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11 Birds That End with the Letter Y (Photos)

Learn about birds that start with all 26 letters of the alphabet!

In this article, we explore a list of birds that might seem totally random and unrelated at first glance, with species like the Azure jay in southern Brazil and the blue-footed booby off California’s coast. What brings these species and others together for the following list is one detail: each of their names ends with the letter Y.

1. Azure jay

Azure jay
Azure jay | image by Nilton Firma via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Cyanocorax caeruleus

The Azure jay, also known as the Azure-blue jay, is a bird native to southern Brazil. Its plumage is primarily a beautiful shade of blue, with lighter underparts and distinctive black markings around the throat and head, setting it apart from other jay species. This bird inhabits the dense Atlantic forests, thriving in both lowland and mountainous regions.

Azure jays are known for their intelligence and complex social behaviors, including a variety of vocalizations used to communicate within their groups. They feed on a diet of fruits, seeds, and occasionally insects and small vertebrates. Unique among their behaviors is their practice of caching food for later consumption.

2. Black lory

Black lory
Black lory | image by Crisco 1492 via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Chalcopsitta atra

The Black lory is a captivating parrot with a predominantly glossy black plumage, accented by striking red underwing coverts, making it a unique sight. Native to the lowland rainforests of New Guinea and nearby islands, this bird prefers dense tropical environments where it can feed on nectar, flowers, and fruits.

Known for their playful and sociable nature, Black lories are often seen in pairs or small flocks, engaging in loud calls that echo through their forest habitat. They exhibit a strong bond when in pairs, frequently observed preening each other’s feathers.

3. Blue jay

Blue jay
Blue jay | Mel’s pic

Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata

The Blue jay is a vibrant bird known for its blue plumage, white chest, and black necklace that graces its throat and head. Native to eastern and central North America, these birds adapt well to wooded areas as well as suburban gardens and parks. Blue jays are highly intelligent and known for their complex social systems, often mimicking the calls of hawks as a form of communication or to deter predators.

They feed on a varied diet of nuts, seeds, fruits, and occasionally small invertebrates. A unique behavior of the Blue jay is their practice of caching food for later consumption. During autumn, they can be seen collecting acorns, a staple in their diet.

4. Blue-footed booby

Blue-footed booby
Blue-footed booby | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Sula nebouxii

The Blue-footed booby is a marine bird famous for its bright blue feet, which play a key role in courtship rituals. Found along the Pacific coast from California to northern Peru, and particularly iconic to the Galápagos Islands, this bird inhabits rocky coasts and islands. Its plumage is predominantly brown and white, and it has a distinctive manner of diving from great heights into the ocean to catch fish.

The Blue-footed booby’s mating dance, involving lifting their blue feet high and strutting for potential mates, is a fascinating display of avian behavior. They lay their eggs on bare ground on islands, where both parents share incubation duties.

5. California scrub jay

California Scrub Jay
California Scrub Jay | image by Becky Matsubara via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Aphelocoma californica

The California scrub jay is a striking bird known for its vibrant blue and gray plumage, with a white throat and chest, accented by a dark necklace. This bird is native to the western United States, particularly found in California and parts of the Pacific Northwest, thriving in areas of low scrub, oak woodlands, and suburban gardens.

The California scrub jay is highly intelligent, demonstrating complex behaviors such as using tools, planning for the future, and social manipulation. They are omnivores, feeding on insects, fruits, seeds, and nuts, and are particularly known for their habit of burying acorns for later use, which also aids in oak tree regeneration.

6. Canada jay

canada jay
Canada jay | image by Larry Lamsa via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Perisoreus canadensis

The Canada jay, also known as the Gray jay, is a hardy bird native to the boreal forests across Canada and into the northern United States. Characterized by its soft gray plumage, white face and throat, and black nape and crown, this bird is well adapted to cold climates. Notably friendly and inquisitive, the Canada jay is known for its bold behavior around humans, often approaching them for food.

These birds are omnivores, eating a mix of insects, seeds, and carrion, and they have a remarkable ability to store food in tree bark for the winter, using their sticky saliva as glue. The Canada jay breeds during the late winter, taking advantage of their food caches to sustain their young in the harsh climate.

7. Masked booby

masked booby
Masked Booby | image by USFWS Pacific Region via Flickr

Scientific Name: Sula dactylatra

The Masked booby is the largest species of the booby family, notable for its white plumage, black wings and tail, and distinctive black mask around its eyes. This seabird breeds on tropical islands in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, favoring remote, rocky isles for nesting. The Masked booby is an exceptional diver, plunging from heights to catch fish and squid.

They are known for their spectacular aerial displays and precise, high-speed dives into the ocean. Social creatures, they nest in colonies but hunt alone at sea. An interesting fact about the Masked booby is that it practices obligate siblicide, where the older chick often kills its sibling to reduce competition for parental care.

8. Red-footed booby

Red-footed booby
Red-footed booby | image by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Sula sula

The Red-footed booby is a distinctive seabird known for its bright red feet, which contrast strikingly with its light body, ranging from white to brown plumage, and a blue beak. This species is the smallest of the booby family and has a widespread distribution, found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide, especially favoring islands for breeding and nesting.

They are remarkable for their aerial agility, often seen making impressive dives into the ocean to catch fish and squid. Red-footed boobies are known to nest in trees or bushes, unlike their ground-nesting cousins, using their webbed feet to grasp branches. An interesting behavior of this bird is its long-distance foraging trips, sometimes traveling over 150 kilometers from their nesting sites in search of food.

9. Tufted jay

Tufted jay
Tufted jay | image by terathopius via Wikimedia Commons

Scientific Name: Cyanocorax dickeyi

The Tufted jay is a beautiful bird, native to the Sierra Madre Occidental of western Mexico. It is easily identifiable by its bright blue body, black throat, white face, and distinctive crest of feathers on its head. This bird prefers dense mountainous pine-oak forests, where it lives in social groups and feeds on a diet of insects, fruits, and seeds.

The Tufted jay is known for its complex vocalizations, which include a variety of calls used to communicate within its tight-knit flocks. Despite its vibrant appearance and fascinating behaviors, the Tufted jay remains relatively unknown outside its habitat, partly due to its restricted range.

10. Wild turkey

Wild turkey
Wild turkey | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Meleagris gallopavo

The Wild turkey is a large bird native to North America, recognizable by its dark, iridescent plumage, bare head, and distinctive red wattles. Males, or toms, display a fan of tail feathers during mating rituals and have a characteristic gobbling call. These birds are adaptable, inhabiting a wide range of environments from forests to grasslands.

Wild turkeys are omnivores, foraging on the ground for nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and small reptiles. They are known for their strong social structure, often moving in flocks. An interesting fact about the Wild turkey is its significant comeback from near extinction in the early 20th century, thanks to conservation efforts.

11. Yellow-fronted canary

Yellow-fronted canary
Yellow-fronted canary | image by Rickard Holgersson via Flickr

Scientific Name: Crithagra mozambica

The Yellow-fronted canary is a small, vibrant bird, primarily recognized for its bright yellow forehead and breast, contrasting with its greenish back and wings. Originating from sub-Saharan Africa, this canary has also been introduced to other regions, including Hawaii.

t thrives in open grasslands, gardens, and agricultural areas, where it can be seen foraging for seeds, its main diet. Known for its melodious song, the Yellow-fronted canary is a popular bird among avian enthusiasts. It exhibits a gregarious nature, often found in flocks outside the breeding season, highlighting its social behavior.

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