The Most Commonly Sighted Bird in Every State

Updated: Oct. 20, 2021

Data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey reveals which bird was seen most often in every state. Check to see what fellow birders reported!

Courtesy Joe Martin

Alabama: Northern Cardinal

Gardens Alive used the latest data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey to find the most commonly sighted bird in every state in 2019. Alabama birders reported seeing Northern cardinals. These red birds were reported the most often in southern states. “I have a feeder in the yard and the timid male Northern cardinal was patiently waiting for his turn,” says Joe Martin. Check out 15 common backyard birds you should know.

Close-Up Of Swainsons Thrush Catharus Ustulatus On Branch, Whitehorse, Canada
Stefan Gottermann / 500px/Getty Images

Alaska: Swainson’s Thrush

The Swainson’s thrush is one of five species that were the most seen birds in just one state. Discover 12 birds you can only see in one place on earth.

mourning dove
Courtesy Sarah Walsemann

Arizona: Mourning Dove

Mourning doves topped birders’ lists in three states. “The mourning dove  is a very peaceful bird. It was just sitting in the tree and I think trying to catch a nap in the sunshine,” says Sarah Walsemann.

red winged blackbird
Courtesy Angela Myers

Arkansas: Red-Winged Blackbird

The red-winged blackbird was the most sighted bird overall, winning in an impressive 11 states. “While kayaking, this red-winged blackbird reminded me when you are willing to open yourself up, beautiful things will happen,” says Angela Myers. Discover the most common birds found in North America.

red-winged blackbird
Courtesy Chrissey Rumball

California: Red-Winged Blackbird

“I was canoeing in my backyard one spring day when this red-winged blackbird landed near me. I love how the bright red on his wing brings a burst of color to the moody scene surrounding him,” says Chrissey Rumball. Discover 10 interesting facts about red-winged blackbirds.

western meadowlark
Courtesy Jake Bonello

Colorado: Western Meadowlark

The western meadowlark, which sports a bright yellow belly, turns the most binoculars in seven states. This species was the most sighted in the West and Midwest. Can you guess the official state bird of all 50 states?

american robin
Courtesy Dawn Weiss

Connecticut: American Robin

The American robin took second place as the most common bird in eight states, primarily in the Northeast. “This robin landed on my backyard fence. Many birds were coming to feed at my feeders when this robin stopped in,” says Dawn Weiss. Learn how to attract robins to your yard or garden.

how to get rid of grackles, blackbirds and starlings
Courtesy Margaret Foster

Delaware: European Starling

The European starling caught the most birders’ eyes in seven states. “A beautiful bird even though not my favorite for many reasons. Each bird has its own beauty in spite of their behavior, but the picture was appealing to my eyes,” says Margaret Foster. Check out 75+ solutions for common backyard birding problems.

Courtesy Sheila Babin

Florida: Northern Cardinal

“This cardinal had been eating from the suet feeder when he dropped down to this fence post to work on a sunflower seed. Once he finished he looked up to the feeder, ready to fly back up, and I was able to catch him in this pose,” says Sheila Babin. Try these 6 proven ways to attract cardinals.

female and male cardinal in a basket
Courtesy Jeff Jones

Georgia: Northern Cardinal

“My wife and I put bird feeders outside our window so we can watch and enjoy the birds from inside our house. I just got lucky on this shot to catch both male and female cardinals together on this basket eating during light snowfall,” says Jeff Jones.

Hawaii, Kauai, Hawaiian geese, Branta sandvicensis
Westend61/Getty Images

Hawaii: Nene

No data was collected for Hawaii, but the state bird is the nene, or Hawaiian goose. This species is a common sight in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Check out the top birding trips to escape the winter months.

western meadowlark
Courtesy Elisabeth Bickerton

Idaho: Western Meadowlark

“This Western meadowlark was perched on a road sign and singing its heart out! The meadowlark’s song is incredibly beautiful and being able to hear it from just a few feet away was amazing,” says Elisabeth Bickerton. Discover the top songbirds in America.

red winged blackbird
Courtesy Matthew Bolyard

Illinois: Red-Winged Blackbird

“This is a photo I took in the late spring. The family was taking a hike when we heard the familiar call of the red-winged blackbird. A large number of them had gathered around the marsh and several males were very vocal,” says Matthew Bolyard. Learn how to get rid of grackles and blackbirds at bird feeders.

european starling
Courtesy Angela Tarvin

Indiana: European Starling

“I snapped this magnificently-colored bird, only to return home and with some quick research find out he and his friends are considered invasive and a nuisance to the park. Sad, as he is a handsome-looking fellow,” says Angela Tarvin. Meet the backyard birds with a bad reputation.

Bnbbyc19 Amy Estoye
Courtesy Amy Estoye

Iowa: Red-Winged Blackbird

“I have a soft spot for female red-winged blackbirds. They are graceful, agile, acrobatic, and just a joy to watch. I know their colors are plain but they make up for it in personality,” says Amy Estoye.

Courtesy Pam Kirk

Kansas: Dickcissel

“It was early May and I was driving home from work on a gravel road with my windows down, listening to the morning songs of nature, When I heard a new song, I stopped my car got out to see if I could find the source. I saw many small yellow-breasted birds with reddish-brown wings and gray bands on their heads. Once home, I looked up the name of these birds and discovered them to be dickcissel,” says Pam Kirk.

juvenile starlings
Courtesy Bobbie Low

Kentucky: European Starling

“The mom was at our seed dish and one of the juvenile starlings was ready to pounce on the other on our back deck,” says Bobbie Low.

red-winged blackbird
Courtesy Richard Nimtz

Louisiana: Red-Winged Blackbird

“This red-winged blackbird flew off with a black oil sunflower seed in his mouth on a May afternoon. They take the seeds from the feeder then land on a perch, hold the seed with their foot and then pry the shell open with their beak,” says Richard Nimtz. Check out the 3 types of seeds and feeders birds love best.

red-eyed vireo on berry bushes
Courtesy Emma England

Maine: Red-Eyed Vireo

“I took this photograph during fall migration in 2018. There were many 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. Check out the backyard birds that eat berries.

red winged blackbird
Courtesy Mona Steinhauer

Maryland: Red-Winged Blackbird

Black and white birds are difficult to photograph, but this red winged blackbird was content to cooperate at the edge of a small pond,” says Mona Steinhauer.

american robin Carol Keskitalo 001
Courtesy Carol Keskitalo

Massachusetts: American Robin

“This robin built her nest right in my pansy planter on my front doorstep. The family got pretty used to us going in and out the door, but we tried using other doors whenever possible. She successfully raised three babies,” says Carol Keskitalo. Learn all about robin nests and eggs.

juvenile red-winged blackbird
Courtesy Jennifer Hardison

Michigan: Red-Winged Blackbird

Jennifer Hardison shared this photo of a young red-winged blackbird, transitioning from brown-striped juvenile plumage to the black of the adult male. Check out 13 super cute photos of baby birds you need to see.

red winged blackbird
Courtesy John Doyle

Minnesota: Red-Winged Blackbird

“I took this picture of a red-winged blackbird at a friend’s home. I thought the simplicity and clarity of this colorful bird stood out,” says John Doyle.

northern cardinal in snow
Courtesy Anne Duvall

Mississippi: Northern Cardinal

“I love to look outside and see nature’s Christmas ornaments. Nothing brightens a scene like a red male cardinal in the snow,” says Anne Duvall. Check out 15 simply stunning photos of Northern cardinals.

red winged blackbird
Courtesy Daniel Riddle

Missouri: Red-Winged Blackbird

“Over the year I watched the birds change with the seasons, and spring is usually welcomed with the loud songs of these red-winged blackbirds. I’ve wanted a photo of one resting on a cattail for some time, and on this day I got what I had been waiting for,” says Daniel Riddle.

western meadowlark
Courtesy Cole Davis

Montana: Western Meadowlark

“My girlfriend and I were driving though one of Montana’s national parks when we came across this beautiful bird. At the time I had no idea what type of bird it was. So I did some research and I found out that it is actually Montana’s state bird, the meadowlark,” says Cole Davis. Discover 10 spectacular national park birding sites.

western meadowlark
Courtesy Ted Kyster

Nebraska: Western Meadowlark

“The meadowlark is Nebraska’s state bird. Because of the loss of grasslands habitat, we are seeing fewer and fewer of them in our state,” says Ted Kyster. Go birdwatching in different habitats to see more species.

western meadowlark
Courtesy Diana Glawson

Nevada: Western Meadowlark

This meadowlark was so colorful and pretty, sitting up there singing his heart out on this day,” says Diana Glawson.

red eyed vireo
Courtesy David Parker

New Hampshire: Red-Eyed Vireo

“This red-eyed vireo was perched near the top of an ash tree at my home. The vireo was feeding on caterpillars found in the leaves,” says David Parker. Plant a caterpillar cafe in your butterfly garden.

robin bird call
Courtesy Pat Shaw

New Jersey: American Robin

“This past spring on Mother’s Day, I went to a local nature center in search of warblers to photograph. In the parking lot, I heard the sound of an American robin singing in a flowering crabapple tree. I crept up slowly to within several feet of the tree and proceeded to take a few shots of it as it moved from branch to branch, ” says Pat Shaw. Learn how to tell the difference between European robins and American robins.

Cassin's sparrow
Mary Ann McDonald/Getty Images

New Mexico: Cassin’s Sparrow

In summer, the Cassin’s sparrow is a plain brown bird commonly spotted on grasslands across the Southwest. Discover more sparrows that birders should know.

red winged blackbird
Courtesy Lynne Hyde

New York: Red-Winged Blackbird

“One afternoon in June I went for a walk when I noticed this female red-winged blackbird land in the reeds by a pond. As I was taking her picture, a male landed near her and she started to flutter her wings for him,” says Lynne Hyde. Check out ideas for attracting and feeding birds in spring.

mourning dove
Courtesy Patricia Welch

North Carolina: Mourning Dove

“It was late afternoon on a late summer day. I looked out my living room window to see a mourning dove perched on the tree just outside the window. The light filtering down on the bird was just gorgeous,” says Patricia Welch. Check out 15 breathtaking photos of mourning doves.

red winged blackbird and great blue heron
Courtesy Darrell Albee

North Dakota: Red-Winged Blackbird

“I was with a friend and fellow photographer when we saw these two birds (red-winged blackbird and a great blue heron) fly right past us. We immediately picked up our cameras and started shooting,” says Darrell Albee.

starlings backyard birdwatching problems
Courtesy Kenneth Cohen

Ohio: European Starling

“My wife and I had a feeder out in our yard in December. Two European starlings visited and argued over food. Apparently, they did not know how to play well together,” says Kenneth Cohen.

A close up of a mourning dove on evergreen branches covered in snow.
Courtesy Laurie Painter / Country magazine

Oklahoma: Mourning Dove

Laurie Painter shared this gorgeous photo of a mourning dove in snow. Don’t miss the 51 best winter bird photos.

american robin in winterberry
Courtesy Francis Hoefer

Oregon: American Robin

“I noticed a flock of robins feeding on my winterberries on a crisp December day. The hungry birds were so engrossed in feeding that they let me get close enough to get a great series of shots,” says Francis Hoefer. Check out berry bushes birders should grow.

Do robins migrate?
Courtesy Deb Bordner

Pennsylvania: American Robin

“I spotted this robin in early March of this year. I love the clear blue sky as the background for this picture,” says Deb Bordner. Check out 15 of the snowiest bird photos ever!

Robin splashes in a birdbath
Courtesy David Heilman

Rhode Island: American Robin

“I often sit on our deck and watch the birds in my DIY birdbath,” says David Heilman. Learn how to attract birds to use a birdbath.

cardinal in spring flowers
Courtesy Alan Hailston

South Carolina: Northern Cardinal

“This past spring, I noticed a male cardinal frequenting my double cherry tree every morning. My goal was to get a picture of the red cardinal surrounded by the pink cherry blossoms while they were still in bloom. After two weeks of waiting, I captured this image,” says Alan Hailston. Discover the best cardinal bird feeders and birdseed.

western meadowlark
Courtesy Jay Styles

South Dakota: Western Meadowlark

“I saw this beautiful meadowlark with tough feet singing on a teasel plant. This bird has a beautiful song that is like therapy to me. I only had a few seconds to capture the shot before it flew away in the evening light,” says Jay Styles. Discover the joys of sunset with birds.

european starlings
Courtesy Michelle Labrie

Tennessee: European Starling

Michelle Labrie shared this photo of European starlings on a platform feeder. Check out the top 12 tips to attract birds to your feeders.

northern mockingbird
Courtesy Larry Chance

Texas: Northern Mockingbird

“This gorgeous bird momentarily perched on a thin branch this winter. I can easily identify mockingbirds in neighborhood yards by their mimicking songs,” says Larry Chance. Learn how to attract Northern mockingbirds.

Horned Lark adult male on snow
Stan Tekiela Author / Naturalist / Wildlife Photographer/Getty Images

Utah: Horned Lark

Horned lark is a small songbird that is widespread across North America. Look for the black face mask and tiny hornlike black head feathers.

Robins care for their nest
Courtesy Steven Osborne

Vermont: American Robin

Steven Osborne shard this photo of mom and dad robin tending to their nest. Check out 9 proven tips to attract nesting birds.

red eyed vireo
Courtesy Heather Russell

Virginia: Red-Eyed Vireo

“I am an avid birder and was hoping to get some great shots. For one brief moment, the sun popped out of the clouds and this red-eyed vireo perched on a low branch. It made my day!” says Heather Russell. Don’t miss the 51 best spring bird pictures ever.

european starling
Courtesy Connie Meekins

Washington: European Starling

“While recovering from two major surgeries, I set up a bird-watching area outside my bedroom window so I would have something to be happy about. I love the spots and all the different colors on this bird,” says Connie Meekins.

Bnbbyc16 Elizabeth Akins 001
Courtesy Elizabeth Atkins

West Virginia: American Robin

“This young American robin perched in the juniper tree that is close to our apartment building. This tree is just outside of my bedroom window,” says Elizabeth Adkins. Check out the top 10 berry trees and shrubs birds love.

red winged blackbird
Courtesy Joseph Coots

Wisconsin: Red-Winged Blackbird

“I chose this image because I like the way the row of birds fades, slowly becoming more blurry as we move further into the background. Also I like the quality of the light that surrounds them,” says Joseph Coots. Learn which species are America’s smartest birds.

Western meadowlark singing
Scott Smith/Getty Images

Wyoming: Western Meadowlark

This Western meadowlark is the state bird of Wyoming. This one perched on a fence post to sing. Discover coast to coast birding hotspots for every season.