10 Different Types of Purple Birds

Different Types of Purple Birds
Photo by Alexander Rotker

Purple is one of the most attractive and exquisite colors you can ever see. This color is rare in animals.

However, there are different types of purple birds, and you might’ve caught a glance at these beautiful creatures in your area.

This article examines a few special purple bird breeds, focusing on those with this color as their most distinguishing characteristic.

They range from large to small, common to exotic, and light lilac to bright purple.

Now, let’s look at some of these interesting species.

1. Purple Starling

You can easily recognize this bird by its purple head, body, tail, and glittering green wings. While the bill is fairly large, the tail is short.

Their legs and bill are black, while their eyes are yellow.

The monomorphic nature of the purple starling means that there are no obvious distinctions between the sexes.

They live in open forests, savannah forests covered in a profusion of fig trees that bear fruit, and agricultural plantations. 

Not to mention, between February and May, purple starlings typically build their nests in tree cavities, holes, and hollows. In addition, their diet consists of fruit and insects. 

They like foraging in the bushes, trees, and on the ground. You can find purple starlings in Cameroon, Senegal, Uganda, Gambia, and western Kenya.

2. Varied Bunting

The varied bunting is also among the different types of purple birds.

However, only the mature male of this relatively rare bird exhibits any purple tones on his plumage.

This bird measures around 6 inches in length, has a wingspan of 8 to 12 inches, and weighs between 10 and 15 grams.

Its plumage is a rich plum crimson, cherry red, and lavender violet blend. Young ones and females have a more brownish appearance.

These purple birds often nest close to water sources like canyons and streams in thorny woodlands.

In addition, the bird enjoys foraging in densely populated, bushy plant growth.

Being a songbird, the male sings lyrical chirps from hidden perches to protect the territory, especially in the spring and the first few weeks of the summer after breeding.

In addition, it is typical to see birds twitching their wings and tails to frighten away predators. Not only do they feed on cactus fruit and seeds but also insects.

They avoid human-populated regions and rarely visit feeders.

3. Purple Martin

Among the different types of purple birds is also the purple Martin. Purple Martins are the largest of the swallow family, with an average size of 7.9 inches (20 cm).

Male purple martins have bright purple feathers. They are frequently found nesting in colonies near ponds and lakes.

These voracious carnivores can easily hunt flying insects, which are their main food source.

Throughout the day, these noisy birds make distinctive vocalizations. One specific call sounds like a combination of bubbles and clicking.

If you live near water, you can install nest boxes made of different materials, such as gourds or aluminum, to attract these birds.

These boxes can be bought offline, online, or even made. 

The nest boxes should be fastened to a pole at least 12 feet tall (3.6 meters).

Every winter, Purple Martins travel south from North America to South America.

4. Purple Honeycreeper

The purple honeycreeper is also among the different types of purple birds. This bird can be found all over northern South America.

The body and wings of the male purple honeycreeper are covered in bright purple-blue feathers, and its legs are yellow.

It has a large, black bill that is curled. 

Females can blend in with their surroundings due to the bright green feathers on their bodies and the reddish plumage on their heads.

Furthermore, this species can be found across the Amazon jungle in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

These birds are also common on citrus and cocoa plantations. Purple honeycreepers are native to the rainforest and do not migrate.

Purple honeycreepers consume a wide range of foods, such as nectar, fruits, berries, seeds, and insects.

These opportunistic birds eat whatever they can find in the forest canopy.

These birds congregate in small groups, frequently with birds of other species. The female builds a little nest in a tree, where she nurtures and incubates her young by herself.

Also, males can be aggressive when it’s breeding season.

5. Purple Gallinule

Purple gallinules or yellow-legged gallinules are also among the different types of purple birds. The bird’s feet are yellow, and its beak has a bright red-yellow color.

In bright lighting, the backside appears shiny with vivid green and turquoise tones.

In addition, their long feet are ideal for giving the required balance when walking on floating vegetation and holding onto stems.

These birds typically fill themselves on the seeds, fruits, and leaves of aquatic plants.

In addition, they feed fish, worms, tiny reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

Furthermore, you can find purple gallinules in damp parts of South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Arkansas, among other places.

The birds sometimes perch on tall trees and bushes and are good swimmers.

They are in marshy areas with many floating leaves, so keep an eye out for them.

Also, they typically spend time alone and make loud noises like ordinary gallinules.

6. Purplish-Backed Jay

The different types of purple birds also include the purplish-backed Jay or purple Jay. It’s a colorful bird but usually dull and noisy.

The head, neck, underside of the wings, and underparts are completely black, while the feathers on the back, wings, and tail are purple.

A purple jay can reach a maximum length of 14 to 16 inches.

They are common but not overabundant in dry deciduous woods in parts of northwest Mexico and South America, including Peru and Bolivia.

These territorial birds breed annually around may.

They enjoy hurling nasty jeers as they move in charged clusters in the heart of trees and canopies.

The monogamous breeding couple of purplish-backed jays and up to three young members make up their small families.

These birds feed on grains in dumps, orchards, and agricultural fields.

7. Purple Grenadier

This is among the exotic types of purple birds. Both sexes have a red beak and a black tail, but the male has cinnamon-colored skin on most of its upper body, including the head and neck.

The belly and underparts are violet-blue with cinnamon highlights, while the lower back is purple-blue.

On the other hand, the female is mostly cinnamon in color, with white markings on her abdomen and purple tail feathers.

Although they are considered native to India, you can find the bird in the tropical lowlands, dry grasslands, open woodlands, and shrublands of Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya.

The purple finch forages on the ground in thickets and vegetation.

They also live in monogamous pairs and small flocks that separate for breeding during the rainy season while sometimes being solitary.

However, they make noisy songs that aren’t quite pleasing to the ears.

The male and female birds start their songs softly, cracking and buzzing before they suddenly burst into ear-piercing booms.

8. Purple-backed Thornbill

The purple-backed thornbill is also among the different types of purple birds.

The males of this species have shimmering green feathers on their throats, white spots behind their eyes, and brilliant purple feathers on their backs.

Like males, female purple-backed thornbills have a white mark behind each eye and green feathers on their back.

However, their tail feathers aren’t as deeply forked as the males.

Female purple-backed thornbills make their nests in trees throughout their range using moss and lichen.

Their breeding practices are still largely unknown.

Purple-backed thornbills have a range that stretches through the Andes mountain forests of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru.

However, these birds never leave the tropical and subtropical highland forests in which they reside.

Furthermore, purple-backed thornbills feed on nectars.

They also frequently catch little insects that they find on the flower petals where they feast.

9. Purple Heron

This purple beauty is also among the different types of purple birds on this list. This slender bird can wade due to its long, straight, and powerful bill, which it uses to spear its prey.

Its neck retracts while flying slowly.

The adults have stunning grayish-purple glossy plumage with flecks of black, brown, and white. Their belly is black, the breast is reddish-brown, and the wings are slate-grey.

The purple heron is common in shallow freshwater areas, huge wetlands, and fresh marshes with tall reeds and other plants.

In addition, you can find them near fig trees, water lagoons, and rice fields.

Furthermore, they breed in southern and eastern Asia, central and southern Europe, and Africa.

They also enjoy eating insects, frogs, rodents, fish, and rats.

10. Violet-backed Starling

This small creature is also among the different types of purple birds. The only similarities between the sexes of this little starling are a dark bill and a lemon-yellow eye.

The male is stunning, with a color that varies from plum purple to bluish purple depending on the sun, aside from the white belly.

However, the upper parts of the female and immature have a darker brown color.

Small flocks live in open woodland, riverine forest, and wooded parkland. They eat fruit and berries and act as good mistletoe dispersers.

Also, they feed on insects, especially winged termites and ants.


There you have it – 10 different types of purple birds. These birds are a sight to behold and proof of nature’s beauty.

Have you seen any purple birds in your area? Let’s know in the comment section below!

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