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Bird With Red Chest: 14 Species With Ruby Hearts in Flight 

Written by Garrett Hayes

Last updated on Apr 26th, 2024
birds with red chest - featured image

Step into a world where nature's paintbrush has left its mark, adorning the skies with a kaleidoscope of color. Imagine encountering a bird whose chest blazes with a radiant red, a sight that instantly grabs your attention and stirs a sense of awe. 

These birds with their crimson hearts are more than just feathery creatures; they are living masterpieces, enchanting us with their vibrant hues. 

Get ready to embark on a thrilling avian adventure! Next time you spot a bird with red chest, it will be easy to identify its name. Read on and find out the most common species and their defining characteristics. 

Uncover the Beauty of 14 Beautiful Birds with Red Chests 

1. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 

northern cardinal

Known for its bright red plumage, the Northern Cardinal is a captivating bird species that enchants birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. 

The male Northern Cardinal proudly displays its brilliant red feathers, creating a striking contrast against its jet-black face mask. Meanwhile, the female possesses a more subtle reddish hue, exuding elegance in its own right. 

Found throughout North and Central America, these birds with red breasts favor diverse habitats ranging from woodlands and forests to gardens and suburban areas. 

As members of the cardinal family (Cardinalidae), Northern Cardinals possess a strong beak suited for cracking open seeds and consuming various fruits. They are opportunistic feeders, also indulging in insects and small invertebrates. 

During cold winter months, these birds have the remarkable ability to fluff up their feathers, creating an insulating layer of air that helps to keep them warm

2. American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

american robin

With its plump body and bright red breast, the American Robin stands out among its feathered counterparts. Their iconic red-orange hue, boldly displayed on their underparts, adds a vibrant splash of color to the landscape.

These birds with red breasts are skilled foragers, utilizing their keen eyesight to spot earthworms, insects, and berries.

During the breeding season, male American Robins sing their melodious songs to establish their territories and attract mates. Their varied repertoire of chirps and trills fills the air, announcing the arrival of spring.

While the distinctive red breast of the American Robin is a distinguishing feature, it is important to note that not all individuals have the same intensity of color. Juveniles and females may exhibit a paler shade, but their charm remains undeniable.

3. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

With its robust beak and medium-sized body, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak displays a color palette that commands attention. 

The male boasts a vibrant bright red chest that contrasts beautifully against its black back and wings. On the other hand, female rose-breasted grosbeaks have a more subdued brownish hue.

You can find rose-breasted grosbeaks in woodlands and forests throughout North America, particularly during the breeding season. 

The melodic songs of rose-breasted grosbeaks fill the air, a melodious combination of whistles and warbles that resonate through the trees.

The rose-breasted grosbeak has a diverse diet, consuming a variety of seeds, insects, fruits, and even flower petals. It has a powerful beak that allows it to crack open tough shells and extract nourishment from various food sources.

4. Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) 

Scarlet Tanager

A true spectacle of nature with its awe-inspiring plumage, the Scarlet Tanager is another impressive bird with red chest. This avian wonder, adorned with vibrant hues, boasts a radiant presence that leaves onlookers breathless.

The male is a vision of brilliance, displaying a vibrant scarlet coat that catches the sunlight and electrifies the surrounding greenery. 

In contrast, the female possesses a more subdued olive-yellow hue, blending harmoniously with nature's palette.

Their elegant flights through the treetops, punctuated by their distinctive calls, create an enchanting symphony of sights and sounds.

Scarlet Tanagers are master insectivores, using their sharp beaks to snatch flying insects mid-air or glean them from leaves. Their diet also includes fruits, making them essential contributors to seed dispersal and forest ecosystem balance. 

5. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 

House Finch

Native to North America, this species has become a common sight in urban areas, particularly in backyard feeders and gardens.

With its bright red chest and brown-streaked body, the male House Finch adds a splash of color to any landscape. Interestingly, the intensity of its red coloration is influenced by its diet, with individuals consuming more pigments from certain foods displaying a deeper red hue.

House Finches are highly social birds, often seen in small flocks, hopping and chirping merrily among trees and shrubs. Their melodic songs fill the air, enhancing the ambiance of our outdoor spaces.

The House Finch has a versatile diet, feeding on seeds, fruits, and insects. Its adaptability and willingness to visit feeders make it a favorite among bird enthusiasts, providing an opportunity for close observations.

6. Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) 

Vermilion Flycatcher

Within the vibrant landscapes of Central America, a truly mesmerizing avian jewel awaits - the Vermilion Flycatcher. With its radiant plumage and elegant aerial displays, this bird captivates all who have the privilege of witnessing its presence.

Dressed in a resplendent vermilion cloak, the male Vermilion Flycatcher ignites the skies with its fiery brilliance. This bold and striking coloration serves as a beacon against the lush green backdrop, catching the eyes of both bird enthusiasts and casual observers.

While its dazzling appearance is undeniably captivating, the Vermilion Flycatcher's behavior is equally enthralling. 

Known for its aerial acrobatics, it skillfully captures insects mid-flight, effortlessly twisting and turning with remarkable precision.

As an indicator of environmental health, the presence of the Vermilion Flycatcher signifies thriving ecosystems. Conservation efforts across Central America strive to protect the habitats that sustain these magnificent birds. 

7. Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)

Red-breasted Sapsucker

With its eye-catching plumage, the Red-Breasted Sapsucker exhibits a striking combination of colors. 

The male sports a vibrant red throat and breasts, contrasting beautifully with its black back and wings. Its white belly and conspicuous white wing patches further enhance its allure.

This woodpecker species can be found across a range of habitats, including coniferous forests, mixed woodlands, and even urban areas with suitable tree cover. 

While it predominantly resides in North America, its presence extends to certain regions of Central America as well.

The Red-Breasted Sapsucker has a unique feeding behavior. It drills small holes in tree bark, creating a sap well, and then returns later to consume the oozing sap and any insects attracted to it. 

When exploring the woodlands, one may encounter the rhythmic drumming and distinct calls of this bird with red chest.

8. Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)

Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is a charming songbird known for its enchanting melodies and vibrant plumage. 

Adorned with a mix of plum hues, the male Purple Finch showcases a reddish-purple head and breast, transitioning to a streaked brown back and wings. 

These finches possess a hearty appetite, often indulging in sunflower seeds, berries, and other seeds found in backyard bird feeders. Observing their agile movements as they hop from perch to perch, enjoying their feasts, is a delightful experience.

The Purple Finch's vocal abilities are equally impressive. Their melodic songs resonate through the trees, announcing their presence and adding a symphony of harmonious notes to the outdoor ambiance.

As social birds, Purple Finches often gather in small flocks, creating a lively atmosphere around their natural habitats. 

9. Scarlet Robin (Petroica phoenicea)

Scarlet Robin

The scarlet robin belongs to the esteemed group of birds with red breasts and showcases nature's artistry through its vibrant plumage and charming demeanor.

With its deep scarlet breast, contrasting against its black upperparts and snowy white belly, the male Scarlet Robin stands out as a testament to the beauty of nature's palette. Its presence illuminates the forests and woodlands it calls home, captivating the hearts of bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

These robins are highly territorial, defending their breeding territories with fervor. They possess a delightful repertoire of melodious songs and calls, which they use to communicate and mark their domain.

Scarlet Robins are adept insectivores, darting and hovering to snatch their prey from foliage and the air. Their agile flight and precise movements showcase their exceptional hunting skills.

10. Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) 

Painted Bunting

This bird with red breasts is a living work of art, adorning the landscapes of North America with its kaleidoscope of colors. 

The male Painted Bunting is a sight to behold, showcasing a remarkable combination of bright blue, green, and red feathers. Its head is adorned with a royal blue crown, transitioning to a lime green back, and a fiery red breast.

These buntings inhabit dense vegetation, including thickets, shrubs, and brushy habitats, where they seek shelter and forage for seeds and insects. 

Their secretive nature can make them challenging to spot, but their vibrant colors make them unmistakable when glimpsed.

While the male Painted Bunting steals the show with its resplendent plumage, the female possesses a subtler beauty, with a blend of green and yellow feathers that provide excellent camouflage amidst the foliage.

11. Red-Chested Swallow (Hirundo lucida) 

Red-Chested Swallow

Found in select regions of Africa, the red-chested swallow is another beautiful addition to this rundown of birds with red chests. 

Dressed in a vibrant palette, the Red-Chested Swallow displays a stunning combination of colors. Its red chest serves as a focal point against its dark blue back, while its contrasting black wings add a touch of elegance to its overall profile. 

With remarkable aerial agility, the Red-Chested Swallow traverses the skies in pursuit of flying insects, performing acrobatic maneuvers with grace and precision. 

Its slender body and long, pointed wings enable swift and agile flight, allowing it to effortlessly navigate its natural habitat.

As insectivores, they play a vital role in controlling insect populations, contributing to the delicate balance of their ecosystems. 

12. Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea)

Flame Robin

With its distinctive flame-like plumage and charismatic demeanor, this robin stands out as a true symbol of beauty in the avian world.

Adorned with a brilliant orange-red breast that glows like flickering flames, the Flame Robin captivates the eye. Its elegant black back and wings, complemented by a creamy white belly, create a striking contrast that enhances its overall allure.

These birds with red breasts thrive in various habitats including woodlands, forests, and even alpine areas. They exhibit remarkable agility as they perch on tree branches or flit through the air, showcasing their aerial prowess.

13. Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) 

Summer Tanager

This tanager's melodious songs fill the air during the breeding season, adding a delightful chorus to the natural symphony of the outdoors. Its varied vocalizations, ranging from clear whistles to burry notes, make it a joy to listen to and identify.

These birds with red chests prefer forested habitats, including woodlands, open forests, and river edges. They often perch high in the treetops, providing observers with a clear view of its stunning plumage and captivating song.

Despite its name, you can observe these migratory birds during their travels to Central and South America.

14. Crimson-Breasted Finch (Neochmia phaeton) 

Crimson-breasted Finch

A true jewel among finch species, this bird with a bright red breast is renowned for its stunning plumage and charming presence.

Dressed in a coat of rich red feathers that adorn its breast, the Crimson-Breasted Finch captivates the eye with its remarkable coloration. Its black back and wings provide a striking contrast, enhancing the visual impact of this avian gem.

Endemic to Australia, these finches thrive in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, grasslands, and shrubby areas. 

Apart from their stunning appearance, Crimson-Breasted Finches are known for their delightful social nature. They often gather in small flocks, engaging in playful interactions and harmonious chirping. 

To sustain their vibrant plumage and energetic lifestyles, these finches primarily feed on grass seeds and small insects. Their foraging habits contribute to the natural balance of their habitats, making them an integral part of the ecosystem.

And now that we've discussed different species of bird with red chest, would you like to explore the species of birds with orange chest?

Frequently Asked Questions

What bird species have red chests?

Bird species with red chests include the Northern Cardinal, American Robin, Scarlet Tanager, House Finch, Purple Finch, and Red-Winged Blackbird, among others. 

Why do some birds have red chests?

In many cases, it is a result of pigments in their feathers. For males, the bright red chest can be a visual cue to attract mates, establish territory, or indicate their overall health and vigor.

What is a black and white striped bird with a red chest?

A black and white striped bird with a red chest is most likely a Red-breasted Grosbeak. This striking species showcases black and white patterns on its body, with a vibrant red chest that adds a pop of color and distinction.


From the well-known Northern Cardinal and American Robin to the enchanting Scarlet Tanager and Red-breasted Grosbeak, these birds with red chests add a touch of vibrancy to our natural landscapes. 

Their vivid plumage serves as a visual spectacle, playing a role in courtship displays and territorial assertions. 

With their striking colors and unique characteristics, these magnificent creatures continue to inspire awe and appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

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