11 birds you’ll see in Columbia, SC


The Carolina Wren is SC’s state bird and nicknamed the “Mouth of the South” | Photo Wikicommons

Whether you’re a “wake up to the sound of birds” type, or a “please be quiet I’m trying to sleep” type, we’re all getting a new soundtrack to our South Carolina mornings.

Here’s the pitch: imagine getting out of bed in the morning, sitting out on the patio, or going for a stroll along the river walk. Instead of just a bunch of noise, you hear the songs of the Carolina Wren aka the “Mouth of the South” or the soft warble of the Eastern Bluebird. You could even learn their colors, habits, and favorite foods. The upshot: you should really get into birdwatching.

You could wing it, or…

A little bit of preparation goes a long way — i.e., you don’t need to drop your tax return on binocs (although it couldn’t hurt to look).

What might help:

  • A field guide. Instead of trying to name them all on your own, bring a physical guide like Birds of the Central Carolinas or an app like Merlin. If you bring your favorite local newsletter too, we wouldn’t object.

Meet the stars of the show

American Robin

📍Woodlands, suburban backyards, and grasslands with shrubs | 🗓️ All year | Song

Carolina Chickadee

📍Woodlands, swamps, parks, and suburban + urban areas | 🗓️ All year | Song

Carolina Wren

📍 Brushy thickets, swamps, and ravines | 🗓️ All year | Song

Indigo Bunting

📍Brushy forest edges, open woods, and farmland | 🗓️ Spring, summer, and early fall | Song

Northern Cardinal

📍Woodland edges, thickets, and suburban gardens | 🗓️ All year | Song

Northern Mockingbird

📍Forest edges and open areas | 🗓️ Spring, summer, and early fall | Song

Purple Martin

📍Lake Murray | June-August | Song

Red-bellied Woodpecker

📍Forests near rivers and streams | 🗓️ All year | Song

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

📍Moist forests and thickets | 🗓️ Spring, summer, and early fall | Song

Scarlet Tanager

📍Large, undisturbed tracts of forest | 🗓️ Spring, summer, and early fall | Song

Tufted Titmouse

📍Common in orchards, parks, and suburban areas | 🗓️ All year | Song

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