The American Goldfinch is fairly common across most of North America, except in the far north. It is a very gregarious bird, and often forages in mixed flocks with other species. It breeds within the central and northern areas of its range, building a small, tightly-woven cup of grass and plant fibers lined with plant down, usually high above the ground in a bush or tree. It lays 3-6 plain blue-white eggs., which are incubated by the female alone for around two weeks; the young leave the nest to start fending for themselves around 12-17 days after they have hatched. The adult is a small, stocky bird with a short, forked tail, short, rounded wings and a relatively large bill. The breeding male is bright yellow with a black cap, a white rump and undertail coverts, a yellow shoulder, white bars on black wings, and white edges to black upper tail feathers. The female and winter birds are a dull olive above and yellow below, with white undertail coverts and no black cap. The juvenile bird is brownish overall,
A small and constantly active bird, the Black-capped Chickadee is found right across central North America in open woodland-but also often visits suburban bird feeders, where it is particular fond of sunflower seeds and suet. It nests in a tree hole, often in a rotten stump, making a loose cup of plant material and feathers to hold 4-8 white eggs lightly spotted with rust-brown. These are incubated for 10-12 days and the young are ready to leave the nest just over two weeks after hatching. The adult is a bold, long tailed bird, with a large head and rather fluffy plumage. It is gray above, creamy beneath with buff flanks. and has a black throat patch and cap, and a white face. The secondary wing feathers are boldly edged in white, but this may only be apparent in fresh plumage. After the breeding season is over, the Black-capped Chickadee forms small flocks to roost and forage together. It eats insects, seeds and berries.
The Lesser Yellowlegs is common across most of its range, but is seen rather less in the far west. It is found in the same sort of places as the Greater Yellowlegs, but its summer range does not extend as far to the east and its winter range is smaller. It breeds in northern swamps, the taiga and damp boreal forests, laying up to 4 buffy eggs splotched with brown in a shallow depression on bare ground lined with plant material â€“ quite often far from water. The eggs are incubated by the female only for around 3 weeks; the young are ready to leave the nest soon after hatching and are fully independent in around 21 days. The adult is quite a tall, slender bird, with a long neck, a straight bill and long, bright yellow legs. Its plumage is gray-brown overall, with black and white mottling above, white below and white rump and a barred tail. In breeding plumage, its throat and breast are heavily streaked, its back is darker and more heavily marked and its flanks have short, find black bars. The Lesser Yellowl
The Baltimore and Bullockâ€™s orioles are very similar and sometimes interbreed, so they are often considered to be one species, the Northern Oriole. The Baltimore is found mainly to the northeast and prefers deciduous woods. It nests high above the ground, weaving a handing basket of plant fibers suspended from the tip of a branch, in which it lays 3-6 whitish eggs, with brown scrawls. The adult is medium-size, with a long, straight bill and a short, squat tail, the male (pictured) has a black hood and back, a bright orange rump and underparts, an orange shoulder patch, white wing bar, and large orange patches on each side of the tail. The female is black on the head and throat, dusky wings and two white wing bars. The juvenile is like the female but has a yellow breast and whitish belly. The Baltimore Oriole eats insects and fruit.
Common and widespread, the American Robin is one of the best known American birds and is often seen in American gardens. In summer it spreads right up into Canada and the far north, but it is found all year round across most of America. It nest in shrubs, trees or on buildings, building a sturdy cup of roots, twigs and mud, lined with soft material, to hold its three or four blue eggs. These are incubated by the female bird, with the young leaving the nest around 2-3 weeks after hatching. The adult is a large, sturdy bird with long legs and tail. It is gray-brown above, with a white throat, red-orange breast, yellow bill and blackish head and tail. The female is duller and females lack the red breast and are spotted beneath. The American Robin often forages on lawns with its head held cocked, looking for earthworms; it also eats insects and berries.
Like woodpeckers, sapsuckers drill holes in trees but, as well as insects, they are after the oozing sap, which they return to drink. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is common in the forests of north in summer and migrates south to spend the winter in the southeast. In its breeding grounds, it excavates a cavity up to 45 feet above the ground in a dead tree, in which it lays 4-6 white eggs. These are incubated for just under 2 weeks, by both parent birds and the young leave the nest about 4 weeks after hatching. The adult is a delicate woodpecker with long wings. It has a black and white striped head, a red forehead, black back spotted with white, a white rump, a long white wing patch, and yellowish underparts with a black breast band. The male has a red chin and throat, that of the female is white. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker eats insects and berries, and drinks the sap from trees.
The Northern Cardinal is common both in the east and the southwest in a wide variety of habitats, even city parks and backyards as long as there is sufficient cover. The Cardinal not only returns to the same breeding area, pairs mate for life. It nests up to twelve feet above the ground, building a loosely woven cup of twigs and plant fibers in a shrub or thicket, in which it lays three or four pale green eggs with brown-lilac spots. These are incubated by the female for just under two weeks, while the male provides food and helps feed the nestlings after they have hatched. The adult is a crested bird with a long tail and large triangular bill. The male is bright red, with a black face and throat and a red bill. The female is olive-buff with a reddish crest, wings and tail and the juvenile is reddish-buff with a black bill. The Northern Cardinal feeds mainly on the ground, out in the open. It eats fruits, seeds and insects and regularly comes to bird feeders in winter, particularly for sunflower seeds
Familiar and common across America, the House Wren is found in a variety of habitats and often visits suburban gardens. Its loud, fast, bubbling song is very musical and is heard throughout the summer. It builds a simple nest of twigs and sticks, lined with feathers, in a natural or man-made hole, or in a nesting box. It competes with other birds for a suitable nest site, sometimes throwing out the nest, eggs or chicks of its rival. It lays 5-7 white eggs, finely speckled with brown, which are incubated by the female alone for around 2 weeks; the young birds leave the nest about 2-3 weeks after hatching. The adult is a small, slender bird with a long, slightly curved bill and a short tail, which it may hold upright. It is gray-brown above, with cross barring on the back and tail, a faint eyebrow, and buffy gray-brown underparts- although some birds in the west are more rufous overall. The house wren eats insects and spiders.