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28 Hilarious Bird Species Names That Were Given By Ornithologists With A Sense Of Humour

Ornithologists have an amazing sense of humour.

In the animal kingdom, people are really fascinated when they see majestic creatures like lions and tigers. But the spotlight is rarely on birds. Why is that so? I mean, there are so many species of birds, and since we haven’t even explored all of the forests on Earth, there are countless bird species that are still undiscovered. Birds can be very exotic. Some are extremely huge and beautiful while some are incredibly small and even hard to spot. Some have wings that have amazing colour combinations on them and flaunt them as they fly. While some can’t fly but their appearances are so eye-catching you can’t miss them. The bird kingdom really is neglected as people barely know about different types of birds.


The Twitter account stu_bot3000 wrote a viral thread about hilarious and unusual bird names that you won’t believe actually exist! We guess ornithologists just didn’t want to use their brains too much and just randomly named birds as jokes. Scroll down below to see some of them:

1. Swallow.

The Swallow name includes 90 different species. They are often small in size with dark feathers. They soar in the air and hunt for insects to eat. Swallows can be found all over the world, so their looks and features can vary according to the species.

2. Ruddy Pidgeon.


Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Brazil are populated with this species and they are found in places of high altitude. You can recognise them by their wine-purple coloured feathers. These are social birds, often found in pairs. They feed off berries and fruits in the wild.

3. Drab Seedeater.


The Drab Seedeaters are mostly populated in the subtropical or tropical shrublands of South America, typically in Ecuador and Peru. They don’t have any specific features you can identify them with, which explains the “drab” in their name.

4. Perplexing Scrubwren


In the damp lowlands of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, these little birdies can be found everywhere. These birds are hard to classify since, in some areas, they like to breed with larger scrubwren, but breeds with their own in other areas.

5. Monotonous lark


The males of this species are famous for their monotonous and distinctive four-note bird song which they sing all day for 3-5 seconds and it continues for hours. To prepare itself for the song, the bird strains its neck, puffs its wings and mounts its crest.

6. Noisy Friarbird


Also known as “leatherheads”, these birds are honeyeaters, despite their dangerous-looking black heads. They are usually spotted near flowering plants, especially eucalypts.

7. Noisy Scrubbird


In Western Australia, you will get to hear a very pleasant song being sung by a bird but that song slowly starts shifting to a pitch that will make your ears bleed. That would be the Noisy Scrubbird. Sadly, because of the Australian wildfires, their population has drastically decreased.

8. Satanic Nightjar


The Satanic Nightjar was discovered around 90 years ago in Sulawesi, later they were re-discovered in 1996. These black-brown and white spotted winged birds aren’t satanic at all as their name suggests. They only got this name because they would let out odd sounds at night that would make locals believe they are devils.

9. Boobies


It sounds like a 12-year-old named them. Boobies are specifically known for their bright blue feet, but only the males have them, which is ironic. The males perform a dance to attract females for mating.

10. Little Bustard


Little bustards are actually not that little. Their only distinctive features are their black necks with white double Vs. When it comes to sound, they do not like to make noises or attract too much attention. They are becoming less common in the wild.

11. Dickcissel

In the North American grasslands, you will find the Dickcissels. They feed off of seeds and roam on the grounds most of the times, but when it comes to migration, they flock in thousands. But this number increases to millions when they are migrating in the winter season.

12. Tiny sky-tyrant.


Basically, these are the chihuahuas of the sky.

13. Go-away-bird

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These birds got their name from the sound that they make that humans interpret as “go-waayy”. They are found in little flocks, all sat on trees and bushes. When they fly, their long tail moves up and down.

14. Penduline Tits.


These guys live true to their name. They make bag nests that usually hang from trees in an area that is near water. They collect animal hair/fur, delicate materials from plants, and spiderwebs to create the bags. The bags are so cleverly made that they have a false opening that leads to a hollow chamber. They enter the actual bag’s inside from a secret passage.

Okay, these are just getting more and more ridiculous. What were these ornithologists even thinking? Were they drunk? How old are they? Some of these names are so literal, while some just seem like they just named them with the first thing that came to their mind. Nevertheless, it gave us a good laugh. Scroll down below for more hilarious bird names:

15. Rough-faced Shag.

This little rare bird is from New Zealand and is found in the Marlborough Sounds area. He doesn’t sing, he just croaks. Due to the area he lives in, he is prone to danger, hence why he is “rare”.

16. Common loon


Common loons are water birds, but they can also fly! Their main source of food is fish that they catch underwater from coastal areas. They can fly at speeds up to 70 mph but the funny thing is, they can’t just go to flight anytime. They need a run start and then they can fly!

17. Red-rumped Bush Tyrant Smew

This species likes to live in moist areas with a lot of trees around. They can be identified by their split coloured feathers, the top half that is grey and the bottom that is bright orange. They also have rufous webbing on their tails.

18. Noisy pitta


The noisy pitta lives in Australia and New South Wales. These birds use anvils as their long-term tools for hunting. These anvils can be anything such as stones, tree stumps, or shards of glass. They use these anvils to hunt and break their prey which is mainly snail shells.

19. Noisy Miner

These birds are so aggressive, that they are usually the only ones found in their area as they fight off other species even larger than them, such as hawks.

20. Spangled Drongo


The spangled drongo has a very exotic plumage that is glossy black with iridescent blue-green spots. It also has bright red eyes that you can see right between the black feathers. This species like to work together in groups to hunt for insects for food.

21. Hoary puffleg

Hoary Pufflegs are a threatened species of hummingbirds from South America and reside in areas of the Andes and northwest Ecuador. They prefer to stay in places of high altitudes ranging from 1,100 to 2,500m.

22. Horned Screamer


These are the unicorns of the bird kingdom. Even though the horn looks frightening, it is not used for fighting but is a mere decorative piece for the bird. When it grows too long, it breaks and falls, and then grows back again.

23. Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler

Sounds like a tongue twister. But these poor birds are about to become a threatened species. They live near Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, but due to the destruction of their natural habitats, their population is declining.

24. Sad Flycatcher

These tiny birds have cute little bills and are not sad at all. They live in Jamaica and stay in forest areas.

25. Smew

Northern Europe and Asia are populated with these diving ducks, but they migrate to warmer areas when the climate gets too cold for them. Male smews can be identified by their black and white feathers.

26. Sombre Tit


Sombre Tits are found in southeast Europe and southwest Asia. They find willow or juniper trees and make holes in them for their nests. They lay eggs twice a year in these nests and aren’t very mobile as they do not migrate.

27. Typical Swifts


These birds usually have dark plumage and are in constant flight that can last up to ten months a year. These amazing species can even hold on and stand on vertical surfaces, which is why the Germans also call them “wall-gliders.”

28. European Shag

There are three types of European Shags. Usually found in western Europe and northern Africa, their subspecies prefer different types of climates. Some live in the northern areas, such as Iceland, some prefer warmer climates like northern African coasts, and some prefer mild weathers such as the central Mediterranean.

How many of these birds did you already know about? I am sure these exotic species were new to most of you. Ornithologists really do have a good sense of humour. Did any of these names make you laugh? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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