11 Types of Birds with Red Chest

Hello there! Are you a bird enthusiast or just someone who appreciates the beauty of nature? If so, you’re in for a treat.

In this article, I’ll be introducing you to 11 types of birds that feature striking red chests.

From the majestic Cardinals to the petite Finches, these birds are sure to capture your attention and leave you in awe.

So, let’s dive in and explore the world of birds with red chests!

Cassin’s FinchCassin’s Finch
Crimson-Collared GrosbeakCrimson-Collared Grosbeak
Eared QuetzalEared Quetzal
Elegant TrogonElegant Trogon
Hepatic TanagerHepatic Tanager
House FinchHouse Finch
Northern CardinalNorthern Cardinal
Painted BuntingPainted Bunting
Painted RedstartPainted Redstart
Pine GrosbeakPine Grosbeak
Purple FinchPurple Finch

Types of Birds with Red Chest

There are a few different types of red-chested birds, and each one has its own unique characteristics.

1. Cassin’s Finch

Cassin's Finch

The undersides of Cassin’s Finches are white, while the rest of their bodies are brownish red.

It features a little red crown and a brownish-red face, a pink and white eye mask, and a mustache band that ends just beneath the bottom of the cheek.

The breasts are white with extensive pinkish-to-red streaks.

These birds possess thick, brown, pointy bills and tiny white eyering.

The patterns of females and young birds are very identical to that of adult males, except that they are white and brown and have black instead of reddish streaks.

These birds are just 6 inches in total length, yet their wingspans may reach up to 10.7 inches in width.

The Cassin’s Finch relies on earthworms for approximately 90 percent of its nutritional needs; however, it will also eat flies, centipedes, and even the rare beetle if given a chance.

These small birds are common in the deciduous forest of North America’s mountains, where they may be seen foraging with Crossbills, Grosbeaks, and other finches.

In addition to worms, these small birds’ diet includes fruits like apples, firethorn berries, and grapes, and in the summer and spring, they also consume cotton buds and Manzanita. 

One intriguing fact is that during the first mating season, a male still possesses white and brown feathers; therefore, it is often believed that the females make the same calls as the males.

2. Crimson-Collared Grosbeak

Crimson-Collared Grosbeak
Credits: Wikipedia

The Crimson Collared Grosbeak is distinguished by its black back, two tiny red wing bars, small wings, and its long, black tail.

This bird has a red “collar” that begins at the base of its neck and extends to the base of its back.

These birds have black heads and necks and a v-shaped chest stripe that extends from the neck to the breast.

You may notice a faint white eyeliner on these birds if you observe closely, and they possess short perky black crests. 

The thick, pointed bills of these species are a variable shade of black, gray, and white.

The females will possess the same patterning as the males, but their feathers will be olive instead of red.

These birds possess a length of 9 to 10.5 inches and a wing span of around 12.6 inches.

These birds like eating a wide variety of fruits and berries, but they have a particular fondness for the leaves of potato leaves and the toxic ‘Deadly Nightshade‘.

The Crimson-Collared Grosbeak lives in thick shrubland and forest edges across southern Texas and northeastern Mexico.

Since the first records of this bird only date back to 1974, nothing is known about it beyond the fact that it enjoys eating Chinaberries, mangoes, and loquats and prefers to lay its blue-gray eggs in dense clusters of plants.

You should photograph it so you may show other people and keep an eye on it for as long as possible if you ever come across one.

Any information you can provide for your fellow birdwatchers is much welcome.

3. Eared Quetzal

Eared Quetzal
Credits: Wikipedia

The Eared Quetzal, or Eared Trogon as it is sometimes called, is a shimmering greenish bird having medium-length wings that are iridescent blue-green on the shoulders and predominantly black, having grey outer wings borders. 

They possess squared, long, deep blue tails having lighter-blue accents and white undersides; the chest and abdomen of this bird are a vivid red, and a bluish-green v-shaped wedge divides the red upper chest.

These birds possess thick, gray-to-black bills that are slightly curled and have a black tip.

The females will be less striking in appearance, with feathers that are more likely to be shades of gray than jet black.

When fully mature, the length of these birds is around 12 to 15 inches, and their wingspan is about 24 inches.

These little omnivores like a wide variety of foods, including the warty fruit of the Madrone tree, as well as caterpillars, bush crickets, and moths.

There was a time when the Eared Quetzal could only be spotted across Mexico, but lately, it has been seen throughout New Mexico and Arizona. 

Even though they are often found in canyons, particularly those near bodies of water, you won’t see them in large groups outside of the mating season.

These charming birds have a habit of robbing woodpecker holes in the forest.

If you’re fortunate enough to visit Guatemala between March and mid-October, you could get a glimpse of a mating Eared Quetzal.

Straight flight is a favorite pastime of males; they like doing daring aerial maneuvers before diving steeply downward while belting out tunes.

4. Elegant Trogon

Elegant Trogon
Credits: Wikipedia

The undersides of the Elegant Trogon’s long, olive and grayish tails are striped and barred in brilliant black and white, making this a very visually interesting bird.

Its back is a coppery green, and its wings are short and gray with several white and black at the base margins. 

It has a greenish neck and a black neck and head, and its abdomen and breasts are bright red, having a white band on the top.

They stand out with a bright yellow eye ring and a thick, medium-length, gently rounded yellow bill.

Females and youngsters are grayish-brown instead of black, and they possess a white teardrop pattern on their faces.

They measure between 10 and 13 inches in length and may spread their wings to a maximum of 17 inches.

These birds like eating insects like caterpillars and katydids and even the occasional shocked lizard.

Southeastern Arizona is the only place in the world to witness the highly sought-after Elegant Trogon, which may also be seen in Mexico and Guatemala. 

Some of Arizona’s avian residents prefer the state’s pine and oak woods, but they also frequent the state’s floodplains, lowlands, and, most notably, its coniferous forests.

They like live food; however, berries and fruits can suffice in a pinch; they don’t “chat” much and usually stand silently when noticed, however, they have been reported to produce the rare “kwah.”

Like owls, these birds can move their heads a full 360 degrees, so if you’re fortunate enough to witness one, you could get to see a live example of that “Exorcist”-style peripheral vision.

5. Hepatic Tanager

Hepatic Tanager
Credits – Wikipedia

The Hepatic Tanager is characterized by a reddish-brown back having streaks of gray, long red and grey wings, and a red tail that tapers to a grey apex. 

This Tanager has a beautiful, nearly orange-red underside and breast that contrasts greatly with the predominantly crimson of its head.

These birds possess a strong, gently curved, grayish beak and a wide band of gray that begins at the eyes and continues down the face. 

There is also some gray on the top and rear of the forehead.

Females and babies are olive-yellow on top and buff on the bottom.

These birds range in size from around 3.6 inches in length to 7.8 inches in length, and their wingspans average about 12.7 inches in breadth.

Hepatic tanagers eat a variety of insects and spiders that locate in the trees, including berries offered as a complement to their diet.

Hepatic tanagers may be seen throughout Central America, North America, and South America.

They are most often spotted in pine and oak forests but will also frequent other types of vegetation if given a chance. 

The males might be seen courting between the middle of May and the beginning of June; the species name, “Hepatic,” comes from the similarity of their hue to the color of a liver.

In contrast to the aerial displays of some other birds, this one takes place in the treetops, where the male will stretch his wings in order to show off his plumage.

Once the mating season is through, you may hear the parents singing to their young.

6. House Finch

House Finch

The House Finch is a cute tiny bird with a black or brown and white striped back and matching small wings that wear two white wing bars.

Short and barely hooked, their tails are likewise striped on top and plain gray and white on the underside. 

This bird has a mostly red face, with some grayish around the face and eyes, along with a bit on the back of its head and the crown; its underside is white, having rosy-red striping that increases near the breast.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the females share the same pattern, but without the red tint and with streaks that are a little blurrier.

The gray, broadbills of these birds are shaped like a cone.

The size of these tiny birds is between 5.2 and 5.6 inches, while the width of their wings is between 7.7 and 10.0 inches.

To survive, these birds consume whatever they can get their beaks on, including the seeds in the weeds, the buds and various portions of the flowers, and the little fruits they can locate.

The young are given the fruit seeds and the odd bug they catch.

House Finches are eager to visit your feeder, whether it’s a garden or a woodland, and you may find them across the eastern United States, Hawaii, and Mexico.

Coloration may vary somewhat from location to location since this bird has roughly 12 recognized subspecies.

They speak with regional “accents” and regional musical “accents” as well!

7. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) perched on a branch

The Northern Cardinal, a fan-favorite of ornithologists for decades, is recognizable by its bright red back, red, short wings with a brownish tint, and long, matching tail. 

This bird’s breast and abdomen are also bright red, and its face is crimson with a black half-mask that begins at the eye and extends down under the beak and across the neck to complete the Cardinal’s signature look.

The red bills of Northern Cardinals are thick and taper at the tip, and their huge, beautiful crests are shaped like a spherical cone.

The females are white or pale brown, with bright red accents on their wings, tails, and crests. 

The length of these birds’ bodies ranges from 8.4 to 9.0 inches, while the width of their wings is anywhere between 10.3 and 12.4 inches.

Although centipedes, flies, and beetles make up the bulk of a Northern Cardinal’s diet, these birds will also consume waste grains, tiny flower buds, fruits, and other plant parts.

The range of the Northern Cardinal extends from Central America and Mexico to the eastern United States.

Some of the red pigmentations in these birds come from the foods they consume. 

To develop its brilliant red color, the male Cardinal needs a particular chemical found in certain meals called carotenoids.

Without these, the bird would gradually fade from red to brown.

These brilliant red creatures mate for life and, in an amusing twist, sometimes lose their hair.

If you notice this in midsummer, don’t panic; the Cardinal is only going through its yearly molting, and its feathers will grow back in time for spring.

8. Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

The Painted Bunting is a rainbow of color: its back is yellow-green, its wings are a medium-length yellow-green having black ends and an inner wing, and it has a blue and red stripe that runs down its back and over its shoulder.

In fact, this bird is red all over, including its underside, chest, and long tail (which is dark brown or black).

You can recognize this bird by its stunning blue face, which extends down the neck and over the shoulders, and its vivid reddish-orange eyering.

You should anticipate a similar appearance from females and youngsters, although with a more yellowish-green coloration and muted eyering.

To put it another way, these birds are principally granivores, meaning they subsist primarily on a diet of grains and seeds.

Additionally, white proso millet is a favorite of theirs. Put in a little nudge! However, they have been seen eating flies, worms, and even spiders, which they likely stole off their webs.

The Painting Bunting may be found in two distinct areas of North America: the eastern seaboard from New England to central Florida and the southwestern and central parts of the continent.

The Bahamas, Cuba, and Mexico all have them too!

During nesting season, these colorful birds are a sight to see as the males puff up their breasts and display their plumage for a female they likely won’t mate for life with, if at all.

9. Painted Redstart

Painted Redstart
Credits: Wikipedia

The wings of a Painted Redstart are also black, but they flaunt a huge white spot towards the tip.

The undersides of their long, black tails are white, and this white continues up the bird’s underbelly to the point where it meets the brilliant red that extends from the abdomen to the top of the chest.

This color scheme is paired with a thin black border.

This blackbird has a narrow, slightly curved beak and a white, curving underline beneath each eye.

When children are young, their upper chests and bellies are gray instead of pink.

These birds possess a length of 5.4 to 5.8 inches and a wingspan of around 8.7 inches.

Some insects, like crane flies, leafhoppers, caterpillars, and moths, make up the majority of a Painted Redstart’s diet; however, the bird may sometimes snack on berries and seeds.

They also sometimes break into Hummingbird feeders in search of sugar syrup, showing that they have a sweet appetite.

The Painted Redstart is native to Mexico and Central America, and it has been documented in the U.S. states of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

You’ll likely hear the bird’s song prior to seeing it, which is unusual for birds. Both males and females sing with equal proficiency.

10. Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeaks possess a red back with grayish streaks and tiny wings that are gray at the shoulders and deeper gray beneath, with two noticeable white wing bars. 

They have long, gray tails that are notched at the end, and their faces are red with gray highlights and a gray diamond-shaped mask.

Their black or gray beaks are thick and somewhat curled.

These Grosbeaks range in length from 7.8 to 10.1 inches, and their wing span is about 14 inches.

Pine Grosbeaks eat a variety of foods, including maple tree buds, conifer seeds, berries, and the odd insect.

In the summertime, the Pine Grosbeak prefers insects, but in the winter, it prefers vegetables, fruits, and seeds.

Pine Grosbeaks are found across Canada and the western and northwest United States, where they thrive in coniferous forests.

The colloquial term pine marten refers to the tree in which they live, while the genus names Pinicola means “Pine Dweller” in Latin.

11. Purple Finch

Purple Finch

Besides a pinkish-red and brown back, Purple Finches also possess pink and white wing bars that run the length of their wings.

They possess white stomachs and pinkish-brown tails of medium length, having white borders.

Pinkish-red streaks begin at the belly region and become more pronounced as it travels up the breast.

These birds possess dark red cheeks, pink eyeliner, and mustache streaks that taper off toward the rear of the head and the lower face, correspondingly. 

These birds feature conical, thick, and sometimes even slightly black bills.

Females will have a darker olive tone overall, with a black marking at the neck and a white eyestripe.

These tiny birds possess a length of 4.8 to 6.1 inches and a wingspan of 8.8 to 10.7 inches.

Purple finches rely heavily on grass and tree seeds like Ash and Elm for food throughout the winter.

As the weather heats up, more varied food becomes available, including berries, fruit, insects (beetles, caterpillars, and flies), and even carrion.

The Pacific coast, the eastern United States, and eastern Canada are all possible locations for seeing Purple Finches. 

Even though there is a hierarchy among the birds, these little creatures are highly sociable, frequently hunting and roosting with Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches in forests with a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees. 

Purple Finches have no problem ordering about Goldfinches, but they’re careful to watch their manners near Pine Siskins.


In conclusion, birds with red chests are not only beautiful to look at but also play an important role in our ecosystem.

They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, each with its own unique features and characteristics.

From the flashy Scarlet Tanager to the humble House Finch, these birds add a splash of color to our environment and provide us with a glimpse into the wonder of the natural world.

So, the next time you see a bird with a red chest, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and remember the important role it plays in our world.

Let us continue to protect and preserve these amazing creatures for generations to come.


Why do some birds have red chests?

Birds have red chests for various reasons, including attracting mates, warning off rivals, and camouflaging in their environment.

Do all male birds have red chests?

No, not all male birds have red chests. Some female birds also have red chests, and not all male birds have bright red chests.

What is the significance of birds with red chests?

Birds with red chests are significant in terms of their role in the ecosystem, as they contribute to pollination, seed dispersal, and insect control. They are also important culturally, being featured in many myths, legends, and works of art.

How can I attract birds with red chests to my yard?

To attract birds with red chests to your yard, you can provide food and water sources, as well as nesting sites and shelter. You can also plant trees and shrubs that provide food and habitat for these birds.

Are birds with red chests endangered?

Some species of birds with red chests are endangered, such as the Red-headed Woodpecker and the Scarlet Tanager, due to habitat loss, climate change, and other factors. It is important to support conservation efforts to protect these species and their habitats.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.