types of birds in michigan

Michigan, with its diverse landscapes encompassing the Great Lakes, forests, wetlands, and urban areas, offers a welcoming habitat for a wide variety of bird species.

From the cheerful American Robin to the vibrant Northern Cardinal, let’s embark on a journey to discover the rich birdlife that graces the state. Dig into Different types of Birds in Michigan.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

The American Robin, often hailed as a harbinger of spring, is a familiar sight across Michigan. Recognizable by its rusty-orange breast and melodious songs, these songbirds are a symbol of the changing seasons.

It is a bird that many of us recognize by its bright orange belly and cheerful song. These birds are a common sight in our yards, where they hunt for worms and other insects.

Robins are known for their early morning singing and are among the first birds to start chirping at dawn, which makes them a symbol of spring’s arrival. They build their nests in trees or bushes and are known for their blue eggs, a detail that adds to their charm.

american robin found michigan birds


Michigan’s forests and gardens are alive with the melodious tunes of songbirds. Species like the Eastern Bluebird, Tufted Titmouse, and White-Breasted Nuthatch fill the air with their cheerful melodies.

Songbirds, a diverse group that includes many species, bring music to our ears with their varied and complex vocalizations. These birds have a special organ called the syrinx, which allows them to produce their beautiful songs.

We enjoy their melodies in our gardens and parks, where they also play an important role in ecosystems by pollinating plants and spreading seeds.



Woodpeckers play a crucial role in Michigan’s ecosystems. The Downy Woodpecker, with its distinctive black-and-white plumage, and the vibrant Red-Bellied Woodpecker are among the woodpecker species found in the state.

They are fascinating birds that we often hear before we see, thanks to their distinctive pecking sound as they search for insects in tree bark. They have strong beaks and special shock-absorbing structures in their heads that protect them from the impacts of pecking.

Their ability to climb tree trunks and hang onto them sideways is mesmerizing, and their presence is crucial for maintaining the health of our forests by controlling insect populations.



Cardinalidae, the cardinal family, includes the Northern Cardinal. These striking red birds with crested heads and distinctive calls are a common and beloved sight in Michigan’s backyards and woodlands.

Male cardinals are especially striking with their brilliant red feathers and black masks, while females have a more subdued but equally beautiful brownish-red coloration.

These birds are monogamous and often seen in pairs, adding a touch of romance to our observations. Their strong, clear songs are a delight, especially in the early morning and late evening.



Icterids are a group of birds that includes species such as blackbirds, grackles, and orioles. These birds are known for their glossy, often iridescent feathers and complex social structures. Many icterids are migratory, traveling long distances between their breeding and wintering grounds.

Their adaptability to different environments, including urban areas, makes them a common sight, where their songs and calls add to the soundtrack of our outdoor experiences.

Icterids in Michigan include the Red-Winged Blackbird, known for its glossy black plumage and red shoulder patches. These birds often congregate in wetlands and marshes, filling the air with their calls.


House Sparrow

The House Sparrow is a familiar urban bird in Michigan. These small brown birds with black markings often nest in buildings and adapt well to city life.

It is a small bird that many of us see almost every day, often without giving it much thought. These birds have adapted well to urban environments and are known for their plump, brownish bodies and the males’ distinctive black bibs.

They are social creatures, often found chirping and bustling about in groups. They’re not picky eaters, which helps them thrive alongside humans, feeding on everything from seeds to crumbs we leave behind.

house sparrow

American Goldfinch

Bright yellow American Goldfinches, also known as “wild canaries,” are frequent visitors to Michigan gardens. Their vibrant plumage and cheerful calls make them a favorite among bird enthusiasts.

The American Goldfinch stands out with its bright yellow plumage, especially the males during the breeding season, making them a delightful splash of color against the green of summer. These birds are often seen flitting around in flocks, feeding on thistle and sunflower seeds.

Their flight is unique and undulating, and their sweet, twittering songs and calls are music to our ears. Goldfinches are beloved for their vibrant appearance and cheerful disposition.

american goldfinch birds in michigan

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker, with its small size and distinctive markings, is a common woodpecker in Michigan. It often visits backyard feeders, adding charm to birdwatching.

It is the smallest woodpecker in North America and is quite endearing with its black and white plumage and tiny size. It’s a joy to watch them hop along tree trunks and branches, pecking at the bark for insects. Their presence is beneficial to trees by keeping insect populations in check.

They are also known for their soft drumming sounds and the gentle pik notes they use to communicate, adding a subtle but important layer to the soundscape of our forests and parks.

Downy Woodpecker

House Finch

House Finches, with their streaked plumage and cheerful songs, are another common sight in Michigan neighborhoods. They often nest on buildings and thrive in urban environments.

It is a common but colorful bird, with males sporting a lovely red head and breast, while females are more subtly colored with brown and streaked feathers. These birds have a cheerful and melodic song, which they often sing from high perches.

They are very adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, from urban areas to the countryside. They primarily feed on seeds and grains, and their fondness for bird feeders makes them frequent visitor to many backyards, where they add a touch of beauty and song.

house finch

Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-Capped Chickadees are small, energetic birds known for their “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” calls. They are friendly visitors to bird feeders and are easily recognizable with their black caps.

It is a tiny bird with a big personality, known for its black cap and bib against its white cheeks and fluffy, gray body. These friendly birds are curious about humans and can sometimes be coaxed to eat from our hands.

The are resilient, staying through the winter and relying on their excellent memory to find food they’ve hidden away.

Black-Capped Chickadee

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, with its iridescent green plumage and rapid wingbeats, is a delightful summer visitor to Michigan. They are attracted to nectar-rich flowers and feeders.

It is a marvel of nature, captivates us with its iridescent green feathers and the males’ brilliant ruby-red throats. These tiny birds are incredible flyers, able to hover in mid-air by flapping their wings up to 80 times per second.

They migrate long distances between North America and Central America, relying on nectar from flowers to fuel their journey. Watching a hummingbird dart from flower to flower is a delightful sight, showcasing the vibrancy of nature.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Blue Jay

Blue Jays, with their striking blue plumage and distinctive calls, are charismatic residents of Michigan’s woodlands and urban areas. Their intelligence and boldness make them stand out.

Known for their complex social structures, Blue Jays can mimic the calls of other birds, especially hawks, which is thought to be a tactic to scare away other birds. They eat a variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, and occasionally small invertebrates.

Their loud, jay! jay! calls often alert other birds to danger, making them an important part of their ecosystem.

blue jay in michigan

Common Grackle

Common Grackles, with their iridescent black plumage and yellow eyes, often forage for food in Michigan fields and urban spaces. Their raucous calls are a familiar sound.

hese birds are known for their long tails and keen intelligence. Grackles can form large flocks, especially near roost sites, creating impressive displays in the sky.

They are adaptable eaters, feeding on insects, seeds, and even small animals, which helps them thrive in diverse environments, from wetlands to urban areas.

common grackle

White-Breasted Nuthatch

White-Breasted Nuthatches, with their black caps and distinctive “yank-yank” calls, are skilled climbers often seen on tree trunks in Michigan’s woodlands.

It is a small, agile bird, easily recognized by its white underparts, blue-gray back, and black cap. Known for their unique behavior of walking headfirst down tree trunks, they search for insects hidden in the bark.

They have a distinctive nasal call and are often seen visiting bird feeders for seeds, which they sometimes store under tree bark for later. Their ability to hang upside down and move in all directions on a tree makes them fascinating to watch and a joy to have around.

red breasted nuthatch

Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird, with its brilliant blue plumage and rusty-orange breast, is a delightful symbol of happiness in Michigan. These cavity-nesting birds often inhabit open woodlands, parks, and gardens, enchanting observers with their cheerful songs and striking appearance.

It is a symbol of beauty and joy for many, with its vibrant blue back and rust-orange chest. These small thrushes bring color to our gardens and fields, where they hunt for insects and berries. They’re known for their gentle, melodious song, which adds a sweet note to the morning air.

They are cavity nesters, often taking up residence in birdhouses provided by enthusiasts, which has helped their populations rebound in recent years.

eastern bluebird in michigan

Red-Winged Blackbird

In Michigan’s wetlands and marshes, the Red-Winged Blackbird is a common sight. Males display glossy black feathers and distinctive red shoulder patches. Their energetic “konk-a-ree” calls resonate through the reeds, announcing the arrival of spring.

The Red-Winged Blackbird is easily recognizable by the striking red and yellow shoulder patches on the males, set against their glossy black feathers. These birds are often found in wetlands and marshes, where their loud, trilling songs echo across the water.

They are protective of their territory, sometimes even challenging humans who venture too close to their nests. They feed on seeds and insects, playing a crucial role in the ecosystem by controlling pest populations.

red winged black birds pictures

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Michigan’s woodlands are home to the Red-Bellied Woodpecker, known for its zebra-like back pattern and faint red wash on its belly. These skilled drummers can often be spotted scaling tree trunks in search of insects.

It is more noticeable for the red stripe down the nape of the males, while its belly is only faintly tinged with red. These medium-sized woodpeckers are common at bird feeders, where they enjoy nuts and suet.

Their presence is beneficial as they hunt tree-dwelling insects, helping to keep those populations in check. Their rolling call and distinctive drumming on tree trunks are familiar sounds in woodlands and suburbs.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Common Starling

Common Starlings, though introduced, have become a familiar sight in Michigan. These medium-sized birds showcase glossy black plumage with speckled markings. They are renowned mimics, mimicking various sounds, including human-made noises.

It is an introduced species in North America, recognizable by its iridescent black plumage speckled with white spots during winter. These birds are adaptable and often gather in huge flocks, creating mesmerizing patterns in the sky, known as murmurations.

Starlings are omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of foods, which allows them to thrive in diverse habitats. However, their aggressive nature can sometimes displace native birds from nesting sites.

common starling

Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole is a vibrant visitor to Michigan during the summer months. Their bright orange plumage and melodious songs add a burst of color and music to the state’s woodlands and gardens.

These birds are a welcome sight in  backyards, where they weave remarkable hanging nests from branches. Orioles have a sweet tooth, often visiting feeders offering fruit and nectar.

Their flutelike song is a beautiful addition to their habitats, heralding the arrival of spring. Watching a Baltimore Oriole skillfully pick at fruit or sip nectar is a delightful experience for any nature lover.

baltimore oriole in michigan


Thrushes, such as the Hermit Thrush and Wood Thrush, enchant Michigan’s forests with their ethereal songs. They are known for their spotted breasts and melodious, flute-like calls.

Thrushes represent a group of small to medium-sized birds known for their beautiful songs and muted, spotted plumage. These birds, including the familiar American Robin, which is a type of thrush, inhabit forests, gardens, and fields, where they feed on insects and fruit.

The songs of thrushes are often considered among the most melodious in the avian world, with each species having its own set of flutelike calls and tunes. Thrushes play an important role in ecosystems as seed dispersers and as indicators of environmental health.

Thrush birds in michigan

White-Throated Sparrow

White-Throated Sparrows, with their crisp white throats and distinct “Oh-sweet-canada-canada” song, are migratory visitors to Michigan. They are often seen foraging on the ground in woodlands.

It is a charming bird, easily identified by its white throat, yellow spots between the eyes and bill, and the distinctive black-and-white stripes on its head.

In winter, they migrate to the southern United States, gracing bird feeders and backyards with their presence. White-Throated Sparrows feed on seeds and insects, and their foraging habits, often in small flocks, make them a delightful observation for birdwatchers.

White-Throated Sparrow


The Osprey, with its striking white head and dark eye mask, is a raptor frequently seen near Michigan’s lakes and rivers. These skilled fishers hover over water, plunging to catch fish with their talons.

The Osprey is a majestic bird of prey, specialized in fishing, making it a unique sight above water bodies. With its white underparts, dark brown back, and distinctive M-shaped flying silhouette, the Osprey dives feet-first to catch fish with its sharp talons. Check other : Florida Birds of Prey.

These birds are found near rivers, lakes, and coastlines around the world. Their nests, large piles of sticks, are often built on tall structures, including man-made platforms, providing us with easy viewing opportunities.

The Osprey’s comeback from the brink of extinction is a conservation success story, admired by bird enthusiasts and environmentalists alike.

osprey in michigan

Song Sparrow

The Song Sparrow, with its streaky brown plumage, blends easily into its environment, but it’s their melodious song that truly captures our hearts. These sparrows adapt to a wide range of habitats, from our backyards to marshes and forests, showing us the versatility of nature.

Their diet includes insects and seeds, and their varied songs, unique to different regions, are a delight to our ears, making every encounter with them a unique experience.

Song Sparrows, with their streaked plumage and cheerful songs, are among Michigan’s most abundant sparrows. They frequent gardens and wetlands, filling the air with their melodious tunes.

song sparrow

Tufted Titmouse

The Tufted Titmouse, with its playful personality, is a small bird with a gray back, white belly, and a distinctive tuft on its head. We love watching them as they energetically hop around trees and feeders, showing off their agility. These birds are curious and bold, often coming close to us if we offer food.

Their song is a cheerful whistle, adding a joyful soundtrack to our morning walks. The Tufted Titmouse forms strong bonds with its mate, and they often stay together throughout the year, reminding us of the importance of companionship.

They are small, lively birds with distinctive crests and gray plumage. They are a common sight at Michigan’s bird feeders, often seen flitting about in search of seeds and insects.

Tufted Titmouse

Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove catches our eye with its slender build and soft, gray feathers, accompanied by a mournful coo that gives it its name. These doves are widespread across North America, recognized for their swift and straight flight.

They primarily feed on seeds and are frequently spotted on the ground in open spaces or visiting our bird feeders. They are prolific, capable of raising several broods in a year, which endears them to us even more.

Mourning Doves, with their soft gray plumage and mournful cooing calls, are peaceful residents of Michigan’s woodlands and urban areas. They are a symbol of serenity and tranquility.

mourning dove found in michigan

American Crow

The American Crow is a bird that impresses with its intelligence and adaptability. We often admire its glossy black feathers and the distinct cawing sounds it makes.

They are very sociable, usually gathering in large groups, and they have a varied diet that allows them to thrive in diverse environments, including both forests and urban areas. Their use of tools and problem-solving skills showcases their remarkable beauty.

They are intelligent and adaptable birds found throughout Michigan. With their glossy black plumage and raucous cawing calls, they are often associated with urban and rural settings alike.

american crow


I hope you have enjoyed this post that explains types of birds in Michigan. This diverse birdlife adds beauty and vitality to the state’s natural landscapes. Whether you’re in a city, a suburban neighborhood, or a serene forest, the songs and colors of these birds are sure to bring joy and wonder to your outdoor adventures in the Great Lakes State.


What is the most common bird species in Michigan?

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is one of the most common bird species in Michigan.

What is the largest bird in Michigan?

The Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis) is one of the largest bird species in Michigan.

What is the state bird in Michigan?

The state bird of Michigan is the American Robin (Turdus migratorius).

What are the rare birds in Michigan?

Some rare and sought-after birds in Michigan include the Kirtland’s Warbler, Piping Plover, and Snowy Owl, among others.

How many bird species live in Michigan?

Michigan is home to over 400 species of birds, making it a diverse and bird-rich state.

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