What are the most colorful feeder birds throughout the U.S.? If you’re seeing birds visit your backyard with lots of color, they’re likely to fall into one of the included species. Most of them are common and recognizable, while others aren’t, but they will absolutely stand out in a crowd.
Finches are defined by their hull-smashing conical beaks, but they’re also famous for their colorful plumage. These hardy little birds thrive on seeds and live year-round in cold climates. They’re also frequent feeder visitors. If you would like to see more finches at your feeder, try Lyric Finch Small Songbird Mix! Filled with small seeds that finches love, they will be stopping in to snag a treat!
Purple Finches are described as a sparrow dipped in 'raspberry juice'. You can find them in forests throughout much of the western half of the U.S., and are huge fans of black oil sunflower seed!
The American Goldfinch can be found throughout most of the U.S. year round at backyard feeders. Its bright yellow plumage is easy to pick out, and can be found enjoying their favorites, sunflower seed and nyjer.
If you see a songbird that would look more at home in a tropical rainforest, you just might be looking at a tanager. These birds sport some seriously stunning looks with their eye-popping vivid colors rarely found outside a tropical forest. While many tanagers live year round in Central and South America, a handful of species migrate to the U.S. for the summer breeding season, where the insects are abundant and the hours are long.
Tanagers enjoy fruit! Try Lyric Fruit and Nut High Energy Mix in your feeder, and keep an eye out for the bright colors to swoop in for a treat.
The Scarlet Tanager is a bright orangey-red with jet-black wings. They can be found throughout the eastern half of the U.S., depending on the time of year. Though easy to pick out due to their vibrant color, they can be hard to find, as they like to stay high in forest canopies.
The Western Tanager looks like a flying sunset with its red and yellow head and belly. As its name suggests, it can commonly be found in the western half of the U.S., with its exact location being dependent on the time of year.
Then there's the male Summer Tanager, the only North American bird that is completely red.
Translated from French, “grosbeak” means “large beak.” Though all birds given this name share this physical trait, you’ll find them across a diverse group of taxonomic families and genera. These fat-beaked birds are also among the handsomest, most colorful in North America.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a member of the cardinal family, can be found throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and sings a gorgeous song high in the treetops.
The Black-headed Grosbeak is a western bird that’s frequently misidentified for another well-known black and orange songbird, the Baltimore Oriole. But unlike the oriole, it’s drawn to a feeder filled with sunflower seeds.
Buntings are brilliantly jewel-toned birds with warbling songs, and in certain parts of the U.S., they signal summer’s arrival. Though called buntings, these actually belong to the same genus as the Northern Cardinal, which is a wildly popular North American songbird in its own right.
With small beaks, buntings enjoy small seeds that they can easily consume and crack shells to. If you live in an area that they visit, try Lyric Fine Tunes No Waste Mix and watch for them to stop in for a snack!
The Painted Bunting, with its cobalt blue head, scarlet belly and green and yellow wings, makes a splash when it flies into the southern U.S., its summertime home.
The Lazuli Bunting, noted by its bright, light blue features, can be found throughout the western half of the U.S. depending on the time of year.
The Indigo Bunting inhabits the eastern half of the U.S., and is easily recognizable due to its entirely brilliant blue body. Sometimes, they are nicknamed “blue canaries,” due to their color and sweet whistle.
Please note - this guide doesn’t include all colorful birds. If we missed any you have seen in your backyard, send us a picture of the bird to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature them on our social media pages!