22 Gorgeous Flowers That Look Like Birds (With Pictures)


The easiest way to attract birds into your yard is with a colorful garden made of native plants. 

Meanwhile, you can enjoy the beauty of both plants and avifauna with these 22 gorgeous flowers that resemble birds:

  • Moth Orchid 
  • Parrot Flower
  • Flying Duck Orchid
  • Dove Orchid
  • White Egret Orchid
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Western Bearded Greenhood
  • Regal Birdflower
  • Yulan Magnolia 
  • Red Birds in a Tree
  • Rowo Cucak Flower 
  • Exotic Heliconia 
  • Vegetable Hummingbird 
  • Butterfly Pea
  • Dutchman’s Pipe
  • Cockspur Coral Tree
  • Cranefly Orchid
  • Bird Head Orchid
  • Ballerina Orchid 
  • Milkweed
  • White Salvia Flowers 
  • Wild Columbine

1. Moon Orchid 

Scientific name: Phalaenopsis amabilis

One of the most popular species of orchids, the moon orchid is very easy to grow indoors and outdoors alike, as long as it’s not placed in full sun.

It can bloom at any time of the year, the flowers varying in color from pure white to speckled, and a variety of bright solid colors. 

Regardless of the hue, the center of the flower looks like a bird when seen from up close. 

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2. Parrot Flower

Scientific name: Impatiens psittacina

A gorgeous purple flower that looks like a bird, the parrot flower belongs to a species of balsam tree native to Southeast Asia. As you can imagine, it owes its name to the peculiar shape that looks like a parrot flying.

Depending on where it grows, the tree can be an annual or evergreen perennial. However, it is relatively rare and challenging to grow outside of its native habitat. 

That said, you can still enjoy the colorful liveliness of these flowers in your yard. Simply grow parrot impatiens (Impatiens niamniamensis), which are related to the parrot flower and equally gorgeous, but much more common.

3. Flying Duck Orchid

Scientific name: Caleana major

A deep purple flower that looks like a wood duck, the flying duck orchid is one of the most spectacular orchid species. 

It is native to the Australian wilderness, growing in harsh areas where pollinators are hard to come by. Thus, the duck-like blossoms attract male sawflies. 

The insects get into the “duck’s mouth” and can’t turn around. Hence, they are forced to pass through the pollen as they exit the trap, playing a critical role in the survival of the plant. 

Because this plant has a symbiotic relationship with a fungus found exclusively in its native habitat, you can only enjoy these gorgeous blossoms in Australia. 

4. Dove Orchid

Scientific name: Peristeria elata

A rare white flower that looks like a bird, the dove orchid is an amazing plant native to Panama and the surrounding countries. 

From afar, the blossoms are similar to white peonies. At a closer glance, however, you can notice the center looks like a white dove in its nest. 

Due to the angelic shape of the “dove,” this orchid is also called the Holy Ghost orchid. And in true South American fashion, it has its own celebration. The Holy Spirit Fair, held in the province of Herrera, brings homage to Panama’s national flower.

5. White Egret Orchid 

Scientific name: Habenaria radiata

Another gorgeous bird-like orchid, this time from Korea and Japan, the white egret orchid looks like an egret caught mid-flight. 

The delicate blossoms seem carved out of paper, giving this plant an ethereal look.

In its native countries, this flower is considered the symbol of happiness and love.

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Whether you want to attract good fortune in your yard or simply enjoy the wholesomeness of this plant, you can grow it outside as long as you live in a warm climate area.

6. Bird of Paradise

Scientific name: Strelitzia reginae

Indigenous to South Africa, the bird of paradise flower is often the first one that comes to mind when thinking of blossoms that look like birds

This ornamental plant is relatively easy to grow outdoors in warm climates. If you live in a colder climate area, keep it as a houseplant. 

In addition to the decorative foliage, the blooms are as showy as the tropical birds known as birds of paradise. Yet, some claim that the flowers look more like a crane, which is why the plant is also called a crane flower.

7. Western Bearded Greenhood 

Scientific name: Pterostylis barbata

The western bearded greenhood is a species of orchid known for its green flower than resembles a hummingbird

Native to Southwest Australia, it grows primarily in the subtropical biome, in shrubby woodlands and forests. 

Similar to other species native to Australia, it is next to impossible to grow outside of its natural habitat. Yet, nothing takes away the fact that it’s a unique sight.

8. Regal Birdflower

Scientific name: Crotalaria cunninghamii

Another Australian flower that looks like a hummingbird, the regal birdflower is part of the legume family and is related to peas and beans. 

In its natural range, it grows throughout the northern half of Australia, where the climate is milder. It can grow elsewhere, too, as long as it’s kept indoors during winter. 

In the USA, it is best suited for gardens in the USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.

9. Yulan Magnolia 

Scientific name: Magnolia denudate

Regarded as the most beautiful type of magnolia or lily tree, the Yulan magnolia is native to China. In the Red Dragon country, it often adorns Buddhist temple gardens, but also public gardens and parks. 

Outside of its native range, this robust tree grows well in areas with a temperate climate that are not exposed to overly wet or dry conditions. 

Yulan magnolias bloom in spring, their flower buds looking like birds ready to launch into their first flight.

10. Red Birds in a Tree

Photo: Patrick Alexander / Flickr / CC0 1.0 (Public domain)

Scientific name: Scrophularia macrantha

A rare perennial from the southern mountains of New Mexico and Arizona, the red birds in a tree is aptly named for its red blossoms that look like cardinal birds perched on a tree branch. 

While not the easiest to find in nurseries, it is a god-sent to have in your yard. 

This plant can attract bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other local birds to your backyard. It is also resistant to rabbits and tolerates the bright morning sun.

11. Rowo Cucak Flower

Scientific name: Pedilanthus bracteatus

A fast-growing succulent in frost-free zones, the rowo cucak flower – or tall slipper plant – is an excellent choice if you want a plant with abundant flowers. 

Some say the blooms look like lady slippers. Others claim the flowers look like green birds flapping their rosy wings. 

No matter what you see when looking at it, this gorgeous plant can become the focal point in your garden or the house star if grown indoors in containers.

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12. Exotic Heliconia 

Scientific name: Heliconia rostrata

With buds that look like hornbills and stems that remind of flamingo legs, the exotic heliconia is one of the most surprising hot pink flowers that look like birds – even if it might be hard to pinpoint which bird exactly it looks like.

This exotic plant is also called lobster claw or false bird of paradise, names inspired by its almost mystical appearance. 

Normally found growing in the tropical forests of South and Central America, the exotic heliconia can be grown indoors and adapts well to life in gardens in warm climate areas.

13. Vegetable Hummingbird 

Scientific name: Sesbania grandiflora

Most bird-like flowers look either like birds of paradise or hummingbirds. In this latter category, the vegetable hummingbird can be one of the most beautiful trees to have in your garden. 

This small leguminous tree is native to Southeast Asia and Australia, but it is also cultivated in India and Sri Lanka. 

Overall, the plant is similar to the North American native black locust tree. And like black locust flowers, the white, red, or pink flowers of the vegetable hummingbird – that look like hummingbirds flying upside-down – are edible.

14. Butterfly Pea

Scientific name: Clitoria ternatea

Commonly known as the Asian pigeonwings or the butterfly pea, this beautiful wildflower looks like a pigeon with open wings. 

This herbaceous perennial is incredibly robust and can adapt to most conditions. Outside of its native range, it is often used as an ornamental or revegetation plant, asking for little care once cultivated. 

As a legume, its roots form a symbiotic association with soil bacteria, increasing soil quality. Flowers are also used as a natural food coloring and as an ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. 

15. Dutchman’s Pipe

Scientific name: Aristolochia ringens Vahl

One of the most peculiar plants, the Dutchman’s pipe, is a flower that looks like a chicken with a long tail. Or, if you look from the other side, it looks like a hornbill with a particularly chubby body. 

The plant is native to South America, where it grows in wet tropical biomes. Due to its environmental and medical uses, it has also been introduced to parts of Africa, Puerto Rico, and Queensland. 

Apparently, root extracts of Dutchman’s pipe possess a strong anti-cancer activity and could inhibit malignant cell growth. 

16. Cockspur Coral Tree

Scientific name: Erythrina crista-galli

The cockspur coral tree is a small deciduous tree that impresses with is showy foliage and bright red flowers. Its flowers look like roosters or rooster crests, the latter giving this gorgeous bush its name. 

This robust plant likes sandy, moist, well-draining soils and full sun. It is often found in Mediterranean-style gardens, but it grows just as well in containers. 

Native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, the cockspur coral tree is virtually disease- and pest-free.

17. Crane-fly Orchid 

Scientific name: Tipularia discolor

When seen from beneath, the crane-fly orchid flowers look like cranes in flight, which is why this orchid is named this way. 

The crane-fly orchid is a perennial woodland orchid native to the United States. It is found in forests and woodlands across all eastern states, from Massachusetts to Florida and west to Texas. 

The flowers are small and somewhat asymmetrical, their shape attracting noctuid moths which play an important role in pollination. Like most native wildflowers, this orchid type is challenging to grow in a backyard. 

18. Moth Orchid

Scientific name: Phalaenopsis aphrodite

Closely related to the moon orchid, the moth orchid or bird orchid is one of the most popular indoor plants. 

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The shape and colors of the blooms are similar to the moon orchid, but the center of the flower looks like a gorgeous phoenix or bird of paradise flapping its wings.

Other moth orchid types that look like birds include Doritaenopsis, Phalaenopsis schilleriana, and Phalaenopsis pulcherrima.

19. Ballerina Orchid 

Photo: Areafin Tawfiq / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 (Public domain)

Scientific name: Caladenia melanoma

An endemic orchid to southwestern Australia, the ballerina orchid owes its name to the petals shaped as a dancing ballerina. 

However, the position of the pistils and the shape of the inner petal make this flower look like a falcon plummeting to the ground with its talons ready to catch unsuspecting prey. 

No matter what you see when you look at it, know that this unique orchid species is relatively easy to grow at home. 

20. Green Milkweed

Scientific name: Asclepias viridis

A gorgeous perennial native to North America, the green milkweed (or spider milkweed) is a great choice for your native garden, as it attracts monarch butterflies. 

It is also avoided by herbivorous wildlife, so you won’t have to worry about pesky deer or rabbits feeding on it. 

While the flowers of this plant don’t look like birds, its green seedpods look like upside-down parrots. This makes it a perfect choice for those who want a green parakeet-like plant.  

21. Red Sage Flowers

Scientific name: Salvia miltiorrhiza

Sage is one of the most common herbs grown in pots and gardens. You may even use it in the kitchen, but it can be challenging to see the plant bloom.

While you might need a mighty green thumb to see some buds, you will be surprised to find that sage flowers look like turkeys.

Of all varieties, the red sage flowers are the most aesthetic, combining shades of bright red with pure white. Yet, all the flowers of other sage varieties are bird-like.

22. Eastern Red Columbine 

Scientific name: Aquilegia canadensis

Popular in Christian carvings thanks to its dove-like petals, the eastern red columbine is a tall, branching plant with large distinctive flowers, which are usually red. 

A variety of this plant, Aquilegia vulgaris, is widespread throughout Europe and Britain – the main difference between the two is the color of the flowers. The vulgaris variety has blue or violet-blue flowers that look like purple birds

The eastern red – or Canadian – columbine is an excellent choice for gardens across North America. This plant attracts both birds and pollinators to your backyard.

Bottom Line 

Birdwatching is a fun activity, but when you can’t engage in it, admiring bird-like flowers is the next best thing. Whether you want to find the most beautiful flowers that look like birds in your backyard or know what to keep an eye open for when exploring the wilderness, we hope this list can inspire you.

Get Our FREE Bird Feeder Cheat Sheet
Want more birds in your backyard? Get simple tips on attracting feathered friends and maximizing your bird feeding setup. Our free cheat sheet has got you covered!
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James Goodman

James is a native Texan with a love for birding and outdoor adventures. When he's not birdwatching, you can find him hiking, camping or playing the piano.

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