Have you ever seen a purple bird stop by your feeder? If you haven’t, don’t worry - you’re not alone! Purple is one of the rarest of all plumage colors, and most birds with violet hues can be difficult to find, but don’t fret - they’re out there! You can find them in your backyard - or on your travels - but you need to know where to look!

Here’s another thing to know about purple birds. Their distinct color tends to disappear into “black” under certain shades and lighting, so even if there’s one hopping on the ground nearby, you can easily miss it. They can be evasive that way.

Varied Bunting: These birds are a stunning study of purple palettes, with feathers that come in lavender, plum, scarlet, and fuchsia. You’ll find them foraging in dense vegetation throughout Mexico, well away from the developed areas. But sometimes, their range reaches the southernmost parts of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico during breeding season, which for this species is commonly from late May, stretching through July or August, depending on the weather.

Purple Martin: Though they’ll never visit a bird feeder (they catch insects from the air) people have enjoyed connecting with these birds for many generations. Bird-watchers set up martin condos in their backyards, free-standing treehouses with multiple nesting compartments, so they can enjoy the sight of these birds swooping high in the air on a summer evening. The tradition of providing nesting space dates back to the Native Americans, who hung hollowed-out gourds in the trees to attract nests.

Purple Finch: Depending on the lighting, these beauties may tend more toward the purply red end of the color spectrum. Still, when they show up, it generates a bit of buzz in birding circles. They’re irruptive migrants, so when they fly down from Canada in search of winter food supplies, they could very well end up someplace else the very next season. They do enjoy sunflower seeds, so if they’re in your neighborhood, you can enjoy an up-close look.

To add birds to your count, fill your feeder with Lyric Supreme Wild Bird Mix. This blend features more than 50% nuts and seeds, and is formulated to attract the widest variety of bird species to your backyard.

Though you probably won’t see them visit your feeder, the Purple Martin is a fun bird to watch, especially if you install a martin condo! BirdImages / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Purple Finches are described as the bird that looks as though it’s been dipped in ‘raspberry juice’. WilliamSherman / iStock / Getty Images Plus