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15 Gray Birds That You’ll Find In Minnesota

Grey birds are a common sight in Minnesota, particularly in the winter months. These birds are often seen perched high up in trees or flitting about in open fields.

While the vast majority of grey birds in Minnesota are actually a shade of brown, they are commonly referred to as grey due to the way their feathers reflect light.

This group of birds includes a wide variety of species, each with their own unique characteristics and behaviors.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the grey birds that can be found in Minnesota, and explore what makes these birds such fascinating creatures to observe.

1. Rock Dove

Rock dove

Rock dove, also known as Rock Pigeon or Common Pigeon, is a member of the bird family Columbidae.

It is considered to be an important creature worldwide due to its domestication by humans centuries ago; resulting in the modern-day Domestic pigeon which descends from this species.

Its population has increased over time because some domestic pigeons have escaped captivity and joined wild populations.

The rock dove can most easily be identified by its prominent blue-grey feathers with darker bars on wings and tail along with two black bands on each wing.

They are typically found in large flocks near cliffs or buildings but may also inhabit rural habitats such as open fields and meadows if there’s enough food available for them nearby.

Although they don’t migrate far distances like other birds, their numbers increase significantly during winter months.

When more food sources become available closeby so that they won’t need to travel too far away from home base for nourishment.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. livia

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2. Northern Mockingbird

Northern mockingbird

The northern mockingbird is a common fixture in North American skies. It has greyish-brown upperparts and a paler underside with white wing patches, and its distinctive long tail makes it easy to spot.

This adaptable bird can often be seen singing from the tops of trees or fences, though it rarely strays into Europe.

The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 Systema Naturae as Turdus polyglottos – aptly named for their remarkable ability to mimic other birds’ songs.

Northern mockingbirds typically live on insects, fruits, berries and seeds but they will also happily scavenge food scraps left out by humans.

With its beautiful song and striking plumage this beloved avian makes an important contribution to our environment.Scientific classification:

SpeciesM. polyglottos

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3. Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

The black-capped chickadee is a small and cheerful songbird found in deciduous and mixed forests across North America. It has an iconic black cap, white cheeks, gray back and wings with whitish bars on them.

The underparts are usually light colored or greyish brown. This species is well adapted to cold winters as it can reduce its body temperature by up to 8°C while roosting at night; this helps save energy during the colder months of the year.

It feeds mainly on insects but also eats seeds, fruits and suet from bird feeders when available.

Black-capped chickadees are popular birds among backyard visitors due to their sociable nature – they often establish lifelong partnerships with one another for breeding purposes.

Furthermore, they have been designated as state birds of Massachusetts and Maine in USA plus New Brunswick in Canada – a testament to how beloved these little avian friends truly are.Scientific classification:

SpeciesP. atricapillus

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4. Dark-Eyed Junco

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:

SpeciesJ. hyemalis

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5. White-Breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatch

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a medium-sized bird belonging to the nuthatch family Sittidae. It measures around 15.5 cm in length and its colour varies throughout its range.

Males have a light blue-grey upperpart, with black crown and nape whereas females have a dark grey crown instead of black one.

The underparts are whitish, with reddish tinge on sides and flanks while the bill is short and stout with pale base near eyes which can be yellow or white depending upon geographic location..

This species feeds mainly on insects but will also eat seeds, nuts and berries when available.

They prefer open woodlands where they often climb trees searching for food along trunks as well as branches underneath bark crevices creating their nest there too.Scientific classification:

SpeciesS. carolinensis

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6. Gray Catbird

Gray catbird

The Gray Catbird is a medium-sized bird native to North and Central America. It is the only species in its genus, Dumetella, which makes it unique among other perching birds of the Mimidae family.

Its plumage features shades of gray with some brownish tones on top and lighter grey below.

The underside of its tail has white feathers that contrast against their otherwise monochromatic coloration; this feature gives them their name as they often flick their tails when alarmed or excited like cats do.

They are omnivorous but mainly feed on insects such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles while also eating fruits like berries or cherries during summer months.

Despite being commonly seen alone or in pairs these birds will flock together at times for protection from predators like hawks who are drawn to their dark colouration against green foliage making them harder to spot.Scientific classification:

GenusDumetella C.T. Wood, 1837
SpeciesD. carolinensis

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7. Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead shrike

The Loggerhead Shrike is a carnivorous bird found only in North America. It belongs to the family Laniidae and is known as the “butcherbird” because of its habit of catching prey, such as amphibians, insects, lizards and small mammals.

The shrike has a black mask around its eyes and grey wings with white patches on them.

Its back is black with white spots that resemble stars or snowflakes; some individuals may have brown feathers instead of black ones.

This species feeds mainly by perching from elevated locations like bushes or trees where it can spot potential meals below it before diving down for capture.

Interestingly enough, these birds are also known to store their food by impaling it onto thorns which they use later when hungry.

With less than 2 million estimated population left in wild today this species needs our help so we should do whatever we can to protect them better.Scientific classification:

SpeciesL. ludovicianus

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8. Canada Jay

Canada jay

The Canada jay is a beautiful bird that can be found in many parts of North America. It has pale grey underparts and darker grey upperparts, making it easy to identify from other birds.

Its wingspan typically measures around 13 inches long and its body length up to 9 inches, giving it the nickname ‘Whiskey Jack’ or ‘Camp Robber’.

These birds are usually seen foraging on the ground for food like fruits and small insects, although they also eat carrion, eggs and nestlings when available.

They often store their collected food in caches hidden among branches near their nests as well as trees throughout their territories during winter months.

Their high intelligence makes them very adaptive scavengers who survive harsh winters while still being able to take advantage of summer bounty.

All these traits make this species one of nature’s most fascinating creatures.Scientific classification:

SpeciesP. canadensis

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9. Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted nuthatch

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a beautiful and vocal songbird that can be found in coniferous forests across Canada, Alaska, the northeastern United States and western US.

This small bird has blue-grey upperparts with cinnamon underparts, a white throat and face with black eye stripe, straight grey bill and black crown.

Its call sounds like a tin trumpet; it’s high-pitched yet nasal.

During mating season they form monogamous pairs to build their nest near tree trunks or branches at low heights off the ground where they lay 2 – 8 eggs at once.

They are very active little birds who love clinging to trees while searching for insect larvae or seeds within the bark of trees which helps control pest populations.Scientific classification:

SpeciesS. canadensis

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10. Sandhill Crane

Sandhill crane

Sandhill Cranes are a large species of crane native to North America and northeastern Siberia. They are known for their distinctive calls, long legs, and long necks.

These birds typically inhabit wetland areas like the Platte River in Nebraska’s Sandhills on the Great Plains.

In Central Florida, they often gather at the edges of bodies of water such as lakes or rivers.

During breeding season, sandhill cranes can be seen performing elaborate courtship dances that involve bowing and jumping in unison with their partner.

Their diet consists mainly of plant material including grains, roots, tubers and aquatic plants which they obtain by pecking or digging into mudflats using their bill or feet respectively.

With an average lifespan between 10-20 years these majestic creatures make great additions to any wetland habitat.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. canadensis

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11. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a beautiful small songbird native to North America. It has a length of 10–13 cm (3.9–5.1 in), wingspan of 6.3 in (16 cm) and weighs only 5–7 g (0.18–0.25 oz).

Males have blue-gray upperparts with white underparts, slender dark bill, and long black tail edged in white; females are less vibrant but still eye catching.

Juveniles are brownish gray overall but may show some hints of the adult colouration around their tails or shoulders as they mature into adulthood.

Their diet consists mainly of insects which they catch while flitting through air like tiny darts.

This stunning species can be found anywhere from woodlands to urban parks so keep your eyes peeled for these delightful creatures on your next outdoor adventure.Scientific classification:

SpeciesP. caerulea

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12. Willow Flycatcher

Willow flycatcher

The Willow flycatcher is a small insect-eating bird belonging to the tyrant flycatcher family. It migrates from its neotropical home during summer months and breeds in North America, with three of its four subspecies found in California.

These birds can be difficult to identify by sight but their songs are distinctive enough for biologists to tell them apart easily.

The male willow flycatcher has an olive back, white underparts and yellowish legs while females have duller colors overall such as grey on the head instead of olive green.

They prefer open woodlands or river edges where they feed mostly on insects like flies, beetles and caterpillars which makes it beneficial for controlling pest populations near agricultural areas too.Scientific classification:

SpeciesE. traillii

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13. Eastern Wood Pewee

Eastern wood pewee

The Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) is an iconic bird of North America, easily identified by its distinctive call.

It was formerly considered a single species with the Western Wood Pewee until Mathurin Jacques Brisson included it in his 1760 description as two distinct birds.

The Eastern and Western varieties share almost identical appearances but can be differentiated most clearly through their calls – the former’s being more musical with higher pitched notes than that of its counterpart.

Its diet consists mainly of insects caught mid-flight or from foliage perches; however, it will also consume some fruits during breeding season to supplement this nutrition.

Overall, they make a beautiful addition to any backyard habitat.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. virens

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14. Juncos


Juncos are small North American birds belonging to the Passerellidae family. Although their name appears to have Spanish origins, they rarely inhabit areas with rush plants.

They vary in size and color depending on species, but generally have dark heads and greyish brown bodies.

In winter months, Juncos flock together to form huge roosting groups or migrate southwards for warmer climates.

These hardy little creatures can often be seen hopping around gardens scavenging for food during snowstorms.

Their diet consists of a variety of items including seeds, berries and insects – making them popular garden visitors year round.Scientific classification:

GenusJunco Wagler, 1831

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15. Warbling Vireo

Warbling vireo

The Warbling Vireo is a small songbird that breeds in North American open deciduous and mixed woods, from Alaska to Mexico and the Florida Panhandle.

It often nests in widely spaced trees such as cottonwood or aspen along streams or rivers.

During migration it moves further south into Mexico and Central America.

This bird has an olive-grey head and upperparts with white underpart plumage which helps them blend well against their environment, making them difficult to spot when they are perched on tree branches.

They have adapted well to human habitats so can frequently be seen around parks, gardens and other places where there is enough space for nesting sites amongst natural vegetationScientific classification:

SpeciesV. gilvus

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