Get ready to discover a vibrant array of bird species found in Oklahoma! With over 460 species to explore, this article focuses on the captivating red, orange, and yellow birds that grace the skies of this beautiful state. While color is certainly eye-catching, the article emphasizes that shape and size play crucial roles in identifying these feathered friends. From the striking Northern Cardinal and the majestic American Robin to the delightful American Goldfinch and the charming Yellow Warbler, each bird is accompanied by vivid descriptions and captivating photographs. Dive into their habitats, behaviors, and migration patterns, and don’t forget to check out the suggested YouTube channel for more fascinating bird-related content. So grab your binoculars and get ready for a journey through the captivating world of Oklahoma’s red, orange, and yellow birds!
Red Birds are a beautiful and vibrant sight to behold. In Oklahoma, there are many species of red birds that can be found throughout the state. These birds are known for their stunning red plumage and are a favorite among birdwatchers. While color can be helpful in identifying birds, it is important to note that shape and size are often more useful for identification purposes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the red birds found in Oklahoma.
The Northern Cardinal is one of the most iconic and beloved birds in North America. With its vibrant red plumage and striking crest, the male Northern Cardinal is a sight to behold. The females, although less colorful, have a beautiful reddish-brown hue. These birds are commonly found in wooded areas and suburban gardens throughout Oklahoma. They are known for their distinctive song and are a favorite bird feeder visitor.
The American Robin is a familiar bird to many, known for its red breast and yellow beak. These birds are found throughout North America and are known for their cheerful songs. American Robins can often be seen hopping along lawns, searching for worms and insects to eat. They are a symbol of spring and are often associated with the changing of the seasons. In Oklahoma, American Robins can be found in a variety of habitats including forests, parks, and suburban areas.
The House Finch is another red bird commonly found in Oklahoma. The males have a reddish hue on their head, chest, and rump, while the females are more dull in coloration. These birds are often found in urban and suburban areas, as well as in agricultural fields and grasslands. House Finches have a delightful song that can be heard from trees and bushes. They are known for their adaptability and can be found in a wide range of habitats throughout the state.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a small but stunning bird that is found throughout Oklahoma. The males have a bright red throat, while the females have a more subdued coloration. These birds are known for their incredible flying abilities and their ability to hover in mid-air. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers and are often seen visiting feeders in people’s yards. They can be found in a variety of habitats including gardens, woodlands, and meadows.
The Red-headed Woodpecker is a striking bird with a completely red head, neck, and throat. Their bodies are black with white patches on the wings and belly. These woodpeckers can often be seen perched on trees, using their strong beaks to tap on wood and search for insects. Red-headed Woodpeckers can be found in woodlands, parks, and open areas throughout Oklahoma. They are known for their unique behavior of storing food in tree cavities and posts.
The Summer Tanager is a stunning red bird that can be found in Oklahoma during the summer months. The males have a vibrant red plumage, while the females are more yellowish in color. Summer Tanagers are known for their melodious songs and can often be heard before they are seen. These birds are typically found in woodland habitats, especially near bodies of water. They feed on insects and fruits and are a delight to watch during their summer stay in Oklahoma.
In addition to red birds, Oklahoma is also home to a variety of orange-colored birds. These birds are known for their striking and vibrant orange plumage, which can add a pop of color to any landscape. Let’s explore some of the orange birds found in Oklahoma.
The Barn Swallow is a familiar bird with a distinct orange-toned chest and face. These birds are known for their graceful aerial acrobatics and can often be seen swooping and diving through the air. Barn Swallows are found in a variety of habitats including open fields, meadows, and near bodies of water. They build their nests in structures such as barns or under bridges, using mud and grass. Barn Swallows are migratory birds and can be found in Oklahoma during the summer months.
The Red-shouldered Hawk is a large bird of prey with a reddish-orange chest and shoulders. These hawks are known for their piercing calls and can often be seen perched high in trees or soaring in the sky. Red-shouldered Hawks are found in wooded areas, forests, and near bodies of water throughout Oklahoma. They primarily feed on small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. These majestic birds are a thrill to observe in the wild.
The American Kestrel is a small falcon with a mix of orange and brown feathers on its back and tail. The males have a striking blue-gray head and wings, while the females have a more subdued coloration. These birds can often be seen perched on utility lines or hovering above open fields, searching for small mammals and insects. American Kestrels are found in a variety of habitats including grasslands, prairies, and agricultural areas in Oklahoma.
The Brown Thrasher is a medium-sized songbird with a reddish-brown back and wings. These birds have a long, curved bill which they use to search for insects and other invertebrates in leaf litter and on the ground. Brown Thrashers are known for their loud and melodious songs, which they often repeat several times in succession. They are found in a variety of habitats including woodlands, thickets, and suburban gardens throughout Oklahoma.
The Baltimore Oriole is a stunning bird with bright orange plumage and black wings. The males have a vibrant orange coloration, while the females have a more subdued yellow hue. These birds are known for their beautiful and intricate woven nests, which they construct using plant fibers and grasses. Baltimore Orioles can be found in woodlands, parks, and suburban areas throughout Oklahoma. They primarily feed on nectar, fruit, and insects.
The Spotted Towhee is a medium-sized bird with a black back and wings, and a bright orange-red spot on its chest. These birds can often be seen scratching around in leaf litter, searching for insects to eat. Spotted Towhees are found in woodland areas, thickets, and shrubby habitats throughout Oklahoma. They have a distinctive call that sounds like “chewink” and are known for their high-energy behavior.
The Orchard Oriole is a small bird with a reddish-brown back and a bright orange chest and throat. The females have a more subdued coloration with a yellowish hue. These birds can often be seen feeding on nectar from flowers and fruits. Orchard Orioles are found in woodlands, orchards, and suburban areas throughout Oklahoma. They have a sweet and melodic song and are a delight to observe in the wild.
The Cooper’s Hawk is a medium-sized bird of prey with a reddish-brown back and dark orange eyes. These hawks are known for their agility and are skilled hunters that feed on small birds and mammals. Cooper’s Hawks are found in forested areas, woodlands, and suburban neighborhoods throughout Oklahoma. They can often be seen perched high in trees, scanning the surroundings for potential prey.
The Ruddy Duck is a small diving duck with a vibrant orange-brown body and a blue bill. These ducks are known for their unique diving behavior, disappearing underwater for extended periods of time. Ruddy Ducks can be found in wetland areas, ponds, and lakes throughout Oklahoma. During the breeding season, the males display unique courtship behaviors, such as blowing bubbles and slapping their bills on the water, to attract mates.
Yellow Birds are a bright and cheerful addition to the avian diversity in Oklahoma. These birds add a splash of color to the landscape and bring joy to birdwatchers. Let’s explore some of the yellow birds found in Oklahoma.
The American Goldfinch is a small songbird with bright yellow plumage and black wings. These birds are commonly found in open habitats such as fields, meadows, and gardens throughout Oklahoma. The males have a vibrant yellow color during the breeding season, while the females have a more dull yellow hue. American Goldfinches are known for their acrobatic flight and cheerful songs. They primarily feed on seeds, especially from thistle plants.
The Northern Flicker is a woodpecker species with a yellow undersides and a black-spotted back. These birds also have a red patch on the nape of their neck and a distinct white rump. Northern Flickers can often be seen foraging for ants and other insects on the ground. They are found in a variety of habitats including woodlands, open forests, and suburban areas throughout Oklahoma. Northern Flickers have a loud and distinctive call that echoes through the trees.
The Eastern Meadowlark is a medium-sized songbird with a bright yellow belly and a distinct black “V” on its chest. These birds are known for their beautiful songs, which can be heard across open fields and prairies in Oklahoma. Eastern Meadowlarks are found in grasslands, meadows, and agricultural areas. They primarily feed on insects, seeds, and small fruits. These birds are often seen perched on fence posts or in tall grasses, singing their melodious tunes.
The Western Meadowlark is a similar species to the Eastern Meadowlark, with a bright yellow belly and a black “V” on its chest. However, the Western Meadowlark has a more pronounced black necklace around its throat and a different song. Western Meadowlarks are found in open grasslands, prairies, and agricultural fields in Oklahoma. They have a beautiful and distinctive song and are often heard before they are seen.
The Yellow-rumped Warbler is a small songbird with a yellow rump, a yellow throat, and yellow patches on its sides. These birds have a grayish-blue back and wings, and a white belly. Yellow-rumped Warblers are found in a variety of habitats including woodlands, parks, and suburban areas throughout Oklahoma. They are known for their ability to flick their wings and tail while foraging for insects among foliage. During the winter months, they can often be seen feeding on berries.
The Cedar Waxwing is a medium-sized bird with a sleek yellow belly and a black mask on its face. These birds are known for their soft, high-pitched calls and their tendency to travel in large flocks. Cedar Waxwings are found in a variety of habitats including woodlands, fruit orchards, and suburban areas throughout Oklahoma. They primarily feed on berries and can often be seen perched on trees, passing berries from one bird to another.
The Western Kingbird is a medium-sized flycatcher with a light gray back and bright yellow underparts. These birds are known for their distinct white edges on their tail feathers. Western Kingbirds are found in open habitats such as fields, meadows, and parks throughout Oklahoma. They primarily feed on insects and are often seen perched on tree branches or utility lines, waiting for their prey. Western Kingbirds have a sharp call and are territorial birds.
Great Crested Flycatcher
The Great Crested Flycatcher is a medium-sized bird with a yellow belly and chest, and a brown upper body. These birds have a distinct crest on their head, which they can raise or lower depending on their mood. Great Crested Flycatchers are found in deciduous woodlands, forests, and suburban areas throughout Oklahoma. They primarily feed on insects and are known for their loud and distinctive calls. These birds nest in tree cavities and old woodpecker holes.
The Pine Siskin is a small finch with a mix of yellow and brown plumage and distinctive streaks on its sides. These birds can often be found in coniferous forests and wooded habitats throughout Oklahoma. Pine Siskins feed primarily on seeds, especially from pine cones. They are highly social birds and can be seen foraging and flocking together in small groups. During the winter months, they may visit bird feeders in search of food.
The Dickcissel is a small songbird with a yellow breast and belly, and a distinctive black “V” on its chest. These birds are commonly found in grasslands, fields, and meadows throughout Oklahoma. Male Dickcissels are known for their melodious songs, which they use to attract mates and establish territories. These birds primarily feed on insects and seeds. Dickcissels are migratory birds and can be seen in Oklahoma during the summer months.
The Yellow Warbler is a small songbird with bright yellow plumage and a reddish streak on its breast. These birds are commonly found in woodlands, forests, and along waterways throughout Oklahoma. Yellow Warblers are known for their sweet and cheerful songs, which can be heard throughout the day. They primarily feed on insects and are often seen flitting among branches and foliage. These birds are a delight to observe during the breeding season.
Carotenoids and Bird Colors
The vibrant red, orange, and yellow colors in bird feathers are the result of carotenoids, which are pigments found in their diet. Carotenoids are organic compounds that birds obtain from the plants, fruits, and insects they consume. These pigments are then metabolized and deposited in the feathers, giving birds their distinctive coloration.
Carotenoids are responsible for the red color in Northern Cardinals, American Robins, and Summer Tanagers, among other bird species. The intensity of the red color can vary depending on the amount of carotenoids in the bird’s diet.
Similarly, birds with noticeable amounts of orange, such as Barn Swallows, Baltimore Orioles, and Cooper’s Hawks, obtain carotenoids that contribute to this vibrant coloration. The specific types and amounts of carotenoids consumed determine the exact shade of orange observed in each species.
Yellow birds, like American Goldfinches, Cedar Waxwings, and Yellow Warblers, also owe their color to carotenoids. These pigments contribute to the bright and cheerful yellow plumage that these birds are known for.
Carotenoids not only provide beautiful colors to birds, but they also play a vital role in their health and survival. These pigments have antioxidant properties, which help protect birds from harmful free radicals and provide additional benefits such as boosting the immune system.
Description and Photos
Descriptions and photos of each bird species mentioned are provided below:
- Size: 8.3-9.1 inches (21-23 cm) in length
- Plumage: Male has a bright red body with a black face mask; female is more dull in coloration
- Habitat: Woodlands, gardens, and suburban areas
- Behavior: Known for its distinctive song and frequent visits to bird feeders
- Size: 9-11 inches (23-28 cm) in length
- Plumage: Grayish-brown upper body, reddish-orange breast, and bright yellow beak
- Habitat: Forests, parks, and suburban areas
- Behavior: Collects food by hopping along lawns and searching for worms and insects
- Size: 5-6 inches (13-15 cm) in length
- Plumage: Males have a reddish hue on their head, chest, and rump; females are more dull in coloration
- Habitat: Urban and suburban areas, agricultural fields, and grasslands
- Behavior: Often seen perched on trees, feeding on seeds and visiting bird feeders
- Size: 3-4 inches (7-10 cm) in length
- Plumage: Males have a bright red throat, females more subdued coloration
- Habitat: Gardens, woodlands, and meadows
- Behavior: Feeds on nectar from flowers, hovers in mid-air
- Size: 7-9 inches (18-23 cm) in length
- Plumage: Completely red head, neck, and throat, black body with white patches on wings and belly
- Habitat: Woodlands, parks, and open areas
- Behavior: Taps on wood with beak to search for insects, stores food in tree cavities and posts
- Size: 7-8 inches (18-20 cm) in length
- Plumage: Males have vibrant red plumage, females more yellowish coloration
- Habitat: Woodlands, especially near bodies of water
- Behavior: Known for their melodious songs, feed on insects and fruits
[To be continued…]