20 Tropical Birds (Must See Birds)

Tropical birds are some of the most stunning and unique creatures in the world. With their bright plumage and beautiful songs, they are a sight to behold.

And they live in warm climates all over the world, including North America, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

In the list below we’ll look at different exotic birds starting from the popular toco toucan to the least known Malabar Pied Hornbill.

List of Exotic Birds

1. Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird

The tropical kingbird is one of the most widespread and well-known neotropical birds. It is a member of the flycatcher family, and is native to the Americas. It ranges from southern Arizona to northern Argentina, and is found in a variety of habitats including rainforest, savannas, and even urban areas.

Like most birds it has striking colors with a gray-green body and bright yellow belly. Its tail is long and fork-shaped, and the bill is small and straight. Tropical kingbirds eat a variety of insects such as wasps that are caught mid-air or picked from leaves and branches.

2. Toco Toucan

Toco Toucan

Do you know the largest member of the toucan family? Toco toucans are not only easily recognizable but are the largest toucans with bodies measuring up to 26 inches. Their bills are also fairly large, about 7.5 inches with brilliant colors.

Toucans are found in the tropical forests of South America, where they play an important role in the ecosystem. These birds eat a variety of fruits and help to spread the seeds of these plants around the forest. In return, the toucans receive shelter and protection from predators.

These exotic birds are social creatures and often live in small flocks. They are known for their deep croaking sounds! A toco toucan can live for 20 years and can fly at speeds of 35 mph.

3. Pin-tailed whydah

 Pin-tailed whydah

A bird of sub-Saharan Africa, the pin-tailed whydah . It is easily recognizable by its long black tail feathers, which can reach up to 8 inches in length. The males of the species are the most elaborately decorated, with white bodies and black plumage on their wings and tails. Note the bright red bill. Females are duller in coloration, with brownish feathers.

The pin-tailed whydah is a relatively common bird, and can be found in open woodlands and savannas. It feeds primarily on seed, but will also consume grain. The bird is considered a brood parasite.

4. Eclectus Parrot

Are eclectus parrots very loud? They score a 6 for loudness, so if you prefer a quiet space, this tropical bird is not for you. But if you don’t mind occasional loud noises and are looking for a colorful bird with a long lifespan, you won’t go wrong with this unique parrot.

The eclectus parrot is a brilliantly colored bird found in the forests of New Guinea and Solomon Islands. These parrots are some of the most brilliantly colored tropical birds, with males having green bodies and females having red bodies.

They also have a very outgoing personality and can be quite comical at times. And, they require less care compared to their cousins.

5. Red-billed Tropicbird

Red-billed Tropicbird


Red-billed tropicbirds are some of the most interesting tropical water birds. These birds have bright red bills and long tail streamers, and are one of the few truly tropical seabirds. The rest of their body is mostly white with black patches on their wings. Also, the most distinctive feature of the bird is its bright red bill.

The bird breeds on remote tropical islands, nesting on isolated cliffs. This bird occurs throughout the tropical oceans of the world and consists primarily of flying fish and squid.

6. Rosy-faced Lovebird

Rosy-faced Lovebird

Rosy-faced lovebirds are a species of parrot native Southwestern Africa. Also known as the peach-faced lovebird or rosy collard, they are one of the smallest parrots in the world, measuring only about 6.7 inches in length. Lovebirds are known for their playful and affectionate nature, and their distinctive pink facial markings, green bodies and gorgeous blue rumps.

Rosy-faced lovebirds make great pets due to their loving nature. They are relatively easy to care for, but do require some special attention. Lovebirds need a diet that is high in berries and seeds, as well as a variety of toys and activities to keep them entertained.

7. Malabar Pied Hornbill

Malabar Pied Hornbill

Now to one of the largest tropical birds, the malabar pied hornbill. The lesser pied hornbill, also known as the Malabar pied hornbill is a large 26-inch tropical bird that is found in the forests of southern India.

Both sexes have black bodies and white bellies and females have a whitish eye-ring that help distinguish the sexes. The beak of the hornbill is long and curved with a casque.

8. Blue-and-Gold Macaw

Blue-and-Gold Macaw

Also known as the blue-and-yellow macaw, the blue-and-gold macaw is known for its beautiful plumage and playful personality. They are mostly yellow and blue.

These birds are native to Central and South America, and they can live to be over 60 years old in captivity. Blue and gold macaws are social creatures, and they thrive when they have companionship. If you’re thinking of adding a blue and gold macaw to your family, go for it.

9. Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

Beautiful and vibrant, rainbow lorikeets are resident breeders in Australia. They are about 9.8-11.8 inches in length and are very colorful; red, blue, green, and yellow. Their diet consists mostly of fruits, maize and flowers.

These big tropical birds are gregarious and often live in pairs or small groups. These birds are very active, and they love to play. Rainbow lorikeets are very intelligent, and they can learn to mimic various sounds.

10. Zebra Finch

 Zebra Finch

Australia is home to different types of exotic birds and zebra finches are a great example. Adults are small, about 4.3 inches, and multicolored with canonical red bills.

They are known for their cheerful song, a series of “a-ha, beep, and meep” sounds. These little birds are very popular as pets, and they make great companions.

They are relatively easy to care for, and can be kept in a small cage. These birds do best in pairs or small groups, so make sure to get a pair.

If you are looking for a fun and lively pet, then a zebra finch might be the perfect choice for you!

11. Rhinoceros Hornbill

 Rhinoceros Hornbill

Rhinoceros hornbills are birds that have a distinctive appearance. The body of this large bird is black and white belly and a long black and white tail. Female rhinoceros hornbills are slightly smaller than the males, and have smaller bills. Their bills are white with red-orange casques.

This bird is native to Southeast Asia and its diet is dominated by fruits. It nests in holes in trees and the female lays two eggs, which are incubated for about 37-46 days.

12. Crested Quetzal

Crested Quetzal


Another neotropical bird you should know about is the crested quetzal. A member of the trogonidae family, it occurs in the mountainous regions of Central America. The bird is easily recognizable by its gorgeous metallic green body and striking red eyes.

Males have a red belly while females are darker. Also the male has a pure white undertail while females are black. Their food is made up of small invertebrates and arthropods.

13. Thick-billed Parrot

Thick-billed Parrots are a species of parrots that are native to the highlands of Mexico. They are considered to be one of the rarest and most endangered parrots in the world with an estimated wild population of less than 2000 birds.

Thick-billed Parrots are large parrots with a length of up to 15 inches and a lifespan of up to 33 years. They have a thick bill that is used for cracking open seeds and nuts, and are brightly colored with green, yellow, and red plumage.

These parrots are highly intelligent and social creatures that live in flocks of up to 1000 birds. They mate for life and nest in tree cavities where they lay 2-4 eggs per clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days before they hatch.

14. Scaly-breasted Munia

 Scaly-breasted Munia

Also known as the spice finch or nutmeg mannikin, is a small estrildid finch native to tropical Asia. The bird gets its name from the distinctive spotted brown and white underparts plumage which looks like scales. Note the brown upperparts and dark canonical bills.

This little bird is usually found in open habitats such as grasslands, cultivation and scrubby areas.

15. Ringed Kingfisher

Ringed Kingfisher

Among the 87 species of Kingfishers, the ringed kingfisher is one of the largest birds. They range from Texas to Central America. It is duller than its cousins with slaty blue upperparts and chestnut underparts.

Kingfishers are known for their distinctive call; a series of sharp “klek” notes. It is a popular bird among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Ringed kingfishers are expert fishermen, and can often be seen perching on branches near rivers or lakes. When they see fish, they dive down and catch with their long, thick bills.

16. Magnificent Riflebird

Magnificent Riflebird


I think the magnificent riflebird is one of the most striking tropical birds and here is why. One, its known for its distinctive black plumage, metallic blue chest, and green mouth for males while females are brownish above and sport lightly barred underparts.

Two, this medium tropical bird is known for its spectacular courtship display which involves the male raising its tail and extending its wings to form a skirt-like shape. He then proceeds to make short dancing movements.

17. Huon Astrapia

Huon Astrapia


Huon astrapias are a species of bird that is endemic to New Guinea. It is a distinctively colored bird, with a green belly. Males have an exceptionally long tail which spreads when they hang upside down. Females are overall black.

This exotic bird is known for its “ji-ji” calls and mostly feeds on fruits and arachnids.

18. Lesser Bird-of-paradise

Lesser Bird-of-paradise


With gorgeous white and yellow tail feathers, the lesser bird-of-paradise is a close relative of the great bird-of-paradise.

This tropical bird calls Northern New Guinea home and is known for its unique plumage. Male is mostly brown with a yellow-green head and beautiful tail feathers. Females are a bit different with a black hood and whitish underparts.

Unlike other birds on this list, the lesser bird-of-paradise is polygamous.

19. Double-eyed fig parrot


Double-eyed fig parrots, also known as two-eyed fig parrots or dwarf fig parrots or blue-faced fig parrots are a species of parrot native to Australia and New Guinea.

The adult birds have bright green plumage with red and blue patches on their face. Note the red cheeks on the male. These 5.5 inch birds are gregarious and they nest in tree hollows.

20. Little Bronze Cuckoo

Little Bronze Cuckoo

The little bronze cuckoo is the smallest member of its family; the cuculidae family. It is widely spread within its range. Male little bronze cuckoos are about 6 inches long with a bronzed back and barred underparts. Note the red eye-ring. Females are also green with a lightly barred underside.

Despite its small size, the little bronze cuckoo is an important part of the Australian ecosystem.


What is the largest tropical bird?

The largest tropical bird in the world is the Hyacinth Macaw. This beautiful, large parrot lives in Central and South America, usually near rivers and lagoons. Its wingspan can reach up to 16 inches, making it one of the biggest flying birds in the world.

What are three tropical birds?

  • Toucans
  • Macaws
  • Riflebirds
  • Parrots

What is a small tropical bird?

The little bronzed cuckoos and ringed kingfishers are some of the smallest tropics birds



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