Welcome to the feathered extravaganza of the Great Lakes State! In this article, we’ll introduce you to 35 diverse and captivating birds of Michigan.
Prepare to be swept off your feet as we explore their unique characteristics, habitats, and the best spots to catch a glimpse of these avian treasures.
Let’s take flight!
The Rarest Birds in Michigan
Birdwatching is a popular hobby in Michigan, and it’s no wonder why. With a diverse range of habitats, including forests, wetlands, and shorelines, Michigan is home to a wide variety of bird species. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 35 most common birds in Michigan, providing interesting facts about each species and where to find them.
Interesting Facts About Michigan’s Bird Life
Michigan is a birder’s paradise, with its diverse landscapes attracting a wide variety of bird species. Here are some interesting facts about Michigan’s bird life:
- The Bald Eagle, the national symbol of the United States, can be found nesting in Michigan’s forests and along its shorelines.
- The Common Loon, Michigan’s state bird, is known for its distinctive call, which can be heard echoing across the state’s many lakes and rivers.
- The Cedar Waxwing is a beautiful bird known for its sleek plumage and distinctive crest. These birds can often be found in flocks, feeding on berries and insects.
- The House Sparrow, an introduced species, is a common sight in Michigan’s urban areas, often seen perched on power lines and buildings.
- The Red-tailed Hawk is a majestic bird of prey, known for its sharp talons and keen eyesight. These birds can often be seen perched high in trees or soaring over open fields.
The 35 Most Common Birds in Michigan
1. American Robin
The American Robin is a familiar sight to many Michigan residents, with its distinctive red breast and melodic song. These birds are typically found in open fields, woodlands, and suburban areas, and are known for their insect and fruit-based diet.
- Habitat: Open fields, woodlands, suburban areas
- Weight: 2.7-3 oz
- Diet: Insects, fruits
2. Downy Woodpecker
The Downy Woodpecker is Michigan’s smallest woodpecker, but don’t let its size fool you – these birds are powerful drillers, capable of excavating nesting cavities in dead trees. With their distinctive black and white plumage and red caps, they’re a common sight in Michigan’s forests.
- Habitat: Forests, woodlands, parks, backyards
- Weight: 0.7-1 oz
- Diet: Insects, fruits, seeds
3. Hairy Woodpecker
The Hairy Woodpecker is a larger cousin of the Downy, with a distinctive black and white striped plumage and a longer bill. These birds are typically found in mature forests, and are known for their drumming, which they use to attract mates and establish territories.
- Habitat: Mature forests, woodlands, parks
- Weight: 2.5-3.5 oz
- Diet: Insects, fruits, seeds
4. American Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch is a small, brightly-colored bird that’s a common sight in Michigan’s fields and meadows. With their distinctive yellow and black plumage, these birds are easy to spot, and are known for their acrobatic flying and melodious songs.
- Habitat: Fields, meadows, gardens, backyards
- Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz
- Diet: Seeds, insects
5. House Sparrow
The House Sparrow is an introduced species that’s now a common sight across Michigan. With their gray and brown plumage and distinctive black bibs, these birds are often found around human habitation, where they scavenge for food.
- Habitat: Urban areas, farmland, backyards
- Weight: 1-1.4 oz
- Diet: Seeds, insects, scraps
6. House Finch
The House Finch is a small, colorful bird that’s often found in Michigan’s backyards and gardens. With their distinctive red and brown plumage, these birds are a delight to watch, and are known for their cheerful songs.
- Habitat: Urban areas, gardens, backyards
- Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz
- Diet: Seeds, fruits, insects
7. American Crow
The American Crow is a large, black bird that’s often found in Michigan’s fields and meadows. With their distinctive cawing calls and clever problem-solving abilities, these birds are a fascinating study in avian intelligence.
- Habitat: Fields, meadows, woodlands
- Weight: 11-21 oz
- Diet: Seeds, fruits, insects, carrion
8. The Song Sparrow
One of the most ubiquitous birds in Michigan, the Song Sparrow is a small, brown bird that can be easily recognized by its melodic song. These birds are found throughout the state in a variety of habitats, from wetlands and forests to backyards and gardens.
- Habitat: Wetlands, shrubs, forests, backyards, gardens
- Weight: 0.4-1.1 oz
- Diet: Seeds, insects, spiders, snails, and fruits
9. The White-breasted Nuthatch
The White-breasted Nuthatch is a small, compact bird with a distinctive black cap and white face. These birds are known for their acrobatic foraging behavior, often seen scaling tree trunks and branches headfirst or upside down.
- Habitat: Forests, woodlands, parks, backyards
- Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz
- Diet: Insects, spiders, seeds, and nuts
10. The Red-winged Blackbird
The Red-winged Blackbird is a striking bird with glossy black feathers and bright red patches on its wings. These birds are common in wetland areas and are often seen perched atop cattails, singing their distinctive “conk-la-ree” song.
- Habitat: Wetlands, marshes, fields, and meadows
- Weight: 1.2-2.2 oz
- Diet: Seeds, insects, and snails
11. European Starling
The European Starling is a highly adaptable bird that can be found in Michigan year-round. This bird was introduced to North America in the late 1800s and has since become a common sight in urban and suburban areas. They are known for their distinctive, iridescent plumage and their impressive vocal abilities. Here are some key facts about this fascinating bird:
Habitat: Urban and suburban areas
Weight: 2.1-3.4 oz
Diet: Insects, fruits, seeds
12. Brown-headed Cowbird
The Brown-headed Cowbird is a brood parasitic bird that is commonly found in Michigan. This bird lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species, tricking them into raising its young. While this behavior may seem unethical, it is actually an important part of the cowbird’s natural survival strategy. Here are some quick facts about this unique bird:
- Habitat: Open areas, including fields and pastures
- Weight: 1.2-1.8 oz
- Diet: Seeds, insects, and spiders
13. House Wren
The House Wren is a small, lively bird that is known for its melodious songs. This bird is a common sight in Michigan during the breeding season and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and gardens. Here are some key facts about this charming bird:
- Habitat: Forests, fields, and gardens
- Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
- Diet: Insects
14. Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove is a gentle, graceful bird that is a common sight in Michigan year-round. This bird is known for its distinctive call and its beautiful, mottled plumage. Here are some quick facts about this lovely bird:
- Habitat: Woodlands, fields, and urban areas
- Weight: 4.0-6.0 oz
- Diet: Seeds
15. Rock Pigeon
The Rock Pigeon, also known as the common pigeon, is a bird that is found in almost every corner of the world. In Michigan, this bird is a common sight in urban and suburban areas, where it is known for its distinctive cooing call and its tendency to gather in large flocks. Here are some quick facts about this ubiquitous bird:
- Habitat: Urban and suburban areas
- Weight: 9.0-13.4 oz
- Diet: Seeds and grains
16. Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal is a striking bird that is known for its bright red plumage and its distinctive crest. This bird is a common sight in Michigan year-round and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and gardens. Here are some key facts about this beautiful bird:
- Habitat: Forests, fields, and gardens
- Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz
- Diet: Seeds, fruits, and insects
17. Blue Jay
The Blue Jay is a striking bird that is known for its vibrant blue plumage and its raucous calls. This bird is a common sight in Michigan and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and suburban areas. Here are some quick facts about this stunning bird:
- Habitat: Forests, fields, and suburban areas
- Weight: 2.5-3.5 oz
- Diet: Insects
18. Black-capped Chickadee
The black-capped chickadee is a small, non-migratory bird that can be found throughout Michigan’s woodlands. This bird’s distinctive “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call is a common sound in Michigan’s forests. Here are some quick facts about this charming little bird:
- Habitat: deciduous and mixed forests, suburban areas
- Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz
- Diet: insects, seeds, berries
19. Tufted Titmouse
Another common bird of Michigan is the tufted titmouse. This bird is known for its distinctive crest of feathers on its head and its friendly demeanor. Here are some quick facts about the tufted titmouse:
- Habitat: deciduous forests, woodlands, suburban areas
- Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz
- Diet: insects, seeds, berries, nuts
20. Common Grackle
The common grackle is a large, blackbird with iridescent feathers. This bird is often seen in large flocks in open areas throughout Michigan. Here are some quick facts about the common grackle:
- Habitat: urban and suburban areas, fields, wetlands
- Weight: 2.8-5.0 oz
- Diet: insects, fruits, seeds, small vertebrates
21. Pileated Woodpecker
The pileated woodpecker is a striking bird with a bright red crest and a loud, distinctive call. This bird is found in mature forests throughout Michigan. Here are some quick facts about the pileated woodpecker:
- Habitat: mature forests, woodland edges
- Weight: 8.8-12.3 oz
- Diet: insects, fruits, nuts, small vertebrates
22. Red-bellied Woodpecker
Another woodpecker species found in Michigan is the red-bellied woodpecker. This bird has a distinctive red cap and a black and white striped back. Here are some quick facts about the red-bellied woodpecker:
- Habitat: deciduous forests, woodlands, suburban areas
- Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
- Diet: insects, fruits, nuts, seeds, small vertebrates
23. Eastern Bluebird
The eastern bluebird is a beautiful bird with a bright blue back and rusty red breast. This bird is found in open fields and meadows throughout Michigan. Here are some quick facts about the eastern bluebird:
- Habitat: open fields, meadows, suburban areas
- Weight: 1.0-1.1 oz
- Diet: insects, fruits, berries
24. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
The ruby-throated hummingbird is a tiny bird with iridescent green feathers and a bright red throat. This bird is known for its ability to hover in mid-air while feeding. Here are some quick facts about the ruby-throated hummingbird:
- Habitat: deciduous forests, woodland edges, suburban areas
- Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
- Diet: nectar, insects
25. Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore Oriole is a stunning bird species that can be found in Michigan from late April to early May. The male has a striking orange plumage, while the female has a yellow-green color. They prefer deciduous trees, where they build their intricate hanging nests. These birds primarily feed on insects, fruits, and nectar.
- Habitat: Deciduous trees, orchards, and forest edges
- Weight: 1-1.5 ounces
- Diet: Insects, fruits, and nectar
26. Chipping Sparrow
The Chipping Sparrow is a small, active bird that can be observed in Michigan’s gardens and parks from late April to early May. They have a distinctive, sharp chip sound, and their brown plumage blends well with their surroundings. They usually nest on the ground, where they lay 4-5 eggs. These birds feed on insects, seeds, and berries.
- Habitat: Gardens, parks, and open woodlands
- Weight: 0.4-0.6 ounces
- Diet: Insects, seeds, and berries
27. Dark-eyed Junco
The Dark-eyed Junco is a familiar sight in Michigan’s bird feeders during the winter months. They have a distinctive gray body and white belly, and their pink beaks make them easy to identify. They prefer coniferous and mixed forests, where they build their nests on the ground. These birds primarily feed on seeds, insects, and fruits.
- Habitat: Coniferous and mixed forests
- Weight: 0.5-1.1 ounces
- Diet: Seeds, insects, and fruits
28. Pine Siskin
The Pine Siskin is a small finch that can be found in Michigan’s coniferous forests from late September to early October. They have a streaked brown body and yellow wings, making them stand out in a crowd. These birds are unpredictable in their movements and may appear in large numbers in one area and then vanish the next day. They feed on seeds, especially those of coniferous trees.
- Habitat: Coniferous forests
- Weight: 0.3-0.5 ounces
- Diet: Seeds, especially those of coniferous trees
29. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a large, striking bird that can be observed in Michigan’s deciduous forests from late April to early May. The male has a black and white plumage with a rose-colored patch on its breast, while the female has a brown and white color. They prefer deciduous forests, where they build their nests in trees. These birds primarily feed on insects and fruits.
- Habitat: Deciduous forests
- Weight: 1.5-1.9 ounces
- Diet: Insects and fruits
30. White-crowned Sparrow
The White-crowned Sparrow is a common sight in Michigan during the spring and summer months. These small, ground-dwelling birds have distinct white stripes on their crowns and black stripes on their faces. They typically inhabit brushy fields and thickets, where they forage for seeds and insects. Here are some quick facts about this beautiful bird:
- Habitat: Brushy fields and thickets
- Weight: 0.8 – 1.2 ounces
- Diet: Seeds and insects
31. White-throated Sparrow
Another common sparrow species in Michigan is the White-throated Sparrow. As their name suggests, these birds have a white throat and a distinctive black-and-white striped head. They are often found in deciduous forests and suburban areas, where they forage for seeds and insects on the ground. Here are some quick facts about the White-throated Sparrow:
- Habitat: Deciduous forests and suburban areas
- Weight: 0.8 – 1.1 ounces
- Diet: Seeds and insects
32. Gray Catbird
The Gray Catbird is a migratory bird that spends its summers in Michigan. These birds are known for their distinctive cat-like calls and their gray coloring. They typically inhabit brushy areas and forest edges, where they forage for insects and berries. Here are some quick facts about the Gray Catbird:
- Habitat: Brushy areas and forest edges
- Weight: 0.8 – 1.1 ounces
- Diet: Insects and berries
33. Red-breasted Nuthatch
The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a small, colorful bird that can be found in Michigan’s coniferous forests. These birds are known for their distinctive calls and their ability to climb down trees headfirst. They primarily feed on insects and seeds. Here are some quick facts about the Red-breasted Nuthatch:
- Habitat: Coniferous forests
- Weight: 0.3 – 0.4 ounces
- Diet: Insects and seeds
34. Carolina Wren
The Carolina Wren is a year-round resident of Michigan and can be found in wooded areas throughout the state. These birds are known for their loud calls and their distinctive reddish-brown coloring. They primarily feed on insects and spiders. Here are some quick facts about the Carolina Wren:
- Habitat: Wooded areas
- Weight: 0.6 – 0.8 ounces
- Diet: Insects and spiders
35. Common Raven
The Common Raven is a large black bird with a distinctive wedge-shaped tail and a heavy, curved beak. These birds are often associated with dark, ominous imagery, but they are intelligent and social creatures that can be found throughout Michigan’s forests and mountains. Here are some quick facts about the Common Raven:
- Habitat: Cliffs, tall trees
- Weight: 4.5 pounds
- Diet: Insects, small mammals, carrion, and fruits.
Tell me the most common bird in Michigan
1. Mute Swans
The Mute Swan is a bird of freshwater wetlands, such as lakes, marshes, and riverbanks in Europe, Asia, and parts of North America. It gets its name not from being actually mute (it can make a variety of hissing, grunting, and honking noises), but from the fact that it is less vocal than other swan species.
The Mute Swan is the national bird of Denmark and is also found on the coats of arms of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Samoa. In North America, the Mute Swan was introduced to Michigan in the 1930s for ornamental reasons. Although it is not native to the state, the Mute Swan has since become quite common there. In fact, the bird is now so abundant that it is considered an invasive species in Michigan.
The Mute Swan has a variety of predators, including humans (who may hunt it for food or sport), large mammals (such as bears or coyotes), and birds of prey (such as eagles or owls). As a result, the bird faces many challenges to its survival. However, populations have remained relatively stable in recent years due to conservation efforts.
2. Red-winged Blackbird
The red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a common and abundant songbird of North America. It is one of the most widespread and familiar birds in its range. Red-winged blackbirds are found throughout Michigan, inhabiting grasslands, wetlands, overgrown fields, and other open areas.
This bird is well-known for its bright red and yellow shoulder patches. The male is mostly black with a glossy greenish sheen to its feathers, while the female is duller in color. In addition to their distinctive colors, these birds are also known for their loud and varied songs. Red-winged blackbirds often sing from high perches and even in flight.
Red-winged blackbirds feed mainly on various insects and small invertebrates, but they will also eat grains and some fruits. They nest in the spring and summer months, often building cup-shaped nests made of grasses and other materials. These birds are highly social, living in large flocks made up of dozens to thousands of individuals.
Red-winged blackbirds are an important species for Michigan’s ecology, providing both insect control and seed dispersal services. They also have a positive economic impact on the state’s agricultural industry.
This bird’s bright colors and melodious songs make it a popular choice for birders and other nature lovers. Red-winged blackbirds are an iconic species of Michigan’s natural world.
3. Great White Egret
The great egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, large egret or great white heron, is a large, widely distributed egret. It is found on all continents except Antarctica, and it is the symbol of the National Audubon Society. The great white egret can be spotted in Michigan, traveling along its coastal wetlands, rivers, and lakes.
This long-legged bird has a white body with black legs and yellow feet, as well as a striking S-shaped neck. The feathers on the back of their head form a crest or “plume,” which is especially attractive during their mating season. They use this plumage to attract potential mates.
The great egret feeds on small fish, amphibians, reptiles, and insects found in shallow water. Its long neck enables them to feed by plunging their head underwater and striking its prey with lightning speed. During the summer months they can often be seen perched atop trees or fence posts looking for food along Michigan’s lakes and rivers.
The great egret is a protected species in Michigan and around the country, and its population is slowly increasing thanks to conservation efforts. If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these majestic birds in Michigan, take some time to appreciate its beauty and importance to our ecosystem!
4. Common Loon
The Common Loon (Gavia immer) is a species of large aquatic bird that can be found in and around the waters of Michigan. It is sometimes referred to as a “Great Northern Diver” or simply as a loon.
This species has black and white plumage, with a white belly and bright red eyes. Its bill is sharp, thin and black in color. The Common Loon is well adapted for swimming, with webbed feet and a streamlined body shape.
The Common Loon is an aquatic bird that tends to stay close to the shorelines of rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. It feeds mainly on small fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects. It can dive up to 200 feet deep in search of its prey.
During the summer months, it nests on the shorelines or islands near water bodies. The Common Loon typically lays two to three eggs per clutch and takes about four weeks for them to hatch.
In Michigan, the Common Loon is a fairly common species that breed in the state during the summer months. They are a species of special concern in Michigan due to their declining population. The main threats to their population include habitat loss and degradation, water pollution, commercial fishing, and hunting.
Conservation efforts are underway to protect this species and its habitats throughout Michigan, such as restoration projects, education programs and research initiatives.
The Common Loon is an important species to Michigan and its waters. It enriches the state’s biodiversity and contributes to healthy aquatic ecosystems.
It also serves as an important indicator of environmental health, as it is sensitive to changes in water quality. This species is a valuable resource that should be protected for future generations to enjoy and benefit from.
5. Northern mockingbirds
The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a medium-sized bird that is native to Michigan. This species of songbird can be found in dense thickets, open woodlands, parks, and suburban areas.
They are characterized by having grayish-brown upper parts with white wing patches and white underparts. Northern mockingbirds are known for their loud and melodious songs, which typically consist of three to six notes. They use a variety of vocalizations to advertise their presence during the breeding season.
Northern mockingbirds feed mainly on insects and spiders, but also eat fruits and berries in the winter months. During the summer months, they may supplement their diet with small lizards and frogs. Northern mockingbirds often travel in pairs during the breeding season and may be seen chasing away potential predators.
In Michigan, northern mockingbirds are most active from April to October. During this time, they can be heard singing throughout the day and night. They typically nest in shrubs or small trees, but may use man-made structures such as street lights or telephone wires for nesting.
Northern mockingbirds are an important component of Michigan’s avian diversity, and their presence adds to the vibrancy of our state’s natural landscapes. They are a great species to observe and appreciate, and their vocalizations can bring joy to any outdoor experience.
6. Common Redpoll
Common Redpolls are small, sparrow-sized finches found in open areas of coniferous forests and farmland. Though they live year-round in Michigan, many migrate south during the winter months to seek food.
These little birds have a black cap on their head that extends down along their neck, giving them a unique appearance. They also have a reddish-brown breast and a white belly, with bars of black on the wings and tail feathers. During the breeding season, males can be identified by their bright red forehead and cheeks.
Common Redpolls feed mostly on small seeds, including those found in weeds like dandelions and pigweed. They also like to eat thistle, and they’ll take advantage of feeders filled with sunflower seeds or nyjer seed.
When looking for a mate, Common Redpolls sing a sweet song that sounds like “chirpity churp churp” over and over. Breeding occurs in summer, and the female builds a nest of twigs, grasses, and other plant material. The average clutch size is 3-7 eggs.
Common Redpolls are relatively common in Michigan during the winter months. Keep your eyes peeled as you’re out birding – if you’re lucky enough, you might spot one!
7. Barn Owls
Barn owls are a species of owl most commonly found in Michigan. They tend to live in open fields and grasslands, but can also be found near wooded forests and wetlands. Barn owls have distinctive yellow eyes, white underparts, and grayish-brown backs.
These birds are known to make loud screeching sounds at night to communicate with each other. In Michigan, barn owls are known for their fierce hunting skills. They hunt small rodents such as mice, voles, and shrews as well as fish and insects. They have excellent vision and hearing that helps them locate prey in the dark
Barn owls also have long wings which allow them to fly silently in order to surprise their prey. Barn owls build their nests on the ground in shallow depressions or cavities, often beneath tree roots and stumps. They often nest near farms and other open areas that provide abundant food sources for them.
In Michigan, barn owls are a species of concern due to declining populations. Conservation efforts are in place to help protect these beautiful birds.
8. Piping Plovers
Piping Plovers are small shorebirds that breed in Michigan during the summer months. They are only 4-7 inches long with a wingspan of 12-14 inches. The adults have a pale sandy-colored back, white belly, and two black bands on their necks.
Their feathers also have a unique speckled pattern. Piping Plovers have adapted to Michigan’s changing climates, tolerating both cold and hot temperatures.
They are listed as threatened species due to habitat loss and human disturbance. They typically breed in areas with large expanses of beach along the Great Lakes, like Lake Huron or Lake Michigan. The eggs and chicks need to be protected from predators and humans.
To help protect the Piping Plovers, it is important to keep pets away from the nesting area and be mindful of your footsteps when near their nesting grounds.
Michigan is a great place to watch these birds during their breeding season in May through August. The best time to visit is typically early morning or just before sunset. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a plover foraging for food in the wet sand.
They like to eat small invertebrates like insects and crustaceans. It can be quite a spectacle to observe them running around in the waves while they search for food!
The Piping Plover is a species of conservation concern and is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in Michigan. It is therefore important we do our part to protect their habitat and nesting grounds.
The best way to help them is by following all the regulations set out by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, such as keeping pet animals away from their nesting areas, not disturbing the birds, and respecting all signs placed around the habitat. With our help, we can keep these amazing birds thriving in Michigan for years to come!
9. Snow Bunting
The Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) is a songbird of the family Emberizidae, native to arctic and subarctic regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. The species breeds mainly in northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia. In winter they can migrate south into the Great Lakes region of the United States and northern Europe.
In Michigan, they typically breed in the Upper Peninsula and winter in the Lower Peninsula. The Snow Bunting is a small bird, approximately 15 cm (6 in) long. It has a bright white body with black streaks on its wings and tail feathers.
Snow Buntings are usually found in open habitats such as tundra, grasslands, and fields. During the breeding season they feed mainly on insects, spiders and seeds. In winter, they feed mostly on weed seeds. They are surprisingly hardy birds that can survive temperatures as low as -40°C (-40°F).
Snow Buntings have a melodious song which they sing during courtship. They also make a distinctive ‘tchip’ call which they use as an alarm call when threatened by predators. Snow Buntings form flocks in winter, often numbering in the hundreds or thousands of birds.
These flocks can be seen gathering at bird feeders and other open habitats in Michigan during the winter months. These birds are an exciting sight for bird watchers as they are rarely seen in large numbers outside of winter.
Overall, the Snow Bunting is a beautiful and resilient species that can be seen in Michigan during the colder months of the year. They make a lovely addition to any backyard, and their presence serves as a reminder of just how special Michigan’s wildlife can be.
10. American Robin
The American Robin is a migratory bird that is common in Michigan. It is a member of the thrush family and is easily recognizable by its orange breast. The American Robin breeds in open woodlands and makes its nest in trees, shrubs, or on the ground. It feeds on insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits.
The American Robin is active during the day and can often be seen perched on telephone wires or foraging for food on lawns. In winter, it forms large flocks and can often be seen in residential areas raiding bird feeders. The American Robin is an important part of the ecosystem as it helps to control insect populations. It is also a popular bird with birdwatchers and is considered to be a sign of spring.
11. Belted Kingfisher
The Belted Kingfisher is a large, chunky bird that can be seen in parts of Michigan. It has a distinctive crest on the head, and its plumage ranges from blue-gray to rusty brown. The adults are easily identified by their bright white chest and belly with a broad black stripe across it, as well as a rufous band around the neck.
Their diet consists mainly of small fish, which they capture by diving from a perch into the water. They also feed on insects, frogs, and even small rodents. The Belted Kingfisher is usually seen perched on low branches overhanging streams or lakes. It can be found in wooded areas near water, making it a common sight in Michigan.
12. Short-eared Owl
The short-eared owl is a bird of prey that is found in Michigan. It has a wingspan of about two feet and is brown with white spots. The short-eared owl is nocturnal, meaning it is active at night. It feeds on small mammals, such as mice and voles.
The short-eared owl nests in trees or on the ground. During the day, the short-eared owl perches in tree branches or on fences. At night, it hunts for food. The short-eared owl is a Michigan bird of prey that is nocturnal and has a wingspan of two feet.
It is brown with white spots, and it feeds on small mammals, such as mice and voles. The short-eared owl nests in trees or on the ground, and during the day it perches in tree branches or on fences. At night, the short-eared owl hunts for food.
13. Golden Eagles
The golden eagle is a large bird of prey found in Michigan. It has a wingspan of up to 8 feet and is brown with white spots on its head and neck. The golden eagle feeds on small mammals, such as rabbits and hares, as well as birds. The golden eagle nests in trees or cliffs, often at high altitudes.
During the day, the golden eagle perches in tree branches or on cliffs. At night, it hunts for food. The golden eagle is a Michigan bird of prey that has a wingspan of up to 8 feet and is brown with white spots. It feeds on small mammals such as rabbits and hares, as well as birds.
The golden eagle nests in trees or cliffs, often at high altitudes. During the day, it perches on tree branches or cliff edges, and at night hunts for food.
14. Cerulean Warbler
The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is a small songbird of the New World warbler family. It is one of Michigan’s smallest breeding warblers and can be found in hardwood forests across the state from April to August. The Cerulean Warbler males have light blue tops, white bellies, and thin white stripes on their heads.
Females have duller colors of grayish-blue on the back and yellowish-white bellies. The Cerulean Warbler breeds primarily in mature deciduous forests with a wide range of tree species, including oak, beech, maple, hickory, and tulip poplar. As a migratory species, the Cerulean Warbler is found in Central and South America during winter months.
15. House Finch
Michigan is home to a variety of bird species, many of which are native to the state. Michigan birders can enjoy watching colorful songbirds like the American goldfinch and the northern cardinal, as well as more subdued birds like the pileated woodpecker and the Cooper’s Hawk.
Michigan is also home to a number of endangered bird species, including the Kirtland’s warbler and the piping plover. In addition to being beautiful creatures, birds play an important role in our ecosystem by pollinating flowers and controlling insect populations. For these reasons, it is important to protect bird habitats in Michigan.
There are a number of ways that birders can help, such as reporting sightings of rare bird species, participating in citizen science programs, and advocating for policies that protect bird habitats. By working together, we can ensure that Michigan remains a haven for birds for generations to come.
16. American Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch is a small, vocal bird. It is about 5 inches long and has bright yellow feathers with black wings and a tail. Its calls are high pitched, often described as being “per-chic-o-ree” or “PO-ta-to chip” like.
American Goldfinches are found throughout Michigan, in both open and closed habitats. They typically feed on insects and seeds, often using their feet to manipulate smaller surfaces to reach food. Goldfinches also enjoy sunflower seeds put out by birdwatchers, but they can also be attracted with nyjer seed feeders.
Goldfinches tend to flock together and are often seen in large flocks during the fall migration. They typically migrate from areas in Michigan to southern states such as Texas and Florida, returning in the spring for the breeding season.
Goldfinches usually nest near open fields or other shallow woods and lay between four to six eggs each year. Their nests are built with twigs and lined with soft material such as fur or feathers.
In Michigan, the American Goldfinch is a common bird to see all year round if you know where to look. With its bright yellow color, cheery song, and interesting diet, it is sure to bring joy to your backyard’s birds. If you are looking for a bird to bring some life to your outdoor space, the American Goldfinch is a great choice.
17. Northern Cardinals
Northern Cardinals are one of the most colorful birds found in Michigan. These brightly colored birds can be seen across the state, and often make their presence known with their loud chirping calls. Northern Cardinals have a bright red body and crest, with black facial markings.
They also have a distinctive white patch on their wings that is visible when they are in flight. Northern Cardinals feed on a variety of seeds, fruits and insects, and they often visit bird feeders to get an easy meal. They are typically found in wooded areas but can also be seen in urban parks and gardens.
Some interesting facts about Northern Cardinals include that females have brown feathers instead of red, that they mate for life, and that they lay three to four eggs per clutch. Northern Cardinals can also live up to 12 years in the wild.
18. Red-breasted Nuthatch
The red-breasted nuthatch is a small bird that is native to North America. Michigan is home to many of these birds, which are easily recognizable by their striking plumage. The red-breasted nuthatch has a black cap and back, with a white throat and underparts.
Its most distinctive feature is the large patch of bright red on its breast. These birds are relatively small, measuring only 4-5 inches in length. However, they are very vocal birds, and their calls are often heard before they are seen. The diet of the red-breasted nuthatch consists primarily of insects and nuts.
These birds use their sharp beaks to open the hard shells of acorns and other nuts. In winter, when food is scarce, they often form flocks and search for food together. The red-breasted nuthatch is a interesting bird that is sure to bring enjoyment to any bird lover.
19. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a large, seed-eating songbird that is named for its bright rose-colored breast patch. It is native to North America and commonly found in Michigan during the summer months. This species of bird typically migrates south during the winter and can be seen in southern states like Florida and Texas.
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have a distinct appearance, with bright black and white wings and tail feathers, a pink chest patch, and dark gray to black head. Males of the species are typically brighter than females. The birds feed on a variety of insects and small fruits, including cherries, grapes and blackberries.
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are considered to be a relatively noisy species of bird. The males sing loud and clear songs during the breeding season in order to attract mates. Their song is often described as a mix between a robin and canary-like warbles.
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks prefer to live in deciduous forests with dense vegetation, but they can be found in a variety of habitats, including riparian areas and suburban parks. They typically build their nests in shrubs or trees near the edge of woodland areas and often forage on the ground.
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are an important species of songbird in Michigan, where they help to regulate insect populations and disperse seeds from fruit-bearing plants. They also provide a unique source of beauty in their natural habitat, making them a favorite among birders.
The best time to spot these birds is from late April through early June when the males are actively singing to attract mates. Additionally, winter months bring a more diverse migrant population of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, making them easier to spot in Michigan’s forests.
If you’re looking for a unique bird-watching experience, be sure to check out Michigan’s Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. They offer beautiful sights and sounds, making them an exciting species to observe in their natural environment.
20. American Kestrel
The American kestrel is a bird of prey that can be found throughout the United States. Although it is not the largest bird of prey, it is still an impressive creature, with a wingspan of up to three feet. The American kestrel is also known as the “sparrow hawk,” due to its small size and its diet of small birds.
In Michigan, the American kestrel is a common sight, often perching on power lines or hunting in open fields. These striking birds are easily recognizable, with their reddish-brown plumage and black bands on their tails. Although they are not currently listed as endangered, the American kestrel population has declined in recent years, making them a bird that is worth watching and protecting.
Michigan’s diverse bird population has something to offer to everyone who loves birds and nature. Whether you’re looking for a colorful collection of songbirds, a majestic bald eagle soaring over the river, or just some backyard chirping, Michigan’s avian population can provide it all. With an estimated 450 species in the state, Michigan is a great place to experience a variety of bird species in their natural habitat.
With careful observation, you can find many different birds throughout the state, but also take part in several activities such as camping, hiking, and nature walks that will bring you closer to these amazing creatures. Whether you’re an experienced birder or just beginning your journey, Michigan’s birds will be sure to provide you with lasting memories and plenty of enjoyment.
FAQs About Birds Of Michigan
What bird is only found in Michigan?
The Kirtland’s Warbler is a bird species that can only be found in Michigan, specifically in the jack pine forests of the northern Lower Peninsula.
What bird is Michigan known for?
The state bird of Michigan is the American Robin, a migratory songbird that is widely recognized for its orange breast and melodious voice.
How many types of birds live in Michigan?
Michigan is home to more than 400 species of birds, thanks to its diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, and lakeshores.
What Michigan bird has a long pointy beak?
The Common Tern is a Michigan bird species with a long, pointed beak that it uses to catch fish in flight over bodies of water, such as the Great Lakes.
What are rare birds in Michigan?
The Kirtland’s Warbler is considered a rare bird species in Michigan due to its limited range and population size. Other rare bird species in the state include the Piping Plover and the Kirtland’s Snake
Final Thoughts About Birds Of Michigan
Michigan’s birdlife is as diverse as it is captivating, and the state offers endless opportunities for birdwatching and exploration.
From the Common Raven to the Kirtland’s Warbler, Michigan is home to an incredible variety of bird species that are sure to impress even the most experienced birders.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Michigan, don’t forget to add birdwatching to your itinerary. You won’t regret it!.