With its warm, humid climate and sub-tropical weather conditions, Florida is well known for being home to some of the most beautiful and exotic wildlife on the planet.
And, of all its incredible creatures, the small birds you can find in Florida are among the most interesting.
Here, we’re going to take a look at 26 small birds you can find in Florida. We’ll look at their identifying features, natural habitat, and explore ways you can attract them to your own backyard – perfect for any avid birdwatcher!
Looking for a quick reference list of all the small birds you can find in Florida? You can find one right here:
- Northern Parula
- Carolina Chickadee
- Downy Woodpecker
- Black & White Warbler
- House Finch
- Northern Cardinal
- Tree Swallow
- Eastern Towhee
- Gray Catbird
- European Starling
- Red-Winged Blackbird
- Palm Warbler
- Eastern Bluebird
- Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
- Common Yellowthroat
- Yellow-Rumped Warbler
- White-Eyed Vireo
- House Wren
- Yellow-Throated Warbler
- Eastern Phoebe
- Prairie Warbler
- Tufted Titmouse
- Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
- Pine Warbler
- Carolina Wren
- Great-Crested Flycatcher
Now, let’s talk about each of these cute little birds in more detail!
We’re kicking our list off with one of the most colorful little birds you can find in Florida.
The Northern Parula can be identified by its bright yellow breast and throat, light blue upperparts and head, and pale underparts. Males also sport a chestnut-colored band across their throat.
In terms of size, the Northern Parula measures around 4.5-inches long and has an average wingspan of just 6.5-inches.
You’re most likely to find a Northern Parula in Florida’s deciduous forests, where they remain all year round.
Here, they hunt for insects to eat as well as seeds. You can attract the Northern Parula to your backyard with a seed mix, or by planting native shrubs that will attract insects.
The Carolina Chickadee measures around 4.5-inches long and has an average wingspan of 6.5-inches.
It can be identified by its white underparts, black wings, black cap, and black throat. It also sports a white patch on either side of its face.
This little bird has quite a varied habitat and can be found living in mixed woodlands, deciduous forests, parks, and backyards.
It also remains present in Florida all year round, and is one of the most commonly spotted backyard birds.
Giving its commonality and varied habitat, it’s quite easy to attract the Carolina Chickadee into your backyard.
Black sunflower seeds and peanuts are a particular favorite food, but they will also happily eat suet and Nyjer seed as well.
You can also increase your chances of attracting the Carolina Chickadee into your garden by installing nesting boxes, giving them somewhere safe to raise their chicks and shelter during the winter months.
Named for their fluffy-looking plumage, the Downy Woodpecker is a small Floridian bird that can be identified by its white underparts, black upperparts dotted with white, distinctive black and white striped face, and the bright red patch on its cap.
It measures around 6-inches in length and has an average wingspan of 10-inches.
It’s not uncommon to see a Downy Woodpecker in Florida as they remain resident in the State all year round.
They tend to nest and roost in woodlands where there are plenty of trees for them to drum into and expose insects living underneath, which they feed on.
However, they are quite common visitors to bird feeders as well.
If you’d like to attract the Downy Woodpecker to your backyard, fill your feeders with peanuts, suet, sunflower seeds, and millet.
They’re capable of feeding from both hanging and platform feeders as well.
Black & White Warbler
With their distinctive markings, the Black & White Warbler is one of the easier birds on our list to identify.
You can spot it by its namesake black and white stripes that cover the majority of its body, along with its pale underparts.
Males are darker than females and also sport a larger black patch on the face, but both sexes are around the same size, measuring 5-inches long and with an average wingspan of 7.5-inches.
The Black & White Warbler is a winter visitor to Florida, and can also be found in California, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
In each of these locations, their preferred habitat is mixed woodland where they hop along tree trunks looking for insects to eat.
As they are exclusively insectivorous, it can be difficult to attract the Black & White Warbler into your garden.
It isn’t impossible, though. Planting native trees and shrubs that attract insects is a great way to entice this little bird into your backyard.
Like many birds, there is a difference in appearance between male and female House Finches.
The male House Finch can be identified by its bright red breast and head, while the female House Finch is covered with white and brown streaked feathers.
They are both around the same size though, measuring 5-inches in length and with an average wingspan of 8-inches.
The House Finch has a really varied habitat and can be found living in forests, mixed woodlands, parks, and backyards. Like many small birds, it finds safety in numbers and lives in flocks.
These flocks are renowned for their noisy, boisterous activity as well, making them even easier to spot.
They aren’t shy when it comes to visiting bird feeders either, and you can attract the House Finch to your backyard with an offering of Nyjer seeds – a particular favorite of theirs.
They will also happily snack on black sunflower seeds as well.
Just like the House Finch, there is a real difference in appearance between the male and female Northern Cardinal, and this small bird takes its name from the male’s appearance.
He is covered with bright red feathers all over his body, the only exception being his black face mask.
The female Northern Cardinal, on the other hand, has pale yellow feathers and red highlights on the wings and crest.
Both sexes are the same size, measuring around 9-inches in length and with an average wingspan of 10-inches.
The Northern Cardinal is a regular visitor to backyard bird feeders, and can be attracted with an offering of peanut hearts, milo, millet, and sunflower seeds.
They are extremely territorial though, and may bully other small birds away from their newly-found food source.
In fact, the Northern Cardinal is so territorial that it has been known to attack its own reflection during the breeding season!
Quite different in appearance from the famous Barn Swallow, the Tree Swallow can be identified by its bright blue upperparts, white underparts, and dark gray wings.
These colors are only present on the male Tree Swallow, however, and females have brown feathers all over their body.
Both males and females are the same size, measuring around 5.5-inches in length and with an average wingspan of 12-inches.
The Tree Swallow is a summer visitor to Florida, choosing the State to breed and raise their brood.
As soon as fall comes around, it takes to the skies in flocks that can be hundreds of birds strong and heads towards Mexico for the winter.
As the Tree Swallow is exclusively insectivorous, you won’t be able to attract it to your garden using food.
You can, however, increase your chances of drawing it in by placing nesting boxes at least 2 meters high in a North or West facing position.
Slightly larger than most birds on our list but still small enough to be considered a “small bird”, the Eastern Towhee is a member of the Sparrow family.
You’d be forgiven for thinking differently though, as it looks nothing like most Sparrows!
The Eastern Towhee can be identified by its jet black head, face, and upperparts, white underparts, and red streak under each wing.
Female Eastern Towhee are very similar to males, although they have brown feathers in place of black.
Both sexes are the same size, measuring around 8-inches long and with an average wingspan of 9.5-inches.
The Eastern Towhee is one of Florida’s resident birds, so it can be spotted all year round. The best place to find one is in thickets and forest edges where it forages on the ground for insects and seeds to feed on.
It’s also quite easy to attract the Eastern Towhee to your backyard, especially if you have a platform feeder as they can struggle to feed from hanging feeders.
An offering of sunflower seeds, suet, millet, and cracked corn will usually be enough to draw them in.
You might think that naming a bird “Catbird” is a bit peculiar given its natural enemy!
However, the Gray Catbird actually gets its name from the unique “meow” sounding call it makes, a single note of which it can hold for up to 10 minutes!
The Gray Catbird measures around 8.5-inches in length and has an average wingspan of 10-inches.
It can be identified by the slate-gray feathers that cover the majority of its body, along with its jet black cap. It’s quite an easy bird to find as well, and is resident in Florida, Central America, and Mexico all year round.
The Gray Catbird’s preferred habitat is hedgerows and forest edges, although it has been known to nest in backyards.
It’s also fairly easy to attract to a bird feeder, and has a particular fondness for fruits. You can also increase your chances of attracting the Gray Catbird into your garden by planting winterberry or dogwood which will provide it with both food and shelter.
While not at all native to Florida, the European Starling was introduced many years ago and has done very well all over North America since.
It’s also one of the most beautiful birds you’ll ever see, and is covered with blue-black, green, and purple iridescent feathers.
It measures around 8.5-inches in length and has an average wingspan of 14-inches.
Present in Florida all year round, the European Starling can be found in a variety of habitats including woodlands, forests, and beaches.
It’s also well-known for its aerial display known as a “murmuration”, which consists of hundreds of European Starlings gathering together and creating a swirling, black cloud of birds.
The European Starling has quite a varied diet and feeds on insects, fruits, and seeds.
It’s also one of the easiest birds to attract to your backyard, and will happily visit feeders filled with black sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet.
Planting native fruiting trees and bushes in your garden is also a great way to entice the European Starling in.
There are no prizes for guessing where the Red-Winged Blackbird gets its name from!
Easily identified by the bright red patches lined with pale yellow on each wing, the Red-Winged Blackbird also has jet black feathers and legs.
Unlike many other members of the Blackbird family, however, it does not have a yellow beak or yellow eye.
Resident in Florida and most other States all year round, the Red-Winged Blackbird is often spotted sitting high up on telephone poles.
This isn’t a way for them to scope out their food, but rather a way of ensuring no other birds enter their territory.
The male Red-Winged Blackbird is notoriously territorial and will attack anything (including humans) if it feels its territory is threatened.
If you’d like to attract the Red-Winged Blackbird into your backyard, the best thing to do is use a mixture of seed and grain.
This is a ground-feeding bird, so you’ll need to use either a platform or ground feeder. Alternatively, you can scatter the seed across the ground for them to peck at.
One of the smallest birds on our list, the Palm Warbler measures a tiny 4.5-inches long and has an average wingspan of 8-inches.
It is most easily identified by its bright yellow breast and face, and it also sports a dark brown cap and lighter brown upperparts.
The Palm Warbler can be found in Florida all year round, and its numbers increase during the winter months as other birds from across North America head to the State’s warmer temperatures.
The best place to spot a Palm Warbler is in forest edges, scrublands, and weedy fields. Here, they forage for insects to feed on, which is their exclusive food source.
They’re also quite a sociable bird and will happily mix with other species such as Juncos and Sparrows for safety.
As the Palm Warbler is exclusively insectivorous, it is unlikely to visit your backyard bird feeders.
You can, however, encourage them into your garden by planting native, insect-attracting shrubs and trees.
Members of the Thrust family, the male Eastern Bluebird can be identified by its red breast, white underparts, and namesake rich blue upperparts and head.
Female Eastern Bluebirds have the same markings, although they are much duller in color.
Both sexes are the same size though, measuring around 7-inches in length and with an average wingspan of 10-inches.
The Eastern Bluebird’s preferred habitat is meadows and forest edges near a source of water, such as stream or lake.
Here they hunt on the wing for insects to feed on, snatching them out of the air with expert precision.
They are present in Florida and other Eastern States all year round, and their numbers increase during the winter as other Eastern Bluebirds migrate South for the winter.
Exclusively insectivorous, the Eastern Bluebird can be attracted to your garden with an offering of mealworms on a platform feeder.
They can also be encouraged to use nesting boxes as long as your garden is meadow-like and spacious.
Another tiny bird, the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher measures just 4-inches long and has an average wingspan of 6-inches.
It may not be as colorful as some of the other birds on our list, but it’s still beautiful nonetheless and can be identified by its namesake blue-gray feathers that cover its entire body.
During the summer, the male Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher also sports a black V-shape on its head.
Resident in Florida and other Southern coastal areas all year round, the best place to spot a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher is in deciduous forests near a source of water.
This gives them the perfect habitat for catching gnats, flies, and other flying insects that exclusively make up their diet.
Unfortunately, due to their preferred habitat and diet, it’s really unlikely that you’ll spot a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher in your backyard.
It isn’t impossible though, and if you have seen this tiny bird flitting around your garden you’ve been a very lucky bird watcher!
The Common Yellowthroat is one of the more remarkable looking birds on our list, and can be identified by its bright yellow breast and black face mask.
This face mask is also surrounded by a pale gray stripe, while the rest of its body is covered with olive-green feathers.
In terms of size, the Common Yellowthroat measures around 4.5-inches long and has an average wingspan of 6-inches.
Found all over North America, and resident in Florida all year round, the Common Yellowthroat’s preferred habitat is moist areas such as wetlands and marshes.
Here, it nests and roosts in dense vegetation and hunts for insects by foraging on the ground.
Another bird that is exclusively insectivorous, the best way of attracting the Common Yellowthroat into your garden is by letting an area of your garden “go wild”.
This involves installing a pond and letting nature take its course, leaving long grass and vegetation to grow thick, dense, and tangled.
The Yellow-Rumped Warbler is a winter visitor to Florida, flocking to the State in large numbers after spending the breeding season in Canada.
It can also be found in other Southern States during the winter, as well as Central America and Mexico.
Quite easy to spot, the Yellow-Rumped Warbler can be identified by the yellow patch on its throat, the yellow patch under each wing, and its namesake yellow rump patch.
The rest of its body is covered with black and white streaks. Females have the same markings but are much duller in color.
The best place to find a Yellow-Rumped Warbler is in coniferous forests where they hunt for insects on the wing.
They also eat fruits, particularly during the fall and winter, including wax myrtle and bayberry as well as seeds.
To attract the Yellow-Rumped Warbler into your backyard, fill your feeders with suet, sunflower seeds, and raisins.
They’re also partial to peanut butter as well, as this helps give them an energy boost and build fat reserves over the winter.
The White-Eyed Vireo can be identified by its olive-green upperparts, pale yellow underparts, white breast, and yellow face mask.
It also has namesake bright white eyes, measures around 5-inches in length, and has an average wingspan of 6-inches.
While the White-Eyed Vireo is present in Florida all year round, its numbers increase in the State during fall and winter as other birds from across North America head South to warmer temperatures.
It can be quite difficult to attract the White-Eyed Vireo into your backyard and they are exclusively insectivorous, feeding on a variety of flies, insects, and spiders.
You can, however, increase your chances of enticing them into your garden by leaving areas to go wild or planting thick bushes.
One of the most common backyard birds in Florida and across North America, the House Wren is famed for its song which is incredibly loud given its small size of just 4.5-inches long.
If its song doesn’t give it away first, you can identify the House Wren by its dark brown barred wings, dark brown upperparts, light brown underparts, and barred tail.
It also has a brown face with a pale gray eye stripe and a pale gray throat.
The House Wren has quite a wide ranging habitat and can be found living in woodlands, forest edges, parks, and backyards.
It is almost exclusively insectivorous as well, and will forage through leaf litter in search of a tasty bug to eat.
Despite its small size, the House Wren is extremely territorial and will not think twice when it comes to fighting off birds much larger than itself.
It has even been known to drag young chicks out of a nest to show other birds that it means business!
Planting native, insect-attracting trees and bushes is the best way to attract the House Wren to your garden.
You can also put up nest boxes or leave piles of brush for them to nest in and shelter in during the winter months.
Quite often mistaken for the Common Yellowthroat, the Yellow-Throated Warbler can be identified by its namesake bright yellow throat and breast, white underparts, and black and white streaked upperparts and wings.
It measures around 5-inches in length and has an average wingspan of 8-inches.
Although resident in most Eastern States all year round, the Yellow-Throated Warbler’s numbers increase in Florida during the winter months.
This is because other birds from colder parts of North America flock to the State for the warmer winter temperatures.
It is quite rare to spot a Yellow-Throated Warbler in your backyard as they rarely venture from their coniferous forest habitat.
You may spot one if you have a few conifer trees planted in your garden but, aside from this, it is quite difficult to attract them to your backyard.
The Eastern Phoebe is one of the duller-looking small birds on our list, and can be identified by its dark brown upperparts, gray underparts, and black-streaked wings.
These markings often see it mistaken for a House Sparrow, although it is a little smaller, measuring around 5.5-inches in length and with an average wingspan of 10-inches.
Another thing that separates the Eastern Phoebe from the House Sparrow is that it is a solitary bird, choosing to spend the majority of its time alone rather than in the safety of a flock.
Their preferred habitat is different too and, as members of the Flycatcher family, they live in forested areas near a source of water.
This gives them the perfect place to hunt for insects on the wing, which makes up the majority of its diet.
The Eastern Phoebe does also eat berries, particularly during the winter months, and you can attract it to your garden by planting native, berry-producing shrubs.
Covered with bright yellow and olive-green feathers, the Prairie Warbler is a colorful bird that can brighten up the occasional overcast Floridian day! It can also be identified by the black streaks it sports on either side of the body, and the black marking under each eye.
Males and females are similar in appearance, although the female is duller in color, and both measure around 4.5-inches in length.
The Prairie Warbler is resident in Florida all year round, and its numbers increase during the winter months as birds from other parts of North America head South for warmer temperatures.
You may think, given its name, that the Prairie Warbler’s preferred habitat is prairies.
However, it can actually be found living in forest edges and open fields. Here, it catches insects on the wing and forages on the ground for seeds and weeds.
Resident in Florida all year round as well as other Eastern and Southeastern States, the Tufted Titmouse can be identified by its slate-gray upperparts, white underparts, black wing tips, and rust-red patch under each wing.
It also has an impressive slate gray crest, measures an average of 6-inches in length, and has a wingspan of around 8-inches.
The best place to spot a Tufted Titmouse is in mixed woodlands and forest edges, although they have also been found in parks and backyards.
They are quite happy to visit bird feeders as well, especially those with a good variety of food on offer.
To attract the Tufted Titmouse into your backyard, fill both hanging feeders and platform feeders with suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
You can also increase your chances of attracting this bird by installing nesting boxes – just make sure you place them at least two meters from the ground.
One of the smallest birds on our list, the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet measures just 3.5-inches in length and has an average wingspan of 6.5-inches.
It can be identified by its olive green feathers that cover the entire of its body, along with black, white, and green streaked wings.
Male Ruby-Crowned Kinglets sport their namesake red patch on the head, but this is not present in females.
Winter visitors to Florida, the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet spends the breeding season in Canada before migrating South to warmer temperatures.
It does have a very specific habitat though and, regardless of the time of year, it can be found living in coniferous forests.
It also has a specially adapted beak that allows it to get into the small cracks between pine cones and get to the seeds, and this makes up the majority of its winter diet.
However, if pine cones are in short supply, it may visit a backyard bird feeder to feed on peanuts, mealworms, or sunflower seeds.
As its name suggests, the Pine Warbler is another bird that is mostly found in pine forests.
It can be identified by its olive green feathers that cover most of its body including the underparts, upperparts, breast, and head.
It also sports light gray and white streaked wings, measures around 5-inches in length, and has an average wingspan of 8-inches.
The Pine Warbler can be found in Florida all year round, and those that live in Northern States will also flock to Florida for the winter, increasing numbers in the State in the process.
While the Pine Warbler is almost exclusively insectivorous, particularly during the summer months, it can be attracted to backyards in fall and winter when its preferred food source starts to become scarce.
The best way to attract the Pine Warbler into your backyard is to fill your feeders with sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet.
Much like the House Wren, the Carolina Wren is a little bird with a big attitude!
Measuring just 5-inches in length and with an average wingspan of 11-inches, the Carolina Wren can be identified by their dark brown upperparts, light brown underparts, barred wings and tail, and white eye strips.
They also have a song that is almost comically loud for their small size.
The Carolina Wren is resident in Florida all year round, and can also be found in other Eastern and Southeastern States throughout the year.
Their habitat is mainly mixed woodlands or areas with thick vegetation to nest and shelter in, but they aren’t scared to visit backyards for an easy meal.
The best way to attract the Carolina Wren into your garden is by filling either hanging or platform feeders with peanuts and sunflower seeds.
They will also eat mealworms, as well as peck at any insects found on native shrubs and trees in your garden.
It won’t be too surprising to find out that the Great-Crested Flycatcher gets its name from its diet. Exclusively insectivorous, it is an expert at catching flies, midges, wasps, and other flying bugs out of the sky.
The Great-Crested Flycatcher can be identified by its brown upperparts, pale yellow underparts, and light gray throat.
It measures around 7-inches long and has an average wingspan of 13-inches.
Its prefered habitat is mixed woodlands and forest clearings, and it is particularly abundant in areas near a source of water as this gives it an increased chance of catching flying insects.
Planting native shrubs and trees in your garden will give you the best chance of attracting the Great-Crested Flycatcher into your garden as these will attract insects for it to feed on.
The Great-Crested Flycatcher will also eat fruits and berries during the winter, so if you include fruit-producing native shrubs in your planting scheme you’ll increase your chances of attracting this wonderful bird even more.
There you have it – 26 small birds you can find in Florida. Most of these are quite common backyard birds as well and can be attracted with a simple offering of food.
So, next time you spot a new feathered friend flitting around your garden, be sure to open this list to find out what it is!