Names of birds are important because they allow us to identify them if we see them in the wild or if we decide to make them part of our lives.
However, we don’t always get it right! Most bird names have some meaning or history, which can help you learn more about your pet and appreciate it even more.
1. Macaroni Penguin
The first on my list of bird names that start with M is the macaroni penguin, a small species of penguin, one of six in the genus Eudyptes.
It is found across much of Antarctica, typically on rocky coasts and ice-free areas close to open water, although it can also be found inland on some sub-Antarctic islands with cliffs or rock faces.
They stand around 50cm tall and can weigh up to 5kg. The macaroni penguin got its name from its resemblance to a type of pasta (macaroni).
There are two kinds of macaroni penguins: the Magellanic penguin, which lives in South America, and the king penguin, which lives in Southern Africa.
2. Mountain Bluebird
The second on my list of bird names that start with M is the Mountain Bluebird, a small bird with a disproportionately large voice. It is home in an open country and can be found in North America east of the Rockies.
They are often seen alone or in pairs, hopping on the ground, looking for insects. In late summer, they gather in small flocks to migrate southward.
Mountain Bluebirds build their nests on a cliff ledge or under an overhanging rock or tree branch, often near water and at elevations as high as 8000 feet above sea level.
Females typically lay 4-6 eggs which hatch after about 12 days. Once the young fledge, both parents feed them for another 10-12 days until they’re old enough to care for themselves.
3. Madagascar Fish Eagle
The third on my list of bird names that start with M is the Madagascar Fish Eagle.
It gets its name from its tendency to hunt for fish in rivers and lakes. The bird is found on the eastern coast of Africa from Somalia to South Africa.
The Malagasy Pygmy Kingfisher is one of two species under the family Alcedinidae in Madagascar.
This bird nests in tree cavities, making it vulnerable to nest loss. Despite this, the population is estimated at 10-25 thousand mature individuals.
4. Madeira Firecrest
The fourth on my list of bird names that start with M is the Madeira Firecrest, a small passerine bird measuring 12 cm in length and weighing 8 grams.
It is endemic to the island of Madeira, Portugal. The male has a shiny green head, chestnut wings and tail, and white underparts.
Females are brown above and buff below. It was traditionally classed as an Old World flycatcher, but evidence from molecular studies suggests it belongs to an ancient lineage of New World warblers.
They feed mainly on insects and spiders taken from leaves, flowers, or bark; occasionally, they feed on nectar.
They can often be seen giving their jerk display which may startle potential predators by suddenly dropping down onto the ground and then leaping up again into a tree, where they continue their jerking display.
5. Magellanic Penguin
Moving on, the next on my list of bird names that start with M is the Magellanic Penguin, one of the most interesting birds on this list.
These lovely little creatures are native to Southern Chile and Eastern Argentina, where they live near the coastlines.
They are also found in Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago in southern South America.
Magellanic can grow up to 47cm (19 inches) tall and weigh as much as 9kg (20 pounds).
They have a black back and white belly, and their wings are dark blue or black with a white border.
Magellanic penguins eat krill, squid, fish, and other crustaceans; they often fast when there isn’t enough food.
6. Malabar Trogon
The next on my list of bird names that start with M is the Malabar trogon, a small bird that lives in dense forests and coastal areas of India. They hunt by sallying out from a perch to catch insects.
These birds can be found in large numbers in some parts of their range, but they are rare everywhere.
They are often confused with blue flycatchers or Indian robins. The latter two species have red eye-rings, while Malabar trogons do not.
Malabar trogons reach 9 to 10 inches long, and males tend to be slightly larger than females.
This bird is green or brown on top but white underneath, so it blends into its surroundings when perched on branches high up off the ground.
7. Mourning Dove
The next on my list of bird names that start with M is the Mourning Dove, one of the most widespread and abundant birds from southern Canada to Central America.
They are mainly active during the day and feed on seeds, buds, berries, corn, and other crops.
The Mourning Dove is a monogamous species; a mated pair will remain together for life. Females build their nests in sheltered areas like those provided by shrubs or trees.
These birds mate for life and produce between two and five eggs each year, which they incubate for around thirteen days before hatching.
8. Masked Crimson Tanager
The next on my list of bird names that start with M is the Masked Crimson Tanager, a beautiful bird whose name also reflects this.
The Latin word for the mask is persona, which gives us the word persona in English. A person’s persona is their public image or personality.
Masked Crimson Tanagers have a great public image—bright red birds with black feathers on their head, chest, and wings.
They live in Mexico and Central America, eating fruit from tropical trees. These birds are easy to spot in these parts of the world because of their encouraging words!
9. Masked Flowerpiercer
Did you know that there are bird names that start with M ? If you’re looking for new names to learn, here is the Masked Flowerpiercer, a small, black bird found in Central and South America.
The Masked Flowerpiercer is a bird native to South America. It’s found in Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. It’s a small bird less than six inches long when fully grown.
The Masked Flowerpiercer spends most of its time on the ground and often feeds on insects.
They can be recognized by their black and white speckled wings and head. They also have a red band around their neck.
10. Masked Trogon
The next on my list of bird names that start with M is the Masked Trogon, a small bird found in Central and South America. They are skittish and will fly away if they sense any danger.
The Masked Trogon gets its name from its distinctive black and blue mask, which is usually only visible when they are in flight.
Although it’s called the Masked Trogon, it’s not a type of trogon! It belongs to the family of birds known as quetzals. Their diet consists mostly of fruits and insects and occasionally small lizards.
They build nests on tall trees near water sources or manufactured structures such as houses or power lines.
Moving on to the next on my list of bird names that start with M, here is Merlin, a type of falcon. It’s also the name of a wizard from Arthurian legend and a character in Disney’s The Sword in the Stone.
They have short, rounded wings and short tails. They typically prey on small mammals such as rodents and shrews.
However, some members of this species will eat lizards and frogs. Females lay eggs four to five times per year, which hatch into helpless young birds called eyasses that can’t fly for three months after hatching.
The next on my list of bird names that start with M is the Mallard, a common water bird member of the Anatidae family of ducks. Its name comes from Latin, meaning wild drake.
The Mallards are greenish-brown birds and have a distinctive light blue bill.
They get their name from their habit of dabbling in shallow water to feed on aquatic plants and small animals.
They are one of the most widespread species in temperate and subarctic regions across North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
Mallards live in marshes, wetlands, ponds, and other wet habitats like lakes and rivers. In winter, they migrate south to warmer areas if it gets too cold where they live.
In many parts of the world, Mallards are considered pests because they can carry diseases like avian flu and other ailments, which can be transmitted to humans through animal feces or by coming into contact with an infected bird’s feathers or droppings.
13. Meyer’s Parrot
One of the bird names that start with M is Meyer’s Parrot. Meyer’s Parrot is a parrot endemic to Indonesia and New Guinea.
It gets its name from German zoologist Georg Wilhelm Meyer, who discovered it in 1845.
Males are mostly green, while females are more yellow or blue, depending on the region. They can grow up to 15 inches long (including the tail) and weigh about 4 ounces.
They live for about 20 years in the wild but can live for up to 50 years if taken care of by humans. In captivity, they have been known to live for over 80 years!
14. Monk Parakeet
Still on my list of bird names that start with M is the Monk Parakeet or Quaker Parrot, a very large and brightly colored parrot.
They are native to South America and live in flocks of about 20-30 individuals.
They’re typically seen foraging for food on the ground or flying high up in trees, but they can also nest in abandoned structures, including churches.
The Monk Parakeet gets its name from their call, which sounds like a monk chanting.
They were originally brought to North America as pets, so if you see one outside of captivity, it was most likely released by an owner who couldn’t keep it anymore.
These birds eat fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts in captivity.
15. Mountain Wagtail
The next on m list of bird names that start with M is the Mountain Wagtail, and they are medium-sized, long-tailed birds in the same family as North American Pied Wagtails and European Pied Wagtails.
It is found throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara Desert.
They are usually found near water sources, such as streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. They like to perch on rocks or low branches overhanging water while they feed on insects and spiders.
The African bird’s wingspan is about 20 inches, and can fly for about 45 miles an hour.
16. Mountain Chickadee
The next on my list of bird names that start with M is the Mountain Chickadee, a bird that lives in North America.
It is found in Canada and the United States and does not migrate. Its name comes from its call, which sounds like chick-a-dee.
These birds eat insects, spiders, fruit, and seeds. They build their nests on branches of coniferous trees or shrubs, sometimes in bird boxes such as those used by chickadees to nest in.
The mountain chickadee mates for life and will often stay together for up to two years after a breeding season.
If one of them dies during this period, the other bird will either try to find another mate or live alone until it dies.
17. Mute Swan
The next on my list of bird names that start with M is the mute swan, a large bird with a long neck and broad, flat bill.
It has all-white plumage, which is unlike most other birds. This makes it easy to identify in flight or on the water.
It is unusual among birds in that both sexes are similar in coloration and size.
The bird was originally native to Europe but migrated to North America over time.
The mute swan thrives in many different habitats, including those where most other species cannot survive because of pollution or lack of food sources.
They have been introduced into many countries outside their natural range due to their ability to adapt well and produce fertile offspring in these environments.
They are said to be symbols of peace because they mate for life and do not attack others of their kind.
18. Magnolia Warbler
Let’s move on to the next bird names that start with M. Here is Magnolia Warbler, a small, pale bird with a bright yellow belly.
It’s found in North America, Central America, and South America. It spends time in wet and dry forests but prefers areas near water.
The Magnolia Warbler can be found year-round in this region but migrates to Argentina and Bolivia during the winter.
The Magnolia Warbler’s diet consists of beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and spiders. They also eat fruit and berries when they’re available.
These birds are known for their melodic song that sounds like tinkling bells. They often sing from high perches or treetops, calling attention to themselves with their beautiful voice.
The list of bird names that start with M may seem like a tough one to get through, but you will be rewarded with some odd and unusual avian monikers.
This has helped to broaden your knowledge of birds, either for a pet or for your enjoyment!
If you have any other questions about birds, please feel free to contact me at any time.