13 Stunning Birds with Mohawks [A Sight to Behold]

birds with mohawks

Birds with Mohawks are some of the fascinating creatures on the planet, and many are surprisingly easy to find in nature.

In the list below, you’ll explore 13 lovely birds with stunning mohawks and maybe discover some of nature’s most eye-catching creatures you’ve never heard of before!

Birds with Mohawks including:

  • Eurasian Hoopoe
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Western Crowned Pigeon
  • Victoria Crowned Pigeon
  • Bare-faced Go Away Bird
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  • Royal Flycatcher
  • Dalmatian Pelican
  • Palm Cockatoo
  • Golden Pheasant
  • Great Curassow
  • Grey Crowned Crane
  • Northern Cardinal

1. Eurasian Hoopoe

Eurasian Hoopoe

The Eurasian Hoopoe is a medium-sized bird that lives in dry, open habitats throughout America, Asia, and Africa. 

The hoopoe’s diet includes earthworms, insects, seeds, and berries. It uses its stout bill to probe into crevices for prey, catch insects on its wing, or take them from spider webs.

The female plumage is duller with less radiance than the male’s, and it looks browner overall because the black markings on her head, wings, neck, and back are paler.

Fun Facts

  • They use their mohawk to scare off predators by suddenly inflating their crest feathers, making them look three times larger than they are.
  • They use their long bills to probe deep into cracks and crevices, looking for food.
  • The hoopoe cleans its feathers by preening, which helps straighten them out and keep them watertight.

2. Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker species in North America. They often prefer deciduous forests, avoiding heavily forested areas like boreal forests or rainforests.

The distinctive flamming-red crest on the back of their head and red mohawk adornment atop their head makes them easy to spot. It’s one of the birds with a red mohawk.

The pileated woodpecker uses its long beak to hammer (peck) holes into rotting wood to search for bugs. 

They feed on insects, larvae, earthworms, and other invertebrates; they also feed on acorns, beechnuts, chestnuts, corn kernels, hickory nuts, pecans, and walnuts.

Fun Facts

  • Pileated has a long downy body plumage that helps keep them warm during colder months; they also roost together to share body heat while feeding.
  • They’re monogamous, meaning they form pair bonds between mates during breeding, and both parents help care for their offspring.
  • They have an excellent sense of smell that allows them to find insect larvae hiding in trees and logs.

3. Western Crowned Pigeon

Western Crowned Pigeon

The Western crowned pigeon, crowned blue pigeon, or Goura Cristata in the Columbidae family, is a rare blue bird with a mohawk

Though not endangered, there’s a massive decrease in their population.

It’s a large, blue-grey bird with blue lacy crests on its head and dark blue streaks on the feathers around its eyes. Both sexes look alike, but males are often larger than females.

These creatures are omnivores meaning they eat both plants and animals. Their diet includes seeds, flowers, fruits, insects, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, and snails.

Fun Facts

  • They spend most of their time foraging for food rather than eating what’s readily available. Foraging allows the bird to find more food sources and stay healthy!
  • When threatened, it will shake its head back and forth, making its crown flutter.
  • Male Western crowned pigeons try to attract females by performing elaborate courtship rituals such as head bobbing and strutting.
  • The males also build large nests so that females will nest there with him.

4. Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

The Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria) is a large, long-tailed pigeon with a mohawk that ranges across the forests of New Guinea. 

This species is found in lowland and montane forests, including wet sclerophyll forests, mangroves, swamps, and nests high up in trees. It feeds on seeds, fruit, and leaves. 

This pigeon has elegant blue lace-like crests, red irises, and a maroon breast. The male’s striking head patterning is one of this species’ most distinctive features.

Fun Facts

  • The Victoria Crowned Pigeons are monogamous, living in pairs throughout their lifetime, which lasts over twenty years or longer in captivity.
  • Unlike other pigeons, they are not very competitive over food sources and tolerate each other when feeding close together at times of scarcity.
  • A couple uses various nesting sites, which they defend aggressively against other pairs or single birds intruding into their territory.

5. Bare-faced Go Away Bird

Bare-faced Go Away Bird

The bare-faced go-away-bird is a large bird species in the family Musophagidae native to the eastern Afrotropics. It’s named for its exceptional and extraordinarily bare black face.

You can find it throughout Africa, but due to habitat loss and overhunting, it’s now only locally common in southern Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. 

Its diet consists mainly of fruits, leaves, flowers, seeds, insects, and other invertebrates.

It nests on the ground or low tree branches, laying two eggs at a time and incubating them by day while both parents feed at night.

Fun Facts

  • They’re aggressive birds, attacking other animals and humans who come too close to their nests.
  • They’re monogamous breeders that don’t migrate.
  • In traditional folklore, it was considered an omen of death. The myth says if you see or hear this bird cry at dawn, someone you know will soon die before sunset.
  • Other traditional mythologies believe that when you see this bird, you must say “Go away!” three times to make your wish come true.

6. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

The Sulphur-crested cockatoo is a medium-sized parrot with a mohawk that inhabits the tropical rainforests of Northern Australia and New Guinea.

They’re named for their sulfur-colored crest, resembling a mohawk haircut. You can find them in woodlands, rainforests, bamboo forests, and moist lowlands or urban areas.

In addition to its unique appearance, the Sulphur-crested cockatoo is also known for its quirky personality, making it one of the more popular birds in captivity.

The bird feeds mainly on chia seeds, nuts, fruit, buds, and various berries. They don’t drink water as they get most of what they need from their food.

Fun Facts

  • They use their powerful beaks to cut up large pieces of fruit into manageable chunks they can swallow easily and crack nuts open to get to the kernel inside.
  • These birds are brilliant and can dance to music and solve simple puzzles.
  • Because of their intelligence and long lives, they’re popular animals in the pet trade; they require a lot of training and work.

7. Royal Flycatcher

Royal Flycatcher

The Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus Coronatus) is a small bird with a mohawk in the family Tyrannidae. It’s found in South and North America, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil. 

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forests.

Royal flycatchers are primarily brown with long bills, rufous tails, and marvelous crests (red in the males and paler in the females). These crests are spotted in black and blue. 

Their diet includes seeds, plants, and insects such as crickets, termites, mealworms,  and beetles. 

Fun Facts

  • A Royal Flycatcher builds a large nest on branches near water that hangs over the water, making it difficult for predators to reach it.
  • After mating, the female builds a deep pouch into the bark of a tree or epiphytic plant, where she lays her eggs, and the male will feed her during the incubation period.

8. Dalmatian Pelican

Dalmatian Pelican

The Dalmatian Pelican is a white bird with a mohawk and one of the world’s most popular birds with the largest wingspan.

They live in wetlands throughout Central Asia,  the Middle East, and Southern Europe. When migrating to and from breeding grounds, you can often spot them flying in groups. 

They eat mainly fish but will also eat small mammals, reptiles, crustaceans, invertebrates, and insects.

Fun Facts

  • These birds can be aggressive, especially when defending their nests or young ones.
  • They have a stout body, long neck, and head and waddle when they walk on land. 
  • They’re not afraid of humans, so it’s common to see them swimming up close to boats or swimmers.
  • Dalmatians can dive deep underwater at an incredible speed to catch their prey.

9. Palm Cockatoo

Palm Cockatoo

The Palm Cockatoo is a black bird with a mohawk that lives in the rainforests and lowland forests of Australia, Tasmania, and Indonesia. They’re part of the Cacatuidae family.

The Palm Cockatoo is the largest cockatoo species, with a sizeable black mohawk and red patches on its cheeks. They also have a giant beak among all parrots.

Its aboriginal diet consists of stringy eucalyptus tree bark, palm fruit, tree seeds, and Java almond (nuts from the Kanari tree). 

Fun Facts

  • Male Palm Cockatoos are famous for their drumming displays, where they use a carefully chosen branch as a ‘drum stick’ and tap it on a hollow tree branch.
  • They make a wide range of vocal sounds, including squawking, whistling, clicking, and chirping.
  • Like other parrots, Palm Cockatoos are fun birds, love attention, and are known to mimic human speech and play around.

10. Golden Pheasant

Golden Pheasant

The Golden Pheasant, also known as Rainbow or Chinese Pheasant, is a medium-sized bird, typically about 35 to 40 inches long. 

Its most recognizable feature is the colorful body plumage of gold, green, blue, brown, white, and purple with a yellow crest on its head, creating an impressive mohawk ridge. 

It’s native to China, but wild populations now live throughout North and South America, Europe, and Australasia. 

Golden Pheasants mainly eat grain and seeds found on the ground. They will occasionally eat insects such as beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, weevils, and bugs. 

Fun Facts

  • The male displays his brilliant colors while strutting around to attract females for mating purposes. They may even make clicking noises while they do this.
  • Pheasants are often hunted for sport because their feathers were used to adorn hats during the Victorian era.
  • In today’s world, most bird lovers like to keep Golden Pheasants as pets because they trust humans and are easy to take care of.

11. Great Curassow

Great Curassow

The Great Curassow is a large, black-feathered bird with a mohawk found in northern Mexico, Colombia, and southern Ecuador. 

It’s a member of the Galliformes family (ground-feeding birds), including chickens, quails, and turkeys.

It has a long curvy beak, bright red wattles and comb, and a distinctive black crest atop its head.

You’ll typically find Great Curassow living in groups in rainforest habitats and sometimes in dryer habitats. 

These birds are primarily herbivores, eating plants and fruits they find on the ground. They eat insects, seeds, small rodents, eggs, worms, snails, and fruits such as figs.

Fun Facts

  • A male’s plumage typically consists of mostly black feathers with a white belly, but female plumages vary. 
  • The male’s comb and wattles are brighter, larger, and more curved than the female’s.
  • They’re shy creatures, limiting their habitat to places they feel safe and comfortable, like protected habitats or remote forests.

12. Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

The Grey Crowned Crane or Golden Crested Crane, African Crested Crane, or Kavirondo Crane is a graceful bird inhabiting the arid savannahs of eastern and southern Africa. 

This tall, slender crane has elegant long legs, a large head, and a long neck. The crown on the head is dark brown to black with paler wattles. 

These fantastic birds consume seeds, frogs, grains, insects, snakes, and fish as they’re omnivores. 

The Grey Crowned Cranes are classified as endangered by the IUCN due to habitat destruction; it is estimated that 58,000 and 77,000 birds are left in the wild.

Fun Facts

  • During mating, males partake in multiple decorated courtship displays, including jumping, leaping, and bowing.
  • They’re found alone or in pairs during the breeding season but form flocks during migration.
  • They feed their young using both beak and feet – holding food in the bill until it can be passed over to the chick.

13. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a North American songbird that looks like a cardinal. It’s easily recognized by its distinctive crest, which can be raised and lowered. 

This small bird with a mohawk mainly inhabits woodlands, thickets, orchards, yards, and suburban areas such as parks and gardens.

The cardinal feeds on seeds, corn, insects, and fruit, including crabapples, cherries, persimmons, rosehips, raspberries,  strawberries, and sumac berries. 

Fun Facts

  • The male typically has a more elaborate crest than the female, which may display brownish coloration or other variations from the typical deep red.
  • During the breeding season, a Northern Cardinal might attack its own reflection, thinking it’s a competitor.

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