Birds of Kentucky

Kentucky has beautiful birds dwelling around, some being regular residents while a few migrate in summer, fall, and winter. The Nature Conservancy in Kentucky is home to birds like the northern bobwhite quail and yellow-billed cuckoo in the hotter months. In winter, one could spot the American woodcock and the brown creeper there.

The Kentucky Bird Records Committee or KRBC recognizes 391 official species of Kentucky as per the November 2019 records. The four extinct species include the passenger pigeon, ivory-billed woodpecker, Carolina parakeet, and Bachman’s warbler.

The northern cardinal was approved the state bird of Kentucky in 1926 and has continued to be the same since then.

Birds of Kentucky

  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Rufous Hummingbird
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Carolina Wren
  • Kentucky Warbler
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Snow Bunting
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • American Wigeon
  • American Crow
  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • House Finch
  • Canvasback
  • Northern Flicker
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • American Goldfinch
  • Common Grackle
  • American White Pelican
  • Prothonotary Warbler
  • Eastern Screech
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Bald Eagle
  • American Kestrel
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Blue Jay
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Sharp-skinned Hawk
  • Whopping Crane
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • Snow Goose
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • Black Tern
  • Great-crested Flycatcher
  • Least Tern
  • Wood Duck
  • American Robin
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • Pine Siskin
  • Green Heron
  • Wild Turkey
  • Turkey Buzzard
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Gadwall
  • Common Loon
  • Mallard Duck
  • Northern Pintail
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee

Backyard Birds:

All-year-round: Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, Mourning Dove, American Goldfinch

Migratory Birds:

In Summer: Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great-crested Flycatcher

In Winter: Northern Harrier, Fox Sparrow, Canvasback, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Phoebe

Birds of Prey: Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk

Water Birds: American White Pelican,Sandhill Crane, Least Tern,Wood Duck,American Wigeon

Rare Birds: Purple Gallinule, Wood Stork

Common Birds Identification by Color

Blue Birds

  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Blue Jay
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Western Bluebird

Red Birds

  • House Finch
  • Northern Cardinal
  • American Robin
  • Common Redpoll
  • Red-shouldered Hawk

Yellow Birds

  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • American Goldfinch
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Prairie Warbler
  • Yellow-throated Warbler

Black Birds

  • European Starling
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Common Grackle
  • Rusty Blackbird