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

New Hampshire, a state known for its picturesque landscapes and diverse wildlife, is home to a wide variety of bird species. From the majestic Bald Eagle soaring through the skies to the vibrant Blue Jay with its striking plumage, the avian inhabitants of this region never fail to captivate both bird enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

With each passing season, a symphony of melodious songs fills the air as Northern Cardinals, American Robins, and Eastern Bluebirds chirp and flutter amidst the lush foliage. But beyond these familiar faces, there are countless other species that call New Hampshire their home.

From the secretive Great Horned Owl to the brightly-colored American Goldfinch, the avifauna of this region offers an intriguing glimpse into the wonders of the natural world. So, let us embark on a journey to discover the remarkable diversity of birds that grace the skies of New Hampshire.

Bald Eagle

national bird of america

What are the distinguishing characteristics and habitat requirements of the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in New Hampshire?

The Bald Eagle is a majestic bird, known for its white head and tail feathers, dark brown body, and a wingspan that can reach up to 7 feet. In New Hampshire, these birds typically inhabit large bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.

They build their nests in tall trees near the water, providing them with a clear view of their surroundings. Conservation efforts for Bald Eagles in New Hampshire have been successful, as their population has significantly increased over the years.

These efforts include habitat protection, monitoring and management of nesting sites, and public education about the importance of preserving these birds. Bald Eagles play a crucial role in the ecosystem as top predators, regulating populations of fish and small mammals, and their presence indicates a healthy and balanced environment.

Blue Jay

beautiful blue jay bird

The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a striking bird species that can be found in New Hampshire, known for its vibrant blue plumage and distinctive crest on its head.

Blue Jays are medium-sized birds, measuring around 9-12 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 13-17 inches. They inhabit a variety of habitats including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas throughout New Hampshire.

Blue Jays are highly adaptable and can be found in both coniferous and deciduous forests. They are often seen perched on tree branches, foraging for acorns, nuts, seeds, and insects. Blue Jays are known for their loud and distinctive calls, which include a variety of vocalizations such as screams, rattles, and bell-like notes.

These birds are highly intelligent and have complex social behavior. They form monogamous pairs that mate for life and defend their territory vigorously. Blue Jays are also known to be highly vocal and communicative with each other, using a wide range of calls and gestures to convey messages.

Northern Cardinal

bright red bird species

Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) are a prominent bird species found in New Hampshire, known for their vibrant red plumage and melodious songs. These birds are a common sight in the state, with their distinctive coloration and beautiful calls adding a touch of elegance to the local avian population.

The mating rituals of Northern Cardinals are fascinating to observe. The male cardinal will sing a series of complex songs to attract a female, often accompanied by graceful displays of courtship behavior, such as head-bobbing and wing-flashing. Once a pair has formed, they will build a nest together, usually in dense shrubs or trees.

Northern Cardinals are non-migratory birds, meaning they stay in New Hampshire year-round. Their ability to adapt to different habitats allows them to withstand the harsh winters, and they can often be seen foraging for food in snowy conditions. These birds are known to be territorial, defending their feeding and nesting areas vigorously.

Despite their territorial nature, Northern Cardinals are generally social birds and can often be found in small groups during the winter months. Their presence adds a touch of color and beauty to the New Hampshire landscape throughout the year.

American Robin

north american migratory songbird

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a widespread and well-known bird species commonly observed in New Hampshire. This medium-sized thrush is easily recognizable with its reddish-orange breast, dark gray upperparts, and white underparts. The American Robin can be found in a variety of habitats including forests, woodlands, gardens, parks, and suburban areas. It prefers open areas with short grass, where it can forage for earthworms, insects, fruits, and berries. The diet of the American Robin varies depending on the season, with a higher emphasis on insects during the breeding season and a shift towards fruits and berries in the fall and winter.

When it comes to nesting, the American Robin builds its nest in trees, shrubs, or on man-made structures such as ledges and eaves. The nest is constructed using twigs, grass, mud, and lined with fine grass or other soft materials. The female lays a clutch of 3 to 5 blue eggs and incubates them for about 12 to 14 days. Both parents take part in feeding the chicks, which fledge after about 14 to 16 days.

Eastern Bluebird

vibrant blue bird species

After discussing the American Robin, a well-known bird species commonly observed in New Hampshire, we now turn our attention to the Eastern Bluebird.

The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a small, colorful bird that can be found in various habitats throughout New Hampshire. It is most commonly found in open areas with scattered trees and shrubs, such as fields, meadows, and orchards. Eastern Bluebirds also require nest boxes for breeding, so they can often be found near human-made structures such as farms and gardens.

The Eastern Bluebird has a varied diet, consisting mainly of insects and small fruits. Insects make up a significant portion of their diet, especially during the breeding season when they need to feed their young. They feed on beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and spiders, among other invertebrates. As the season progresses, Eastern Bluebirds also consume a variety of small fruits, including berries and grapes.

To summarize, the Eastern Bluebird is a beautiful bird that can be found in open habitats throughout New Hampshire. They rely on nest boxes for breeding and have a diet that includes insects and small fruits.

Black-capped Chickadee

small bird with black cap

The Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) is a small songbird species commonly found in New Hampshire. This delightful little bird is known for its distinctive black cap and bib, white cheeks, and grayish wings and back. It has a short, stubby beak perfectly suited for cracking open seeds and insects.

The black-capped chickadee is a social bird and is often seen in small flocks. It is known for its acrobatic behavior, hopping from branch to branch and hanging upside down as it searches for food. This species is adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas. It prefers areas with mature trees for nesting and foraging, as well as open spaces with shrubs and grasses.

The black-capped chickadee's behavior and habitat make it a common and beloved sight in New Hampshire's natural landscapes.

Common Loon

migratory waterbird with haunting call

One of the iconic bird species found in New Hampshire is the Common Loon. These large waterbirds are known for their striking appearance and haunting calls that echo across the lakes and ponds of the state. The breeding habits and behaviors of common loons are fascinating to observe. They typically arrive in New Hampshire in early spring and form monogamous pairs that bond for life. The female lays one to two eggs in a nest near the water's edge, which both parents take turns incubating. Once the chicks hatch, they are carried on the backs of the adults and taught to swim and hunt for food. Conservation efforts for common loons in New Hampshire have been focused on protecting their nesting areas and promoting awareness about the dangers of lead fishing gear, which can be ingested by the birds and lead to poisoning. The table below highlights some key points about the breeding habits and conservation efforts for common loons in New Hampshire:

Topic Breeding Habits Conservation Efforts
Nest Location Near water's edge Protecting nesting areas
Parental Care Both parents incubate eggs and care for chicks Promoting awareness about lead fishing gear
Threats Predation, habitat loss Lead poisoning from fishing gear
Population Status Stable Monitoring and research initiatives

Through ongoing conservation efforts, it is hoped that the Common Loon population in New Hampshire will continue to thrive for generations to come.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

small colorful nectar loving bird

Continuing our exploration of avian species in New Hampshire, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird captivates with its vibrant plumage and remarkable aerial acrobatics.

This tiny bird, measuring only 3-4 inches in length and weighing just a few grams, can be found in a variety of habitats throughout the state, including forests, gardens, and meadows.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is known for its unique feeding habits, as it primarily consumes nectar from flowers using its long, specialized beak.

Interestingly, this species has an extensive migration pattern, traveling thousands of miles from its breeding grounds in North America to its wintering grounds in Central America and the Caribbean.

Conservation efforts for the Ruby-throated Hummingbird focus on protecting its habitats and promoting the use of native plants that provide nectar sources.

Pileated Woodpecker

large woodpecker with red crest

A notable avian species in New Hampshire, the Pileated Woodpecker showcases its distinctive appearance and impressive foraging behavior. With its large size and striking black and white plumage, this woodpecker stands out among other bird species in the region. The Pileated Woodpecker prefers mature forests with abundant trees, where it excavates large cavities in search of insects and larvae. Its strong bill and long tongue enable it to extract prey from deep within the wood. The species is known for its loud drumming, which is used to establish territory and attract mates. Pileated Woodpeckers are also skilled acrobats, effortlessly moving up and down tree trunks using their powerful claws. This species plays a vital role in forest ecosystems by controlling insect populations and creating nesting sites for other cavity-nesting birds.

Pileated Woodpecker
Habitat Mature forests with abundant trees
Behavior Excavates large cavities, loud drumming, skilled acrobats
Feeding habits Forages for insects and larvae in trees

Eastern Screech Owl

nocturnal owl with distinct call

The avian diversity in New Hampshire extends beyond the impressive Pileated Woodpecker to include the Eastern Screech Owl, a fascinating nocturnal species known for its distinct vocalizations and remarkable camouflage.

The Eastern Screech Owl, scientific name Megascops asio, is a small owl species measuring around 8-10 inches in length. They can be found in various habitats throughout New Hampshire, including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas with mature trees.

Their diet primarily consists of small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews, as well as birds, insects, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians.

Eastern Screech Owls are monogamous and breed in early spring. The female typically lays 3-5 eggs in a tree cavity or nest box, which she incubates for about 26-30 days. The male assists in feeding the hatchlings until they fledge around 4 weeks later.

Eastern Screech Owls are remarkable creatures, adapting well to their surroundings and playing an important role in maintaining the ecological balance in New Hampshire.


bird of prey with wings

Ospreys, also known as Pandion haliaetus, are magnificent birds of prey found in New Hampshire's diverse ecosystems, showcasing remarkable adaptability and unique hunting techniques. These large birds have a wingspan of up to six feet and a distinctive white head, brown back, and white underparts. Ospreys are known for their ability to dive into water to catch fish, making them superb fishers. They have a reversible outer toe that allows them to grasp their slippery prey with ease.

Ospreys are migratory birds, traveling long distances between their breeding grounds in New Hampshire and their wintering grounds in South America. They embark on this journey twice a year, following specific migration patterns. These patterns are influenced by factors such as food availability and weather conditions.

In recent years, there have been concerted efforts to conserve the Osprey population in New Hampshire. These efforts include the protection of nesting sites and the reduction of pesticide use, which can negatively impact their food sources. Additionally, the installation of artificial nesting platforms has been successful in promoting their breeding success. These conservation efforts have resulted in a steady increase in the Osprey population, highlighting the importance of protecting these magnificent birds and their habitats.

Great Horned Owl

nocturnal predator with feathers

In the diverse ecosystems of New Hampshire, another fascinating bird of prey that captures the attention of nature enthusiasts is the Great Horned Owl, scientifically known as Bubo virginianus. This majestic creature is known for its distinctive features, including its large size, tufted ear-like feathers, and piercing yellow eyes. The Great Horned Owl can be found in a variety of habitats throughout New Hampshire, including forests, woodlands, and even urban areas. It is known for its adaptability and ability to thrive in different environments.

The Great Horned Owl's diet consists mainly of small mammals, such as mice, rabbits, and squirrels. It is also known to prey upon birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even other owls. This bird of prey possesses excellent hunting skills, thanks to its sharp talons and exceptional hearing capabilities. Its silent flight allows it to surprise its prey with stealth and precision.

American Goldfinch

bright yellow bird species

The American Goldfinch, scientifically known as Spinus tristis, is a strikingly vibrant bird found throughout the diverse habitats of New Hampshire. These small birds are known for their bright yellow plumage, contrasting black wings, and distinctive black cap. American Goldfinches can be found in a variety of habitats including fields, meadows, open woodlands, and gardens. They are particularly attracted to areas with an abundance of sunflowers and thistles, as these plants provide their primary food source. The diet of American Goldfinches consists mainly of seeds, including those of dandelions, sunflowers, and aster.

When it comes to breeding, American Goldfinches have a unique reproductive strategy. They typically breed late in the summer, around July or August, when their preferred food sources are most abundant. The females build small cup-shaped nests in trees or shrubs, where they lay a clutch of 3-7 eggs. After the eggs hatch, the parents feed their young a diet consisting primarily of regurgitated seeds.

In terms of migration patterns, American Goldfinches are partially migratory. While some individuals remain in New Hampshire throughout the year, others migrate to more southern regions during the winter months. Their migration is influenced by food availability, as they rely heavily on seeds for sustenance. During migration, American Goldfinches form flocks and travel in a leisurely manner, often stopping to feed along the way.

Yellow Warbler

small yellow songbird species

The Yellow Warbler, scientifically known as Setophaga petechia, is another avian species commonly found in the diverse habitats of New Hampshire, sharing similarities with the American Goldfinch in terms of vibrant plumage and preferred habitats. The yellow warbler is a small songbird, measuring about 4.7 inches in length and weighing around 0.4 ounces. It is easily identifiable by its bright yellow plumage, with males exhibiting streaks of reddish-brown on their breasts.

Yellow Warblers are migratory birds, spending their breeding season in North America and wintering in Central and South America. They undertake impressive long-distance migrations, with some individuals traveling up to 2,500 miles each way.

During the breeding season, yellow warblers build their nests in dense shrubs and trees, usually close to water sources. The female constructs a cup-shaped nest using grasses, bark, and plant fibers, lined with soft materials like feathers and plant down. They typically lay 3-5 eggs, which are incubated by the female for approximately 11-12 days. Once hatched, the chicks are fed by both parents until they fledge after about 9 days.

Red-tailed Hawk

majestic bird of prey

The Red-tailed Hawk, scientifically known as Buteo jamaicensis, is a majestic raptor commonly found soaring through the skies of New Hampshire's diverse landscapes. With its distinctive red tail feathers, this bird of prey captivates observers with its grace and power. The Red-tailed Hawk is known for its impressive migration patterns, traveling long distances between its breeding grounds in northern regions and its wintering grounds in southern regions. During migration, these hawks can cover thousands of miles, utilizing thermal updrafts to conserve energy.

When it comes to hunting, the Red-tailed Hawk employs a variety of strategies. It primarily hunts from a perch, patiently scanning the surroundings for prey such as small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Once a target is spotted, the hawk swiftly descends, using its sharp talons to capture its prey. With its keen eyesight and excellent hunting skills, the Red-tailed Hawk is a formidable predator in New Hampshire's ecosystems.

Migration Patterns Hunting Behavior
Long-distance migration between breeding and wintering grounds Primarily hunts from a perch
Utilizes thermal updrafts during migration Targets small mammals, birds, and reptiles
Covers thousands of miles during migration Swiftly descends to capture prey

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