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Birds Commonly Seen On Ground

dark-eyed junco can be seen on ground

Mockingbirds and Thrashers – Family Mimidae


Brown Thrasher. Often seen scratching in leaf litter. Compare with Long-billed Thrasher in south Texas.

A talented vocalist with over known 1,000 song types, the Brown Thrasher occasionally mimics songs of other species, though not as often as the Northern Mockingbird is known to do. Brown Thrasher territories are maintained not only during the breeding season, but in the winter as well.

Pigeons and Doves – Family Columbidae

mourning dove

Mourning Dove. Common and widespread. Hunted as a game bird.

While the Red-winged Blackbird probably tops it, the Mourning Dove is one of the most abundant and widespread birds in North America. Mourning Doves are resident across much of their range, though northern birds move south in the winter, and the species often turns up at bird feeders.

common ground-dove

Common Ground-Dove. Review the range map for this species to see its unusual range.

 The Common Ground-Dove is a very small, mostly sedentary dove of open, shrubby habitats from the southernmost U.S. to the south. Common Ground-Dove pairs mate for life, and can nest in almost any month of the year.

Common Ground-Doves have a number of displays involving the position of their wings. These displays can serve as a warning, as a courtship ritual, or as a territorial claim. Territories are maintained year-round, and it is therefore uncommon to see flocks of Common-Ground-Doves.

Towhees and Sparrows – Family Emberizidae

spotted towhee

Spotted Towhee. Western counterpart of the Eastern Towhee.

 The Spotted Towhee is a medium-sized bird that is native to North America. It is a member of the Emberizidae family and is commonly found in brushy or wooded areas.

The Spotted Towhee is distinctive in appearance, with a rounded body, long tail, and large, round head. The bird’s plumage is primarily black, with white spots on its back and white underparts. It has a reddish-brown patch on its back and rump, and its eyes are large and dark.

In terms of behavior, the Spotted Towhee is generally a shy and solitary bird, although it may form small flocks during the non-breeding season. It is known for its loud, clear, and musical trill, which it uses to communicate with other birds. The Spotted Towhee is also an active forager, using its strong, sharp bill to dig into the ground for insects and seeds.

white-throated sparrow

White-throated Sparrow. Compare with White-crowned Sparrow.

 The White-throated Sparrow is a medium-sized bird that is commonly found in North America. It is a member of the Passerellidae family and is often seen in wooded areas, gardens, and parks.

The White-throated Sparrow is recognizable by its distinctive appearance, which includes a white throat, yellow lores (the area between the eyes and bill), and a rusty-brown crown with a white stripe down the center. The bird’s underparts are white, while its upperparts are gray and brown with black and white streaks. It also has a distinctive, three-noted song that is often heard in the woods and forests where it lives.

Dark-Eyed Junco

dark-eyed junco

Dark-eyed Junco. Nests north to Alaska, winter or permanent resident in most of the United States. Several color phases.

dark-eyed junco

Dark-eyed Junco.

dark-eyed junco

Dark-eyed Junco

The Dark-eyed Junco is a small bird that is native to North America. It is a member of the Emberizidae family and is commonly found in wooded areas, forests, and suburban gardens.

It is easily recognizable by its distinctive appearance, which includes a rounded body, short, conical bill, and a distinctive, dark eye. The bird’s plumage is gray or brown on the upperparts, with white or pale gray underparts. Some subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco have a distinctive rust-colored patch on the back or head.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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