Birds in Alabama are an essential part of the natural ecosystem. Some species, such as the red-tailed hawk, bald Eagle, and osprey, can be seen frequently, while others, such as the winter wren, are more common in specific areas. Over 350 species of birds live here, making it one of the most bird-rich states in the United States. Alabama’s diverse geography and climate provide a habitat for many birds, including waterfowl, raptors, songbirds, and waders.
Red Birds in Alabama
Redbirds, more commonly known as Northern Cardinals, are a beautiful sight to see in Alabama. These birds are easily recognizable due to their bright red feathers and black faces. Native to the southeastern United States, these birds can be found throughout Alabama’sAlabama’s woodlands and forests.
- Scientific Name: Haemorhousmexicanus
- Length: 5-6 inches
- Wingspan: 8-10 inches
- Weight: 0.6-0.9 ounces
Alabama is home to many species of birds, including the House Finch. The House Finch can be seen throughout the state, from fields and forests to city parks and backyards. They have a bright red head, chest, shoulders, brown wings, and tail feathers. Their cheery songs and friendly demeanor make them an excellent addition to any outdoor space.
These birds enjoy visiting birdfeeders for tasty snacks such as sunflower seeds or suet-based foods. They also love nesting in trees near human dwellings, where they can find abundant food sources and protection from predators. It is not uncommon for these birds to build nests on window sills or porch railings of homes nearby.
- Scientific Name: Colaptesauratus
- Length: 11-14 inches
- Wingspan: 17-21 inches
- Weight: 3-5.9 ounces
This red-headed specie can be found in several areas across the state. The Northern Flicker is a medium-sized member of the woodpecker family, and its red head and neck distinguish it from other birds in Alabama.
The Northern Flicker forages on the ground for insects, fruits, berries, and nuts, making it an essential part of Alabama’s natural ecosystem. It also eats ants and other invertebrates by hammering them out of tree bark with its strong beak. The Northern Flicker typically nests in cavities in trees or telephone poles but has also been known to nest in birdhouses.
- Scientific Name: Dryobatespubescens
- Length: 5.6-7 inches
- Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 inches
- Weight: 0.7-1 ounce
The Downy Woodpecker is one of the most common red birds in Alabama. This unique species is known for its vibrant red feathers, which are beautiful to see in the sky. The Downy Woodpecker prefers to live in mature woodlands and suburban areas with various deciduous trees and shrubs. It also tends to reside near streams and rivers that provide food sources such as insects, fruits, nuts, and seeds for it to feed on.
In Alabama, this bird breeds mainly during the late spring and early summer months. During this time, they build their nests out of twigs and dead leaves collected from the surrounding area. The males are often identified by their bright red caps, while females have black spots around their heads instead of a hat.
- Scientific Name: Melanerpescarolinus
- Wingspan: 15-18 inches
- Length: 9-10 inches
- Weight: 2-3.2 ounces
The Red-Bellied Woodpecker is a common sight in Alabama. These bright red birds can be seen in urban and rural areas throughout the state. With its black and white wings, redhead, and bright yellow belly, the Red-Bellied Woodpecker is an eye-catching addition to any backyard or birding outing. The bird sometimes feeds on insects, acorns, nuts, fruit, tree sap, and even carrion.
- Scientific Name: Melanerpeserythrocephalus
- Wingspan: about 16.7 inches
- Length: 7.5-9.8 inches
- Weight: 2-3.4 ounces
The red-headed woodpecker is one of the most easily recognized members of the bird family. Its distinct coloring and loud call make it stand out amid its surroundings. The birds feed on insects found on tree trunks and branches and fruits and nuts they find while searching for food.
They also enjoy digging into dead or rotting trees to find treats like grubs or beetle larvae inside the bark. In addition to providing a beautiful visual display, these birds also provide a valuable service by helping to control insect populations in their environment.
- Scientific Name: Buteojamaicensis
- Length: 17.7-25.6 inches
- Weight: 24.3-51.5 ounces
- Wingspan: 44.9-52.4 inches
The Red-Tailed Hawk is a large raptor with broad wings and an unmistakable red tail that make it easily identifiable from other birds.
The Red-Tailed Hawk typically makes its home in wooded areas near open fields, where it perches on tree branches waiting to hunt small rodents or reptiles. It typically nests in high places such as cliff faces or tall trees and sometimes uses abandoned buildings for protection during cold weather. In addition to hunting prey, this hawk feeds on carrion and occasionally steals food from other birds.
Blue Birds in Alabama
Blue Birds in Alabama have made a remarkable comeback since their numbers declined significantly in the early 20th century. The Eastern Bluebird (Sialiasialis) species can now be found all over the state due to conservation efforts. They are small but vibrant birds with a bright blue color that makes them easy to spot against other wildlife.
- Scientific Name: Cyanocittacristata
- Wingspan: 13-17 inches
- Length: 9-12 inches
- Weight: 2.5-3.5 ounces
Blue jays can be found in Alabama year-round. These beautiful birds are known for their signature blue and white plumage, making them an iconic symbol of the southeastern United States. While not native to Alabama, the blue jay is a regular visitor due to its affinity for mixed woodlands, open fields, and gardens that can be found throughout the region.
The presence of bluejays in Alabama has had a significant impact on local ecosystems. They are essential pollinators of various plants, including certain species of oak trees, which provide critical wildlife habitat in many parts of the state. They play an essential role as seed dispersers for native wildflowers such as trilliums and violets, helping to promote biodiversity in their local habitats.
- Scientific Name: Lampornisclemenciae
- Wingspan: 2.7-3 inches
- Length: 4.5-4.9 inches
- Weight: about 0.3 ounces
The blue-throated mountain gem is one of the more common bluebirds found in Alabama and can be seen flying into backyards, parks, and open fields.
The blue-throated mountain gem is a colorful bird with bright blue wings, black eyes, and a white chest with faint orange streaks. They have short legs that allow them to perch on branches while they search for food, such as insects and fruits. During mating season, males will puff out their chests to display their vivid colors and perform courtship displays to attract females.
- Scientific Name: Spatula discors
- Weight: about 13 ounces
- Length: about 16 inches
- Wingspan: about 23 inches
The Blue-Winged Teal, a species of duck native to Alabama, is a unique and fascinating bird. These small yet resilient birds are beautiful and provide a great source of food and entertainment for many Alabamians. The Blue-Winged Teal is undoubtedly one of the most beloved waterfowl species in the state due to its importance in wildlife conservation and recreational activities.
Despite their small size, these ducks are incredibly hardy when weathering harsh winters. They can be spotted throughout most parts of Alabama all year long, except in extreme northern regions where temperatures dip too low to survive during winter.
While they primarily feed on aquatic invertebrates and seeds from wetland vegetation, Blue-Winged Teal will consume cultivated grains or other crops found near ponds or streams when available.
- Scientific Name: Vireo solitarius
- Wingspan: 7.9-9.4 inches
- Length: 5-5.8 inches
- Weight: 0.46-0.67 ounces
This tiny songbird is common in forests and edges near fields, lakes, and streams throughout Alabama.
The Blue-Headed Vireo has a distinct pale blue-gray head with white underparts and dark gray wings and tail. During the breeding season, they are most easily identified by their loud, ringing call, which is heard often during migration in late April and early May as they make their way through the state. The Blue-Headed Vireo forms pairs or family groups during the breeding season, which lasts from April to July. However, they may remain as pairs or single individuals after nesting finishes until migration time hits again.
- Scientific Name: Sialiasialis
- Wingspan: 9.8-12.5 inches
- Length: 6.3-8 inches
- Weight: 0.95-1.2 ounces
This vibrant little songbird stands out among other birds due to its bright blue plumage and melodious chirping. The Eastern Bluebird has a special place in Alabamian hearts, and many people enjoy seeing them flitting about in the wild.
In some areas, they even nest near inhabited homes, making it easy for residents to observe them up close. These birds prefer open fields with low foliage where they can easily spot prey, such as insects or small lizards.
To increase their chances of survival, Alabamians must protect these beautiful creatures by providing birdhouses and keeping their cats indoors when possible.
- Scientific Name: Passerinacyanea
- Weight: about 0.5 ounces
- Length: 4.5-5.9 inches
- Wingspan: 7-9 inches
This bluebird is easily recognized by its bold coloration, which makes it a favorite among Alabama birdwatchers. Found throughout much of the state, these birds are a common sight in gardens, woodlands, grasslands, and open fields.
The Indigo Bunting has an unmistakable song that can be heard from long distances away. It consists of loud and melodic whistles often described as “sweet” or “flutelike.” In addition to their gorgeous plumage and pleasant singing voices, these birds play an essential role in the local ecosystem by helping to control insect populations through their diet.
Scientific Name: Hirundorustica
Length: 6.7-7.5 inches
Weight: 0.56-0.78 ounces
Wingspan: 12.6-13.6 inches
This small migratory species have been spotted throughout the state and are one of Alabama’s most commonly seen birds. Known for their deep blue coloration, Barn Swallows are easily recognizable with their iridescent feathers and black throats.
This bird also has an impressive wingspan that averages seven-and-a-half inches across. It can be seen flying quickly over fields and open areas of Alabama during its migration period, often in groups or “swarms” as they hunt for insects midair.
Due to their available habitat preferences and need for nesting materials like mud, Barn Swallows are most commonly found near areas such as farms and wetlands where resources are abundant.
Green Birds in Alabama
Green birds have been a source of fascination for many people throughout history, and Alabama is no exception.
- Scientific Name: Butoridesvirescens
- Wingspan: 25.2-26.8 inches
- Length: 16-18 inches
- Weight: about 8.5 ounces
One green bird species commonly found in Alabama is the Green Heron, also known as the American Green Heron or Butoridesvirescens. These small wading birds can frequently be seen along rivers and creeks in wooded areas of Alabama.
The Green Heron has a distinctively greenish-black coloring on its back and wings, while its head and neck are usually gray with white stripes along the sides. Its chest feathers vary from creamy white to yellowish-orange, although they may sometimes range from brown to almost black.
Orange Birds in Alabama
Orange birds in Alabama are a common sight in the state. These colorful birds are often found along the coast and in open fields during the nesting and migratory seasons. They have beautiful, bright orange plumage that stands out from any other bird species in the area.
- Scientific Name: Pirangarubra
- Wingspan: about 11.8 inches
- Length: about 6.7 inches
- Weight: about 1 ounce
This beautiful bird has a bright red-orange body, wings, black tail, and eye line. The male is brightly colored, while the female is more muted, having an olive-green body and wings with an orange patch on its breast.
The Summer Tanager can be seen in Alabama from late May to early August as it migrates through the state in search of food and nesting sites. They typically feed on insects but may also eat fruits like berries and even nectar from flowers. During the breeding season, they build their nest high up in trees, laying five to six eggs at one time before flying south for the winter.
- Scientific Name: Ixoreusnaevius
- Wingspan: 13-15 inches
- Length: 7.5-0.2 inches
- Weight: 2.3-3.5 ounces
One of the most popular orange birds in Alabama is the Varied Thrush. This small yet colorful bird can be found all over the state from spring through fall.
The Varied Thrush can easily be identified by its bright orange chest and back, as well as its white throat and belly. Its head is adorned with two black stripes on either side, and distinctive yellow eye rings are sure to attract any avid birder’sbirder’s attention.
Yellow Birds in Alabama
Yellow birds are a beloved sight throughout Alabama, often flitting through the trees at dawn or dusk. Their bright feathers and cheerful songs bring joy to many state residents.
Scientific Name: Setophagacoronata
Length: 4.7-5.5 inches
Weight: 0.4-0.5 ounces
Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 inches
One of the most sought-after species in the state is the Yellow-Rumped Warbler. This small, colorful songbird calls Alabama it’s home from April through October, making it an ideal target for avian enthusiasts.
The Yellow-Rumped Warbler can be found throughout most of Alabama’sAlabama’s hardwood forests and its many coastal wetlands. When identifying these birds in their natural habitat, look for yellow feathers on the head and throat along with a white lower chest and belly.
The rump should be greyish with two bright yellow patches – this is where they get their name! The males also have distinct black streaks on their backs to differentiate them from females.
Scientific Name: Spinustristis
Length: 4.3-5.5 inches
Weight: 0.39-0.71 ounces
Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 inches
These colorful birds are common and easily identifiable due to their bright yellow plumage. They typically measure 4 – 5 inches long, with wingspans reaching up to 7 inches. The male’smale’s feathers consist primarily of yellow, black, and white markings, while the female has a duller coloring with more brown and olive hues.
Goldfinches are ground foragers, mainly eating grass seeds such as dandelions and thistles. However, they also have been known to feed on fruit when available.
Scientific Name: Icteriavirens
Length: 6.7-7.5 inches
Weight: 0.7-1.19 ounces
Wingspan: 9-10.6 inches
The Yellow-breasted Chat is a member of the warbler family and has a distinctive yellow throat and chest, along with white underparts. It also has long legs and a long tail with black markings on its wings. A favorite among birdwatchers, these birds are often seen perched in trees or shrubs singing their sweet songs. They make their nests in dense foliage near water sources such as lakes or streams.
The Yellow-breasted Chat can be found year-round in Alabama but may migrate south during winter.
Other Birds in Alabama
Several other birds can be found in the area. Whether you’re looking for a particular bird or just trying to expand your list of sightings, here are some other birds you can watch out for in Alabama.
American Crow Birds in Alabama
Scientific Name: Corvusbrachyrhynchos
Length: 16-21 inches
Weight: 11-21 ounces
Wingspan: 33-39 inches
The American Crow is a common bird in Alabama’s diverse habitats. From the Gulf Coast to the Appalachian Mountains, this species of Corvidae can be found everywhere. Their distinct black feathers and cawing calls are an iconic sight of the Southern state.
American Crows are omnivores and have adapted to take advantage of various food sources in Alabama. They feed on insects, carrion, eggs, fruits, and grains. When available, they will also scavenge human-made items like fast food wrappers and discarded food scraps.
This adaptability has allowed them to thrive in urban and rural areas across Alabama, making them one of the most commonly seen birds in the state.
Scientific Name: Haliaeetusleucocephalus
Length: 27.9-37.8 inches
Weight: 6.5-13.5 pounds
Wingspan: about 6.5 feet
Bald Eagles can be seen throughout many parts of Alabama, especially along lakes and rivers where they frequently hunt for fish. During nesting season, which typically lasts from mid-December through late April, these birds can also be spotted near bodies of water looking for suitable places to build their nests.
Although they have been on the National Endangered Species List since 1967 due to hunting and habitat loss, their population has increased significantly over time. They are now thriving in Alabama’s wild spaces.
Scientific Name: Molothrusater
Length: 6.3-8.7 inches
Weight: 1.1-2.1 ounces
Wingspan: about 14 inches
One such bird is the Brown-Headed Cowbird, a small blackbird mainly found in the Midwest and Eastern regions of the United States. This species has distinctive brown heads and weaves through wetlands, grasslands, and open forests in search of food – primarily insects or grains.
As their name suggests, Brown-Headed Cowbirds will often follow cattle herds as they graze on pastures to feed on insects disturbed by the cows’ movement. These birds can also be found near cultivated land, where they feed on grain spilled from harvest equipment or planted crops.
Scientific Name: Zenaidamacroura
Length: about 12 inches
Weight: 4-6 ounces
Wingspan: about 17.7 inches
The Mourning Dove is one of Alabama’s most common bird species. These medium-sized doves have greyish-brown feathers with a reddish tint on their wings and tails, while they have a long pointed tail with white edges. They are often seen perched near buildings or trees and can usually be heard cooing throughout the day. These birds prefer open areas such as fields and grasslands with some scattered trees for nesting material and perching sites.
Scientific Name: Strixvaria
Length: 16-25 inches
Weight: 16.6-37 ounces
Wingspan: 38-49 inches
These medium-sized owls are easily identified by their mottled gray and brown feathers and iconic hoot call.
The Barred Owl lives in various habitats across Alabama, from swamps and riverbanks to deciduous forests. They have even been known to reside in backyards near human dwellings! In addition to being beautiful creatures, they are also highly beneficial predators that help keep rodent populations under control.
When it comes to nesting season, Barred Owls prefer large cavities inside trees or snags as protection from the elements. In some cases, they may even use old hawk or crow nests for this purpose.
Cedar Waxwing-Birds in Alabama
Scientific Name: Bombycillacedrorum
Length: 6-7 inches
Weight: about 1.1 ounces
Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 inches
These small songbirds have distinct features that make them easy to identify, such as a crest on their heads, pale yellow bellies, and black masks across their eyes. They also have bright red tips at the ends of their wings and tails, which give them an unmistakable appearance.
Cedar waxwings are social creatures who sometimes form large flocks before migrating south for winter months. While they’re in the state, they mainly feed on berries and insects but will occasionally try other types of food, like nectar or pieces of fruit from nearby trees.
Scientific Name: Elanoidesforficatus
Length: 20-27 inches
Weight: 11-21 ounces
Wingspan: about 48 inches
The Swallow-Tailed Kite is a large raptor with a graceful, slender silhouette and distinct fan-shaped tail. This stunning bird of prey has black wings and a white head, neck, chest, and belly. It can range from 15-17 inches long with wingspans up to 4 feet! During spring and summer, they are found throughout most of Alabama’s Gulf Coast region, nesting in treetops near rivers or swamps.
They feed almost exclusively on flying insects which they snatch out of midair while soaring gracefully above their wetland habitats.
Birds in Alabama are under increasing pressure from both wild and human-caused threats. The state is home to a vast array of species, including some that are at risk of extinction. Conservation measures must be taken to protect these birds and their habitats.
Education and awareness campaigns should be implemented to raise public understanding of the conservation issues facing birds in Alabama. People can also support bird conservation efforts by volunteering for Audubon or donating to organizations that work on wildlife conservation.