10 Beautiful Red Birds in Florida (With Pictures)

10 Beautiful Red Birds in Florida (With Pictures)

Florida is a fabulous destination known for its sunshine, beaches, and amusement parks. But did you know the state is also home to over 550 bird species? Yes, that’s true, and among the array of stunning flying creatures in Florida are the red birds, which stand out in the sunny landscapes.

From the well-known Northern Cardinal to the multicolored Painted Bunting, red birds add a spark of brilliance to the already glorious diversity of avian fauna in Florida.

In the following article, we will discuss the ten types of red birds in Florida as we explore topics such as their characteristics and habitats.

1. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

The Northern Cardinal is one of Florida’s small red birds with a prominent crest. The males have bright red plumage almost throughout the body. Exceptions are the black face mask and throat.

Females are olive-brown, with a red tint on the crest, wings, and tail. Males and females have a red beak.

Northern Cardinal

They inhabit shrubby fields, forest edges, thickets, woodlands, swamps, parks, and yards.

Their distribution includes the eastern, central, and southwestern United States and extends into Mexico and Central America. They remain all year round throughout their distribution, including in Florida.

They feed on insects, seeds, flower buds, and fruit.

2. Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)

The male Scarlet Tanager is unmistakable in breeding plumage. They are almost entirely red, with black only on the wings and tail. In non-breeding plumage, the males are yellow-olive overall with black wings. Females resemble non-breeding males, but they have lighter-colored wings.

Scarlet Tanager

This species lives in forests, woodlands, parks, and yards.

They are migratory, spending the summer in the eastern United States and Canada. They migrate south to Central America and northern and western South America for winter.

In Florida, you’ll be able to see Scarlet Tanagers during the migration periods in the fall and spring.

Their diet consists mainly of insects, but they supplement them with flower buds and fruit.

3. Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)

The Summer Tanager is a beautiful, large bird with red all over the body of males. Females can be completely yellow to orange in color. Both sexes have pale beaks and darker wings.

This species is found in the southern United States and northern Mexico during summer. In winter, they migrate to southern Mexico, Central America, and north and western South America.

Summer Tanager

They may be seen throughout the year in Florida but most frequently during spring and fall migration. In the upper half of the state, they breed during summer.

In summer, they mainly inhabit open and riparian woodlands and forests. They can also be seen in orchards, beach fringes, parks, and yards. During winter, they frequent forest edges, open woodlands, parks, yards, and forests.

In terms of diet, they feed on insects almost exclusively – specializing in bees and wasps. They supplement their diet with other insect types, fruit, and spiders.

4. Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

The Vermilion Flycatcher males have bright red underparts. On the upper side, they have a red crown and a brown face mask, and the rest of the upper side is brown.

Females have pale, whitish undersides with streaks and a reddish tint on the belly. On the upper side, they are grayish-brown, with a white eyebrow stripe on the face.

Regarding habitat, they live in open woodlands, scrublands, fields, farmlands, and deserts. They’re often seen along streams where they feed predominantly on insects.

Vermilion Flycatcher

The Vermilion Flycatcher has an extensive distribution, which ranges from the southern United States to southern South America.

The birds in the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and most of South America remain all year round. Those in the far north of their range migrate to Mexico and the southeastern United States for winter.

In the far south of their range in South America, birds migrate further north for the Austral winter. They only occur in Florida during winter.

5. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

The House Finch is a little red bird found in Florida. Males have gray-brown bodies with red covering the head, throat, chest, and rump areas. The upperside is brown with dark streaks, while the underside is whitish and brown-streaked. The bill is horn-colored.

Some male individuals are paler, looking more orange than red. The females have brown upperparts with dark brown streaks. Their undersides are whitish and dark streaks are present.

House Finch

They live in semi-arid grasslands, chaparral, deserts, savannas, open forests, and urban and suburban habitats.

The House Finch initially only occurred in the western United States, southwestern Canada, and Mexico. Due to introduction, they now also occur widely across the eastern United States, southeastern Canada, and Hawaii.

In Florida, they occur in the far north of the state.

They generally remain within their range all year round, but some birds in the north migrate south.

Their main dietary requirements are seeds, fruit, buds, and sometimes insects.

6. Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

The Red-headed Woodpecker is a striking species, with their stand-out features being the bright red head, neck, and throat. In contrast, they have a white underside, a black tail, and a black upper side with large white wing patches and a white rump.

They inhabit open forests, plantations, dead tree groves, beaver swamps, river bottoms, grasslands with scattered trees, woodlands, agricultural lands, recently cleared areas, forest edges, orchards, parks, and yards.

Red-headed Woodpecker

Their diet mainly consists of nuts, fruits, berries, seeds, and insects. They sometimes also feed on small birds, rodents, and eggs.

The Red-headed Woodpecker remains all year round in the eastern United States (including Florida) but is generally nomadic. They occur in the northern-central United States and southern Canada during summer and migrate south for winter.

7. Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)

The Painted Bunting is an exquisite bird that looks like it has been painted. The males have a crazy combination of colors that make them look unmistakable, including the bright blue head, bright red underside, red rump, dark tail and wings with reddish and greenish coloration, red eye rings, yellow-green back, and grayish beak.

Females have a green head and upperparts, while the underparts are yellowish. They also have a pale eye ring.

Painted Bunting

They inhabit forest and woodland edges, dense shrubby fields, thickets, and abandoned farmlands.

The Painted Bunting has two isolated populations with different migratory patterns. The largest population occurs in the south-central United States and northern Mexico for the summer breeding season and migrates south into Mexico and Central America for winter.

A smaller population occurs in the coastal southeastern United States during summer and winters in southern Florida and the Caribbean. They are mostly seen on migration throughout the rest of the state, while in the coastal regions in the north, they are breeding visitors.

Their diet mainly consists of seeds, but they eat more insects during summer.

8. Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)

The Purple Finch male has a raspberry-red head, chest, and back which blends into brown on the wings and tail. The rump is red, and brown streaks are seen on the back. On the underside, the red fades into white on the belly.

Females have a brown head and upperparts with gray streaking on the back. They have whitish underparts with very strong streaking. On the face, they have a dark cheek, a whitish eyebrow stripe, a whitish mustache, and a dark border to the throat.

Purple Finch

They occur in forests and woodlands during summer. In winter, they appear in many habitats, such as forest edges, fields, shrublands, parks, and yards.

Purple Finches are migratory in the north of their range in Canada, breeding there in summer before migrating for the winter in central and eastern United States, including northern Florida. The birds found in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada are generally sedentary, along with those that occur on the west coast of the United States.

They mainly feed on seeds. But they also eat buds, fruit, nectar, and occasionally insects.

9. Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a brilliant-looking woodpecker with a buffy chest and face and a whitish belly with a red wash that is sometimes visible. There is black and white barring on the upper side, and they have a plain white rump.

Males look similar to females overall, but the difference lies on the head, where the males have a red nape and crown, while the females have a red nape and gray crown.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

This species feeds on insects, spiders, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Occasionally, they eat nestlings, lizards, and small fish.

They live in forests, woodlands, wetlands, river bottoms, and suburban areas throughout most of the eastern United States (including Florida), where they remain all year round.

10. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak male in breeding plumage has a black head and upper parts with white wing patches and a white rump. On the underside, the throat is black, the chest is bright red, and the belly is white. They have a pinkish beak.

Males are duller in non-breeding plumage. The females have streaking all over their whitish-buff underparts and dark brown upperparts. They also have a prominent eyebrow stripe, brownish-black sides to the crown, and white wing bars.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

They are found in the eastern United States, as well as in southern and central Canada, during summer. They migrate to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America to spend the winter. In Florida, they are seen passing through on migration in spring and fall.

They inhabit forests, woodlands, plantations, pastures, parks, and yards. They favor areas close to water sources.

They feed on flowers, insects, seeds, blossoms, and fruits.


As if Florida needed more attractions, the presence of red birds adds a bit of splendor to the diverse variety of habits in the state.

As you can see from this list, the red birds vary in their intensity of color and amount of red seen on their bodies, from the all-red Summer Tanager to the partly-red Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Species like the Northern Cardinal may be familiar to you, but others on this list are uncommon in the state or only occur during migration, which makes them extra special to find.

The red birds in Florida are all in the state for various reasons. Some species come to the state to breed or overwinter; others are year-round residents, and others pass through on migration.

Next time you’re out in your yard or birding further afield, keep a look out for these spectacular-looking red birds.

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