20 Birds With Red Faces You Can See (with Pictures)

Some of the most colorful birds in North America and the world have red faces. This coloring makes them stand out in any environment.

In most cases, it’s the male that has a red face, an attribute that demands the attention of a female.

From woodpeckers to pheasants, there are many types of birds with numerous red nuances across the world as follows in these examples.

1. Lewis’s Woodpecker

A species that are mostly interested in acorns, Lewis’s Woodpeckers (Melanerpes lewis) are among the prevalent birds with red faces both East and West of The Rocky Mountains.

This is a species that has a black and red face, a black bill, and further red plumage nuances across its belly which is also gray.

Lewis’s Woodpecker

Its black wings complete the dark upper appearance of its black head. This black, red, and gray plumage combination is specific to both male and female woodpeckers.

Mostly found across woodlands, this is a species that only has a bright appearance in its juvenile days.

A woodpecker reaching a size of up to 11 inches, Lewis’s Woodpecker is further known for its diverse method of finding or catching insects.

Lewis’s Woodpeckers also catch insects while flying.

Distribution – Western North America

Red face nuance – dark red

2. Red-faced Cormorant

Red-faced Cormorant

Red-faced Cormorants (Urile urile) are named after the red face mask that dominates their appearance.

These cormorants have a mostly black appearance, like many other cormorants. However, the bright red face makes them stand out, together with the large black crest.

Apart from considerably large black plumage sections, this species also shows dark green and dark blue plumage, which may still appear black when seen from a considerable distance.

This species is known for its capacity and adaptations for deep diving.

Even more, its capacity to dive deep means The Red-faced Cormorant can eat fish species such as cottids.

Distribution – East Asia, The Gulf of Alaska

Red face nuance – bright red

3. Red-faced Warbler

Red-faced Warbler

A vivid red color makes male and female Red-faced Warblers (Cardellina rubrifrons) stand out. These birds are dull colored while their red heads make them stand out.

Males have the most vivid color faces. Their plumage is gray on the belly and wings. Females have an orange-red head with gray and black plumage.

Juvenile Red-faced Warblers resemble females the most as they show orange-red faces.

A Central American species that may migrate to overwinter, Red-faced Warblers can sometimes make it into The US.

Some populations have made it to The Southwestern states and may also migrate South to overwinter.

Distribution – Mexico, Guatemala, Arizona, New Mexico

Red face nuance – bright red, orange-red

4. Rosy-faced Lovebird

Rosy-faced Lovebird

A multicolored lovebird, The Rosy-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) is a species that has red faces and similar plumage both on males and females.

A rose nuance is specific to the red faces of these birds while their dominant plumage is green.

Blue and black tails are further specific to these birds.

Mostly found in Southwestern Africa, Rosy-faced Lovebirds are a common pet bird around the world.

They are appreciated for their multicolored appearance as well as for males and females sleeping facing each other.

Distribution – Namibia, Angola, Arizona

Red face nuance – rose-red

5. Red-masked Parakeet

Red-masked Parakeet

A red and green color combination is also specific to The Red-masked Parakeet (Psittacara erythrogenys).

This is a species that shows a vivid red face both on males and females. Additional red patches are also seen further around its body.

The vivid green color with a red face makes the birds a common sight in captivity.

While a South American native, Red-masked Parakeets are also now seen in Southern US states.

They live in small groups or pairs and prefer some of the drier areas of Southern North America.

Distribution – Western South America, Southwestern United States

Red face nuance – bright red

6. European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch

Growing to a size of up to 5.1 inches, the European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is a highly common type of bird with a red face.

This is a species with a European and Asian origin, but it has been introduced around the world.

Adult European Goldfinches have a gray-brown head and belly with a dark red face. Their wings are mostly black, with gray, yellow, and white decorations.

With over 14 subspecies, The European Goldfinch is among the most common birds in woodlands but also lives in areas such as grassland.

Distribution – Europe, North Africa, West Asia, Australia, New Zealand

Red face nuance – dark red

7. Red-faced Barbet

Red-faced Barbet

The vivid red coloring of the face is a characteristic of the African Red-faced Barbets (Lybius rubrifacies).

These types of birds have a base black color with dark brown nuances across the wings. Brown nuances are also seen on the neck.

Reaching a size of up to 9 inches, Red-faced Barbets show vivid red coloring only on the face.

Living in woodlands and close to water, these birds aren’t migratory and are mostly found around the continent’s Lake Victoria.

Distribution – Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania

Red face nuance – dark red

8. Scarlet-faced Liocichla

Scarlet-faced Liocichla

Scarlet-faced Liocichla (Liocichla ripponi) is one of the red-faced birds with additional red nuances across the body.

This species shows vivid red or rust-red face nuances and brown-gray crowns and upper backs.

The species also shows brown-red plumage across the body and red feathers on the wings. Its underside is mostly gray.

Birds of this genus are multicolored, with blue tails and additional yellow sections on the outer wings.

They mostly live in dense vegetation areas such as woodlands and shrublands.

Distribution – Southeast Asia

Red face nuance – rust-red

9. Pyrrhuloxia


A US and Mexico native species, Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) is a bird that looks similar to The Northern Cardinal.

Its long crest and body shape make it a familiar sight. However, this bird has a red crest, a red face, and a contrasting yellow beak.

It also features a red chest and underbelly plumage. While it has a base gray color, Pyrrhuloxia also shows red and black tail coloring as well as red outer wings.

Much of their coloring is only specific to adults. Its juveniles aren’t as colorful as they’re mostly gray.

Distribution – Southwestern United States, Mexico

Red face nuance – deep red

10. Western Tanager

Western Tanager

With a size of up to 7.5 inches, The Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) is among the larger red face species of Western North America.

Its range is expansive and it includes territories East and West of The Rocky Mountains.

Western Tanagers only show a red face in the case of males.

Their bodies are mostly yellow with black wings that show a few yellow feathers. This black-tailed adult contrasts the mostly yellow and black female.

Western Tanager juveniles lack yellow or red plumage, characterized by a dull gray appearance.

Distribution – Western and Eastern United States, Western Canada, Central America

Red face nuance – bright red

11. Red-headed Manakin

Red-headed Manakin

A bird of The Amazon, Red-headed Manakins (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla) are named after the dual-colored males.

The male is mostly black, showing a vivid red face color. Females of the species are mostly green, with pale nuances dominating their appearance.

The wings of females are dark green-gray.

Breeding time is one of the ideal periods to spot males. They gather in groups for females to choose their breeding partner from

Distribution – South America

Red face nuance – bright red

12. Gouldian Finch

Gouldian Finch

Guoldian Finches (Chloebia gouldiae) are among the multicolored red-faced species of Australia that are popular in captivity.

This is a species known for its multiple colors across its body.

It starts life as a dull juvenile with gray plumage and pale green wings.

Gouldian Finches then become colorful. Their face becomes red with an azure border.

The head is green, as are its wings. The upper chest can have a violet color while its underbelly is yellow.

Azure coloring is also specific to the base of its tail, which is black at the tip.

Distribution – Northern Australia

Red face nuance – bright red

13. Star Finch

Star Finch

Living in small flocks, Star Finches (Bathilda ruficauda) are a species native to Australia.

There’s a clear physical difference between males and females. The males of the species have very distinct bright red faces.

The vivid red coloring of the face is backed by a similarly-colored beak.

Its underbelly is yellow while its head, back, and wings are gray.

These are also white-spotted birds as their chest and wings are decorated with white spots.

Grasslands form the main habitat in their Northern territories.

Distribution – Northern Australia

Red face nuance – bright red

14. Red-faced Spinetail

Red-faced Spinetail

A species of Central and South America, Red-faced Spinetails (Cranioleuca erythrops) are known for their brown-red faces.

Some plumage differences are seen between males and females, even if both have the same colors.

Males show brown-red face, body, and wings. Their underbellies are dull-colored.

Females are mostly gray, with a brown-red face and gray-brown wings. Both males and females have brown-red faces.

These adult birds are also singing birds. They have high-pitched vocalizations which can be heard in the mixed woodlands they inhabit.

Distribution – Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador

Red face nuance – brown-red

15. Red-faced Malkoha

Red-faced Malkoha

Much of the range of this species (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus) is tied to Sri Lanka.

It lives up on trees, albeit not at the top of the trees as it surveys for insects, caterpillars, moths, and various bugs that live on trees or the ground.

Much of its coloring is dominated by the red face and crown. This bird has a white contrasting beak as well as dual-colored black and white plumage.

Birds of this genus can be spotted by rarely heard as Red-faced Malhokas aren’t singing birds.

Distribution – Sri Lanka

Red face nuance – bright red

16. Red-faced Crimsonwing

Red-faced Crimsonwing. Image by Oscar Johnson via inaturalist

Olive-gray and red nuances are specific to The Red-faced Crimsonwing (Cryptospiza reichenovii).

Males of this species have red faces and red nuances along the wings and the sides of the olive-gray underbelly.

Females are similarly-colored but lack the red face nuances and the red plumage of the underbelly.

Juveniles of this species have red wings and resemble males but also lack red-face characteristics.

Small groups of Red-faced Crimsonwing birds are found around East Africa and West Africa. Flocks live next to water sources such as streams and rivers.

Distribution – Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria

Red face nuance – bright red

17. Red-faced Guan

Red-faced Guan

Reaching a length of over 2 feet, Red-faced Guans (Penelope dabbenei) are South American natives.

Named after their red faces and necks, these birds are only present in specific subtropical climates.

They are found East of The Andes Mountains, living in forests known as cloudforests. It’s here that they are favored by a high-humidity habitat.

Spiders, caterpillars, and fruits are part of their diet in these forests.

A mostly brown species with red undertones across the body and the wings, these birds aren’t established anywhere else around the world.

Distribution – Argentina, Bolivia

Red face nuance – brown-red

18. Red-faced Pytilia

Red-faced Pytilia

A native African bird with a red face, The Red-faced Pytilia (Pytilia hypogrammica) lives in a widespread habitat across multiple countries.

Its name is derived from the red nuance of the male’s face. This bird shows gray and brown colors across its chest, belly, and wings.

Alternating brown and gray sections may be seen on the male outside of the breeding season.

Females are similarly sized but are dominated by gray-yellow nuances and lack the red-face nuance of males.

Distribution – Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon

Red face nuance – bright red

19. Red-faced Parrot

Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops
Red-faced Parrot. Image by Tristan Jobin via inaturalist

Found along The Andes and in South America, Red-faced Parrots (Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops) are named after their rust-red faces.

These parrots also show yellow borders along their red faces. These yellow borders additionally show blue borders on the lower side of the face.

Living in small groups, these parrots have yellow-green chests and green underbellies. Their wings are mostly dark green.

Distribution – Ecuador, Peru

Red face nuance – bright red

20. Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant

One of the most widespread large birds with red faces is the Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). This is a species found throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Males of the species have a red face, a blue head, white neckbands, purple chests, and lower necks.

A long brown tail is further specific to male pheasants. Females of the species show a similar base brown nuance.

Male Ring-necked Pheasants tend to stand out immediately given their red face and a metallic blue neck.

Distribution – North America, Europe, Central Asia, East Asia

Red face nuance – bright red