How Many Common Birds Can You Name?

By: Lauren Lubas
Image: Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Bird watching (also known as birding) is a growing hobby for people who start to turn their eyes toward nature. Birding isn't just about seeing birds and taking pictures of them. It's also about tracking migratory patterns, learning where birds prefer to nest and figuring out where they are headed to next. This hobby is peaceful and can get really exciting (especially when you make a list of all of the different birds you want to see over time).

Whether you live in the country and see five to seven different species of bird a day, or you live in the city and see five to seven varieties of pigeons a day, you may find that you can name more common birds than you think. Some of the most common birds have recognizable traits that set them apart from every other bird you've ever seen. If you consider yourself a birding expert, you may find this quiz to be a breeze. However, even if you think of yourself as a novice in the bird watching arena, you still have a chance to pass this quiz. Either way, it's time to try your hand at this bird watching quiz and find out just how many common birds you can name.

Everyone can spot a blue jay from a mile away. These birds can be confused with bluebirds based on their names, but if you look at the two different birds, you will know that they look nothing alike.

The European goldfinch looks like it has fir on its wings. The smooth coloring on its feathers gives it a softer look. The tips of its wings are usually black and yellow, which is how it got its name.

The common starling is a very interesting looking bird. If you look close enough, you can see that it looks very much like the night sky: black and full of speckles that look like stars.

While there are around 200 species and varieties of woodpecker, most of them are endangered, threatened or (in two cases) extinct. Very few woodpecker species migrate, so if their habitats are disturbed, they don't really know what to do.

Sparrows are incredibly common birds. If you go to a Wal-Mart in the American Midwest, you can usually see them flying up in the rafters. They are definitely not on any endangered species lists.

Hummingbirds are some of the most interesting creatures around. Their wings flap so fast, they sound like bees buzzing by you. This is obviously how they got their names. However, their beaks are the most distinctive part about them, as they are long and very thin.

Mourning doves may look a lot like pigeons, but you may recognize these little guys as the turtle doves that you see around Christmas time. They are also known as rain doves by some.

American goldfinches will migrate from Canada all the way to North Carolina. These little birds are bright yellow and hard to miss. They only weigh about a half of an ounce, but they can fly very fast.

The American robin is considered a songbird that can live up to two years in the wild. These little birds are very territorial and are usually not very social in the summer when they are breeding.

Cardinals are usually found throughout the United States and Canada. They are the state bird of four states, including Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, but they can also be found as far south as Mexico.

There are 88 species of wren spread throughout the world. These tiny birds can be a little bit of a nuisance if they are nesting near you. Depending on the species, they weigh around a quarter of an ounce.

Amazingly, the American crow can live up to eight years in the wild. Additionally, it is a large bird that can weigh nearly 1.5 pounds and grow up to 21 inches in length. Farmers put up scarecrows to make it seem like people are in the fields, so the crows don't eat the seeds.

The common raven is often confused with the American crow. However, the raven's beak is much thicker and the raven itself is much bigger, coming in at nearly five pounds and having a wingspan of nearly five feet.

Don't laugh at its name, the tufted titmouse has a cry that confuses its predators. Its cry fades off as though the bird is flying away, but it isn't. This makes predators think that it has gone in a different direction.

The common bluebird mainly eats insects, but some species have been known to be omnivorous. Most species are found in North America, but they can also be found in Canada and Nicaragua.

While many think that the red-tailed hawk can only be found in the United States and Canada, they have been known to go as far south as the West Indies and Panama. These birds of prey have wingspans that reach nearly five feet.

These distinguishable birds might not look like much when they are at rest, but when they are in flight, their red wings show off for the world. They are gorgeous birds that are about medium in size.

There are 64 species of Herons that are generally found near freshwater. These birds have long necks to help them catch fish, which is what they prefer to eat. Their wingspans can reach nearly 6.5 feet.

While a Northern mockingbird's wingspan can only reach about ten inches, you can spot it right away, because it has darker wings and a tail that have white tips. This beauty can be found in the south during rougher winters.

The swallow can fly at up to 40 miles per hour. It does help that the bird only weighs about a half of an ounce. These birds are able to run as well, though they can't run as fast as they fly.

The black-capped chickadee is the state bird of Massachusetts. It's a small bird, but it looks pretty aerodynamic with its small thin tail and fascinating markings. The cap on its head helps it avoid predators.

As tree-dwelling birds found in North America, the common grackle is known to be found in large numbers (and definitely not on an endangered species list). They are smaller birds, only reaching about 1.3 inches in length.

The dark-eyed junco is a bird that is very close to the sparrow. It measures about 6.5 inches in length, but only weighs just over a half of an ounce. They can be found in North America, and as far north as the Arctic.

There are different species of thrush, including the American robin. These songbirds have distinct voices that carry. They are usually found on forest floors, sifting through brush and undergrowth.

While the brown-headed cowbird's name is quite the mouthful, these birds are actually very common in the subtropical areas of North America. They can also be found in the southern United States and Mexico.

These spotted birds can be found in the warmer parts of North America, Cuba and the Cayman Islands. They are actually a species of woodpecker, but unlike most woodpeckers, northern flickers migrate.

You may know the great horned owl as the tiger owl or hoot owl, but this large owl is one of the most common found in the United States. Great horned owls usually mate when the weather is cold in January and February.

These little birds look very much like blue jays and cardinals, but they are a pale gray and tan color, and some even have yellow bellies and tips on their tails. They are often found in North and Central America.

If you live in a large city, you probably think that pigeons are the grossest animals on the planet. However, pigeons are actually incredibly intelligent creatures ... why do you think they live in cities? Where else are people going to throw food on the ground for free?

The pygmy nuthatch is a very small bird. It only weighs just over a quarter of an ounce and is about four inches long. These little birds have pale blue wings and white bellies. Their wings have black tips.

The great egret can be found pretty much everywhere, including Asia, Africa, and North and South America. They have also been spotted in Southern Europe. They prefer fish, but they don't mind eating frogs and mice as well.

An American kestrel is actually a falcon. They are the smallest falcons that are found in North America, weighing in at only about 4 ounces. These birds are not endangered by any means, as they are birds of prey.

The downy woodpecker is the smallest species of woodpecker that can be found in North America. They weigh just less than one ounce, but they are the ones that you will probably see in your feeder in your backyard.

Turkey vultures are often found in North America, and if you've ever passed one on the road, you probably felt very unsafe, even if you were in your car. These beasts are frightening to look at, to say the least.

Turkeys have gone down in history as the only animals that the President of the United States has pardoned every year. While it's a fun joke, Turkeys are a great way to feed a lot of people, as they grow quickly and produce a lot of meat.

You can usually find a swan near a freshwater lake. They feed on fish and are closely related to geese and ducks. A swan can reach over 25 pounds with a wingspan of nearly nine feet (for certain species).

We all know that hawks are birds of prey, but the method that the Cooper's hawk uses is a little intense. It will catch a bird out of midair and squeeze it over and over again until it dies.

A white-crowned sparrow has a gray face along with a cap on its head that has black and white stripes. This cap looks a little bit like a crown, which is how this bird got its name.

While Baltimore orioles eat nectar and fruits in the fall, they feed mostly on insects in the summertime. These vibrant birds are very small, but can be spotted from a mile away because of their color.

Mallards are a very common species of duck found throughout North and South America as well as Eurasia and North Africa. These ducks prefer freshwater lakes and usually feed on small fish.

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