This list showcases 34 birds, from the Common merganser to the Tricolored heron, each uniquely tied together by their 15-letter names. Spanning diverse environments, we highlight the variety and intricacy of the bird world, offering a glimpse into this random group of species.
Let’s explore the diversity of this curated collection of birds grouped together by their 15-letter names.
1. Common merganser
Scientific name: Mergus merganser
The Common merganser is a striking waterfowl species found across North America, Europe, and parts of Asia. It possesses a long, slender body with a distinctive serrated bill perfectly adapted for catching fish, its primary diet. Males flaunt a striking greenish-black head with a white body, while females exhibit a reddish-brown head with a gray body. They are skilled divers, using their webbed feet to navigate underwater.
Common mergansers are social birds, often forming large flocks during migration. During breeding season, they nest in tree cavities near water bodies. Interestingly, they’ve been observed engaging in “follow-the-leader” behavior, where a single bird leads a line of others, often ducklings, behind it.
2. Hooded merganser
Scientific name: Lophodytes cucullatus
The Hooded Merganser is a small duck known for its distinctive black and white crest, which it can raise or lower depending on its mood. These ducks have striking reddish-brown eyes and a sharp, serrated bill designed for catching fish and crustaceans. They are excellent divers and swimmers, often seen in wooded ponds and marshes.
During courtship, the male displays its crest to attract females. Hooded Mergansers are cavity nesters, using old woodpecker holes or nest boxes. They are primarily found in North America and migrate to the southern United States in winter. These ducks are agile flyers and can take off quickly from the water.
3. Pink-footed goose
Scientific name: Anser brachyrhynchus
The Pink-footed goose is a medium-sized bird known for its pink feet, which give it its name. It has a gray-brown body with a pink beak and dark head. Found in Northern Europe, it migrates to the UK and parts of Western Europe during the winter.
These geese often gather in large flocks in wetlands and marshes. They are herbivores, feeding mainly on grasses, grains, and crops. Pink-footed geese are known for their distinctive honking calls during flight and while on the ground. They form strong pair bonds during the breeding season and exhibit strong family ties.
4. Southern pochard
Scientific name: Netta erythrophthalma
The Southern pochard is a distinct-looking duck characterized by its dark appearance and broad white wing band, notably visible during flight. Male Southern pochards sport a glossy black plumage with chestnut wings and a pale gray bill, while females exhibit a unique head pattern featuring white at the bill base and a crescent shape behind the eye.
These ducks primarily inhabit lakes and pools abundant in vegetation. Their behaviors include foraging for food in aquatic environments and forming social groups during migration.
5. Spectacled eider
Scientific name: Somateria fischeri
The Spectacled eider is a distinctive sea duck known for its unique appearance and behavior. Adult males in breeding plumage exhibit a notable contrast with a black chest, white back, and a pale green head featuring a long, sloping forehead and distinctive white spectacle-like patches around the eyes. These features make them easily recognizable among other waterfowl species.
Found primarily in Arctic and subarctic regions, particularly in Alaska and Siberia, Spectacled eiders are skilled divers, foraging for food like mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic plants. During the breeding season, they form large colonies along coastal areas.
6. Tundra bean-goose
Scientific name: Anser serrirostris
The Tundra Bean-goose, a migratory bird, showcases physical characteristics like a sturdy body, long neck, and distinctive black head with a white patch on its chin. Its unique feature lies in its migration pattern, covering vast distances between breeding and wintering grounds. These geese form tight family bonds during migration and breeding seasons, often communicating with honking calls. Their diet primarily consists of grasses, sedges, and grains.
7. Plain chachalaca
Scientific name: Ortalis vetula
The Plain Chachalaca, a bird native to Central and South America, boasts physical characteristics such as brownish plumage, a long tail, and a bare red throat patch. Its unique feature lies in its distinctive loud and raucous calls heard at dawn.
These birds are primarily ground-dwellers, foraging for fruits, seeds, and insects in dense vegetation. Plain Chachalacas often move in small groups called coveys, displaying strong social bonds and cooperative behaviors while foraging and roosting.
8. California quail
Scientific name: Callipepla californica
The California Quail, a bird native to the western United States, features physical characteristics such as a plump body, forward-curling topknot feathers, and a distinctive black bib on its chest. Its unique feature lies in its social behavior, often forming coveys with family groups year-round.
These birds are ground foragers, feeding on seeds, insects, and plants found in open grasslands and brushy areas. California Quail are known for their distinctive “chi-ca-go” call and quick, low flights to evade predators.
9. Ocellated turkey
Scientific name: Meleagris ocellata
The Ocellated Turkey, native to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, displays physical characteristics such as iridescent blue and green feathers, with distinctive eye-shaped spots (“ocelli”) on its tail feathers. Its unique feature lies in its colorful and elaborate plumage, especially during courtship displays.
These turkeys are primarily ground-dwellers, foraging for fruits, seeds, insects, and small reptiles in the dense jungle habitat. Ocellated Turkeys are known for their vocalizations, including a range of clucks, purrs, and gobbling sounds.
10. Willow ptarmigan
Scientific name: Lagopus lagopus
The Willow Ptarmigan, found in the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia, exhibits physical characteristics such as mottled brown and white plumage, which changes to predominantly white in winter for camouflage in the snow. Its unique feature lies in its ability to blend seamlessly into its snowy surroundings, aided by its seasonal molt.
These birds are primarily ground-dwellers, foraging for buds, leaves, and seeds in tundra and alpine habitats. Willow Ptarmigans are known for their distinctive cackling calls during the breeding season. Interestingly, they have feathered feet that act as snowshoes, enabling them to walk on snow without sinking.
11. Passenger pigeon
Scientific name: Ectopistes migratorius
The Passenger Pigeon, now extinct, was once abundant in North America. It displayed physical characteristics such as a slate-blue plumage, reddish-orange eyes, and long pointed wings. Its unique feature lay in its massive flocks, numbering in the billions, which darkened the skies during migration. These pigeons were primarily seed and fruit eaters, foraging in large groups across forests. They exhibited strong social behaviors, nesting in colonies and communicating with soft cooing calls.
12. Plumbeous pigeon
Scientific name: Patagioenas plumbea
The Plumbeous Pigeon showcases a dark gray head, neck, and underparts for males, while females exhibit a softer purplish wash. Young pigeons appear duller with rusty-edged feathers. Their diet primarily consists of fruits and seeds found in forest canopies, with mistletoe being a notable favorite in Brazil. They communicate through rhythmic coos and purring calls, displaying variations among distinct vocal groups.
13. Red-billed pigeon
Scientific name: Patagioenas flavirostris
The Red-billed pigeon, native to Central and South America, is a medium-sized bird with distinct features. It boasts a vibrant red bill, contrasting with its grayish body and white underparts. One unique trait is its preference for dense forests, where it feeds on fruits and seeds. This pigeon is known for its gentle demeanor and tendency to roost in small flocks.
14. Ruddy ground dove
Scientific name: Columbina talpacoti
The Ruddy ground dove, found in various parts of the Americas, is a small bird known for its reddish-brown plumage and distinctive black spots on its wings. It possesses a short, stubby bill and red legs. This species tends to forage on the ground for seeds and grains, often in open areas such as fields and grasslands. Despite its small size, the Ruddy ground dove can be quite resilient, adapting well to human-altered landscapes.
15. White-tipped dove
Scientific name: Leptotila verreauxi
The White-tipped dove, a bird native to the Americas, features a gray-brown upper body with distinctive white-tipped tail feathers and a red eye ring in most regions, although it can appear blue in the Amazon and northern South America.
Its underparts range from whitish to pinkish or dull gray on the chest, complemented by rufous underwing coverts. The bird has a black bill, red legs, and a yellow iris. White-tipped doves are often found foraging on the ground for seeds and grains in a variety of habitats, from forests to urban areas.
16. Common nighthawk
Scientific name: Chordeiles minor
The Common Nighthawk is a bird found across North and South America, known for its cryptic plumage that helps it blend into its surroundings. It features mottled gray and brown feathers with intricate patterns, aiding in camouflage during the day. Its distinctive wide mouth allows it to catch insects on the wing, making it an adept aerial hunter, especially during dusk and dawn.
The Common Nighthawk is crepuscular, meaning it is most active during twilight hours. Unlike many other birds, it nests directly on the ground, often laying eggs on gravel or rocky surfaces. During courtship displays, males perform booming dives, creating a unique “booming” sound with their wingtips.
17. Lesser nighthawk
Scientific name: Chordeiles acutipennis
The Lesser Nighthawk, a nocturnal bird found in the Americas, boasts distinct physical features including a mottled brown plumage and long, slender wings. Its large eyes aid in night vision, while a wide mouth enables it to catch insects mid-flight. Lesser Nighthawks display a unique behavior of resting on the ground during the day to camouflage with their surroundings. They primarily feed on insects like moths and beetles.
18. Canivet’s emerald
Scientific name: Chlorostilbon canivetii
Canivet’s Emerald, a dazzling hummingbird native to Central America, showcases vibrant iridescent green plumage with a shimmering throat patch. Its slender, elongated bill aids in sipping nectar from flowers. Unique to this species is its graceful hovering ability while feeding. Canivet’s Emeralds are known to defend their feeding territories vigorously, engaging in aerial chases with other hummingbirds. They primarily feed on nectar from a variety of flowering plants.
19. Honduran emerald
Scientific name: Amazilia luciae
The Honduran Emerald, a captivating hummingbird native to Honduras and nearby regions, exhibits brilliant iridescent green plumage, often with a glittering throat patch. Its slender, elongated bill is adapted for sipping nectar from flowers, making it a proficient pollinator. This species showcases agile flight patterns, including hovering and rapid movements while foraging for nectar and small insects. Honduran Emeralds are known for their territorial behavior, defending their feeding areas from intruders.
20. Rufous sabrewing
Scientific name: Campylopterus rufus
The Rufous Sabrewing, a hummingbird native to Central America, boasts vibrant rufous plumage with a distinctive sabre-shaped bill. Its long, curved bill is specialized for feeding on nectar from flowers. This species exhibits agile flight, including hovering and rapid movements while foraging. Rufous Sabrewings are known for their territorial behavior, vigorously defending their feeding areas from other birds. They play a crucial role in pollination within their habitats.
21. Purple gallinule
Scientific name: Porphyrio martinicus
The Purple Gallinule, a colorful marsh bird found in the Americas, showcases striking purple and blue plumage with a bright red bill and yellow legs. Its long toes are adapted for walking on floating vegetation in wetland habitats. This species is known for its distinctive, loud vocalizations and its ability to swim and dive to escape predators.
Purple Gallinules primarily feed on vegetation, seeds, insects, and small invertebrates found in their marshy habitats. Interestingly, they build floating nests among dense vegetation over water, protecting from predators.
22. Common gallinule
Scientific name: Gallinula galeata
The Common Gallinule, a widespread marsh bird across the Americas, features dark plumage with a distinctive red bill and yellow legs. Its long toes enable it to walk on floating vegetation in wetland habitats. Known for its loud, cackling calls, the Common Gallinule is skilled at swimming and diving to escape predators.
It feeds on a variety of plant matter, seeds, insects, and small invertebrates found in marshes. Common Gallinules construct floating nests hidden within dense vegetation over water, providing safety for their eggs and young.
23. Northern lapwing
Scientific name: Vanellus vanellus
The Northern Lapwing, native to Europe and Asia, is characterized by its rounded wings and distinct crest, distinguishing it as the shortest-legged among lapwings. Its plumage showcases a blend of black and white, with a subtle greenish hue on the back. Male Northern Lapwings boast long crests and prominent black crowns, throats, and breasts, while females and juveniles exhibit shorter crests and less defined markings.
During mating season, they perform captivating aerial displays and emit characteristic ‘pee-wit’ calls. Their nesting behavior involves constructing shallow ground nests and displaying protective instincts towards their offspring.
24. Southern lapwing
Scientific name: Vanellus chilensis
The Southern Lapwing is a bird native to South America. It is characterized by rounded wings and a prominent crest atop its head. With a black and white plumage, it often displays a hint of green on its back. Southern Lapwings are notable for their loud and distinctive calls, heard during flight and territorial displays.
They construct shallow ground nests and exhibit protective behaviors towards their offspring. Moreover, these birds engage in cooperative mobbing behavior to defend their territory against perceived threats.
25. Purple sandpiper
Scientific name: Calidris maritima
The Purple Sandpiper, a coastal bird found in the Northern Hemisphere, features short yellow legs and a thin, dark bill with a yellow base. Its dark plumage bears a slight purplish gloss on top, while its underparts are mainly white with a smeared gray breast and black rump.
This species forages along rocky coastlines, probing for insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. During breeding season, it migrates to Arctic regions to nest in rocky crevices.
26. Large-billed tern
Scientific name: Phaetusa simplex
The Large-billed Tern is a seabird recognized for its distinct physical features, notably a large, stout yellow bill that distinguishes it from other tern species. It possesses a sleek body with long wings, facilitating efficient flight over open waters. Large-billed Terns primarily feed on fish and small marine creatures, often diving from the air to catch their prey.
During breeding season, they gather in colonies on coastal islands and sandy beaches. These terns are highly vocal, emitting a variety of calls to communicate with their mates and offspring.
27. Short-billed gull
Scientific name: Larus brachyrhynchus
The Short-billed Gull is a coastal bird recognized for its distinct physical features, including a short, stout bill and rounded wings. It has a white body with gray wings, often displaying black markings on the tips. Short-billed Gulls primarily feed on fish, crustaceans, and small marine creatures, scavenging along shorelines and coastal areas
. They are often found in large flocks, especially during the breeding season when they gather in colonies on sandy beaches or coastal islands. Short-billed Gulls are adaptable and can be seen in various coastal habitats, from beaches to estuaries.
28. Cory’s shearwater
Scientific name: Calonectris borealis
The Cory’s Shearwater is a seabird known for its medium-sized body, long wings, and pointed tail. It has a brownish-gray plumage with a white underbelly, while its wings display darker markings. This species is renowned for its remarkable flying abilities, effortlessly gliding over ocean waves for hours.
Cory’s Shearwaters primarily feed on fish and squid, often diving into the water to catch their prey. During breeding season, they form large colonies on remote islands and cliffs.
29. Great shearwater
Scientific name: Ardenna gravis
The Great Shearwater, known for its medium-to-large size, showcases dark upper parts and white under parts, distinguished by a brown belly patch and dark shoulder markings. It sports a black cap, black bill, and a notable white “horseshoe” marking at the base of the tail. With its impressive wingspan, the Great Shearwater glides effortlessly over the ocean’s surface.
his species primarily feeds on fish and squid, diving into the water to catch its prey. During breeding season, Great Shearwaters form large colonies on remote islands, where they nest in burrows or rock crevices. They are known for their long-distance migrations, traveling thousands of miles between breeding and feeding grounds.
30. Gray-faced petrel
Scientific name: Pterodroma gouldi
The Gray-faced Petrel, characterized by its dark black-brown coloration reminiscent of the black-footed albatross, features a black bill and pale grey to buff feathers at the base of the bill and throat. Notably, this medium-sized seabird possesses a long wingspan, allowing it to glide effortlessly over the ocean’s surface.
Its diet primarily consists of fish, squid, and crustaceans, often obtained through diving into the water. During breeding season, Gray-faced Petrels form large colonies on remote islands, nesting in burrows or rock crevices.
31. Sooty shearwater
Scientific name: Ardenna grisea
The Sooty Shearwater, renowned for its distinctive flight style characterized by side-to-side dips on stiff wings with minimal beats, resembling a miniature albatross in its powerful and direct flight, is identifiable by its dark plumage, which earns it the “sooty” moniker. With a medium-sized body and long wings, this seabird boasts a sleek and streamlined appearance.
Its dark coloration adds to its striking presence as it glides over the ocean’s surface. Sooty Shearwaters primarily prey on fish and squid, diving skillfully to capture their meals. They embark on remarkable migratory journeys, spanning vast distances between breeding and feeding grounds.
32. Little blue heron
Scientific name: Egretta caerulea
The Little Blue Heron is a slender wading bird found in wetlands across the Americas. It stands about 24 inches tall with a wingspan of around 40 inches. As its name suggests, it sports bluish-gray plumage, transitioning from slate blue as juveniles to a deep blue-gray as adults.
Unique among herons, it forages in a deliberate, stealthy manner, often standing still or slowly stalking prey like fish and amphibians. Unlike other heron species, Little Blue Herons lack a breeding plume, maintaining a sleek appearance year-round. They’re known for their solitary habits and can be found in both freshwater and saltwater habitats, making them versatile hunters.
33. Pinnated bittern
Scientific name: Botaurus pinnatus
The Pinnated Bittern is a medium-sized heron found in marshes and wetlands of the Americas. It stands about 18 inches tall with a wingspan of around 30 inches. Its plumage is mostly brown with streaks and spots, providing excellent camouflage among reeds and grasses.
Unique among herons, it possesses a long neck and a pointed bill, aiding in capturing its prey of fish, amphibians, and insects. The Pinnated Bittern is known for its distinctive booming call during the breeding season, which can be heard across its habitat. It is a solitary bird, often hiding among dense vegetation to avoid detection.
34. Tricolored heron
Scientific name: Egretta tricolor
The tricolored Heron is a medium-sized wading bird found in the Americas. It stands about 26 inches tall with a wingspan of around 37 inches. Its plumage is predominantly blue-gray with white and rust-colored accents, particularly on its neck and chest during breeding season.
This tricolored Heron is known for its distinctive habit of actively foraging in shallow waters, often darting its head and neck to catch fish, frogs, and insects. Unlike other herons, it has a more restless feeding behavior, frequently moving between hunting spots. During courtship displays, it may engage in aerial maneuvers and bill-clattering rituals.
Mary is an outdoor enthusiast, nature lover, and amateur birdwatcher that enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with others.