Photo: Jaime Spaniol

12 Colorful Birds From Around the World

by Morgane Croissant Mar 2, 2017

I’M FAR FROM BEING a bird expert, but I am a serious bird enthusiast. My partner and I go on long walks every day and we always make sure to look up and listen for the birds that are present in our neck of the woods. This winter, we’ve been lucky enough to spot a Merlin Falcon feasting on a pigeon, a Pygmy Owl, and a Northern Shrike. These may not be the most colorful or rare birds out there, but they are interesting species that are always great to see.

We hope the following photographs of brightly-colored birds will inspire you to keep your eyes open and your cameras at the ready, wherever you are in the world.

South Africa

Marico Sunbird

Sunbirds feed mostly on nectar, but will also eat insects and spiders. They are distantly related to the hummingbirds of the Americas.

The Netherlands


Despite my many attempts, I’ve never been able to get a close look at a Kingfisher, never mind a good shot. They are fast and quite skittish. The shot below shows the bright plumage of these beautiful birds.


Red-whiskered bulbul


Japanese white-eye bird

Pacific Swallow



Puffins may not be the most colorful of birds, but their bills are quite bright. I will have the chance to get a good look at puffins in Iceland in 2018 while on an Arctic wildlife expedition. If you know of any other birds I should look for during my time in the Arctic, let me know by leaving a comment on the article.


Scarlet Ibis

Florida, USA


According to, “Flamingos are born with gray plumage. They get their rosy hue pink by ingesting a type of organic pigment called a carotenoid. They obtain this through their main food source, brine shrimp, which feast on microscopic algae that naturally produce carotenoids.”


Rainbow Lorikeet

I remember very well the day my grandparents told me the story of how all the birds got their colors. According to them, God called for all the birds to come to get their feathers painted and the crows and the magpies arrived last, when all that was left was black and white paint, hence their dull plumage. Looking at the Rainbow Lorikeet, I’m pretty sure it made it first to the painting session.

colorful bird

Photo: Claude Piché

Eastern Yellow Robin

New Jersey, USA

Tree Swallow

These birds are common across northern North America. They are fun to watch as they quickly chase after flying insects with acrobatic twists and turns.

American Goldfinch

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