14 Beautiful Brown Birds with Red Heads [images + IDs]

Brown Birds with Red Heads
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Have you seen a bird that’s brown with a red head and wants to know what kind it is? Or maybe the bird had some brown on its body and red on its head. Well, you’re in the right place!

This article is about different types of wild birds in the US and Canada. These birds have brown bodies and redheads. Some might be all brown or just have brown parts. Others could have a completely red head or a red spot or stripe on their head – you’ll find them all here!

We have compiled a list of brown birds with red heads with images. You’ll also learn about where they like to live, what they eat, and when they travel. So without further ado let’s learn more about these fascinating birds.

List of Brown Birds with Red Heads

Cassin’s finch

birds with red breast

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  • Scientific name: Haemorhous cassinii
  • Life span: Up to 8 years
  • Size: 15 cm (5.9 in)
  • Weight: 19-23 g
  • Origin: North America

Cassin’s Finch is a distinctive bird species found in the western United States and Canada. This small and colorful finch is easily recognized by its reddish-brown head, streaked back, and white belly and rump. Female Cassin’s Finches are duller in comparison, with brown overall plumage and dark streaks on their pale underbellies. Similar to the Paradise Finch, they have a canonical bill, albeit smaller in size.

Habitat & more: Cassin’s Finches prefer open woodlands in coniferous forests at elevations of up to 10,000 feet. Their diet consists mainly of seeds from conifers like pines and spruces, as well as acorns from oaks or other hardwood trees. During the winter months, they may also feed on berries such as firethorn berries, mulberries, and grapes for additional sustenance. These red-headed brown birds can raise two broods each nesting season.

Red crossbill

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  • Scientific name: Loxia curvirostra
  • Life span: Up to 10 years
  • Size: 15 cm (5.9 in)
  • Weight: 26-39 g
  • Origin: North America and Europe

Red Crossbills are sexually dimorphic birds, with males displaying a reddish overall plumage and dark brown wings, while females have a yellowish overall appearance with brownish wings. Both sexes have unique crisscrossed bills that give them an advantage when foraging for pine and spruce seeds from conifer cones.

These brown birds with red heads measure about 7.8 inches in length and boast an impressive 11.4 inches wingspan.

Habitat & more: Red Crossbills have specialized bills that allow them to easily extract seeds from conifer cones, providing them with a distinctive feeding advantage. During the breeding season, they construct bulky nests using seed-pod fibers, grasses, twigs, hair, and fibers. They are monogamous and can raise 2-6 babies. The average life expectancy for Red Crossbills is around 8 years.

Red-headed Finch

  • Scientific name: Amadina erythrocephala
  • Lifespan: Typically 5-7 years
  • Size: Small finch; around 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to sub-Saharan Africa

The Red-headed Finch, also known as the Paradise Finch, is a common and delightful species of small brown bird that prefers living in large flocks. Its unique appearance sets it apart from other finches, with the male showcasing a striking red head, brown-grayish back, and a white and brown underbody with a white-tipped tail. Females of this species have a similar brownish and gray appearance with a gray-colored head, and they are distinguished by their pale canonical bills.

Habitat & more: Red-headed Finches have an omnivorous diet, consuming a variety of seeds as well as fruits like peaches, figs, and blackberries. They are commonly found in parts of Africa, including South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. Keep an eye out for these birds during your next safari as they display their charming brown bodies and vibrant red heads.

House finch

  • Scientific name: Haemorhous mexicanus
  • Life span: Up to 11 years
  • Size: 12-15 cm (4.7-5.9 in)
  • Weight: 16-27 g
  • Origin: North America

The House Finch is a common bird found all over North America, but its presence is not always welcomed by homeowners. These red-headed brown birds have small, stout bodies and typically have a wingspan of 7.9-9.8 inches. Male House Finches display reddish head, upper body, and breast coloration, with brown streaks along the sides of their neck and back.

Female House Finches are much duller and have brownish coloring. They are known for their eagerness to consume food from bird feeders, often displacing other desired bird species. House Finches are prolific breeders, with a single pair capable of raising up to 6 clutches of 2-6 babies each season. On average, they can live up to 10 years.

Vermilion Flycatcher Male

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  • Scientific name: Pyrocephalus rubinus
  • Life span: Up to 8 years
  • Size: 13 cm (5.1 in)
  • Weight: 8-12 g
  • Origin: North, Central, and South America

The Vermilion Flycatcher is a small and brilliantly-colored bird found in the southern United States. It boasts a distinctive red underbody, bright red cap, and brown wings and tail, making it stand out among other birds in its habitat. Females of this species have compact bodies with white breasts, brown heads and backs, and orange-red bellies. They are about 5.1-5.5 inches in length with a wingspan of about 9.8 inches. Females are characterized by a white eyebrow, while males have a black mask.

Habitat & more: Vermilion Flycatchers have a lifespan of at least 4 years and engage in interesting courtship behavior, with males offering females gifts such as butterflies. During nesting, they can raise two clutches of 2-4 babies, showcasing their impressive reproductive capabilities. The Vermilion Flycatcher’s bright coloration makes it one of the most easily identifiable species of flycatchers in the Southern United States.

Purple finch

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  • Scientific name: Haemorhous purpureus
  • Life span: Up to 7 years
  • Size: 14 cm (5.5 in)
  • Weight: 20-25 g
  • Origin: North America

The Purple Finch, another North American bird with brown and red plumage, stands out with its raspberry red head, brown wings, and whitish belly in the case of males. Female Purple Finches have brownish and streaked plumage and a notable eyebrow.

These red-headed finches grow to about 6.3 inches in length and have a wingspan of 10.2 inches.

Habitat & more: Purple Finches can often be heard singing in open woodlands or suburban areas during early spring when they migrate back north to their breeding grounds. They have loud and cheerful songs with a variety of chirps and whistles, making them easily identifiable by sound alone. Their breeding habits can be observed from April to August.

Red-crested Pochard

  • Scientific name: Netta rufina
  • Lifespan: About 5-10 years
  • Size: Medium-sized diving duck; approximately 18-20 inches (46-51 cm) in length
  • Origin: Found in parts of Europe and Asia

The Red-crested Pochard is a species of duck found across much of Eurasia, characterized by its rusty-red head and long, wide red bill. The male of this duck species displays a brown back and wings and a black chest. Females, on the other hand, have a brown-gray overall appearance with a dark bill.

Habitat & more: Red-crested pochards prefer freshwater habitats like lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers. They avoid fast-flowing water bodies like rapids or streams, seeking calm waters where they can dive for food. Adequate vegetation around the water bodies is essential for shelter and nesting sites. During winter months, they are known to migrate to warmer areas as it gets too cold in their breeding grounds.

Painted Finch

  • Scientific name: Emblema pictum
  • Lifespan: Typically 5-7 years
  • Size: Small finch; around 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to Australia

The Painted Finch is native to Australia and is admired for its beauty. Adult males exhibit a brownish upper body, red head, and black flanks with white spots. They also have red patches on the belly and rump. Females are duller, with red plumage concentrated on their cheeks and belly. They grow to about 4.7 inches in length.

Habitat & more: Painted finches require access to fresh water sources such as streams or ponds and plenty of grasses and shrubs for nesting and feeding. They primarily consume seeds but also eat insects during the breeding season to provide protein for their young. Ample food sources year-round are essential for their population’s health.

Red-headed Bunting

  • Scientific name: Emberiza bruniceps
  • Lifespan: About 2-4 years
  • Size: Small bunting; approximately 6-7 inches (15-18 cm) in length
  • Origin: Found in parts of Central Asia

The Red-headed Bunting resides in parts of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, displaying brown backs, yellow bellies, and rusty-red heads. Female red-headed buntings have a more subdued red plumage, typically with a streaked back and a pale brown overall appearance.

Habitat & more: Red-headed buntings feed on insects, grains, fruits, and seeds primarily found on the ground or in bushes. They are often spotted near woodlands or along roadsides during their migration journeys in search of food items.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

  • Scientific name: Melanerpes carolinus
  • Lifespan: Around 2 to 3 years in the wild.
  • Wingspan: Approximately 38 to 45 cm (15 to 17.7 inches).
  • Native to: Eastern United States.

The Red-bellied Woodpecker, a medium-sized avian species, can be found inhabiting the eastern regions of North America. This bird belongs to the Picidae family, which encompasses various other woodpecker species.

The Red-bellied Woodpecker boasts a white-barred back, a white face, and a belly, complemented by a distinguishing red cap and nape. While males display this red crown, females exhibit similar plumage sans the vibrant red headpiece.

Both males and females measure between 9 to 10 inches in length, with wingspans spanning 13 to 17 inches.

These woodpeckers are versatile, adapting to deciduous forests, bottomland forests, parks, and even suburban areas. Their diet primarily comprises insects, notably ants, though they also enjoy berries and nuts. When it comes to nesting, they typically excavate holes in dead trees or stumps, but they can make use of man-made structures like fence posts and buildings.

In the wild, Red-bellied Woodpeckers tend to live for about 10-12 years. Their nesting season commences in March, with females laying 2 to 6 white eggs, which are incubated for roughly two weeks.


birds with red breast

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  • Scientific name: Cardinalis sinuatus
  • Life span: Up to 10 years
  • Size: 20-23 cm (7.9-9.1 in)
  • Weight: 42-50 g
  • Origin: Southwestern United States and Mexico

The Pyrrhuloxia is a member of the Cardinal family, often known as Desert Cardinals, and lives in the sweltering deserts of Southwest America.

With its spruce grey and red feathers, this bird appears just as stylish even if it does not have fully red plumage like the cardinal. It may be distinguished from northern cardinals by its robust yellow beak and taller, more beautiful crest of feathers.

These musical desert birds are strong because of the hard climate and become more aggressive during the mating season. However, during the winter, when they congregate in big flocks, sometimes numbering up to 1,000, they become highly social, setting aside their differences.

Red-headed Quelea

  • Scientific name: Quelea erythrops
  • Lifespan: Typically 2-4 years
  • Size: Small weaver bird; around 4.5-5 inches (11-13 cm) in length
  • Origin: Native to parts of Africa

The Red-headed Quelea is a bird found in sub-Saharan Africa, characterized by its bright red head and neck and brown body. It is known for its flocking behavior and is often seen in small groups. Females have brown streaked backs and a pale underbelly. These birds are adaptable and can be found in various habitats, especially large grassy areas like savannas or fields. They are social birds that live in flocks and feed on seeds, grains, and insects during the breeding season when protein intake is crucial for young chick development.

Red-faced Warblers

  • Scientific name: Cardellina rubrifrons
  • Lifespan: Typically 3-6 years
  • Size: Approximately 4-4.5 inches (10-11 cm)
  • Origin: Native to North America, primarily in Mexico and the southwestern United States

Thriving in oak and conifer tree-laden forests, red-faced warblers are medium-sized songbirds belonging to the New World warbler family.

Both males and females exhibit similar plumage characteristics. Adult red-faced warblers boast a distinct red face and throat, contrasting with grayish-brown upperparts. They additionally sport a black cap and a clean white underside. These avian beauties measure approximately 5.5 inches in length with an impressive 8.3-inch wingspan.

Red-faced warblers can be found in pine-oak forests, typically at higher elevations. Their diet primarily consists of caterpillars and other diminutive insects. Active during the day, they can often be spotted flitting about in the treetops as they forage for sustenance. The red-faced warbler’s song is characterized by a series of high-pitched notes that gradually descend in pitch towards the end.

Red-fronted Rosefinch

  • Scientific name: Carpodacus puniceus
  • Lifespan: About 3-5 years
  • Size: Small finch; approximately 5-6 inches (13-15 cm) in length
  • Origin: Found in parts of Asia

The Red-fronted Rosefinch is a small, colorful bird native to the Himalayan region. The male displays a streaky brown body, red rump, redhead, and reddish chest. Females are less vibrant, with brown bodies and heavy streaking. Both sexes have canonical bills and dark feet. The unique call of the male is often louder than other finches in the same area, making it easier to locate. During the breeding season, the Red-fronted Rosefinch builds its nest on or near the ground in shrubs or low trees, laying a clutch of 3-5 eggs which are incubated for about 13 days. They are commonly found in open meadows, rocky slopes, and cliff edges in their habitat.

Final Thoughts on Brown Birds with Red Heads

our exploration of these captivating brown birds with red heads has unveiled a rich tapestry of nature’s artistry. Through their unique color combinations, habitats, diets, and migrations, we’ve deepened our appreciation for the natural world’s wonders.

As you encounter these remarkable birds, remember the intricate beauty they represent. By observing, learning, and protecting these diverse creatures, we contribute to preserving nature’s legacy for future generations. Embrace the wonder and continue to cherish the stories these birds share. If you like this post we are sure that you will also like Black Birds with Red Heads.

Further Readings

I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind Birdsology.com. My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends.Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, Birdsology.com is designed to be a welcoming community for all.Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
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