45 Common Backyard Birds in Michigan With Photos!

Have you ever been enchanted by the melodious chirps of birds in your backyard? Ever wondered what species of feathered friends are visiting you? We love bird-watching on Maker Farm! Our home state of Michigan, located in the northern United States, is home to an incredible diversity of birds. From tiny chickadees to majestic bald eagles, Michigan offers an array of birding opportunities for both amateurs and seasoned ornithologists. It’s estimated that there are over 400 wild birds in Michigan. This guide aims to explore 45 common backyard birds in Michigan, delving into details about their features, feeding habits, breeding season, and much more.

Did you know? Unlike other bird guides you may find, we can personally vouch for each and every one of these birds, as we’ve sighted or heard each one of these birds in either our backyard in Ann Arbor or our farm in Dexter.

45 Common Backyard Birds in Michigan

Michigan’s winged residents make for delightful viewing. These birds, often found flitting about in suburban areas and open fields, are characterized by their small size and lively behavior. Let’s get to know some of them! Let’s start with the most commonly sighted birds and move on from there.

1. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

  • Length: 8.3-9.1 inches
  • Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 inches

With its bright red plumage and charming crest, the Northern Cardinal is a sight to behold. This stunning bird is not only a pleasure to the eyes but also the ears, with its cheerful, melodious song. Females, dressed in more subtle hues, sing too. Truly, these birds add a splash of color to Michigan’s landscape all year round! The cardinal is our single most common backyard bird in these parts of Michigan, and we usually see a mated pair (male and female) together!

2. American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

An American Robin on a cherry blossom branch in Michigan
  • Length: 7.9-11 inches
  • Weight: 2.7-3 oz
  • Wingspan: 12-16 inches

Ah, the American Robin – the herald of spring! With its red breast and cheerful song, it’s often one of the first birds to be heard as winter wanes. Robins are a common sight in residential areas across the state of Michigan.

Robins feed on small insects, but they are also known for their love of earthworms. Ever seen a Robin tugging at something on the ground? Chances are, it’s caught an earthworm!

3. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Blue Jay on a bird feeder in Michigan
  • Length: 9-12 inches
  • Weight: 2.5-3.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 13-17 inches

Blue Jays are perhaps one of the most recognizable birds in North America. Their striking blue, white, and black plumage and noisy calls make them hard to miss. Intelligent and bold, they’ve been known to mimic the calls of hawks. How’s that for a clever trick?

4. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

A pair of mourning doves in a tree in Michigan
  • Length: 9-13 inches
  • Weight: 3.4-6 oz
  • Wingspan: 17.7-18 inches

The soft cooing of the Mourning Dove is a familiar and soothing sound. As far as we’re concerned, it is the sound of summer around these parts of Michigan. With their elegant, slender bodies and subtle tan and gray plumage, they exude a sense of calm and grace. Often seen perched on telephone wires or foraging on the ground, they’re a gentle presence in both city and countryside.

5. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

  • Length: 4.9-5.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz
  • Wingspan: 11 inches

Ah, the Carolina Wren, a little bird with a voice that belies its size! This small songbird has a powerful song that resonates throughout its range. The wren is a warm brown color and has an upward-cocked tail. We often hear it in wooded areas and thickets.

6. Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

  • Length: 4.7-5.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 6.3-8.3 inches

Recognizable by its black cap and bright eyes, the black-capped chickadee is a favorite among birdwatchers in northern states, including Michigan. These tiny creatures are regular visitors to backyard feeders, particularly those offering black oil sunflower seeds. Their distinctive “chick-a-dee-dee” call is a common sound in wooded areas. But did you know that the intensity of the call varies with the level of threat they perceive? The more ‘dees,’ the greater the danger!

7. American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 inches

With their bright yellow plumage, American goldfinches stand out in Michigan’s landscape. These small songbirds love munching on dandelions and other small insects, but they can’t resist a tray feeder filled with their favorite black sunflower seeds.

Often spotted on telephone wires or in open areas, American goldfinches change their feather color with the seasons. In the winter months, they don a more subdued olive-brown coat. How’s that for seasonal fashion?

8. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

  • Length: 17-21 inches
  • Weight: 11.1-21.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 33-39 inches

You’ve likely heard the unmistakable “caw!” of the American Crow. And it’s one of the most intelligent birds on the block. With their all-black appearance and sharp eyes, they are often spotted in open areas and are year-round residents in Michigan. Fun Fact: Crows have been observed using tools to get food! How clever is that? We always think our crows are talking about us!

9. Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)

  • Length: 4.7-5.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 6.3-8.7 inches

If sunshine had wings, it would look like a Yellow Warbler! These small songbirds are bright yellow and sing sweet, whistled tunes. Spotting one flitting among the leaves is like catching a glimpse of liquid gold. Don’t you just love when nature shows off?

10. Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

  • Length: 4.7-5.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz
  • Wingspan: 7-8.2 inches

The Field Sparrow may not be as flashy as some other birds, but it has a subtle charm all its own. With its pinkish bill and clear, bouncing song, it can often be found in open fields and grasslands. Sometimes, beauty is found in simplicity, don’t you think?

11. Dark-Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

  • Length: 5.5-6.3 inches
  • Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 7-10 inches

When winter months cloak Michigan in snow, the Dark-Eyed Junco makes a charismatic appearance. These small birds, with their black cap and white spots, are affectionately known as “snowbirds.” They often forage on the ground, giving you a good chance to observe their distinct beauty. Isn’t nature’s winter palette just remarkable?

12. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

  • Length: 5.5-6.3 inches
  • Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 inches

The Tufted Titmouse, with its big eyes and namesake crest, looks like it jumped straight out of a storybook. Friendly and curious, they are known for their soft, whistling calls. If you’re lucky, you might even find one at your bird feeder, carefully inspecting seeds before flying off.

13. Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

  • Length: 6.7-9.1 inches
  • Weight: 1.1-2.7 oz
  • Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 inches

The flash of red on the wings of the male Red-Winged Blackbird is a signature sight in Michigan’s wetlands and marshes. When these birds sing, their voices fill the air with a distinctive, almost musical call. Both males and females are determined protectors of their territory. Talk about a feisty neighbor!

14. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

  • Length: 6.3-6.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.9-1.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.4-10.6 inches

Ubiquitous and familiar, house sparrows are easy to find around human habitation. These birds with brown heads and short tails have successfully adapted to urban life and are often seen in city parks and residential areas.

House sparrows are not picky eaters; they’ll enjoy seeds, berries, and even discarded human food. Their ability to thrive in varied environments makes them one of the most common birds in Michigan and other parts of North America.

15. Red-Eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)

  • Length: 4.7-5.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.4-0.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.1-9.8 inches

The Red-Eyed Vireo is a bird that seems to be pondering life’s mysteries. With its soft song that sounds like a series of questions, it’s the philosopher of the bird world. And those red eyes? They add to the intrigue. Keep an ear out for this pondering poet in the treetops.

Found in deciduous forests and often near water, Red-Eyed Vireos are meticulous builders of intricate nests. Their song, a series of short and rhythmic phrases, provides a beautiful soundtrack to Michigan’s natural landscapes.

16. Black-Throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)

  • Length: 4.7-5 inches
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 7.5-7.9 inches

This small and stunning bird wears a mix of black, white, and green. Found in forests and often near water, the Black-Throated Green Warbler sings a persistent “zoo-zee, zoo-zoo-zee.” How’s that for a catchy tune?

17. Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens)

  • Length: 5.5-6.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.7-1 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 inches

Downy Woodpeckers, with their black wings, white face, and a splash of red on their heads, are a delight to watch. You’ll often find them on tree bark, pecking away in search of insects.

These little carpenters are widespread in Michigan and are year-round residents. Next time you hear that distinctive tapping in your backyard, look closely; you might just find a Downy Woodpecker hard at work! We have a family of woodpeckers that like to nest in the column of our house.

18. Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)

  • Length: 9.1-11.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.4-3.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 11.8-13.4 inches

With its striking brown color and yellow eyes, the Brown Thrasher looks intense and is known to have a repertoire of over 1,100 song phrases. It can mimic other birds, making it a fascinating listen. Nature’s got talent, wouldn’t you say?

19. Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

  • Length: 6.7-7.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.2-1.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.1-11.8 inches

The Baltimore Oriole is like a burst of sunlight with its bright orange and black coloration. Known for their hanging nests and sweet, fluting songs, they are often found high in the trees, adding a touch of brilliance to Michigan’s landscape.

20. Red-Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

  • Length: 9.4 inches
  • Weight: 2-3.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 15-18 inches

Don’t let the name fool you; the Red-Bellied Woodpecker’s most prominent red feature is on its head! These birds are well known in Michigan’s suburban areas, where they can be seen (and heard!) drumming on telephone wires and tree trunks.

Red-Bellied Woodpeckers enjoy a variety of foods, including small insects, fruits, and nuts. Have a bird feeder with black oil sunflower seeds? They might just pay you a visit!

21. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

  • Length: 8.3-9 inches
  • Weight: 2.1-3.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 12-17 inches

Talk about a bird with a wardrobe! The European Starling’s plumage changes with the season. From iridescent black spots in summer to a more muted winter coat, this bird is a common sight in Michigan’s city parks and residential areas. Though considered an invasive species, their song – a complex symphony of whistles, clicks, and chirps – adds a unique note to Michigan’s urban landscape.

22. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

  • Length: 5.8-6.7 inches
  • Weight: 1.2-1.7 oz
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.4 inches

Have you ever listened to the song of a Song Sparrow? This little bird, often found in fields and marsh edges, is like a feathered bard. Its melodious song is complex, each note articulated with clarity and purpose. And with their streaky brown feathers, they might look ordinary at a glance, but their song? Pure poetry!

23. Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola)

  • Length: 8.3-10.2 inches
  • Weight: 2.3-3.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 inches

The Virginia Rail is a bird shrouded in mystery. Often hiding in dense reeds and marsh vegetation, they are more often heard than seen. Their distinctive “kid-dik” call echoes through the marshes, an enigmatic sound that adds an air of intrigue to your birding adventure.

24. Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)

  • Length: 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 7-9 inches

Imagine catching a glimpse of the sky in the form of a bird. That’s the Indigo Bunting! With its vibrant blue feathers, this bird is like a living gemstone. Found in open areas with shrubs, the males’ bright coloration during breeding season is a sight to behold. Nature’s jewelry, don’t you think?

25. American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 inches

The American Goldfinch, adorned in bright yellow and black, is as cheerful as a sunny day. Often seen in flocks, they add a lively hue to the landscape. Their bubbly song and playful behavior are enough to make anyone smile. Did you know that they molt their feathers to a more subdued tone outside the breeding season? Always fashionable!

26. Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

  • Length: 4.7-5.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz
  • Wingspan: 8.3-9.4 inches

Chipping Sparrows might not be the flashiest birds, but they possess an understated elegance. With their rusty cap and clear, chipping song, they are a common but delightful presence. Sometimes, the beauty lies in the details, wouldn’t you agree?

27. Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

  • Length: 4.3-4.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 6.7-7.5 inches

Last but not least, let’s meet the Common Yellowthroat, a small warbler with a big personality. The males sport a striking black “bandit’s mask” across their eyes, giving them a mischievous look. Found in wet, open areas, their witchity-witchity-witchity call is as catchy as their appearance is charming.

28. Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

  • Length: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: 2.6-4.6 oz
  • Wingspan: 14-18 inches

Meet the Common Grackle, a bird with a personality as rich as its shimmering plumage. With feathers that sparkle with purples, greens, and blues in the sunlight, these birds are anything but common. Ever heard their creaking, almost metallic call? It’s like the soundtrack of a mysterious tale.

29. Brown-Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

  • Length: 6.3-8.7 inches
  • Weight: 1.1-2 oz
  • Wingspan: 12-14 inches

Brown-Headed Cowbirds are intriguing creatures. Males are sleek and black with a brown head, while females are a plain brown. But what’s most fascinating is their breeding behavior. They lay their eggs in other birds’ nests and leave the upbringing to the unwitting foster parents. Talk about outsourcing parenting duties!

30. Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

  • Length: 8.3-9.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.8-2 oz
  • Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 inches

The Gray Catbird is so named because of its distinctive cat-like call. Mostly gray with a splash of rusty-red beneath the tail, these birds love dense shrubs and wooded areas. Listen for their meow, and you might just spot one!

31. Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

  • Length: 6.3-8.3 inches
  • Weight: 1-1.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.8-12.6 inches

Ah, the Eastern Bluebird, a symbol of joy and happiness. Their bright blue back and reddish chest are enough to lift anyone’s spirits. Often found in open fields and meadows, these birds bring a touch of serenity wherever they go. Just looking at them feels like a little piece of sky, doesn’t it?

32. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

  • Length: 5.5-6.3 inches
  • Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 inches

We met the Tufted Titmouse earlier, but this charming bird deserves another look. With its expressive eyes and tufted crest, it’s a friendly visitor to many a bird feeder. Their song, a clear, repeating whistle, is like a warm greeting on a cold Michigan morning. Can you hear it in your mind?

33. Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

  • Length: 4.7-5.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 6-8 inches

The Black-capped Chickadee is like a tiny bundle of joy. With their black cap and bib, and cheerful “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call, they’ve won hearts all over the state. Did you know their call changes in intensity and length depending on whether they’re expressing curiosity or giving a warning? Quite the communicator!

34. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

  • Length: 5-5.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 8-10 inches

House Finches are like the friendly neighbors of the bird world. With their cheerful song and rosy-red chests (in males), they’re a common sight in urban and suburban areas. They might even make a nest on your porch! Wouldn’t you love to have such colorful neighbors?

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

  • Length: 3-3.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 3.1-4.3 inches

The smallest bird on our list is the the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. This tiny dynamo, with its iridescent green back and bright red throat, flits about with astonishing speed. Ever seen one hovering by a flower, wings a blur, sipping nectar with its long tongue? It’s like watching a living jewel!

35. White-Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

  • Length: 5-5.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz
  • Wingspan: 8-11 inches

These adorable birds are often seen creeping down tree trunks head-first, searching for insects. Hence, the nickname “upside-down birds.” With their striking black head and white face, White-Breasted Nuthatches are common in deciduous forests in Michigan. Their quirky behavior is an amusing sight for bird watchers.

36. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

  • Length: 11-12 inches
  • Weight: 3-5.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 16-20 inches

Northern Flickers are a type of woodpecker known for their elegant flight pattern, resembling a graceful dance in the air. Often found in wooded and suburban areas, their unique black spots and flashes of bright yellow or red make them a colorful addition to Michigan’s birdlife.

37. Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica)

  • Length: 5.9-7.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.6-0.7 oz
  • Wingspan: 11-12.6 inches

With their dazzling blue-black upper parts and cinnamon-colored underparts, Barn Swallows are a delight to observe as they swoop through the sky. Common in open areas, their agile flight is a joy to watch as they catch small insects on the wing.

38. House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 inches
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 5.5-6 inches

House Wrens might be small, but they have a powerful song! These little birds are often found near human habitation, hence the name. With their beautiful melodies and active nature, they’re sure to captivate your heart.

39. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

  • Length: 27-37 inches
  • Weight: 6.6-13.9 lbs
  • Wingspan: 72-90 inches

The Bald Eagle, America’s national bird, is a symbol of strength and freedom. Its piercing eyes, yellow beak, and striking white head make it an unforgettable sight. In Michigan, particularly around the Great Lakes, you have a good chance of spotting this magnificent bird.

Bald Eagles primarily feed on fish, and their powerful talons can snatch a meal right out of the water. If you’re near a lake or river in Michigan, keep your eyes peeled – you might just witness this extraordinary feat!

40. Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)

  • Length: 7.5-8.3 inches
  • Weight: 1.2-1.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 13-15 inches

With its sharp bill and bold black-and-white appearance, the Eastern Kingbird is not one to be trifled with. A fearless defender of its territory, this bird doesn’t hesitate to chase away intruders—even ones much larger than itself! Their assertive attitude is as striking as their looks.

41. Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)

  • Length: 31-47 inches
  • Weight: 6.5-14 lbs
  • Wingspan: 5-6 feet

The Sandhill Crane, with its long legs and graceful neck, is like a ballerina of the wetlands. Their dance during courtship is a mesmerizing display of elegance and connection. And their trumpeting call? A resonant song that echoes across open fields and marshes. Truly a bird that embodies grace.

42. Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

  • Length: 16-24 inches
  • Weight: 1.15-1.9 lbs
  • Wingspan: 37-43.7 inches

Meet the Red-Shouldered Hawk, a raptor with a stealthy prowess. This beautiful bird, marked by its reddish-brown shoulders, is a silent hunter of wooded areas. Ever seen one swoop down to grab a meal with talons sharp as knives? It’s a sight that reminds you of nature’s wild side.

43. Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)

  • Length: 6.3-8.3 inches
  • Weight: 2.1-3.5 oz
  • Wingspan: 12-14 inches

The Evening Grosbeak, with its bright yellow, black, and white plumage, is a feast for the eyes. But that’s not all; their powerful beaks can crack the toughest seeds. From sunflower seeds to cherries, these birds have a taste for the finer things in life. A gourmet in feathers, wouldn’t you say?

44. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

  • Length: 3.9-4.3 inches
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 5.5-6.3 inches

Tiny but full of curiosity, the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher is always on the move. Flitting from branch to branch, their soft, trailing calls add a gentle soundtrack to the forest. And those blue-gray feathers? A subtle charm that wins hearts effortlessly.

45. Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

  • Length: 5.5-7.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.5-2.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.4 inches

The Red Crossbill is a bird that does things its own way. Named for its unusual crossed bill, this bird is a specialist in extracting seeds from cones. A little unconventional, perhaps, but it’s a strategy that works beautifully. Nature’s innovator, right there!

46. Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

  • Length: 18-26 inches
  • Weight: 1.5-3.5 lbs
  • Wingspan: 38-43 inches

Common Michigan Birds Identification by Color

​Red birds: 

  • Northern Cardinal
  • House Finch
  • Red-Bellied Woodpecker
  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Red Crossbill

Blue birds:

  • Blue Jay
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Yellow birds:

  • American Goldfinch
  • Balitmore Oriole
  • Evening Grosbeak

White birds:

  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Sandhill Crane

Brown birds:

  • House Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Brown Thrasher

Black birds:

  • American Crow
  • Common Grackle
  • European Starling
  • Red-Winged Blackbird

Unique Features of Birds in Michigan

The Great Lakes State is home to birds with a remarkable array of features. Let’s delve into the captivating world of black wings, long tails, and other unique characteristics that make Michigan’s birds stand out.

Black Wings and Long Tails

Many bird species in Michigan sport black wings. Birds like the Common Grackle and Red-Winged Blackbirds are adorned with glossy black feathers that shimmer in the sunlight.

Long tails, on the other hand, can be seen in species like the Northern Cardinal and the Eastern Bluebird. These tails aid in balance and navigation, adding a graceful flair to their flight.

These are just a glimpse of the diverse bird species that call Michigan home. From the smallest chickadee to the grand Bald Eagle, each bird adds its unique note to Michigan’s natural symphony. Stay tuned as we explore more backyard birds, bird feeders, breeding seasons, and migratory patterns in subsequent sections.

Isn’t bird-watching in Michigan an exciting adventure? Whether you’re an avid birder or just curious about the little (and big) winged creatures around you, there’s always something new to discover.

How to Attract More Birds to Your Backyard in Michigan

Want to turn your backyard into a bustling bird sanctuary? A place where you can watch the vibrant array of Michigan’s birds right from your window? Well, my avian-loving friend, you’re in luck! Here are the top five fun and fabulous ways to attract birds to your backyard in Michigan, wrapped up in a joyous bundle of feathers and tweets!

Michigan birds gathered at a bird feeder, including cardinals and blue jays

1. Lay Out a Feast at Bird Feeders (Featuring a Gourmet Selection) 

For the Little Ones (Small Birds)

Sprinkle some black oil sunflower seeds, millet, or peanut butter on tray feeders. It’ll be like setting up a five-star buffet for small songbirds. Imagine the chirping of gratitude!

For the Colorful Crowd (Cardinals, Jays, and More)

Add suet, fruit, or large seeds in hopper feeders. Cardinals and Blue Jays will be tipping their hats (well, their feathers) in thanks for such a scrumptious spread.

Nectar Stations (For the Hummingbirds)

Set up a nectar feeder filled with a homemade sugar solution. Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds will be zooming in for a sweet sip before you know it!

2. Create a Water Wonderland (Bird Baths and Mini Ponds) 

Birds love a good splash! Install a bird bath or a small pond, and you’ll have feathered friends frolicking in no time. Add a fountain or a dripper to keep the water fresh, and you’ll be hosting the most exclusive bird spa in town!

3. Build a Birdy Bungalow (Bird Houses and Nesting Sites) 

Want to be a bird’s best landlord? Put up birdhouses for species like Eastern Bluebirds or Tree Swallows. Use natural materials, proper dimensions, and place them at the right height. Voilà, you’ve got happy bird tenants singing a happy tune!

4. Plant a Bird Paradise (Native Plants and Berry Bushes) 

Birds appreciate a well-designed garden, just like we do! Plant native plants that offer seeds, nectar, or berries. Imagine a Baltimore Oriole savoring a ripe berry or a Cedar Waxwing elegantly perching on a branch. It’s nature’s symphony at play!

The Bonus Butterflies and Bees

And hey, these native plants might attract butterflies and bees, too. Talk about a lively garden party!

5. Provide Shelter and Love (Natural Shelter and Safety) 

Sometimes, birds just want a cozy corner. Leave some shrubs, dead trees, or even piles of leaves for birds to hide, rest, or even raise their young. It’s like offering a warm hug to our winged friends.

Bird Feeders and Food in Michigan

Feeders filled with seeds and the delightful chirps of birds; isn’t that the dream of every bird lover? Well, in Michigan, it’s a dream come true! Let’s explore the world of bird feeders and common foods that keep these feathered friends coming back for more.

Bird Feeders

  • Tray Feeders: Perfect for small birds like the tufted titmouse or large flocks of house finches, tray feeders are an open invitation to a bird feast. Just be ready for the party; they attract many visitors!
  • Hopper Feeders: Have you spotted a song sparrow or hairy woodpecker in your backyard? Hopper feeders might be the reason. They’re great for providing mixed seeds that appeal to a wide array of birds.
  • Backyard Feeders: Backyard feeders in Michigan are like bustling bird diners. From mourning doves to red-eyed vireos, you’ll find birds of all sizes stopping by for a quick snack.

Common Foods

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds: A universal favorite! From the tiny chickadee to the Blue Jays, these seeds are a hit.
  • Peanut Butter: Yes, you read that right! Smearing some on a tree trunk might just bring the woodpeckers knocking.
  • White Stripes and Black Sunflower Seeds: Offering a mix of these can attract diverse species, including the bright yellow American Goldfinch and Northern Cardinal.

Breeding Season in Michigan

Spring in Michigan isn’t just about blossoms and gentle breezes; it’s also breeding season for many birds. Love is quite literally in the air!

During the breeding season, birds like the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles display vibrant plumages and melodious songs to attract mates. The sight of nest-building and the first chirps of young birds can be a thrilling experience for bird watchers.

Special Birding Locations in Michigan

  • Lower Peninsula: From small insects to large birds like the bald eagle, the lower peninsula offers a wide range of bird-watching experiences.
  • Upper Peninsula: Rich in deciduous forests and native plants, Northern Michigan is a haven for different species of birds, including the elusive Indigo Bunting.
  • Great Lakes: A must-visit for anyone interested in migratory birds, waterfowls, and spectacular views.

Michigan Bird FAQs

  1. What’s the best time to go bird-watching in Michigan?
    • Spring and fall are ideal, as you can observe both resident and migratory birds.
  2. Can I feed wild birds in my backyard in Michigan?
    • Yes, providing bird feeders with appropriate food can attract a variety of birds.
  3. What’s the state bird of Michigan?
    • The American Robin, a joyful and common sight in many areas.
  4. Where can I spot a Bald Eagle in Michigan?
    • Near lakes and rivers, especially in the Upper Peninsula and around the Great Lakes. We’ve seen them in around Ann Arbor and Dexter, too!
  5. Are there any birdwatching groups in Michigan?
    • Yes, there are various birding clubs and organizations. Local nature centers can provide information.

Our Conclusion

And there you have it—a colorful and melodious tour of Michigan’s common backyard birds. From the smallest chickadee to the graceful bald eagle, Michigan’s landscapes are filled with fluttering wonders. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or just a nature lover with a keen eye, there’s a feathered friend waiting to greet you in the Great Lakes State.

Isn’t it time to grab those binoculars and head outside?