9 Types of Grey Birds Found in New Hampshire

In this informative article, readers will be introduced to the fascinating world of grey birds found in New Hampshire. Highlighting the White-breasted Nuthatch, Mourning Dove, Dark-eyed Junco, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Canada Jay/Gray Jay, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, each bird is meticulously described in terms of their distinguishing features, habitat preferences, and geographical range. Furthermore, the article shares tips on attracting these charming avian visitors to bird feeders with specific foods alongside offering range maps and audio samples of their unique calls. Whether you are a seasoned birdwatcher or simply curious about the diverse birdlife in New Hampshire, this article is sure to captivate your interest.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Identifying Characteristics

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a small songbird with a distinctive appearance. It has a compact body and a short tail, with a white underside and a blue-gray back. The most prominent feature is the black cap on its head. This bird also has a long, straight bill that it uses to probe for insects in tree bark.

Range

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a year-round resident in New Hampshire, as well as other parts of North America. It can be found in deciduous and mixed forests throughout the state.

Preferred Habitats

White-breasted Nuthatches prefer mature forests with a mix of trees, including oak, hickory, and pine. They are often found in woodlands with open understories and dead trees, as these provide ideal foraging and nesting sites.

Attracting with Specific Foods

To attract White-breasted Nuthatches to your yard, try providing them with specific foods that they enjoy. They are frequent visitors to bird feeders and are particularly fond of sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet. Offering these foods in feeders or on feeding platforms can increase your chances of attracting these delightful birds.

Range Map

A range map provides a visual representation of the distribution of a species. It shows the areas where the White-breasted Nuthatch can be found throughout North America, including its presence in New Hampshire.

Audio Sample of Call

Hearing the call of a White-breasted Nuthatch can be a real treat. They have a distinctive nasal voice and often make a repeated “yank-yank” sound. Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify their presence in the wild.

Mourning Dove

Identifying Characteristics

The Mourning Dove is a medium-sized bird with a plump body and a long, pointed tail. It has a soft, gray-brown plumage with a pale underside. The dove’s head is small, and it has a delicate, pointed bill.

Range

Mourning Doves can be found year-round across New Hampshire and much of North America. They are known for their adaptability and can be found in a variety of habitats, from urban areas to rural landscapes.

Preferred Habitats

These doves prefer open habitats such as fields, meadows, and forest edges. They are often seen perched on wires or fence posts, where they have a good vantage point for spotting food on the ground below. Mourning Doves are not picky eaters and can be found feeding on a variety of seeds and grains.

Attracting with Specific Foods

Attracting Mourning Doves to your backyard can be as simple as providing them with their favorite foods. They are especially fond of sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and millet. Offering these seeds in ground feeders or on flat surfaces will make your yard more attractive to these peaceful and gentle birds.

Range Map

The range map for the Mourning Dove showcases its widespread distribution across North America, including New Hampshire. It highlights the areas where these birds can be observed throughout the year.

Audio Sample of Call

The Mourning Dove has a unique call that is often described as a soft, mournful cooing sound. Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify their presence and enjoy the peaceful melodies they create.

Dark-eyed Junco

Identifying Characteristics

The Dark-eyed Junco, sometimes called the “Snowbird,” is a small sparrow with a plump body and a relatively short tail. It has a grayish-black head, neck, and upper body, contrasting with a white belly. The bird’s most distinctive feature is its pink or white bill.

Range

Dark-eyed Juncos are migratory birds that can be found in New Hampshire during the winter months and in northern regions during the breeding season. They have a wide range across North America, with various subspecies that adapt to different climates.

Preferred Habitats

These juncos thrive in a variety of habitats, from coniferous forests to open woodlands and even suburban areas. During the winter, they are commonly seen foraging on the ground for seeds and insects.

Attracting with Specific Foods

To attract Dark-eyed Juncos to your yard, try offering them seeds such as millet, cracked corn, and nyjer. They are ground feeders, so placing these seeds on low platforms or scattering them on the ground will entice these delightful birds to visit your backyard.

Range Map

The range map for the Dark-eyed Junco illustrates its migratory patterns across North America. It indicates the areas where these birds can be found during different times of the year, including their presence in New Hampshire.

Audio Sample of Call

The Dark-eyed Junco has a musical and melodic song that can vary slightly depending on the subspecies. Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify and appreciate these beautiful birds when they visit during the winter months.

Black-capped Chickadee

Identifying Characteristics

The Black-capped Chickadee is a small bird with a plump body and a short neck. It has a black cap and bib, contrasting with its white cheeks and underparts. The bird’s wings and back are gray, while its tail is typically a dull brown.

Range

The Black-capped Chickadee is a common year-round resident in New Hampshire and throughout most of North America. Its range extends from Alaska in the west to Newfoundland in the east.

Preferred Habitats

These chickadees thrive in a wide range of habitats, including deciduous and coniferous forests, woodlands, and suburban areas. They are often seen flitting among tree branches or hanging upside down while foraging for insects and seeds.

Attracting with Specific Foods

Attracting Black-capped Chickadees to your yard is relatively easy, as they are friendly and curious birds. They are particularly fond of sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet. Providing these foods in feeders or on feeding platforms will undoubtedly attract these lively and charming birds.

Range Map

The range map for the Black-capped Chickadee shows its distribution across North America, including its year-round presence in New Hampshire. It highlights the areas where these delightful birds can be observed throughout the year.

Audio Sample of Call

The Black-capped Chickadee is known for its distinctive call, which sounds like “chick-a-dee-dee-dee.” Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify their presence and enjoy the cheerful sound they bring to the surroundings.

Tufted Titmouse

Identifying Characteristics

The Tufted Titmouse is a small songbird with a plump body and a long tail. It has a gray back, wings, and tail, complemented by a lighter gray or white underside. The bird’s most notable feature is its prominent crest, which can be raised or lowered depending on its mood.

Range

The Tufted Titmouse is a common year-round resident in New Hampshire, as well as other parts of North America. It can be found in a variety of habitats, ranging from deciduous forests to residential areas with mature trees.

Preferred Habitats

These titmice prefer woodlands with a mix of trees, including oak, hickory, and pine. They are often seen foraging for insects and seeds among the branches and twigs. Tufted Titmice are also known to cache food by hiding it in crevices or tree bark for later consumption.

Attracting with Specific Foods

To attract Tufted Titmice to your yard, consider providing them with specific foods that they enjoy. They are frequent visitors to bird feeders and readily consume sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet. Offering these foods in feeders or scattering them on feeding platforms will make your yard more inviting for these delightful birds.

Range Map

The range map for the Tufted Titmouse displays its widespread distribution across North America, including its presence in New Hampshire. It illustrates the areas where these charming birds can be observed throughout the year.

Audio Sample of Call

The Tufted Titmouse has a distinctive call that sounds like a series of whistles or “peter-peter-peter.” Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify their presence and appreciate the melodic sounds they bring to the environment.

Gray Catbird

Identifying Characteristics

The Gray Catbird is a medium-sized songbird with a slender body and a long, rounded tail. It has uniformly gray plumage, complemented by a small black crown on its head. The bird’s most striking feature is its sleek black bill.

Range

The Gray Catbird is a migratory bird that can be found in New Hampshire during the breeding season. It spends its winters in more southern regions of North America, such as Florida and the Caribbean.

Preferred Habitats

These catbirds are typically found in shrubby areas, including thickets, gardens, and forest edges. They have a remarkable ability to mimic the songs of other birds, often adding their own unique twist to the melodies. Gray Catbirds are also known for their fondness for fruit and are frequent visitors to backyard bird feeders stocked with berries.

Attracting with Specific Foods

To attract Gray Catbirds to your yard, consider offering them specific foods that they enjoy. They have a particular affinity for fruits such as berries, raisins, and currants. Providing these fruits on feeding platforms or in specialized feeders will increase the likelihood of attracting these talented mimics.

Range Map

The range map for the Gray Catbird showcases its migratory pattern across North America. It indicates the areas where these birds can be found during the breeding season, including their presence in New Hampshire.

Audio Sample of Call

The Gray Catbird is well-known for its extensive vocal repertoire. It can imitate the songs of more than 70 other bird species, sometimes even mixing them together in a unique medley. Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify their presence and marvel at their remarkable mimicry skills.

Northern Mockingbird

Identifying Characteristics

The Northern Mockingbird is a medium-sized songbird with a slender body and a long, slightly curved tail. It has grayish-brown upperparts and a white or pale gray underside. The bird’s wings have white patches that are particularly noticeable in flight.

Range

The Northern Mockingbird is a relatively rare visitor to New Hampshire, with occasional sightings during the breeding season. It is more commonly found in southern regions of North America, including the southeastern United States and the Gulf Coast.

Preferred Habitats

These mockingbirds are adaptable and can thrive in a variety of landscapes, including urban areas, parks, and open fields. They are known for their excellent singing abilities and are often heard perched atop trees or other elevated perches.

Attracting with Specific Foods

Attracting Northern Mockingbirds to your yard may require offering them specific foods that they enjoy. They have a diverse diet and will readily consume a variety of insects, berries, and fruits. Providing these food sources in feeders or on feeding platforms can entice these talented singers to visit your backyard.

Range Map

Although the Northern Mockingbird is not a common resident of New Hampshire, its range map illustrates its more prevalent presence in southern regions of North America. It showcases the areas where these gifted mimics can be observed throughout the year.

Audio Sample of Call

The Northern Mockingbird is known for its ability to mimic the songs of various bird species and other natural sounds, such as car alarms and sirens. Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify their presence and appreciate their vast range of vocalizations.

Canada Jay/Gray Jay

Identifying Characteristics

The Canada Jay, also known as the Gray Jay, is a medium-sized songbird with a stocky body and a short tail. It has a gray plumage that may appear slightly darker on the wings and tail. The bird’s head is rounded, with a distinctive white throat and cheeks.

Range

The Canada Jay is a year-round resident in New Hampshire and other parts of northeastern North America. It can be found in a variety of habitats, including coniferous forests and subalpine regions.

Preferred Habitats

These jays are often associated with boreal forests and are well-adapted to snowy and cold climates. They have a unique behavior of caching food in trees or other hiding places, allowing them to survive during harsh winter conditions. The Canada Jay is also known for its boldness and willingness to approach humans in search of food.

Attracting with Specific Foods

Attracting Canada Jays to your yard may require a bit of patience, as they are not frequent visitors to bird feeders. However, offering them foods they enjoy, such as suet, nuts, and dried fruit, may increase your chances of attracting these charismatic birds during the winter months.

Range Map

The range map for the Canada Jay highlights its distribution across northeastern North America, including its presence in New Hampshire. It identifies the areas where these hardy birds can be observed throughout the year.

Audio Sample of Call

The Canada Jay has a variety of calls, including whistles, chattering, and soft gurgles. Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify their presence and appreciate the unique vocalizations they bring to the wilderness.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Identifying Characteristics

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a small songbird with a slender body and a long, thin tail. It has blue-gray upperparts, complemented by a white belly. The bird’s most striking feature is its white eye-ring, which contrasts with its dark eye.

Range

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a rare visitor to New Hampshire, with occasional sightings during migration. It is more commonly found in southern regions of North America, including the southeastern United States and Mexico.

Preferred Habitats

These gnatcatchers inhabit a variety of habitats, including woodlands, forest edges, and shrubby areas. They are highly agile and are often seen flitting among branches and leaves as they search for insects.

Attracting with Specific Foods

Attracting Blue-gray Gnatcatchers to your yard may require creating a suitable habitat rather than offering specific foods. Planting native shrubs and trees can provide the insects and nesting sites these birds rely on. Additionally, make sure to avoid pesticide use, as it can harm the insects that are an essential food source for gnatcatchers.

Range Map

While the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is not a regular resident of New Hampshire, its range map showcases its more prevalent presence in southern regions of North America. It highlights the areas where these tiny, energetic birds can be observed throughout the year.

Audio Sample of Call

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher has a distinctive song that is often described as a high-pitched series of whistles and buzzes. Listening to an audio sample of their call can help bird enthusiasts identify their presence and appreciate the unique sounds they bring to the environment.

In conclusion, New Hampshire is home to a diverse array of gray-colored birds. Each species, including the White-breasted Nuthatch, Mourning Dove, Dark-eyed Junco, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Canada Jay/Gray Jay, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, has its own unique characteristics, range, and preferred habitats. Some of these birds are regular visitors to bird feeders and can be attracted using specific foods, while others require the creation of suitable habitats. Range maps provide a visual representation of their distribution, and audio samples of their calls allow bird enthusiasts to identify and appreciate their presence in the wild. By understanding the habits and preferences of these gray birds, individuals can create welcoming environments for them and enhance their birdwatching experiences.

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