11 Birds With Red Eyes

Birds With Red Eyes

Birds with red eyes are an incredibly fascinating feature of the avian world.

From their unique coloration to the myths and legends woven around them, birds with red eyes have long captivated the imaginations of bird enthusiasts everywhere.

In this post, we’ll explore these stunning birds’ history, biology, and cultural significance, so join us as we delve into the world

1. Killdeer

by Ian Sane is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Killdeer, scientifically known as Charadrius vociferous, is a bird species found throughout North America.

One of the most distinct features of the Killdeer is its bright red eyes. The Killdeer is a medium-sized bird usually seen running along the ground.

Its upper body is brownish and grayish, while its underbelly is white. Killdeer is an opportunistic feeder that eats various foods, including insects, earthworms, spiders, and snails.

They prefer open habitats like fields, pastures, and gravel roads, where they can easily spot their prey.

The Killdeer is known for its distraction display when it perceives a threat to its nest. It may pretend to have a broken wing or lure the predator away by running away from it.

The Killdeer migratory bird can be seen in many habitats, including coastal and mountainous areas.

The breeding season for Killdeer is usually between March and July, when they build their nests on the ground, usually near a rocky area.

Killdeers can lay up to 4 eggs, and both parents take turns incubating the eggs.

The Killdeer’s red eyes are a fascinating feature distinguishing them from other birds. With their distinct calls and running style, the Killdeer is an intriguing bird to observe in the wild.

2. Western Grebe

Western Grebe
by Becky Matsubara is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Western Grebe is a stunning bird easily recognizable by its long, thin neck, elegant posture, and striking red eyes.

This species can be found throughout much of North America, from Canada down to Mexico, and it spends most of its time in large bodies of water like lakes and ponds.

One interesting fact about Western Grebes is that they engage in a unique mating ritual where pairs will run across the water’s surface together, creating a sort of “dance” that is truly mesmerizing.

The birds with red eyes glow even brighter during this display, making for a truly unforgettable sight.

Despite their beauty, Western Grebes also face threats to their populations, including habitat loss and degradation, pollution, and predation by invasive species like the American Mink.

As always, we must work to protect these and all birds with red eyes so that future generations can continue to enjoy their beauty and wonder.

3. American Coot

American Coot
by minicooper93402 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The American coot, also known as the mud hen, is a unique bird with a striking feature: red eyes. This water bird is often found in North America’s wetlands, lakes, and ponds.

Aside from its distinctive red eyes, the American coot is also recognized for its black body and white beak.

It’s a relatively large bird, measuring up to 15 inches long and weighing up to 2 pounds.

The American coot is known for its ability to dive and swim underwater for extended periods, which makes it an excellent forager.

Despite its comical appearance and distinctive red eyes, the American coot is a fascinating bird.

Its presence in wetlands and ponds often indicates a healthy ecosystem and plays a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance of these environments.

Next time you spot a bird with red eyes, take a moment to appreciate the unique characteristics that make it a fascinating member of the avian world.

4. Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee
by Becky Matsubara is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the most vibrant birds with red eyes is the Spotted Towhee, a species native to North America.

This bird has a distinct black plumage with white spots and red eyes, which makes it a famous sight for birdwatchers.

The Spotted Towhee has a unique vocalization that is easily recognizable, making it easier to locate and observe.

It is a ground-nesting bird, which means it prefers to nest in the shrubs and thickets of woodlands and forests.

One interesting fact about the Spotted Towhee is that it was once considered a subspecies of the Eastern Towhee.

Still, it was later classified as a separate species due to its distinctive physical and vocal characteristics.

The Spotted Towhee is also known to have a varied diet: insects, seeds, fruits, and even small vertebrates such as lizards and snakes.

Their preference for shrubbery and dense cover means they often feed and forage on the ground.

The Spotted Towhee is a fascinating bird with red eyes worth observing and appreciating.

Its distinctive vocalization, unique physical features, and varied diet make it a valuable addition to the ecosystem and a beloved sight for bird enthusiasts.

5. Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe
by Trev Grant is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Great Crested Grebe is a majestic waterbird throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.

These birds are known for their distinctive red eyes, complemented by their black-and-white plumage and elaborate head plumes during the breeding season.

In addition to their striking appearance, Great Crested Grebes are known for their unique courtship display.

During this display, the male and female face each other and shake their heads synchronously, then run across the water’s surface in unison.

Despite their beauty and elaborate courtship displays, Great Crested Grebes have faced challenges in some areas due to habitat loss and pollution.

However, conservation efforts have helped to stabilize populations in many regions. 

Overall, the Great Crested Grebe is a fascinating bird with red eyes that will capture any bird enthusiast’s attention.

Its distinctive appearance and courtship behavior make it a remarkable species to observe in the wild.

6. Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's Hawk
by Tobyotter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Cooper’s Hawk is a medium-sized bird of prey widely distributed throughout North America.

One of the defining features of this bird is its red eyes, which give it a fierce and intimidating appearance.

These birds with red eyes have adapted well to urban environments and can often be spotted in suburban neighborhoods and parks.

Cooper’s Hawks are known for their agility and speed, making them formidable hunters. They primarily feed on other birds, including doves, sparrows, and finches.

They often ambush their prey by hiding in dense foliage and launching a surprise attack.

While Cooper’s Hawks are common, they can be challenging to identify. They are often mistaken for Sharp-shinned Hawks, which are similar in appearance but smaller in size.

The best way to tell the two apart is by looking at their tails – Cooper’s Hawks have rounded bottoms, while Sharp-shinned Hawks have squared-off seats.

Overall, Cooper’s Hawk is a fascinating bird with red eyes that has adapted well to living among humans.

It’s hunting prowess and impressive agility make it a bird worth watching out for in the skies.

7. Rosy-Billed Pochard

Rosy-Billed Pochard
by VSmithUK is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Rosy-Billed Pochard is a medium-sized duck species with a unique red-eyed appearance.

They are commonly found in South America, particularly in the wetlands of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.

As their name suggests, these ducks are easily recognized by their rosy-red bill, which contrasts beautifully with their black and white plumage.

But their red eyes genuinely make them stand out in a crowd. These vibrant red eyes serve a purpose beyond their stunning appearance – they aid in spotting potential predators and prey in their habitat.

Rosy-Billed Pochards are diving ducks that can stay underwater for up to 30 seconds while hunting for food.

Their diet primarily comprises aquatic vegetation and small invertebrates such as crustaceans and mollusks.

These ducks are known to be strong swimmers, and their striking red eyes add to their impressive appearance.

Unfortunately, like many bird species, Rosy-Billed Pochards face threats to their populations due to habitat destruction and hunting.

Overall, the Rosy-Billed Pochard is a fascinating bird with its unique red-eyed appearance and impressive diving abilities.

We must continue to protect and preserve their habitat to ensure their survival in the wild.

8. Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe
by Koshyk is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Horned Grebe is a fascinating bird with a distinct appearance. As its name suggests, it has a horn-like tuft of feathers on its head.

It also has bright red eyes contrasting beautifully with its black and white feathers.

This bird can be found in North America and parts of Europe and Asia. The Horned Grebe spends most of its time on the water, diving for fish and other aquatic prey.

It is a skilled swimmer and can stay underwater for up to a minute.

During mating season, the Horned Grebe performs an elaborate courtship display that includes swimming together and raising their necks out of the water.

Despite its striking appearance, the Horned Grebe faces many threats. Habitat loss, pollution, and climate change all pose a significant risk to this species.

Conservation efforts are underway to protect this bird and its habitat.

By learning about the Horned Grebe and other birds with red eyes, we can appreciate their beauty and importance in the natural world.

9. lack-Necked Grebe

lack-Necked Grebe
by Geoff J Mckay is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The lack-necked Grebe, also known as the White-Necked Grebe, is a fascinating bird with red eyes.

These aquatic birds are native to Eurasia and North America and are often found in freshwater lakes, ponds, and marshes.

The lack-necked Grebe gets its name from its white neck, which contrasts sharply with its dark body.

They have bright red eyes and a sharp, pointed beak perfectly adapted for catching fish.

These birds are known for their impressive diving abilities and can remain underwater for up to a minute while searching for food.

Lack-necked grebes are known for their elaborate courtship rituals during the breeding season.

They perform a dance involving diving and head-bobbing while calling one another. They also build elaborate floating nests out of vegetation, anchoring to reeds or other submerged objects.

The lack-necked Grebe is an important indicator species for wetland conservation, as they require clean, healthy freshwater ecosystems to survive.

Unfortunately, habitat loss and pollution have led to a decline in their populations in some areas.

The lack-necked Grebe is a unique and fascinating bird species with red eyes.

Its impressive diving abilities and elaborate courtship rituals make it a fascinating species to observe in the wild.

10. Clark’s Grebe

Clark's Grebe
by Becky Matsubara is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Clark’s Grebe is another fascinating bird with red eyes. It is a large waterbird found in North America, specifically in the western parts of the continent.

These birds can be easily identified by their long, slender necks, which make them look graceful and elegant as they swim in the water. 

Besides their red eyes, Clark’s Grebe has other distinctive features, including a white body with black markings on their wings and back.

The bird’s bill is also a unique feature that makes it stand out – it is long and slightly upturned at the end, perfect for catching fish.

Clark’s Grebe usually breeds in freshwater lakes and marshes and prefers to nest in large colonies.

They feed on small fish, insects, and crustaceans, diving deep into the water to catch their prey. 

Like many other waterbirds, Clark’s Grebe faces several threats, including habitat loss and pollution of its water sources.

Conservation efforts need to be made to protect this fascinating bird and ensure that they continue to thrive in the wild

11. Wood Duck

Wood Duck
by Frank.Vassen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Wood Duck is a stunningly beautiful bird in North America, Mexico, and Central America. Known for their stunning colors and distinctive red eyes, these birds with red eyes are a sight.

They have a green iridescent head, white stripes around their eyes, and a chestnut breast marked with white speckles.

The female Wood Duck is not as brightly colored as the male but has an equally striking pattern. Interestingly, Wood Ducks are known for their unique nesting habits.

They will nest in cavities of trees or nest boxes provided by humans.

After hatching, the mother Wood Duck will lead her ducklings to the water, often leaping from great heights to reach the ground below.

These birds with red eyes are also highly skilled swimmers, able to dive and swim underwater for food.


While birds come in an incredible array of shapes, sizes, and colors, few features, like the eyes, capture our attention.

In particular, birds with red eyes are an impressive sight to behold and can be found worldwide.

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or just starting, discovering the variety of species with this striking feature will surely captivate you.

The Killdeer, for instance, is a common bird found throughout much of North America.

This species is known for its distinct call and unique behavior of pretending to have a broken wing to distract predators from its nest.

With a red eye that stands out against its white and brown feathers, the Killdeer is an easy bird to spot in a crowd.

Another bird to keep an eye out for is the Western Grebe.

This species is a large, water-dwelling bird commonly found on lakes and other bodies of water throughout the western United States.

With striking black and white feathers and a bright red eye, the Western Grebe is a sight when seen out in the wild.

Other red-eyed species include the American Coot, Spotted Towhee, Great Crested Grebe, Cooper’s Hawk, Rosy-Billed Pochard, Horned Grebe, and Black-Necked Grebe.

These birds possess unique characteristics and behaviors that make them stand out.

So, if you’re looking for a new bird to add to your list of species to spot, consider exploring the world of birds with red eyes.

These fascinating creatures will impress and delight bird lovers of all levels.

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