Man with binoculars

Most Common Backyard Birds In Nevada (Explained)

Backyard bird watching is one of the most relaxing and rewarding activities that an amateur or a professional may indulge in. Whether you live in Nevada or not, you can still get to participate in this activity and have fun doing so. Check out the list below for birds that you will most likely find around feeders and bird houses.

Most Common Backyard Birds In Nevada

Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is actually a member of the dove bird family, Columbidae. The bird also called the American mourning dove, is commonly known as simply the mourning dove or the rainbird, and more colloquially as just the turtle Dove, and historically was called the Carolina turtle.

It’s one of our most widespread and common of all North American birds, with over ten million pairs believed to exist today. This is in part because they are migratory and can be seen from all parts of North America.

  • Frequency: 35.57%
  • 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

House Finch

When migrating to warmer climates, House Finch will take a number of paths, one of which is back east across the desert to Mexico. In cooler weather, they move down the coastal areas of western California and Arizona to feed on different types of berries along coastal sage scrub.

When the temperatures start to warm up, they begin their long journey back up the coast to Canada. Towards the end of July and early August, these birds return to their meadow-based bird feeders, where they feast on a variety of acorns, berries, and nectar from cliffs. 

  • Frequency: 27.92%
  • 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?

Common Raven

The common raven, is an all black passerine bird native to North America and its natural prey animal family. Found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the fourth most widely distributed of all passerines. With an estimated total population size of around 50 million all over the world, it’s the second most populous bird after the globally distributed passerine.

Because the common raven can be a rather slow-flying, somewhat sluggish flier, they are often found in rather remote areas, even those that are located inside the most densely forested areas.

  • Frequency: 25.19%
  • Color:  All black iridescent plumage
  • Habitat: Wooded areas, evergreen forests, tundra, roadside, grasslands, backyards, parks
  • Range:  Found throughout the Northern Hemisphere
  • Size: 21 – 26 inches long
  • Weight: 1.5 – 4.5 lbs.
  • Diet:  Mainly scavengers, feeding on carrion, beetles, and maggots.
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Genus: Corvus

White-crowned Sparrow

The white-crowned sparrow, also known as the western red-winged sparrow, is a common species of passerine birds indigenous to North America. A small member of the larger New World sparrow species, this tiny species is characterized by a yellow face and white and black streaking across the top of its head.

The bird has a pointed crest that protruding from its head. It is one of two distinctly colored varieties within the ‘Red-winged’ group of Passerines. The other variety, the yellow-headed variety, is also prevalent in the southern parts of North America.

  • Frequency: 24.88%
  • Color: Black and white stripes on their head,  gray face, brown-streaked upper, and a long tail. Brown wings with bars and the underparts are gray.
  • Habitat: Brushy areas
  • Range:  Western USA, and Northern Canada
  • Size: 5.9″ – 6.3″ inches long
  • Weight: 25 – 28 grams
  • Diet: Seeds, insects, and plants
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Genus: Zonotrichia 

American Robin

American Robin
Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

The American Robin is an attractive, non-migratory songbird of both the true robin genus and Turdidae, both of which are a sub-order of the ornithology group of birds, and the larger thrush family. They have been recorded as living on islands in the Pacific, in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, and as the resident birds of buildings in the United States and Canada.

A number of species of this genus are common throughout most of the United States and Canada. All of these birds feed on a variety of foods, including nectar, leaf buds, berries, seeds, insects, and small fish. Some of them are common visitors to bird feeders, and others are more solitary and frequent travelers.

  • Frequency: 22.34%
  • 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

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Image by stephmcblack from Pixabay

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is ordinary North American bird species which can normally be found all over the continent, though it is more common in the southern parts of the states. It has been recorded as being present in various counties in the northeastern United States, ranging from Maryland and Pennsylvania to northern New York and Massachusetts.

However, it is common throughout the entire continent, except for the central and eastern parts of the upper Midwest and upper South Atlantic states.The typical habitat for the yellow-rumped warbler occurs in open coniferous forests, especially along rivers, streams, canals, swamps, and wooded areas.

  • Frequency: 21.96%
  • Color: Yellow patches on the crown, flanks, rump & blackish-blue streaks on the back, breast and wings
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests and thickets, roadside, grasslands, backyards
  • Range:  U.SA, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
  • Size: 4.7 – 5.9″ inches
  • Weight: 10 – 18 grams
  • Diet:  grasshoppers, gnats, aphids,caterpillars, wasps, beetles, spiders, berries, 
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Genus: Setophaga

Related Post: How to Attract Warblers to you Yard?

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker
Image by Naturelady from Pixabay

The northern flicker sometimes called the white-crowned or barn owl, is a small medium-sized tree (up to 5 feet tall) of the true woodpecker family. It is indigenous to much of North America, as well as parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands, among other places.

It is not uncommon to find the bird in suburban backyards; in fact it has been known to build nest boxes along the eaves of suburban homes in Nevada, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as on islands in the Caribbean.

  • Frequency: 20.73%
  • 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

Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon
Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

The Rock Pigeon, is found in the eastern U.S., including the western states of Montana and Oregon and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick. They usually nest in abandoned rock ledges, attics, caves, and old logs and cliffs. Rock Pigeons is primarily nocturnal and feed at night on the winged seeds that have been left by grazing animals.

They are also known to feed on carrion during the nights. However, they prefer to eat berries and nectar made of trees in order to acquire their food at night. It is not yet clear how these behaviors are linked to the breeding of these species, but both eating habits and nesting locations seem to be present in relation to the rise of this particular bird in the population in recent times.

  • Frequency: 17.26%
  • Color: Dark blue-gray head, neck, and chest with  a yellow, green and red iridescence on its neck and wings.
  • Habitat: Woodlands, marshes, meadows, parks, backyards, and fields
  • Range: Europe, North Africa, South Asia, Canada and USA
  • Size: 11 – 15″ inches long
  • Weight: 235 – 380 grams
  • Diet: They areomnivorous, but also like seeds, plant matter, sugary fruits and grains.
  • Family:  Columbidae 
  • Genus:  Columba

European Starling

European Starling
Image by JCLeroi from Pixabay

The European starling is not rare species; it is found throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs in Canada, the United States, Iceland, northern Europe, southern Africa, Australia, Venezuela, and south America.

In the United States it is the most popular of all passerines, and in Canada it is the second most common after the eastern red-winged redoubt. It is not unusual to find one in a backyard birdfeeder, on a tree branch above a garden pond, or anywhere that birds are commonly found.

  • Frequency: 17.22%
  • 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

Red-winged Blackbird
Image by JudaM from Pixabay

The red-winged blackbird, ranks among our nation’s most widely distributed backyard bird species, with more than 460 species believed to exist today. It has also been found in a wide variety of wooded habitats throughout all of North America, from the Southern States to the Canadian Border. The graceful blackbird’s range has shifted throughout the years, but it remains prevalent throughout much of its range.

Unlike other passerines, this species feeds primarily on insects. The red-winged blackbird can be found anywhere there are puddle-like ponds including streams and lakes. In wooded areas, they often roost together in large flocks, even migrating flocks. Because the bird spends most of its time flying around, you will seldom see this bird at a bird-feeding station or under a tree stump.

  • Frequency: 17.15%
  • 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

Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch
Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

Lesser goldfish is a small songbird can be found in a wide variety of locations in the United States.  The habitat for these birds can be found in parks, near cemeteries and along riverbanks. Their winter habitat is found in coastal areas and forests. Lesser goldfinches migrate for the winter season, which usually happens to be between March and May. During this time their activity slows down as they prepare for their migration back to their wintering grounds.

For bird watchers, it is important that you keep up with the migration habits of this species during this time. If you want to get close to these birds, you can use bird houses and bird feeders to attract them. The beauty of having a bird-feeding station near to your home is that you will be able to watch them every day. 

  • Frequency: 16.92%
  • Color: Bright yellow underparts, white patches on the tail and wings 
  • Habitat: Almost any habitat with trees or shrubs, backyards
  • Range:  Southwestern United States, Washington, Peru, Venezuela
  • Size: 3.5 – 4.7″ inches long
  • Weight: 8 – 12 grams
  • Diet:  Tree buds and weed seeds
  • Family: Fringillidae
  • Genus: Spinus

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian Collared-Dove
Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

The Eurasian collared-dove is a highly arboreal dove species indigenous to Asia and Europe; it’s originally introduced to Japan, North America, and various tropical islands in the Caribbean. The Eurasian collared-dove is a very popular and widespread avian, with over 60 species in the wild.

It is one of the most widely distributed species of the genus Aves and is common throughout most of the North American continent except for the central part of North America where it is restricted largely to the southern states along the upper Mississippi river. Interestingly, these same birds have been reported in multiple locations outside of Florida, including Southern California, Mexico and Texas.

  • Frequency: 15.38%
  • Color: Pinkish-gray with ablack half-collar bar with white on its neck
  • Habitat: Urban centres, farms, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range: North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia
  • Size: 13″ inches
  • Weight: 150 grams
  • Diet:  Millet, milo, sunflower, wheat, corn and berries
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Genus: Streptopelia

Killdeer

Killdeer
Image by Michael Webb from Pixabay

The killdeer bird is a common plover native to North America. It was first identified and given its present distinguished name in 1758 by Carl Linneaus in the third edition of his Systema Natura.

The common name of the killdeer comes from its frequently-heard call. Unlike most birds, the female of this species produces a high-pitched squawking sound rather than a bright chirping or ringing call.

  • Frequency: 15.09%
  • Color: Brown-tan on upper body and white underneath. The white chest has two black bands, brown face with black and white patches.
  • Habitat: Beach habitats and coastal wetlands and fields
  • Range:  USA, Southern Canada, and Mexico
  • Size: 7.9 – 11″ inches long
  • Weight: 72 – 120 grams
  • Diet: Millipedes, worms, snails, spiders, and some seeds
  • Family: Charadriidae 
  • Genus: Charadrius

House Sparrow

House Sparrow
Image by Rajesh Balouria from Pixabay

House sparrows are among the most common birds in the urban areas. House sparrows are probably most abundant in northern Europe, Northern Africa, eastern Asia, and much of North America. House sparrows are very flighty and they do not have a constant diet although they will eat many different types of food.

They are most active in the morning and they only forage during the nighttime. House sparrows are less vocal than some of the other species of birds. Most of the time they are not seen by humans unless they are seen flying around at night.

  • Frequency: 14.81%
  • 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

Great-tailed Grackle

Great-tailed Grackle
Photo by Sneha Cecil on Unsplash

The great-tailed grackles  was a very common  during the colonial period. It is now only found in a few parts of Mexico and Central America, with the population likely dwindling since the introduction of non-native birds. During the spring and fall, it returns to its territory on the mainland to mate and to feed.

The bird’s diet is composed mainly of small seeds and spiders, which make it less of an active hunter than most other birds.  In Central America, the great-tailed grackles can be found from southern Texas all the way south to northern Nicaragua, and even as far south asaguila, Mexico. They are primarily nocturnal but do spend some time in daylight hours hunting during the night

  • Frequency: 14.71%
  • Color: Iridescent black with a purple-blue sheen 
  • Habitat: Pastures, wetlands, mangroves, backyards
  • Range:  Minnesota, Oregon, Idaho, California, Florida, Southern Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador.
  • Size: 15 -18″ inches long
  • Weight: 200 – 265 grams
  • Diet: Seeds, insects, fruits, berries, larvae, eat lizards, nestlings, and eggs
  • Family:  Icteridae
  • Genus: Quiscalus

Song Sparrow

The Song Sparrow is an odd little medium-size New World bird. In nature, it’s an extremely social bird that nests in flocks, but in captivity it’s quite solitary. In North America, it’s easily one of the more abundant, versatile, and adjustable species, being found in many wooded areas, on open plains and mountainsides. One of the things that makes the Song Sparrow so interesting is the way it moves through the environment, changing positions often and seemingly without meaning. 

Their diet can consist of ants, grasshoppers, other birds, carrion, and berries. Song Sparrows are very common birds in the Central and Western United States, but they are also commonly found in Mexico, Arizona, and in the Caribbean. 

  • Frequency: 14.46%
  • 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

Verdin

Verdin
Image by D2odlebug from Pixabay

The verdins are primarily nocturnal hunters. They seek invertebrates, berries, seeds, and fruit for their daily meal. They are quite adept hunters and have even been noted to catch insects out of the air!

During the daytime they rest on trees and rocks, waiting for their prey to pass by and then move into the night-time habitat of night stalking moths and other nighttime insects. Their aquatic habits allow them to reside in well-lit areas at the edge of lakes and rivers, and even in desert areas, even shaded by pine cones, cacti, and junipers.

  • Frequency: 14.08%
  • Color:  Bright yellow head and reddish-brown shoulder patch 
  • Habitat: Sonoran Desert, mesquite bosques, urban areas
  • Range: Desert Southwest of the United States and Mexico
  • Size: 4.5″ inches long
  • Weight: 6.8 grams
  • Diet:  Mainly insects
  • Family: Remizinae
  • Genus: Auriparus 

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco
Photo by John Duncan on Unsplash

The dark-eyed junco is a beautiful species of junco, a social group of small arboreal New World birds. This small bird is extremely common across much of tropical North America and even into the arctic.These birds have a very varied diet, depending on the season. During winter they will feed on berries and blackberries, mites, wax worms, carrion, and even human foods.

In the spring they become especially apt at making nests in tree bark, in coniferous forests of the western United States and Canada, using coniferous trees as their shelter. For their nesting places, they favor thickets of brush, acacia and oak leaves, hazelnuts, rye, and even garlic. Hens are particularly drawn to roadsides, fences, and any human structures they can spot.

  • Frequency: 13.65%
  • 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 Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird is actually the only true mockingbird found in North America, except for a few islands in Hawaii. This bird is primarily a winter visitor, but have also been recorded at times flocking to the warmer southern side of the United States. The reproductive season for the northern mockingbird can be anything from late spring to early summer.

The female does not lay eggs, but rather makes nests for the young that have yet to fledge. Hatching is usually between April and May. After the nests are filled, the female goes back to the north where she lives until summer turns the weather to fall. She will return again for a second nesting just before winter sets in.

  • Frequency: 13.38%
  • Color: Gray upperparts with white underparts. Black and white wing bars.
  • Habitat: Forested areas, parks, and gardens
  • Range:  Southeastern Canada, USA, Northern Mexico, Cayman Islands, Greater Antilles
  • Size: 8.0 – 11″ inches long
  • Weight: 40 – 58 grams
  • Diet: Berries, fruits, seeds, arthropods, earthworms, and occasionally lizards
  • Family: Mimidae
  • Genus: Mimus

Say’s Phoebe

Say’s Phoebe is a small passerine bird also in the tyrant flycatcher family, native to central United States. An uncommon bird in the eastern United States, it typically favors dry, desert areas. They eat nectar and will visit flower patches in search of insects and worms.

In addition to their feeding habits, they are active during the night, flitting about the branches of trees and singing to themselves. They may be seen in parks, backyards, and crowded streets. Like all phoebes, they are generally nocturnal, spending much of their time in nests.

  • Frequency: 12.87%
  • Color: Pinkish-gray with a black half-collar bar with white on its neck
  • Habitat: Farmland, savanna, and open woodlands, close to the water
  • Range: Arizona, Colorado, California, Texas,  North Dakota, Massachusetts, Alaska, Canada, Mexico
  • Size: 7.5″ inches
  • Weight: 21 grams
  • Diet:  Insects, seeds, nectar, and berries
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Genus: Sayornis

Bewick’s Wren

Bewick's Wren
Image by Gwen Bailey from Pixabay

The Bewick’s wren is beautiful wren species indigenous to North America. Bewick’s Wrens are quite adaptable, so they can easily be found in different areas of North America because they do not rely on any one habitat.

You will occasionally see one in an urban area, but you are more likely to come across them during the breeding season, which happens from March to November in most areas. Their population does fluctuate with weather and environmental conditions, but it is not uncommon for them to return to the same spot each year. 

  • Frequency: 12.71%
  • Color: Gray-brown on top, white underneath, with a long white eyebrow.
  • Habitat:  Open woodlands, thickets, brush piles, hedgerows, near streams.
  • Range:  British Columbia, southern Ontario, Nebraska, Southwestern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Arkansas, and also in the northern Gulf States.
  • Size: 5.5″ inches
  • Weight: 9.8 grams
  • Diet: Seeds, berries, and insects including beetles, ants, wasps, true bugs, caterpillars, grasshoppers
  • Family: Troglodytidae
  • Genus: Thryomanes

These backyard birds all have a frequency of less than 12%

  • Spotted Towhee 12.15% Frequency
  • California Quail 11.97%
  • Brewer’s Blackbird 11.85%
  • Gambel’s Quail 11.80%
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet 11.58%
  • Black-billed Magpie 11.56%
  • Western Meadowlark 10.55%
  • Mountain Chickadee 10.42%
  • Anna’s Hummingbird 10.35%
  • Black Phoebe 9.82%
  • California Scrub-Jay 9.23%
  • Yellow Warbler 8.70%
  • Western Kingbird 8.61%
  • Brown-headed Cowbird 8.53%
  • Barn Swallow 8.46%
  • Steller’s Jay 8.16%
  • Marsh Wren 8.10%
  • Horned Lark 7.39%
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow 7.19%
  • Phainopepla 7.09%
  • Western Wood-Pewee 7.09%
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird 6.94%
  • Black-tailed Gnatcatcher 6.93%
  • Black-throated Sparrow 6.78%
  • Brewer’s Sparrow 6.63%
  • Orange-crowned Warbler 6.50%
  • House Wren 6.43%
  • Bullock’s Oriole 6.26%
  • Loggerhead Shrike 6.21%
  • Western Tanager 6.06%
  • American Crow 6.05%
  • Cassin’s Finch 5.88%
  • Cliff Swallow 5.53%
  • Savannah Sparrow 5.38%
  • Rock Wren 5.37%
  • Abert’s Towhee 5.35%
  • Chipping Sparrow 5.23%
  • Northern Pintail 5.22%
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird 5.18%
  • Warbling Vireo 5.09%
  • Greater Roadrunner 5.08%
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 5.01%