20 Birds With Red Breasts (With Pictures)


Birds With Red Breast

Birds who have bright wings are naturally found to be attractive by all of us. However, their bodies play an equally important part in their appeal. If a bird has a vibrantly-colored body, its wings might even go unnoticed at times. In this article, we will take a look at the list of 20 American birds that have red breasts.

 

House Finch

House Finch

Scientific name – Haemorhous mexicanus
Body length – 5-6 inches
Weight – about 16 to 27 grams
Wingspan – 20-25 centimeters (7.9-9.8 inches)
Lifespan – 9-10 years
Diet – omnivore

Out of all the three different species of Finch birds who inhabit North America, the population of the House Finch is most widespread. While all three of them look similar, the distinguishing feature of the House Finch is its red color.

The head, breast, and rump of these birds are red, while the rest of their body, including their plumage, is a muted shade of light brown.

The coloration in the male House Finch can vary from red to yellow or orange. The cause of this variation is not a regional difference but simply a difference in their diet.

 

Purple Finch

Purple Finch

Chewy

Scientific name – Haemorhous purpureus
Body length – 12-16 centimeters (6.3-7 inches)
Weight – 34 grams
Wingspan – 22-26 centimeters
Lifespan – 5-9 years
Diet – omnivore

The breast of the Purple Finch is not a pure shade of red, but a pinkish-red. Although they are called “purple finch”, the color they acquire is not purple but a rosy shade of red.

The female Purple Finches do not share the rosy-red coloration of the males. Unlike the House Finches, the Purple Finches like to inhabit areas that are less disturbed by the human population.

They are mostly found in the coniferous or deciduous forests, shrublands, and old fields.

 

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

Scientific name – Passerina ciris
Body length – 12-14 centimeters (4.7-5.5 inches)
Weight – about 13 to 19 grams
Wingspan – 21-23 centimeters
Lifespan – 11 years
Diet – omnivore

The Painted Bunting belongs to the family of the cardinal birds. These birds are popularly known by the name of “Nonpareil”, which translates to “unrivaled”.

It describes the unimaginable blend of colors on their bodies, which can be matched by none of the other cardinals.

Although the Painted Buntings are secretive birds, they are more commonly seen in the woodlands of the Southeast. They are social birds that forage in flocks, often with the other bird species as well.

 

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager

Scientific name – Piranga rubra
Body length – 17 centimeters
Weight – 29 grams
Wingspan – 11.5 inches
Lifespan – 4-6 years
Diet – omnivore

The Summer Tanager is one of the most remarkable breeding songbirds of North America. While the female Summer Tanagers have a mustard-yellow body with green wings, the males are bright red shade all over their bodies.

You can find these birds perched on the oak, pine, and willow trees. In the winters, most of these little birds migrate to Mexico and other regions of Central America.

 

Hepatic Tanager

Hepatic Tanager

Scientific name – Prianga flava
Body length – 20 centimeters
Weight – 38 grams
Wingspan – 12.5 inches
Lifespan – 11 years
Diet – omnivore

The Hepatic Tanagers are another species of American songbirds who were initially said to belong to the tanager family.

However, recently, researchers have found that these birds are actually cardinals, due to their similar plumage and voice. The male Hepatic Tanagers have a red body with a greyish-red plumage, while the females are mustard-yellow in color.

The Hepatic Tanagers are highland birds who frequent in the mountain regions of New Mexico and Arizona during the summer and spring seasons.

 

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Scientific name – Cardinalis cardinalis
Body length – 21-23 centimeters (8.3-9.1 inches)
Weight – about 33 to 65 grams
Wingspan – 25-31 centimeters (9.8-12.2 inches)
Lifespan – 3-5 years
Diet – omnivore

Also known by the names of “Redbird” and “Virginia Nightingale”, the Northern Cardinals can be easily distinguished from other cardinals by their bright red plumage and prominent head crest.

The males Northern Cardinals have a red body with a dull grey tint over their wings. The females, on the other hand, have a golden-tan body with a tinge of red to their wings and tail.

Another remarkable feature of these birds is their melodious songs, for which they are also referred to as “nightingales”.

 

Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia

Scientific name – Cardinalis sinuatus
Body length – 8.3 inches
Weight – 42 grams
Wingspan – 10-12 inches
Lifespan – 8 years
Diet – omnivore

The Pyrrhuloxia, also known as the “desert cardinal”, inhabits the dry region of Southwest America. In terms of behavior and habitat, there are many similarities between the Northern Cardinal the Pyrrhuloxia.

However, the former cannot tolerate the harsh climate of the dry deserts as well as the latter. Used to the lack of trees in the desert, these birds mostly forage on the ground, shrubs, and smaller trees.

 

White-Winged Crossbill

White-Winged Crossbill

Scientific name – Loxia leucoptera
Body length – 15-17 centimeters
Weight – about 24 to 26 grams
Wingspan – about 26 centimeters
Lifespan – 4 years
Diet – herbivore

Although the White-winged Crossbills have an overall red body and black wings, they have been named so because of their white-winged bars, which work as a field mark for the bird-watchers.

These birds frequent in the Boreal forests, but can also be found in your backyard bird feeders occasionally. They are highly social and live in flocks all-year-round, including the nesting season. Unlike the males, the females have a yellowish body, with the same wing and tail pattern.

 

Elegant Trogon

Elegant Trogon

Scientific name – Trogon elegans
Body length – 32 centimeters (13 inches)
Weight – about 210 grams
Wingspan – 16 inches
Lifespan – up to 4 years
Diet – Insectivore

The Elegant Trogons were initially called the “coppery-tailed trogon”. The Greek term “trogon” translates to “gnawer” in English, which refers to the hooked bill and insectivorous diet of these birds.

All the other Trogon birds live in tropical forests; these are the only ones who inhabit North America. The heads of these birds are metallic green, with a white streak that marks the distinction between the head and underbody. Their underbody is bright red in color.

 

‘I‘iwi

‘I‘iwi

Scientific name – Drepanis coccinea
Body length – 15 centimeters (6 inches)
Weight – 20 grams in males; 16-17 grams in females
Lifespan – 5-12 years
Diet – omnivore

Also known as the “Scarlet Honeycreeper”, the ‘i‘iwi is a passerine bird which belongs to the family of the Hawaiian honeycreepers.

Native to the Hawaiian Islands, these birds can easily be recognized by their uniquely decurved, salmon-colored bills. They have black wings and tail, with a vibrant red plumage all over their bodies.

Due to the Avian Malaria (a parasitic disease in birds spread by mosquitoes), the population of the ‘i‘iwi birds is declining severely. The IUCNOpens in a new tab. has placed them under the Threatened Species list.

 

‘Apapane

‘Apapane

Scientific name – Himatione sanguinea
Body length – 13 centimeters
Weight – 16 grams in males; 14 grams in females
Lifespan – 10 years
Diet – omnivore

The ‘Apapanes are the Hawaiian songbirds which, like the ‘i‘iwi, belong to the family of the Hawaiian honeycreepers. These birds have a short, slightly curved bill, an overall red body with dark wings, tail, and a white vent.

The ‘Apapanes are known to live in the upland forests. They are nectar-sucking birds, fond of the ohia flowers in particular.

 

Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak

Scientific name – Pinicola enucleator
Body length – 20-25 centimetres (about 7-10 inches)
Weight – about 52 to 78 grams
Wingspan – 33 centimeters (13 inches)
Lifespan – 9.5 years
Diet – omnivore

The Pine Grosbeaks are large, heavy-chested birds of the Finch family who frequent in the subalpine forests. During winter, they move to the forests of ash, maple, and mountain ash in order to have access to an abundance of seeds to feed on.

The Pine Grosbeaks have different colorations in different parts of America; in California, they appear more orangish, while in the interior West, they appear in a shade of fading red.

 

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Scientific name – Sphyrapicus ruber
Body length – 7-9 inches
Weight – about 59 to 65 grams
Wingspan – 14-16 inches
Lifespan – 2-3 years
Diet – omnivore

The Red-Breasted Sapsuckers are medium-sized woodpeckers belonging to the sapsucker family. They have a stout bill, an upright posture, and a still tail, all of which are traits of the woodpeckers.

A bright red hood covers their head, neck, and breast, below which their body has a muted shade of yellow. They commonly nest on the aspen, hemlock, and ponderosa pine trees in the deciduous and coniferous forests of America.

 

Red Crossbill

Red Crossbill

Scientific name – Loxia curvirostra
Body length – 14-16 centimeters
Weight – about 29 to 43 grams
Wingspan – 25-27 centimeters
Lifespan – 2-5 years
Diet – herbivore (granivore)

The Red Crossbills are medium-sized songbirds who are known for their unique bills. Their bills are twisted at the edges and cross each other when they meet. The male Red Crossbills have a brick-colored body with dark wings and a medium-sized tail.

The females have an almost olive-brown body with yellow underparts. Conifer seedsOpens in a new tab. make up a large part of their diet, because of which they mostly reside in coniferous forests.

They are also fond of sunflower seeds and often come to feed on the backyard bird feeders that contain these seeds.

 

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Scientific name – Pyrocephalus obscurus
Body length – 13-14 centimeters
Weight – about 11 to 14 grams
Lifespan – 5.5 years
Diet – insectivore

The Vermilion Flycatcher is the most attractive member of the tyrant flycatcher family. While the other flycatchers appear to be drab, the bodies of these birds are covered with a vibrant shade of red.

They like to stay close to the water and dip their tails in it. Thus, they are mostly found on the short trees at the edge of ponds, streams, and lakes.

 

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Scientific name – Piranga olivacea
Body length – 16-19 centimeters (6.3 to 7.5 inches)
Weight – about 23 to 38 grams
Wingspan – 25-30 centimeters (9.8-11.8 inches)
Lifespan – 12 years
Diet – omnivore

The Scarlet Tanagers are stocky, medium-sized songbirds who have rounded bills that enable them to eat both insects as well as fruits with ease.

While the males have a red body with black wings, the females have a yellow body with wings in the shade of olive.

These birds inhabit the deciduous-evergreen forests in eastern North America but migrate to lower shrublands and backyards in winters.

 

Crimson-Collared Grosbeak

Crimson-Collared Grosbeak

Scientific name – Rhodothraupis celaeno
Body length – 20-23 centimeters
Weight – about 60 grams
Wingspan – 31 centimeters
Lifespan – up to 9 years
Diet – herbivore

Most commonly found in north-eastern Mexico, the Crimson-Collared Grosbeaks are herbivore birds native to North America.

These migratory birds move to Texas during winters. Both males and females have a large, cone-like beak, black hood, bib, and wings.

However, while the males have crimson-colored bodies, the females have a body-color ranging between olive and yellow.

 

Painted Whitestart

Painted Whitestart

Scientific name – Myioborus pictus
Body length – 13-15 centimeters
Weight – about 8 to 12 grams
Wingspan – 21 centimeters
Lifespan – 6 years
Diet – omnivore

The Painted Whitestart is the largest of all the Whitestarts. These birds belong to the family of Wood Warblers or New World Warblers.

Most of their bodies are black, with their bellies and lower breast being red in color. They have large white patches on their wings and an outer tail. They are scattered all over Central America, Mexico, and Texas.

 

Eared Quetzal

Eared Quetzal

Scientific name – Euptilotis neoxenus
Body length – 33-36 centimeters (13-14 inches0
Weight – about 103 to 127 grams
Lifespan – 3-5 years
Diet – omnivore

The Eared Quetzals are also known as “Eared Trogons” and belong to the family of Trogons. They are native to the mountain range of the Sierra Madre Occidental in western Mexico.

In the US, they are found in the south-eastern parts of Arizona, and the Madrean Sky Islands regions. A distinctive feature of these birds is hair-like wisps growing around their ears.

Their back is glossy green, with dark blue and white tail feathers. The chest and underbody of the Eared Quetzal is bright red in color.

 

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis

Scientific name – Eudocimus ruber
Body length – 55-63 centimeters (22-25 inches)
Weight – about 1.4 kilograms
Wingspan – 54 centimeters (21 inches)
Lifespan – 15 years
Diet – carnivore

The Scarlet Ibis is a migratory wader bird belonging to the ibis family, which frequents on the islands of the Caribbean and tropical South America. These birds enjoy legal protection worldwide and are, therefore, increasing in numbers steadily. The plumage of the Scarlet Ibis is overall scarlet, with long legs and a long, curved beak.

 

Final Takeaway: Birds With Red Breasts

Many people find solace in bird-watching. To them, it is a means to reconnect with Nature. While bird-watching, when you come across a little red bird flying, doesn’t it just make your day? None of us can refuse the appeal of red. The next time you watch a red bird flying overhead, make sure you recognize from the list given above.