10 Poisonous Birds (A to Z List with Pictures)

Poisonous Birds

Examples of poisonous birds include blue-capped ifrit, brush bronzewing pigeon, Eurasian hoopoe, European quail, and hooded pitohui.

There are many different types of birds in the world, and some of them are poisonous. While this may not be common knowledge, it is something that bird watchers should be aware of.

In this blog post, we will look at the different species of birds that are toxic to humans. We’ll discuss how these birds got their poison, what effects it can have on people, and how to best avoid coming into contact with them.

Examples of Poisonous Bird

1. Blue-capped Ifrit

Scientific NameIfrita kowaldi
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNew Guinea and Papua New Guinea

This bird species has been noted to possess batrachotoxins, heavily concentrated on their bellies, leg feathers, and breast. These toxins can lead to paralysis and cardiac arrest if ingested.

The blue-capped ifrita is found in forest areas of New Guinea. The ifrita is a small songbird measuring 9 to 10 cm. It has predominantly black plumage, with a blue cap, white eyebrow, and red eyes. The underparts are white with black streaks on the sides.

Related Article: 25 Birds that Eat Snakes

2. Brush Bronzewing Pigeon

Scientific NamePhaps elegans
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAustralia, found in the South-West and South-East of the mainland with populations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and also Tasmania

The Brush Bronzewing Pigeon is found in Australia and New Guinea. This bird gets its poison from the plant material that it ingests. The poison can cause contact dermatitis, gastrointestinal irritation, and even death if ingested in large quantities.

In Australia, the Brush Bronzewing Pigeon is found in open woodlands, whereas in New Guinea they are found in rainforests. Both habitats have an abundance of the plants that they feed on.

The Brush Bronzewing Pigeon is a medium-sized pigeon with brown and grey plumage. The wings are bronze in colour, hence its name. The tail is long and pointed.

The Brush Bronzewing Pigeon is not considered to be a threat to humans. However, if ingested, the poison can cause serious health problems.

3. Eurasian Hoopoe

Scientific NameUpupa epops
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, Asia, and North Africa and northern Sub-Saharan Africa

The Eurasian hoopoe is a brightly coloured bird that is found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. It has a long, curved beak and is known for its distinctive call.

The hoopoe is one of the few species of birds that are poisonous to humans.These birds have evolved and are adapted to produce an awful smelling liquid using their uropygial glands, highly concentrated with di-methyl sulfide that offers them a chemical defense against predators.

This toxic liquid can cause skin irritation and, if ingested, can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

4. European Quail

Scientific NameCoturnix coturnix
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe western Palearctic and wintering in Africa and southern India

The European quail is a species of quail that is found in Europe and Asia. These birds are known to be poisonous to humans, and they are commonly used as food for dogs and other animals.

The poison in these birds is called quinine, and it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures in humans.These birds are also known to contain a compound called cystatin, which is known to be toxic to the liver and kidney.

5. Hooded Pitohui

Scientific NamePitohui dichrous
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeislands of New Guinea

The Hooded Pitohui is a species of bird found in New Guinea. These birds are notable for their bright orange and black plumage, as well as their toxic skin and feathers.

The Hooded Pitohui gets its poison from the insects that it eats. These insects contain a neurotoxin called batrachotoxin, which is also found in some frogs. When the Hooded Pitohui ingests this toxin, it becomes poisonous itself.

The effects of batrachotoxin are similar to those of nerve gas. If a person comes into contact with the poison, they may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and paralysis. In severe cases, the toxin can cause respiratory failure and death.

6. Little Shrike-thrush

Scientific NameColluricincla megarhyncha
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAustralia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea

The little shrike-thrush is a small bird that is found in Australia and New Zealand. This bird is known to be poisonous to humans, and the poison is found in its feathers. The poison can cause rashes, nausea, and vomiting. If you come into contact with this bird, it is important to wash your hands immediately.

7. Northern Variable Pitohui

Scientific NamePitohui kirhocephalus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNew Guinea and a number of neighbouring islands

The Northern Variable Pitohui is a small bird that is found in New Guinea. This bird gets its poison from the insects that it eats. The poison is actually found in the bird’s skin and feathers, so coming into contact with them can be dangerous.

The poison from this bird can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in humans. In severe cases, it can cause paralysis and even death.

8. Red Warbler

Scientific NameCardellina ruber
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe highlands of Mexico, north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec

The red warbler is a small bird that is found in the southern United States. It gets its name from its reddish-brown plumage. The red warbler is not naturally poisonous, but it can become so if it eats certain types of berries that contain toxins.

These berries are usually found on yew trees. When the red warbler eats these berries, the toxins build up in its body and make it poisonous to humans.

The red warbler’s poison is not deadly, but it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you come into contact with a red warbler, it is best to wash your hands and avoid touching your face or mouth.

9. Ruffed Grouse

Scientific NameBonasa umbellus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross North America

This bird is found in North America, and its poison comes from a bacteria called Francisella tularensis. This bacteria can cause a disease called tularemia, which is characterized by fever, chills, and muscle aches. Symptoms of tularemia can appear anywhere from three to 21 days after exposure, and the disease can be deadly if it is not treated promptly.

10. Spur-winged Goose

Scientific NamePlectropterus gambensis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangerivers, lakes, and swamps in sub-Saharan Africa

The spur-winged goose is a large bird that is found in Africa. It gets its name from the spurs on its wings, which are used for fighting. These spurs are also filled with poison. The poison is not deadly to humans, but it can cause severe pain if it comes into contact with skin.


The Hooded Pitohui, Brush Bronzewing Pigeon, and Blue-capped Ifrita are all examples of birds that are poisonous to humans. These birds get their poison from the insects they eat or from the plants they ingest.

The symptoms of batrachotoxin poisoning include numbness, tingling, paralysis, and eventually cardiac arrest. The best way to avoid coming into contact with these birds is to stay away from areas where they are known to live. If you are in an area where one of these birds is found, be sure to wear protective clothing, such as gloves and a mask.

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