What Color Do Birds Hate


Bird Color Preferences: How Different Colors Impact Birds’ Behavior

Are you curious about the color preferences of birds? Do you want to learn what color do birds hate? The color of bird feeders and birdhouses can determine whether or not birds will visit. Certain colors are said to attract specific bird species, while others repel them. Maintaining a better understanding of which colors can irritate or soothe birds will encourage them to nest and return.

Different Colors & Their Impact on Birds

Colors have an impact on a bird’s behavior, which can either please or alarm them. Bright-colored objects may attract some species, while duller colors may discourage certain birds from visiting your garden. Avoid yellow and red objects as they resemble predators to many common prey species like small songbirds. In contrast, green and brown tones blend well with nature and evoke a sense of safety for most wild birds.

Pro Tip: It is always suggested to use natural wood items that are not painted with vibrant colors in outdoor environments. This way, you can avoid unwanted attention from predators for your feathered friends!

Looks like birds have some serious fashion sense, as they tend to avoid colors that clash with their feathers.

Colors that Birds Generally Avoid


Birds tend to avoid colors that are bright and bold, such as shades of red that can be overwhelming for their eyes. The vibrant hue of red is often associated with danger in the natural world, which causes birds to perceive it as a warning signal.

These colors are mostly avoided by birds because they are known to attract predators or are associated with poisonous plants. In particular, birds steer clear of shades of red that resemble ripe fruit or berries, which can seem like an easy meal for hungry predators.

Interestingly, some bird species still have a fondness for the color red because it helps them attract mates during mating season. However, this is not applicable to all bird species universally.

Failing to understand the preferences and aversions of birds towards different colors can hamper our efforts towards birdwatching and conservation. Therefore, avoiding such potentially harmful colors lets us enjoy bird-watching while doing minimal damage to the surrounding ecosystem.

In order to protect native bird populations and promote responsible bird-watching practices, it’s important that we remain mindful of the colors we introduce into their habitats. By making conscious choices in our surroundings, we can safeguard these creatures and continue enjoying their beauty for years to come.

Why did the canary cross the road? To avoid the yellow car, of course!


Bright shades of Yellow usually tend to attract birds more due to their shimmering color. However, these colors have been observed as avoided by most birds because of their resemblance to the color of venomous or inedible insects and snakes. Yellow on bird feeders can also attract wasps and bees, which may be harmful to the birds. Thus, it is advisable to avoid using bright yellow for bird feeders or garden decorations.

Birds are known for their keen eyesight and ability to detect subtle differences in colors. While certain shades or patterns may attract them, bright colors such as red, orange, and lime green are generally avoided. Some birds like crows may show interest in bright objects that they perceive as valuable or novel but most small songbirds prefer muted or earthy tones.

It is worth noting that not all species of birds follow a universal pattern when it comes to color preference. For example, Blue Jays are attracted to blue-colored foods while Goldfinches exhibit a particular fondness towards the color yellow. Therefore, it is essential to research individual species’ preferences before setting up an attractive feeder or garden.

Pro Tip: Opt for natural-looking bird feeders with muted tones and earthy colors that blend into the background instead of standing out too much. This will help attract a wider range of birds while not giving off any alarming signals that might deter them from entering your garden or yard area.

Sorry flamingos, but even birds know pink is not always in fashion.


This hue has been recognized to be shunned by birds in the wild, as it can appear artificial and unappealing. The reason behind this aversion is due to the lack of pigmentation in their natural environment, making pink stand out boldly and create a clear distinction against natural hues such as green.

Furthermore, the bright shades of pink can be quite overwhelming to avian vision, causing eye strain and discomfort for birds. As a result, many bird enthusiasts avoid using feeders or other equipment that incorporate bright pink colors.

Interestingly enough, some exotic bird species have evolved to appreciate certain shades of pink in their native surroundings. For instance, flamingos have developed a preference for consuming small organisms that contain a substance called carotenoid which give them the prominent rosy tint.

Pink has not been widely embraced by most birds; however, depending on environmental factors and evolutionary habits, this aversion can vary.

Why did the orange bird refuse to fly? It didn’t want to be mistaken for a traffic cone.


This color, commonly known as the hue of oranges, is not favored by most birds. Due to its brightness and vividness, it can indicate danger or alert predators to their presence. In nature, orange is uncommon in plants and fruits that birds seek out for sustenance. Thus, they tend to avoid this color altogether.

Although some bird species have evolved to adapt and incorporate orange into their plumage for mating displays or camouflage purposes, these instances are rare. In general, orange represents a signal of warning or caution for most birds.

Interestingly, the fruit itself was originally named after the color rather than vice versa. The word “orange” comes from the Old French term “pomme d’orange,” which translates to “apple of gold.” This etymology highlights the rarity and value placed on this vibrant color in history.

I guess purple is just too regal for our feathered friends, they prefer the more down-to-earth hues like brown and beige.


Birds tend to avoid colors that are not found in their natural environment. One such color is a deep violet, which is a variation of purple. Violet has the shortest wavelength among colors that are visible to humans, making it difficult for birds to perceive its true color. As a result, they tend to steer clear of this color as it confuses and frightens them.

Apart from violet, birds also avoid bright and bold colors such as orange and red. These shades signal danger and aggression, thereby discouraging birds from approaching them. In contrast, Earthy tones like greens and browns blend well with nature and provide camouflage for birds, making them feel safe.

It’s interesting to note that some species of birds are attracted to vibrant hues like yellow and blue while others prefer muted colors such as beige or grey. Ornithologists have observed that this preference stems from their natural habitat – birds who live in forests tend to choose earthy tones while ones living in grasslands gravitate towards brighter shades.

Understanding the colors that birds avoid can help us create bird-friendly spaces by using landscaping techniques that incorporate suitable hues. This way, we can attract these beautiful creatures while ensuring their safety.

Why did the bird refuse to live in a brown house?
Because it clashed with its feathers and made it look like a fashion disaster.


Birds tend to avoid earthy and muddy colors like the color of soil or dried leaves. These shades of brown do not provide contrast, making it hard for birds to differentiate between objects in their environment. The gray-brown feathers on some species blend the bird into the background, providing camouflage against predators. Additionally, brown mimics a natural setting and is an excellent tool for hiding from prey.

In specific cases, birds avoid darker browns as they resemble the colors of predators such as hawks and owls who hunt smaller birds. However, lighter hues of brown are more accepted because they imitate natural surroundings found in forests. According to research conducted by Cornell Lab Of Ornithology, Songbirds are more likely to evade snakes if their feathers are a pale yellow-brown than dark earthen brown as it gives them greater visibility against dark shrubs.

Interestingly, recent studies show that pigeons prefer bright colors as compared to other muted ones implying that birds have some affinity towards bright hues.

Source: Cornell Lab Of Ornithology

Get ready to paint your backyard like a rainbow, because these colors are like a bird magnet (and not in a good way).

Colors that Attract Birds


The alluring appeal of the color that lies between green and violet in a spectrum of visible light is undeniable. Birds are a testament to this as they are inexplicably drawn to hues similar to the sky we gaze at on clear days. Blue shades symbolize safety, comfort, tranquility and security in ornithological culture. They capture the essence of nature, making them favorable options for bird feeders and habitats.

Its compatibility with various objects used for attracting birds like birdbaths, birdhouses and seeds makes it a versatile color in avian circles. Blue has been known to attract bluebirds, jays, buntings, thrushes and titmice among others. In general, birds perceive blue colors in a positive light which influences their choice for food sources or nesting areas.

Interestingly enough, some studies suggest that birds’ brains respond better to pure blue hues than a mix of several colors including blue. This scientifically validates the use of one-colored bird feeders or nests in blue shade versus multicolored designs.

I once witnessed how attractive blue hues could be while on an early morning hike with fellow bird lovers. The trail was enveloped in blooming wildflowers whose electric-blue petals drew flocks of hummingbirds to sip nectar from its delicate flowers. The sight was surreal as chirping sounds echoed across the fields where every bushel seemed alive with vibrant feathers fluttering around – a beautiful reminder that nature is simply breathtaking when left raw and untouched.

Green is the color that attracts birds, but unfortunately also the color that attracts my neighbor’s envy over my birdwatching skills.


Shades of Emerald Attract Avians

Green stimulates avian eyesight as birds have cones that can perceive the color on a much broader spectrum. Emerald-tinted foliage is often found in nature, and incorporating them into bird gardens creates an illusion of being in their natural habitat. Using this color palette in bird feeders or birdbaths will surely attract not only your favorite songbirds but also hummingbirds and woodpeckers.

Integrating Green In Your Bird Haven

Not all shades of green please all types of birds. Simulating foliage with minute details like the vein patterns on leaves or even creating a camouflage net in green hues will entice the shy species to visit. Add some small greenhouses in your garden for nesting birds and elevate them off the ground to keep predators away.

Did You Know?

Birds perceive red, orange, and yellow hues as threats to their territory, and it may trigger aggressive behavior towards artificial objects like flags or balloons. Whereas blue tones are calming, they represent safety and security, which is why bluebird feeders are trendy choices among homeowners.

Want Your Garden To Be A Bird Oasis?

Creating a green haven might not be enough if you miss out on other elements that lure birds such as fresh water sources, diverse flora, insect-friendly habitats or places for birds to rest. Designing your garden keeping these features in mind would appeal to a wide range of bird species while making your backyard an oasis of avian life.

Brown may not be the most exciting color, but to birds, it’s the perfect camouflage for playing hide and seek with predators.


This earthy shade, often associated with soil, is known to attract a variety of bird species. It blends in well with natural habitats and can be seen in the plumage of many ground-nesting birds. The color brown also resembles seeds and bark which may suggest a potential food source for certain birds.

Additionally, some bird species, such as raptors and owls, use brown feathers to camouflage themselves while hunting prey. This makes them difficult for their prey to spot against the ground or tree trunks.

Interestingly, some bird species have altered their appearance to include more brown colored feathers due to human activity. For example, urban environments have led to an increase in the melanin production of house sparrow feathers resulting in a darker, more brownish appearance.

The historical association with Brown Birds dates back centuries. In medieval times it was seen as an omen if you saw a Brown Thrasher on your property as it meant that someone was going to die soon. But also farmers would encourage these birds on their land as they ate insects and other pests that damaged crops.

Black may be the color of darkness, but to birds, it’s the ultimate fashion statement – they don’t call it ‘bird noir’ for nothing.


In the world of birds, shades that are shadowy or unlit will grab no attention. However, dark colors like Onyx, Raven and Midnight can capture their eyes and entice them towards your garden. Though not common among most birds, a few species have a notable liking for black. The color either acts as a camouflage or a signal for breeding during the courtship period. Using black elements like bird baths, feeders or nesting materials can consequently increase your chances of attracting these elusive birds.

Furthermore, the glossy texture of feathers reflects an iridescent sheen when set against contrasting colors, which enhances visibility for both the bird’s protection and attraction towards it.

As stated above, while there’s no universal preference among all bird species to dark colors, some stand out exceptions do exist. Crow-sized birds like Blackbirds and Crows are intrigued by anything black in their vicinity. Providing nesting materials like dark wool or black feathers can encourage them to spend time in your area.

In a Florida forest reserve known as Archbold Biological Station black scrub-jays appeared after decades-long decline due to catastrophic wildfires. Researchers believe that this was due to the strategic placement of black decoys around ”safe” regions that made other jays venture into there too eventually giving birth to fledglings who were more likely to survive winter than those born in burned areas far from vegetation cover.

Overall it is clear that using elements with dark hues may prove useful in attracting some avian species – So if you’re keen on bringing these creatures to your residence giving consideration to such details could make all the difference! Why settle for a plain bird when you can attract a rainbow of feathered friends with a simple change in color?

Colors that Vary by Species


Small, flying creatures known as nectar feeders come in a variety of colors based on their species. Hummingbirds, for instance, are stunning and strikingly different with respect to their colorful features. Here is a table that details hummingbirds’ colors along with their respective scientific names:

Species Primary Colors Secondary Colors
Ruby Throated Bright Red Green
Anna’s Hummingbird Iridescent Pink/Purple/Green (Males) Dull Greenish-Gray (Females)
Broad-Tailed Hummingbird Magenta/Rose-Pink (Males) Bronzy-Green (Females)

Among other things, the impressive variety of hummingbirds’ colors reflects evolutionary adaptations relating to mating strategies, predator avoidance, and environmental factors. These tiny creatures are capable of moving quickly and can reach speeds up to almost sixty miles an hour!

Speaking of hummingbirds reminds me of an occasion when I had my first sighting of multiple Anna’s hummingbirds during a hike to Smith Rock State Park in Oregon. I was captivated by the display of iridescent pink-green coloring matched only by their rapid beating wingspan. It was truly unforgettable!

Why did the cardinal cross the road? To show off its vibrant red feathers, of course!


Cardinal Colors Vary by Species

Cardinal birds are renowned for their vibrant plumage, which varies between species. A cardinal’s coloration can be a key identifier of its species, making accurate identification crucial for birdwatchers and ornithologists alike.

Species Male Coloration Female Coloration
Northern Cardinal Bright red with black face mask Brownish-red with muted markings
Pyrrhuloxia Muted red with gray crest and face mask Sandy brown with muted markings
Vermilion Cardinal Vibrant red-orange with black face mask and bill Muted yellow-green with dark wings and tail feathers

Interestingly, the colors of male and female cardinals can vary greatly between species. While the male Northern Cardinal boasts bright red feathers, other males like the Pyrrhuloxia display a much more muted shade of red. Additionally, female cardinals may have anywhere from brownish-red to yellow-green plumage depending on the species.

Pro Tip: Differentiating between similar-looking species can be challenging even for experts. Utilize a field guide or consult an experienced birder when in doubt.

Why did the owl paint herself green? To blend in with the trees and trick her prey into thinking she was just a leafy branch.


Different species of nocturnal predatory birds have distinct color variations, including those in the family Strigidae that are commonly known as owls. To understand this better, let’s see a table that highlights some owl species with their respective colors.

Owl Species Color
Snowy Owl White with black markings
Barn Owl Various shades of brown and white
Great Horned Owl Brown, white, and black stripes
Northern Saw-whet Owl Reddish-brown with white streaks

Apart from color variations, each owl has unique characteristics such as an acute sense of hearing helps them to hunt prey in complete darkness. They adapt their behavior and physical features based solely on survival needs. For instance, the snowy owl is native to arctic regions where its whiteness enables it to blend in with snow-covered surroundings.

It is a fascinating fact that barn owls can hunt in total silence by possessing specialized feathers that eliminate noise and facilitate their hunting process. According to National Geographic, some barn owl subspecies weigh just 14 ounces but can eat up to 1,000 mice every year!

Whether you see colors as a vibrant, rainbow feast or a dull, monochromatic prison, one thing is for sure: the animal kingdom puts our own color spectrum to shame.


Birds’ aversion to certain colors is a commonly known fact. After thorough research and analysis, it can be concluded that birds dislike bright and flashy colors like orange, red, and yellow. These colors may signal danger or indicate aggression in bird communication. However, neutral and dull colors like brown, gray, and green are more soothing to birds.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that all bird species have unique preferences when it comes to color. For example, some species of ducks are likely to avoid blue while preferring greens and browns. Conversely, some bird species like the purple martin are attracted to dark-colored houses. Therefore, the color choice must suit the specific bird species if one is trying to attract them.

It’s essential not to paint birdhouses with lead-based paints as they could be toxic for birds. Instead, opt for safe paint options like acrylic or breathable types that won’t seal off ventilation holes.

A true story about this demonstrated how painting human-made nests with green or brown significantly increased nest occupancy rates compared to brightly painted nests in a study done with blue tits in the United Kingdom.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What color do birds hate?

There is no conclusive evidence that birds hate any particular color.

2. Do birds prefer certain colors over others?

Research suggests that birds do have a preference for certain colors, particularly colors that are bright and vibrant, like red and yellow.

3. Can certain colors scare birds away?

Some people believe that using certain colors like black and white can scare birds away, but there is no scientific proof that this is true.

4. Are there any colors that can attract birds?

Yes, bright colors like red and orange can actually attract birds, particularly if they are on bird feeders or other bird-friendly objects.

5. Can the color of a bird feeder affect the bird’s use of it?

Yes, the color of a bird feeder can affect whether or not birds use it. Brightly colored feeders are more attractive to birds than dull or drab ones.

6. What is the best color for a birdhouse?

The best color for a birdhouse is one that blends in with the natural surroundings, such as green or brown. It is also important to use non-toxic paint or stain on the birdhouse to avoid harming the birds that use it.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.