This exhaustive list of Birds That Start with M covers species from around the globe. A must-read for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts!
Nature is filled with wonders, and birds are some of its most astonishing creations. This list of Birds That Start with M offers a glimpse into the diverse and colorful world of avian wonders, each with unique features. Learn about their habitats, feeding habits, and much more below.
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Birds That Start with M
1. Masked Finfoot
Scientific Name: Heliopais personatus
The masked finfoot is an aquatic bird of Southeast Asia. It features a distinctive facial mask and lobed feet, well-suited for swimming. This avian creature consumes aquatic insects, small fish, and amphibians.
Scientific Name: Sialia currucoides
Indigenous to North America, Mountain Bluebirds displays a striking blue plumage. These birds that start with M prefer open landscapes and mountainous regions for feeding insects and small fruits. Known for their agile flight, Sialia currucoides dive to catch their prey.
Scientific Name: Setophaga magnolia
Magnolia Warbler is a small songbird of North America with attractive yellow and black plumage. This creature thrives in coniferous forests and migrates to Central America during winter. It loves to devour insects and berries.
Scientific Name: Leptoptilos crumenifer
Endemic to Africa, the Marabou Stork is a large wading bird popular for its bald head and scavenging habits. It often feeds on carrion but can also consume fish and small mammals. This bird has a large wingspan, which can exceed 10 feet, which aids in soaring flight.
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Scientific Name: Cygnus olor
Mute Swans are European native with a long neck and all-white plumage. These birds that start with M prefer freshwater habitats like lakes and rivers. Although mainly herbivorous, they occasionally consume small aquatic animals. Mute swans are also known for their territorial behavior.
Scientific Name: Falco columbarius
Merlin is a small, robust falcon indigenous to the Northern Hemisphere. This bird of prey is highly agile and quick, feeding on smaller birds and insects. Common in forests and open fields, this beautiful creature is migratory, traveling great distances during winter.
7. Mourning Dove
Scientific Name: Zenaida macroura
A frequent sight across North America, the Mourning Dove is recognized by its slender body, brown plumage, and soft, mournful call. This bird is a ground forager that consumes seeds, weeds, cultivated grains, insects, fruits, nuts, acorns, and snails.
8. Montezuma Quail
Scientific Name: Cyrtonyx montezumae
Native to Mexico and the southwestern United States, this ground-dwelling bird features a striking patterned plumage. This avian creature prefers woodlands and grasslands for feeding seeds and insects. Montezuma quail is often elusive and hard to spot.
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9. Marsh Wren
Scientific Name: Cistothorus palustris
Cistothorus palustris is a small, skulking bird that prefers to inhabit marshy areas in North America. Known for complex, melodic songs, this bird loves to consume insects and aquatic invertebrates. Among the birds that start with M, this creature stands out with its amazing appearance.
10. Manx Shearwater
Scientific Name: Puffinus puffinus
Manx Shearwater is a North Atlantic sea bird that spends most of its life at sea, coming ashore for breeding. This bird loves to gobble fish and squid for survival. Known for long-distance migrations, this creature travels thousands of miles annually.
Scientific Name: Eudyptes chrysolophus
This sub-Antarctic penguin is best known for its eye-catching yellow crest on the head. Macaroni penguins mostly feed on krill and small fish. They are social animals, often found in large colonies, especially during the breeding season.
Scientific Name: Pica pica
Indigenous to Europe and Asia, Magpies are intelligent birds recognized for their black and white plumage and long tail feathers. They are omnivorous and have a varied diet, including fruits, insects, and small mammals. Birdwatchers admire magpies for their problem-solving abilities.
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Scientific Name: Amazona farinosa
An inhabitant of Central and South America, Mealy Parrots are large, green avian wonders with a white eye ring. These birds that start with M are social and intelligent, often living in flocks. Their diet consists of fruits, nuts, and seeds. Mealy Parrots have strong vocalization skills and can mimic human speech.
Scientific Name: Aix galericulata
A frequent sight in East Asia, Mandarin ducks are famous for their vibrant, multicolored plumage. These ducks are generally found near rivers and lakes, feeding on aquatic plants, insects, and small fish. They are the symbols of love and fidelity in Asian cultures.
Scientific Name: Vanellus miles
Found in Australia and parts of New Zealand and New Guinea, the Masked Lapwing boasts yellow wattle on the forehead. It consumes insects, worms, and small invertebrates in wetlands and grasslands. The species is popular for its bold behavior and piercing calls.
16. Military Macaw
Scientific Name: Ara militaris
Native to the forests of Mexico and South America, this large parrot is primarily green with vibrant blue and red feathers on its wings. This social bird is notable for its intelligence and ability to mimic sounds. Its diet includes fruits, nuts, and seeds.
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Scientific Name: Poecile gambeli
Resident in the mountainous regions of the western United States, this small bird displays a black cap and beak. Prefers to swallow insects and seeds, this bird is famous for agility, often hanging upside down while foraging. This bird’s vocalizations include a distinctive chickadee call.
18. Mississippi Kite
Scientific Name: Ictinia mississippiensis
This bird of prey is endemic to the Americas, with a preference for open areas like plains and grasslands. The Mississippi Kite primarily feeds on insects, small mammals, and occasionally other birds. Known for its graceful flight, this creature often soars at high altitudes, searching for prey.
19. Mottled Owl
Scientific Name: Ciccaba virgata
Featuring a mottled brown and white appearance, Ciccaba virgata is native to Central and South America. This nocturnal bird thrives in woodland environments for small mammals, birds, and insects. Its haunting calls are often heard during the night.
Scientific Name: Spheniscus magellanicus
Indigenous to South America, this medium-sized penguin features a black back and white belly. With a preference for fish and squid, this penguin often forms large colonies. It’s known for its loud vocalizations, ranging from brays to whistles.
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Scientific Name: Cairina moschata
A resident of Central and South America, the Muscovy Duck is now found worldwide. It has unique facial features and black-and-white plumage. This duck is omnivorous, feeding on a mix of aquatic plants, small fish, and insects.
Scientific Name: Charadrius montanus
Featuring brown and white plumage, this North American bird is a frequent sight in shortgrass prairies and other open habitats. The Mountain Plover feeds on insects and their larvae.
Scientific Name: Brachyramphus marmoratus
Endemic to the North Pacific, Marbled Murrelets thrive on small fish and zooplankton. These small birds that start with M make nests in old-growth forests rather than on cliffs like other seabirds. They are currently listed as a threatened species in the United States.
24. Mexican Jay
Scientific Name: Aphelocoma wollweberi
Aphelocoma wollweberi is a medium-sized bird common in the mountainous regions of Mexico and the southwestern United States. This bird is prized for its intelligence and social behavior. Mexican Jays love to munch on fruits, nuts, and insects.
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25. Madagascar Buzzard
Scientific Name: Buteo brachypterus
With its broad wings and strong nails, Buteo brachypterus is well-adapted to forest habitat. This Madagascar bird of prey hunts small mammals, reptiles, and insects. It’s a solitary hunter, often seen soaring high in search of prey.
26. Monk Parakeet
Scientific Name: Myiopsitta monachus
Originating from South America, the Monk Parakeet is easily recognizable by its lime green, whitish, and blue plumage. This beautiful avian creature with a highly social nature is successfully adapted to urban environments worldwide.
27. Mistle Thrush
Scientific Name: Turdus viscivorus
This European species sports an eye-catching speckled belly and gray-brown plumage. It feeds on berries, insects, and earthworms. Among the Birds that start with M, Mistle Thrush is a solitary avian wonder with mesmerizing appearance.
Scientific Name: Oreortyx pictus
A resident of the western United States, this ground-dwelling bird prefers mountainous terrains and dense forests. With its plump body and unique head plume, the Mountain Quail is a sight to behold. It’s diet consists of seeds, leaves, and small insects.
29. Masked Booby
Scientific Name: Sula dactylatra
Sula dactylatra, or Masked Booby, is a large seabird with black and white plumage. It feeds on fish and squid, diving from great heights to catch the prey. This bird is an exceptional flier that travels long distances.
30. Magnificent Frigatebird
Scientific Name: Fregata magnificens
Fregata magnificent is a large seabird, recognized by a deeply forked tail, elongated wings, and an inflatable red pouch on the throat. Native to tropical and subtropical regions, the Man-o’-War Bird feeds by snatching fish from the ocean’s surface.
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Scientific Name: Harpactes fasciatus
Indigenous to the forests of India and Sri Lanka, Malabar Trogons are adored by birdwatchers for their strikingly vivid colors. The males boast a combination of blue, black, and crimson. These birds that start with M are frugivorous but will also eat insects. They are elusive and difficult to spot in their natural habitats.
Scientific Name: Leipoa ocellata
Malleefowl is a ground-dwelling bird notable for its mound-nesting behavior. This bird blends well into the native environment with its camouflaged plumage. It feeds primarily on seeds, fruits, and small invertebrates.
33. Melodious Warbler
Scientific Name: Hippolais polyglotta
Found mainly in Europe and western Asia, the Melodious Warbler is a small bird with an olive-green body and peculiar crown. This attractive avian creature loves to consume insects and mimics other birds.
Scientific Name: Poecile palustris
Poecile palustris, native to Europe and western Asia, prefers woodland habitats. This bird has a black cap, contrasting with their pale underparts. Primarily insectivorous, it also consumes seeds and fruits. Despite the name, this bird is not associated with marshlands.
35. Magpie Goose
Scientific Name: Anseranas semipalmata
The Magpie goose, also known as pied goose or semipalmated goose, is endemic to Australia and New Guinea. This waterfowl species features black-and-white plumage with long legs and a dome atop the head. The Magpie Goose inhabits wetlands and floodplains.
Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos
The Mallard is a dabbling duck with vibrant plumage. Males feature an iridescent green head, yellow bill, chestnut breast, and a gray body. Whereas females are more subdued in brown. This bird is common in wetlands, marshes, and ponds worldwide.
Scientific Name: Pseudonestor xanthophrys
Native to Hawaii, the Maui Parrotbill is a critically endangered bird characterized by a stout bill. It devours insects and larvae by tearing apart tree stems. Due to habitat loss, its population is dwindling.
Scientific Name: Haliaeetus vociferoides
A critically endangered creature of Madagascar, this fish-eagle displays white-head plumage and a yellow beak. Haliaeetus vociferoides inhabit the lakes and rivers of Madagascar. This bird is popular for its strong flight and keen eyesight.
Scientific Name: Phalcoboenus megalopterus
A resident of the Andes Mountains, the Mountain Caracara is a bird of prey with a black upperpart and white belly. It survives by eating carrion and small mammals. This bird often functions in family groups to secure food and defend territory.
40. Marsh Harrier
Scientific Name: Circus aeruginosus
Circus aeruginosus is a raptor found across Europe and Asia. It features brown plumage and yellow legs. Primarily feeding on birds and mammals, it often hovers over marshes and wetlands, searching for prey.
Scientific Name: Grallina cyanoleuca
The Australian native Magpie-lark is a medium-sized avian creature with black and white plumage. Known for its mud nests, this bird feeds on insects and displays cooperative breeding behavior.
Scientific Name: Corythornis cristatus
This small African kingfisher has striking blue and orange plumage with a reddish-orange beak. Found near water bodies, its diet consists of small fish and insects. Its sharp bill makes this bird an excellent hunter.
Scientific Name: Sturnella
Popular songbirds of North America, Meadowlarks, are prized for their yellow breasts and melodious songs. They inhabit grasslands and open fields where they feed on insects and seeds.
Scientific Name: Strix virgata
A common sight in Central and South America, the Mottled Owl features a unique pattern of dark brown and light spots. This nocturnal bird prefers dense forests and is known for its distinctive hoots.
Scientific Name: Campephilus magellanicus
Magellanic Woodpecker is a large woodpecker species of South America. Primarily found in the Patagonian forests, this woodpecker has a striking red crown and a black body. It’s a notable addition to this list of birds that start with M.
Scientific Name: Pipridae
The Pipridae family, commonly known as Manakins, includes small, colorful birds of the American tropics. These creatures are renowned for their intricate mating rituals, which include complex dances and vocalizations. Males are usually more vibrant in color compared to the subdued hues of females.
Scientific Name: Circus Pygargus
Named after the British naturalist George Montagu, this slender harrier is native to Europe and Asia. It has gray plumage and hunts small mammals and birds in open country. They are migratory and travel to Africa during the winter.
Scientific Name: Alisterus amboinensis
An inhabitant of Indonesia, Moluccan King Parrots features vibrant red, blue, and green plumage. They are mostly found in forests and wooded habitats, feeding on fruits and seeds. These birds are seen in pairs or small groups.
Scientific Name: Coliidae
Mousebirds are small, long-tailed birds of sub-Saharan Africa. With soft, gray, or brown plumage, Coliidae eats fruits and berries. These social birds are often seen hanging upside-down while feeding.
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