10 Exquisite Birds With Red Beaks [ID & Pictures]

The color of a bird’s plumage is critical for various reasons such as attracting a mate, identification, protection against predators, and camouflage mechanism while hunting. Red is one of the most striking colors to find in birds’ feathers, but what about their beaks?

Red is not a color that birds can produce naturally, so finding a bird with a red beak not only displays exquisite beauty but is rarer than you may think.

Here are some jaw-dropping birds with red beaks, where to find them, and what to look for.

1. Broad-billed Hummingbirds

Broad-billed Hummingbirds

The Broad-billed hummingbird is easily distinguishable thanks to the male’s vivid red beak with a black tip, electric blue throat, and emerald green body.

As with most birds, there are significant differences between male and female hummingbirds.

Females don’t display a red beak, but instead, shine a golden green on their upper feathers and gray on the underside. 

Female Broad-billed hummingbirds can also be identified by a white line behind their eyes.

These red-beaked hummingbirds can be found nesting in stream canyons within mountainous regions.

The tiny birds are often found making use of sycamores, cottonwoods, and willows to build their homes.

Interesting Facts

2. Tufted Puffin

Tufted Puffin

The tufted puffin, also known as the crested puffin, is the largest of the puffin family, weighing about 1.6lbs and 14 inches in length.

The crested puffin is mostly black with a white patch over its face.

Theirbills are short and thick with a predominantly red/ yellow color, although green can sometimes be spotted on their beaks.

The easiest way to identify a tufted puffin is during the reproductive season from the yellow-crested feathers that form on their heads.

Tufted puffins nest on grassy cliffs by the sea in the North Pacific, often on offshore islands.

Their ideal locations are relatively inaccessible to predators and high enough for them to take flight.

These birds spend most of the year, including winter months, foraging in deep ocean waters, but tend to move closer to shore during the breeding season.

Interesting Facts

  • Tufted puffins can hold up to 20 fish in their beaks at a time. This is how they transport food back to their nest.
  • These puffins make burrows to nest in, often more than 5 feet deep.
  • Tufted puffins can hold their breaths for up to 2 minutes.
  • Tufted puffins can dive up to 200 feet deep and consume their prey while underwater.

3. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

The northern cardinal also referred to as the redbird, common cardinal, red cardinal, or simply cardinal is fairly large (approximately 8.3 – 9.1 inches).

Both the males and females boast short, thick, bright-red beaks, as well as black faces.

Female redbirds are pale brown with streaks of reddish color in the wings, tail, and crest.

Male northern cardinals not only have red beaks but boast an entire array of vibrant red colors throughout their plumage, making them rare among birds with red heads.

Both female and male northern cardinals can be seen with a distinct crest on their heads.

Northern cardinals are found living in dense shrubby areas such as forest edges, Shrub thickets, or overgrown fields.

Northern cardinals don’t migrate, and hold their color all year round, meaning you’ll be able to spot the brilliant contrast of the redbird and white snow.

Interesting Facts

  • The northern cardinal is the state bird for seven states in the US.
  • Male cardinals attack their reflection in the glass, mistaking their reflection for a rival male invading their territory.
  • The Female northern cardinal is one of the few female songbirds that sing.

4. Wood Duck

Wood Duck

In good light, male Wood Ducks appear to be glossy with a green head cut with white lines, a chestnut underside, and a red and white bill.

In lower light conditions the colors on their heads can be difficult to spot, making them appear pale and dark overall.

Females and juveniles are gray-brown with white speckled breasts.

Not only do wood ducks have red bills, but the male birds have red eyes which remain bright, even during late summer when they lose their pale sides and stripes.

A common duck found in Florida, Wood ducks can be found spending their days in swamps, marshes, streams, beaver ponds, and small lakes.

These ducks are cavity-nesters, meaning they naturally nest in holes in trees or artificially placed nest boxes.

The ducks tend to strive when these areas are 50 – 70% covered in vegetation in which they can hide from predators and forage.

Interesting Facts

  • Unlike most duck species, the wood duck has strong claws which allow them to grip on bark and perch on branches.
  • The wood duck is the only North American duck that produces two broods a year.
  • After hatching, wood duck chicks must jump from the nest to the ground (often over 50 feet) and make their way independently to the water where they meet their mother.
  • Although they’re herbivores, studies show that plant material makes up approximately 80% of their diet.

5. American White Ibis

American White Ibis

White ibises are large football-shaped birds with long necks and legs that are used for wading through water.

When in flight the ibis can be recognized by its outstretched legs and neck.

As the name suggests the American White ibis is a nearly entirely white bird, except for its pinkish-red legs and bill, as well as their blue eyes.

Juvenile and immature white ibis are brown above and white below with a streaky brown neck. Their legs are more of an orange-pink color as opposed to the red of mature adults.

They can be found wading and foraging in various types of wetlands including swamps, mangroves, flooded fields, freshwater marshes, and shallow ponds.

The white ibis is one of the most common birds found in Florida and can be seen by the hundreds.

Interesting Facts

  • Newly hatched white ibises’ bills are straight and don’t begin to curve until they’re 14 days old.
  • Male white ibises protect their nests during the day from stick thieves and competing males. The nest and females are only left alone at night when there are fewer risks.
  • The mascot of the University of Miami in Florida is an American white ibis.
  • The oldest recorded white ibis was 16 years and 4 months when it was found.

6. Red-billed Oxpecker

Red-billed Oxpecker

Red-billed oxpeckers get their names from their bright red, short, and stocky beaks.

Their head wings and back are olive-brown with a pale color ring around their eyes.

Weighing approximately 2 oz and reaching a length of 8 inches, these birds are most commonly found riding on the backs of hoofed animals such as zebras and buffalo.

Red-billed oxpeckers are native to Africa and can be found in savanna, shrubland, and wetland habitats.

These birds are carnivorous and feed on ticks and insects picked from the backs of their rides.

Interesting Facts

  • Oxpeckers are monogamous, unless their partner dies, where they will seek out another mate.
  • Oxpeckers gig fur and hair from their hosts to make their nests.
  • An adult can eat up to 100 ticks and more than 12,000 larvae a day.

7. White-throated Kingfisher

White-throated Kingfisher

The white-throated kingfisher, also known as the white-breasted kingfisher is a large species, reaching up to 28cm in length.

The bird can be identified by its bright blue feathers on its back, wings and tail, chestnut chest and head, and iconic white breast and throat.

The white-throated kingfisher has a specialized beak that is long and spear-like, as well as red in color.

The white-throated kingfisher is widely spread across Asia. They can be spotted residing in a large variety of habitats across their range, including those far away from water.

Interesting Facts

  • Although the kingfisher prefers lowland habitats, they have been spotted at altitudes of 7,500 ft in the Himalayas.
  • White-collared kingfishers can fly at speeds up to 25 mph.
  • Adults can catch and feed on up to 120 fish per day, while chicks can easily consume 12 and more.

8. Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper

Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper

The ‘i’iwi, also known as the scarlet honeycreeper, is an iconic native Hawaiian land bird and the third most common of its type.

The adults are mostly scarlet/ red with black wings and tails.

As nectar feeders, the ‘i’iwi has a long curved beak, similar to sunbirds, which is also red.

The largest population can be found on the large Hawaiian island, as well as scarcely spread across some of the smaller surrounding islands.

Interesting Facts

  • “I”iwi populations are dropping and have gone extinct on Lana’i island and only 50 remain on Moloka’i.
  • 38 species of honeycreeper have already gone extinct.
  • The name “i”iwi is said to derive its name from the Polynesian “kiwi” which has a similarly shaped beak.

9. Red-billed Streamertail

Red-billed Streamertail

Known as the doctor bird, scissor-tail, or simply red-billed streamertail, this hummingbird boasts an electric bright, emerald green plumage and is endemic to Jamaica.

This hummingbird can be found residing in montane forests and lowland tropical forests while avoiding mangroves and arid highlands.

The male hummingbird’s beak is red with a black tip, as well as a long split tail from which it gets its name.

The adult female has a duller red beak and lacks an extended tail, however, some of the emerald colors can be spotted on their upper wings.

Interesting Facts

  • The Red-billed streamertail is the national bird of Jamaica.
  • The name “doctor bird” comes from the black crest and long tail feathers that represent top hats and coat-tails word by doctors in the past.
  • Thanks to their long tails, the males can grow more than 50% longer than females.

10. Red-billed Blue-Magpie

Red-billed Blue-Magpie

A member of the crow family, the red-billed blue-magpie is approximately 27 inches long and can be easily seen by its violet-blue shoulders, upper wings, and tail.

On the underside, their tail is banded with black and white stripes, a white body, and an orange to red beak.

Their heads, neck, and breasts are black with white patches at the back and bluish spots.

The red-billed blue magpie can be seen in hilly or mountainous evergreen forests and scrub, ranging from northern India, through southeast Asia and eastern China.

Interesting Facts

  • The red-billed blue-magpie has one of the longest tails of the Corvidae family, reaching approximately 25 inches.
  • These magpies commonly mimic sounds from their environment, making their calls varied.
  • Females lay 3 – 5 eggs that take 17 days to hatch.

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