Local Backyard Birds

A list of backyard birds commonly found in the greater Los Angeles area. (The smaller image shows a female of the species).

Click the image for more details.

House Finch

Food: Seed, fruit, insects & suet.

Season: Year round.

Info: Our most common feeder bird. Originally a west coast resident, in 1940 a small flock the "Hollywood Finches" were released in New York and now call both coasts home.

Lesser Goldfinch

Food: Nyjer Seed & Sunflower Chips.

Season: Year round.

Info: Goldfinches are among the strictest vegetarians in the bird world, selecting an entirely vegetable diet and only inadvertently swallowing an occasional insect.

American Goldfinch

Food: Nyjer Seed & Sunflower Chips.

Season: October - April 

Info: American Goldfinches have been known to weave their 3" cup nest so tightly it can hold water! Which can prove to be detrimental should a late summer shower pass through.

House Sparrow

Food: Seed, fruit & insects.

Season: Year round.

Info: Introduced into New York from Europe in 1851 it only took this little bird 50 years to colonize the entire country! 

White-crowned Sparrow

Food: Seed, fruit, insects & suet.

Season: October - April.

Info: Many White-crowns breed all the way up in Alaska and make the 2,600 mile trip back to us every winter, some traveling up to 300 miles in a single night!

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Food: Seed, fruit, insects & suet.

Season: October - April.

Info: Miners in the Yukon once interpreted this sparrows' song to say “I’m so tired,” prompting them to dub the bird “Weary Willie.”

California Towhee

Food: Seed, fruit, insects & suet.

Season: Year round.

Info: While we steer clear of the itchy foliage, many towhees build their nests in poison oak and feast on the plant’s copious crops of pale white berries.

Spotted Towhee

Food: Seed, fruit & insects.

Season: Year round.

Info: During mating season male towhees have been recorded spending 70% to 90% of their mornings singing. As soon as a mate is won their singing time drops to 5%.

Dark-eyed Junco

Food: Seed, fruit, insects & suet.

Season: Year round (prominent in winter).

Info: Juncos are divided into several subspecies, the most common in the L.A. area being the "Oregon" race. Look out for "Slate-colored", "Gray-headed" and "Pink-sided" throughout winter.

Mourning Dove

Food: Seed.

Season: Year round.

Info: One reason why Mourning Doves survive in the desert: they can drink brackish spring water (up to almost half the salinity of sea water) without becoming dehydrated the way humans would.

California Scrub-jay

Food: Seed, fruit, insects, suet & small animals.

Season: Year round.

Info: Scrub-jays are incredibly intelligent. Watch one pick through a pile of peanuts, pull out the heaviest and fly off. He'll either cache it for later or use it as bait for subterranean insects.

Scaly-breasted Munia

Food: Seed & fruit.

Season: Year round.

Info: A native of China, the Scaly-breasted Munia (or Nutmeg Mannikin or Spice Finch) has become a beautiful exotic addition to the wetlands (and backyards) of Southern California.

Allen's Hummingbird

Food: Nectar & insects.

Season: Year round.

Info: Even though it's the smaller of Southern California's 2 resident hummingbird species the Allen's is much more aggressive and often spends all day chasing competitors off "his" feeder.

Anna's Hummingbird

Food: Nectar & insects.

Season: Year round.

Info: Hummers maintain a body temperature of 107° Fahrenheit. In cooler weather they enter a state called torpor: breathing and heart rate slow, and their temperature can drop as low as 48°.

Black Phoebe

Food: Insects.

Season: Year round.

Info: Although it mostly eats insects, the Black Phoebe sometimes snatches minnows from the surface of ponds. It may even feed fish to nestlings.

Northern Mockingbird

Food: Fruit, insects, suet & small animals.

Season: Year round.

Info: Northern Mockingbirds continue to add new sounds to their repertoires throughout their lives. A male may learn around 200 songs throughout its life.

Hooded Oriole

Food: Nectar, fruit & insects.

Season: April - September.

Info: Also called the "palm-leaf oriole", females will weave a hanging sock nest from palm and other fibers and effectively sew it to the underside of a palm leaf.

Bullock's Oriole

Food: Nectar, fruit & insects.

Season: April - September.

Info: The male performs a bowing courtship display, hopping from branch to branch and bowing to the female every second or so—all the while singing loudly and exposing his colorful plumage.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Food: Seed, fruit & insects.

Season: April - September.

Info: Toxins in the Monarch Butterfly make them poisonous to most birds, but grosbeaks can eat them. They feed on them in 8-day cycles, giving themselves time to eliminate the toxins.

Downy Woodpecker

Food: Seed, suet & insects.

Season: Year round.

Info: The most likely woodpecker to visit a backyard bird feeder but still a rare and exciting sight in the South Bay. Our customers have had the best luck attracting them with seed cylinders and suet.

Bushtit

Food: Insects & suet.

Season: Year round.

Info: Bustits make a sock-shaped nest of spiderwebs and plant material that can be upwards of a foot long when complete. Despite their tiny size they can lay up to 10 eggs in a single clutch!

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Food: Insects, fruit & suet.

Season: October - May

Info: "Butter-butts" to their fans, are the most versatile foragers of all warblers: catching insects in flight, skimming water surfaces, picking through sandy shoreline or raiding spiderwebs.

Western Bluebird

Food: Insects & fruit.

Season: Year round.

Info: First found to be nesting in the South Bay in 2003 they have been expanding their range every year, moving from park to golf green to marsh.