Crested bird identification

Updated February 21, 2017

Several species of birds in the United States have a crest on their head. Among them are a few that the average person would have no trouble identifying and some that most people do not know well.


The male northern cardinal is a brilliant red bird with a black face and an orange coloured beak. The female is duller, with olive-grey above and shades of red on the tail and wings.

Cedar Waxwing

The cedar waxwing is a crested bird with a thin yellow stripe on the end of its tail. The eyes have a mask of black around them and there are telltale red "waxy" tips on the wings' inner feathers.

Blue Jay

The blue jay is a conspicuous crested bird. Up to a foot in length with bright blue plumage above, white on the breast and black markings on the neck, it looks like it is wearing a false beard.

Belted Kingfisher

The belted kingfisher makes a rattling call as it flies about seeking to catch fish. It has a long bill, a white belly and neck, a blue-grey head and stripe around its throat and owns a bushy crest.

Tufted Titmouse

The tufted titmouse that often flocks to bird feeders is a 4- to 5-inch-long grey bird with a white belly and reddish sides. It makes a call that sounds like "peter, peter" and often hangs upside-down.

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About the Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.