25 Backyard Birds in Colorado in 2023 (Pictures & Facts)

common backyardbirds colorado min

Last updated 10-04-2023 by Mathias

In this article, we try to help you answer the question: What species of backyard birds can I find in Colorado?

With an average elevation of 6,800 feet (2072.64 m), Colorado is regarded for its vivid landscapes, forests, mountains, canyons, rivers, and much, much more. Colorado is a mountain state, part of the western states. Colorado is famous for its wildlife, being home to the Colorado Bison, Mountain Lions, Black Bears, Elk, Beavers, and over 400 species of birds. This article will showcase the most common backyard birds of Colorado, ranging from most common, to least common. 

25 most common backyard birds in Colorado:

  1. Dark-eyed Junco (91.92% frequency)
  2. House Finch (90.53% frequency)
  3. Black-capped Chickadee (88.91% frequency)
  4. Northern Flicker (81.76% frequency)
  5. Downy Woodpecker (77.60% frequency)
  6. Mountain Chickadee (70.67% frequency)
  7. Eurasian Collared-Dove (67.21% frequency)
  8. White-breasted Nuthatch (63.74% frequency)
  9. American Goldfinch (60.51% frequency)
  10. Red-breasted Nuthatch (60.51% frequency)
  11. American Robin (59.58% frequency)
  12. Blue Jay (55.20% frequency)
  13. Black-billed Magpie (52.89% frequency)
  14. Pine Siskin (51.04% frequency)
  15. Bushtit (48.73% frequency)
  16. House Sparrow (46.65% frequency)
  17. American Crow (39.26% frequency)
  18. Spotted/Eastern Towhee (38.57% frequency)
  19. European Starling (38.34% frequency)
  20. Hairy Woodpecker (36.03% frequency)
  21. Steller’s Jay (33.49% frequency)
  22. Red-winged Blackbird (30.95% frequency)
  23. Brown Creeper (25.40% frequency)
  24. Mourning Dove (25.17% frequency)
  25. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay (23.79% frequency)

1. Dark-eyed Junco


Image: © Chris Wood | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Junco hyemalis

Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)

Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g) 

Wingspan: 7.1-9.8 in (18-35 cm) 

Found in 91.92 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Colors of juncos vary widely across the United States; the most common is a dark gray or brown. They have white tail feathers and a pink beak. In terms of geographic distribution, the Dark-Eyed Junco may be found all over the world. More than a dozen varieties of the Junco can be found in the wild; they include the Slate, Oregon; Pink; Red; Grey; White; and White-Winged Juncos.

The North American woodlands are home to a plethora of Dark-eyed Juncos. These birds may be found across North America, from Alaska to Mexico and all the way down to California and New York. In addition to nesting on the ground, they scavenge for seeds that have fallen from trees and plants.

Dark-eyed Juncos are year-round residents of western Colorado, but they can be seen in eastern Colorado during the mating season.

Juncos prefer black oil sunflower seeds, oats, cracked corn, and Nyjer, which they typically find at bird feeders. The seeds may be thrown on the ground and they will consume them, as well as giant hopper feeders and platform feeders, which they like to eat out of.

2. House Finch


Image: © Martina Nordstrand | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Haemorhous mexicanus

Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm) 

Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (16-27 g)

Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in (20-25 cm)

Found in 90.53 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The male House Finch’s face and breasts have a bright rosy red color in adulthood. Their back, belly, and tail are all streaked brown. Adult females are not red, but rather a grey-brown with a barely discernible facial markings. It has a short body, big beaks, and flat heads. Because of their small wings, they appear to have a longer tail. The House Finch has a modest notch on its tail compared to other finches.

Birds like the House Finch congregate around feeders or perch high in trees because they are social creatures. When they’re not at feeders, you can see them foraging on weeds or in the dirt. Like other finches, its flying is bouncy and erratic.

Throughout the year, much of Colorado is home to these finches. The House Finches of the Great Lakes and Northeastern U.S. migrate south for the season.

When searching for House Finches, keep an eye out for them in populated areas such as city parks, urban cores, forest margins, farms and backyards.. In large numbers, they are difficult to overlook since they are so loud.

If you use little, black oil sunflower seeds in your feeders. The more of these species that locate your feeders, the more birds you’ll attract. Platforms, hoppers, and tube feeders are some of their favorite feeding stations. Hulled sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and Nyjer are all favorites.

3. Black-capped Chickadee


Image: © Evan Lipton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Poecile atricapillus

Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)

Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-14 g)

Wingspan: 6.3-8.3 in (16-21 cm)

Found in 88.91 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The Black-capped Chickadee’s colors are black, white, and grey. The crown of the head and the bib are black, while the feathers on the wings are a mixture of grey and white. The bird’s eyes are difficult to notice due to the black cap that extends past its black eyes. Chickadees have a short neck and a huge head that is nearly spherical in form. The tail is long and slender, whereas the beak is short and stout.

The Black-capped Chickadee is capable of memorizing hundreds of hiding sites; they enjoy storing their food and seeds in a variety of locations to return to later. They are inquisitive birds with a proclivity for inquiring about everything in their own zone, including people. The Black-capped Chickadee is a year-round resident in Colorado; they are fast to locate bird feeders, and hence are often people’s first bird to learn.

Chickadees are among the simplest birds to attract using bird feeders. This bird visits feeders in search of suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. You may offer future nesting places for chickadees by planting willow, birch, or alder trees.

4. Northern Flicker


Image: © Warren Lynn | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Colaptes auratus

Length: 11.0-12.2 in (28-31 cm)

Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz (110-160 g)

Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in (42-51 cm) 

Found in 81.76 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Northern Flickers are brown with a white patch on their rump. The undersides of the tail and wings of eastern birds are brilliant yellow, whereas the undersides of the tail and wings of western birds are red. Northern Flickers range in size from robin to crow. They are huge woodpeckers with rounded, slender heads. Their bills are nearly curled downward.

Northern Flickers are nocturnal and spend the majority of their time on the ground. When perched in trees, they remain erect on horizontal branches; however, many woodpeckers prefer to rest on their tails against the tree trunk.

Northern Flickers are year-round residents of Colorado. They are either permanent or short-distance migratory, frequently wintering in the northern sections of their range. Flickers breed farther south in the southern states and frequently remain for the winter.

To locate a Northern Flicker, take a walk through open woodlands or along forest margins. Scan the ground for a feeding location or check in a nearby tree. When they are in flight, look for their white patch.

If you want to attract Northern Flickers to your yard, consider setting up nesting boxes to attract a breeding couple, but do it well in advance of mating season. They prefer suet cages, hoppers, and platform feeders for feeding. Suet, peanuts, millet, sunflower seeds, safflower, cracked corn, and peanut hearts are all good options for filling your feeders.

5. Downy Woodpecker


Image: © Evan Lipton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Dryobates pubescens

Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)

Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz (21-28 g)

Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in (25-30 cm)

Found in 77.60 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Downy Woodpeckers have black-and-white checkered wings, a black-and-white striped head, and males have a little red patch on the back of their heads. Downy Woodpeckers are often darker in the West than they are in the East. They have whiter wings in eastern North America than they do in the west. They have an overall dark wash in the Pacific Northwest.

Downy Woodpeckers are seen in mixed-species flocks throughout the winter; since they are flocked, they may spend less time watching out for predators and have a higher chance of finding food due to the presence of other birds.

The Downy Woodpecker is found year-round throughout Colorado and the majority of North America.

These Woodpeckers are the most often encountered Woodpeckers at backyard feeders. They like suet cages, but will also consume black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and chunky peanut butter. Occasionally, they may drink from hummingbird feeders.

6. Mountain Chickadee


Image: © Evan Lipton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Poecile gambeli

Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)

Weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)

Found in 70.67 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The Mountain Chickadee, like the majority of chickadees, has a black-and-white head and is predominantly grey elsewhere. They have a white stripe over the eye, which aids in their identification. The Mountain Chickadee is a little bird with a big head, a long tail, and rounded wings.

The Mountain Chickadee is a very energetic and acrobatic bird. They prefer to perch on pine cones, short tree branches, and even twigs. Mountain Chickadees frequently congregate alongside nuthatches and kinglets. To survive, these chickadees require just ten calories each day, which is equivalent to one-twentieth of an ounce of peanut butter.

Mountain Chickadees can be observed year-round in southwest Colorado. They are permanent birds, but occasionally migrate to lower elevations for the winter.

To locate Mountain Chickadees, hike up your favorite path into the mountains. Within a few minutes of exiting your automobile, you should notice a flock of little birds and Mountain Chickadees perched in the treetops.

You may attract Mountain Chickadees to your yard by simply erecting a nest box. Tube feeders, suet cages, hoppers, and platforms are all good feeder types to employ when attempting to attract Mountain Chickadees. Fill your feeders with sunflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, Safflower seeds, peanuts, and mealworms.

7. Eurasian Collared-Dove


Image: © Paul Fenwick | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Streptopelia decaocto

Length: 11.4-11.8 in (29-30 cm)

Weight: 4.9-6.3 oz (140-180 g)

Wingspan: 13.8 in (13.8 cm)

Found in 67.21 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

These Doves range in hue from pale brown to grey buff and have large white spots on their tails. On the back of the Dove’s neck is a slender black collar. The Eurasian Collared-Dove is around the size of a Robin or a Crow; it is somewhat larger than the Mourning Dove but smaller than a Rock Pigeon.

Collared-Doves of Eurasian origin are frequently spotted sitting on telephone lines and in tall trees. They communicate incessantly with a three-syllable coo. These Doves frequently eat from backyard feeders. The flying path of Eurasian Collared-Doves is distinctive, with bursts of wingbeats and looping glides.

Due to the nonmigratory nature of the Eurasian Collared-Dove, it is a resident bird throughout its range in North America. They are seen throughout the year in Colorado.

The Collared-Dove makes a more frequent and impatient koo-KOO-kook call than the Mourning Dove. Often confused with the Mourning Dove, the Eurasian Collared-Dove may be identified by its white patches on the tail, darkening wing tips, and black collar on the nape of the neck.

Eurasian Collared-Doves frequently congregate to feed on seed and grain, notably millet, placed on the ground or on platform feeders. They like to nest near buildings and developed areas due to the abundance of food.

8. White-breasted Nuthatch


Image: © Ryan Schain | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Sitta carolinensis

Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)

Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)

Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 in (20-27 cm)

Found in 63.74 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The back of the White-breasted Nuthatch is grey-blue. They have a white face and underparts, a black cap and neck area, and a black cap and neck area. Chestnut is the color of the lower belly and tail.

Nuthatches are small, nimble, and energetic birds with a voracious appetite for large seeds and insects. They derive their name from pushing nuts, seeds, or acorns into tree bark then “hatching” the nut, seed, or acorn with their beak to consume the interior. Despite their little size, Nuthatches are quite vocal, and their booming calls frequently direct you directly to them.

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a resident bird that may be seen across Colorado all year.

They are widespread feeder birds that prefer peanuts, mealworms, suet, and hulled sunflower seeds. They are frequently seen at tube feeders and suet cages.

9. American Goldfinch


Image: © Darren Clark | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Spinus Tristis

Length: 4.3-5.12 in (11-13 cm)

Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)

Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

Found in 60.51 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Adult males are brilliant yellow with a black forehead in early spring. They have black wings with white markings. Female adults are duller yellow in color and have a more olive hue overall. The Goldfinch is dull in the winter, with unstreaked brown feathers and blackish wings.

The American Goldfinch is an acrobatic and lively little bird that clings to weeds and seed socks. They may congregate in huge flocks at feeders or on the ground underneath feeders. They frequently fly in an undulating, bouncing fashion, and they also call during flight to attract attention.

While these finches may be seen year-round in certain northern sections of Colorado, they can also be found nesting in northern Minnesota, Michigan, and even Canada. When they are not reproducing, they are found across the United States of America.

The American Goldfinch is attracted to nearly all types of bird feeders, including hanging, platform, and hopper feeders. Plant native thistles or other composite plants in your yard to attract Goldfinches. They are mostly drawn to sunflower and Nyjer seeds.

10. Red-breasted Nuthatch


Image: © Simon Boivin | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Sitta canadensis

Length: 4.3 in (11 cm)

Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (8-13 g) 

Wingspan: 7.1-7.9 in (18-20 cm)

Found in 60.51 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a grey-blue bird with a heavily patterned head that includes a black crown and white stripes above the eye. The underparts of males are a cinnamon hue, while females are lighter. They are little birds with a protracted, pointed beak. Red-breasted Nuthatches lack a neck and have extremely short tails. They are comparable to sparrows in size.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch becomes quite aggressive during nest construction, chasing away other hole-nesting birds such as the Downy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, and House Wren. These Nuthatches may steal material from other birds, particularly Mountain Chickadees and Pygmy Nuthatches, to line their nests.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch can be observed year-round in western Colorado and in eastern Colorado during non-breeding seasons. Each year, the Red-breasted Nuthatch’s northernmost populations migrate south; in some years, the Red-breasted Nuthatch may be observed as far south as the Gulf Coast.

You can locate Red-breasted Nuthatches by listening for their nasal cry or the noises of foraging chickadees and other birds. Keep an eye out for these Nuthatches as they climb tree trunks and branches.

Red-breasted Nuthatches like tube feeders, suet cages, hoppers, and platform feeders as food sources. You should use black oil sunflower seeds, suet, peanut hearts, mealworms, and hulled sunflower seeds to fill your feeder.

11. American Robin


Image: © Alex Eberts | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Turdus migratorius

Length: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)

Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz (77-85 g)

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Found in 59.58 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The American Robin is mostly grey-brown in color with a dark brown head and white dots around the eyes. It also has a brilliant yellow beak and warm orange underparts. Females have lighter heads that contrast less with their grey backs. The American Robin is a huge songbird, with a broad, spherical body, a long tail, and long legs. Robins are often used as a standard for comparing the size and morphology other birds.

The American Robin is a diligent bird that enjoys bounding over lawns and standing erect with its mouth bent forward to observe its surroundings. They frequently form big flocks during the winter seasons and linger in trees to eat berries or even sleep. American Robins can occasionally become inebriated when they consume solely honeysuckle berries. In the fall and winter, the American Robin consumes a large amount of fruit.

These Robins are year-round residents of Colorado. American Robins are found almost wherever south of Canada; some have been discovered as far south as the Gulf Coast, the Southwest, and even Mexico.

These Robins can be found dashing across your yard or digging up worms in your neighborhood park. You can locate them by listening to their distinct, lilting, and melodious cry. In the winter, they congregate in huge flocks in the treetops and around fruit trees, and their low call notes may be heard.

American Robins eat on the ground or from platform feeders. Fill your feeders with suet, fruit, mealworms, hulled sunflower seeds, and peanut hearts to attract these birds to your yard.

12. Blue Jay


Image: © Scott Martin | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Cyanocitta cristata

Length: 9.8-11.8in (25-30 cm)

Weight: 2.5-3.5 oz (70-100 g)

Wingspan: 13.4-16.9 in (34-43 cm)

Found in 55.20 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Blue Jays come in a variety of hues, from vivid blue at the wingtips to pastel blue on the back and blue on the crown of the head. Additionally, they have black accents on their necks, wings, and eyes. Additionally, they are white around some areas of the eyes, neck, and abdomen. The Blue Jay is a big crested songbird with a rounded tail and a wide crest. They are slightly bigger than robins but not as massive as crows.

Blue Jays create a range of calls that are audible from great distances. The majority of Blue Jay calls are produced from a perch in a tree. Blue Jays are extremely quiet fliers, particularly during migration. They store food in a pouch in their neck.

Year-round, the Blue Jay may be found in eastern Colorado; they have been observed as far north as Oregon, Washington, and even eastern Canada. The Blue Jay can be spotted in southern Colorado during the non-breeding seasons, but they are uncommon.

Blue Jays are frequently identified by their sounds, as they are quite loud birds. When they move close to shorelines, the Blue Jay migrates in loose flocks. While resident birds may form flocks, they typically fly silently across open regions one at a time.

Blue Jays like tray feeders or hopper feeders for feeding. They prefer post-mounted feeders over hanging feeders. Suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts are among their favorite foods. If there are oak trees nearby, they will eventually produce acorns for the jays.

13. Black-billed Magpie


Image: © Kathryn Keith | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Pica hudsonia

Length: 17.7-23.6 in (45-60 cm)

Weight: 5.1-7.4 oz (145-210 g)

Wingspan: 22.1-24.0 in (56-61 cm)

Found in 52.89 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The Black-billed Magpie is somewhat bigger than a Jay and has significantly longer diamond-shaped tails. Although these Magpies are predominantly black and white in color, they have an iridescent blue-green color on their wings and tails. While in flight, their wings appear to be excessively little in comparison to the size of their bodies.

Magpies are gregarious and curious birds. They feed on insects, fruit, small animals, and cereals, and they prefer to congregate in huge groups. The Black-billed Magpie prefers to travel in groups and communicates with cackles, trills, and whistle-like cries.

All year long, these Magpies may be spotted in Colorado. They are resident birds, however they do migrate regionally throughout the winter.

Black-billed Magpies are quite vocal; they prefer to perch on the tops of trees or even fenceposts to be seen and heard. Keep an eye out for their gliding flights across open or densely forested regions.

These birds are quite abundant at little town feeders. Sunflower seeds, suet, peanut hearts, cracked corn, millet, milo, and fruit are among favorites of the Black-billed Magpie. They like to feed straight from platform feeders or from the ground.

14. Pine Siskin


Image: © Ryan Sanderson | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Spinus pinus

Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)

Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (12-18 g)

Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in (18-22 cm)

Found in 51.04 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Pine Siskins are around the size of a sparrow, with pointed beak and short notched tails. These dark birds have slight yellow borders on their wings and tail. Their beak is more thin than that of other finches. When these birds are in flight, watch for forked tails and sharp wingtips.

When temperatures fall below freezing overnight, the Pine Siskin’s metabolic rate can increase to five times its typical rate. They can tolerate temperatures as low as –70°C (–94°F) for several hours at a time by doing so.

When not mating, the Pine Siskin may be seen throughout western Colorado. They are only spotted year-round in a few locations in Colorado. Indeed, these birds may be found throughout the year across the majority of North America, including Alaska, Canada, Texas, Minnesota, and even certain sections of Mexico.

The Pine Siskin may be found at the tips of fir branches; they can even hang upside down. Keep an ear out for the unmistakable, piercing winding cry. According to others, this cry sounds like a piece of paper gently being torn. Throughout North America, the Pine Siskin is occasionally sighted one year and then disappears the next winter.

Install a Nyjer feeder or even a thistle feeder in your backyard to attract Pine Siskins. Additionally, they prefer smaller seeds such as millet or hulled sunflower seeds. They can be spotted munching on seed heads on plants or weeds.

15. Bushtit


Image: © Paul Fenwick | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Psaltriparus minimus

Length: 2.8-3.1 in (7-8 cm)

Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz (4-6 g)

Found in 48.73 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Bushtits are extremely little birds, roughly the size of a kinglet. They are simple grey-brown in color, with darker wingtips. Bushtits have huge heads and fat bodies, as well as long tails and stubby beaks.

Due to their ability to travel fast through foliage, these birds are nearly often found in flocks. They are continually chirping and twittering. They usually perch on their backs to feed for tiny insects and spiders. Bushtits are highly gregarious birds, frequently flocking in groups of 10 to 40 birds year-round.

Bushtits are sedentary; they do not migrate south during the winter. Birds that live in the mountains, on the other hand, may migrate to lower elevations during the winter months. They are year-round residents of southeast and western Colorado.

These are quite inconspicuous birds, despite their widespread distribution. Keep an eye out for them as they move through low branches, park plants, and along margins. When they are hunting for insects, they are quite energetic and acrobatic.

Bushtits can be challenging to attract to your backyard feeder due to their preference for tiny insects. Use a tube feeder, suet cage, hopper, or platform feeder to entice them to your yard. Always have sunflower seeds, mealworms, peanut hearts, suet, and peanuts on hand.

16. House Sparrow


Image: © Evan Lipton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Passer domesticus

Length: 5.9-6.7 in (15-17 cm)

Weight: 0.9-1.1 oz (27-30 g)

Wingspan: 7.5-9.8 in (19-25 cm)

Found in 46.65 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Male House Sparrows are colorful, with a grey head, a black bib, and white cheeks. Females are a simple brown tint with hints of dingy grey on their backs. House Sparrows are not related to other North American sparrows; in comparison to other North American sparrows, the House Sparrow has a more chunkier breast, a bigger head, a shorter tail, and a rounder skull.

In 1851, the House Sparrow arrived in Brooklyn, New York. It reached the Rocky Mountains over 50 years later. Due to the bird’s abundance, it has acquired a lack of fear of people, and as a result, the House Sparrow has become a model organism for avian research, with around 5,000 scientific articles using the House Sparrow as the study species.

The House Sparrow is found practically year-round across North America; it is also present in a number of Central and South American nations, as well as the Caribbean.

One of the greatest methods to locate a House Sparrow is to visit an urban location, where you are likely to see a small sparrow hopping around the ground. You may even be able to coax them into eating directly from your palm.

House Sparrows are so common that you probably won’t need to set out a feeder to attract them to your backyard. They like tube feeders, hoppers, platform feeders, and feeding directly from the ground. They prefer sunflower seeds with the hulls, milo, peanut hearts, black oil sunflower seeds, and millet.

17. American Crow


Image: © Henry Burton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Corvus brachyrhynchos

Length: 15.8-20.9 in (40-53 cm)

Weight: 11.2-21.9 oz (316-620 g)

Wingspan: 33.5-39.4 in (85-100 cm)

Found in 39.26 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The American Crow is entirely black in color. Legs, bill, and everything in between. However, when they molt, the older, less glossy feathers might seem somewhat brown in comparison to the fresher, glossier feathers. They are huge birds with long, slender legs and a broad neck. The crow’s beak is straight, and its wings are large and rounded as it flies. The feathers on the wingtips even resemble spread-out fingers. They have a short tail with a somewhat squared-off end.

These crows are extremely gregarious birds, forming flocks of thousands of individuals. The American Crow is frequently naughty and is an excellent problem solver. They have been observed sometimes infiltrating garbage cans and picking at old food containers.

While American Crows can be found year-round in Colorado, they are frequently found nesting further north in Canada. Crows that breed in Canada frequently spend their winters in the United States.

The American Crow is quite prevalent in the lower 48 states and the southern deserts. These crows congregate in open places near wooded regions, as well as in municipal parks, rubbish dumps, groomed lawns, cemeteries, and campers. You may locate them by listening for their distinctive cawing.

American Crows are not frequently observed at backyard feeders. If you have a lot of open space, a diverse tree population, or food, you may attract crows. Alternatively, you might scatter peanuts across an open area to attract crows. Additionally, you may notice them eating from your garbage can or even compost.

18. Spotted/Eastern Towhee


Image: © Mason Maron | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Pipilo maculatus/erythrophthalmus

Length: 6.7-8.3 in (17-21 cm)

Weight: 1.2-1.7 oz (33-49 g)

Wingspan: 11.0 in (28 cm)

Found in 38.57 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The Spotted Towhee is a large sparrow with a broad, pointed beak, a short neck, a stocky body, and a long, rounded tail. Male Towhees have a jet-black upper body and neck. It has reddish cinnamon flanks and a pure white belly.

Spotted Towhees enjoy backward hopping to uncover seeds and tiny invertebrates to feed on; this is referred known as “double-scratching.” These birds like hopping around on the ground beneath plants and ascending onto lower branches in search of insects and food.

The Spotted Towhee is present year-round in select parts of southern Colorado and is occasionally observed in central, northwest, and even northwestern Colorado during the nesting season. Towhees are both permanent and transient migrants.

Towhees are frequently seen leisurely strolling along the borders of woodlands and unkempt areas. They have a mew cry similar to that of a cat and a quick song to be aware of. Additionally, search low in bushes and along the ground in areas with a lot of leaf litter.

The Spotted Towhee is a frequent visitor to backyard feeders; in some cases, they may even make their home in your yard. They like to feed from platforms or directly from the ground. To attract these Towhees to your backyard feeder, fill it with sunflower seeds, cracked corn, millet, milo, and peanut hearts.

19. European Starling


Image: © Matt Davis | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris

Length: 7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm)

Weight: 2.1-3.4 oz (60-96 g)

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Found in 38.34 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

While European Starlings appear to be black at first glance, they are actually an iridescent purple-green tint with bright yellow beaks in the summer. In the winter, these starlings are dark with white dots. They are around the size of an American Robin, with short tails and big, stubby beaks. When they fly, they have short, pointed wings that give them the appearance of being fairly little.

The European Starling first came in the United States in the 1800s, when 100 were released in New York’s famed Central Park. The reason these starlings were purposefully released was to satisfy a group of persons who desired to own every bird listed by Shakespeare in America. Today, North America is home to almost 200 million European Starlings. They have been reported as far north as Alaska, while some have been recorded as far south as Mexico.

The European Starling is a year-round resident in Colorado. They can be observed throughout Mexico and the Caribbean when they are not breeding. The European Starling is most frequently encountered in urban areas. Look for these starlings on lawns, in city parks, and in fields. You’ll be able to watch them making their way over the grass in a zig-zag pattern. Every few steps, these starlings stab their beak into the earth. However, in the countryside, the European Starling is more likely to be found at the tops of trees, sitting in flocks, or even soaring over fields and highways in flocks.

These starlings prefer suet cages, hoppers, platform feeders, tube feeders, and feeding directly from the ground. If you wish to attract these birds to your yard, fill your feeders with peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds, oats, peanut hearts, cracked corn, millet, and hulled sunflower seeds.

20. Hairy Woodpecker


Image: © Matthew Plante | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Dryobates villosus

Length: 7.1-10.2 in (18-26 cm)

Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz (40-95 g)

Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in (33-41 cm)

Found in 36.03 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Hairy Woodpeckers are predominantly black and white in coloration. They have black-and-white checkered wings. The head is black and white striped, and males have a flash of red on the rear of the skull. A lengthy strip of white spans the length of the predominantly white back. This medium-sized woodpecker has a square head and a long chisel-like beak. Leaning on tree trunks is accomplished by using the long tail feathers.

Hairy Woodpeckers prefer to cling to medium- to large-sized tree trunks and branches, picking at the bark with their lengthy beak. The Hairy Woodpecker’s flying path is similar to that of the majority of woodpeckers.

This woodpecker is present throughout the year in the majority of Colorado and migrates away from their native area during the winter. During certain winters, woodpeckers that breed inland migrate to the seaside.

Hairy Woodpeckers can be identified by gazing at the trunks or main branches of big trees. When they are foraging, their bill taps vigorously on the tree trunk.

To attract Hairy Woodpeckers to your backyard, install a suet cage, peanut feeders, and black oil sunflower seed feeders, particularly during the winter when food is limited. Additionally, they feed from big hoppers and platform feeders.

21. Steller’s Jay


Image: © Jeff Maw | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Cyanocitta stelleri

Length: 11.8-13.4 in (30-34 cm) 

Weight: 3.5-4.9 oz (100-140 g)

Wingspan: 17.3 in (44 cm)

Found in 33.49 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The Steller’s Jay begins with a dark grey, nearly black head and gradually lightens to a smoky grey back and breast; the wings are a vivid blue. On the Pacific variety of the Steller’s Jay, small blue stripes run across the forehead; these same streaks are white on the Rocky Mountain variant. Steller’s Jays are enormous songbirds with massive heads and bulky bodies. They are between the size of a robin and a crow.

The Steller’s Jay, like the majority of Jays, is brave, clever, and somewhat vocal. These Jays spend a significant amount of time investigating forest canopy. The Steller’s Jay, like the Blue Jay, is the only Jay species in the New World that nests in mud.

Steller’s Jays are migratory birds that prefer to breed at higher elevations and winter at lower elevations. These Jays are year-round residents in western Colorado.

Steller’s Jays can be observed flying overhead in the forest canopy in the highlands. Keep an ear out for their reprimanding, harsh calls. Additionally, they can be spotted around picnic tables, campers, and backyards.

To attract a Steller’s Jay to your yard, place peanuts or other big seeds and nuts in your yard; they also enjoy suet. The Steller’s Jay prefers to feed on the ground, in hoppers, suet cages, and tube feeders. Additionally, sunflower seeds, mealworms, millet, milo, and crack corn can be placed in feeders to attract Steller’s Jays.

22. Red-winged Blackbird


Image: © Henry Burton | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus

Length: 6.7-9.1 in (17-23 cm)

Weight: 1.1-2.7 oz (32-77 g)

Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Found in 30.95 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The Red-winged Blackbird Blackbirds are stocky, broad-shouldered, and have a short cone-shaped beak and a somewhat long tail. They are shiny black on the outside and bright red and yellow on the shoulders. When perched, Red-winged Blackbirds can seem hump-backed. With their brilliant shoulders, these birds are difficult to miss.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds will do virtually everything to attract attention; they will perch on high perches and sing their song continuously throughout the day. Females, on the other hand, remain lower and dash through plants in search of food, even hastily constructing nests. For the winter, Red-winged Blackbirds assemble massive flocks, which occasionally include starlings and other blackbird species.

These blackbirds are year-round residents of Colorado. The southern states and Mexico’s blackbird populations do not migrate, but the northern states’ blackbird populations spend their winters around 800 miles from their breeding regions.

While driving through the countryside, the Red-winged Blackbird is frequently seen perched on telephone lines. Additionally, they can be spotted while exploring cattail marshes and wetlands. These blackbirds will very certainly be the most visible and loudest birds.

If you fill your feeders with a mixture of grains and seeds, you may attract Red-winged Blackbirds to your yard. You might scatter seed or grain on the ground to attract Red-winged Blackbirds.

23. Brown Creeper


Image: © Scott Martin | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Certhia americana

Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)

Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (5-10 g)

Wingspan: 6.7-7.9 in (17-20 cm)

Found in 25.40 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Brown Creepers, despite their little size, are lanky singers. Their bodies are thin, their beaks are narrow, and their tails are lengthy. The Brown Creeper’s upper surface is striped brown and buff. Their white underparts are frequently concealed by tree trunks. These birds have an uncanny ability to blend with the bark.

Brown Creepers prefer to climb up tree trunks in pursuit of tiny insects and spiders. They move in a quick, jerky pace, supported by their stiff tails. Brown Creepers use a high, wavering call note comparable to that of a Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Brown Creepers are found in the extreme east of Colorado during the nesting season; they are prevalent year-round in central and western Colorado. The Brown Creeper may be found across the United States, Alaska, certain southern portions of Canada, Mexico, and even some Central American nations, depending on the time of year.

Perhaps you’ve spotted the Brown Creeper zigzagging up a tree in search of spiders and insects. Brown Creepers can be seen in parks and suburban areas throughout the winter. The Brown Creeper is well disguised against tree bark and can be difficult to notice in a shaded woodland, but if you keep an eye out for movement from the little bird, you may glimpse it.

While Brown Creepers prefer to consume insects, they also enjoy peanut butter and suet throughout the winter. Additionally, the Brown Creeper will consume sunflower seeds, grass seeds, maize, and pine seeds throughout the winter. Set up a suet cage in your lawn to attract the Brown Creeper.

24. Mourning Dove

mourning dove

Image: © Ryan Schain | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Zenaida macroura

Length: 9.1-13.4 in (23-34 cm)

Weight: 3.0-6.0 oz (96-170 g) 

Wingspan: 17.7 in (45 cm)

Found in 25.17 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

Mourning Doves have hues that frequently complement their open rural environments. They are brown-tan in color, with black dots on their wings and white tail feathers bordered by black. These doves have a chubby body, lengthy tails, and small legs.

Mourning Doves are swift flyers with powerful wingbeats, frequently performing abrupt descents, ascents, and dodges. During the breeding season, three Mourning Doves can be observed flying in close formation, with the male of a married couple often leading. The second is an unmated male pursuing his opponent to a nesting site. The third is the mated pair’s female.

Year-round, the Mourning Dove is widespread across Colorado; during mating season, they migrate to Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Canada.

They frequently perch on telephone lines and other perches in your neighborhood. Keep an eye out for bare areas of land where birds congregate to stock up on food.

Distribute seeds like as millet on platform feeders or on the ground to attract these doves to your backyard. If you grow thick bushes and evergreen trees, you can give potential nesting sites for them. Keep your cats indoors, though, as birds that spend a lot of time on the ground are particularly vulnerable to cat assault.

25. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay


Image: © Curtis McCamy | Macaulay Library

Scientific name: Aphlecoma woodhouseii

Length: 11.0-11.8 in (28-30 cm)

Weight: 2.5-3.5 oz (70-100 g)

Found in 23.79 percent of the sites visited in Colorado

The Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is somewhat smaller than an American Crow, but slightly bigger and thicker than a Western Bluebird. Above, these birds are a mix of bright blue and grey. The Scrub-neck Jay’s is white and its belly is grey. They have extremely long, floppy tails. Scrub-Jays are long, straight, and pointed songbirds with long, straight, and pointed bills.

Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are bold, talkative, and inquisitive. These Jays are frequently seen perched high in trees, on wires, or on posts. The Scrub-Jay of the Woodhouse is frequently seen acting as a lookout. Scrub-Jays are frequently spotted taking pine cones and acorns from Clark’s Nutcrackers.

The Scrub-Jay is a permanent bird; it does not migrate during the winter. They are year-round residents of a number of southwestern states, including Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are also found year-round in central Texas and certain regions of Mexico.

Scrub-Jays can be found in pine environments, parks, suburbia, and even along roadsides. Keep an ear out for their raspy scolds and sobbing sounds, which these Jays employ to communicate.

If you want to attract Scrub-Jays to your garden, keep sunflower seeds and peanuts in your feeders. If you have thick bushes and tiny trees, you may even attract a pair to make a nest. The Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay favors ground feeding, platform feeders, hoppers, suet cages, and tube feeders. Besides millet, mealworms, fruit, peanut hearts, cracked corn, and suet, these birds like a variety of other things.

Bird Watching in Colorado

Colorado is an excellent place for bird watchers. Birdwatchers can find a large diversity of birds to study and admire due to the varying landscape and environment. Colorado has much to offer even the most seasoned bird watchers, from the majestic bald eagles of the Rocky Mountains to the colorful finches of the plains. Furthermore, thanks to Colorado’s warm environment and often bright weather, birding may be enjoyed all year.

One of the main reasons Colorado is so popular among birdwatchers is the richness of its birdlife. With over 500 bird species, Colorado offers an incredible variety of species to view, with many of them migrating to the area between the spring and fall months. Colorado has an astounding variety of species for birdwatchers to observe and appreciate, ranging from shorebirds to raptors.

Birding locations in Colorado

Attracting Backyard Birds in Colorado

Because of its diverse temperature and habitat, Colorado is a perfect place for attracting backyard birds. You can attract a wide range of birds to your garden by creating bird-friendly habitats. There are numerous ways to attract birds to your backyard, ranging from providing bird feeders and baths to planting native plants and trees.

Providing bird feeders and bird baths is one of the finest methods to attract birds to your backyard. There are many various types of bird feeders available, each designed to attract a different type of bird. There is a feeder for your backyard, from seed feeders to suet feeders. Bird baths also provide a supply of water for birds and can be an excellent method to attract additional birds to your region.

In addition to providing bird-friendly habitats, Colorado’s weather can assist attract birds to your garden. The frigid temperatures during the winter months can aid to attract birds looking for warmer climates. The moderate weather during the spring and summer months might attract songbirds, thrushes, and other birds looking for a new home. You can assist to ensure that your backyard is lively with the sound of birds all year by providing a safe spot for birds to nest and feed.


Hi, i am Mathias, the founder of startbirdwatching.com. I am passionate about bird watching and got into it during the last few years. I love sharing all the knowledge and research that I have collected the past few years about bird watching. I strive to make startbirdwatching.com the best resource for newcomers and more experienced bird watchers!

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