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Top 9 colourful wild birds

Article by GVI


Posted: February 20, 2023

Get ready to be awed by the beauty of the world’s most colourful birds! With stunning shades ranging from vivid pinks to fiery reds, these magnificent creatures stand out from their feathered peers. Whether you want to admire them in the wild or bring some vibrancy to your garden, these birds are sure to put on a breathtaking show of wings.

Northern cardinal

A member of the cardinal family and the official state bird of seven US states. The northern cardinal is an American classic that’s sure to brighten up your garden. Its striking scarlet colour, black crested head and black tipped wings make it easy to spot. Northern cardinals eat insects and seeds.

The northern cardinal is a very social bird. They are often seen in pairs or small groups, and can be quite vocal. They are also known to be quite territorial, and will defend their territory from other birds.

Painted bunting

The painted bunting is a North American sparrow with beautiful feathers that are truly unique. Males have bright blue feathers, while females are olive green with yellow accents. These birds can be found in wooded areas and have become popular with bird watchers because of their vivid colours. They primarily live along the Gulf Coast, and prefer to feed on grains and seeds.

Scarlet tanager

The scarlet tanager is one of the most popular birds in the world. They can be found in North America during the summertime. The scarlet tanager has a bright red body, black wings and tail, and white underbelly. Tanagers eat mostly insects, but will occasionally eat fruit and berries. These birds nest in wooded areas throughout Northern America. The scarlet tanager’s song is unique and easy to recognise. Some people describe it as sounding like “chick-burr” or “piki-tuk”. Even though it’s simple, you won’t mistake it for any other bird’s song.

Colorful tanager staring from a tree


This strange-looking bird can be found in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The Hoopoe is easily recognised by its vivid colours which consist of black and white wings, a long black tail with white tips, an orange-crested head, and an orange-brown body. They primarily feed on insects and other small invertebrates. Hoopoes are also known for their signature call which sounds like “oop-oop-poon”.

Hoopoes are monogamous and often mate for life. They build their nests in cavities in trees, walls or even abandoned buildings. The female will lay up to 10 eggs and both parents will take turns incubating them. The chicks will fledge after about three weeks and will remain with their parents for a few weeks after that.

Blue jay

The beautiful blue jay is widely recognised and loved in North America. It has a bright blue head and wings with white tips contrasted against a bright white underbelly. They are commonly found in backyards, parks and wooded areas close to trees. Blue jays eat mostly nuts and seeds and will also come to bird feeders when they’re hungry.

Blue jays are known for their intelligence and curiosity. They are able to remember the location of food sources and will often return to the same spot to feed. They are also known to mimic the calls of other birds, and even the sounds of other animals. Blue jays are also very social and can often be seen in small groups or pairs.

Rainbow lorikeet

Lorikeets are an Australian parrot species with stunning colours that vary between individuals. This species has a unique rainbow-coloured chestnut plumage which consists of blues, pinks, purples, greens, oranges, yellows and whites. Rainbow lorikeets eat nectar and pollen from flowers as well as fruit juices from fruit trees. You can often find them near busy cities or near fruit orchards.

Mandarin duck

The mandarin duck is a beautiful species native to East Asia. They have bold red beaks and eye-catching colours which vary from white to gray to browns, depending on the season. The males have bold red feathers on the sides of their neck which stand out against the more subtle colours on their chest. Mandarin ducks typically live near ponds or rivers where they can feed on aquatic plants, like duck weed and algae, and mollusks, like snails and water beetles.

Mandarin ducks are social birds and often form large flocks. They also mate for life. During the breeding season, the males will perform elaborate courtship displays to attract a mate. These displays involve a lot of preening and posturing, as well as loud calls. Once a pair has formed, they will build a nest together and the female will lay a clutch of eggs.

Western tanager

The western tanager is a colourful bird native to western North America. Its body has brightly contrasted red, yellow and black plumage which makes it easy to spot amongst trees or in gardens. These birds like to feed on insects and fruit. Western tanagers prefer to stay close to forests where they can find protection from cold nighttime temperatures.

These nine feathered specimens bring colour to our lives everyday but often go unnoticed. Their loud chirps and vivid hues have inspired countless poets and writers over time. If you’re feeling inspired, why not take a trip to Peru where you can volunteer in the Amazon cloud forest to protect the beautiful feathered creatures that call it home.

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