Top 15 Types Of Birds In Ohio (with Photos)

Ohio, a state nestled in the heartland of the United States, boasts a remarkable diversity of bird species that call its borders home.

From the majestic Bald Eagle soaring high above the treetops to the delicate Ruby-throated Hummingbird flitting among the flowers, the avian residents of Ohio are as varied as the landscapes they inhabit.

Whether you're a seasoned birder or simply curious about the feathered inhabitants of this Midwestern state, join me as we embark on a journey to uncover the fascinating world of Ohio's birds, where surprises and discoveries await at every turn.

Bald Eagle

national bird of america

The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a majestic and iconic bird of prey that can be found in various regions of Ohio. Conservation efforts have played a vital role in the recovery of the bald eagle population, which was once on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss, hunting, and the use of pesticides. Today, thanks to dedicated conservation measures, the bald eagle population in Ohio has rebounded significantly.

Bald eagles typically inhabit areas near large bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. They require tall trees for nesting, preferably in secluded areas with minimal human disturbance. Ohio's diverse habitats, including coastal wetlands, marshes, and forests, provide suitable environments for these birds. The state also offers ample prey, including fish, waterfowl, and small mammals, which are essential for the survival of bald eagles.

To continue supporting the recovery of the bald eagle population, ongoing conservation efforts focus on protecting and restoring their habitats, implementing regulations to limit human disturbance near nesting sites, and monitoring their populations to ensure their long-term survival in Ohio.

Eastern Bluebird

colorful north american songbird

Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) are small, vibrant songbirds native to Ohio. They are known for their striking blue plumage and melodious songs. Eastern Bluebirds are a common sight in the state during the breeding season, which typically starts in March and lasts until July. They build their nests in tree cavities or man-made nest boxes and lay around four to six eggs per clutch.

In terms of migration patterns, Eastern Bluebirds in Ohio are considered partial migratory birds. Some individuals may migrate south during the winter, while others may stay in the state year-round. The migration patterns of Eastern Bluebirds can be influenced by factors such as food availability and weather conditions.

Eastern Bluebird populations have faced challenges in the past due to habitat loss and competition for nesting cavities with other bird species. However, conservation efforts have played a crucial role in increasing their numbers. These efforts include the installation of nest boxes and the preservation of suitable habitats. As a result, Eastern Bluebirds have thrived in Ohio and contributed to the state's diverse avian population.

Northern Cardinal

bright red bird species

One notable bird species found in Ohio is the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), a striking songbird known for its vibrant red plumage and melodic calls. The Northern Cardinal is a year-round resident in Ohio and can be found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, thickets, and suburban gardens. They prefer areas with dense vegetation that provides cover and nesting sites.

Speaking of nesting, Northern Cardinals build their nests in shrubs, vines, and low trees, typically close to the ground. The female constructs the nest using twigs, leaves, and grasses, while the male assists by providing food.

Speaking of food, Northern Cardinals are primarily seed eaters, with a preference for sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and millet. However, they also consume insects, fruits, and berries, especially during the breeding season when they need extra energy.

American Robin

common north american songbird

With its distinctive orange breast and melodious song, the American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a common sight and sound in Ohio's diverse habitats. This medium-sized songbird is known for its characteristic behavior, such as hopping and running on the ground in search of food. American Robins are primarily insectivorous, but they also feed on fruits and berries, making them an important disperser of seeds.

During breeding season, males defend their territory and attract females with their rich, flute-like songs. They build cup-shaped nests made of mud, grass, and twigs, typically found in trees or shrubs.

Conservation efforts for the American Robin focus on preserving its habitat and ensuring the availability of suitable nesting sites. Providing bird-friendly landscapes with native plants and avoiding the use of pesticides can help support their populations. Monitoring their population trends and understanding their migration patterns are also crucial for conservation efforts.

Red-tailed Hawk

majestic red tailed hawk soaring

The Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a prominent raptor species found throughout Ohio's diverse landscapes. With a wingspan of up to 4 feet, these hawks are known for their distinctive red tail feathers that become more vibrant as they mature.

Red-tailed Hawks are year-round residents in Ohio, but their population fluctuates due to migration patterns. Some individuals may migrate to southern regions during winter, while others remain in the state. These hawks primarily feed on small mammals, birds, and reptiles, using their keen eyesight and powerful talons to capture prey.

In recent years, conservation efforts have focused on protecting the Red-tailed Hawk's habitats, as well as raising awareness about the importance of preserving these majestic birds and their role in maintaining the ecological balance of Ohio's ecosystems.

American Goldfinch

bright yellow bird with black

As we shift our focus to the American Goldfinch, we explore another captivating avian resident in Ohio's diverse landscapes.

The American Goldfinch, or Spinus tristis, is a small passerine bird commonly found in Ohio. Known for its vibrant yellow plumage, the American Goldfinch is a sight to behold.

When it comes to breeding habits, the American Goldfinch has a unique approach. Unlike many other bird species, it delays its breeding until late summer, when food sources are abundant. This strategy ensures a plentiful supply of seeds, which are the primary food source for both adults and their offspring.

In terms of migration patterns, the American Goldfinch exhibits a partial migration behavior. While some individuals migrate southward during the winter months, many others remain in Ohio throughout the year. This adaptability allows them to take advantage of the available food resources, even during the colder months.

The American Goldfinch plays an important role in Ohio's ecosystem. As seed eaters, they help disperse seeds from various plants, aiding in plant reproduction and maintaining biodiversity. Additionally, their presence adds beauty and diversity to Ohio's bird population.

Great Blue Heron

elegant water bird sighting

The Great Blue Heron, scientifically known as Ardea herodias, is a majestic avian species commonly found in the diverse landscapes of Ohio. With its striking appearance and impressive size, the Great Blue Heron is a well-known and highly recognizable bird. Standing at around 4 feet tall with a wingspan of up to 6 feet, it is the largest heron species in North America.

These birds are typically found near bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and marshes, where they hunt for fish, amphibians, and other small aquatic prey. The Great Blue Heron is known for its patient and stealthy hunting behavior, standing motionless for long periods of time before striking with lightning speed to catch its prey.

Despite their large population, Great Blue Herons face threats such as habitat loss and pollution. Efforts for bird conservation, including the protection of wetland habitats, are crucial for the survival of this magnificent species.


bird of prey with wings

Nestled along the coastlines and near bodies of water in Ohio, the osprey, also known as Pandion haliaetus, is a remarkable avian predator with distinctive hunting techniques.

The osprey is a migratory bird, known for its impressive migration patterns. During the summer months, ospreys can be found in Ohio, where they build their nests in a variety of locations near water, including on top of utility poles, on rocky cliffs, and even on artificial nesting platforms.

Ospreys are known for their large nests, which they construct using sticks, branches, and other materials. These nests are often lined with softer materials such as grass and moss.

Ospreys are highly adaptable and have shown a preference for nesting near freshwater lakes, rivers, and coastal areas, where their main food source, fish, is abundant.

The osprey's unique nesting habits and migratory patterns make it a fascinating bird to observe and study in the state of Ohio.

Peregrine Falcon

fastest bird in flight

The Peregrine Falcon, scientifically known as Falco peregrinus, is a formidable and widely recognized bird of prey that can be observed in Ohio's diverse landscapes. Known for their incredible speed and agility, Peregrine Falcons are known to migrate over long distances, traveling thousands of miles each year. These impressive birds breed in the northern parts of North America, including in the Arctic tundra, and migrate to Ohio during the winter months.

Despite their ability to adapt to a variety of habitats, Peregrine Falcons faced a significant decline in population due to the widespread use of pesticides, particularly DDT, in the mid-20th century. As a result, conservation efforts were initiated to protect and restore their populations. These efforts included banning DDT, captive breeding programs, and habitat restoration.

Today, thanks to these conservation efforts, Peregrine Falcons have made a remarkable recovery and their populations have rebounded. They serve as a testament to the importance and effectiveness of conservation actions in protecting our natural heritage.

Wild Turkey

native american bird species

One of the most iconic and recognizable birds found in Ohio's diverse landscapes is the Wild Turkey. Meleagris gallopavo, as it is scientifically known, is a large game bird native to North America.

The wild turkey habitat in Ohio consists of a mixture of woodlands, forests, and open areas, providing the necessary cover and food sources for these birds. They are primarily ground-dwelling birds but are capable of short, powerful flights.

Wild turkeys are known for their distinctive fan-shaped tail feathers and colorful plumage, which are displayed during courtship rituals. In terms of behavior, wild turkeys are social animals that form flocks, especially during the winter months. They communicate through various vocalizations and are omnivorous, feeding on a diet of insects, fruits, seeds, and small vertebrates.

Baltimore Oriole

bird with orange plumage

Found throughout the state of Ohio, the Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) is a strikingly beautiful songbird that is known for its vibrant orange and black plumage. This species exhibits interesting migration patterns, making it a delight for birdwatchers in Ohio.

Baltimore Orioles spend their winters in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, and then migrate to their breeding grounds in Ohio during the spring. They typically arrive in late April or early May and stay until September or October.

When it comes to nesting habits, Baltimore Orioles construct intricate hanging nests that are suspended from the tips of tree branches. The female builds the nest using grasses, plant fibers, and other soft materials, weaving them together to create a sturdy structure. These nests are often found in tall deciduous trees, and the female typically lays 3-7 eggs. Both parents are involved in feeding and caring for the young.

Indigo Bunting

vibrant blue bird species

After exploring the fascinating nesting habits of the Baltimore Oriole, another captivating bird species that can be found in Ohio is the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea).

The Indigo Bunting is a small, vibrantly colored bird known for its striking blue plumage. During the breeding season, male Indigo Buntings use their vibrant appearance to attract mates. They sing a complex, melodious song from treetops and perform dramatic flight displays to showcase their fitness. Mating pairs establish territories and build cup-shaped nests made of grass and leaves, usually hidden in dense shrubs or low trees.

In terms of migration patterns, Indigo Buntings are neotropical migrants. They breed in Ohio during the summer months and then embark on a long journey to their wintering grounds in Central and South America. These migratory journeys can cover thousands of miles, with some individuals traveling as far as Venezuela or Colombia. These birds rely on celestial cues, such as the position of the stars, to navigate their way across vast distances.

The Indigo Bunting's ability to undertake such incredible journeys adds to its allure and highlights its remarkable adaptations for survival.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

colorful hummingbird with ruby throat

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is a small and agile bird species known for its vibrant plumage and unique feeding habits. These birds are commonly found in Ohio during the breeding season, which typically occurs from April to September.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are known for their remarkable breeding habits. Males perform elaborate courtship displays to attract females, including aerial displays and vocalizations. The female constructs a small, cup-shaped nest using plant material and spider silk, usually placed on a tree branch. After mating, the female lays two tiny white eggs, which she incubates for about two weeks. Once hatched, the young hummingbirds are fed a diet of nectar and small insects by their mother.

As summer comes to an end, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds embark on an incredible migration journey. They travel thousands of miles to their wintering grounds in Central America and Mexico, crossing the Gulf of Mexico in a nonstop flight. Their migration patterns are influenced by the availability of food and favorable weather conditions.

These remarkable birds serve as a testament to the wonders of nature and the resilience of migratory species.

Downy Woodpecker

small black and white

During the breeding season in Ohio, another bird species that can be observed is the Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), a small but distinctive woodpecker known for its intricate foraging techniques and drumming sounds.

The Downy Woodpecker is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas with mature trees. It has a black and white plumage, with a white belly and a black back adorned with white spots. Males have a small red patch on the back of their heads, while females do not.

This woodpecker uses its strong beak to excavate holes in tree trunks in search of insects and larvae. It is also known for its habit of drumming on trees to establish territories and attract mates.

The Downy Woodpecker's behavior includes a distinctive dipping flight pattern and a habit of hitching up and down tree trunks in search of food. It is a common sight in Ohio and a valuable contributor to the ecosystem by controlling insect populations.

Eastern Screech-Owl

nocturnal bird with camouflage

The Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio), commonly found in Ohio, is a nocturnal bird of prey known for its distinct vocalizations and exceptional camouflage abilities. This small owl species has a diverse habitat range, including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas with suitable tree cover. Eastern Screech-Owls prefer nesting in tree cavities, often utilizing abandoned woodpecker holes or natural hollows. They are adaptable and can also be found nesting in nest boxes or artificial cavities.

Breeding behavior in Eastern Screech-Owls typically begins in early spring. Males engage in courtship displays, which involve calling and elaborate aerial displays to attract females. Once a pair forms a bond, they select a suitable nest site and the female lays a clutch of 3-5 eggs. The female incubates the eggs for about 26-28 days, while the male provides food for her. After hatching, both parents participate in feeding and caring for the young until they fledge after approximately 4-5 weeks. Eastern Screech-Owls are monogamous and may mate for life, using the same nesting site year after year.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!