20 Grumpy Bird Pictures to Turn Your Frown Upside-Down

These birds woke up on the wrong side of the nest! Laugh at grumpy bird photos of owls, northern cardinals, blue jays and more.

Bnbbyc19 Sujata Roy 1
Courtesy Sujata Roy

Not a Winter Weather Fan

“I spotted this male pine warbler sitting on a branch with a grumpy bird pose. It snowed the day before, and it was still cold and windy. Pine warblers can be seen more around our region in winter. There were three of them last year around my yard, and this one was not liked by the other two. It just sat grumpily waiting its turn at the suet feeder,” says Sujata Roy.

After you’re done laughing at grumpy bird photos, keep the laughter going with funny bird photos that’ll make any bird lover laugh.

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Courtesy Rick Bodette

The Grumpy Bird Stare Down

““You lookin’ at me?” Here’s a gorgeous male northern cardinal getting breakfast from my feeder,” says Rick Bodette.

Attract your own grumpy cardinal with these cardinal feeding tips.

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Courtesy Belle Shuler

An Unwelcome Visitor

“This burrowing owl looked not so happy to have a snail cruising on its head. But its facial expression was quite priceless!” says Belle Shuler.

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Courtesy Richard Alvarnaz

A Loud and Grumpy Blackbird

“I captured this shot of a male red-winged blackbird singing from a grass stem at the edge of a stream in a local park. I’d seen many males making their courtship calls in this area. The picture stood out to me because the blackbird was facing me head-on and had his tail feathers fanned out in a beautiful display,” says Richard Alvarnaz.

Red-winged blackbirds aren’t the only blackbirds you should know—discover other notable members of the blackbird family.

Bnbbyc19 Heather Rothe, grumpy birds
Courtesy Heather Rothe

Privacy Please!

“My husband had a deck built in our backyard so I’d have a place to sit and enjoy the birds. Every evening I put out peanuts for the blue jays that visit my feeders. On this particular night I had gotten my camera just before one of the blue jays went for a bath. I loved the expression— it appears as though the jay wanted privacy during bath time and gave me some side eye,” says Heather Rothe.

These funny animal pictures will make you smile.

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Courtesy Don Ellis

All Ruffled Up

“I have a koi pond with a stream in my backyard, and I love taking photos of the many birds that splash in and drink from them. This one shows a robin right after it played in the water. Wet, fluffed feathers and all, it was giving me quite the look,” says Don Ellis.

For happier birds, check out these cheerful robin bird pictures.

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Courtesy Dan Zankman

Strike a Pose

“This little blue heron was a new visitor to a local refuge. In its immature form, it’s white, not blue. It seemed to be expressing dissatisfaction—perhaps dinner was not ready on time!” says Dan Zankman.

Love this long-legged youngster? Learn more about wading birds.

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Courtesy Hank Ohme

Snap It Quick!

“A good friend of mine came out to look for kinglets. About midafternoon, I spotted this male golden-crowned kinglet in a thicket. Out of all the photos I shot, only one frame caught him motionless! He looks a little upset at me, but he displayed his crown very well,” says Hank Ohme.

Not all kinglets are in bad moods—learn more about these delightful birds.

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Courtesy Rebecca Grant

Grumpy Baby Bird

“When I went outside to sit on my backyard swing to watch for birds, this young mockingbird was waiting for me. I think it’s a little grumpy because I interrupted playtime,” says Rebecca Grant of Hahira, Georgia.

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Courtesy Doug Gaudette

Grumpy Bird at the Suet Feeder

“I made a suet log, with 2-inch holes drilled and filled with suet, that attracts a variety of birds. On this particular day, a male northern cardinal seemed upset that he wasn’t the only visitor. Eventually the smaller bird, a juvenile brown-headed cowbird, took off and left the cardinal to enjoy his snack,” says Doug Gaudette.

You won’t want to miss these simply stunning cardinal bird pictures.

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Courtesy Richard Hayhurst

Whooo Goes There?

“We were wintering in Florida when a childhood pal and his wife told us about these burrowing owls. We took a long drive and, sure enough, there they were, cute as could be, sitting in a field that was marked to protect them. The locals had put up a sign that said “Romeo and Juliet,” which gave us a good laugh,” says Richard Hayhurst.

Andy Rauppsubmit.hornedlark
Courtesy Andy Raupp

Winter Is for the Birds!

“A male horned lark was feeding along a farm field one cold winter day. While the bird was busy feeding he gave me one quick look as I took this photo, which I was excited to capture,” says Andy Raupp.

Did you know horned larks sing while they fly?

Jennifer Metzenbauersubmitowl
Courtesy Jennifer Metzenbauer

Great Horned Scowl

“Shortly after our first snow of the season, I was walking through the local city park and I could see eyes looking out through a pine tree. It was such a pleasure to see this beautiful great horned owl framed by snow and pine,” says Jennifer Metzenbauer.

Find your own grumpy owl when you learn how to spot the owl in your backyard.

Gary Poteat
Courtesy Gary Poteat

Bluebird in a Bad Mood

“A male eastern bluebird tried his best to chase himself away anywhere he saw himself, including in the door, windows and truck mirrors,” says Gary Poteat.

Bluebirds bring joy to many birders—here’s how to attract bluebirds to your yard.

275031448 1 Katrina Ackley Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy Katrina Ackley

No More Snow!

“This American goldfinch was making sure that there was no more snow accumulation in my backyard! The bird clearly had enough of winter,” says Katrina Ackley.

While this bird is a bit grumpy, these goldfinch photos will certainly brighten your day.

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Courtesy Cynthia Marchessault

The Original Angry Bird

“I was sitting in my study and watching the birds coming and going on my fence outside. There was one bird in particular that I could not stop looking at. It just sat there on the fence, watching the other birds swoop down to eat the feed I put out for them. When I took a good look at this white-crowned sparrow, its expression made me laugh because it looked like a character from the Angry Birds game,” says Cynthia Marchessault.

308412841 1 Barry Trakalo Bnb Pc 2022
Courtesy Barry Trakalo

Snow, Snow Go Away

“We had an influx of common redpolls in the city of Calgary during a recent winter. I was able to snap hundreds of photos of them, including this one,” says Barry Trakalo.

Not sure if you’ll spot a redpoll at your feeders? Check out this year’s winter finch forecast.

309987396 1 Ronald Shimanek Bnb Pc 2022
Courtesy Ronald Shimanek

Where’s the Grub?

“It was a cold and snowy day in January 2022 in my backyard. This blue jay was impatiently waiting for me to bring it some peanuts. Was it grumpy or maybe just cold?” says Ronald Shimanek.

Blue jays really do seem to have “peanut radar!” Learn all about blue jays’ favorite foods.

Michelle Brown
Courtesy Michelle Brown

Eyes on You

“My husband and I had just poured our morning coffee as it started to gently snow a few winters ago. I happened to look out the window and saw this northern pygmy-owl tucked on an oak branch near our feeders. I quickly and quietly grabbed my camera, carefully opened a bottom window and lay down on the floor to get this shot. After a few photos, I slowly got up and sat with my husband as we continued to admire this beautiful, tiny owl. Best morning coffee ever!” says Michelle Brown.

Next, learn fun facts about owls you should know.

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Courtesy William Canosa

You Did What?!

Reader William Canosa of Branford, Connecticut, shared this amusing photo of a cranky northern mockingbird. We can only guess what make the bird so grumpy!

Emily Hannemann
Emily Hannemann is an associate editor for Birds & Blooms Digital. Throughout her years with the publication, she has written multiple articles for print as well as digital, all covering birding and gardening. In her role as associate editor, she is responsible for creating and editing articles on the subject of birding and gardening, as well as putting together Birds & Bloom's daily digital newsletter. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a master's degree in magazine journalism and undergraduate degrees in journalism and English, she has more than eight years of experience in the magazine, newspaper, and book industries.