The Most Common Small Bird In The United States

America is home to a variety of small birds. Which one of those is the most common small bird in the United States? You will find out in this article and also discover some interesting facts about that bird species.

The Song Sparrow is the most common small bird in the United States. There have been over 13 million sightings of this species currently recorded on eBird in 2023. They are 12-17 cm long with streaky brown plumage and white bellies. They vary significantly in size and color across their range.

Continue reading to learn more about song sparrows and other typical small birds of North America.

The Most Common Small Bird In The U.S.

The song sparrow is the most sighted bird in the United States according to current records from eBird; making it also the most common.

a screen shot from the eBird website showing sightings for the Song Sparrow
Image from

As you can see from the screenshot of the eBird website above, the song sparrow has had well over 13 million sightings in the United States. That number is a live count of sightings bird watchers have entered into eBird. It was current for the day that I wrote this article.

You can discover some other small birds from America in this article here on my blog.

What Does The Song Sparrow Look Like?

The song sparrow is a medium-sized sparrow, their measurements and coloring vary considerably depending on what part of the U.S. they are found in.





Where Will You Find The Most Common Small Bird?

Song sparrows are found from the Alaskan Peninsula, all the way down to Mexico. They can be seen from east to west in most parts of Canada and the United States. The map below from Birds of the World shows their locations during different parts of the year:

a map of North America showing the distribution of the most common small bird in the U.S. the Song Sparrow
Image from

They are migratory birds and thus move around throughout the seasons. They breed in the northern parts of the continent from May to June (indicated in orange above) and then move south during winter from December to February (shown in blue above).

Song Sparrow Habitats

Song Sparrows prefer a variety of habitats, including wetlands, grasslands, forests, and suburban areas. They are commonly found in fields, meadows, and along the edges of woods and forests.

When breeding, they will inhabit forests and shrubberies; particularly those near water if in an arid environment.

When not breeding, they can be found in suburban areas, including parks, gardens, and residential areas with large yards. They are also known to live in coastal marshes and along streams and rivers.

Meet Australia’s smallest bird in this article here on the site.

The Sounds Of The Song Sparrow

With a name like a song sparrow, how could they not have a beautiful call?


Recorded by Thomas Magarian. Original file from


Recorded by Thomas Magarian. Original file from

Listen out for them next time you are outdoors.

Some Other Common Small Birds In America

American Goldfinch

This bird had the second-most recorded sightings on eBird; 12,564,841 at the time of writing this article.

an American Goldfinch perched on a small branch
Image by Brian E. Kushner from Getty Images.

The American Goldfinch is between 11.4 and 12.8 cm (4.5 – 5 in.) in length and a brilliant lemon yellow and black in breeding plumage. When not breeding, they are olive-brown above and olive-yellow below.

House Sparrow

This is the third most common small bird with 12,111,147 sightings on eBird when this article was written.

the third most common small bird in the United States, a House Sparrow, perched on a thorny branch
Image by Rosemary_Kappler from Getty Images.

The House Sparrow is found on almost every continent in the world. They were introduced to America in 1851. They are 15-17 cm (5.9-6.7 in.) long.

Black-capped Chickadee

This small bird has been recorded 11,710,958 times on eBird.

the fourth most common small bird in the United States, a Black-capped Chickadee perched on a branch
Image by Donyanedomam from Getty Images.

These are one of the most familiar small birds in the United States. They are 12.3–14.6 cm (4.8-5.8 in.) long.

Black-capped Chickadees also have one of the most intricate languages in the animal kingdom. Please read about this and the intelligence of other small birds in this article here on my blog.

House Finch

The House Finch had accumulated 11,468,872 sightings at the time of writing this post.

Image by hstiver from Getty Images.

These rosy-cheeked birds are 12.5 to 15 centimeters (5 to 6 inches) long and are found across much of the United States, southern Canada, and Mexico.


Here are some of the facts you have discovered in this article:

  • The most common small bird in the United States is the Song Sparrow. This is based on real-time data from eBird, one of the world’s largest bird sighting data collection platforms.
  • The Song Sparrow’s coloring and size vary significantly across its range.
  • Song Sparrows are found from Alaska down to Mexico and from east to west across North America.
  • They are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, grasslands, and suburban areas.
  • Other common tiny birds in America are the American Goldfinch, the House Sparrow, the Black-capped Chickadee, and the House Finch.


Barry Callister

Barry is a bird photographer and bird watcher with over 7 years of experience. He runs his own YouTube channel about photography and promotes his nature photography on his personal website

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