15 Types Of BROWN Birds In Michigan (ID Guide With Photos)
There are hundreds of brown birds all across the state of Michigan. Unfortunately, a full list would take weeks to read, so why not check out our list of favorites that we put together?
Chances are, you have come across at least one of these birds on your daily walks, so let us know which ones!
Brown Birds In Michigan
The song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) is a small bird found in Michigan and across North America. They are brown and are known for their beautiful song, which you would recognize out in the wild!
Greater Prairie Chicken
The Greater Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), or “boomer” is a quite large Michigan bird that is a part of the grouse family.
Though once common, these big birds have gradually declined in numbers, mainly due to habitat loss. These birds like to live on the Great Plains and various prairies or grasslands.
The Greater Prairie Chicken is a beautiful, striped brown and black with yellow plumage on the sides of the males’ necks. These birds are known for their mating behavior, and are extremely recognizable, even at a glance.
The House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a small brown bird with a reddish pink head and breast that is found across the United States. They are among the most common birds in Michigan.
Fun Fact: These birds can also be found in some parts of Hawaii after being introduced.
The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura), also known as the rain dove, is a medium-sized bird that can be found in a number of U.S. states. They are most recognized for the sad song, hence their name.
Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch
The gray-crowned Rosy Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis) is a species of finch that is found in the northern states of the United States and Canada.
These birds are rarely seen due to their remote habitats in the mountains, but are pleasant to look at nonetheless.
They have a primarily brown body with gray wings and a head. On the top of their head is a black crown, and below their wings is beautiful rosy plumage.
They are small birds, but are known for their hardiness in surviving in harsh climates and environments.
The Bachman’s Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) is a bird that is near threatened in the United States. It is a small brown bird, with a gray face and black streaking on the wings and nape.
The Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) is a small brown bird that is commonly found in wooded areas, residing in trees and shrubs. This songbird has a relatively flat head and strong, heavy bill for its size.
The Golden-Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) is a common bird found across the United States. It is brown, and the top half of its head is black with a golden crown across it.
The Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) is a small bird native to many parts of the United States. It reaches lengths of around five and a half inches long, and has brownish gray coloring.
These birds have rounded bodies with lighter-colored bellies and long, streaked tails. Bewick’s Wrens are known for their pleasant, melodious songs.
The Buff-Breasted Sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis) is a small bird commonly found on shores. They have long beaks, dark, rounded eyes, and tails relatively short for their size.
Their coloring includes various shades of brown, including a lighter underbelly, and starker streaks on the wings. These birds have long legs and adorable features that make you wish to see one.
The Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) is a small bird found in various parts of the United States. These birds are small with brown streaked wings and a brownish-grey underbelly.
They have a noticeable black line from their eye going to the back of their head. On the top of their head is a rusty-colored crown that sets them apart.
The Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) is a medium-sized bird that can be found in a variety of habitats across the United States.
These Michigan birds have yellow underparts and yellow tail tips, as well as brownish-gray coloring on their upperparts. On their wings is a noticeable red spot.
The Cedar Waxwing has a unique and smooth complexion compared to other birds. They are rounded in body, but have a small crest on top of their head. The silky smooth appearance of this bird makes it unmistakable if you were to come across it.
The Barn Owl (Tyto Alba) is a widespread species of owl. In fact, this bird is one of the most widespread birds in the world, and is incredibly recognizable.
This owl has a brown back and wings, white face, and a white belly. The most noticeable feature of this bird species is the screeching sound they make.
Related: Types of red birds in Michigan
The Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) goes by many names. From the Tengmalm’s owl to the Richardson’s owl, this bird can be found in North America, as well as many parts of Europe.
Known as one of the “true owls”, the Boreal owl is a small but stocky bird that has a beautiful brown and white streaked coloring. This coloring makes it incredibly easy for them to fit into the surroundings of their snowy habitats.
The Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) is a large Michigan bird of prey found in numerous places, including the Great Plains and grasslands in the summer.
This bird is known as the locust hawk, since it is not picky when it comes to insects for food. Its impressive size has made it a favorite among many, and their white belly and brown collar make it easy to recognize.
There you have it – the end of our list. We could have gone on forever, but maybe we will make another list of brown birds you might come across in Michigan!
There are more sparrows, hawks, and even water-fairing birds that you might see on your trails. If you’re interested in finding out about some more birds, let us know!