When the weather warms in New Jersey, the birds start chirping early in the morning (sometimes even a bit too early!). Put a face to the voices you hear in your yard, around the neighborhood or in local parks. Here are some of the most common birds found in New Jersey:

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Birds of NJ

If you hear drumming (loud repetitive tapping), check the trees for this bird’s zebra-back pattern and distinctive red stripe. The red-bellied woodpecker can be found 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

The sound of an echoing “peter-“peter” song likely indicates a tufted titmouse is nearby. These cute birds love eating seeds, so make sure to keep your feeder well stocked and have your camera ready.

American Goldfinch

Birds of NJ

Don’t be surprised if you see and hear this bright yellow guest in your yard, it’s the state bird of New Jersey. Their sunny color makes American goldfinch easy to spot, and you can attract them by planting native purple coneflower or setting out some sunflower seeds.

Black-Capped Chickadee

Birds of NJ

You can identify a Chickadee from other small birds by looking for its black cap and bib, white cheeks and grey wings. They are easy to attract with suet, sunflower seeds and peanuts.

Northern Cardinal

Birds of NJ

The brilliant red cardinals you see are all males; females of the species are pale brown. Both are beautiful and sing a cheery song.  They love sunflower seeds and have been known to steal a peanut or two when offered!

Downy Woodpecker

Birds of NJ

This other common-to-NJ variety of woodpecker can make some noise as it rids trees of damaging larva.  You will see them quite often at your bird feeders, especially if suet is on the menu.

Interested in New Jersey birds beyond the backyard? Check out this local guide from The Nature Conservancy.

Blue Jay

Birds of NJ

Big, bright and blue, these New Jersey regulars stand out in a crowd. If their appearance doesn’t give them away, blue jays are identifiable by their extremely noisy call. Peanuts, sunflower seeds and suet are their favorite snacks.

American Robin

Birds of NJ

Robins come out in force in spring, but stick around all year. They are the most common bird you will encounter in New Jersey, with an orange breast and a whistle-like song of about ten notes.

Cedar Waxwing


Pretty as a picture! Make sure to have your camera handy to snap a quick shot of these brown, gray, and lemon-yellow birds that sing in trills and whistles. Entice them to your yard by offering fruit, or look for them near water sources where they like to snack on flying insects.

Gray Catbird


It’s a bird! It’s a cat! It’s the gray catbird! This feathered friend’s regular song sounds positively feline, but it can also string together many different patterns for a serenade that can last up to ten minutes. Fruit trees like dogwoods will bring them to visit.

Northern Mockingbird


Not many avians have the repertoire of the Northern mockingbird. These slender gray flyers can learn up to 200 songs in their lifetimes, including mimicking car alarms! They are prolific singers that prefer fruit trees and shrubs like crabapple, blackberry and hawthorne over seed feeders.

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