senior bird watching

Most Common Backyard Birds In Maine (Explained)

When people are looking for a new hobby, one of the very best hobbies to get into is bird watching. Bird watching is a fun activity that is very relaxing and also educational. When you are watching birds in Maine, you will be able to see some of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. If you are looking for a great place to go bird watching, there is no place better than The Bar Harbor State Park. 

Before you ever try to do this though, you need to be sure that you have the proper equipment. You will not be able to enjoy this hobby very much if you do not have the proper binoculars, cameras, and any other specialized items. You will also want to take some time to learn more about the birds that you are watching and their particular characteristics. check out the list below for the most common backyard birds in Maine.

Most Common Backyard Birds In Maine

American Crow

American Crow
Image by Jasmin Sessler from Pixabay

The American Crow is extremely common passerine bird species of the genus Corvis, of the family Corvidae, with over 60 species recorded in the north and western parts of the United States. It is currently the most common ground bird of all nine species of the Corvidae family living in the North American continent. In the United States, this species occurs in a wide range of habitats, including marshes, forests, backyards, fields, near creeks, and even in urban areas. 

  • Frequency: 50.00%
  • 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

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee
Image by edbo23 from Pixabay

The black-capped chickadee has been a common bird in our area’s wilder areas since at least 1855 when it was first recorded in what is now southern Connecticut. The black-capped chickadee resides primarily in mixed and deciduous forests in northern New England, near the western edge of Massachusetts and Maine, along the upper Niagara River and in some parts of Ontario, Quebec, and southern Ontario (where the species is protected). It’s a common passerine bird in both the Atlantic and Central states’.

  • Frequency: 46.68%
  • Color: Black-cap, white on face, white/reddish-brown flanks
  • Habitat: Deciduous and mixed forests, backyards, parks
  • Range: USA and Canada
  • Size: 11.5 -16 cm length
  • Weight: 8 – 15 grams
  • Diet:  Insects, seeds, berries
  • Family: Paridae
  • Genus: Poecile

Related Post: How Do I Attract Chickadees To My Yard?

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch
Image by Miles Moody from Pixabay

The American goldfinch, is actually a rather large North American small bird which is closely related to the finch. It is typically migratory, traveling from mid-Alaska to northern North Carolina during both the breeding seasons and from southernmost Mexico to north of the Canada border during the fall. Mating birds take over the abandoned nests of young birds in preparation for the long flight back south. 

  • Frequency: 37.96%
  • 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

Blue Jay

Blue Jay
Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

The blue jay, a common passerine bird amongst the genus Corvus, is found in all parts of the world except the western portion of North America. It’s natively found in most of the central and eastern United States; populations can also be seasonal. Occasional sightings are also seen in Labrador, Canada; nesting populations can also be found across northern Canada, northern Alaska, and all through the United States. A resident birding site is the Channel Islands, off the coast of Massachusetts.

  • Frequency: 34.56%
  • 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:

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The song Sparrow is a medium sized wild bird from the family Passeridea. In North America, it’s easily one of the most common and best known migratory birds. Song sparrows reside mostly in fields and swamps, they are extremely active throughout the year. They nest near water and in parks. Typically, a pair will nest for around two years before beginning to mate again. When breeding, barbells compete with each other for food, often taking over the same fields year-round.

  • Frequency: 34.28%
  • 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: Passeridea
  • Genus: Passer

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your Backyard

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove
Image by edbo23 from Pixabay

The Mourning Dove is a familiar member of our dove family, Columbidae. The graceful,  bird known as “the raindove” is also called by various names, depending on the area in which it lives, the state, or the genus that it bears. It is perhaps best known, however, as the mourning dove. It is perhaps one of our country’s most common birds, with millions of males and females seen at some point during the annual migration. It is common throughout most of North America, excepting the far eastern states.

  • Frequency: 30.08%
  • 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

American Robin

American Robin
Image by Naturelady from Pixabay

The beautiful song of the American Robin has been recorded since 1820, when the first specimens were taken from a wooded area along what is now the northeastern states in what is now New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. A short time later, a migration route was discovered leading from the southern coasts of North America to the central Pacific. Since then, birds from every part of the continent have been able to make it to what is now the eastern parts of the United States and Canada.

  • Frequency: 29.22%
  • 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

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal
Image by TheBirdBird from Pixabay

The Northern Cardinal is a beautiful bird in the family Colubercula. It’s also referred colloquially by the common name red cardinal. It’s most easily found in eastern Canada, east of the US, from Maine to northern Minnesota to southern Texas, into Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and southern California. These days, it’s also found in parts of Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, Peru, Colombia, and Nicaragua. It’s also now widespread in several other tropical countries, including Venezuela and Cuba.

  • Frequency: 21.52%
  • 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: 

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The Downy Woodpecker is extremely common species of woodpecker, the smallest also in North America. It is most often seen in the woods of upstate New York in the southern regions of the States. The  Downy Woodpecker is one of the most popular North American birds, making its rounds in many backyard bird feeders and birding areas. If you are looking to attract these birds to your area and are not sure where to start, try offering putting some seed in your bird feeder. Since these birds have a high chance of building nests in your roof and walls, offering them suet feeders and bird seed will give them something to do. 

  • Frequency: 21.48%
  • 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

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The white-breasted nuthatch has been a popular songbird found throughout much of North America. This species is rare in the wild but is commonly found in parks and other managed forests. It is fairly easy species to care for, being shy and generally inactive during the summer months. In the wild, it is nocturnal, spending most of its time in deep or dry forests, on cliffs and ledges, or undergrowth.

  • Frequency: 21.40%
  • 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 RusticPix .com from Pixabay

The tufted titmouse makes its home primarily in the Midwest and southern Indiana through out the United States of America. It is a fast flying and fairly small songbird with a stout bill and a pointed crest. Often seen in large numbers during spring and early summer in states like Maine, Iowa, and Minnesota. These tufted titmice prefer to roost in old trees along tree trunks, inside houses and under bushes. Homing in dark and cool areas they have been seen in gardens and backyards of all types in both wet and dry habitats. 

  • Frequency: 17.66%
  • 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

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker
Image by Jennifer Beebe from Pixabay

The hairy woodpecker  is a medium-sized bird that is found from North America to Central Asia. It is about 250mm long with a wingspan of about 380mm. With an estimate population in 2021 of more than nine million people, the hairy woodpecker has been listed by the IUCN as endangered species.  Downy woodpeckers are extremely social and inhabit small areas, bird houses and bird feeders. They can also be found in deciduous forests, in parks, near humans dwellings and in backyards.

  • Frequency: 16.90%
  • Color:  Black and white checkered throughout, all white underside, has a mask
  • Habitat: Wooded areas, forest edges, roadsides, gardens, parks.
  • Range: USA and Canada
  • Size: 7.0 – 10″ inches in length
  • Weight: 40 – 95 grams
  • Diet: Berries, seeds, nuts beetles, ants, caterpillars, and others. 
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Genus: Tyrannus

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch
Image by JudaM from Pixabay

The red-breasted nuthatch, a small nocturnal bird, is native to Central and South America. It breeds in coniferous forests all across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States. During the breeding season, they nest in large numbers in the marsh and brush along river banks and swamps where they lay eggs, raise their offspring and feed on insects. Red-breasted nuthatches are frequent visitors to bird feeders; they also enjoy having humans to feed them as they adore the sweet scent of food. They can also be found in parks, abandoned fields, and backyards of homes.

  • Frequency: 16.75%
  • Color:  Bluish gray upperparts with reddish brown underparts, a white face and throat with a black stripe runs through the eyes.
  • Habitat: Coniferous trees but can also be found in mixed woods, backyards, and parks.
  • Range:  Canada and USA
  • Size: 4.5″ inches long
  • Weight: 9.9 grams
  • Diet:  Berries, suet, small seeds, carrion, grasshoppers, and various insect larvae, and crustaceans.
  • Family: Sittidae
  • Genus: Sitta

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird
Image by Yinan Chen from Pixabay

Red-winged Blackbirds are a common visitor to many homes, parks, lawns, gardens and woodlands throughout North America, as well as Europe and Asia.The Red-winged Blackbird has always been a very popular in the United States and it’s a species that’re still growing in numbers. It’s a gorgeous bird that will make any American bird enthusiast very happy. This bird spends most of its waking hours aloft, flying from one tree to another, but does spend some time on land, in search for food.

  • Frequency: 16.72%
  • 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

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat
Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

The most common yellowthroat is a seen throughout North America.  It likes to eat black malachite beetles, which is what it usually eats on its diet while foraging. The bird also likes to eat other insects, including mosquitoes and beetles. A wonderful attraction to bird watchers is the bright yellow color of the female yellowthroat, which can sometimes be quite flashy. There are several things that you can do to help attract and keep these birds in your area. Bird watching, a good bird feeder, and nesting boxes or nests are just a few of the things you can do to attract these birds to your yard.

  • Frequency: 15.82%
  • Color:  Olive colored above, and has a yellow throat
  • Habitat: Shrubby, wet areas, including marshes, forest edges, and fallow fields
  • Range:  North America, ranging from southern Canada to central Mexico
  • Size: 4.3″ – 5.1″ inches long
  • Weight: 9 – 10 grams
  • Diet:  Feeds on insects and seeds
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Genus: Geothlypis

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird
Image by Deb Nyman from Pixabay

The gray catbird, is an inconspicuous medium-size North American and Central American perch bird Gray Catbirds frequently visits many different kinds of habitat, feeding on flowers in the morning, berries in the afternoon, grassy thickets at night, and berries and nuts in the morning and evening. They can even be found at times on roadsides and in slow-moving areas like our driveways. At the nest, the male and female may stand beside each other on the edge of a pile of loose feathers, waiting for the opportunity to mate.

  • Frequency: 15.08%
  • Color: Mainly Gray with black on tail and head, white accents on the body
  • Habitat: Woodlands, marshes, meadows
  • Range: East of the Canadian Rockies, Canada, USA,  Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
  • Size: 8 – 9.5″ inches
  • Weight: 23 – 57 grams
  • Diet: Fruits, berries, earthworms, beetles, bugs, ants caterpillars, grasshoppers, moths.
  • Family:  Mimidae
  • Genus:  Dumatella

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco
Image by Bryan Hanson from Pixabay

The dark-eyed junco is a subspecies of the sparrow but has slightly different characteristics. The dark-eyed junco’s natural habitat is coniferous woodlands or brushlands, since they prefer dense stands of deciduous trees. In the spring and summer, these birds feed on forage nectar, but during winter they feed mainly on wood-destroying insects. They are especially found of foraging in coniferous forests where beetles, spiders,  are common visitors. 

  • Frequency: 14.54%
  • 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

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

Eastern Phoebe are members of the small tree roosting bird family, the Tyrannidae. The species are native to Eastern Europe, Asia, North America, and parts of South America. They prefer deciduous woodlands with thick undergrowth and trees that are over five feet tall. During the late summer and early fall, they roost on trees in large numbers. The primary prey of the eastern Phoebe is the larger ground feeding insects of the ground such as ants and spiders.

  • Frequency: 14.22%
  • Color: Gray-brown upper, gray breast and underbody, white throat
  • Habitat: Farmland, parks, and gardens
  • Range: Southern USA and Mexico
  • Size: 5.5 – 6.7″ inches long
  • Weight: 16 – 21 grams
  • Diet:  Insects and berries
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Genus: Sayornis

Chipping Sparrow

The chipping sparrow,  is a species of New World passerine bird, that is widespread, relatively mild-mannered, and popular across most of its North American regional range. They’re primarily nocturnal, and you’ll see them most of the time loafing or foraging in leaf litter or on road kill. They feed on a variety of foods, including seeds, suet, berries, and carrion. They also eat algae, nectarines, nuts, and berries; other birds do not feed from these sources. But, because they prefer to forage on the ground, where there’s plenty of cover. They breed mostly in urban areas, but can also be found in farm fields, meadows, feeder stands, and abandoned fields. .

  • Frequency: 14.17%
  • Color: Rust-colored upperparts, gray head, and underparts with a reddish cap on the head
  • Habitat: Coniferous forests,  woodland, farmland, parks, and gardens
  • Range: Southern USA and Mexico
  • Size: 4.7 – 5.9″ inches
  • Weight: 11 – 16 grams
  • Diet:  Mostly seeds, spiders
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Genus: Spizella 

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your Backyard

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow
Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

The white-throated Sparrow is a common deciduous (or ground-loving) waterbird found throughout North America, except in the more arid parts of southeastern United States. It is an adept and colorful flicker which inhabits both urban and rural areas. They nest in marshes and in dry wooded areas in woodpecker territories. The breeding season for this species is from late spring through early summer. It is also suggested that they may build nests in trees, like other sparrows, but in the absence of trees they would rather utilize any den available.

  • Frequency: 13.89%
  • Color: Brown and gray head pattern. Black-and-white-striped head, white throat, and yellow near the eye.
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests and thickets, roadside, grasslands, backyards
  • Range:  Eastern North America, Atlantic Canada
  • Size: 5.9″ – 7.5″ inches long
  • Weight: 22 – 32 grams
  • Diet: Seeds, insects, and berries
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Genus: Zonotrichia 


These backyard birds all have a frequency of less than 14%

  • European Starling 13.70% Frequency
  • Common Grackle 13.03%
  • Red-eyed Vireo 12.50%
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler 12.01%
  • Cedar Waxwing 11.94%
  • k-throated Green Warbler 10.80%
  • Tree Swallow 10.69%
  • Northern Flicker 9.85%
  • Black-and-white Warbler 9.72%
  • Northern Parula 9.53%
  • House Finch 9.46%
  • Purple Finch 9.42%
  • Common Raven 9.40%
  • Yellow Warbler 9.37%
  • Ovenbird 9.30%
  • House Sparrow 9.21%
  • Hermit Thrush 8.92%
  • Rock Pigeon 8.43%
  • American Redstart 7.48%
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird 6.88%
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet 6.74%
  • Belted Kingfisher 6.72%
  • Pileated Woodpecker 6.47%
  • Blue-headed Vireo 6.43%
  • Barn Swallow 6.42%
  • Eastern Bluebird 6.09%
  • Common Tern 5.71%
  • Pine Warbler 5.68%
  • Savannah Sparrow 5.63%
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler 5.63%
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 5.09%
  • Swamp Sparrow 5.02%