24 Baby Names That Are For The Birds ... Or At Least Inspired By Them

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy, Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty and enrico nironi/Reshot

Don’t let frustration over baby naming ruffle your feathers — your inspiration could be as close as the treetops! We’re talking about bird names for babies (that go beyond “Robin”).

From actual names of actual birds, to words that mean “bird” in other languages, to famous birds from myths and legends, these bird names encompass everything we love about our fine feathered friends.

1. Aderyn

This one is literally the Welsh word for “bird” — but its lyrical sound and close proximity to popular names like Addison and Adelyn (and the potential for the nickname “Addie”) makes it an adorable name too. Its actual Welsh pronunciation is closer to ah-DAIR-en, with emphasis on the middle syllable, but no one would fault you if you pronounced it like Adelyn-with-an-R.

2. Enara

Speaking of non-English words that make good names, Enara falls squarely into that category, and into the bird category too; it means “swallow” (as in the bird, not the bodily function) in Basque. Another option is the Spanish version, Ainara.

3. Phoenix

Possibly the most famous mythological bird, the immortal Phoenix — native to Greek and Egyptian mythology — was said to be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes every 500 years. Its actual name comes from a Greek word meaning “dark red.” And of course, it has special meaning if you live in (or love) Arizona.

4. Sparrow

Found practically all over the world, the sparrow is one of the most familiar of wild birds. And its name lends itself well to the current trend of “hidden O” names (names that sound like they end in O, but don’t). And it’s a truly unisex baby name as well — just ask Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, who named their son Sparrow James Midnight Madden.

RELATED: O Baby! 16 Unique Baby Names With A Long “O” Sound

5. Drake

Yes, the immediate association these days might be with a famous rapper, but a “drake” is also an adult male duck (even though the name itself actually means … wait for it … “dragon!”).

6. Teal

In related names, we have Teal, which is a species of small freshwater duck. But we chose this name for the list for several reasons. Not only does it go with the bird theme, but it’s also unisex, and fits in nicely with another trend: color names! Names like Navy and Mauve — and yes, Teal — are the new wave of color names.

RELATED: Rainbow-Inspired Names For Your Colorful Cutie

7. Morrigan

An awesome Irish mythological name, this one means “phantom queen.” In the myths, the Morrigan is associated with war and fate, and usually takes on the form of a crow. That’s what lands her on this bird-loving list.

8. Lark

Larks are cheerful little songbirds, and the phrase “happy as a lark” is commonly used to describe people with a sunshiny demeanor, so this would be an adorable name for an adorable baby.

9. Peregrine

This name actually means “traveller,” but we suppose that’s fitting for its namesake, the powerful peregrine falcon. Perry (or Perrie!) would make a cute nickname.

10. Starling

While we’re on the topic of nicknames, Star would be a great diminutive of this name — or leave it as-is, in homage to the super-smart bird that bears the same name. Starlings have been observed using tools, and have even out-performed Tamarin monkeys in intelligence tests.

11. Wren

Another fabulous unisex choice, Wren is a winner if you’re looking for one-syllable simplicity, which would also make it a good candidate for a middle name.

12. Mavis

This name peaked in 1927 at #270 on the U.S. Social Security baby name popularity charts, but like so many other vintage gems, it’s getting a much-deserved revival and is back in the top 1,000 again (currently at #883). The mavis — more commonly known as a song thrush — is a speckled songbird that’s known for its loud calls. So fitting for a child, right?! If it’s a little too vintage sounding, try Mavy.

13. Laraline

This name is not a bird name, per se, but it’s inspired by birds: gulls, to be exact. The term for anything relating to gulls or gull-like is “larine,” from the seabirds’ suborder Lari. It’s a beautiful, melodic pick when you want a bird name that’s not quite as obviously “birdy” as, say, Robin.

14. Talon

A talon is the sharp claw of a bird of prey, so this name has a whiff of badassery about it. It was in the top 500 most popular names in 2006, and is still in the top 1000 today. (Bonus badass bird name: Hawk!)

15. Sarika

This name comes from a Sanskrit word referring to a type of bird — either a myna bird or a thrush. And if you’ve got a special Sarah in your life, this could be the perfect tribute: Sarika is also the Hungarian diminutive of that name.

16. Birdie

Another perfect example of a vintage name poised for a comeback, especially since Jessica Simpson chose it for her daughter, Birdie Mae, born in March of 2019. Its bird associations are obvious, but this name can also be used as a diminutive for lots of classic B-names for girls: Bertha, Bridget, Beatrice, or Bernadette.

RELATED: 10 Vintage Girls’ Names Making A Comeback — And 10 That Could Be Next

17. Jonah

This is a popular name (currently at #145 on the charts), but did you know that it comes from the Hebrew name Yonah, meaning “dove?” Or for a more feminine-sounding moniker, you could go with …

18. Paloma

The Spanish word for “dove,” and also for “pigeon,” but hey — both bird names! If you like the meaning but none of the aforementioned names, you could just literally name your child Dove — it works for actress Dove Cameron!

19. Alouette

“Alouette” is the French word for “lark,” and also the name of a famous children’s song … which sounds great to us English-speakers until you learn that it’s about plucking the feathers from a lark. Yikes! Creepy song references aside, you’ve gotta admit that Alouette is a pretty name.

RELATED: Très Jolie! French Girl Names For Your Belle Fille

20. Falcon

Coming from the Latin word falx, meaning a curved blade or scythe; the bird was called a falcon because of the scythe-like shape of its beak and talons. There are also the options of the shorter Falco or the longer, more distinguished-sounding occupational name, Falconer.

21. Corbin

This name is derived from the French word corbeau, meaning “raven.” But you could also just go with Raven itself, as it’s a perfectly viable name as well!

22. Piper

The fact that it stems from the Latin word pipere, meaning “to peep,” makes this a standout among bird names — but the fact that it’s also a literal bird name, as in the shorebird species sandpiper, makes this one doubly relevant.

RELATED: 22 Sizzling Names Perfect For Your Summer Baby

23. Sora

In Japanese, this unisex name means “sky,” but Sora is also a type of North American bird native to marshy areas. Apparently the Sora has a pretty distinctive walk; the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes it as “a chicken that has had too much coffee.”

24. Heron

Another water-loving bird, the heron is a graceful and dignified species. It is said to symbolize both tranquility and determination, and it sounds so much like a traditional name that no one would bat an eye — it’s almost a mashup of Harry and Aaron.

Birds are an integral part of our ecosystem and our history. And like people, their looks and personalities vary from strong and intimidating to small and chirpy. So while bird names may not have been on your radar, this list proves that you can find some of the best names by just looking to the sky … or the shore.

For baby naming inspiration, fun lists, helpful articles, and more, check out Scary Mommy Baby Names!

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