Common Birds of the WVBG

1. Tufted Titmouse

Has a tufted gray crest and rusty flanks. Son a set of clear notes, “Peter, Peter, Peter.” Call is a series of scolding nasally notes.  Found in wooded habitat and backyard feeders.

2. Eastern Towhee

A Large Sparrow with black (brown in females) above, reddish brown sides, and white belly.  Commonly found on the ground rustling leaves in search of food.  Characteristic “drink your tea” song.

3. Hairy Woodpecker

Black and white markings are nearly identical to the smaller Downy.  Makes a sharp “peek” call.  Female lacks the small red patch on the head.

4. White-breasted Nuthatch

Grey and white bird usually seen on trees climbing head down.  A common bird at feeders.

5. Song Sparrow

Easily identified by a dark spot in the center of the breast.  Its musical song usually starts out with “sweet, sweet, sweet” followed by clear notes with a trill in the middle.

6. Red-bellied Woodpecker

The faint red blush on the lower belly of this woodbecker is rarely visible.  In the male, the red nape of the neck extends to the crown.

7. Indigo Bunting

The male is a brilliant metallic blue during breeding.  The female is plain brown, easily confused with a sparrow.  The song is a lively warble built upon paired notes: “ti ti sweet sweet zerre zerre.” Migrant.

8. Pileated Woodpecker

A spectacular woodpecker with a red crest.  Its great size, swooping pattern and white underwing areas identify it in flight.  The holes they create are usually large ovals.

9. American Goldfinch

Males wear their golden plumage during breeding season.  In winter, they are little brown birds, and like to visit backyard feeders.  Their son, “ti-dee-di-di,” has the same cadence as “potato chip.”

10. Turkey Vulture

Usually seen soaring overhead or at roadside feeding on roadkill, these birds are nearly as large as eagles.  Their heads are red and bald.  Vultures, like all scavengers, play a vital role in nature.

11. Red-Tailed Hawk

This large hawk hunts small mammals mostly from a perch, and often will return to the same perch.  Its call is a haunting “keeer,” falling in pitch.

12. Chickadee

Small bird with black cap and throat with white cheek.  Two species occur in WV – the Carolina and the Black-capped Chickadee, a winter visitor.  Call is the familiar “chick-a-dee-dee.”  Common to woodlands and backyard feeders.

13. Common Yellowthroat

Male wears a black mask.  Song a distinctive “witchity witchity witchity witch.” Likes wet areas such as marshes and swamps.  Migrant.

Adapted from ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Birds at the WVBG and Beyond’.

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