North Carolina is a unique state with several distinct geographic regions that are home to a wide range of intriguing feeder bird species. From the sandy Outer Banks and coastal plains in the east to the thick swaths of pines in the mountainous western part of the state, North Carolina features diverse habitats and is also on the flight path for several migratory species. This means there are plenty of opportunities for backyard bird watchers to see and attract amazing feeder birds in North Carolina.

What is the most common feeder bird in North Carolina?

The Tar Heel State is one of seven in the U.S. that feature the cardinal as its state bird. That is fitting as the Northern Cardinal is the most common feeder bird in North Carolina. Cardinals can be found throughout most of North America, but in backyard settings, they are mostly attracted to tray feeders, particularly those that have a sheltered roof, or hopper feeders.

Notable feeder birds in North Carolina:

Sarah Heinits / iStock / via Getty Images

Sarah Heinits / iStock / via Getty Images

Carolina Wren

Fittingly named after the local region, these birds are considered to be shy, but will frequent backyard feeders often, particularly in winter. Carolina Wrens tend to prefer suet in their feeders and can often be heard before they're seen due to their loud and frequent calls.

Sufeldberg / iStock / via Getty Images

Sufeldberg / iStock / via Getty Images

Downy Woodpecker

North Carolina is home to several woodpecker species and the Downy Woodpecker is one of the most striking. These birds have a diverse diet that consists mostly of insects, but they are attracted to suet and sunflower seeds in feeders. They’ve even been known to visit hummingbird feeders from

BrianEKushner / iStock / via Getty Images

BrianEKushner / iStock / via Getty Images

Dark-eyed Junco

These birds vary in color across North America, but tend to be more slate-colored in the eastern parts of the U.S. Because they tend to breed in coniferous forests, Dark-eyed Juncos are more likely to be found in the Appalachia area of North Carolina.

How to attract songbirds in North Carolina

There are so any interesting feeder birds in North Carolina that the best way to enjoy as many species as possible is to embrace diversification. Using a premium bird feed mix that features sunflower seeds and various nuts like Lyric Supreme Wild Bird Mix will give you the best chance to attract different types of songbirds.

You may also consider installing nest boxes in your backyard as these can provide attractive homes to many of North Carolina’s most common feeder birds, particularly in the winter months.

The ultimate list of feeder birds in North Carolina

Here is a complete list of the top feeder birds in North Carolina as identified by the 500-some citizen birders who participated in Project FeederWatch:

  1. Northern Cardinal
  2. Tufted Titmouse
  3. Carolina Wren
  4. House Finch
  5. Carolina Chickadee
  6. Mourning Dove
  7. Downy Woodpecker
  8. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  9. American Goldfinch
  10. Dark-eyed Junco
  11. Blue Jay
  12. White-breasted Nuthatch
  13. White-throated Sparrow
  14. Eastern Bluebird
  15. Eastern Towhee
  16. Pine Warbler
  17. Pine Siskin
  18. Brown-headed Nuthatch
  19. American Robin
  20. Northern Mockingbird
  21. Brown Thrasher
  22. Purple Finch
  23. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  24. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  25. Chipping Sparrow
  26. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  27. American Crow
  28. Song Sparrow
  29. European Starling
  30. Black-capped Chickadee
  31. Hermit Thrush
  32. Northern Flicker
  33. Hairy Woodpecker
  34. House Sparrow
  35. Brown-headed Cowbird
  36. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  37. Common Grackle
  38. Red-winged Blackbird
  39. Eastern Phoebe
  40. Cooper’s Hawk


There are too many species of feeder birds in North Carolina to list them all here. But for the best chance of seeing the most diverse array of birds in the Tar Heel State, consider stocking your backyard bird feeder with a premium mix like Lyric Fruit and Nut High Energy Mix or embrace the state bird with the specific Lyric Cardinal Mix.