15 Different kinds of Birds with Red Heads

Some of the most alluring and aesthetically arresting characteristics in the avian world may be found in birds with redheads.

Their colorful plumage quickly grabs people’s attention and frequently serves a variety of behavioral and ecological objectives.

 These birds with red heads include a broad variety of species, each with its distinct charm, from the flaming crests of woodpeckers to the crimson crowns of cardinals.

AspectDescription
Red ColorVisually appealing and serves as a marker for species identification, dominance, or attraction.
Habitat, Habits, and AdaptationsStudy of the unique characteristics, habits, and adaptations of red-headed birds in the avian world.
Average WeightRanges from 1.5 to 1.7 ounces; not the largest.
Largest Red-headed BirdThe Red-headed Woodpecker, has a weight range of 2.3 to 3.4 ounces.
Smallest Red-headed BirdTiny Nuthatch, with a weight between 0.3 and 0.4 ounces.
Geographic DistributionWidespread presence throughout North America, particularly in the United States and Canada.

Types of birds with redheads

1. House Finch

The common and adaptable House Finch, technically known as Haemorhous mexicanus, is a species of bird found all throughout North America.

The House Finch is a common sight in urban and suburban settings because of its distinctly striped plumage and hints of red on males during the mating season. In this succinct introduction, we’ll examine more closely this adaptable and friendly bird species, examining its traits, habits, and capacity to flourish in a variety of situations.

CharacteristicDescription
Total Species35
Main Feather ColorBright green with splashes of red, blue, yellow, purple, or maroon
HabitatTropical rainforests of Central and South America
Andean Cloud Forest Parrot– Vivid grassy green body with dark green and slightly black feathers
Yellow-Headed Amazon– Yellow head<br> – Green body<br> – Scarlet wing spots
Islas Marias Amazon– Yellow head<br> – Green body<br> – Scarlet wing spots
Lilac-Crowned Amazon– Found only in Mexico<br> – Crown is violet-blue
DietVaried diet including fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetation
Vocal AbilitiesExcellent mimics with the ability to mimic sounds and speech
Conservation StatusSome species are endangered due to habitat loss and illegal trade  
Unique BehaviorsHighly intelligent and known for their lively personalities
Importance in Avian ResearchStudied for their communication skills and cognitive abilities

2. Downy Woodpecker

The Picoides pubescens, sometimes known as the Downy Woodpecker, is a little and endearing bird species that is frequently seen in North America. The Downy Woodpecker, easily identified by its black and white plumage and small stature, frequents forests and backyards.

Downy Woodpecker

We’ll discuss the distinguishing traits and habits that make the Downy Woodpecker a cherished and recognizable member of the Woodpecker family in this succinct introduction.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePicoides pubescens
SizeSmall, measuring about 5.5 to 6.7 inches (14-17 cm)
PlumageBlack and white with distinctive white undersides
BillShort and pointed, adapted for drilling into wood
RangeCommon throughout North America
HabitatWoodlands, forests, parks, and suburban areas
DietInsects, insect larvae, seeds, and berries
BehaviorAgile climbers and foragers, often seen on tree trunks
Drumming SoundRepetitive drumming on wood to communicate and establish territory
Mating and NestingMonogamous pairs, create nests in tree cavities
Conservation StatusPopulations stable, not globally threatened

 3. Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker, scientifically known as Melanerpes carolinus, is a striking bird species native to North America. Despite its name, the red on its belly is often concealed. Still, its vibrant red cap and intricate plumage make it a remarkable and easily recognizable resident of woodlands and suburban areas.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

In this brief introduction, we’ll take a closer look at the distinctive features and behaviors that define the Red-bellied Woodpecker.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePicoides pubescens
SizeSmall, measuring about 5.5 to 6.7 inches (14-17 cm)
PlumageBlack and white with distinctive white undersides
BillShort and pointed, adapted for drilling into wood
RangeCommon throughout North America
HabitatWoodlands, forests, parks, and suburban areas
DietInsects, insect larvae, seeds, and berries
BehaviorAgile climbers and foragers, often seen on tree trunks
Drumming SoundRepetitive drumming on wood to communicate and establish territory
Mating and NestingMonogamous pairs, create nests in tree cavities
Conservation StatusPopulations stable, not globally threatened

4. Hairy Woodpecker

The little but distinctive Hairy Woodpecker, technically known as Picoides villosus, is a native of North America. A hardy resident of woodlands and forests, the Hairy Woodpecker is distinguished by its unique black and white plumage and powerful beak. We’ll examine the salient characteristics and distinctive behaviors that characterize the Hairy Woodpecker in this succinct introduction.

Hairy Woodpecker
CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePicoides villosus
SizeSmall to medium-sized woodpecker, measuring approximately 7-10 inches (18-25 cm) in length
PlumageStriking black and white plumage with a white underside, males have a small red patch on the back of their heads
RangeNative to North America, found across a variety of forested habitats
HabitatWoodlands, forests, and wooded areas, often near mature trees
DietPrimarily feeds on insects, particularly wood-boring beetles, supplemented with seeds and berries
BehaviorAgile climbers and foragers, known for their distinctive drumming on trees
Nesting HabitsBuilds nests in tree cavities, often excavated by the birds themselves
VocalizationsVocal with a variety of calls, including sharp “peek” or “pik” sounds
Conservation StatusPopulations are stable and adaptable to various forested habitats

5. Summer Tanager

The Summer Tanager, or Piranga rubra in scientific jargon, is a colorful and eye-catching bird species indigenous to North and Central America.

The Summer Tanager, with its vivid red plumage, is a cheerful and welcoming sight throughout the summer months. We’ll talk about the Summer Tanager’s alluring look and natural habitat in this quick introduction.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePiranga rubra
SizeSmall to medium-sized songbird, approximately 6.3-7.5 inches (16-19 cm) in length
PlumageVibrant red plumage for males, with females being yellow to olive-green
RangeNative to North and Central America
HabitatWoodlands, forests, and shade trees, are often found in the canopy
DietFeeds primarily on insects, including bees and wasps
Song and CallsKnown for a series of rich, melodious notes
Breeding BehaviorBuilds cup-shaped nests in tree canopies
Migratory HabitsMigrates to Central and South America for the winter
Conservation StatusPopulations stable, not globally threatened

6. Red-Headed Woodpecker

The Red-Headed Woodpecker, also known as Melanerpes erythrocephalus in scientific jargon, is an eye-catching and vibrant bird species that is indigenous to North America.

This woodpecker stands out as one of the continent’s most aesthetically pleasing bird occupants with its startling brilliant red head, pristine white body, and unusual black wings.

We’ll discuss the Red-Headed Woodpecker’s remarkable look and some of its distinguishing characteristics in this succinct introduction.

Red-Headed Woodpecker
CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameMelanerpes erythrocephalus
SizeMedium-sized woodpecker, approximately 7.5-9.8 inches (19-25 cm) in length
PlumageAn omnivorous diet including insects, nuts, fruits, and occasionally small vertebrates
RangeNative to North America
HabitatVaried habitats including open woodlands, savannas, and orchards
DietPopulations are stable, though some regional declines due to habitat loss
BehaviorAgile and acrobatic in flight, known for caching food in tree crevices
Nesting HabitsBuilds nests in tree cavities, dead trees, or wooden structures
VocalizationsVocal with a variety of calls, including a “wick-a-wick” sound
Conservation StatusPopulations are stable, though some regional declines due to habitat loss

7. Northern Cardinal

A well-known and recognizable bird species that is endemic to North America is the Northern Cardinal, formally known as Cardinalis cardinalis.

The Northern Cardinal, known for its eye-catching red plumage and prominent crest, is a year-round resident of many areas and adds brilliant color to both urban and rural surroundings.

Northern Cardinal

We’ll talk about the Northern Cardinal’s eye-catching look and distinguishing characteristics in this succinct introduction.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameCardinalis cardinalis
SizeMedium-sized songbird, approximately 8-9 inches (20-23 cm) in length
PlumageStriking red plumage on males, brownish-gray with red highlights on females
RangeNative to North America
HabitatWoodlands, gardens, parks, and urban areas
DietOmnivorous diet, including seeds, insects, and fruits
BehaviorTerritorial birds with melodious songs, often seen at bird feeders
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in shrubs, trees, or vines
VocalizationsKnown for clear, whistled songs with a variety of calls
Conservation StatusPopulations stable, common, and widespread throughout their range

8. Wastern Tanager

The Western Tanager is a species of vividly colored bird that is endemic to western North America. Its official name is Piranga ludoviciana.

The Western Tanager has a compelling presence in its forest home and is known for its remarkable blend of brilliant yellow plumage and startling red head.

We’ll talk about the Western Tanager’s colorful outward appearance and salient traits in this succinct introduction.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePiranga ludoviciana
SizeSmall to medium-sized songbird, approximately 6.3-7.9 inches (16-20 cm) in length
PlumagePopulations stable considered a common species in its range
RangeNative to western North America, particularly in coniferous and mixed forests
HabitatConiferous and mixed woodlands, montane forests
DietOmnivorous diet, including insects, fruits, and nectar
BehaviorOften observed foraging for insects high in trees, and occasionally visits bird feeders
Nesting HabitsConstructs cup-shaped nests in coniferous trees
VocalizationsKnown for a melodious, musical song and calls
Conservation StatusPopulations stable, considered a common species in its range

9. Pileated Woodpecker

The impressive and substantial Pileated Woodpecker, technically known as Dryocopus pileatus, is a native of North America.

The Pileated Woodpecker is a remarkable resident of established woods and is easily identified by its unique red crest and massive size. We’ll discuss the Pileated Woodpecker’s imposing look and standout traits in this succinct introduction.

Pileated Woodpecker
CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameDryocopus pileatus
SizeLarge woodpecker, measuring approximately 16-19 inches (40-49 cm) in length
PlumagePopulations are generally stable, thriving in protected forested habitats
RangeNative to North America, primarily in mature forests
HabitatMature forests, woodlands, and wooded areas with ample trees
DietFeeds on insects, particularly carpenter ants and wood-boring beetles, as well as fruits and nuts
BehaviorImpressive drummers and excavators, known for their loud calls and distinctive drumming
Nesting HabitsConstructs large tree cavities for nesting, often reusing cavities in subsequent years
VocalizationsRecognizable “yak-yak-yak” calls and drumming sounds
Conservation StatusPopulations generally stable, thriving in protected forested habitats

10. Pine Grosbeak

The Pine Grosbeak, or Pinicola enucleator as it is named technically, is a lovely and hardy bird species that inhabits the colder parts of North America and Eurasia. The Pine Grosbeak is a remarkable resident of cooler areas known for its vivid plumage and love of pine woods.

Pine Grosbeak

We’ll discuss the Pine Grosbeak’s attractive look and distinguishing characteristics in this succinct introduction.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePinicola enucleator
SizeMedium-sized finch, measuring approximately 7.9-10.2 inches (20-26 cm) in length
PlumageStriking, predominantly red plumage, with dark wings and tails
RangeNative to northern regions of North America and Eurasia
HabitatConiferous and mixed forests, often found in mountainous and boreal areas
DietPopulations are generally stable, responsive to food availability
BehaviorOften seen foraging in trees for food, especially in winter
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in coniferous trees
VocalizationsVocal with melodious calls and chirps
Conservation StatusPopulations are generally stable and responsive to food availability

11. Hepatic Tanager

The Hepatic Tanager, or Piranga flava in scientific jargon, is a beautiful bird species that may be found throughout western North America. The Hepatic Tanager is a remarkable resident of woods and woodlands due to its bright crimson plumage and unusual appearance.

Hepatic Tanager

We’ll talk about the Hepatic Tanager’s seductive look and distinguishing traits in this succinct introduction.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePiranga flava
SizeMedium-sized songbird, measuring approximately 7-8 inches (18-20 cm) in length
PlumageRich, deep red plumage for males, while females are more subdued with olive-green and yellow hues
RangeNative to western regions of North America
HabitatWoodlands, forests, and mountainous areas
DietPrimarily feeds on insects, supplemented with fruits
BehaviorOften observed high in trees, foraging for insects and singing from perches
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in tree branches
VocalizationsKnown for melodious, flute-like songs
Conservation StatusPopulations generally stable, common in its western range

12. Flame-Colored Tanager

The Flame-colored Tanager, or Piranga bidentata in scientific jargon, is a stunning and vividly colored bird species that may be found in western North America.

The Flame-colored Tanager is an alluring dweller of woods and woodlands with beautiful red and orange plumage. We’ll talk about the Flame-colored Tanager’s remarkable look and standout traits in this succinct introduction.

Flame-Colored Tanager
CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameSmall to medium-sized songbirds, measuring approximately 6-7 inches (15-18 cm) in length
SizeAn omnivorous diet, includes insects, berries, and nectar
PlumageStriking flame-colored plumage, predominantly red and orange, with black wings and tail
RangeNative to western regions of North America, from Mexico to southwestern United States
HabitatConiferous and mixed forests, often found in mountainous and high-altitude areas
DietPopulations are generally stable, common in its western range
BehaviorAgile foragers, often observed high in trees while searching for food
Nesting HabitsConstructs cup-shaped nests in tree branches, often well-hidden
VocalizationsKnown for clear, melodic songs and calls
Conservation StatusPopulations generally stable, common in its western range

13. Red Avadavat

The Red Avadavat is a small bird species endemic to South Asia that goes by the scientific name Amandava amandava.

The Red Avadavat is a stunning and sought-after species among bird lovers thanks to its vibrant red plumage. We’ll discuss the Red Avadavat’s alluring look and distinguishing traits in this brief introduction.

Red Avadavat
CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameAmandava amandava
SizePopulations are stable, although local declines due to habitat loss
PlumageVibrant scarlet plumage in males, while females have more subdued colors
RangeNative to South Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia
HabitatGrasslands, agricultural fields, and open areas
DietMainly feeds on seeds, especially grass seeds
BehaviorSocial birds often found in small flocks
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in grasses and shrubs
VocalizationsKnown for melodious and twittering calls
Conservation StatusPopulations are stable, although local declines due to habitat loss

14. Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is a lovely bird species that is indigenous to North America. Its scientific name is Haemorhous purpureus.

The Purple Finch, known for its deep purple plumage, is a striking presence in backyards and wooded areas. In this succinct introduction, we’ll discuss the Purple Finch’s unusual features and distinguishing physical attributes.

Purple Finch
CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameHaemorhous purpureus
SizeSmall to medium-sized finch, measuring approximately 5-6 inches (13-15 cm) in length
PlumageConiferous and mixed forests are also found in urban and suburban areas
RangeNative to North America, primarily in forested regions of Canada and the United States
HabitatPopulations are stable, although regional variations in abundance
DietPrimarily feeds on seeds, buds, fruits, and insects
BehaviorSocial birds often seen at bird feeders, with melodious songs during breeding season
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in trees, shrubs, or conifers
VocalizationsKnown for their cheerful, warbling songs
Conservation StatusPopulations are stable, although regional variations in abundance

15. Acorn Woodpecker

The unusual and clever acorn woodpecker, technically known as Melanerpes formicivorus, is a bird species endemic to North and Central America. The Acorn Woodpecker is a fascinating resident of forests and areas where oak trees predominate.

It is well known for its unusual habit of storing acorns in tree holes. We’ll examine the unique activities and prominent traits that characterize the acorn woodpecker in this succinct introduction.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameMelanerpes formicivorus
SizeMedium-sized woodpecker, measuring approximately 8-9.5 inches (20-24 cm) in length
PlumageBold black and white plumage with a distinctive red cap and a white patch on the face
RangeNative to North and Central America, primarily found in oak woodlands
HabitatOak-dominated forests, woodlands, and open areas
DietSpecializes in acorns but also consumes insects, fruits, and sap
BehaviorKnown for communal living and storing acorns in tree cavities, often forming “granaries”
Nesting HabitsConstructs nests in tree holes, often using the same cavities for generations
  VocalizationsVocal birds with a variety of calls, including distinctive “waka-waka” sounds
Conservation StatusPopulations are generally stable and adaptable to various habitats

Conclusion

In conclusion, the avian world is home to a fascinating and diverse collection of species called red-headed birds. In addition to captivating birdwatchers, its distinctive red plumage—which ranges from vivid crimson to deep scarlet—plays an essential ecological purpose. Red serves as a visual beacon that draws mates, denotes good health and genetic fitness, and establishes authority over a territory.

These birds, which may be found in a variety of species and geographical areas, provide insights into the processes of evolution that have shaped their appearance and behavior. While some species, like the Northern Cardinal, are widespread and hardy, others, like the Red-headed Woodpecker, suffer difficulties in conservation.

Supporting habitat conservation initiatives and developing bird-friendly areas in our backyards are crucial for ensuring the future of these lovely animals. By doing this, we appreciate the wonder of nature and contribute.

FAQs

1. What are some birds with redheads?

The Northern Cardinal, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-winged Blackbird (males), and House Finch (males) are a few examples of birds with redheads.

2. Why do some birds have redheads?

Due to carotenoids in their diet, red-headed birds frequently have red plumage. The red color may be used for various things, such as luring mates or scaring off competitors.

3. Do both male and female red-headed birds have redheads?

In several species, redheads are predominantly a feature of the males, who use them for courting and territorial displays. Similar species’ females frequently have more muted plumage.

4. Are red-headed birds endangered?

Red-headed birds’ conservation status differs depending on the species. While some, like the Red-headed Woodpecker, are common and not in danger, others, like the Northern Cardinal, are not due to habitat loss.

5. What is the significance of red in bird plumage?

In birds, red plumage frequently indicates fitness, genetic fitness, or territorial supremacy. This may be seductive to prospective partners or terrifying to competitors.