Below is a list of birds that we expect will be eating cicadas during the emergence.

Some online birding resources: 

  • All About Birds – a comprehensive resource that has images and ID tips
  • Merlin Birding App – An app that helps with basic photo ID 
  • EBird – A resource that shows common species in your geographic region 

American Robin 

  • Color Pattern: Distinctive rust colored belly with darker grey/brown head and back 
  • Size: Smaller than a pigeon (robins are a well known species that help us compare sizes of other birds to) 
  • Behavior:  Stands erect and usually forages on the ground 

Northern Cardinal 

  • Color Pattern: Bright red males with black face around the bill, females are pale brown with a red beak 
  • Size: Slightly larger than sparrow 
  • Behavior: Stay around the brush and forage on ground 

Blue Jay 

  • Color Pattern: Distinctive Blue Back and white belly 
  • Size: A bit larger than a robin 
  • Behavior: 
    • Loud “caw, caw” calls 
    • Found along forest edges

European Starling 

  • Color pattern: Glossy black, iridescent purple-green, sometimes have white spots with yellow beaks
  • Size: About the size of a robin  
  • Behavior: Often in large, noisy flocks and are comfortable around humans 

House Sparrow 

  • Color Pattern: White cheeks and brown mottled back. Males have black bib”
  • Size: About the size of a large apple
  • Behavior: Common in urban settings, loud chirps, hops on ground and fences.

Bald Eagle

Color Pattern: dark brown body and wings with distinctive white head and tail. Their feet and beak are bright yellow. Juveniles may have a more mottled brown appearance
Size: Very large!
Behavior: Primarily found in forests near large bodies of water. You may see them perching in tall trees or fishing in lakes and rivers

Eastern Bluebird

  • Color Pattern: deep blue coloration on the back, but can look different depending on the light with a subdued orange breast 
  • Size: Slightly larger than a sparrow 
  • Behavior: Perch and then drop to the ground to forage 

White Breasted Nuthatch

  • Color Pattern: Grey-blue on the back with a black cap and with a white underbelly 
  • Size: Sparrow size or smaller 
  • Behavior: Agile birds that go back and forth and sideways and as they forage on vertical surfaces 

Dark-eyed Junco

  • Color Pattern: White underbelly, “slate-colored” chest and back
  • Size: Sparrow-sized
  • Behavior: Primarily ground foraging birds

Grey Catbird

  • Color Pattern: slatey grey coloration with a black cap and rufus red coloration under a tail
  • Size: Robin sized

Behavior: fly across open areas, preferring quick, low flights over vegetation

Eastern Towhee

  • Color Pattern: Similar to a robin but with a white patch on belly and wings. Females are a lighter brown on their back 
  • Size: Robin Sized 
  • Behavior: Tend to forage on leaf litter on forest edges

Brown-headed Cowbird 

  • Color Pattern: 
    • Male: glossy black with brown head 
    • Female: Plain brown bird 
  • Size: Stocky and small blackbird, smaller than a robin
  • Behavior: noisy and often feed on the ground with mixed species 

Eastern Kingbird 

  • Color Pattern: Black back with a white belly, distinctive white tipped tail 
  • Size: About robin sized with an upright posture 
  • Behavior: Visual hunters that tend to catch prey mid-air. Usually hunt in open fields and grasslands 


  • Color Pattern: olive green above and streaked below with bold black and orange stripes on the crown 
    • Color difference between wood thrush: streaks instead of spots on breast 
  • Size: Sparrow sized or smaller 
  • Behavior: Song birds that forage mostly on the ground 

Wood Thrush 

  • Color Pattern: Rust colored on top and black spots on under belly, bold white eyering 
  • Size: Slightly larger than a sparrow  
  • Behavior: Hops and forages through leaf litter

Red Bellied Woodpecker 

  • Color Pattern: Bold black and white back and red head
  • Size: Larger than a robin 
  • Behavior: Hitch along tree branches and trunks 

Blue Grey Gnatcatcher

  • Color Pattern: pale blue/grey coloration with a grey/white underbelly with a black ‘V’ on their foreheads extending above their eyes.
  • Size: Sparrow sized or smaller 
  • Behavior: Energetic forager along the ground, shrubs and trees

Brown Thrasher

  • Color Pattern: Brown birds with heavy black streaked underbelly with bright yellow eyes 
  • Size: About robin sized 
  • Behavior: Sing in shrubs and treetops, loud and distinctive song 

Chimney Swift 

  • Color Pattern: dark grey and brown all over 
  • Size: slightly smaller than robin 
  • Behavior: Clings on walls and vertical surfaces, rapid flight and constant wingbeats 

Red Winged Blackbirds 

  • Color Pattern: glossy black with red and yellow shoulder coloration, females are brown streaked with a whitish eyebrow 
  • Size: Robin sized 
  • Behavior: Gather in flocks and perch to sing distinctive “conk-la-ree!”

Northern Mockingbird

  • Color Pattern: Grey/Brown with white wing patches and lighter bellies 
  • Size: Robin Sized 
  • Behavior: Territorial and loud mimics songs