eggs, which hatch after about 17 days.

Blue Jays are also known for their intelligence and social behavior. They have a complex system of communication, using a variety of calls and body language to communicate with each other. They are also highly adaptable and can adjust to changes in their environment.

While Blue Jays are often considered a nuisance by some due to their habit of raiding bird feeders and gardens. However, they are an important part of North Carolina’s ecosystems as seed dispersers and predators of insects and small animals. They are also a beloved and iconic bird, featured in many works of art, literature, and folklore.

Carolina Chickadee

The Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) is a small, active bird found throughout North Carolina. These birds have a distinctive black cap and bib, with white cheeks and a gray back and wings.

Carolina Chickadees are typically found in deciduous forests and woodland edges, where they forage for insects, spiders, and seeds. They are also known for their acrobatic abilities, often hanging upside down or clinging to branches while foraging.

During breeding season, Carolina Chickadees build nests in tree cavities or nest boxes, using a variety of materials such as moss, feathers, and animal hair. The female lays a clutch of 5 to 7 eggs, which hatch after about 12 days.

Carolina Chickadees are also known for their distinctive vocalizations, including a loud chick-a-dee-dee call and a high-pitched whistle. They are highly social and often found in small flocks, communicating with each other through a variety of calls and body language.

While Carolina Chickadees are not considered threatened, they are facing some habitat loss due to deforestation and urbanization. They are an important part of North Carolina’s ecosystems as predators of insects and seed dispersers. They are also a beloved bird, known for their lively behavior and cheerful calls.

European Starling

The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is a medium-sized bird with a distinctive, iridescent plumage that varies from black to greenish-purple. These birds are not native to North America and were introduced to the continent in the late 19th century.

European Starlings are found in a variety of habitats, including urban and suburban areas, agricultural fields, and open woodlands. They are omnivorous and will eat insects, fruits, and seeds.

 

During breeding season, European Starlings build nests in cavities, often in buildings or other structures. The female lays a clutch of 4 to 6 eggs, which hatch after about 12 days.

European Starlings are highly adaptable and have been successful in North America, with a population estimated at over 200 million individuals. However, they are considered an invasive species and can displace native bird species, such as bluebirds and woodpeckers, from their nesting sites.

European Starlings are known for their mimicry abilities and can imitate the calls of other birds, as well as human speech and other sounds. They are also highly social and often form large flocks outside of breeding season.

While European Starlings are not beloved by all due to their impact on native bird species and habit of congregating in large flocks, they are still an important part of North Carolina’s ecosystems as predators of insects and seed dispersers.

Tufted Titmouse

The Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) is a small, gray bird with a distinctive tuft of feathers on its head. These birds are common throughout North Carolina and can often be heard singing their clear, whistling songs in wooded areas.

Tufted Titmice are found in deciduous forests and woodland edges, where they forage for insects, spiders, and seeds. They are also known to visit bird feeders in suburban and urban areas.

 

During breeding season, Tufted Titmice build nests in tree cavities, using materials such as moss, animal hair, and spider webs. The female lays a clutch of 5 to 7 eggs, which hatch after about 14 days.

Tufted Titmice are highly social and often found in small flocks, communicating with each other through a variety of calls and body language. They are known for their acrobatic abilities and can often be seen hanging upside down or clinging to branches while foraging.

While Tufted Titmice are not considered threatened, they are facing some habitat loss due to deforestation and urbanization. They are an important part of North Carolina’s ecosystems as predators of insects and seed dispersers. They are also a beloved bird, known for their lively behavior and cheerful songs.

Conclusion

North Carolina is home to a diverse range of bird species, from colorful songbirds to majestic raptors. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or simply enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, there are many opportunities to appreciate the state’s avian inhabitants.

From the brilliant red plumage of the Northern Cardinal to the clear, whistling song of the Tufted Titmouse, each bird species has its unique characteristics and behaviors that make them fascinating to observe. Even the introduced European Starling, with its iridescent feathers and impressive mimicry abilities, has carved out a niche in North Carolina’s ecosystems.

As we continue to learn more about the habits and needs of North Carolina’s bird species, we can better appreciate the role they play in our environment and take steps to protect their habitats. Whether we’re observing them in our own backyards or exploring the state’s many parks and nature reserves, these feathered friends provide us with endless beauty and wonder.

Our other articles on bird species: You Never Knew What Yellow Birds of New Mexico Eat

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top