Songbirds are quite easy to find, thanks to their bright calls, making them very popular with bird watchers. The United States is home to a wide variety of songbirds, including the predatory shrike and the iconic blue jay, as well as many smaller, lesser-known species.
The Mourning Warbler is one of the few birds that seems to benefit from man's intrusion in its environment. It nests on the ground, so it is commonly found in second-growth forests, as well as areas that have been logged or cleared by forest fires. It sports a yellow belly, which aids in identifying it. Its song is distinctive, which also aids in identifying it. It consists of five trills, three in a row of the same pitch, and then two shorter, lower trills. During migration, the Mourning Warbler can be seen throughout the eastern United States. The bird summers in north central and eastern North America and winters in south Central America and the northernmost tip of South America.
The Verdin is a year-round resident of the southeast United States and northern Mexico. It is easily spotted, thanks to a yellow face, constant vocalization and a distinctive nest. The Verdin is the only American member of the penduline tit family, which can be found in Europe, Asia and Africa. These birds are typically known for their hanging nests, but the Verdin prefers to build a spherical nest that can be more than a foot in diameter in acacia trees or thorny brush. It often vocalizes with a sharp, bright chirp and its song is typically three trills in rapid succession. The Verdin feeds largely on insects and lives in areas where scrub brush is common.
Although generally similar in appearance to a sparrow, Sprague's Pipit is longer and leaner, with longer legs. This is largely due to the fact that, although it does fly, it nests and feeds on the ground. In fact, this rare bird is known for its lengthy flight displays when it does take to the air. These displays typically last at least a half-hour, but have been recorded at longer than three hours. Its song is very distinctive, starting out with a rapid piping and then deteriorating, as if it is running out of air. Its migratory range is through the central United States. It winters in southeastern America, Mexico and Central America. Summers are spent in the north-central United States and central Canada.