30+ Birds With Orange Beaks (Photos + Fun Facts!)

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Bird beaks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. And according to research published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, beak color functions as a social, not a sexual signal, as it was long presumed. 

Many birds face intense competition during breeding and non-breeding periods; colorful bills became an evolutionary adaptation to showcase dominance and fighting ability to others so the contests are settled quickly, without resorting to physical combat. 

So what are some of these dominant birds with orange beaks?

When it comes to birds with the orange color of their beaks, the list is extensive. Northern cardinals, violet turacos, many species of terns (like the royal tern), puffins, well-known toco toucans, geese, some hornbills, waxbills, are just a few.

Let’s jump straight it and see what over 30 species of orange-billed birds look like.

Birds With Orange Beaks

Northern Cardinal

male northern cardinal bird with orange beak

Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis
Lifespan: 3 years
Wingspan: 10-12 in
Beak Color: Orange-red
Found In: the United States and Central America

Northern cardinal, also known as the redbird, is a medium-sized songbird with a prominent crest and a short, very thick and vibrant orange beak.

Male and female cardinals are easy to differentiate – males are completely red and have reddish beaks, while females are pale brown with clear orange beaks. Both sexes have distinctive, feathered head crests.

Northern cardinals are classified as granivorous because they mostly feed on seeds. Male cardinals got their red color from carotenoids in their food; if not enough of this pigment-triggering food is available, they become brownish.

Northern Cardinals mate for life and males sometimes have baldness problems – it’s a sign they’re in the middle of a late summer molt.

Northern cardinals can be found throughout the eastern United States, Mexico, and Central America. It is the state bird of seven U.S. states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Those are some places where you can find it.

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Violet Turaco

violet turaco close up

Scientific name: Musophaga violacea
Lifespan: up to 30 years
Wingspan: 8-9 in
Beak Color: Bright orange
Found In: West Africa

The violet turaco, also known as the Violet Plantain-eater, is a large bird that got the name for its rich purple plumage. It has crimson wing and head patches that come from a copper-based pigment called the “turacine”, giving it the name “turaco”.

Violet turacos are easy to recognize by the crimson on their heads, yellow foreheads, and bright orange beaks. 

Violet turacos are omnivores that feed on fruits, leaves, buds, flowers, seeds, insects, snails, and slugs. They mostly inhabit tropical savannas, wetlands, woodlands, and forests.


Large Green Barbet

large green barbet baby with orange bill

Scientific name: Megalaima zeylanica
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Beak Color: Dark orange (reddish)
Found In: Asia (Indian subcontinent)

Large green barbet, also known as the brown-headed barbet, is a fruit and insect-eating Asian bird found in India and Sri Lanka. It has prominent pale streaks on its brown head and breast, a yellow eye patch, and green plumage. Its bill is thick, long, and orange to reddish-orange in color.

It is mostly a non-migratory bird that will occasionally during winter move from higher altitudes to lower elevations and plains. 


Royal Tern

royal terns

Scientific name: Thalasseus maximus
Lifespan: up to 30 years
Wingspan: 40-50 in
Beak Color: Bright orange
Found In: North America, South America, West Africa

Royal tern is a large seabird with short legs, gray-white plumage, black crest on its head, and a bright orange bill. It can be found in Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean islands, in warm coastal marine waters.

Royal terns are carnivores that feed on small fish, shrimp, and crustaceans. A flock of Royal Terns is known as a “highness”.

In the USA, you can see them in Florida. If you want to take good phone photos of terns, make sure to bring your phone camera lens for bird photography.


Atlantic Puffin

atlantic puffin

Scientific name: Fratercula arctica
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Wingspan: 19-25 in
Beak Color: Multicolored (orange, black, yellow)
Found In: North Atlantic Ocean (North America and Europe)

Atlantic puffin, also known as the common puffin, is a short diving seabird that has black plumage on its uppersides and white on its chest and belly. Its face and cheeks are white, webbed feet are orange, and the puffin’s bill is black, orange, and yellow.

The Atlantic puffin is a carnivore that feeds on small fish like the sand eels, herring, hake, and capelin. Because of their parrot-like beak, Atlantic puffins are also called the “sea parrots”.

They are short-distance migrants and excellent flyers – puffins can flap their wings up to 400 times per minute!


Toco Toucan

toco toucan

Scientific name: Ramphastos toco
Lifespan: 20 years
Wingspan: 40-60 in
Beak Color: Bright and dark orange
Found In: South America

Toco toucan, also known as a giant toucan, is the largest and most famous species of the toucan family. It has a black body, white throat, and orange skin around its eyes. Toco toucan’s beak is over 7 inches long and has a bright orange color.

Although it seems massive, the beak is actually very light because it is made of keratin and it’s hollow. And when they sleep, toucans tuck their beak under their feathers to keep it warm.

They are not very good flyers and mainly travel among trees by hopping. Toco toucans are omnivores and can be found in the semi-open habitats of central and eastern South America.


Greylag Goose

greylag goose

Scientific name: Anser anser
Lifespan: 20 years
Wingspan: 58-71 in
Beak Color: Orange-pink
Found In: Europe

The greylag goose is the largest breed of wild goose. It is native to the British Isles and easy to recognize by its grey and white plumage, orange beak, and pink legs. It has been domesticated at least as early as 1360 BC.

Greylag geese are diurnal animals that are excellent runners and swimmers – they can run and swim rapidly and escape predators without difficulty. They are herbivores that feed on leaves, berries, water plants, glean grain, etc. 

Greylag geese are monogamous, they mate for life, and can be found around parks, gravel pits, river valleys, even small ponds and lakes


Mute Swan

mute swan

Scientific name: Cygnus olor
Lifespan: 15-20 years
Wingspan: 79-94 in
Beak Color: Orange with a black base
Found In: North America

The mute swan is a large waterbird with completely white plumage and a bill that is orange with a black base. The black part at the base of the males’ bills swells during the breeding season. 

Mute swans are native to Europe and parts of Asia but can be found in the USA as well (especially in California, Arizona, Idaho, and Oregon). They are the national bird of Denmark.

Mute swans got the name ‘mute’ because they are less vocal than other swan species. They are omnivores and feed on aquatic plants, seeds, insects, and sometimes small fish.


Crested Auklet

crested auklet

Scientific name: Aethia cristatella
Lifespan: 8-10 years
Wingspan: 13-20 in
Beak Color: Bright orange
Found In: Northern Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea

The crested auklet is a dark brown-black stocky seabird with a crest of feathers on the top of its head. It is a small bird with a thick, short, and orange bill. People describe it as a smiling clown that never blinks and smells like a tangerine. 

Crested auklet is native to the United States, Japan, and Russia. These birds are planktivores and feed on krill, copepods, pteropods, etc.


Rainbow Lorikeet

rainbow lorikeet

Scientific name: Trichoglossus moluccanus
Lifespan: 20 years
Wingspan: 7 in
Beak Color: Orange (adults)
Found In: Australia

The rainbow lorikeet is a small brightly colored parrot found in Australia. It has a bright yellow-orange breast, violet-blue throat, and a yellow-green collar.  Adult lorikeets have orange beaks while the juvenile birds hatch with black ones. 

They are friendly and intelligent birds with a population of over 5 million. Rainbow lorikeets are omnivores that mostly eat nectar, pollens, fruits, berries, blossoms, and buds. They might eat insects occasionally. Rainbow lorikeets can be found in woodlands, rainforests, and urban areas with many trees.


Cattle Egret

cattle egret

Scientific name: Bubulcus ibis
Lifespan: 16-23 years
Wingspan: 3 ft
Beak Color: Bright orange
Found In: Africa, North America, Europe

A cattle egret is a small heron with short legs, a thick neck, and a dull orange bill and legs. Cattle egret got its name for the habit of following cattle and other large animals. Adults have white plumage that becomes golden on their heads, chests, and backs during the breeding period.

Some populations of cattle egret are highly-migratory and will move to North Africa and Asia during the winter. They feed on land insects, worms, frogs, lizards, and small mammals.


American White Pelican

american white pelican

Scientific name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
Lifespan: 16-30 years
Wingspan: 95-120 in
Beak Color: Vivid orange
Found In: North America

The American white pelican is a large aquatic bird that lives in inland shallow freshwater lakes, wet prairies, and marshes in the summer and on coastal lagoons in the winter. It has white plumage and black flight feathers visible only when the wings are spread.

American pelican also has a vivid yellow-orange bill and legs.

American pelicans can weigh as much as 30 pounds and a group of them is called a “brief”. They breed in North America and move south to Central and South America in winter.


White-Throated Kingfisher

white-throated kingfisher

Scientific name: Halcyon smyrnensis
Lifespan: 5 years
Wingspan: 16 in
Beak Color: Heavy orange-red
Found In: Asia

The white-throated kingfisher, also known as the white-breasted kingfisher, is a large brown bird with a bright blue back, wings, and tail. It has a large brown head and thick heavy orange bill.

It can be found near wetlands, lakes, agricultural fields, and clearings in Asia, from the Sinai east through the Indian subcontinent to the Philippines.

White-throated kingfishers are very aggressive towards their own kind as well as other kingfisher species. They are carnivores that feed on fish, crabs and prawns, lizards, small snakes, insects, tadpoles, and earthworms.


American Oystercatcher

american oystercatcher

Scientific name: Haematopus palliatus
Lifespan: 10-14 years
Wingspan: 35 in
Beak Color: Vivid orange-red
Found In: Atlantic coast of North America

The American oystercatcher is a large shorebird found on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches. It has a distinctive black and white plumage, red-yellow eyes, and a long, bright orange beak. The beak is razor-sharp and the animal uses it to pry open oysters and other bivalves for food, hence the name “oystercatcher”.

Oystercatchers are social birds that can be often seen during the day foraging, preening, resting, and sunbathing. 


Common Blackbird

common blackbird

Scientific name: Turdus merula
Lifespan: 4 years
Wingspan: 15 in
Beak Color: Orange (males), brown (females) 
Found In: Europe and Asia

The common blackbird is a small wild bird found in wooded habitats, parks, gardens, and farmlands with hedges. Males have fully black plumage and bright golden-orange beaks. Females are brown with reddish-brown breasts.

Common blackbirds are omnivores that feed on worms, fruits, and seeds. Scientists estimate that there are between 160 to 500 million of these animals.

Read More: Blackbirds with blue heads


Inca Tern

inca tern

Scientific name: Larosterna inca
Lifespan: 2-3 years
Wingspan: 12 in
Beak Color: Bright red-orange
Found In: Peru and Chile

Inca tern is a large tern living in the habitat ruled by the ancient Inca Empire in South America. It has a dark gray plumage, white mustaches on its face, and bright orange beak and legs.

The mustache is the health sign of the tern – the longer it is, the healthier the bird. Inca terns are piscivores that feed on fish, plankton, shrimp, crayfish, crab, etc.

They are kleptoparasitic – Inca terns steal food from other animals like sea lions and dolphins.

Inca terns are also on our list of 25+ black-colored birds that have white spots on their feathers.


Bank Myna

bank myna

Scientific name: Acridotheres ginginianus
Lifespan: 12-25 years
Wingspan: 18 in
Beak Color: Vivid orange
Found In: South Asia

The bank myna is a medium-sized bird found in the northern parts of South Asia. It has a gray body, dark head and wings, and bright orange face and bill.

Bank myna got its name for the habit of nesting in river banks. It is an omnivore and feeds on animal food, fruit, seeds, and food waste.


Black-Breasted Thrush

black-breasted thrush

Scientific name: Turdus dissimilis
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Beak Color: Yellowish-orange
Found In: India and Vietnam

The black-breasted thrush is a forest bird found from north-eastern India to northern Vietnam. Males and females have the same underpart colors; males are black on top while females are mostly gray-brown. 

These thrushes have legs, feet, and bills that are orange-yellow. They are omnivores that feed on insects, mollusks, and berries. The call of the black-breasted thrush has been described as “sweet mellow” and “melodious”, with their musical phrases spanning 3–8 notes.

Read More: Incredible birds with split tails


Zebra Finch

common waxbill

Scientific name: Taeniopygia guttata
Lifespan: 2-7 years
Wingspan: 8-9 in
Beak Color: Red-orange
Found In: Central Australia

Zebra finch is a small songbird found in Central Australia. Male zebra finches have black and white bars on the throat and breast, orange cheeks, and brown on the sides of their bodies. Females are gray-colored in those spots. They also have ‘zebra-like’ patterns on the rump and upper tails.

Males have beaks that range from light orange to dark red. A study published in the Behavioral Biology Journal discovered that zebra finch females prefer red-beaked males to orange ones because redness correlates with good health.

They are excellent pets and social birds that should be kept in pairs. Males will dance to impress the females and they often mate for life.


Intermediate Egret

intermediate egret

Scientific name: Ardea intermedia
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Wingspan: 41-45 in
Beak Color: Yellow-orange
Found In: Asia, Africa, and Australia

The intermediate egret is a medium-sized white heron with a rounded head and orange-brown eyes. The bill is long and reddish with a yellow-orange tip. It got its name because it is intermediate in size between the Great Egret and the Little Egret. 

It is native to southeastern Asia, Africa, and Australia and feeds on fish, crustaceans, and insects. 


American Robin

american robin

Scientific name: Turdus migratorius
Lifespan: 2 years
Wingspan: 12-16 in
Beak Color: Bright orange-yellow
Found In: North America

The American robin is a migratory songbird and a common sight on lawns across North America. It has a red breast, gray wings, head, and back. The short beak has a bright color, mostly orange-yellowish with a gray tip.

The American robin is the state bird for Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It has a sweet tooth and will feast on fruits, berries, and even cakes and pastry. American robins are omnivores and will also eat earthworms, caterpillars, and insects.

Read More: 15+ biggest birds of Michigan


Green Wood Hoopoe

green wood hoopoe

Scientific name: Phoeniculus purpureus
Lifespan: 8-15 years
Wingspan: n/a 
Beak Color: Orange-red
Found In: Africa

Green Wood Hoopoe is a large tropical bird native to Africa. It has a metallic dark green plumage, with a purple back and tail. It has a long, decurved, and red-orange bill.

The green wood hoopoe is a carnivorous bird whose diet includes lizards, termites, spiders, caterpillars, etc.  When neighboring hoopoe groups meet, they engage in a distinctive “flag-waving” display.


Eclectus Parrot

eclectus parrot

Scientific name: Eclectus roratus
Lifespan: 30-50 years
Wingspan: 8-10 in
Beak Color: Bright orange
Found In: Solomon Islands, Indonesia, New Guinea, northeastern Australia, and the Moluccas

Eclectus parrot is a small parrot native to the Solomon Islands, Sumba, New Guinea and nearby islands, northeastern Australia, and the Maluku Islands.

Males are generally green with blue primary feathers and red flanks, while females have purple abdomens and red heads and necks. Because of those differences, until the 20th century, people considered them to be separate species.

A healthy male Eclectus parrot will have a bright orange beak – this means that the bird is in good condition.

Eclectus parrots are shy birds that are active during the day and spend most of their time collecting food, eating, and resting. They are great at mimicking human speech and can produce various sounds, including tones, coos, whistles, and laughs.


Bateleur

bateleur

Scientific name: Terathopius ecaudatus
Lifespan: 27-40 years
Wingspan: 5.5-6 ft
Beak Color: Multicolored (red, orange, black)
Found In: West Africa

Bateleur is a medium-sized eagle with long wings and a very short tail. It has mostly black plumage, with wings that are silver above and white below. Bateleur has a bright red face and legs. This bird of prey has a bill that has a black tip with a yellow-orange center and a red base.

The name Bateleur means “tight-rope walker” in French, referring to its unstable way of flying. They spend about 9 hours a day hunting, and prey on antelope, mice, birds, snakes, carrion, lizards, and especially road kills.

Bateleur can change color depending on its mood – when relaxed, its skin is pale red or orange; when excited, it changes to bright red. 


American Goldfinch

american goldfinch

Scientific name: Spinus tristis
Lifespan: 3-6 years
Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in
Beak Color: Pale orange
Found In: North America

The American goldfinch is a small migratory bird with a small head, long wings, and a short, notched tail. Male and female American goldfinches have a colorful carotenoid-based orange bill during the breeding season; the bill serves as an indicator of the overall health of the bird. The more saturated with orange a bill is, the higher the testosterone levels are in that specific bird.

This is helpful as it can reduce the chance of a physical battle, risk of injury, and loss of time and energy.

American goldfinches molt twice a year, once in late winter and again in late summer. They are the state bird of New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington.


ʻiʻiwi

hawaiian honeycreeper

Scientific name: Drepanis coccinea
Lifespan: 5-12 years 
Wingspan: n/a
Beak Color: Vivid pink-orange
Found In: Hawaiian Islands

The ʻiʻiwi or scarlet honeycreeper is a species of Hawaiian honeycreeper and a symbol of Hawaii. It has a distinctive long curved salmon-orange beak, red feathers, and black wings.

Hawaiian mythology says that the demi-god Maui loved those forest birds so much that he painted them in bright red. He made the ‘iʻiwi especially colorful and gave it a unique call that resonated throughout the forest.

The ʻiʻiwi’s curved beak allows it to get nectar from flowers of the Hawaiian lobelioids, which have decurved corollas.


Wattled Curassow

wattled curassow

Scientific name: Crax globulosa
Lifespan: 20 years
Wingspan: 36 in
Beak Color: Bright orange with black tip
Found In: South America

The wattled curassow is a large, mostly black, terrestrial bird. It got its name from the bright orange-scarlet knobs and wattles on its bill. 

The bird is found in Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador, in the tropical lowland, riverine and humid forests. Curassow is a threatened species with around 5,000 individuals alive today. 

Wattled curassows are omnivores that feed on leaves, fruits, seeds, and small animals such as fish, crustaceans like shrimp, insects, etc.

Read More: Hilarious-looking fish with huge foreheads


Red Lory

red lory

Scientific name: Eos bornea
Lifespan: 15- 30 years
Wingspan: 6.3 in
Beak Color: Bright orange
Found In: Indonesia

The red lory is a small parrot with pomegranate-red plumage and blue markings on its wings and face. The bill is orange. 

They are very intelligent and highly active birds and the second-most commonly kept lories in captivity, after the rainbow lorikeet.

Red lories love to talk and will always make noise and thrash their toys in the cage. They are native to Indonesia and have a fruit and nectar-based diet.


Common Waxbill

common waxbill

Scientific name: Estrilda astrild
Lifespan: 4 years
Wingspan: 4 in
Beak Color: Red-orange
Found In: Africa

The common waxbill, also known as the St Helena waxbill, is a small bird native to Africa. It has a mostly brown-gray color, with red on the belly and a line through the eyes. Its bill is conical and has a vivid orange-red color.

The waxbill got its name because it appears as if the bird was dipped in red wax. They are very social birds that live in flocks of hundreds and thousands of birds. Common waxbills mostly feed on grass seeds and occasionally insects. 

Read More: List of 30+ birds that have the blue color of their heads


Crowned Hornbill

crowned hornbill with orange beak

Scientific name: Tockus alboterminatus
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Wingspan: 20 in
Beak Color: Dark orange
Found In: Africa

The crowned hornbill is a medium-sized bird with dark plumage on top, a white belly, and an orange beak. It is native to Africa, in countries like Ethiopia, Angola, Zaire, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. 

Crowned hornbills are omnivores and feed on fruits, small birds, lizards, and golden moles. They will eat up on the trees.

Read More: List of Birds With Eyebrows


Final Thoughts

This concludes our article on 30+ birds with orange beaks. 

Many species of parrots like the red lory and rainbow lorikeet, raptors like the bateleur, smaller birds like the American robin, common blackbird, other birds like the Inca tern, mute swan, Atlantic puffins are just a few that have an orange bill. 

Many of these species make wonderful pets, and the tangerine beaks certainly enhance their overall appearance.

Hopefully, next time you get the chance to see any of these birds in the wild, you will recognize them with ease! 

Read more: Animals that closely resemble meerkats


Photo Credits

  1. Green Wood Hoopoe – Derek Keats from Johannesburg, South Africa, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  2. Hawaiian honeycreeper – ALAN SCHMIERER from southeast AZ, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)

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