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33 Birds With Hyphenated Names (Pictures, Facts)

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

While this collection of birds might appear unassuming and randomly assembled at first glance, a closer examination reveals that these species share more than just their feathered existence. Beyond their unique adaptations and roles in the ecosystem, there’s a commonality that binds them together – a detail as simple as it is obvious: all of these birds have hyphenated names.

1. Blue-winged teal

Blue-winged teal
Blue-winged teal

Scientific Name: Spatula discors

The Blue-winged teal is a small dabbling duck known for the blue patches on its wings, visible in flight. Males have a bold white facial crescent, while females are mottled brown, offering excellent camouflage among marsh vegetation. This species breeds across North America, particularly in the prairies of the Midwest, and winters in Central and South America, favoring shallow wetlands, ponds, and marshes.

The Blue-winged teal is one of the earliest migrating ducks in fall and among the last to return in spring. They feed on a variety of aquatic plants, seeds, and small invertebrates, often tipping forward in the water to forage.

2. Ring-necked duck

Ring-necked duck
Ring-necked duck

Scientific Name: Aythya collaris

The Ring-necked duck is a medium-sized diving duck with a distinctive ring around its neck, which is often difficult to see at a distance. Males have an appearance with glossy black heads, gray flanks, and a white ring on the bill, while females are brown with a white ring on the bill as their standout feature. This species is found across North America, breeding in the northern United States and Canada, and wintering in the southern United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

They prefer freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers where they dive for aquatic vegetation and invertebrates. The Ring-necked duck is known for its swift, direct flight and its unique courtship displays, including head-tossing and wing-flapping.

3. Pink-footed goose

Pink-footed goose
Pink-footed goose | image by Andy Roberts via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Anser brachyrhynchus

The Pink-footed goose is a medium-sized bird recognized for its gray plumage, pink legs and feet, and characteristic pink bill with a black tip. Native to the Arctic regions of Greenland and Iceland, this goose breeds in tundra habitats and migrates to the British Isles and Northwestern Europe for the winter.

Pink-footed geese are known for their strong, cohesive flocks and the distinctive “wink-wink” call they make while flying. They primarily feed on crops during winter, such as potatoes and turnips, and natural vegetation like grasses and sedges during the breeding season.

4. White-cheeked pintail

White-cheeked pintail
White-cheeked pintail | image by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Anas bahamensis

The White-cheeked pintail, also known as the Bahama pintail, is recognized for its elegant brown body, striking white cheeks, and pointed tail, complemented by a unique bill that is dark with hues of red near the base. This distinctive dabbling duck is native to the Caribbean, South America, and the Galápagos Islands, favoring freshwater or brackish environments like lakes, mangroves, and coastal lagoons.

It feeds on aquatic plants, small crustaceans, and insects, often seen tipping forward in water to forage.

5. White-winged scoter

White-winged scoter
Image: Len Blumin | CC 2.0 | Wikicommons

Scientific Name: Melanitta deglandi

The White-winged scoter is the largest of the North American scoters, known for its bulky shape and distinctive white patches on its wings, visible in flight. Males have bold black plumage with a white eye patch, while females are dark brown with a more subtle face pattern. This sea duck breeds in the boreal forests and tundra of Canada and Alaska, wintering along the coasts of North America, from the Aleutian Islands to the northeastern United States.

White-winged scoters prefer large bodies of water, including lakes, coastal bays, and oceans, where they dive to feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish. 

6. White-bellied chachalaca

White-bellied chachalaca
White-bellied chachalaca | image by Fernando Bautista via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0

Scientific Name: Ortalis leucogastra

The White-bellied chachalaca is a distinctive bird found primarily in the tropical forests of Central America, from southern Mexico to western Panama. Characterized by its olive-brown plumage and the contrasting white underparts that give it its name, this bird is part of the guan family, known for their raucous calls that echo through their habitat at dawn and dusk.

The White-bellied chachalaca prefers dense forests and wooded areas where it can easily blend into the foliage. Despite being a large bird, it is quite shy and often remains hidden in the canopy. It feeds on fruits, seeds, and leaves, playing a crucial role in seed dispersal within its ecosystem.

7. Black-throated bobwhite

Black-throated bobwhite
Black-throated bobwhite | image by Annika Lindqvist via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Colinus nigrogularis

The Black-throated bobwhite is a ground-dwelling bird known for its appearance, with a notable black throat patch contrasting against its mottled brown and white plumage. This species is native to the Yucatán Peninsula and nearby regions in Central America, inhabiting open areas such as grasslands, agricultural lands, and scrubby forests.

The Black-throated bobwhite feeds on seeds, insects, and plant material, foraging in small coveys that communicate with soft, whistling calls. These birds are especially recognized for their explosive take-off when startled, a common defense mechanism.

8. White-tailed ptarmigan

White-tailed ptarmigan

Scientific Name: Lagopus leucura

The White-tailed ptarmigan is a small grouse notable for its remarkable adaptations to alpine and arctic environments. It is the only bird in North America to remain in high mountainous areas all year, ranging from Alaska through Canada to the western United States. This bird has a seasonal camouflage, with plumage turning from mottled brown in summer to pure white in winter, except for its tail, which remains white year-round, hence its name.

The White-tailed ptarmigan feeds on alpine vegetation, buds, and seeds. Unique among birds, it has feathered feet that act like snowshoes, helping it walk on soft snow.

9. Band-tailed pigeon

Band-tailed pigeon
Band-tailed pigeon | pixabay

Scientific Name: Patagioenas fasciata

The Band-tailed pigeon is a large, sleek bird with a distinctive grayish-blue plumage and a namesake white band on its tail. Found along the Pacific coast from North America to South America, it prefers forested habitats ranging from coniferous woods to mixed forests. This pigeon is recognizable by its yellow bill and feet, and a short white crescent on the back of its neck.

Band-tailed pigeons feed on a variety of seeds, fruits, and nuts, often foraging in large flocks in tree canopies. Unlike urban pigeons, they are shy and elusive, making them less visible despite their size.

10. Gray-fronted dove

Gray-fronted dove
Gray-fronted dove | image by Hector Bottai via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Leptotila rufaxilla

The Gray-fronted dove is a subtle yet beautiful bird, distinguished by its soft gray head, pinkish-gray body, and striking red eyes. Found across the tropical forests of South America, from Colombia to Argentina, it thrives in dense woodlands and rainforests. This dove prefers to stay on or near the ground, where it feeds on seeds, berries, and small fruits

Despite its quiet demeanor, the Gray-fronted dove has a distinctive, mournful cooing call that echoes through its habitat, especially during the early mornings and late afternoons.

11. Key West quail-dove

Key west quail-dove
Key west quail-dove | image by Charles J. Shar via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Geotrygon chrysia

The Key West quail-dove is a bird, adorned with a rich, reddish-brown back, pinkish underparts, and a distinctive blue-gray head marked by a white eye stripe. This elusive species is primarily found in the Caribbean, with sightings also reported from the southernmost tip of Florida, specifically in the Key West area, from which its name derives.

The Key West quail-dove prefers dense, tropical forests and woodlands, where it forages on the ground for seeds, fruits, and small invertebrates. Known for its shy and secretive nature, this dove is more often heard than seen, with a soft, cooing call that adds to the mystique of its dense habitat.

12. Red-billed pigeon

Red-billed pigeon 
Red-billed pigeon | image by Charlie Jackson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Patagioenas flavirostris

The Red-billed pigeon is a large, robust bird characterized by its blue-gray plumage and distinctive bill, which is red with a yellow tip. Native to Central America and Mexico, extending into the southern tip of Texas, this pigeon inhabits a variety of wooded environments including forests, mangroves, and groves near water sources.

It is known for its strong, direct flight and a diet that primarily consists of fruits and seeds. The Red-billed pigeon is often found in pairs or small groups and is recognized by its deep, resonant cooing calls that contribute to the soundscape of its habitat.

13. Smooth-billed ani

smooth billed ani
Smooth-billed ani | image by Matt MacGillivray via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Crotophaga ani

The Smooth-billed ani is a distinctive bird with glossy black plumage and a unique, large, and smooth bill that sets it apart from other species. Native to tropical regions of South America, the Caribbean, and parts of Florida, this bird prefers open and semi-open landscapes such as savannas, agricultural lands, and scrub areas.

Known for their communal behavior, Smooth-billed anis often live and nest in small groups, sharing parenting duties in a communal nest. Their diet consists mainly of insects, small vertebrates, and various fruits, which they forage for on the ground or in low vegetation.

14. Black-bellied hummingbird

Black-bellied hummingbird
Black-bellied hummingbird | image by AUTHOR via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Eupherusa nigriventris

The Black-bellied hummingbird is a small, vibrant bird distinguished by its shimmering green upperparts and the black belly that gives it its name. This species is endemic to the highland forests of Costa Rica and western Panama, where it thrives in cool, misty environments rich in flowering plants. The Black-bellied hummingbird is particularly attracted to areas with abundant epiphytes and bromeliads, from which it skillfully extracts nectar with its specialized bill.

Despite its elusive nature, this hummingbird plays a crucial role in pollination, transferring pollen as it feeds from flower to flower. Males and females share a similar appearance, making them less sexually dimorphic than other hummingbird species.

15. Emerald-chinned hummingbird

Emerald-chinned hummingbird
Emerald-chinned hummingbird | image by thibaudaronson via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Abeillia abeillei

The Emerald-chinned hummingbird, also known as Abeille’s hummingbird, is a tiny bird with vibrant green plumage and a distinctive emerald patch under its chin, which can be difficult to see except at close range. This bird is primarily found in the highland forests of Central America, ranging from southern Mexico to Nicaragua. It favors cool, humid environments rich in flowering plants, where it feeds on nectar while hovering and plays an important role in pollination.

The Emerald-chinned hummingbird is also known to consume small insects, adding protein to its diet. Despite its small size, this hummingbird is territorial, often defending its feeding territories from other birds.

16. Long-billed hermit

Long-billed hermit
Long-billed hermit | image by Melissa McMaste via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Phaethornis longirostris

The Long-billed hermit is a distinctive species of hummingbird known for its elongated bill and muted brown plumage, which provides excellent camouflage in its tropical forest environment. Found throughout Central and northern South America, this bird prefers the dense undergrowth of rainforests, often near streams or clearings.

The Long-billed hermit is a solitary bird, recognized by its unique humming sound and the males’ lekking behavior, where they gather in small groups to perform aerial displays and vocalize to attract mates. They feed primarily on nectar from a variety of flowers, using their long bills to access deep blooms, and also consume small insects and spiders.

17. Purple-throated mountain-gem

Purple-throated mountain-gem
Purple-throated mountain-gem | image by Becky Matsubara via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Lampornis calolaemus

The Purple-throated mountain-gem is a stunning hummingbird characterized by its vibrant purple throat (in males) set against a green and white body, with females displaying a more subdued green plumage with a white-striped throat. This species is native to the highland forests of Costa Rica and western Panama, where it flourishes in cool, misty environments abundant with flowering plants.

The Purple-throated mountain-gem is known for its agility in flight, darting between flowers to feed on nectar with its specialized bill, also consuming small insects for protein. Males are fiercely territorial, defending feeding areas from rivals with dramatic aerial displays.

18. Violet-crowned hummingbird

Violet-crowned hummingbird at rest
Violet-crowned hummingbird at rest | image by Don Faulkner via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Ramosomyia violiceps

The Violet-crowned hummingbird is a striking bird with a gleaming white underpart and a vivid violet cap, which contrasts beautifully with its green back and tail. This species is primarily found in the arid and semi-arid regions of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, particularly in areas with abundant agave and cactus flowers.

The Violet-crowned hummingbird prefers habitats that include open woodlands, desert oases, and edges of pine-oak forests where it feeds on nectar from a variety of flowering plants, demonstrating a preference for red and tubular flowers. It also consumes insects and spiders for protein. Notably territorial, these hummingbirds vigorously defend their feeding territories from other nectar-feeding birds.

19. White-throated crake

White-throated crake
White-throated crake | image by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Laterallus albigularis

The White-throated crake sports a distinctive plumage, marked by a vivid rufous coloration on its neck and breast sides, complemented by a pale, whitish throat. This bird also showcases uniquely patterned flanks, characterized by a mix of black and white bars, blending into the dense wetland vegetation of its Central American range, which stretches from southern Mexico to northwestern Colombia.

Inhabiting marshy areas rich in dense cover near water bodies, this crake is more commonly detected by its sharp calls than seen due to its secretive nature.

20. Long-billed curlew

Long-billed curlew
image: Mike’s Birds | Flickr | CC 2.0

Scientific Name: Numenius americanus

The Long-billed curlew is the largest North American shorebird, easily recognized by its extremely long, down-curved bill, which is perfectly adapted for probing deep into the mud for invertebrates. Sporting a brown mottled plumage that blends into its grassland and coastal habitats, this bird breeds in the central and western grasslands of North America and winters along the coasts from California and the Gulf of Mexico down to Central and South America.

The Long-billed curlew’s diet primarily consists of insects and crustaceans, making it an important part of the ecosystem for controlling pest populations. Known for its haunting, melodious calls, this curlew is a symbol of wild, open spaces.

21. Swallow-tailed gull

Swallow-tailed gull
Swallow-tailed gull | image by Lip Kee via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Creagrus furcatus

The Swallow-tailed gull is a seabird, unique for being the only fully nocturnal gull and seabird in the world, primarily feeding at night. It is easily identifiable by its striking appearance: adults have a deep slate-gray body, a contrasting white head, and a distinctive forked tail. Found exclusively in the Galápagos Islands and nearby waters, this gull breeds on the rocky shores and cliffs of these remote islands.

During the day, it can often be seen resting or tending to its nest, while at night, it ventures out to the ocean to feed on squid and fish, using its excellent night vision. An interesting aspect of the Swallow-tailed gull is its red eye ring, which becomes brighter during the breeding season.

22. White-capped albatross

White-capped albatross
White-capped albatross | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr

Scientific Name: Thalassarche cauta

The White-capped albatross, also known as the Shy Albatross, boasts a sleek, predominantly gray and white plumage, with a distinctive white head and nape that contrasts with its dark gray back and wings. This species is primarily found in the Southern Ocean and breeds on sub-Antarctic islands off Australia and New Zealand, including Tasmania.

The White-capped albatross is known for its impressive wingspan, which facilitates its mastery of long-distance flights over open ocean waters, where it glides effortlessly in search of food. Its diet consists mainly of fish, squid, and krill, which it skillfully catches from the surface.

23. Double-crested cormorant

double crested cormorant
Double-crested cormorant | image by:

Scientific Name: Nannopterum auritum

The Double-crested cormorant is a large waterbird known for its black plumage, distinctive orange-yellow throat patch, and, during the breeding season, two small tufts of feathers on its head that resemble crests. This species is found across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, inhabiting both freshwater and saltwater environments such as lakes, rivers, marshes, and coastal areas.

Double-crested cormorants are excellent divers, plunging underwater to catch fish with their hooked bills. They are often seen perched with their wings spread out to dry, a behavior necessary because their feathers are not completely waterproof. This characteristic allows them to dive deeper and stay underwater longer.

24. Short-tailed shearwater

Short-tailed shearwater
Short-tailed shearwater | image by Ed Dunens via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Ardenna tenuirostris

The Short-tailed shearwater, also known as the Tasmanian muttonbird, is a medium-sized seabird with a sooty-brown plumage, distinguished by its short tail and slender, dark bill. This species undertakes one of the longest migratory journeys of any bird, breeding in colonies on islands off southeastern Australia, particularly Tasmania, and spending the Northern Hemisphere summer in the North Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Japan, Alaska, and California.

The Short-tailed shearwater feeds on fish, squid, and crustaceans, diving deep underwater to catch its prey. Known for their incredible flying skills, they can cover vast distances over the ocean, utilizing the wind to glide efficiently.

25. Rough-legged hawk

rough legged hawk
Rough-legged hawk | image by Tom Koerner/USFWS via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Buteo lagopus

The Rough-legged hawk  is a medium to large raptor known for its remarkable adaptation to cold climates, including feathered legs down to the toes, which give the species its name. It exhibits significant plumage variation, ranging from dark to light morphs, but is typically characterized by its pale head and underparts, dark patches at the bends of the wings, and a distinctive band across its tail.

This hawk breeds in the Arctic tundra of North America and Eurasia and migrates south to spend the winter in open fields, marshes, and coastal prairies of the United States and southern Canada. The Rough-legged hawk has a unique hunting strategy, hovering in the air before diving to catch small mammals, primarily lemmings and voles.

26. Ferruginous pygmy-owl

Ferruginous pygmy-owl
Ferruginous pygmy-owl | photo by: Ninahale | CC 4.0 | wikicommons

Scientific Name: Glaucidium brasilianum

The Ferruginous pygmy-owl is a small, robust owl with a distinctive reddish-brown or ferruginous plumage, large round head, and no ear tufts. It has white streaks on its forehead and nape, and its tail is marked with bold white bands. This owl is found from the southern United States through Central and South America, inhabiting a variety of environments including deserts, tropical rainforests, and open grasslands.

Despite its small size, the Ferruginous pygmy-owl is a fierce predator, hunting during the day and at dusk, feeding on a wide range of prey from insects and small birds to lizards and rodents.

27. Red-bellied woodpecker

red bellied woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpecker

Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus

The Red-bellied woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker identifiable by its zebra-striped back, white rump, and red cap that runs from the bill to the nape, more pronounced in males. Contrary to its name, the red on its belly is often subtle and hard to see. This bird is found throughout the eastern United States, thriving in forests, woodlands, and suburban areas where trees are plentiful.

The Red-bellied woodpecker is known for its versatility in diet, feeding on insects, fruits, nuts, and seeds, often storing food in tree crevices for later use. It has a distinctive call, a rolling “churr” that echoes through its habitat.

28. Red-bellied macaw

Red-bellied macaw
Red-bellied macaw | image by A C Moraes via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Orthopsittaca manilatus

The Red-bellied macaw is a vibrant, medium-sized macaw characterized by its predominantly green plumage, a distinctive red patch on its belly, and a blue forehead. This bird is native to the tropical lowlands of northern South America, residing in wetlands and palm swamps, particularly favoring areas abundant with Moriche Palms, which provide both food and nesting sites.

The Red-bellied macaw feeds almost exclusively on the fruits of these palms, showcasing a unique ecological adaptation. They are social birds, often seen in pairs or small flocks, and are known for their loud, raucous calls that can be heard over long distances.

29. White-bellied antbird

White-bellied antbird
White-bellied antbird | image by Alejandro Bayer Tamayo via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Myrmeciza longipes

The White-bellied antbird lives from Panama to Brazil, favoring dense underbrush near forest edges. Males have rufous backs and gray chests with white bellies, while females are brown below with spotted wings. They’re mostly hidden, living in pairs.

Their call, a unique trill that slows and drops in pitch, often reveals their location. This bird’s varied plumage and secretive nature make it a fascinating species within its lush habitat.

30. Tawny-breasted flycatcher

Tawny-breasted flycatcher
Tawny-breasted flycatcher | image by Zieger M via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Myiobius villosus

The Tawny-breasted flycatcher is a small, attractively marked bird distinguished by its rich tawny-orange breast and throat, contrasting with a darker, olive-brown back and wings. This species is found in the humid lowland forests of Central and South America, from Honduras to Ecuador. Preferring the dense understory of primary forests, it adeptly maneuvers through foliage to catch insects mid-air, a behavior typical of flycatchers.

The Tawny-breasted flycatcher is known for its solitary nature, often seen alone or in pairs, quietly foraging for food. Despite its vibrant appearance, this bird can be elusive, blending into the forest environment.

31. Black-capped vireo

Black-capped vireo
Black-capped vireo | image by cuatrok77 via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Vireo atricapilla

The Black-capped vireo is a small, vibrant bird with a distinctive black cap for males and a grayish cap for females, complemented by white underparts and olive-green back and wings. This species is found in the United States and Mexico, particularly thriving in scrubby, brushy areas and open woodlands where it breeds. Known for its unique nesting habits, the Black-capped vireo constructs its nests in low shrubs, making it vulnerable to predation

This bird is insectivorous and adept at catching insects in mid-air or foraging among foliage. Notably, the Black-capped vireo was once considered endangered due to habitat loss and brood parasitism by the Brown-headed cowbird, but conservation efforts have helped its population to recover. 

32. Black-billed magpie

black billed magpie
Black-billed magpie | image by Kurayba via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Pica hudsonia

The Black-billed magpie is a bird, easily recognizable by its long tail, iridescent black and white plumage, and prominent black bill. This species is native to western North America, from coastal Alaska through the western United States into central Texas. It inhabits open landscapes such as meadows, grasslands, and areas with scattered trees and shrubs.

Black-billed magpies are highly intelligent and adaptable, known for their complex social structures and problem-solving abilities. They have a varied diet that includes insects, small mammals, carrion, seeds, and fruits.

33. Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee
Black-capped chickadee | Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Poecile atricapillus

The Black-capped chickadee is a small bird found in North America. It has a distinctive black cap and bib, with white cheeks and grayish wings and back. One unique feature is its cheerful call, which sounds like “chick-a-dee-dee-dee.” These birds are known for their curiosity and fearlessness, often approaching humans closely.

Black-capped chickadees are cavity nesters, often using old woodpecker holes or nest boxes. They feed on seeds, insects, and berries, and they are frequent visitors to bird feeders.

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