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17 Birds That Start With the Letter D (Pictures)

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

There are over 300 different species of birds that start with the letter D. This article will show you some well-known birds that start with D, and a few less commonly known birds.

In addition, we’ve added a few interesting facts about each of the species of birds that start with the letter D.

17 birds that start with the letter D

1. Dalmatian pelican

dalmatian pelicans | image by David Jones via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Melanerpes formicivorus
Lives in: Central Eurasia, Medditereanean, Taiwan, Persuan Gulf, Serbia

The flocks of the Dalmatian pelican fly in synchrony. They are the largest of the fresh water bird species as well as the largest of the pelican bird family. The Dalmatian pelican are migratory birds though they migrate for short distances only. Dalmatian pelicans do not live in the United States like their relatives the white pelican and the brown pelican. 

Fun fact about Dalmatian pelicans: Unlike the social nature of the pelican species, the Dalmatian pelicans are much less social, often nesting in small groups or sometimes even alone.

2. Damara tern

damara tern | image by Ron Knight via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Sternula balaenarum
Lives in: Southern Africa

The Damara tern is a rather small bird at only 9 inches in length. It catches food by plunge diving from three to eight meter heights. Its diet consists mainly of small fish and the occasional squid. While they nest communally, they tend to feed in solitude.

Fun fact about Damara terns: The song/call of the Damara tern can be described as a high pitched “tsit tsit” as well as a more harsh sound resembling “kid-ick”.

3. Darjeeling woodpecker

darjeeling woodpecker | image by Cataloging Nature via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Dendrocopos darjellensis
Lives in: India, Myanmar, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan

The Darjeeling woodpecker has distinctive features including yellow patches on each side of its neck, a long bill, a black upperback with white patches and white flight feathers. Males have a red nape patch and a black mustache.

Fun fact about Darjeeling woodpeckers: Their natural habitats are tropical and subtropical moist montane forests and lowlands.

4. Dark chanting goshawk

dark chanting goshawk | image by John Hickey-Fry via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Melierax metabates
Lives in: Sub-saharan Africa, southern Morroco, southern Arabia

Interestingly, the dark chanting goshawk preys from a perch, often swooping down to catch prey in the air or on the ground. They prey on a variety of animals which include reptiles, other birds, or mammals. While widespread and not considered under threat, the subspecies found in Morocco and the Arabian peninsula are considered vulnerable due to declining numbers.

Fun fact about dark chanting goshawks: These are considered very vocal birds and they often call from their perch or in the air.

5. Dartford warbler

dartford warbler | image by Tom Lee via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Scientific name: Curruca undata
Lives in: west Europe, northwest Africa

A very small bird, the Dartford warbler has a thin, pointed bill and a long thin tail and a mere 5.1 inches long. It was first identified in 1776 by a Welsh naturalist named Thomas Pennant. Breeding starts from the age of one. They are a monogamous bird species.

Fun fact about Dartford wablers: It is common for both the male and female to participate in the construction of the nest. But, sometimes the male will construct several simple breeding nests, after which the female selects one.

6. Darwin’s flycatcher

Darwin’s flycatcher | image by Thomas O’Neil via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.5

Scientific name: Pyrocephalus nanus
Lives in: Galápagos Islands

The average lifespan of Darwin’s flycatcher is roughly five years. They tend to live in shrublands and humid forests. It is extinct on certain of the Galápagos Islands and under threat in others. Males can easily be identified by their striking red plumage, eye markings and black wings.

Fun fact about Darwin’s flycatchers: They average about 13 centimeters in length and weigh approximately 12 grams.

7. Daurian starling

Daurian starling | image by JJ Harrison via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific name: Agropsar sturninus
Lives in: eastern Mongolia, southeastern Russia, North Korea, central China

The Daurian starling can be distinguished from other starling species by its narrow wing bars as well as its distinctive dark mantle and crown. These birds can typically be found in temperate and boreal forests.

Fun fact about Daurian starlings: The Daurian starlings are highly migratory birds and can often be found gathering in large flocks.

8. Dead Sea sparrow

Dead sea sparrow | image by Dûrzan cîrano via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Passer moabiticus
Lives in: Middle East, western Afghanistan, eastern Iran

The Dead sea sparrow, much like other species of sparrow, primarily feeds on seeds. Breeding occurs in dry lowlands with surrounding shrubs where there is sufficient access to water. During the breeding season, the female lays between four and seven eggs.

Fun fact about Dead Sea sparrows: They were given their name due to the fact that they primarily breed in areas surrounding the Dead Sea.

9. Desert owl

Desert owl (Hume’s owl)| image by yossi aud יוסי אוד via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Strix hadorami
Lives in: Israel, northeast Egypt, Jordan, the Arabian peninsula

The desert owl was previously known as Hume’s owl. This species is related to both the tawny and omani owls. Desert owls mainly breed in rocky ravines, desert and semi-desert conditions, as well as palm groves. You will find the nests of desert owls in the crevices of cliffs. Its diet consists mainly of small rodents and large insects.

Fun fact about desert owls: The call of desert owls has been described to be similar in rhythm to the Eurasian collard dove and the female’s call is much deeper than the call of the male.

10. Diamond firetail

Diamond firetail | image by Dorothy Jenkins via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Stagonopleura guttata
Lives in: Australia

The diamond firetail is easily identified by its fiery red bill, rump and eyes. You will notice a black band that stretches across the upper part of its chest all the way beneath its flanks. Just below the flanks, this black band is marked with white spots. The top of its wings are a shade slightly darker than tan.

Fun fact about diamond firetails: Their diet consists of ripe and partially ripe fruits, insects as well as seeds. Much of its time is spent on the ground searching for insects and seeds.

11. Dolphin gull

dolphin gull | image by Brian Ralphs via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Leucophaeus scoresbii
Lives in: southern Chile, Argentina, the Falkland Islands.

The dolphin gull is a coastal bird. You will mainly find this bird on muddy, sandy or rocky shores. Dolphin gulls’ diet is varied and may consist of anything that ranges from marine invertebrates and bird eggs to carrion and is often found in close proximity to other seabird colonies.

Fun fact about dolphin gulls: These birds are known as scavengers and opportunistic.

12. Dot-eared coquette

Dot-eared coquette | image by Derek Keats via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Lophornis gouldii
Lives in: Bolivia, Brazil

The dot-eared coquette is a species of hummingbird primarily found in Brazil. When hovering, though, its flapping wings may mimic the sound of a low humming bee. It is a sedentary bird and a trap-line feeder, meaning it will fly in a circuit searching for nectar. Breading season is from December to April and the female will lay around two eggs.

Fun fact about dot-eared coquettes: The dot-eared coquette is a tiny bird at 3 inches long, weighing less than 0.01 ounces.

13. Dusky antbird

dusky antbird | image by Andres Cuervo via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Cercomacroides tyrannina
Lives in: southeastern Mexico, western Ecuador, Amazonian Brazil

This species was first identified in 1855 by an English zoologist named Philip Sclater. During the breeding season, the female will lay two eggs which are incubated by both parents. In addition, both parents take on the task of feeding the offspring.

Fun fact about dusky antbirds: When calling, the male and female sing a duet, with the male initiating the call and the female responding to it.

14. Dusky parrot

Dusky parrot | image credit: no author via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.5

Scientific name: Pionus fuscus
Lives in: Guiana, the Guiana Shield, northeastern Amazon Basin

Their nests are often found in tree cavities. The female will lay around three to four white eggs and incubate the eggs for about 26 days. At 70 days old, or 70 days after hatching, the fledgelings will leave the nest. The natural habitat of dusky parrots can be described as humid low land forests.

Fun fact about dusky parrots: Unlike other parrots, the dusky parrot is not known for speaking a lot. Its vocabulary ranges from 10 to 20 words only.

15. Dusky-headed parakeet

dusky-headed parakeet | image by Félix Uribe via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Aratinga weddellii
Lives in: southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, southwest Amazonian Brazil, central Bolivia

The majority of the birds’ body is green in color. Its tail has a blue tip and it has a grayish head. Its eyerings are broad and white. This is a very social bird that is often found in small groups. The diet of dusky-headed parakeets consists of flowers, seeds, and fruit.

Fun fact about dusky-headed parakeets: Pairs will raise their young together in woodpecker holes or aborneal termite nests.

16. Dunlin

Image by Dr. Georg Wietschorke from Pixabay

Scientific name:  Calidris alpina
Lives in: North America

Dunlin are North American shorebirds found on the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts in the United States. These birds fly north to nest in sub-arctic tundra regions of Alaska and Canada. They pick through the mud and sand and feed on insects, crustaceans, and sometimes fish. 

Dunlin were once called red-backed sandpipers and named after their spring plumage. They also have a very dull gray-brown plumage in the winter, this is what got them the name “dunlin” that they have today.

17. Downy Woodpecker 

Scientific name: Picoides pubescens  
Live in: United States, Canada

You can find these small woodpeckers throughout most of the United States. Downy Woodpeckers are the smallest species of woodpeckers in North America. They are also very common at bird feeders many times being the first to visit a new feeder.

Downy Woodpeckers love suet but also eat a variety of seeds like sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts. They’re only about the size of a sparrow and can be identified by their white spots on their backs and white underbellies. Males also will have a red patch on top of their heads.