A funny, fascinating, feathery guide to 130 names of birds in Spanish

Every animal lover will want to learn all the different birds in Spanish.

Whether you already have some pet birds or simply admire their grace and untethered lifestyle, you probably want to learn a few names of birds in Spanish. These fascinating creatures come in all shapes and sizes, some of which have very special abilities and features.

Even if you’re not a huge fan of birds, learning about them will help you:

  • Identify exotic bird species as you travel through Latin America.
  • Understand bird-related phrases and sayings in Spanish.
  • Learn more about the animal kingdom in Spanish.

With hundreds and hundreds of different species, it’s practically impossible to cover every single one in one go. However, this handy guide will cover over 100 of the most common bird species to get you started. You’ll learn many popular birds, from how to say owl in Spanish to how to say eagle in Spanish.

Ready to get started? ¡Vámonos!

A toucan and many birds in Spanish.


How to say “bird” in Spanish

There are two main ways to say bird in Spanish: ave and pájaro. The main difference between the two is quite simple:

EnglishSpanish (singular)Spanish (plural)IPA pronunciationUse
BirdEl aveLas aveslas ˈaβesIncludes all birds regardless of size or ability
BirdEl pájaroLos pájaroslos ˈpaxaɾosOnly applies to small birds that can fly

One other thing to note is the article use. You may have noticed that el ave uses the masculine article “el” while las aves uses the feminine article “las.” This is because the word ave is really feminine, but the article has to be switched due to phonetics.

This only happens when two conditions are met. First, the first letter of a feminine word has to be an -a. Then, the tonic (stressed) syllable has to be the first syllable of the word. Then, the feminine singular article has to be switched to prevent two consecutive stressed a’s. For example:

  • El águila
  • La alfombra (no change because the first syllable is not the tonic syllable)
  • El agua

Keep in mind that these only apply to singular nouns, as plural nouns use the corresponding article “las.” The -s at the end breaks up the consecutive a’s, which is why you won’t need to change the article from feminine to masculine.

Very common birds in Spanish

Alright, now that you know how to talk about birds in general, let’s get more specific. Below are a few dozen of the most common ones in Spanish. This little table is just an intro to get you familiar with the basics, so we’ll cover common birds from doves in Spanish to cranes in Spanish!

A barn owl in flight.

EnglishBird name (singular)Bird name (plural)IPA pronunciation
PigeonEl pichónLos pichonespiˈʧõn
DoveLa palomaLas palomaspaˈloma
SparrowEl gorriónLos gorrionesɣoˈrjõn
EagleEl águilaLas águilasˈaɣila
HummingbirdEl colibríLos colibríeskoliˈβɾi
ChickenLa gallinaLas gallinasɣaˈʝina
SwanEl cisneLos cisnesˈsis̬ne
RoosterEl galloLos gallosˈɣaʝo
OwlEl búhoLos búhosˈβuo
Barn owlLa lechuzaLas lechuzasleˈʧusa
Snow owlEl búho de las nievesLos búhos de las nievesˈβuo ðe las̬ ˈnjeβes
CrowEl cuervoLos cuervosˈkwɛɾβo
GooseEl gansoLos gansosˈɣãnso
DuckEl patoLos patosˈpato
TurkeyEl pavoLos pavosˈpaβo
FinchEl fringílidoLos fringílidosfɾĩnˈxiliðo
OspreyEl águila pescadoraLas águilas pescadorasˈaɣila pɛskaˈðoɾa
MallardEl ánade realLos ánades realesˈanaðe reˈal
WoodpeckerEl pájaro carpinteroLos pájaros carpinterosˈpaxaɾo kaɾpĩnˈtɛɾo
VultureEl buitreLos buitresˈβwitɾe
MockingbirdEl sinsonteLos sinsontessĩnˈsõnte
HawkEl halcónLos halconesalˈkõn
Bald eagleEl águila calvaLas águilas calvasˈaɣila ˈkalβa
CardinalEl cardenalLos cardenaleskaɾðeˈnal
SeagullLa gaviotaLas gaviotasɣaˈβjota
RobinEl petirrojoLos petirrojospɛtiˈroxo
ParrotEl loroLos lorosˈloɾo
CraneLa grullaLas grullasˈɣɾuʝa
FlamingoEl flamencoLos flamencosflaˈmɛ̃nko
PelicanEl pelícanoLos pelícanospeˈlikano
QuailLa codornizLas codorniceskoðoɾˈnis
PartridgeLa perdizLas perdicespɛɾˈðis

Migratory birds in Spanish

Let’s get even more specific. If you’re a bird fan or are simply looking to move into intermediate Spanish, then you’re gonna want to learn a few of the following migratory birds in Spanish. Many of them don’t generally come up in casual conversation—but when they do, you’ll be happy you studied them!

A nuthatch and migratory birds in Spanish.

EnglishBird name (singular)Bird name (plural)IPA pronunciation
GoldfinchEl jilgueroLos jilguerosxilˈɣɛɾo
OrioleEl oriolLos oriolesoˈɾjol
ChickadeeEl carboneroLos carboneroskaɾβoˈnɛɾo
GrosbeakEl trincapinonesLos trincapinonestɾĩnkapiˈnones
Blue JayEl arrendajo azulLos arrendajos azulesarɛ̃nˈdaxo aˈsul
BlackbirdEl mirloLos mirlosˈmiɾlo
ThrasherEl zorzalLos zorzalessoɾˈsal
SwiftEl vencejoLos vencejosbɛ̃nˈsexo
WaxwingEl ampelisLos ampelisãmˈpelis
AlbatrossEl albatrosLos albatrosalˈβatɾos
RedpollEl pinzónLos pinzonespĩnˈsõn
WrenEl chochínLos chochinesʧoˈʧĩn
BuntingEl escribanoLos escribanosɛskɾiˈβano
SwallowLa golondrinaLas golondrinasɣolõnˈdɾina
FalconEl falcoLos falcosˈfalko
KingletEl reyezueloLos reyezuelosreʝeˈswelo
StarlingEl estornino pintoLos estorninos pintosɛstoɾˈnino ˈpĩnto
TitmouseEl herrerilloLos herrerillosɛrɛˈɾiʝo
ThrushEl túridoLos túridosˈtuɾiðo
MeadowlarkLa alondraLas alondrasaˈlõndɾa
MagpieLa urracaLas urracasu̯ˈraka
GrassbirdLa yerberaLas yerberasʝɛɾˈβɛɾa
NuthatchEl trepatroncosLos trepatroncostɾepaˈtɾõnkos
WarblerLa currucaLas currucaskuˈruka

Wild / Exotic birds in Spanish

One of the best parts about learning a new language is being able to explore and discover things you didn’t know about before. If you’re looking to travel through Latin America, you’ll likely run into some very interesting tropical birds! Here are some of our favorites.

An oriental pied hornbill, is an exotic bird in Spanish.

EnglishBird name (singular)Bird name (plural)IPA pronunciation
ToucanEl tucánLos tucanestuˈkãn
MacawLa guacamayaLas guacamayasɣwakaˈmaʝa
HornbillEl cálaoLos cálaosˈkalao
Atlantic PuffinEl frailecilloLos frailecillosfɾai̯leˈsiʝo
FlycatcherEl muscicápidoLos muscicápidosmusiˈkapiðo
AracariEl arasaríLos arasaríesaɾasaˈɾi
Bali Bird of ParadiseEl ave del paraíso esmeralda grandeLas aves del paraíso esmeralda grandeˈaβe ðɛl paɾaˈiso ɛs̬mɛˈɾalda ˈɣɾãnde
KingfisherEl martín pescadorLos martines pescadoresmaɾˈtĩm pɛskaˈðoɾ
African Crowned CraneLa grulla coronada cuelligrísLas grullas coronadas cuelligrísˈɣɾuʝa koɾoˈnaða kweʝiˈɣɾis
HoopoeLa abubillaLas abubillasaβuˈβiʝa
HeronLa garzaLas garzasˈɣaɾsa
CondorEl cóndorLos cóndoresˈkõndoɾ
PeacockEl pavo realLos pavo realesˈpaβo reˈal
QuetzalEl quetzalLos quetzaleskɛtˈsal
RoadrunnerEl correcaminosLos correcaminoskorekaˈminos
BarbetEl barbudoLos barbudosβaɾˈβuðo
Red-Bearded Bee-EaterEl abejaruco barbirrojoLos abejarucos barbirrojosaβexaˈɾuko βaɾβiˈroxo
Golden PheasantEl faisán doradoLos faisanes doradosfai̯ˈsãn doˈɾaðo
Lilac-Breasted RollerLa carraca lilaLas caracas lilaskaˈraka ˈlila
Inca TernEl charrán incaLos charranes incasʧaˈran ˈĩnka
FairywrenEl maluro soberbioLos maluros soberbiosmaˈluɾo soˈβɛɾβjo
LorikeetEl loriiniLos lorisloɾiˈini
WidowbirdEl obispo colilargoLos obispos colilargosoˈβispo koliˈlaɾɣo
SungemLa coqueta cola de espinasLas coquetas cola de espinaskoˈkɛta ˈkola ðɛ ɛsˈpinas
Wilson's Bird-of-ParadiseEl ave del paraíso republicanaLas aves del paraíso republicanaˈaβe ðɛl paɾaˈiso repuβliˈkana
LovebirdEl periquitoLos inseparablespɛɾiˈkito
BudgieLa cotorraLas cotorraskoˈtora
CockatielLa cacatúa ninfaLas cacatúas ninfaskakaˈtua ˈnĩmfa
CockatooLa cacatúaLas cacatúaskakaˈtua
African Gray ParrotEl loro yacoLos loros yacoˈloɾo ˈʝako
Lear's MacawEl guacamayo de LearLos guacamayos de Learɣwakaˈmaʝo ðe leˈaɾ
Victoria Crowned PigeonLa paloma crestada VictoriaLas palomas crestadas de Victoriapaˈloma kɾɛsˈtaða βik̚ˈtoɾja
Australian King ParrotEl papagayo australianoLos papagayos australianospapaˈɣaʝo au̯stɾaˈljano
Archangel PigeonLa paloma arcángelLas palomas arcángelpaˈloma aɾˈkãnxɛl
Green AracariEl arasarí verdeLos arasaríes verdesaɾasaˈɾi ˈβɛɾðe
HamerkopEl avemartilloLos avemartillosaβemaɾˈtiʝo
SpoonbillEl plateínoLos plateínosplateˈino
African Pygmy GooseEl gansito africanoLos gansitos africanosɣãnˈsito afɾiˈkano
Harpy EagleLa arpía mayorLas arpías mayoresaɾˈpia maˈʝoɾ
KaguEl kagúLos kagúskaˈɣu
Bare-Faced IbisEl ibis afeitadoLos ibis afeitadosˈiβis afei̯ˈtaðo
PotooEl pájaro brujaLos pájaros brujaˈpaxaɾo ˈβɾuxa
HoneycreeperEl mieleroLos mielerosmjeˈlɛɾo
Gray Winged TrumpeterEl trompetero aligrísLos trompeteros aligrístɾõmpɛˈtɛɾo aliˈɣɾis
HoatzinEl hoatzinLos hoatzinesoˈatsĩn
Horned ScreamerEl arucoLos arucosaˈɾuko
StorkEl ciconidoLos ciconidossikoˈniðo
Scale-crested pygmy-tyrantEl cimerillo andinoLos cimerillos andinossimɛˈɾiʝo ãnˈdino
Wattled JacanaLa jacana sudamericanaLas jacanas sudamericanasxaˈkana suðamɛɾiˈkana
TanagerEl tráupidoLos tráupidosˈtɾau̯piðo
CotingaEl cotíngidoLos cotíngidoskoˈtĩnxiðo
Mandarin DuckEl pato mandarínLos patos mandarínˈpato mãndaˈɾĩn
Lady Gouldian FinchEl diamante de GouldLos diamantes de Goulddjaˈmãnte ðe ˈɣou̯ld
Andean Cock-of-the-RockEl gallito de las rocas peruanoLos gallitos de las rocas peruanosɣaˈʝito ðe las̬ ˈrokas pɛˈɾwano
Crimson RosellaLa rosella rojaLas rosellas rojasroˈseʝa ˈroxa
American Purple GallinuleEl calamoncillo americanoLos calamoncillos americanoskalamõnˈsiʝo amɛɾiˈkano
Splendid Fairy WrenEl maluro espléndidoLos maluros espléndidosmaˈluɾo ɛsˈplɛ̃ndiðo
Curl-crested AracariEl arasarí crespoLos arasaríes cresposaɾasaˈɾi ˈkɾɛspo

Flightless birds in Spanish

Last but not least, we have the flightless birds. Although they have wings, these birds lack the aerodynamic qualities to take flight. We still love them though, as they tend to be more plump and bigger than regular birds! Plus, who doesn’t love a wobbly penguin!?

A Woodhen is a flightless bird in Spanish

EnglishBird name (singular)Bird name (plural)IPA pronunciation
OstrichEl avestruzLas avestrucesaβɛsˈtɾus
EmuEl emúLos emúseˈmu
CassowaryEl casuarioLos casuarioskaˈswaɾjo
KiwiEl kiwiLos kiwisˈkiwi
RheaEl ñandúLos ñadúsɲãnˈdu
TealLa cercetaLas cercetassɛɾˈsɛta
SteamerduckEl pato vaporLos patos vaporˈpato βaˈpoɾ
GrebeEl zampullínLos zampullinessãmpuˈʝĩn
CormorantEl cormoránLos cormoraneskoɾmoˈɾãn
PenguinEl pingüinoLos pingüinospĩnˈɡwino
RailEl rálidoLos rálidosˈraliðo
CootLa fochaLas fochasˈfoʧa
MoorhenLa gallinetaLas gallinetasɣaʝiˈnɛta
WoodhenEl rascón de la Lord HoweLos rascones de la Lord Howerasˈkõn de la ˈloɾð ˈowe
TakaheEl calamón takahe de la Isla SurLos calamones takahe de la isla Surkalaˈmõn taˈkae ðe la ˈis̬la ˈsuɾ
KakapoEl kakapoLos kakaposkaˈkapo

Bird songs in Spanish

PULCINO PIO - El Pollito Pio (Official video)

With over 1.4 billion views on YouTube alone, El Pollito Pio is without a doubt one of the catchiest songs in the Spanish language. This song will help you memorize at least five different types of birds (plus a few more animals in Spanish!). This song is so catchy that it’s perfect for adults and children alike—trust us!

Alondrita - Canción Infantil - Alouette en Español

Alondrita is the Spanish version of the French song Alouette that’s known all over the world. Arguably one of the most popular nursery rhymes worldwide, the song almost cruelly talks about defeathering a bird body part by body part. So, although you probably won’t learn a lot about different types of birds, you will learn a lot about body parts in Spanish with this fun song!

Pajaritos a Bailar - Las Canciones de la Granja de Zenón 1

Without a doubt, this is one of the most popular children’s songs in Latin America. Not only is it extremely fun and catchy, but it also lends itself for some great choreographed moves! If you’re looking for some bird songs in Spanish that you can dance to, this song should be at the top of your list.

Funny bird-related sayings, quotes, phrases

With more than 20 Spanish speaking countries around the world, you can bet that there are dozens of funny and wise phrases and sayings about birds. Now that you’re familiar with over a 100 birds, you should take a look at some of these bird-related phrases in Spanish!

EnglishSpanishIPA pronunciationContext
Better to have a bird in your hand than a hundred in the airMás vale pájaro en mano que ciento volandoˈmas̬ ˈβale ˈpaxaɾo ɛ̃m ˈmano ˈke ˈsjɛ̃nto βoˈlãndoUsed to express that it’s better to secure something small than take a risk for something bigger.
All big-booty birdPuro pájaro nalgónˈpuɾo ˈpaxaɾo nalˈɣõnUsed to call out someone who claims they can do something they really can’t do
If you want birds, plant some treesSi quieres pájaros, planta árbolessi ˈkjɛɾes ˈpaxaɾos | ˈplãnta ˈaɾβolesUsed to say that you need to get something different to attract what you really want
Get to flying, pigeonsA volar palomasa βoˈlaɾ paˈlomasIt’s time to go!
He who is a parrot will be green anywhereEl que es perico, donde quiera es verdeɛl ˈke ˈɛs pɛˈɾiko | ˈdõnde ˈkjɛɾa ˈɛs̬ ˈβɛɾðeOutstanding people will shine no matter where they are
The fruit is tasty when the birds want to bite itCuando el pájaro la pica, es cuando la fruta está ricaˈkwãndo ɛl ˈpaxaɾo la ˈpika | ˈɛs ˈkwãndo la ˈfɾuta ɛsˈta ˈrikaUsed to say that you should follow the experts’ advice
A song bird would never stop and sing on a tree that won’t flowerPues el pájaro cantor jamás se para a cantar en árbol que no da florˈpwes ɛl ˈpaxaɾo kãnˈtoɾ xaˈmas se ˈpaɾa a kãnˈtaɾ ɛn ˈaɾβol ˈke ˈno ˈða ˈfloɾUsed to express that negative environments will never flourish
Bird of ill omen, I really don't want itAve de mal agüero, a mi vera no la quieroaβe ðe ˈmal aˈɣwɛɾo | a mi ˈβɛɾa ˈno la ˈkjɛɾoUsed to warn against people who have a bad reputation
I get tired, gooseMe canso, gansome ˈkãnso | ˈɡãnsoMeans that you will do something no matter what
We think caged birds sing, when really, they cryCreemos que los pájaros enjaulados cantan, cuando en realidad llorankɾeˈemos ˈke los ˈpaxaɾos ɛ̃nxau̯ˈlaðos ˈkãntãn | ˈkwãndo ɛ̃n realiˈðað ˈʝoɾãnCan be used metaphorically to express that humans need freedom
Owls are the wisest of birds because the more they see, the less they talkUn búho es el más sabio de todas las aves porque cuanto más ve, menos hablaũm ˈbuo ˈɛs ɛl ˈmas ˈsaβjo ðe ˈtoðas̬ las ˈaβes ˈpoɾke ˈkwãnto ˈmas̬ ˈβe | ˈmenos ˈaβlaObserving is often much wiser than talking
Be like a bird perched on a fragile branch that may snap but continues singing knowing that it has wingsSé como un pájaro posado en una rama frágil que siente doblarse debajo de ella, pero sigue cantando de todos modos, sabiendo que tiene alasˈse ˈkomo ũ̯m ˈpaxaɾo poˈsaðo ɛn ˈuna ˈrama ˈfɾaxil ˈke ˈsjɛ̃nte ðoˈβlaɾse ðeˈβaxo ðe ˈeʝa | ˈpɛɾo ˈsiɣe kãnˈtãndo ðe ˈtoðos̬ ˈmoðos | saˈβjɛ̃ndo ˈke ˈtjene ˈalasEven if you’re in a precarious situation, you should be confident in your own ability to progress past it
No bird flies too high if it flies with its own wingsNingún pájaro vuela demasiado alto si vuela con sus propias alasnĩnˈɡũm ˈpaxaɾo ˈβwela ðemaˈsjaðo ˈalto si ˈβwela kõn sus ˈpɾopjas ˈalasDon’t be scared of success if you attain it through your own merit
Every bird loves its nestA cada pájaro le gusta su nidoa ˈkaða ˈpaxaɾo le ˈɣusta su ˈniðoEveryone builds their home according to their wants
New cage, dead birdJaula nueva, pájaro muertoˈxau̯la ˈnweβa | ˈpaxaɾo ˈmwɛɾtoEvery change comes with some risk
As a bird in its nestComo pájaro en su nidoˈkomo ˈpaxaɾo ɛ̃n su ˈniðoUsed when someone fits in right away, as a bird in its nest
Small bird for such a big cageChico pájaro para tan gran jaulaˈʧiko ˈpaxaɾo ˈpaɾa ˈtãn ˈɡɾãn ˈxau̯laUsed for people who have extremely big shoes to fill (and fail at doing so)
From afar you can recognize when a bird is a canaryDe lejos se reconoce al pájaro que es canariode ˈlexos se rekoˈnose al ˈpaxaɾo ˈke ˈɛs kaˈnaɾjoUsed to praise the work of an outstanding individual
A bird will sing even on a cracking branchEl pájaro canta aunque la rama crujaɛl ˈpaxaɾo ˈkãnta ˈau̯nke la ˈrama ˈkɾuxaUsed to say that you should trust yourself even in precarious situations
The bird that wakes up early will eat the best wormEl pájaro que madruga se come al mejor gusanoɛl ˈpaxaɾo ˈke maˈðɾuɣa se ˈkome al meˈxoɾ ɣuˈsanoEarly bird gets the worm
A friar who is also a beggar is a bird of bad omenFraile limosnero, pájaro de mal agüeroˈfɾai̯le limos̬ˈnɛɾo | ˈpaxaɾo ðe ˈmal aˈɣwɛɾoFriars shouldn’t be asking for money, so if someone is doing something odd, it might be a bad omen
No bird was ever born to stay in its nestNingún pájaro ha nacido para quedarse en el nidonĩnˈɡũm ˈpaxaɾo ˈa naˈsiðo ˈpaɾa keˈðaɾsɛ ɛn ɛl ˈniðoUsed to express that people should be free to leave their home and explore
According to the bird, its nestSegún es el pájaro, así es el nidoseˈɣun ˈɛs ɛl ˈpaxaɾo | aˈsi ˈɛs ɛl ˈniðoUsed to say that everyone builds their home according to their needs or ability

Just for laughs: Birds speaking Spanish

1. Bird bossing his human brother around

You probably already knew that parrots could talk, but did you know they can boss you around too? This hysterical parrot adopted (stole!?) his mom’s identity and now acts as a second mother to his human brother. Watch the video below to see this parrot badger his brother around and ask him if he’s going to work, shower, and eat!

2. Bird singing Spanish songs

Beyond speaking (and pestering!), parrots are also amazing singers! From funny songs in Spanish like La Cucaracha to opera, these birds can truly handle anything you throw at them. Check out the following video to watch this talented and charismatic bird sing dozens of different songs in Spanish.

3. Crow answering questions in Spanish

Birds are incredibly interesting creatures, and parrots aren’t the only ones that can talk! There are many types of birds that are able to mimic human and non-human sounds, such as the savvy crow. Heads up though, the crow even says some curse words!

Study these birds and watch your Spanish take flight

Learning the birds in Spanish is a great way to progress beyond a beginner Spanish level. Even if you’re not a huge fan of birds, knowing the names of birds in Spanish will help you understand conversations, books, movies, and TV shows.

And if you’re looking for other animals in Spanish, check out our Spanish blog! We publish great new content each month on a variety of topics, including animals, fruits and vegetables, and more! And best of all—all of our articles are always free!

That’s it for today, but keep learning with our blogs and watch your Spanish level soar!

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