Have you ever seen a bird with a mix of blue and purple colors in its feathers and had trouble identifying it correctly? If so, this article can help you out. In this detailed blog post, I present a beautiful collection of twelve birds that have blue and purple feathers, which will leave you amazed.
Accompanied by stunning pictures and a guide to help with identification, I invite you to appreciate the vibrant blue and purple shades and the intricate patterns that decorate these amazing birds.
From the Purple-breasted Cotinga to the rare violet-crowned woodnymph, come with us on a visual journey that celebrates the extraordinary blue and purple feathers found among our winged companions.
1 – Purple-Breasted Cotinga
Quick Identification Guide of Purple-Breasted Cotinga
- Size: A medium-sized bird, measuring about 6 inches (15 cm) in length.
- Body Color: The male has a stunning blue plumage on the head, back, and wings, with a distinct purple breast. The female, on the other hand, has a more subdued coloration, with a grayish-brown body.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The male’s vibrant blue and purple plumage, coupled with his contrasting dark wings, make him easily recognizable. The female, although less colorful, can be identified by her overall grayish-brown appearance.
- Bill: Both male and female Purple-Breasted Cotingas have short, sturdy bills.
- Legs and Feet: Their legs and feet are relatively small and typically not distinctive in color.
The Purple-Breasted Cotinga (Cotinga cotinga) is an attractive bird known for its remarkable plumage. Found in the tropical forests of Central and South America, this species displays notable sexual dimorphism.
The males flaunt a mesmerizing combination of brilliant blue and regal purple feathers on their heads, back, and wings, which contrast strikingly with their dark wings. Meanwhile, the females boast a more subtle appearance with a grayish-brown body.
These birds reside in the dense canopies of their native habitats, the canopy and borders of humid lowland forest. They primarily feed on a diet consisting of fruits and insects.
The Purple-Breasted Cotinga’s range spans across various countries in Central and South America, making it a delight to encounter in these lush and vibrant ecosystems.
2 – Violet Sabrewing
Quick Identification Guide of Violet Sabrewing
- Size: A large hummingbird, measuring approximately 5.5 to 6.2 inches (14 to 16 cm) in length.
- Body Color: Both male and female Violet Sabrewing exhibit predominantly green plumage on their bodies.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The male boasts a vibrant iridescent purple throat and crown, creating a stunning contrast with the green plumage. The female, while less flashy, still displays a hint of iridescence on her throat.
- Bill: Their bills are long and slightly curved, resembling a saber or sword.
- Legs and Feet: The legs and feet of the Violet Sabrewing are relatively small and not particularly distinct in color.
The Violet Sabrewing (Campylopterus hemileucurus) is an enchanting hummingbird native to the lush tropical regions of Central and South America. Renowned for its striking appearance, this hummingbird is among the largest humming birds in the world.
Sporting predominantly green plumage, both male and female Violet Sabrewing catch the eye with their shimmering presence.
The male exhibits a mesmerizing purple throat and crown, reminiscent of a regal jewel, which boldly contrasts with the surrounding green feathers. The female, although more subtly colored, also features a touch of iridescence on her throat.
These energetic birds can be found in a variety of habitats, including tropical forests and mountainous regions, where they flit from flower to flower, sipping nectar with their long, curved bills.
Their range encompasses diverse countries in Central and South America, where they bring a splash of vibrant color and delicate beauty to the natural landscapes they call home.
3 – Purple Martin
Quick Identification Guide of Purple Martin
- Size: A medium-sized bird, measuring around 7.5 to 8.5 inches (20 to 21 cm) in length.
- Body Color: Both male and female Purple Martins have dark, glossy plumage, with shades of blue-black on their backs and wings.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The adult male exhibits a deep purple-blue color on its head and upper body, which stands out against the darker wings. The female, while similar in overall appearance, lacks the vibrant blue and purple plumage and appears slightly duller.
- Bill: They have relatively thick, medium-length bills, which are dark in color.
- Legs and Feet: The Purple Martin’s legs and feet are relatively short and dark in color.
The Purple Martin (Progne subis), an iconic bird of North America, holds a special place in the hearts of many bird enthusiasts.
These birds are native to North America and can be found across a vast range, from the southern regions of Canada to the southernmost parts of the United States.
Purple Martins are highly social birds, often nesting in large colonies in human-made birdhouses or gourds, forming tight-knit communities. They are well-known for their distinctive dark, glossy plumage, with shades of blue-black on their wings and backs.
The adult male sports an eye-catching purple-blue color on its head and upper body, creating a striking contrast against the darker wings. Although the female lacks the vibrant blue and purple hues, she maintains a similar overall appearance.
These aerial acrobats primarily feed on aerial insects, gracefully swooping and diving through the air to capture their prey. With their captivating appearance and lively behavior, Purple Martins bring joy and beauty to the landscapes they inhabit.
4 – Violet-Backed Starling
Quick Identification Guide of Violet-Backed Starling
- Size: A medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 7.8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) in length.
- Body Color: Male has glossy bright purple plumage and the female has predominantly brownish plumage with black stripes.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The male displays a striking metallic violet or purplish-blue patch on its back, which gives the bird its name. This vibrant coloration contrasts with the black feathers of the rest of its body. The female, although lacking the vibrant violet hues, shares the same overall appearance with brown-black plumage.
- Bill: Their bills are relatively long, thin, and dark in color.
- Legs and Feet: The Violet-Backed Starling has strong legs and feet, typically dark in color.
The Violet-Backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) is an eye-catching bird known for its stunning coloration and captivating presence.
This bird hails from the African continent. It is found across various regions, including East Africa and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Violet-Backed Starling is commonly encountered in open woodlands, savannahs, and even urban areas, where it showcases its glossy black plumage.
The male, in particular, boasts a mesmerizing metallic violet or purplish-blue patch on its back, setting it apart from other birds. This distinctive coloration adds a touch of brilliance to its appearance. While the female lacks the vibrant violet hues, she shares the same elegant black plumage.
These starlings forage on a varied diet, feeding on fruits, insects, and even nectar. With their striking beauty and melodious calls, Violet-Backed Starlings bring delight and intrigue to the African avian landscape.
5 – Purple Honeycreeper
Quick Identification Guide of Purple Honeycreeper
- Size: A small bird, measuring approximately 4.3 to 4.7 inches (11 to 12 cm) in length.
- Body Color: The male Purple Honeycreeper is predominantly blue, with a vibrant purple head, neck, and upper breast. The female, on the other hand, has a greenish-yellow body.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The male’s brilliant blue plumage, coupled with the striking purple hues on its head and upper breast, makes it easily distinguishable. The female, although less vibrant, displays a contrasting greenish-yellow coloration.
- Bill: They have long, thin bills, ideally suited for their nectar-feeding habits.
- Legs and Feet: The Purple Honeycreeper’s legs and feet are relatively small and contrasting yellow in color.
The Purple Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes caeruleus) is a delightful small bird that graces the tropical regions of the Americas with its vibrant presence.
This avian gem is native to Central and South America, where it can be found in a variety of habitats, including rainforests, gardens, and wooded areas.
The male Purple Honeycreeper, exhibits a stunning blue body, adorned with a magnificent purple head, neck, and upper breast. These striking colors create a spectacle of nature as the male flits through the foliage in search of nectar and small fruits.
The female, although less flamboyant, still showcases her beauty with a contrasting greenish-yellow body. With their delicate long bills perfectly adapted for sipping nectar,
Purple Honeycreepers play an essential role in pollination while bringing a burst of color to the tropical landscapes.
6 – Varied Bunting
Quick Identification Guide of Varied Bunting
- Size: A medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 5 to 5.5 inches (13 to 14 cm) in length.
- Body Color: The male Varied Bunting showcases a vibrant combination of colors. Its head and upper body are a striking turquoise-blue, while the underparts are a brilliant reddish-orange mix with gray. The female, in contrast, has a more subdued appearance with olive-brown upperparts and pale underparts.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The male’s contrasting blue and reddish-orange plumage makes it easily identifiable. Its wings and tail feathers are black, creating further contrast. The female’s overall olive-brown coloration helps it blend into its surroundings.
- Bill: They have short, pointed bills, which are dark in color.
- Legs and Feet: The Varied Bunting has relatively small, dark-colored legs and feet.
The Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor) is a charming bird native to Central America, primarily found in the southwestern parts of the United States and Mexico.
It inhabits a range of habitats, including desert scrublands, open woodlands, and riparian areas.
This medium-sized bunting catches the eye with its vibrant plumage.
The male boasts an exquisite combination of turquoise-blue on the head and upper body, transitioning into a striking reddish-orange on the underparts. These contrasting colors create a visual spectacle, especially against the backdrop of its black wings and tail feathers.
The female, while less flamboyant, maintains her own understated beauty with olive-brown upperparts and pale underparts.
Varied Buntings primarily feed on seeds and insects, hopping among the vegetation in search of sustenance. With their vivid colors and cheerful presence, Varied Buntings add a touch of vibrancy to the arid landscapes they inhabit.
7 – Purple Gallinule
Quick Identification Guide of Purple Gallinule
- Size: A medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 10.2 to 13 inches (26 to 33 cm) in length.
- Body Color: The Purple Gallinule displays a colorful combination of plumage. It has predominantly deep blue feathers on its body, with greenish-blue wings and a bright purple-blue head.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The striking head of the Purple Gallinule is adorned with a vivid purple-blue coloration, complementing its overall blue plumage. It has a red bill with a yellow tip, and a distinctive pale blue or yellow shield on its forehead. The underparts are a mix of blue and olive-green.
- Legs and Feet: The Purple Gallinule has long, slender yellow legs and large feet with long toes, adapted for walking on vegetation and lily pads.
- Bill: Their bills are long, slender, and red with a yellow tip.
The Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) is a fascinating bird that adds a splash of color to wetlands and marshes across the Americas.
This medium-sized avian species, inhabits a wide range of habitats, including freshwater marshes, swamps, and tropical wetlands.
Originating from North, Central, and South America, the Purple Gallinule brings its vibrant presence to these diverse regions. Its mesmerizing plumage features a combination of deep blue feathers on the body, complemented by greenish-blue wings and a remarkable purple-blue head.
This striking coloration is accentuated by a red bill with a yellow tip. These adaptations, along with their long, slender yellow legs and large feet, allow them to walk gracefully on vegetation and lily pads.
The Purple Gallinule feeds on a variety of plant material, small invertebrates, and seeds, contributing to the ecological balance of its wetland habitats while enchanting observers with its vivid hues of blue and purple and elegant movements.
8 – Gray-Headed Swamphen
Quick Identification Guide of Gray-Headed Swamphen
- Size: The Gray-Headed Swamphen is a fairly large bird, measuring approximately 17.7 to 19.6 inches (45 to 50 cm) in length.
- Body Color: Has predominantly dark blue-black plumage, with a distinct grayish blue head and neck.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The bird’s most noticeable feature is its gray head and neck, contrasting with the dark body feathers. It has a red bill and a red frontal shield above the bill. The undertail coverts are white, visible when in flight or during certain displays.
- Legs and Feet: The Gray-Headed Swamphen has long, sturdy legs that are pinkish in color.
- Bill: They have a long, thick red bill, which is slightly curved downwards.
The Gray-Headed Swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus), a magnificent bird with its commanding presence, can be found in wetlands and marshes of various continents, including Asia, Africa, and parts of Europe.
These large avian creatures are known for their striking appearance and iconic features in most wetlands.
The gray head and neck serve as the defining feature, contrasting with the dark blue-black plumage of their body. Their long, sturdy legs, tinted in a pinkish-gray hue, support them as they wade through marshes and forage for their food.
With a long, thick red bill and a red frontal shield above it, the Gray-Headed Swamphen boasts distinctive facial features.
During certain displays or in flight, the white undertail coverts become visible, adding a touch of elegance to their presence.
These wetland dwellers primarily feed on vegetation, insects, and small aquatic creatures, contributing to the ecological balance of their habitats while capturing the imagination of bird enthusiasts with their remarkable appearance.
9 – Crowned Woodnymph
Quick Identification Guide of Crowned Woodnymph
- Size: A medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 3.9 to 4.7 inches (10 to 12 cm) in length.
- Body Color: Both male and female Crowned Woodnymphs have iridescent green plumage on their upperparts and a duller green color on their underparts.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The male Crowned Woodnymph has a brilliant turquoise-blue crown on its head, which gives the bird its name. It also has a long, thin black bill and a diffused white postocular spot behind the eye. The female lacks the crown and postocular spot but shares the same overall green coloration.
- Legs and Feet: The Crowned Woodnymph has slender, grayish-black legs and feet.
- Bill: They have long, thin black bills, ideal for probing flowers for nectar.
The Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica), a captivating medium-sized bird, delights the tropical forests of Central and South America with its enchanting presence.
This avian gem displays a charming combination of blue, purple and green colors. Both male and female Crowned Woodnymphs boost iridescent green plumage on their upperparts, which helps them blend seamlessly with their lush surroundings.
The male, however, stands out with its splendid turquoise-blue crown atop its head, earning it it’s regal name. A slender black bill, perfect for reaching into flowers for nectar, complements its appearance.
Females lack the crown but share the same overall green coloration, exuding their own understated beauty.
Found in a range of habitats, including tropical forests, woodlands, and gardens, the Crowned Woodnymph sustains itself by feeding on the nectar of various flowering plants, contributing to pollination while adding a touch of vibrancy to the verdant landscapes it calls home.
10 – Blue Bunting
Quick Identification Guide of Blue Bunting
- Size: The Blue Bunting is a small to medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 5.1 to 6 inches (13 to 15 cm) in length.
- Body Color: The male Blue Bunting exhibits a stunning azure-blue plumage on its head, back, wings, and tail. The underparts are a vibrant turquoise-blue. The female, on the other hand, has a more subdued appearance with brownish-gray upperparts and pale underparts.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The male’s brilliant blue plumage is its most distinctive feature, capturing the attention of any observer. The wings and tail may display hints of black. The female’s overall brownish-gray coloration helps her blend into her surroundings.
- Bill: They have short, pointed bills, which are dark in color.
- Legs and Feet: The Blue Bunting has relatively small, dark-colored legs and feet.
The Blue Bunting (Cyanocompsa parellina), a delightful avian species, enchants the forests and woodlands of North America with its vivid blue plumage.
This small to medium-sized bird adds a splash of color to its surroundings. The male Blue Bunting proudly displays an azure-blue coat, from its head to its back, wings, and tail. Its turquoise-blue underparts further enhance its captivating appearance.
This magnificent blue hue distinguishes the male from the female, who showcases a more modest brownish-gray plumage on her upperparts and pale underparts.
Originating from North America, the Blue Bunting finds its habitats in woodlands, thickets, and shrubby areas where it can forage for its food.
These delightful creatures primarily feed on seeds, insects, and fruits, contributing to the ecological balance of their environment while delighting bird enthusiasts with their vibrant blue presence.
11 – Splendid Starling
Quick Identification Guide of Splendid Starling
- Size: The Splendid Starling is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 7 to 8 inches (18 to 20 cm) in length.
- Body Color: The Splendid Starling exhibits a striking combination of black, purple, and metallic blue plumage on its body.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The bird’s head, neck, and breast are adorned with glossy blue-violet feathers, while the rest of its body is predominantly black. The wings and tail display shimmering iridescent blue and green hues.
- Bill: They have a strong, pointed black bill.
- Legs and Feet: The Splendid Starling has long, sturdy legs and black feet.
The Splendid Starling (Lamprotornis splendidus), a beautiful medium-sized bird, graces the savannas and woodlands of Eastern Africa with its vibrant presence.
Originating from this enchanting region, the Splendid Starling can be spotted in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
This avian gem captivates observers with its dazzling plumage. The head, neck, and breast of the Splendid Starling are adorned with glossy blue-violet feathers, adding a touch of splendor to its black body. Its wings and tail showcase a mesmerizing display of iridescent blue and green hues, further enhancing its allure.
With a strong, pointed black bill and long, sturdy legs, the Splendid Starling is well-equipped for foraging on the ground, where it feeds on a varied diet of insects, fruits, and seeds.
As it flits through the grasslands, this magnificent bird adds a burst of color and charm to the African landscape, captivating both bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
12 – Purple-headed Starling
Quick Identification Guide of Purple-headed Starling
- Size: A medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 8.6 to 9.8 inches (22 to 25 cm) in length.
- Body Color: The Purple-headed Starling exhibits a unique combination of colors. The male has a vibrant purple head and upperparts, contrasting with the black color of the rest of its body. The female, however, has a more subdued appearance with a grayish-brown plumage overall.
- Unique Distinguishable Colors or Patterns: The male’s striking purple head is its most distinctive feature, which stands out against its black body. The wings and tail may display hints of metallic blue or green. The female lacks the vibrant purple coloration and displays a more uniform grayish-brown plumage.
- Bill: They have a strong, pointed black bill.
- Legs and Feet: The Purple-headed Starling has sturdy black legs and feet.
The Purple-headed Starling (Hylopsar purpureiceps), a captivating medium-sized bird, graces the woodlands and forests of Central Africa with its unique charm.
Originating from this enchanting region, the Purple-headed Starling can be found in countries such as Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Angola and Congo.
This avian gem attracts observers with its striking appearance.
The male Purple-headed Starling boasts a vibrant purple head and upperparts, creating a remarkable contrast against its black body. Its wings and tail may shimmer with hints of metallic blue or green, adding to its allure.
In contrast, the female exhibits a more modest appearance, with a uniform grayish-brown plumage.
Equipped with a strong, pointed black bill and sturdy legs and feet, the Purple-headed Starling forages for a varied diet of insects, fruits, and seeds, making it a valuable contributor to the ecosystem.
As it flies through the treetops, this magnificent bird adds a touch of color and beauty to the Central African landscape, captivating both bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Summary of information about blue and purple birds in general!
The following table summarizes the region and the measurements to see the above-listed blue and purple birds. And, for actual sightings and range data of all the listed birds, you can refer to valuable resources such as eBird, birdsoftheworld and All About Birds for USA species.
In addition, you can refer to this table to get information on these birds such as food preferences as well.
|Blue and Purple Birds||Region||Length||Food|
|Purple-Breasted Cotinga||Central and South America||6 inches||Fruits and insects|
|Violet Sabrewing||Central and South America||5.5 to 6.2 inches||Nectar|
|Purple Martin||North America||7.5 to 8.5 inches||Aerial insects|
|Violet-Backed Starling||East Africa and including Republic of Congo||7.8 to 9 inches||Fruits, insects, and nectar|
|Purple Honeycreeper||Central and South America||4.3 to 4.7 inches||Nectar|
|Varied Bunting||Central America||5 to 5.5 inches||Seeds and insects|
|Purple Gallinule||North, Central, and South America||10.2 to 13 inches||Plant material, small invertebrates, and seeds|
|Gray-Headed Swamphen||Asia, Africa, and parts of Europe||17.7 to 19.6 inches||Plant material, insects, and small aquatic creatures|
|Crowned Woodnymph||Central and South America||3.9 to 4.7 inches||Nectar|
|Blue Bunting||North America||5.1 to 6 inches||Seeds, insects, and fruits|
|Splendid Starling||Eastern Africa||7 to 8 inches||Insects, fruits, and seeds|
|Purple-headed Starling||Central Africa||8.6 to 9.8 inches||Insects, fruits, and seeds|
In conclusion, this article has presented a fascinating collection of twelve blue and purple birds.
These birds are truly amazing and showcase the incredible beauty of nature. Through stunning photographs and an identification guide, we have been able to appreciate their unique features and learn more about them.
I hope that this collection has sparked your curiosity and left you feeling inspired.
We would love to hear from you! Which bird from this collection resonated with you the most?
Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below. Let’s continue the conversation and explore the wonders of our natural world together.
You may also like: