Did you see a bird that was ORANGE in Alaska?
I’m guessing that you need some help figuring out which species you saw. Well, you have come to the right place!
Today, we will review 4 types of ORANGE birds that live in Alaska.
To help you make a positive identification, I have included several photographs of each species and detailed range maps.
Lastly, a few kinds of hawks and falcons also have orange plumage, but I have not included them below. If you saw an orange raptor, you should check out the following articles for additional help!
#1. American Robin
- A beautiful thrush that features a rusty orange breast and a dark head and back.
- Look for a white throat and white splotches around the eyes.
- Both sexes are similar, except that females appear paler.
American Robins are one of the most familiar ORANGE birds in Alaska!
They inhabit a wide variety of habitats and are found everywhere, from forests to the tundra. And lucky for us, these thrushes are comfortable around people and are common to see in backyards.
American Robin Range Map
Even though they are abundant, American Robins rarely visit bird feeders because they don’t eat seeds. Instead, their diet consists of invertebrates (worms, insects, snails) and fruit. For example, I see robins frequently in my backyard, pulling up earthworms in the grass!
These orange birds also commonly nest near people. Look for an open cup-shaped nest that has 3-5 beautiful, distinctive turquoise blue colored eggs.
#2. Barn Swallow
- The throat, forehead, chest, and belly are a rusty orange color. The back and head are a brilliant blue.
- Broad shoulders that extend down to long, pointed wings.
- Look for the long, forked tail.
Look for these orangish birds in the southern corner of Alaska in meadows, fields, or farms.
Barn Swallows are also frequently seen consuming insects over bodies of water. Interestingly, many people find that these birds will follow them while they mow their yard, as the swallow’s feast on the bugs kicked up by the mower!
Barn Swallow Range Map
Barn Swallows used to nest in caves primarily, but they have successfully adapted to humans and now almost exclusively build their nests on artificial structures. Look for these nests made out of mud, under bridges, tucked under the eaves of barns and stables, or on any man-made building near open fields.
#3. Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatches are active little songbirds with beautiful orange coloring on their underparts. Look for compact birds that have almost no neck and a very short tail.
These small nuthatches breed in northern North America, the western mountains, and the upper northeast. But during winter, they can truly show up almost anywhere. These birds travel where needed to make sure they have enough food. In some years, they have been seen as far south as the Gulf of Mexico and Northern Mexico!
Red-breasted Nuthatch Range Map
Red-breasted Nuthatches are mostly found in southern Alaska in coniferous forests. Their preferred habitat contrasts sharply with White-breasted Nuthatches, which prefer living in deciduous forests.
These orangeish birds are common visitors to bird feeders in southern Alaska!
Watch a Red-breasted Nuthatch in my backyard! (And learn more about my two LIVE cams here!)
#4. Varied Thrush
- Males are bluish on their back with burnt orange underparts, an orange eye line, and orange throat.
- Females are similar to males but paler.
- Look for the black breast band across their chest.
It can be hard to spot one of these beautiful orange birds in Alaska.
That’s because Varied Thrushes are quite shy and live in dense, dark forests! Most often, they are heard before being seen. Listen for their simple, ringing song.
Varied Thrush Range Map
During summer, Varied Thrushes primarily eat insects. But during winter, they switch to seeds and berries, which means you may be able to attract them to your feeders!
Make sure to place some sunflower seeds on the ground, as this is where they prefer feeding. It would also be wise to plant native fruiting trees and shrubs in your yard for an additional food source.
Which types of orange birds have you seen in Alaska?
Let us know in the COMMENTS below!