13 Colorado Birds Most Common to Spot in the Centennial State

Birds in Colorado

Last Updated: April 30, 2022

Are you taking a visit to the state really soon? Or are you just a little bird lover who’s planning sightseeing in Colorado? Whatever your reason might be for being here, we just want to let you know that…

You are in the right place!

We took thirteen of the more than four hundred birds of Colorado and studied them up close so we could provide you with a complete list of everything you want to know about them!

This article will surely get you prepped up with all the exciting facts and warnings and how you can develop a bond with the common birds in Colorado.

Keep on reading and enjoy this mini Colorado field guide!

Thirteen Species Of Majestic Colorado Birds

1. American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

American Robin looking up a tree

An American Robin is a very popular migratory songbird in the state of Colorado. It spends its days traveling different parts of the United States and showing off its bright plumage wherever it goes.

Its natural shape and size have a huge similarity to the European Robin. However, it breeds, travels, and can only be found in America hence the mixture of names.

Male American Robins are quite more vibrant and vivid than female ones. Their plumages differ in shades; while the males have a mixture of light gray and orange, the females enjoy a blend of black and orange-brown.

American robins love tiny insects and larvae but also appreciate nuts and berries.


2. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

House Finch on a tree

The finch family takes pride in house finches, a social species that loves interacting and visiting humans.

Although these birds are very friendly to humans, we cant take away from them that they are a brave and bold breed. And that’s because the reason why they manage to interact with us comes from that nature.

Male finches have orange-red streaks over their throat, rump, and foreheads, and their wings are covered with dark brown spots. On the other hand, the female house finch remains with a blend of brown plumage and grey and white spots.

These birds used to be native to the west, but luckily they can now be found all over the United States.

These birds visit feeders frequently; they are interested in tiny worms, insects, berries, and small plants (including their seeds)!


3. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Mourning Dove on a wood

The well-known Mourning Dove also resides in the state of Colorado. This medium-sized bird covered in a rusty brown plumage has been spotted by almost any resident of the United States.

Mourning Dove species share the same identical body shapes and plumages regardless of their genders; their bodies have the potential to grow way up to 12 inches in length.

These birds often visit feeders; they fall in love with nuts, seeds, and feeds full of insects!

But there’s no need to hang up a bird feeder if you just want to spot them; they’re all around town!

You’ll see these birds in the streets, on wire cables, and pretty much everywhere.


4. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Crow in midflight

American Crows are famous for their all-black plumages and attention-catching caws.

During winter, these crows gather together in large numbers to sleep together. Isn’t that cute? Definitely! Not until you find out these “numbers” can go up to two million!

They are common birds in the state, and everywhere else, not just North America. You’ll surely be able to spot them in usual habitats like treetops, woods, and towns.

Although they’re all around town, they’re not that picky when it comes to their meals. Crows would usually just feed on earthworms, insects, fruit, and more on the ground. They’re also carnivorous and willing to eat bigger animals like fish, young turtles, clams, and even bird eggs.

Attracting them requires only one ingredient, peanuts. But, make sure to do this with caution because they travel in packs and could infiltrate your yard.


5. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Northern Flicker in summer

The Northern Flicker is known by many names. To most, it is called a Yellowhammer, and to the people of this state, it is called a Common Flicker, but we’ll stick to what’s final.

This migratory bird from the woodpecker family has a habit of building its nests in deep woods.

Its appearance is remarkably similar to Downy Woodpeckers. The trick is identifying these birds is the red spot above their heads.

A Male and Female Northern flicker tends to be very identical. Their differences lie within their wingspans and sizes (males are commonly bigger).

Fill up your feeders with seeds, nuts, and berries during the summertime, and they’ll surely pay a visit. In other seasons, these birds prefer to hunt for insects, larvae, and worms.


6. Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)

Mountain Bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird is a small migratory thrush species.

The first part of their name comes from their primary habitat, the mountains, and the second part talks about their plumage tone.

These birds have shiny feathers all over their bodies, even the females! Even though the tones of female mountain bluebirds tend to be dull, they still shine, especially in the sun. Their underparts, belly, and breasts are covered with a greyish shade.

They spend their lives foraging on tree branches for insects and their favorite tiny little worms, a significant part of their diet.

They also take an interest in grain and seeds from multiple plants. Vegetables, fruits, and berries are also delicious for these little birds.


7. Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

Downy Woodpecker holds onto a shrub

The Downy Woodpecker is another common bird from the woodpecker family. Their white-dotted black plumage and red cap are truly unforgettable for birders.

Both genders share the same size and plumage; the only way to differentiate them is to find the red dot on their head, which females seem not to have.

The good news is, since these birds do not spend their time traveling distances to forage for food, they are most likely to visit your backyard and search for a feeder.

These birds like seeds, nuts, and berries from small shrubs; they also take an interest in suets. Make sure to prepare any of these during the wintertime as a surprise for them!


8. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta Cristata)

Blue Jay on branch during springtime

The Blue Jay bird from the Corvidae family is native to Eastern-North America, yet, they can sometimes be spotted in other parts.

These birds strongly appreciate woodland environments and deep forests.

They’ve got a feathery crown on their head that they make use of to express their emotions and moods to each other. Their distinctive blue and white appearance is a once in a life time view!

Blue Jays are the ones you go to if your hands are full of nuts. They definitely go crazy for it and are best at cracking all types.

They also love seeds, berries, and soft fruits; you can prepare them a tiny bowl of these on a sunny day and they’ll surely show you their appreciation.


9. Mountain Chikadee (Poecile gambeli)

little Mountain Chikadee

Their names are quite suggestive!

If you’re planning on birding for a mountain chickadee, you’ll definitely have to go mountain climbing because they like to stay on the highest points.

They are easily identified due to their tiny size, black head, and sharp white eyebrow.

A mountain chickadee has the nature of being agile and curious about everything; they love to explore and search for new things, especially food.

Like other birds, their diet mainly consists of insects, worms, and larvae.


10. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

close up of a female House Sparrow

These birds are not just one of the most common birds in Colorado but in the whole world; they are seen in almost every country across the globe.

Sadly, due to extreme pollution and urbanization, even the popular house sparrow species have begun to decline in some continents.

They are distinguished through their tiny physique and fat belly that is just oh-so-adorable!

As the name suggests, house sparrows are very friendly and sweet; they love human contact and often reside in human settlements and houses.

This also means that they visit feeders regularly, they are a certified backyard bird. Their diets mainly consist of any seed from small herbs, plants, and fruits; you can mix in a couple of berries as well!

Spiders, worms, larvae, and all those tiny creatures in the woods are what they feed on whenever not enough feeders are around.


11. American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus)

American Dipper stepping on a stone

The American Dipper, best known for always being near or along rivers and streams, “dipping” its body constantly in the body of water as they search for food, can also be found in the state.

They are medium-sized songbirds who live year-round in the US and other places.

They do not migrate to the south whenever their streams freeze due to the season. Instead, they would just search for a larger body of water nearby.

These birds prefer streams and rivers that are rocky and clean; any body of water that is freely flowing and has multiple elevations.

The fact that they spend almost their entire lives in water is not the only thing that sets them apart from the many backyard birds in Colorado…

Larvae, fish eggs, tiny fish, and other sea creatures take up their diet, and on the rarest instances, they dive way up to 20 feet trying to search for food, outstanding, aren’t they?

They can also move rocks located on the bottom of the river to expose prey!

Their slow metabolism, thick and healthy feathers, and more oxygen in their blood flow than usual help them get through their day-to-day activities.

They can even move rocks along the bottom of a river to expose prey. To cope with such extreme conditions, they have a slow metabolism, lots of feathers, and the ability to carry extra oxygen in their blood.

Multiple studies have also proven that their feathers have a tendency to be waterproof and that their nasal flaps allow them to close their nostrils when they’re deep underwater.


12. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

European Starling perched

The European Starling is a tiny little bird with a majestic plumage, its body is painted in shiny black with multiple strokes and spots of brown and emerald green. This look is pretty similar to the dark galaxy full of stars.

Male and Female breeds share the exact same appearance, they can only be differed by observing their body size, weight, and wingspan (females are relatively smaller).

The good thing is, seeing this beautiful plumage won’t be much of a hassle!

European starlings are frequent visitors to feeders and backyards all over Colorado. All you need to do is attract them with small insects, worms, seeds, and berries.


13. Violet-Green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)

Violet-Green Swallow during winter

The Violet-green Swallow bird is one of the tiniest Passerine birds of North America.They are native to the North but migrate towards South and Central America during wintertime.

Their name refers to the violet and green mixture of colors in their plumage that reflect through the sun. These are large birds with slim bodies.

The tip of their wings has the ability to reflect a black color through different light formations.

This species observes sexual dimorphism, male breeds are shiner while females tend to be dull.

They are insect eaters and love snacking on tiny insects that fly through the air as they forage tree branches.

Small grains and seeds, nuts, berries, and all sorts of tiny fruits also make up for the remaining percentage of their diet.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the state bird of Colorado?

The state bird of Colorado is the Lark Bunting.

In 1931, Colorado officially claimed the Lark Bunting as its state bird; although the Mountain Bluebird was considered the state bird for quite a while, the Lark Bunting eventually won people’s hearts.

Take a look at this video of Lark Buntings:

Are there Purple Martins in Colorado?

Although A Purple Martin would most likely reside in North America, there are chances that you may spot a Purple martin in Western Colorado over the summertime.

They visit the state and sometimes even breed in it!

Of course, you won't easily spot them over colorado parks and streets. Make sure to search for them from May through July to season your luck!

What is the most common bird seen in Colorado?

While there may be too many types of birds in Colorado, there are one species that stood out population-wise.

The American Robin has set a record of 39% for the most spotted bird in Colorado, which pretty much marks its spot for the most common bird in the state.

The End Point

Finally decided on your favorite bird yet?

If not, we understand!

With all these beautiful birds of Colorado, it indeed is hard to pick which warms your heart the most.

If you’re ever planning on birding, make sure to keep a safe and gentle distance from their habitat; whether they’re migratory birds or not, their peace and nature deserve to be respected.

We hope that we have provided you with enough information and that you would someday use this article as a mini colorado field guide to help you identify birds on your birding adventure :>

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