Louisiana, also known as the Creole State, is one of the most biodiverse and beautiful places in the United States. Often thought of as just swampland, Louisiana is actually much more complex than that.
Containing coastline, forests, wetlands, lowlands, and yes, swamplands, Louisiana is incredibly diverse in the number of different habitats it holds. Not only does it mean there is a lot to see for travelers, but it also means that the Creole State is home to a ton of wildlife, birds included.
Many of Louisiana’s beautiful birds are also species that will happily visit suburban backyards, making birdwatching in the state easy and convenient.
In this post, we’ll discuss 25 backyard birds of Louisiana, their appearance, size, diet, where you’re most likely to see them, and some other fun facts about our flying friends!
25 Backyard Birds Of Louisiana
There are certainly more than 25 bird species in Louisiana, but we wanted to focus on the birds that you can easily spot from home and don’t require any strenuous hikes or overnight campouts to see.
You might be surprised by how diverse and colorful these species of backyard birds are, and it’s all related to the many different habitats in Louisiana.
Here are 25 backyard birds in Louisiana:
1. Blue Jay
- Blue Jay Size: 9.8 – 11.8 inches
- Blue Jay Diet: In the wild, Blue Jays love to eat insects, but in backyards, they really love peanuts, corn, and suet.
- Where To Spot A Blue Jay: Almost anywhere in Louisiana, as long as there are tall trees to nest in.
Impossible to miss and full of personality, the Blue Jay is a favorite backyard bird of enthusiasts all across the country.
Sapphire in color, with a white underside and black markings on the face and wings, the Blue Jay is lovely, but they are also known to be territorial and mean to other birds.
If you’re a Blue Jay fan, feel free to encourage this jay into your yard, but don’t be surprised if they run off smaller birds!
Males and females have the same plumage, and males are usually larger than females.
2. Northern Cardinal
- Northern Cardinal Size: 8.2 – 9.3 inches
- Northern Cardinal Diet: Insects like beetles and are drawn to bird feeders that are heavy on the seed content.
- Where To Spot A Northern Cardinal: Areas of dense growth, like thickets or fields of tall grass. They do well in suburban areas.
Another bird that is impossible to miss is the bright red Northern Cardinal, usually just known as the Cardinal.
The Northern Cardinal has a solid red body with a black mask and crest on the top of the head. They are territorial to the point they will even attack their own reflection.
Cardinals like to hang out in pairs, so if you see a duller brown-colored female Cardinal around, her scarlet mate probably isn’t far behind.
3. Mourning Dove
- Mourning Dove Size: 9.1 – 13.4 inches
- Mourning Dove Diet: Almost entirely seeds, and they will spend long hours at well-stocked bird feeders.
- Where To Spot A Mourning Dove: Mourning doves have become very familiar with suburban neighborhoods and can often be seen on powerlines or in park trees.
Mourning doves are known for their sad, cooing calls, but the birds themselves aren’t downtrodden at all. This mournful call just means it’s the beginning of the mating season.
Mourning doves will partner up for life, and you might even see two birds sitting side by side on a powerline or fence post, taking turns preening each other.
Mourning doves are generally friendly, and they only become aggressive towards other birds during mating seasons.
These round, grayish beige birds have small heads and large bodies. Females are a bit smaller and duller in color than males.
4. American Robin
- American Robin Size: 7.9 – 11 inches
- American Robin Diet: Robins are insectivores, and their favorite food is earthworms. To attract this songbird to your yard, dried mealworms are a favorite snack of the Robin.
- Where To Spot An American Robin: When not searching for worms in yards, they can be found in deciduous forests or parks in Louisiana.
The American Robin is very easy to identify, as it is a medium-sized bird with a black head, a gray or brown body, and bright orange bellies.
Although occasionally territorial, the American Robin has a beautiful singing voice and is a great clean-up crew for worms after heavy rain.
Both male and female Robins have the same coloration, but the female will appear paler and more washed out than the male.
5. Downy Woodpecker
- Downy Woodpecker Size: 5.5 – 6.7 inches
- Downy Woodpecker Diet: Downy woodpeckers will eat bugs from the bark of trees, but in backyards, they prefer suet and sunflower seeds.
- Where To Spot A Downy Woodpecker: Either in deciduous forests or fields of tall grass, but are easily attracted to bird feeders.
Bird feeders and woodpeckers might not seem like an obvious mix, but it turns out some species of woodpeckers love a good backyard feeding! One of these woodpeckers is the Downy woodpecker.
The smallest woodpecker in the United States, the Downy woodpecker can blend in with other backyard birds and is an adorable addition to any birdwatcher’s regular yard visitors.
Downy woodpeckers have the typical woodpecker coloration of white and black, with red caps present in the males of the species. Their wings are black with white spots, making them easy to identify. Female Downy woodpeckers lack the red markings on its head and body.
6. Brown Thrasher
- Brown Thrasher Size: 9.3 – 12 inches
- Brown Thrasher Diet: Brown Thrashers eat insects for most of their diet but may supplement it with berries and nuts when prey is sparse.
- Where To Spot A Brown Thrasher: Anywhere with dense cover, but they can also be seen in more open areas from time to time.
The Brown Thrasher is large as far as backyard birds go, sometimes reaching up to a foot in length. Male and female Brown Thrashers look very similar.
In its Northern habitat, the Brown Thrasher will migrate south during the winter, but in Louisiana, you can see this reddish-brown bird all year round.
Brown Thrashers have loud calls that will transform into beautiful songs during nesting season. They aren’t big frequenters to bird feeders, but dried mealworms and berry bushes can draw them into your yard.
7. American Goldfinch
- American Goldfinch Size: 4.3 – 5.1 inches
- American Goldfinch Diet: The American Goldfinch loves seeds of all kinds, but they are particularly partial to black oil sunflower seeds.
- Where To Spot An American Goldfinch: Goldfinches love fields full of tall grass, but they aren’t picky and will often be seen in Louisiana backyards.
Backyard birds are often valued by their beauty before anything else, but when you can find a lovely bird that is also a joy to watch, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Small and light-hearted, the American Goldfinch is treasured not only for its bright yellow plumage but because these tiny birds have the sunny personality to match.
Male American Goldfinches are bright yellow with white-striped black wings in the spring and early summer, while females are paler yellow with white-striped black wings year-round.
DID YOU KNOW? Most birds molt (replace) their feathers once or twice a year. Every year in September, male and female American Goldfinches molt their feathers, resulting in both males and females taking on a drab yellow/olive color during the winter months. In the spring, they partially molt (the wing and tail feathers are not replaced). This is when the males transform into their signature bright yellow plumage.
Goldfinches like to gather in flocks, and if you’re lucky enough to see one, there are likely more of these adorable birds waiting in the wings to make your backyard the ideal hang-out spot.
8. House Finch
- House Finch Size: 5 – 5.5 inches
- House Finch Diet: House Finches are almost total herbivores, subsisting on vegetable matter like seeds, puds, and berries. This means they are big fans of birdfeeders full of seed.
- Where To Spot A House Finch: House Finches are incredibly widespread, living anywhere from thick forests to dry deserts. They love to live in suburban areas, especially where they will be fed by humans.
More common with a much more subtle color palette, the House Finch might not be as flashy as the Goldfinch, but they are just as fun.
Finches, by nature, are small birds, and the House Finch is no exception, growing to only 5.5 inches. Brown in color, the males of this species will have red heads and chests that make them easier to pick out from the crowd.
House finches are the epitome of easy-to-please and will be drawn to almost any bird feeder as long as it is filled with seeds. They are fun, active birds to watch and will likely be one of the first species you see after setting up a new bird feeder.
9. Carolina Wren
- Carolina Wren Size: 4.7 – 5.5 inches
- Carolina Wren Diet: Carolina Wrens are another type of small bird that love any sort of seed or berry, especially when they are available in an easy-to-access birdfeeder. In the wild, the Carolina Wren is much more insectivorous (they eat insects, worms, and other invertebrates).
- Where To Spot A Carolina Wren: Dense vegetation is a good home for the Carolina Wren. This includes decorative shrubbery.
Large backyard birds might be exciting to see, but some of the biggest personalities in backyard birdwatching come in small packages. The Carolina Wren is one energetic little bird that is a welcome addition to any feeder.
As tiny as they are, only growing to 5.5 inches, the Carolina Wren isn’t afraid of larger birds. They are almost solid brown with a white stripe on their heads and rather long beaks for their petite frames. Male and females look alike.
Since the Carolina Wren prefers thick vegetation, it can be hard to convince them to leave this vegetation to visit bird feeders. These little songbirds might be more reluctant than other small birds, like finches, but once they’ve found a good place to feed, they’ll return again and again.
10. Eastern Bluebird
- Eastern Bluebird Size: 6.3 – 8.3 inches
- Eastern Bluebird Diet: Eastern Bluebirds eat insects, berries, and fruit.
- Where To Spot An Eastern Bluebird: These lovely bluebirds are often found in meadows and sometimes on golf courses. They nest in large trees and enjoy nesting boxes that have been placed for them.
The Eastern Bluebird is both beautiful and unique. They are some of the brightest birds that can visit backyards in Louisiana and are known to be skilled insect hunters.
The Eastern Bluebird is a soft blue on most of its body and has a rust-colored belly. Females are a subdued blue-rust shade. See the Eastern Bluebird pair below.
These bluebirds are unique because they build their nests in the holes already present in trees or ones made by other birds. They don’t make their own nesting holes.
Since Eastern Bluebirds are another species that prefers insects, dried mealworms will bring them around. One thing to note is that Eastern Bluebirds are drawn to wide-open spaces, so if your yard is more compact, they might not feel as comfortable.
11. Pine Warbler
- Pine Warbler Size: 5 – 5.5 inches
- Pine Warbler Diet: While most warblers avoid seeds, the Pine Warbler loves them and will be happy to eat millet, sunflower seeds, and suet from bird feeders.
- Where To Spot A Pine Warbler: As their name suggests, Pine Warblers like to live in pine forests but can also be found among other deciduous trees.
A bird that is easy to mistake for a finch is the Pine Warbler. These tiny yellow birds might resemble a Goldfinch at first glance, but once you take a closer look, the differences become apparent.
Pine Warblers are most commonly seen at bird feeders during the winter months since they don’t migrate out of Louisiana. They are the only warbler that eats seeds consistently, and while they don’t like to leave the pines during nesting season, they are more widespread other times during the year.
Male Pine Warblers are yellow-breasted with gray wings, and the females will be pale yellow-gray. They are very small and can appear almost completely round when sitting on branches and puffing their feathers out.
12. European Starling
- European Starling Size: 7.9 – 9.1 inches
- European Starling Diet: European Starlings will eat almost anything and are considered pests by many birdwatchers because of their tendency to empty feeders completely before other birds have a chance to enjoy them.
- Where To Spot A European Starling: Almost anywhere in Louisiana. European Starlings will travel in enormous flocks and are just as comfortable in cities as they are in the forest.
Appearing black at first glance, the European Starling is a beautiful iridescent bird with feathers that shine blue and purple, as well as lots of little white dots on their entire body that resemble stars, hence their name. Females are duller in color than males.
Today’s entire population of European Starlings in the US descend from just 100 birds released in 1890 in New York City’s Central Park by a group of people who wanted to introduce every bird mentioned in the works of Shakespeare to North America. These 100 birds have since ballooned into a population of over 200 million across North America.
The European Starling may not be a bird you necessarily want to attract since it is an invasive species. It’s almost a given that Starlings will still make their way to your yard, but it might not be something you want to encourage.
European Starlings are gorgeous birds but are known to take resources from native birds and might even empty a bird feeder or decimate a whole suet block in one visit!
13. Indigo Bunting
- Indigo Bunting Size: 4.7 – 5.1 inches
- Indigo Bunting Diet: Thistle and other seeds, but they really enjoy black oil sunflower seeds if you’re trying to attract them to a bird feeder.
- Where To Spot An Indigo Bunting: Normally, the Indigo Bunting prefers fields of tall grass, brambles, thickets, and other areas of dense brush.
One of the most striking birds on our list is the Indigo Bunting. Not only are these brilliantly blue birds a treat to behold, but they are also quite vocal, filling the air with the songs they like to sing from high up within the trees.
Male Indigo Buntings are one of the most recognizable birds in Louisiana, with their plumage that ranges from dark sapphire to teal. The female Indigo Buntings are mostly brown with beige bellies.
Unlike some other brightly colored birds, the Indigo Bunting is also relatively common and can be seen anywhere from power lines to roadways and even backyards in Louisiana.
14. Tufted Titmouse
- Tufted Titmouse Size: 5.5 – 6.3 inches
- Tufted Titmouse Diet: The Tufted Titmouse eats mostly insects, but they adore birdseed mixed with fat or peanut butter as a special treat.
- Where To Spot A Tufted Titmouse: These tiny birds prefer to live in Evergreen forests, but they are a common sight in more suburban areas and cities.
Tiny and gray, the Tufted Titmouse makes up for its unassuming appearance with a bigger personality than you might think! Male and females have identical plumage.
Tufted Titmice have been described as impish and enthusiastic that aren’t afraid of other birds, even those that are bigger than them. They love suet and peanut butter and will frequent backyards that provide them with their favorite food.
Most small birds are shy, but that isn’t the case for the Tufted Titmouse, who is both curious and agile, the perfect combination for checking things out while still being quick enough to stay out of trouble.
15. Chipping Sparrow
- Chipping Sparrow Size: 5 – 5.8 inches
- Chipping Sparrow Diet: Mostly insects and seeds. They are particularly fond of millet, but almost any bird feeder filled with seed will do.
- Where To Spot A Chipping Sparrow: Wide open grasslands, since these sparrows like to forage out of the grass. They are all over Louisiana all during the year.
Being one of the most common birds around doesn’t mean that the Chipping Sparrow is boring. In fact, these little sparrows are full of energy and make for amusing additions to backyard feeders.
The Chipping Sparrow is reddish-brown, with white and black markings all over the body. The wings are striped, and they have a copper-colored cap on the top of their head that makes them stick out from other sparrows. Females are duller in coloration and slightly larger than males.
Chipping Sparrows are another bird species that isn’t picky and will come to a birdfeeder as long as it is full and safe from predators.
16. Pileated Woodpecker
- Pileated Woodpecker Size: 16 – 19 inches
- Pileated Woodpecker Diet: Carpenter ants are their favorite, but they will eat other insects, seeds, and berries when given the chance.
- Where To Spot A Pileated Woodpecker: The Pileated Woodpecker lives in places where there are dead, rotting trees because this is where they can find carpenter ants. This means they prefer old-growth forests.
Other birds on this list might be hard to spot, but not the Pileated Woodpecker. Not only is this the largest woodpecker in Louisiana, but it is also the largest in the United States. It is instantly recognizable due to its red head crest. Females do not have the red malar stripe (mustache) on their cheek.
Pileated woodpeckers might not seem like backyard birds, but they actually love feeders, despite their enormous size. Suet is a particular favorite of theirs, but since they are so big, make sure the chain holding your feeder is strong!
17. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
- Red-Bellied Woodpecker Size: 9 – 11 inches
- Red-Bellied Woodpecker Diet: Like most woodpeckers, the Red-Bellied woodpecker eats mainly insects, but during some seasons their diet can be almost ½ plant matter.
- Where To Spot A Red-Bellied Woodpecker: In forests with tall trees, where they will be able to drill holes into the bark. They also frequent swamps.
Most woodpeckers prefer normal forests, but the Red-Bellied woodpecker is actually one bird that loves to live in the swamp. These woodpeckers eat primarily insects and are a widespread species seen in most states.
Red-Bellied woodpeckers can be attracted to bird feeders, and since they are so common, it isn’t hard to see one in the wild, even if they don’t frequent your backyard. They have a red cap on their head, gray or brown bodies, pale red bellies, and black and white striped wings.
Males have a red cap from their bills to the base of their neck, while females are red on their necks only.
18. Red-Headed Woodpecker
- Red-Headed Woodpecker Size: 8.3 – 9.8 in
- Red-Headed Woodpecker Diet: Insects, berries, worms, seeds, nuts, and almost anything else that woodpeckers might enjoy. These birds are truly omnivorous.
- Where To Spot A Red-Headed Woodpecker: All over Louisiana, but their population has suffered a decline in recent years.
Woodpeckers tend to stand out from other birds because of their strange pecking behaviors and bright colors, but almost no woodpecker stands out as much as the Red-Headed Woodpecker (males and females look the same).
With a bright scarlet head and neck and black and white body, the Red-Headed woodpecker is a gorgeous bird that was once incredibly common. These days, they aren’t as easy to track down but can still be seen in swamps, especially those with dead trees and other woodlands.
19. Common Grackle
- Common Grackle Size: 11 – 13 inches
- Common Grackle Diet: Beetles, grasshoppers, and other insects. Grackles will also frequent bird feeders and are happy to eat seeds and nuts.
- Where To Spot A Common Grackle: As its name suggests, the Common Grackle is common and can be seen all over Louisiana, both in populated and wild areas.
Another bird that appears black at first glance, the Grackle is an impressive bird with iridescent plumage and a resourceful attitude. These birds have been known to be mean to smaller birds, but unlike Starlings, they are native to the United States.
Grackles love birdfeeders of all kinds, and it isn’t unusual for them to be the biggest bird at the feeder, sometimes scaring away other bird species. Males are slightly glossier than females.
20. Carolina Chickadee
- Carolina Chickadee Size: 4 – 4.7 inches
- Carolina Chickadee Diet: Berries, seeds, and insects.
- Where To Spot A Carolina Chickadee: In forests with lots of leafy trees, but also live in more populated areas.
Small, friendly, and adorable, the Carolina Chickadee is often one of the first birds that amateur bird watchers memorize by sight and sound. The Chickadee has a number of recognizable calls, and since they are so common throughout Louisiana, they’re easy for anyone to spot (males and females look alike).
These little gray birds have a black cap and mask, with the rest of the face being white. They are one of the easiest birds to attract to yards in Louisiana.
21. Purple Martin
- Purple Martin Size: 7.1 – 8.7 inches
- Purple Martin Diet: Flying insects like wasps and winged ants. Purple Martin’s prefer insects and bugs over any other meal.
- Where To Spot A Purple Martin: Open areas near water, but more recently nesting boxes for Purple Martins have been constructed to give them better access to nesting areas.
While it might look similar to the Common Grackle, the Purple Martin is actually one of the most sought-after birds in the backyard birding hobby. With their subtly beautiful looks, intelligent personalities, and lovely songs, it’s easy to see why they are so loved.
With their population in decline, it’s become commonplace to build multiple nesting boxes for Purple Martins, so they can lay their eggs in safety.
Martins are medium-sized blackbirds with iridescent purple heads. Females are duller in color than males.
22. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird Size: 3 – 3.5 inches
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird Diet: Nectar and small insects
- Where To Spot a Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Around flowers that have lots of nectar and hummingbird feeders.
Even though these little birds need their own special type of feeder, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still some of the most popular backyard birds because of their delicate beauty.
These tiny green hummingbirds (males) have a bright ruby throat (females have a white throat), and they fly so quickly they can be hard to see. Make sure to keep the hummingbird food in their feeders fresh! The sugary water can go bad rapidly.
23. Orchard Oriole
- Orchard Oriole Size: 5.9 – 7.1 inches
- Orchard Oriole Diet: Nectar, pollen, and fruit.
- Where To Spot An Orchard Oriole: Along river edges, open areas of scattered trees, and sparse woodlands.
Unlike other birds their size, the male Orchard Oriole is a bird with a black body and flaming orange chest. The female has white wing bars on black wings and a greenish-yellow body.
Even though they are large, they enjoy probing flowers for nectar and pollen when they aren’t hunting insects.
The Orchard Oriole is unique in that it is monogamous each mating season but will find a new mate the following year.
24. Cedar Waxwing
- Cedar Waxwing Size: 5.5 – 6.7 inches
- Cedar Waxwing Diet: They prefer fruits and berries but will feed on insects for protein.
- Where To Spot A Cedar Waxwing: Since the Waxwing loves berries, they can be found in berry bushes or in evergreens near bodies of water.
Cedar Waxwings are native to Louisiana, and since they don’t migrate, they can be seen all year long.
These gray birds have unique black masks, yellow bellies and tail feathers, and red spots on their wings (males and females look similar, although there is more black on the male chin). They also sport an impressive head crest.
The fruit-loving Waxwing almost always travels in a group and is easiest seen in the winter.
25. Black-chinned Hummingbird
- Black-chinned Hummingbird Size: 40 and 49 mm
- Black-chinned Hummingbird Diet: Nectar and insects
- Where To Spot A Black-chinned Hummingbird: Often seen at feeders or sleeping on dead branches in trees.
Like the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the Black-Chinned hummingbird spends almost all of its day eating from flowers full of nectar and hummingbird feeders.
Males are dark greenish-brown with a black chin and brilliant purple throat. Females aren’t as colorful as they have a white throat.
All hummingbirds in North America need to eat almost constantly, so as long as you provide them with fresh sugar water, the Black-Chinned Hummingbird will keep coming back for more.
Related Post: Hummingbirds in Louisiana
Final Thoughts on the Backyard Birds Of Louisana
These 25 backyard birds native to Louisiana are just a handful of the many birds that call this state home. With so much diversity in its avian population and ecosystem, it’s no wonder that Louisiana is such a popular destination for birders and nature enthusiasts alike.
From the Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the Eastern Bluebird, there is sure to be a bird that you will love. So get out your binoculars and start backyard bird watching today!
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