26 Bird Names That Start With H

Bird Names That Start With H
Photo by Paulo Brandao

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at 26 different bird names that start with H.

We’ll examine each name and what makes it distinct from the other bird names in its category, so you can choose which one you’d like to use if you happen to be writing about birds in your next blog post or book chapter. 

For example, I might start my article about this list with the following sentence: With so many birds, it can take time to find the right name for your avian protagonist.

1. Hairy Woodpecker

Native to North America, the Hairy Woodpecker(Leuconotopicus Villosus) is a medium-sized bird with a long, straight bill.

These bird names that start with H have black and white stripes on its back and a redhead that extends halfway down their neck. 

The male has a red patch on each cheek. Their diet consists of insects, carrion, acorns, beech nuts, and tree sap.

These bird names that start with H are monogamous throughout their lifetime and will often re-mate after one dies.

They can live up to 12 years in captivity or about six in the wild.

2. Harlequin Duck

The Harlequin Duck(Histrionicus Histrionicus) is a seaduck that typically spends most of its time in the water.

Their name comes from their black and white patterning that resembles a harlequin costume.

These bird names that start with H  are mainly found in North America, except for one subspecies (Histrionicus Histrionicus) which can be found in Eastern Russia. 

These bird names that start with H live in freshwater and saltwater habitats. Most often, they are seen near coasts, but they can also be found inland on lakes or rivers.

The Harlequin Ducks’ nesting habits have been little studied, although it is believed that they may nest individually or in colonies of up to 300 pairs at a time.

3. Harris’s Hawk

Harris’s Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It was given its name in honor of the American naturalist Edward Harris, who first described it in 1836.

It is found in the Western Hemisphere from southern California to northern Peru.

These bird names that start with H feed on mammals such as rabbits, hares, birds, and reptiles.

4. House Finch

Haemorhous mexicanus, also known as the House Finch, is a bird species. These bird names that start with H have various colors and patterns that allow them to blend in with the environment. It has three subspecies: 

Haemorhous mexicanus mexicanus (which is found in Eastern Mexico), Haemorhous mexicanus occidentalis (found in Western Mexico), and Haemorhous mexicanus frontalis (found primarily in Baja California).

The House Finch is a small but stocky bird with a long tail, short wings, and a large head.

5. Harpy Eagle

The harpy eagle(Harpia Harpyja) is a rarely seen bird native to South America.

The harpy eagle is considered the largest and most powerful raptor. It can grow to over 3 feet tall with a wingspan of 7.5 feet! 

The harpy eagle gets its name from the Harpies of Greek mythology, which were birds with the head and torso of a woman and the wings and claws of a bird.

These bird names that start with H are ambush predators that prey on monkeys, sloths, porcupines, anteaters, bats, armadillos – any mammal really – using their powerful talons to knock them off branches so they can be eaten.

6. Hooded Crow

The Hooded Crow is a bird that has all-black plumage. One of the most distinctive features of this bird is its large rounded head, which makes it look like a crow wearing a hood.

This species lives in the southern part of Africa and India, where they live in open grasslands and scrubland. 

These bird names that start with H are omnivores and primarily feed on insects, small animals, and various seeds.

These bird names that start with H  also scavenge for carrion from vultures or other carnivores.

7. Hook-Billed Kite

One of the many bird names that start with H, the Hook-billed Kite (Chondrohierax Uncinatus), is found in Central America and South America.

Their wingspan ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 feet, typically found in lowland rainforests near rivers or other bodies of water.

The Hook-billed Kite eats small birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects.

8. Hepatic Tanager

Hepatic Tanager (Piranga Flava) The Hepatic Tanager is a small American passerine bird.

These bird names that start with H are found in the neotropics from Mexico south to Brazil.

There are two subspecies, the Piranga Flava Piranga and the Piranga Flava flavissima, which differ mainly in size and some minor plumage details. The species name Flava means yellow in Latin.

9. House Sparrow

The House Sparrow (Passer Domesticus), also known as the English Sparrow, was first introduced to North America in the 19th century. It is not native to the continent and has become widespread.

Since it is not a true species but a sub-species of the European House Sparrow, it does not have a scientific name. 

The House Sparrow’s diet includes grains and seeds from grasses and weeds. These bird names that start with H are often found near grain silos and bird feeders.

Females build nests on or near the ground lined with grasses, leaves, feathers, wool, or hair and can have up to ten eggs at once.

10. Hooded Merganser

The hooded merganser(Lophodytes Cucullatus), also known as the common merganser or the hoodie, is a large bird of the duck family.

These bird names that start with H are found in North America and Europe. The adult is mostly dark with a white collar that can be seen when it stretches its neck. 

The female is slightly smaller than the male and has different markings on its head and breast.

Hooded mergansers are good swimmers and divers; they dive to catch fish or crustaceans. 

These bird names that start with H eat these animals either whole or by breaking them up underwater before eating them head first. They will swallow small prey whole without chewing them first.

Mergansers hunt in groups, but only one bird needs to catch something for everyone to get fed.

11. House Wren

This small brown bird with a striped head is found in North America and South America. In the United States, they can be found as far north as Alaska and south as Mexico.

The House Wren (Troglodytes Aedon) lives in various habitats, including gardens, woodlands, and marshes. 

These bird names that start with H feed on insects found on plants or the ground. Their nests are often found in dense foliage near water sources such as streams or ponds. 

House Wrens will nest in buildings if it provides some protection from their main predators: cats, snakes, and hawks.

House wrens are songbirds; males sing to attract females during mating season.

12. Hooded Oriole

The Hooded Oriole (Icterus Cucullatus) is a small, round-headed bird with a bright yellow belly and orange-red throat.

These bird names that start with H are found in Texas, Mexico, and Central America.

These birds are primarily omnivorous; they eat insects and fruit but feed on small lizards or frogs when the opportunity presents itself. 

The Hooded Oriole nests in tree cavities near water, often sharing its territory with other birds, such as wrens.

These bird names that start with H are migratory, meaning they will winter south of the United States and return north for the breeding season.

13. Hudsonian Whimbrel

One of the most endangered seabirds in North America, the Hudsonian Whimbrel (Numenius hudsonicus), is a small shorebird that breeds in Canada and Alaska.

These bird names that start with H migrate to South America for winter, where they can be seen from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, up to Chile. 

These bird names that start with H are also found on subantarctic islands such as the Prince Edward Islands, Crozet Islands, and Kerguelen Islands.

The population of this bird declined by 85% between 1970 and 2010, and it is threatened by predators, farming (especially sheep ranching), climate change, habitat destruction, and prey availability.

14. Hawaiian Hawk

The Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius) is the most common bird of prey in the Hawaiian islands and has beautiful plumage.

These hawks are large birds with wingspan reaching up to four feet.

While they mostly eat smaller birds, these hawks will also eat small mammals such as rats and mice. 

As their name suggests, these hawks are found only in Hawaii but are not native to the area.

These bird names that start with H were introduced from Asia by settlers in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

15. Hooded Vulture

The hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes Monachus), also known as the white-backed Vulture, is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.

These bird names that start with H are found in sub-Saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal to Somalia. 

The first use of the term hooded to refer to vultures can be traced back to Aristotle, who named this bird ἠ κυδωνιατης ὀιστος, which is translated as the Syrian Vulture.

Aristotle’s description of these birds was based on observations from Alexander the Great’s army, which passed through Asia Minor and Persia during the 4th century BC.

16. Hardhead

The Hardhead or Australasian Bittern (Aythya australis) is migratory birds breed in eastern Asia and Australia.

These bird names that start with H are fairly small but have large heads, which is why they were named the Hardhead.

They can be found in the breeding season in coastal mudflats, marshes, swamps, and flooded grasslands. 

These bird names that start with H feed on fish and other water animals like frogs and crayfish. The males will also feed their chicks while the females incubate their eggs.

17. Hen Harrier

Hen Harriers (Circus Cyaneus) are raptors in open areas across the Northern Hemisphere. These bird names that start with H are named after their distinctive hen-like call.

Hen Harriers live at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators, so they can hunt whatever they want without fear of being hunted. 

This has led to their diet consisting mostly of rodents, hares, and other small mammals.

Hen Harriers fly low over fields, using long wing strokes to cover large distances while scanning for prey below.

When they find something too big or dangerous to attack, they will team up with another Hen Harrier and attack it together.

18. Hood Mockingbird

The Hood Mockingbird (Mimus Macdonaldi) is a small, long-tailed bird that measures about six inches.

It has a dark gray head, blackish brown body and wings, and white underparts.

These bird names that start with H are found in the southwest United States and northern Mexico. 

The Hood Mockingbird inhabits shrubby areas, thickets, brushy pastures, chaparral habitats, and pine forests of Arizona and New Mexico.

The diet consists mainly of insects during the summer but includes large amounts of fruit during the winter.

19. Hill Pigeon

The Hill Pigeon (Columba Rupestris), also known as the Rock Dove, is a bird that can be found worldwide.

Hill Pigeons can typically be found in groups of two or three, but sometimes they are seen on their own.

These bird names that start with H are one of the most common birds in this country and make their homes at parks, golf courses, and other green spaces. 

Females will lay one egg daily for about 19 days straight before stopping. The average clutch size is four eggs, with an incubation period lasting 13 to 15 days.

20. Heermann’s Gull

Heermann’s Gull (Larus Heermanni) is one of the most common gulls on the west coast of North America.

It breeds in colonies along the entire California coast, from Baja California in Mexico to British Columbia. 

The gull prefers to nest on rocky cliffs and other coastal habitats. These bird names that start with H usually lay two eggs incubated for about four weeks.

21. Hook-Billed Kingfisher

The Hook-billed Kingfisher (Melidora Macrorrhina) is a bird in the kingfisher group.

These bird names that start with H are found near small streams and rivers in Costa Rica and Panama.

The Hook-billed Kingfisher has a bill that can open wide to catch prey from the water’s surface. 

Its coloration makes it very difficult for predators to spot it in its natural habitat. Females lay two eggs at a time which both parents incubate.

The chicks will typically leave the nest after about five weeks but may stay around for up to two months before leaving.

22. Hermit Warbler

The Hermit Warbler (Setophaga Occidentalis) is an uncommon bird in North America.

It breeds in the southwestern United States and Mexico and winters mainly in the southern United States.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and heavily degraded former forests.

The Hermit Warbler is a medium-sized songbird with a long tail.

These bird names that start with H have upper grayish brown with black streaks; the head is gray with white sides; the throat is white; the breast is pale yellowish to brownish, often tinged pink on the sides and belly; and there are two black bars on each wing.

23. Hooded Grosbeak

When the Hooded Grosbeak (Hesperiphona Abeillei) was first discovered in 1881, it was thought to be a hybrid between a Scarlet Tanager and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

The bird’s scientific name, Hesperiphona Abeillei, reflects this misidentification. These bird names that start with H are currently classified as belonging to their genus. 

Hooded Grosbeaks are native to eastern North America, where they breed in deciduous forests of the Appalachian Mountains and winter in the southern United States and Mexico.

The species is migratory. In fall, they fly south over the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean and return north in spring along similar routes but over land.

24. Hammond’s Flycatcher

Hammond’s Flycatcher (Empidonax Hammondii) is a small, insectivorous bird found in North America and Mexico.

It belongs to the flycatcher family and is known for its distinct call, which sounds like chuck-will’s widow.

They are often found perched on a low branch of a tree or shrub, waiting for prey to come near. 

When it spots an insect, it will fly off from its perch and catch it mid-air. These bird names that start with H do not migrate anywhere except during the winter when very few insects are available for food.

25. House Crow

House crows (Corvus Splendens) are black with a white-bordered tail and dark brown beak.

These bird names that start with H are mostly found in the Asian countries of India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Thailand. House crows will nest in trees or on the ground. 

The parents will feed their young by regurgitating food into their baby’s mouth. House crows are very social birds and live together in family groups containing up to ten individuals.

26. Helmeted Guineafowl

The Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida Meleagris) is a medium-sized bird native to Africa. It has distinctive black and white plumage.

These bird names that start with H are ground birds that live in groups of 10 or more with one dominant male. 

These bird names that start with H feed on seeds, berries, and insects. Helmeted Guineafowls are also known for their loud, crow-like call, which can be heard up to 1 mile away.


It takes a lot of hard work to keep up with all the bird names that start with H, so we narrowed it down to just 26. Here they are, in alphabetical order.

The Hooded Crow is one bird name that starts with H and has a dark gray head and neck and a light gray chest and belly. 

Other bird names that start with H include House Sparrow, Horned Lark, Harlequin Duck (A small diving duck from North America), Harrier Hawk (a medium-sized hawk found throughout much of North America), and more!

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