Yard Bird Observer

A list of birds spotted in a single, quarter-acre suburban yard in Thornton, Colorado USA.

An American Goldfinch perched on a stick.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carduelis-tristis-002.jpg

Spinus tristis

American Goldfinch

  • Date spotted: 2022-07-11
  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: summer
  • Image Source
The American Robin standing on the ground amongst leaves and a pinecone.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_Robin_in_Canada.jpg

Turdus migratorius

American Robin

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
The black-capped chickadee perched on a broken branch looking downward displaying it's shock of white on the side of its head against a black head.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlackCappedChickadee.jpg

Poecile atricapillus

Black-Capped Chickadee

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
The Black-chinned Hummingbird hovering.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Archilochus-alexandri-003.jpg#file

Archilochus alexandri

Black-chinned hummingbird

  • Frequency spotted: common in summer
  • Season(s) spotted: summer
  • Image Source
A Blue-Jay is perched on a branch against a snowy background.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cyanocitta-cristata-004.jpg

Cyanocitta cristata

Blue Jay

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
A broad-winged hawk sits on a branch and peers downward.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buteo_platypterus_Gavil%C3%A1n_aliancho_Broad-winged_Hawk_(11455801494)_(cropped).jpg

Buteo platypterus

Broad-winged hawk

  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: Winter
  • Image Source
A yellow-rumped warbler peeks out of a tree.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canada_goose_on_Seedskadee_NWR_(27826185489).jpg

Branta canadensis

Canada goose

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
A male common blackbird warily eyes the camera as he stands in grass.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blackbird_-_Turdus_merula_-_Karatavuk_02.jpg

Turdus merula

Common Blackbird

  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: unknown
  • Image Source
The common grackle perched on a thin branch shown against a cloudless sky.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sharp_Grackle_(49749968433).jpg

Quiscalus quiscula

Common Grackle

  • Frequency spotted: occasionally
  • Season(s) spotted: summer & autumn
  • Image Source
The common pigeon is shown with wings spread as it flies.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rock_dove_-_natures_pics.jpg

Columba livia

Common Pigeon

  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
The dark-eyed junco perched on a broken branch displays it's dark head feathers against its lighter body.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dark-eyed_Junco,_Washington_State_06.jpg

Junco hyemalis

Dark-Eyed Junco

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
The Downy Woodpecker clinging to the side of a tree displaying its spot of read on its head and white dotted wings.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Downey_Woodpecker_(male)_a.jpg

Dryobates pubescens

Downy Woodpecker

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: autumn, winter, spring
  • Image Source
A boring collared dove looks warily at the camera.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Streptopelia_decaocto_-_Eurasian_Collared_Dove_05.jpg

Streptopelia decaocto

Eurasian Collared Dove

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
The european starling surveys its surroundings while perched on a wooden post.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:European_starling_at_Bodega_Head-1209.jpg

Sturnus vulgaris

European Starling

  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: Summer
  • Image Source
A Ferruginous Hawk, wings tucked in, perched on top of a wooden post and looking to the left.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HAWK,_FERRUGINOUS_(12-29-07)_ca_val_-02_(2147869372).jpg

Buteo regalis

Ferruginous Hawk

  • Frequency spotted: occasionally
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
A Great Horned Owl sits on a branch facing the camera.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Great_Horned_Owl_(30706490070).jpg

Bubo virginianus

Great Horned Owl

  • Frequency spotted: occasionally
  • Season(s) spotted: winter & spring
  • Image Source
The house finch perched on a thin branch against a blue sky shows it's pale red feathers that fade into brown on its body.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:House_Finch,_southeastern_Arizona_06.jpg

Haemorhous mexicanus

House Finch

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
A female sparrow is perched on a rock.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Passer_domesticus_-_House_sparrow_03.jpg

Passer domesticus

House Sparrow

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
The Mourning Dove perched on a branch with its earthy coloration blending into the background.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mourning_dove_in_CP_(65232).jpg

Zenaida macroura

Mourning Dove

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
The northern flicker perched on a branch displaying a red mark on the back of the neck.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Northern_Flicker_(46976975415).jpg

Colaptes auratus

Northern Flicker

  • Frequency spotted: common
  • Season(s) spotted: spring & summer
  • Image Source
A northern shrike perched on a branch.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Northern_Shrike_(8128455040).jpg

Lanius borealis

Northern Shrike

  • Date spotted: 2022-12-07
  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: Winter
  • Image Source
A Red-Winged Blackbird is perched on some bull rushes.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red-winged_Blackbird_-_Flickr_-_treegrow_(14).jpg

Agelaius phoeniceus

Red-Winged Black Bird

  • Frequency spotted: occasionally
  • Season(s) spotted: summer
  • Image Source
A male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak with a black head and red flash on its white breast is perched on a branch

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RosebreastedGrosbeak08.jpg

Pheucticus ludovicianus

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

  • Date spotted: 05/03/2022
  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: spring (migration)
  • Image Source
The Sharp-Shinned Hawk perched on a brick showing its mottled breast feathers.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sharp-shinned_Hawk_(50958298391).jpg

Accipiter striatus

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

  • Date spotted: 2021-12-14
  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: winter
  • Image Source
The nuthatch is perched on a piece of bark looking upward displaying its long beak.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White-Breasted_Nuthatch_(8728).jpg

Sitta carolinensis

White-Breasted Nuthatch

  • Frequency spotted: occasionally
  • Season(s) spotted: year-round
  • Image Source
A yellow-rumped warbler peeks out of a tree.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Myrtle_yellow-rumped_warbler_(61156).jpg

Setophaga coronata

Yellow-rumped warbler

  • Frequency spotted: rare
  • Season(s) spotted: Late winter
  • Image Source

26 Spotted & Counting...

I put this site together as a way of keeping track of birds (which has become an interest of mine), and also to scratch my web design itch. The list is limited to birds my wife and I have spotted directly around our yard in Thornton, Colorado.

On the property there are two bird feeders. One is located in a young poplar in the back yard, and the other in a maple in the front. Below the maple is a bird bath, which the sparrows and blue jays especially seem to enjoy.

In the back is a towering old cottonwood where the hawks and owls like to sit and observe. Thick bushes line the perimeter and provide ample cover. All this, combined with a lack of pets, seems to have made my small patch of earth quite attractive to local birds.