Birds In Nevada

Although Nevada is a large state with a lot of sparsely inhabited desert, a vast range of bird species may still be found there. While some of these species are resident year-round in Nevada, others are migratory and only visit during the summer or winter. In this post, we’ll look at 25 of Nevada’s most prevalent backyard birds and discover a little something about each one of them.

Then, I’ll demonstrate how to draw them to your yard and give you a crash lesson in the ten different kinds of bird feeders you may use. Finally, I’ll highlight a few popular birding locations in Nevada as well as several top-notch neighborhood birding groups.

How many distinct wild bird species are there in Nevada?

Finding a precise figure for the number of bird species present in North America, the United States, or even the state of Nevada, is challenging. On the official state list for Nevada, there are, however, at least 491 bird species as of 2021, according to Wikipedia.

Regarding all of North America, one source states there are 2,059 species there, whereas an earlier one suggests there are just 914. These figures may not be entirely reliable, but they do give us a general notion of the number of species.

For the sake of this post, we’ll merely focus on a few of the species that people in Nevada regularly see, particularly in backyards.

Top 15 Backyard Birds In Nevada

The 25 backyard bird species found in Nevada, including several migratory species, are discussed here. These are some of the birds that are most likely to frequent backyards in Nevada; clearly, they are not all the species in the state or even close to it. Let’s start now!

White-crowned Sparrow

Winter sightings of White-crowned Sparrows are common in Nevada, where they are included on 46% of winter checklists submitted by bird observers in the state. Although they are more frequent from September to April, some of them stick around all year and are included on 4% of summer checklists.

Large grey sparrows with pronounced black-and-white stripes on their heads, long tails, and short bills are known as White-crowned Sparrows.

Prior to migrating south to spend the winter in the lower 48 states and Mexico, White-crowned Sparrows breed in Alaska and the Arctic Canada. Some, nevertheless, may stay all year round near the Pacific Coast and in the western mountains.

White-crowned Sparrows forage on weed and grass seeds as well as fruit like elderberries and blackberries in weedy fields, along roadside embankments, along woodland margins, and in yards.

Sunflower seeds will draw White-crowned Sparrows to your garden, and they will consume the seeds that other birds drop at feeders.

Northern Mockingbird

Because they can imitate the melodies of different bird species, mockingbirds receive their name. A male mockingbird is said to be able to memorize up to 200 distinct songs over his lifespan.

These medium-sized backyard birds may be identified by their rather long tail feathers and are primarily gray and white in appearance. They frequently live in towering shrubs and are highly hostile to trespassing birds.

Although Northern Mockingbirds can be seen all year in southern Nevada, they are most frequently spotted in the state’s center and northern regions in the spring and summer.

Although they frequently inhabit backyards, Northern Mockingbirds rarely visit bird feeders. Some of the other suggestions below, such fruit-bearing plants or a bird bath, will help you attract them to your yard.

American Robin

In Nevada, American Robins are among the most common birds.

They naturally occur everywhere, from woods to tundra, and they may be found in a broad variety of settings. However, these thrushes are used to being around humans and are frequently seen in backyards.

Due to the fact that they don’t consume seeds, American Robins, while being widespread, seldom frequent bird feeders. Instead, they eat fruit and invertebrate animals like worms, insects, and snails. For instance, I regularly observe robins sifting through the grass in my garden for earthworms.

These birds often build their nests close to people. Look for an open cup-shaped nest with three to five gorgeous, recognizable sky blue-colored eggs.

It sounds like the bird is saying “cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily,” according to many people who have heard it.

House Finch

The female House Finch has a brownish-gray body, whereas the males are red. Depending on their nutrition, some of the guys may have more red on their faces and upper breasts than others.

These birds have odd-looking big beaks while having tiny bodies. Their wings are short, and their heads are flat. They have slightly longer tails than usual.

The house finch is a member of the flock-living finch species. They always travel in groups, even when they go to backyards. By placing some black oil sunflower seeds at your bird feeding station, you may draw their attention.

Mourning Dove

Nevada is home to mourning doves all year round. They are listed in 29% of the winter checklists and 33% of the summer checklists that the state’s bird watchers have submitted.

Mourning Doves have long tails, plump bodies, and beautiful little heads. They have wings that are a light brown tint with black markings. Men are a little bit heavier than women.

Mourning Doves are widespread across the lower 48 states throughout the year, however they occasionally move after nesting in the northern Midwest and southern Canada.

In meadows, farms, and backyards, mourning doves can be spotted perched on telephone lines and scavenging for seeds on the ground. They may also be found in open spaces at the borders of forests.

Put out platform feeders or sprinkle millet on the ground to draw mourning doves to your garden. They will also consume broken corn, peanut hearts, black sunflower seeds, and nyjer.

California Scrub-Jay

A very big songbird with stunning blue coloration on its head, back, and tail is known as the California Scrub-Jay. They have a patch on their top back that might be gray or brown in color. Its belly and breast are primarily white, with a few blue feathers that form a “necklace” around the front.

They are renowned for having an outgoing attitude due to their numerous vocalizations, bouncing around, and constant appearance of cocking their heads and hatching plans. In the spring and summer, they mostly consume fruit and insects; in the winter, they turn to nuts, seeds, and acorns.

The California Scrub-Jay remains in Nevada throughout the year, however it is rare to observe one outside of the westernmost cities like Reno and Carson City.

With fruit-bearing trees in the summer months and oak trees that produce acorns in the colder months, you can attract scrub jays. Additionally, they will go to bird feeders to get the peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Downy Woodpecker

In Nevada, Downy Woodpeckers are among the most prevalent birds. They’re undoubtedly familiar to you because they can be found in most backyards.

Fortunately, it’s simple to draw this type of woodpecker to your garden. Ideally, suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts should be consumed (including peanut butter). They could be seen sipping sugar water from your hummingbird feeders, too! Use a dedicated suet bird feeder if you use suet goods.

My prediction is that you will start hearing Downy Woodpeckers everywhere you go once you learn what to listen for. Their cries sound like high-pitched whinnying noises that go lower in pitch as they go on.

Pileated Woodpecker

The crowns of pileated woodpeckers are crimson. Although their bodies are generally black, it is their most distinguishing trait. Additionally, they have white wing linings that are apparent when flying.

These birds are huge in size and have long, pointed beak. If you have any recollection of seeing them, it was probably Woody Woodpecker.

In woods, pileated woodpeckers live year-round. Where they can peck the wood to create their nests, they hang out among dead and hollow trees.

Northern Flicker

Although Northern Flickers may be seen all year in Nevada, they are more frequent in the southern part of the state in the winter. They are noted in 29% of winter checklists and 12% of summer checklists, respectively.

Large brown woodpeckers known as Northern Flickers have black dots, a white patch on their rump when flying, and males have a red nape of the neck.

Depending on where they are from, Northern Flickers have red or yellow flashes on their wings and tail. Birds with red and yellow shafts reside in the east and west, respectively.

All year long, northern flickers may be seen in the US and, in the summer, in Canada. For the winter, those who breed in Canada go south.

The major foods that Northern Flickers consume are ants, beetles, fruits, and seeds. They frequently may be observed on the ground using their bent bills to dig.

Although certain woodpeckers are simpler to identify than others, you can still identify every woodpecker in Nevada with this guide.

Red-winged Blackbird


Male Red-winged Blackbirds, which are among the most common birds in all of North America, may be identified by the red and yellow “shoulders” that protrude from their black bodies. However, this species’ females have a very different appearance and are mostly dark with pale streaks.

They are referred to be a polygynous species, which means that males may mate with up to 15 different females at once. Unfortunately, they occasionally come in flocks to the feeders and swiftly devour the seed.

All year long, Red-winged Blackbirds may be seen in Nevada.

Red-winged blackbirds frequent a variety of feeders and will consume both seed and suet.

Hairy Woodpecker

In mature woods, residential backyards, city parks, wetlands, orchards, and even cemeteries, Hairy Woodpeckers are abundant birds in Nevada. Actually, they are anywhere there are lots of big trees.

The most typical call is a brief, piercing “peek,” which resembles a Downy Woodpecker but is somewhat lower in pitch. They also emit a harsh whinnying or rattling sound.

Due to their resemblance to Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers might be a little challenging to distinguish. Many people find these two birds to be difficult to distinguish between, making it difficult to know which one you are seeing.

Red Crossbill

The bodies of red crossbills are quite drab, despite having red feathers. They are larger than the typical bird and have grey markings all over their body. The bodies of the young birds are also lighter and trend more toward yellow.

You could be lucky and see one or two of these birds because they enjoy backyard feeders. Suet, raisins, and sunflower seeds can be placed as you watch for a red cardinal to knock on your door.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Although some spend the breeding season in the state’s northern region, Yellow-rumped Warbler sightings are more common in Nevada in the winter. They are listed in 28% of the winter checklists and 11% of the summer checklists that the state’s bird watchers have submitted.

Yellow-rumped Warblers have gray bodies with white wings and flashes of yellow on their faces, flanks, and rump.

The winter plumage of birds is lighter brown with brilliant yellow rumps and sides that become bright yellow and gray again in the spring. Females may be somewhat brown.

Most Yellow-rumped Warblers breed in Canada, as well as at a few isolated locations in the Rockies and Appalachian Mountains.

Before spending the winter in southern and southwestern US states, along the Pacific Coast, and in Mexico and Central America, they can be observed in the Midwest during migration.

Coniferous woodlands are home to Yellow-rumped Warblers, especially during the nesting season. They can be found in open places with fruit-producing plants in the winter. They mostly consume insects during the summer when migrating, and they primarily consume fruit during the winter, especially bayberry and wax myrtle.

House Sparrow

The only other type of wild birds in the U.S. besides starlings that you may legally capture and humanely kill are house sparrows, which are typically regarded as pests. They were introduced in New York in the 1800s and have since become an invasive species that has spread like wildfire throughout our nation.

They have a buffy chest and predominantly brown coloring with some black and brown striping. Males who have a black mask and chest generally stand out. They are generally hostile to other birds, especially when they are close to nests and birdhouses.

In Nevada, house sparrows are widespread all year round.

House Sparrows are invasive and a threat to native species, just as the European Starling. They’ll consume most kinds of seeds.

Lesser Goldfinch

As shown in the image above, the male Lesser Goldfinch has a black crown, a yellow underbody, and white spots on its dark wings.

Another variety of their plumage, which may be less prevalent in Nevada, makes them appear to have a dark glossy black coat covering their whole head and back. Females have a more olive-colored head and back with a yellow underside. These finches frequently appear in mixed flocks with house finches, sparrows, and other goldfinches.

The majority of western and southern Nevada are year-round home to the Lesser Goldfinch, while the state’s northern and eastern boundaries tend to only see them during the spring and summer nesting season.

Lesser Goldfinches are obliging feeder visitors who consume nyjer (thistle) seed and sunflower seeds.

Facts About Birds in Nevada

Nevada’s official bird is the Mountain Bluebird. The Nevada Federation of Women’s Clubs, kids, and residents of the state picked this bird in 1930 and 1931. In 1967, a legislature designated it as the recognized state bird.

According to ebird, there are 481 species of birds known to exist in Nevada. Greater Roadrunners, Hummingbirds, American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Double-crested Cormorants, Burrowing Owls, Western Tanagers, Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Grebes, White-faced Ibis, Ospreys, Great Horned Owls, and Pelicans are just a few of Nevada’s most notable bird species.

The California Condor, which has a wingspan of up to 8 feet, is the largest bird in Nevada (3 m). These enormous black birds have a bare red head and white under their wings.

The Calliope Hummingbird, which is just around 3 inches long but can fly great distances from Canada to southern Mexico, is the smallest bird in Nevada.

The Mourning Dove, which is noted in 32% of all checklists for the state on ebird throughout the year, is the most prevalent bird in Nevada.

If you want to go outside and observe birds in their natural habitat, Nevada boasts outstanding bird-watching options at its 4 national parks, 3 national forests, 9 national wildlife refuges, and 23 state parks.

To learn more about additional species to look for and how to recognize birds, continue reading to the conclusion of this article.

In Nevada, different birds are drawn to backyards at different times of the year. The lists of backyard birds found in Nevada most frequently during the year are shown below.

Western Kingbirds are more prevalent in the summer, whereas Yellow-rumped Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglets are more prevalent in the winter, according to notable distinctions.