Kentucky is an ecologically diversified state that moves from the Mississippi Embayment’s alluvial and coastal plain soils in the far western region of the state to the Cumberland Plateau’s mountains.
Kentucky is home to over 350 bird species. Around 150 species breed in the state, with the remainder being seasonal inhabitants or transients passing through during migration.
In 1926, the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was recognized as Kentucky’s official state bird. Seven states have designated the northern cardinal as their state bird (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia).
Kentucky birds of prey
In Kentucky, 22 species of raptors or birds of prey are found on a regular basis. There are fifteen species of hawks, eagles, and falcons, and seven species of owls. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is currently monitoring and managing six raptor species designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in our State Wildlife Action Plan.
This includes animals that were previously included on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List (bald eagle and peregrine falcon), as well as some of Kentucky’s more unusual species (barn owl, osprey, and northern harrier). Please read the links below for information on species-specific projects:
Eagles in Kentucky
The bald eagle recovery effort is one of the most successful and well-known in North America. Since 1782, the Bald Eagle has been our national symbol.
Bald Eagles prefer to nest in huge trees with a view of the surrounding area that is less than one kilometer from the edge of a large body of water in Kentucky. The nest is often 82 feet above the earth and is the largest of any bird due to the fact that they reuse and renovate existing nests each year.
Owls in Kentucky
Owls, mysterious and smart, are popular birds among many people. The fact that the majority of us never see them as a result of their camouflage and nocturnal lifestyle further adds to their mystique. It makes one wonder how many distinct species may exist in one’s own backyard. We shall examine owls in Kentucky in this essay.
You may not get the opportunity to view these masters of camouflage on a regular basis, but when you do, you will be amazed by their magnificence. There are at least 19 owl species found in North America, yet only eight are found in the Bluegrass State.
Common backyard birds of Kentucky
Kentucky’s magnificent scenery, which ranges from ponds to farmland, is home to a variety of native bird species. Birds in Kentucky range from the more common Blue Jay to the less common Rusty Blackbird. Kentucky’s official bird is the Northern cardinal, which was designated as the state bird in 1942.
The following is a list of lovely common backyard birds found in Kentucky, complete with photographs and identification. Additionally, we added information on the frequency with which the birds are observed, as well as the time of year during which they are observed.
Woodpeckers in Kentucky
Seven Kentucky woodpeckers find adequate habitat in the state of Kentucky. Unfortunately, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, the traditional eighth of Kentucky’s woodpeckers, vanished from the state over fifteen years ago.
The popularity of woodpeckers is partly due to their preference for dwelling in and around residential areas. As a result, they make excellent photographic subjects.
Today, we’re going to talk about woodpeckers in Kentucky. We’ll explain how to recognize each species found in this state and where to find them. Let us begin!
Best Birdwatching Spots in Kentucky
The Bluegrass State is particularly well-known for its wildlife, and its six distinct geographical zones provide a great habitat for a diverse array of plants, animals, and birds.
Birding is a popular pastime in the area, and the location is a bucket list trip for individuals who appreciate observing birds on the lake, nesting in the trees, and flying through the air.
The following are the top five places to visit in Kentucky.
- Red River Gorge Geological Area
- Falls of the Ohio State Park
- Berea College Forest
- Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
- Ballard Wildlife Management Area
Other Kentucky birds
Kentucky is best recognized as the world’s horse capital – after all, it is home to the Kentucky Derby, the most prestigious equestrian race not only in the United States but in the entire globe! Consider the following other birds found in the state.
If you have encountered a bird in Kentucky that is not yet on our list or that you cannot identify yourself, we’ll be happy to identify it for you. Simply take a picture of it and upload your picture, a quick description and the U.S. state where it was found here on our bird identification page.