We’re probably all familiar with bird names like Robin and Lark, but what about some of the lesser-used bird names?
Agpa means “thick-billed Murre” (a type of bird) in Greenlandic.
Alaryn means “bird” in Welsh. This was more commonly used than Aderyn in the mid-20th century, during heavy immigration in the U.K.
Chim means “bird” in Vietnamese.
Jiguur means “bird” in Mongolian.
Manu means “bird” in Maori and Hawaiian.
Palila is the name of a bird in Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Polynesian.
Tairo means “little bird” in Arabic.
Tori means “bird” in Japanese.
Tui is a type of Maori bird.
Tziquin means “bird” in Tzeltal and Quiche-Kaqchikel.
Vireo is a type of U.S. bird.
Yonah means “dove” in Hebrew.
Aderyn means “bird” in Welsh. This is contemporary, not traditional.
Aëdon may mean “nightingale” in Greek.
Aerope may derive from an Ancient Greek word for the bee-eater bird.
Aghavni means “dove” in Armenian. I love this name.
Ainara means “swallow (bird)” in Basque.
Alondra means “lark” in Spanish.
Andlib, or Andleeb, means “nightingale” in Persian.
Asuka is a Japanese name which is composed of the elements asu (“to fly” or “tomorrow”) and ka (bird). Many other meanings are also possible.
Aquila means “eagle” in Latin. The Russian form is Akilina.
Balbala means “nightingale” in Pashto.
Chipeta means “white singing bird” in Ute.
Cholena means “bird” in Lenape.
Columba means “dove” in Latin.
Deryn possibly comes from Aderyn, with the same meaning.
Durna means “crane (bird)” in Azeri.
Elaia means “swallow (bird)” in Basque.
Enara means “swallow (bird)” in Basque.
Faigel means “bird” in Yiddish. Other forms include Faiga and Faigie. Beyond my frequent dislike of many Yiddish names, I’m not fond of this one because it looks too much like a certain homophobic slur. As a matter of fact, the diminutive form Faigeleh is indeed slang for a gay man!
Homa is a phoenix-like bird in Persian mythology. An alternate form is Huma.
Inyoni means “bird” in Zulu.
‘Iwalani means “heavenly frigate bird” or “heavenly man-of-war bird” in Hawaiian.
Karawek means “bird” in Thai.
Karlygash means “swallow (bird)” in Kazakh.
Kasika means “bird” in Thai.
Kayäkki means “bird” in Chuvash, a native Siberian language.
Kiya means “cooing of a bird” in Sanskrit.
Kría is a type of Icelandic bird.
Lóa means “golden plover” in Icelandic and Faroese.
Lushanya may mean “songbird” in Chickasaw.
Oanh means “oriole” in Vietnamese.
Paloma means “dove, pigeon” in Spanish.
Parastou means “swallow (bird)” in Persian.
Pëllumb means “dove” in Albanian.
Prinia is the Javanese word for a type of bird.
Sacagawea may mean “bird woman” in Hidatsa.
Sarika means “myna bird” in Sanskrit.
Seelasat means “oriole” in Vainakhish, an extinct language of North Transcaucasia.
Shakuntala means “bird” in Sanskrit.
Simurg means “eagle bird” in Pahlavi. This was a monstrous bird in Persian mythology.
Svala means “swallow (bird)” in the Scandinavian languages.
Toiba means “dove” in Yiddish.
Tsubame can mean “swallow (bird)” in Japanese.
Tzipporah means “bird” in Hebrew. Other spellings include Zipporah, Tziporah, Tzipora, Tsippora, Tsipora, Cipora, and Cippóra.
Tzufit means “hummingbird” in Hebrew.
Ulara means “snowcock” in Kyrgyz.
Usoa means “dove” in Basque. The name Uxue is etymologically related.
Yemima means “dove” in Hebrew. The popular Anglicization is Jemima.
Zarka means “crane (bird)” in Pashto.
Zitkala means “bird” in Sioux.
Andor means “Thor’s eagle” in Norwegian.
Anzu was a Mesopotamian demon depicted in the form of a lion-headed eagle or a huge bird breathing water and fire.
Arnkætill means “bird helmet” in Old Norse.
Colum means “dove” in Old Irish.
Dalbar means “chick (baby bird)” in Yakut, a native Siberian language.
Dalbaray means “white bird” in Yakut.
Énna possibly means “bird-like” in Irish.
Jonah is the English form of Yonah, and a male-only name. Other forms include Jonas (Dutch, German, and Scandinavian, and the name of the heroic Dr. Jonas Salk), Giona (Italian), Yunus (Arabic and Turkish), Jonáš (Czech and Slovak), Iona (Russian and Georgian), Jónas (Icelandic), Joona and Joonas (Finnish), Jona (Serbian and Croatian), Jónás (Hungarian), Jonás (Spanish), Jonass (Latvian), and Jonasz (Polish).
Kaur means “loon (bird)” in Estonian.
Mochni means “talking bird” in Hopi.
Nenaa’angebi means “beautifying bird” in Ojibwe.
Örn means “eagle” in Icelandic, Swedish, and Old Norse.
Orneus may mean “bird, chicken” in Greek.
Ornytos may be etymologically related to the Greek word ornis (bird, chicken).
Pungat means “bird” in Nivkh, an indigenous language in Russia and Japan.
Quetzun is a Guatemalan name referring to a type of bird.
Sibaguchu means “birdman” in Mongolian.
Stari means “starling (bird)” in Old Norse.
Tayfur may mean “bird” in Bashkir.
Þrǫstr means “thrush (bird)” in Old Norse.