Top 15 Types Of Birds In New England (with Photos)

New England, with its diverse landscapes and rich ecosystems, is home to a wide variety of bird species. From majestic raptors soaring through the skies to tiny hummingbirds flitting amongst the flowers, the region offers a haven for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

In this discussion, we will explore some of the fascinating bird species that call New England their home. From the iconic Bald Eagle to the melodious American Goldfinch, each bird has its unique characteristics and role in the ecosystem.

So, let’s embark on a journey of discovery, where the hidden world of New England’s avian inhabitants will unfold before our eyes, revealing the wonders of the natural world that surrounds us.

Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a majestic bird of prey found in New England, known for its distinctive white head and impressive wingspan. This iconic species is a symbol of strength and freedom.

The native habitats of the bald eagle in New England include coastal areas, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. These habitats provide the necessary resources for the eagle’s survival, such as fish, waterfowl, and suitable nesting sites.

The bald eagle is a top predator in its ecosystem, playing a vital role in maintaining the balance of the food chain. Its keen eyesight and powerful talons enable it to hunt effectively, swooping down from the sky to catch its prey.

The bald eagle’s presence in New England is not only a testament to the region’s natural beauty but also to the successful conservation efforts that have helped this species recover from the brink of extinction.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

An image capturing the vibrant beauty of a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird in New England

After exploring the majesty of the Bald Eagle, our attention now turns to the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, a fascinating avian species found in New England.

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is the only hummingbird species that regularly breeds east of the Mississippi River. These tiny birds measure only 3 to 3.7 inches in length and weigh about as much as a penny. They are known for their vibrant iridescent green feathers and, as their name suggests, the males have a brilliant ruby-red throat patch.

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird prefers habitats that offer a mix of flowering plants and trees, such as gardens, open woodlands, and forest edges. During the breeding season, they can be found in New England, but in the winter, they migrate to Central America or even as far south as Panama.

Their migration patterns are quite remarkable, with some individuals traveling up to 2,000 miles twice a year. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird’s ability to navigate and find food sources during these long journeys is a testament to their impressive adaptability and resilience.

American Robin

An image capturing the vibrant essence of an American Robin in New England

Characterized by its distinctive orange breast and melodious song, the American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a common and well-known bird species in New England. This medium-sized songbird is known for its vibrant plumage, with a reddish-orange breast, gray-brown back, and white underparts. The American Robin is found in various habitats, including forests, gardens, and suburban areas. It is a migratory species, with populations moving south during the winter months.

The American Robin exhibits interesting behavior patterns, such as its habit of hopping or running across lawns and then pausing to listen for earthworms or insects in the ground. It also has a distinctive way of cocking its head to one side while it searches for prey. In addition to earthworms and insects, the American Robin has a varied diet that includes berries, fruits, and small vertebrates.

The following table provides a summary of the American Robin’s behavior patterns and diet preferences:

Behavior Patterns Diet Preferences
Hopping or running across lawns Earthworms
Pausing to listen for prey Insects
Cocking its head to one side Berries
Small vertebrates

The American Robin’s behavior patterns and diet preferences contribute to its successful adaptation in New England’s diverse habitats.

Barred Owl

An image capturing the enchanting beauty of a Barred Owl perched on a moss-covered branch, its striking round face with piercing dark eyes gazing into the distance, surrounded by the lush greenery of New England's forests

A prominent nocturnal predator found in New England, the Barred Owl (Strix varia) is known for its distinctive appearance and hooting call. With a wingspan of approximately 105-120 cm and a length of 40-63 cm, this medium-sized owl has a round head, dark eyes, and a barred pattern on its chest and belly.

The Barred Owl primarily inhabits mature forests, preferring mixed hardwood and coniferous forests near water sources. It requires large, undisturbed tracts of forest for nesting and foraging.

Breeding usually occurs from February to May, with courtship displays involving hooting duets between pairs. Nests are typically located in tree cavities or abandoned hawk nests. The female lays 2-4 eggs and incubates them for around 28-33 days. Once hatched, the young owls remain in the nest for approximately 4-5 weeks before fledging.

Eastern Bluebird

An image capturing the vibrant beauty of an Eastern Bluebird perched on a blossoming dogwood tree branch against a backdrop of lush green foliage, as sunlight illuminates its azure feathers

The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a small, colorful bird native to New England, known for its vibrant blue feathers and melodious song. This beautiful and colorful bird is a common sight in the region, with its distinctive blue plumage and rusty-orange breast.

The Eastern Bluebird is about 6.5 to 7 inches long, with a wingspan of around 10.5 inches. It has a short, straight beak, ideal for catching insects, especially beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. It also eats fruits, such as berries, during the winter months when insects are scarce.

Eastern Bluebirds are cavity nesters, often using abandoned woodpecker holes or nest boxes. They are territorial birds and can be found in open woodlands, meadows, and farmlands. Conservation efforts, including the provision of nest boxes, have helped increase their populations in New England.

Common Loon

An image capturing the serene beauty of a Common Loon gliding gracefully on a crystal-clear New England lake, its distinctive black and white plumage glistening in the sunlight, evoking a sense of tranquility and wonder

With its distinctive black and white plumage and haunting call, the Common Loon (Gavia immer) is a well-known and iconic bird species in New England. These large waterbirds are known for their unique behaviors.

Loons have a fascinating diving ability, capable of reaching depths of up to 200 feet and staying submerged for several minutes. They primarily feed on fish, using their dagger-like bill to capture their prey underwater.

Common Loons are also known for their territorial nature, fiercely defending their nesting sites and young. However, despite their popularity, Common Loons face various conservation challenges.

Habitat loss, pollution, and disturbance from human activities have led to declines in their populations. Conservation efforts such as habitat protection, water quality improvement, and public awareness campaigns are crucial to ensuring the survival of these magnificent birds in New England.

Northern Cardinal

An image capturing the vibrant red plumage of a male Northern Cardinal perched on a snow-covered branch, surrounded by the wintry landscape of New England

One of the most vibrant and charismatic bird species found in New England is the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). The Northern Cardinal is a medium-sized songbird known for its striking red plumage and distinctive crest on its head.

It is a year-round resident of New England and can be found in various habitats such as woodlands, shrubby areas, and gardens. The Northern Cardinal prefers dense vegetation for nesting and often builds its nests in shrubs or low trees. It is a territorial bird and can be frequently heard singing to defend its territory.

The male Northern Cardinal is known for its melodious song, which it uses to attract a mate and communicate with other birds. It is also known for its courtship behavior, where the male will present the female with food as a form of courtship display.

The Northern Cardinal is a seed-eating bird and its diet consists mainly of seeds, fruits, and insects. It is a common sight at bird feeders, where it can be observed feeding on sunflower seeds and other bird feed.

Peregrine Falcon

 the magnificence of a Peregrine Falcon in mid-flight, its wings outstretched as it soars over the rugged cliffs of coastal New England, with the vast Atlantic Ocean glistening below

The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a formidable bird of prey native to New England, known for its remarkable speed and incredible hunting abilities. With a wingspan of up to 1.1 meters, this species is known for its breathtaking aerial displays and swift dives, reaching speeds of over 240 kilometers per hour during hunting. Peregrine Falcons are adapted to a wide range of habitats, from coastal cliffs to urban skyscrapers, making them one of the most adaptable raptors. However, due to habitat loss and pesticide use in the mid-20th century, these magnificent birds faced a significant decline in population. Thanks to conservation efforts such as captive breeding and habitat protection, the Peregrine Falcon has made a remarkable recovery and is no longer listed as an endangered species.

Peregrine Falcon Facts
Scientific Name Falco peregrinus
Wingspan Up to 1.1 meters
Speed Over 240 km/hour

Great Blue Heron

An image capturing the elegant silhouette of a majestic Great Blue Heron perched on the edge of a tranquil pond, its long neck gracefully arched, poised to strike, as sunlight gently reflects off its slate-blue feathers

After discussing the remarkable recovery of the Peregrine Falcon, we now turn our attention to the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), a majestic wading bird commonly found in New England.

Great Blue Herons are known for their impressive size, standing at around 4 feet tall with a wingspan of up to 6 feet. These birds exhibit fascinating migration patterns, with some individuals traveling as far as the Caribbean and Central America during the winter months.

During breeding season, Great Blue Herons establish nesting colonies in tall trees, often near bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, or marshes. These nests, known as rookeries, can contain several dozen nests and are reused year after year.

Great Blue Herons are truly captivating creatures, both in their graceful flight and their unique nesting habits.

Red-Tailed Hawk

An image capturing the majestic presence of a Red-Tailed Hawk soaring through a vibrant autumn sky in New England, its reddish-brown plumage contrasting against golden foliage, evoking the spirit of the region

The Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a prominent bird of prey found in the New England region, known for its distinctive red tail feathers and powerful hunting capabilities. This species is known for its remarkable migration patterns and nesting habits.

During the fall and spring, the Red-Tailed Hawk undertakes long-distance migrations, traveling from its breeding grounds in New England to wintering areas in the southern United States or Central America. These migrations can cover thousands of miles, as the hawks seek more favorable feeding and breeding grounds.

In terms of nesting habits, Red-Tailed Hawks typically build their nests in tall trees, using sticks and twigs. They often return to the same nesting site year after year, adding to the structure each breeding season. These nests, known as eyries, are often located near open fields or meadows, providing the hawks with ample hunting opportunities.

Wood Thrush

An image capturing the ethereal beauty of a Wood Thrush perched on a moss-covered branch amidst a vibrant New England forest

As we shift our focus from the Red-Tailed Hawk, a formidable bird of prey in New England, we turn our attention to the Wood Thrush, a captivating woodland songbird known for its melodic and distinctive vocalizations.

The Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) is a migratory species that breeds in the eastern United States and winters in Central America and Mexico. These birds undertake impressive migrations, covering distances of up to 2,000 miles each way.

Wood Thrushes are known for their beautiful flute-like songs, which are often heard in the early mornings and evenings during the breeding season.

Unfortunately, this species faces challenges due to habitat loss and degradation, as well as threats from climate change. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and restore their forested habitats, particularly in their breeding grounds, to ensure the long-term survival of this enchanting songbird.

Black-Capped Chickadee

An image capturing the vibrant scene of a Black-Capped Chickadee perched on a snow-covered branch, its distinct black cap contrasting against the snowy background while it cheerfully sings its melodic song

Nestled among the diverse avian species in New England, the Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) stands out for its distinctive appearance and playful demeanor. With its black cap and bib, white cheeks, and grayish body, this small passerine bird is easily recognizable. The Black-Capped Chickadee is known for its acrobatic behavior, often seen hanging upside down while foraging for insects and seeds. It is a vocal species, producing a variety of distinct calls, including its famous ‘chick-a-dee-dee-dee’ call.

Black-Capped Chickadees can be found throughout New England, preferring deciduous and mixed forests as their habitat. They are also known to inhabit residential areas with suitable tree cover. These birds build their nests in tree cavities, utilizing natural holes or old woodpecker cavities. They line their nests with soft materials such as moss, feathers, and fur. Black-Capped Chickadees are adaptable and can survive in various environments, making them a common and beloved sight in the region.

American Goldfinch

 the vibrant essence of the American Goldfinch in its summer glory, showcasing its golden plumage contrasting against a backdrop of lush green foliage, as it perches gracefully on a swaying sunflower

The American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is an iconic avian species found in the New England region, known for its vibrant yellow plumage and distinctive song.

This small finch is commonly found in open habitats, including fields, meadows, and gardens. The American Goldfinch prefers areas with tall grasses and scattered shrubs, as these provide ample nesting sites and food sources.

During the breeding season, the male goldfinch displays a bright yellow plumage, while the female retains a more subdued olive-brown coloration. Their diet primarily consists of seeds, particularly those from plants such as thistles, sunflowers, and dandelions. In addition to seeds, they also consume insects and occasionally feed on tree buds and berries.

The American Goldfinch is a delightful addition to the New England avifauna, with its striking appearance and melodic song.


 Create an image showcasing the majestic Osprey in New England

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a remarkable bird native to the New England region, differing from the American Goldfinch in its predatory habits and captivating aerial prowess.

Ospreys are known for their unique nesting habits, as they construct large stick nests in trees, on cliffs, or even on artificial platforms near bodies of water. These nests are often reused year after year, and can grow in size over time.

Ospreys primarily feed on fish, and their population trends are closely tied to the availability of their preferred prey. Over the years, the osprey population in New England has faced both declines and recoveries. Due to conservation efforts and the regulation of harmful pesticides, the osprey population has rebounded in recent decades, highlighting the importance of preserving their habitats and food sources.

Eastern Screech Owl

An image capturing the enchanting charm of the Eastern Screech Owl, perched on a gnarled branch, its feathers blending harmoniously with the autumnal hues of the New England forest

With its distinctive trill and nocturnal nature, the Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) is a small owl species found throughout New England. These owls are well adapted to a variety of habitats including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas. They prefer mature trees with cavities or nest boxes for roosting and nesting. Eastern Screech Owls have a diverse diet that includes small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews, as well as insects, birds, and even small reptiles. They are opportunistic hunters and rely on their excellent hearing and vision to locate prey in the darkness of the night.

In terms of behavior, Eastern Screech Owls are solitary and territorial birds. They have a distinct courtship display that involves calling and duetting with their mate. Breeding season typically occurs from late winter to early spring, with females laying a clutch of 3-5 eggs. The male provides food for the female during incubation and both parents work together to raise the chicks. Eastern Screech Owls are known for their camouflage, with gray and reddish-brown color morphs that help them blend seamlessly with their surroundings.

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