Bird Feeder Hub is reader-supported. When you click and buy we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

24 Backyard Birds In Alaska (Pictures & Facts)

Many of us may think of Alaska as a frozen tundra, but it actually contains many diverse ecosystems and is home to a variety of bird species. Some of these species live in Alaska all year, others are migratory and only spend the summer or winter in the state. In this article, we’re going to take a look at 24 of the most common backyard birds in Alaska and learn a little about each species.

After that I’ll show you how to attract them to your yard, and give you a crash course in the 10 different types of bird feeders you can use. Lastly, I’ll mention a few birdwatching hotspots in Alaska and some great local birding organizations. 

How many different species of wild birds are in Alaska?

It’s difficult to get an exact number on how many bird species are found in North America, the United States, or even in the state of Alaska. However, according to the Alaska Checklist Committee, as of January 2022, there have been at least 534 species of birds seen in the state of Alaska.

Most reputable sources believe there are between around 800 – 1100 species of birds in North America. Here are a few of them:

For the purposes of this article we are just going to look at some of the species people would be most likely to see in urban neighborhoods and backyards in Alaska.

24 common backyard birds in Alaska

Below we’ll look at 24 species of backyard birds in Alaska, including some migrants.  These obviously aren’t all the species in the state, or even close to it, but they are some of the birds that are most likely to frequent backyards in Alaska. Let’s get to it!

1. Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped chickadee
Black-capped chickadee | Image:

Scientific name: Poecile atricapillus
Length: 4.7-5.9 in
Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz
Wingspan: 6.3-8.3 in

Chickadees are tiny little birds with rounded bodies that are very easy to recognize because of their “black cap” and black bib. Their cheeks are solid white, their wings and backs are blackish gray, and their underbodies are fluffy and light. They are very common at bird feeders and are often seen darting back and forth from a feeder to cover and back again for more. Chickadees are always among the first birds I see visiting a new feeder in my yard, and they can be quite bold for their size! 

Black-capped chickadees can be found year round throughout southern Alaska and parts of the interior. 

Chickadees will visit most seed feeders, offer them mixed seed blends and black sunflower seeds.

2. American Crow

Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

Scientific name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
Length: 15.8-20.9 in
Weight: 11.2-21.9 oz
Wingspan: 33.5-39.4 in

American Crows are solid black in color, and quite large in size. They are also know for being highly intelligent problem solvers, like their cousin the raven. Crows will roost higher up in the tree tops in large groups where they can get a birds eye view of everything below. If an owl or a hawk shows up, the roost will call out and let everyone known that there is danger nearby. 

Crows can be found all year along southeastern and south-central Alaska.

American Crows are omnivorous and generally do not visit bird feeders, they are much too large. But if you aren’t careful with your trash they will pick through it. 


3. Canada Jay

Canada Jay | image by Lorie Shaull via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Start feeding birds today with a window feeder!

Window Bird Feeder by Bird Feeder Hub

  • ✔ ️inexpensive
  • ✔️ easy to setup
  • ✔️ attaches right to your window

Scientific name: Perisoreus canadensis
Length: 9.8 – 11.4 in
Weight: 2.0 – 3.0 oz

The Canada Jay is truly a master of the cold. They can be found throughout Canada, even in the far north, year round. Their home is in high elevation boreal forests, and breed in the cold and dark of February and March. An interesting choice to incubate eggs during one of the coldest parts of the year, unlike many birds in that region that wait for late spring. 

Males and females have the same coloration, a mostly gray body with a darker back and pale head with dark band at the nape. Juveniles are dark all over. These jays are always on the lookout for food, and are very curious and fearless when it comes to human interaction. 

Find the Canada Jay year round in the boreal forests of northern and interior Alaska.

The Canada Jay will visit bird feeders and is happy eating seeds or suet. 

4. Black-billed Magpie

Image: Tom Koerner/ USFWS Mountain-Prairie

Scientific name: Pica hudsonia
Length: 17.7-23.6 in
Weight: 5.1-7.4 oz
Wingspan: 22.1-24.0 in

The beautiful black-billed magpie has the shape of a jay but the size of a crow. Black head, chest and back, bright white shoulder and sides, metallic blue along their wings and their long tail.

They have a varied diet of fruit, grain, insects, small mammals, carrion and eggs. They are even seen hanging out on the backs of large mammals like moose or deer, picking through their hair looking for ticks. These flashy birds aren’t shy and are often seen perched in trees or on fenceposts. They can be quite loud, especially in groups. 

Black-billed magpies can be found year round in southern Alaska.

While they prefer open rangeland, black-billed magpies may visit backyards. Try to attract them with sunflower seeds and peanuts on a platform feeder, with suet, or by leaving out fruit such as orange halves. 

5. White-crowned Sparrow

Image: _Veit_ / flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Scientific name: Zonotrichia leucophrys
Length: 5.9-6.3 in
Weight: 0.9-1.0 oz
Wingspan: 8.3-9.4 in

White-crowned sparrows spend the summer far north in Canada and Alaska, then migrate back down across the United States during the winter. One of the easier sparrows to identify, white-crowned sparrows have a bold black and white striped head while the rest of their face, chest and belly remain a plain buffy brown-gray.

They like to forage in fields, and along the edges of roads and trails. These sparrows will come to bird feeders, but are most likely to stay on the ground and pick up spilt seed. 

Throughout most of Alaska these sparrows will only be found during the spring-summer. However they are only seen scarcely during the winter months along the southeast / inner passage.

White-crowned sparrows readily visit feeders and like to pick up fallen seed below feeders. Offer sunflower, millet and mixed seed blends.

6. Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak (Image: dfaulder | CC BY 2.0 | flickr)

Scientific name: Pinicola enucleator
Length: 7.9 – 9.8 in
Wingspan: 13.0 in

Pine Grosbeaks are large, chunky birds. Their bodies are gray, with males having rosy-red on their head, breast and back. Females instead have yellow on their head and rump. Their thick, black beak is thick but short, perfect for pulling the seeds out of spruce, pine and juniper. 

While they primarily eat seeds, fruits and buds, they do add insects into their diet during the summer. They are one of the few backyard birds that you can see not only in North America, but also throughout northern Eurasia. Their habitat is open conifer forests in higher elevations. 

Pine Grosbeaks can be found throughout most of central and southern Alaska year-round. 

Pine Grosbeaks can be attracted to bird feeders, especially during the winter, by providing black oil sunflower or hulled sunflower seeds. Remember these are larger birds and will prefer a platform feeder, hopper, or tube feeder with large perches. 

7. American Robin

Scientific name: Turdus migratorius
Length: 7.9-11.0 in
Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz
Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in

Common in backyards, robins are mostly seen hopping around the grass looking for worms and other invertebrates to eat. While they will occasionally visit bird feeders, they do not typically eat seeds. Their bright orange round bellies, yellow beaks, and larger size make them easy to identify. They are frequent singers and can be heard from dawn to dusk. 

Robins can be found throughout Alaska during the summer months, and some remain year-round along the far southern coast.

American Robins do not often visit seed feeders, so attract them with meal worms, native fruit-bearing plants, or a bird bath. 

8. Red-breasted Nuthatch

Scientific name: Sitta canadensis
Length: 4.3 in
Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-7.9 in

These little nuthatches have a dark gray back, rusty (ranges from boldly colored to pale) chest and belly, and a boldly black and white striped face. They are quick and active birds most commonly found hopping around on tree trunks and branches looking for insects beneath the bark. They nest in tree cavities, and will even use backyard nest boxes.  

Red-breasted Nuthatches are found year-round only along the southern Alaskan coast and along the inner passage.

Red-breasted Nuthatches will readily visit feeders. Offer sunflower seeds, peanuts or suet.

9. Boreal Chickadee

boreal chickadee sitting on snowy evergreen branch
Boreal Chickadee | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Poecile hudsonicus
Length: 4.9 – 5.5 in
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz

Boreal Chickadees are tiny, round little birds. Their coloring is different enough from other chickadees to tell them apart fairly easily. Look for their black chin, brown head and back, gray wings, white belly and rusty brown sides. 

As their name implies, these chickadees live in the boreal forests of the north. Alaska is the best U.S. state to see them in, as they don’t tend to travel further south than Canada. They cache a lot of food during the warmer months to help them get through the winter when food harder to find.

Boreal Chickadees can be found in evergreen forests in southern and interior Alaska year-round. 

Boreal Chickadees will readily visit feeders, and can also be attracted to your yard with a nest box. 

10. Hairy Woodpecker

Image credit: birdfeederhub

Scientific name: Leuconotopicus villosus
Length: 7.1-10.2 in
Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz
Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in

There’s not much to differentiate Hairy Woodpeckers from Downy Woodpeckers, aside from the Hairy’s larger size and a few other key features. They both have very similar markings and are almost always found in the same places of the country as each other. I have found though that the Hairy Woodpecker does not visit bird feeder near as often as Downy’s do. 

Hairy Woodpeckers are found throughout central and southern Alaska all year, although some may migrate further south in the winter. In Alaska, the white parts of their plumage may appear to be stained brown.

While not as common as Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers will visit suet and seed feeders. 

11. Common Redpoll

(Image: No-longer-here | pixabay)

Scientific name: Acanthis flammea
Length: 4.7 – 5.5 in
Weight: 0.4 – 0.7 oz
Wingspan: 7.5 – 8.7 in

Common Redpolls are cute little member of the finch family. With a rounded shape, they have a brown streaked body, yellow beak, and red patch at the top of their head. Males have a pinkish wash on their breast. 

These birds of the north spend their summer way up in the high arctic, then travel down into Canada for the winter. They have been observed tunneling into snow to create an insulated place to sleep overnight. 

Common Redpolls remain year-round in the southern half of the state, but will only be found in northern Alaska during the summer.

Common Redpolls will visit bird feeders during the winter, and prefer small seeds like thistle.

12. Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow (sooty) | image by Becky Matsubara via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Passerella iliaca
Length: 5.9 – 7.5 in
Weight: 0.9 – 1.6 oz
Wingspan: 10.5 – 11.4 in

Fox sparrows are named after the rich red and orange coat of a fox. However only some fox sparrows have this coloring. Four distinct color groups exist that can look quite different from each other, Red, Sooty, Slate-colored and Thick-billed. They are a common sparrow but reclusive, preferring to stay in dense thickets and brush.

Fox Sparrows can be found during the summer breeding season throughout most of Alaska. These sparrows will travel to the southeastern U.S. for the winter. There is a small population that remains year-round along the inland passage.

They may come to backyard feeders to pick at the seed that has fallen to the ground, but are more likely to visit fruiting shrubs.

13. Brown Creeper

brown creeper clinging to tree trunk
Brown Creeper | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Certhia americana
Length: 4.7 – 5.5 in
Weight: 0.2 – 0.3 oz
Wingspan: 6.7 – 7.9 in

The Brown Creeper is a small bird that can be found clinging to large tree trunks and slowly making their way up while picking at the cracks in the bark for insects. They are a fairly common species, but their back is so well camouflaged with bark that they are hard to spot. 

Brown Creepers build unusual nests. They prefer dead or dying trees, and will create a hammock-shaped nest behind a large, loose piece of bark. So dependent on mature trees for their food, this species is sometimes used by researchers to gauge the health of the ecosystem in areas of heavy logging. 

These birds can be found year-round in southern Alaska.

It is unusual for Brown Creepers to come to bird feeders, but you may be able to attract them in the winter with suet. 

14. Song Sparrow

Scientific name: Melospiza melodia
Length: 4.7-6.7 in
Weight: 0.4-1.9 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-9.4 in

Song Sparrows are very common throughout most of North America and their plumage can vary a bit from region to region. Generally, these sparrows are mostly brown on the back and wings, with heavy brown streaks on their chest and a light belly. Song sparrows in the western U.S. may appear darker, grayer, and with heavier streaking. The male of the species uses his song to attract females as well as to defend his territory. 

Song Sparrows may be found in Alaska year-round along the southern coast and the Aleutian islands.

Song Sparrows will sometimes visit bird feeders and snack on mixed seeds and sunflower seeds. 

15. Red-Crossbill

Red-Crossbill (male) | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Loxia curvirostra

It’s not hard to see how this bird got its name. The unique crisscrossed bill of the Red Crossbill allows them to break into unopened conifer cones. This gives them an advantage over other birds that have to wait until the cones open before they can probe for seeds. Males are red all over with gray wings, while females are yellow. 

Since conifer seeds make up the majority of their diet, they can breed at any time of year as long as their is a good crop of food. They can be found in southeastern Alaska year-round.

Red Crossbills are unlikely to visit a bird feeder. You are most likely to see them in your yard if you have cone-producing evergreen trees. 

16. Downy Woodpecker

Scientific name: Picoides pubescens
Length: 5.5-6.7 in
Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz
Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in

Downy’s are the smallest woodpeckers in North America and are always one of the first species I see at a new bird feeder. They are easily identifiable by their all white underbodies, black wings with white spots, black and white striped heads, and the red spot on the back of their heads (in males, females have no red). Though they do closely resemble the Hairy Woodpecker, Downy’s are smaller. 

Downy Woodpeckers are found all year throughout southern and western Alaska. Their white feathers may appear more dingy in species along the Pacific.

Downy Woodpeckers are very common at most types of bird feeders. Offer them mixed seed, black sunflower seed, and suet.

17. Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing | image by dfaulder via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Bombycilla garrulus
Length: 6.3 – 7.5 in
Weight: 1.6 – 2.4 oz
Wingspan: 13.0 in

Bohemian Waxwings are easy to identify by their unique coloring. These medium sized birds have a tawny brown head and chest, dark gray wings, and a yellow tipped short tail. Their face sports a dramatic black eye mask, and a large fluffy brown crest. The name “waxwing” comes from small, red, waxy nubs found at the tips of their wings. These can often be hard to see and no one is really sure what purpose they serve. They may help attract mates.

Bohemian waxwings love fruit, and are one of the only North American birds that can survive on fruit alone for several months. They do supplement their diet with insects in the summer, but they can eat a much higher percentage of fruit than other birds.

Bohemian Waxwings are migratory, and can be found throughout most of Alaska during the summer months. 

Bohemian Waxwings won’t eat from seed feeders. You can attract them to your yard with native trees and shrubs that produce small fruits and berries.

18. Northern Flicker

Scientific name: Colaptes auratus
Length: 11.0-12.2 in
Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz
Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in

These medium to large sized woodpeckers are quite common in backyards throughout the United States, though not as common at feeders. In my opinion they are also among some of the most colorful birds in North America. Flickers feed mainly on insects and unlike other woodpeckers, often like to find them on the ground rather than trees.

Identify them by the black spots on their bellies, solid black bib, red patch on the back of their necks, and barred black and gray wings. Males have a black “mustache”. In Alaska you get the “yellow-shafted” variety, and they have bright yellow feathers on the underside of their wings and tail.

Northern Flickers visit Alaska during the summer months, then head back to the lower United States for the winter.

Northern Flickers may not visit feeders as often as other woodpecker species, but they will still come to suet feeders. If you have some leaf piles in the yard, you may see them digging around for bugs. 

19. Dark-eyed Junco

Image: Paul Hurtado / Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Junco hyemalis
Length: 5.5-6.3 in
Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-9.8 in

Juncos have many different colorations across the United States. In the eastern U.S. and Alaska, they are dark gray on their head, chest, back, wings and tail. Their belly all the way to the bottom of the tail is white. Females may look similar or appear a buffy brown instead of gray. Two good things to look for when recognizing junco’s are their pale pink beak and roundish body shape.  They are most common in forests and wooded areas where they can often be seen hopping around on the ground. 

Dark-eyed Juncos may be found year-round along the southern coast of Alaska, but mainly they are summer birds throughout the state.

Juncos will sometimes visit feeders, but typically prefer to eat seed from the ground underneath your feeders that other other birds are dropping. They like mixed seeds. 

20. Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Image: Darren Kirby / flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Poecile rufescens
Length: 3.9-4.7 in
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
Wingspan: 7.5 in

Chickadees are tiny little birds that are very easy to recognize because of their “black cap” and black bib. This western bird can be found all the way up the west coast into Alaska. In the northern areas of its range, like Alaska, it has a chestnut back and sides. These chickadees use a lot of fur in their nests that they collect from many animals including rabbits and deer.  They are quick and curious birds, and can appear quite brave around humans near bird feeders.  

Chestnut-backed Chickadees can be found year-round along southern coast.

Chickadees will visit most seed feeders, offer them mixed seed blends and black sunflower seeds.

21. Pine Siskin

Image: Shenandoah National Park Flickr

Scientific name: Spinus pinus
Length: 4.3-5.5 in
Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in

Pine Siskins are tiny members of the finch family with sharply pointed beaks. They are brown and white streaked all over, and in fact can look a lot like female house finches. However the Pine Siskin will always have yellow (of varying brightness) along their wings and sides of their tails. They are considered nomadic and can move erratically each winter following good seed crops, with their favorite food source being conifer seeds. 

Pine Siskins can be found along the southern coast all year. A migratory population spends their summers in the interior of Alaska.

Pine Siskins will readily visit nyjer (thistle) feeders, and may also eat millet or hulled sunflower.  

22. Varied Thrush

male varied thrush
photo credit: VJ Anderson | CC 4.0 | wikicommons

Scientific name: Ixoreus naevius
Length: 7.5-10.2 in
Weight: 2.3-3.5 oz
Wingspan: 13.4-15.0 in

The Varied Thrush is a large, robin-sized songbird. It is hard to mistake their plumage with their bright orange throat, eyebrow stripe, belly, and wingbars. On their face, back and tail, males are a dark blue-gray where females are more of a gray-brown. They are birds of the dense Pacific northwest forests and in summer eat mainly insects and arthropods they forage from leaf litter on the forest floor. During the winter their diet changes to fruits/berries, acorns and nuts. 

In a few small pockets of the state the Varied Thrush sticks around all year. But for the most part, they can be found throughout Alaska during the spring and summer months only.

The Varied Thrush is most likely to visit backyards during the winter. They may eat seed from ground feeders or that has fallen from hanging feeders, especially hulled sunflower. You can also attract them by planting native shrubs that produce berries in the winter.   

23. Steller’s Jay

Scientific name: Cyanocitta stelleri
Length: 11.8-13.4 in
Weight: 3.5-4.9 oz
Wingspan: 17.3 in

Steller’s Jay is quite a striking bird! They are large birds, brownish-black on the top half and bright blue on the bottom half. These jay’s also sport a large crest that they can flick and display to dramatic effect during courtship or in aggression. Their main habitat is evergreen forests, but they are also known to frequent campgrounds, parks and backyards in their range. 

Steller’s Jays can be found year-round in Alaska, but they are slightly rare and only seen in the southeast.

To attract the Steller’s Jay to bird feeders, put out peanuts, large seeds and nuts.  

24. Common Raven

Image: Neal Herbert

Scientific name: Corvus corax
Length: 22.1-27.2 in
Weight: 24.3-57.3 oz
Wingspan: 45.7-46.5 in

Common Ravens are solid black in color, and quite large in size. They are also know for being highly intelligent problem solvers, like their cousin the crow. They seem equally at ease living alongside human activity as out in very remote wilderness. Ravens can make a large number of different vocalizations, the most common sound like a series of croaks.

Ravens are found year round throughout all of Alaska.

Common Ravens are omnivorous and generally do not visit bird feeders, they are much too large. But keep an eye on your trash or outdoor pet food. 

Bird watching in Alaska

Alaska is a wonderful state for birding if you want to go take your hobby outside of your own backyard. The Alaska Audubon Society has meetups, workshops, field trips, and birding tours, should you want to get a little more involved.

If you are an Alaska resident and would like to add some new species to your life list, then take a look at this list I’ve compiled some popular birding locations in Alaska.

Alaska birding locations

Learn more about what each of these locations has to offer (as well as local birding events and festivals) at

Find even more hotspots with Audubon’s Alaska Important Bird Areas.

You may also like...

5 key tips to attract birds to your yard

Interested in attracting some of these birds to your backyard? Take a look at these 5 simple tips, starting with the most obvious.

1. Put out bird feeders

The best and most obvious way to attract birds to your yard is to put out a bird feeder or two. I suggest starting with a simple tube feeder, hopper feeder, platform feeder, or a window feeder. See below for suggestions for each.

2. Add a water source

A pedestal birdbath like this one on Amazon is great, but you can also use something as simple as a terra cotta flower pot saucer, like this one. Birds need water not only to bathe in but also to drink and adding a water feature to your yard will only increase your chances of attracting birds. Also consider adding a solar fountain since moving water will entice the birds to visit the water even more.

3. Offer birdhouses

Many species of birds will readily take up residence in birdhouses if put out in the right spot at the right time of year. Eastern Bluebirds are among the most common sought after birds to attract to birdhouses. I have this birdhouse in my backyard and a mating pair of bluebirds were checking it out the same day I installed it.

4. Provide shelter

Make sure that your yard has trees, bushes, and shrubs that the birds can dart back and forth to when they sense danger. This is their main defense from predators. If your yard is perhaps in a new subdivision with no mature trees then do your best to add some landscaping features that will allow birds to look at your yard as safe.

5. Add native plants

For many birds that eat nuts, berries, and seeds, having native plants that produce these things will only aide your efforts to attract more birds. Try to avoid invasive and non-native plants as they can be harmful to native birds who are not used to these plant species.

10 different types of bird feeders

Here are 10 of the most common bird feeders people set up in their yards. 
  1. Hopper feeder - Hopper feeders get their name because they have a compartment in the middle, the hopper, that holds the bird seed. There are perches on the sides for birds to land on and eat from. Many hopper feeders are in the shape of a house and are covered on top to keep the seed dry. Use black sunflower seeds or mixed bird seed for this type of feeder. Here's one of my favorite hopper feeders, it's squirrel-proof too. 
  2. Platform feeder - Sometimes called tray feeders, platform feeders are open on top and can usually be hung from a tree or hook, or pole-mounted. They are great for feeding most types of birds and are easy to get set up. Though since they are completely open, every animal in your yard that can reach them will eat from them. Use black sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed for this type of feeder. I'm using this platform feeder in my backyard right now. 
  3. Tube feeder - Tube feeders are nothing more than clear plastic tube-shaped bird feeders. They can range in size from holding a few cups of seed to holding 5 lbs or more. They are great because they keep your seed fresh and dry while also allowing you to easily seed when it needs to be refilled. Many types of birds will use a tube feeder. You can use black sunflower seeds and mixed seeds in tube feeders. Squirrel Buster makes some of the best tube feeders on the market, this one is great and is of course squirrel proof. 
  4. Suet feeder - Suet feeders are for one type of bird food, suet cakes. They are a very simple concept, usually made of nothing more than a metal wire cage, sometimes with a tail-prop coming down for larger birds. Suet feeders are popular in the winter time when birds are looking for high-fat foods and are frequently visited by woodpeckers. I suggest getting a suet feeder with a long tail prop so you can attract larger woodpeckers, like the Pileated and Northern Flicker. 
  5. Window feeder - Window feeders are small bird feeders that typically mount right onto a glass window by means of suction cups. They are similar to tray feeders in that they are open on top and you just pour the seed into the tray area to refill them. These feeders are popular with many different types of birds, are super easy to get started with, and great for people who don't have big yards. Use black sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed for this type of feeder. This is by far the most popular window feeder on Amazon, and maybe the most popular bird feeder on Amazon overall. 
  6. Thistle feeder - Thistle feeders, aka Nyjer feeders, are specialized bird feeders made especially for thistle seed. The main types of birds that thistle feeders attract are birds in the finch family, which includes the American Goldfinch and House Finch whom are both on this list. Thistle feeders are often in a tube shape and have tiny holes all along the sides of the tube allowing the birds to pick out the thistle. Here's a good thistle feeder from Droll Yankees. 
  7. Ground feeder - Ground feeders are more or less tray feeders that sit on ground level. They will be very popular with birds like Mourning Doves and Juncos as well as squirrels, raccoons, and any other type of ground animal. Use black sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed for this type of feeder. You might like this ground feeder made from recycled plastic. 
  8. Oriole feeder - Oriole feeders are another type of specialty feeder for pretty much one type of bird, orioles. The feeder itself is often orange in color and usually has little plastic or glass dishes made for holding jelly, which orioles love. They also allow you to stick orange halves onto the feeder, another food that orioles relish. Here's a simple oriole feeder with 4 jelly trays that holds for orange halves. 
  9. Hummingbird feeder - Nectar feeders, aka hummingbird feeders, are designed specifically for hummingbirds to extract sugar water. Even though they are designed for hummingbirds, I frequently see Downy Woodpeckers at mine who also loves that sweet nectar. See this article to learn how to make hummingbird nectar without boiling the water. Hummingbird feeders are simple and inexpensive so there's no need to spend much on one, here's one that I've personally used and had success with. 
  10. Peanut feeder - Similar to thistle feeders, peanut feeders are tube-shaped and usually composed of a metal wire mesh material. Only the holes in the wire mesh are much further apart to allow for either whole unshelled or shelled peanuts to pass through the holes. These feeders attract birds like Blue Jays and as the name suggests, should be filled with peanuts. If you want to keep squirrels out of your peanut feeder, then this one by Squirrel Buster is your best bet. Otherwise this simple one will do the trick. 

Learn about backyard birds in all 50 U.S. states!