29 Birds with Orange Chests | Identification Guide

From simply wandering through a meadow to sitting in your garden or even going birdwatching, you can appreciate that birds come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Many avian species exhibit beautiful orange coloration, more than you may think. 

These vibrant orange feathers can be the result of diet, be used to send signals, or indicate the fitness of an individual. This list highlights 29 different avian species that boast exquisite orange chests.

List of Birds with Orange Chests

Orange plumage can vary in shade, intensity, and placement. Commonly, the males are brighter in their coloration compared to the females. The Rufus hummingbird is almost entirely orange whilst the northern red bishop boasts contrasting black and orange feathers.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow
Image of a Barn Swallow perched on a wire
Credit: Zeynel Cebeci

Scientific Name: Hirundo rustica 

Barn swallows have a cobalt blue back, wings, and tail, which contrast with their rusty orange face, chest, and belly. These colors are more vibrant in males than in females. They are aerial foragers, catching insects from the ground or the surface of the water as they hover above them. 

Barn swallows are highly adaptable and can thrive in both rural meadows and urban barns. They migrate long distances from North America to the South.

Orange-Breasted Sunbird

Image of an Orange-Breasted Sunbird feeding on an erica flower
Credit: Derek Keats

Scientific Name: Anthobaphes violacea 

The orange-breasted sunbird is a sexually dimorphic species. Females are yellow-green with the underparts being slightly paler. Males boast iridescent blue, green, and purple head that contrasts with their fiery-orange belly. 

These birds have long, narrow beaks that curve downwards and are specially adapted for their nectar-rich diet. They feed mainly on the nectar of the erica and protea flowers. Due to this, their range is restricted to the fynbos biome of the Western Cape of South Africa. 

Northern Red Bishop

Image of a Northern Red Bishop perched on a branch
Credit: Luc Viatour

Scientific Name: Euplectes franciscanus

During the breeding season, males display striking, contrasting plumage. The face and belly are jet black whilst the breast and back are bright oranges. However, females and non-breeding males are buff-brown with white chests. 

They are a small species, reaching only around 4 inches in height. These birds feed predominantly on grass seeds. They have a wide distribution across North Africa, inhabiting the tall grasslands and marshes.

Varied Thrush

Image of a varied thrush standing on the ground
Credit: Walter Siegmund

Scientific Name: Ixoreus naevius 

These songbirds display burnt orange breasts, throats, eyebrows, and wing bars. In males, the rest of the plumage is blue-grey, whilst in females it is brown. They have straight bills and short tails. Varied thrushes hop along the ground or low-lying vegetation, in search of arthropods and plant matter to consume. 

During the breeding season, males sing to attract a mate. These birds breed in evergreen forests, although may inhabit dense gardens and parks. Their range extends along the Pacific Coast.

Say’s Phoebe

Image of a Say’s Phoebe perched on a plant
Credit: Alan Vernon

Scientific Name: Sayornis saya

Say’s Phoebes are pale grey-brown with a black tail and cinnamon-colored belly. When they are perched, these birds can often be seen wagging their tail up and down. They perch on branches and quickly grab insects such as beetles and crickets, from midair or will snatch them from the ground. 

Say’s Phoebes reside in open, sparsely vegetated areas, such as canyons. They avoid water courses and densely forested areas. They breed in Alaska and Canada and migrate South to Mexico. 

Western Spindalis

Image of a Western Spindalis eating a berry whilst perched on a branch
Credit: Charles J. Sharp

Scientific Name: Spindalis zena

Western Spindalis exhibit sexual dimorphism. Females are mainly grey-olive and have a small, white mark on their wings. Males, on the other hand, are far more visually striking. Their head, wings, and tail are boldly patterned with black and white stripes. Their chest, back, and rump are rust-orange. 

These birds consume insects and fruits that they forage for in the foliage. They inhabit tropical and subtropical forests and are distributed in Southeast Florida and the Western Caribbean.

Hooded Oriole

Image of a Hooded Oriole perched on a branch
Credit: Rangan Datta Wiki

Scientific Name: Icterus cucullatus

Female hooded orioles are green-yellow and have grey wings adorned with white wing bars. Males exhibit much bolder color patterns, however. Their plumage is mainly bright orange and they have a black mask and black wings with white wing bars. 

They are foliage gleaners, plucking insects from trees very acrobatically, such as hanging upside down. They inhabit open woodlands with a variety of tree species. Their range extends along Western America. 

Scarlet Tanager

Image of a Scarlet Tanager perched on a branch
Credit: leppyone

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

The scarlet tanager is a sexually dimorphic species with a stocky build. Females have yellow-green plumage with darker-toned wings and tails, whilst males have deep red plumage with black wings and tail tips. 

Their chunky bills are ideal for catching insects to fuel their mainly insectivorous diet, although they will also consume fruits. These birds breed in the deciduous forests of Northeast America.

Flame-Colored Tanager

Image of a Flame-Colored Tanager perched on a branch
Credit: Jerry Oldenettel

Scientific Name: Piranga bidentata

Both male and female flame-colored tanagers have brown tails and wings, adorned with white tail spots and wine bars. Female plumage is olive-yellow. Male flame-colored tanagers that populate West Mexico boast bright orange feathers, whilst males that live in Central America have orange-red plumage. 

Their diet is mainly made up of small insects and berries, which they usually forage for among the treetops. These birds inhabit the canopies of large forests, generally in mountainous regions. They range from Mexico to Central America, to Panama.

Western Tanager

Image of a male Western Tanager eating a berry whilst perched on a branch
Credit: Dominic Sherony

Scientific Name: Piranga ludoviciana

Males have bright yellow bodies and flaming orange heads. Females on the other hand have a duller, olive-yellow body and red feathers are restricted to the front of the face. Both sexes have black wings with one bold yellow wing bar and another bold white wingbar. 

They forage methodically, hopping along the branches of trees in search of insects and small fruits to consume. These birds breed in coniferous forests and are distributed across Western and Central America.


Image of a male brambling eating a seed whilst perched on a branch
Credit: Fringilla montifringilla

Scientific Name: Fringilla montifringilla 

The brambling also has the names the cock o’ north and the mountain finch. Male bramblings have a black head and dark upper parts that are streaked with white and orange. Their underbelly is white and they have a rust-orange breast. 

Female plumage is similar but the colors are less vibrant. During the winter months they feed on seeds and in the summer they consume mainly insects. They build their nests in tree forks and form large flocks in the winter. They breed across Europe and migrate to North Africa, China, and Japan.

American Woodcock

Image of an American Woodcock sitting on the ground
Credit: Fyn Kynd

Scientific Name: Scolopax minor

The American woodcock has mottled-brown feathers, providing cryptic coloration against the leaf litter of the forest floor. They have cinnamon-orange underparts which also camouflage against the fallen leaves. These shorebirds have plump, bulbous bodies and short legs, but their bills are long and straight. 

They use their bill to probe the forest floor for earthworms and rock back and forth as they walk along the ground. They are distributed across Northeast America, inhabiting forests and densely vegetated fields.

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Image of a Red-Breasted Nuthatch perched on a branch
Credit: Blair Dudeck

Scientific Name: Sitta canadensis

These birds are small and compact, reaching only around 4 inches in length. Red-breasted nuthatches have a blue-gray back and a black-and-white striped head. Their underparts are a cinnamon orange, although this color is slightly paler in females. 

These birds quickly dart over trees, probing for food in crevices in the bark. They move over tree trunks in all directions, being up, down, and sideways. They inhabit coniferous woods and mountains in North America.

Western Bluebird

Image of a male Western Bluebird perched on a branch
Credit: Blalonde

Scientific Name: Sialia Mexicana

Both sexes display an orange breast, although it is pale in females and much brighter in males. Male western bluebirds boast an iridescent blue head, wings, and tail whereas in females these parts are grey-brown. 

These species are very social and feed in flocks, hunting for terrestrial insects by dropping onto the ground from their low perched branches. Western bluebirds reside in open woodland habitats that extend across Mexico.

Eastern Bluebird

Image of a pair of Eastern Bluebirds perched on a branch
Credit: Sandysphotos2009

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis 

Females have a subdued orange breast with a gray-blue head, back, wings and tail. Males are much more vibrant, boasting blue plumage with rusty orange breasts. Depending on the light, the blue feathers vary in how bright they appear. Eastern bluebirds scan the ground for prey whilst perching on branches or posts. 

Their diet consists of insects or berries, depending on the season. They live in open habitats, nesting in boxes or tree holes excavated by previous birds. They are distributed across North and South America.

Blackburn Warbler

mage of a Blackburn warbler eating a seed whilst perched on a branch
Credit: Cephas

Scientific Name: Setophaga fusca

Male Blackburn warblers boast a vivid orange face and throat, broken up by black triangular patterns. They have a white belly and black upper parts dabbled with white streaks. Females have a more subdued color pattern, displaying a yellow face and throat and grey upper parts. 

These birds are foliage gleaners, picking insects and larvae from coniferous and deciduous treetops. They creep along branches, looking under leaves from prey. They have a wide range throughout America. 

Orange-Breasted Waxbill

Image of an Orange-Breasted Waxbill perched on a plant stem
Credit: Derek Keats

Scientific Name: Amandava subflava

The orange-breasted waxbill is also known as the zebra waxbill. They have an olive-green back and orange breasts. They display a bright red beak and rump. Males also have additional red eyebrow stripes. These birds have a diet of shoots, seeds, and insects. 

Females lay their eggs in oval-shaped nests that are made of grass. The orange-breasted waxbills are distributed throughout the grasslands and savannahs of the African Sahara.

List Of Birds With An Orange Chest And A Black Head

Baltimore Oriole

Image of a male Baltimore Oriole perched on a branch
Credit: Mdf

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula 

Male Baltimore orioles have black heads and back wings decorated with white wing bars. The rest of their plumage is a fiery orange. Female plumage is brown-yellow and their wings and brown with white wing bars. These birds feed high up in trees, searching for insects, fruit, and flowers under leaves and along branches. 

They live high up in forests of deciduous trees and build their nests in forked branches. They breed across East and Central North America. 

Orchard Oriole

mage of an Orchard Oriole perched on a branch
Credit: Dan Pancamo

Scientific Name: Icterus spurius 

Females orchard orioles have green-yellow plumage and grey-brown wings with two white wing bars. On the other hand, males have black heads and wings and boast chestnut-orange underparts. 

These birds forage among the treetops for insects such as caterpillars, spiders, and beetles. They also drink nectar from flowers and hummingbird feeders. Orchard orioles reside in open woodlands and marshes. They migrate from North America to South America.

Black-Headed Grosbeak

Image of a male Black-Headed Grosbeak perched on a branch
Credit: Bill Bouton

Scientific Name: Pheucticus melanocephalus 

Female black-headed grosbeaks are buff-brown on top with brown-orange breasts. Males exhibit much more vibrant colors, possessing a black head, black and white wings, and a bright orange chest. 

These birds are foliage gleaners and hop around in dense foliage in search of insects and seeds to consume. They can often be seen at feeders feasting on sunflower seeds. Black-headed grosbeaks live in mixed woodlands and at the edges of forests. They inhabit North America and migrate to Mexico in the winter. 

American Robin

Image of an American Robin perched on the ground
Credit: Jakub Fryš

Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius

The American robin is so-called due to their distinctive red-orange breast, present in both males and females. The rest of their feathers are a brown-grey color, except the detail which is white. 

Their diet consists of fruit and berries alongside small invertebrates, for which they forage on the ground. They build cup-shaped nests in various habitats including woodland, farmland, and urban areas. They are distributed throughout North and Central America, from Canada to Northern Mexico. 

European Stonechat

Image of a European Stonechat perched on a branch
Credit: Amurfalcon

Scientific Name: Saxicola rubicola 

Both male and female stonechats have orange chests. Males have a black head back with a white stripe on the side of their neck. Rather than black, females’ heads and backs are mottled-brown. Their diet consists mainly of arthropods such as dragonflies, grasshoppers, and slugs. 

During the winter they also eat nuts and berries. Stonechats often perch on branches, vocalizing a sharp call that sounds like two stones being tapped together, hence their name. These birds breed scrubby grassland, heathland, and coastal dunes. Their distribution ranges across Europe and migrates to North Africa over the winter months.

List Of Birds With An Orange Chest And Head

Altamira Oriole

Image of an Altamira Oriole perched on a tree
Credit: Kati Fleming

Scientific Name: Icterus gularis 

Altamira orioles are contrasting black and orange. They have a black mask, back, tail, and wings with white wing bars. The rest of their plumage is a vibrant orange. These birds are forest gleaners and pluck insects and fruit from trees and foliage. 

Sometimes they drink nectar from flowers. Females build pear-shaped nests that are suspended from high branches. They range across Mexico and Central America and reside in a variety of habitats, ranging from forests to farms to parks.

Spot-Breasted Oriole

mage of a Spot-Breasted Oriole perched on a wire
Credit: gary_leavens

Scientific Name: Icterus pectoralis

The spot-breasted oriole has a vibrant, contrasting plumage that is black and orange. They have a black mask and bib with a black tail and wings. They have fiery orange heads and bellies. Their diet consists of insects, berries, and nectar which they glean from foliage. 

They construct their nests from roots and thin fibers to form a pouch that hangs from the fork of a tree. They reside in suburban habitats that host a variety of trees and bushes. They range along the Pacific side of Central America. 

Streak-Backed Oriole

Image of a Streak-Backed Oriole perched on a branch
Credit: Dominic Sherony

Scientific Name: Icterus pustulatus 

Streak-backed orioles boast a vibrant orange belly and head. Their back is also orange and is dabbled with black streaks. They have a black mask, a long, black tail, and black and white wings. During the nesting season, they form monogamous pairs and females build basket-shaped nests that hang from trees. 

Streak-Backed Orioles forage at high elevations in the canopies of forests. Their diet is primarily made of insects but they will also eat fruits and seeds. These birds inhabit open woodland and they are native to Central America and Mexico. 

Red Knot

Image of a Red Knot walking through the water
Credit: JJ Harrison

Scientific Name: Calidris canutus

Red knots are sandpipers that have plump bodies and fairly long, straight bills. Their underparts are rust-orange and their upper plumage displays a complex pattern of browns, greys, and oranges. These birds forage by probing the sand with their straight bill. 

Small bivalves, arthropods, and gastropods form the majority of their diet. They inhabit shorelines and males build nest scrapes in the dry and stony regions upland of the wetland. They breed in high, Arctic habitats and migrate South towards coastal regions in Eurasia, America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Bullock’s Oriole

Image of a male Bullock’s Oriole perched on a branch
Credit: Male Bullock’s Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus bullockii

Female Bullock orioles have a yellow-orange head and tail, grey back, and white belly. Males are bright orange with black masks, wings, and tails. Both sexes have white wing bars. These birds forage for caterpillars among the slender branches of trees. 

They also drink nectar and consume fruits. This species is very agile and often hand upside down and stretch in order to reach its prey. These birds inhabit open woodlands that are scattered with shrubs. They are Native t Western North America.

You may also like to read Birds of South Carolina

Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen’s Hummingbird perched on a branch
Credit: m.shattock

Scientific Name: Selasphorus sasin

Allen’s hummingbirds are small and compact, averaging only around 3.5 inches in length. Their bill is long and straight. These birds have a coppery orange tail, belly, eye patch, and a bronze-green back. They have a vibrant orange gorget. This color pattern is similar in both sexes but is much more subdued in females. 

These birds quickly fly from flower to flower, which they hover in front of as they drink the nectar from them. They also fly to catch small insects. They inhabit open woodlands with lots of scrubs where they build nests using downy material and spiderwebs. They are distributed along the coastal regions of South America.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird in flight
Credit: VJAnderson

Scientific Name: Selasphorus rufus

Rufous hummingbirds have long, straight bills and show sexual dimorphism. Females are green-brown and have a subtle patch of orange on their throats. Males, on the other hand, have bright orange plumage and an iridescent orange gorget. 

They dart around quickly, drinking nectar from flowers and eating insects midflight. They breed in shrubby and open habitats. They migrate from their breeding grounds in Alaska to Mexico over the winter. 

You may also like to read Birds with Red Breasts