Ever since the dawn of humankind, people have been fascinated with birds and with their incredible ability to soar to the heavens. And even though we’ve mastered the technique of flight ourselves in our modern times, birds still manage to capture our attention due to their exceptional appearance, especially the ones that boast a colorful plumage. Bird watchers are particularly fond of these exquisite, graceful creatures, but even if you don’t have the time to go out and see them up close, you can still learn a bit about them and catch a glimpse of their magnificence while having a look at our list regarding 24 of the world’s rarest and most beautiful birds.
- 24. Bohemian Waxwing
- 23. Painted Bunting
- 22. Blue Jay
- 21. Blue Bird Of Paradise
- 20. Scarlet Macaw
- 19. Baltimore Oreole
- 18. Peacock
- 17. Scarlet Tanager
- 16. Broad-Billed Hummingbird
- 15. Gouldian Finch
- 14. Rainbow Lorikeet
- 13. Gurney’s Pitta
- 12. Northern Cardinal
- 11. Greater Bird of Paradise
- 10. Golden Pheasant
- 9. Atlantic Puffin
- 8. American Goldfinch
- 7. The Quetzal
- 6. The Hoopoe
- 5. Lear’s Macaw
- 4. The Kingfisher
- 3. The California Condor
- 2. Toco Toucan
- 1. Australian King Parrot
24. Bohemian Waxwing
The Bohemian Waxwing can be identified by a distinct tuft that can be seen on the top of its head. Even though this bird is not particularly striking at first, a close inspection reveals a magnificent blend of gray, rose, yellow and black shades that blend beautifully. The body of the Bohemian Waxwing is mostly gray, but its face features rose-colored feathers while its tail boasts a bright yellow tip.
23. Painted Bunting
Depending on its gender, the Painted Bunting comes with differently colored plumage. The female boasts different shades of olive green all over the body, while the male impresses with a much more diverse color pattern that involves red on the chest, blue on the head, green on the upper wing parts and yellow on the shoulders. Once you catch a glimpse of this little flying rainbow, you’ll find it difficult to look somewhere else.
22. Blue Jay
As its name suggests, the Blue Jay flaunts predominant shades of blue on its plumage, but mostly on its backside and head. The chest of the Blue Jay is almost completely white, while the blue on its feathers is bordered by distinct black lines. This bird might look quite harmless at first, but it is actually known to be quite aggressive towards smaller birds in the wild.
21. Blue Bird Of Paradise
Even though there are multiple types of “birds of paradise”, the Blue Bird-Of-Paradise is definitely one of the most spectacular. Thanks to the exquisite shade of blue on its wings and its black head, this stunning little bird is definitely quite a sight to behold. Moreover, as if it wasn’t majestic enough already, the Blue Bird Of Paradise boasts 2 thin black feathers shaped like tendrils that seem to come out from its tail.
20. Scarlet Macaw
It’s a well-known fact that Macaws are some of the world’s most colorful and beautiful birds, and the Scarlet Macaw definitely does not disappoint in this regard. Starting at its head, the Scarlet Macaw features a distinct red plumage that turns to vermillion as it reaches its shoulders. From there on the feathers change color dramatically to yellow, green and blue as they descend towards the tips of the wings, where one can sometimes spot a touch of purple on certain individuals.
19. Baltimore Oreole
The Baltimore Oreole is a beautifully colored little bird that features bright shades of orange or yellow on its plumage depending on its gender. The male of the species is the orange-colored one, while the female flaunts a lighter shade of yellow. However, both of them feature the same black bars on their wings for a touch of contrast, and they are both equally extraordinary to look at.
We definitely had to include the majestic Peacock on our list, since this exquisite bird is surely one of the world’s most famous in terms of appearance. With its sublime plumage consisting of blue and turquoise shades, the Peacock is probably one of the most graceful and beautiful large birds in the world.
17. Scarlet Tanager
The male Scarlet Tanager can be spotted easily thanks to its bright red bodies, black wings and tails, while the female is distinguished by its yellow and olive appearance. Even though it is quite small, this lovely bird is definitely quite a looker, and it can be spotted in the wild easily especially during springtime.
16. Broad-Billed Hummingbird
As one of the smallest and most beautifully colored birds on the planet, the Hummingbird is universally beloved. The male Broad-Billed variety is definitely the most spectacular of them all, flaunting magnificent hues of iridescent blue that start on its neck and go all the way down to its chest and belly. As it envelops its sides and back, the plumage of the Broad-Billed Hummingbird shifts to subtle tones of turquoise and green, while the beak is dark orange and features a sharp black tip.
15. Gouldian Finch
The Gouldian Finch impresses with a seemingly random but deeply impressive array of colors. To give you some examples, you can expect to see different shades of blue, purple or light pink on the bird’s chest, while its belly and back might feature yellow and green shades respectively. Other colors might include red, turquoise, black and olive, each found on various parts of the Gouldian Finch’s body.
14. Rainbow Lorikeet
As its name suggests, the Rainbow Lorikeet flies around sporting a myriad of deeply impressive colors such as blue, purple, yellow, red, orange and green. The blue is usually spotted on the head, while the chest and belly flaunt lovely tones of red-orange and blue respectively. The beak is usually red and the feathers are green, but many other color combinations can also be observed on these beautiful Australian parrots.
13. Gurney’s Pitta
Because it is an endangered species, the Gurney’s Pitta is not a bird that can be spotted often in the wild. This gorgeous medium-sized bird was actually believed to be extinct after 1952, but it was fortunately rediscovered in 1986. Its plumage consists of an intricate mix of blue, brown, yellow and black shades that blend seamlessly into a splendid display of natural beauty. If you want to see this bird up close, you’ll have to travel to Thailand or to Myanmar.
12. Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal is not only spectacular to look at, but it is also able to soothe your senses with its beautiful songs. As with most bird species, the male Northern Cardinal features the most colorful and the flashiest plumage, and red is definitely the flashiest color of them all. The Northern Cardinal’s body is almost completely covered in red, including its beak, but it also features a stylish black mask on its face that creates a spectacular contrast.
11. Greater Bird of Paradise
Unlike some of the other birds we presented so far, the Greater Bird of Paradise is fortunately not endangered, and it would really be a shame if it were, since this particular large bird from New Guinea is one of the most beautiful in the world. The male of the species boasts a predominantly maroon plumage complemented by a large stain of black on the chest. The head is white, the face is green and the beak features a light blue color. Splendid, isn’t it?
10. Golden Pheasant
Since it originates in the forests of Western China, the Golden Pheasant is also widely known as the Chinese Pheasant. This brightly colored exotic bird is a favorite among bird watchers thanks to its spectacular reddish and orange chest plumage that is complemented by green, blue and yellow shades on the back and wings. Furthermore, the Golden Pheasant boasts an intricate pattern comprising black and yellow tones on the side of its face.
9. Atlantic Puffin
The Atlantic Puffin isn’t the most colorful bird on our list, but it may just be the cutest. The back of the bird is completely black while its chest and face feature white and gray plumage. The contrasting touches of orange can be found around the eye and on the bill, which features a stunning combination of red, yellow and orange. However, the bill of the Atlantic Puffin is only colored during summertime, and it is mostly gray during the colder months.
8. American Goldfinch
Since the American Goldfinch can be attracted to bird feeders, it often admired up close by enthusiasts and animal lovers. It’s not hard to understand why these birds would be admired, since they feature a spectacular bright yellow body, an orange beak and a series of black and white stripes across its feathers.
7. The Quetzal
The gorgeous Quetzal hails from the lush forests of Central America, and it is an omnivorous creature since it eats all sorts of things from fruit to insects and even small lizards. However, aside from it having a very varied diet, the Quetzal also happens to be one of the most stunningly gorgeous birds in the world. Its plumage involves a coat of red on its chest and belly as well as a stunning array of dark and light green feathers across its wings and back.
6. The Hoopoe
The Hoopoe is a very loveable little bird that is instantly recognizable due to its crown-like feathers. The colors found across its plumage include tones of light orange, beige and green, which blend together nicely to form stripe-like patterns across the back and wings. The name Hoopoe was chosen specifically because it imitates the song of the bird, which is quite interesting.
5. Lear’s Macaw
As it often happens, one of the world’s rarest Macaws also happens to be one of the most beautiful. The Lear’s Macaw is almost completely blue, featuring subtle tones of purple near the ends of its wings. Its beak is black but it does feature a small yellow patch at the base, which adds a touch of warmth to the predominant cold color palette exhibited by its plumage.
4. The Kingfisher
It’s quite amazing how birds evolve over time in order to be able to survive in the wild, wouldn’t you agree. As you can probably tell, the Kingfisher bird is quite apt at catching fish, since it features a very large, heavy and powerful red-colored bill. Apart from its obvious skills as an angler, the Kingfisher is also quite pleasing to the eye, since it boasts a superb plumage consisting of blue, light orange and brown shades.
3. The California Condor
Even though it is mostly covered in sleek, black feathers, the California Condor’s exposed neck and head can sometimes reveal brightly colored skin with distinct purple and pink tones, while the face boasts tones of yellow and orange. It might not be the prettiest bird on our list, true, but the California Condor definitely has a certain allure, which is why it is so sad to find out that it is critically endangered.
2. Toco Toucan
The Toco Toucan makes its home in the tropical forests of South America, and it is particularly famous for its unusually large and colorful bill. At first, you might be inclined to think that that big bill is actually a great weapon, but due to its size and curved shape, it isn’t actually all that useful in combat. Luckily, these cute birds probably don’t have to fight much in the wild, since they prefer to live in tree holes, while their diet involves insects, small lizards and even fruit.
1. Australian King Parrot
Last but not least, we just hat to include the gorgeous Australian King Parrot on our list, since few birds in the world can hope to match its splendid appearance. The male of the species is brightly colored in order to attract the females’ attention, which is why it sports striking red plumage over the head, chest and belly, while its back and wings are of a contrasting green. By comparison, the female impresses with green plumage over its head and breast, while its belly boasts a flashy shade of red.