Birds of Illinois

The Illinois Ornithological Records Committee IORC recognizes around 450 species as native to the state of Illinois. The wild turkey, ruffled grouse, and sharp-tailed grouse have been extirpated from the state. 

One would find beautiful bird species scattered throughout the state. Common birds in northern Illinois include the American goldfinch, blue jay, and northern cardinal. The downy woodpecker, prothonotary warbler, and barred owl can be spotted in southern Illinois, mostly in summer. Some common birdwatching sites include the Giant City State Park, Morton Arboretum, and the Eldon Hazlet State Park.

The northern cardinal has been the state bird of Illinois since 1929.

Birds of Illinois

Backyard Birds:

All-year-round: Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, Blue Jay, House Finch, Black-capped Chickadee

Migratory Birds:

In Summer: Prothonotary Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Purple Martin, House Wren, Indigo Bunting

In Winter: Glaucous Gull, Carolina Wren, Pine Siskin, Snow Bunting, Great Horned Owl

Birds of Prey: Red-tailed Hawk, Snowy Owl, Bald Eagle, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk

Rare Birds: Bobolink,Red Knot, Northern Harrier, Yellow Cardinal

Water Birds: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron,American Bittern

Common Birds Identification by Color

Black Birds

Yellow Birds

  • American Goldfinch
  • American Yellow Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat

Blue Birds

  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Blue Jay
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Lazuli Bunting
  • Mountain Bluebird

Red Birds

White Birds

  • Wood Stork
  • Whopping Crane
  • American White Ibis
  • White-tailed Kite
  • Common Gull

Subscribe our newsletter

Enter your email here to stay updated with the animal kingdom