Birds by Color: Red Birds

Scarlet Tanager bird, male. Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren (Wikimedia Commons, 3 May 2015)
Scarlet Tanager bird, male. Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren (Wikimedia Commons, 3 May 2015)

An easy method of learning to identify birds in your backyard is learning to identify birds by color. Feathers give birds the colors that catch our eyes.

Are you trying to identify birds by color? Have you seen birds that are red or have touches of red? Here is a photo gallery of birds which are red with their common and scientific names. Some might even call some of the birds orange in color. I left out some orange birds to be included in my “Birds by Color: Orange” post for next week.

I included both male and females, if the genders look different. In similar species it helps to pick one or two “identifiers” or markings you can remember to tell the birds apart. I will try yet again this year to tell House and Purple Finches apart.


American Redstart of Quintana Texas
American Redstart, male of Quintana Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
American Redstart 2-20110923
American Redstart, female (Photo credit: Kenneth Cole Schneider)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Northern Cardinal, male (Cardinalis cardinalis) (Photo credit: Larry Meade)
English: Female Northern Cardinal മലയാളം: നോര്...
Female Northern Cardinal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A male House Finch eats form the bird feeder in my backyard.
A male House Finch eats form the bird feeder in my backyard. Photo by Donna L. Long.
English: Carpodacus mexicanus (House Finch). V...
House Finch, female (Carpodacus mexicanus ). Ventura County, California, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notice the difference between the House Finch and the Purple Finch? The Purple Finch male has a lightly rose-colored breast with no streaking underneath. The Purple Finch has more red on its’ head or cap than the male House Finch. The House Finch has a more solidly colored breast and is heavily streaked beneath the breast and his head is not completely red. The Purple Finch female has clear streaks and the House Finch female has muted streaks.

Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) male, Cap ...
Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) male, Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Quebec, Canada. Français: Roselin pourpré (Carpodacus purpureus) mâle, Réserve nationale de faune du cap Tourmente, Québec, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) female, Ca...
Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) female,  (Carpodacus purpureus) National Wildlife Area, Quebec, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)
Summer Tanager, male (Piranga rubra) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SUMMER TANAGER, female (Photo credit: Maggie.Smith)

See the difference between the Summer Tanager and the Scarlet Tanager? – The Scarlet Tanager has black or very dark wings.

Scarlet Tanager - male
Scarlet Tanager – male (Photo credit: Len Blumin)
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) (Photo credit: almiyi) – female


Winter Feeder Birds: Identifying Blue Birds 

Winter Feeder Birds: Identifying Woodpeckers

Birds by Color: Blue

Birds by Color: Yellow Birds

Birds by Color: Yellow Warblers

Birds by Color; Red Birds

Identifying Little Gray Birds


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