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					                                                                  Rebecca L. Jordi, County Extension Director
                                                                  904 491-7340 or 904 879-1019

Wildlife Refuge – Birds

This table provides you with specific management techniques to attract the birds you
desire to your backyard. Only 63 of the most common species found in Florida yards
have been included. Creating high quality habitat for these species will inevitably attract many more.

Florida birds fall into four groups: year-round residents, summer breeders, winter visitors and seasonal
migrants. This table lists the geographical the northeast part of Florida, the time of year likely to encounter the
bird (year-round - R, summer breeder - SB, winter resident - WR, migrant - M).

We have described the birds' desired natural foods and nesting sites so you can be sure your backyard habitat is
complete. You will also be able to note whether birds you especially want to attract are likely to use a feeder or
a nest box. Finally, special management and landscape considerations are listed for each species.

BIRDS            Cardinal
(Common          Blue Grosbeak                       Purple Martin
Name)            Buntings

                 Cardinal - R                        Purple Martin - R                 Ruby-throated
                 Blue Grosbeak - SB                                                    Hummingbird - SB
                 Indigo & Painting Bunting - SB

Preferred    Mostly seeds of wild, cultivated Vast quantities of insects.              Flower nectar, tiny insects &
Natural Food grasses, some insects. Cardinals                                          spiders.
             eat more than 100 kinds of fruits.

Preferred        Thickets, vines, dense stands of    Natural cavities, holes &         Limb of low tree, often
Nesting Site     young saplings, other brushy        crevices in sides of bluffs or    overhanging water.
                 plants                              cliffs.

Will They Use
              Yes                                    No                                Yes

Nest Boxes?      No                                  Yes                               No

Special          Cardinals prefer mixed gardens      Prefer open meadows &             Garden with variety of
Management       with hedges & lawns backed by       lawns near water. Have learned    plantings is ideal, including
and              a variety of trees; have a strong   to nest in gourds & special       herbaceous flowering
Landscape        preference for sunflowers           apartment houses placed in        borders, running water, &
Preferences      seeds. Buntings & grosbeaks like    suitable habitat. Don't use       special sugar water
                 brushy pastures & woodland          pesticides nearby!                feeders. Strongly attracted
                 edges; like an exposed perch to                                       to red tubular flowers like
                 sing on; feed on ground; feed on                                      native firebush.
               white proso millet at
               feeders. Buntings are shy &
               require heavy cover near feeders.

                                                                                      Carolina Wren
(Common        Eastern Bluebird                      Blue Jay
                                                                                      House Wren

               Eastern Bluebird - R                  Blue Jay - R                     Carolina Wren - R
                                                                                      House Wren - WR

Preferred    Primarily insects, some fruits &        Acorns, other nuts & berries,    Mostly insects
Natural Food berries.                                insects, small reptiles and

Preferred      Natural cavities in trees, old        Variety of trees 10 - 30' off the Cavities or crotches of trees
Nesting Site   woodpecker holes in trees &           ground.                           of shrubs.
               fence posts.

Will They Use
              Rarely                                 Yes                              Yes

Nest Boxes?    Yes                                   No                               Yes

Special        Prefer orchards, old fields with      Prefer yards with large          Like wooded gardens with
Management     scattered trees, open, second         numbers of trees, especially     dense shrub undergrowth.
and            growth woodlands. Birds are           oaks, beeches & pines. Water     Will nest in almost any
Landscape      strongly territorial, so place next   is a major attractant. Peanuts   cavity around homes; try
Preferences    boxes 100 yards apart (detailed       are especially attractive at     hanging a gourd under house
               plans available). Commonly use        feeders.                         eaves. Loves peanut
               birdbaths.                                                             butter/suet cakes.

BIRDS          Mockingbird                                                            Screech Owl
                                                     Carolina Chickadee
(Common        Catbird                                                                Barred Owl
                                                     Tufted Titmouse
Name)          Brown Thrasher                                                         American Kestrel

               Mockingbird - R                       Carolina Chickadee - R           Screech Owl - R
               Catbird - WR                          Tufted Titmouse - R              Barred Owl - R
               Brown Thrasher - R                                                     American Kestrel - R

Preferred    Insects, grubs, fruits & seeds          Insects & many plant foods       Mice & insects.
Natural Food

Preferred      Dense, thorny shrubs or vines         Natural cavities & abandoned     Cavities.
Nesting Site   conceal basket-like nests.            woodpecker holes.
               Brambles ideal.

Will They Use
              Yes                                    Yes                              No

Nest Boxes?    No                                    Yes                              Yes
Special         Edge situations provided by          Yards with mature deciduous Like gardens with many old
Management      gardens excellent for                & evergreen trees supported by trees close to open,
and             mockingbirds; native berries are     dense shrub & small tree        unmowed areas for hunting.
Landscape       important food source. Catbirds      understory are best. Chickadees Prefer cavities in hardwoods
Preferences     like access to water. Thrashers      prefer to dig own cavities in   & old woodpecker holes in
                forage on the ground where leaf      partly rotted trunks or stumps, pines. Readily use
                litter is plentiful.                 especially pine & birch.        appropriate nest boxes. Will
                                                     Hanging suet feeders &          use water if provided.
                                                     sunflower seeds are especially

BIRDS                                                Robin
(Common         Woodpeckers                          Wood Thrush
                                                                                       Summer Tanager
Name)                                                Rufous-sided Towhee

                Woodpeckers (Red- headed,     Robin - WR                               Orchard Oriole - SB
                Red-bellied, Downy, Flicker,  Wood Thrush - SB                         Northern Oriole - WR
                Pileated) - R                 Rufous-sided Towhee - R                  Summer Tanager - SB
                Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - WR

Preferred    Major consumers of forest pest Forage on ground for insects; Insects, fleshy fruits,
Natural Food insects, grubs & eggs, ants,        also eat fleshy fruits & berries. especially berries.
             beetles; also berries, nuts, seeds.

Preferred       Cavities in dead or dying trees.     Towhee - on or close to ground Oriole - shade, street trees,
Nesting Site                                         under dense shrub cover. Wood preferable near water.
                                                     Thrush - shrub or small tree 6 - Tanager - deciduous trees,
                                                     12' high.                        often oaks.

Will They Use                                        Robin & thrush - rarely.
              Yes                                                                      Yes
Feeders?                                             Towhee - yes

Nest Boxes?     Yes (except pileated)                No                                No

Special         Pileated & red-bellied prefer old    Wooded gardens with densely       Prefer high feeding stations
Management      growth forests with mixed            planted understory. Robins like   with fruit; northern orioles
and             hardwoods. Downy & flicker           lawns with scattered trees,       enjoy suet. Attracted to
Landscape       common in gardens with mix           berry bushes in winter.           gardens with mixed fruit
Preferences     of deciduous & coniferous trees      Towhees fond of brush piles,      trees, especially orchard
                & shrubs, some open ground.          prefer to forage under feeders    trees, dogwood, mulberry,
                Optimum garden for red-headed        on ground, close to cover.        tupelos, wild cherry &
                has lawns & shrub beds, a few        Shaded, ground-level birdbaths    blackberry. Orioles attracted
                large pines, oaks & dead snags       or pools with close cover of      to fruit at feeders, especially
                nearby. Maintain snags in yard       shrubs excellent.                 oranges
                for all woodpeckers. Leave
                stumps & fallen logs as foraging
                habitat. Will eat suet; red-headed
                likes bread on platform feeders.
(Common        Cedar Waxwings                    Nuthatches
                                                                                  White-crowned Pigeon

               Cedar Waxwings - WR               White-breasted        Nuthatch Morning and Ground
                                                 -R                             Dove - R
                                                 Brown-headed          Nuthatch

Preferred    Abundant fleshy fruits on shrubs Insects, seeds & nuts.              Insects, seeds, nuts & fruits.
Natural Food & trees; buds & flowers of                                           All except pigeon are
             hardwood trees.                                                      ground feeders.

Preferred      Not in Florida                    Cavities in dead trees or old    Pigeon - often nest in
Nesting Site                                     woodpecker holes.                mangroves, usually on
                                                                                  offshore islands.
                                                                                  Dove- varies, from ground
                                                                                  to shrubs, vines

Will They Use
              Rarely                             Yes                              Yes

Nest Boxes?    No                                Yes                              No

Special        Manage your property to include   Don't cut snags! Many            Need dense cover of shrubs
Management     many fruiting natives; roving     hardwoods & pines are            near open fields or lawns
and            flocks of waxwings will devour    preferred cavity trees. Suet &   with scattered trees. Provide
Landscape      dogwood, holly & red cedar        sunflower seeds are feeder       water on the ground - birds
Preferences    berries in late winter.           favorites                        like to bathe daily.

(Common        Northern Bobwhite                                                  Yellow-billed Cuckoo
                                                 Pine Siskin

               Northern Bobwhite - R             Goldfinch - WR                   Yellow-billed Cuckoo - SB
                                                 Purple Finch - WR
                                                 Pine Siskin - WR

Preferred    Seeds, acorns, some fruit; some     Buds, soft fruits, seeds, insects Caterpillars, grasshoppers,
Natural Food insects and spiders.                in summer.                        other insects.

Preferred      Ground nest in brushy open        Not in Florida                   8-12' high in shrubs or on
Nesting Site   grasslands & open pine woods.                                      horizontal tree branch.

Will They Use
              Yes                                Yes                              No

Nest Boxes?    No                                No                               No

Special        Comes readily to seed on ground. Sweetgum & sycamore fruits Best natural controller of
Management     Requires heavy brush for         are prized winter foods; water tent caterpillars. Generally
and            daytime cover. A brush pile is is one of the best attractants.  prefer trees with dense
Landscape      ideal.                              Most prefer high feeders;        canopies, such as oaks.
Preferences                                        goldfinches will feed on the
                                                   ground. All love sunflower
                                                   seeds & niger (thistle) seeds.

                                                   Eastern Phoebe
                                                                                    Red-winged Blackbird
BIRDS          Ruby-crowned Kinglet                Great Crested Flycatcher
(Common        Blue-gray Gnatcatcher               Eastern and Gray Kingbird

               Ruby-crowned Kinglet - WR           Eastern Phoebe - WR          Red-winged Blackbird - R
               Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - R           Great Crested     Flycatcher Common and Boat-tailed
                                                   - SB                         Grackle - R
                                                   Eastern and Gray    Kingbird
                                                   - SB

Preferred    Tiny insects gleaned from foliage Mostly catch insects, bees, etc. Mostly seeds & grains, some
Natural Food high in trees. Kinglets also eat  midair; also eat grasshoppers insects.
             wax myrtle berries.               ants & some fruits.

Preferred      Gnatcatchers nest on horizontal     Often near water; kingbird        8-12' high in shrubs or on
Nesting Site   limbs 25' or higher; use many       likes medium shrubs or trees. horizontal tree branch.
               kinds of trees.                     Great crested - natural cavities.
                                                   Phoebe - bridges, rafters &

Will They Use
              Yes                                  No                               Yes

Nest Boxes?    No                                  Yes, except kingbird             No

Special        Prefer mature, diverse garden       Like deciduous & mixed           Best natural controller of
Management     with good mix of evergreen &        woods, edge situations.          tent caterpillars. Generally
and            deciduous trees. Occasionally       Attracted by gardens with        prefer trees with dense
Landscape      visit small hanging suet feeders.   streams, pools with small        canopies, such as oaks.
Preferences                                        waterfalls, other sources of
                                                   running water. Favor many
                                                   wild fruits

(Common        Warblers                            Vireos                           Sparrows
               Warblers:                         Vireos:                       Sparrows:
               Orange-crowned & Yellow-          Red-eyed - SB                 Chipping Sparrow - WR
               rumped - WR                       White-eyed - R                Song, White-throated &
               Parula, Pine & Yellowthroat - R   Yellow-throated - SB          other migrant sparrow - M
                                                 Blacked-whiskered - M

Preferred    Insects, some seeds                 Insects and spiders, some     Feed on ground, mostly
Natural Food                                     fleshy berries prior to       weed & grass seeds, some
                                                 migration.                    insects.

Preferred      Large trees, except yellowthroat, All suspend hanging nest in   Chipping-near ground in
Nesting Site   shrubs near water. Parula uses    trees from 3'-4' off ground   dense thickets, but rare
               Spanish moss to construct nest. (white-eyed) to tree tops       breeder only in N. Florida

Will They Use
              Suet feeders only                  No                            Yes

Nest Boxes?    No                                No                            No

Special        Many resident & migrant warbler Same as warblers. Black-        Require mixed garden
Management     species will be attracted to a    whiskered vireos favor        vegetation with close shrub
and            diverse, richly-planted garden    mangroves.                    cover. Will visit ground
Landscape      with many canopy layers,                                        feeders regularly. Liberally
Preferences    including mature trees. Oaks                                    use water if provided
               provide good source of
               caterpillars. A water source will
               bring in seldom seen species.
               Yellow-rumped, pine & orange-
               crowned commonly seen a suet

Adapted from publication by the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission Titled “Refuge for Wildlife - Birds”

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