Different Types of Birds with Their Picture, Species, and Name (Including Pet Birds)

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Types of Birds
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Birds are a class of animal that can be identified as having wings, beaks, feathers, and laying hard-shelled eggs. Some types of birds such as hummingbirds are tiny and can be as small as 2” (5 cm). At the other end of the scale, large flightless birds such as ostriches can be as tall as 9 ft. (2.75 m). All species of birds play an important role in their native habitats, and many people like to keep domestic birds as pets.

All kinds of birds belong to the animal class Aves which is in the phylum Chordata. There are an estimated 18,000 species of birds and they live on all continents in the world. Birds are classified by the fact they are warm-blooded vertebrates, have 2 legs, feathers, wings, and bills. Because they don’t have mammary glands or give birth to their young, birds aren’t a type of mammal.

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Individual bird species are classified by the similarities they have with each other. For example, different types of birds have excellent navigation skills. Some migratory birds travel hundreds of thousands of miles every year to the same nesting site. Some species of birds are known by their chirping sounds or song-like melodies. Even some types of parrots and blue jays are expert at mimicking sounds and human language.

In this article, you will learn about the features of some common bird species. You will find out how to identify individual types of birds and what makes them unique.

Types of Birds With Their Picture, Common Names and Species

Let’s look in detail at many of the wild birds and some domesticated birds that we can see in gardens, forests, parks, and wide-open spaces.

Sparrows

sparrow

Sparrows are common small brown-gray birds

The scientific name of this bird is Passerellidae. This bird’s name refers to the bird family that all species of sparrows belong to. Sparrows are a small type of brown or gray bird that look like finches. You can identify sparrows by the black streaked markings on their back, small chubby size, and round head. American tree sparrows (scientific name Spizelloides arborea) has a distinctive bicolored, conical bill.

The common house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is commonly found in Europe. As with most species of sparrow, house sparrows are known for their chirping sounds and hopping behavior as they look for seeds and grains to eat.

Bird identification:

  • Small plump-looking birds with plumage in various shades of gray-brown.
  • Commonly found perching on small bushes or trees in backyards.
  • Sparrows tend to fly in small flocks.

Hummingbirds

hummingbird

The small hummingbird has beautiful iridescent feathers and long skinny beak

The scientific name for the hummingbird is Trochilidae and they are some of the smallest birds on the planet.

Hummingbirds get their name from sound their wings make, which can flap up to 80 times a second. Apart from their small size, one way to identify hummingbirds is by their bright iridescent colors on their throat and chest. Hummingbirds also have long skinny beaks that allow them to get nectar from plants. Most species of hummingbird migrate from North America south to Mexico and Central America.

Bird identification:

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  • Small birds that hover as they feed on the sap and pollen from many flowering plants.
  • Vibrant-colored plumage with many species having multi-colored iridescent feathers.

Pigeons

dove

Pigeon is a common type of medium sized bird

Columbidae is the scientific name for birds commonly called pigeons or doves.

There are over 310 species of pigeons divided into 42 genera. The domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica) is one of the first types of bird that was ever domesticated. Pigeons are commonly found in cities and are a medium-sized bird weighing between 2 and 4 lb. (900 g – 2 kg). The smallest pigeons can be the size of a house sparrow and the largest species (crowned pigeon of New Guinea) can be almost the size of a turkey.

Bird identification:

  • A common type of bird with gray and black feathers and iridescent markings around their throat

Doves – a type of pigeon

white dove

White doves symbolize peace and love

Dove is a common name given to some types of pigeons that are smaller in size than the domestic pigeon. White doves are often a symbol of love, purity, and new beginnings. Another type of beautiful dove is the Mourning dove with its soft cooing sounds and long tapered tails.

Bluebirds

bluebird

Bluebirds are small birds with blue heads and wings

Bluebird is the name given to birds in the genus Sialia which is a type of thrush.

One of the distinguishing features of bluebirds is their blue-colored feathers and light brown chest. Bluebirds are one of the most popular types of birds that gardeners like to attract. They love to feed on insects and can help control common garden pests.

Bird identification:

  • Small birds the size of a sparrow with beautiful blue plumage and brown or white chests.
  • Commonly found in states on the west coast of North America.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

The northern cardinal is a small bird with red head and body and black face

The northern cardinal (scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis) inhabits woodlands and gardens in North and South America.

When you see pictures of this bird, it is easy to see why this bird is named “redbird.” The male cardinal has bright red plumage with a black ‘mask’ around its bill. Female cardinals are an olive-brown color. Cardinals used to be kept as pet birds but this practice has been outlawed.

Bird identification:

  • Cardinals have bright cone-shaped beaks and a distinctive red-colored crest on their heads.
  • Both the males and females of this species are delightful songbirds.

American Robin

American robin

The American robin is a type of songbird commonly found in North America

The scientific name for the American robin is Turdus migratorius, and similar to the bluebird, is a member of the family Turdidae.

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This songbird has a brownish-orange breast; however, it is a different species of bird to the European robin (Erithacus rubecula). These delightful birds are often heard joining in the dawn chorus especially in springtime. American robins are considered to be one of the most abundant land birds in North America.

Bird identification:

  • Both males and females have brown-orange underparts and dark gray to black upperparts. The males tend to have more vibrant colors.
  • You can identify American robins by white striped markings on their throat.

American Goldfinch

American goldfinch

The American goldfinch is a small yellow and black bird

Spinus tristis is the scientific name for a type of finch commonly called the American goldfinch.

The name of this small bird (goldfinch) is due to its bright yellow plumage that becomes more vibrant during summer. Goldfinches are a migrating bird that breeds in northern states in the US and Canada. They can fly as far south as Central America to spend the winter.

Bird identification:

  • Golden yellow colors in summer help identify male goldfinches and the females have yellowish-brown plumage.
  • Goldfinches have dark brown to black wings and short tails.

Warbler birds

Pine warbler

The pine warbler is a small songbird, with males having bright yellow throat and belly

There are many genera of Aves that are classed as warblers, all of which are in the order Passeriformes (perching birds).

The common characteristic of these small birds is their vocal abilities. However, because their family Parulidae is so diverse, it is extremely difficult to identify individual species of bird.

Bird identification:

  • Warbler identification is by their markings, tail length, chest color, and wing markings.
  • Many types of warblers have distinctive songs that can help with bird species identification.

Herons

blue heron

The blue heron is a large wading bird popular in North and Central America

The scientific family name of herons is Ardeidae and there are about 64 species of these long-legged birds.

Herons are often spotted beside freshwater lakes or rivers where they forage for small amphibians, crustaceans, and fish. Most species of heron are generally large birds with some species being up to 5 ft. (1.5 m) tall. The most common heron in Europe is the gray heron (Ardea cinerea) standing up to 3 ft. (1 m) tall. In the US, the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) is commonly seen in wetlands and near bodies of freshwater.

Bird identification:

  • Birds with a large wingspan, long legs, and a long pointed yellowish beak.
  • Most herons have a distinctive black crest on their heads.

Geese and Ducks

goose

There are different types of geese with white, gray or black feathers

Ducks and geese are types of waterfowl and are both in the family Anatidae. There are a number of species of geese and ducks in this family.

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The name “goose” actually refers to the female birds of the species and the name “gander” is the male birds. Geese are larger birds than ducks and they spend time on land as well as on water. The 3 genera of geese birds are the gray goose, black goose, and white goose.

ducks

There are many species of ducks with various colors

Ducks are much smaller than geese and, unlike their larger cousins, spend nearly all of their time on water. Ducks feed on all sorts of food such as fish, insects, grasses, and worms. One of the most unusual types of duck is the Indian Runner duck. This duck species has a pure white body and they seem to stand tall with their heads in the air.

Both geese and ducks are examples of domestic birds that are used for their eggs, meat, and feathers.

Woodpeckers

woodpecker

Many types of woodpeckers have black and white feathers and red crest

Woodpeckers are a type of flying bird that has the scientific name Picidae.

There are 35 genera of woodpeckers that include over 240 species of woodpecker bird. The most common type of woodpecker has black feathers with white markings near the neck. Many species of woodpecker have a striking red-colored crest on their black and white striped head. Some species of woodpecker have zebra-like markings on their wings and others have dark brown and tan stripes.

Bird identification:

  • You can identify woodpeckers by their intense pecking at trees to get grubs and insects.
  • Woodpeckers are found in most countries in the Northern hemisphere and generally inhabit forests and woodlands.

Swallows

swallow

Swallows are small migratory birds with long wings and short legs

Hirundinidae is the scientific name for small birds commonly called swallows.

Other names for these summer birds include martins or saw-wings. Many species of swallows migrate in the fall from northern European countries and North America to warmer climates. All swallow species have slender bodies and pointed wings that help them dart about the summer skies. The most common type of swallow is the common house martin (Delichon urbicum). This bird has white underparts and deep blue to black wings and head. A spectacular species of swallow is the purple martin (Progne subis) with its shiny, glossy black body.

Bird identification:

  • Small migratory birds that often build mud nests in the eaves of houses.
  • They have a distinctive forked tail as they fly around catching insects to feed on.

Swifts

swift

Swift is a small gray bird that can fly very fast

Swifts are another bird commonly seen flying around summer skies catching insects.

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Although swifts look and behave similar to swallows, they are completely unrelated. Swifts belong to the family Apodidae which makes them a close relative to hummingbirds, not house martins. Swifts are the fastest flying birds and can reach speeds up to 105 mph (169 km/h) and cruise at 70 mph (112 km/h)! Swifts generally have dark-colored wings, and some species have white bellies or orange-red colors around their throat.

Bird identification:

  • Small graceful birds that have forked tails and long swept-back wings.

Eagles

bald eagle

The large bald eagle has black body with white head and tail

Eagles are one of the most majestic and largest of the raptor birds and are famous for their keen eyesight and hunting skills.

Eagles belong to the family Accipitridae and there are about 60 species of birds in this family. One of the more famous types of eagle is the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) with its dark brown or black plumage and brilliant white head. Another well-known species of eagle is the large golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) with its impressive wingspan of up to 7 ft. 8” (2.34 m). Eagles are classified into 4 groups – fish eagles, harpy eagles, booted eagles, and snake eagles.

Bird identification:

  • These birds of prey have large sharp talons, hook-shaped beaks, and massive wingspans.
  • Eagles are often spotted soaring high in the sky on thermals as they hunt for prey.

Gulls and Seabirds

gull

Gulls are medium-large grey or white seabirds with black markings on the wings

Seagull is the common name for large white and gray sea birds in the family Laridae.

Gulls are a common sight around coastal regions where they feed on fish, mice, and leftover human food. They have large plump white bodies, a yellow beak, and gray and black wings. There are a number of species of gulls that include herring gulls (Larus argentatus and Larus smithsonianus), kittiwakes (Rissa), and the great black-headed gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus).

Bird identification:

  • Seagulls are identified by their squawking noises, webbed feet, long yellow bills, and mobbing behavior.

Other types of marine birds include terns, the giant albatross, penguins, gannets, pelicans, and cormorants. The term “seabird” includes a large number of different bird species, genera, and groups.

Cuckoos

cuckoo

The common cuckoo is migratory bird with gray and white striped belly

Some of the most identifiable bird sounds are those made by the bird commonly called the cuckoo.

The scientific name for the cuckoo is Cuculidae and these are medium-sized birds that make a distinctive “cu-ckoo” sound. Cuckoos are also some of the most diverse types of birds when it comes to species coloring. The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) has a gray and white striped underpart with dark gray or black wings and a gray head. Other species of cuckoo may have bright iridescent colors, vibrant oranges and greens, or maybe jet black with striking yellow eyes.

Bird identification:

  • Solitary birds that are rarely seen in pairs or groups.
  • They are often heard in woodlands making their easily recognizable cu-ckoo sound.

Types of Pet Birds With Pictures and Common Name

There are many wild birds that have been domesticated and make excellent pets. Here are a few of the most popular types of pet birds:

Parrots

parrot

Parrots include many species with beautiful colors

Parrots (Psittacines) are one of the most popular types of tropical birds that are kept as house pets. Generally, parrots are brightly-colored birds with large hooked beaks and long tails. Popular types of parrots to keep in a cage at home include amazon parrots, cockatoos, and parakeets.

Yellow Canary

canary

The small yellow canary is a type of common songbirds

If you are looking for low-maintenance, easy-to-care-for pet birds, then yellow canaries (Crithagra flaviventris) are an excellent choice. Canaries are a type of finch and are small, beautiful birds that sing. However, it’s important to know that only the males sing and they do this to attract females. So, if you want to listen to delightful bird songs, buy a male and keep the female out of sight. If you keep the pair together, the male will not search for a mate and will not sing.

Budgies (Parakeets)

parakeet

Budgies plumage can come in many colors, such as yellow, green, blue and grey

Parakeets (Melopsittacus undulatus) are a member of the parrot family and make great pet birds. Their small nature, gentle chirps, and beautiful green, yellow and sometimes blue plumage make them very pleasant birds to have at home.  They also have long tail feathers that may be shades of blue.

Lovebirds

lovebird

Lovebird is a small pet bird with green and orange-red feathers

When you see pictures of two lovebirds together, it is easy to see how they get their name. The appropriately named ‘lovebirds’ (Agapornis) bond for life and continually display affection to each other. They are generally green-colored birds with red blushing on their heads and red or cream-colored beaks.

Finches

finch

There are many species of finches with various colors

If you are planning on keeping finches as a pet, it is best to buy them in pairs or more as they are very sociable birds. Finches are tiny birds and you can easily keep a few of these low-maintenance birds in one cage. There are over 220 species of finches that come in many different colors, patterns, and sizes. Some interesting finch bird color combinations are blue and orange, red and blue, rosy-pink and black, and yellow and deep violet.

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