Common Birds in Fairfax County


American Crow
This common crow is a large, chunky, completely black bird, which may appear to have a purplish sheen in strong sunlight. The bill and feet are strong and black. Size: 17 - 21".

American Crow

Blue Jay
A showy, noisy, blue bird with a crest, bold white spots on the wings and tail, and a black necklace. Underparts are whitish or dull gray. Size: 11 - 12 ½ inches.

Blue Jay

Robin
This familiar bird is recognized by its dark gray back and brick-red breast. The head and tail of the male are blackish, but that of the female is grayer. Size: 9 - 11 inches.

 

Robin

 

Cardinal
The male cardinal is an all red bird with a pointed crest and a black patch at the base of its heavy triangular red bill. The female cardinal is buff-brown in color with some red on the wings and tail, and is distinguished by the crest, dark face and heavy red bill. Size: 7 ½ - 9 inches. The Male is on the left and the female is on the right.

Cardinal-Male Cardinal-Female








 

House Sparrow
A familiar bird with a black throat, white cheeks and chestnut nape. The females and young lack the black throat, having a plain dingy breast and a dull eye stripe. Size: 6 inches. The Male is on the left and the female is on the right.

House Sparrow-MaleHouse Sparrow-Female










 

 

House Finch
These birds are characterized by dark stripes on the sides and belly. The males have a reddish coloration on their chest, face, and above the tail. The striped brown female has a bland face pattern with no heavy mustache or dark cheek patch. Size: 5.0 to 5.75 inches. Male on the left and female on the right.

House Finch-Male  House Finch-Female



 

 

 

Starling
A short-tailed "blackbird" that may appear iridescent in the spring, with a yellow bill and heavily speckled in the winter, with a dark bill. Starlings appear triangular in flight. Size: 7 ½ - 8 ½ ".

Starling

Grackle
A large iridescent blackbird that is larger than a Robin (11 - 13 ½ "), with a wedghaped tail. The male has an iridescent purple head and a deep bronze or dull purple back.

Grackle

Raptors
Many species of hawks may be found in Northern Virginia. These are large predatory birds that are equipped with large, sharp talons and should be handled very carefully.

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk
Size: 14 - 20"
Short-winged, long-tailed hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk
Size: 19 - 25"
Broad wings and rounded tail
Upperside of the tail is red, underparts are whitish with broad band streaks

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawk
Size: 17 - 24"
Broad wings and rounded tail
Heavy dark bands across both sides of tail, red shoulders and pale red underparts

Owl

Owls may also be found in Fairfax County, however these are primarily nocturnal birds of prey.

 


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