According to the New Hampshire Rare Birds Committee (NHRBC), the state has more than 420 certified bird species.
Given that New Hampshire is one of the smallest states in mainland U.S.A, this figure is impressive and shows the high density of birds and the variety that a bird watcher would enjoy in the state!
If you’re interested in knowing more about the types of birds in New Hampshire, you’re in for a treat. In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a brief guide of the most impressive and colorful birds around the Granite State, so without further ado, let’s dive in!
Red Birds in New Hampshire
- Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis
- Length: 8.3 to 9.1 In
- Weight: 1.5 to 1.7 oz
- Wingspan: 8.9 to 12.2 In
Starting the list is one of the most vibrantly colored birds that you can find hanging around your bird feeder in New Hampshire.
The male Northern cardinals are known for their bright-red, beautiful plumage all over their body and the red crest above the head. As with other cardinal species, the Northern cardinal has a large bill that allows them to crack seeds open.
Females have a similar body structure but with a pale brown duller color plumage and orange-colored feathers on the tail, wings, and crest. Northern cardinals exist throughout the year in New Hampshire, and you may also stumble across them in open woods.
- Scientific Name: Haemorhous mexicanus
- Length: 4.9 to 6.1 in
- Weight: 0.6 to 0.9 oz
- Wingspan: 8.1 to 10.5 in
The American House finch is one of the most widespread backyard birds in New Hampshire, and you can identify the male by its impressive color.
The small-sized bird rocks a rosy red plumage that extends from its face and chest to the wings, with brown streaks along its body and tail. However, you should keep in mind that the intensity of the red color is heavily associated with the bird’s diet.
Females, on the other hand, are much less colorful with a pale brown and grayish coloration. The House finch is one of the birds that you can easily spot all year round in your backyard, and they may also nest in bird boxes.
- Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus
- Length: 9.2 to 10.3 in
- Weight: 2.2 to 3.2 oz
- Wingspan: 15.7 to 17.8 in
There’s a wide variety of woodpecker species in the state of New Hampshire. Although the Red-bellied woodpecker isn’t the most common species, it’s one of the most uniquely colored species.
Additionally, the Red-bellied woodpecker is well adjusted to residential areas, so they’ll hang around bird feeders and even nest in bird boxes.
The bird has an impressive checkered appearance that covers its back, along with a vibrant orange-red patch that runs from the top of the head to the back.
As the name suggests, it also has a faint reddish tint on its belly. The bird likes to feed on all kinds of insects as well as small fish in ponds and rivers.
- Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
- Length: 6.7 to 9.1 in
- Weight: 1.1 to 2.7 oz
- Wingspan: 12.2 to 15.8 in
The Red-winged blackbird is one of the most impressive species of blackbirds all over the state. It has a black body with vibrant red and yellow feathers that cover both of its shoulders.
This unique look is exclusive to males only, as females have a unique dark brown plumage with heavy white streaks that run through their wings and bellies.
The bird likes to hang around bodies of water and will typically land in backyards with bird fountains.
- Scientific Name: Dryobates pubescens
- Length: 5.5 to 7.1 In
- Weight: 0.7 to 1.1 oz
- Wingspan: 9.8 to 12.2 In
Despite the huge variety of woodpeckers in New Hampshire, you’re more likely to come across a Downy woodpecker than any other species in the state, as they’re the most common ones.
They’re relatively smaller than other species and have a characteristic red plumage on their napes, and a white stripe on their head, making them easy to spot and identify. However, you shouldn’t confuse them for the relatively larger Hairy woodpecker. Look at the tail. Downy woodpeckers have spots on their outer tail feathers.
Like the Red-bellied woodpecker, this bird is adapted to living in urban neighborhoods and will forage around backyards, especially if you have food items, fruits, or black oil sunflower seeds, left in the open.
- Scientific Name: Dryocopus pileatus
- Length: 16 to 19 In
- Weight: 8.8 to 14.1 oz
- Wingspan: 26 to 30 In
The Pileated woodpecker is one of the largest species of woodpeckers common to the state of New Hampshire. It’s also the bird on which Woody Woodpecker is based.
The bird is known for the flaming red cap over its head, making it easier to spot and identify. You can differentiate between males and females because males have black wings and females have brown wings. The Pileated woodpecker is known for the iconic rectangular deep holes it makes in nearby tree trunks while foraging for insects.
Ideally, insects would make up to half of the bird’s rations for the day. However, Pileated woodpeckers would also enjoy a meal of fruits and nuts as a secondary snack.
Blue Birds in New Hampshire
- Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata
- Length: 8.6 to 11.8 in
- Weight: 2.5 to 3.5 oz
- Wingspan: 13.3 to 16.9 in
The Blue jay is one of the most common blue-colored birds in the state of New Hampshire. You can quickly identify the bird by its remarkably brilliant cyan color, black necklace, and blue crest on its head. Their tails are darker with white outer feathers.
You should know that this blue color is created by its feather structure and not pigments, so the individual feather is actually white!
Despite the fantastic color and majestic look, many people consider Blue jays a nuisance due to their significantly loud and continuous calls.
Blue jays are very smart and resourceful, as they can imitate the calls of a hawk to warn other birds. Also, they’re capable of cracking hard nuts open!
- Scientific name: Quiscalus quiscula
- Length: 11.0 to 13.4 in
- Weight: 2.6 to 5.0 oz
- Wingspan: 14.2 to 18.1 in
The Common grackle is a lanky bird with a medium to large body size. The bird has a long bill and an even longer tail that bends backward like other species of blackbirds.
The bird likes to gather in large flocks, especially in tall trees in wooded mature forests. The birds are quite chatty when they’re in company, making them relatively easy to spot and identify.
Additionally, the bird has a characteristic color pattern. Males and females have an iridescent blue plumage that covers their heads and throats. However, females are typically paler than males.
- Scientific Name: Sialia sialis
- Length: 6.3 to 8.3 in
- Weight: 0.9 to 1.2 oz
- Wingspan: 9.8 to 12.6 in
The Eastern bluebird is quite common around the states of New England. The bird is characterized by its remarkably vibrant blue plumage that extends through heads, wings, and back.
The rest of the body is typically covered with shades of white, brown, and bronze. Eastern bluebirds are unlikely to land in backyards, as they prefer soaring above the open fields and countryside.
The bird also enjoys perching on telephone wires and fence posts when they’re not looking for mealworms, lizards, small spiders, and tree frogs.
- Scientific name: Megaceryle alcyon
- Length: 11.0 to 13.8 In
- Weight: 4.9 to 6.0 oz
- Wingspan: 18.9 to 22.8 inch
Although the belted kingfisher exists in modest numbers in the northeast, they seem to like it in New Hampshire!
The bird has a unique look that makes it relatively easy to spot and identify. The most characteristic features of the bird are the fuzzy crown on the top of the bird’s slate blue head and the greyish-blue plumage on the tail and back, with blue and black wings.
The bird’s underparts are typically yellow. However, female Belted kingfishers have a broad brown-color band around their belly, which is how they earned their name.
Green Birds in New Hampshire
- Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris
- Length: 2.8 to 3.5 in
- Weight: 0.1 to 0.2 oz
- Wingspan: 3.1 to 4.3 in
Green is one of the rarest bird colors in the state of New Hampshire. Yet, the state still has some green-colored specimens. The most notable one is the Ruby-throated hummingbird.
This beautiful bird is a common resident of the state during the summer mating season. Although the most characteristic feature of the adult Ruby-throated hummingbird is the ruby-red iridescent plumage on the throat, the majority of the bird’s body color is olive green.
Females are also buff-colored with a greenish wash all over the head and the back. They also have dull olive green strokes over the throat.
The hummingbird uses rapid wing beats to move in all directions, including hovering in place.
- Scientific Name: Vireo solitarius
- Length: 4.7 to 5.9 in
- Weight: 0.5 to 0.6 oz
- Wingspan: 8.7 to 9.5 in
Another green-colored bird that lives in New Hampshire is the Blue-headed vireo bird. Like all vireos in North America, the majority of the bird’s body is green in color.
The songbird is small and stocky, with a relatively long and heavy tail. The bird also has thicker legs, especially when compared to warblers.
The pale olive green color covers the bird’s back, tails, and wings. The bird also has white underparts and dark bluish-gray plumage on the head, hence the name.
Orange Birds in New Hampshire
- Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius
- Length: 9.0 to 11.0 in
- Weight: 2.3 to 2.8 oz
- Wingspan: 14.7 to 16.5 in
The American robin is easily one of the most common birds in the state of New Hampshire as well as the United States.
This familiar bird has a unique orange color that is quite rare in birds of North America. The reddish-orange plumage typically covers the bird’s underparts and breasts. The rest of the robin’s body is dark black, except for the white throat.
In addition to the bird’s color, it’s also known for laying some of the most vibrant eggs, which have a bright sky blue color that makes them easy to identify from a distance. The bird has a lovely singing tone and will hang around backyards where it feeds on insects and fruits.
- Scientific Name: Icterus galbula
- Length: 5.8 to 7.8 in
- Weight: 2.3 to 3.5 oz
- Wingspan: 3.5 to 4.7 in
The Baltimore oriole is another brilliantly colored bird usually found in New Hampshire during spring, summer, and fall. The bird is generally found on the top of deciduous trees in wooded areas.
The bird has a flaming orange plumage that covers the bird’s rump, wings, and underparts. Both males and females have these colors, but females are typically paler and have a yellowish plumage in some varieties.
- Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea
- Length: 6.3 to 6.7 in
- Weight: 0.8 to 1.3 oz
- Wingspan: 9.8 to 11.4 in
Despite the name, the Scarlet tanager is classified as a cardinal and not a tanager. The bird has a brilliant reddish-orange color.
The color exists in both males and females, and it covers the bird’s entire body except for the black tail and wings.
Yellow Birds in New Hampshire
- Scientific Name: Spinus tristis
- Length: 4.3 to 5.5 in
- Weight: 0.39 to 0.71 oz
- Wingspan: 7.5 to 8.7 in
Like American robins, the American goldfinch is native to North America. You can easily spot them as they land in backyards in search of food, even if you don’t have a bird feeder!
The bird has a bright lemon yellow and black plumage that makes them easy to spot and identify. Their tail also has black feathers, with small white markings. In addition to the color, they also have a unique flying pattern that makes them distinct from other yellow-colored birds like New World warblers.
American Yellow Warbler
- Scientific Name: Setophaga petechia
- Length: 4.7 to 5.1 inches
- Weight: 0.3 to 0.4 ounces
- Wingspan: 6.3 to 7.9 inches
Speaking of New World warblers, the American yellow warbler is one of the most common yellow-colored birds in New Hampshire.
The bird has yellow feathers that cover its belly as well as a yellow-colored hood. The rest of the bird’s body, including its back, is faint-olive green.
The bird has not adapted to residential areas as well as other birds, so you have a better chance of finding them around lakes and spruce forests.
- Scientific Name: Setophaga coronata
- Length: 4.7 to 5.5 In
- Weight: 0.4 to 0.5 oz
- Wingspan: 7.5 to 9.1 In
Another common yellow-colored bird in the state of New Hampshire is the Yellow-rumped warbler.
This bird will hang around all year round. However, you’ll have a better chance of identifying it in the summer season.
This is because Yellow-rumped warblers will exchange their canary yellow feather coat with a dark gray one with patches during the winter. The plumage typically covers the bird’s rump as well as the faces and wings.
Other Birds to Watch in New Hampshire
- Scientific Name: Haemorhous purpureus
- Length: 4.7 to 6.3 inches
- Weight: 0.6 to 1.1 ounces
- Wingspan: 8.7 to 10.2 inches
One of the most eye-catching birds commonly found in the state of New Hampshire is the Purple finch. Despite its name, the bird’s primary color is raspberry-red with hues of purple across the body.
The unique and impressive bird was voted the official state bird of New Hampshire by a vote in 1957. The bird has a small body, which is equal to the size of chickadees.
They have a relatively large beak compared to other sparrows and are commonly found in open forests and wooded areas where they like to perch. However, they typically forage on the ground as they mainly feed on insects.
Eastern Screech Owl
- Scientific Name: Megascops asio
- Length: 6.3 to 9.8 in
- Weight: 4.3 to 8.6 oz
- Wingspan: 18.9 to 24.0 in
The Eastern screech owl is one of the most iconic birds of New Hampshire despite being a relatively small one.
There are two common varieties of Eastern screech owl; the grey morph (mostly grey) and the rufous (mostly reddish-brown). The bird has perfect camouflage due to its subtle colors, making them a bit difficult to identify.
Although the bird is strictly nocturnal, it doesn’t mind hanging around residential areas and suburban neighborhoods.
The bird is known for having fake ear tufts used to communicate and intimidate other birds.
- Scientific Name: Zenaida macroura
- Length: 11.8 to 12.2 inches
- Weight: 4.3 to 6.4 ounces
- Wingspan: 17.3 to 18.2 inches
The Mourning dove is a pretty common medium-sized bird in the state of New Hampshire and neighboring states. It’s known for its pale buff color, the sky blue ring around the eye, and black spots above the wings.
The bird typically feeds at ground level and will happily land in your backyard if you fill your feeder with safflower seeds and millet.
- Scientific Name: Molothrus ater
- Length: 7.5 to 8.7 in (males) – 6.3 to 7.9 in (females)
- Weight: 1.5 to 1.8 oz (males) – 1.3 to 1.6 oz (female)
- Wingspan: 14.0 to 14.4 in (males) – 10.0 to 12.6 in (females)
The Brown-headed cowbirds are a parasitic brood species. They typically lay their eggs in other birds’ nests to be raised and fed by the other birds.
The bird usually has a dark body with a brown head, a feature shared by both males and females. However, males are typically much larger than females.
- Scientific name: Columba livia
- Length: 11.8 to 14.2 in
- Weight: 9.3 to 13.4 oz
- Wingspan: 19.7 to 26.4 in
The Rock dove, also called “Rock pigeon,” is among the most common tubby doves in New Hampshire. The bird is slightly larger than other pigeons, including the mourning dove.
The bird has a generally gray plumage all over its body with red eyes. However, the most characteristic feature of the bird is the iridescent plumage that covers the bird’s throat and chest.
This iridescent plumage will typically shine in green and purple, which gives the bird a very characteristic appearance.
- Scientific name: Poecile atricapillus
- Length: 4.7 to 5.9 in
- Weight: 0.3 to 0.5 oz
- Wingspan: 6.3 to 8.3 in
The Black-capped chickadee is one common bird in New Hampshire and surrounding states. It’s known for its large head and extremely short neck.
The bird also has a long and thin tail and a black cap on its head that makes them easy to identify. The bird’s underparts are usually white.
- Scientific name: Sitta carolinensis
- Length: 5.1 to 5.5 in
- Weight: 0.6 to 1.1 oz
- Wingspan: 7.9 to 10.6 in
The White-breasted nuthatch is one of the most common backyard birds in New Hampshire due to its excellent adaptation to residential areas.
The bird has a bluish-gray head, back, and rump, along with white underparts and breasts. The bird will typically nest in bird boxes and trees around your house but can also be found in deciduous forests.
As the 5th smallest state in the U.S.A, New Hampshire surely packs a punch when it comes to the variety of bird species!
It’s an ideal spot for beginner bird watchers who like to observe backyard birds and advanced birders interested in the most exotic bird species in North America!