America’s Most Colorful Feeder Birds

An American Goldfinch in its winter plumage perches at a feeder filled with thistle seed.

America’s Most Colorful Feeder Birds

We all know that color can have a positive effect on our emotions. Color can make us happier, more energized, and even more creative! What better way to experience nature’s colors than from the comfort of your own home? From stunning red Cardinals to sunny yellow Goldfinches, a bird feeder outside your window is an effortless way to keep life colorful and help the local wildlife while you’re at it.

Northern Cardinals are the most recognizable of American feeder birds. With their perky crests and brilliant red coloring they’re easily spotted, especially on a snowy day. You can find these non-migratory birds year round in the eastern half of the United States. While the males have the familiar scarlet plumage, the female Cardinal is more muted, with tan or gray feathers (although females still sport crests and red beaks.) These popular songbirds are big fans of black oil sunflower seeds and suet.

American Goldfinches are a striking yellow gem of a species that can be found all over the country. Males sport black caps and wing edging during the summer breeding season. Their cheery calls sound a bit like ‘potatochip! potatochip!’ — you may also recognize them by their up-and-down flying motion as they swoop past your windows. They prefer to forage in flocks in the fall and winter, which means you may see as many as a dozen of these little charmers at a time. Goldfinches are such natural acrobats that they’ll even hang upside-down to eat!

A bird feeder is an effortless way to #keeplifecolorful and help the local wildlife while you're at it. Click To Tweet

Grosbeaks come in a variety of bold colors, from the vivid red Rose Breasted Grosbeak to the rich yellow Evening Grosbeak and the cool stylish Blue Grosbeak. And that bill! Grosbeaks have enormous bills, which almost appear out of proportion to their heads. They love to nosh on seeds, berries, and small fruits.

The dramatic contrast of the Baltimore Oriole‘s orange and black plumage is so iconic they even leant their name to Maryland’s major league baseball team. They love suburban parks and backyards where there are tall trees for roosting. They’re a summer staple in the eastern and north central United States, migrating south for the winter. These stunners aren’t seed eaters, however; you’ll need specialized feeders that hold fresh fruit, jelly, or nectar to attract these fiery fliers.

Finally, Painted Buntings are almost unrivaled in their extraordinary colorful plumage and truly do look like paintings in flight. They are common in the southeast United States and are frequent visitors to feeders where they like to snack on a variety of seeds, fruit, and the occasional mealworm. The males show off the distinctive multi-colored blue, green, yellow and red, while females and juveniles are mainly bright green. Listen for their jumbled warbling song as they perch like little pieces of artwork in low branches or shrubs.

What’s your favorite backyard bird? We’d love to hear how you’re keeping life colorful!


  1. Thank you for all this interesting information on the different birds. I buy bird seed once or twice weekly and noticed for the first time the ‘Harvest Seed and Supply’ brand at Walmart. I decided to try it and WOW the birds LOVE it, had to put more out for them the same day! Thank you so much for this tasty food for my feathered friends. A new customer for life – laina

    1. Author

      That’s so fantastic to hear, Laina! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know how it’s working for you, and thank you for taking good care of your backyard birds.

  2. Thanks for identifying the most beautiful bird I’ve
    ever seen. The Painted Bunting has been visiting
    by bird feeder lately. I was having a hard time trying
    to identify it. Now I know.

    1. Author

      So glad we could help, Pat!

  3. My favorite bird now is the Eastern Bluebitd. Of course the Yellow Finch is always a cheery sight! Your Mealworm Medley is wonderful for the Bluebirds. People can’t believe that we have them at our feeder.

    1. Author

      That’s wonderful to hear, Marion! Thanks for taking the time to let us know. We’re so happy we’re able to help you enjoy your local Bluebirds.

  4. Wow! Your Red Berry and Nut mixture has really been enticing for our feathered friends at our feeders! Then Red winged black birds are flocking to dinner!

    1. Author

      Hi Marian! Thanks for letting us know how the seed is working for you! If you’re looking for ways to keep the Red-Winged Blackbirds from crowding out smaller songbirds, try setting up a secondary platform or ground feeder on the other side of your yard – Blackbirds will flock to cheaper foods like generic cracked corn, leaving the Red Berry & Nut blend for the birds you’d rather see at your feeder.

  5. I discovered your seed at Walmart. I have tried all the different mixes and the birds love them all. I love the fact that its all good seed and not filler. My mockingbirds love the berry mix. My blue Jays love the nuts. I interchange to keep everybirdie happy.

    1. Author

      Hi Barbara! That’s so wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know your birds are loving our seeds. We are all about taking good care of wild birds and backyard wildlife, but we couldn’t do it without you. We appreciate your feedback!

  6. The birds LOVE the Orchard Blend! I have a chickadee for the first time in several years, plus lots of migrators I don’t normally get. I have been using the wild finch blend and the mealworm blend for a long time, but the Orchard blend is clearly a fan favorite! LOL!

  7. what is this bird? It has been to my feeder, is it a female american goldfinch ? Or something else?

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