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7 Common Red Birds (With Pictures): Info, Pictures, Nesting & Status

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red bird_Jack Bulmer_Pixabay

Maybe you’ve spotted a red bird and want to know what you are looking at. Or perhaps you just want to know what birds sport a fiery red plumage. Either way, we’ve tracked down seven red birds for you.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it does cover common species out there.

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The 7 Most Common Red Birds:

It doesn’t matter where you live, you’re likely to have a few red birds right in your backyard. We highlighted seven of the most common ones and where you can find them.

1. Northern Cardinal

northern cardinal_Miles Moody_Pixabay
Image Credit: Miles Moody, Pixabay

One of the most well-known red birds is the Northern Cardinal. It’s also known as the “redbird,” and you can find them along the entire Eastern Coast of the United States, down into Mexico, and as far south as Central America.

While both males and females are red, males have a far brighter shade, while females are more subdued in color.

2. Cinnamon Teal

cinnamon teal_DickDaniels_Wikimedia
Image Credit: DickDaniels, Wikimedia

Cinnamon Teals are actually ducks, and as their name suggests, they have cinnamon red-colored plumage. While their entire bodies aren’t red, their heads, bellies, and sides typically are. They don’t have the brightest shade of red out there, but they certainly have a red hue.

You can find Cinnamon Teal ducks in Central America, and they’ll occasionally winter as far south as Columbia and Venezuela.

3. Scarlet Tanager

male Scarlet Tanager
Image Credit: Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock

Scarlet Tanagers are smaller red birds that live along the eastern North America. You can find them throughout the eastern United States, down the eastern coast of Mexico, and even in Cuba. Most scarlet tanagers have red bodies and heads, but their wings are black.

4. Hepatic Tanagers

Beautiful Hepatic Tanager (Piranga flava), on the branch of a tree
Image credit: Rodrigo S Coehlo, Shutterstock

Hepatic tanagers are red birds that you can find in the Americas. Hepatic tanagers have a subdued shade of red. Moreover, while you can find scarlet tanagers farther north, hepatic tanagers rarely make it as far as the southwest United States.

Instead, they live primarily live in South and Central America. They have been venturing farther north since the 1960s, but the exact reason for their northern migration is unknown. Climate change is the suspected culprit.

5. Male Summer Tanager

summer tanager perched on a branch
Image Credit: engalapag, Pixabay

Summer tanagers have bright red plumage, however, only male summer tanagers feature the red design. Females typically have yellow and orange plumage. Both are beautiful and colorful birds, but only one is red.

You can find summer tanagers along large swaths of the United States. They live in the eastern United States up to southern Pennsylvania and Illinois, and as you head south, their range expands to the western United States as well.

You can also find them in Northern Mexico, and they often winter as far south as Bolivia and Brazil. They truly have a diverse range that covers most of both continents.

6. House Finch

House finch perching in Michigan
Image credit: Jeff Caverly, Shutterstock

While the house finch won’t have a bright red plumage all over their body, many house finches have redheads. Sometimes that red plumage will work its way down a finch’s chest before fading out. You can find house finches throughout the entire United States, and they’re the most common bird to visit bird feeders.

Only male house finches feature red plumage, as female house finches are all brown, with a stripling down their chests.

7. Red-Bellied Woodpecker

red bellied woodpecker_Scottslm_Pixabay
Image Credit: Scottslm, Pixabay

Despite the name, the most visible red that you’ll find on a red-bellied woodpecker is on its head. While red-bellied woodpeckers do have some red on their chest, it’s not nearly as noticeable.

You can find red-bellied woodpeckers throughout the southern United States and as far north as the mid-Atlantic and toward the Midwest. These birds aren’t nearly as common as the house finch, but if you head further into the forest, you’ll find plenty.

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While you might find a wide array of red birds in your backyard, you might be surprised to learn that they come from a small variety of species. There aren’t tons of red bird species out there, despite how easy they are to spot.

Hopefully, this guide walked you through a few different red bird species that you can see in your area or opened your eyes to what’s out there. The next time you spot a red bird in your backyard, you’ll have a good idea of what you’re looking at.

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Featured Image Credit: Bulmer, 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.