25 Fabulous Birds With Mohawks

palm cockatoo

These birds certainly like to rock this mohawk hairstyle, which is a narrow central strip of upright hair running back from the forehead.

This cool hairdo is to attract females and is sometimes used in communication to show when they are threatened or excited.

See which of these 25 birds with mohawks, you think has the best.

Golden Pheasant


The Golden Pheasant has to be the rockstar of the birds with mohawks. It has a bright orange mohawk and red and black banded cape cascading down its neck.

They hide in woodland and despite their bright colors, they are hard to find.

Palm Cockatoo

palm cockatoo

The Palm Cockatoo has a large black mohawk and red face patches. It is the largest cockatoo in Australia and arguably in the world. They have one of the biggest beaks of any parrots.

They use their large beak to break off thick sticks to use for a drumming display and they may be as thick as 1 inch (3 cm).

Bare-faced Go Away Bird

The large mohawk on this species of turaco contrasts with their bare black faces. They live in Africa and are noisy birds with long tails.

Their name comes from the loud ‘go away’ call they make. The Bare-faced Go-Away Bird is quite drab in comparison to other turacos.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker for identification in west virginia

Pileated Woodpeckers are one of the biggest woodpeckers being nearly the size of a crow. It is mostly black with a red mohawk and white stripes.  When flying the white underside of the wings can be seen. Males have an additional red stripe on the cheek.

Pileated woodpeckers can be found mostly in eastern US states but also across Canada ad down the west coast into California.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Victoria Crowned pigeon

Victoria crowned pigeons have amazing feathers on their head that form an elegant show-stopping mohawk. These birds with big hair live in New Guinea, which is north of Australia.

This bird’s hair is so fabulous it was named after the British queen, Queen Victoria.

Eurasian Hoopoe

Eurasian Hoopoe

Eurasian Hoopoes are birds with a fabulous mohawk on their head that they can raise in a dramatic display. The black tips on the head feathers really draw attention to this large head display.

Eurasian Hoopoes live in Europe, Asia and North Africa and there are nine subspecies.

The beak of a Hoopoe is long, strong and sharp and they have extra strong muscles to allow them to open their bill when in the soil.

 Hoopoes have some nasty habits, they stab each other with their beaks during fights and may blind rivals. Females and young Hoopoes make a disgusting-smelling liquid that covers the chicks and the nests to stop predators.

Western Crowned Pigeon


Another pigeon with a funky hairstyle, the Western-crowned Pigeon is one of the largest pigeons and lives in New Guinea. This grey bird with a mohawk really rocks this style.

They have been hunted for their head feathers and mixed with habitat loss means they are now on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable.

Grey Crowned Crane

grey crowned crane

This big bird with a mohawk lives in eastern and southern Africa. They are over 3 ft tall (1m) and weigh 7.7 lbs (3.5 kg).

The stiff hair-like feathers on this bird’s head frame their dramatic black, white and red faces.

They also have long grey feathers cascading over their bodies which look like hair.

Crested Duck


The mohawk of the Crested Duck looks like it has been gelled to perfection.

The crest is a genetic mutation causing a skull deformity that can kill this duck.

This duck is originally from the East Indies and was brought back to Europe due to its unusual head feathers.

Not all chicks born to Crested Ducks will have the crest as it is a genetic mutation that is not always passed on.

Red-crested Turaco


These birds with red mohawks on their heads live in Africa. They sound like a monkey and are quite large.

Flocks of up to 30 of these birds with red hair adorn the trees.

The red head feathers are 2 inches high (5 cm) and really stand out against the green body.


A tiny species of cockatoo with a yellow mohawk from Australia. A popular pet bird that uses its crest to show when they are excited or scared.

They are grey in the wild but over 22 color mutations bread in captive birds. In captivity, they can live up to 25 years but one was recorded as living for 36 years. 

Northern Cardinal

Northern cardinal male and female for identification

Both male and female Northern Cardinals have small mohawks. The bright red male Northern Cardinal with black around their faces is a great sight, especially against a white winter background.  The females are also a little showy with their brown coloring, sharp brown crest, red highlights, and red beaks.

Northern Cardinals will sometimes attack their own reflection during breeding season as they obsessively defend their territories.

Great Bowerbird

Great bowerbird

The pink mohawk of the Great Bowerbird is used in mating displays. They live in northern Australia in forest and woodland.

Males build and defend an avenue of sticks called a bower, which they decorate with green and white objects, such as stones, shells and leaves. The males use the bower to attract a mate.

Striated Heron

Striated heron

The black mohawk of this little heron is often flat on their heads but also stands to attention. They are only about 17 inches (44 cm) tall which is small for a heron.

They live in the tropics between West Africa, Japan and Australia and South America and the Caribbean. 

Wood Duck

Male Wood Ducks have iridescent green mohawks that really pack a punch while out on the water.

They are one of the most stunning ducks in North America. Female Wood Ducks are fairly drab in comparison to males with brown coloring.

Red-Whiskered Bulbul


This bird with spikey black mohawks is originally from India but now lives in the US after escaping from an aviary in Miami.

Red-whiskered Bulbul travel in flocks, eating fruits and insects.



The tufted white mohawk on this male duck looks sophisticated. They live in Europe and feed on fish.

They nest in old woodpeckers’ nests in trees.

Crested Partridge

crested partridge

This unusual bird with red hair is the Crested Partridge and the red bare skin around their eyes really compliments the mohawk.

They live in Southeast Asia on the ground looking for insects in the leaf litter.

Great Curassow


The smartest mohawk award goes to the Great Curassow. They are big birds with black mohawks on their heads. These birds have head feathers that stick up in a fan shape, framed against the bright yellow beak.

Great Curassow live in Mexico and Central America in groups of around 10 and they mainly forage on the ground but roost at night in the trees.

They can be aggressive, even to humans and can live for a long time of at least 24 years.

They are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

White-crested helmetshrike

hite-Crested Helmetshrike

The bright yellow eye wattle really stands out, along with the spiky white mohawk hairstyle on the White-crested Helmetshrike.

They live in Africa and feed in groups in the woods looking for insects.

Philippine Eagle

Philippine Eagle

The shaggy mohawk on the Philippine Eagle frames its black face. Considered one of the largest Eagles in the world they measure over 3ft in length.

They live on only four islands in the Philippines and feed on monkeys, lemurs, flying foxes, rats, birds, lizards and snakes.

Young Philippine Eagles are cared for nearly two years by their parents.

They are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo


The yellow mohawk of the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo matches the yellow highlights under the wing and tail.

They live in Australia and New Guinea and can be considered pests due to their destructive habits on crops and timber on houses and buildings.

They are highly intelligent birds that can be quite long-lived.

Royal Flycatcher

Royal flycatcher

This predominantly brown flycatcher hides a bright red and blue-tipped fanned mohawk. Although this great hairstyle is usually hidden until courtship and breeding season.

They live in Mexico, Central and South America.

Guianan cock-of-the-rock

Andean cock-of-the-rock

Orange-haired birds of South America that build nests in rocky areas. Their bright mohawks and heads are striking against the black body.

Great Blue Turaco

Great Blue Turacoes are the largest species of Turaco and are around 30 inches in length (75 cm). Their black mohawk stands proudly.

They live in Africa in the Congo and are hunted for meat and their feathers.