In “Identifying Common Backyard Birds in the United States,” readers will find a helpful guide to recognizing red, orange, and yellow birds specifically in New Hampshire. While color may be eye-catching, the article highlights that size and shape are often more crucial in identifying different bird species. From the vibrant American Robin to the striking Northern Cardinal, the article provides descriptions and photos of various bird species commonly seen in backyard habitats. Readers will also learn about their behaviors, residency status in New Hampshire, and interesting facts about their diet that give them their brilliant coloration. Whether it’s the orange-colored Red-breasted Nuthatch or the yellow-hued American Goldfinch, this article is sure to capture the imagination of bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Identifying Common Backyard Birds in the United States
When it comes to identifying common backyard birds in the United States, size and shape are often more helpful than color. While color can play a role in identification, it can vary greatly among species and even within the same species. Therefore, paying attention to the size and shape of a bird can be a more reliable method for identification.
Importance of Size and Shape in Identification
Size and shape can provide valuable clues when trying to identify a bird. The overall size of a bird can help narrow down the possibilities, as certain species have distinct size ranges. Additionally, the shape of a bird, including its body proportions, beak shape, and wing shape, can offer further insights into its identity. For example, a bird with a long, thin beak is likely to be a hummingbird, while a bird with a stout beak is more likely to be a finch or sparrow.
Red, Orange, and Yellow Birds of New Hampshire
New Hampshire is home to a variety of bird species with vibrant red, orange, and yellow plumage. These colors can be quite striking and make these birds easily recognizable in the backyard.
Birds’ Coloration and Carotenoids in Diet
The vibrant red, orange, and yellow coloration in birds is often due to the presence of carotenoids in their diet. Carotenoids are pigments found in certain foods, such as fruits, insects, and seeds. Birds that consume a lot of carotenoid-rich foods tend to have more vivid plumage in these colors. The presence of carotenoids in a bird’s diet can also serve as an indicator of its overall health and fitness.
Bird Species with Red Plumage
Several bird species with red plumage can be found in New Hampshire. Each species has its own unique characteristics and behaviors that make them fascinating to observe.
Red Plumaged Birds: American Robin
The American Robin is a familiar sight in many backyards across the United States, including New Hampshire. These medium-sized birds have a vibrant reddish-orange breast and a grayish-brown back. Their distinctive white eye ring and cheerful song make them easy to identify. American Robins are known for their preference for open habitats, such as lawns and gardens, where they hop along the ground in search of worms and insects.
Red Plumaged Birds: Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal is another iconic bird with red plumage. The males are a brilliant red all over, while the females have a more subdued coloration with a reddish tint. These birds are known for their loud and melodious songs, which can be heard throughout the day. Cardinals are often found in wooded areas and are frequent visitors to backyard feeders. Their distinctive crest and strong beak make them stand out among other bird species.
Red Plumaged Birds: House Finch
The House Finch is a small bird with a reddish face, chest, and rump. The males have a brighter red coloration, while the females are more dull brown. These social birds are often observed in small flocks and can be found in a variety of habitats, including urban areas, where they nest in trees and shrubs. Their melodious songs and acrobatic flight patterns add to their charm.
Red Plumaged Birds: Purple Finch
The Purple Finch is a lovely bird with a reddish-purple coloration on its head, breast, and back. The females have a more brownish plumage with streaks. These birds are known for their unique songs and can be found primarily in coniferous forests. They are often seen feeding on seeds and fruits, making them frequent visitors to backyard feeders.
Red Plumaged Birds: Ruby-throated Hummingbird
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is one of the smallest birds in North America and has a vibrant red throat patch, or gorget, which is only visible in certain lighting conditions. The males have a greenish back and the females are more dull in coloration. These tiny birds are famous for their ability to hover and their long migrations, which take them from wintering grounds in Central America to breeding grounds in the United States. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are attracted to nectar-rich flowers and feeders.
Red Plumaged Birds: Rose-breasted Grosbeak
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a striking bird with a black and white body and a vibrant red breast. The females have more subdued colors with light streaks on their chests. These birds are often found in wooded habitats and are known for their melodious songs. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have a unique beak shape, which allows them to crack open seeds and fruits with ease.
Other Orange-Colored Birds
In addition to red-plumaged birds, New Hampshire is also home to several species with beautiful orange-colored plumage.
Orange-Colored Birds: Red-breasted Nuthatch
The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a small bird with a blue-gray back and a rusty-orange breast. These agile birds are known for their acrobatic behavior, often seen climbing up and down tree trunks headfirst. They have a unique call that resembles a nasal “yank yank” sound. Red-breasted Nuthatches can be found in coniferous forests and are frequent visitors to bird feeders.
Orange-Colored Birds: American Redstart
The American Redstart is a warbler species with black and orange plumage. The males have a black body with vibrant orange patches on their wings, tail, and sides. The females are more grayish with yellow patches. These birds are known for their energetic foraging behavior, constantly flicking their wings and flashing their tail feathers. American Redstarts can be found in a variety of wooded habitats and are often seen near streams and wet areas.
Orange-Colored Birds: Barn Swallow
The Barn Swallow is a graceful bird with a rusty-orange colored face, throat, and underparts. Their long, slender wings and deeply forked tail make them adept at capturing insects on the wing. Barn Swallows are known for their mud nests, which they build in a variety of structures, including barns, bridges, and other man-made structures. These birds can be found in open habitats, such as fields and wetlands.
Orange-Colored Birds: Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore Oriole is a stunning bird with bright orange plumage and black wings. The males have a black head and back, while the females are more dull in coloration. These birds are known for their intricate woven nests and their delightful songs. Baltimore Orioles can be found in open woodlands and are attracted to fruit trees and nectar-rich flowers.
Orange-Colored Birds: Wood Thrush
The Wood Thrush is a medium-sized bird with a reddish-brown back and a bright orange breast. These birds are known for their ethereal and flute-like songs, which are often heard in the early morning and evening. Wood Thrushes prefer wooded habitats, especially areas with dense undergrowth, where they forage for insects on the forest floor.
Orange-Colored Birds: Eastern Towhee
The Eastern Towhee is a bird with a black head and upper body and a rusty-orange underbody. These birds have a distinctive call, which sounds like “drink your tea”. Eastern Towhees are often found in shrubby habitats and can be seen scratching in leaf litter in search of insects and seeds.
Yellow-colored birds can add a splash of brightness to any backyard. Here are a few species commonly found in New Hampshire.
Yellow-Colored Birds: American Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch is a small bird with bright yellow plumage. The males have a black cap on their heads during the breeding season, while the females are more dull in coloration. These birds are often found in open habitats, such as fields and meadows, where they feed on seeds from a variety of plants. American Goldfinches are famous for their cheerful and melodic songs.
Yellow-Colored Birds: Common Yellowthroat
The Common Yellowthroat is a warbler species with a yellow face and breast, as well as a distinctive black mask. The males have a more vibrant yellow coloration, while the females are paler. These birds are known for their “witchety-witchety-witchety” call and can be found in marshy habitats and dense thickets, where they hunt for insects.
Yellow-Colored Birds: Yellow-rumped Warbler
The Yellow-rumped Warbler is a small bird with a yellow throat, breast, and sides. They also have a distinctive yellow patch on their rump. The males have more vibrant colors than the females. These birds are incredibly versatile and can be found in a variety of habitats, including coniferous forests, shrubby areas, and even urban parks. Yellow-rumped Warblers are known for their ability to feed on a wide range of foods, including insects, berries, and seeds.
Yellow-Colored Birds: Cedar Waxwing
The Cedar Waxwing is a sleek bird with a yellow belly and a gray-brown back. They have a distinctive crest and a black mask across their face. These birds are often found in flocks and are known for their high-pitched and buzzing calls. Cedar Waxwings can be found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands and open areas with fruit-bearing trees.
By familiarizing yourself with the common backyard birds in the United States and paying attention to their size, shape, and coloration, you can become a skilled birder and enjoy the beauty and diversity of these feathered creatures. So next time you step into your backyard, keep an eye out for the vibrant red, orange, and yellow plumaged birds that may grace your surroundings.