Red Head White Body Black Wing Bird - Complete Guide 2024

Hammad Tariq

· 31 min read
Red Head White Body Black Wing Bird

The bird you're describing sounds like the Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus). This striking bird is easily recognizable by its vibrant red head, contrasting with a clean white body and black wings.

Found across North America, these woodpeckers inhabit woodlands, orchards, and open forests. They're known for their distinctive feeding behaviour, which includes catching insects in flight and storing food in crevices or tree bark.

Red-headed Woodpeckers are skilled acrobats, often seen clinging to vertical surfaces or flying gracefully between trees. Their presence adds both beauty and ecological value to their habitats, contributing to pest control and forest health. Keep an eye out for these charismatic birds next time you're in wooded areas—they're a delight to observe!

28 Red Head White Body Black Wing Birds:

Red-headed Woodpecker

The Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) is a striking bird characterised by its vibrant red head, black body, and white wing patches. It inhabits open woodlands, orchards, and parks across North America. Known for its acrobatic foraging style, it captures insects in flight and also feeds on nuts and berries.

Unfortunately, the species has faced population declines due to habitat loss and competition from non-native species like European Starlings. Conservation efforts focus on preserving its preferred habitat and managing forests to maintain suitable nesting sites. Despite these challenges, concerted conservation efforts aim to ensure the long-term survival of this charismatic woodpecker species.

Red-breasted Merganser

The Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) is a diving duck found in North America, Europe, and Asia. It prefers coastal habitats such as estuaries, bays, and lakes during the breeding season and migrates to open waters during winter.

Its diet consists mainly of fish, crustaceans, and aquatic invertebrates, which it catches by diving underwater. During the breeding season, it nests in dense vegetation near water bodies.

The female typically lays a clutch of 6-9 eggs, and both parents participate in incubation and rearing of the ducklings. Despite being a relatively common species, habitat loss and pollution pose threats to its populations.

Conservation efforts focus on preserving suitable breeding and wintering habitats, as well as mitigating the impacts of pollution on aquatic ecosystems to ensure the continued survival of this species.

Red-crested Pochard

The Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) is a striking waterfowl species known for its vibrant plumage and distinctive red crest. These ducks are primarily found in freshwater habitats such as lakes, ponds, and marshes across Europe and parts of Asia. They are known for their diving behaviour, feeding on aquatic plants, seeds, and invertebrates. During the breeding season, males display elaborate courtship behaviours to attract females.

While the Red-crested Pochard is not considered globally threatened, localised declines have been observed due to habitat loss, degradation, and hunting pressure in some areas.

Conservation efforts focus on preserving and restoring wetland habitats, implementing hunting regulations, and monitoring population trends to ensure the long-term viability of this species. Continued research and conservation initiatives are crucial for safeguarding the Red-crested Pochard and its wetland habitats for future generations.

Red-necked Grebe

The Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) is a medium-sized waterbird known for its striking appearance and unique behaviours. It inhabits freshwater lakes, ponds, and marshes across North America, Europe, and parts of Asia.

These grebes are proficient divers, feeding primarily on fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects. During the breeding season, they construct floating nests among reeds or vegetation near the water's edge. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young.

Red-necked Grebes are known for their elaborate courtship displays, which involve synchronised swimming and vocalisations. They are also highly territorial during the breeding season, fiercely defending their nesting sites from intruders.

While not considered globally threatened, habitat loss and degradation, pollution, and human disturbance pose significant challenges to the conservation of Red-necked Grebe populations. Conservation efforts focus on protecting key wetland habitats and minimising disturbances during the breeding season to ensure the survival of this species.

Red-necked Phalarope

The Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) is a unique shorebird known for its fascinating behaviours and distinctive appearance. It inhabits a variety of aquatic habitats, including freshwater lakes, ponds, marshes, and coastal lagoons, across the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. Unlike many other bird species, the Red-necked Phalarope exhibits reverse sexual dimorphism, with females being more brightly coloured than males.

During the breeding season, Red-necked Phalaropes can be found in the Arctic tundra, where they build shallow nests on the ground among vegetation. They are known for their remarkable feeding behaviour, where they swim in circles, creating whirlpools to bring small aquatic invertebrates to the surface, which they then pick off with their slender bills.

Red-winged Blackbird

The Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a striking bird known for its distinctive appearance and vibrant plumage. Adult males sport glossy black feathers with bright red and yellow shoulder patches, which they display prominently during courtship and territorial displays. In contrast, females and juveniles have brown streaked plumage, allowing for effective camouflage.

These birds are commonly found in a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, swamps, and reedbeds, where they can forage for food and nest among dense vegetation. They are widespread across North America, with populations also extending into parts of Central and South America.

Red-winged Blackbirds are highly social birds and often congregate in large flocks, especially during the non-breeding season. They are known for their distinctive vocalisations, with males producing a loud, melodious song to defend their territories and attract mates.

Red Phalarope

The Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) is a unique and striking shorebird known for its vibrant plumage and fascinating behaviour. Unlike many other bird species, female Red Phalaropes are more brightly coloured than males, sporting a rich reddish-brown neck and underparts during the breeding season. Outside of the breeding season, both sexes adopt a more subdued grey and white plumage.

These birds inhabit Arctic tundra regions during the breeding season, where they nest on the ground in open, marshy areas near water. They are well-adapted to their aquatic lifestyle and are often found foraging in shallow waters, spinning in circles to stir up prey such as small crustaceans, insects, and fish.

Red Phalaropes are highly migratory, with their breeding range extending across the Arctic and their non-breeding range reaching as far south as the coastlines of South America and Africa. During migration, they may be spotted offshore or along coastal areas, where they feed in nutrient-rich waters before continuing their journey.

Red Knot

The Red Knot (Calidris canutus) is a medium-sized shorebird recognized for its long-distance migrations and striking plumage. During the breeding season, its plumage is a mottled brown and grey, while in the winter months, it adopts a more uniform greyish appearance. However, during the migratory period, it exhibits a distinct reddish-orange hue on its breast and belly, hence its name.

These birds breed in the Arctic tundra, where they nest on the ground in open areas near water. During the non-breeding season, they undertake remarkable migrations, travelling thousands of miles between their breeding grounds in the Arctic and their wintering areas in temperate and tropical regions.

Red Knots are known for their incredible endurance during migration, often stopping at crucial staging areas along their route to rest and refuel. However, they face numerous threats, including habitat loss, pollution, and disturbance, leading to concerns about their declining populations and conservation status. Efforts to protect critical habitats and mitigate human impacts are crucial for ensuring the survival of this remarkable species.

Red-billed Tropicbird

The Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) is a stunning seabird renowned for its graceful flight and distinctive appearance. Characterised by its elongated tail feathers and striking red bill, it possesses white plumage with black markings on its wings. This species is primarily found in tropical and subtropical regions, where it nests on remote oceanic islands with rocky cliffs or steep slopes, providing suitable breeding grounds away from terrestrial predators.

Red-billed Tropicbirds are adept flyers, using their long, slender wings to glide effortlessly over the ocean surface. They primarily feed on fish and squid, which they catch by plunge-diving from the air into the water. Their diet is supplemented with occasional crustaceans and other small marine creatures.

Red-footed Booby

The Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) is a distinctive seabird recognized for its vibrant red feet, which contrast with its predominantly white plumage. Found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, this species prefers nesting on remote islands with rocky cliffs or dense vegetation, where it breeds in large colonies.

These boobies primarily feed on fish and squid, which they catch by plunge-diving from great heights into the ocean. Their diet may also include crustaceans and other small marine creatures.

Red-footed boobies are excellent aerial hunters, using their keen eyesight to spot prey from above and then diving swiftly to capture it. One of the most striking features of the Red-footed Booby is its bright red feet, which are used for courtship displays and nest maintenance.

Red-tailed Tropicbird

The Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) is a striking seabird known for its elegant appearance and long tail feathers. Found in tropical and subtropical regions across the world, they inhabit remote islands and coastal cliffs, where they nest in colonies or solitary pairs.

These tropicbirds have predominantly white plumage with black markings on their wings and back, contrasting with their bright red bill and long, streaming tail feathers, which give them a distinctive appearance in flight. They feed primarily on fish and squid, which they catch by diving into the ocean from great heights.

Red-tailed Tropicbirds typically nest in crevices or burrows on rocky cliffs, where they lay a single egg. Both parents share incubation and chick-rearing duties. Conservation efforts are crucial to protect their nesting sites from habitat degradation and disturbance, as well as to mitigate threats such as introduced predators and human activities.

Red-headed Weaver

The Red-headed Weaver (Anaplectes rubriceps) is a striking bird found in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands. Known for its vibrant plumage, the male Red-headed Weaver displays a brilliant red head and breast, contrasting with its black wings and back.

These weavers primarily feed on seeds, grains, and insects, foraging both on the ground and in vegetation. They are also known to visit agricultural fields in search of food.

During the breeding season, male Red-headed Weavers construct intricate, ball-shaped nests from grass and other plant fibres. These nests typically hang from the tips of branches or reeds, and the male performs elaborate displays to attract females to his breeding territory.

Conservation efforts are important to ensure the protection of their habitat from deforestation, agriculture expansion, and other human-induced threats, which could impact their population numbers and breeding success.

Red-winged Tinamou

The Red-winged Tinamou (Rhynchotus rufescens) is a ground-dwelling bird native to South America, particularly found in grasslands, savannas, and shrublands across Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Its diet primarily consists of seeds, fruits, insects, and small invertebrates, which it forages for on the forest floor. This tinamou species is known for its secretive behaviour, often remaining concealed in dense vegetation to avoid predators.

During the breeding season, which typically occurs from September to December, male Red-winged Tinamous perform elaborate courtship displays to attract females. The female then constructs a shallow nest on the ground, where she lays and incubates her eggs.

Red-necked Falcon

The Red-necked Falcon (Falco chicquera) is a bird of prey found across parts of Africa, Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. It inhabits a variety of habitats, including savannas, grasslands, open woodlands, and agricultural areas. Known for its striking appearance, the Red-necked Falcon has a distinctive red neck and breast, contrasting with its grey upperparts.

This falcon species is primarily a hunter of small birds, insects, and rodents, which it captures mid-flight or by diving from a perch. It employs swift and agile flight manoeuvres to pursue its prey with precision. In terms of conservation status, the Red-necked Falcon is classified as "Least Concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

However, like many birds of prey, it faces threats such as habitat loss, pesticide use, and persecution, particularly in areas where it comes into conflict with humans over prey species or nesting sites. Continued monitoring and conservation efforts are essential to ensure the protection of this species and its habitats.


The Canvasback (Aythya valisineria) is a species of diving duck native to North America. It is known for its distinctively long and sloping profile, with a reddish-brown head and neck, black breast, and white body. The name "Canvasback" is derived from the bird's habitat preference for marshes and wetlands with dense vegetation, particularly those dominated by wild celery (Vallisneria americana), which provides an important food source for the species.

Canvasbacks are migratory birds, breeding in freshwater marshes and lakes across the northern United States and Canada during the summer months, then migrating to coastal areas and large inland lakes during the winter. They primarily feed on aquatic plants, seeds, and invertebrates, diving underwater to forage for food.

While Canvasback populations were once threatened due to habitat loss and overhunting, conservation efforts, including habitat restoration and hunting regulations, have helped stabilise their numbers.


The Smew (Mergellus albellus) is a strikingly marked species of duck native to northern Europe and Asia. It is characterised by its distinctive black and white plumage, with males sporting a striking white crest on their heads. Smews inhabit freshwater lakes, rivers, and wooded swamps, preferring areas with calm waters and dense vegetation along the shores.

These ducks have a varied diet consisting mainly of small fish, aquatic insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. They are skilled divers and use their agile swimming abilities to hunt prey underwater.

While the global population of Smew is currently stable, certain local populations may face threats due to habitat loss, pollution, and hunting pressure.

Common Tern

The Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) is a migratory seabird found across much of the Northern Hemisphere, nesting in temperate and subarctic regions during the breeding season and wintering in tropical and subtropical waters.

These birds typically inhabit coastal areas, including beaches, sandbars, and rocky shores, where they can find suitable nesting sites and access to their primary food sources, such as fish and crustaceans. Common Terns are known for their graceful flight and distinctive black cap and red bill, which contrast with their white underparts.

During the breeding season, they form large colonies, often on islands or remote coastal areas, where they engage in courtship displays and nesting activities. However, outside of the breeding season, they are solitary or found in small groups.

While the global population of Common Terns is considered stable, localised declines have been observed in some regions due to habitat loss, pollution, and disturbance at nesting sites.

Red-throated Pipit

The Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus) is a small passerine bird found primarily in open grassland habitats across its breeding range in northern Europe and Asia. During migration and winter, it can also be spotted in a variety of open habitats, including agricultural fields, marshes, and coastal areas.

These pipits primarily feed on insects, seeds, and small invertebrates found in grassy areas. Their diet may vary seasonally, with a preference for insects during the breeding season and seeds during the non-breeding period.

Breeding typically occurs in the summer months, with pairs constructing cup-shaped nests on the ground hidden within vegetation. The female lays a clutch of eggs, usually ranging from 3 to 6 eggs, and both parents take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks once they hatch.

Overall, the Red-throated Pipit is a resilient species with a relatively stable population, although habitat loss and degradation in its breeding and wintering grounds pose ongoing threats to its conservation status.

Red-billed Oxpecker

The Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) is a small bird species commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in savannah and woodland habitats. Known for its distinctive red bill, this bird plays a crucial ecological role as a mutualistic symbiont with large herbivores, such as antelopes, zebras, and buffalo.

These oxpeckers have a unique feeding behaviour, primarily feeding on ticks, insects, and parasites that infest the fur and skin of their host animals. By consuming these ectoparasites, they provide a valuable cleaning service to their hosts, contributing to their overall health and well-being.

Additionally, Red-billed Oxpeckers also act as sentinels, alerting their host animals to potential threats such as predators. They often perch on the backs of large mammals, where they have a vantage point to scan the surroundings for danger.

While the Red-billed Oxpecker population is generally stable, habitat loss and pesticide use pose potential threats to their survival in some areas. Conservation efforts focus on maintaining suitable habitats and raising awareness about the importance of these birds in ecosystem health.

Red-billed Quelea

The Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) is a small passerine bird native to sub-Saharan Africa, known for its enormous flocks that can number in the millions. These birds are primarily found in open grasslands, savannas, and agricultural areas where they feed on grass seeds, grains, and occasionally insects.

Their diet primarily consists of seeds, and they are infamous for their habit of feeding on crops such as millet, sorghum, and rice, making them a significant agricultural pest in some regions. Their large numbers and voracious feeding behaviour can lead to substantial crop damage, posing challenges for farmers.

Despite being considered a pest in agricultural areas, the Red-billed Quelea plays a vital ecological role as a prey species for various predators, including birds of prey and small carnivores.

Red-collared Widowbird

The Red-collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens) is a striking passerine bird endemic to southern Africa, primarily found in grassland habitats, particularly in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. This bird is renowned for its long, slender tail feathers and the bright red collar that males display during the breeding season to attract mates.

During the breeding season, males perform elaborate aerial displays, fluffing up their feathers and spreading their tail to showcase their vibrant plumage to potential mates. Once a mate is attracted, the male Red-collared Widowbird constructs an intricately woven nest in tall grasses, where the female lays her eggs.

While the Red-collared Widowbird is not currently considered globally threatened, habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and urbanisation poses a potential threat to its populations. Conservation efforts focus on preserving and restoring grassland habitats critical for this species' survival.

Red-billed Buffalo Weaver

The Red-billed Buffalo Weaver (Bubalornis niger) is a distinctive bird species found in eastern and southern Africa, characterised by its red bill and black plumage. These weavers exhibit fascinating social behaviour, often living in colonies of up to several hundred individuals. They construct massive, multi-chambered nests made from sticks and grass, providing shelter for multiple breeding pairs.

Primarily omnivorous, Red-billed Buffalo Weavers feed on a diverse diet of insects, seeds, fruits, and occasionally small vertebrates. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in various habitats, including savannas, woodlands, and scrublands.

While their population status is relatively stable across their range, habitat loss and fragmentation pose threats to their long-term survival.

Red-shouldered Vanga

The Red-shouldered Vanga (Calicalicus rufocarpalis) is a striking bird species endemic to Madagascar, known for its distinctive red-tinged shoulders and contrasting black and white plumage. This vanga species typically inhabits the dense and humid forests of eastern Madagascar, where it forages for insects and small invertebrates among the foliage.

Unfortunately, comprehensive population data for the Red-shouldered Vanga is limited due to the challenges of studying and monitoring birds in its remote and inaccessible habitat.

However, like many other endemic species in Madagascar, it faces threats from habitat loss and fragmentation caused by deforestation, agricultural expansion, and human activities.

Conservation efforts aimed at preserving the remaining forests of eastern Madagascar are crucial for ensuring the survival of the Red-shouldered Vanga and other unique species found only in this biodiversity hotspot.

Red-knobbed Coot

The Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata) is a distinctive waterbird known for its striking red frontal shield, or "knob," on its forehead. These coots are commonly found in freshwater habitats such as lakes, ponds, and marshes across parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Red-knobbed Coots are highly territorial during the breeding season, vigorously defending their nesting territories from intruders. They construct floating nests made of vegetation in shallow water, often concealed among reeds or other aquatic vegetation.

Conservation efforts for the Red-knobbed Coot primarily focus on preserving its wetland habitats, which are threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and human disturbance.

While the species is not considered globally threatened, local populations may face declines due to habitat degradation and the loss of suitable nesting sites. Continued monitoring and habitat management initiatives are essential for ensuring the long-term viability of Red-knobbed Coot populations.

Red-billed Duck

The Red-billed Duck (Anas erythrorhyncha) is a dabbling duck species commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in wetland habitats such as marshes, lakes, rivers, and ponds. These ducks are known for their distinctive red bills, which give them their name.

Feeding primarily on aquatic vegetation, seeds, insects, and small invertebrates, Red-billed Ducks are opportunistic feeders, dabbling at the water's surface or upending to reach food below. They may also graze on land near water bodies.

While the Red-billed Duck is not currently considered globally threatened, it faces habitat loss and degradation due to human activities such as drainage, pollution, and agricultural expansion. Wetland conservation efforts are crucial for safeguarding the habitat of Red-billed Ducks and other waterfowl species, ensuring their continued survival in their natural ecosystems.

Red-billed Leiothrix

The Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) is a small passerine bird native to the forests of the Himalayas and parts of Southeast Asia. It is characterised by its vibrant plumage, with a bright red bill, yellow throat, and greenish upperpart

Preferring dense undergrowth and bamboo thickets in montane forests, the Red-billed Leiothrix is typically found in humid, subtropical or tropical environments. It is known for its agile and acrobatic movements among the foliage.

Feeding primarily on insects, berries, seeds, and nectar, the diet of the Red-billed Leiothrix is diverse and adaptable. This omnivorous feeding behaviour allows it to exploit various food sources available in its habitat, contributing to its survival in the wild. Its ability to consume a wide range of food items also helps mitigate the impact of seasonal variations in food availability.

Red-vented Bulbul

The Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) is a small passerine bird commonly found in various habitats across South Asia, including gardens, woodlands, and urban areas. It is recognized by its olive-brown upperparts, conspicuous red vent, and black head with a distinctive crest.

Known for its lively and vocal nature, the Red-vented Bulbul is often heard emitting a melodious call consisting of a variety of whistles, trills, and chirps. It is an omnivorous feeder, consuming a wide range of fruits, seeds, insects, and flower nectar.

In its ecosystem, the Red-vented Bulbul plays a crucial role in seed dispersal through its consumption of fruits and seeds. Additionally, its foraging behaviour helps control insect populations, contributing to ecological balance.

Despite being an adaptable species, habitat loss and fragmentation pose significant threats to its populations in some regions. Conservation efforts focus on preserving its natural habitats and raising awareness about its ecological importance.

Red-naped Ibis

The Red-naped Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa) is a distinctive bird species native to South Asia, particularly found in the foothills of the Himalayas and the plains of the Indian subcontinent. It is recognized by its striking red facial skin, particularly on the nape and neck, contrasting with its black plumage and white wings.

This ibis species typically inhabits wetland areas, including marshes, riverbanks, and lakeshores, where it forages for aquatic invertebrates, crustaceans, and small fish. Despite its adaptable nature, the Red-naped Ibis faces threats from habitat loss, pollution, and hunting pressures.

Conservation efforts for the Red-naped Ibis primarily focus on habitat preservation and restoration, along with measures to mitigate human-induced disturbances in wetland ecosystems.

Final Words

In conclusion, exploring the diverse world of birds reveals the intricate relationships they share with their habitats, behaviours, and conservation challenges. Throughout this discussion, we've delved into various bird species, each with its unique characteristics and ecological roles.

From the majestic raptors to the vibrant songbirds and the waterfowl gracing wetland ecosystems, birds captivate us with their beauty and significance in the natural world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of bird has a red head and black and white wings?

The Red-headed Woodpecker fits the description with its distinct red head and contrasting black and white wings. This bird is known for its vibrant plumage and striking appearance.

About Hammad Tariq

Hammad Tariq, the passionate founder and author of HappiestBeaks, is a dedicated bird enthusiast, caretaker, and lover. With a deep-seated affection for avian companions, he channels his expertise into crafting insightful and informative blogs on bird care and behavior.