Woman taking photo of bird

Most Common Backyard Birds In Indiana (Explained)

Watching Backyard Birds in Indiana is a great way to observe some of our nation’s most natural and amazing creatures. In the fall, we have the Wild Bird migration, which can be very fascinating. The different colors and patterns that the birds are known for are at their colorful best.

In spring, they begin to build their winter ranges and by late summer they are back to their normal abundance, all due to that shift in the weather. It is interesting to go out in the country and stand in the woods and listen to the noises of birds and insects.

You will also find it quite therapeutic to sit by a tree and give them some bird seed or watch them feed from your vantage point. There are so many beautiful things to see and hear when you are watching backyard birds in Indiana.

Most Common Backyard Birds In Indiana

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a very common bird in the genus Cardinalis, it is also commonly called the redbird or common cardinal. It is common in North America, eastern United States through southern Canada, all through the eastern United States up through Mexico, Guatemala, and northern Mexico. This is amazing species with a wide variety of foods, it likes including sunflower seeds, nectar, worms, berries, and even other insects.

They also eat grasshoppers, crickets, moths, butterflies, aphids, snails, and flies. In winter they are particularly fond of berries and black walnut shells, which they eat on a daily basis. With their unique features and interesting habits, you should definitely consider taking up bird feeding in your yard.

  • Frequency: 59.08%
  • Color: Mostly red with a black mask on the face, short pink bill
  • Habitat:  woodlands, gardens, parks, backyards, and wetlands
  • Range: USA, Canada, Mexico
  • Size: 8.2 – 9.3″ inches
  • Weight: 33 – 65 grams
  • Diet: Fruits, berries, and insects (grasshoppers, beetles, snails, cicadas)
  • Family: Cardinalidae
  • Genus: Cardinalis

Related Posts: 

American Robin

American Robin
Photo by Skyler Ewing from Pexels

While it’s not the only songbird in the world, the American Robin stands tall among other common songbirds. In fact, it’s one of the more popular kinds of songbirds in North America. It’s actually native to what’s now the United States, having arrived from Europe some 50 years ago.

During their migration, these colorful birds often visit Canada and the southern states, where they’re especially popular around springtime.  Today, you can find American Robin songbirds all over the north America.

  • Frequency: 45.05%
  • Color: Mostly brown on the back with an orange colored breast
  • Habitat: Wooded areas, backyards, parks, fields
  • Range: USA, Canada, Mexico
  • Size: 12 – 16″ inches
  • Weight: 72 – 95 grams
  • Diet: Fruits, berries and insects (earthworms, beetles, caterpillars
  • Family: Turdidae
  • Genus: Turdus

Related Post: Interesting American Robin Fun Facts

Blue Jay

Blue Jay
Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni from Pexels

The blue jay is a beautiful passerine bird in both the human family Coridae, native to central and eastern North America. It is commonest in all the eastern and mid-western U.S. states; populations can also be seasonal migratory. 

The blue jay is a highly intelligent and social bird, which nests in trees in late spring and early summer and throughout the winter. They nest high in trees where they can view prey and avoid predators long enough to be safe. Blue jays are unique among Passerines for their large and diverse diet, comprising largely of worms, berries, seeds, small insects, and nymphs,

  • Frequency: 44.72%
  • Color: Blue crest on the head, wings, back, and tail, and has a white face and belly
  • Habitat: Deciduous and mixed forests, mixed woodlands, backyards, parks
  • Range: Southern Canada,  Eastern and Central United States, Florida and Texas
  • Size: 8 – 12″ inches
  • Weight: 70 – 100 grams
  • Diet:  Nuts, seeds, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Genus: Cyanocitta

Related Posts:

Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is a medium-sized bird that mainly sings throughout the late spring and early summer in southern Indiana and near the Black River. It is a very shy and nocturnal bird, normally found in fields, wooded areas, swamps, and fields along the roads and streams. Mourning Dove are not social birds and do not form flocks. They nest in protected areas in cliffs or near trees in spring and early summer.

You will find these birds around ponds, creeks, and rivers. They are very good climbers and can be found in trees, woodpecker holes, and birdhouses. These beautiful birds do need some habitat and food and will feed on seeds, mosquitoes, fish, worms, berries, and carrion. 

  • Frequency: 42.70%
  • Color: Light gray-brown and lighter and pinkish below. The wings have black spots.
  • Habitat: Open habitats, urban areas, farms, prairie, grassland, wooded area
  • Range:  USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Greater Antilles
  • Size: 12″ inches length
  • Weight: 112 – 170 grams
  • Diet:  Rapeseed, corn, millet, safflower, sunflower seeds, pokeberry, sesame, and wheat.
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Genus: Zenaida

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Image by Irene K-s from Pixabay

Downy Woodpeckers has been viewed by residents of the Tri-Lakes and southern Indiana’s wild bird population for years. Downy Woodpeckers will start foraging for food in nearby shrubs and trees. They will return with a full load of food to feed their young. 

During late winter foraging, these birds may also forage along tree branches and birdhouses. During early spring, these birds may also forage along fences and walls where they can view other birds feeding or moving through the woods.  

  • Frequency: 42.40%
  • Color: Black with a white throat, belly, and back. White spots on wings
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests and thickets, roadside, grasslands, backyards, parks
  • Range:  Canada, USA, and Mexico
  • Size: 5.5 – 7.1″ inches in length
  • Weight: 20 – 33 grams
  • Diet:  Mostly insects and beetles and ants, also gall wasps, caterpillars
  • Family: Picadae
  • Genus: Dryobates

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch
Image by Peggy Dyar from Pixabay

The American goldfinch,  is a common visitor to gardens because of its sweet song. It is quite migratory, always migrating south of the United States to North Carolina and back, and generally spends part of the year in Mexico. Their natural habitat is moist tropical forests in south-eastern Mexico and Central America.

They prefer deciduous trees and shrubs but can also thrive on evergreens, oaks, blackberries, acorns, and maples. When you attract American goldfinches into your yard, be sure to provide it with a good bird bath so that the bird can bathe itself and it will become used to you coming near.

  • Frequency: 42.39%
  • Color: Face, neck, and underside are yellow, black wings with white bars
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests and thickets, roadside, grasslands, backyards, meadows
  • Range:  Canada, USA and Mexico
  • Size: 4.3 – 5.5″ inches length
  • Weight: 12 -18 grams
  • Diet:  Grass, dandelions, chickweed, sunflowers and ragweed, thistle, red alder, birch, spruce seeds
  • Family: Carduelinae
  • Genus: Spinus

Related Post: American Goldfinch Interesting Facts

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Image by wileydoc from Pixabay

The red-bellied woodpecker is a small woodpecker of the family Picidae, of which it is the most common species. It breeds primarily in the eastern U.S., mostly from the west coast, but also as far east as northern Canada and even as far north as northern Mexico. 

In the spring and fall, the red-bellied woodpecker prefers coniferous trees in old-growth forests but will move into deciduous forests in search of insects, fruits and seeds. The bird’s beak is specially designed for piercing the hard outer cover of tree trunks, easily pulling out insects.

  • Frequency: 39.34%
  • Color: Gray on body and face and underparts. Black and white pattern on wings, back, and tail.
  • Habitat: Forests, backyards
  • Range: Southern Canada,  Eastern United States, Florida 
  • Size: 9 – 10.6″ inches long
  • Weight: 56 -91 grams
  • Diet:  Insects, tree frogs, eggs of small birds, oozing sap, and small fish.
  • Family: Picidae
  • Genus: Melanerpes

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch
Image by RusticPix .com from Pixabay

The white-breasted nuthatch has been a popular songbird all over much of North America for a long time. In fact it’s still one of the more popular birds in the spring visitor area. Their habitat is trees, shrubs, parks, roads, gardens, fields, etc. And they both nest in areas where food and shelter are plentiful.

During the winter they are quite inactive, but come out of hiding to feed on the needles of deciduous trees. For the most part, you will find these species nesting near large, old trees in clearings and thickets near lakes and ponds.

  • Frequency: 38.46%
  • Color: Has a white face, flanks, and chest. It has a black cap on its head a bluish-gray upper and a brown belly
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, conifers, roadside, rivers, backyards, parks
  • Range: Southern Canada, USA
  • Size: 5.9″ inches
  • Weight: 20 grams
  • Diet:  Acorn nuts, hickory nuts, ants, caterpillars, scale insects, pine weevils
  • Family: Sittidae
  • Genus: Sitta

Related Post: How to Attract Nuthatches to your Backyard

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The tufted titmouse,  is a tiny songbird in North America, part of the chickadees and tit family. The tufted titmouse, native to North America from southeastern Texas eastward through central Mexico. The tufted titmouse has a widely distributed range but is particularly common in the southern United States. It favors wooded areas with open areas and stands on bare wood, often foraging on bird feeders.

It does not seem to particularly avoid urban and suburban areas and can be found in parks, backyards, and along roadsides. They feed on a variety of seeds and are an important part of the birding community, preying on many insects in their area.

  • Frequency: 38.19%
  • Color: Gray upperparts, white front, a tufted gray crest on the head
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, river basin, backyards, swamps
  • Range:  Canada, USA, and Mexico
  • Size: 5.5 – 6.4″ inches
  • Weight: 18 – 26 grams
  • Diet:  Nuts, insects, berries, seeds small fruit, and snails
  • Family: Paridae
  • Genus: Baeolophus

Related Post: How to Attract Tufted Titmouse to my Yard

American Crow

American Crow
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

The American Crow is exceptionally large passerine bird species of the genus Corvis. It’s a popular local bird found across much of North America, from southern Ohio to central Mexico. It’s thought to be a winter visitor to this area.

Because of their wintering habits, the birds must descend from their ranges to find food and warm themselves for the next year. Many of these birds’ winter ranges end up in the western Corn Belt, near Mexico and Texas.

  • Frequency: 37.30%
  • Color: Black
  • Habitat: Open country, farms, parks, woodlands, towns, cities
  • Range: Canada, USA, Mexico
  • Size: 16 – 21″ inches
  • Weight: 315 -620 grams
  • Diet: Invertebrates, carrion, seeds, eggs fish, grains, mice, frogs, and other small animals. 
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Genus: Corvis

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Image by u_z4q28nbq from Pixabay

The song Sparrow is a medium-sized member of the genera Passeridae family. Among the more common native birds in North America, it’s easily one of the most colorful, variable, and adaptable ones. A beautiful and colorful member of the sparrow family, it’s also one of the easiest birds to identify and photograph. 

Unlike other songbirds, Song Sparrows primarily eat seeds rather than insects. Their diets consist almost entirely of seeds from grasshoppers and ants. They are also very active, with short flights and constant dancing. This, along with their singing, attracts the female songbirds who choose to nest near the males during the breeding season.

  • Frequency: 35.67%
  • Color: Gray head, white cheek, a black bib, rufous neck
  • Habitat: Urban centers, farms, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range:  Europe, Mediterranean, Asia, Australasia, Africa, and the Americas
  • Size: 5.5 – 7.0″ inches
  • Weight: 25 – 40 grams
  • Diet:  Grains, seeds, and insects
  • Family: Passeridae
  • Genus: Passer

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your Backyard

Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee
Photo by Brandon on Unsplash

Carolina chickadees select their wintering and nesting sites in large trees near human habitations. It has been observed that during the winter months, Carolina chickadees take up shelter in dense thickets and under large, old growth trees.

The greatest supply of food and protection is available close to the vicinity of these structures, since there are no natural predators in this area. When it comes to wintering, the Carolina chickadee will follow the shoreline, either on mud pies or on small islands along the water’s edge.

  • Frequency: 33.29%
  • Color: Black cap and throat with white cheeks. Light gray wings, back, and tail.
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, suburbs, parks, backyards
  • Range:  USA ( Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and Kansas)
  • Size: 4.5 – 5.1″ inches long
  • Weight: 9 – 12 grams
  • Diet:  Insects, berries, seeds 
  • Family: Paridae
  • Genus:  Poecile

European Starling

The European Starling is a medium-sized passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae, which has brown plumage with a bright metallic sheen. It’s about 20 cm long, with a thin metallic sheen on its breast that is speckled sometimes with white at other times of the year. 

These birds prefer a sunny site for breeding, with trees and shrubs like oaks, sycamore, tamarind, and quince preceding the nesting area. The main food source is nuts, such as, walnuts, chestnuts, and hazelnuts.

  • Frequency: 32.69%
  • Color:  Black with glossy iridescence plumage
  • Habitat: Forests, woodlands, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range: North America, Europe, Africa, India, Middle East, China
  • Size: 7 – 9″ inches long
  • Weight: 60 – 100 grams
  • Diet:  Insects (ants, beetles, invertebrates), fruits, seeds, berries
  • Family: Sturnidae
  • Genus: Sturnus

Red-winged Blackbird

The red-winged blackbird is a common passerine bird found in all North America and well into Central America. It is among the most common birds found in large forested areas or along large rivers. They often visit bird feeders, bird baths, and open fields. There they feed on small seeds and other insects, along with many forms of insects.

A variety of songbirds are also seen at these bird feeders, including the red-winged blackbird. It is the male red-winged blackbird that makes the most of these bird feeders and their close proximity to human dwellings.

  • Frequency: 32.56%
  • Color: All black with red patches on shoulder and a yellow wing bar
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, conifers, roadside, rivers, backyards, parks
  • Range: North America, Central America
  • Size: 6.7 – 7.1″ inches length
  • Weight: 41.5 – 65 grams
  • Diet:  Seeds and insects (butterflies, dragonflies, moths, frogs, worms, spider, snails, carrion, flies.)
  •  Family: Icteridae
  • Genus: Agelaius

House Sparrow​​​​​​​

House Sparrow​​​​​​​
Image by DEZALB from Pixabay

The house sparrow is an extremely common bird of this family, yet very little is known about them. It is actually a very small bird, which has a standard size of only 6″ inches long and a mass of up to 24 grams. They are frequently seen flying around in gardens and backyards.

The house sparrows diet; unlike many other birds which depend on flowers for survival, these birds eat vegetation.  producing broods of young which nest in cavities in trees, on walls, or on the ground. The young birds feed throughout the winter period, when the adults return to their nests to look after them.

  • Frequency: 30.45%
  • Color:  Gray head marking, a reddish-brown back, and gray underparts
  • Habitat: Urban centers, suburban areas, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range: North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand
  • Size: 5.5 – 7.1″ inches in length
  • Weight: 25 – 39 grams
  • Diet:  Insects, beetles, caterpillars, aphids,, grasshoppers, crustaceans, earthworms, vertebrates
  • Family: Passeridea
  • Genus: Passer

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your Backyard

House Finch

The house finch, is a beautiful bird among the many finches. It is indigenous to the western part of the United States and recently has been introduced to the east and western portion of the country. On July through August, the male house finch will be out in abundance, and they will be found on fences, trees, and power lines because they are basking in the sun.

When they return to their nests they stay for a period of time, somewhere between eight and fourteen days. Their partner usually joins them for this time, and during this time they nest together.

  • Frequency: 27.98%
  • Color:  Reddish face and upper breast, brown streaks on back, belly, and tail.
  • Habitat: Urban and suburban areas, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range: Canada, USA, Mexico
  • Size: 5 – 6″ inches
  • Weight: 16 – 27 grams
  • Diet:  Aphids, grains, seeds, berries, nettle, dandelion, sunflower
  • Family: Fringillidae
  • Genus: Haemorhous

Related Post: How to Attract House Finch to Your Yard?

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren
Image by Laura Retyi from Pixabay

The Carolina wren is an uncommon, but beautiful, species of bird. The Carolina wren tends to favor large open areas such as backyards and marshes for roosting. They also like to forage through trash streams and ponds. Like most birds in North America, the Carolina wrens are migratory. During the winter, they travel south to the warm coastal areas of central North America.

In spring they return north to the cooler southern parts of the country. Back in March and April they return again to the warmer north for the summer mating season. Then they return south for the fall migration and return every year to northernmost Canada and the northern US.

  • Frequency: 25.42%
  • Color: Black cap and throat with white cheeks. Light gray wings, back, and tail.
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, suburbs, parks, backyards
  • Range:  USA ( Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and Kansas)
  • Size: 4.5 – 5.1″ inches long
  • Weight: 9 – 12 grams
  • Diet:  Insects, berries, seeds 
  • Family: Paridae
  • Genus:  Poecile

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco
Photo by Jack Bulmer from Pexels

The dark-eyed junco,  is a unique species of juncos, a genus of small arboreal New World sparrows. This tiny bird is extremely common across much of North America and even into the lower Arctic, where it winters. Interestingly, the dark-eyed junco does not breed in the usual manner: unlike most other species in its genus, it makes nests in abandoned mills, along road edges, in crop fields and abandoned beaver depots.

Interestingly, in central north America, they are found all over, in areas like Twin Falls, Idaho, and Colorado. They are rare to find in the wild anywhere in the western hemisphere, except perhaps in the few scattered pockets in the south and southwest.

  • Frequency: 21.62%
  • Color:  Gray head, neck, breast, gray/brown backs and wings, white underside
  • Habitat: Wooded areas, forest edges, roadsides, gardens, parks.
  • Range: USA and Canada
  • Size: 5.1 – 6.9″ inches
  • Weight: 18 – 30 grams
  • Diet:  Seeds, insects, and arthropods
  • Family: Passeriformes
  • Genus: Junco

Northern Flicker

The common flickers or northern flicker is a, medium-winged woodpeckers of the woodpecker’s family. It’s native to all North America, as well as parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands, which are one of only a few woodpeckers that actually migrate.

These birds are great hunters, with a variety of tools available to help them catch their prey. They have a reputation for building nest boxes in areas of tall grass, trees, and bushes, which is where you might find them nesting in the United States and Canada.

  • Frequency: 19.66%
  • Color: Light brown with black bars across back, chest, wings, belly
  • Habitat: Forests, woodlands, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range: North America, Central America, Cuba, Cayman Islands
  • Size: 10 – 14″ inches
  • Weight: 85 – 165 grams
  • Diet:  Insects (ants, beetles, invertebrates), fruits, seeds, berries
  • Family: Picadae
  • Genus: Colaptes

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird
Image by Naturelady from Pixabay

The Eastern Bluebird is a common,  species found throughout open fields, farmlands, forests, and wooded areas. The Eastern Bluebird has been one of the most popular birds recently introduced into the United States.

They have become especially popular in the states surrounding the Eastern seaboard. These birds tend to be very colorful and are often found flying around at dusk. They are often found hanging around trees and lamp posts. 

  • Frequency: 19.36%
  • Color: Has a blue head, back, and wings. reddish-brown breast
  • Habitat: Open woodlands, farmlands, and orchards.
  • Range: Southern Canada to the Gulf states, East of the Rockies and south to Arizona to Nicaragua
  • Size: 5.5 – 7.1″ inches in length
  • Weight: 20 – 33 grams
  • Diet:  insects and other invertebrates
  • Family: Turdidae
  • Genus: Sialia

These backyard birds all have a frequency of less than 20%

  • Common Grackle –  19.27% Frequency
  • Killdeer 18.92%
  • Brown-headed Cowbird 18.55%
  • Gray Catbird 16.48%
  • Chipping Sparrow 15.89%
  • Eastern Towhee 14.68%
  • Hairy Woodpecker 13.63%
  • Pileated Woodpecker 13.63%
  • White-throated Sparrow 13.60%
  • Tree Swallow 12.83%
  • Field Sparrow 12.57%
  • Indigo Bunting 12.45%
  • House Wren 12.10%
  • Eastern Phoebe 11.75%
  • Common Yellowthroat 11.34%
  • Barn Swallow 11.09%
  • Black-capped Chickadee 10.92%
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird 10.85%
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 10.31%
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler 10.04%
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee 9.73%
  • Chimney Swift 8.78%
  • Belted Kingfisher 8.56%
  • Baltimore Oriole 8.43%
  • Cedar Waxwing 8.21%
  • Red-eyed Vireo 8.01%
  • Red-headed Woodpecker 7.79%
  • Brown Thrasher 7.69%
  • American Tree Sparrow 7.66%
  • Yellow Warbler 7.44%
  • Eastern Meadowlark 7.18%
  • Warbling Vireo 6.98%
  • Eastern Kingbird 6.70%
  • Rock Pigeon 6.22%
  • White-crowned Sparrow 6.14%
  • Great Crested Flycatcher 5.97%
  • Wood Thrush 5.93%
  • Northern Mockingbird 5.69%
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak 5.67%
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow 5.48%
  • Northern Parula 5.44%
  • Northern Shoveler 5.42%
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5.18%