AboutShopResourcesGetting StartedAttract types You WantTroubleshootingMinnesota Bird GuideSeasonal TipsPublicationsServicesLocations/Hours

AboutShopResourcesGetting StartedAttract species You WantTroubleshootingMinnesota Bird GuideSeasonal TipsPublicationsServicesLocations/Hours


Bird varieties in i m sorry the male and also female look the very same are referred to as monomorphic. Number of of our favourite backyard bird species are monomorphic, such as Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, residence Wrens and Mourning Doves. Various other monomorphic species in Minnesota encompass American Crows and also Bald Eagles. Below are some ideas to aid you figure out who’s who of the look-alike bird in your backyard.

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Size variations can be useful in deciphering the sex the monomorphic species. For some species, together in the fully Eagle, the mrs is bigger than the male. The size difference may be clearly shows in bigger raptor species but uneven the songbirds space side by side the dimension differential in between the sexes is an overwhelming to determine.

Even though this birds don’t have evident gender differences in their plumage that is often possible to identify males native females based upon behavior.

Blue Jays space a monomorphic bird species.


Generally, migrating males come at breeding grounds prior to the mrs of the species. For example, huge flocks that American Robins in at an early stage spring are most likely to consist completely of males. Female robins usually arrive main later.

Courtship Displays


Courtship rituals also help distinguish males indigenous females. One really sweet example is once the males of countless bird species will feeding the females to solidify the pair bond.

Another example is the speak to and response of Black-capped Chickadees. The masculine chickadee gives a two to three note “fee-bee” call. The female follows very closely behind the male providing a “dee” call, to which the male might respond by providing her a tidbit the food.


The male Mourning Dove performs a dramatic aerial courtship display known together “flapping-gliding flight.” First, he leaves his cooing perch while strongly flapping and also noisily clapping his wings. Next, after rising as high together 100 feet, he provides a lengthy spiraling glide in a finish circle then does a collection of flaps and glides before landing ~ above a perch.

Bird Song

Song can provide clues come a bird’s sex. Yet first, it’s essential to identify songs from calls. Calls space simple, unmusical sound uttered by both sexes come communicate specific messages such together warning, begging or to remain in call with others of the flock. Songs, however, are complex groups of notes, generally performed by males during reproduction season come announce a territory and also advertise availability to females. (A notable exemption is the female cardinal, one of few female songbirds that sings.)

Nesting Behavior

Nest-building behavior provide an excellent clues because that identifying the masculine of a species. Because that example, the male home Wren builds the begin of several colonies at once. He places sticks in number of houses, while singing prolific songs. The woman inspects all of the feasible nest sites and makes the final choice of wherein to finish the nest.

Both sexes that Blue Jays get involved in nest building, yet a department of labor is apparent during incubation—the woman Blue Jay incubates the eggs and also the masculine brings she food.

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Early in the breeding season, male and also female American Crows tend to stay an extremely close to one another. The male complies with the female’s every move, paris after her and also alighting beside her ~ above a branch. Later, the woman incubates the eggs and also the masculine feeds her.

With part patience and also observation you can identify guys and gals the monomorphic bird in your backyard. Offer it a try!

Adapted from the March/April 2014 edition of our Bird’s-Eye Newsletter

by Minnetonka Manager CAROL CHENAULT