Red Birds in Texas: 10 Stunning Species to ID (With Pictures)

Last Updated: April 30, 2022

A total of 14 red Texas birds can be crossed out in your list when out birdwatching or by simply staying at home in your backyard.

And for one…

The Northern Cardinal, a member of the Cardinal family, being one of the most known Texas red birds can be seen as well as some rare ones which cannot be spotted easily.

Redbirds may visit your backyard within the various season of the year, breed in the state, and stay for the winter.

In this article, we’ve gathered a total of 10 birds and provided answers and various information to some of your questions. If you want to know more about these feathered friends, you may scroll below.

Types Of Red Birds In Texas

List of red headed birds in Texas that may pay a visit to your backyards.

1. Northern Cardinal

close up image of Northern Cardinal

A male Cardinal is a bird with a red-colored head, body, and tail, with a black spot covering its face. They are worth seeing, especially during winter as they’re placed in a bright background. A female Cardinal, has a brown body, sharp brown crest, and red highlights and beaks.

The Northern Cardinal can measure up to 8.3 inches to 9.1 inches in length, 1.5 ounces to 1.7 ounces in weight, and a wingspan of 9.8 inches to 12.2 inches.

This species of Cardinal can be found commonly in North and South America, Central America, and migrates to the Caribbean.

An adult cardinal can have a lifespan of up to 15 years in the wild. On the other hand, the average lifespan of a hatchling is estimated at one year.

However, the oldest Cardinal to ever live was 28.5 years, being a captive bird.

To attract a Cardinal to your home, bird feeders with sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo may just be the answer. Although they still feed on large tube feeders, hoppers, platform feeders, or the ground with scattered food.

The habitat of the Cardinal family includes woodlands, shrublands, and wetlands across the country. This species of bird is mostly referred to as just “Cardinal”.


2. Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermillion Flycatcher on a branch

This bird, known as the most colorful flycatcher in North America, has bright red plumage on males that makes it identifiable and noticeable.

When compared to other flycatchers in its family, the vermilion stands out. Males have a vivid red crest, chests, and underparts, as well as brownish wings and tails.

When the bird gets upset, its modest, inconspicuous crest may become more visible.

Males have a brilliant red head and underparts, as well as a thick dark chocolate brown eye line that runs from the brown neck to the back.

These might appear practically incandescent or luminous in bright light. Females lack the bright red color of males, but they have powerful color washes that make them stand out.

The vermilion flycatcher can be found across much of South America and southern North America, including the southwestern United States, from the southern point of California to Arizona, Texas, and into South America.

Vermilion prefers woodland streams and lakes, as well as semi-open areas.

These birds can be found in open, shrubby environments across North America, including scrubby desert, weakly farmed plains, riverine woods, and shrubby tropical lowlands.


3. House Finch

House Finch on a metal fence

A House Finch is a tiny bird that belongs to the Finch family. They are social birds with the ability to adapt to human settlements and habitats.

Before, this bird was only spotted in the West, but it may now be found all over the world. These backyard birds are also quite daring and brave to approach humans without hesitation.

To attract females for breeding, the males use a high-pitched whistle.

The average mature bird is 5 to 6 inches long, has a 10-inch wingspan, and weighs more than 21 grams.

A male House Finch has body plumage and feather color that is different from a female's. Females have brown and gray plumage with dark brown patterns above their wings, while males have brown and gray plumage with dark brown markings above their wings.

The House Finch comes to eat from the feeders. Their favorite foods are small worms, insects, seeds from small plants, and berries from specific plants.


4. Cassin’s Finch

Cassin’s Finch on a tree branch

Unlike other birds which are common in Texas, this bird is less common to be spotted unless it’s winter. This bird can be found mostly in the West of Texas.

The species of this bird have a red crown and rosy pink head, with red breasts, a whitish belly, and brown back and wings.

A bird can grow up to 6.3 inches in length, 0.8 ounces to 1.2 ounces in weight, and a wingspan of 9.8 inches to 10.6 inches.

They are found in mountain forests on the West of Texas, traveling in flocks while looking for seeds to feed on.

To attract these, set up a sunflower seeds-filled feeder, especially in winter, or fruiting shrubs like cotoneaster, mulberries, firethorn, grape, and apple.


5. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker perched

Dryobates Pubescens is the scientific name for these little birds, who are members of the Woodpecker family. Their bodies are covered in black plumage, with white dots on their wings and white stripes on their heads, giving them an appealing appearance.

Red markings are signs for easy determining of the gender of this bird species. The red mark is present on top of the head of the males. To add, these birds have white streaks above the wings and white bellies regardless of gender.

A male woodpecker has vastly greater body weight and wingspan than a female and a female woodpecker is slightly shorter. Because these birds do not go far for food, they are commonly spotted in your bird feeders.

Small insects, worms, seeds, nuts, and berries found in small shrubs and bushes provide food for these birds. Suet-filled feeders are also popular with them. During the winter, they are more common in regions with feeders than during the summer.


6. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove on a leafy tree

This Zenaida Macroura belongs to the Dove family and is a standard size bird. It has a rusty brown body with a few black patches above the wings and a rusty brown body. Feeders are visited by these birds from North Texas and through, as well as other parts of the United States.

Male and female Mourning Doves are essentially identical in appearance and size. Their brown and white coloring helps them stand out.

They can reach a height of 12 inches and have a wingspan of 18 inches. It is possible to weigh them up to 120 grams.

During the spring and winter seasons, males attract females by emitting a charming mating call that sounds like a song. Following that, females safeguard their eggs by laying on them, while males look for food and protect them.

Nuts, seeds, and insect-based bird feeds are consumed by these birds. Food on the ground or the branches of trees is also a great opportunity for the families of this bird.


7. Scarlet Tanager

red and black Scarlet Tanager on a branch

These Texas birds can be seen mostly in the East of the state, especially during April and May which are the time they migrate. Few birds spend winter in Texas from mid-August until January or February.

These are bright red birds that have black tails and wings, that have white-colored streaks. On the contrary, females have yellow-colored bodies, with darker wings and tails.

Having the scientific name, Piranga Olivacea, these birds measure up to 6.3 inches to 6.7 inches in length, 0.8 ounces to 1.3 ounces in weight, with wingspans of 9.8 inches to 11.4 inches.

During summer, these birds breed before migrating to South America.

These birds are rarely spotted as they are always in high places, especially in the forest canopy.

However, you can still attract a bird of this kind with berries such as blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, juneberries, serviceberries, mulberries, strawberries, and chokeberries.


8. Flame-Colored Tanager

Flame-Colored Tanager on a tree branch

Flame-colored tanagers, just like the scarlet ones, are birds that are rarely spotted in Texas but can be spotted in South Texas near the Southern border. The time when you can see them is around March and August.

A male bird tends to have a bright color of orange-red, with darker wings and tails. While the females tend to have yellow-orange plumage and darker wings and tails.

This bird can measure up to 7 inches to 7.5 inches in length and 1.13 ounces to 1.71 ounces in weight.

The reason these birds are spotted in Texas is that they breed in Arizona. However, they are usually native to Mexico and Central America.

If you want to attract a bird or two, various berries may be a great meal to present in feeders. Insects are one of their favorites as well.


9. Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager in wilderness

Different from the previous tanagers, the Summer Tanager can be seen in Texas all year round. However, they are most common to be seen during the spring migration until summer.

Males tend to have bright red plumage, with darker tails and wings, and a black wingtip. Females tend to have yellow bodies.

The Piranga Rubra or Summer Tanager is a bird that can grow up to 6.7 inches in length and 1.1 ounces in weight.

Before the winter season, these birds breed in southern and eastern Texas before heading to Central and South America.

These forest songbirds are found in open woodlands, feeding on bees and wasps in mid-air.

An awesome trait the Summer Tanager has is that they catch them and kill them by beating them against a branch and rubbing off the stinger before having a feast.

To attract these amazing birds, I recommend berry bushes and fruit trees to be placed in your backyard.


10. Hepatic Tanager

Hepatic Tanager on a tree branch

This bird, which is not very common in Texas, is a redbird that can be spotted during the summer season in the south and west of Texas.

These red headed birds in Texas have gray backs and wings with black highlights. Females have yellow bodies.

The Piranga Flava can measure up to 3.5 inches to 7.9 inches in length, 0.8 ounces to 1.7 ounces in weight, and a wingspan of 12.6 inches.

This bird, along with the others, breeds in the southwest of Texas and Mexico before heading to spend the winter in Mexico, Central, and South America.

This bird can be found in mountain ranges, in pine or oak woodlands as they feed on spiders and insects. To attract a bird to your home, prepare a meal of berries such as cherries and grapes.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are red birds rare in Texas?

There are some species of red birds that are common or native in Texas like the Cardinal and there are a few that are less frequently or rarely seen due to different seasons.

What is the most common Texas red bird?

The most common bird to be seen is the Northern Cardinal. This Cardinal is in Texas all year-round.

Listen to the different calls of Northern Cardinal here:

What is the state bird of Texas?

Although the most frequently seen bird of Texas is the Cardinal, the Northern Mockingbird is still considered the state bird which is commonly found in the areas of North America. This bird was declared the state bird in 1927.

The Bottom Line

Now that you’ve seen one of the beauties of Texas, we hope we helped you gain answers and additional information so that you can appreciate your feathered friends more.

We look forward to providing you with an unforgettable experience as you watch over these birds.

As bird lovers, keep in mind that we must protect their environment by keeping a safe distance when watching them. Happy bird watching!

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