a bird with red head

Birds with red heads are a striking sight in the wild. These avian creatures boast bold and vibrant colors, attracting attention from afar. Some examples include the Northern Cardinal, with its bright red plumage and distinctive crest, and the Red-headed Woodpecker sporting a deep red head and black-and-white body. Other species, such as the Scarlet Tanager and Vermilion Flycatcher, exhibit this striking feature. A redhead serves to attract mates and establish dominance among males.

Furthermore, it can also aid in identification for birdwatchers, making these birds a sought-after sighting for enthusiasts. In this article, we will discuss many birds with redheads. If you need to gather information about such birds, this article is the perfect place.

Can redheaded birds be easily identified by birdwatchers?

Yes, it can be simpler to see birds with red heads since the bright red hue makes them stick out more against the background.

List and description of birds with redhead

Many birds have a red color on their heads. Such avian are not from a single species but fall into different species and breeds. Have a general discussion about these birds in the passages below:

House Finch

 House Finch bird sitting on the branch

The bird at the top of the list is the house finch. It is a bird with red breasts and heads having brown streaks on females and red on males. It was once found only in western states, but after being brought to eastern states, it flourished and even displaced the Purple Finch.

They are easily notable in backyard feeders, farms, parks, and forests. However, they are prone to spot in loud and noticeable groups. Nyjer or black oil sunflower seeds in platform or tube feeders can draw more House Finch to your garden feeders.

Is a red head on a sparrow possible?

You can be very confident you just saw a House Finch if you notice any flashes of crimson. This species’ males have crimson rumps, breasts, and faces. The male House Sparrow, in contrast, has a black bib under the chin, pale cheeks, and a gray head.

Downy woodpecker

Black and White Downy woodpecker

The second popular bird with a redhead is a downy woodpecker. It is a giant bird, and you can see meet in the backyard feeding on various trees and plants. Both genders of this species do not relate to each other in appearance.

Though the size of both genders is small, this trait makes it challenging to recognize them. The body hue of these birds is primarily black and white, while the males have red patches on their heads but the females are a bit different.

They are good friends with other birds and mix with them. Black-oil sunflower seeds are treat for them. If you want them to be your guests on the lawn or backyard, serve them with such seeds.

The Cassin’s finch

Red Head Cassin's finch

The Cassin’s Finch is a little brown bird with a redhead that resembles the House Finch in appearance. The male Cassin’s Finch is the only one with a redhead. It differs from the House Finch by having a scarlet forehead, breast, and back in addition to unmarked white underparts.

These birds reside in the mountains and may be found in the Western states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. From Mexico to Canada, they can be located. A member of the Fringillidae family is Cassin’s Finch.

The Cassin’s Finch was named after John Cassin, an American ornithologist who first described it in 1856. It has a high-pitched warbling song and eats seeds, berries, and insects.

Northern Cardinal

Red Northern Cardinal Bird

This bird is also red, but the colors of the males and females differ from each other. The male is dark red, whereas the female has dull red paint on her entire body. Their color makes them unique but another reason for the fame of this bird is its voice and it sings throughout the year.

If we discuss the size of this bird, its length is not over 23 inches, and it weighs just 49 grams. Furthermore, it is often seen in the forest canopy because it is a good flyer.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker looking something

It is a breed of woodpecker, as its name claims. Their availability in the Eastern States is vast if you want to see them. Talking about hue, their head color is pale red, and they also have white and black stripes on the breast.

They mostly prefer to live in the forest because of the food availability in a vast quantity. Moreover, people imagine these birds as migrating birds. Their diet suits foods; on the other hand, an excellent way to attract them is to offer hummingbird food.

Western tanager

Black and Yellow Western tanager

Have you ever heard about this bird Western Tanager? If not, then read here. It is a gorgeous bird, and no one confuses himself with any other bird because of its unique appearance. This bird is common in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The size of this specific bird is tiny as it hardly grows up to 16 cm in length. On the other hand, its weight is at most 40 grams.

These western birds are common in areas with greenery and trees, like forests and woodlands. They are easy to discover in the hot season but challenging to find in the winter because they move to lower elevations.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow is looking

We know this bird to have a rusty face but a redhead. The cheeks and underparts of barn swallows are rusty red, and their backs, wings, and tails are blue. Before heading south for the winter, they reproduce over most of North America.

They build mud nests in buildings constructed by humans, including barns, and are frequently seen darting over fields and open water in search of food. Consider encouraging more barn swallows to nest in your backyard by opening an outbuilding or barn door. You can also accomplish them by supplying ground-up eggshells on a platform feeder or offering them a suitable area to nest.

Hairy Woodpecker

Redhead Hairy Woodpecker

It may be strange to read this name, but it exists. This bird is expected to discover in the United States, and the hairy bird has a black and white body and red spots on the head. Like other birds, it is also small and do not owe much weight.

But if we compare them with other species of woodpeckers, you will find them a little more significant than others, especially downy woodpeckers. Their diet is the same as other woodpeckers’; likewise, they are common in areas covered with trees.

Red-faced Warbler

Red-faced Warbler sitting on the tree

A red-faced warbler is a small bird with a redhead and a black helmet. In appearance, it is also a tiny but beautiful bird. The body color is yellow, while the color of the wings is primarily black.

It is easy to recognize males and females, as the color of males is brighter than that of females. They are common in only two states, Arizona and New Mexico. You must travel to woodlands to view a bird. These red-faced birds are easy to see in summer but complex in winter.

Anna’s hummingbird

Anna's hummingbird long beak

Anna’s hummingbird is a tiny flying organism, hardly compared to the size of pin Pong ball. Its beak and head comprise red hairs, while the breast and wings have green markings. An interesting fact here is males have colorful bodies while females are colorless.

Their favorite season to come out is spring, which add to the beauty of the blossoming trees and plants. Such hummingbirds are widespread in attracting other family members.

Vermillion flycatcher

Red Vermillion flycatcher

Have you ever encountered with this bird? If yes, you still need to know more and interesting facts about it. Male vermillion flycatchers have a redhead and dull red color on their lower body. Compared with their female partners, they are not from the same family because of their appearance.

These birds are common in grasslands, and it is straightforward to see them there. They spend their lives consuming insects. The vermillion flycatcher is a small bird, below 6 inches, while the weight is just 14 grams.

Pileated woodpecker

Black Pileated woodpecker

The pileated woodpecker is a large bird comparatively. Like many of its species members, it prefers to spend its life in the forest and eat carpenter ants on the trees. This bird is popular among the people for its stunning black hue with some white stripes on the body and a redhead.

Another reason for its popularity is its size, which can reach 2 feet, while the average is 19 inches. The large size also plays a significant role in the weight, and an adult can weigh up to 250 grams, which is more than the others we have discussed till now.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

The red-breasted sapsucker is also a tiny bird with a black and red chest. These birds are easy to see in North American countries like Canada and Mexico. Sapsuckers have a red and black chest and a white patch between the beak and their eyes, which add to their beauty. If we describe the appearance of this bird, it is almost 9 inches and 54 grams in weight. Its wingspan is can spread up to 16 inches, which is nearly double.

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Ruby-throated hummingbird sit and open her tail

The ruby-throated hummingbird has a green body with black feathers and is a small bird like other hummingbirds. Its throat is a little longer and consists of a red and black color combination.

Like other family members, males and females are not challenging to recognize, as the males are not very brightly colored. They breed in the eastern areas before traveling to the south. Hummingbirds with ruby throats are easy to discover in flowers and plants that are a good food source. On the other hand, they also eat insects to live.

Palm Warbler

Yellow Palm Warbler sit

The palm warbler has a brownish-olive hue on the back, a yellow underside over the rest of its body, and a rusty red patch on top of its head. They breed in Canada but are migratory and year-round residents of Florida’s extreme south coast and eastern states.

Spring and fall are the most significant seasons to see warblers in weedy fields, woodland borders, and scrubby regions. They frequently accompany birds like sparrows, Juncos, and Yellow-romped warblers as they forage around the ground for insects.

Purple finch

Purple finch sit on the branch

Purple Finch resembles House Finch closely with a reddish-purple head and breast and a darker brown color on the back and wings. They spend the winter in eastern states, where they reproduce, but are year-round residents of the Pacific Northwest. For black oil sunflower seeds, they are happy to approach feeders.

Acorn woodpecker

Acorn woodpecker with opened feathers

Acorn Woodpeckers have white faces, black backs, whitish-black underparts, and vivid red crests. They limit their distribution to a few southern states and a short portion of the California coast in North America.

They live in vast groups in western oak forests and stuff hundreds of acorns into holes in trees carefully drilled for that purpose. Acorn woodpeckers have a lot of weird and unique characteristics. From the tops of trees, they produce loud, parrot-like sounds. They could go to suet and seed feeders.

Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Woodpecker sit

Yellow-bellied woodpeckers are primarily native to the extreme north and Canada, while they choose to spend winters in the east. They are also small but beautiful birds with red heads. On the other hand, their body consists of different colors at a time, like white and black plumage, and their chest is yellow.

These particular woodpeckers prefer to reside in woods for various reasons; food and their life insurance are significant factors. They are small birds, growing from 7 to 9 inches as an adult, and their weight is not over 55 grams. Like other mates, they also use insects and carpenter ants for survival.

Summer tanager

Red Summer tanager opened her beak

Summer tanager is a beautiful bird with a full red color on the body, while the body color of the opposite gender is yellow. Their breeding places are in eastern and western states both, and then they migrate to Central America.

An amazing fact about these birds is that being forest singers and living in the woods, they prefer to eat bees and beat them to kill and eat against a branch.

Redhead duck

Redhead duck swimming in the water

We are sure you would have never encountered a duck bird with red head and black and white body. Now, we are familiarizing you with a duck with this quality, and its name is also a redhead duck. Moreover, the title shows everything.

Its head is not red but with a combination of brown colors. They are native to the United States, moving in a flock of thousands. Being a duck, they prefer to live in ground areas with much water nearby.

The chest color of this duck breed is white, while the feathers are brown with white stripes. They are less significant than other species; they grow up to 9 inches, and their average weight reaches 1.5 kilograms.

Red crossbill

Red crossbill is sitting

Red crossbills are beautiful bird with red head, entire body in a red color other than wings, beaks, and tails. These mentioned parts comprise black color. Moreover, they are small birds with a size of just 20 centimeters, while the weight may get to 53 grams.

Fruit and flower seeds are its food, and though it prefers to live in woodlands, it can be seen on the roadsides busy eating something. They are available in forests throughout the years, showing that you do not have to wait for any season to encounter them.

Is a red crossbill also carnivore?

No, these beautiful birds are omnivores, as they feed on seeds and buds of many trees.

Common redpoll

Common redpoll bird

Common Redpolls are brown and white on the rest of their bodies, with red foreheads and pinkish breasts. In winter, we can see them in northern states and occasionally in central states. They sometimes dig tunnels in the snow to remain warm at night in the winter.

These birds can store up to 2 grams of seeds in a slender part of their esophagus, which may store up to 42% of their daily body mass in food. They frequent weedy fields and trees to feed on catkins, but they will also visit feeders for tiny seeds like nyjer or thistle.

Pine Grosbeak

Red Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak falls in the Finch family with a redhead, beak, and back, while the rest of the body is grey. They are large compared to other Finch birds but slow. One can find them in open spruce and pine woods throughout the summer in some regions of the West or during the winter in northern states. In the winter, in the conditions of the north, black oil sunflower seed feeders might draw Pine Grosbeaks.

Scarlet tanager

scarlet tanager sit on the center of the plant branch

Scarlet tanager is a small bird with an entire red body but black feathers. The maximum size of an adult is ever seen as 9 inches, while the average size never increases to 7.1 inches. Its wingspan is almost 11 inches, and the average weight is nearly 38 grams.

They nest in eastern forests in the summer before flying to South America. Scarlet Tanagers may be challenging to see since they prefer to hang out on the tops of the forest’s trees. Berry plants that the Scarlet tanager like, including those with blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, and Juneberries, will draw them.


Pyrrhuloxia's yellow beak

The male Pyrrhuloxia’s head, crest, breast, and tail are highlighted in red. In the sweltering deserts of the Southwest, they live. During the breeding season, they actively defend their territory; nevertheless, they are often spotted in flocks of up to 1000 birds throughout the winter. While they are spotted in sunflower seed feeders, Pyrrhuloxia prefers to scatter the seeds on the ground. They consume both seeds and insects.

Red-headed Woodpecker

black and white, Red-headed Woodpecker

As implied by their name, woodpeckers have redheads. Their wings are black and white, and they have white bodies. They may spend the entire year in eastern states, where they reproduce, but they migrate to the far northwest of their range to spend the winter.

They may be found in open woodlots and dead timber in the marshes and pine savannas where they are reported to live. Seeds and insects are kept in crevices in wood, beneath the bark, and under roof tiles. They aggressively defend their territory, including poking holes in or stealing eggs from other species nests. Fruit and suet feeders may draw Red-headed Woodpeckers to your yard.

How rare is a red-headed woodpecker?

About 1.2 million birds make up the Red-headed Woodpecker’s total world population. This species is now categorized as a bird of Least Concern by the IUCN.


In conclusion, birds with red heads are fascinating and diverse avian species. These birds are found worldwide and are known for their vibrant and striking plumage. They come in different shapes and sizes, and their redhead coloration serves various purposes, such as attracting mates, establishing territory, and signaling aggression or submission.

Red-headed birds are beautiful and play vital roles in the ecosystem, including seed dispersal, pollination, and insect control. However, some species face habitat loss, climate change, and hunting threats, which puts them at risk of extinction.

As bird enthusiasts, it is crucial to appreciate and protect these magnificent creatures. We can do this by supporting conservation efforts, promoting sustainable land use practices, and reducing our carbon footprint.

How can I entice red-headed birds to visit my backyard?

A variety of birds, including those with red heads, can be attracted to your backyard by providing a diversified environment, including trees, bushes, and bird feeders with the right food.

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Hello, I am Matthew Isaac have a passion for birds and a wealth of knowledge in the field. As someone who has dedicated my career to working with birds, I am excited to share my expertise through my writing. My articles cover many birds related topics, including their behavior, biology, habitats, and conservation. Whether you are a seasoned bird watcher or just starting to explore the world of avian creatures, my articles will provide valuable insights and practical advice that will help you deepen your understanding and appreciation of birds. From bird identification and species-specific information to bird care and welfare, I am committed to sharing accurate, helpful, and engaging content that will inspire and inform readers from all backgrounds and levels of experience.