Birds of Massachusetts

Massachusetts has around 505 species of birds, according to the September 2020 records that the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee or MARC accepts. Of these, there are 184 birds in the review list because of the rarity in their occurrence. The three extinct birds of Massachusetts include the Labrador duck, heath hen, and passenger pigeon.

Despite being a small state, Massachusetts has some striking birding hotspots like the Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center in the Newburyport city inhabited by several shorebirds during summer like the osprey and black-crowned night heron. The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, also in Newbury, is another sought-after birding destination. It is home to several birds like the great cormorant, red-necked grebe, and snowy owl that come here during spring and fall.

The largest birds found here are the albatrosses, two of which, namely the black-browed albatross and yellow-nosed albatross, have been spotted in Massachusetts but rarely. On the other hand, the house wren and house finches belong to the list of small birds seen in the state.

Massachusetts’ also has a state bird, the black-capped chickadee since 1941.

Birds of Massachusetts

  • American Goldfinch
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Bald Eagle
  • American Kestrel
  • House Finch
  • House Wren
  • American Woodcock
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • American Robin
  • Orchard Oriole
  • Canada Geese
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Blue Jay
  • Carolina Wren
  • American Crow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Chimney Swift
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Common Grackle
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • European Starling
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Mallard
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Mourning Dove
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Osprey
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Tree Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Tufted Titmice
  • Turkey Vulture
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • American Kestrel
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Wild Turkey
  • Snowy Owl
  • Black Vulture
  • Northern Harrier
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker

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

Backyard Birds:

All-year-round: Tufted Titmouse, Mourning Dove, Northern Cardinal, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch

Migratory Birds:

In Summer: Glossy Ibis, Roseate Tern, Osprey, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-headed Gull

In Winter: Black-capped Chickadee, American Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Snowy Owl

Water Birds: Common Loon, Common Tern, Least Tern, Laughing Gull, Snowy Egret

Rare Birds: Varied Thrush, King Eider, Bohemian Waxwing, Yellow-nosed Albatross, Black-browed Albatross

Common Birds Identification by Color

Black Birds

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

Yellow Birds

  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Pine Warbler
  • American Yellow Warbler
  • American Goldfinch
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler

Red Birds

  • House Finch
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Red-breasted Grosbeak
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Orange Birds

  • American Robin
  • Barn Swallow
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Orchard Oriole

Blue Birds

  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Blue Jay
  • Great Blue Heron