Explore this go-to guide of Birds That Start With N to become a birdwatching pro in no time. Start your journey now!
Birds come in all shapes and sizes, but have you ever explored the ones that start with a specific letter? This guide on “Birds That Start with N” gives more information about each species’ unique characteristics.
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Birds That Start with N
1. Northern Cardinal
Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis
The Northern Cardinal is famous for its vibrant red plumage and black “mask” on the face. This bird is a staple in backyards and woodland areas. The males are particularly striking, while females sport a more subdued brown coloration. Its melodic songs make this creature a favorite among birds that start with N.
Scientific Name: Luscinia megarhynchos
The Nightingale is a small bird with brownish and white plumage that offers perfect camouflage in forested habitats. Despite its appearance, its complex song has inspired countless poems and songs.
Scientific Name: Megapodius nicobariensis
Nicobar scrubfowl displays dark plumage, a short tail, and large claws. This avian wonder is famous for building large mounds of vegetation for incubating eggs. It feeds on a diet that includes seeds, fruits, and small invertebrates.
4. Northern Harrier
Scientific Name: Circus hudsonius
Native to North America, the Northern Harrier is a medium-sized raptor famous for its distinctive facial disk. This bird of prey hunts over open fields and marshes, gliding low to catch small mammals and birds. Unlike other hawks, this bird relies more on hearing and vision to locate prey.
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Scientific Name: Colaptes auratus
This North American woodpecker captivates with its spotted underparts and dark bill. Colaptes auratus has a unique behavior of foraging on the ground for ants and beetles, unlike most woodpeckers that forage on trees.
Scientific Name: Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae
Also known as Kererū, the New Zealand Pigeon is endemic to New Zealand. With striking iridescent feathers and a white belly, this bird plays a crucial role in seed dispersal. New Zealand Pigeon is a protected species due to the declining numbers.
7. Noisy Miner
Scientific Name: Manorina melanocephala
Manorina melanocephala is an Australian bird that gets its name from its vocal nature. This bird sports a grey body, a yellow patch behind its eye, and a white tip on its tail feathers. Highly territorial, this creature wanders in large groups and is known to drive away other bird species.
Scientific Name: Sula granti
Endemic to the Galápagos Islands, this seabird features a sharp, pointed beak and masked face. Named after the Nazca Plate, this creature is adored by birdwatchers because of its black and white plumage. Sula granti has a unique mating ritual involving intricate dances and mutual preening.
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Scientific Name: Vanellus vanellus
Found across Europe and Asia, the Northern Lapwing is recognized by its striking green-black color and long, wispy crest. This ground-nesting bird prefers open fields and is popular for acrobatic flights. Vanellus vanellus mainly feeds on insects and small invertebrates.
10. New Holland Honeyeater
Scientific Name: Phylidonyris novaehollandiae
Indigenous to Australia, this bird is adorned with striking yellow, black, and white plumage. New Holland Honeyeaters feed on nectar but also consume insects. This creature is highly territorial and defends its food sources vigorously.
11. Nicobar Pigeon
Scientific Name: Caloenas nicobarica
This bird is native to the Nicobar Islands and other Southeast Asian regions. With its colorful plumage, it’s one of the closest living relatives to the extinct Dodo. Primarily frugivorous, this bird has a nomadic lifestyle.
Scientific Name: Chordeiles nacunda
Found in South America, this bird is unique among nighthawks because of its large size. It has a brownish-gray plumage and a white throat patch. Mostly nocturnal, it feeds on flying insects.
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13. Northern Mockingbird
Scientific Name: Mimus polyglottos
This North American bird is adored for its ability to mimic the songs of other bird species. With a grayish-brown plumage, it’s common in open areas and gardens. This bird is known to dive-bomb humans and other animals that get too close to the nest.
Scientific Name: Parkesia noveboracensis
Northern Waterthrush is a migratory bird that breeds in Canada and winters in Central America. It prefers wet, wooded areas and has a distinct walking gait. While the northern waterthrush looks like a thrush, it’s a warbler. It loves to consume insects and invertebrates.
15. Northern Pintail
Scientific Name: Anas acuta
Northern Pintail is a duck species easily recognizable by its attractive plumage and pointed tail feathers. Indigenous to North America, Europe, and Asia, this dabbling duck prefers wetlands as a habitat.
Scientific Name: Fulmarus glacialis
A resident of the North Atlantic, the Northern Fulmar features a black and white plumage and tube-like nostrils. An excellent addition among the types of birds that start with N, this seabird loves to munch on fish and squids.
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Scientific Name: Lonchura punctulata
Nutmeg Mannikin, or Scaly-breasted Munia, is a small finch endemic to tropical Asia. With brown plumage and scaly patterns on the chest, this creature is common in open fields and grasslands.
Scientific Name: Corvus moneduloides
Endemic to New Caledonia, this crow species displays all-black plumage, legs, eyes, and bill. Also known as ‘qua-qua,’ Corvus moneduloides consumes invertebrates, eggs, nestlings, small mammals, snails, nuts, and seeds.
19. Northern Shoveler
Scientific Name: Anas clypeata
This duck species has a large spatula-shaped bill used to sift through the water for food. Endemic to North America, parts of Europe, and Asia, this duck is colorful, with males displaying striking iridescent green and white plumage.
Scientific Name: Oenanthe oenanthe
Oenanthe oenanthe is a small bird in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Popular for its long migratory routes, this bird sports a distinctive white rump and undertail. Primarily insectivorous, this bird prefers open, rocky terrain.
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Scientific Name: Pezoporus occidentalis
One of Australia’s most elusive birds, the Night Parrot, was considered extinct until it was rediscovered in 2013. This nocturnal, ground-dwelling bird has green plumage, a long tail, and a red forehead.
22. Northern Jacana
Scientific Name: Jacana spinosa
Endemic to Central and South America, the Northern Jacana is a wading bird known for its long toes. This bird features a chestnut-colored back and a striking yellow cap. Primarily insectivorous, this avian wonder feeds on seeds and small fish.
Scientific Name: Aegolius acadicus
Aegolius acadicus is a small owl species native to North America. This owl is known for its distinctive white and brown plumage. Highly elusive, it dwells in coniferous forests but can also be found in mixed and deciduous forests. Northern Saw-whet Owl’s diet consists of small mammals, particularly rodents, thereby controlling their populations.
Scientific Name: Hieraaetus weiskei
A popular raptor of New Guinea, Hieraaetus weiskei showcases striking white and black plumage. This avian wonder is a forest-dwelling bird that preys on small mammals and birds.
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25. Northern Goshawk
Scientific Name: Accipiter gentilis
Native to temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere, this raptor species displays a blue-gray back and a striped underside. Popular for its fierce hunting skills, Accipiter gentilis consumes birds and small mammals.
Scientific Name: Aratinga Nenday
This South American native parakeet is admired for its black head and green body. Frequent in woodland and urban areas, this bird feeds on fruits, seeds, and insects. This social bird is often seen in flocks.
Scientific Name: Ammospiza nelsoni
This small sparrow is native to North America and prefers marshy habitats. It has a streaky brown plumage and a distinct sharp bill. These birds are named after the American naturalist Edward William Nelson.
Scientific Name: Columba elphinstonii
Native to the Nilgiri Hills of India, this pigeon boasts a gray pigeon with dark rusty-red wings and a white patch on the throat. Columba elphinstonii is a common sight in dense forests.
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29. Northern Fantail
Scientific Name: Rhipidura rufiventris
With a fan-shaped tail and a whitish belly, this beautiful avian creature is a common sight in forests. Rhipidura rufiventris is native to the islands of the South Pacific and parts of Australia.
30. Nicaraguan Grackle
Scientific Name: Quiscalus nicaraguensis
Endemic to Nicaragua and parts of Costa Rica, Nicaraguan Grackles are recognized by their glossy black plumage and yellow eyes. These social birds that start with N forage in large flocks on plant material and small animals.
31. Nankeen Kestrel
Scientific Name: Falco cenchroides
This Australian raptor is small but versatile, preying on insects, small mammals, and birds. With a brown back and a pale underbelly, this bird hovers above open fields when hunting.
32. Northern Hawk Owl
Scientific Name: Surnia ulula
Endemic to the boreal forests of North America and Eurasia, this medium-sized owl is active during the day. It has a hawk-like appearance with elongated tail feathers. This bird loves to devour small mammals.
Scientific Name: Hypositta corallirostris
Native to Madagascar, the Nuthatch Vanga has a blue plumage and a coral-colored powerful beak. Among the birds that start with N, Hypositta corallirostris inhabits deciduous and evergreen forests.
Scientific Name: Cathartidae
New World Vultures has seven species native to the temperate areas of the Americas. Unlike their Old World counterparts, these birds that start with N are scavengers and lack vocal organs. These birds are highly adapted for soaring flight with broad wingspans, allowing them to cover large distances in search of food.
Scientific Name: Nycticorax nycticorax
Night-Heron is a medium-sized wading bird found in wetlands and marshes. This species is characterized by a black cap and back, gray wings, and white underparts. It creates nests in dense trees or reeds near water sources.
Scientific Name: Parulidae
The Parulidae family comprises small, vibrantly colored songbirds known as New World Warblers. Native to North and South America, these birds that start with N are famous for their intricate songs and diverse plumage.
Scientific Name: Cisticola fulvicapilla
The Cisticola Fulvicapilla, known as the Neddicky, is a small-sized bird species native to Sub-Saharan Africa. Primarily found in grasslands, woodland edges, and bushveld, this bird displays a unique brown and white feather pattern. It feeds on insects and small invertebrates.
38. Northern Rosella
Scientific Name: Platycercus venustus
Native to northern Australia, this bird displays a mixture of blue, black, and white plumage. Unlike other parakeets, this creature is quiet and docile, making it less noticeable despite its appearance.
Scientific Name: Accipiter butleri
An inhabitant of the Nicobar Islands, this raptor is adept at hunting small prey, from birds to rodents. This avian wonder is agile and quick, often darting through the forest canopy in pursuit of a meal.
Scientific Name: Henicophaps albifrons
Endemic to New Guinea, Henicophaps albifrons display a long bill, white forehead, dark reddish neck, and colorful band on the wing. It inhabits lowland and montane forests for fruits and seeds.
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