purple birds

48 Enchanting Purple Birds: Overview And Identification

Purple Birds

Take a captivating voyage into the world of purple birds, where grandeur and uniqueness collide. Purple is a tint of regal distinction in the vivid tapestry of nature, fit only for the most exceptional bird gems. These avian marvels,

which range from the magnificent Purple Martin to the secretive violet-backed starlings, enthrall with their shimmering feathers and captivating presence. With colors that change and shimmer according to the light’s angle, each bird is a living example of the subtle artistic ability of evolution.

Come along as we explore the mystery surrounding these uncommon bird gems and celebrate the amazing diversity and beauty of our natural environment.

1 Purple Starling

  • Scientific name: Lamprotornis purpureus
  • Weight : 91 to 140 grams
  • length: 22 to 23 centimeters

Members of the starling family of birds include the purple glossy starling , also known as estorninho azul melro metálico (Brazil), and other species.

Native toTropical Africa
Breeding RangeSenegal, Zaire, Sudan, Kenya
PlumageStocky bird with stunning metallic shades of purple on head and body, glossy green wings, and mesmerizing yellow eyes
HabitatOpen woodlands, agricultural fields
purple birds birdzpedia.com

2 Purple Honeycreeper

  • Scientific Name: Cyanerpes caeruleus 
  • Length: 4.5 inches (11.5 cm)
  • Weight: 0.42 ounces (12 grams)
FamilyThraupidae (Tanager family)
DistributionMainly found in South America, particularly in the northern parts of the continent; also found throughout the New World, from Colombia and Venezuela to Brazil and Trinidad
HabitatForest canopies, plantations (especially cocoa and citrus), woodlands, gardens
BehaviorSocial birds often found in small groups; feed on plant nectars, fruits, insects, and seeds
Plumage– Male: Mostly purplish-blue with black wings and long black bill – Female: Bright green
purple birds birdzpedia.com

3 Purple Martin

  • Average length: 20 cm (7.9 in)
  • Wingspan: Up to 38 cm (15 in)
    • Measurement ranges:
      • Length: 7.5–7.9 in (19–20 cm)
      • Weight: 1.6–2.1 oz (45–60 g)
      • Wingspan: 15.3–16.1 in (39–41 cm)
FamilyHirundinidae (Swallow family)
HabitatOpen areas, often living close to humans
MigrationMigratory bird
AppearanceMale: Iridescent purplish-black plumage, lighter on head, back, and chest, darker on wings and tail Female: Duller in color, with heads, wings, and backs in a lilac shade; gray, white, and steel colors combined
DistributionSummer habitat stretches from British Columbia to Mexico; observed on long-distance migrations to winter habitats in Ecuador and the Andean foothills
DietConsists mostly of insects and bees
purple birds birdzpedia.com

4 Violet Sabrewing

  • Scientific Name: Campylopterus hemileucurus
  • Length: 13 to 15 cm (5.1 to 5.9 in)
  • Weight: 9 to 12 g (0.32 to 0.42 oz)
HabitatMontane forests and ravines, from southern Mexico to western Panama
SizeOne of the largest hummingbirds worldwide, surpassed only by the giant hummingbird
PlumageIridescent violet covering most of the body, greenish wings, white tails
DietPrimarily survives on nectar, favoring heliconia and banana flowers
DistributionFound in various parts of the Americas, from North to Central to South regions; includes Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama
Male AppearanceColored violet in most areas except the back (which is green)
Female AppearanceViolet only on the throat; main colors are dark green and grey
purple birds birdzpedia.com

5 Costa’s Hummingbird

  • Length: 3–3.5 in (7.6–8.9 cm)
  • Wingspan: 11 cm
  • Average weight:
    • Males: 3.05 g
    • Females: 3.22 g
PlumageBright purple head and neck in males, green and white plumage; females and juveniles have white underparts and gray-green upper parts
HabitatDeserts, gardens, bushy deserts
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
FamilyTrochilidae (Hummingbird family)
DistributionFound in deserted areas of the United States and Mexico, particularly abundant in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts; prefers gardens and bushy desert habitats; migrates southward when desert temperatures rise
SizeTiny bird with an average length and weight
DietFeeds on nectar and insects; prefers desert plants such as agaves, fairy-dusters, desert honeysuckles, ocotillo, and chuparosa
Gender Differences– Male: Purple crown and throat patch resembling a mustache – Female and juveniles: White underparts, gray-green upper parts
BehaviorsCapable of hovering mid-air and diving following a curved path while emitting a high-pitched sound
purple birds birdzpedia.com

6 Violet- Backed Starling

  • Scientific name: Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
  • Size: 6.5 to 7 inches (17 to 18 centimeters)
  • Weight: 1.3 to 2 ounces (39 to 56 grams), averaging 1.5 ounces (45 grams)
PlumageBright purple head and upper sides in males; dull brown plumage in females
HabitatSub-Saharan regions, gallery forests, open woodlands
DietFruits, insects, seeds, berries, arthropods (termites, ants)
DistributionSub-Saharan Africa, forests, wooded areas
MigrationMigrates north towards the Sahara during winter
Breeding BehaviorMonogamous pairs nesting together in cavities of trees, holes in the shoreline of rivers, or holes in fence posts
NestingMonogamous pairs nest together to raise their young; nests built in cavities of trees, holes in the shoreline of rivers, or holes in fence posts
Fun FactDuring termite swarms, violet-backed starlings gorge voraciously on these insects
Sexual DimorphismGreat sexual dimorphism; males have iridescent violet hue on back, white belly, lemon yellow eye; females and immatures have white bellies with brown stripes and darker brown upperparts; both sexes have dark bill and lemon yellow eye
Habitat PreferenceOpen woodland, riverine forest, wooded parkland
Feeding BehaviorFeed on fruit, berries, insects (particularly winged termites and ants); effective mistletoe dispersal agent
purple birds birdzpedia.com

7American Purple Gallinule

  • Scientific namePorphyrio martinicus
  • Length: 26–37 cm (10–15 in)
  • Wingspan: 50–61 cm (20–24 in)
  • Male: 141–305 g (5.0–10.8 oz), averaging 257 g (9.1 oz)
  • Female: 141–305 g (5.0–10.8 oz), averaging 215 g (7.6 oz)
Bird SpeciesAmerican Purple Gallinule
DietOmnivorous, includes seeds, leaves, fruits, insects, snails, and fish
LocationSoutheastern U.S., Central America, and northern South America
HabitatFreshwater and brackish marshes
AppearanceBright purple-blue plumage with a green back, red and yellow bill
AliasYellow-legged gallinule
FeathersPurple-blue feathers
DistributionUnited States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America
Notable FeaturesStout, bright red bill; long yellow legs; turquoise front; blue-purple head, neck, and underparts
HabitatFreshwater marsh habitats
RangeSoutheastern USA, Mexico, Caribbean, Central and tropical South America
purple birds birdzpedia.com

8 Purple-Crested Turaco

  • Scientific name: Gallirex porphyreolophus
Common NamePurple-crested Turaco
Scientific ClassificationFamily: Turacos (Musophagidae)
DistributionFound in African countries including Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Mozambique, and South Africa
HabitatVarious habitats in Africa
DietMainly frugivorous; known to transport seeds back to nests
Physical AppearancePurple-colored crest; various shades of purplish blue and violet blending with green and washed pink
purple birds birdzpedia.com

9 Purple Grenadier

  • Scientific name: Granatina ianthinogaster
  • Size: 5.25 to 5.5 inches (13 to 14 centimeters)
  • Weight: 0.4 ounces (12 grams)
HabitatTropical and subtropical lowlands
DistributionUganda, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia
Scientific NamePurple Grenadier
SizeUp to 5.25 inches
Color– Cinnamon-colored head – Purple-blue rump – Violet underparts – Red-orange beak – Black tail (all individuals) – Purple-blue (males) / Cinnamon brown (females)
Sexual DimorphismMales: Purple-blue feathers around eyes, chest, and abdomen; russet-colored head; light brown back; black tail feathers Females: Light blue feathers around eyes; brown body; white feathers scattered creating a spotted or striped pattern
DietGrass seeds, insects (termites, spiders, aphids)
Courtship BehaviorExtensive, showy courtship display
NestingBuilt in low shrub or bush; both parents involved in raising young
Social BehaviorNot typically found in flocks; may be aggressive towards closely-related species
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (in Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania)
Fun FactPopular pet species among bird lovers; often kept in cages by bird hobbyists
purple birds birdzpedia.com

10 Crowned Woodnymph

  • Male:
    • Length: 9.5 to 11.5 cm (3.7 to 4.5 in)
    • Weight: 4 to 5.5 g (0.14 to 0.19 oz)
  • Female:
    • Length: 8.5 to 9.2 cm (3.3 to 3.6 in)
    • Weight: 3.5 to 4.2 g (0.12 to 0.15 oz)
Bird SpeciesCrowned Woodnymph
DietMainly nectar, some insects
LocationFrom western Panama south to northern Bolivia and northern Brazil
HabitatForests, woodlands, plantations, and gardens
SizeLength: 10.2 cm, Weight: 4.5-7 grams
Appearance– Males: Violet-blue crown and throat, golden-green belly
– Females: Green above, grayish-white below
Unique FeatureAdorns forests of Northern Colombia and humid jungles; plays integral role in ecosystem; recognizable by nature lovers everywhere
purple birds birdzpedia.com

11 Indian Peacock

  • Peacocks:
  • Weight: 4–6 kg (8.8–13.2 lb)
  • Peahens:
  • Length: Around 95 cm (37 in)
  • Weight: 2.75–4 kg (6.1–8.8 lb)
  • From bill to tail: 100 to 115 cm (39 to 45 in)
  • Including fully grown train: 195 to 225 cm (77 to 89 in)
Bird SpeciesIndian Peacock (Indian Peafowl)
DietOmnivorous, includes seeds, insects, fruits, small mammals, and reptiles
LocationIndian subcontinent, introduced in many other parts of the world
HabitatForests, parks, and grasslands
SizeLength (male including “train”) 195-225 cm, weight (male): 4-6 kg
AppearanceMales have a brilliant blue crest and neck, with a fan-like display of feathers; females are more subdued in color. The national bird of India, the Indian peacock is one of the most spectacular purple birds with long tails. It is found in India and Sri Lanka, and is related to the Javanese peacock (found in Myanmar and Java) which is green.
purple birds birdzpedia.com

12 Japanese Paradise Flycatcher

  • Length: 30-34 cm (male, including long tail streamers)
  • Weight: 13-18 grams
Bird SpeciesJapanese Paradise Flycatcher
LocationJapan, Korea, and parts of Southeast Asia during migration
HabitatShady deciduous and evergreen forests
AppearanceMales have a chestnut body, blue-black head, and elongated tail feathers; females have shorter tail and lack blue-black coloration. With a short crest, neon blue eyelets, and long black streamers on the tail, the breeding male is purple-black on top and white on the bottom. Females and non-breeding males have dark gray heads and necks, paler eyes, shorter combs, and brown wings and tails without streamers.
purple birds birdzpedia.com

13 Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch

  • The velvet-fronted nuthatch has the typical nuthatch shape.
  • It has a short tail and powerful bill and feet.
  • It is 12.5 cm long.
Bird SpeciesVelvet-fronted Nuthatch
FamilySittidae (Nuthatch family)
LocationMainly in Asia, specifically in countries like India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka
AppearanceViolet-blue on the top part and white underneath. Orange bill, lavender cheeks, blue-violet upper parts, and beige undersides.
DietInsects and spiders
purple birds birdzpedia.com

14 Purplish Jay

Bird SpeciesPurplish Jay
LocationAmazonian basin, southeastern Peru, Paraguay, northern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil
HabitatLush tropical forests, subtropical or tropical dry forests, lowland forests
AppearanceBluish-purple with a black mask; distinctive from the violaceous jay
BehaviorForages in small groups; feeds mostly on insects, small vertebrates, eggs, reptiles, and fruits
purple birds birdzpedia.com

15 Crested Quail-Dove 

Bird SpeciesCrested Quail-Dove
DietMainly fruits and seeds
HabitatMountain forests
SizeLength: 33-36 cm, weight: 225-325 grams
AppearanceGray-brown dove with a pinkish hue, white belly, and a dark crest. Endemic to Jamaica, the crested quail-dove is a plump, ground-dwelling bird that inhabits the moist forests in mountains and foothills. Its name is owed to the interesting crest that ends right above the nape of the neck. This dove is covered in mostly gray plumage with a strong purple iridescence on the upper parts. It is one of the most common purple birds in Jamaica.
purple birds birdzpedia.com

16 Formosan Blue Magpie

  • Length: 64-65 cm,
  • weight: 254-260 grams
Bird SpeciesFormosan Blue Magpie
DietOmnivorous, includes insects, small reptiles, rodents, and fruit
HabitatForests, especially in hilly and mountainous areas
Appearance Striking bird with blue and black plumage
Long tail
Red beak and legs
Captivating purple-blue head and wings
Vivid colors adorn its body, making it truly remarkable to watch
purple birds birdzpedia.com

17 Lilac-Breasted Roller

  • Lilac-breasted rollers are robust birds with large heads.
  • They perch alone in grassy clearings and are easily identifiable by their colorful plumage.
  • The lilac throat deepens into a darker lilac breast.
  • Olive crown to mantle, lilac-rufous cheeks and ear coverts.
Bird SpeciesLilac-breasted Roller
DistributionWidely distributed in Southern and Eastern Africa, also a vagrant to the southern Arabian Peninsula
HabitatPrefers open woodland and savanna; mostly absent from treeless places
BehaviorUsually found alone or in pairs; perches at the tops of trees, poles, or other high vantage points to spot insects, amphibians, and small birds; nests in natural tree holes; clutch size of 2-4 eggs incubated by both parents; extremely aggressive in defense of nest; male performs aerial displays during breeding season
AppearanceMulticolored plumage; sexes do not differ in coloration; juveniles lack long tail streamers of adults
Other NamesFork-tailed Roller, Lilac-throated Roller, Mosilikatze’s Roller
National Bird ofKenya
purple birds birdzpedia.com

18 Fork-Tailed Woodnymph 

  • Length: 11 cm
  • weight: 4.5-7 grams
Bird SpeciesFork-Tailed Woodnymph
DietMainly nectar, some insects
LocationSouth America: from Colombia to northern Argentina
HabitatForests, woodlands, plantations, and gardens
Appearance Males: Emerald green body with a forked tail; iridescent hues of violet and blue.
Females: Subtle elegance with a bronze-green body.
Found in every mainland of South America except for Chile and Uruguay.
purple birds birdzpedia.com

19 Hartlaub’s Turaco 

  • Length: 40-45 cm
  • weight: 200-315 grams
Bird SpeciesHartlaub’s Turaco
DietMainly fruits, some leaves, buds, flowers, and small invertebrates
LocationKenya and Tanzania
HabitatMontane forests
Appearance Glossy violet-blue plumage
Greenish-yellow bill
Crimson wing patches
Rounded crest of dazzling blackish-blue on its back, with a red ring around the eye, and a wide white patch next to the eye with a white line underneath
Green torso and neck transitioning to bright purple-blue lower body, wings, and tail
Feathers are light red on the inside of the wings
purple birds birdzpedia.com

20 Garnet Pitta

  • The Garnet pitta is about 17 cm long.
  • It has a black head with a bright blue stripe at the eyebrows and a red cap.
  • The breast is dark blue at the top and carmine red beneath.
  • The back and wings are bright blue.
  • Juvenile pittas have a mostly brown color.
Bird SpeciesGarnet Pitta
LocationBrunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand
HabitatTropical and subtropical moist lowland forests
DietMainly ants, wood grubs, cockroaches, and beetles
ThreatNear-threatened due to habitat loss
ReproductionPairs mate between March and August; lay a clutch of two eggs
Notes One of the rarest purple birds, known for its shy nature
Geographic range spans from Brunei to Thailand
Once abundant, now near-threatened due to loss of habitat
Form in Malaysian state of Sabah recognized as black-crowned pitta (Erythropitta ussheri)
purple birds birdzpedia.com

21 Purple Swamphen

Common NamePurple Swamphen
Scientific NamePorphyrio species (various species based on geographic location)
Native RangeEurope, Asia, Africa, Oceania
Notable HabitatFreshwater and brackish wetlands
Feeding HabitsPrimarily feeds on land, consuming plant matter and small prey
Adaptation in New ZealandOne of the most successful bird species due to appropriate responses to terrestrial predators
purple birds birdzpedia.com

22 Purplish-Mantled Tanager

DistributionColombia and Ecuador
Natural HabitatsSubtropical or tropical moist montane forests, heavily degraded former forest
ThreatsHabitat loss due to deforestation
Physical CharacteristicsFairly small, chunky tanager with stout bill. Almost entirely blue with darker indigo on head, paler cerulean towards tail. Bright lemon-yellow throat distinctive; also look for inconspicuous chestnut undertail coverts. Sexes alike.
BehaviorUncommon around forests and edges in subtropical zone, usually in pairs or small groups. Tends to stay at lower or middle levels of trees and shrubs, often following mixed-species flock.
DietOmnivorous; joins mixed foraging flocks like the velvet-fronted nuthatch
purple birds birdzpedia.com

23  Boat-Tailed Grackle

  • Male Boat-tailed Grackle:
  • Length: 37–43 cm (15–17 in)
  • Weight: 165–250 g (5.8–8.8 oz)
  • Plumage: Entirely iridescent black
  • Bill: Long and dark
  • Iris: Pale yellowish or brown
  • Tail: Long and keel-shaped
  • Wingspan: 39–50 cm (15–20 in)
  • Other Measurements:
    • Wing bone: 13–20 cm (5.1–7.9 in)
    • Tail length: 11–20 cm (4.3–7.9 in)
    • Culmen (bill): 2–4.2 cm (0.79–1.65 in)
    • Tarsus: 3.6–5.8 cm (1.4–2.3 in)
  • Female Boat-tailed Grackle:
  • Length: 26–33 cm (10–13 in)
  • Weight: 90–115 g (3.2–4.1 oz)
  • Plumage: Tawny-brown with darker wings and tail
  • Tail: Shorter than male’s
DistributionPermanent resident on the coasts of the Southeastern United States
HabitatCoastal areas, saltwater marshes, inland waters (in Florida)
PlumageIridescent black, shining bluish-purple in sunlight; often described as a blackbird with a blue head
Foraging BehaviorOpportunistic feeder, not shy; forages in parking lots, trash bins, dumpsters
Nesting HabitsWell-concealed cup nests in trees or shrubs near water; average clutch size is just over three eggs
DietOmnivorous; eats insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, grain, and even small birds
Social BehaviorOften associates with least bitterns in salt marsh areas; establishes significant populations in Gulf Coast cities and towns
CallHarsh “jeeb” song, along with grackle-like chatters and squeaks
purple birds birdzpedia.com

24 Violaceous Euphonia 

  • Adult length: 11.4 cm
  • Weight: 14 g
FamilyTrue Finch (Fringillidae)
DistributionResident breeder from Trinidad, Tobago, and eastern Venezuela south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina; also found in northern Brazil, the lower portion of the Amazon Basin, and adjacent Tocantins River drainage
HabitatForests, second growth, plantations of cocoa and citrus fruit
NestingNest built on a bank, tree stump, or cavity; clutch size of four (sometimes three) red-blotched white eggs, incubated by the female
Physical Characteristics Male: Glossy blue-black upperparts, deep golden yellow forehead and underparts; Female and immature: Olive green above, greenish yellow below
DietMainly small fruit, occasionally insects; fruits include mistletoes, epiphytic cacti, Cecropia fruit; also consumes terrestrial snails in Brazil
Social BehaviorSocial birds; song is a varied mix of musical notes, squeaks, chattering, and imitation
Conservation StatusRelatively inaccessible habitat provides protection from trapping; not currently considered threatened
purple birds birdzpedia.com

25 Purple Finch 

  • Overall length: 12–16 cm (4.7–6.3 in)
  • Weight: 18–32 g (0.63–1.13 oz)
  • Tail: Short and forked, brown in color
  • Wings: Brown
DistributionBreeds in the northern United States, southern Canada, and the west coast of North America; migratory populations from northern Canada to the southern United States
HabitatMixture of open and semi-open areas, including suburbs; breeds almost exclusively in forests
DietMainly seeds, especially during winter; in summer, also eats small fruits, berries, and some insects
Breeding HabitatConiferous and mixed forest in Canada and northeastern United States; various wooded areas along the U.S. Pacific coast
BehaviorForages in trees and bushes, sometimes in ground vegetation; fond of sunflower seeds, millet, and thistle; nesting preference for lowland coniferous and mixed forests
Nesting HabitsFemale builds nest on horizontal branches of coniferous trees, away from trunk or occasionally in tree forks; nest shaped like an open cup, made of rootlets, twigs, weeds
Cultural SignificanceState bird of New Hampshire; historically described as “chiantototl” (chia seed bird) in Mexico
purple birds birdzpedia.com

26  Santa Cruz Ground Dove

DistributionSouthern Solomon Islands and Vanuatu
HabitatSubtropical or tropical moist lowland forests
Threat StatusThreatened by habitat loss
Former GenusAlopecoenas (formerly), changed to Pampusana in 2019 due to priority
Physical CharacteristicsRotund, short-legged ground-dwelling dove; male: dark body with iridescent pinkish-purple shoulder patch, cream-colored chest, and gray head; female: ruddy head and chest with olive back and wings; juvenile: entirely dark brown
BehaviorForages on the ground; perches on low branches; typically roosts in trees; usually runs rather than flies when startled
DietBerries and seeds
Habitat PreferenceMature primary forest, apparently up to 1000 meters elevation
VocalizationsPoorly known, but include typical dove-like repeated and accelerating “whoot whoot whoot”
purple birds birdzpedia.com

27 Barn Swallow

  • Length: 17–19 cm (6+1⁄2–7+1⁄2 in) including elongated outer tail feathers (2–7 cm or 1–3 in)
  • Wingspan: 32–34.5 cm (12+1⁄2–13+1⁄2 in)
  • Weight: 16–22 g (9⁄16–3⁄4 oz)
DistributionBreeds across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas; migratory, with breeding range spanning Canada to southern United States; year-round presence in Central America
SubspeciesSix Northern Hemisphere subspecies, four migratory, wintering across Southern Hemisphere
HabitatOpen country, nests in man-made structures like barns
Physical CharacteristicsBlue upperparts, deeply forked tail
DietOmnivorous, feeds on insects caught in flight
Cultural SignificanceNational bird of Austria and Estonia; cultural references in literature and religion due to close association with humans and annual migration; historically tolerated due to insect-eating habits and superstitions regarding nest
Conservation StatusNot globally endangered, but may experience local declines due to specific threats
purple birds birdzpedia.com

28 Black-Capped Kingfisher

  • Species: Halcyon pileata
  • Length: Approximately 28 centimeters (11 in)
DistributionWidely found in tropical Asia from India to Southeast Asia; resident in many areas, migratory in the north, wintering in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Borneo, and Java
HabitatCoastal and mangrove habitats, occasionally inland
CharacteristicsDistinctive black cap, purple-blue wings, coral red bill; juveniles duller with streaks on throat; large white patches visible in flight
BehaviorEasily disturbed, perches conspicuously, dives for fish, feeds on large insects; rapid flight with short rounded wings
Breeding SeasonSummer
NestTunnel in earth bank
EggsSingle clutch of 4-5 round, white eggs
SubspeciesMonotypic with no clear plumage differences; subspecies palawanensis described
Distribution & HabitatCoastal areas, mangrove forests, estuaries, rivers; from India to Southeast Asia, including Sri Lanka, Korea, Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Philippines, Borneo, Sumatra, and Sulawesi; occasional vagrants in Pakistan; inland movements due to rainfall
Cultural SignificanceFeathers sought for millinery trade; used in Chinese fans; feathers glued onto ornaments in Hong Kong
purple birds birdzpedia.com

29  Scrub Jay

Common NameScrub Jay
DistributionWestern North America, from British Columbia to western Nevada and throughout California
HabitatFound in almost all wild habitats
Physical CharacteristicsBluish-purple hue on head and back; distinguished from blue jays by less intense blue color
IdentificationCan be mistaken for blue jays at first glance
purple birds birdzpedia.com

30  Southern Carmine Bee-Eater

DistributionSub-equatorial Africa, from KwaZulu-Natal to Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya
MovementsMigratory, breeding in Zimbabwe and Zambia (August-November), moving south to South Africa for summer, and migrating to Equatorial Africa (March-August)
Physical CharacteristicsPredominantly carmine with blue crown and undertail
DietPrimarily bees and flying insects; hunts from perches on vegetation or large animals, attracted to wildfires
HabitatLow-altitude river valleys and floodplains, nesting in vertical banks or burrows on salt islands; highly sociable, gathers in large flocks, roosts communally in trees or reedbeds
BreedingNests at end of 1-2 meter burrow in earthen bank, lays 2-5 eggs
purple birds birdzpedia.com

31 Western Violet-Backed Sunbird

DistributionMainly found in mainland sub-Saharan Africa, in regions not inhabited by other members of the superspecies
HabitatMesic woodland habitats
BehaviorSpends most of its time perched on trees or catching insects, including butterflies and bees
Sexual DimorphismPresent; both males and females have purple feathers on head and back, but females’ colors are much duller, often tending to tawny-brown
purple birds birdzpedia.com

32 Purple Sunbird

  • Relatively short bill
  • Dark and short square-ended tail
  • Distinctive sexual dimorphism
  • Less than 10 cm long
  • Down-curved bill
  • Brush-tipped tubular tongues aiding in nectar feeding
DistributionMainly found in South and Southeast Asia, extending west into parts of the Arabian Peninsula
Physical CharacteristicsMales have iridescent plumage shining in shades of purple, appearing essentially black in harsh sunlight; females are brown with yellow underside
BehaviorFeeds mainly on nectar but also takes insects, especially when feeding young; has fast and direct flight; can hover like a hummingbird to take nectar but often perches at the base of flowers
purple birds birdzpedia.com

33 Varied Bunting

  • Rounded bill:11–14 cm long
  • Wingspan of 21 cm
  • Weighing 11–13 g
RangeSouthern parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the United States, extending into Mexico
Physical CharacteristicsStocky bird with short tail
PlumageBreeding males are purple-red with red patch on nape, females are plain light brown
HabitatDeserts, xeric shrublands, thorny brush thickets, scrubby woodlands
DietForages on ground for insects, fruit, and seeds
NestingBuilds open-cup nests of grass and spider webs in outer branches of thorny shrubs
ReproductionFemales lay 2–5 bluish-white to bluish-green eggs, incubated for about 14 days. Young leave the nest after 10 days
purple birds birdzpedia.com

34 Purple-breasted Cotinga

It’s the least common and one of the smallest cotinga species. It is not only a subject of much discovery, but sightings are infrequent.

Common NamePurple-breasted Cotinga
HabitatTropical moist lowland forests
DistributionFound all over South America
SizeApproximately 18 cm (7 in)
Plumage (Male)Deep blue upperparts, deep purple throat and underparts
Plumage (Female)Brown overall with bold black scales on underparts
Foraging BehaviorForages in canopy of forests with nutrient-poor soils
Similar SpeciesBlue Cotinga, Plum-throated Cotinga, Spangled Cotinga
purple birds birdzpedia.com

35 Shiny Cowbird

  • Shiny cowbird adults vary in appearance by subspecies.
  • Mass ranges from 31-40 grams to 55-65 grams .
  • Length ranges from 18 cm to 22 cm .
Common NameShiny Cowbird
Scientific NameMolothrus bonariensis
FamilyIcteridae (New World family)
HabitatBreeds in most of South America except dense forests and high-altitude areas; also found in disturbed land from agriculture and deforestation
RangeOriginally from South America, but since 1900 has shifted northward to the Caribbean islands and southern Florida in the United States
Plumage (Male)All black with a purple-blue iridescence
Plumage (Female)Dull brown plumage, sometimes paler on underparts; smaller size; longer, finer bills and flatter heads compared to female brown-headed cowbirds
Foraging BehaviorMainly forages in the afternoon in small flocks; diet consists mainly of insects, other arthropods, seeds, and grains found in cattle troughs
ReproductionObligate brood parasite; lays eggs in nests of other bird species such as the rufous-collared sparrow; different host species show varied responses to parasitism
purple birds birdzpedia.com

36  Hildebrandt’s Starling

  • Length: 18 cm (7.1 in)
  • Weight: 50 to 69 g (1.8–2.4 oz)
HabitatOpen woodlands and thornbush country at elevations between 1,600 and 7,200 feet
RangeNaturally occurs in south-central Kenya and north Tanzania
DistributionFound in open country between 500 and 2,200 meters (1,600 and 7,200 feet) in Kenya and Tanzania; habitat includes open woodland and thornbrush country
DietPrimarily carnivorous, feeding on insects such as grasshoppers and bees; often joins mixed foraging flocks
StatusNot considered threatened; listed as Least Concern by the IUCN
purple birds birdzpedia.com

37  Purple-Crowned Fairy Wren 

  • Size: Approximately 14 cm (5.5 in) in length
  • with a wing-span of approximately 16 cm (6.3 in)
  • Weight: 9–13 g (0.32–0.46 oz)
Endemic ToNorthern Australia
Distinctive FeatureBreeding males sport a distinctive purple circle of crown feathers. They also have cheek patches and deep blue tails.
Social BehaviorSocially monogamous with low rates of extra-pair paternity.
Nesting BehaviorBuild small dome-shaped nests and lay 2–3 eggs, with up to three clutches per year.
DietMainly insectivorous, supplemented with seeds.
HabitatRiparian habitat with dense vegetation. Less adapted to urbanized habitats.
Conservation StatusOverall considered of least concern, but the western subspecies is listed as endangered.
purple birds birdzpedia.com

38  Rufous-Vented Ground Cuckoo 

  • Length: 45 to 51 cm (18 to 20 in), with about half being its tail
  • Weight: Approximately 300 to 400 g (11 to 14 oz)
DistributionPatchily distributed from Brazil to Honduras
Conservation StatusVulnerable in its own habitat
HabitatAlmost exclusively terrestrial, occasionally flying on low branches to escape predators
DietPrimarily insects, including other arthropods, small vertebrates, and sometimes fallen fruits
Breeding SeasonVaries latitudinally, nesting in the northern summer in Central America and in the austral summer in most of South America
NestSturdy nest of large sticks with a flatish cup of dry grass and fresh leaves, placed in the fork of a tree or shrub about 2 to 3 m (7 to 10 ft) above the ground
IncubationBelieved to be done by both parents, with the incubation period and time to fledging unknown
VocalizationCharacterized by a low, drawn out, moaning coo: ooooooooooooooooop
purple birds birdzpedia.com

39 Purple Cochoa 

DescriptionDark appearance with silvery blue crown, black mask over the eye, prominent wing patch
DistributionBangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam
HabitatMoist lowland and montane forests
BehaviourMainly found in canopy, breeds May-July, builds cup-shaped nest, shy at nest, sings low whistle
DietBerries, insects, molluscs; behaves like flycatchers when picking fruits from trees
purple birds birdzpedia.com

40 Common Scimitarbill 

DistributionAngola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
DescriptionDark blue plumage; black beak in adults, grey in juveniles
HabitatWooded savannas, dry thornbush country, occasionally in thicker woodlands
BehaviorFeeds on larvae and insects by digging with its long, decurved bill
purple birds birdzpedia.com

41 Crinkle-Collared Manucode 

  • Medium-sized, up to 36 cm long
  • Greenish blue, black, and purple-glossed plumage
  • Long graduated tail
  • Red iris
  • Iridescent green breast feathers
  • Both sexes are similar, with the female slightly smaller and less purple
  • Resembles the Jobi manucode but distinguished by bronzed yellow-green neck feathers
HabitatLowlands and hill forests of mainland New Guinea and Misool Island of West Papua
DistributionWidespread in its habitat range
DietMainly feeds on fruits and figs; occasionally eats insects
PlumageIridescent black with purple notes on the wings
ConservationLeast Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; Listed on Appendix II of CITES
purple birds birdzpedia.com

42 Cape Glossy Starling

  • Adult length of about 25 cm (10 in)
  • Weight of about 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Common NameCape Glossy Starling
Other NameRed-shouldered Glossy Starling
Physical CharacteristicsMainly green-bluish purple starling with metallic colors on plumage
Small red spots on the shoulders
Color palette includes various shades of metallic blue, purple, and green
Individual color appearance changes based on light reflections
HabitatFound in Southern Africa
Primarily inhabits woodlands
Also found in rural and suburban areas
purple birds birdzpedia.com

43 Tricolored Heron

  • Length: 56 to 76 cm (22 to 30 in)
  • Wingspan: 96 cm (38 in)
  • Male Weight: Average of 415 g (14.6 oz)
  • Female Weight: Average of 334 g (11.8 oz)
ColorationMixes pastel shades of lavender, white, and blue-grey; features a white stripe along the sinuous neck and a white belly
DistributionCoastal parts of the Americas, including the northeastern United States and through the Gulf of Mexico
HabitatCoastal estuaries, lagoons, saltmarshes, and mangroves
DietMainly feeds on fish and crustaceans, but also eats amphibians and insects
purple birds birdzpedia.com

44 Purple Gallinule

HabitatExtreme southeastern U.S., particularly in marshes
SizeSimilar to a chicken
Body ShapeSmall body, conical beak, short tail
LegsVery long legs
FeetLong toes
Plumage Colors Purple head and neck
Greenish wings and back
Red bill with a yellow tip
Azure blue face shield
Light yellow legs and feet
Juvenile Colors Mainly brown above
Khaki below
Dull colored bill, legs, and thighs
BehaviorWalks gingerly across water lilies and floating vegetation while hunting frogs, invertebrates, or picking at tubers
Color PaletteCherry red, sky blue, moss green, aquamarine, indigo, violet, and school-bus yellow, blending well with tropical and subtropical wetlands
purple birds birdzpedia.com

45 Splendid Sunbird

SpeciesSplendid sunbird (Cinnyris coccinigastrus)
Size15 cm long
DietPrimarily feeds on nectar; also consumes insects, especially when feeding young
FlightFast and direct flight on short wings
Feeding BehaviorCan take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird; usually perch to feed most of the time
Breeding RangeWest and central tropical Africa
NestOval suspended nest in a tree; typically contains one or two eggs
MigrationSeasonal migrant within its range
BillMedium-long thin down-curved bill
TongueBrush-tipped tubular tongue, adapted for nectar feeding
Male PlumageMainly glossy purple; dark green back and wing bar; crimson breast patch
Female PlumageGreenish-brown above; yellowish below
HabitatWet savannah and woodland, often with oil palms (Elaeis guineensis)
Relationship with Oil PalmsOil palms provide sap from trunk incisions, which is collected to make palm wine; splendid sunbirds commonly breed in areas with oil palms
purple birds birdzpedia.com

46 Violaceous jay

  • Species: Violaceous jay
  • Length: 33–38 cm (13–15 in)
  • Weight: 262 grams (9.2 ounces)
PlumageLarge, dark bird with vivid violet plumage; black head and bib
HabitatCommon in various open settings including forest edges, gardens, and agricultural areas; especially common along rivers and streams
DistributionBolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela; found in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest; mainly a lowland bird but ranges up to elevations of 500–1,400 m
BehaviorOmnivorous, consuming mainly fruits, insects, bird and reptile eggs, and small lizards; forages in middle and upper canopy of mature tropical evergreen rainforest; often forages in flocks and frequently mob potential predators
purple birds birdzpedia.com

47 Grey-headed Swamphen

SpeciesGrey-headed swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)
DistributionMiddle East, Indian subcontinent, southern China, northern Thailand
Taxonomic StatusFormerly considered a subspecies of the purple swamphen; elevated to full species status in 2015
Courtship DisplayMale performs an elaborate courtship display by holding water weeds in his bill and bowing to the female with loud chuckles
Introduction to NAIntroduced to North America in the late 1990s due to avicultural escapes in Pembroke Pines, Florida area
Establishment in NADespite attempts by state wildlife biologists to eradicate them, the birds have multiplied and can now be found in many areas of southern Florida
Impact in FloridaOrnithological authorities anticipate that the swamphen will become an established part of Florida’s avifauna
ListingAdded to the American Birding Association checklist in February 2013
purple birds birdzpedia.com

48 Purple-throated Mountain-gem

  • Species: Purple-throated mountaingem
  • Length: 10 to 11.5 cm (3.9 to 4.5 in)
  • Weight: 4.5 to 6 g (0.16 to 0.21 oz)
SpeciesPurple-throated mountaingem (Lampornis calolaemus)
DistributionCosta Rica, Nicaragua, Panama
Behavior Feeds mostly on nectar – Males defend flower patches; females less territorial – Primary pollinator of certain flowers
-Also feeds on insects – Females have longer bills – Niche differentiation in flower preferences
BreedingOctober to April (rainy season) – Female builds nest, incubates eggs, cares for nestlings Clutch size: 2 eggs – Fledging occurs 22-23 days after hatch
VocalizationSong: high, thin, dry; complex medley of sputtering, warbling notes – Common call: “trrrt” or sharp, buzzy “zeet” – Other notes during interactions with other hummingbirds
purple birds birdzpedia.com


In summary, the enthralling realm of avian life presents an intriguing array of species, all distinct and breathtaking in their own right. The purple birds are particularly beautiful among them, with vivid hues that light up the sky and make us feel admiration for them. With the help of this blog article, we have

traveled the world, seeing different fascinating purple birds—some with eye-catching color combinations—from the woods of South America to the woodlands of Sub-Saharan Africa. It serves as an enlightening reminder of the remarkable biodiversity that exists on Earth and our responsibility to protect these

ecosystems. Have any of these birds ever caught your eye? If so, you should count yourselves lucky. They add beauty to the natural world and make it worthwhile to spend time in it. So let’s hope that you are as enthralled with purple birds as I am and that these species will encourage you to go on your own

naturalist expeditions. Cheers to your birding! Please feel free to mention any other species of purple birds that we may have overlooked.


  1. Why would a bird be purple?
    • Because of pigmentation in their feathers, birds can seem purple. This pigmentation can be brought on by pigments like melanin or carotenoids or by certain structural characteristics of the feathers.
  2. Where are the purple birds?
    • Purple birds can be found all throughout the world, from temperate forests to tropical jungles. Because different species may have distinct ranges, it is important to investigate each species’ specific habitat.
  3. Do all purple birds have the same color?
    • No, not every purple bird has a completely purple color. Some might have purple streaks or patches mixed in with other colors, while others might have iridescence, which makes them appear purple in specific lighting situations.
  4. Are purple birds particularly significant or symbolic?
    • Purple can represent a variety of concepts in various cultures and traditions, including mystery, mysticism, and royalty. Purple birds’ significance, however, can differ based on cultural perspectives.
  5. Purple birds consume what?
    • Like other bird species, purple birds have a variety of diets. Depending on their species and habitat, they may consume insects, fruits, seeds, nectar, or tiny vertebrates as food.
  6. Are birds that are purple endangered?
    • A few purple bird species might be in danger of going extinct because of pollution, habitat loss, climate change, or other human actions. Depending on a species’ conservation status, different conservation efforts may be made for it.
  7. Is it possible to draw purple birds to my backyard or garden?
    • Purple birds and other bird species can be drawn to areas with adequate habitat features, such as food supplies, water, and cover. You could try putting in bird baths and feeders, along with native flowering plants, to draw birds to your backyard.
  8. How Do I Recognize Purple Finches?
    • It may be necessary to pay attention to particular physical traits, such as plumage hue, beak shape, size, and habitat preferences, in order to identify purple birds. Identification of bird species can be aided by field guides, online resources, and birdwatching applications.
  9. Are purple birds migratory?
    • While some species of purple birds migrate, others remain permanently in their natural environments. A number of variables, including climate, breeding habits, and the availability of food, might affect migration patterns.
  10. Can a purple bird be a pet that I own?
    • Verifying local laws and ordinances pertaining to pet bird ownership is crucial. In addition, it could not be morally or legally acceptable to keep many purple bird species as pets because they are protected by conservation regulations.

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