Parrots can be found in many colors, but red is among the most striking.
Parrots are rarely red all over but have a selection of red feathers alongside other shades, such as orange, yellow, green, and blue.
Red parrot species include scarlet macaws, red and green macaws, and the female Eclectus. Other red parrots include several types of lory, the salmon-crested cockatoo, and the Western rosella.
Parrots get their red feathers through psittacofulvins, which are pigments. Melanin also plays a part in a parrot’s unique feather colors.
Their colors distinguish different species of parrots, so let’s look at the most popular red parrots.
What Makes Parrots Red?
According to Current Biology, parrots get red feathers through unique pigments called psittacofulvins.
These pigments also create green, orange, and pink feathers. Parrots synthesize them in their feather follicles, which form their unique colors and patterns.
This differs significantly from other birds, which get their feather colors from dietary carotenoids.
According to Science Illustrated, melanins produce red feathers because the concentration of the pigment granules turns the original black color into lighter colors. Red feathers enable parrots to:
- Attract a mate. Brighter colors indicate good health and reproduction abilities.
- Communicate. Red feathers serve as a warning to enemies and predators.
- Feed their young. Parrots use the brightness around their chicks’ mouths to decide which ones need nourishment.
- Camouflage. To evade predators, red parrots hide against brightly-colored flowers and fruit plants.
Red feathers serve several evolutionary and survival purposes. Males tend to be brighter colored because they compete against each other to win the attention of females.
Red Parrot Species
It’s rare for parrots to be entirely red because other tones usually accompany their feathers. However, red is often the most dominant part of a parrot’s plumage because it’s bright.
The most common red-colored parrots include:
Australian King Parrot
Australian king parrots are native to Australia and rarely seen outside the country. Males have more red feathers on their bodies than females, but they have forest-green wings and a purple back.
Females are primarily green with lighter chest feathers. The feathers around the belly and thighs are more of an orange hue, while the underside of the tail is a mixture of red and green.
Due to their bright, vibrant feathers, Australian king parrots are becoming more popular in the pet trade.
Australian king parrots are quiet birds that rarely scream or squawk, so they’re well suited to apartments or homes with nearby neighbors.
They can repeat simple words and sounds but aren’t considered talking birds.
Also known as the blue-cheeked lory, black-winged lories are predominantly red with a splash of violet across their eyes. They have black shoulder feathers and wing and tail tips.
Black-winged lories have red feathers and beaks, while most parrots have brown or black beaks with red eyes.
Sadly, black-winged lories are endangered. Most that are around today are in breeding programs to preserve their species. However, these parrots are rarely seen in captivity.
Cardinal lories are native to the islands east of Papua New Guinea, including the Solomon and Bougainville islands and the Bismarck archipelago. They live in tree canopies, thriving in woodlands.
Cardinal lories have a simple plumage consisting of red feathers in various shades all over the body.
The wings and back are slightly darker, while the chest has light streaks through it. There are black feathers around the beak and feet, which contrast against the rest of the parrot’s colors, making it unique.
Cardinal lories aren’t too noisy, but they’re not the quietest birds. Their natural calls are loud and piercing, but they don’t vocalize constantly.
The chattering lory comes from forests endemic to North Maluku, Indonesia. It has a predominantly red body, red beak, and orange eyes. The wings and thighs are green, while the wing coverts are yellow. Chattering lories also have a green tail with a blue tip.
The chattering lory is another endangered species. However, it’s the most popular type of lory and is affectionately named because it spends its day chattering away. Chattering lories have a loud nasal whistle, which is unpleasant.
They can also mimic household sounds and become noisy in the morning after sunrise. Some owners find this annoying, but it’s their natural behavior, meaning it’s difficult to stop.
Crimson rosellas are among the most sought-after rosella pets. They’re friendly birds that thrive with other parrots. Males and females look different, so you can tell them apart visually.
Males are mostly bright red with bright blue facial patches and have blue faces on their wings and tail. Females are similar but have a dark-green patch of feathers on the middle of their tails.
Unlike other parrots, crimson rosellas aren’t cuddly and affectionate. They don’t like too much attention and prefer not to be petted. However, they like to perch on their owners’ shoulders occasionally.
Be aware of their bite, as they can be nippy birds.
Unlike males, which are bright green, female Eclectus parrots are bright red with royal blue feathers around the bottom of the chest, back, wings, hips, and thigh area. The underwing coverts are purple and edged with a mauve blue.
Eclectus parrots have feathers that appear fluffy and fuzzy. They’re also fun and get on well with children, making them good family pets. They don’t like sudden loud noises, so they’re best suited to quieter homes.
However, because they’re large birds, Eclectus parrots need lots of space.
They also need to be kept active, so your bird should remain happy and healthy as long as they get enough out-of-cage time and the largest cage you can fit into your home.
Also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, galahs are mainly pink, though some parrots’ feathers are closer to a light red. They also have pinkish-white crests and grey wings, backs, feet, and tail feathers.
Males and females look similar, but males have dark irises. In contrast, females’ are light pink.
Galah cockatoos are native to Australia. They’re not particularly loud, but they’re vocal. They screech and scream when frightened, excited, or want attention. They can also imitate voices and repetitive sounds.
Galah cockatoos like to spend time with their owners. They’re affectionate and friendly, so they get along with other birds. If you don’t give your cockatoo attention, it’ll become depressed and angry.
Moluccan King Parrot
Moluccan king parrots are famous for their well-defined plumage. They have predominantly red feathers with bright green wings and a bright blue back, rump, tail, and wing coverts.
Males and females look alike; a DNA test is needed to distinguish them.
At almost 15 inches, Moluccan kings are medium-sized parrot species. So, they need lots of space inside and outside their cage.
Sadly, the Moluccan king parrot population is dwindling due to predation and habitat loss.
Moluccan king parrots make ideal pets as they’re quiet and gentle. With the right care and attention, they form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy spending time with them.
Papuan King Parrot
Also known as the green-winged king parrot, male Papuan king parrots are completely red except for their orange irises, blue back and rump, bright green wings, and dark grey legs.
Females have the same colors, except their heads are green, and they have green and red striations on the chest.
Papuan king parrots are ideal novice pets because they’re quiet and docile. They’re tame birds, even in the wild. They prefer not to be handled often and enjoy their own space.
Ensure that a Papuan king parrot has sufficient space to fly and roam. Let it out of its cage regularly, and spend time socializing with your parrot to keep it happy.
The purple-naped lory has a red body, a black forehead, and a yellow band on the breast. It has purple thighs, which can also be blue in some birds, green wings, and a yellow underwing band.
The tail is red but tipped with a darker burgundy color. The eyes are either orange or red, while the eye rings are dark grey.
Purple-naped lories have become vulnerable and are considered endangered. While you can find them in captivity, not all have been bred for the pet trade and were once wild.
In the wild, they live in forests endemic to the islands of Seram and Ambon.
Red and Blue Lory
Red and blue lories look similar to purple-naped lories, but they’re bluer. They inhabit a single island in the Indonesian archipelago called Karakelang. They’re sexually monomorphic, meaning males and females are aesthetically alike.
The plumage, wings, back of the head, and feathers around the nostrils are bright red. The lower belly is red but slightly darker. The nape of the neck and back is a vibrant violet, while the breast features a deep blue band.
They use short, chattering vocalizations to communicate with each other.
Red and blue lories are rarely seen in the pet trade, and due to their declining numbers, all international trade of the birds is prohibited.
Red and Green Macaw
Also known as the green-winged macaw, red and green macaws are another famous red parrot species.
While they’re similar to scarlet macaws, they can be distinguished by their kaleidoscopic blue and green wings.
Red and green macaws have red lines around their eyes, contrasting against their bare white skin. This is one of the easiest ways to distinguish between scarlet macaws and red and green macaws. They’re also larger, as they’re the second-largest parrot species in the world.
While red and green macaws are popular birds, they don’t make ideal pets. They need the same care as a small child and have powerful beaks, meaning they can easily destroy household items.
Red lories are similar in shape and size to red and blue lories. Their bodies are almost entirely red, except for blue and black markings on the back and wings. The tail is also brownish-red with blue undertail coverts. They have brown-red eyes and orange-red beaks.
Red lories are highly entertaining birds. They enjoy chattering away with their owners and require plenty of social interaction.
Even though they’re relatively small, they need lots of attention to prevent them from getting bored. They can also become nippy and destructive around the home, so they need constant supervision.
After the rainbow lorikeet, red lories are the most commonly-kept lory species in captivity. Their owners love their flamboyant and theatrical personalities, which keep them entertained for hours.
The salmon-crested cockatoo is also known as the Moluccan cockatoo, which is different from the Moluccan king.
It’s known for its rosy-pink feathers, which are fluffy and fuzzy. They also have a crest that appears whenever they’re excited, angry, or afraid.
Salmon-crested cockatoos are rare in the wild, but they’re easy to get hold of in captivity due to several successful breeding programs. They need lots of space inside and outside their cage and enjoy spending time with their owners.
They can become quite needy and commonly become one-person birds. However, the right training and socialization from a young age should help prevent these behaviors from becoming an issue.
You can also teach your bird to perform tricks and dances with time and patience.
Scarlet macaws are one of the most recognizable parrot species in the world. Their plumage is predominantly bright red, but they also have light blue rump and tail feathers, darker blue feathers on the tail end and wings, and yellow feathers on the upper wings. Some scarlet macaws also have a gold tint on their tail flight feathers.
Scarlet macaws have plumage similar to green-winged macaws and are similar in size, so they’re mistaken for them. But at 32 inches long, scarlet macaws are slightly smaller.
Wild scarlet macaws are often found licking the clay off the giant walls of the Peruvian salt licks. They appear in large red flocks, causing a magnificent sight to anyone passing by.
Violet-necked lories have a striking resemblance to female Eclectus parrots, but they have orange beaks.
The plumage is primarily red with large violet bands around the head and chest. The amount of blue collar each parrot has depends on the subspecies, which consists of:
- E.s Squamata
- E.s Riciniata
- E.s Obiensis
They also have red and black wings and a purple-red tail. Of all the lory parrots, violet-necked lories are the most gentle. They’re social birds that enjoy spending time with their owners.
They also spend time mimicking basic words and sounds. However, their vocabulary isn’t as extensive as some other birds. They’re not too loud or noisy, so they’re suitable for apartments or small houses.
Western rosellas are the only rosella parrots found in southwestern Australia. The head and the underside of the parrot’s plumage are red, while the back is mottled black. Western rosellas also have bright yellow cheeks, distinguishing them from other rosellas.
Females are slightly duller than males, with most red feathers around the head, neck, and their underparts are green.
As pets, western rosellas possess melodic vocalizations that are pleasant to listen to. They’re quiet birds, but they do make frequent sounds. They also whistle, which can be annoying to nearby neighbors.
They keep themselves tucked away, especially when eating, but they appear undisturbed by humans and don’t mind visitors getting close to them.
How Long Do Red Parrots Live?
How long a red parrot’s expected to live depends on the species. Smaller parrots tend to live shorter lives, while larger parrots can live as long as the average human, making them a life-long commitment.
Before choosing the right parrot, consider how many years you’ll need to dedicate to caring for one. In the cases of long lifespans, can your family take over ownership if anything happens to you?
The expected lifespan of the red parrot species we’ve already mentioned is as follows:
|Red Parrot Species||Average Lifespan (Years)|
|Australian King Parrot||25 – 30 years|
|Black-Winged Lory||25 – 35 years|
|Blue-Eared Lory||15 – 32 years|
|Blue-Streaked Lory||15 – 32 years|
|Cardinal Lory||28 – 32 years|
|Chattering Lory||20 – 30 years|
|Crimson Rosella||20 – 30 years|
|Crimson Shining Parrot||Unknown|
|Female Eclectus||30 – 50 years|
|Galah Cockatoo||40 – 70 years|
|Moluccan King Parrot||30 – 40 years|
|Papuan King Parrot||15 – 25 years|
|Purple-Naped Lory||25 – 30 years|
|Red and Blue Lory||10 – 15 years|
|Red and Green Macaw||50 – 80 years|
|Red Lory||30 years|
|Salmon-Crested Cockatoo||Up to 70 years|
|Scarlet Macaw||40 – 50 years|
|Violet-Necked Lory||15 years|
|Western Rosella||15 – 20 years|
How Much Are Red Parrots?
The average cost of a red parrot varies because they come from different families. Larger, more advanced parrots with long lifespans cost more than small, short-lived parrots.
Similarly, older parrots can be more expensive because they’re already trained and socialized. They also talk, making them more attractive.
However, while younger birds are cheaper, getting one from a young age helps improve your bond.
The cost of each parrot depends on the following factors:
- Breeder’s reputation
- Parrot’s temperament and personality
- Hereditary diseases
- Parrot’s talking abilities
- Unique marks or features
- Overall colors
The average prices of red parrots are as follows:
|Red Parrot Species||Average Price (USD)|
|Australian King Parrot||$100 – $500 in Australia, $1000+ in the US|
|Black-Winged Lory||N/A – Endangered|
|Blue-Eared Lory||N/A – Endangered|
|Blue-Streaked Lory||$300 – $400|
|Cardinal Lory||$400 – $500|
|Chattering Lory||$300 – $400|
|Crimson Rosella||$300 – $500|
|Crimson Shining Parrot||N/A – Endangered|
|Female Eclectus||$1,000 – $3,000|
|Galah Cockatoo||$700 – $3,000|
|Moluccan King Parrot||$300 – $600|
|Papuan King Parrot||N/A|
|Purple-Naped Lory||N/A – Endangered|
|Red and Blue Lory||$200 – $300|
|Red and Green Macaw||$3,000 – $4,000|
|Salmon-Crested Cockatoo||$3,000 – $4,000|
|Scarlet Macaw||$2,000 – $4,000|
|Violet-Necked Lory||$300 – $400|
|Western Rosella||$300 – $600|
While red parrots are beautiful, they don’t all make ideal pets due to temperament or scarcity.
It’s tempting to decide which bird to get based on its looks alone, but there’s much more to it, including its lifespan, temperament, personality, space requirements, and dietary needs.