19 of the World’s Most Colorful Birds

There are estimated to be 10,000 species of birds in the world and nature has blessed some with the most incredible, colorful plumage. From bright blues to radiant reds and gorgeous greens, it is hard to believe that these birds are real and not the invention of a fine painter.

1. Red-necked Tanager 

These birds are found in the lowland Rainforests of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, and display an incredible array of colors.
2. Spangled Cotinga 

This bird’s unique plumage has made it a target for hunters in the Amazon Rainforest. They do not sing but are known to make a whistling noise from their wings when they fly.
3. Mandarin Duck 

This duck species is immediately recognizable for its incredible combination of dazzling colors.  Only the males display the colorful feathers, the females are predominantly brown with a white eye ring.
4. Toucan 

Unmistakable thanks to its large, curved bill, there are over 40 species of toucan, and most of them are brightly colored.  They largely eat fruit but will eat some small lizards and insects as well.
5. Blue-crowned Pigeon 

Far from your average pigeon, this bird can grow to the size of a turkey and boasts spectacular blue feathers.
6. Lady Gouldian Finch

A spectacular sight with its colorful blocks of stripes, this bird is also known as the ‘Rainbow Finch’ and lives in northwestern Australia.  They are subject to a conservation project as only 2500 are believe to exist in the wild.
7. Kingfisher

A familiar sight to many of us, the Kingfisher is a hugely popular subject for photographers. They have a widespread distribution and can be found throughout most of the world.
8. Red-bearded Bee Eater 

all species of Bee Eater, this is a spectacularly-colored bird. Despite the name, they are not completely fussy about their diet and will eat wasps, hornets and other large insects as well.
9. Paradise Tanager

A multi-colored songbird indigenous to the Amazon Basin.  They tend to reside in groups, with flocks of up to 20 moving together to feed.
10. Lilac-breasted Roller 

One of the most beautiful birds in the world. They inhabit open woodland or scrubland across Sub-Saharan Africa and are the designated national bird of both Kenya and Botswana.
11. Andean Cock-of-the-Rock

Not only does this bird have a brilliant, rhyming name, but it also boasts spectacular orange plumage framing bizarre beady eyes. Only the males have bright feathers and the distinctive head crest.
12. Scarlet Macaw

The most famous member of the parrot family is known for both its spectacular, predominantly red and blue plumage, and also its familiar loud squawk.
13. Purple Gallinule 

This bird is found in the marshes and swamps of the Southern Eastern States in the U.S. Displaying an iridescent indigo and violet feathering, they are omnivores and feed on a wide variety of plants, insects and fish.
14. Splendid Fairy Wren 

This brilliant blue bird is found across much of the Australasian continent. The males are electric blue and pluck petals to display to brown females as part of their mating ritual.
15. Yellow-collared Lovebird 

Predominantly green and yellow, these lovebirds are small for a member of the parrot family, standing only 14.5cm (5.7 inches) tall when fully grown.
16. Violet-crowned Woodnymph

An undeniably cute bird – not only for its shimmering purple and green colors, which almost look metallic, but also for its tiny size – they are just 10cm (4 inches) long when fully grown.
17. Northern Cardinal 

A beautiful, red bird found in Canada, Mexico and the USA.  It has a distinctive red crest that resembles a Mohican and is found in woodlands and swamps.
18. Curl-crested Aracari 

This member of the Toucan family gets its name from the distinctive feathers on its head, which look a lot curled up ribbons.
19. Turquoise-browed Motmot

Incredible, pastel-colored plumage and a distinctive dart-shaped tail make this bird stand out. They are found in Central America and are the national bird of El Salvador and Nicaragua.

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