29 Bird Names That Start With D

Fascinating Bird Names That Start With D
Photo by Hans Veth

What’s in a name? Quite a lot! A bird’s name often makes it easier to identify, especially when looking at birds on the other side of the world. 

Many of these beautiful creatures have names that come from their appearance or the sounds they make, but some are named after people who discovered them or were instrumental in saving them from extinction.

If you want to learn more about bird names that start with D, look at this list of 29 fascinating birds!

1. Dovekie

Dovekie(Alle Alle) is a small, black-and-white seabird of the northern Atlantic ocean. They are named after the word dovekie, which means little dove.

These bird names that start with D are often seen in large groups foraging for food on the ocean’s surface. 

The only other bird species in their genus is the Dove Alle Alle, found in South America. As they fly, they look like they have one tail feather.

When this bird dives underwater to catch fish, it uses its feet as paddles and its wings as rudders to steer through the water. 

These bird names that start with D spend much time swimming below the water’s surface, eating krill, squid, and plankton.

Unlike most birds who use sight to find food, these birds primarily use sound because seeing under dark waters can be difficult.

2. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker(Picoides Pubescens) is a small bird of the woodpecker family. They are one of the smallest birds in North America, measuring just six inches in length.

The Downy Woodpeckers have black and white barred patterns on their backs and breasts, a red face, and a black stripe on their back. 

Males have orange cheeks, which are more pronounced during courtship. The Downy Woodpeckers live year-round in most of North America south of Canada.

These bird names that start with D eat insects and spiders from trees but sometimes come to the ground for food if ants or other ground-dwelling insects are available.

3. Dusky Grouse

The dusky grouse(Dendragapus Obscurus) is a medium-sized bird of the grouse family.

These bird names that start with D are found in the northern regions of North America, including Alaska, Canada, and some parts of the United States. 

The males have a reddish brown plumage which becomes more greyish brown on the lower part of their body. The females are a less colorful version of the male but are nonetheless strikingly beautiful birds.

4. Dark-Billed Cuckoos

Dark-billed cuckoos(Coccyzus Melacoryphus) are found in the tropical areas of Central and South America.

These bird names that start with D are also sometimes called Coccyzus melacoryphus or black-billed cuckoo.

They were formerly classified as a species until scientists determined they were just a subspecies of the American Black Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus). 

The dark-billed cuckoos have very similar calls to the other birds in the Coccyzums, but they have some variations, such as a slightly lower-pitched call.

In addition, they can be identified by their dark-colored bills and black legs, while most other species have yellow bills and white legs.

5. Dusky Hummingbird

The dusky hummingbird(Phaeoptila Sordida) is a hummingbird native to the Americas.

There are 14 different subspecies, and they can be found in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, and Uruguay. 

The name dusky comes from their dark-colored body plumage. These bird names that start with D have a dark brown back and crown contrasting with their white underparts. Some males have red coloring on their foreheads.

Their tail feathers are blackish-brown or blackish-gray. Females are a little smaller than males and have less distinct colors on the upper parts of their bodies.

6. Dusky Pigeon

The dusky pigeon(Patagioenas Goodsoni) is a bird of the Columbidae family. It has mostly black plumage but a white belly and white stripes on its wings.

These bird names that start with D can be found in South America, Central America, and Mexico. 

The dusky pigeon feeds primarily on seeds and grains such as oats, rice, millet, and wheat. This bird is monogamous; it mates for life and generally breeds once per year. 

The dusky pigeon’s name comes from the Spanish word for black (negro) because of its black plumage.

7. Double-Striped Thick-Knee

The Double-Striped Thick-Knee(Burhinus Bistriatus) is a bird species in the Burhinidae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Double-Striped Thick-Knee gets its name from the two black stripes on its long legs. 

It has a large head and short tail and can grow up to 30cm in length. These bird names that start with D are often seen walking slowly across the ground, looking for insects to eat or picking food off plants.

8. Double-Crested Cormorant

The Double-Crested Cormorant(Nannopterum Auritum) is widely distributed in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. These bird names that start with D eat a wide variety of fish but prefer eels. 

The Double-Crested Cormorant measures about 45 centimeters long and has dark brown plumage on its head.

It’s also called the American White Pelican because it was previously considered the same species as the American White Pelican.

9. Double-Toothed Kite

The Double-toothed Kite(Harpagus bidentatus) is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.

These bird names that start with D breeds from eastern Afghanistan eastwards to western China and south to northern Pakistan and central India. It is often found near water, such as rivers, lakes, or rice fields. 

The Double-toothed Kite builds a stick nest in trees or on buildings. These bird names that start with D lay 2-3 eggs. 

The Double-toothed Kite is a species of the kite (a type of bird) in the family Accipitridae. 

These bird names that start with D are found in Eastern Afghanistan, eastward to western China, and south to northern Pakistan and central India.

They are often found near water, such as rivers, lakes, or rice fields.

10. Dusky-Capped Flycatcher

The dusky-capped Flycatcher (Myiarchus Tuberculifier) is a small, perching bird of the tyrant flycatcher family.

These sparrow-sized bird names that start with D have olive-grey upper parts and bright yellow underparts. It has a short tail and a short black bill with a yellow base. 

Two broad white wing bars can be seen in flight or when it perches on branches. Males have an orange throat patch bordered by narrow black lines, while females have white throats without black lines.

The dusky-capped Flycatcher is found in pine and oak forests from southern Mexico to northern Argentina and Paraguay.

11. Dusky Warbler

The dusky warbler(Phylloscopus Fuscatus) is a small bird measuring about six inches in length. Its plumage varies seasonally, shifting from mostly brown-grey to pale yellow-brown.

These bird names that start with D males and females of this species are similar in appearance, though the male’s face is typically brighter than the female’s. 

An insectivorous bird consumes its prey by capturing it on the ground or flying down to pick it up off leaves and twigs.

The diet of this species typically consists of beetles, flies, caterpillars, aphids, and ants.

Dusky warblers are migratory birds that travel south for winter when their territory becomes inhospitable due to cold weather. In warmer climates, they do not migrate but stay put throughout the year.

12. Dark-Sided Flycatcher

The Dark-sided Flycatcher(Muscicapa Sibirica) is a small bird of the Muscicapidae family.

It is similar in appearance to the Eastern Great Grey Shrike but has a smaller head, and it also has a dark eye stripe and two dark wing bars.

The Dark-sided Flycatcher’s range includes much of Europe, Asia Minor, and Central Asia. 

It is rare north of its European range but can be found as far east as northern Japan in winter.

These bird names that start with D are migratory birds traveling south in the fall to spend their winter months in Southeast Asia and Australasia.

They migrate from North Africa across the Arabian Peninsula to India during Springtime to nest there.

13. Dark-Eyed Junco

The Dark-Eyed Junco(Junco Hyemalis) is a beautiful bird from North America. It’s commonly referred to as the Gray-headed junco or the Junco Hyemalis.

These bird names that start with D are members of the junco family and have black feathers on their head, neck, and back. 

The wings are brown with black bars and white edges. Its chest is white, and it has a black tail.

The male dark-eyed junco is different than the female in its appearance because it has a bright orange bill while females have a duller yellowish color bill.

14. Dwarf Cuckoo

The dwarf cuckoo(Coccycua Pumila) is a very elusive bird, and the word dwarf in its name refers to the fact that it is one of the smallest members of the Cuculidae family.

These bird names that start with D are found in South America, from Colombia and Venezuela to Peru.

The dwarf cuckoo has gray plumage on its upper body, a brown tail, and a faint black line on its chest. 

These bird names that start with D live in forested areas, where they feed mostly on insects and spiders found on vegetation or under leaves; they are most active at dawn and dusk.

15. Dusky Thrush

The dusky thrush(Turdus Enormous) is a bird that lives in the forests of Central and South America.

These bird names that start with D have a dark brown back, white underparts, and a black head. The bird’s song is harsh and loud. 

It forages in the trees for fruit, berries, insects, and small animals like lizards. These bird names that start with D live in different habitats ranging from dry scrubland to tropical rainforests.

A female usually lays three eggs which are spotted brown and speckled blue-gray.

16. Dickcissel

Dickcissel(Spiza Americana) is a small sparrow-like bird in the family of finches and is native to North America.

Dickcissels can be found during summertime when they forage insects and seeds on the ground. 

Males have a black head, back, wings, and tail; brown breasts and flanks; white belly; and red eyes. Females are more nondescript brownish birds with streaked underparts.

17. Dusky Nightjar

The Dusky Nightjar(Antrostomus Saturatus) is a medium-sized bird that belongs to the genus Antrostomus.

These bird names that start with D  have a dusky brown head and back, pale grey throat, white underparts, and brown wings with dark bars. Its legs are pinkish red. 

The female lays one or two eggs in an unlined nest in tree forks, often at the top of a dead tree or on a clump of foliage near the end of a branch.

The eggs are white with reddish-brown speckles and measure about 2 cm (0.8 in) long by 1 cm (0.4 in) wide.

18. Dickinson’s Kestrel

Dickinson’s Kestrel(Falco Dickinsoni) is a small raptor, which means they are a bird of prey.

These bird names that start with D eat birds and rodents. Dickinson’s Kestrels live in South America, specifically Brazil. 

Dickinson’s Kestrels are black on the top and white on the bottom. These bird names that start with D have a yellow stripe down their back and red eyes, which help them see in the dark. 

The way they get their food is to perch on tree limbs or telephone wires and then swoop down to catch their prey, using their nails to grab it by its neck or feet, then flying back to where they were before.

This bird was named after an American ornithologist who discovered it in 1879.

19. Dusky Flycatcher

The dusky Flycatcher (Empidonax Oberholseri) is a small passerine bird. Males are gray on the head and upper parts, while females have brown heads and wings. The rest of the body is streaked or spotted in black and white. 

These bird names that start with D are found in forests throughout North America, Central America, and South America.

The dusky Flycatcher’s diet consists primarily of insects found on leaves and trees, including ants, beetles, leafhoppers, wasps, and caterpillars.

When feeding young or when food is abundant, they may supplement their diet with spiders or other large invertebrates such as woodlice or snails.

20. Desert Owl

The desert owl(Strix Hadorami) is a nocturnal bird that hunts from dusk until dawn.

These bird names that start with D are one of the largest members of the owl family, with adults measuring up to two feet tall and weighing about three pounds.

This bird has a distinctive call: an eerie, drawn-out screech that sounds like someone dragging their nails down a chalkboard.

21. Dalmatian Pelican

The Dalmatian Pelican(Pelecanus Crispus) is one of the most distinct-looking birds in the world.

This large white bird has a gray back and a long, thin red bill. There are two subspecies: 

The American form (Pelecanus Crispus) is found from Alaska to Mexico and in the West Indies.

In contrast, the Eastern form (Pelecanus Crispus) lives on Australia’s northern coast.

22. Darwin’s Flycatcher

Darwin’s Flycatcher(Pyrocephalus Nanus) is a small species of bird found throughout South America.

These bird names that start with D are sometimes called miniature kingbirds and use their long beaks to catch flying insects. 

The Darwin’s Flycatcher is named after Charles Darwin, who discovered them in 1834 on the HMS Beagle.

Darwin’s Flycatcher has two subspecies; one inhabits lowland and mountain forests, and another is found in subtropical forests at higher elevations.

23. Dunnock

The Dunnock(Prunella Modularis) is a bird found in Europe, Asia, and North America.

This bird is known for its distinctive call, which sounds like the word Dunnock. The Dunnock is also known as the Hedge Sparrow or Hedgebird. 

These bird names that start with D have brownish upper parts and whitish underparts. It also has black spotting on its face and wings.

The female Dunnocks are generally less spotted than the males.

24. Dwarf Bittern

Dwarf Bitterns(Ixobrychus Sturmii) are found in Central and South America. These bird names that start with D  have brownish-grey plumage, long pink legs, a black bill, and brown eyes.

They live in marshes, ponds, and mangrove swamps, where they feed on small fish, frogs, and crustaceans. 

There is some disagreement about the possible subspecies of Dwarf Bittern and its classification status.

James Francis Stephens first described the bird species in 1824 based on specimens from Suriname.

25. Dunlin

Dunlin(Calidris Alpina) is a type of sandpiper among North America’s most common shorebirds. These bird names that start with D are long-billed, slender waders.

Dunlin can be found all year round on the shores of lakes, rivers, and wetlands, foraging for food. 

There are about 4 different types of dunlins: red knot, sanderling, semipalmated plover, and black turnstone.

The average lifespan of Dunlin is around 2 years, but some have been known to live up to 5 years in captivity.

The name Dunlin comes from the Gaelic word dunnan, which means brown.

26. Dusky Antbird

The dusky antbird(Cercomacroides Tyrannina) is a species of bird in the family Thamnophilidae. It is found in humid forests and thickets, including secondary forests.

The dusky antbird feeds on insects, small invertebrates, and some fruits. 

These bird names that start with D can be differentiated from other birds by their dark brownish-gray plumage and a black streak that runs from the eye to the bill.

The female lays two white eggs in nests made of roots and leaves placed close to the ground on top of stumps or logs.

27. Dusky Eagle-Owl

The dusky eagle owl(Bubo Coromandus) is a lesser-known species. It is also known as the African barred eagle-owl or dusky eagle-owl and can be found in Northern Africa and Asia.

The bird is a medium-sized owl, about half the size of a great-horned owl. The bird has a distinctive round head, large yellow eyes, and white eyebrows.

These bird names that start with D  are mainly nocturnal but are sometimes seen during daylight hours.

28. Dwarf Jay

The Dwarf Jay(Cyanolyca Nanus) is the little bluejay. This species of bird is found in Mexico and Central America.

These bird names that start with D  are very small but strong birds; Their feathers are blue, and they have black faces and wings. 

These bird names that start with D live high in trees and feed on berries, insects, spiders, and nectar.

These bird names that start with D make their nests out of twigs. The female lays three eggs at a time which hatch after 14 days.

29. Diamond Dove

The Diamond Dove(Geopelia cuneata) is a stunning species of bird that can be found worldwide.

These bird names that start with D derive from its diamond-shaped black head, contrasting beautifully with its white and gray plumage. You may also recognize this bird by its ringed tail or striking coloration. 

The Diamond Dove is one of the most common birds in the world, and it’s sometimes referred to as the poor man’s parrot because of how easy they are to breed.

The average lifespan for this species is 10-12 years, but their maximum lifespan can reach up to 20 years if they’re kept in captivity.


Dippers are a type of aquatic bird named for their habit of dipping their long beaks into the water for fish. They have striking black and white plumage and a piercing call.

Dippers also have an amazing sense of balance, able to perch on the edge of a waterfall and remain motionless for long periods. 

One of my favorite bird names starts with D! Did you know about these other bird names that start with D?

Ducklings are cute little birds with round heads and wings and bright orange feet.

Ducks are part of the Anatidae family of birds, including swans, geese, flamingos, and more. Did you know that more bird names start with D?

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