You’ve probably never paid much attention to the birds in your backyard since we’re all usually running in 2,000 different directions. But while you are home due to the COVID-19 quarantine, or spending more time out on nature walks in the park with the family, you might wonder what that cool bird you’ve spotted is. Here are the most commonly found birds in NJ.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Birds of NJ
©istock.com/lightstalker

If you hear a loud repetitive knocking noise (aka a drumming), check the trees in your backyard and look for this bird’s distinctive red stripe. With its zebra back pattern the Red-bellied Woodpecker can be found all year round in residential forests. You can tell the male and female apart by the  longer red stripe on the male’s head.

Tufted Titmouse

Birds of NJ
©istock.com/stevebyland

If you hear a bird with an echo-y voice like this, it is probably a Tufted Titmouse. These super cute birds love to show up on birdfeeders, so make sure to keep it well stocked and have your camera ready.

American Goldfinch

Birds of NJ
©istock.com/suefeldberg

This is the NJ State bird, so don’t be surprised if this bright yellow guest which sounds like this is a frequent visitor in your yard.. Their distinctive sunny color makes them  easy to spot, and if you want to attract them, sunflower seeds are the way to go.

Chickadee

Birds of NJ
©istock.com/brendalawlor

You can tell the difference between the Chickadee and other small birds by looking for its distinctive black cap and bib, white cheeks and grey wings. They sound like this and are easy to attract, but they especially love suet, sunflower seeds and peanuts.

Northern Cardinal

Birds of NJ
©istock.com/stevebyland

Those brilliant red Cardinals you see? All males. Female Cardinals are a pale brown overall. Still, these beautiful birds which sound like this are definitely eye-catching, and will be more likely to hang out if you put out sunflower seeds.

Downy Woodpecker

Birds of NJ
©www.istock.com/suefeldberg

This other common-to-NJ variety of woodpecker lacks the distinctive red cap of the red-bellied variety, but they can still make some noise. And you’ll see them quite often at your bird feeders, especially if you’ve got suet.

Blue Jay

Birds of NJ
©www.istock.com/mr_jamsey

These birds are a little larger than some of the others you may see, and their bright blue color makes them stand out in a crowd. And if that still wasn’t enough of a giveaway, you can definitely tell who they are by their extremely noisy call. Some favorite Blue Jay treats are peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet.

Robin

Birds of NJ
©www.istock.com

You’ve probably got a ton of these in your yard. Their orange breast makes them easy to spot, they sound like this and they’ll stick around all year.

Cedar Waxwing

©www.istock.com/eurobanks

These are so pretty, make sure to have your camera out to snap a quick picture of these brown, gray, and lemon-yellow birds (listen to them here). If you want them to pay you a visit, put out fruit! They love it. In the summer months you’re likely to spot them swimming over rivers in pursuit of flying insects.

Egret

©www.istock.com/canon_bob

If you are in a marshy, wetland area, you may spot the Egret. They are white and elegant, and hard to miss with their tall long, curved necks. You won’t see them at your own birdfeeder, but they are great to keep an eye out for if you are headed towards the beach, or hiking by a pond.

Gray Catbird

©www.istock.com/stevebyland

The all gray Catbird has a call that you won’t ever forget, because it sounds a lot like a cat! You are most likely to see these if you’ve got a bunch of fruit trees in your back yard. If you don’t, keep your eyes open when you head to pick-your-own places.