10 Beautiful Red Birds in Louisiana [Images + IDs]

red birds in Louisiana

Louisiana is known for its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning natural beauty. From the bayous and wetlands to the piney woods and rolling hills, this state is home to a variety of wildlife, including a diverse array of bird species. One such bird species is the striking Red Birds, known for its bright red plumage and unique features. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the world of Red Birds in Louisiana, exploring their characteristics, habitat, behavior, and the best birding locations to observe them in action. Whether you’re an experienced birder or simply curious about the natural world, join us on this exciting journey as we discover the captivating world of Red Birds in Louisiana.

Types of Red Birds in Louisiana:

While some of these birds live in Louisiana all year round, others only visit during the summer or winter seasons. This guide will also show the frequency of these birds based on the checklists submitted by birdwatchers of Louisiana on ebird. Let’s now delve into the specifics and examine each of these species in more depth to learn all there is to know:

  1. Northern Cardinal
  2. House Finch
  3. Summer Tanager
  4. Scarlet Tanager
  5. Purple Finch
  6. Painted Bunting
  7. Red Crossbill
  8. Cassin’s Finch
  9. Hepatic Tanager
  10. Pyrrhuloxia

Northern Cardinals in Louisiana

Northern Cardinals are year-round residents of Louisiana and can be frequently seen visiting backyard bird feeders. They are among the most popular and easily recognizable red birds in the state.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Northern Cardinals have been reported 65% on Summer checklists and 55% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

birds with red breast

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Life span: Up to 15 years
  • Size: 21 cm (8.3 in)
  • Weight: 33-65 g
  • Origin: Eastern and Central North America

Male Northern Cardinals are distinguished by their distinctive red plumage, beak, and spiky mohawk-like hair. Northern cardinals are dimorphic birds, with both sexes being nearly totally distinct in color.

Females have red parts on their tails and wings and preserve the red beak, with the rest of their plumage being a pale brown.

In the wild, these birds typically live for 3 years, while some have been reported to survive for up to 15 years, which is an unusual lifespan for tiny birds like cardinals.

The majority of Northern cardinals may be found in southeast California, where they spend most of their time hunting and eating tiny insects, fruits, berries, and seeds in woodland borders, thickets, residential gardens, cities, and desert washes.

House Finch in Louisiana

Louisiana is known for its rich bird diversity, with over 460 species, and House Finches rank among the top 10 most common birds in the state. House Finches are one of the nine types of finches that can be found in Louisiana.

These birds are non-migratory and can be commonly seen breeding in urban and suburban areas of Louisiana. While they are not as abundant as Northern Cardinals, House Finches are still frequently observed in urban and suburban settings.

Frequency in Louisiana:  House Finches have been reported 18% on Summer checklists and 14% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

  • 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

Male house finches have predominantly brown plumage with a red gradient running up from the breast to the face. Females are typically brown and white and are less colorful.

At altitudes below 6,000 feet, these little birds spend most of their time in the dry desert, desert grassland, chaparral, oak savannah, streamsides, and open coniferous woods. They may be found in these habitats mostly grazing on weed seeds, berries, various fruits, and tiny insects in order to stock up on protein.

House finches have a rather long lifetime in the wild, where they may survive for roughly ten years, while captive finches have been known to live for twelve years.

Scarlet tanager (black and red bird Louisiana)

Scarlet Tanagers are neotropical migrants, which means they undertake long-distance journeys between their northern breeding grounds and southern wintering grounds. During spring migration, Louisiana serves as a stopover for birds traveling from the tropics to regions as far north as Canada. This diverse group includes various species of warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, vireos, buntings, and more. While not as abundant as some other migratory birds in Louisiana, Scarlet Tanagers can still be observed during the migration season.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Scarlet tanagers have been reported 3-5% on Summer checklists and 0% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

birds with red breast

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Piranga olivacea
  • Life span: Up to 10 years
  • Size: 18 cm (7.1 in)
  • Weight: 22-28 g
  • Origin: North, Central, and South America

The Scarlet Tanagers are stunning birds with eye-catching blood-red bodies and highly defined jet-black wings and tails that flash their magnificent plumage.
These songbirds live in deciduous woods and sit high in the forest canopy and mostly eat insects. They are difficult to see but their rich burrow songs may help in identifying them.
During the autumn, songbirds migrate to South America, changing their stunning red feathers into yellow-green ones.

Purple finch

Purple Finches are relatively common birds in Louisiana, although they can be challenging to distinguish from House Finches. They are mostly been seen in winter in Louisiana.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Purple finches have been reported as 0% on Summer checklists and 5% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

Image Source

  • 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 is a beautiful tiny bird renowned for its unusual appearance. Despite having the name “Purple Finch,” these adorable tiny birds really have a pinkish-red color. Similar to other bird species, the females lack the rosy red coloring, while the males are more flamboyant and show off their gorgeous colors.
These finches often live in coniferous woods, shrublands, and fields, where they nest and perch while singing their lyrical songs. They are uncommon in metropolitan centers because they prefer to remain far from the activities of the human population.

Summer tanager

Summer Tanagers are frequently seen in summer in Louisiana as some other migratory birds in Louisiana.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Summer tanagers have been reported 15% on Summer checklists and less than 1% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Piranga rubra
  • Life span: Up to 8 years
  • Size: 16 cm (6.3 in)
  • Weight: 22-27 g
  • Origin: North, Central, and South America

Male summer tanagers are almost all red, with a gray/silver beak. Females, on the other hand, are nearly all yellow, making these birds as dimorphic as they get. Summer tanagers spend most of their time in the gaps and borders of open deciduous or pine-oak woods.

While on the move, these red birds will chase insects such as wasps, bees, and caterpillars, as well as consume fruits, tiny berries, and rare seeds.

Tanagers live for around 5 years in the wild, which is about average for other wild birds, while captive summer tanagers are likely to live longer, similar to most other birds.

Red crossbill

Red crossbills are very rare to be seen in Louisiana. In fact, they have only been seen once in the past 11 years.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Red crossbills have been reported as 0% on Summer checklists and less than 0.1% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

Image Source

  • 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 recognizable by their reddish-orange feathers with grey wing feathers and beaks that tend to cross over one another as their name crossbill implies. Females, like summer tanagers, have a richer golden color with grey parts blended throughout.

Because of their urge to eat pine seeds, these crossbills spend most of their time in coniferous woods. Red crossbills may be found as long as there are pine trees around. This is why some of these birds may be found in heathlands.

Red crossbills eat spruce, pine, Douglas-fir, hemlock, larch, and tiny insects throughout their rather long lives of 8+ years in the wild.

Painted bunting

Painted Buntings are common in the southern United States, including Louisiana, during summer. However, they undertake a seasonal migration to Mexico and Central America for the winter.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Painted bunting has been reported as 15% on Summer checklists and less than 0.5% on winter checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

  • Scientific name: Passerina ciris
  • Life span: Up to 8 years
  • Size: 11-13 cm (4.3-5.1 in)
  • Weight: 12-17 g
  • Origin: North America

With stunning blue, red, green, and yellow feathers, the Painted Bunting is one of the most colorful and spectacular kinds of birds, and it is a sight to see.
The Buntings, which are members of the Cardinal family, have a striking combination of colors, with vivid red feathers identifying the lower body. The females, on the other hand, are fully covered in green fur.
The brilliant songbirds often live in the woods and woodlands. They graze in swarms and sing lovely wandering melodies together. These birds are very social.
Pay attention to the metallic chip sounds if you’re attempting to locate these birds in the jungle.

Cassin’s finch

Cassin’s Finches are considered rare sightings in Louisiana, but there have been reports of their presence around Lake Charles in 2021.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Cassin’s finches have been reported as less than 1% on checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

birds with red breast

Image Source

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

The Cassin’s Finch, a small little bird found in hilly areas, is a beautiful sight. These birds migrate to lower altitudes during the winter.
These finches, which are less common and noticeable than their others, have a reddish concentration on the head that fades to a rose pink color on the breast. The mountain dweller is also recognized by its longer conical beak, more elongated head, and subtle brownish streaks on the sides.
These chirpy finches travel in small groups, searching for seeds on the ground, perching on tall evergreen trees, and eating in aspen groves. Their joyous songs create a delightful atmosphere in the surroundings, sometimes in combination with other birds.

Hepatic tanager

Hepatic Tanagers are not commonly found in Louisiana, but they can be observed in the southwestern states during the summer months.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Hepatic tanagers have been reported as less than 1% on checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Piranga flava
  • Life span: Up to 7 years
  • Size: 18 cm (7.1 in)
  • Weight: 25-31 g
  • Origin: Western North America and Central America

The dark blood-red feathers, silver/gray beaks, and grey feet distinguish hepatic tanagers. Females are yellow, similar to summer tanagers. These birds mostly consume insects such as spiders, seeds, berries, and fruits.

These red birds may be found in open pine forests, especially in mixed pine-oak woodlands at higher altitudes.

Hepatic tanagers, like their summer counterparts, survive for around 5 years in the wild but may live for up to 11.9 years if they adapt well to their surroundings.

Pyrrhuloxia (red-breasted bird Louisiana)

Pyrrhuloxias are typically found in arid regions of southwest Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. They are more common in dry and desert-like habitats in the Southwest.

Pyrrhuloxias are considered an accidental species in Louisiana, meaning they are not commonly found there. However, a few sightings have been reported near Lake Arthur.

Frequency in Louisiana:  Pyrrhuloxia has been reported as less than 1% on checklists by Birdswatchers of Louisiana.

birds with red breast

Image Source

  • 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, in winter, when they congregate in big flocks, sometimes numbering up to 1,000, they become highly social, setting aside their differences.

Popular Places for Birdwatching in Louisiana

Peveto Woods Sanctuary

Peveto Woods Sanctuary is a 40-acre sanctuary for birds and butterflies situated along the Louisiana coast in Cameron Parish. It is abundant with live oaks and dense vegetation and is located within a migratory bird flyway. Maintained by the Baton Rouge Audubon Society, the sanctuary is a popular destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. Visitors can expect to observe various bird species such as warblers, vireos, thrushes, and flycatchers, as well as butterflies and other wildlife. The sanctuary is open to the public, and there are several trails available for exploration.

Wetland Walkway

The Wetland Walkway at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is a renowned birdwatching location in Louisiana. This 1.5-mile boardwalk meanders through the marshes and wetlands of the refuge, offering excellent opportunities to spot diverse bird species including waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds. Open throughout the year, the walkway features observation decks and benches for visitors to enjoy.

Blue Goose Trail

The Blue Goose Trail at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is a 3.3-mile loop that traverses the marshes and wetlands of the refuge. It provides birdwatchers with the chance to observe a variety of bird species, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds. The trail remains open year-round and features observation decks and benches for convenient birdwatching experiences.

Willow Island

Willow Island is a small island situated in the middle of the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge. This island attracts birdwatchers, particularly during the spring and fall migration seasons. Visitors can expect to encounter a diverse array of bird species, including warblers, vireos, thrushes, flycatchers, and other wildlife. Accessible by boat, there are several boat ramps and marinas in the area for convenient exploration.

Rutherford Beach

Rutherford Beach, located along the Gulf of Mexico, is a popular birdwatching spot in Louisiana, especially during the winter months. It offers the opportunity to observe various bird species, including gulls, terns, and shorebirds. In addition to birdwatching, Rutherford Beach is also frequented by anglers and outdoor enthusiasts engaging in other activities.

Pintail Wildlife Drive

The Pintail Wildlife Drive at Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge is a favored destination for birdwatching in Louisiana. This 3.2-mile loop takes visitors through the refuge’s marshes and wetlands, providing excellent chances to view waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds. The drive is accessible year-round and features observation decks and benches along the way.

Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge

Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge is a vast 180,000-acre wildlife refuge located in southwestern Louisiana. It serves as a habitat for numerous bird species, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds, as well as other wildlife. Visitors can explore the refuge on foot or by car, with several trails and drives offering exceptional birdwatching opportunities.

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge spans 4,500 acres in northeastern Louisiana and is another notable wildlife refuge for birdwatching. It hosts a variety of bird species, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds, along with other wildlife. The refuge provides walking and driving trails, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy exceptional birdwatching experiences.

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 35,000 acres in southwestern Louisiana, offering abundant opportunities for birdwatching. The refuge is home to diverse bird species, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds, as well as other wildlife. Visitors can explore the refuge on foot or by car, utilizing various trails and drives that provide excellent birdwatching opportunities.

Final Thoughts on Red Birds in Louisiana

Louisiana is home to various red bird species that are beautiful to observe and have important roles in the local ecosystem. Whether you’re a birdwatching enthusiast or just appreciate the natural beauty of these feathered creatures, Louisiana’s red birds are definitely worth exploring and protecting for future generations to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Question

What red-headed birds can you see in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, birdwatchers can spot a variety of red-headed birds, enhancing the state’s avian diversity. Here are five notable red-headed species:

  • House Finch: Male House Finches exhibit a reddish hue on their heads, chests, and rumps.
  • Scarlet Tanager: The male Scarlet Tanager showcases a stunning red head and body, contrasting with its black wings.
  • Purple Finch: Male Purple Finches boast a reddish-purple crown, which adds a touch of elegance to their appearance.
  • Red Crossbill: While not entirely red-headed, the Red Crossbill displays a distinct red patch on its crown, complementing its unique crossed bill.
  • Cassin’s Finch: Male Cassin’s Finches feature a rosy-red crown, contributing to their overall beauty.

Also Read:

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.
Posts created 796

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top