185+ Bird Names That Soar Above the Rest

Updated: Jan. 15, 2024

Why do people say "for the birds" like it's a bad thing? All these bird names, which are very much for the birds, are absolutely adorable!

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but dogs love pretty much everyone. Birds, on the other hand, are monogamous creatures by nature, according to veterinarian and bird enthusiast Maria Baker, DVM. Accordingly, if you bring a pet bird home and treat it with love, you’re pretty much guaranteed to become the center of its universe. Now, the only question becomes what to name your adorable, loyal and highly intelligent little friend. Like all pet names, bird names matter—perhaps even more so.

Well, at least more so than fish names, hamster names and bunny names. Because unlike these other animals, birds are capable of acquiring human language, and some may even learn to use it meaningfully. Many birds not only recognize their name but also may learn to speak it aloud. And once they do, you may be hearing it on repeat, says parrot expert Amanda Strahle, founder of the subscription service Squawk Box. So you’ll want to make sure to choose a pet bird name that you won’t mind using and hearing—a lot.

To make it easy for you, we’ve rounded up nearly 200 of the best names for birds. To make it easier still, we’ve divided them into categories, from cute bird names to funny bird names and more. But first, here are some bird-naming tips you’ll want to keep in mind.

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What should you keep in mind when naming a bird?

“You can name your bird anything and they will learn it if you talk to them enough,” Strahle says. Like dolphins and chimps, birds are among the smartest animals. Actually, birds can operate at a cognitive level similar to 5-year-old humans. They can learn to identify colors, shapes, patterns and solve puzzles, as well as master tricks such as waving, dancing and spinning. Strahle’s own parrot, Bertrim, taught himself to whittle a back-scratcher out of a sliver of wood. Moreover, birds are capable of imitating human speech, and that includes recognizing and responding to their own name with a whistle, a head turn or a squawk.

There is some question, of course, as to quite how much birds understand language. “Many birds will turn their heads or stop what they are doing when they hear their name,” says Mustafa Tshash, founder of Howto-pets.com, but it may be that when they hear that particular sound, they associate it with good things happening, as opposed to understanding that it’s their name. On the other hand, Strahle points to research out of Harvard from the 1970s, in which an African Grey parrot by the name of Alex was observed to reliably identify more than 100 objects by name, suggesting that birds are capable of abstract thought. Alex could even pose questions to his handlers. In fact, that’s how Alex found out he was gray, as opposed to some other color.

And so, to get the ball rolling, let’s start with Alex, one of those bird names that happens to be cute, cool, historical and kind of funny, not to mention super appropriate for a gray bird.

Cute bird names

Bird name handwritten on an image of a pet birdRD.com, Getty Images

Similar to the best dog and puppy names, many bird owners choose names that reflect their birds’ personalities, Tshash tells Reader’s Digest. The examples he gave us include Chirpy and Sunshine, which are pretty darn adorable. So, might we conclude that all, or at least many, birds have personalities that might be described as cute? Sure, no harm in that … as long as you remember that some birds may prefer a name with more existential heft.

  • Chirpy
  • Chirpa
  • Twee
  • Tweak
  • Squeakers
  • Sunshine
  • Sunny
  • Taffy
  • Happy
  • Babette
  • Baby
  • Bebe
  • Bertie
  • Birdie
  • Dinky
  • Lucy
  • Daphne
  • Peanut
  • Ollie
  • Goldie
  • Sparky
  • Smooches
  • Cookie

Cool bird names

Bird name handwritten on an image of a pet birdRD.com, Getty Images

While pretty much all birds are cute, some just happen to be cooler than others, and when they learn to talk, they might actually be inclined to remind you of that—especially if you teach your bird to mimic you saying, “I’m cool.” Cool birds, of course, deserve cool bird names. Some of these, as you’ll see, are cool by association, while others are clever or meaningful, like Zazu, which is the Swahili word for movement, and Rafiki, which means friend (and yes, both are Lion King references too). Take your pick below!

  • Wiley (as in Wile E. Coyote, who chased after Road Runner)
  • Kiwi
  • Zazu
  • Rafiki
  • Gibson (as in the guitar)
  • Bruno
  • Talon
  • Diva
  • Aria (especially if your bird loves to sing)
  • Phoenix
  • Camaro
  • Tesla
  • Harley
  • Fleetwood
  • Jagger
  • Ava (as in “aviary”)
  • Orna (as in “ornithology,” the study of birds)
  • Rodrigo
  • Chanel
  • Nighthawk
  • Batman
  • Yaz
  • Hawkeye
  • Dizzy (as in Gillespie)
  • Elvis

Some of these names could also work for cool cats.

Funny bird names

Bird name handwritten on an image of a pet birdRD.com, Getty Images

“Choosing a name that reflects your bird’s unique traits can add a personal touch and make the name more meaningful to you and your bird,” says veterinarian and bird owner Tehreem Puri, DVM. “So when selecting a name, consider your bird’s characteristics, appearance or behavior.” Since birds can be hilarious creatures, you might want to choose one of these funny names—or use them as a jumping-off point for your own special brand of humor.

  • Feather Locklear
  • Wing-ston Churchill
  • Winston Church-bill
  • Daffy Cluck
  • Wingman
  • Beakachu
  • Flappy Gilmore
  • Marty McFly
  • Queen Elizabird
  • Mrs. Flutterworth
  • Chirp-monk
  • Billie Eilish
  • Clawed Monet
  • Cecil Beak DeMille
  • Liberace
  • Manilow
  • Kevin Bacon (this way, everyone you know will be one degree from Kevin Bacon)
  • Mr. Beaks
  • Squawk

Famous bird names

Bird name handwritten on an image of a pet birdRD.com, Getty Images

There are more famous birds out there than you might realize. Think: cartoon birds in Disney movies, birds from literature (including the Harry Potter franchise) and birds like Alex, the gray parrot mentioned above. Match your feathered friend’s looks or personality to one of the choices below for a fun, pop-culture-inspired moniker.

  • Tweety
  • Woodstock
  • Hedwig (Harry Potter)
  • Buckbeak (Harry Potter)
  • Iago (Aladdin)
  • Scuttle (The Little Mermaid)
  • Diablo (Maleficent)
  • Gwehir (Lord of the Rings)
  • Poll (Robinson Crusoe)
  • Daffy
  • Daisy
  • Donald
  • Huey
  • Dewey
  • Louie
  • Darkwing
  • Mockingjay
  • Foghorn (Foggy for short)
  • Kevin (Up)
  • Archimedes (The Sword and the Stone)
  • Heihei (Moana)
  • Lady Cluck
  • Woody
  • Heckle
  • Jeckle
  • Larry Bird

Parrot names

Bird name handwritten on an image of a pet birdRD.com, Getty Images

Parrots, which are incredibly loyal birds, can and will mimic human speech, as well as many sounds. Parrots also have exceptional problem-solving abilities and can “use tools, understand cause-and-effect relationships and demonstrate innovative problem-solving strategies,” says Dr. Puri. They can even learn how to navigate an agility course. With all that in mind, Dr. Puri suggests giving your parrot a name that’s easy to pronounce and distinct from other words or sounds in their environment. Here are a bunch to inspire you.

  • Polly (so in, it’s out; so out, it’s back in!)
  • Paulie
  • Paula
  • Peaches
  • Jack
  • Cartman
  • Lola
  • Kirby
  • Tiny
  • Pete
  • Paco
  • Peep
  • Rumor
  • Captain Flint (the name of pirate Long John Silver’s parrot)
  • Silver
  • Ziggy
  • Zeus
  • Gilmore (as in Gilmore Girls, one of the most talkative television shows ever)
  • Motormouth
  • Asia (where many parrots are from)
  • Rio (a popular name for parrots because many come from South America)

Just be aware that not all birds are legal to keep as pets. In fact, all these animals are illegal to have as pets in the United States.

Parakeet names

Bird name handwritten on an image of a pet birdRD.com, Getty Images

You may be surprised to learn that parrots aren’t the only animals that can talk. And they’re certainly not the only birds who can do so. In fact, parakeets are also verbal bird creatures. They’re known for chirping and screeching, as well as whistling and singing. But their love-struck owners will tell you they make up for their noisiness with their utter adorableness, not to mention their all-around intelligence.

  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Tilly
  • Trilly
  • Magnus
  • Screech
  • Whistler
  • Budget (parakeets are often known as budgies)
  • Budge
  • Budgie
  • Parakeith
  • Parakeith Richards
  • Perry
  • Pippa
  • Pipsqueak
  • Penelope
  • Puck
  • Coco
  • Cleo
  • Blueberry
  • Tiki
  • Tango
  • Ozzy
  • Buster Parakeeton
  • Diane Parakeeton
  • Keto
  • Dorito
  • Disco
  • Pickles

Red bird names

Bird name handwritten on an image of a pet birdRD.com, Getty Images

Many cultures view red birds as auspicious. Some believe red birds possess or foretell good fortune, while others see them as symbols of renewal. Still others believe they’ve been sent as messengers from above. And many people simply recognize the breathtaking beauty of a bird whose feathers are the color of a sunset, a ruby, a rose or a blazing campfire. Here are some naming ideas that bring their beautiful colors to mind.

  • Ruby
  • Blaze
  • Scarlett
  • ScarJo
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset
  • Firecracker
  • Sparkplug
  • Erik the Red
  • Clifford
  • Rosie
  • Rosa
  • Garnet
  • Flambé
  • Cherry
  • Berry
  • Chilli
  • Poppy
  • Sangria
  • Zinfandel
  • Zinnia

If you’re a bird lover, these bird puns will quack you up. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist!)

Blue bird names

Bird name handwritten on an image of a pet birdRD.com, Getty Images

Bluebirds are almost universally associated with good stuff like love, peace, hope and happiness. Of course, not all blue birds are bluebirds. There are also blue lovebirds, blue doves and blue ground doves, among others. And those other blue birds tend to be associated with good things too. Hence, lots of our blue bird names conjure up pretty colors, sparkly gemstones, the moon and the ocean. But bird names don’t have to be so very on the nose. If you’re looking for a cool twist on the blue theme, consider one of the blues musicians we’ve included at the end of this list.

  • Bluebell
  • Cornflower
  • Bluebeard (the flower, although the pirate is also fun inspo)
  • Aster
  • Thistle
  • Iris
  • Violet
  • Agave
  • Indigo
  • Topaz
  • Lazuli
  • Sapphire
  • Skye
  • Turquoise
  • Jewel
  • Moon
  • Luna
  • Laguna
  • Howlin’ Wolf
  • Etta James
  • B.B. King