10 Striking Purple-colored Birds

Below is a list of purple-colored birds, where the color purple/violet is the more prominent color of its plumage. It is interesting to note that most of the purple/violet colored birds seen are male species of that bird type, whereas the females of the same species may be of any other color.

Violet-Backed Starling

The Violet-backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster), also known as the plum-colored starling or amethyst starling, belongs to the family of birds classified as Sturnidae. The species is the smallest of the Southern African starlings found widely in the woodlands and savannah forest edges of mainland sub-Saharan Africa.

The sexes are sexually dimorphic; males are brilliantly colored while females appear comparatively drab. The male is brilliantly colored with a deep iridescent violet along the length of is back, wings, face and throat. It has a bright white breast and the rest of the The eyes are brown and the bill and legs are black. The female sports brown head and back; and white underparts streaked with dark brown.

Adult measures 17.8 cm (7.0 in) in length and weighs 33-56 g (1.2-2.0 oz.)

Purple Grenadier

The Purple Grenadier (Uraeginthus ianthinogaster) is common and widespread throughout east Africa. The species is found in subtropical and tropical (lowland) and dry shrubland. Adult averages 13.3 cm (5.25 in)in length and weighs 15 – 16 g (or approx. 1/2 oz.)

These striking purple-colored birds are sexually dimorphic (the male and female look different). Both sexes have a red beak and black tail. The male has a cinnamon (upperparts) with purplish-blue feathers around the eyes; and vibrant blues (face and underparts) feathers. The female is mostly cinnamon brown; breast and belly are spotted or barred white. She also has some purple on her tail feathers.

Purple Martin

The Purple Martin (Progne subis) is the largest North American swallow. The species” breeding range is throughout temperate North America. Purple Martins are very large, broad-chested swallows. They have a black bill, legs and feet; stout, forked bills, and long, tapered wings. Adults average 20 cm (7.9 in) long from bill to tail.

Adult males are iridescent, dark blue-purple overall with brown-black wings and tail. Adult females are gray on the head and chest with some steel blue sheen, and a whitish lower belly.

Purple Gallinule

The Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus) is a brightly colored marsh bird found in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. It is also found in Central and South America and the West Indies. The species prefers swamps, lagoons, ponds and freshwater marshes, with floating vegetation.

Adults average 26–37 cm (10–15 in) in length, with a wingspan spanning 50–61 cm (20–24 in) and weighing 141–305 g (5.0–10.8 oz.)

The adult Purple Gallinule sports a stunning purple-blue plumage with a glossy green back. It has a dark purple head, neck, and underside. Red eyes and bill with a yellow tip, white undertail coverts, and long yellow legs.

Varied Bunting

The Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor) is a stocky, medium-sized songbird common and widespread in the southern parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the United States and throughout most of Mexico. These brilliantly colored birds inhabit thorn forests, streamline thickets, and scrubby woodlands.

Breeding males have purple-red body with a red nape; blue crown and rump. Wings and tail are purple-blue. Females have grayish-brown plumage overall with buff underparts.

Adults average It is 11–14 cm (4.3–5.5 in) in length with a wingspan of 21 cm (8.3 in), and weighs 11–13 grams (0.39–0.46 oz).

Purple Honeycreeper

The Purple Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes caeruleus), also called the Yellow-legged Honeycreeper, is a small bird of northern South America. This is a forest canopy species, but also occurs in cocoa and citrus plantations. The sexes are sexually dimorphic; Male and female are very different in color.

The adult male has purplish-blue plumage overall with black wings, chin throat and belly. Blue tail shows two black central feathers. It has brown eyes, and bright yellow legs. Adult female has lime green upperparts, and green-streaked yellowish-buff underparts.

Purple Honeycreeper measures 11.5 cm (4.5 in) in length long, weighs 12 g (0.42 oz).

Violet-crowned Woodnymph

The Violet-crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica), also known as the purple-crowned woodnymph, is a medium-sized Central and South American hummingbird. The species inhabits wet lowlands and foothills up to 2500 meters (~8,200 feet). It is a small hummingbird averaging 10.2 cm (approx.4 inches)long and weighs 4.5 grams (0.16 oz).

The adult male has a violet crown, upper back, shoulders and belly. It has green throat, breast, and lower back. The female is bright green above and duller green below, with a grey throat and breast.

Purplish-mantled Tanager

The Purplish-mantled Tanager (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus) is found in Colombia and Ecuador. Its natural habitats are humid mossy rainforests, second-growth woodland, and heavily degraded forest borders.

The species average 14 cm (5.5 in) long and weigh 20-23 g (0.7-0.8 oz). It feeds on berries and insects.

Purple Starling

The Purple Starling (Lamprotornis purpureus), also known as the purple glossy starling, is a common passerine bird common and widespread in tropical Africa. The species is typically found in scrublands, open woodlands, savannas, and cultivated areas.

Adults have a metallic purple head, crown and body. Lores are black and glossy green wings. They large yellow eyes, black beak and short tail.

Purple Starling measures around 22-27 cm (8.7-10.6 in) long, including the short tail and weighs around 91–140 g (3.7-4.9 oz).

Splendid Sunbird

The Splendid Sunbird (Cinnyris coccinigaster) is a small passerine bird found in west and central tropical Africa. This species is a common breeder in wet savannah and woodland.

Splendid sunbirds measure 15 cm (5.9 in) in length. The species is characterized by its medium-long thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues.

The adult male has glossy purple head and a crimson breast patch. It has dark green back, black wings and tail. The female is greenish-brown above and yellowish below.

34 thoughts on “10 Striking Purple-colored Birds

  1. Shawnyce Cano

    I honestly did not read all the facts about these birds, but I did do a double take of the one with the worm in it's beak. Freaky. Cool.

  2. Berylle Kaye Hong

    the purple grenadier is soo fluffy!! but i love the bright colors of the violet-crowned woodnymph..

  3. Tiffany Yong W.T.

    The Purple Grenadier looked like it has brown hair and purple face (think purple avatar?) The Violet-crowned Woodnymph and Purplish-mantled Tanager look like they have a coloured bib! It's so cute!

  4. Anne V

    My daughter is gonna go nuts over that Purple Martin. Kids who love purple all over the world will! Gonna share this with other moms, for their kids of course! Thanks!

  5. Fred Hawson

    Those bright purples are really so elegant! That starling is so stunning. Too bad we only get to see brown maya here in the city most of the time.

  6. Sunshine Kelly

    The Splendid Sunbird purple color combination really sharp, blends in the circle of retailing.

  7. Rochkirstin Santos

    I just noticed that all the feet of the birds here are likely in the same color except for one. Just to confirm, are those yellow ones the feet of Purple Honeycreeper?

  8. Pooja Kawatra

    Beautiful and bright birds photos .. Simply love your photography !! Maybe you can share some tips on using camera as well.

  9. Mamta Balani

    Amazing pics really. I liked all of them but baked sterling is the best one…….thanks for sharing.

  10. Raine Pal

    Purple birds are sometimes called the magical birds in mythological stories. Well, I don't know why, maybe because their color is associated with power and magic.

  11. Raquel Mitchell

    These birds are beautiful and have vivid colors! I like the Purple Starling. Looks like they are artificially painted.

  12. Jason P.

    The violet backed Starling is so incredibly mesmerizing it's like the feathers actually shimmer in the light! So amazing! 😀

  13. Manu Kalia

    The Purple Gallinule is my favorite. I want to see it in personal. Thank you for sharing

  14. Karen

    My favorite color! The violet crowned Woodnymph is love and all these birds are so beautiful.

  15. Phylicia Marie Pineda

    Purple's actually my favorite color, and I had no idea there were a lot of birds with this pretty a color! My favorite is the Violet-crowned Woodnymph, love the contrast of the green with the vibrant purple!

  16. Louise Banta

    Wonderful looking birds! I only see these kind of birds in paintings or picture frames. I thought they were just fictional or something like that. Since I lived in a country where birds are mostly just the same color, these birds look surreal. Hehe.

  17. Erica van der Merwe

    Violet back starling spotted in my garden today in thabazimbi limpopo far from the natural habitat

  18. Kate Turner

    Does anyone know what the name of this bird is? Is it rare?
    I can’t seem to attach it, so I’ll describe it. It has a white head and white, lavender, and purple feathers. It looks fairly small. The picture I got is from Pintrest, if that helps.

  19. Chelsea

    I just saw a beautiful bird about the size of a crow but the wing feathers were slightly purple tinted. I looked at this website but I did not see any of the pictures relate. If it helps I found it near my apartment building in Asia, Hong Kong, Lantau Island. Please reply if someone knows. Thanks!

  20. Jef

    I have never seen a purple martin like that! Purple being my favorite color has been reinforced. The only one of these I have seen is the Purple Gallinule. What wonderful colors!

  21. dragon bird

    cool birds they are super cool this isn’t purple but one time i saw a 1 foot blue jay in my front yard. note: i don’t know how tall it was though

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