Saturday, December 20, 2014
About the Photographer


Marty Jones has been interested in bird photography ever since his first visit in 2004 to see the magnificent flocks of Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski FWA.  Marty enjoys the challenges and rewards of taking a good bird photograph and meeting other people who share an interest in birding and bird photography.

Marty is a Regulatory Compliance Consultant for the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and lives near Terre Haute with his daughter Addison. Visit Marty L. Jone's Bird Photography Website. You'll see over 260 different Indiana bird species represented in the site including several rarities.

Backyard Birds of Indiana

Common Feeder Birds

Feeding backyard birds is often a lot of fun, but have you ever wondered what kind of bird is at your feeder? We're here to help! Thanks to the photographic efforts of Marty Jones, this page will help you learn the most common birds that visit our Indiana feeders.

Thanks for visiting and THANK YOU for feeding our feathered friends!

 Northern Cardinal  White-breasted Nuthatch
Northern Cardinal 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
White-breasted Nuthatch
 Dark-eyed Junko  Brown-headed Cowbird Carolina Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Brown-headed Cowbird
Carolina Chickadee
 American Robin  Downie Woodpecker European Starling
American Robin
Downy Woodpecker
European Starling
Mourning Dove Song Sparrow
House Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Song Sparrow

Bird of the Month

Northern Cardinal

by Alexandra Forsythe


Ask any group of people to list their favorite feeder birds and you’re sure to hear “Northern Cardinal” from most of them. People love this iconic bird with its regal crest and brilliant red plumage, and most people can identify them easily, particularly in the Midwest. In Indiana’s 2013-2014 Project Feeder Watch, the Northern Cardinal was the most often reported bird with 96.75% of feeders visited (second place went to the Dark-eyed Junco).

Even experienced birders who have seen so many exquisite birds favor the cardinal. John James Audubon said, “In richness of plumage, elegance of motion, and strength of song, this species surpasses all its kindred.” Bird biographer Arthur Cleveland Bent said, “In the Cardinal we have a rare combination of good qualities, brilliant plumage, a rich and pleasing voice, beneficial good habits, and devotion to its mate and family.” Gene Stratton-Porter’s first book, “Song of the Cardinal”, was about a Northern Cardinal that was a superhero among its kind that cautioned people to take care of the birds around them.

Northern Cardinals were once prized cage birds until the Migratory Bird Act of 1918 banned keeping these birds as pets. The Northern Cardinal’s range was originally limited to the southeastern U.S. About a century ago the Northern Cardinal began expanding its range along the Mississippi River. By 1910 they had spread into southern Ontario. It has since spread into maritime Canada and is now very widespread. They have been introduced to California, Hawaii and Bermuda. Seven states have chosen the Northern Cardinal as their state bird: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. 

Both the male and female Northern Cardinal can sing. When they make their distinctive upward sweeping whistle sound, they use the left side of their syrinx for the lower portion of the note, then they seamlessly switch to the right side for the higher pitched portion of the note. There is also often a soft “churring” sound at the end of the call. You can learn more about the way the Cardinal produces these sounds in this video:

Many people see the Northern Cardinal as a sign of Christmas. On Amazon alone there are over 1,900 results for Christmas decoration cardinals and 1,700 Christmas cards, and on the internet there are countless Christmas wallpaper cardinals. The Cardinal is probably celebrated as a Christmas bird because of their brilliant red plumage that stands out so well against the snow. On the Christmas Bird Counts and Feeder Watches, make sure to keep a special eye out for this spectacular bird!

Common Indiana Birds

50 Most Common Backyard Birds of Indiana

1.   Eastern Bluebird 
2.   Indigo Bunting
3.   Northern Cardinal 
4.   Carolina Chickadee
5.   Black-Capped Chickadee
6.   Brown-Headed Cowbird
7.   American Crow
8.   Mourning Dove
9.   House Finch
10. Purple Finch
11. Northern Flicker
12. American Goldfinch
13. Common Grackle
14. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
15. Cooper’S Hawk
16. Sharp-Shinned Hawk
17. Blue Jay
18. Dark-Eyed Junco
19. Northern Mockingbird
20. Red-Breasted Nuthatch
21. White-Breasted Nuthatch
22. Baltimore Oriole
23. Barred Owl
24. Eastern Screech Owl
25. Great Horned Owl
26. Eastern Phoebe
27. American Robin
28. Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
29. Pine Siskin
30. American Tree Sparrow
31. Chipping Sparrow
32. Fox Sparrow
33. House Sparrow
34. Song Sparrow
35. White-Crowned Sparrow
36. White-Throated Sparrow
37. Eupopean Starling
38. Brown Thrasher
39. Tufted Titmouse
40. Eastern Towhee
41. Cedar Waxwing
42. Downey Woodpecker
43. Hairy Woodpecker
44. Pileated Woodpecker
45. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
46. Red-Headed Woodpecker
47. Carolina Wren
48. House Wren
49. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
50. Summer Tanager