30 Small Birds in North Carolina

Great_Crested_Flycatcher

You may be in your backyard or out on a walk but knowing what small birds are brightening up your day has just got easier with this small birds of North Carolina guide.

If you don’t know one warbler from the next then read on as these small birds are all 9 inches or less in length and are commonly spotted in North Carolina, so don’t delay get spotting.

This site is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission if you purchase a product I recommend at no extra cost to you.

The best bird feeder to attract small birds without bully birds such as grackles eating all the seed is this Woodlink caged feeder as the cage is far enough away from the feeder to prevent bigger birds just putting their heads through.

Common_birds_-_part_1 x

You can also check out more about common backyard birds of North Carolina that are visiting your yard, big or small and get a free picture ID printable.

30 Small Birds in North Carolina:

  1. Northern Cardinal
  2. Carolina Wren
  3. Carolina Chickadee
  4. Tufted Titmouse
  5. Eastern Bluebird
  6. Eastern Towhee
  7. Downy woodpecker
  8. American Goldfinch
  9. House Finch
  10. Song Sparrow
  11. White-breasted Nuthatch
  12. White-throated Sparrow
  13. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  14. Chipping Sparrow
  15. Eastern Phoebe
  16. Pine Warbler
  17. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  18. European Starling
  19. Dark-eyed Junco
  20. Red-winged Blackbird
  21. Gray Catbird
  22. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  23. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  24. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  25. Red-eyed Vireo
  26. Common Yellowthroat
  27. Indigo Bunting
  28. Great Crested Flycatcher
  29. Northern Parula
  30. Eastern Wood-Pewee

30 Small Birds of North Carolina

1. Northern Cardinal

Northern cardinal male and female for identification

Northern Cardinals are common all year in North Carolina.

The bright red male Northern Cardinal with black around their faces is a great sight, especially against a white winter background.  The females are also a little showy with their brown coloring, sharp brown crest, red highlights, and red beaks.

  • Length: 8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm)
  • Weight: 1.5-1.7 oz (42-48 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-12.2 in (25-31 cm)

Northern Cardinals will sometimes attack their own reflection during breeding season as they obsessively defend their territories.

You can attract more Northern Cardinals to backyard feeders with sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo.

They will feed on large tube feeders, hoppers, platform feeders, or food scattered on the ground.

2. Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wrens are common all year in North Carolina.

Carolina Wrens are small, shy birds that are dark brown on top and light brown underneath.  They have a white eyebrow stripe and upright tail and loud teakettle song.

  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz (18-22 g)
  • Wingspan: 11.4 in (29 cm)

Carolina Wrens are residents all year across Eastern and Southeastern States. They can be found in woods or thickly vegetated areas and will visit backyard feeders.

You can attract more Carolina Wrens to your backyard feeders with suet feeders, hulled sunflower seeds or peanut hearts in large tube feeders or on platform feeders.

3. Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadees are common all year in North Carolina.

Carolina Chickadees are tiny birds with large heads, black cap and neck, white cheeks and belly, and soft gray back, wings, and tail.

  • Length: 3.9-4.7 in (10-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.9-7.9 in (15-20 cm)

They are visually very similar to the Black-capped Chickadee and they interbreed where their range overlaps.

They can be found in forested areas, parks, and backyards in Eastern and Southeastern States.

You can attract more Carolina Chickadees to your backyard feeders with Black oil sunflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, suet feeders, or peanuts.  They will feed on most types of feeders including tube feeders, suet cages, or platform feeders. They will also nest in nest boxes or nest tubes.

4. Tufted Titmouse

Tufted titmouse

Tufted Titmouse are common all year in North Carolina.

The Tufted Titmouse are small birds that are gray on the back and white underneath with a cute gray crest and large eyes that often flock with chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers.

  • Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (18-26 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-10.2 in (20-26 cm)

They are residents across Eastern and Southeastern States.

They can be assertive over smaller birds and are found in woodlands, parks, and on backyard feeders.

You can attract Tufted Titmouse to your backyard feeders with sunflower seeds, suet, and peanuts on tube feeders or suet cages.  They will also eat from platform feeders.

5. Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebirds are common all year in North Carolina.

Eastern Bluebirds are small thrushes with big, rounded heads, large eyes, and big bellies.

The males are deep blue on the back and a reddish color underneath. Females are grayer above with some blue in the wings and tail and a less vivid orange-brown breast.

  • Length: 6.3-8.3 in (16-21 cm)
  • Weight: 1.0-1.1 oz (28-32 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-12.6 in (25-32 cm)

They live in meadows and can be spotted perched on wires and posts or low branches looking for insects. They are resident over most of their range in Eastern States but may migrate south for winter from the far north.

You can attract more Eastern Bluebirds to your backyard by offering mealworms and nest boxes if your yard is fairly open and spacious.

6. Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhees are common all year in North Carolina.

Eastern Towhees are striking large sparrows, about the size of Robin, with a black head, throat, and back, reddish sides, log tails, and a white belly in the males.  The females are similar but with brown instead of black.

  • Length: 6.8-8.2 in (17.3-20.8 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.8 oz (32-52 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)

Resident in Southeastern States but birds further north move south for the winter and may only appear in winter on the western edge of their range.

Eastern Towhees spend their time rummaging in the undergrowth and can be found along the edges of forests and thickets.

Eastern Towhees visit feeders for fallen seed if your yard has overgrown borders and will also visit platform feeders for black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, cracked corn and millet.

7. Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are common all year in North Carolina.

Downy Woodpeckers are small birds that are common at backyard feeders.  They are often mixed in with other birds such as chickadees and nuthatches. 

They have black and white coloring with a red patch at the back of their heads.  They look similar to the Hairy Woodpecker.

  • Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
  • Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz (21-28 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in (25-30 cm)

Downy Woodpeckers are residents of most US states and Canada.

To attract more Downy Woodpeckers to your backyard try suet feeders but they will also eat black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts on platform feeders.

8. American Goldfinch

American goldfinch male

American Goldfinch are common all year in North Carolina.

American Goldfinches are popular birds with the males bright yellow and black coloring in spring.  The females are more dull brown as are males in winter.

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

American Goldfinches breed in the Northern States and Canada before migrating to Southern States, they remain all year in the rest of the U.S. They can be found in weedy fields and overgrown areas foraging for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants. They are also common in suburbs, parks, and backyards.

To attract more American Goldfinches to your backyard try planting thistles and milkweed.  They will visit most bird feeders and prefer sunflower seed and nyjer seed. 

9. House Finch

house finch male

House Finch are common all year in North Carolina.

House Finch have a red head and breast in the males and brown-streaked coloring in the females.  Originally only in Western States it was introduced to the eastern states and has done very well, even pushing out the Purple Finch.

  • Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz (16-27 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in (20-25 cm)

They can be found in parks, farms, forest edges, and backyard feeders. They can be found in noisy groups that are hard to miss and they feed on seeds, buds, and fruit including thistle, cactus, cherries, apricots, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and figs.

You can attract more House Finches to backyard feeders with black oil sunflower seeds or nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders.

This site is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission if you purchase a product I recommend at no extra cost to you.

The best bird feeder to attract small birds without bully birds such as grackles eating all the seed is this Woodlink caged feeder as the cage is far enough away from the feeder to prevent bigger birds just putting their heads through.

Check out these articles if you want to know more about birds in North Carolina:

10. Song Sparrow

Song sparrow for identification

Song Sparrows are common all year in North Carolina but they are more frequently spotted in winter between October and May.

Song sparrows are not as remarkable as other backyard birds but these predominantly brown-streaked small birds use their almost constant song to attract mates in spring and summer.

  • Length: 4.7-6.7 in (12-17 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-1.9 oz (12-53 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.1-9.4 in (18-24 cm)

They can be found in open, shrubby, and wet areas often perched on a low shrub singing. They are often found at backyard feeders. Song Sparrows eat a wide variety of insects and plants including beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms. They will also eat buckwheat, sunflower, raspberries, wild cherries, blackberries, wheat and, rice.

You can attract more song sparrows to your backyard feeders by putting black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and nyjer on platform feeders.

11. White-breasted Nuthatch

White breasted nuthatch for identification

White-breasted Nuthatch are common small birds all year in North Carolina.

White-breasted Nuthatches are active little birds that are gray-blue on the back and white on the face and belly, with a black cap. They will often have a chestnut color on the lower belly and under the tail.

  • Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 in (20-27 cm)

They can be found in deciduous forests, woodland edges, parks, and yards with trees or at feeders. They mainly eat insects including beetles and their larvae, caterpillars, ants, and also spiders.

White-breasted Nuthatches also eat seeds and nuts including acorns, hawthorns, sunflower seeds, and sometimes corn crops.

They jam large nuts and acorns into tree bark and then whack them with their bills to open or ‘hatch’ them to get the seed out.

You can attract more White-breasted Nuthatches to your backyard with sunflower seeds and peanuts on tube feeders or suet feeders.

12. White-throated Sparrow

White throated sparrow

White-throated Sparrow are common small birds in winter in North Carolina, between October and May.

White-throated Sparrows have a distinctive black and white striped head, bright white throat, and yellow between the eye and bill.  Their backs are brown and underneath is gray.

  • Length: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.1 oz (22-32 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm)

They are migratory birds, breeding mostly in Canada before heading south in winter to Eastern and Southern States and California.

You can find White-throated Sparrows on the ground in forests and woods and along the edges of wooded areas, often in large flocks.

White-throated Sparrows diet is mainly seeds of grasses and weeds as well as fruits such as grape, sumac, mountain ash, blueberry, blackberry, and dogwood. They will also eat a large number of insects from the forest floor, especially in summer.

You can attract White-throated Sparrows to your backyard feeders with millet and black oil sunflower seeds on platform feeders.

13. Yellow-rumped Warbler

yellow rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers are common small birds in winter in North Carolina between October and May.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are gray with flashes of yellow on the face, sides, and rump and white in the wings. Females may be slightly brown and winter birds are paler brown with bright yellow rumps and sides turning bright yellow and gray again in spring.

After breeding predominantly in Canada they migrate in large numbers south across most of the Southern and Central States and the Pacific Coast and throughout Mexico and Central America. 

  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (12-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

Yellow-rumped Warblers can be found in coniferous forests, especially during the breeding season, during winter they can be found in open areas with fruiting shrubs. In summer they eat mostly insects and on migration and in winter they mostly fruit including bayberry and wax myrtle. 

You can attract Yellow-rumped Warblers to your backyard with sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter.

14. Chipping Sparrow

chipping sparrow

Chipping Sparrows are common all year in North Carolina, but they are spotted more frequently in summer between May and August.

Chipping Sparrows are slender, long-tailed birds that have a grayish belly and brown and black-streaked back, with a rusty crown and black eye line. In winter the colors are more subdued.

  • Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (11-16 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.3 in (21 cm)

Breeding over much of North America and Canada before flying to Mexico and Florida for the winter. In The South, they remain all year.

They can be found in small flocks on open ground and will come to backyards for many kinds of birdseed.

15. Eastern Phoebe

eastern phoebe

Eastern Phoebe are common all year in North Carolina but their numbers increase during the spring and fall migration.

Eastern Phoebes are plump songbirds that are grayish-brown on the back and whitish underneath and with a darker head.

They are migratory birds, breeding across northeastern and central states and into Canada before migrating to the southeast and Mexico for winter. Some birds may remain all year towards the south of their range. 

  • Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.7 oz (16-21 g)
  • Wingspan: 10.2-11.0 in (26-28 cm)

Eastern Phoebes tend to be found alone, rather than in pairs or flocks, in quiet woodland wagging their tails from low perches.  As they are flycatchers, flying insects make up the most of their diet but they will also eat spiders and other insects, small fruit and seeds.. They often nest on bridges and barns or houses, making a nest out of mud and grass.

To attract more Eastern Phoebes to your backyard try putting up a nest box or native plants that produce berries.

16. Pine Warbler

pine warbler

Pine Warblers can be spotted all year in North Carolina but they are more common in winter between October and May.

Pine Warblers are small plump yellow birds with olive backs, white lower bellies, and gray wingbars.  Females can appear browner and have more white on the belly.

  • Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-15 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

Pine Warblers can be found in pine forests, as their name would suggest, often high up in the trees. They eat caterpillars, beetles, spiders, and other insects and larvae and when the weather is colder they will eat fruit and seeds.

They are residents in the Southeast US but those further north will migrate south after breeding.

You can attract more Pine Warblers with tube feeders and platform feeders with millet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and suet.  Also plant native fruits and vines such as bayberry, grape, sumac, and Virginia creeper.

17. Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch can be spotted all year in North Carolina.

Red-breasted Nuthatches remain all year in Northeastern and Western States, Alaska and Canada but may move south across all of North America in winter if cone crops are poor.

They are blue-gray birds with black and white stripes on the head and a rusty underside.

  • Length: 4.3 in (11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (8-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.1-7.9 in (18-20 cm)

Red-breasted Nuthatches can be found in coniferous woods foraging for cones and they do visit backyard feeders.

You can attract more Red-breasted Nuthatches to your backyard with black oil sunflower seeds, suet feeders, peanuts, and mealworms.

18. European Starling

European Starling are common all year in North Carolina.

European Starlings are not native but are now one of the most numerous songbirds.  They are stocky black birds with iridescent purple, green, and blue tones. 

  • Length: 7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm)
  • Weight: 2.1-3.4 oz (60-96 g)
  • Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Starlings eat predominantly insects including beetles, flies and caterpillars, earthworms, and spiders.  They also eat fruit including cherries, holly berries, mulberries, Virginia Creeper, sumac, and blackberries, as well as grains and seeds.

They are residents of most of North America.

Considered a pest by some due to their aggressive behavior these birds fly in large noisy flocks and can be seen perched in groups on the top of trees or flying over fields in flocks.

You can attract more European Starlings to your backyard feeders with black oil sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, and peanuts.

19. Dark-eyed Junco

Dark eyed junco for identification

Dark-eyed Junco can be spotted all year in North Carolina, but they are more common in the winter between November and April.

Dark-eyed Juncos are sparrows that are different colors depending on the state.  They are generally slate-colored in the east and black, white, and brown in the west.

  • Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.1-9.8 in (18-25 cm)

They can be found in open and partially wooded areas often on the ground and are common across the continent. Some remain resident all year in the western US states and in the Appalachian Mountains.  Those that breed in Canada and Alaska migrate south in winter to much of the United States.

You can attract more Dark-eyed Juncos to backyard feeders with a variety of seeds such as black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer, cracked corn, millet, and peanuts.  Platform feeders or scattered on the ground are best.

This site is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission if you purchase a product I recommend at no extra cost to you.

The best bird feeder to attract small birds without bully birds such as grackles eating all the seed is this Woodlink caged feeder as the cage is far enough away from the feeder to prevent bigger birds just putting their heads through.

20. Red-winged Blackbird

Red winged blackbird for identification

Red-winged Blackbirds are common all year in North Carolina.

Red-winged blackbirds are very common and easy to identify with the all-black coloring except for the bright red and yellow shoulder patches.  The females are rather dull in comparison with brown streaky coloring.

  • Length: 6.7-9.1 in (17-23 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-2.7 oz (32-77 g)
  • Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Red-winged Blackbirds are resident over most states and into Mexico and Central America. Some migrate short distances from Canada south for the winter.

They can often be spotted sitting on telephone wires and the males will fiercely defend their territories in the breeding season even attacking people that get too close to nests. In winter they roost in large numbers into the millions.

To attract more Red-winged blackbirds to your backyard try mixed grain and seeds spread on the ground.  They will also feed on large tube feeders or platform feeders.

21. Gray Catbird

gray catbird

Gray Catbirds can be spotted all year in North Carolina, but they are more common between April and November.

Gray Catbirds are so named because of their distinctive catty mew song that can last for up to 10 minutes. 

They are medium-sized songbirds with a slate gray coloring, black cap and tail, and a reddish patch under their tails.

  • Length: 8.3-9.4 in (21-24 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-2.0 oz (23.2-56.5 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)

Gray Catbirds breed over much of the US except the Pacific Coast and inland along the West and Southwest before heading south to the Gulf Coast of the US, Mexico and Central America, and the West Indies. Some remain all year along the Atlantic Coast.

You can spot Gray Catbirds in dense shrubs, small trees, and along forest edges or hedgerows.

You can attract more Gray Catbirds to your backyard feeders with fruit and fruit trees or shrubs such as dogwood, winterberry, and serviceberry.

22. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers can be spotted all year in North Carolina, but they are more common in the summer between March and October.

A tiny songbird in a soft blue-gray color on the back and grayish-white underneath. They have a black tail and patches on their wings. Males have a distinctive black ‘V’ shape on their foreheads in summer.

They have long tails and legs and small, thin, straight bills.

  • Length: 3.9-4.3 in (10-11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (4.8-8.9 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3 in (16 cm)

They breed in deciduous forests in the Southern and Eastern States and remain all year in Florida and in southern coastal areas.

Nests of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers look similar to hummingbird nests as they are small and built onto branches so they look like a tree knot covered in lichen.

Feeding on insects and spiders by constantly hopping around and scaring them by flicking their tail up and down.

23. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

ruby crowned kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet are common birds in North Carolina in winter between mid-September and March.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are small songbirds that are olive-green and the males have a brilliant red crown that is usually flat so hard to see, but really great if you do.

  • Length: 3.5-4.3 in (9-11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (5-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)

They breed across Canada and the western mountains before migrating to Southern and Southwestern States and Mexico for the winter.  They can also be seen during migration when they are widespread.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets can be hard to spot and they are fast-moving quiet birds that flit around in the foliage of lower branches and of shrubs and trees looking for spiders and insects.

They come to suet feeders or platform feeders for hulled sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and mealworms.

24. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby throated hummingbirds

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can be spotted all year in North Carolina, but they are more common in summer between April and October.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are bright green on the back and crown, with a gray-white underside and the males have an iridescent red throat.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are green on the back and white underneath with brownish crowns and sides.

  • Length: 2.8-3.5 in (7-9 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz (2-6 g)
  • Wingspan: 3.1-4.3 in (8-11 cm)

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only breeding hummingbird in Eastern North America, they then migrate further south to Central America for winter. Some migrate over the Gulf of Mexico or some migrate through Texas around the coast.

These tiny birds zip from one nectar source to the next or catch insects in midair or from spider webs. They occasionally stop on a small twig but their legs are so short they cannot walk, only shuffle along a perch.

Flowering gardens or woodland edges in summer are the best places to find them when out.  They are also common in towns, especially at nectar feeders.

Find out more about Hummingbirds in North Carolina.

25. Red-eyed Vireo

Red-Eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo are common birds in North Carolina in the summer between April and October.

Red-eyed Vireos are olive-green on their backs and white below. They have gray crowns and a white stripe above the eye. Their red eyes may appear dark from a distance or in some light conditions.

  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.9 oz (12-26 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.1-9.8 in (23-25 cm)

They breed over much of Canada and the United States, except Alaska, the far north of Canada and Southwestern States. They spend winter in South America.

They are common in forests during the summer but often remain high up in the canopy.

26. Common Yellowthroat

common yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroats can be spotted all year in North Carolina but they are more common in summer between April and October, especially during the spring and fall migration.

Common Yellowthroats are small songbirds that are brownish on the back and bright yellow underneath, with long tails.  The males have a black mask across the face.  The brightness of the yellow can vary geographically and they may be more olive in parts underneath.

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (9-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.9-7.5 in (15-19 cm)

They breed over much of North America and so can be found in the spring and summer often in marshy or wetland areas and brushy fields living in thick, tangled vegetation. 

They eat mostly insects and will be found in large backyards that have dense vegetation.

27. Indigo Bunting

Indigo bunting

Indigo Bunting are common birds in North Carolina in the summer between April and October.

Indigo Buntings are small birds with the males being bright blue with streaks of black in the wings and tail, females are brown.

  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz (12-18 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

They migrate far from breeding grounds in Eastern States to winter grounds in Florida, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

Indigo Buntings can be found in weedy fields and shrubby areas foraging for seeds and insects.  You can attract more to your backyard with small seeds such as nyjer and thistle.

28. Great Crested Flycatcher

Great_Crested_Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatchers can be spotted in North Carolina between April and October.

Great Crested Flycatchers are brown on the back with a yellow belly and gray throat. They have reddish flashed in the wing and tail feathers. The crest is not very obvious.

  • Length: 6.7-8.3 in (17-21 cm)
  • Weight: 0.9-1.4 oz (27-40 g)
  • Wingspan: 13.4 in (34 cm)

Great Crested Flycatchers breed over much of Eastern North America and spend the winter in southern Florida, southern Mexico, and into Central America.

They sit perched up high in woodland waiting for large insects flying such as butterflies, grasshoppers, moths, wasps, and also spiders. They can be found in mixed woodlands and at the edges of clearings, parks, and tree-lined neighborhoods or perched on fenceposts or other man-made structures.  They will also eat berries and small fruit.

To attract more Great Crested Flycatchers to your backyard try planting native species of plants and leaving brush piles to attract insects.  plant berry-producing plants and put up a nest box as they readily take up residence in them. 

29. Northern Parula

Northern Parula are common in the summer in North Carolina between April and November, especially during the spring and fall migration. Some remain here during winter.

With a colorful contrast of gray and yellow the Northern Parula is a cheery warbler found in woodlands.

They are bluish-gray on the back with a yellow patch on the back and with two white wingbars. Males have a chestnut band that separates the yellow throat and chest that adorns both males and females. Females are paler than males.

  • Length: 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.4 oz (5-11 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)

Northern Parulas breed in the Eastern States and Southeastern Canada before heading to Central America and the Caribbean for winter. They may remain for winter in southern Florida.

Feeding on insects high up in deciduous forests and building nests in long clumps of lichen and moss that drape from the branches. The best way to spot them is by looking up at large clumps of hanging moss in the summer.

30. Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Wood-Pewee can be spotted in North Carolina between mid-April and November.

They are named after the call they make, the Eastern Wood-Pewee is an unassuming gray flycatcher with off-white undersides.

  • Length: 5.9 in (15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.7 oz (10-19 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.1-10.2 in (23-26 cm)

Arriving later than most birds from overwintering in South America, the Eastern Wood-Pewee breeds over Eastern States and into Canada.

They can often be found perched on exposed branches in forests watching for their prey of small flying insects.

This site is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission if you purchase a product I recommend at no extra cost to you.

The best bird feeder to attract small birds without bully birds such as grackles eating all the seed is this Woodlink caged feeder as the cage is far enough away from the feeder to prevent bigger birds just putting their heads through.

Check out these articles if you want to know more about birds in North Carolina:

How to Identify Birds

Here are some tips to help you identify birds so wherever you are birding in North Carolina you have the knowledge to document and find the bird in a guide:

  1. Size – Size is the easiest thing to notice about a bird.  Birds are often measured in inches or centimeters in guide books.  It’s best to take a note of the bird in terms of small, medium, or large to be able to look for it later. A small bird is about the size of a sparrow, a medium bird is about the size of a pigeon and a large bird is the size of a goose.
  2. Shape – Take note of the silhouette of the bird and jot it down or draw the outline.  Look at tail length, bill shape, wing shape, and overall body shape.
  3. Color pattern – Take a note of the main color of the head, back, belly, and wings, and tail for the main color and then any secondary colors or patterns. Also take note of any patterns such as banding, spots, or highlights.
  4. Behavior – Are they on the ground or high up in the trees. Are they in flocks or on their own?  Can you spot what they are eating?
  5. Habitat – Woodlands, parks, shrubs, grasslands or meadows, shore or marsh.
  6. Use a bird identification app such as those created by ebird or Audubon