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30 Birds With 3 Word Names (Photos, Facts)

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

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of birds with 3 word names from various parts of the world. From the stunning American barn owl to the majestic great blue heron, we’ll explore 30 bird species and learn about their unique characteristics, behaviors, and how they’re able to survive.

1. American barn owl

American barn owl
American barn owl | image by LubosHouska via Wikimedia Commons

Scientific Name: Tyto furcata

The American barn owl known for its heart-shaped face, white and golden-brown plumage, and piercing dark eyes, is a distinctive figure in the night skies of North and South America. Barn owls prefer open habitats like farmland, grasslands, and forest edges, often roosting in barns, abandoned buildings, and tree hollows.

Barn owls are nocturnal hunters, using their exceptional hearing to locate prey, primarily rodents, in complete darkness. Their silent flight and sudden screeches contribute to their mysterious reputation.

2. Antillean crested hummingbird

Antillean crested hummingbird
Antillean crested hummingbird | image by Don Faulkner via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Orthorhyncus cristatus

The Antillean crested hummingbird is a small, vibrant bird adorned with an emerald green body and a dark crest that distinguishes the males. Found across the Lesser antilles and parts of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, this hummingbird prefers a variety of habitats from gardens to forests.

It is especially drawn to areas rich in flowers, from which it feeds on nectar while hovering, showcasing its incredible agility. The Antillean crested hummingbird also consumes insects, adding essential proteins to its diet. Known for its territorial nature, this hummingbird often aggressively defends its feeding areas from rivals.

3. Ashy storm petrel

Ashy storm petrel
Ashy storm petrel | image by Pacific Southwest Region USFWS via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Oceanodroma homochroa

The Ashy storm petrel is a small, elusive seabird with a uniform sooty-gray plumage, blending seamlessly into the marine fog of its Pacific Ocean habitat. This bird breeds exclusively on islands off the coast of California and northern Baja California, favoring rocky crevices and burrows for nesting. The Ashy storm petrel is nocturnal, spending its days at sea and coming ashore under the cover of darkness to avoid predators.

It feeds on planktonic crustaceans and small fish, often foraging over the open ocean, sometimes miles from land. Despite its delicate appearance, this petrel is known for its remarkable resilience, navigating through heavy fog and strong ocean winds. 

4. Atlantic royal flycatcher

Atlantic royal flycatcher
Atlantic royal flycatcher | image by Hector Bottai via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific Name: Onychorhynchus swainsoni

The Atlantic royal flycatcher is a striking bird, primarily known for the male’s spectacular crest, which displays brilliant red, blue, and black colors when fanned out, although this crest is usually kept folded and hidden. This flycatcher is found in the Atlantic forest of southeastern Brazil, inhabiting dense, humid forests and woodland edges.

Despite its vibrant crest, the Atlantic royal flycatcher is often hard to spot due to its elusive nature and preference for the forest canopy. It feeds on insects, adeptly catching them in flight with quick, agile maneuvers.

5. Eurasian Collared Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove
Eurasian collared dove

Scientific Name: Streptopelia decaocto

The Eurasian collared dove is a graceful bird, easily identified by its soft grey plumage and distinctive black collar around the nape. Originally from Asia and Europe, this type of dove has successfully expanded its range to North America and beyond, adapting well to both urban and rural environments.

These doves are often found in open or semi-open areas, including farms, gardens, and near human habitation, where they feed mainly on seeds and grains. Known for their distinctive, repetitive coo “coo-COO-coo,” they are a common sight on telephone wires, rooftops, and bird feeders.

6. Black rosy finch

black rosy finch
Black rosy finch (male) | image by Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Leucosticte atrata

The Black rosy finch is notable for its dark plumage that blends black, brown, and pink hues, with males displaying a deeper shade of these colors. This finch is one of the highest-altitude breeding birds in North America, found in the rocky mountains of the western United States, from Montana to New Mexico.

They inhabit alpine and subalpine zones, often seen near snowfields and rocky outcrops where they forage for seeds and insects. The Black rosy finch is known for its hardiness, braving cold temperatures and high altitudes where few other birds can survive. During the winter, they may descend to slightly lower elevations, joining mixed flocks with other finch species.

7. Common wood pigeon

Common wood pigeon
Common wood pigeon | image by hedera.baltica via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Columba palumbus

The Common wood pigeon is a large, robust bird distinguished by its blue-gray plumage, pinkish breast, and a white patch on the side of its neck. Native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia, this pigeon has adapted well to both rural and urban environments, thriving in woodlands, parks, and gardens.

The Common wood pigeon feeds predominantly on seeds, grains, and fruits, often foraging on the ground. Known for its deep, resonant cooing calls, it plays a significant role in the soundscape of its habitats. A notable behavior is its strong, direct flight, characterized by the loud clattering of wings upon takeoff.

8. Common ground dove

Common ground dove
Common ground dove | image by Dominic Sherony via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Columbina passerina

The Common ground dove is one of the smallest dove species, characterized by its scaled appearance with brownish-gray plumage and pinkish underparts. This diminutive bird, with its short tail and rounded wings, is found throughout the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Preferring open and semi-open habitats such as scrublands, grasslands, and gardens, the Common ground dove is often seen foraging on the ground for seeds and small insects. Despite its name, this dove is known for its low, cooing calls that add a gentle touch to its surroundings.

9. Little blue heron

Little Blue Heron
Little blue heron | image by Alan Schmierer via Flickr

Scientific Name: Egretta caerulea

The Little blue heron is a slender wading bird, distinctive for its solid, slate-blue plumage as an adult, while juveniles display white feathers, gradually acquiring their blue coloration as they mature. This type of heron is widely distributed across the coastal regions of the southeastern United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America.

It favors a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, rice fields, and shallow lakes, where it stealthily hunts for fish, crustaceans, and insects. The Little blue heron is known for its quiet, solitary feeding behavior, often standing still for long periods waiting to ambush prey.

10. Far Eastern curlew

Far eastern curlew
Far eastern curlew | image by patrickkavanagh via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Numenius madagascariensis

The Far eastern curlew is the largest of all curlews, notable for its extremely long, down-curved beak which it uses to probe deep into mudflats for aquatic invertebrates.

This bird sports a mottled brown plumage that blends well with its coastal wetland habitats. It breeds in the tundra and marshes of northeastern Russia and migrates to the coasts of Australia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia for the winter.

The Far eastern curlew prefers intertidal mudflats and estuaries, where it can be seen foraging in shallow waters. An alarming fact about this bird is its status as endangered, primarily due to habitat loss and degradation along its migratory routes.

11. Puerto Rican emerald

Puerto Rican emerald hummingbird perched at nectar feeder
Puerto Rican emerald | image by Ryan Mandelbaum via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Chlorostilbon maugaeus

The Puerto Rican emerald s a dazzling, small hummingbird endemic to Puerto Rico, easily recognized by its iridescent emerald green plumage. This bird inhabits a variety of environments across the island, from mountainous forests to coastal scrublands. It is particularly drawn to areas rich in flowers, which provide the nectar that makes up the majority of its diet, although it also consumes insects for protein.

The Puerto Rican emerald is known for its rapid, agile flight and the ability to hover in place as it feeds from flowers. Despite its vibrant appearance, it can be surprisingly difficult to spot when perched amidst the foliage.

12. Common ringed plover

Common ringed plover
Common ringed plover | image by caroline legg via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Charadrius hiaticula

The Common ringed plover is a small, charming shorebird recognized by its bold black and white pattern on the head and breast, with a distinctive black ring around its neck. This shorebird sports a sandy-brown back, blending seamlessly with its preferred coastal habitats, including sandy beaches, mudflats, and riverbanks across Europe, Asia, and parts of North Africa. 

It migrates to southern and western Europe, Africa, and South Asia during the winter. During breeding season, it lays eggs in simple ground nests, camouflaged among pebbles or vegetation.

13. Little ringed plover

Little ringed plover
Little ringed plover | image by Birds of Gilgit-Baltistan via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Charadrius dubius

The Little ringed plover is a diminutive and agile bird, easily identified by its yellow ring around the eyes and a black band across the chest. This plover has a predominantly brown and white plumage that allows it to blend into its surroundings.

Widely distributed across Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa, the Little ringed plover prefers freshwater habitats such as riverbanks, lakeshores, and gravel pits, where it nests on the ground in scrapes lined with small stones or vegetation. It feeds on insects, worms, and other small invertebrates, often seen running then pausing to snatch up prey. 

14. Ruddy ground dove

Ruddy ground dove
Ruddy ground dove | image by dunelark via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Columbina talpacoti

The Ruddy ground dove is a small, sturdy bird with a distinctive ruddy or reddish-brown plumage, more pronounced in males, while females tend to have a duller, grayish-brown coloration.

Ruddy ground doves are widespread across Mexico, Central America, and South America, adapting well to a variety of habitats from open countryside and agricultural lands to urban areas.

The Ruddy ground dove is often seen foraging on the ground in pairs or small groups, feeding on seeds, grains, and occasionally insects. Known for its soft cooing calls, this dove is a common sight in its range, displaying a remarkable ability to thrive in close proximity to humans.

15. Asian brown flycatcher

Asian brown flycatcher
Asian brown flycatcher | image by Lip Kee via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Muscicapa latirostris

The Asian brown flycatcher is a small, unassuming bird with a predominantly dull brown plumage and a distinctive pale eye-ring that gives it a gentle appearance. This flycatcher species is widespread migrant across Asia, from its breeding grounds in Siberia and northern China to wintering areas in South and Southeast Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

It prefers open woodland, gardens, and forest edges, where it can be seen perching quietly before darting out to catch insects in mid-air with remarkable agility. The Asian brown flycatcher is known for its soft, sweet call, contributing to the serene atmosphere of its habitats.

16. Pallas’s leaf warbler

Pallas's leaf warbler
Pallas’s leaf warbler | image by 孟宪伟 via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific Name: Phylloscopus proregulus

The Pallas’s leaf warbler is a tiny, energetic bird, easily identified by its yellow-green plumage and distinctive supercilium and crown stripes, lending it a masked appearance. Originating from the forests of Siberia and Mongolia, this warbler species migrates to spend the winter in Southeast Asia and parts of South China, favoring dense woodland and thickets.

Known for its constant motion, the Pallas’s leaf warbler is a voracious insect eater, adept at gleaning prey from leaves and branches with its fine, pointed bill.

17. Kamchatka leaf warbler

Kamchatka leaf warbler
Kamchatka leaf warbler | image by Валерия Ковалева via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0

Scientific Name: Phylloscopus examinandus

The Kamchatka leaf warbler, recently recognized as distinct from the similar Arctic warbler, is a small, elusive bird primarily found in the forests of Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands, and northern Japan. Characterized by its olive-green upperparts and clean white underparts, it blends seamlessly into its forest habitat.

This species thrives in dense woodland and thick underbrush, where it actively forages for insects and larvae. The Kamchatka leaf warbler is noted for its distinctive song, a melodious and complex series of notes that differentiate it from its relatives.

18. Blue Mountain vireo

Blue Mountain vireo
Blue Mountain vireo | image by Dominic Sherony via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Vireo osburni

The Blue Mountain vireo, endemic to Jamaica, thrives in the lush forests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains. Sporting olive-green upperparts and whitish underparts with hints of blue-gray, it blends seamlessly into its environment. Renowned for its melodious song, this bird primarily feeds on insects and fruits, often foraging in solitude or in pairs.

While it occupies a specialized niche within its montane habitat, the Blue Mountain vireo is classified as near threatened, largely due to habitat encroachment and fragmentation

19. Great green macaw

Great Green Macaw
Great green macaw | image by Susanne Nilsson via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Ara ambiguus

The Great green macaw is a large, vibrant bird known for its green plumage, accented by a blue lower back and rump, and a red forehead. This impressive macaw is found in the rainforests of Central and South America, from Honduras through Colombia to Ecuador. It prefers dense, humid forests where it feeds on a variety of seeds, nuts, and fruits, particularly favoring the almond tree, which is crucial for its diet and habitat.

The Great green macaw is known for its loud calls, which can be heard over long distances, and its strong social bonds, often seen flying in pairs or small family groups.

20. American pygmy kingfisher

American pygmy kingfisher
American pygmy kingfisher | image by Becky Matsubara via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Chloroceryle aenea

The American pygmy kingfisher is the smallest kingfisher species in the Americas, featuring a mix of green and rufous plumage with a white underbelly. This diminutive bird, often no larger than a sparrow, inhabits the dense, tropical lowland forests and mangroves stretching from Mexico through Central America to South America as far as western Ecuador and central Brazil.

It thrives near calm waters, including streams, rivers, and ponds, where it hunts for small fish and aquatic invertebrates. Despite its vibrant colors, the American pygmy kingfisher is often elusive, blending into its lush surroundings. It is known for its quiet demeanor, a contrast to the louder calls of its larger kingfisher cousins.

21. Puerto Rican woodpecker

Puerto Rican Woodpecker clinging to the side of a palm tree trunk
Puerto Rican woodpecker | image by Aaron Michael via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Melanerpes portoricensis

The Puerto Rican woodpecker is a distinctive bird endemic to Puerto Rico, notable for its black and white barred back, white rump, and a red throat patch in males, with females sporting a white underpart. This medium-sized woodpecker is versatile in habitat preference, inhabiting coffee plantations, forests, mangroves, and even urban areas across the island.

It plays a vital role in its ecosystem, drilling into trees not only to feed on insects but also to create nesting sites, which are then used by various other species. The Puerto Rican woodpecker is known for its rhythmic drumming on tree trunks and a variety of vocal calls.

22. Puerto Rican owl

Puerto Rican Owl
Puerto Rican owl | image by Efeliciano ms via Flickr | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Gymnasio nudipes

The Puerto Rican owl, also known as the Puerto Rican screech owl, is a small, nocturnal bird endemic to Puerto Rico. Characterized by its mottled brown plumage, which provides excellent camouflage against tree bark, this owl has a rounded head without ear tufts and large, expressive eyes. It inhabits a variety of forested environments across the island, from the lowlands to mountain regions, showing a particular affinity for humid and dense forests.

The Puerto Rican owl is known for its distinctive call, a soft, whistled “whoo” that can be heard during the night. It feeds on insects and small vertebrates, playing a crucial role in controlling pest populations.

23. Great horned owl

great horned owl
Great horned owl | image by USFWS Pacific Region via Flickr

Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus

The Great horned owl is a formidable and adaptable bird of prey, easily recognized by its large size, mottled brown plumage, and the distinctive tufts of feathers resembling horns on its head. This owl is widespread across North and South America, inhabiting a diverse range of environments from deserts and forests to urban parks and suburbs.

Known for its deep, resonating hoots, the Great horned owl is a nocturnal hunter, using its exceptional vision and hearing to catch prey ranging from rodents to other birds, and even skunks.

Great horned owls are one of the few predators that can take down larger birds of prey, including ospreys and falcons. This magnificent owl nests in a variety of locations, often taking over the nests of other large birds.

24. Great gray owl

great gray owl
Great gray owl | image by NPS/Eric Johnston via Flickr

Scientific Name: Strix nebulosa

The Great gray owl stands as the tallest North American owl, characterized by its large size, distinctive facial disc, and piercing yellow eyes set against a strikingly patterned gray plumage.

Despite its formidable appearance, it is surprisingly light due to its fluffy feathers. This elusive bird inhabits the dense boreal forests across the northern hemisphere, extending from North America to Eurasia.

It thrives in cold, remote areas, often near open meadows or clearings where it hunts for small rodents, primarily voles, using its acute hearing to detect prey under thick snow. The Great gray owl is known for its extraordinary hunting ability, diving into deep snow to catch rodents with remarkable accuracy.

25. Western marsh harrier

Western marsh harrier
Western marsh harrier | image by Artur Rydzewski via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Circus aeruginosus

The Western marsh harrier is a medium-sized raptor known for its distinctive flight silhouette, with broad wings and a long tail that allow it to glide gracefully over wetlands and marshes. Sporting a rich brown plumage with a striking cream-colored head in males and a more uniform brown in females, this bird is found across Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa.

It thrives in open, wet habitats where it hunts small mammals, birds, and amphibians, often seen flying low over reeds and water, surprising its prey.

26. Cuban black hawk

Cuban black hawk
Cuban black hawk | image by Laura Gooch via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Buteogallus gundlachii

The Cuban black hawk, endemic to Cuba, is a medium-sized raptor distinguished by its almost entirely black plumage, with some white markings on its tail. This bird of prey is primarily found in coastal areas, mangroves, and swampy regions where it hunts for crabs, its primary food source, showcasing a specialized diet that is unique among raptors.

The Cuban black hawk is known for its solitary nature, often seen perched silently in trees watching for prey or gliding low over mangroves. Despite its restricted range, this hawk plays a significant role in its ecosystem, helping control crab populations.

27. Common black hawk

common black hawk
Common black hawk | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Buteogallus anthracinus

The Common black hawk is a sturdy raptor, easily recognized by its predominantly black plumage and a white tail band. This bird is found from the southwestern United States through Central America to parts of South America, favoring riparian forests, coastal mangroves, and wetland areas. It has a specialized diet, mainly feeding on crabs, fish, and small vertebrates, showcasing its adaptability to aquatic environments.

The Common black hawk is known for its powerful and broad wings, which enable it to maneuver deftly through dense vegetation. An interesting aspect of its behavior is its territorial nature, often seen perching conspicuously as it surveys its territory.

28. Great blue heron

great blue heron standing in water
Great blue heron | image by birdfeederhub

Scientific Name: Ardea herodias

The Great blue heron is a large wading bird known for its blue-gray plumage, long legs, and a sharp bill, making it a master fisher. Found across North America, from Canada to Mexico, this heron inhabits a variety of aquatic environments such as freshwater and saltwater marshes, rivers, lakes, and shores.

It stands still as a statue in shallow waters, waiting patiently before striking swiftly to catch fish. Despite its size, the Great blue heron can fly gracefully with slow wingbeats, recognizable by its neck tucked into an “S” shape. This bird is solitary at most times, except during the breeding season when it nests in colonies high in trees.

29. Great white pelican

Great white pelican
Great white pelican | image by Ray in Manila via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Pelecanus onocrotalus

The Great white pelican is an impressive bird, notable for its massive size, with a wingspan that can reach up to 3.5 meters, making it one of the world’s largest flying birds. It boasts a predominantly white plumage, a long beak with a large throat pouch used for catching fish, and pink facial skin.

This species is found in freshwater and coastal habitats across southeastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, favoring lakes, deltas, and wetlands. Great white pelicans are social birds, often seen in flocks, using cooperative techniques to herd fish into shallow waters before scooping them up in their pouches.

30. American white pelican

American white pelican
American white pelican | image by Becky Matsubara via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

The American white pelican is a large aquatic bird distinguished by its bright white plumage, contrasting black flight feathers, and enormous bill equipped with a distinctive yellow throat pouch.

This species is among North America’s largest birds, with a wide wingspan that can exceed 9 feet, enabling it to soar gracefully in the sky. Found across inland lakes and coastal waters in the United States and Canada during breeding season, it migrates to the Gulf Coast and Central America for winter.

Unlike its coastal relative, the American white pelican does not dive for its food; instead, it cooperatively herds fish into shallow waters to scoop them up. These pelicans breed in colonies on isolated islands in freshwater lakes, where they can avoid predators.

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