30 Unusual Bird-Inspired Baby Names for Boys & Girls

Genny Glassman | Dec 20, 2017 Pregnancy

little girl with a bird
iStock.com/Kangah

Choosing a baby name can be a difficult task for expecting parents. There are so many ways to approach naming a new baby, whether that be choosing a name from pop culture, naming baby after a family member, or even looking to nature for some baby name inspiration. That's why we've picked some of our favorite baby names inspired by birds that we're pretty sure our readers will love. If one wants to look to the skies for the upcoming baby's name, there are plenty of different kinds of birds to choose from. Every bird has a personality -- as would any kid who is named after one of our feathery friends. 

From Blue to Lark to the beautiful Wren, a bird-inspired name sounds fresh to the ear and has a natural, earthy vibe. We've compiled 30 of our favorite names based on birds that we think will really take flight with expectant parents. Whether one is a bird-watcher, an ornithologist (that's a scientist who studies birds!), or just likes the thought of soaring high in the clouds, take a look at these sweet and stunning bird-inspired monikers for a whole new view on baby names!

We have 30 bird-inspired names that made the list. Some of them are totally unexpected, and one of them just might be the perfect fit for your little one!


Tatevosian Yana/Shutterstock

  • Argus

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    iStock.com/SbytovaMN

    Argus, like the great argus pheasant, is a sweet boys' name that comes to us all the way from Greece! In Greek the name means "all seeing" or "bright." And if Argus is too long, then the shorter nickname Gus would bring any mom and dad a lot of joy! 

  • Adelie

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    A sweet name taken from the Adelie penguin, Adelie is also a shortened form the name Adelheid or Adelaide. Meaning "nobility," Adelie has a French flair and can be pronounced "AD-del-ee" (vs. the English "Ah-deh-LEE") if one is looking for something a little more exotic.

  • Brent

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    Brent, like a brent goose, has a strong following even with non–bird lovers. The name was formerly an English surname meaning "burnt." In the '70s, Brent made it into the top 100 baby names in the US, coming in at #82!  

  • Blue

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    iStock.com

    This name comes from a bird that we all are familiar with -- the blue jay! Blue became popular after Beyonce named her daughter Blue Ivy in 2012, but the name would be cute for a boy or a girl. Blue is a perfectly positive name, a name for one who looks to the skies and sees nothing but clear sailing. So if an expectant parent is looking for an optimistic baby name, Blue might just be the one! 

  • Blyth

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    iStock.co/ShutKatya

    Taken from the Blyth's tragopan bird, Blyth is a name that sounds fresh and modern. In fact, the name Blyth means "caferee" and is a pretty stylish name, we have to admit. And if any mamas aren't too familiar with the Blyth's tragopan bird, they might recognize the name from the similarly spelled Blythe Danner, actress and mother of Gwyneth Paltrow.

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  • Cliff

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    Inspired by the cliff swallow, Cliff is a name that parents shouldn't overlook. Cliff can be short for Clifton or Clifford (like the Big Red Dog!) and was an Old English surname used to denote where a family lived, i.e. "the settlement by the cliff." Cliff has gone in and out of favor over the past 100 years, reaching its peak in the 1900s at #532 on the most popular baby name charts. 

  • Carolina

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    iStock.com/FluxFactory

    Hello, Carolina! This name is taken from the Carolina wren, a sweet, tiny bird that is native to the United States. Carolina is the feminine form of the Latin name Carolus, meaning "a full grown-man." In the early 1990s, Carolina was coming in strong on the top baby name charts, peaking at #285 out of the top 1,000 names. Today, those numbers aren't quite as strong, but the name still comes in at a respectable #430.

  • Dunlin

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    iStock.com/RuslanDashinsky

    According to the Audubon field guide, a dunlin is a little "gray-brown" bird that one can find in New England. Dunlin has yet to rank on the list of top US baby names, but we believe that this name could really go the distance. Dunlin would make a great formal name for baby boys, while Dun, Dunny, or Lin would make excellent nicknames.

  • Elliot

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    iStock.com/PeopleImages

    Taken from the Elliot's pheasant, Elliot is a charming name that one is bound to like! Elliot has an important origin; it comes from the Old French word Elie, which is the cognate of the Hebrew name Elijah, meaning "Jehovah is God." Ever popular for both boys and girls, Elliot is trending at #208! 

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  • Emerald

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    iStock.com/Alexei-DOST

    From the emerald toucanet species, this baby name is a gem! Much like the bright green gemstone of the same name, Emerald truly shines. Cute variations on the name are Emma, Emme, Emie, and Em. Shine bright!

  • Fox

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    iStock.com/bo1982

    Yes, this name was inspired by a fox, and not the other animal of the same name. In this case, it actually comes from the fox sparrow! Though Fox might seem like an unlikely baby name, more parents are turning to it, for an earthy and natural vibe. Parents might recall a certain Fox Mulder from the X-Files who shares the same title. A little Fox would denote cunning, elegance, and even a little bit of mischief! 

  • Grey

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    This name comes from the grey plover, a quiet and graceful arctic bird. A baby named Grey will surely get associated with the color, the TV show Grey's Anatomy, or even the popular book and movie franchise Fifty Shades of Grey. But don't let that be a deterrent! Grey has a regal vibe and would make a great name for a little boy or girl.

    More from CafeMom: 25 Best Gender-Neutral Baby Names

  • Hudson

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    iStock.com/aywan88

    From the Hudsonian godwit species, Hudson is a great classic name! Recently, we've seen a spike in the popularity of the name Hudson, and in 2015 the name was the 65th most popular in the country. Cute nicknames are Hud, Huddy, Hudsie, and Huddle bug. 

  • Hazel

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    iStock.com/M-image

    A hazel grouse may not be so common here in the US, but the name Hazel certainly is! The name Hazel also comes from the Hazelnut tree, and some say it comes from the Hebrew name hazā'ēl, meaning "God sees." Though the name had waned in popularity until recently, Hazel is currently on a serious uptick! 

  • Ibis

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    iStock.com/kate_sept2004

    Ibis, like glossy ibis species of bird, has some sacred connotations. In Egypt, the ibis was the venerated symbol of god Toth.  And this long-necked elegant bird certainly can make us see why. Perhaps one is a history buff or wants a name that seems like it came from another time, but either way, Ibis is the best! 

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  • Ivory

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    iStock.com/FluxFactory

    The ivory gull is the inspiration for this name -- though we also think that Ivory, the valuable material, is beautiful as well. Ivory is a good name for both boys and girls, and was popular in the early 1900s. Today, the name is #719 on the baby name charts, though most would associate it with the classic bar of body soap.

  • Jack

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    iStock.com/Kosamtu

    Taken from the jack snipe, Jack is a popular name with a surprisingly meaningful interpretation. Jack was originally a pet form of John, which means "God is gracious." In 2015 Jack was the 40th most popular name for US boys, which is pretty incredible to us! Way to go, Jack!

  • Linnet

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    iStock.com/Yagi-Studio

    The linnet is a small bird from the finch family. But as a baby name, Linnet has a French je ne sais quoi! It comes from the French Linette, meaning "flax." Cute nicknames are Lin and Linny.

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  • Lark

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    The crested lark is the next species we love for inspiration. Lark, a type of songbird whose name is derived from the Middle English "larke," is melodious name. Lark works for both boys and girls, though for boys it has a sharp, masculine connotation. This name has never ranked in the top 1,000 US baby names but it's got a distinctive hipster vibe that makes it a safe bet for future popular name lists.

  • Myna

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    iStock.com/onebluelight

    The golden myna is native to South Asia, but that doesn't mean its name won't be a big hit here in the United States! While the popularity of Mia and Maya is undeniable, Myna is a new variation that we can see sparking tons of discussion. A myna is a smart, clever bird, and we're sure the same will be said by any baby who is given this name. 

  • Red

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    iStock.com/Delmaine Donson

    Yes, we've already had Blue on the list, but don't count out Red! We took this name from the red junglefowl. A baby Red can be seen as passionate, courageous, and full of life. And one doesn't need to have a baby with red hair to favor this name. Go, Red, go! 

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  • Robin

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    iStock.com/RuslanDashinsky

    We couldn't do a bird-inspired baby name list without including Robin, could we? Robin, which is the feminine form of Robert, was a French name brought to England by the Normans. Robin peaked in popularity in the 1950s, when it was the 53rd most popular name in the country, but this name still is going strong! 

  • Rock

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    iStock.com/ajijchan

    Rock, from the rock ptarmigan species, is a strong name that has old Hollywood swagger. Rock Hudson was the biggest star in the world in the 1950s and due to his popularity, Rock became the 816th most popular name in America. A cute little Rocko or Rocky would be great variations too! 

  • Rosy

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    iStock.com/fotostorm

    The rosy starling is a rose-colored bird and leads us to our next name, Rosy! Like Rosie, Rosy can be short for Rosalind, Rosanna, Rose, and Rosemary. While the "y" spelling peaked in the 1880s, Rosy will always be a classic name for girls. 

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  • Sage

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    From the sage grouse bird, Sage is a name that works for boys and girls. Taken from the plant of the same name, Sage is associated with healing and cleansing. In 2015, Sage was the 649th most popular name for boys and 370th most popular name for girls.

  • Savanna

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    iStock.com/elinasvarca

    The savanna hawk is where we got this name. Savanna is derived from the Spanish word for a treeless plain and is also a city in Georgia (though spelled a bit differently). In the 1990s Savanna hit its stride, topping the top 1,000 baby names list at #307, though it still landed at #505 in 2015.

  • Victoria

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    iStock.com/lisegagne

    The Victoria crowned pigeon is not what we would see if we walked down the sidewalk of New York City. With a crowned crest, it looks just about as regal as its name suggests. Victoria, which is Latin for "victory," is also a popular name in the US, though the name peaked in the '80s at #56. If an expectant mama is looking for a name with a regal air, Victoria is her best bet! 

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  • Violet

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    iStock.com/wundervisuals

    The violet sabrewing is inspiration for the next name on our list. Violet comes from the French Violette, which is the diminutive form of Viole (i.e., the flower, a violet). Violet also makes the top baby name lists in Canada, Scotland, and here in the US.

  • Virginia

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    iStock.com/Daniela Jovanovska-Hristovska

    Virginia, like the Virginia rail, is from Virginia the state! Derived from the Latin Verginius, meaning "springlike" or "flourishing," Virginia was truly the belle of the ball back in the day. In the 1920s, Virginia was the seventh most popular name in the country and steadily stayed in the top 100, well into the 1950s! 

  • Willow

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    iStock.com/c3nsored

    This name comes from the willow ptarmigan. Willow, taken from the tree of the same name, is a graceful and lithe name that has a feminine connotation to it. In 2015, Willow ranked as the 111th most popular name in the US and we can see why! It's a beautiful name that we can't get enough of. 

  • Wren

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    iStock.com/clodio

    A rock wren is a tiny bird that we think makes the perfect inspiration for a baby boy! Wren is a Welsh name that means "ruler." And for our Pretty Little Liars fans out there, Wren was the love interest on the show that kept our attention the most!  

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