19 Types Of Birds With An ORANGE CHEST (With Photos)

Have you spotted a bird with an orange chest and would like to know what species it was?

Identifying these birds is not as easy as one would think, since there are several different bird species that sport an orange breast.

To help you identify the bird you saw, we’ve put together this ID guide that covers the most common birds that have an orange chest.

Birds with an orange chest

We’ve also included some of the most gorgeous orange breasted birds on the planet, as eye candy for those of you who love the color orange.

What types of birds have an orange chest?

Here are 19 types of birds that have an orange chest:

  • American Robin
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Bullock’s Oriole
  • Barn Swallow
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Allen’s Hummingbird
  • Black-headed Grosbeak
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Hooded Oriole
  • Orchard Oriole
  • Orange-breasted Sunbird
  • American Woodcock
  • Orange-breasted Waxbill
  • Red Knot
  • Western Bluebird
  • Rufous Hummingbird
  • Varied Thrush
  • Cooper’s Hawk

Most of these orange chested birds are found in North America, but we also included a few from other continents (such as the stunning Orange-breasted Sunbird).

Some of these birds are very common (such as the American Robin). Other birds on this list are much rarer, and yet others live in distant tropical countries (although you may encounter them in zoos and aviaries).

Now let’s dive into the details, and take a closer look at each of these species in order to get the full scoop:

American Robin

Scientific name: Turdus migratorius

Photo of American Robin adult

The American Robin is actually a thrush, but got its name from early settlers in North America who noticed its resemblance with the European Robin.

The orange breast of the American robin makes it easy to identify this species. It mostly forages for food on the ground with the help of its powerful legs and stout yellow beak.

In the fall and winter, it feeds on fruit and searches for snails and worms amid the fallen leaves. It frequently congregates in big roosts in the non-breeding season.

The American Robin is a superb singer, with a song that is melodious and flowing, similar to many other thrushes.

They construct their bulky nests out of twigs at a very variable height, from the ground all the way up to the canopy of the trees.

In a typical year, American robins will have between two and three broods.

While the original habitat of American Robins was woodlands, they have adjusted superbly to the expansion of human settlements, and are now found in suburban areas as common breeding birds.

This thrush is a partial migratory bird, with its northernmost populations in Canada and the northern USA being entirely migratory.

In southern parts of its range, the American Robin is found all year round in the southern part, but only during the summer months in the northern parts.

American Robin song:

(Source: Thomas Magarian, XC543355, www.xeno-canto.org/543355)

Baltimore Oriole

Scientific name: Icterus galbula

Photo of Baltimore Oriole adult male

The Baltimore Oriole is a wonderful singer that is more frequently heard than seen.

Adult males are very conspicuous due to their flaming orange underparts, paired with a completely black head and back, as well as a single white band on their otherwise black wings.

Females and immature birds are much more drab, and instead have a brownish yellow coloration.

Baltimore Orioles are readily attracted to feeders that contain orange halves, grape jelly, or nectar.

And similar to Orchard Orioles, parents bring their recently fledged young to a nearby feeder.

This bird favors open spaces such as yards, parks, and woods, and frequently comes back to the same location year after year.

Keep an eye out for Baltimore Orioles in deciduous forests, but not in dense woods. You may encounter them in places like open forests, forest margins, orchards and even backyards.

Due to the fact that they forage high in trees in search of insects, fruit, and flowers, most orioles are more frequently heard than seen.

The Baltimore Oriole is a summer visitor in North America (except for Florida, where it can be seen year-round.

It is one of the latest migratory birds to arrive in spring, and one of the earliest to leave in fall.

Baltimore Oriole sound:

(Source: Christopher McPherson, XC690956, www.xeno-canto.org/690956)

Bullock’s Oriole

Scientific name: Icterus bullockii

Photo of Bullocks Oriole adult male

Bullock’s Oriole is most common in the  western part of the United States.

Adult males have a flaming orange underside coupled with a jet black back and a black neck. They also have a large white patch on the wing, and an orange face with a black throat.

Juveniles and females are more grayish-yellow with orange on their face and chest. Endemic to the western United States, it spends the winter in Mexico.

Bullock’s Oriole forages for food on the upper branches of trees and shrubs, searching for fruits and insects.

You can encounter Bullock’s Orioles in open woodlands close to rivers and streams, as well as in parks and orchards.

Bullock’s Oriole sound:

(Source: Jarrod Swackhammer, XC540560, www.xeno-canto.org/540560)

Barn Swallow

Scientific name: Hirundo rustica

The Barn Swallow inhabits nearly all of North America south of the Arctic circle and may be found in a wide variety of habitats.

While it has dark iridescent blue  upperparts, its underside is reddish-orange, including a chestnut orange forehead and throat, as well as a light reddish-orange belly.

The deeply forked tail of Barn Swallows is another great feature you can use to identify this bird. 

However, keep in mind that immature barn swallows have a duller plumage than adults, as well as a shorter tail that is less forked.

The Barn Swallow  used to nest in caves and hollow trees, but nowadays it prefers to do so beneath the overhangs of buildings and bridges, as well as inside barns (which explains how it got its name).

Barn Swallows are still a reasonably common sight in most areas. However, the overall numbers of Barn Swallows have been steadily decreasing, especially in the northern section of their range.

This decline is likely a result of the loss of foraging areas and nesting opportunities.

The Barn Swallow feeds on flying insects, such as mosquitoes and flies, and catches them closer to the ground than other species of swallows. In its winter quarters it also feeds on termites.

It is a strictly migratory bird, and spends the winter in Central and Southern America.

Barn Swallow sound

(Source: William Whitehead, XC741615, www.xeno-canto.org/741615)

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Scientific name: Sitta canadensis

Photo of Red-breasted Nuthatch adult

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a common visitor at bird feeders, and also accepts nesting boxes that are put up well before the breeding season.

Adult male Red-breasted Nuthatches have rusty orange underparts, as well as a blue-gray upperparts and a black eye stripe that contrasts with their while cheeks and eyebrow.

Females and immatures have slightly paler orange underparts. 

In the eastern part of their range, Red-breasted Nuthatches can be found in coniferous forests in lowlands and hills. In the western part, however, they inhabit mountainous areas.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a talented climber, and can use its robust claws to climb in any direction on a tree trunk.

It is often observed upside down while feeding on insects it excavates from under the tree’s bark.

In addition to eating insects, it also feeds on seeds and nuts, which it can store for later use, similar to squirrels.

In order to open a nut, it will place the nut in a crack of bark, and then hammer it with its beak.

Nuthatches dig out nest cavities in pine trees, and also use mud to adjust the size of the opening. 

In most areas of North America, Red-breasted Nuthatches can be found year round, except for the southernmost parts, where they only occur during the winter.

Red-breasted Nuthatch sound

(Source: Jarrod Swackhammer, XC522475, www.xeno-canto.org/522475)

Allen’s Hummingbird

Scientific name: Selasphorus sasin

Photo of Allens Hummingbird adult male

Allen’s Hummingbird is one of the smallest Hummingbirds in North America, and breeds along the central and southern Pacific coast of the USA. 

Adult male Allen’s Hummingbirds have a bright orange red throat, as well as rufous orange underparts. 

Females, on the other hand, are more greenish colored, although they also have rufous orange tones in their tail and flanks. 

The northern population of Allen’s Hummingbirds is migratory, while the southern population is nonmigratory.

It favors coastal areas with chaparral and shrubland, as well as woodlands with both coniferous and deciduous trees. 

The Allen’s Hummingbird feeds on nectar from honeysuckle, fuchsia, and other flowering plants. 

Males execute their magnificent flying display when females are nearby. This consists of a side-to-side buzzing flight interspersed with rapid dives, all while emitting strange vibrating sounds.

Allen’s Hummingbird sound

(Source: Paul Marvin, XC691194, www.xeno-canto.org/691194)

Black-headed Grosbeak

Scientific name: Pheucticus melanocephalus

Photo of Black-headed Grosbeak adult male

The Black-headed Grosbeak is a bird of the western part of the United States, and closely related to the Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

These two Grosbeak species sometimes hybridize with each other where their ranges overlap.

Adult male Black-headed Grosbeaks have a black head and cinnamon orange underparts. Their back and their wings are also black, though the latter also have two white bars on them.

Females are slightly more drab in their colors, and have a tawny orange coloration.

Both the male and female Black-headed Grosbeak are known to fight off any other birds that venture too close to their nesting territories.

During the mating season, they make their home in areas with dense growth of deciduous trees and plants, such as open woodlands, hedges, and fields with scattered trees.

Black-headed Grosbeaks are common guests at bird feeders offering sunflower seeds. They are strictly migratory birds, and spend the winter in Mexico.

Black-headed Grosbeak song

(Source: Ron Overholtz, XC569273, www.xeno-canto.org/569273)

Eastern Bluebird

Scientific name: Sialia sialis

Photo of Eastern Bluebird adult male

The Eastern Bluebird is a brightly colored and widespread songbird.

Adult males have a reddish orange chest, as well as orange flanks, and a partial orange collar. 

The upperparts of adult males are blue, and the partial collar creates the impression of having a blue cap on their head. 

The upperparts of adult females have a more grayish-brown color, although they also have blue tail feathers and wing feathers, as well as rufous-orange underparts and flanks.

It is a migratory bird in the northern part of its range, but can be seen year-round in the southern part of the United States. Northern birds winter in Mexico.

The Eastern Bluebird nests in holes, and competes with House Sparrows and European Starlings for nesting sites. 

During fall migration, Eastern Bluebirds can be seen in flocks that like to feed on fruits and berries.

Eastern Bluebird song

(Source: Christopher McPherson, XC638302, www.xeno-canto.org/638302)

Hooded Oriole

Scientific name: Icterus cucullatus 

Photo of Hooded Oriole adult male

The Hooded Oriole is most commonly found in the southwestern United States.

It is a medium-sized bird that is highly conspicuous due to its flaming orange belly and neck.

In addition to the bright yellow parts, its throat, back, tail, and wings are a stunning jet black color

The Hooded Oriole has taken a liking to nesting on tall palms that are common in suburban California.

The range of the Hooded Oriole in the Southwest has expanded as a result of both an increase in the number of palm trees and an increase in the availability of nectar bid feeders.

One of the favorite foods of this oriole is nectar, and as a result, they are on occasion observed at bird feeders that offer nectar or grape jelly.

Hooded Oriole song:

(Source: Richard E. Webster, XC630676, www.xeno-canto.org/630676)

Orchard Oriole

Scientific name: Icterus spurius

Photo of Orchard Oriole adult male

This Oriole got its name from its preference for orchards and open woods. It is a summer visitor in the eastern regions of the United States.

Unlike the females (which are mostly dull yellow), males have a dark orange breast and belly, combined with a black head, throat, upper back, wings, and tail.

Young males resemble females in color, and gradually become more and more black over their first two years.

Early in the summer, the Orchard Oriole feeds on insects, but later it will switch to eating wild fruit as they become mature.

After their young have fledged, parent Orioles will bring them to feeding stations (especially if you have a nectar feeder. 

Some people mistakenly believe that the Orioles have departed since they do not see them at their feeders very often during the peak of the summer.

However, the birds are still present nearby, but are simply focused on catching insects to bring back to their nestlings.

The Orchard Oriole is one of the birds that gets here very late in the spring and is one of the ones that leaves quite early in the fall.

Orchard Oriole sound:

(Source: Paul Driver, XC651124, www.xeno-canto.org/651124)

Orange-breasted Sunbird

Scientific nameAnthobaphes violacea

The Orange-breasted Sunbird is native to the southern coast of South Africa, and is one of the most stunning orange-breasted birds you can see.

The male has a flaming orange chest and belly, as well as a glossy purple throat and head. Females and immature birds are dull green with a pale green underside.

Their preferred habitat is heathland near the coast, where they feed almost exclusively on the nectar of Protea and Erica plants. 

Orange-breasted Sunbird sound

(Source: Frank Lambert, XC523738, www.xeno-canto.org/523738)

American Woodcock

Scientific name: Scolopax minor

Photo of American Woodcock

The American woodcock is characterized by its stocky build, which includes a short neck and a head with a large black eye near the top.

Because of the bird’s mottled black, brown, and gray upperparts, it is very difficult to spot against the background of dead leaves in the forest.

Adult male American Woodcocks have a rich orange underside , flanks and belly, though this only becomes clearly visible when you see them in good light.

This is a bird of damp forests and marshes at forest edges. It feeds on worms and insects, which it can pull out of the ground with its long, cylindrical beak.

Woodcocks are mostly active at night, and spend the day hidden away in dense shrubs and bushes. 

If you flush a Woodcock out of its hiding spot, it will burst into flight only to dive back into cover nearby.

The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, which is lined with twigs and leaves. It is a migratory bird in the northern part of its range, but can bee seen year-round in the southern part of the USA.

American Woodcock sound

(Source: Valerie Heemstra, XC712833, www.xeno-canto.org/712833)

Orange-breasted Waxbill

Scientific name: Amandava subflava

Photo of Orange-breasted Waxbill

The Orange-breasted Waxbill is a small finch species that hails from South Africa.

Adult male Orange-breasted Waxbills have a yellow orange underside, as well as a scarlet orange eyebrow stripe. Females have more muted colors, and are also slightly smaller.

It is a common bird of moist grasslands and swampy areas in Africa south of the Sahara. Orange-breasted Waxbills usually forage in flocks.

Orange-breasted Waxbill sound

(Source: Peter Boesman, XC338906, www.xeno-canto.org/338906)

Red Knot

Scientific name: Calidris canutus

Photo of Red Knot

The Red Knot is a relatively large and stocky shorebird with a chest that is striking salmon orange.

Both genders look similar, but during the non-breeding season they molt into pale gray plumage that looks much more inconspicuous. 

Red Knots are long distance migratory birds that fly more than 9000 miles from their breeding grounds in the Arctic to their wintering grounds in Central and South America.

Using its thick, long beak, it forages on sand flats or mudflats for small crustaceans, worms, mollusks, and insects. One of its main food sources are the eggs of horseshoe crabs.

During the breeding season it is found in the tundra close to coastal waters, but during migration it is most often observed on tidal mudflats. 

Red Knot sound

(Source: Jens Kirkeby, XC382128, www.xeno-canto.org/382128)

Western Bluebird

Scientific name: Sialia mexicana

Photo of Western Bluebird adult male

The male Western Bluebird has a stunning plumage, which consists of dazzling blue upperparts and rich chestnut orange breast and flanks.

Overall, it is quite similar to the appearance of its near relative, the Eastern Bluebird. However, unlike the Eastern Bluebird, the Western Bluebird has a brown back and no orange collar.

Females and juvenile birds have more muted colors with a brownish back, a light gray throat, and pale orange underparts.

During the breeding season, the Western Bluebird is most commonly found in open forests that contain both conifers and deciduous trees.

During the summer, its diet mainly consists of insects, but in the winter it switches to eating mostly berries.

It is a migratory species in the northern part of its range, but can be seen all year round in the southwestern part of the United States. 

Western Bluebird song

(Source: Paul Marvin, XC649086, www.xeno-canto.org/649086)

Rufous Hummingbird

Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus

Photo of Rufous Hummingbird adult male

While the Rufous Hummingbird is quite similar to its close relative, the Allen’s Hummingbird, it has even more orange colors in its plumage.

Adult male Rufous Hummingbirds have fiery rufous orange underparts, as well as orange upperparts, rump, and neck. The throat, on the other hand, is iridescent brown.

The northernmost range of Rufous Hummingbirds extends all the way up the western coast of Canada to Alaska, and so it breeds farther north than any other species of Hummingbirds.

It feeds on the nectar of flowers, and aggressively defends flowers from other species of Hummingbirds.

The Rufous Hummingbird is a common guest at bird feeders that offer nectar or sugar water. During summer it also eats small insects, which it feeds to its young.

During the breeding season, its preferred habitat consists of forest edges and clearings, as well as gardens in urban areas.

It is a strict migratory bird but can be seen year round along the southern coast of California.

Rufous Hummingbird sound

(Source: Sue Riffe, XC609195, www.xeno-canto.org/609195)

Varied Thrush

Scientific name: Ixoreus naevius

Photo of Varied Thrush adult male

The Varied Thrush is a bird of the Pacific Northwest, breeding in a broad coastal band from eastern Oregon up to Alaska.

Both sexes are similar, and have an orange throat and underparts, with a striking black necklace that is more pale in females. 

The male also has a grayish black head with an orange eyebrow stripe.

It is a migratory bird in the northern parts of its range, and during periods of heavy snowfall, it is a common guest at bird feeders offering seed mixes.

In winter it can be found in a wide range of habitats, including urban gardens. But during the breeding season it favors mature forests with both deciduous and coniferous trees.

The best way to identify a Varied Thrush is by its melodious whistling song that is most often heard at dusk and dawn.

Varied Thrush song

(Source: Bruce Lagerquist, XC604686, www.xeno-canto.org/604686)

Cooper’s Hawk

Scientific name: Accipiter cooperii

Photo of Coopers Hawk adult male

This little hawk is agile and has a lot of skill when it comes to catching small birds in flight. Sometimes it will even take species that are larger than it is.

Male Cooper’s Hawks have reddish-orange bars on their underside, while their upperparts are grayish-blue. The piercing eyes are vermillion red

You’re most likely to notice the orange coloration on the chest and underside of a Cooper’s Hawk if you can observe it perched on a branch.

The long tail and small, rounded wings of the Cooper’s Hawk make it possible for this raptor to perform sharp turns and quick maneuvers in the thick foliage of dense forests and shrubs.

While Cooper’s Hawks were originally shy woodland birds, they are now commonly found in urban areas, where they hunt pigeons and songbirds.

It is not unusual for a Cooper’s Hawk to show up at a bird feeder, where it tries to surprise and ambush feeding songbirds with a lightning fast dash from a hidden perch.

It is a summer visitor in the northern parts of North America, while it can be found year-round in the southern parts.

Cooper’s Hawk sound

(Source: Lance A. M. Benner, XC388121, www.xeno-canto.org/388121

What are the most common birds that have an orange chest?

In North America, the most common birds that have an orange chest are American Robins. In Europe, on the other hand, the most common orange chested birds are European Robins.

American Robins are common breeding birds in urban areas all over the USA and Canada. They are also guests at bird feeders that offer berries, apples and mealworms.

Outside of the breeding season they like to form large flocks that roost together in trees.

How can you attract these birds to your yard?

The top 5 things you can do to attract these birds to your yard are as follows:

  • Set up a feeder with seeds, fruits and berries
  • Set up a bird bath
  • Plant shrubs to provide nesting opportunities
  • Plant native fruiting plants
  • For specifically attracting orioles, provide a nectar feeder or grape jelly

What orange breasted birds have a black head?

The following orange breasted birds have a black head:

  • American Robin
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Orchard Oriole
  • Black-headed Grosbeak
  • Varied Thrush

If you’re not sure which one of these birds you saw, refer to the photos in our detailed ID guide above.

What birds are blue with an orange chest?

The following blue birds have an orange chest:

  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Western Bluebird

If you’re not sure which one of these birds you saw, refer to the photos in our detailed ID guide above.

What small birds have an orange chest?

The following small bird species have an orange chest:

  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Allen’s Hummingbird
  • Rufous Hummingbird
  • Orange-breasted Sunbird
  • Orange-breasted Waxbill

If you’re not sure which one of these birds you saw, refer to the photos in our detailed ID guide above.