8 magnificent green birds

8 magnificent green birds

Green is the most prominent color in the natural world thanks to the vast green plant cover. The earthy hue embodies optimal well-being, health, harmony, and growth and more often evokes a sense of hope, inspiration, safety, and security.

But while we all express great appreciation for the green herbage, nothing comes close to the beauty of birds that wear a prominent green plumage. Green birds tend to personify nature’s beauty and are usually charming, flashy, lively, and captivating to watch. That is not all. The green plumage will also almost perfectly match the surrounding leafage on the trees the bird sits in. And with nature’s never-ending struggle for survival, the green coloration will thus serve as a defense or tactic that helps the birds blend in. Not to attract too much attention from possible predators.

In this post, we will talk you through the most magnificent green birds you can find. Read on to find out more.

Green Birds

A group of Green Birds eating food

Do green birds exist?

A huge number of bird species do exhibit stunning displays of different colors. Of these colored birds, a good deal of them sports a green plumage.

The dazzling colors are brought on courtesy of three main pigments which give feathers the colors; melanin, carotenoids, and porphyrins. The pigment responsible for green plumage in birds is a type of porphyrins called turacoverdin.

What types of birds are green?

There are more than 30 bird species that flaunt an overall green plumage. Examples of common and conspicuously green bird species include parrots, parakeets, broadbills, love birds, bee-eaters, passerines, turacos, jays, tanagers, swallows, leafbirds, honeycreepers, cuckoos, finches, catbirds, magpies, and many others.

The 8 magnificent green birds

  1. Budgerigar

Budgerigars or budgies are Native to Australia. They are common in open habitats especially scrublands, open woodlands, and grasslands. The small parakeet is also a firm favorite cage bird for many pet lovers.

Color, Size, and shape

Budgies are primarily green with yellow around the head and black markings on the back, neck, and wings. Nonetheless, the bird has been bred in captivity into a wide assortment of colors ranging from blue, white, grey, and grey-green to violet, white and yellow-blue. The cere (the region around the beak that has the nostrils) is different between the sexes. Males have a royal blue cere, non-breeding females have a pale brown to white cere while breeding females have a brown one.

Budgies can grow to a head-to-tail length of between 6 to 7 inches, a wingspan of 12 inches, and weigh about 1.3 Oz. It is also worth noting that budgies are smaller in their wild form than their counterparts in captivity. Also, the bill is short, robust, and hooked while the tail is long and pointed.

Diet and Lifespan

Budgerigars mainly feed on seeds of spinifex, grass weeds, and sometimes ripening cereals such as wheat. They also have a taste for insects.

In the wild, budgies can barely make it to their 10 birthday due to predation, disease, and harsh environmental conditions. But in captivity, they can stick around for an excess of 15 years.

Behavior

Budgies are generally peacefully active, social, and cheerful birds. They often sing a song or talk when they are happy. With proper training, budgies can mimic human speech although their vocabulary is limited. Wildtype budgies are nomadic and usually hang around in flocks searching for food and water. Besides that, budgies are monogamous throughout their lifetime although extra-pair copulations by males are common.

In domestication they love to play with toys, scratch and chew on stuff, bath in water, take a nap, and exercise. More than that, it is common to see the bird wagging its tail, stretching the wings, tiding feathers with its beak(preening), grinding its beaks, and yawning. You can tell the sexes by their behavior. Males are more jolly and cheerful. The male also loves to head bob.

The ordinary Budgie

The ordinary Budgie

  1. Lovebird

How often do you come across a vibrantly colored bird which is pretty to look at, intelligent, has a sociable personality, and also fun to watch? Probably not so often.

Lovebirds are a green group of small and stocky parrots that belongs to the genus Agapornis. The colorful avian brags of existing in nine 9 different subspecies which are primarily green, eight of which are native to Africa and Madagascar. The subspecies include the rosy-faced lovebird, grey-headed, Fischer’s, black-cheeked, yellow-collared, Lilian’s, black-winged, Black-collared, and the red-headed lovebird. And all thanks to aviculture, many lovebird subspecies are captive-bred as pets.

Color, Size, and shape

Lovebirds living in their natural environment are usually green with different diverse colors on the upper body and head determined by the type of subspecies. Subspecies like the Fischer’s, black-cheeked, and the masked lovebirds have a noticeable white ring around the eyes. On the flip side, lovebirds in captivity are reproduced by selective breeding to produce many colorful mutants with diverse hues. Alongside, the birds’ upper beak is rather large and hooked while the tail is short and blunt.

Lovebirds are among the smallest of parrots and grow to a length of no more than 7 inches and a wingspan of 9 inches. An adult bird weighs 1.5 – 2 oz.

Diet and Lifespan

Their natural diet of lovebirds is a combination of seeds, agricultural grains, grasses, berries, fruits, and green matter such as leaf buds.

The average lifespan of lovebirds in the wild is 10 – 15 years. However, birds in their confinement can hold up for up to 20 years.

Behavior

As with other parrots, the small parrots are very social, affectionate, and cheerful. They are highly active, and fond of flying, climb about, sometimes gnawing on wood, and chewing toys.  If not, the birds will spend their time grooming themselves using their beaks. Despite that, the bird often gets aggressive should a person they are not used to gets too close. Love birds are often aggressive towards other birds of dissimilar species. They are also intelligent and curious.

In their natural habitats, they love to mingle and usually move around in small flocks. It is a popular belief that domesticated lovebirds should be kept in pairs rather than single. They form strong bonds with their mate or human friends and may become too protective a times. Even more, they like to chatter all day but do not sing, whistle, or talk.

Male and Female Lovebird

Male and Female Lovebird

  1. Male Eclectus

It a parrot again, this time the male Eclectus parrot! The male Eclectus is a medium-sized parrot that is calm, gentle, and peaceful. The Eclectus is indigenous to the rainforests and ranges of New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, the Moluccas, and northeastern Australia.

Color, Size, and shape

No bird has its sexual dimorphism more pronounced as with the Eclectus parrot. The birds show an unusual form of dimorphism called reverse sexual dichromatism where the two sexes have very contrasting coloration.  The sexes are so different it is only a few centuries ago that most people caught on to the fact that the male and female sexes are of the same species.

The males are emerald green to a larger part with a few bright red feathers under the wings and yellow beaks and a yellow beak. In the contrast, females wear a striking red plumage with royal blue on the underbelly, deep purple markings on the chest and tail, and a black beak. Aside from that, they are medium-sized parrots that can measure 12-14.5 inches in length.

Diet and Lifespan

The first choice of food for Eclectus parrots are fruits and their pulp such as mangoes, apples, guavas, bananas, melons, grapes, citrus fruits, pears, and pawpaws. Besides, they will not hesitate to feast on seeds and grains, nuts, leaf buds, nectar, blossoms, and figs.

In matters of lifespan, this is the kind of bird that will even outlive the owner. The resilient avian can stand up to more than 50 years of confined living. In their natural environments, the bird will manage an impressive 30 years.

Behavior

Eclectus are gentle, quiet, calm, and affectionate birds. The sensitive birds appreciate socialization and are often stressed should they feel neglected or lonely.

They give out a range of calls, including loud, high-pitched squawks, screeches, and whistles. Very few parrots can learn to speak as easily and quickly as the Eclectus. With persistent training, hand-raised lovebirds birds can learn to speak. Even more, the companion birds are also vulnerable to feather plucking. Neophobia, which is the fear of new things is also common with this bird species.

In their native monsoon forest habitats, you will find them nesting high usually inside deep holes, hollows, and cavities on the bark of trees.

The Male and Female Eclectus Parrot

The Male and Female Eclectus Parrot

  1. The Green Bee Eater

A visit to sub-Saharan Africa is never complete without sneaking a peek at the little green bee-eater. Resident to grasslands, thin scrub, and forests of Senegal, Gambia, East Africa, they often travel through to India, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

Color, Size, and shape

There are multiple plumage variations depending on the region. The plumage is bright emerald green with hints of blue on the chin and throat and a thin black throat band. Furthermore, a fine black stripe is visible in front and behind the eye. You will also want to note that it is hard to distinguish the sexes at a glance. The body is slender, the bill is slim, lengthened, and black while the eyes are blood red.

A mature bird is 9 inches long thanks to the elongated central tail-feathers, with a wingspan of around 12 inches. They also weigh 15 – 20 grams.

Diet and Lifespan

As the name indicates, the little green bee-eater is primarily insectivorous and fancies snacking on bees, butterflies, bugs, beetles, termites, flies, crickets, caterpillars, and spiders, among others.

Wild green bee-eaters have a lifespan of about 6 years in the wild while those in captivity can stay for 12 to 18 years.

Behavior

You will find these small birds foraging in flocks of about 2 dozen birds. The birds will roost next to each other on branches, and enjoy gathering and dust bathing together in groups of excess of 30 birds. While the species in Africa will dig burrows the ground to nest it, their cousins from Asia usually dig into low shores.

They are also monogamous. More than that, bee-eaters like accompanying large mammals and ground birds like ostriches, and eating the insects they stir up as they move around. Before they can gobble up an insect, they will strike it against a hard surface remove any dirt by striking the insect several times against a hard surface.

green bee eater bird

Green Bee eater bird

  1. Green Broadbill

Meet the famous lovebirds the green broadbill or the lesser green broadbill. A small luminous green bird in passerines order (perching birds).

Color, Size, and shape

The male green broadbill is a small bird with a vibrant luminous green plumage, a black comma-like marking below the eye, and black bars on wing coverts. The female has a paler green plumage without the black markings below the eye and on the wings. The female is larger than the male. The bird is about 6 inches long. Both sexes have a rounded head, short and blunt tail, and a crest of feathers over their bill.

Diet and Lifespan

Green broadbills are herbivorous and love feeding on fruits mostly soft figs, and vegetables. They can exist for about 6 years.

Behavior

There is not much to mention about this bird’s behavior since it is a solitary and quiet and laid-back bird that loves to sit calmly inside dense bushes and canopies making it difficult to spot and observe. The bird will hastily fly and perch on another tree should it sense even the slightest of disturbances. Along with that, the broadbill will now and then, the bird will give out soft, bouncy hooting calls, often in series.

Also, they are monogamous. They are common in lowland forests and swamps, but may occasionally grace your backyard or gardens.

Green Broadbill

Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis male

  1. Green Magpies

The green magpies wouldn’t appear on our list if it wasn’t for the bright and adorable green color, sociable nature, and gentle and calm temperament. Native to the Himalayas, they inhabit parts of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Borneo, and China among other areas.

Color, Size, and shape

Birds in the wild have on a neon-colored plumage with reddish-brown to maroon feathers at the tips of the wings. You won’t help but notice a thick black mask-like line that runs from the bill, covers the eyes to the nape of the neck. Even more, the bill, fleshy eye rims, and legs are coral red. Apart from that, the tapered tail is longer compared to other magpies and has a white tip.

The bird is about the same size as the Eurasian Jay and measures around 10 inches in length while weighing roughly 130 grams.

Diet and Lifespan

This bird is a carnivore and has an appetite for insects, larvae, earthworms, small reptiles and mammals, snails, and young birds and eggs. The bird has also been observed making a meal of recently killed carcass, and fruits, and berries.

In matters of lifespan, Green magpies are expected to live for 15 – 20 years.

Behavior

In spite of being noisy with frequent whistles and chatters, Green magpies are very social birds. Therefore, many bird lovers have captured and kept them as cage birds. In their natural environment, you will encounter the bird in lowland and mid-altitude subtropical forests. They are temporary breeders and love to nest in climbing vines, bamboo, tall shrubs, and evergreen coniferous forests. Spotting it is no child’s play since the bird likes to hop from one tree to the other concealed in the middle of canopies foraging for feed. You will also find the bird on the ground scavenging for food. They are known to hang around with other birds.

Green Magpies

Green Magpies

  1. Violet-green Swallow

The next green bird worth our attention is the Violet-green Swallow. It is a small passerine bird found in North America from central Alaska, British Colombia, Montana, southwestern Alberta, the Dakotas, and Texas down to Mexico.

Color, Size, and shape

The violet-green swallow bears a close resemblance to the tree swallow. The wings are long and pointed whereas the body is slim, streamlined, and adapted to fast flying and catching insects while flying. The back and the top of the head are glossy green while the wing and tail are grayish bronze. The nape, rump, and upper tail have highlights of purple.

The swallow is about 4.7-inch-long, with a wingspan of 10.6 inches and a weight of close to 0.5 Oz.

Diet and Lifespan

These birds are aerial insectivores that snaps-up and eats their prey while in flight. They prey on insects and arthropods such as ants, beetles, spiders, and flies.

They can exist for around 5 – 8 years.

Behavior

You will find this bird in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests, as well as within canyons and close to large cliffs. They breed in tree holes and cavities created by other animals. Others will nest in cracks and cavities of large cliffs. Also, they do not shy away from nesting near human settlements. They also get along pretty well with other bird species. You will hear routine chee-chee and twitter calls.

christie greene v97kZPWexB0 unsplash 8 magnificent green birds

Violet-green Swallow

  1. White-cheeked Turaco

This is truly natural beauty at its best. The White-cheeked Turaco is among the 23 turaco species and traces its origin to Eastern parts of Africa from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and South Sudan towards the South. T exists in the wild as well as in captivity.

Color, Size, and shape

One conspicuous distinguishing factor is the crested head that is distinct to most of the turaco species. More than that, the forecrown, face, neck, breast, throat, and mantle are all green. The bill is bright orange-red and features a sharp tip that is down curved. The legs sport a grayish-black color. You will also notice red eye rings.

The midsize bird is about 17 inches long with a tail measuring 7.5 inches. A grown-up can weigh no more than 200 grams.

Diet and Lifespan

Their main diets are fruits and berries, mostly juniper, figs, and podocarpus fruits. They will also occasionally snack on insects and small animals like lizards for their protein.

In captivity, the turaco can make it through up to 15 years.

Behavior

You will come across this bird on podocarpus and juniper forests in the mountainous and hilly regions, and trees and bushes along streams and rivers. They will make loud calls at dawn is before departing early to their favored fruit and berry trees. Furthermore, they like to leap from tree to tree and among branches in an agile fashion in pursuit of fruit. You will also find them basking in the sun and grooming using their bills.

They are also monogamous with very territorial pairs. The male will often fight away intruders.

White-cheeked Turaco

White-cheeked Turaco

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the green birds in London?

The most common green birds in London are parakeets. The birds are migrants from South Asia, Africa, and Australia. They move around and roost in large flocks. The London parakeet is also kept in captivity.

Read also about 10 Amazing Purple Birds You Never Knew About

Images source: unsplash

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Karim Bruno

I am a passionate and dedicated writer who loves to advocate for protection and preservation of nature not least of which are birds.

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