From the iconic Red-headed Woodpecker to the stunning Vermilion Flycatcher, get to know Birds with Red Heads in this comprehensive guide!
For birdwatchers, Birds with Red Heads are among the most sought-after species to spot. These vibrant creatures add a dash of color to the birdwatching journal and offer interesting behavioral traits worth observing. Keep reading to learn more about these avian wonders.
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Birds with Red Heads
1. Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)
Distinguished by its striking all-red head, this woodpecker boasts a stark contrast with its monochrome body. It forages by catching insects in midair and storing excess food in tree bark. This intelligent bird can even mimic other birds’ calls.
2. Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
A visually striking member in the category of birds with red heads, the vermilion flycatcher has a fiery red-hued head. Typically seen in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico, this small bird prefers dry, open areas.
3. Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata)
Displaying a vibrant red head and crest, this bird is not a true cardinal. It is native to South America but has been introduced to Hawaii. With an affinity for shrubs and grasslands, this species is an omnivore, feasting on seeds and insects.
4. Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)
The summer tanager is a North American songbird sporting a vibrant red coat during summer. A skilled aerial insectivore, it elegantly snags bees and wasps from the sky, neutralizing their stings before consumption.
5. Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
This big black bird with red head stands out due to its attractive plumage and vivid crown. Common in forested areas of Europe and Asia, this bird uses its powerful beak to drill into trees and locate insects.
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6. Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Among the birds with red heads, this avian wonder is common in eastern woodlands. The red-billed woodpecker uses its strong beak to extract insects from beneath tree bark and its zygodactyl feet to grip onto surfaces.
7. Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)
This small bird with a red head and chest has a strong presence in Eurasia. It has a melodious song and prefers feeding on seeds.
8. Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)
This species, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, sports a red face, head, and beak. The red-billed firefinch thrives in grasslands and agricultural areas, where it can easily find seeds and small insects to eat.
9. Masked Crimson Tanager (Ramphocelus nigrogularis)
Recognized by its striking red plumage and black mask, the masked crimson tanager inhabits the Amazon basin. Known for melodic whistling calls, its diet includes fruits and insects.
10. Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja)
Known for its striking crimson-red chest and head, it is often seen in forests and gardens. This nectar-feeding creature among the birds with red heads is a delight for birdwatchers and gardeners alike.
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11. Red-capped Manakin (Ceratopipra mentalis)
Featuring a striking black plumage, this small bird with red cap on head is known for its intricate courtship dance, which resembles moonwalking. This Central American native bird inhabits lowland tropical forests.
12. Red Avadavat (Amandava amandava)
Often spotted in the grasslands of South Asia, the red avadavat sports a radiant red-head and speckled body. Breeding males flaunt vivid plumage to attract females, while the bird’s diet consists of seeds.
13. Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)
The scarlet tanager captivates with its vivid red plumage and contrasting black wings. It migrates between North America and South America, favoring deciduous forests. In this list of birds with red heads, this species is one of a kind.
14. Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)
Although the male purple finch has a raspberry-colored head rather than true purple, its plumage is still striking. Native to North America, this bird is comfortable in forests and suburban areas.
15. Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis)
The red-naped Sapsucker exhibits a subtle red crown and nape. It drills small holes into trees to feed on sap and attracts insects to these sapwells.
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16. Scarlet-headed Blackbird (Amblyramphus holosericeus)
Primarily seen in the marshlands of South America, the scarlet-headed black bird with red head and mesmerizing black plumage. Its diet includes various insects and plant matter.
17. Red-crested Turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus)
Indigenous to the woodlands of Angola, the red-crested turaco exhibits an extravagant red crest and striking green plumage. This green bird with a red head consumes mostly fruits, and its calls sound like rhythmic barks.
18. Flame-colored Tanager (Piranga bidentata)
This bird, predominantly seen in mountainous regions, features a bright red-orange head. The flame-colored tanager is known for its beautiful song and feeds on insects and fruits.
19. Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola peruvianus)
The Andean cock-of-the-rock has a brilliant orange-red crest and resides in the rocky cliffs of the Andes. Known for its elaborate courtship dance, this bird’s diet is rich in fruits.
20. Red-capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius)
Endemic to southwestern Australia, this bird is identifiable by its vivid red head and multicolored body. It belongs to the birds with red heads commonly found in eucalyptus forests and woodlands.
21. Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis)
Possibly extinct, this large woodpecker features a red crest on its head. Once native to the southeastern U.S., the ivory-billed woodpecker was most famous for its powerful beak, capable of digging deep into tree bark.
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22. Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
Males of this species have a bright red crown and crest. They are one of the largest woodpeckers in North America, known for digging large, rectangular holes in trees to find ants and beetles.
23. Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)
This unique woodpecker has a red crown patch and is famous for its acorn storage habit. Often inhabiting oak woodlands, the acorn woodpecker works collectively to store acorns in “granaries” for later consumption.
24. Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons)
The male golden-fronted woodpecker has a red cap and is found predominantly in Texas and Central America. It’s another noteworthy member among birds with red heads.
25. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
A red forehead and throat distinguish the male yellow-bellied sapsucker. This woodpecker creates lines of small holes in tree bark, from which it laps up sap and catches attracted insects.
26. Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani)
This Central American woodpecker displays a vivid red crown in males. Its diet mainly consists of fruits and insects. This avian wonder is common in humid forests.
27. Crimson-crested Woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos)
This impressive woodpecker sports a red crest and primarily dwells in tropical lowland forests. It’s a voracious insect eater, using its long beak to extract prey from wood.
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28. Pale-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis)
With its striking red head and crest, the pale-billed woodpecker is a denizen of Central American forests. Its preferred diet includes insects, fruits, and seeds.
29. Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocoptes medius)
The male middle-spotted woodpeckers have a distinct red crown. These European natives prefer deciduous forests and consume insects, often foraging on the trunks of trees.
30. Red-headed Myzomela (Myzomela erythrocephala)
Endemic to Australia, this bird exhibits a stunning red head. Preferring coastal areas and eucalyptus forests, the red-headed myzomela loves nectar but enjoys insects as well.
31. Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii)
Native to humid mountain forests in Central and South America, this barbet boasts an attention-grabbing redhead. Its diet comprises fruits, but this bird also eats insects on occasion.
32. Red-headed Quelea (Quelea erythrops)
During the breeding season, males of this species flaunt a vibrant redhead. These African birds thrive in grasslands and swamps, feeding mostly on grains and seeds.
33. Red-headed Finch (Amadina erythrocephala)
Endemic to southern Africa, this bird possesses a distinctive red head and is common in dry savanna. The red-headed finch is well-known for its cheerful vocalizations.
34. Red-headed Malimbe (Malimbus rubricollis)
A resident of West African forests, this bird features a bright red head and black body. It feeds mainly on insects and is admired for its intricate hanging nests.
35. Red Masked Parakeet (Psittacara erythrogenys)
Native to Ecuador and Peru, this parakeet sports a brilliant red mask and head. Often seen in flocks, it loves eating fruits, seeds, and insects.
36. Red-headed Bluebill (Spermophaga ruficapilla)
Found in Central Africa, this bird has a fascinating red head and blue bill. Preferring forest habitats, it primarily feeds on seeds and insects.
37. Crimson-headed Partridge (Haematortyx sanguiniceps)
A resident of Borneo’s forests, this partridge stands out for its dazzling crimson head, adding to the list of birds with red heads. Its diet is notably diverse, featuring leaves, fruits, and insects. This adaptability in feeding habits makes it a captivating subject for anyone interested in the multifaceted world of avian species.
38. Red-Breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)
A North American Pacific Coast resident, this sapsucker features a red breast, a white belly, and a redhead. Like other sapsuckers, it drills holes in trees to consume sap and trap insects.
39. ʻIʻiwi (Drepanis coccinea)
Native to Hawaii, the ʻIʻiwi possesses a striking scarlet-hued head and body. Adapted to feed on native flowers, this bird’s curved bill is perfect for sipping nectar.
40. Yellow-Billed Cardinal (Paroaria capitata)
The eye-catching fiery red head and yellow beak set this bird apart from other cardinals. It is native to the wetlands and grasslands of South America, specifically in regions like Brazil and Paraguay.
41. Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus)
This black and white bird with a red head is a captivating sight in its native range. Its powerful beak helps in extracting insects from under the bark.
42. Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)
The scarlet macaw is notable among birds with red heads because of its vivid red, yellow, and blue plumage. Inhabiting Central and South American rainforests, this intelligent and charismatic bird has strong beaks.
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