One of the first signs of spring is the early morning bird chirping; they’re ready for that worm (at 5:00 am). ‘Tis the season to hang bird feeders in the backyard. Deep down, everybody loves seeing a little feathered friend fly up and begin feeding from their birdhouse. I know I love to see a bright red Cardinal or the pretty but angry Blue Jay that I know to stay away from, but there are so many other species that go unidentified. Here are a few birds that may be flying up to your feeder this season.
If you hear a particularly happy song outside your window, it may be an American Robin. They make some of the earliest appearances after the winter cold. These birds are commonly seen all across North America, and can be recognized by their red-orange breast and brownish-gray bodies. Additionally, they lay the most beautiful blue eggs. They are so beautiful that Crayola named this crayon colour “Robin’s Egg Blue!”
Quite noisy and very common in North America, the Downy Woodpecker can be heard hammering away at your tree. They are the smallest species of woodpeckers in North America, at only 5-7 inches in length. They have mainly black bodies with white bellies and spots, and the male has a bright red patch on the back of its head. The main difference between the Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers is the length of their beaks. The Hairy Woodpeckers beak is about the same size as its head, where the Downy’s is much smaller. If you live in a suburb with trees, look out for these seed and berry lovers!
This bird undergoes a complete molt to reveal its beautiful golden color in the spring. It’s the American Finch, which is also sometimes called the Eastern Finch. The male Goldfinch reveals a much brighter yellow body than that of the dull female. This is for the purpose of attracting a mate. Their breeding season is later than any other North American bird due to the abundance of seeds in the summer months. Their seed attraction makes them common to backyard birdfeeders. They are not large birds, ranging in size from just 4 to 5.5 inches in length. The American Goldfinch is a typically friendly bird, unless it is mating season, in which they are very territorial.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the smallest of the bird species in Eastern United States and Canada with a three-inch body length, and the only hummingbird species that will regularly nest east of the Mississippi river! Hummingbirds are known for their flight patterns, which resembles more of a hover as they feed on the nectar from flowers. Not only can they fly forward, but unlike any other bird species, they can also fly backwards. Although you will probably not see them at your seed feeders, you may see them hovering in front of your flowers or hummingbird feeders! They get their name from the male coloring – a ruby red throat with a black and white body. The females are actually green black and white.
Want to see more birds? Visit our wild bird section for feeders and bird seed that will attract many different species! Next time you look out the window, you might even be able to identify which feathered friend it is.
By Ally Homa