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Indoor Birdwatchers: Top Birds For A Window-Watching Household

Imagine sitting by your window, sipping your morning coffee, and being entertained by the delightful sight of birds flitting about. If this appeals to you, then you may just be an indoor birdwatcher. But which birds are best suited for a window-watching household? This article will explore some of the top choices, from the colorful Cardinal to the charismatic Chickadee, providing you with an insight into their behaviors and how they can bring joy and tranquility to your daily routine. So grab your binoculars and get ready to embark on a fascinating journey into the world of indoor birdwatching.

Selection of Birds

If you’re an indoor birdwatcher looking to enhance your window-watching experience, it’s important to choose the right birds to welcome into your space. The selection of birds can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of your indoor setup, the type of habitat you can provide, and your personal preferences. In this article, we will explore some popular bird species and discuss the criteria you can use to make the perfect selection for your window-watching household.

1. Popular Bird Species

When it comes to popular bird species for indoor birdwatching, there is no shortage of options. From small birds to vibrant songbirds, majestic raptors to charming owls, and graceful water birds to lively finches, there’s a bird for every birdwatcher’s taste. Each species brings its own unique beauty and behaviors, adding a touch of nature to your indoor environment.

2. Criteria for Selection

Before adding any bird to your indoor birdwatching setup, it’s important to consider certain criteria to ensure a comfortable and fulfilling experience for both you and the birds. Firstly, you need to evaluate the space available in your home and choose birds that can thrive in that particular environment. Some species require more space for flying and exploration, while others are content with smaller spaces. Secondly, consider the noise level that comes along with certain bird species. Some birds, like songbirds, can be quite vocal, while others, such as doves, are relatively quieter. Lastly, it’s crucial to ensure that you can provide appropriate care, including a suitable diet, regular cleaning, and access to natural sunlight or appropriate artificial lighting.

Small Birds

Small birds are a delightful addition to any indoor birdwatching setup. They are known for their vibrant colors, cheerful songs, and high energy levels. Here are three popular small bird species that you can consider for your window-watching household:

1. Blue Tit

The Blue Tit is a common sight in gardens and woodlands across Europe. With its bright blue plumage, yellow chest, and striking black stripe across its eyes, this tiny bird is a true gem. Blue Tits are highly acrobatic and are known for their ability to hang upside down while foraging for insects. Their cheerful songs fill the air and their playful nature is guaranteed to bring joy to your indoors.

2. Goldfinch

The Goldfinch is a small but stunning bird, known for its vibrant yellow and black plumage, accented by a touch of red on its face and wings. These birds are often seen feeding on thistles and are attracted to gardens with a diverse range of flowering plants. Goldfinches are a joy to watch as they flutter around, delicately plucking seeds with their small beaks.

3. House Sparrow

The House Sparrow is a familiar bird that can be found worldwide. Although small in size, they are known for their lively nature and distinctive chirping sounds. House Sparrows are highly adaptable and can thrive in various habitats, making them a popular choice for indoor birdwatchers. Their interactions with one another and their constant chatter create a lively atmosphere, perfect for observing and enjoying their company.



If you’re a fan of melodious tunes and enchanting vocalizations, songbirds are the perfect companions for your indoor birdwatching sessions. These birds are renowned for their beautiful and often complex songs, captivating anyone who listens. Here are three songbird species that are sure to fill your indoor space with delightful melodies:

1. American Robin

The American Robin is a beloved songbird in much of North America. With its vibrant orange breast, gray upperparts, and distinctive white eye ring, this bird is easily recognizable. The American Robin’s melodious song, often heard at the break of dawn, is a welcome sound for any birdwatcher. Observing their behavior, such as their famous worm-pulling technique, can bring hours of fascination and entertainment.

2. Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a striking bird known for its vibrant red plumage, crested head, and strong melodious voice. Found in eastern and central North America, these birds are known for their beautiful songs, often described as a series of clear whistles. Their bright colors make them easy to spot, even from a distance, and their presence can bring a touch of elegance to your indoor birdwatching experience.

3. Song Sparrow

As the name suggests, the Song Sparrow is famous for its lovely and melodious song, often consisting of a series of sweet, musical notes. These birds have brown upperparts, streaked chests, and a distinct dark spot surrounded by lighter feathers on their breast. Watching their nodding behavior and listening to their beautiful songs can create a calming and peaceful atmosphere in any indoor setting.


Hummingbirds are tiny, colorful jewels of the bird world. Their ability to hover in mid-air and their rapid wing beats make them a sight to behold. If you’re captivated by their mesmerizing flight and vibrant colors, consider bringing the joy of hummingbirds into your indoor birdwatching experience. Here are three hummingbird species that will add a splash of vibrancy to your window-watching household:

1. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most widespread hummingbird species in eastern North America. Males have a vibrant iridescent green plumage and a shimmering red throat, which becomes even more noticeable during courtship displays. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird’s ability to hover in mid-air and fly backwards is a true marvel to witness. Providing nectar feeders and colorful flowers will attract these tiny wonders to your indoor space.

2. Anna’s Hummingbird

Named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli, Anna’s Hummingbird is a species native to the western United States and northern Mexico. Males have an iridescent pinkish-red throat, a metallic green back, and a gray chest. Their unique and resonant chirping sound adds a delightful touch to their visual beauty. Anna’s Hummingbirds are known for their year-round presence, making them a constant source of entertainment in your indoor birdwatching setup.

3. Rufous Hummingbird

The Rufous Hummingbird is a small but feisty bird found in western North America. Males have a stunning fiery orange-red plumage, while females exhibit a mixture of green and orange-brown feathers. Despite their small size, Rufous Hummingbirds are known for their aggressive behavior and aerial acrobatics. Their intense territorial battles and their ability to fly immense distances during migration make them an intriguing addition to any indoor birdwatching experience.



Woodpeckers are fascinating birds known for their drumming behavior and their ability to excavate cavities in trees. If you’re fascinated by their distinctive pecking sounds and their striking plumage, consider bringing the wonders of woodpeckers to your indoor space. Here are three woodpecker species that will add a touch of both visual and auditory excitement to your window-watching household:

1. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is one of the smallest and most common woodpecker species in North America. Both males and females have black and white plumage, but males have a small red patch on the back of their head. These birds are known for their drumming and tapping sounds as they excavate for insects and establish their territory. Observing their meticulous foraging techniques and their ability to cling onto tree trunks is a true delight.

2. Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker, also known as the Yellow-shafted Flicker in the eastern part of North America, is a large and colorful woodpecker species. Males have a distinctive black mustache mark, a red nape, and a spotted belly. These birds are known for their unique “flickering” flight pattern and their loud, ringing calls that resonate through the trees. The sight of Northern Flickers drumming on trees and foraging for ants and beetles is both visually and acoustically captivating.

3. Red-bellied Woodpecker

Contrary to its name, the Red-bellied Woodpecker has only a faint red wash on its belly, but its striking black and white zebra-like pattern on its back stands out. These birds are common in eastern North America and are known for their distinctive “chur” calls and their habit of drumming on tree trunks. The Red-bellied Woodpecker’s ability to store acorns and other nuts in tree crevices adds an element of resourcefulness to their behavior.


Finches are small to medium-sized birds known for their colorful plumage and delightful songs. If you’re looking for small birds that can enliven your indoor birdwatching setup with their vivid colors and captivating melodies, consider these three finch species:

1. House Finch

The House Finch is a popular and adaptable finch species found across North America. Males have a vibrant red plumage on their head, chest, and rump, while females have a more subdued brown coloration. These finches are known for their melodic songs and their ability to exploit various food sources, making them an entertaining addition to any indoor birdwatching experience.

2. Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is a medium-sized finch native to North America. Males have a striking raspberry red coloration on their head, chest, and back, while females display a mixture of brown and white feathers. Their varied and melodious songs bring a touch of musicality to any indoor space. Observing these finches feeding on seed heads or fruits adds a burst of color to your window-watching moments.

3. Pine Siskin

The Pine Siskin is a small finch species that can be found across North America. Although they may appear plain at first glance, their subtle yellow streaks and intricate feather patterns make them an understated beauty. The Pine Siskin is known for its twittering songs and its preference for coniferous forests. These finches bring a sense of tranquility to your indoor birdwatching experience with their gentle presence and melodious tunes.



Doves are peaceful and gentle birds that can create a serene and calm atmosphere wherever they go. If you’re looking for birds that evoke a sense of tranquility and simplicity in your indoor birdwatching setup, consider these three dove species:

1. Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove is a common dove species found across North America. With its soft, gentle cooing sounds and its muted brown and gray plumage, this bird brings a sense of serenity to any indoor space. Mourning Doves are known for their graceful flight and their preference for open habitats. Watching their interactions and observing their nests can be a captivating experience.

2. Eurasian Collared Dove

The Eurasian Collared Dove is a dove species that has rapidly expanded its range across North America in recent years. With its pale gray plumage and a distinctive black crescent-shaped collar on its neck, this dove stands out in any environment. Eurasian Collared Doves have a deep and resonant cooing sound that can often be heard throughout the day. Their calm and quiet nature adds a sense of tranquility to your window-watching moments.

3. Rock Pigeon

The Rock Pigeon, also known as the common pigeon or city pigeon, is a familiar sight in urban areas worldwide. These birds have diverse plumage colors, ranging from gray to brown, and exhibit a characteristic iridescent sheen on their feathers. Rock Pigeons are known for their gentle cooing sounds and their adaptability to urban environments. Observing their flocking behavior and their interactions with one another can be an interesting and peaceful experience.


Raptors, or birds of prey, are majestic and powerful creatures that can bring a sense of awe and fascination to any birdwatching experience. Their keen eyesight, swift movements, and hunting skills make them extraordinary subjects for observation. If you’re drawn to the captivating world of raptors, here are three species that you can consider for your indoor birdwatching setup:

1. Cooper’s Hawk

The Cooper’s Hawk is a medium-sized hawk species that can be found throughout much of North America. Adults have a bluish-gray back, a reddish-brown chest, and distinctive red eyes. These hawks are skilled predators, often seen darting through forests and urban areas in pursuit of smaller birds and mammals. Their agile flight and their ability to snatch prey with precision make them a thrilling addition to your indoor birdwatching experience.

2. Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed Hawk is one of the most widespread and recognizable raptor species in North America. Adults have a reddish-brown plumage on their back and chest, and a distinct red tail that gives them their name. These hawks are known for their piercing screams and their impressive soaring abilities. Observing their aerial displays and their hunting techniques can offer a unique glimpse into the world of these magnificent birds.

3. Sharp-shinned Hawk

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a small but mighty hawk species found in North America. These birds have a combination of blue-gray upperparts, pale underparts with fine reddish barring, and distinctive red eyes. Sharp-shinned Hawks are agile hunters, specializing in capturing small birds in flight. Their ability to maneuver through dense vegetation and their swift, precise movements make them a thrilling addition to any indoor birdwatching setup.


Owls are mysterious and captivating birds that have long fascinated birdwatchers. Known for their nocturnal behavior and their haunting calls, owls can bring an air of intrigue and enchantment to your indoor birdwatching experience. Here are three owl species that you can consider for your window-watching household:

1. Barn Owl

The Barn Owl is a medium-sized owl species known for its heart-shaped facial disk, pale plumage, and distinctive screeching calls. These owls are often associated with old barns and other buildings, where they nest in cavities or abandoned structures. Barn Owls have exceptional hearing and silent flight, which allows them to locate and catch small mammals in the darkness of night. Observing their graceful flight and their unique hunting techniques can be a mesmerizing and ethereal experience.

2. Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl is a majestic and powerful owl species found throughout the Americas. These owls have prominent ear tufts, mottled brown plumage, and piercing yellow eyes. Great Horned Owls are highly adaptable and can be found in a wide range of habitats, from forests to deserts. Their deep hooting calls and their ability to capture prey that exceeds their own body weight make them a formidable presence in the world of owls.

3. Eastern Screech Owl

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small owl species found in eastern and central North America. Despite its small size, this owl possesses a remarkable ability to camouflage itself against tree bark with its gray or reddish-brown plumage. Eastern Screech Owls are known for their trilling calls that can resemble the whinnying of a horse. Observing these owls perched in trees or listening to their calls in the night can create a sense of mystery and wonder in your indoor birdwatching moments.

Water Birds

Water birds are known for their grace and elegance as they navigate lakes, rivers, and wetlands. If you have a love for the beauty of aquatic environments and the serenity they bring, consider welcoming water birds into your indoor birdwatching setup. Here are three water bird species that will add a touch of tranquility to your window-watching household:

1. Mallard

The Mallard is one of the most recognizable and widespread duck species in the world. Males, or drakes, have a distinctive green head, a chestnut-brown chest, a gray body, and a bright yellow bill. Females, or hens, have a mottled brown plumage. Mallards are known for their gentle quacking sounds and their elegant swimming movements. Observing their courtship displays and their interactions with other waterfowl can add a sense of calm and natural beauty to your indoor birdwatching experience.

2. Canada Goose

The Canada Goose is a large water bird species native to North America. These geese have a black head and neck, a brownish-gray body, and a distinctive white chinstrap. Canada Geese are known for their characteristic honking calls and their V-shaped flight formations during migration. Their graceful presence and their ability to adapt to urban environments add a sense of grandeur to any birdwatching setup.

3. Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron is a large and majestic heron species found throughout much of North America. With its bold blue-gray plumage, long neck, and sharp bill, this heron is a true symbol of grace and patience. Great Blue Herons are often seen wading in marshes, wetlands, and along coastlines, searching for fish and other small prey. Observing their slow and deliberate movements as they stalk their prey can be a mesmerizing and serene experience.

In conclusion, the selection of birds for your indoor birdwatching setup is a personal choice that should be based on the space available, the type of habitat you can provide, and your own preferences. The world of birds offers a diverse array of species, each with their own unique beauty, behaviors, and sounds. Whether you choose small birds, songbirds, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, finches, doves, raptors, owls, or water birds, your window-watching household will be enriched with the wonders of the avian world. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the captivating sights and sounds as you embark on your indoor birdwatching adventure.