What kinds of birds have red heads? 18 different types with photographs!

What kinds of birds have red heads? 18 different types with photographs!

Did you see a beautiful bird with a red head? You're curious what it is. That shouldn't be too difficult to understand, should it? How many different kinds of birds with red heads are there?

Many birds in the United States and Canada have totally or partly red heads. There is occasionally a tinge of red. At times, the entire bird is red. Sometimes the red is more orange, and other times it is more pink.

Among the birds with red heads are the following:

  1. House Finch
  2. Purple Finch
  3. Cassin's Finch
  4. Red Crossbill
  5. Pine Grosbeak
  6. Northern Cardinal
  7. Pyrrhuloxia
  8. Summer Tanager
  9. Western Tanager
  10. Scarlet Tanager
  11. Vermilion Flycatcher
  12. Red-headed Woodpecker
  13. Red-breasted Sapsucker
  14. Pileated Woodpecker
  15. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  16. Acorn Woodpecker
  17. Downy Woodpecker
  18. Anna's Hummingbird

If you observed this bird with a red head at your backyard feeder, your options are severely limited. In reality, you're probably asking about the ordinary House Finch 90% of the time. However, there are alternative options. This list does not include all of the birds with red on their heads, but it does include the majority of the ones you are likely to see in your backyard. So, let's get started learning about what you witnessed!

Red-headed finches at your seed feeder

Finches are obsessed with seeds. As a result, they are likely to visit your backyard seed feeders. Finches are brown streaky sparrow-like birds that prefer to live in trees rather than on the ground. Color is only seen in mature males. As a result, just a few of the red finches in a flock will have a red head.

There are several species of red-headed finch. In reality, there are three red-headed finches in the United States. Finches are similar to sparrows, thus when asked about these birds, some people inquire if there are red-headed sparrows. In general, sparrows feed on the ground, while finches feed in trees.

 House Finch

House Finch

The House Finch is a little brown bird with a scarlet head and breast. That's it! This is most likely your bird if you noticed many little streaky gray-brown birds with brilliant reddish-orange forehead, breast, and rump at your seed feeder. The majority of birds are reddish-orange, with some yellow, but the fundamental pattern is the same.

House Finches can be found throughout the United States in residential areas, towns, and farmland. They are only absent from the Great Plains grasslands and most of Florida. They only just make it to southern Canada. They are residents, which means they do not move and instead live in the same region all year.

Throughout the year, they make chirping cries and sing in a wiry warble with scratchy notes at the end.

Purple Finch

Purple Finch

House Finches have striped flanks, whereas Purple Finches have not. The male birds have a reddish cast, particularly on the crown (the House Finch has a red forehead and brown crown). Their tail is forked.

Purple Finches prefer moist woods and conifer forests. During the summer, they can be found in southern Canada and the Midwest and New England areas of the United States.

They can also be found throughout the western ranges, all the way down to southern California. During the winter, they migrate out of Canada and can be seen throughout the Eastern United States.

They have a rollicking warbled melody with three similar swift rolling phrases finishing with two short notes, unlike House Finches. The western variant of the song sounds to me like "hurry small, hurry little, hurry little, hup! hup!" In flight, they also make a harsh, dry "plic!" call.

In the winter, they may come to your seed feeder.

Cassin's Finch

Cassin's Finch

The Cassin's Finch dwells in the drier mountain ponderosa pine woods of the West.

Pink is gently rubbed over males. The crown of the head is the most vibrant crimson. A delicate white eye ring and a deeply forked tail are noticeable.

They eat largely seeds, as do other finches.

They have a long song and a three-part call called "tee-dee-yip." The song is less organized than Purple Finch and lacks the harsh tones of House Finch.

Red Crossbill

Red Crossbill

Red Crossbills are found in coniferous woodlands. They can be found from southern Alaska to Canada, in the northern Midwest and New England states, and in a few areas in the Appalachian Mountains. They are found across the West, from the mountains of Mexico to the heart of America.

Crossbills occasionally erupt in winter, migrating in large numbers from one location to another if cone crops fail or become abundant locally. They may appear at backyard feeders well beyond or south of their normal range, although they mostly feed on pinecone seeds.

Males are bright red, while females are yellowish. Birds with long, crossed beak consume the seeds of enormous pinecones. Birds with delicate beak consume small soft spruce cones.

More than ten species of Red Crossbills have lately been "found." They each have their own song and call note. They have varying bill sizes and feed on the cone seeds of several conifer species. However, their ranges overlap in a perplexing way that scientists are still attempting to figure out.

Red Crossbills, like the finches above, have a warbling song and a doubled "kip-kip" or "jiff-jiff" call.

Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak

This huge plump sparrow dwells in conifer woods throughout Alaska and Canada. It barely makes it to the northern tier of US states in the winter.

The quantity of colour varies greatly across forms—red on males, yellow on females. They are around 9 inches long, plump, and have two white wing bars, a hefty black conical bill, and a forked tail.

In the winter, they eat seeds, fruit, and buds. They are particularly fond of mountain ash tree fruit clusters.

They sing a warbling melody and issue a "pui pui pui" flight call.

Red-headed Cardinals at your seed feeder

If you observe a crested bird with a red head and a short conical bill at your seed feeder, it's a cardinal. They are bigger than finches.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a well-known feeder bird in the Eastern United States. They can also be found from Texas to Arizona and further south into Mexico. They can be found in forests, thickets, and gardens. A form can also be found in the desert Southwest.

Males are bright red all over with a black face and bib. Females are buffier and duller, but still have some red on their skin.

Insects, fruit, and seeds are among the foods consumed by Cardinals. They frequently visit backyard feeders and consume a wide range of seeds and other bird items.

Both sexes sing almost all year. Whistled phrases commonly include "happy cheery cheery."



This gray desert cardinal's males have red spots on their face, crest, breast, wings, and tail. Females are devoid of red. The thick conical bill is an apparent distinguishing feature.

From Texas to Arizona and south into Mexico, this species can be found. They reside in thickets of mesquite and other thorny bush.

Pyrrhuloxias eat weed seeds and other hard seeds and graze on the ground.

They sing a song about liquid whistles and have a metallic "chink" call.

Tanagers with red heads and fruit trees in your shade

Tanagers mostly consume insects such as bees, wasps, and beetles. They also consume fruits and berries. They spend the winter in Middle America. The bills are rather hefty, but not as short and conical as those of seed eaters like finches, sparrows, and cardinals.

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager

Male Summer Tanagers remain blazing red all year. Females are significantly paler, with a yellowish wash and a crimson wash. The bill is light in color. Hepatic Tanager, a similar species with a black bill, is found in mountain forests in the Southwest.

These birds live in pine-oak woodlands in the east and cottonwoods in the west (see photo above).

They can be found in the east from Virginia to Iowa, and in the south and west from Texas to southern California and into Mexico. Except for a handful in the southern coastal regions of Florida, Texas, and southern California, they move out of the United States in the winter.

They sing robin-like syllables and call out "ki-ti-tuk."

Scarlet Tanager 

Scarlet Tanager

Males are red in breeding plumage but molt into a greenish plumage similar to females in the fall and winter. Males have a deep black tail and wings. The bill of this tanager is smaller than that of other tanagers.

They spend the summer in the eastern United States' deciduous forests and move south out of the country in the winter.

They croak robin-like utterances. The term is "chip-burr."

Western Tanager

Western Tanager,

Males of this vivid yellow and black tanager have red heads in the summer.

In the summer, they can be seen from northern Canada to Mexico. They spend the winter in Middle America.

These tanagers may be seen at household bird feeders in the fall. However, as with many tanagers, it may be drawn to birdbaths and fountains all year.

They sing a harsh robin song and make clicking sounds like "pit-er-ick."

Red-headed flycatchers collecting flies

The majority of flycatchers are olive-green. There is, however, one with a red head. Most flycatchers sit peacefully on an exposed perch for extended periods of time. Then they sally forth to catch a flying insect before returning.

Vermilion Flycatcher 

Vermilion Flycatcher

This little bird of the desert Southwest is a blinding crimson. Females are grayer on top, white on the bottom with streaks on the breast, and peach on the lower belly. They can be found all over Mexico. They migrate from California to Florida in the winter.

Despite being desert birds, they are generally seen near stream banks. Golf grounds, sports fields, and cemeteries are examples of typical man-made habitats they prefer.

Males sing their song in a fluttery show flight during breeding season, "pi-a-see pit-a-see."

Red-headed woodpeckers on your tree trunks or suet feeder

Most male woodpeckers have a lot of red on their heads, some more than others. They are frequently spotted perched on the trunk of a tree, searching for insects in the bark or drilling into trees.

Red-headed Woodpecker: This bird is black and white with a red head.

Red-headed Woodpecker

With a red head and black and white fur.

This striking woodpecker can be found across the East, as well as farms and streamside forests in the Great Plains.

They require trees large enough to drill their nest holes and away from European Starling competition for those holes.

They eat flying insects that they catch in the air or other invertebrate prey, nuts, and seeds that they locate on the ground.

Their song is a gentle rattling.

 Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

This red-headed woodpecker (NOT Red-headed Woodpecker!) can be found from Alaska to southern California.

For nesting, it prefers mixed forests or deciduous trees in conifer woods. Many people migrate from the mountains to the lowlands, orchards, and backyards in the winter.

They drill tiny rows of sap wells in trees and then return to sip the sap and consume any insects caught in the sticky sap.

They aren't extremely busy, but their periodic wheezy descending calls give them away.

 Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

The flaming red crest of this massive black-and-white woodpecker is crow-sized and unforgettable. This species can be found in eastern forests, throughout Canada, and in the western mountains.

They like old deciduous and coniferous woods and deep woodlands.

They excavate carpenter ants for food by drilling big square holes in dead stumps and downed trees. They are one of just a few woodpeckers that will drill their nest chambers into live trees that are sturdy.

A ringing "kik-kik, kik-kik, kik...." is a sure sign you've arrived in the wilderness trees.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

There are multiple species of black-and-white barred woodpeckers that look similar. In the Eastern United States, red-bellied woodpeckers are among the most frequent backyard birds. They live in forests and cities.

They frequently visit backyard bird feeders. They feed on suet, peanuts, and occasionally sunflower seeds. Beetles, grasshoppers, and ants make up their "wild" diet.

A rolling "churr" is a common call.

Acorns Woodpecker 

Acorns Woodpecker

This black and white woodpecker with a clown's face and a red crown is abundant in California and the surrounding Southwest.

They can be found in groves of huge oak trees, especially pine-oak forests.

They live in huge family groups and tiny colonies, gathering and storing acorns securely into the bark of trees. Acorns shrink and fall out as they dry. As a result, they are continually evaluating the fit and sliding acorns into larger holes. Many thousands of acorns can be found in granary trees. In the winter, they devour these acorns. They also eat insects, most of which are flying insects that they catch in the air.

These are gregarious and boisterous birds, continually yelling "Whack-up! Whack-up!"

 Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is a very little bird. They can be found in backyards throughout the United States, Canada, and Alaska.

Males are the only ones with a red spot on the back of their heads. This is a common behavior pattern for woodpeckers all throughout the world. Although just a few species have red heads, many larger woodpeckers have red crests.

When compared to other woodpeckers, this bird's bill is quite small. As a result, rather than drilling for food, they prefer to pick for beetles, ants, and other bark insects. At backyard feeders, they are especially fond of suet.

In the spring, they "sing" a lengthier downward whinny cry made of a very quick series of those "pik!" noises.

Red-headed hummingbirds

Male hummingbirds have iridescent throats with highlights of red, orange, purple, and pink. In the eastern United States, just one species of hummingbird is encountered on a regular basis. Hummingbirds are found throughout most of the western United States. Southeast Arizona, on the other hand, is the hummingbird capital of the United States. Every year, 15 different species of hummingbirds visit the United States. Only roughly 26 of the world's 130 hummingbird species (all found in the Americas) have been found north of Mexico.

 Anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird

Hummingbirds in the United States typically have red throats. Costa's Hummingbirds have a purple throat and crown in the desert southwest, whereas Anna's Hummingbirds have a pinkish-red throat and crown.

Anna's Hummingbirds are a widespread bird in California that has recently spread to Oregon (and even a few to SE Alaska) and Arizona. During the winter, they can be seen all over the Baja peninsula and occasionally in Texas.

They feed on flower nectar and insects caught in flight or gleaning from plants. They take up hummingbird feeders, but the small Rufous and Allen's Hummingbirds can sometimes fight back.

Males begin singing a long buzzy insect-like repeat from an exposed perch in the spring (and even in the winter!).

Post a Comment

If you have any queries, please let us know.

Previous Post Next Post