10 East Coast Backyard Birds

Sitting at a friend’s kitchen window, I overheard her cooing, chattering sweetly with her backyard birds. She knew them by type, by name, even by personality- shooing away the Blue Jay bully and enticing the Downy Woodpecker to stay longer. Because the large window was so close to the feeder, I was able to capture these beautiful, common creatures, undaunted by my lingering. I found these birds- or, perhaps, they found me- in Northern Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., where I grew up. I’m always amazed at how a region’s most common specimens, found in a friend’s backyard, can be so colorful, so exotic, and so playful when I keep my eyes open. 

1. Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

2. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

3. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

4. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

5. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

6. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

7. Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

8. White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

9. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

10. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)


Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)