Top 25 birds of the week: Plumage!

Plumage is a layer of feathers that cover a bird and the pattern, colour, and arrangement of those feathers. The pattern and colours of plumage differ between species and subspecies and they may also vary with age classes.  Although these different plumage classes or types exist, not all bird species display all plumage types. Different genders may also display different plumages, and factors such as climate and geography can have an influence on bird’s plumages.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of birds with the theme #plumage. We admire birds for their beauty and their ability to fly and most importantly for the role they play in the ecosystem. These pictures create awareness about the variety and beauty of birds in our environment. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of birds of the week.


The Blue-throated Barbet is an Asian barbet with green, blue and red plumage. This bird is native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Photographed in Sattal, Uttarakhand, India (Sumit K Sum)


Brown-headed Barbet. Photographed in Bhatinda, Punjab, India (PS Bhandari)


The Cattle Egret photographed in its breeding plumage at the Kanjli wetlands, Kapurthala, Punjab, India (Rajesh Mahajan)


The Hadeda Ibis has an iridescent purple sheen colour over its wings. This colour is produced by optical microstructures that re found within the feathers. Photographed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Richard Chong)


The Collared Kingfisher has a wide range that extends from the Red Sea across southern Asia to Polynesia. Photographed in Selangor, Malaysia (Richard Chong)


The Common Mynah is readily identified by the brown body, black hooded and the bare yellow patch behind the eye. Photographed in Gujral, Nagar Jalandhar, India (Rajesh Mahajan)


The Crimson-backed Sunbird has yellow underparts with brown wings. Males of this species somewhat resembles the larger Purple-rumped Sunbird but doesn’t have the bright shoulder patches and white flanks of that species. Photographed in Ooty, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India (Vidjit Vijaysanker)


Green Bee-eater. Photographed in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India (Reitesh Khabia)


The Grey-headed Woodpecker is also called the Grey-faced Woodpecker. IT is found in wide parts of Central, Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as a wide belt south of the boreal coniferous forests across Asia all the way to the Pacific coast, Sakhalin and Hokkaidō. Photographed in Uttarakhand, India (Lalit Arora)


Hooded Pitta photographed in Paramadan, West Bengal, India (Kalyan Kumar Phani)


Indian Pond Heron. Photographed in Bangalore, Karnataka, India (Dr Aanand Kumar)


The Javan Myna is native to Java and Bali but it has been introduced to the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Taiwan. Photographed in Selangor, Malaysia (Richard Chong)


The Jungle Myna has a grey plumage, darker on the head and wings. Males and females are indistinguishable in plumage. Photographed in Bangalore, Karnataka, India (Paneendra BA)


The Laughing Dove has a generally mottled reddish-brown plumage with some blue-gray markings on the lower parts of its wings. The flights feathers are dark gray and it has white tips on the outer tail feathers. Photographed in Gadhinglaj, Maharashtra, India (Maya Patil)


Males of the Mountain Bluebird are typically sky-blue in colour, and it darkens on the wings and tail but the underparts are paler than the rest of the body. Females are mostly gray-brown with tinges of pale blue in the wings and tail. Photographed the in Republic, WA (Tim Nicol)


Oriental Magpie-robin. Photographed in Bhatinda, Punjab, India (PS Bhandari)


Adults of the Painted Stork have a white body plumage with a bright pink area on their tertials and inter greater coverts. This was photographed in Gobichettipalayam, Tamilnadu, India (Sundara Manikkam)


Indian Pond Heron in its breeding plumage. Photographed in Paratwada, Maharashtra, India (Ranjeet Chitrakar)


The Prong-billed Barbet is orange-brown in colour. The tail is olive and the belly is gray tinged with yellow. Photographed in Costa Rica, Central America (Nagaraja Arkalgud)


Red-necked Phalarope photographed in California (USA) (Dr SS Suresh)


The Red-naped Ibis is a large black bird with long legs and a long down-curved bill. Its wing feathers and tail are black with blue-green gloss while the neck and body are brown without gloss. Photographed in Gobichettipalayam, Tamilnadu, India (Sundara Manikkam)


The Roseate Spoonbill photographed in Florida (Tim Nicol)


Scaly Breasted Munia. Photographed in Pune, India (Anupam Kamal)


The Tiger Shrike is also known as the Thick-billed Shrike. Its name derives from its tiger-like patterns of its upperparts which are reddish-brown with dark bars. Adult males have white underparts and a grey head with a black mask. Females and young birds are duller and browner and the young birds lack the grey and black on the head. Photographed in Selangor, Malaysia (TW Loong)


White-crested Laughingthrush. Photographed in Himachal Pradesh, India (Lalit Arora)


Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Abigail Ramudzuli, Campaign Manager