The Top 10 Birds You Need to Know

1. Introduction

Do you love spending time outdoors bird watching? If so, then you need to learn about the top 10 birds you need to know. These birds are common in North America and can be found in a variety of habitats. We will provide information on each bird, including where to find them and what they eat. So, whether you are a beginner or experienced birder, this blog post is for you!

A. Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Habitat: Lakes, rivers, coastlines

Diet: Fish and other small animals

The Bald Eagle is one of the most iconic bird species in North America. With its bright white head and tail, and dark brown body, it is easy to see why this magnificent bird has been adopted as the national symbol of the United States.

Although they were once on the brink of extinction, thanks to conservation efforts, Bald Eagles are now thankfully back in good numbers. These powerful birds of prey can be found across North America, near large bodies of water where they hunt for fish.

If you’re lucky enough to see a Bald Eagle in the wild, it’s sure to be a memorable experience.

B. Red-tailed Hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis

Habitat: Open meadows and woodlands

Diet: Rodents and insects

The red-tailed hawk is a bird of prey that can be found throughout North America. These hawks are named for their characteristic red tail feathers, which can be seen when they are in flight. Red-tailed hawks are large birds, with a wingspan of up to four feet.

They typically have brown and white plumage, with darker markings on their wings and tail. These hawks are masterful hunters, preying on small mammals and birds. They typically hunt from a perch, waiting until they spot their prey before swooping down to capture it.

Red-tailed hawks are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and their population is considered to be stable. Although they are not currently endangered, these hawks face threats from habitat loss and human activity. As a result, it is important to take steps to protect these birds and their habitat.

C. Great Blue Heron

Scientific name: Ardea herodias

Habitat: Shallow wetlands and streams

Diet: Fish, frogs, and other small animals

The Great Blue Heron is a large wading bird that can be found throughout North and Central America. It has a long neck, wingspan of up to six feet, and can weigh up to eight pounds.

The Great Blue Heron is mostly grey with white underparts, and has a distinctive blue-grey plume on its head. It feeds on fish, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals, using its long bill to spear prey.

The Great Blue Heron is mostly active during the day, although it will also hunt at night. It typically nests in trees near water, but will also build nests on the ground. The Great Blue Heron is not currently considered to be threatened or endangered, but it is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

D. Wood Duck

Scientific Name : Aix sponsa

Habitat: Wetlands including wooded swamps, marshes and ponds

Diet: Aquatic insects, small fish, berries and seeds

The wood duck is one of the most beautiful birds in North America. Its plumage is stunning, with iridescent green and purple feathers on the head, white breast, and gray back. The wood duck is also unique in that it is one of the few species of birds that can perch in trees.

In fact, the majority of wood ducks live their lives in trees, only coming to the ground to nest or to find food. This makes them vulnerable to predators, and as a result, wood duck populations have declined sharply over the years.

However, through conservation efforts, wood duck populations are beginning to recover. Today, there are an estimated 1.5 million wood ducks in North America, and with continued protection, this number is sure to rise.

E. Barn Owl

Scientific Name: Tyto alba

Habitat: Open meadows and open forests

Diet: Rodents and other small animals

The barn owl is a widespread and iconic species of owl. Their nocturnal nature, along with their distinctive white facial disk make them easily recognizable. Though they are found in a variety of habitats throughout the world, they prefer open fields and woodlands.

As farmland has become more prevalent, the barn owl has adapted to hunting in these areas. Unfortunately, this has also exposed them to new dangers, such as pesticides and other hazards associated with agriculture.

As a result, barn owl populations have declined in many parts of the world. However, they are still relatively common, and their populations are stable in some areas. Thanks to their adaptability and wide range, the barn owl is likely to continue to be a part of our world for many years to come.

F. American Robin

Scientific Name : Turdus migratorius

Habitat: Urban and suburban areas, woodlands and meadows

Diet: Insects, earthworms, and fruits

The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is a migratory songbird of the true thrush family. The American robin is widely distributed throughout North America, wintering in southern Canada and Mexico. It is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Robins are popular birds for their attractive red-orange breast and their ability to adapt to urban habitats. In fact, many people regard the sight of a robin as the first sign of spring. However, robins are also known to be aggressive birds, especially when it comes to defending their territory.

This aggressive behavior has led to a decline in populations in some areas, as robins will sometimes kill other birds in order to protect their own nests. Despite this decline, the American robin remains one of the most common birds in North America.

G. Northern Cardinal

Scientific Name : Cardinalis cardinalis

Habitat: Woodlands, thickets and backyards of urban and suburban areas

Diet: Seeds and insects

The northern cardinal is a North American bird that is notable for its vibrant red plumage. The male cardinal is entirely red, while the female has reddish-brown feathers.

These birds are relatively small, measuring between 9 and 11 inches in length. They have stout bodies and short tails, with pointed wings and sharp beaks. Cardinals are found in woodlands and forests, where they build their nests from twigs and leaves. They typically eat insects and seeds, although they will also occasionally eat fruits and berries.

Cardinals are generally shy around humans, but they will often approach backyard bird feeders. These birds play an important role in their ecosystem, and their bright plumage makes them a welcome sight in any garden or backyard.

H. American Goldfinch

Scientific Name : Spinus tristis

Habitat: Open woodlands, meadows, backyards of urban and suburban areas

Diet: Seeds, grains, and small insects

The American Goldfinch is a small songbird with yellow feathers and black wings. The males are brighter in color than the females. They are found in open areas such as fields and meadows, and they love to eat thistle seeds.

The American Goldfinch is the state bird of Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington. In the winter, they migrate south to escape the cold weather. The American Goldfinch is a beautiful bird that everyone should try to see at least once in their lifetime.

I. Killdeer

Scientific Name : Charadrius vociferus

Habitat: Open fields, meadows and lawns of urban and suburban areas

Diet: Insects, earthworms and other small invertebrates

The killdeer is a bird that is found in North and South America. It is a member of the plover family of birds. The killdeer is known for its distinctive call, which sounds like “kill-deer.” The bird gets its name from this call. The killdeer is also known for its nesting habits. The bird will make a nest on the ground, in an open area.

The killdeer will often use a man-made object, such as a tire, as part of its nest. The bird will also lay its eggs in the nest. The killdeer is a protected species in many parts of the world. The bird is hunted for its meat and eggs. The killdeer is also killed by cars and other vehicles. The killdeer is an important bird in the ecological balance of North and South America.

J. Eastern Bluebird

Scientific name : Sialia sialis

Habitat: Open woodlands, meadows, parks and golf courses

Diet: Insects, berries, and fruit

The Eastern Bluebird is a small thrush with a blue back, rusty breast, and white belly. About six inches in length, the Eastern Bluebird is slightly smaller than the common robin.

The Eastern Bluebird is found in open woodlands, farmlands, and suburbs throughout the eastern United States. Eastern Bluebirds typically eat insects but will also feed on berries and fruit.

Eastern Bluebirds nest in cavities in trees or posts, lining their nests with grass and leaves. Eastern Bluebirds are social birds and often form small flocks. The Eastern Bluebird is the state bird of New York, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The Eastern Bluebird population declined sharply in the early twentieth century due to habitat loss and competition from introduced species such as the English Sparrow. However, conservation efforts have helped to stabilize the population of this beautiful bird.


The birds listed in this blog post are some of the most common and iconic birds in North America. With a little bit of practice, you can easily identify them when out bird watching. So, grab your binoculars and get ready to enjoy all that nature has to offer!

Once you are familiar with the 10 species mentioned in this post, you can start to explore and discover even more birds that live in your local habitat. So keep exploring, stay safe, and happy birding!

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.