25 Backyard Birds Of Maine

Maine, the northernmost state in New England and the easternmost state in the United States, has a lot more to offer than lobsters and lighthouses. This beautiful part of North America might get cold during the winter, but it is a state that is full of thousands of different animal species, as well as almost 300 species of birds alone!

Backyard Birds of Maine: collage of 9 images of Maine backyard birds.

Not all birds in Maine will frequent your backyard feeder, but our 25 backyard birds of Maine will if the food incentive is good enough! These 25 backyard birds of Maine can be seen in places ranging from the city to the deep forest, but they can be seen right in our own yards at times. 

In this post, we’ll share common Maine birds, as well as some important information about them so you can identify them yourself!

25 Backyard Birds Of Maine

These 25 backyard birds are certainly not all the bird species that reside in the great state of Maine, but they are some of the most common birds that are frequently spotted in backyards. 

We’ll share the size, diet, and where to spot each of these birds, as well as some other relevant information, so you can enjoy your Maine birdwatching to the fullest. 

1. Mourning Dove

Pair of Mourning Doves perched on shepherd's hook in garden in Louisiana.
  • Mourning Dove Size: 9.1 – 13.4 inches 
  • Mourning Dove Diet: Mourning Doves frequently visit bird feeders since they eat seeds as the majority of their diet.
  • Where To Spot a Mourning Dove: With a wide range, mourning doves are at home in open forests, on power wires, and in cities.

Mourning Doves are easily recognizable, and both male and females of the species look nearly identical. Their bodies are spherical, chubby, gray, and have long tails. The Mourning Dove also has quite a round head. Their wings are covered in black dots.

Mourning Doves frequently appear first at fully-stocked backyard bird feeders in the morning, and if you provide them with enough food, they may even build a nest in your yard! These doves can care for multiple broods during the breeding season.

Male Mourning Dove perched in a tree branch in the fall.

The deep, melancholy cooing call of the mourning dove is easily identified by both amateur and expert bird watchers. Another fun fact about these feeder birds is that they can drink brackish water (water that is more saline than freshwater), making it easier for them to live in hot climates.

2. Northern Cardinal

Male and female Northern Cardinals perched on branch of Chinese Fringe tree with their beaks almost touching.
  • Northern Cardinal Size: 8.2 – 9.3 inches
  • Northern Cardinal Diet: Insects like beetles and caterpillars, as well as bird feeder seed.
  • Where To Spot A Northern Cardinal: A Northern Cardinal is frequently seen wherever there are birds. They particularly enjoy parks in suburbs.

The Northern Cardinal is always a joy to observe, regardless of how experienced you are or how new you are to birdwatching. No matter how common they are, the Cardinal is always a beautiful sight, especially in the winter.

Unlike many bird species, it isn’t just the male Northern Cardinal who sings. Females of the species have their own unique songs!

Male Northern Cardinal
Male Northern Cardinal

Male Cardinals are distinguished by their vivid red bodies, black masks, and pronounced feather crests on their heads.

Female cardinals have a similar appearance and feather crest; however, their bodies are primarily made of brown and gray with red hues present on the wings and head.

3. Blue Jay

Two Blue Jays on branches in winter.
Two Blue Jays
  • Blue Jay Size: 9.8 – 11.8 inches
  • Blue Jay Diet: If you want to attract Blue Jays to your yard, offer them peanuts. When peanuts are not available, Blue Jays eat insects.
  • Where To Spot A Blue Jay: Most of Maine. They are fond of tall trees.

One backyard bird of Maine that might surprise you with its family connections is the Blue Jay. These bright birds are actually in the Corvidae family with Ravens, and are similarly intelligent with complex social structures.

The Blue Jay is yet another stunning bird with attitude, which means that no matter how beautiful they are, many backyard bird watchers prefer to keep Blue Jays away from their yards.

These Jays will empty a bird feeder in no time, and run off any other bird that tries to make them share. 

Blue Jay perched on wooden board.
Blue Jay

As their name suggests, these birds are primarily blue. The Blue Jay’s body is largely covered in blue, white, black, and white patterns, and its head has a noticeable crest.

Males and females look similar, while males tend to be larger than females.

4. American Robin

American Robin resting on a tree limb.
American Robin
  • American Robin Size: 7.9 – 11 inches
  • American Robin Diet: Eats mainly earthworms. After rainstorms, robins can be seen clearing away newly emerging worms.
  • Where To Spot An American Robin: They like open fields and spaces in the more natural parts, although are also found in neighborhood yards all over Maine. 

A dedicated worm eater, the American Robin can often be seen after rainstorms collecting earthworms that have emerged. With their habit of rising early with the sun, their powder-blue eggs, and fast flying speeds, the American Robin is truly an interesting specimen.

An adult female American robin arrives at its nest with a mouthful of food to feed four hungry chicks.
Female American Robin feeding chicks.

The American Robin has an orange belly, a black head, and a brown body. This color scheme is shared by the male and female of the species, though the females can be a little more dull. 

5. American Crow

Close up of American Crow sitting on a wooden ledge with California Pacific Ocean coastline in the background
American Crow
  • American Crow Size: 16 – 21 inches
  • American Crow Diet: Insects, frogs, dead animals, produce, grains, and fruits. 
  • Where To Spot An American Crow: Throughout the entire state of Maine. Compared to most other birds, the American Crow has a superior understanding of urban environments.

A large bird with a lot of recognizable behaviors is the American Crow. They have a vast range across the country and are recognized for being very bright and cunning. Crows are so smart that they’ve even been observed using basic tools!

American Crow
American Crow

From their legs to their beaks, American crows are all black. When the sun hits them just right, you can see shades of blue or purple in some crows. 

6. Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow singing on tree limb.
Song Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow Size: 4.7–6.7 inches
  • Song Sparrow Diet: Insects such as beetles and caterpillars as well as seeds.
  • Where To Spot A Song Sparrow: Nearly every environment found in Maine is suitable for Song Sparrows.

Because of their adaptability, song sparrows are among the most widespread birds in the United States. The Song Sparrow can survive in a variety of habitats, including mountains and dense woods.

Song Sparrow eating seeds on a wooden deck.
Song Sparrow

Song Sparrows have intricate head plumage patterns and are gray-brown on top with dark brown striping on their chest.

Between the hues of gray and brown, there is quite a bit of diversity in terms of both darkness and color saturation within its spectrum.

Male and females look alike, although males tend to be larger than females.

7. House Finch

A male House Finch tries to snatch food from the mouth of a female, as both birds are at a window bird feeder.
Male and female House Finches
  • House Finch Size: 5 – 5.5 inches
  • House Finch Diet: House Finches are mostly herbivores who rely on seeds, berries, and other small foods to thrive. This demonstrates how much they enjoy seed-filled bird feeders.
  • Where To Spot A House Finch: From lush forests to dry deserts, House Finches may be found in a variety of settings. They enjoy living in the suburbs, especially if people can feed them there.

Small and brown, the House Finch is set apart from other birds by their rosy red heads and chests. Females are brown without the red coloring.

House Finches are frequently spotted at bird feeders around New England. They weren’t native to the Eastern United States until they were unintentionally released in New York in the 1910s, just like the European Starling, but they don’t have as much of a negative reputation as Starlings do.

Male House Finch perched on a branch.
Male House Finch

One state they aren’t as welcome is Hawaii, where invasive birds like the House Finch have become a major problem for local wildlife. 

8. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch, adult male and female feeding at a bird feeder.
Male and female American Goldfinches.
  • American Goldfinch Size: 4.3 – 5.1 inches 
  • American Goldfinch Diet: The American Goldfinch is a major fan of seeds, thus bird feeders are quite popular with them.
  • Where To Spot A American Goldfinch: The American Goldfinch can be found in tall grass fields if they aren’t relaxing in Maine homeowners’ yards.

The American Goldfinch is a bird species that is appreciated for its vivid beauty and is yellow like the spring blossoms. Although they are little, as is normal for finches, their vibrant colors make them rather obvious.

Only male American Goldfinches are yellow. They have a mostly yellow body, a black hat, and black borders on their wings.

Females are a less noticeable dull yellow-green color.

Bright yellow American Goldfinch (male) on branch.
Male American Goldfinch

If you hear someone referring to a wild canary, it’s actually the American Goldfinch!

9. Downy Woodpecker

A male Downy Woodpecker perched on a tree branch.
Male Downy Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker Size: 5.5 – 6.7 inches
  • Downy Woodpecker Diet: Although downy woodpeckers will consume insects off tree bark, in backyards, they like suet and sunflower seeds.
  • Where To Spot A Downy Woodpecker: Either in fields of long grass or in deciduous woodlands, but are often drawn to bird feeders.

The most common woodpecker in the United States is the Downy Woodpecker, and they can often be found flitting around the trunks of trees in Maine. 

The characteristic black, white, and color scheme that is prevalent in many woodpeckers is present in the Downy Woodpecker.

Males have short, sharp beaks, black and white striped wings, and a little, red cap on their heads. Females lack the red cap on their heads.

Comparison between Male (top) and Female (bottom) Downy Woodpeckers. Male has a red nape and is darker overall.
Male and Female Downy Woodpeckers.

These little woodpeckers have some impressive protection! They have shields on their nostrils to protect them from inhaling wood chips, and padding around their brain to keep it safe during pecking.

10. Hairy Woodpecker

Male Hairy Woodpecker on a branch in summer.
Male Hairy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker Size: 7 to 10 inches
  • Hairy Woodpecker Diet: Some of the most prevalent insects they eat include ants, nettles, larvae, and caterpillars. Hairy woodpeckers eat sap when given the chance.
  • Where To Spot A Hairy Woodpecker: Hairy woodpeckers need bigger trees and more space than other birds of a comparable size in Maine.

If other creatures leave behind a hole sap-filled tree, there’s a good chance you’ll see a Hairy Woodpecker enjoying some of the sticky sweet treat!

A female Hairy Woodpecker clinging to a suet feeder.
Female Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy woodpecker, a bigger version of the Downy woodpecker with a stronger beak, is rarer than its smaller relative.

Other than having a black and white body and a red-capped head, they resemble the Downy woodpecker nearly exactly.

11. European Starling

European Starling on a yellow moss covered branch.
European Starling
  • European Starling Size: 7.9 – 9.1 inches
  • European Starling Diet: Due to their propensity for completely emptying feeders before other birds have a chance to enjoy them, European Starlings, who will eat almost anything, are viewed as pests by many birdwatchers.
  • Where To Spot A European Starling: Almost everywhere in Maine. Large flocks of Starlings travel together and may be seen in both urban and rural areas.

The European Starling might be easy to see in Maine, but they may not be the most welcome backyard birds.

European Starling perching on a tree stump and singing.
European Starling

Starlings are black, yet when the sun shines on them, their feathers glisten in shades of blue and purple. Their plumage resembles the night sky because it is speckled with tiny white spots. Females are duller than males.

Although European Starlings are beautiful to observe, especially in the bright sun, did you know that they are an invasive species?

The millions of European Starlings in North America, which are not native to the United States but rather to Europe, are descended from a small population that was introduced there in the 1800s.

12. Purple Finch

Male Purple Finch on tree branch.
Male Purple Finch
  • Purple Finch Size: 4.7-6.3 inches
  • Purple Finch Diet: Feeds primarily on seeds during the winter, including grass and weed seeds as well as seeds from trees like ash and elm.
  • Where To Spot a Purple Finch: On open woodlands, Purple Finches forage in trees and on the ground.

More colorful than the House Finch, the Purple Finch was described by famous ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson, as “A sparrow dipped in raspberry juice”, and we think that description is pretty accurate!

These jam-colored finches are often mistaken for the House Finch, but there are some key differences.

Female and Male Purple Finch Mates Perched on Bare Branch with Red Cypress Trees Flanking the Pair.
Female and Male Purple Finches

The Purple Finch has a richer, more shimmering red or purple color that descends farther on the body than the House Finch. Only the males sport the purple color, while females are brown. 

13. Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse perching on a Redbud tree with a sunflower seed in its beak.
Tufted Titmouse
  • Tufted Titmouse Size: 5.5 – 6.3 inches
  • Tufted Titmouse Diet: Although the Tufted Titmouse mostly eats insects, they occasionally love bird food that has been mixed with fat or peanut butter.
  • Where To Spot A Tufted Titmouse: These little birds can be found in suburban and urban areas, but they prefer to live in the evergreen forests of Maine.

These adorable chubby birds are also some of the smallest in the United States.

Both the male and female Tufted Titmouse are solid gray, about the size of a Finch, with a lighter belly than back. On their heads, they have a crest made of gray feathers.

Tufted Titmouse on a stump offering a peanut to its mate.
Male and Female Tufted Titmouse

While the Tufted Titmouse is one of the smallest birds around, they are relatively long-lived as far as wild birds go, with some being recorded reaching the ripe old age of 13!

14. Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch on a bittersweet perch with a colorful background of red berries.
Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatch Size: 4-4.5 inches
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatch Diet: In the summer, it primarily eats insects and spiders. In the winter, it consumes a lot of seeds.
  • Where To Spot A Red-Breasted Nuthatch: They can be found in forests of oak, hickory, maple, birch, and other deciduous trees in northeastern North America.

In Maine, the Red-breasted Nuthatch will spend a lot of its time in high elevations, and even in the mountains, but they’ll venture into backyards for their favorite foods, like suet. 

Unique with a striking head pattern of black and white, blue-gray upper parts, and an orange belly. Females have a paler crown and a duller belly.

Red-breasted Nuthatch on a perch with a green pale army background.
Red-breasted Nuthatch

Even though the temperature in Maine is frigid at times, the Red-breasted Nuthatch stays year-round. 

15. Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird perched on branch.
Male Red-winged Blackbird
  • Red-Winged Blackbird Size: 6.7-9.1 inches
  • Red-Winged Blackbird Diet: Seeds as well as insects like millipedes and caterpillars.
  • Where To Spot A Red-Winged Blackbird: Tall grass or grain fields.

Seeing a Red-winged Blackbird in Maine might be exciting, but these territorial little birds can become aggressive fast, especially if their nests are nearby. 

Male Red-winged Blackbird in flight.
Male Red-winged Blackbird

Male Red-winged Blackbirds have shoulder patches that are orange and yellow while the rest of their plumage is a lustrous black.

Females have a completely different appearance, with brown bodies and feather patterns like those of sparrows.

Female Red-winged Blackbird perched on branch.
Female Red-winged Blackbird

In the woodland, Red-winged Blackbirds are not to be found. They reproduce and spend most of their time in tall grass or grain fields.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds are quite popular with the ladies, some of them having up to 15 nests with different females during the breeding season.

16. Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird on a mossy log with a green background.
Gray Catbird
  • Gray Catbird Size: 8.3-9.4 inches
  • Gray Catbird Diet: Seeds, berries, and insects. 
  • Where To Spot A Gray Catbird: Shrubbery where berries grow.

While they get their name from their mewling call, the Gray Catbird is quite the accomplished vocalist. They can produce 100 different sounds, and sing exceptionally long songs during the mating season. 

Gray Catbird calling with beak open on tree perch.
Gray Catbird

The tail feathers of Gray Catbirds sparkle with copper, and they are a solid, gunmetal gray color with a dark black cap on top of their heads.

Gray Catbirds are migratory birds, and summer is when they are most likely to be spotted in Maine.

17. Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow on a branch stump with a green background.
Chipping Sparrow
  • Chipping Sparrow Size: 5 – 5.8 inches
  • Chipping Sparrow Diet: Mostly seeds and insects. Although practically any bird feeder with seed will suffice, they really enjoy millet.
  • Where To Spot A Chipping Sparrow: Since these sparrows prefer to feed out of the grass, wide meadows are ideal. All year long, they may be seen all around Maine.

While they only weigh 13 grams on average, the Chipping Sparrow has to eat a massive amount of food during the winter. Over the course of a single cold season, they will eat over 2 pounds of seed!

The Chipping Sparrow has white and black patterns all over its reddish-brown body. They stand out from other sparrows thanks to their striped wings and copper-colored crown on top of the head.

Three images of Chipping Sparrows from eggs to adulthood framed by black outline.
Chipping Sparrow: eggs, chick, and adult.

As long as a birdfeeder is filled and protected from predators, Chipping Sparrows will visit it. For these little eating machines, all seed is fair game!

18. White-Throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow perched on a snow covered tree limb.
White-throated Sparrow
  • White-Throated Sparrow Size: 5.9 – 7.5 inches
  • White-Throated Sparrow Diet: They eat a lot of damselflies during the breeding season. They will consume both seeds and insects during the fall and winter.
  • Where To Spot A White-Throated Sparrow: In regrowth, along the borders of the forest.

The White-throated Sparrow is usually seen with its trademark yellow head stripe, but some variations of the species can have a copper band instead.

The White-throated Sparrow has a completely gray belly, white chin, and a head with black and white stripes.

White-throated Sparrow on wooden tree branch.
White-throated Sparrow

Their wings are striped in a pattern of deeper and lighter brown. Above their eyes, they have a yellow patch.

19. Common Grackle

Common Grackle on branch with greenery in the background.
Common Grackle
  • Common Grackle Size: 11 – 13 inches
  • Common Grackle Diet: Insects that include beetles, grasshoppers, and more. Grackles will also go to bird feeders and will happily eat the seeds and nuts there.
  • Where To Spot A Common Grackle: As its name suggests, the Common Grackle is common and may be found across Maine in both urban and rural areas.

Relatively large with a loud, grating call, the Common Grackle is one of the common backyard birds that can be either loved or hated, depending on what kind of birds you like at your feeder.

Grackles are dark all over, but starting at the neck and moving up over their heads they have a blue or purple iridescent sheen. Females are not as shiny as males.

Common Grackle on a fence post.
Common Grackle

The Grackle can, unfortunately, be a bully at times, but if you prefer birds with big personalities, the Grackle might end up being a personal favorite. 

20. Red-Eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo in the Rain.
Red-eyed Vireo
  • Red-Eyed Vireo Size: 4.7-5.1 inches
  • Red-Eyed Vireo Diet: Mostly consumes insect prey, including caterpillars, moths, beetles, wasps, bees, and ants.
  • Where To Spot A Red-Eyed Vireo: Vast tracts of deciduous woodland.

An often seen bird in the forests of the Eastern United States, the Red-eyed Vireo is especially well known in Maine. 

The Red-eyed Vireo is olive-green and white, with a white, gray, and black head design. Males and females look similar.

While the Vireo doesn’t indulge in long ballads, their short songs come often enough to be noticed. Some male Red-eyed Vireo will sing up to 20,000 songs a day!

21. Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing perched on a dead tree over a marsh.
Cedar Waxwing
  • Cedar Waxwing Size: 5.5 – 6.7 inches 
  • Cedar Waxwing Diet: Even though they favor fruits and berries, they will consume insects for their protein.
  • Where To Spot A Cedar Waxwing: The Waxwing can be found in berry bushes or evergreens close to bodies of water.

The Cedar Waxwings will ingest insects if they need a quick hit of protein, but other than that, they eat fruit almost exclusively. 

The black masks, yellow bellies, and red dots on the wings of these brown birds are distinctive features. They have a striking head crest as well.

Cedar Waxwing at top of bush.
Cedar Waxwing

These birds are often seen during the snowy Maine winters and don’t fear the cold weather at all. 

22. Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow perched on a post.
Male Barn Swallow
  • Barn Swallow Size: 5.7-7.8 inches
  • Barn Swallow Diet: Insects such as horseflies and house flies.
  • Where To Spot a Barn Swallow: On farms in Maine, under bridges, and in barns.

Although they might fly like aerial aces, the Barn Swallow is a caring parent as well as a beautiful sight to see. 

The bodies of male barn swallows are sapphire blue, while their throats are orange. The color pattern on the females is similar, although it is more faded out.

Female Barn Swallow feeding three fledglings.
Female Barn Swallow feeding fledglings.

Before people took over the Barn Swallow’s habitat, they likely built their nests in trees or on the underside of cliffs. Now, though, they nest almost exclusively in barns or on bridges, making the most of their proximity to people. 

23. Northern Flicker

Female Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker Woodpecker on tree branch.
Female Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker Size: 11 to 12 inches
  • Northern Flicker Diet: Ants and other ground-feeding insects. They will occasionally eat seeds and nuts to supplement their diet.
  • Where To Spot A Northern Flicker: The Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker is a woodpecker that lives in Maine all year long. 

The Northern Flicker may appear to be a dull-colored bird at first look, but as they expand their wings and tail feathers to fly, there is no doubting how dazzling they can really be.

In Eastern states such as Maine, you can see Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers, but in the Western states, you can see Red-shafted Northern Flickers.

If you see Northern Flickers in your backyard, they’re more likely to be foraging off the ground instead of in the trees.

The bodies of Northern Flickers are brown and gray with a black collar, and they are covered in black spots all over. Northern Flickers in the East, like those in Maine, have yellow under feathers. Males have a black mustache.

In the West, Red-shafted Northern Flickers have red under feathers. Red-shafted males have a red mustache.

24. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird in winter on a log with a blue sky background.
Northern Mockingbird
  • Northern Mockingbird Size: 8.2-10 inches
  • Northern Mockingbird Diet: Insects such as grasshoppers and beetles.
  • Where To Spot A Northern Mockingbird: Northern Mockingbirds frequently visit urban and suburban areas. When they aren’t around people, they like wide-open places over densely populated forests.

As its name suggests, the Northern Mockingbird will mimic other birds and sounds it hears and combine them into its songs. Its population is increasing again after being a common pet bird in the early 1900s.

Female Northern Mockingbird adult at nest feeding young.
Female Northern Mockingbird and chicks.

The wings of Northern Mockingbirds have black and white borders. Both the males and females are a solid gray with a paler belly.

The Northern Mockingbird is well renowned for its intriguing vocalizations as well as how fiercely they protect their nests and young.

25. Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco on a spruce branch with a blue sky background.
Dark-eyed Junco
  • Dark-eyed Junco Size: 4.9-6.5 inches
  • Dark-eyed Junco Diet: Insects, seeds, and caterpillars.
  • Where To Spot A Dark-eyed Junco: Forest outskirts.

In Maine, large flocks of the Dark-eyed Junco are most frequently spotted throughout the winter. Unlike other birds, dark-eyed juncos build their nests on the ground rather than in trees.

Dark-eyed Junco feeding on the grassy ground.
Dark-eyed Junco

The tiny Junco has a lighter gray lower body and a darker gray upper body. In other cases, rust will be used in place of the lighter gray. Both male and female Dark-eyed Junco look similar. 

Related Post: Backyard Birds Of Louisiana

Final Thoughts: 25 Backyard Birds Of Maine

Whether your favorite backyard bird is the beautiful Northern Cardinal or the Barn Swallow, there’s sure to be a bird on this list that will make your yard feel like home.

If you want to attract backyard birds to your yard in Maine, be sure to put out some bird feeders and fill them with a variety of foods. You might be surprised at which birds show up! Keep your eyes peeled and you’re sure to spot some of these beautiful backyard birds.

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