50 Stunning Summer Bird Photos

Updated: May 15, 2023

Summer is the perfect season to photograph colorful birds. Enjoy gorgeous photos of summer birds, including hummingbirds, shorebirds, songbirds and more.

Indigo bunting on sunflower
Courtesy Donna Bourdon

Summer Birds: Indigo Bunting

“My neighbor grows sunflowers every year and opens up his fields to the community. People come from all over the county to take photos of the flowers. I love them, too, but I especially enjoy when a summer bird like this indigo bunting perches on a flower head and poses for a portrait,” says Donna Bourdon. Attract indigo buntings with their favorite foods.

P.S. Are you sure you’ve spotted an indigo bunting, or is it the blue grosbeak? Learn how to ace this common birding test.

summer tanager
Courtesy Bill Palmer

Summer Tanager

“This male summer tanager visits our backyard for mealworms. He seems almost tame enough to take worms from my hand!” says Bill Palmer.

common loon
Courtesy Becky Sterling

Common Loon

“We have a summer cabin on Martha Lake in Wisconsin, and look forward to seeing and hearing the loons whenever we are there. I happened to be lounging in the kayak when this one swam nearby,” says Becky Sterling.

pileated woodpecker
Courtesy Jeanette Rucker

Pileated Woodpecker

“I saw a juvenile pileated woodpecker on an American pokeweed plant in Magnolia, Texas. They are quite shy and fly away as soon as they notice me. I was excited to see this woodpecker jumping from branch to branch enjoying the summer day,” says Jeanette Rucker. Discover the 4 best foods for attracting woodpeckers.

mourning dove
Courtesy Leah Ellenberger

Mourning Dove

“I took this picture of this beautiful mourning dove in the summer of 2020 with my Nikon camera. This summer bird picture is special to me, because most doves mate for life, and I find that so amazing and sweet,” says Leah Ellenberger.

mountain bluebird
Courtesy Michael Bradley

Mountain Bluebird

“I’ve always wanted to capture a photo of a mountain bluebird. While on vacation at Yellowstone National Park in Montana with my family in June, I spotted a nesting pair who had set up shop in a dried out old tree stump. They were extremely skittish—and busy—making back and forth trips to a nearby stream, returning with bounties of flies for their young. With a bit of patience, and setting up my Canon 5D Mark IV on a tripod a safe distance away with my daughter by my side, we shared this amazing experience of watching these beautiful birds in their natural environment,” says Michael Bradley. Don’t miss 20 beautiful pictures of bluebirds.

Courtesy Janice Hatfield

Hummingbird in the Rain

“I caught this ruby-throated hummingbird on a hot summer day in Bronston, Kentucky, when the rain was welcomed by all. It seemed to be saying, ‘Thanks for the rain!'” says Janice Hatfield. Learn about the 15 types of hummingbirds found in the United States.

scissor-tailed flycatcher
Courtesy Lisa Plymell

Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

“I captured this scissor-tailed flycatcher while driving through the back roads of Johnson County, Kansas. This summer bird appears to be posing for the camera,” says Lisa Plymell. Learn more about prairie birds: stunning species of the Grasslands.

cedar waxwing
Courtesy Eric Parker

Cedar Waxwing

“I took this photo of a cedar waxwing on the first day of summer. He perched on a tree in the backyard. Up until this year, I had never seen or even heard of a cedar waxwing. When I did see one for the first time, it was too far to get a good picture. Luckily when I saw this one, I was able to get nice and close before he flew away,” says Eric Parker.

house wren
Courtesy Travis Bonovsky

House Wren

“Every summer I frequent a park near my home in Minneapolis that has been restored with native plants and flowers. I was admiring this patch of smooth oxeye sunflowers when a chatty house wren flew in and perched right on one of the flowers. It was a rare opportunity for me to capture both a summer bird and summer blooms in the same shot!” says Travis Bonovsky. Learn how to grow a pollinator garden.

scarlet tanager
Courtesy Victoria Martel

Scarlet Tanager

“I’ve always had a love for birds, but I just recently took up birding during quarantine. I took this shot of a male scarlet tanager over Memorial Day weekend near my parents log home in northern Michigan. He only appeared for about 15 seconds before disappearing into the woods,” says Victoria Martel.

blue gray gnatcatcher
Courtesy Gail Hall

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray gnatcatchers are so quick, and I love the challenge of capturing a keeper photo of this tiny summer bird. They look like a tiny tornado when diving to catch an insect. They spend lots of time in my crape myrtle tree in my backyard in Smithfield, North Carolina,” says Gail Hall.

red-winged blackbird
Courtesy Angela Myers

Red-Winged Blackbird

“While kayaking on Lake Arrowhead in Vermont at the beginning of June, this red-winged blackbird reminded me when you are willing to open yourself up, beautiful things will happen,” says Angela Myers.

Courtesy Katie Lasky


“We get bobolinks in Seneca County, Ohio, every year around the beginning of summer. This one was in our pasture with a female behind. They usually come right after a big rain, which these two did,” says Katie Lasky.

blue jay
Courtesy Cheryl Colgan

Blue Jay

“I was sitting on my porch enjoying my morning coffee in New Jersey, a hot July day ahead. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted this blue jay on the wineberry bush. I grabbed my Nikon D5300, which I keep on hand in the event of a magnificent moment like this, and snapped away! To my amazement when scrolling through the camera roll, I found this shot of the blue jay looking right at me, with berry in beak!” says Cheryl Colgan.

tree swallow
Courtesy Anne Duvall

Tree Swallow

“While on a drive through Antietam National Battlefield, we noticed this iridescent tree swallow on the rail fence. Actually, we heard this summer bird as he was making quite a noise! We weren’t sure whether he was upset about something or just making a general announcement. But I prefer to think that he was singing as loud as he could about the beautiful day,” says Anne Duvall. Don’t miss these adorable spring bird photos!

blue grosbeak
Courtesy Alice Gray

Blue Grosbeak

“This blue grosbeak a surprise for me because I had never seen one before! Also it was really windy that day, so it was a pleasant surprise to see how well this summer bird photo turned out,” says Alice Gray.

northern cardinal
Courtesy Rex Thompson

Northern Cardinal

“I finally got all my gear together to catch one of our many cardinals posing in the backyard this summer,” says Rex Thompson. Check out 15 simply stunning photos of cardinals.

ruby throated hummingbird
Courtesy Carl Bilancione

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

“I planted firecracker bushes in my Florida backyard to attract ruby-throated hummingbirds. This image was taken in August; it is special because I was told I should stick to songbirds since my no one in my area of town had seen hummingbirds,” says Carl Bilancione.

eastern bluebird
Courtesy Candy Brus

Eastern Bluebird

“We have a pair of eastern bluebirds that have stayed with us since the spring of 2019. Last year they had four babies; this year three babies. I use dried mealworms to entice them to land and feed. This summer, I put out these large artificial flowers. I love this picture because the male bluebird’s color is so beautiful against the green background,” says Candy Brus. Get tips on how to attract bluebirds.

american goldfinch
Courtesy Steve Shattles

Summer Goldfinch

“I have been lucky enough to have the goldfinches stay around a little longer this summer. They have quickly become one of my favorite summer birds. I caught this male goldfinch in a pretty decent spot as they usually tend to hide under a lot of leaves,” says Steve Shattles. Here’s how to attract more goldfinches to your yard.

Baltimore oriole
Courtesy Marcia Festa

Baltimore Oriole

“I have been an avid backyard bird-watcher for years. I feed the birds year around with sunflower seed, suet, mealworms, oranges, apples, provide water at my backyard pond and grow a number of butterfly/bird attracting flowers. This one day in early summer while on the back deck, when the rhododendron was in bloom, I just happened to be at the right spot at the right time. A male Baltimore oriole landed right in the middle of the bush. The color splash was incredible,” says Marcia Festa.

california scrub-jay
Courtesy Ellen Rayl

California Scrub-Jay

“Just my luck, I was sitting in the backyard and the neighborhood California scrub-jay appeared, landing on a fig tree, allowing me to test out my new camera lens,” says Ellen Rayl.

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Courtesy Wolfe Repass

Yellow-Headed Blackbird

“When I lived in the Midwest, I saw yellow-headed blackbirds only on rare occasions. After moving to Colorado, I was thrilled to find several nesting pairs at the lake just down the road from my house. Now I watch these birds every summer,” says Wolfe Repass. Check out 9 pictures that will change the way you look at black birds.

Pelican on beach
Courtesy Cathy Mathis

Brown Pelican

“I absolutely love pelicans. This one was trying to convince me that he was bashful, but I didn’t believe him—I had just witnessed him fighting to get fish scraps that some fishermen were throwing away. His vibrant colors stood out against the water,” says Cary Mathis.

Take our shorebirds quiz and see how many you can identify!

Female ruby-throated hummingbird chasing a butterfly
Courtesy Paul Blossom

Hummingbird and Butterfly

“I took this summer bird picture in my wife’s flower garden. Watching this female ruby-throated hummingbird chase the butterfly away from ‘her’ flower was a real treat. It was an amazing sight to capture,” says Paul Blossom. Plant these long-blooming flowers for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

Female varied bunting on cactus
Courtesy Dawn Arjes

Varied Bunting

“I took this shot on a hot summer day at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson. I had never seen a female varied bunting eat from a cactus fruit, so it was very exciting for me to snap this moment,” says Dawn Arjes. Discover 6 beautiful bunting birds you should know.

Sandhill crane
Courtesy Julie Heifort

Sandhill Crane

“A pair of sandhill cranes have made their summer home on our property for the last few years. They have provided countless hours of enjoyment as we watch them preen, do their jumps and dances, and care for their colts. And their sound has to be heard to be believed!” says Julie Heifort. We found 25 dazzling fall bird photos you need to see.

Black-billed cuckoo on elderberry plant
Courtesy Joshua Galicki

Black-Billed Cuckoo

“Near my parent’s home in northern Pennsylvania, there is an open field where a lot of elderberry plants grow. The berries attract many types of summer birds. Last year alone, I watched 10 species of warblers, gray catbirds and cedar waxwings dining on the berries. And then to my surprise, I saw this black-billed cuckoo! I was very excited as these birds are difficult to see up close. For several hours, I didn’t move an inch, simply enjoying all of the traffic flying in and out of the elderberries,” says Joshua Galicki. Check out the best berry bushes birders should grow.

Robin splashes in a birdbath
Courtesy David Heilman

American Robin

“I took this photo of a robin splashing in my DIY birdbath on our property in rural Door County, Wisconsin. I often sit on our deck and enjoy the summer birds,” says David Heilman. Learn all about robin nests and eggs.

Juvenile male ruby-throated hummingbird on a zinnia
Courtesy Carol Holliday

Juvenile Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

“This cute juvenile male ruby-throated hummingbird was investigating the zinnias in my garden. I watched him as he landed on the stem and attempted a tightrope act. All hummingbirds are fun to watch, but I think juveniles are especially intriguing with their wide-eyed curiosity of their new world,” says Carol Holliday. Discover the top colorful flowers hummingbirds like.

sandpipers, summer birds
Courtesy Joanna Koveal


“I took this photo while I was on vacation at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We were driving on the 4×4 beach when I noticed these sandpipers running along the tide’s edge. I got out of the car and took a nice close up shot of this group! I just find this picture so relaxing with the birds in the foreground and the water in the background!” says JoAnna Koveal. Learn more about beach birds and coastal birding locations.

Black-and-white warbler on a wire fence
Courtesy Ginger English

Black-and-White Warbler

“This black-and-white warbler was a first-time visitor to my yard last summer, and it was such a delight to see. It has a beautiful song and a very different look. Before gathering information on the bird, I dubbed it a ‘zebra warbler,’” says Ginger English.

Check out these 25 beautiful photos of warblers

clay colored sparrow, summer birds
Courtesy Jeff Weymier

Clay-Colored Sparrow

“Every Memorial Day weekend, my daughter and I travel and camp with fellow photographers. We spend the weekend driving around Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, looking for birds and other things to photograph. We always have a great time and usually come away with some nice images and great memories,” says Jeff Weymier. Psst—here’s what everything birders should know about sparrows.

Family of barn swallows
Courtesy Dan Miller

Barn Swallows

“I saw a family of barn swallows perched high in a tree near water. I thought wistfully, It would be great if they were perched right there on that log. When I returned the next day, that’s where they were!” says Dan Miller. Learn how to identify 8 types of swallows.

252766612 1 Faith Swank Bnb Bypc2020

Northern Mockingbird

“My grandma and I have always loved birds, and this mockingbird frequently visits the tree in her front yard. It loves to model for us!” says Faith Swank. Here’s how to attract northern mockingbirds to your yard.

Male indigo bunting
Courtesy Liz Tabb

Indigo Bunting

“Indigo buntings took up summer residence in the wooded area near my home. This male sang his clear and distinct song earnestly, sending notes over and through the trees. When he left, the females and juveniles remained here, feeding on berries and bugs until the young ones were old enough for the migration journey,” says Liz Tabb.

Don’t miss 20 stunning photos of indigo buntings.

Male broad-billed hummingbird
Courtesy Linda Jahn

Broad-Billed Hummingbird

“Living in North Carolina, I only see ruby-throated hummingbirds. While on a vacation to southern Arizona, I was thrilled to capture this photo of a male broad-billed hummingbird,” says Linda Jahn.

Check out hummingbird feeders and accessories birds will love.

Skimmer on the beach
Courtesy Kathryn Herndon


“While on a vacation in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, we stayed at a motel right next to a skimmer nesting area. My greatest joy was just sitting and watching them for hours,” says Kathryn Herndon. Learn how to enjoy nature on your vacation.

Gray catbird on watermelon
Courtesy Keith Anderson

Gray Catbird

“I frequently cut a melon in half and put it out on a feeder just to see who will turn up to eat. On this particular day, it was a gray catbird,” says Keith Anderson.

Check out more kitchen items you can feed backyard birds!

western meadowlark
Courtesy Jay Styles

Western Meadowlark

“I spotted this beautiful meadowlark with tough feet singing on a teasel plant in the Mission Valley of Montana. This species has a beautiful song that is like therapy to me and loved by so many people. I only had a few seconds to capture the shot before the bird flew away in the evening light,” says Jay Styles. Can you guess the official state bird of all 50 states?

Goldfinch on sunflower
Courtesy Pamela Howard

American Goldfinch

“Every year I plant a few sunflowers for their beauty and as a treat for the summer birds. One late afternoon, this American goldfinch traveled from flower to flower, checking out the seeds. He perched on the tallest flower and looked around, almost as if he were surveying his kingdom,” says Pamela Howard. Don’t miss these super pretty pictures of finches.

Painted bunting on log
Courtesy April Heatherton

Painted Bunting

“One summer I went on vacation to the Georgia coast, and I caught a glimpse of a painted bunting. For the rest of my vacation, I spent hours trying to photograph him, and this was the best shot I got,” says April Heatherton.

Hummingbird on hosta flowers
Courtesy Anna Morrison


“Hummingbirds playing hide-and-seek among hosta flowers made for an interesting morning of photography. I had to use the fastest setting on my Canon EOS 70D to snap this one,” says Anna Morrison.

Follow these 8 tips for taking better photos of hummingbirds.

Courtesy Greg Knadle


“The ovenbird is one of my favorite North American wood warblers. Its distinct song and appearance, as well as its characteristic confident walk, are all captivating. This ovenbird happened to stop by my water feature just long enough to take a bath,” says Greg Knadle.

Check out this list of spring warblers you should know.

Royal terns on the Georgia coast
Courtesy Brenda Meeks

Royal Terns

“Sing, even if you’re the only one! I captured this photo of royal terns on Jekyll Island off the Georgia coast. The island is a birder’s paradise,” says Brenda Meeks. Check out coast to coast birding hotspots for every season.

Snowy egret landing
Courtesy Stephen Ofsthun

Snowy Egret

“During a trip to Lake Thunderbird State Park in Oklahoma, I saw this beautiful snowy egret land on the water along the shoreline,” says Stephen Ofsthun.

Discover the 10 egrets and herons you can spot in North America.

Great blue heron standing in water
Courtesy Dena Peckham

Great Blue Heron

“I took this photo while we were on a hike in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Our family observed this great blue heron catching fish in the creek,” says Dena Peckham.

red-breasted nuthatch
Courtesy Robin Edwards

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

“The red-breasted nuthatch is one of my favorite summer birds that visits my yard. This nuthatch landed in a spruce tree near where I was standing and posed so nicely for this image,” says Robin Edwards. Here’s the 4 best foods to attract nuthatches to your yard.

252813123 1 Debbie Mcculliss Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Debbie Mcculliss

Western Kingbird

“I took this photo one evening in mid-July 2020 in my backyard in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The light and colors of the bird and trees drew me in to capture this image,” says Debbie Mcculliss.

Next, don’t miss the 51 best winter bird photos.