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Jersey Birds are a diverse group of avian species found in New Jersey. They range from common backyard birds like American Robins and Northern Cardinals to rare shorebirds like the Red Knot and Piping Plover. Do you know many Jersey Birds are migratory and travel thousands of miles yearly to breed, nest, and feed? The state’s varied habitats, including forests, wetlands, and beaches, provide a rich environment for birds of all kinds.

That is why the birdwatching is a popular activity in New Jersey, with enthusiasts flocking to locations such as the Cape May Bird Observatory and the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge to observe Jersey Birds in their natural habitats. In this blog, we will educate you about 11 common species of Jersey bird. So, be our companion till the last word.

Birds in New Jersey

Firstly, we must clarify that “Jersey Bird” means the birds in the American state of New Jersey. We find it better to inform you so you may not consider Jersey Birds to be a specific breed. Secondly, we will try to discover most famous and anonymous birds there. However, we will make a short introduction to these feathered organisms. So, continue reading to find your next bird to keep as a pet.

Great horned owl

Great horned owl looking front

The great horned owl is one of the most impressive birds because of its imposing size, horn-like ear tufts, and intense stare. Likewise, it is also the most significant owl species in New Jersey. You can see these birds just about everywhere there are trees, whether it’s a forest, an orchard, a grassland, or even a suburban neighborhood with a few trees. The great horned owl is a must-see if you plan a trip to New Jersey for birding purpose.

Additionally, the great horned owls are beautiful birds because of the variety of patterns on their brown feathers. They feature a black beak, a white collar, and brilliant yellow eyes. The wingspan of these owls, which can reach up to 60 inches, is quite remarkable. That’s around four to five feet in height. Talking about the difference between genders, their low hoots are a sure way to differentiate a male from a female, with the male’s sound being noticeably lower in pitch. Since they do not migrate, great horned owls may be seen at any time of the year.

Pileated Woodpecker

Black Pileated Woodpecker is sitting

Likely, you’re already aware of this energetic bird because of the iconic Woody Woodpecker cartoon character. The pileated woodpecker with the red head is the most notable species of woodpecker found in the United States, because of its natural environments include both coniferous and mixed woodlands, as well as hardwood forests.

Thus, the black and white stripes run from the pileated woodpecker’s head to its throat. The red crest atop its head is instantly recognizable as belonging to the iconic cartoon character Woody Woodpecker. The red band that extends from the beak to the neck easily separates the male and female of this species, while the female gender has a black band here.

Regarding the diet, the larvae and insects that live in dead wood are the main things that pileated woodpeckers eat. Thus, pecking holes in trees allows them to get access to their prey. The larvae of wood-boring beetles, ants, termites, fruit, nuts, and berries are all on their menu.

Cooper’s hawk

Cooper's hawk sit on the tree

The amazing cooper’s hawks are winter residents of New Jersey, although they spend the rest of the year moving south. Regarding the habitat, mature woods and river groves are home to these birds. Cooper’s hawks like dense forests with various tree types, including conifers, mixed forests, and deciduous ones. In contrast, the presence of suitable nesting trees has also led them to move into urban and suburban areas.

When it comes to the appearance, cooper’s hawks are about as significant as other species in the genus Accipiter, which shows they’re a decent-sized bird overall. Likewise, short-rounded wings, long, thick legs and toes, and tiny, hooked beaks are all characteristics of these birds.

Additionally, the bodies of Cooper’s hawks are either blue or brown, while their heads are dark brown. They have blue-gray tails on top and white tips with three black stripes. A white background is marked with reddish streaks on their bellies.

As there is no compromise on the diet for living organisms, the cooper’s hawks sneak up on their prey, primarily medium-sized birds and small mammals like chipmunks, bats, mice, and squirrels with good eyesight and by quickly moving their wings. These birds are quick, so they either wait for their victim to get close to the ground before charging, or they wait until the prey is in the air and then swoop down to get it.

Ball-tailed godwit

Ball-tailed stand on the wood

The bar-tailed godwit is easily distinguished by its long and unique bill, mottled grey back, and red neck, breast, and belly. This specific bird is said to possess any bird’s longest non-stop flying capacity. Even though it is currently considered a ‘near-threatened’ species worldwide, this bird is a regular winter visitor and migratory to Jersey.

Furthermore, the reduction in the number of reports of this godwit subspecies in Jersey in recent years has alarmed environmentalists. Visitors to Grouville Bay, one of the island’s most popular sunbathing sites, are being asked to be mindful of the godwits that make their home near the shore. They are quite accessible during the cold months.

Northern Cardinal

red Northern Cardinal

Every year in New Jersey, northern cardinals are frequent and easy to find, as they reside near forests, marshes, and thickets. However, Northern cardinals may also live in city parks and other sites with dense shrubs for nesting. If we discuss their appearance, they are medium-sized songbirds, measuring 8.3–9.1 inches. Cardinal red refers to Catholic cardinals’ robes. Beaks, crests, and black masks cover their faces.

On the other hands, the birds usually hunt beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, butterflies, and termites and eat seeds, fruit, grains, and berries. They also like bird feeder sunflower seeds, so adding sunflower seeds to your backyard bird feeder may attract a bright red visitor.

Eurasian Oystercatcher

black and white Oystercatchers

The stunning Eurasian Oystercatcher is a regular winter visitor who makes Jersey it’s home but not often. The oystercatcher, with its distinctive call and bright plumage, is easy to notice whenever one happens to be in the area. It has a red bill, red legs, black head and neck, white underparts, and wings that are mainly black but also have white patches.

The oystercatcher’s robust bill is well suited for cracking open various mollusks, including the namesake oysters and mussels. Yet, many individuals of this species will instead use their bills to delve into the soil in search of earthworms.

Oystercatchers are a frequent sight in St. Aubin’s Bay throughout the winter, and those who are willing to go to the deserted ‘islets’ of Ecrehous will often see them.

Eurasian reed warbler

reed warbler is sitting and looking

Jersey is a famous breeding ground for the Eurasian Reed Warbler. Therefore, it is common to discover this bird during spring and fall migrations. The songbird, at 12.5 to 14 centimeters in length, and it is one of the smallest birds you’ll see in Jersey. It prefers to live in and among quiet reed beds.

While not the most visually arresting bird, the reed warbler makes up for its lack of eye-catching features with a sweet song and a tranquil environment that make bird-watching a pleasure. So, the way these birds dart from stalk to stalk in their reed bed habitat is interesting to see, too.

Red-breasted merganser

Red-breasted stand in the water

The red-breasted merganser, despite its name, is likely to be most recognizable for its spiky crest and crimson eyes, as well as its long, thin bill, which has serrated edges.

Unlike most ducks, the red-breasted merganser can do more than glide peacefully over the water. Its bill subspecies can dive and swim underwater at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, and it also holds the record for the fastest duck flying speed.

Scarlet tanager

ScarletnTanager sit on the branch

The scarlet tanager is an intermediate-sized bird only found in oak, maple, and pine, and resides in mix-wood deciduous forests, where it breeds. Throughout the winter, some avian species fly south to warmer climates.

It is easy procedure to recognize different gender of these birds as the male scarlet tanager lives up to its name by having vivid red plumage with black wings and a tail. While the females are more subdued in appearance, with an olive-green upper body, a yellow underside, and a mix of olive and yellow in their wings and tails.

Furthermore, the tanager Scarlet is a bird that often hunts its food high in the trees. They subsist primarily on insects, which they snag out of the air or pick up from the forest floor. As bug numbers drop, teenagers do the same.

Black skimmer

Black skimmer

Another bird that feels happy to fit itself in the list of Jersey birds is the black skimmer, which is a fascinating bird. Thus, its ability to skim, or fly just above the water’s surface while scraping it with their lower beak, has made them renowned. When it close full mouth over a fish, it effectively traps the meal, and it is prone to eat primarily fish and crab-like crustaceans.

If we discuss the habitat style, the black skimmer often nests near Sandy Hook, New Jersey. They populate areas bordering the ocean, rivers, lakes, and lagoons. Black skimmers are so famous because of the black plumage that covers their whole bodies, including their heads and necks. Moreover, they have a white underbelly, white forehead, black wings with white tips, and a gray tail with white tips.

Little gull

white and black head Little gull

You may see hundreds of small gulls in Jersey in August and December if you are familiar with right place to spot. Throughout the summer, the small gull has a stunning black head, but when the seasons change, it becomes white, making it more visually appealing than the typical seagull we see along Britain’s shoreline.

They are small birds, even the most prominent members of the tiny gull population are under 12 inches in length, making them the smallest gull subspecies. Unlike regular seagulls, these birds are notable for swooping down on people they don’t understand when hungry, this gull prefers to pick its food off the water’s surface.


Research highlights the significance of protecting the biodiversity of Jersey birds. We now understand the peculiar habits and traits of these species. The Jersey birds, however, some species are in danger from various factors, such as pollution and habitat destruction. Sustainable methods must be implemented and their natural habitats are must to preserve if these birds survive. Public education on the value of these species may increase awareness and support for conservation efforts. So, by cooperating to save the Jersey bird, we help the overarching cause of maintaining Earth’s biodiversity.


What kind of birds are permitted in Jersey?

Apart from the carrion crow, feral pigeon, wood pigeon, and magpie, all birds and their nests and eggs are protected under the Wildlife Law 2021.

Which bird best represents New Jersey?

The eastern goldfinch’s feathers are dazzling yellow, while its head and wings are black. Sunflower seeds are a favorite food of eastern goldfinches.

Where do the birds of New Jersey go during the winter?

Since New Jersey is right on the Atlantic Flyway, we see the massive yearly migration up close. One of the most crucial north-south migration routes is the Atlantic Flyway, which runs along the Atlantic coast from Canada to Central and South America.

Which New Jersey bird has long legs?

Storks. Storks, wading birds with long, sturdy bills and broad wingspans, are giants in size and weight.

Which birds lay their eggs in Jersey?

Over 100 known bird species make Jersey their home for at least part of the year; several of them are rare or nonexistent elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Recent years have seen successful breeding efforts by the Short-toed tree creeper, Dartboard Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Nightjar, Roseate Tern, and Cirl Bunting.

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Hello, I am Matthew Isaac have a passion for birds and a wealth of knowledge in the field. As someone who has dedicated my career to working with birds, I am excited to share my expertise through my writing. My articles cover many birds related topics, including their behavior, biology, habitats, and conservation. Whether you are a seasoned bird watcher or just starting to explore the world of avian creatures, my articles will provide valuable insights and practical advice that will help you deepen your understanding and appreciation of birds. From bird identification and species-specific information to bird care and welfare, I am committed to sharing accurate, helpful, and engaging content that will inspire and inform readers from all backgrounds and levels of experience.