That noise under your shrubs is a shy towhee in search of its next meal.
Finches and Buntings
From sociable finches to colorful buntings, these beautiful backyard birds can be seen across North America. Learn about the types of finches and buntings you can spot in your area, and find out how to attract them.
Add a splash of red to your backyard with a few simple birding basics to attract these flashy fliers.
The indigo bunting is one of the most gorgeous summer birds in the East. Learn the birding basics of how to welcome these popular fliers to your area.
Once grouped with its eastern counterpart in a species called the rufous-sided towhee, the Spotted Towhee now has its own scientific name.
The Scarlet Tanager devours many destructive caterpillars and wood-boring beetles, most often but not exclusively in oaks.
Though the female usually builds the nest, some pairs share the work, and both incubate. If a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak pair raises a second brood, the male may take charge of the first while his mate sits on the new eggs.
In late summer, the Purple Finch begins to molt, and in winter plumage, a male’s reddish areas appear frosted. With wear, the whitish tinge disappears, revealing the rich breeding color.
Prone to irruptions in wintertime, Pine Siskins are cute little nomads whose range spans throughout the United States and Canada. Watch for them in large flocks.
Unlike members of most avian species, both male and female Northern cardinals sing. Pairs make a habit of counter-singing, where one begins vocalizing, and then the other replies.
During the breeding season, pairs of Indigo Buntings and other avian species often feed and bathe separately. It may help them avoid being preyed upon at the same time.
A western species until the 1940s, the House Finch was introduced to the East Coast by an unethical pet dealer. When some were let loose, they quickly adapted and spread, eventually occupying all of the eastern states as well.
In winter, Evening Grosbeaks wander in flocks. Their travels are unpredictable, but they may show up at bird feeders stocked with sunflower seeds.
When you’re watching for this songbird, look out below. The Eastern Towhee spends most of its time on the ground, whether it’s foraging or nesting.
In the spring in the West, fill a feeder with sunflower seeds (in the shell or out), and you may soon discover a pair of Black-Headed Grosbeaks nesting nearby.
The American Goldfinch is one of the last songbirds to breed each summer. By the time they have young in the nest in late summer, they can easily find an abundance of wild seeds to feed their offspring.