Birds In South Carolina

Wild birds from many different species may be found in South Carolina. The most identifiable and well-known South Carolina birds, particularly those that may be seen in your own yard, will be discussed in this article.

Some of these species spend the entire year in South Carolina, while others are migratory and only spend part of the year there. Therefore, let’s examine 26 backyard birds in South Carolina and discover a little bit about each species.

Then, I’ll demonstrate how to draw birds to your yard, give you a crash lesson in the ten various kinds of bird feeders you may use to do so, and even highlight a few prime birding locations in South Carolina.

In South Carolina, how many distinct types of wild bird species are there?

The exact number of bird species in North America, the United States, or even the state of South Carolina is impossible to determine. However, Wikipedia states that as of 2019, the official state list has 431 species.

There are 914 species in North America, according to one source, whereas another earlier source indicates there are 2,059 species there. So, I’m not sure how much I can rely on these figures, but they do give us a general notion of how many species there are.

We will focus on some of our favorite backyard species found in South Carolina for the sake of this post.

15 Backyard Birds In South Carolina

The 15 backyard bird species found in South Carolina are described here; some are year-round residents and some are not.

Even though they are certainly not all or even nearly all of the species found in the state, these are some of the most renowned and identifiable backyard birds in South Carolina, many of which you may see at your bird feeders. Let’s start now!

Carolina Chickadee – Poecile carolinensis

Carolina Chickadees have short, gray tails that fan out and gray wings that are gray in color. They have a white breast and underbelly, and on their faces, the center of the head is the same shade of white as the breast.

They also have a huge, black cap that covers the top of their heads and ends just above the eyes, as well as a black bib that extends from their bill to their throat.

Size: These are little birds, with wingspans ranging from 5.9 to 7.9 inches and lengths between 3.9 and 4.7 inches.

Habitat: These birds may live in just about any woodland region, and they regularly visit parks and backyards, especially if there are big trees nearby.

Carolina Chickadees don’t require a sophisticated diet. Once they know you have crushed peanuts, suet, and Black Oil Sunflower seeds available, they will return for more.

Northern Cardinal

The most often observed birds in South Carolina are northern cardinals, which spend the entire year there. They appear on 67% of the summer checklists and 58% of the winter checklists that the state’s bird watchers submit.

A male Northern Cardinal with its vivid red body and black face is an amazing sight, especially when set against a white winter landscape. Their beaks and crests are similarly crimson.

With their brown coloration, distinct brown crest, red accents, and red beaks, females are likewise a bit flashy.

In the eastern part of the US and certain southern states as far west as Arizona, Northern Cardinals may be found.

Northern Cardinals can be seen hunting for seeds, fruit, and insects in areas with thick foliage. During the breeding season, Northern Cardinals will occasionally attack their own reflection in an effort to zealously protect their territory.

Put out feeders with of sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo to entice Northern Cardinals to your backyard. They will eat food that is strewn about the ground, in hoppers, platform feeders, or big tube feeders.

Pine Grosbeak

One of the biggest finch species in South Carolina is the Pine Grosbeak. They are typically comically gentle despite being larger than other finches; because of this, they are frequently ignored in deep pine woods.

Male Pine Grosbeaks have grey wings with twin white wing bands and are reddish-pink in color. Females and young birds are less prominent, with mostly gray bodies and barely perceptible reddish-orange hues on their heads and rumps.

Contrary to the majority of finches, Pine Grosbeaks mostly consume seeds, berries, buds, plant material, etc. They frequently visit huge hoppers and backyard bird feeders because of this.

Carolina Wren – Thryothorus ludovician

Carolina Wrens have light to chestnut brown backs, wings, and medium-sized tails. The wing and tail feathers have a checkered black and white edge.

They have a pale yellow-orange breast and underbelly, and on their faces, they have a big white eyebrow mark, a little white bib, and some white right before their necks.

The face is white with black dots right beneath the eyes, and a brown line runs from behind the eyes to the back of the skull. The bird has a brown tip to its head and a long, slightly curved black beak.

Size: The length of these birds ranges from 4.7 to 5.5 inches, and their wingspan is around 11.4 inches.

Habitat: These birds adore brambles, thickets, and plants because they give foraging protection. They will frequent backyard feeders, and the presence of shrubs or shrubbery improves the likelihood of a visit.

Diet: Although insects make up the majority of these birds’ diets, they also like seeds and berries. Try mixing some chopped black oil sunflower seeds with strawberries or cherries to attract a Carolina Wren.

Mourning Dove

In South Carolina, mourning dove sightings are frequent and year-round. They appear in 47% of the state’s summer checklists and 40% of its winter checklists.

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.

Red-headed Woodpecker

One of the simplest birds to detect in South Carolina is the Red-headed Woodpecker, which has distinctive patterns and loud, harsh sounds. With their distinctive bright-red heads, white wings and bellies, and black backs, they are certainly the sight to behold.

Red-headed Woodpeckers are often found in open woods, especially in areas with a clear understory like pine forests and standing timber. They frequently sally out to capture insects in family groupings since they are very gregarious animals.

Red-headed Woodpeckers are sometimes referred to as the most omnivorous of all woodpeckers since they are opportunistic feeders.

They consume a broad range of things, including as insects, berries, seeds, wild and domesticated fruit, as well as, very infrequently, small rodents. They will also consume the nestlings and eggs of other birds, as well as bark scraped from tree trunks, if they are in a desperate enough situation.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus

Red-bellied Woodpeckers feature zebra-striped backs, wings, and medium-sized tails as their primary colors and markings. They have a white breast and some black peppering on their underside.

When you go near to the bird, you can see that the breast also has a few light red splotches. These birds have long, straight black bills and white cheeks with some fading red and stunning red crowns that extend from the neck to just over the shoulders.

Size: The head to tail length of these birds is around 9.4 inches, and their wingspans range from 13 to 16.5 inches.

Habitat: These birds spend time in dense forests, particularly near hardwoods like hickories or oaks. But if you have left out something they enjoy, they will frequently visit feeders and venture out.

Diet: This bird’s favorite foods are suet, peanuts, and black oil sunflower seeds, which keeps them coming back for more.

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouses live all year long in South Carolina and may be found on up to 42% of checklists throughout the summer and winter.

The Tufted Titmouse has a charming gray crest, big eyes, and a white underside. Its back is gray. They frequently congregate with woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees.

All year round, Tufted Titmouses are found in eastern and southeastern US states.

Tufted Titmice are common in parks, backyard feeders, and wooded areas. They can be aggressive with smaller birds by pushing them aside to get to the food first.

Insects such as caterpillars, beetles, ants, and wasps as well as spiders and snails are the main summertime diet of Tufted Titmice. They will also consume berries, seeds, nuts, and shelled seeds in large quantities.

Sunflower seeds, suet, and peanuts on tube feeders or suet cages are good attractants for Tufted Titmice to your backyard feeders. They’ll consume food from platform feeders as well. To draw a breeding couple, you may also try erecting a nest box.

White-Winged Crossbill

Contrary to what their name implies, White-winged Crossbills are neither primarily white, nor are their wings wholly white.

White-winged Crossbill males and females look very different from one another. Females are yellowish with striped bellies and backs, while males are brilliant rose-pink with a black tail.

Even at the time when they are laying their eggs, White-winged Crossbills can be seen in flocks all year long in South Carolina. Their unusual crossed bills are used to break open spruce cones so they may consume the seeds. They typically feed in tamarack and spruce.

Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglotto

Color and markings: Northern Mockingbirds have long, thin gray tails with white outer feathers as well as gray backs, wings, and tails. As you can see, this bird has two distinct wingbars as well as an outstanding white patch on each wing that is visible when it is flying.

Mockingbirds have white breasts, white-gray underbellies, white cheeks that are frequently softly edged in gray, and white skin from the chin to just above the bill. This bird’s head is soft gray on top as well, and the short, slightly curved black bill frequently has a black line running from the front of the eye.

Size: The wingspans of these birds range from 12.2 to 13.8 inches, while their lengths range from 8.3 to 10.2 inches.

Habitat: These birds spend their time in parks, the suburbs, or at the edge of the forest. They will gladly frequent a feeder with plenty of food.

Diet: Although Northern Mockingbirds prefer to eat fruit, they mostly eat insects. For optimal results, try some cut apples and oranges.

American Crow

In South Carolina, American Crows are plentiful and may be seen all year. They can be found in up to 38% of the state’s checklists for the summer and winter.

Large, all-black birds known as American crows produce a harsh cawing noise.

The majority of the lower 48 states, as well as the Pacific Coast in Canada and Alaska, are year-round home to American Crows. Those who breed in the northern Midwest and Canada travel south during the winter.

The majority of ecosystems, such as trees, woodlands, fields, beaches, or towns, are home to these popular birds.

They often graze on the ground and consume fruit, seeds, insects, earthworms, and other food items. Additionally, they consume fish, juvenile turtles, mussels, clams, and even the eggs and nestlings of several bird species.

Up to two million American Crows congregate in winter to sleep in raucous communal roosts.

American crows can be brought to your backyard by sprinkling peanuts, but if left outside, they can become a problem since they are drawn to trash or pet food.

House Finch

With their conical seed-eating mouths and plump, rosy-red plumage, House Finches are among the most prevalent birds in South Carolina. They frequently visit backyard feeders and are seen in parks, cities, farms, and forested areas.

The main vegetarian foods that House Finches consume include seeds, berries, buds, and vegetable debris.

Young House Finches eat seeds that have been regurgitated. In the absence of other food sources, they’ll focus on tiny insects like aphids.

These sociable common backyard birds congregate in large groups on neighboring trees, plant stalks, and feeders, and most South Carolinian communities may hear their twittering melodies.

Swainson’s Thrush

Color and Markings: Swainson’s Thrush birds have brown or gray backs, and their long wings and medium-sized tails are of the same color. The black dots on their white breast fade into fading stripes as they descend to their white underbelly.

This bird’s face has a soft gray or brown color with gray spotting on the white chin and throat and the remainder of the face. A unique white or yellow-brown eyering will also be seen. These birds have short, erect bills with black tips that are often black or yellow in color.

These birds have wingspans of 11.4 to 12.2 inches and measure 6.3 to 7.5 inches from tip to tail.

Habitat: The Swainson’s Thrush prefers coniferous and deciduous woodlands, but will occasionally stray and explore suburban backyards.

Diet: These birds mostly consume insects, however they also seem to like red berries and fruits. To check whether this attracts their attention, try some sliced strawberries and cherries.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Wintering in South Carolina, Yellow-rumped Warblers are often seen from mid-October to mid-May. 38% of winter checklists include them.

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.

Sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter will entice Yellow-rumped Warblers to your backyard.

Scarlet Tanager

Medium-sized songbirds known for their brilliant plumage, Scarlet Tanagers have blood-red bodies that are contrasted by their jet-black forked tail and wings.

Although they are extremely numerous in the oak woodlands of South Carolina, it is frustratingly difficult to locate them since they frequently hide from view.

Scarlet Tanagers are predominantly insectivorous throughout the summer, subsisting on beetles, wasps, caterpillars, and even spiders. Additionally, they consume berries, especially strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and juneberries.

The majority of their time is spent prowling amid the leaves of deciduous trees in the forest canopy by scarlet tanagers. They occasionally stop at feeders in the spring, generally following spells of chilly or rainy weather.

Final Thoughts

That’s all the time we have for today, but we hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about South Carolina’s avian beauties. Keep the trail link available and, if you feel wild one weekend, why not visit? If you aren’t a native, this state is definitely worth visiting for a birding vacation.

Keep your eyes open and those feeders stocked for the neighborhood birds, and we have a feeling that many lovely birds will visit your backyard. Until then, we wish you successful birding!