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18 Birds With Five Letters (with Photos)

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

Birds are one of the most fascinating and diverse groups of animals on the planet, with over 10,000 species found in every corner of the globe. Some birds are known for their striking colors and unique behaviors, while others are valued for their singing abilities or their role in pollination and seed dispersal.

In this article, we will focus on a specific group of birds – those with five letters in their name. From the iconic robin to the more elusive crane, these birds are found in a wide range of habitats and play important roles in ecosystems around the world. Join us as we explore the world of birds with five letters.

18 Birds with five letters 

Whether it helps you complete a crossword puzzle or teaches you about a bird you’ve never heard of before, you’re bound to discover something new. 

1. Goose 

snow goose standing in wetland
Snow Goose | image by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southwest Region via Flickr

Geese are a type of waterfowl. They’ve been domesticated for thousands of years and are used for their feathers, eggs, and meat. Several species are domesticated, but many more are still wild.

They all have webbed toes, a long neck, and a large body. Most migrate, but some live year-round in mild climates. 

Geese are easy to spot when flying. Flocks of geese fly in a V-formation. This saves flight energy by lowering wind resistance for the birds at the ends of the V. Geese can be white, gray, black, brown, or other bright colors. 

2. Pipit

Pipit perching
Pipit perching

Most pipits are brown or gray colors that blend well into prairies and grasslands they call home. They live worldwide except in rainfall-heavy or cold places. Pipits are known for their distinctive, undulating flight pattern and their melodious songs.

Most pipits live and nest on the ground. They occasionally use trees, but most congregate in flocks where they can work together to find insects and communicate with each other. What’s on the menu? Insects. 

3. Eider

King eider in flight
King eider in flight | image: Alaska Region U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Eiders are large, heavy-bodied ducks with short, stout bills and rounded heads. They have a distinctive appearance, with males typically having brightly colored plumage and females being more drab in color. Eiders are adapted to life in cold, coastal environments and are found in a variety of habitats, including rocky coasts, estuaries, and tundra regions.

There are four species worldwide. They live in the northern hemisphere, from Asia to North America. Eiders are a type of sea duck that are known for their thick down feathers, which are used to make warm clothing and bedding. Native Americans and people living in Scandinavia and Northern Europe were known for using eiderdown in textiles like comforters and quilts. The down has the ability to protect against freezing temperatures and frigid winds. 

They are also valued for their meat and eggs, and are an important part of many traditional hunting and fishing cultures.

4. Quail

Montezuma quail
Montezuma quail | image by: ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr

Depending on who you talk to, quail are either a delicious meal or a beautiful bird to watch. People also breed quail for their tiny delicate eggs. They are found in many parts of the world, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Quail are known for their plump, rounded bodies, short tails, and distinctive plumage, which often includes speckled or scaled patterns.

There are two groups of quail divided between the eastern and western hemispheres. While they can and do fly, they spend most of their time foraging on the ground for insects, seeds, and small vertebrates.

Their coloration varies. They can be brown, black, white, gray, red, or even blue, as is the case with the Blue Quail. 

5. Finch

male house finch
House Finch (male) | image by NPS | N. Lewis via Flickr

Finches are seed-eating songbirds with powerful bills adapted to crushing and breaking open seeds. Finches are adapted to living in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts, and can be found around the world. There are over 100 species belonging to the finch family Fringillidae.

Many species evolved concurrently to eat the seeds of certain plants. Crossbills are just one example of this kind of evolution; their bills are crossed to break open pinecones more efficiently. 

Finches can be drab in color, but many are brightly adorned with red, blue, yellow, or orange feathers. Males are usually brighter colors than females, as is the case with Northern cardinals

6. Grebe

eared grebe breeding
Eared Grebe (breeding plumage) | image by Ingrid V Taylar via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The water-dwelling grebe has a striking appearance. These large red-eyed fowl have pointed bills and long, slender necks.

Scientists believe their name descends from a french word meaning “comb.” This refers to many grebes’ large feathery crests around their head and neck. 

Grebes have the most feathers of any bird – 20,000 – which they need to stay warm when they dive deep into cold waters. They have unique ‘lobed’ toes instead of webbed feet like ducks.

Each toe has collapsible webbing that expands out when the grebe swims. It makes them great divers but very clumsy on land. 

7. Robin

Robin pulling a worm from the grass
Robin pulling a worm from the grass | image by marneejill via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

You’ll be surprised to discover that there are many robins, but not all of them are related.

There are several species of birds that are commonly referred to as “robins” around the world, but the true robin is a small, insect-eating bird that belongs to the family Turdidae. The American Robin is the most well-known species of robin in North America, while the European Robin  is the most well-known species in Europe.

There are several other species of robin in the Turdidae family, including the Rufous-tailed Robin found in Asia, the Japanese Robin found in Japan, and the White-throated Robin found in the Middle East.

Overall, there are several species of birds that are commonly referred to as “robins” due to their similar appearance or behavior, but the true robin is a specific species within the Turdidae family.

8. Egret

Great egret flying over water
Great Egret

The egret is a smaller type of heron. This water bird spends most of its time walking around in shallow water on its long legs, as opposed to swimming while foraging. Species live around the world, but they congregate in low-lying marshy habitats with abundant water and food sources such as fish and frogs. 

Their coloration is similar to that of herons. Most are white with dark legs and a light yellow bill. Others are completely gray or black. They are neither solitary nor gregarious. Some live alone while others live in large flocks. 

9. Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo | image by:

Vireos are songbirds native to the western hemisphere. They are found in the Americas, from Canada to Argentina. Most have green or yellow feathers. Others are gray and white.

They are insectivorous birds that feed on a variety of insects and other small invertebrates. Vireos are also well known for their melodious songs, which are often heard in the early morning and late afternoon.

Because they like to forage among the leaves of trees, the best way to find them is to listen for their song and then scan the trees overhead.

10. Stork

Wood stork
Wood Stork | image by Susan Young via Flickr

Legends abound about storks, but the reality is that they are lanky birds with long legs and large bills. Many are white with yellow legs, but others can be black, bald-headed, red, or brown. They live along shorelines of lakes, oceans, and rivers in most of the eastern hemisphere and South America, but one species, the Wood Stork, can be found in Florida.

Unlike other water birds, they prefer mild climates near the tropics. As a result, they don’t have the sophisticated warming down feathers other waterfowl have. Scientists believe the earliest storks evolved in southeast Asia, where temperatures don’t require the development of down. 

11. Swift

alpine swift flying
Alpine Swift | image by Paul F. Donald via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Swifts are a family of aerodynamic birds, in fact, they are one of the fastest flying birds. A white-throated needle-tail was recorded flying at 105 mph!

These small songbirds have wide wingspans for their size, forked tails, and tiny beaks. They spend most of the time on the wing chasing after insects. 

Most swifts have dark colored feathers. This helps them blend in when they nest in caves. Scientists have discovered that some species of swifts actually use echolocation like bats to find their way around dark caverns. 

12. Heron

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

The heron is a ubiquitous waterbird. If you’re in the Mississippi River Delta, the Amazon, the Congo, Paris, along the Ganges, or Australia, there’s probably a heron nearby.

All herons have long legs, slender necks, and sharp pointy bills. They use this bill to spear fish and aquatic invertebrates from shallow water. 

When a heron flies, its neck retracts close to its body. This is one easy way to tell them apart from other swamp birds. 

13. Murre

Common murre
Common murre

The aristocratic murre has a penguin-like appearance. Its sleek black and white feathers stay close to its body when it dives into ocean waters to catch small fish.

Only two species of murre exist. Both live north of the equator in cold waters, migrating around to avoid winter ice.

Murres nest on cliffs, but don’t build nests at all. Females lay their eggs right on the cliff edge.

They don’t worry about it falling off because these eggs are pointed at one end. If the egg rolls, it rolls around in a circle, instead of right off the ledge. 

14. Raven

Raven | pixabay

Ravens are some of the most intelligent birds in the world. They’re well-traveled and recognizable practically anywhere you go.

All ravens are completely black. They have the ability to mimic human speech as well as ambient nature sounds.

Many ravens mate for life and return to the same nests year after year. Some people have successfully made ‘friends’ with groups of ravens. In exchange for food or sometimes for no apparent reason, ravens bring people small gifts of ribbon, paperclips, or other small objects. 

15. Snipe

Snipe bird in field
Snipe bird in field

Look for a snipe in a wetland. These birds wade among vegetation and mud to find crustaceans, worms, and insects.

Their bills have extremely sensitive nerves that alert them to prey, but their method of hunting can appear comical. They jab up and down in mud like a ‘sewing machine.’

Most snipes’ feathers are brown, gray, white, and black. Because they are a prey species, they camouflage well into the surrounding environment. Snipes live around the world. 

16. Crane 

Sandhill crane
Sandhill crane

In the hierarchy of the wetland, cranes are the aristocrats. They are poised, deliberate, and graceful. Most have partially-bald heads. They eat aquatic animals like fish and crustaceans as well as small mammals and lizards. 

Cranes live everywhere except South America and Antarctica, although they usually avoid the polar regions. Wildlife refuges and national parks host hundreds or thousands of cranes during their seasonal migrations. 

17. Eagle 

Bald eagle
Bald eagle | image:

Eagles are powerful raptors. Species of eagles mostly live in Africa, Europe, and Asia, but there are a few species that live in the Western Hemisphere and Australia. Every eagle has three traits in common: large, powerful talons, a hooked beak, and great eyesight. 

They use their eyesight to follow after prey and stalk it from hundreds of feet in the air. Eagles’ prey depends on how big they are.

Small eagles eat mice, lizards, and insects. Large eagles have been recorded taking down fawns and antelopes! 

18. Macaw

Blue and yellow macaw perched
Blue and yellow macaw perched | image by Arthur T. LaBar via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The macaw is native to the tropics, although you’ve probably seen it in movies and television. Macaws are a kind of parrot adapted to life in mild climates where seeds and fruits are abundant. They are common in jungles of South America. 

Identifying a macaw is simple. They are some of the brightest-colored birds in the animal kingdom.

Species can be aquamarine, canary yellow, neon green, or cherry red. They all have parrot like beaks and intelligent eyes.