When many people think of bird plumages, purple isn’t probably the color that usually comes to their mind. But there are birds of all colors. And In this article, we have explored and explained 33 of the best purple-colored birds from various corners of the world. While some of these have feathers that are totally purple, others have some feathers/ parts of their skin-colored in purple. Make sure to read this article until the very end!

1. Purple-bearded Bee-Eater

Also known by its ancient name of meropogon forsteni, Purple-Bearded bee-eater is a passerine bird from the family of Meropidae. Unlike other bee-eaters that can mostly be found in tropical Africa, Purple bearded Bee-eater is often found in the dense forests of Indonesia.

Famous for its uniquely long tail, this bird can easily be identified by its rounded wings, decurved beak and predominant purple color. Measuring a little more than 10 inches, an average adult purple bearded bee-eater has a body mass between 0.5 and 3.0 ounces.

The diet of these restricted species mainly consists of bees, wasps, and dragonflies.

2. Purplish Jay

Also known by its ancient name of Cyanocorax cyanomelas, Purplish jay Hails from the cosmopolitan bird family of Corvidae. Identified by their dark purplish-blue colouration, Purplish jay are known for their movement in raucous groups.

Native to the subtropical and dry tropical forests in the south American countries of Argentina, southern Brazil and Uruguay, the male purplish jays are known to be slightly bigger than the females with a length that is somewhere between 14 to 16 inches.

Although these birds are classified by the IUCN as “least concerned species”, the relentless degeneration of the dry tropical forests has led to a steady decline in their population.

3. Purple Martin

VJAnderson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mostly found in the Americas, Purple Martin is the largest and the most famous swallow bird in the world.

Weighing around 1.6 to 2.1 ounces and measuring about 8 inches, Purple Martin, just like all of its fellow swallow species, is known for its ability to catch and feed on its prey, on the fly.

Other than countries of Cuba and Mexico, these swallow birds most notably breed in the northern and eastern U.S regions of Baja California, Arizona, and New Mexico. And during the winters, they tend to migrate south to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina.

4. Violaceous Jay

Joseph C Boone, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Violaceous jay is a low land bird of the corvadae family. Just like its relative Purplish jay, violaceous jay is also a resident of South America.

Although, as their name suggests, the plumage of violaceous jays is predominantly violet, they tend to have a dull purplish color in the lower parts of their bodies. This medium-large jay can also be identified by their striking dark face and throat.

Violaceous Jay mainly feeds on fruits, insects, birds and reptile eggs. They are mostly found in the sub-tropical and moist low land amazon basins of Brazil, Bolivia and Columbia.

5. Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher

Pokopong, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also commonly known as the black paradise flycatcher, Japanese paradise flycatcher is a migratory bird native to south-east Asia. It is mostly identified by its unique large blue eye-ring along with its black legs and feet.

Very closely related to the famous bird Asian flycatcher, Japanese paradise flycatchers can be found breeding in Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Taiwan, and when it is not breeding, it can mostly be seen visiting some of the countries of the west like Hong Kong, Laos, mainland China and Thailand.

6. Purple-crested Turaco

Known for its purple-coloured crest above a green head, Purple-crested Turaco is an African bird from the family of Musophagidae. This bird breeds mainly in the moist woodlands and evergreen forests.

It measures around 42-46cm from beak to tail and weighs approximately 200-290g. The diet of purple crested turaco, just like all the other turaco birds in Africa, consists mainly of fruits

As already mentioned before, Purple crested Turaco has a green head, red eye ring and flight feathers, black bill and a purple-colored crest.

More than anything else, this bird is famous for its crimson feathers. The Purple-crested is also celebrated as the National Bird of the Kingdom of Swaziland.

7. Varied Bunting

Dominic Sherony, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Native to northern Mexico and the American states of New Mexico, Texas and Arizona, Varied Bunting is a songbird species from the family of Cardinalidae. The adult breeding varied bunting are predominantly purple-red along with a bright red patch.

Unlike most of the other birds who tend to take years to get to develop flying feathers, the young varied bunting gets fully feathered after 10 days, and they get ready to leave their nest in the next several days.

They are known to breed in deserts, cannons and dry shrublands and according to a research done in 2014, there are 2 million of varied Bunting birds world-wide.

8. Western Violet-backed Sunbird

Nigel Voaden from UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also commonly known as Longuemare’s sunbird, Western violet-back sunbird is an African bird from the family of Nactariidae.

Similar to their eastern counterpart, western violet-backed sunbird has a purple head along with violet back and pale eyebrows.  These birds are natural inhabitants of savannas and lush woodlands.

Western violet-backed sunbirds are also locally referred to as violet-backed superspecies as they widely range in almost all of tropical sub-Saharan Africa, starting from Senegal to Guinea-Bissau.

9. Common Scimitarbill

Belonging to the family of Phoeniculidae, Common Scimiatrbill is an African bird with purple plumages. Thanks to its elongated matte-black bird with black legs and slender, this bird can easily be identified.

Their strongly curved bills help them to easily find their prey by probing into holes and crevices. The diet of common scimitarbill consists mainly of insects and other invertebrates.

 The common scimitarbill is native to the counties of Kenya, Congo, South Africa, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The fossils of these birds date back to ten million years ago.

Although there is no data of the common scimitarbill that could provide an estimate of their population, these species are said to be very widespread in the local areas. But, their numbers are believed to be constantly declining due to cutting down of trees that not only provide nesting to these birds but are also their only roosting sites.

10. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Sameeramed, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Found mostly in the dense forests of South-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent, velvet fronted nuthatch is a small passerine bird from the family of nuthatch.

The velvet-fronted nuthatch can be easily identified by its bluish-purple above, beige underparts and white throat. They have a short tail, powerful bill and extremely strong clawed toes. Because of these toes they can move from one tree trunk to another with ease.

 Just like all other members in the family of nuthatches, the velvet-fronted nuthatch feeds mostly on insects and breeds in cavities of trees and holes.

This bird is a breeder of all types of evergreen forests. The deforestation in the sub-continent has led to a steady decrease in the population of velvet-fronted Nuthatch.

11. White-breasted Ground-Dove

Also locally known as the “purple ground dove” and “white-bibbed ground dove”, the white-breasted dove is a bird from the Columbidae family.

Just like the sulphur billed nuthatch, white-breasted ground dove can be found mostly in the tropical and subtropical moist montane forests of New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Island.

White-Breasted Ground dove feeds on seeds of Morinda and Tournefortia plants, trees and shrubs.

Earlier, these birds are said to have also existed in several African islands other than Solomon, but the introduction of new species like rats and cats, and constant disturbance and destruction of their habitat has led to a decrease in population. Recent studies suggest that the total population of these birds has shrunk so much so that, it is now estimated to be close to somewhere between 100-120 individuals.

12. Purple Grenadier

Known for its silver-blue eye patches, Purple Grenadier is a small bird of estrildid finch species from eastern Africa.

Apart from its silver-blue eye patches, a purple grenadier can also be identified by its cinnamon-colored neck, purplish-blue rump and violet-blue underparts. And it’s also easy to distinguish between male and female grenadiers as the females are comparatively much smaller to males with an average length of a little more than 5.5 inches.

This is a low-land bird that can be found in the subtropical regions of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda.

Interestingly though, it is believed that these birds might have first originated in western India before they permanently migrated to eastern Africa thousands of years ago.

13. Purple-winged Roller

As the name suggests, Purple-winged roller is a bird with wings of purple color. This bird hails from the bird family of Coraciidae.

The purple-winged bird is a permanent resident of Indonesia’s  Sulawesi and its sub-regions like the island of Bangka, Lembeh, Manterawu, and Butung. Most of these regions, if not all, are subtropical and moist lowland forests.

Just like all the other roller birds, Purple-winged roller birds feed on beetles, centipedes, grasshoppers, millipedes, scorpions, snails, and spiders.

Some of the other local names of Purple-winged roller birds are Celebes roller, Sulawesi roller and Temminck’s roller, all of these three names have been derived from the islands and the places of purple-winged roller’s breeding.

14. Purple-breasted Cotinga

Caesura, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Purple-breasted Contiga, just like most other birds on this list, is a bird that resides in tropical moist and low land forests.

Thanks to its cobalt blue throat, Purple color on the upper half of its belly, and blue throat, Purple Breasted Contiga can easily be recognised. For females, these specifications are slightly different as they tend to have a dark brown color.

Hailing from the family of Contigdae, Purple breasted Contiga is found in almost all of the countries in the Central and northern regions of South America. Some of them include Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Guyana, Venezuela, and Suriname.

The average size of these birds is around 18 cm in length.

15. Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo

Greg Kanies, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo is another bird from the Culidae family that is native to the south-central Amazon. This bird can be identified by its dark and purplish tail and upperparts.

Apart from its purplish tail and underparts, Rufous-vented Ground cuckoos also have sturdy legs that help in ground-dwelling.

Just like other cuckoo birds, this species also has a long terrestrial range. Apart from central Amazon, Rufous-vented ground-cuckoo also resides in the humid and primary forests of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and parts of eastern Peru and Ecuador. Not just that, this bird also is believed to have sub-species like the scaled ground cuckoo, a bird that breeds mostly in Brazil.

As already mentioned before, these birds have a large range. A little more than a decade ago, these birds were classified as “least concerned”. But, constant degradation has made these birds more and more inconspicuous.  And for the past few years, the IUCN has been listing Rufous-vented ground Cuckoos as “Vulnerable.”

16. Purple Cochoa

Dibyendu Ash, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also known by their scientific name of Cochoa Purpurea, Purple Cochoa is an elusive bird species that belongs to the family Turdidae.

Unlike most other birds on this list, Purple Cochoa can be found motionlessly sitting in the canopies of the dark forests of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Vietnam.

As the name suggests, this bird has purple plumages, sliver blue crown, black wings with a unique grey carpal pitch. The only thing distinguishing the males and females is unlike the males, the females are known to have more of a rufous colour instead of purple.

Similar to its relatives, Purple Cochoa also feeds mainly on small insects and spiders. And in winter, when there isn’t much of their regular food available to them, they tend to settle on seeds and berries and seeds. They are also famous for their foraging abilities as they can forage through rocks and under roots with ease.

17. Violet Sabrewing

Joseph C Boone, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also referred by the Greek name of Campylpterus Hemileeucurus, violet Sabrewing is a hummingbird from Central America.

Compared to most other hummingbirds, violet Sabrewing is slightly larger as it has an average length of 5.9 inches and the weight of 0.34 oz. Other than central America, this bird can also be found near the streams of the mountain forests parts of Mexico and western Panama.

Violet Sabrweings feed mainly on nectar. The main sources for their food are undergrowth flowers and bananas.

A huge part of plumages of both male and female Violet Sabrewing is purplish violet. Their backs wing coverts are colored green.

18. Purple-backed Thornbill

Purple backed Thornbill is another small species of hummingbird from the family of Trochilidae.

As the name suggests, these birds are known for their “thornlike bills”. A majority of these birds live and breed in the subtropical and tropical moist montane forests in the northern region of South America like the countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.

These birds can often be confused with other birds of the Thornbill and ground-feeding species, as they all seem to breed and fly in the same feeding flocks.

19. Violet-bellied Hummingbird

The violet-belled Hummingbirds are small nectarivorous hummingbirds.

Just like all the other hummingbirds, violet bellied hummingbirds exhibit sexual dimorphism. Compared to females, the male hummingbirds are observed to be slightly brighter with their violet-coloured bellies, purplish throat, and metallic green crown. Not just that, they are also comparatively bigger measuring around an average length of 2.5 inches.

Native to humid deciduous forests of central Panama, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru, violet bellied hummingbird mainly feeds on nectar extracted from the plants of Rubiaceae, Ericaceae, Gesneriaceae, And Fabaceae families.

Violet-bellied hummingbirds have a minimum lifespan of 6 years. And according to the data shared by an organization called “partners in flights”, there are an estimated 2 million of these birds world-wide.

20. Costa’s Hummingbird

Deutsch: San Diego ZooEnglish: San Diego Zoo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Famous for its vibrant purple cap and throat, Costa’s Hummingbird is one of the smallest hummingbirds that can be found in the southwestern United States and the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. This bird is a member of the family Trochilidae.

An average costa’s hummingbird weighs around 0.12 ounces and measures 3.5 inches which makes it one of the smallest living bird in the world alongside bee hummingbird. As already mentioned before, these birds have a small but vibrant purple cap. Other than that, they also have black colored tail and wings.

These omnivorous birds feed on the nectar of the flowers and when it’s not available in abundance, they hunt and eat small insects found in flower petals.

21. Fork-tailed Woodnymph

Don Henise, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Although it is named Woodnymph, Fork-tailed is also a hummingbird that belongs to the family Trochilidae.

This bird has a wide range, as it can be found in the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. And like most other birds on this list, the natural habitat of the Fork-tailed Woodnymph is the Sub-tropical/ tropical moist lowland forests along with the degraded former forests.

These birds feed on nectar from various flowers, trees and herbs. And the best way to identify is by their purple chest and abdomen.

Interestingly though, unlike most of its counterparts, this hummingbird has a relatively long tongue that allows them to easily extract the nectar from the flowers.

22. Violet-crowned Woodnymph

Joseph C Boone, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also considered as the nominate subspecies of the crowed woodnymph, violet-crowed woodnymph is a medium-sized hummingbird famous for its small violet-coloured crown. This bird is also referred to as the “purple-crowned woodnymph”.

As already mentioned before, this is a medium-sized hummingbird that has an average length and weight of 10.2cm and 4.5 gms. Just like other hummingbirds, violet crowned woodnymph also posses sexual dimorphism as the females are slightly lighter compared to males measuring only around 8.4-9 cm, and weighing 5 grams.

Known for their trademark high-pitched call, these birds can be found in the forests of Colombia, Guatemala, and Venezuela. These birds have a violet crown, green throat and breast, purple shoulders and belly.

23. Purple-throated Woodstar

This is the last hummingbird on our list of birds with purple plumages. Known for its purple-colored throat, Purple-throated Woodstar is one of the four Calliphlox’s species.

Their distribution ranges 600 km. Starting all the way from northern countries of South America like Colombia and Ecuador to the tiny countries of central America like Panama.

Very similar to violet-crowned woodnymph, Purple-throated Woodstar also features a green-brownze back and cinnamon-coloured abdomen.

Unlike most other birds in the world, Purple-throated woodstars don’t migrate, they don’t live in flocks, in-fact, they don’t even form pair bonds.

But, Like most of their fellow hummingbirds, these birds can be seen hanging on flowers while extracting their nectar by using their tongue.

24. Costa’s Hummingbird

Pete Gregoire, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Famous for its vibrant purple cap and throat, Costa’s Hummingbird is one of the smallest hummingbirds that can be found in the southwestern United States and the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. This bird is a member of the family Trochilidae.

An average costa’s hummingbird weighs around 0.12 ounces and measures 3.5 inches which makes it one of the smallest living bird in the world alongside bee hummingbird. As already mentioned before, these birds have a small but vibrant purple cap. Other than that, they also have black colored tail and wings.

These omnivorous birds feed on the nectar of the flowers and when it’s not available in abundance, they hunt and eat small insects found in flower petals.

25. Hartlaub’s Turaco

derekkeats, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Named after a German Physician called Gustav Hartlaub, Hartlaub’s Turaco is a high-altitude bird that can easily be identified by its dark bill and purple upperparts. These super species belong to the family of Musophagidae.

An adult Hartlaub’s Turaco has an average length of 16.9 in inches and weight of 10.4 ounces. This bird is native to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Interestingly, It is observed that the Hartlaub turacos are one of the very few birds in the world where the males and females of the same species often tend to show aggression towards each other.

These birds breed usually breed at altitudes of 2000-3500m and they feed mostly on plants and fruits.

26. Purple Gallinule 

Shanthanu Bhardwaj, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hailing from the family of Rallidae, Purple Gallinule is a bird with purple plumages that also belongs to the rail species. Because of their uniquely long yellow legs, these birds are also locally known as the “yellow-legged gallinule”.

With an average length and weight of 24 inches and 9.1 ounces respectively, Purple Gallinule is one of the largest birds among rail species. Apart from having purple-plumages and yellow legs, these birds have a blue shield on their head along with a red bill.

The Purple Gallinule is also regarded as part of the order “Gruiformes”. This order also consists of cranes, rails and crakes.

Purple Gallinule can be found in the Caribbean, Central America, Gulf of Mexico and the American states of Florida and New Mexico. These birds also occasionally migrate to some of the northern regions of South America.

27. Purple Glossy-Starling

The purple glossy-starling, as its name suggests, is a gregarious bird that belongs to the well-known family of starlings. This African bird is also commonly known as the purple glossy starling.

Native to tropical or subtropical regions of Senegal, Republic of Congo, Sudan and Kenya, Purple Glossy Starling, just like its fellow members, is a noisy and gregarious bird found in the cultivated and open woodlands.

This 8.5 inched purple glossy starling bird has a purple head and body with glossy green wings. Purple glossy starling is an omnivorous bird whose diet consists chiefly of fruits and insects.

28. Wompoo Fruit-Dove

Also locally known as wompoo pigeon, Wompoo fruit –dove is a bird from new guinea and eastern Australia. Compared to most of the other fruit-doves, Wompoo fruit-dove is slightly bigger with an average length of 18 inches.

Similar to all the other birds on this list, this fruit dove also has purple plumage on its neck and chest. Wompoo fruit dove has yellow and green color on its lower belly and underparts respectively. Both males and females look almost identical as these are one of the few birds in their family that are not sexually dimorphic.

They are also known to have a call that is said to sound very similar to humans. Wompoo fruit-dove feeds mainly on figs, the fruit of cinnamon trees, and palm fruits.

29. Purple-crowned Fairywren

Famous for being the largest of the 11 species in genus Malurus, The purple crowned fairywren is an insectivorous bird from Australia.

 This sexually dimorphic bird is found mainly found in the regions of Kimberley, Northern Victoria River, south-western sub-coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland.

As the name suggests, Purple-crowned fairywren has a purple colored crown along with brown body plumage, blue tail, and black colored legs and bill. An adult purple-crowned fairywren has an average length of 5.5 inches. But above all, the thing that makes this bird special are the spectacular purple plumages that it develops on its head during the breeding seasons.