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21 Brown Birds in Florida [Images + IDs]

Discover the subtle beauty of brown birds in Florida with this comprehensive guide designed to enhance your identification skills.

Identifying them can be a bit tricky because they don’t always stand out like the brightly colored birds.

But don’t worry! This guide is here to make it easy for you to spot and name birds like sparrows and wrens. Learn about the different brown birds you might see in Florida throughout the year.

Whether these birds are hanging out in your backyard, chilling in the woods, or playing in fields, this guide has got you covered. We’ve ranked them from the most common to the least based on checklists from bird watchers on ebird. So, get ready to discover and enjoy the beauty of these not-so-flashy but still amazing brown birds!

List of 21 Brown Birds in Florida

Brown Thrasher

birds with speckled breast

  • Scientific name: Rhinopomastus minor
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Size: 20-30 cm
  • Native to: eastern and Central United States and Southern and central Canada

The Brown Thrasher, a non-migratory bird, can be observed year-round in Florida. It is documented on 17% of summer birdwatcher checklists and 6% of winter checklists.

With their rich reddish-brown plumage, striking yellow eyes, and long, downward-curved bill, Brown Thrashers are distinctively beautiful birds.

The Brown Thrasher’s habitat spans across the eastern half of the United States and into parts of Canada, where they are present throughout the year.

They are often found in dense shrubs and undergrowth, where they forage for insects, spiders, berries, and seeds. Brown Thrashers are skilled at using their long bills to flip aside leaves and debris to uncover their prey.

These birds are known for their remarkable repertoire of songs, and they can mimic the calls of other birds. Their songs are complex and vary significantly from region to region.

To attract Brown Thrashers to your backyard, provide them with a variety of food options such as mealworms, suet, and fruit. Dense shrubs and low vegetation will also encourage them to take residence in your garden.

House Wren

  • Scientific name: Troglodytes aedon
  • Lifespan: Typically 2-5 years
  • Size: Small wren; around 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to the Americas

The House Wren, a non-migratory bird, can be seen year-round in Florida. They appear on 27% of summer birdwatcher checklists and 5% of winter lists.

With their plain brown plumage and slightly curved bill, House Wrens may not stand out at first glance, but they are incredibly active and lively birds.

House Wrens are found across most of North America, from Canada to the southern United States. They prefer habitats with open areas and small trees or shrubs, including urban and suburban gardens.

These tiny birds have a powerful and melodious song that they use to establish and defend their territories. House Wrens are known to nest in birdhouses, tree cavities, and other small spaces.

To attract House Wrens to your backyard, provide them with nest boxes or birdhouses, and avoid using chemicals that could harm insects, as they primarily feed on insects and spiders.

American Robin  birds with orange chest

  • Scientific name: Turdus migratorius
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Size: 8-11 inches
  • Native to: Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin

The American Robin, a migratory bird, is a common sight in Florida during the winter months. It can be found on 36% of winter birdwatcher checklists.

With their brownish-gray backs and distinctive orange-red breasts, American Robins are easily recognizable. These medium-sized songbirds have a cheerful appearance and are known for their melodious songs.

During the breeding season, American Robins can be found throughout the entire United States and into southern Canada. However, during winter, some robins migrate southwards to states like Florida to escape the harsh cold.

These robins are often seen foraging on lawns, gardens, and even golf courses, where they search for earthworms, insects, and berries. They have adapted well to urban environments and are commonly spotted in residential areas.

To attract American Robins to your backyard, you can provide them with mealworms, suet, or fruit, and set up a birdbath for them to drink and bathe in.

Northern Mockingbird (Medium Grey Birds)

Grey Birds

  • Scientific name: Mimus polyglottos
  • Lifespan: about 8 to 10 years
  • Wingspan: 12 to 14 inches
  • Native to the United States and in Canada and Mexico

The Northern Mockingbird is a year-round resident of Florida, with a notable presence in 7% of summer birdwatching checklists and 5% during the winter.

Sporting a light gray-brown plumage with white patches on its wings, the Northern Mockingbird is an elegant bird known for its diverse and impressive song repertoire. Males are often seen perched prominently, singing loudly to attract mates.

Northern Mockingbirds are found throughout much of the United States, including the southern regions, where they remain year-round. They can also be spotted in Mexico and parts of Canada.

These birds are highly territorial and will defend their nesting areas vigorously. They have a diverse diet, feeding on insects, berries, and fruits, and are skilled at mimicking the calls of other birds, animals, and even mechanical sounds.

To attract Northern Mockingbirds to your backyard, provide a varied diet of insects, fruits, and berries. They are also known to enjoy birdbaths for drinking and bathing.

Eastern Towhee

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus
  • Lifespan: Up to 9 years
  • Size: Approximately 20 centimeters (8 inches) in length
  • Origin: Native to eastern North America

The Eastern Towhee, a non-migratory bird, can be seen year-round in Florida, featuring in 9% of summer birdwatching checklists and 5% during the winter.

These medium-sized sparrows are recognized for their striking black upperparts, rusty sides, and white underparts, complemented by bright red eyes.

Eastern Towhees inhabit much of the eastern United States, including Florida, and they can also be found in parts of Canada.

They are typically seen foraging on the ground, using their strong beaks to scratch through leaves and debris in search of insects, seeds, and berries. They prefer habitats with dense undergrowth, such as woodland edges, overgrown fields, and shrubby areas.

Eastern Towhees have a distinctive call, often described as “drink-your-tea!” which can help birdwatchers identify their presence.

To attract Eastern Towhees to your backyard, create dense brushy areas with native shrubs and plants that provide food and shelter. They are also known to visit bird feeders for seeds and suet.

Red-winged Blackbird – Female

  • Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
  • Lifespan: About 1-3 years
  • Size: Medium-sized blackbird; approximately 7-9 inches (18-23 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to North and Central America

Red-winged Blackbirds are year-round residents in Florida, featuring in about 8% of summer birdwatching checklists and 2% during the winter.

The females of this species are predominantly brown with streaked plumage, and unlike the males, they lack the iconic red and yellow shoulder patches.

Red-winged Blackbirds can be found throughout much of North America and are commonly seen in marshes, wetlands, and grassy areas. They are highly social birds and often congregate in large flocks.

Their diet includes seeds, insects, and occasionally small vertebrates. They are known for their distinctive “conk-la-ree” song, which is used to establish territory during the breeding season.

To attract Red-winged Blackbirds to your backyard, provide a mix of seeds and insects in feeders or scattered on the ground. Creating a water feature such as a bird bath or shallow pond can also be enticing to these birds.

Brown Pelicans

birds with blue eyes

  • Scientific name: Pelecanus occidentalis
  • Lifespan: 30 years
  • Size:45 inches
  • Native to: U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the southeastern coast

Brown Pelicans are permanent residents in Florida, featuring in about 3% of summer birdwatching checklists and 6% during the winter.

These large seabirds have dark brown plumage with a white head and neck. They are known for their unique fishing behavior, diving from the air to catch fish with their expandable throat pouch.

Brown Pelicans are found along the coastlines of the southeastern United States, including Florida, and also inhabit parts of the Pacific Coast and the Caribbean.

They primarily feed on fish and are often seen flying in formation or gliding over the water, looking for their next meal.

To attract Brown Pelicans to your backyard, it is essential to live near coastal areas or bodies of water where they can find their natural food sources. They are not typically drawn to traditional bird feeders.

Brown-headed Nuthatch

  • Scientific name: Sitta pusilla
  • Lifespan: About 2-4 years
  • Size: Small nuthatch; approximately 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to the southeastern United States

Brown-headed Nuthatches are year-round residents in Florida, appearing in about 3% of summer birdwatching checklists and 2% during the winter.

These small, compact birds have brown heads, white faces, and blue-gray backs, with a distinctive black cap on their heads.

Brown-headed Nuthatches are native to the southeastern United States, including Florida, and are found in pine forests.

They are known for their acrobatic foraging behavior, climbing up and down tree trunks in search of insects and seeds. They are also known for their unique “yank-yank” calls.

To attract Brown-headed Nuthatches to your backyard, consider planting pine trees and providing bird feeders with suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

Eastern Screech-Owl

  • Scientific name: Megascops asio
  • Lifespan: Typically 5-7 years
  • Size: Small owl; about 6.3-9.8 inches (16-25 cm) in length, wingspan of 18-24 inches (46-61 cm)
  • Origin: Native to North America,

Eastern Screech Owls are year-round residents in Florida, appearing in about 4% of summer birdwatching checklists and 3% during the winter.

These small owls come in two color morphs: red and gray. The red morph has rusty red plumage, while the gray morph has gray and brown feathers with streaks.

Eastern Screech Owls are common throughout much of the eastern United States, including Florida. They are nocturnal hunters and are often heard rather than seen.

To attract Eastern Screech Owls to your backyard, consider installing owl nest boxes in mature trees. They are also known to be attracted to bird feeders with suet and mealworms, which may draw in their prey. However, keep in mind that they are primarily insectivores and should not be fed mice or other rodents.

Common Yellowthroat

  • Scientific name: Geothlypis trichas
  • Lifespan: Typically 2-5 years
  • Size: Small warbler; around 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to North and Central America

The Common Yellowthroat is a migratory bird that can be seen in Florida during both spring and fall migration periods. They are observed in approximately 6% of birdwatching checklists during these times.

The male Common Yellowthroat is easily recognizable with its bright yellow throat and breast, olive-green back, and a distinctive black mask that extends from the eyes to the neck. The female, on the other hand, has a similar pattern but with paler colors.

Common Yellowthroats breed in the northern United States and Canada and migrate to Central and South America for the winter.

These birds prefer dense, marshy habitats with tall grasses and shrubs, where they can often be heard singing their “witchity-witchity-witchity” song.

To attract Common Yellowthroats to your backyard, consider planting native shrubs and providing a water source such as a birdbath. They may also visit feeders that offer mealworms and suet during their migration periods.

Wood Thrush

  • Scientific name: Hylocichla mustelina
  • Lifespan: up to 8 years
  • Size: 7 inches
  • Native to: deciduous and mixed forests in the eastern U.S

The Wood Thrush is a migratory bird that can be seen in Florida during both spring and fall migration periods. They feature in approximately 3% of birdwatching checklists during these times.

Wood Thrushes are medium-sized thrushes with a warm brown upper body and white underparts with bold dark spots. They have a distinctive white eye ring and a reddish-brown tail.

Wood Thrushes breed in the eastern United States and Canada and migrate to Mexico and Central America for the winter.

These birds prefer mature forests with a dense understory and can be found foraging on the forest floor for insects, earthworms, and berries.

To attract Wood Thrushes to your backyard, create a habitat with native trees and shrubs and avoid the use of pesticides to support their insect food sources.

Indigo Bunting

  • Scientific name: Passerina cyanea
  • Lifespan: About 2-5 years
  • Size: Small songbird; approximately 4.5-5 inches (11-13 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to North and Central America

Indigo Buntings are migratory birds that can be seen in Florida during both spring and fall migration periods. They are observed in approximately 3% of birdwatching checklists during these times.

Male Indigo Buntings are striking birds with bright blue plumage, while females have a more subdued brown coloration with blue highlights.

Indigo Buntings breed in the eastern and central United States and southern Canada and migrate to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean for the winter.

These birds prefer open areas with brushy vegetation, where they forage for seeds and insects.

To attract Indigo Buntings to your backyard, provide a mix of seeds such as millet, sunflower seeds, and nyjer in feeders. Planting native shrubs and providing a water source can also help entice them to visit.

Blue Grosbeak

  • Scientific name: Passerina caerulea
  • Lifespan: Typically 2-5 years
  • Size: Small songbird; around 6-7 inches (15-18 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to North and Central America

Blue Grosbeaks are migratory birds that can be seen in Florida during both spring and fall migration periods. They are observed in approximately 2% of birdwatching checklists during these times.

Male Blue Grosbeaks are stunning birds with bright blue plumage and chestnut wing bars. Females have a more muted brown coloration.

Blue Grosbeaks breed in the southern and central United States and Mexico and migrate to Mexico and Central America for the winter.

These birds prefer open areas with scattered trees and shrubs, where they forage for seeds and insects.

To attract Blue Grosbeaks to your backyard, provide a mix of seeds such as sunflower seeds and millet in feeders. They may also be enticed by a water source such as a birdbath.

Orchard Oriole

  • Scientific name: Icterus spurius
  • Lifespan: 9 years.
  • Size: 5.9-7.1 in
  • Native to: Canada–United States border south to central Mexico

Orchard Orioles are migratory birds that can be seen in Florida during both spring and fall migration periods. They are observed in approximately 2% of birdwatching checklists during these times.

Male Orchard Orioles have bright chestnut plumage with black wings and tails. Females have a more subdued greenish-yellow coloration.

Orchard Orioles breed in the eastern and central United States and southern Canada and migrate to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean for the winter.

These birds prefer open woodlands, orchards, and gardens, where they forage for insects, nectar, and fruits.

To attract Orchard Orioles to your backyard, provide oranges, jelly, and mealworms in feeders. Planting fruit-bearing trees and shrubs can also help entice them to visit.

Painted Bunting

  • Scientific name: Passerina ciris
  • Lifespan: About 3-6 years
  • Size: Small songbird; approximately 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to North and Central America

Painted Buntings are migratory birds that can be seen in Florida during both spring and fall migration periods. They are observed in approximately 1% of birdwatching checklists during these times.

Male Painted Buntings are one of the most colorful birds in North America, with bright blue, green, and red plumage. Females have a more subdued green coloration.

Painted Buntings breed in the southeastern United States and Mexico and migrate to Mexico and Central America for the winter.

These birds prefer brushy areas, grasslands, and weedy fields, where they forage for seeds and insects.

To attract Painted Buntings to your backyard, provide a mix of seeds such as millet, sunflower seeds, and nyjer in feeders. They are also attracted to brightly colored objects, so adding some red decorations near the feeders may entice them to visit.

American Tree Sparrow

  • Scientific name: Spizelloides arborea
  • Lifespan: Typically 2-5 years
  • Size: Small sparrow; around 5-6 inches (13-15 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to North America

American Tree Sparrows are migratory birds that can be seen in northern parts of Florida during the winter season, from October to April.

These small and plump sparrows have distinctive rusty caps, gray faces, and a central dark spot on their chests.

American Tree Sparrows breed in the northern regions of Canada and Alaska and migrate southward during the winter, reaching parts of the northeastern and central United States.

During the winter months, they can be found in weedy fields, hedgerows, and open woodlands, where they forage for seeds and insects.

To attract American Tree Sparrows to your backyard, provide a mix of seeds such as millet and sunflower seeds in feeders. They may also be enticed by a water source such as a birdbath.

Red Crossbill

  • Scientific name: Loxia curvirostra
  • Lifespan: Typically 4-7 years
  • Size: Small finch; around 5.5-6.5 inches (14-17 cm) in length
  • Origin: Found in North America, Europe, and Asia

Red Crossbills are infrequently observed in Florida, but they can be seen in the northern parts of the state during the winter season.

These unique finches are known for their crossed bills, which are specialized for extracting seeds from conifer cones.

Red Crossbills have a widespread distribution, and their movements are often driven by the availability of conifer cone crops. They breed in coniferous forests across North America and can be found year-round in some regions.

To spot Red Crossbills, look for them in coniferous habitats such as pine, spruce, and fir forests. They are highly mobile and may move in search of food.

To attract Red Crossbills to your backyard, providing pinecones with seeds can be enticing for them. However, please note that their presence can be sporadic and may not be guaranteed.

Evening Grosbeak

  • Scientific name: Coccothraustes vespertinus
  • Lifespan: About 5-8 years
  • Size: Medium-sized grosbeak; approximately 6.5-8 inches (17-20 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to North America

Evening Grosbeaks are infrequently observed in Florida, but they can be seen during the winter season in the northern parts of the state.

These large and colorful finches are known for their vibrant yellow, black, and white plumage.

Evening Grosbeaks are highly nomadic and are known for their irregular movements in search of food. They breed in coniferous and mixed forests in Canada and Alaska and may move southward during the winter to find food sources.

To spot Evening Grosbeaks, look for them in areas with abundant conifer seeds and fruit trees.

To attract Evening Grosbeaks to your backyard, provide a mix of seeds such as sunflower seeds and nyjer in feeders. They may also be enticed by fruit offerings, such as apples and oranges. However, please note that their presence can be sporadic and may not be guaranteed.

Florida Scrub-Jay

  • Scientific name: Aphelocoma coerulescens
  • Lifespan: Typically 3-5 years
  • Size: Medium-sized jay; around 11-12 inches (28-30 cm) in length
  • Origin: Endemic to Florida in the United States

The Florida Scrub-Jay is a year-round resident of its namesake state, appearing in about 3% of summer birdwatching checklists and 1% during the winter.

These beautiful birds have a bright blue plumage with a grayish-brown back and white underparts. They are found only in Florida and are classified as a threatened species due to habitat loss.

Florida Scrub-Jays inhabit oak scrub habitats and are highly territorial. They are known for their intelligence and have been observed using tools and caching food.

To attract Florida Scrub-Jays to your backyard, it is important to provide a suitable habitat. They prefer open areas with low vegetation, so planting native shrubs and trees can be beneficial. However, be aware that direct feeding of Florida Scrub-Jays is discouraged due to potential negative effects on their behavior and ecology.

Black-and-white Warbler

black bird with white stripes on wings and tail

  • Scientific name: Mniotilta varia
  • Lifespan: about 11 years
  • Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in
  • Native to: As far north as northern Canada and winter as far south as northern South America

The Black-and-white Warbler is a migratory bird that can be seen in Florida during both spring and fall migration periods. They are observed in approximately 3% of birdwatching checklists during these times.

These small, striking warblers are named for their distinctive black and white striped plumage. They have bold black streaks on a white belly and flanks, with a black cap and a white eyebrow stripe.

Black-and-white Warblers breed in eastern North America and Canada and migrate to Central and South America for the winter.

These agile birds forage insects by creeping along tree trunks and branches, similar to the behavior of nuthatches.

To attract Black-and-white Warblers to your backyard, provide suet and mealworms in platform feeders. They may also be enticed by a water source such as a birdbath.

Magnolia Warbler:

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Setophaga magnolia
  • Lifespan: 4-7 years
  • Size: 11-13 centimeters (4.3-5.1 inches)
  • Origin: North America

The Magnolia Warbler is a migratory bird that can be seen in Florida during both spring and fall migration periods. They are observed in approximately 2% of birdwatching checklists during these times.

Male Magnolia Warblers have striking black and yellow plumage, with bold black streaks on a bright yellow breast and white underparts. The female has similar colors but with less contrast.

Magnolia Warblers breed in the boreal forests of Canada and the northern United States and migrate to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean for the winter.

These active insect-eaters forage in the treetops, gleaning insects from leaves and branches.

To attract Magnolia Warblers to your backyard, plant native trees and shrubs that provide insects as food sources. Offering mealworms and suet in feeders during migration periods may also entice them to visit.

Final Thoughts on Brown Birds in Florida

The diverse world of brown birds in Florida is a fascinating one to explore. This guide is your companion to unraveling the mystery of these subtly hued avian friends, helping you confidently identify sparrows, wrens, and other brown beauties. As you observe them in your backyard, amidst wooded landscapes, or across open fields, remember that each bird has its own story and unique charm.

By organizing the information based on the observations of dedicated bird watchers on ebird, we’ve created a roadmap for you to appreciate the most common to the rarest brown birds in Florida. So, whether you’re a seasoned bird enthusiast or just starting your birdwatching journey, may this guide enhance your connection with the often overlooked but truly remarkable world of brown birds. Happy birdwatching!

I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind Birdsology.com. My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends. Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, Birdsology.com is designed to be a welcoming community for all. Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
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