Do you know what kind of bird you are looking at when you see one with a red mohawk? Some birds come with magnificent hairstyles and below we’ll niche down to birds with red mohawks.
From the widely known pileated woodpecker to the lesser known crested malimbe, there are plenty of wild birds that fit this category. And, not only are they beautiful to watch but have unique behavior that any birder would love to know. Looking to learn, let’s get started.
List of Red Mohawk Birds
1. Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus
Pileated woodpeckers are the largest woodpecker and are some of the best excavators in the wild. They are most commonly found in hardwood and conifer forests, where they use their long beaks to excavate holes in trees in search of food.
The pileated woodpecker is one of the easiest birds to identify. Females and males are black and white and in terms of body weight, males are heavier; about 11 oz and 9 oz for females.
And like other birds on this list, they spot a bright red mohawk hairstyle that makes it easy to identify them from other woodpeckers. Also, males have red cheeks which helps bird watchers tell the sexes apart.
Pileated woodpeckers play an important role in forest ecosystems by creating nesting cavities for other animals, and by helping to control insect populations. These striking birds with mohawks are a delight to watch, and provide an important service to our forests.
You can learn more about the pileated woodpecker life cycle.
2. Crested Partridge (Male)
Crested Partridge – Rollulus rouloul
A bird with many names. The crested partridge is also known as roul-roul, red-crowned wood partridge, green wood partridge and green wood quail.
The Crested partridge is a chicken-sized bird with a round body and long legs. Unlike the pileated woodpecker above, crested partridge are sexually dimorphic.
The male is all black with a shaggy mohawk. Female crested partridges are greenish with brown wings. Notice the red eye-rings on both sexes. Also, these birds have short bills.
The Crested partridge is found in scrubland, grassland and forest edges in Asia. It feeds on insects, snails, spiders, lizards, seeds and berries.
The nest is a scrape in the ground lined with vegetation. 3-7 eggs are laid which are incubated by the female for 18 days to hatch. This bird with red mohawk is the only bird in the genus Rollulus.
3. Amazonian Royal Flycatcher
Amazonian Royal Flycatcher – Onychorhynchus coronatus
Amazonian Royal Flycatchers are one of the most striking red mohawk birds of the Amazon Basin.
Adults are about 5.9 inches in length and share plumage. They sport brown upperparts and are yellow below. This bird can also be identified by its long, distinctive tail feathers. Also adults have one of the most beautiful crests in the avian world.
The flaming-red crest can be raised or lowered depending on the bird’s emotion. When raised, you’ll notice its unique fan-like shape.
Amazonian Royal Flycatcher can be found in forests throughout Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia, from the lowlands to the highlands. It feeds on insects, which it catches in mid-air.
What are the sound of these red crested birds? They are known for “keeeyup” calls. During breeding season, female flycatcher lay two eggs.
4. Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
In the United States, the northern cardinal is one of the most popular red birds. And if you live in any of the Eastern states, chances are these small red headed birds have visited your backyard.
Adult male cardinal is a brilliant red, while the female is a beautiful tan color. Both sexes sport red crests. But note, the female is a mix of red and brown feathers while the male is all red. Also, both adults have short red canonical bills, black faces and long tail feathers.
The northern cardinal can be found in wooded areas near streams and ponds. They are not shy and will often visit feeders. Cardinals are not to change partners every breeding season and typically lay three to four eggs at a time.
The young hatchlings are helpless and require constant care from their parents. Once they reach adulthood, however, they are able to fend for themselves quite well. How long do these red birds live? 10-12 years.
5. Red-crested Turaco
Red-crested Turaco – Tauraco erythrolophus
The turaco family has some of the most interesting birds among avian species. And in this article we’ll look at one of its members; the red-crested turaco.
The red crested turaco is a member of the Musophagidae. They are found in parts of Africa; Angola.
Adults are 17.7-19.6 inches long. They sport a bright yellow beak, bright red crest, green breast and wings, and grayish belly. Note the long blue tail and white cheeks.
It is a non-migratory bird that inhabits woodlands and forests. The red crested turaco is an omnivorous bird that feeds on fruits, leaves, flowers, and insects. They are gregarious birds with a lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.
Rooster – Gallus gallus domesticus
Our list of birds with red mohawks would be incomplete if we didn’t include the rooster. A rooster is a male gallinaceous bird. The term “rooster” originates from the United States, while “cockerel” is the English term for a young male chicken.
Roosters come in different colors from green to brown to red. And, regardless of the color, they all have a red comb or crest. These birds can stand up to 27 inches high.
They are typically responsible for guarding and protecting the flock of hens . They will often perch atop fences or other high objects in order to keep watch over their flock. If a predator is spotted, the rooster will sound an alarm call to warn the hens and help them to escape.
Roosters are also known for their characteristic crow, which typically occurs at dawn.
7. Gang-gang Cockatoo
Gang-gang Cockatoo – Callocephalon fimbriatum
Australia is home to some of the most unique species. The gang-gang cockatoo is a great example and here’s how to identify.
It is the only member of the genus Callocephalon. The adult male gang-gang cockatoo is a striking bird with its scaly body and crimson head. Female birds are identical in plumage but without the red crest.
The gang-gang cockatoo is found in woodlands and forests of southeastern Australia where you can spot them in large flocks. It feeds on a diet of seeds and fruits. It is an endangered species due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
8. Red-crested Cardinal
Red-crested Cardinal – Paroaria coronata
Going vacationing to Hawaii? A resident-breeder of the big island, the red-crested cardinal is a medium-sized bird that is closely related to the yellow-billed cardinal.
The adults have a bright red head with a bright red mohawk, a gray back, and white belly. Notice the canonical bills. Immature red-crested cardinals are duller with a brownish head. These birds are relatively small, but they make up for it with their vocalizations. They are known for their beautiful songs, which they use to attract mates and defend their territory.
Red-crested cardinals are also very social birds, often forming flocks of up to 100 individuals. While they do not migrate, these birds do sometimes travel long distances in search of food or water.
9. Crimson-crested Woodpecker
Crimson-crested Woodpecker – Campephilus melanoleucos
Crimson-crested woodpeckers are a species of woodpeckers found in Argentina. It’s large, about the same size as the pileated woodpecker above.
Crimson-crested woodpeckers are about 13-15 inches in length and span about 18 inches. They have black backs and white stripes that stretch from the cheeks to the back. Underparts are heavily barred.
The male and female birds look similar, although the male has red cheeks. Also, these birds can have black or white bills depending on the region.
The bird feeds on insects, mostly beetles, caterpillars and small vertebrates . It nests in holes in trees, often using abandoned nest holes of other species of birds.
The crimson-crested woodpecker is not considered to be threatened with extinction and has a large range across South America. During the nesting period, they lay 2-3 eggs.
10. Crested Ant-tanager
Crested Ant-tanager – Habia cristata
Measuring about 7.5 inches, the crested ant tanager is a species of bird in the family cardinalidae. It is found in humid highland forests in Colombia.
These birds look like northern cardinals but there are some differences. One, crested ant-tanagers have duller bodies than cardinals. Two, they have black bills. Both sexes have a prominent red crest. Juveniles are browner in color and without a crest.
The birds are insectivores, feeding on ants, beetles, and other small invertebrates. They are known for their “che’ik” sounds. You can watch the early stages of their lives in June, when they start breeding.
11. Common Merganser
Common Merganser – (Mergus merganser
Are there ducks with red mohawks? Yes, the common merganser fits the bill. They are about 21-27.9 inches long.
The male common merganser has a green head and white body, while the female has a reddish-brown head and gray body. Note the female has long crest hairs. Both sexes have dark eyes and red serrated bills.
These birds are most often found near rivers and lakes in North America. In the winter, they will migrate south to find open water. Common mergansers are social birds and often travel in groups. They are also proficient swimmers and can dive up to 30 feet in search of food.
12. Crested Malimbe
Crested Malimbe – Malimbus malimbicus
A common bird with red mohawk in Africa, the crested malimbe is a medium-sized bird that is a member of the genus malimbus. This genus contains 10 species of small to medium-sized passerine birds.
The crested malimbe is a two-colored bird. Adults have red heads with crests and the rest of the body is black. Note the black face and long tail.
These birds feed on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. They nest in tree hollows or cavities in cliffs, laying 2-4 eggs.
13. Flame-crested Tanager
Flame-crested Tanager – Loriotus cristatus
The Flame-crested tanager is a black colored bird found in Central and South America. They are sexually dimorphic.
The male has a red head with crest and a black body. The female is similar in size but she has a brown body and long tail.
The Flame-crested tanager is found in tropical forests, where it feeds on insects and fruit.
14. Red-crested Cotinga
Red-crested Cotinga – Ampelion rubrocristatus
Another gray bird with red mohawk is the red-crested cotinga. It is a common breeder in Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina.
The bird is most commonly found in forests, but can also be found in other habitats such as urban areas. The red-crested cotinga male is a small bird with a rounded tail, gray body and distinctive red crest.
Female cotingas are all gray with striking red eyes.
Other facts: This red crest bird’s diet consists mainly of fruits and berries but will also catch insects mid-flight. It is an important part of the Montane forest ecosystem because of insect control.
15. Rough-crested Malkoha
Rough-crested Malkoha – Dasylophus superciliosus
Endemic to the Philippines, the Rough-crested Malkoha or the Dasylophus superciliosus is a cuckoo bird that is closely related to roadrunners.
It is a medium-sized bird with a long tail and a distinctive crest on its head. The body black with a noticeable blue sheen. They have red eye-rings and white bills.
The Rough-crested Malkoha is an arboreal bird that feeds on insects and fruits.
Final Thoughts on Birds with Red Mohawks
In conclusion, red mohawk birds are an interesting and unique species. They are not only striking, but also have a very distinct appearance. These birds are definitely a conversation starter and will certainly add some excitement to your birding journal!
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