Our Favorite Southern Songbirds

Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Every Southern state has its favorite songbirds, and every state has a state bird (or two) that it celebrates. As to what defines a songbird, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Songbird [is] any member of the suborder Passeri (or Oscines), of the order Passeriformes, including about 4,000 species—nearly half the world's birds—in 35 to 55 families." This encompasses many, many birds. We've picked just a few of our favorites. From the blackbirds with red shoulder pads to the murmuration-forming starlings, these birds have plenty to recommend them, including their warbles, chirps, and whistles. They're memorable because of their appearances and the songs they sing—some of which are more musical than others. We love when they visit our gardens, even if they do like to eat our berries (we're looking at you, Robin Red-Breast). If you'd like to learn how to attract birds to your garden, check out Grumpy's tips. Then take a spin through this list of Southern birds of prey.

01 of 10

American Robin

American Robin
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Turdus migratorius

These familiar, red-breasted birds are harbingers of spring across the Southern states and throughout the U.S.

02 of 10

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher
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Toxostoma rufum

Found in many Southern states year-round—including Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida—this big, reddish-brown bird is the state bird of Georgia.

03 of 10

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren
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Thryothorus ludovicianus

These birds, which are commonly found throughout the South in all seasons, emit a distinctive, musical song.

04 of 10

House Finch

House Finch
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Haemorhous mexicanus

Finches have bright, cheerful chirps and can be found across the U.S, as far north as Maine and throughout the Southern states.

05 of 10

House Sparrow

House Sparrow
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Passer domesticus

This bird, which is found throughout the U.S. year-round, is one of the most common songbirds in the world and lives in both cities and rural areas.

06 of 10

Kentucky Warbler

Kentucky Warbler
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Geothlypis formosa

This bright yellow bird is commonly found throughout the South—including in, yes, Kentucky—during its breeding season.

07 of 10

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal
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Cardinalis cardinalis

You can't miss these bright red birds, which have red beaks and pointed red combs atop their heads. They're commonly found throughout the Southeastern and Eastern U.S., and they sing a whistling song. Learn more about the Northern cardinal.

08 of 10

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird
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Mimus polyglottos

Found throughout the Southern reaches of the United States, these birds have repetitive songs and are also able to imitate the sounds they hear. They have the capability of making hundreds of distinctive noises.

09 of 10

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird
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Agelaius phoeniceus

Commonly found from the East Coast to the West Coast, these blackbirds have red and yellow patches on their wings.

10 of 10


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Sturnus vulgaris

Common in the U.S., starlings that live in the South usually do so year-round, while those that live farther north often migrate in autumn.

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