All the birds in the following article have a significant amount of red on them and are abundant throughout the woodlands, prairies and backyards of Georgia. Luckily for residents of the peach state, many of these striking birds are not only visually stunning but quite likely to visit the birdfeeder in your backyard!
List of Red Birds Found in Georgia
It is common to see most of these red birds in Georgia but some are a little evasive. When you learn more about them, such as their favourite habitats and style of call note, you’ll be better equipped to spot different species such as the Purple Finch, Glossy Ibis and Vermillion Flycatcher!
Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius
This little robin of the true thrush genus has a dark head, yellow bill and a rusty red chest and belly.
He is industrious and will run and hop across lawns to avail themselves of worms or berries. Males are first to claim nesting territories and will defend them with loud singing and occasional fighting.
Common across North America, during autumn and winter vast flocks visit Georgia.
Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis
The cardinal’s dramatic red plumage is topped only by his theatrical black face mask which encompasses his eyes down to his throat.
Tending to sit low down in shrubs and often in pairs, they forage for beetles, centipedes, flies, spiders and snails. Males will attack intruders and have been known to attack their own reflections in mirrors and windows.
They are found in south-eastern Canada through to eastern United States and are the most common red bird in Georgia.
Scientific Name: Piranga rubra
This incredible looking bird can boast that it is the only completely red bird in North America! A stunning sight in any setting, the male summer tanager is always going to attract attention. The female is harder to identify as she is dark yellow but you can be sure you’re close to one or the other if you hear their chuckling call notes!
If you are trying to spot them, try looking to the centre of oak trees or if you would like them to pay you a visit, plant some berry bushes or fruit trees. Although they are capable of catching bees in mid flight, they are also partial to larvae and grubs. The summer tanager sensibly layers up with fat before long flights to South America and their diet is also the precursor of their incredible plumage.
Scientific Name: Pyrocephalus obscurus
Small but perfectly formed, the vermillion flycatcher favours open habitats across southwest United States to as far as Argentina. Look for them perched on benches or posts where it will be looking out for insects to eat!
The males have a brilliant orange-red plumage with black wings curling around to meet up with the eyeline. The females are just as stunning with her neutral brown tones punctuated with a unique rosy blush on her underside.
Look for a high flying flickering wing motion and the male’s high-pitched, pretty song.
The females are opportunist house-hunters and will lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.
Red House Finch
Scientific Name: Haemorhous mexicanus
The rosy red head of this lovely finch contains pigments from its food so, the more pigment in the food, the redder the feathers become!
Adults have a long, square-tipped brown tail and dark grey wing feathers.
They feed their young entirely on plant foods which is unusual in the bird world. Dinner time favourites are nettles, grains, seeds and dandelions. Both the male and female house finch sing loudly and often, in short warbling notes!
Human-created habitats are favoured by these familiar birds but in rural areas, you might see them throughout semi-open areas of western North America, including Georgia and they’ve also been introduced to Hawaii.
Scientific Name: Loxia curvirostra
As the name suggests, the red cross bill can literally do just that: due to the leverage ability of their mandibles, they are able to separate beloved conifer cones. Speaking of which, the red crossbill is so enamoured with conifer cones and seeds that they even feed them to their young.
This fetching finch can be found in forests, particularly conifer forests and if you can’t see them, perhaps you can hear them chattering in the tops of trees. Males have a rusty-red head and chest whereas females tend to be a more greenish-yellow
Crossbills vary tremendously between subspecies especially with regard to beak size and shape and also call sounds. They are a nomadic bird and tend to follow the life cycle of seed availability and so breed and search for food in accordance with these trends.
When not breeding they will flock together or with other crossbill breeds. Prolific through North America and Eurasia, the oldest recorded red crossbill was 8-years-old.
Scientific Name: Passerina ciris
It is not for nothing that this bird’s alternative moniker is ‘Nonpareil’ meaning ‘Unrivalled’. His colours really are a carnival of intense pigmentation. With a dark blue head, green back and red underparts, he could also be described as a real ‘Georgia Peach’
He forages on the ground, in shrubs and low trees for insects, seeds, berries and fruits. Males will defend territories by singing in a raised pitch.
Active throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia
Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus
The adult male has a breeding plumage consisting of white underparts and wing patches, a black head, back, tail and wings and a rosy-red chest.
This eye-catching grosbeak will cleverly catch insects in mid-air and supplement them with berries, seeds and nectar. Both male and females select their nest which will be constructed from leaves, twigs, hair and roots.
Familiar across the woods of Canada and the northeastern United States, migrating through Georgia in spring and autumn.
Scientific Name: Plegadis falcinellus
This heron-like bird has bottle-green wings which shimmer with purplish streaks and during breeding, a deep red-brown neck and throat. It’s really worth trying to catch them in a good light to pick up on the subtleties of bronze, chestnut, emerald and violet throughout his extraordinary plumage.
An opportunistic feeder, this iridescent ibis picks up beetles, larvae, snails, mussels, small lizards and fish
The glossy ibis is found in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North Central and South America.
Scientific Name: Haemorhous purpureus
Recognisable by their forked tail and wings, the adult male has a red head, breast, back and rump. By contrast, the females are streaky brown and white with a white line on their faces just above the eye.
Mainly foragers. They will seek out seeds, millet, berries, insects and thistle. The female purple finch will construct her nest horizontally along coniferous trees and these nests are cleverly shaped like an open cup made of twigs, rootlets, hair, twigs and moss.
Sadly, there is a decline in purple finches due to the house finch because when there is a clash between the two species, the house finch tends to win.
There is a sub-species of purple finch which possesses longer wings and a shorter tail
Scientific Name: Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Now uncommon and decreasing in many areas, the adult male and female red-headed woodpecker share their colouring which consists of a vivid red head and neck, glossy black tail and wings and snowy white underparts.
Considered very aggressive, these birds will defend their territory in whatever way they can – even if this means destroying other birds’ nests!
They like to live near the edges of woodland and wherever there are scattered trees. If you are hoping to attract them to your garden or yard, try providing sunflower seeds or suet. They may show up to enjoy these treats but are generally omnivores feeding on berries, insects and the occasional small rodent.
Red-headed woodpeckers can be found in Georgia, favouring the east
Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus
This woodpecker will often appear to be pale in colour with flashes of contrasting colour. Male red-bellied woodpeckers have a distinctive red patch on the nape and above the bill and both sexes can be identified by the loud ‘drum’ call they employ to attract mates.
They have an undulating flight pattern which will distinguish them from others along with their habit of picking at bark rather than drilling into it.
They love to eat insects and can even catch them in mid-air!
Common to the south-eastern United States, it’s not unusual to spot them in Georgia – look for white on the tips of their wings during their unconventional flight!
Scientific Name: Acanthis flammea
The common redpoll is a little bird with a conical yellow bill but it is still larger than the lesser redpoll. This pretty brown and white passerine also has a very distinctive brick-red patch on the top of its head.
Planting sunflowers is the loveliest and easiest way to attract these birds to your home as the diet for the little redpoll is mostly small seeds. Other seeds it enjoys are alder, birch, and spruces.
They like to make their nests low down in trees and the female will lay three to seven speckled eggs. These eggs will hatch after about 11 days and fledge in about a further 13 days.
The common redpoll frequents Europe, Asia and North America.
Final Thoughts: Red Birds Found in Georgia
Red birds carry extremely auspicious symbolism for many people, from ancient literature to new-age spirituality, the interpretations are as varied and fascinating as the birds themselves.
A red cardinal, for instance, is said to signify that a loved one will not be forgotten and is also indicative of rebirth, courage, passion and hope. A vermilion flycatcher is locally referred to as ‘bien viaje’ which means ‘good travel’ and is considered an extremely good omen.
Red birds in general are indicative of good health as they are the colour of blood, the life force of every living creature.