Did you see a PINK bird in Idaho?
I’m guessing you need help figuring out which species you saw with pink feathers. Well, you’ve come to the right place! To help you make an identification, I have included several photographs of each bird and detailed range maps.
7 Pink BIRDS IN Idaho:
#1. House Finch
- Haemorhous mexicanus
- Males are pinkish around their heads and upper breasts. They have brown streaks on their back, tail, and belly.
- Females are brown with streaks on their back, tail, and belly.
- Both sexes have notched tails and conical beaks designed to eat seeds.
It’s common to see these pink birds in Idaho near people.
Look for them around buildings, backyards, parks, and other urban and suburban areas. As you can see, only males have pinkish-red coloring.
House Finch Range Map
House Finches are often the first birds to discover new bird feeders. These birds are intensely curious and rarely travel alone, so their arrival often helps other birds find your feeders, too! I see them eating sunflower, Nyjer, and safflower seeds in my yard.
House Finches have an enjoyable song, which can be heard year-round. Listen below to a series of jumbled, warbled notes.
#2. Mourning Dove
- Zenaida macroura
- A mostly grayish dove with large black spots on the wings and a long, thin tail.
- Look for pinkish legs, a black bill, and a distinctive blue eye ring.
- Males and females look the same.
This species is one of the most common birds in Idaho.
But at first glance, it’s hard to see any pink coloring on them. But look closer, and you will notice that Mourning Doves have PINK legs! 🙂
Mourning Dove Range Map
Mourning Doves are common visitors to bird feeding stations. They need a flat place to feed, so the best feeders for them are trays or platforms. They are most comfortable feeding on the ground, so throw a bunch of food there, too.
It’s common to hear these pink-legged birds in Idaho.
Listen for a low “coo-ah, coo, coo, coo.” In fact, this mournful sound is how the dove got its name! Many people commonly mistake this sound for an owl. (Press PLAY below!)
#3. White-winged Crossbill
- Loxia leucoptera
- Look for the crisscrossed bill, which is used to separate pinecone scales to access the seeds.
- Males are rose-pink with black wings and tails. Look for two white lines of contrasting color across the middle of the wing.
- Females and young males are yellowish but with the same wing and tail pattern as the adult males.
White-winged Crossbills get their name from the shape of their bill! These unique beaks are perfect for cracking open pinecones to access the seeds inside.
Crossbills LOVE eating conifer seeds and can consume up to 3,000 each day. In fact, some people can locate these pink birds in Idaho by hearing them crunching while opening cones in the trees.
White-winged Crossbill Range Map
White-winged Crossbills are opportunistic breeders. As long as adequate food is available, females will breed at ANY time of the year.
Both sexes sing a mixture of vigorous and scattered chirps, warbles, and rattles. Listen below!
#4. Cassin’s Finch
- Haemorhous cassinii
- Small finches with short-medium tails, streaked feathers, and thick bills.
- Males are rosy pink all over with more red on top of their heads.
- Females and young Cassin’s Finches are brown and white birds with dark streaks on the chest and underparts.
Male birds get the reddish-pink coloring on the top of their head from eating colorful foods like the berries of firethorn plants.
Cassin’s Finches visit feeders in the winter that provide sunflower seeds. They also like shrubs with fruit, such as mulberry, firethorn, or grape bushes. Interestingly, they crave salt and are often found visiting deposits of minerals on the ground.
Cassin’s Finch Range Map
Their songs tend to imitate other birds, and both males and females sing. Listen below as a male Cassin’s Finch sings a joyful song with a quick series of short sounds.
#5: Broad-tailed Hummingbird
- Selasphorus platycercus
How To Identify:
- Males: Adults have a white breast, buffy flanks, and green covering their head, back, and tail. Look for their iridescent pink throat.
- Females: Similar to other types of hummingbirds, females are larger than males. They have a lightly speckled throat, white upper breast, and a brownish belly. The head and back are green.
Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are a bird of mountain meadows and open woodlands. They typically breed at elevations between 5,000 and 10,500 feet.
These pink-throated birds only stay in Idaho for a few months, from late May to early August.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird Range Map
Males put on impressive aerial displays to attract females. The show begins with the male climbing high into the sky and then diving towards the ground, pulling up right in front of the bird he is trying to attract. Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are promiscuous and may mate with many individuals during a breeding season.
These birds live up to 10,500 feet high in the mountains, where temperatures regularly drop below freezing, even in summer. To survive these cold nights, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds enter a state of torpor, where they slow their heart rate down and drop their body temperature until the sun comes up!
#6. Black Rosy-Finch
- Leucosticte atrata
- Medium-sized chunky finches with a conical bill and a notched tail.
- Males are brownish and have some pink highlights and a yellow bill.
- Females are blackish overall with pink highlights on the wings and lower belly, and a gray crown. They have a black bill.
Black Rosy-Finches are incredibly unique pink birds in Idaho.
You’ll need to head above the tree line to find them in summer. They nest on the sides of cliffs and other mountainous areas where few people ever travel.
But then, in winter, Black Rosy-Finches come down from the mountains a bit to escape the cold. They form large flocks and roost together in caves, mineshafts, and inside barns.
Black Rosy-Finch Range Map
If you are lucky enough to live near them, these beautiful finches will even visit bird feeders during winter! To attract them, try offering sunflower and Nyjer seeds on platform feeders or scattering them on the ground.
#7. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
- Leucosticte tephrocotis
- Males are a rich brown. Look for pink plumage on the body, a gray head, and a black forecrown, throat, and bill.
- Females are similar but with fewer amounts of pink, and their bill is yellow.
These pink birds are found at high elevations in Idaho!
Look for them high on mountains or cliffs where they forage among loose stones, glaciers, meadows, and even avalanche areas. They even nest on the slopes of Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Range Map
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches may visit backyard bird feeders in the winter when they come down from the mountains. They like to eat black oil sunflower seeds scattered on the ground or in platform feeders.
Listen below to this Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches chattering cheep cheep song.
Learn more about other birds in Idaho!
Which of these pink birds have you seen in Idaho?
Let us know in the comments!