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19 Birds With Red Eyes

Birds with red eyes Asian glossy starlings.

In this article, I found a whopping 19 birds that have red eyes!

I found only three in my last article on birds with blue eyes, but that’s different here. Birds that have red eyes are certainly more common.

From the colourful rainbow lorikeet to the mysterious looking black swan. These birds come in all shapes and sizes and from around the world.

Black-crowned Night-heron

black crowned night heron

The black-crowned night-heron is a medium-sized heron with a stocky build and a black cap. It has an overall pale greyish appearance and bright red eyes. As you would have guessed by its name, the heron is nocturnal and feeds on fish, frogs, and other prey.

It is commonly found in wetlands, marshes, and along the edges of ponds and streams. During the day, the black-crowned night-heron can often be seen crouched under overhanging branches, waiting for its next meal.

It is known for its distinctive call, a loud, harsh croak. This bird is found throughout much of North America and in parts of South America, Europe, and Asia, making them the most widespread heron in the world.

Spotted Towhee

spotted towhee
Hamma085, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The spotted towhee is a beautiful bird with striking colours and red eyes. It belongs to the new world sparrows family and is commonly found in the western United States. The male spotted towhee has a black back, head, and tail with a white belly, orange-red sides, and multiple white wing markings. The female looks similar but has grey or brown accents instead of black. Both males and females have red eyes.

The spotted towhee is a ground-dwelling bird and can often be seen hopping around on the forest floor or in shrubs. They are known for their distinctive “chewink” call, which is often heard before they are seen. They have a varied diet, feeding on insects, seeds, and fruits.

Eastern Towhee

The eastern towhee is a strikingly marked bird of the undergrowth found in the eastern regions of North America. Feathered in bold black and warm reddish-browns, this oversized sparrow can be identified by its distinctive “chewink” call.

Eastern towhees are known for their rummaging habits, making far more noise than their size would suggest. They are essential to the ecosystem because they consume pest insects and help propagate the seeds of various plants.

Eastern towhees can have white or red eyes, although the red-eyed variety is more common. They are found in dense shrubs, woodland edges, and overgrown fields.

Horned Grebe

The horned grebe is a small waterbird that is widespread in North America. They are known for their distinctive red eyes, short and pointed bills, and feet that help them swim. These birds are usually found in freshwater lakes and ponds during the breeding season and in coastal areas during migration and winter.

During the breeding season, the horned grebe has a striking appearance with its black and white striped head and bright chestnut-coloured feathers on its neck. They build their nests on floating vegetation or shallow water and lay 3 to 6 eggs. The chicks can swim and dive within hours of hatching.

Horned grebes feed mainly on small fish and aquatic invertebrates, which they catch by diving underwater. They also eat some plant material, such as algae and aquatic plants. These birds are a vital part of the food chain and are preyed upon by larger birds, such as eagles and hawks.

The horned grebe is a migratory bird and travels long distances between its breeding and wintering grounds. They are known to migrate in large flocks and can travel up to 3,000 miles in a single migration.

Black Swan

black swan

The black swans are large waterbirds native to Australia. It is well-known for its striking appearance, with dark body plumage and white feather tips on its wings. The bill is orange-red with a white band near the end and bright red eyes.

Black swans are the only swan species that are entirely black, and they are also the only swans that are found in Australia. They are known for their elegant swimming and graceful movements and are a famous sight in many parks and gardens worldwide.

These swans feed primarily on aquatic vegetation and can often be seen grazing on the water’s surface. They also feed on insects, small fish, and crustaceans. Black swans are monogamous and form strong pair bonds lasting many years.

Cinnamon Teal

cinnamon teal
Clément Bardot, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The cinnamon teal is a duck with red eyes native to the Americas. They are named after their distinctive cinnamon-coloured plumage, which is most prominent on the male’s head and neck during the breeding season. Cinnamon teals are found from the western United States to South America, where they inhabit freshwater marshes, ponds, and lakes.

They feed on aquatic plants, seeds, and insects. Cinnamon teals are known for their distinctive whistling calls, often heard during the breeding season.

Asian Glossy Starling

Bird with red eyes Asian glossy starling.

The Asian glossy starling is a beautiful bird with overall glossy blackish-green plumage, black bill and legs with red eyes. It is a fierce-looking, large songbird with a thick, decurved bill. Both sexes are similar in appearance.

Adult Asian glossy starlings have dark greenish gloss in good light, while juveniles have greyish-brown upper parts and dull buffish-white underparts with bold dark streaks. Most have ruby-red eyes, but central and southern Nicobar Islands birds have pale irises.

The Asian glossy starling is found in various habitats, including gardens, parks, forests, and agricultural areas. They are native to South and Southeast Asia, and their range extends from India and Sri Lanka to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It has also been introduced to other parts of the world, like Australia and New Zealand.

Rainbow Lorikeet

The rainbow lorikeet is a beautiful and colourful bird native to Australia. It has striking plumage with a violet-blue head, green wings, and a bright red beak. Rainbow lorikeets have red eyes with narrow, bare, blackish eyering.

As nectar and pollen feeders in the wild, the diet of rainbow lorikeets consists of a large portion of nectar, pollen, and fruits. In captivity, they require a specialised diet high in sugar and low in protein. A diet of nectar, fruits, and vegetables is essential for their health and well-being.

Rainbow lorikeets are active and playful birds with friendly and sociable personalities. They can mimic sounds and words, making them popular pets among bird enthusiasts. They require a lot of attention and care, and their vocalisations can be loud and disruptive.

Great Crested Grebe

great crested grebe

Great crested grebe is a waterbird that is distributed widely across Europe, Asia, and Africa. These birds have red-brown eyes and a buff or pale neck and body, with dark and terracotta-coloured feathers.

They are exquisite birds on the water, often seen in pairs or small groups. They have elaborate courtship displays where they dance and shake their heads in unison. During the breeding season, they build floating nests made of water plants.

Great crested grebes feed mainly on fish but also eat insects, crustaceans, and other small aquatic animals. They are excellent divers and can stay underwater for up to a minute. They are also strong swimmers, using their wings to propel themselves underwater.

Red-eyed Vireo

red eyed vireo

The red-eyed vireo is a small songbird found in deciduous forests throughout the Americas. It is a member of the Vireonidae family, including other vireos, shrike-babblers, and erpornis. The red-eyed vireo is known for its distinctive red eyes, which make it easy to identify.

The red-eyed vireo is olive above and white below, with just a few black stripes on the face. Its plumage blends with the green canopies of deciduous forests during summer. The bird has a grey crown with a black tint, and its eyes are tiny and feature blood-red irises. The red-eyed vireo is a sweet summer singer, and its song can be heard throughout the forest during the breeding season.

The red-eyed vireo is a migratory bird that spends winters in Central and South America and breeds in North America. It feeds on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates, which it captures from leaves and branches.

Zebra Finch

zebra finch

The zebra finch is a small bird that is native to Australia. As its name suggests, it has distinctive black and white stripes on its neck. The male Zebra Finch has red eyes, while the female has brown eyes.

They sing beautiful songs, which they use to communicate with each other and to attract mates. Zebra Finches are also known to be excellent parents, with males and females taking turns incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.

One interesting fact about zebra finches is that they have been extensively studied by scientists as a model organism for understanding the brain and behaviour. This is because they have a relatively simple brain structure, making studying the neural circuits involved in learning and memory easier. Researchers have also used zebra finches to study the evolution of vocal learning, as they can learn to imitate sounds.

White-winged Dove

white winged dove

The white-winged dove can be found in parts of North and Central America, including the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America. They are known for their distinctive white edge on their wings, which sets them apart from other doves. White-winged Doves have blue eyering and red eyes, making them easy to identify.

White-winged doves nest in citrus orchards and other areas with dense vegetation. They feed on a variety of seeds, fruits, and insects. They are also commonly seen at bird feeders, especially in urban and suburban areas.


Mike’s Birds from Riverside, CA, US, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The phainopepla is a unique bird that is commonly found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. These birds are known for their striking appearance, with adult males having glossy black feathers and large white patches in their wings that are visible during flight. Adult females, on the other hand, have mousy greyish-brown feathers with red eyes.

Phainopeplas are swift flycatchers that typically inhabit scrubby oak and mesquite habitats. They have sleek bodies, shaggy crests, long tails, and staring red eyes. These birds are also known for their distinctive vocalisations, which are typically described as a series of high-pitched whistles.

American Coot

American coot

The American coot is a water bird that is dark grey to black with a bright white bill and forehead. The legs are yellow-green. At close range, you may see a small patch of red on the frontal shield, which usually has a reddish-brown spot near the top of the bill between the eyes. Males and females look alike.

American coots are found throughout North America, from southern Canada to the southern United States and Mexico. They are commonly found in wetlands, marshes, and ponds and are often seen swimming and diving in the water. They are also known for their unique habit of running across the water’s surface as they take off in flight.

In terms of diet, American coots are omnivores and feed on a variety of foods, such as aquatic plants, insects, snails, and small fish. They are known for their strong and sharp claws, which help them to grasp and hold onto their prey.

White-tailed Kite

The white-tailed kite is a beautiful bird known for its striking appearance. This bird is easy to spot with its black shoulders and wingtips, greyish wings and back, and bright red eyes.

This bird is a skilled hunter and can often be seen hovering over fields and grasslands, searching for prey. Once it spots its prey, it will swoop down and catch it with its sharp talons. The white-tailed kite primarily feeds on small mammals, such as rodents and rabbits, but will also eat birds and insects.

Roseate Spoonbill

roseate spoonbill

The roseate spoonbill is a large wading bird native to the Caribbean and South America. They have a unique appearance, with pink feathers, partly bald heads, and bright red eyes that stand out in a crowd.

Juveniles are paler pink and have a completely feathered heads. They have long red legs that are adapted to walking and wading in wetlands. The most distinctive feature of the Roseate Spoonbill is the green-grey spoon-shaped bill that is used to sift through the mud and water to find food.

Roseate Spoonbills are often found in large flocks in shallow wetlands, marshes, and mangrove swamps. They are social birds and can often be seen foraging together. They eat small fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Common Loon

common loon

The common loon, also known as the great northern diver, is a large waterbird that belongs to the loon family. It is a migratory bird that breeds in the northern regions of North America and winters along the coasts of the United States. The common loon is a beautiful bird known for its distinctive red eyes and haunting calls.

The bird has a unique appearance with its long body, short tail, and dagger-like bill. The bird’s plumage is black and white, with a distinctive black-and-white chequered pattern on its back. The common loon’s red eyes are its most striking feature and are thought to help the bird see underwater.

The common loon is a skilled swimmer and diver, spending most of its time in the water. It can stay underwater for up to five minutes and dive to depths of up to 60 m (200 ft). The bird feeds on fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic creatures, which it catches by diving and swimming underwater.

Black-necked Grebe

black necked grebe
Andreas Trepte, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The black-necked grebe, also known as the eared grebe, is a small waterbird that belongs to the grebe family of water birds. It is a migratory bird that breeds in Eurasia and winters in Africa and southern Asia. The black-necked grebe has thin black, upturned bills and red eyes with an orange-yellow orbital ring. Their legs and feet are dark greenish-grey.

Adult breeding black-necked grebes have a distinctive head shape, yellow tufts behind the eyes, and a red/brown neck. Their upper parts are black, and their flanks are russet. Meanwhile, non-breeding adults have a whiter face and neck, with a darker cap and nape. Juvenile black-necked grebes have a grey-brown back, wings, and a light grey throat and breast.

The black-necked grebe is often confused with other grebe species, such as the red-necked grebe, great crested grebe, and Slavonian grebe. However, expert birdwatchers can differentiate them by looking at their plumage, bill shape, and head shape. For example, the black-necked grebe has a shorter and thicker bill than the red-necked grebe and a flatter head than the great crested grebe.

Asian Koel

Asian koel

The Asian koel is a bird species that belong to the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. It is found in the Indian Subcontinent, China, and Southeast Asia. Both males and females have bright red eyes and pale beaks. The male is bluish-black, with a pale green bill, while the female is brown with white spots and has a reddish-brown eye.

The Asian koel is a brood parasite which lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, such as crows, shrikes, and starlings. The female koel will lay her eggs in the host bird’s nest, and the host bird will incubate and raise the koel chick as if it were it’s own. This behaviour is known as obligate brood parasitism, which is common among cuckoo species.

The Asian koel’s song is a loud, persistent “ko-EL!” that can be heard throughout its range. The bird is also known for hiding behind tree leaves and branches, making it difficult to spot in the wild. Despite its elusive nature, the Asian Koel is a common sight in many parts of its range, and its distinctive call is often heard in urban and suburban areas.

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