27 Bird Names That Start With W

Bird Names That Start With W
Photo by Sean Foster

If you’re fascinated by the wonderful world of waterbirds, you’ll love this blog post!

We’ve compiled a list of 27 unique bird names that start with W, so you can get to know some of the wackiest and most wonderful waterbirds.

From the Wandering Tattler to the White-winged Scoter, each of these birds has an interesting story.

So without further ado, let’s get to know some of these incredible waterbirds and the fascinating bird names that start with W!

1. Wood duck

The Wood Duck, also known as the Carolina Duck or the Summer Duck, is a medium-sized species of waterfowl native to North America.

It is one of the most colorful and beautiful waterfowl species in the world. The Wood Duck has a striking coloration of red, white, black, and green. 

The male’s head and breast are an eye-catching iridescent green, purple, and white, while the female’s plumage is mottled in brown, gray, and white.

The Wood Duck lives primarily in wooded wetlands but can also be found in swamps, ponds, rivers, and lakes. 

These bird names that start with W feed on seeds, acorns, nuts, fruits, insects, and small fish. During the winter months, they migrate to mild climates.

The Wood Duck is an excellent example of a bird name that starts with W. Its vibrant colors and love of wetland habitats make it one of the most recognizable waterbirds in the world. If you can spot one in the wild, take it!

2. Western bluebird

The Western bluebird is one of the most recognizable bird names that start with W. This gorgeous thrush species is native to western North America, from Alaska down to Mexico. 

With its bright blue back and wings, rusty orange breast, and white belly, the Western bluebird is one of the most eye-catching birds in the region.

The Western bluebird feeds on insects such as grasshoppers and beetles, which they find while foraging in open areas such as meadows and grasslands. 

These bird names that start with W also feed on fruits, particularly in winter. These birds build nests in tree cavities or nest boxes and lay up to six eggs at a time.

They are friendly birds and can often be seen in small flocks, even during the breeding season.

The Western bluebird symbolizes happiness and hope, making it a popular subject of art and literature.

Its song has been described as cheerful and uplifting, which helps to explain its enduring popularity.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a Western bluebird, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and listen to its sweet song.

3. White-winged scoter

The white-winged scoter, sometimes called the sea duck, is an iconic waterbird whose name begins with the letter W.

These large sea ducks are distributed across much of North America and Europe, where they can often be seen in coastal waters.

The male white-winged scoter has a mostly black body with a bright white patch along its wings. 

The females are more mottled in color, with a brown head and a white chest. White-winged scoters feed mainly on aquatic invertebrates, such as mollusks, insects, and crustaceans. 

These bird names that start with W can dive as deep as 40 feet to search for food! During the winter, these birds will migrate to coastal areas to take advantage of the food sources there.

White-winged scoters breed during the summer months in freshwater marshes and wet meadows. 

The female builds a nest in tall vegetation near the water’s edge. The female will then lay a clutch of four to five eggs, which she will incubate until they hatch.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a white-winged scoter in its natural habitat, you’ll be able to identify it by its distinct call: a low honking sound similar to a goose. The male also produces a unique whistling sound while in flight.

These beautiful birds are truly amazing creatures, and they’re just one of the many bird names that start with W!

4. Wild turkey

Wild Turkey is a bird native to North America. This large, heavy-bodied bird has long been associated with the Thanksgiving holiday due to its popularity as a food source.

Its scientific name is Meleagris gallopavo, and it’s easily recognizable by its distinctive tail feathers and its bright red, fleshy head.

Wild turkeys are found in forests and open areas throughout North America, from northern Canada to Mexico.

They’re primarily ground-dwellers but can fly short distances and roost in trees at night. 

Males are easily distinguishable by their larger size, iridescent colors, and beard on the chest.

Turkey is an omnivore, eating seeds, grains, fruits, insects, small amphibians, reptiles, and carrion. 

These bird names that start with W usually travel in flocks and communicate by loud vocalizations like gobbling or putting.

In recent years, wild turkey populations have increased due to conservation efforts. Hunting this species is also strictly regulated, making it an important part of sustainable wildlife management.

5. Willow ptarmigan

The willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) is a medium-sized, ground-dwelling bird native to the subarctic regions of North America and Eurasia.

This wacky waterbird is well-known for its ability to blend in with its environment due to its mottled plumage, which turns white during winter to blend in with snow. 

Willow ptarmigans are omnivorous, meaning they feed on various plants, seeds, buds, and insects. During the winter, they mainly consume buds, lichen, and berries. 

These bird names that start with W have large feet that help them traverse through snow, and their feathers are specially designed to keep them warm even in the coldest temperatures.

In addition to being an important part of the ecosystem, the willow ptarmigan is also popular with hunters due to its meaty flavor and great numbers.

6. White-tailed ptarmigan

The white-tailed ptarmigan is interesting when it comes to bird names that start with W. This small ground-dwelling bird is native to North America, from Alaska to New England.

It is known for its white plumage, which is thought to help camouflage it from predators. 

The white-tailed ptarmigan has a short tail and legs and a distinctive red comb over its eyes.

This species is well adapted to cold climates and can survive in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit! 

While it is mainly a herbivore, eating mostly berries, it will also eat insects and other small invertebrates.

When threatened, the white-tailed ptarmigan is known to puff out its feathers to appear larger.

It’s an interesting species with many unique traits, making it an interesting choice for bird names that start with W!

7. Western grebe

One of the most interesting bird names that start with W is the Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis).

This waterbird has a unique appearance, with its dark brown head and back and its bright white body.

The Western Grebe can be found in North America, typically along the coasts and lakes in British Columbia and California. 

It is a graceful swimmer and can often be seen riding high on the waves as it dives for food.

The Western Grebe is also known for its elaborate mating rituals, where two birds form a heart shape with their necks as they dip their heads into the water.

If you ever get the chance to observe this bird in its natural habitat, you won’t be disappointed!

8. White-winged dove

One of the fascinating bird names that start with W is the white-winged dove. This elegant, medium-sized bird has unique, long; pointed wings edged in white. It is native to the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands. 

The white-winged dove is a ground feeder and an active forager. It primarily feeds on grains, grasses, and insects and can often be found in areas with plenty of sunflower seeds.

When resting, the dove will often raise its tail and spread its wings to expose its beautiful white feathers. 

The white-winged dove is a great addition to any backyard birdwatchers’ habitat! Its beauty, size, and behavior make it an ideal bird to observe and appreciate. Plus, it will add color and life to your garden or patio!

9. White-throated swift

When it comes to bird names that start with W, the white-throated swift is an interesting choice.

A member of the Apodidae family, this small, agile bird is often found flying in the warm air above mountains and rocky cliffs. 

It feeds mainly on insects and relies heavily on its speed and maneuverability to catch them mid-air.

The white-throated swift is named for its distinctive white throat feathers. Its plumage is mostly dark gray, with lighter gray underparts. 

It has a long, pointed tail, with wings shaped like a crescent moon when it’s in flight. This allows it to fly in quick turns and tight circles, making it difficult for predators to catch it. 

The white-throated swift has a wide range, from Alaska to South America. It can often be seen soaring above large bodies of water in search of its insect prey. 

Though they usually live in flocks, they will break away when pursuing food. Overall, the white-throated swift is a fascinating bird, and one of many bird names that start with W.

Plenty of resources are available online for those interested in learning more about this species.

10. White-eared hummingbird

The White-eared Hummingbird is a vibrant bird species native to the Western Hemisphere.

Its scientific name is Basilinna leucotis, and its Latin name means white ear. The male of this species has a striking iridescent green crown, with a red throat and white ear patch. 

The female has similar coloring but is more muted, with an olive-green crown and grey breasts. 

These birds can be found in scrub, brush, and other open habitats in Central America and northern South America. 

These bird names that start with W have also been known to migrate to the western United States, particularly California, during winter.

White-eared Hummingbirds feed mainly on nectar from plants and insects and often frequent backyard hummingbird feeders. 

They can be seen hovering over flowers in search of food and building their nests. This is a great species to observe for birdwatchers due to its unique plumage and behavior.

As part of the Trochilidae family, the White-eared Hummingbird is one of many fascinating bird names that start with W.

11. Whooping crane

The Whooping Crane is a large North American crane species. This majestic bird stands up to five feet tall and has a wingspan of over seven feet!

It is easily recognizable by its stark white feathers, red crown, and black wingtips. 

Whooping Cranes are quite rare and are classified as an endangered species. The last wild flock of these birds can be found in central Canada and in winter in coastal Texas. 

Conservation efforts have led to a steady increase in the population of these beautiful creatures, allowing for more sightings in the wild.

Whooping Cranes are the perfect example of bird names that start with W!

12. Wilson’s plover

is a small, water bird native to tropical regions of North and South America. This ground-dwelling bird is often found near water, mudflats, or shorelines.

It has a light gray back and white underbelly, with a black stripe running along the crown of its head.

Like many other shorebirds, Wilson’s plover has an interesting migration pattern: in the summer months, it will migrate to breeding grounds in the northern parts of the United States and Canada, while in winter, it will migrate south to coastal areas of Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Despite its small size and preference for wetland habitats, Wilson’s plover can be quite the adventurous bird!

This species has been known to cross the Atlantic Ocean from North America to Europe and has even been spotted as far away as Japan! 

Wilson’s plover is a great addition to any birdwatcher’s list of feathered friends.

Next time you find yourself at the beach or wetlands, take some time to look out for this unique waterbird and its unique bird names that start with W!

13. White-rumped sandpiper

The white-rumped sandpiper is an intriguing species of shorebird found in North and South America.

Its Latin name is Calidris fuscicollis, a wading bird that prefers to live near wetlands and open water sources. 

The white-rumped sandpiper has a distinctive coloring: black legs, white breasts, light brown upper parts, and a unique white rump patch. It’s quite an impressive sight!

The bird is also quite adept at flying, often seen skimming over water surfaces while in search of food. 

Like many birds, the white-rumped sandpiper enjoys dining on small aquatic invertebrates.

It has been known to eat insects, crustaceans, worms, mollusks, and some plant material. 

During winter, the white-rumped sandpiper will migrate south to warmer climates. The white-rumped sandpiper is an interesting example of bird names that start with W.

It is an excellent addition to any birding trip or nature walk. Be sure to keep an eye out for this unique waterbird!

14. Wandering tattler

The next on my list of bird names that start with W is the Wandering Tattler, a wacky waterbird in North America’s coastal regions.

This shorebird species is known for its distinctive call that sounds like tat tater-tat. The birds can be found along the Pacific Coast, from southern Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, and along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida. 

The Wandering Tattler usually feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish, which it obtains by searching in shallow water or on the shore. It is often seen in large flocks during migration and winter. 

This interesting bird’s scientific name is Tringa incana, and its binomial name comes from Latin words meaning shaggy-gray plover.

Its name Wandering Tattler is thought to come from its loud call, which some say sounds like the phrase Where are you? 

The Wandering Tattler is an attractive bird with unique plumage. Its head, neck, and breast are light gray, while its back and wings are dark browns with white markings.

The underparts are white with black stripes. Its bill is long, thin, and yellowish-green in color. 

The legs and feet are yellowish-green. The Wandering Tattler is an interesting bird to watch on land and in the water. It often moves rapidly over mudflats or among rocks searching for food.

When resting, it often stands on one leg with its bill pointing up, just like many other shorebirds do!

15. Western screech-owl

The Western screech-owl is one of the many incredible bird names that start with W. This fascinating species can be found throughout western North America, inhabiting woodlands and riparian zones. 

Its name is derived from its distinctive call, a trilling sound reminiscent of an eastern screech owl.

As with other owl species, the Western screech-owl has an impressive set of eyesight and hearing adaptations that help it to hunt small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects at night. 

With its greyish-brown plumage and white spotting, it is well-camouflaged in its natural environment. To attract mates, males also make a loud barking noise at night.

16. Western tanager

Western tanager is one of the most colorful birds that start with the letter W. This vibrant bird, found primarily in the western part of North America, has a bold yellow head and chest with a bright red rump. 

The body is black and white, and some males have a white patch on their wings. They make various sounds, from whistles to buzzes, and are known for their loud singing during the mating season. 

Western tanagers love to eat insects such as caterpillars, beetles, and other small bugs. These bird names that start with W can be spotted hopping about in tree canopies or flying from branch to branch.

If you’re lucky enough to spot one, you can appreciate its beauty from afar!

17. Western sandpiper

The Western sandpiper is a migratory bird on North America’s Pacific and Atlantic coasts. It is named for its wading behavior in shallow waters and its distinctive call.

The Western sandpiper has a white underbelly, grey-brown upper parts, and a thin, pointed bill. 

It feeds on aquatic insects and crustaceans. In winter, the Western sandpiper may form large flocks with other shorebirds.

This bird’s scientific name, Calidris mauri, is derived from the Latin words calidus, warm, and Maurus, southwest. 

This species is one of several waterbird names that start with W, including the white-faced ibis, wood duck, whimbrel, and wandering tattler.

Each of these birds brings something unique to the avian world, from the wood duck’s striking plumage to the whimbrel’s long bill for foraging in mudflats. 

Whether you’re a birdwatcher or just curious about the feathered friends of our planet, it’s worth getting to know some of these wacky waterbirds that start with W!

18. Warbling Vireo

The next on my list of bird names that start with W is the Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus), a small songbird native to North America.

Its wingspan ranges from 14-17 cm (5.5-7 inches), and it’s one of the smaller species of vireos.

The Warbling Vireo has a distinctive yellow-green body, two white wing bars, dark eyes, and a small bill. 

It can be found in open woodlands, wetlands, and forest edges, especially near riparian areas.

The Warbling Vireo has an interesting habit of singing almost constantly throughout the day, and it’s considered one of the most vocal of all North American birds. 

Its song consists of two distinct phrases repeated often, with changes in volume and speed. This behavior helps it to defend its territory and attract potential mates.

The Warbling Vireo typically builds its nest in deciduous trees or shrubs, and both the male and female take part in raising the young.

The species is considered stable, with populations found throughout its range. It is a common sight in parks and other protected areas during the spring and summer months.

19. Wandering albatross

The Wandering Albatross is a large seabird found in the Southern Ocean and North Pacific. It has the longest bird wingspan, measuring up to 11.4 feet!

These bird names that start with W usually travel alone, only coming together for mating or nesting. 

These bird names that start with W can cover huge distances in search of food, which makes them one of the world’s greatest migratory birds. They’ve been recorded traveling up to 9,000 miles over six weeks. 

Although the Wandering Albatross is now protected from hunting, it still faces many threats from fishing vessels, climate change, and plastic pollution.

20. Williamson’s sapsucker

The Williamson’s sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) is a medium-sized woodpecker living in western North America.

The males have a bold black-and-white pattern on their wings and back, with a red throat and crown. They eat sap from trees, as well as insects and fruit.

Williamson’s sapsuckers live in deciduous forests, coniferous forests, mixed woods, and open woodlands.

They are fairly common throughout their range, but populations have been declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation. 

These bird names that start with W are also vulnerable to nest predators such as squirrels, raccoons, and ravens.

To attract mates, males perform a unique courtship display involving drumming and making a trilling sound with their bills. 

These bird names that start with W also do a head-bobbing dance while singing or drumming.

During the breeding season, they create sap wells on trees by drilling holes in the bark they feed on.

Conservation efforts are underway to help save the Williamson’s sapsucker. 

The species is listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but conservationists are working to ensure its long-term survival.

21. Wood thrush

The Wood Thrush is a beautiful species of bird that is native to North America. It is a medium-sized thrush with a dark brown back, pale rusty underparts, and blackish spotting on the breast.

This species is found in deciduous woodlands, where it feeds on insects and fruit. 

The Wood Thrush has an incredible song composed of flute-like notes that make it one of the most beloved songbirds in North America.

The scientific name for this bird is Hylocichla mustelina, and its nickname often refers to it: 

The Wooden Robin. If you’re looking for fascinating bird names that start with W, the Wood Thrush fits the bill!

22. White-breasted nuthatch

The white-breasted nuthatch is a small, chunky bird native to North America. It’s a beautiful bird with a black-and-white striped face, a white chest and belly, and a slate-blue back. 

As its name implies, it’s also known for its knack of wedging nuts and seeds into crevices of tree bark and then hammering them open with its sharp bill.

The white-breasted nuthatch is an acrobatic bird that can often be seen clinging upside down or sideways on trees in search of food. 

Its diet consists mainly of insects, spiders, and seeds. It’s an active and vocal bird, often seen making its distinctive call of ‘yank yank yank.’ You may even see a white-breasted nuthatch at your feeder if you’re lucky!

23. White-headed woodpecker

When it comes to bird names that start with W, the White-headed woodpecker certainly stands out!

This unique bird is mainly found in western North America’s coniferous and deciduous forests.

Its most distinctive feature is its white head, which makes it a rather striking sight. 

The White-headed woodpecker loves to forage for food on tree trunks and branches. It primarily feeds on insects and eats seeds and nuts if available. It can be found in open and closed-canopy forests, so its habitat range is quite large.

The White-headed woodpecker is not a migratory bird. It prefers to stay in the same area all year round, only moving away if there is a shortage of food or suitable nesting sites.

It is a fairly vocal bird, often tapping noises while drilling into the bark of trees looking for food. 

Its call has been described as a churrr sound. If you ever find yourself in the forests of western North America, keep your eyes peeled for the White-headed woodpecker – it’s sure to be an unforgettable sight!

24. White-crowned sparrow

The White-crowned Sparrow is a small passerine bird in the family Emberizidae. It is a migratory species, breeding in Canada and wintering in the western United States and Mexico.

As its name suggests, its head is topped with a distinctive white crown, and the rest of its body is greyish-brown. 

These bird names that start with W are often seen in open woodlands, fields, and gardens, where it forages on the ground for seeds and insects.

With its distinct call and white-crowned head, the White-crowned Sparrow is a charming and beloved bird to many birders.

25. White-faced ibis

The White-faced Ibis is one of the most easily recognizable bird names that start with W.

This striking species can be found worldwide. Still, its natural habitat is in South America and the Western United States. 

Its scientific name is Plegadis chihi, a member of the Threskiornithidae family. The White-faced Ibis is a wading bird whose diet consists mainly of aquatic insects and crustaceans. The species gets its name from its distinctive white face and head plumage.

The White-faced Ibis is an elegant bird with a long neck and a curved bill. It has glossy green-black plumage and black wings with white tips.

During the breeding season, the males develop a bright pink-orange coloring on their chests, wings, and tail feathers. 

White-faced Ibises form large flocks during the winter months and are often seen foraging in shallow marshes, wet meadows, and along rivers. They often nest in colonies and can sometimes be found in agricultural fields. 

These bird names that start with W are highly adaptable and have a strong population trend, so they are not currently considered threatened or endangered.

If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these gorgeous birds, take a moment to appreciate its beauty!

26. White-tailed hawk

When it comes to bird names that start with W, one of the most unique is the white-tailed hawk.

This medium-sized raptor species is found throughout North and South America and sports a white tail with distinctive black markings.

 It has a wingspan of about 60 inches and can be seen soaring above open fields, grasslands, and other wide-open spaces, searching for its next meal.

These birds typically feed on small rodents, reptiles, and insects but may also occasionally eat larger birds such as doves and quail. 

White-tailed hawks are an important part of their ecosystem, controlling rodent populations and helping keep their environment balanced.

So if you ever see one soaring across the sky, take a moment to appreciate this remarkable creature!

27. White-tailed kite

The last on my list of bird names that start with W is the White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus), an elegant small bird of prey found in the open country, coastal marshes, and grasslands of the Americas.

This species is often mistaken for a hawk or falcon due to its predatory nature and size. 

The White-tailed Kite has a distinct white head and tail, while the wings and back are pale grays.

The chest and belly are white, with dark patches on the sides. This bird has a long, hooked bill and yellow eyes.

The White-tailed Kite mainly feeds on small rodents, but it also preys on insects, reptiles, amphibians, and sometimes birds. It will often hunt by hovering over an area and diving to capture its prey. 

The White-tailed Kite nests in trees, bushes, or shrubs, laying up to four eggs that hatch after about three weeks.

This species can be spotted in many parts of the United States, particularly in southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. In the winter months, it migrates south to Central and South America. 

While this bird is common in some areas, its numbers have declined in other areas due to habitat loss and hunting. It is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the United States.


When it comes to bird names that start with W, there are plenty of interesting and unique species to discover.

From the Wompoo Fruit Dove to the White-Tailed Tropicbird, these wacky waterbirds can be found in various parts of the world. 

Not only are these birds fascinating to observe, but they also provide us with vital information about the health of our planet’s ecosystems.

Whether you’re a dedicated birder or just a curious observer, exploring bird names that start with W can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like