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Discover the Stunning World of Red Birds in Wyoming: From House Finches to Cardinals and Beyond!

The Fascinating World of Red Birds in Wyoming

Wyoming is home to a diverse range of wildlife, with a variety of bird species found throughout the state. Among these are the striking and colorful red birds, which are a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

In this article, we will introduce you to three types of red birds the common red birds, summer-only red birds, and rare red birds found in Wyoming. We’ll also delve into one of these red birds in more detail, the house finch, discussing their physical characteristics and habits.

Common Red Birds: House Finch and Cassin’s Finch

The common red birds found in Wyoming are the house finch and Cassin’s finch. The house finch is a small bird with a distinctive red head and breast in males, while the females have a brown-streaked coloring.

They are often found in parks, farms, forest edges, and backyard feeders, where they can be seen in noisy groups. House finches are attracted to black oil sunflower seeds and nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders, making them a frequent visitor to many backyards.

Cassin’s finches, on the other hand, are larger than house finches and have a more rosy pink coloring on their head and breast. They are often found in coniferous forests at high elevations or in open, shrubby habitats.

These birds feed on a variety of seeds, berries, and insects, and can be seen perched on trees and bushes. Summer-Only Red Birds: Scarlet Tanager, Summer Tanager, and Painted Bunting

Wyoming is a summer home to various red birds, including the scarlet tanager, summer tanager, and painted bunting.

The scarlet tanager is a stunning bird with a bright red body and black wings that is known for its distinctive song. They can usually be found in woodlands and forest edges, singing from the treetops.

The summer tanager is another red bird that can be found in Wyoming during the summer months. It has a more muted red coloring and can be seen perched on branches, eating insects.

Finally, the painted bunting, with its rainbow array of colors, is a rare sight in Wyoming. These birds are found in southern states and Mexico, but occasionally they venture into Wyoming.

These birds can be seen perched on bushes and shrubs, feeding on seeds and insects. Rare Red Birds: Northern Cardinal, White-Winged Crossbill, Purple Finch, and Hepatic Tanager

Wyoming is also home to several rare red birds, which are always a treat to see.

The northern cardinal, with its iconic bright red coloring and distinctive crest, is a rare sight in Wyoming, its range typically limited to more eastern states. Similarly, the white-winged crossbill, with its distinctively crossed bill, is a rare visitor to Wyoming, where it can be seen in spruce and fir forests.

The purple finch, with its rose-red coloring and distinctive beak, is also a rare sight in Wyoming, preferring habitats in more eastern states. Finally, the hepatic tanager, with its striking red and white markings, is a rare bird that can be seen in Wyoming’s oak woodlands and mesic canyons.

House Finch: Physical Characteristics

Now, let’s focus our attention on one of the common red birds found in Wyoming the house finch. House finches are small birds that range in size from 4 to 6 inches in length and have a wingspan of 7 to 9 inches.

The males are distinguished by their bright red head and breast, while the females have a brown-streaked coloring. They have a short, conical beak that is adapted to cracking open seeds and nuts.

Their eyes are located on the sides of their head, which gives them a wide field of vision. House Finch: Habits and Habitat

House finches are social birds and are often found in flocks.

They are known for their cheerful, twittering song, which can be heard throughout the day. They feed on a variety of seeds, fruits, and insects found in their habitat.

They can be seen in a variety of environments, including parks, farms, forest edges, and suburban areas. They are attracted to black oil sunflower seeds and nyjer seeds in tube feeders or platform feeders, and you can often see them perched on these feeders or on nearby trees or shrubs.


In conclusion, Wyoming is home to a diverse range of red birds that can be found in various habitats throughout the state. From the common house finch to the rare painted bunting, every red bird species has its unique characteristics and habits.

Knowing more about these birds will help you appreciate their beauty and learn how to spot them in the wild. So, get out your binoculars and start exploring the fascinating world of red birds in Wyoming!

Cassin’s Finch: Physical Characteristics

Cassin’s Finch is a striking bird with a distinctive red crown and rosy pink head in males, and more muted coloring in females.

This species has brown backs and wings, whiteish bellies, and bold red breasts, giving them a unique appearance. Their beak is short and curved, suitable for cracking open seeds.

They are small in size, ranging from 5.5 to 6 inches in length and have a wingspan of 9 to 11 inches. Cassin’s Finch: Habits and Habitat

These birds are typically found in mountain forests in western states such as Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming.

They prefer coniferous forests, but can also be seen in other types of forested landscapes. Cassin’s finch generally forages in flocks, picking seeds from the trees and ground.

They are sociable birds that remain in their flocks throughout the year. In addition, Cassin’s Finch has a rather particular feeding preference.

They are attracted to sunflower seed feeders or fruiting shrubs such as cotoneaster, mulberries, firethorn, grape, and apple. They also feed from native tree seeds such as Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine.

Their flight patterns and feeding habits make them an excellent bird to observe and enjoy, whether in nature or around your home. Red Crossbill: Physical Characteristics

The Red Crossbill is a unique and colorful bird that looks like two different birds depending on gender.

Males are bright red with darker wings and tails, while females are yellow and brown with a touch of red on their wings. These birds have a cone-shaped beak that is perfectly adapted for cracking open seeds from pinecones, which is crucial to their diet.

The beak is curved at the tip, which allows them to grasp the scales of pine cones and open them. Red Crossbill: Habits and Habitat

Red Crossbills are found year-round in northern and western states and spend winter in eastern states.

These birds are highly adapted to their natural habitat, which is coniferous forests and along roadsides. They are an all-season bird species that is highly nomadic, meaning they move around a lot and can be difficult to find.

The unpredictable avian behavior and foraging in flocks can make it difficult to spot Red Crossbills in the wild. Red Crossbills are entirely dependent on the abundant supply of conifer seeds in order to survive.

These seeds make up most of their diet, and they have a unique feeding behavior where they use their crossed beaks to pry open the scales of a pinecone while holding it with their feet. They forage for their food from branch to branch and tree-to-tree.

On rare occasions, Red Crossbills may visit bird feeders, especially those designed to hold coniferous seeds.

In Summary

Cassin’s Finch and Red Crossbill are two of the most interesting and spectacular red birds that can be found in the wilds of the western and northern states of the U.S. Both species are adept at finding and cracking open the seeds of preferential trees such as pinecones. Cassin’s Finch forages berries and seeds while Red Crossbills dig deep into the cones to access seeds.

Observing these birds in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience whether it be conifer forests, the wild open road, or backyard gardens. Knowing more about them, their physical characteristics, habits and habitat, and feeding preferences will help you appreciate and learn more about these amazing birds.

Pine Grosbeak: Physical Characteristics

Pine Grosbeak is a visually striking bird that is relatively slow for a finch, but makes up for its lack of speed with its stunning coloration. The males of this species are a vivid red with gray on the wings and tail, and two white wingbars for contrast.

The females, on the other hand, have a grayish coloring with dull orange heads and rumps. This bird is one of the larger species of finches and measures anywhere from 8 to 9 inches long with a wingspan of 13 to 15 inches.

Pine Grosbeak: Habits and Habitat

This bird species predominantly resides in Canada, mostly in Yellowstone National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest, which makes it a little more difficult to see in the U.S. compared to other bird species. The Pine Grosbeak likes to live in forests of pine, spruce, and fir, primarily feeding on seeds, fruit, and buds from these trees.

In summer, these birds also eat some insects. They have a unique feeding habit where their beaks are powerful enough to break open the tough husks of seeds, nuts, and cones.

When the area where they usually find food becomes scarce, they move further south or east in search of their favorite trees. Common Redpoll: Physical Characteristics

The common redpoll is one of the most distinctive birds of the finch family.

With their red foreheads, pinkish breasts, and brown and white coloring over the rest of their bodies, they are easy to identify. Redpolls are small birds, measuring anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5 inches in length, with a wingspan of 7.5 to 9 inches.

They have a short, conical beak that is adapted to cracking open seeds. Common Redpoll: Habits and Habitat

Common Redpolls are found in winter in northern states, and less frequently in central states.

These birds are highly adapted to cold weather and survive in some of the most austere environments on Earth. They have a unique mechanism for keeping warm, where they tunnel into the snow to stay warm during the night.

They feed mostly on seeds and can eat up to 42% of their body mass every day. Interestingly, they also have a storage mechanism where they can store up to 2 grams of seeds in a stretchy part of their esophagus.

The stored seeds are then digested at a later time, providing a backup source of nutrition if there is no other food available. Common Redpolls can be found in weedy fields or feeding on catkins in trees.

They are attracted to nyjer seeds or thistle, so having these feeders around the backyard is a great way to attract them during the winter. They tend to forage in flocks, making it a truly exceptional experience when you invite these birds to dine in your yard.

In Summary

Pine Grosbeak and Common Redpoll are two remarkable birds that belong to the finch family. Pine Grosbeak has striking red and gray coloring, while Common Redpoll has red foreheads and pinkish breasts.

Both species are mainly found in colder regions of North America, with Pine Grosbeak predominantly found in Canada and Common Redpoll in northern and central states during winter. They feed on seeds, fruit, and buds of trees, with Common Redpoll with its unique storage mechanism making them adaptable to even the harshest of winter environments.

They are fascinating birds to observe, each with their own unique characteristics, habits, and habitats, making them an excellent addition to any bird watcher’s wish list. White-winged Crossbill: Physical Characteristics

The White-winged Crossbill is a unique bird, with bright red coloring in males and yellow and brown in females, both having contrasting black wings and tails with two white wingbars.

This bird species has a distinctive beak that is heavily crossed, making it an excellent tool for getting hold of seeds from trees such as spruce and fir. They are small in size, measuring anywhere from 6 to 7 inches in length, with a wingspan of 10 to 12 inches.

White-winged Crossbill: Habits and Habitat

Although unusual and considered rare in Wyoming, the White-winged Crossbill species can be spotted mostly in the northwestern part of the state throughout the year. They are usually found in forests in Canada, Alaska, and northern US states when the cone crops are poor further north.

They are best seen in spruce forests where they forage for seeds. They breed at any time of year as long as there is enough food available to sustain their young.

Northern Cardinal: Physical Characteristics

The Northern Cardinal is a beautiful songbird, with the males having bright red feathers and black around their faces, while females have brown feathers with sharp brown crest, red highlights, and red beaks. The bird is mainly medium-sized, with males measuring about 8.5 inches long and females 6.5 inches long.

The wingspan for Northern Cardinal ranges from 9 to 12 inches. Northern Cardinal: Habits and Habitat

Northern Cardinals are considered an accident species in Wyoming, but a few sightings have been reported at Rawhide Wildlife Habitat Management Area.

They are commonly found in eastern and southern states, typically inhabiting wooded areas, parks, and gardens. Northern Cardinals have a unique and beautiful song that is an important part of their habitat and breeding.

They are known for their vibrant redness that comes mainly from chemical pigments in their feathers. They are also attracted to backyards feeders containing sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo.

In Summary

White-winged Crossbill and Northern Cardinal are exceptional bird species that have unique characteristic features. White-winged crossbill has a heavily crossed beak and bright red and yellow and brown feathers, while Northern Cardinal has red and brown feathers and a unique crest crown.

Northern Cardinals are commonly found in Eastern and Southern states of the US, while White-winged Crossbills mostly inhabit Canada, Alaska, and northern US states. These birds are fascinating to watch, and the best way to attract them is with specific bird feeders and types of feeds.

Cardnials to sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, millet, and milo, while White-winged Crossbills for coniferous trees. Observing the behavior of these birds and learning about

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