Birds of Iowa

The Iowa Ornithologists’ Union or IOU accepts 431 birds of Iowa as of August 2021. Of these, 91 are accidental, 29 casual, eight introduced to North America, three extinct, and one extirpated. Migratory birds are seen in several parts of the state, one being the Riverton Wildlife Area in Fremont County.

The American Goldfinch has been officially adopted as Iowa’s state bird sine 1933 onwards. Besides Iowa, it is also the state bird of New Jersey, and Washington.

Birds of Iowa

  • Northern Cardinal
  • American Goldfinch
  • American White Pelican
  • American Robin
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Blue Jay
  • Northern Bobwhite
  • Purple Finch
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • American Crow
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • House Sparrow
  • Mourning Dove
  • European Starling
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Snow Goose
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Carolina Wren
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Song Sparrow
  • House Finch
  • Brown Creeper
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • House Wren
  • Common Grackle
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Northern Flicker
  • Barn Swallow
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Cliff Swallow
  • American Tree Sparrow
  • Northern Harrier
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Black-and-white Warbler
  • Yellow-throated Warbler
  • Dickcissel
  • Pine Siskin
  • Bobolink
  • Eastern Kingbird
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Hairy Woodpecker

Birds of Prey: Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Northern Harrier, Broad-winged Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk

Backyard Birds:

All-year-round: Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Cedar Waxwing, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin

Migratory Birds

In Summer: Dickcissel, Eastern Meadowlark, Western Meadowlark, Brown Thrasher, Indigo Bunting

In Winter: Purple Finch, Brown Creeper, Dark-eyed Junco, American Tree Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee

Water Birds: Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron, American Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Egret

Rare Birds: Garganey, Snowy Plover, Black Rail, Curlew Sandpiper

Common Birds Identification by Color

Blue Birds

  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Western Bluebird
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Blue Jay
  • Great Blue Heron

Black Birds

  • European Starling
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Common Grackle
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Black-and-white Warbler

Red Birds

Yellow Birds

  • Dickcissel
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • American Goldfinch
  • Western Tanager
  • Western Meadowlark