Wisconsin is home to a large variety of bird species due to its diverse habitats ranging from forests to wetlands. These birds add vibrancy and color to the state’s landscape, and birdwatching is a popular activity among locals and tourists.
The common birds of Wisconsin are a fascinating group of species that can be spotted throughout the state. From majestic bald eagles to tiny songbirds, the state is home to a wealth of interesting avian species.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most commonly sighted birds in Wisconsin that can be seen throughout the year.
1. Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal is a beautiful bird, easily identified by its bright red plumage. It can be found in the eastern United States from Maine to Minnesota and south through Mexico and Belize.
Along with its striking colouration, it has a distinctive crest on its head and sharp black facial markings around the eyes.
Despite their small size (measuring 7-9 inches) they are very vocal birds – males sing persistently throughout springtime to attract mates or proclaim their territory.
They typically feed on insects, seeds and fruits but also enjoy suet at backyard bird feeders.
The female is less brightly coloured than her mate but still stands out among other songbirds due to her warm brownish-red feathers.
Cardinals pair for life so you may often see them together in your garden or neighbourhood park.Scientific classification:
2. Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore Oriole is a small, blackbird-like bird found in eastern North America. It’s named for the resemblance of its male colors to those on Lord Baltimore’s coat-of-arms from 17th century.
These birds migrate and breed during springtime and are quite common in their habitats.
Studies have shown that this species interbreeds with western Bullock’s orioles, leading both to be classified as a single species – Icterus galbula.
The males typically have orange feathers along the chest, back, wings and tail while females display tan or yellowish shades instead of bright orange ones like males do.
Both sexes share white wing bars and dark brown eyes which makes them easily distinguishable among other birds.
They can often be seen flitting around trees feeding off nectar buds or insects such as grasshoppers & caterpillars they catch while flying around.Scientific classification:
3. American Crow
The American crow is a large bird of the Corvidae family, native to most parts of North America.
It is similar in size and structure to its European counterpart, the carrion crow, as well as Eurasia’s hooded crow.
The three species occupy the same ecological niche, but are distinguishable by their differences in appearance.
American crows have black feathers covering their entire body with wingspan averaging between 17-21 inches wide for males and 16-19 inches for females.
They feed on insects such as grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars; they also eat grains from fields or abandoned farms during winter months when food sources become scarcer.
In addition to feeding habits American crows can be identified by their distinct call which resembles a “caw” sound that travels long distances over open terrain making them popular among birdwatchers.Scientific classification:
4. Dark-Eyed Junco
The Dark-eyed Junco is a species of small, grayish sparrows that are found across much of temperate North America and in the Arctic during summer.
It was formally described by Carl Linnaeus in 1766, who named it after its distinctive dark eyes.
This bird has a very variable appearance due to the many different subspecies it contains, making its systematics difficult to unravel.
The plumage varies from white or light gray on their underparts with slate grey backs and wings; black heads with white outer tail feathers; brown head stripes; yellow bills; pink legs and feet; as well as various shades between all these colours.
They also have considerable sexual dimorphism where males tend to be more colourful than females but share similar characteristics such as short tails and rounded bodies – both sexes being around 16 cm long when fully grown.Scientific classification:
5. Common Starling
The Common Starling is a medium-sized passerine bird that belongs to the starling family. It has glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen, and in certain times of year it can be speckled with white.
The bill and legs are typically pink or black depending on the season, while its length measures about 8 inches long.
Its diet consists mainly of insects but also includes small fruits and seeds as well as some human food waste.
They live in large flocks which provides protection against predators, although they can become quite aggressive when defending their nesting sites during breeding seasons.
Overall, this species is highly adaptable and widely distributed across many parts of Europe making them one of the most successful birds in the region today.Scientific classification:
6. Chipping Sparrow
The Chipping Sparrow is a small passerine bird found across most of North America. It has two subspecies, the eastern and western chipping sparrows which migrate seasonally to overwinter in warmer climates.
The birds are grey above with white underparts, have a rufous cap with black stripes and large eyes surrounded by light brown feathers.
They feed mainly on seeds but can also be seen eating insects during breeding season when raising their young chicks.
These intrepid little birds live in open grasslands such as prairies or meadows where they build cup-shaped nests in trees or shrubs to raise their young family.
Their cheerful song often sounds like ‘chips’ hence its name; Chipping Sparrow.Scientific classification:
7. Common Grackle
The Common Grackle is a large icterid bird commonly found in North America. It has an iridescent head and pale yellow eyes, which are framed by its long dark bill and long tail.
Males typically have more vivid colors on their heads than females do. These birds can be seen across much of the continent, in fields, forests, wetlands – even urban areas.
They form huge flocks to search for food such as grains or insects that they catch with their bills.
The grackles may also scavenge from human sources like garbage dumps or picnic tables if available. With its colorful plumage and distinct call it’s easy to spot this species amongst other birds.Scientific classification:
8. Black Tern
The black tern is a small, yet distinctive bird found in or near inland water habitats throughout Europe, Western Asia and North America.
Its plumage appears darkly coloured from a distance but can shine with an iridescent blue hue up close when breeding season arrives.
It’s name is believed to come from Old English words ‘blue darr’ which references the colour of its feathers in certain lights.
The genus name Chlidonias derives from Greek meaning ‘swallow-like’ due to its similar appearance and behaviour to these birds while fishing for food over shallow waters.
An interesting species, it has made appearances in artwork dating back centuries as well as more recently inspiring music compositions.Scientific classification:
9. Common Yellowthroat
The Common Yellowthroat is a small, New World Warbler found throughout North America. It has distinctive yellow and black plumage that earned it the nickname “Yellow Bandit” in the Midwest United States.
This species is highly adaptable and can be found inhabiting wetlands, grasslands, shrub-land habitats, as well as suburban areas.
The genus of this bird’s scientific name translates to mean ‘ground’ and ‘small bird’, which are fitting characteristics for such an elusive yet common little creature.
Its diet consists predominantly of insects but may also include other invertebrates like spiders or worms.
Overall the Common Yellowthroat makes an excellent addition to any backyard with its cheerful song.Scientific classification:
10. Northern Flicker
The Northern flicker is a woodpecker species found in North America, Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands. This medium-sized bird is known for its unique migration behavior.
Over 100 common names are used to refer to the Northern flicker, one of them being “yellowhammer”. It is a beautiful bird with distinctive markings and a colorful plumage.
The Northern flicker is an important species in its ecosystem and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy balance in the environment.
Despite being a woodpecker, the Northern flicker has a diverse diet that includes insects, fruits, and seeds.
It is fascinating to observe this bird as it pecks at trees in search of food, communicates with its unique vocalizations and performs its incredible aerial displays.
The Northern flicker is truly a remarkable bird species that is worthy of our admiration and protection.Scientific classification: