31 Photos of Autumn Birds You Need to See
Get excited about fall with these gorgeous photos of autumn birds. See some of the amazing birds you might spot in autumn.
As the weather gets chilly and the air crisp, autumn birds like woodpeckers, chickadees and robins visit backyards for food and shelter. And each year, our readers share their favorite snapshots of the fall birds that touch down in their own backyards. We rounded up a collection of our favorite autumn bird photos.
Courtesy Barbara Houlihan
“An adorable tufted titmouse enjoyed some corn at a feeding station in Dorothy Carnes County Park near Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. I don’t have titmice at my own feeders very often, so I was thrilled to spend some time with this little cutie,” says Barbara Houlihan of Madison, Wisconsin.
Did you know: Tufted titmice join small flocks of birds, including chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers in the winter months. Also, if you’ve ever heard them referred to as “titmouses”, learn about the correct plural terminology.
Courtesy Ginger Culp
“On a cold, rainy October afternoon, our feeders were overwhelmed by a flock of pine siskins. We had seen one of these birds in the yard a couple of times, but this was wild! The competition for food was fierce among the many birds. They kept snipping their beaks at one another, protecting their snack supply. I got a number of entertaining action shots from this group of aggressive autumn birds,” says Ginger Culp of Gurnee, Illinois.
Courtesy Jennifer Rush
“It was such an honor to watch this barred owl all afternoon in a tree behind my fence. The bird had a nice, lazy Sunday while posing for my camera. It didn’t seem to mind me at all,” says Jennifer Rush of Gresham, Oregon.
Learn how to spot the owl in your backyard trees.
Courtesy Kimberly Miskiewicz
“I was enjoying a sunny, refreshing fall morning when a family of eastern bluebirds showed up. After they romped around the treetops for a while, I went inside. When I came back out, they were checking out this bird house. I think they wanted to put down a deposit for next year!” says Kimberly Miskiewicz of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Don’t miss 20 beautiful pictures of bluebirds.
Courtesy Raven Ouellette
“A black-capped chickadee was getting ready to dive onto my feeder. Although they are small and super common around my neighborhood, they’re still among my favorites,” says Raven Ouellette of Sudbury, Ontario.
Check out 20 incredibly cute chickadee pictures.
Courtesy Darryl Neill
“A flock of American robins landed on a large beautyberry bush in my backyard in November. I enjoy this image, which I used a Nikon telephoto lens to capture, because of the colors and pose of the bird,” says Darryl Neill of Decatur, Georgia.
Courtesy Victoria Schwinabart
“Blue jays showed up in my backyard regularly after I filled this little pumpkin with seeds,” says Victoria Schwinabart of Swanton, Maryland.
Courtesy Linda Petersen
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
“I took this photo during fall migration in Iowa. The painted lady butterflies were migrating and my flowers were covered with them. This hummingbird gave up trying to chase the butterflies away and decided to just share the flower with the butterfly,” says Linda Petersen.
Courtesy Laura Frazier
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
“I love the way the colors on the plant match the bird, and how this ruby crowned kinglet that is normally moving nonstop paused just long enough for me to capture this photo of it against the soft orange background. It was November, and the colors in this photo are the colors of autumn—my favorite season!” says Laura Frazier.
Courtesy Debbie Center
“I was enjoying photographing the gorgeous fall foliage at my home in northern Minnesota when this amazing bald eagle flew near me, then struck a pose as though he was just waiting to be photographed. I live on a lake where the eagles build a nest every year, so the eagles have become treasured backyard neighbors. It’s just incredible to watch these majestic birds raising new families every year,” says Debbie Center.
Courtesy Janet Zimmerman
“I took this photo at Middle Creek, which is 20 minutes from my home. I believe the bird in the photo is a palm warbler. To me it looks like a painting and as if the bird posed for it. It is peaceful and relaxing,” says Janet Zimmerman. Fall ID tips: blackpoll warbler vs bay breasted warbler.
Courtesy Sherry Nicholson
“This handsome bird visits my feeder in late fall and winter. It is one of my favorite visitors and always brings a smile to my face. I love the vocals on the red-bellied woodpecker,” says Sherry Nicholson. Check out the 4 best foods for attracting woodpeckers.
Courtesy Marc St. Onge
“Fall colors reflected in the water make it look like this mute swan is swimming in a golden pond at Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachusetts. The swan is a perennial resident of the park,” says Marc St. Onge. Check out 6 romantic and fascinating swan facts.
Courtesy Patricia Warren
“This shot of a cedar waxwing was taken in my yard with a Nikon D3100 and a 300 mm lens. Every fall these beautiful birds visit the area, and I was lucky enough to witness this scene one morning as they ate berries from one of my viburnums. This photo is special to me because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime snapshot of a gorgeous bird,” says Patricia Warren. Where do waxwings go in winter?
Courtesy Elizabeth Angelone
“We’re lucky to have several wood storks who call our backyard home. This was shot with my Canon SX-50 at sunrise on a lovely fall morning. With wings wide spread; the main character in this photo seems to be holding court! The reflections and ever-changing colors at the lagoon always serve as a beautiful backdrop for the many wading birds that visit us here in the South Carolina LowCountry,” says Elizabeth Angelone.
Check out 20 black and white birds you might see.
Courtesy Emma England
Red Eyed Vireo
“I took this photograph in Lake County, Illinois, during fall migration. There were many autumn birds feasting on the dogwood berries including this beautiful red-eyed Vireo. I love this photograph because I managed to capture the bird with a berry in its bill and I like how it is framed by the foliage on this native shrub, says Emma England.
Courtesy Linda Petersen
“This was taken last fall during migration. I was in my backyard taking pictures of autumn birds when this female American redstart appeared at my water fountain. She was very excited to see water and kept hopping back and forth, fanning her tail feathers trying to get brave enough to jump in,” says Linda Petersen.
Don’t miss the 51 best winter bird photos.
Courtesy Lon Paulson
Red Shouldered Hawk
” I was raking leaves in the fall at my mother-in-law’s home in the country near Butner, North Carolina, and this red shouldered hawk flew by. So I grabbed my Canon T3 out of the car and locked on to get several shots. In this one he lit nearby so I had time to open the aperture and take advantage of the light. The resulting clarity of the hawk’s plumage was what made this photo so special,” says Lon Paulson.
Courtesy Jessie Buchholz
“I really enjoy trying to get photographs of autumn birds. These little dark-eyed juncos fill our backyard late fall thru spring. I like the light frost on the pine branch,” says Jessie Buckholz.
Courtesy Michael J Quaintance
“This photo is a Steller’s jay near Bailey, Colorado. These striking birds are frequent visitors to my sunflower seed and suet feeders virtually year around. This photo was taken in October, when the aspens were in peak color,” says Michael J Quaintance.
Meet the 8 types of jays you should know.
Courtesy Hayley Crews
“This photo was taken in the fall during a visit to the Phoenix, Arizona area. While visiting a local park to go birding, I noticed this male Costa’s hummingbird feeding among the flowers. It was a bright, sunny day, which allowed a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the hummingbird in flight,” says Hayley Crews.
Courtesy Theresa Erbstein
“Each morning I walk a different preserve, natural land or park. Usually my camera and two dogs are with me. On this beautiful day in early October I was at the Tyler arboretum. This is one of the few places where no dogs are allowed, but it gives me more freedom. I like this photo of the house wren among the berries,” says Theresa Erbstein. What does a Carolina wren call sound like?
Courtesy Patricia Welch
“On a late summer day, I looked out my living room window to see a mourning dove perched on the tree. The light filtering down on the bird was just gorgeous, so I grabbed my Canon EOS 7D Mark II and quietly headed out my back door to take the shot. I find mourning doves to be such beautiful, peaceful creatures, and this heavenly light just accentuated that for me,” says Patricia Welch. Check out more breathtaking photos of mourning doves.
Courtesy Edward Price
“I photographed this pair of wood ducks on a small pond near our home. I’ve provided two wood duck nest boxes that have been used for the past 11 years. I took the photo with my Canon EOS 70D,” says Edward Price of Rocklin, California.
Did you know: Wood ducks, both male and female, have blue and white wing plumage.
Courtesy Dan Sommers
“Every autumn I eagerly look forward to the annual migration of sandhill cranes through southeastern Tennessee. Most years, it’s October when I hear the distinct throaty call of cranes flying overhead. The weary travelers rest for a couple of months at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge near Birchwood, Tennessee, where I photographed these autumn birds in flight. It’s a thrill to observe them during their short visit,” says Dan Sommers, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Courtesy James Prutilpac
“While picking out pumpkins, I saw some broom corn and decided to hang it up near my backyard feeders. The American goldfinches, which had been absent for about a month, quickly came back to eat the seeds and use the broom corn as a perch while waiting for the feeders. It certainly made for a beautiful photograph of autumn birds,” says James Prutilpac, Morgantown, West Virginia. Here’s how to attract more goldfinches to your backyard.
Courtesy Tom Lusk
“This pileated woodpecker landed on a stump near my home and immediately began searching for food. A close look at its beak shows a small insect it found. I was glad I had my Nikon D300 with me so I could get the shot before the woodpecker took off. A friend witnessed the scene and could not believe the bird landed so close to me,” says Tom Lusk, Lansdowne, Ontario
Did you know: The easiest way to spot woodpeckers is to use your ears. Listen for their quick tapping on dead trees as they hunt for insects.
Courtesy Roger Stranc
White Breasted Nuthatch
“A white-breasted nuthatch hopped down a longleaf pine tree right in front of my farm truck. I sneaked over with my camera, leaned against the truck and waited for the right moment. I wasn’t disappointed,” says Roger Stranc, Rembert, South Carolina.
Did you know: In winter, white-breasted nuthatches trade insects for seeds, like acorns and pine nuts, and eat a mostly vegetarian diet.
Courtesy Vera Walling
“I adore cardinals, especially in fall and winter. This female landed in a nearby dogwood tree, and I immediately focused the camera on her. I was almost afraid to hope for a photo of her taking off, but I kept my arms and hands steady despite my nervousness. As she spread her wings in the morning sun, I held my breath and started snapping. The final result completely made my day,” says Vera Walling, Orangeburg, South Carolina. Check out more simply stunning photos of cardinals.
Courtesy Sheralyn Maddock
Yellow Rumped Warbler
“I have transformed my backyard into a bird sanctuary, including finch feeders, hummingbird feeders, a bird bath—you name it! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would attract such a large variety of birds, though. Bushtits, black phoebes, Nuttall’s woodpeckers, orange-crowned warblers and Anna’s hummingbirds have all stopped by. But the one bird I can’t get enough of is the yellow-rumped warbler. It doesn’t come around often and is very shy and difficult to photograph. I was very lucky to have gotten this photo of it,” says Sheralyn Maddock, Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Courtesy Susan LoParco
American Tree Sparrow
“These autumn birds seemed to be waiting for my husband and me. As soon as we came home, they flocked to the feeders. As I snapped a few photos, this American tree sparrow looked right at me as if to say, “It’s about time you got home! I’m starving!” My favorite thing about this species is their gray bushy eyebrows, which remind me of a grandfather’s. I call these cute, pudgy birds ‘old man sparrows, ‘” says Susan LoParco, Cortland, New York.