Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

20 Birds With Red Chests (with Pictures)

Last Updated on

scarlet ibis perched on a tree

Few colors attract our eyes the way that red does. So, it’s no surprise that when you see a bird with a red breast, you want to know what it is!

Whether you’re trying to identify a bird that you’ve already spotted or want to know where you can go to spot more, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we highlighted 20 different bird species with red chests, so there’s a good chance that what you’re looking for is here!

eagle divider

The 20 Birds with Red Chests

1. American Robin

american robin perching

Image Credit: Michael Siluk, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Tirdus migratorius
Population: 370 million
Region: North America
Diet: Insects, berries, and earthworms

While the American robin doesn’t have the reddest chest of all the birds out there, it does have a distinct red hue. It’s also by far the most populous bird with this coloring. If you live in North America and keep an eye out, chances are that you’ll spot an American robin in no time.


2. Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

Image Credit: Canadian-Nature-Visions, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Passerina ciris
Population: 15 million
Region: North America
Diet: Seeds and insects

If you spot a painted bunting, you’re going to remember it. Not only does it have a bright red chest, but it also has shades of deep blue, green, and yellow. It’s not as populous as the American Robin, but it’s a stunning bird if you can spot one!


3. House Finch

House finch perching

Image credit: Jeff Caverly, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Haemorhous mexicanus
Population: 40 million
Region: North America
Diet: Weed seeds, berries, small fruits, and insects

There are tons of different finches in the world, and the most common is the house finch. However, if you’re looking for a house finch with a red chest, you’ll need to find a male. Females are completely gray, but males will have a red hue around both the face and chest.


4. Cassin Finch

Cassin’s Finch

Image Credit: SteveCrowhurst, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Haemorhous cassinii
Population: 3 million
Region: Western North America
Diet: Seeds, buds, berries, and insects

Just like with the house finch, if you’re trying to spot a Cassin finch with a red chest, you’ll have to find a male. The main visible difference between a house finch and a Cassin finch is that the latter has a tuft on the top of the head.

The male’s chest isn’t bright red, but it does have a distinguishable red tint that you can’t miss.


5. Summer Tanager

summer tanager perched on a branch

Image Credit: engalapag, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Piranga rubra
Population: 12 million
Region: Central and South America
Diet: Insects

Some birds have red hues, and some birds, like the summer tanager, are red all over. Male and female summer tanagers look completely different from each other, as females are a bright yellow and green, but if you spot an adult male, it will be completely red.


6. Hepatic Tanager

Beautiful Hepatic Tanager (Piranga flava), on the branch of a tree

Image credit: Rodrigo S Coehlo, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Piranga flava
Population: 7.6 million
Region: Southern North America, Central America, and South America
Diet: Insects

While not every hepatic tanager is a bright shade of red, all the males have a distinctive red/orange appearance. The females don’t have this red hue, though. They are a yellow/gray color.


7. Vermilion Flycatcher

close up Vermilion Flycatcher

Image Credit: rigodiaz, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Pyrocephalus obscurus
Population: 560,000
Region: Southern North America
Diet: Flying insects

While there aren’t many of these birds in the world, if you spot a male vermilion flycatcher, chances are that you’ll remember it. The male has a bright-red chest and a bright-red tuft on its head, with a brown band around its eyes and on its wings.

Females don’t have the same bright-red hue though, so if you spot a female or adolescent vermilion flycatcher, it won’t have a red chest.


8. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

rose-breasted grosbeak perched on the tree

Image Credit: simardfrancois, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus
Population: 4.1 million
Region: Eastern North America, Central America, and northern South America
Diet: Insects, seeds, and berries

Many of the birds on this list have a red hue throughout. That’s not the case with the rose-breasted grosbeak. The male has a bright-red coloring on its chest under its head, but that’s the only part of its body with any red.

Females don’t have this coloring here, so if you spot a red chest on a rose-breasted grosbeak, you’ve found a male.


9. Pyrrhuloxia

pyrrhuloxia perched

Image Credit: TheBirdBird, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Cardinalis sinuatus
Population: 3 million
Region: Southern North America
Diet: Insects, seeds, berries, and wild fruits

The pyrrhuloxia doesn’t have a single color throughout, but if you get a good enough look, you’ll definitely notice some red around its body, especially on its chest. Both female and male pyrrhuloxias have red streaks, but it’s more prominent on males.

If you’re looking to spot a pyrrhuloxia, you’ll need to head to the desert regions in southern North America, as that’s the only region that they live in.


10. Red-Breasted Sapsucker

red breasted sapsucker perched on a fence

Image Credit: Ian Dewar Photography, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Sphyrapicus ruber
Population: 2.8 million
Region: West coast of North America
Diet: Insects, tree sap, and fruit

When you think of red-breasted birds, you don’t always think of woodpeckers, but the red-breasted sapsucker has a red hue around its head and chest. They have a narrow range along the west coast of North America but a decently large population.


11. Scarlet Robin

two Scarlet Robins perched on a branch

Image Credit: imagevixen, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Petrocia boodang
Population: Unknown
Region: Australia
Diet: Insects

While you’ll find most of the red-breasted birds on this list in the western hemisphere, the scarlet robin is a notable exception. While there are no exact population numbers, the species is stable, and it seems like there are quite a few of these birds in Australia.

It has a black head and a reddish, or orange chest. If you’re in the land down under and see a red-breasted bird, there’s a good chance that it’s a scarlet robin.


12. White-Winged Crossbill

 

Scientific Name: Loxia leucoptera
Population: 79 million
Region: Northern North America
Diet: Seeds and insects

The white-winged crossbill is a bird that only has a red chest if it’s a male. It has a much more northern range compared to most of the other birds on this list, with the majority of the population residing in Canada.

These birds always stay in flocks, so if you spot one white-winged crossbill, you know that there are plenty more around.


13. Elegant Trogons

Brightly Colored Elegant Trogon perched

Image Credit: Keneva Photography, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Trogon elegans
Population: 200,000
Region: Southern North America and Central America
Diet: Insects and fruit

If you’re trying to spot a red-breasted bird in southern North America and want a bit of a challenge, try to spot an elegant trogon. Not only do they have a small population and range, but only males have the distinctive red hue.


14. Scarlet Tanager

male Scarlet Tanager

Image Credit: Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea
Population: 2.6 million
Region: Eastern North America, Central America, and north-western South America
Diet: Insects and berries

If you’re looking for the reddest tanager out there, the scarlet tanager might just take that win. Females and adolescents are a green/yellow color, but if you spot a male, you won’t miss the distinctive red hue.

Only their wings and tail feathers aren’t bright red, but those black feathers only make the red on their bodies stand out even more.


15. Red-Crested Cardinal

Red-crested Cardinal perched on a branch

Image Credit: Rafael Martos Martins, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Paroaria coronate
Population: Unknown
Region: Japan
Diet: Fruit, seeds, and insects

The red-crested cardinal population is currently declining, which has almost everything to do with how small their range is. You can only find these birds in a small area in Japan, but if you go there, there are quite a few of them.


16. Northern Cardinal

a northern cardinal bird on a tree trunk

Image Credit: TheBirdBird, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Cardinalis
Population: 120 million
Region: North America
Diet: Insects, seeds, weeds, flowers, leaf buds, berries, and wild fruit

You can’t talk about red birds of any kind without bringing up the cardinal. It lives in North America, and while it’s not as populous as the American robin, there are still tons of northern cardinals out there.

Only males have the bright-red hue, though; females are more brown than red. The northern cardinal is a favorite around bird feeders throughout the year.


17. Scarlet Honeycreeper (‘I’iwi)

scarlet honeycreeper perched on a tree

Image Credit: Thomas Chlebecek, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Drepanis coccinea
Population: 600,000
Region: Hawaii
Diet: Nectar and arthropods

If you’re out in Hawaii and see a red bird, there’s a good chance that you have spotted a scarlet honeycreeper. Also known as the ‘I’iwi, this bird is currently undergoing a significant population decline.

It thrives on nectar and arthropods, but due to various environmental factors, the future of these beautiful red birds is in question.


18. Scarlet Honeyeater

scarlet honeyeater

Image Credit: magee, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Myzomeal sanguinolenta
Population: Unknown
Region: Australia
Diet: Fruit and insects

The scarlet honeyeater is an Australian red-chested bird. Only the males have a red chest, though, as females and adolescents are a gray/white color.

These birds eat fruits and insects, and while their numbers are unknown, it doesn’t seem like their population is in decline. There appears to be an abundance of these tiny birds in the country.


19. Scarlet Ibis

scarlet ibis spread wings

Image Credit: NickyPe, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Eudocimus ruber
Population: 100,000 to 150,000
Region: South America and Caribbean Islands
Diet: Fish, worms, insects, and crustaceans

Not only does the scarlet ibis have a small range, but there are also not many of these birds left. Their population numbers are increasing but at a fairly slow pace. Every part of this bird is bright red, making it hard to miss if you do happen to spot one.


20. Eared Quetzal

Eared Quetzal perched on a tree

Image Credit: Matthew Jolley, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Euptilotis neoxenus
Population: < 50,000
Region: Southern North America
Diet: Insects, small vertebrates, and fruit

If you head down the Mexican mountains, you might be lucky enough to see an eared quetzal. There doesn’t seem to be many of these birds left, even though we don’t know exactly how many are out there.

Most of this bird’s coloring is bluish/green, but a large portion of its underside has a bright orange/red hue. Like many birds, this red coloring is more pronounced on males than females.

Conclusion

When you spot a bird with a red breast, you want to know what it is and how you can see it again! Hopefully, after reading through this guide, you can identify the bird that you saw. Moreover, we hope that you can head out and spot it again when you want to!


Featured Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

Robert Sparks Profile Picture