What Colors Are Birds Attracted to?

Close-up of two colorful hummingbirds drinking nectar from a flower

We might not think too much of it but even birds have color preferences. If you want to attract more birds to your garden, then it makes sense to plant colorful flowering plants. Most birds love different bright and attractive colors, so the more variety you have in your garden, the greater your winged visitors would be. Then there is the color of bird feeders and bird houses. If you want more birds to come to these, then you will naturally want to paint them with colors which birds love. So let us take a look at top colors birds like.


The majority of the birds visit red flowers. So it makes sense to color your birdhouse in this color. Some experts believe that it is not so much that birds prefer red flowers; it is because other visitors like bees and butterflies often miss red flowers so they are full of nectar when birds visit them. Birds such as hummingbirds clearly show preference for red flowers and, for the same reason, may even visit red feeders more than other color bird houses. According to House Wrens ‘Selection of Colored Nest Boxes’, most diurnal birds prefer red and yellow colored flowers and feeders for the simple reason that both these colors are present in their visible spectrum. Bees usually do not visit red flowers because their visible spectrum includes very little red.


Mostly bees prefer this color. Nocturnal birds also like yellow flowers since this color is visible in the dark. Moths head towards this color for the same reason. Painting a bird house yellow is a good idea to attract birds at all times of the year. If you want to attract cardinals to your garden, plant a couple of yellow sunflowers. Even if they are not attracted to the flower’s color, they will certainly come to eat the sunflower seeds.


According to House Wrens ‘Selection of Colored Nest Boxes’, nocturnal birds like blue-green colors. Author William Henry Hudson in his book Birds and Man says that birds and humans prefer blue because of the color’s association with all things pure.


Birds like hummingbirds prefer purple flowers. A study has proved this: artificial blooms each holding the same amount of sugar solution were placed near hummingbirds. The birds most often visited the purple flowers compared to other colors.


Most birds and bumblebees prefer flowers in this color.


Bats and moths prefer drab colored flowers.

From this, we can conclude that the majority of the birds prefer red, yellow orange and purple flowers. Therefore, you can accordingly choose one or more of these colors for your birdhouse. Here is a handy list as per Backcountry Bear Basics: The Definitive Guide to Avoiding Unpleasant Encounters by Dave Smith.

  • Red – hummingbirds
  • Pink fuchsia – hummingbirds
  • Orange – butterflies
  • Purple – butterflies, hummingbirds
  • White – moths, bees

Colors that scare birds

No specific colors scare birds but you can use scare balloons with eyes painted on them. These can be painted in yellow, white and black. They repel birds away from gardens, patios and anywhere else where you do not want birds to come.

So what color should you paint your birdhouse?

Birds like red, yellow, orange, and white. These are good colors for a birdhouse. Pink, fuchsia and purple are also some top bird feeder colors. Apart from colors, you may also want to use the right seeds to attract bees and birds. And do create a birdbath for your winged visitors. Ensure proper ventilation and drainage in the birdhouse. These factors can go a long way in attracting these beautiful winged visitors to your garden.