15 Kinds of Birds That Start With the Letter ‘A

Get ready to spread your wings and explore the fascinating world of birds! In this article, you will discover 15 incredible bird species that share a common trait – their names all start with the letter “A.” From the majestic Abbott’s babbler to the vibrant Abyssinian woodpecker, each bird is presented with its scientific name, habitat, and captivating facts that will leave you in awe. Imagine hearing the distinctive call of Abbott’s babbler echoing through the Himalayas, or marveling at the golden yellow back of the Abyssinian woodpecker in African forests. You’ll also encounter the Afep pigeon, a gray beauty found in the Equatorial Forests of Africa. Keep an eye out for the ʻAkohekohe, a bird native to Hawaii that resides in high elevated wet forests, as well as the Allen’s gallinule, which cleverly builds floating nests in marshes and lakes. So, prepare to embark on a delightful bird-watching adventure as this article takes you on a journey to discover these extraordinary avian wonders.

Abbott’s babbler

Scientific Name: Malacocincla abbotti

Abbott’s babbler, scientifically known as Malacocincla abbotti, is a small bird species found in the Himalayas and Southeast Asia. It is known for its distinctive call, which consists of three to four notes that are repeated at regular intervals. This call is used by the bird to communicate with other members of its species.

Habitat

Abbott’s babbler is primarily found in dense, lowland forests and scrublands. It prefers areas with thick undergrowth where it can forage for insects and small invertebrates. These birds are highly adaptable and can also be found in secondary forests, plantations, and even urban areas with suitable vegetation.

Interesting Facts

  • Abbott’s babbler is known for its secretive nature, often remaining hidden in vegetation and difficult to spot.
  • Despite being small in size, these birds have a varied diet that includes insects, spiders, centipedes, and small reptiles.
  • They are highly territorial and will defend their nesting sites vigorously against intruders.
  • Abbott’s babbler is known for its strong flight capabilities, allowing it to navigate through dense vegetation with ease.

Abyssinian woodpecker

Scientific Name: Dendropicos abyssinicus

The Abyssinian woodpecker, scientifically known as Dendropicos abyssinicus, is a striking bird native to the forests of Africa. It is characterized by its vibrant plumage and unique behaviors.

Habitat

This woodpecker species is primarily found in the woodlands and forests of East Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. It prefers habitats with mature trees, where it can search for insects and larvae in the bark.

Interesting Facts

  • The Abyssinian woodpecker has a golden yellow back, contrasting with its black and white wings and tail. This coloration makes it a visually stunning bird.
  • It uses its strong beak to peck at the wood in search of insects, and its tongue is specially adapted to extract prey from tree bark.
  • Abyssinian woodpeckers are known to create holes in trees, which are used as nesting sites and as storage compartments for food.
  • During courtship displays, the male Abyssinian woodpecker performs drumming patterns on trees to attract a mate.

Afep pigeon

Scientific Name: Columba unicincta

The Afep pigeon, scientifically known as Columba unicincta, is a unique bird species found in the Equatorial Forests of Africa. It is distinguished by its gray body and neck.

Habitat

Afep pigeons are typically found in dense lowland rainforests, where they can forage for fruit and seeds. They prefer habitats with tall trees and ample canopy cover, providing them with protection and food sources.

Interesting Facts

  • Unlike most pigeons, the Afep pigeon is a shy and elusive bird. It often remains concealed within the forest canopy, making it challenging to observe.
  • These pigeons are social creatures and are often seen in small flocks, foraging together in search of food.
  • The Afep pigeon plays an essential role in seed dispersal, as it consumes various fruits and then deposits the seeds in different locations through its droppings.
  • It has a unique cooing call that is distinctive and easily recognizable.

ʻAkohekohe

Scientific Name: Palmeria dolei

The ʻAkohekohe, scientifically known as Palmeria dolei, is a rare bird species native to Hawaii. It is highly sought after by birdwatchers due to its striking appearance and unique characteristics.

Habitat

These birds inhabit the high-elevation wet forests of Maui in Hawaii, where they breed and forage for food. The dense vegetation and relative isolation of their habitat make them challenging to observe.

Interesting Facts

  • The ʻAkohekohe is named after the sound of its distinctive call, which resembles “ako-hekohe.” This call is often heard during territorial disputes between males.
  • These birds have a bright red plumage, with a distinctive white crest on their forehead. The combination of colors makes them stand out in their forested habitat.
  • Due to habitat loss and predation by introduced species, the ʻAkohekohe is currently listed as an endangered species.
  • Conservation efforts are underway to protect and restore the ʻAkohekohe’s habitat in order to ensure the survival of this unique Hawaiian bird.

Allen’s gallinule

Scientific Name: Porphyrio alleni

Allen’s gallinule, scientifically known as Porphyrio alleni, is a water bird species known for its vibrant plumage and fascinating behaviors.

Habitat

These gallinules inhabit marshes, lakes, and other wetland areas across parts of North and South America. They prefer habitats with dense vegetation, which provides them with cover for nesting and feeding.

Interesting Facts

  • Allen’s gallinule is named after Joel Asaph Allen, an American ornithologist who described the species.
  • They are excellent swimmers and can navigate through dense vegetation and open water with ease.
  • Allen’s gallinules build floating nests using plants and other materials found in wetland habitats. These nests are anchored to nearby vegetation and are used for breeding.
  • These birds have large, brightly colored feet, which are believed to play a role in courtship displays and territorial defense.

American avocet

Scientific Name: Recurvirostra americana

The American avocet, scientifically known as Recurvirostra americana, is a striking wading bird species found in North America. It is known for its unique bill shape and elegant appearance.

Habitat

These birds are typically found in shallow marshes, wetlands, and lagoons across western and central North America. They prefer habitats with open water and exposed mudflats, where they can forage for invertebrates.

Interesting Facts

  • The American avocet gets its name from its distinctive bill, which is curved upwards. This bill shape is specialized for sweeping through water and mud to locate prey.
  • During breeding season, the American avocet displays intricate courtship rituals, including head-bobbing, wing-flapping, and calling displays.
  • These birds migrate long distances, with some individuals traveling from their breeding grounds in North America to wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America.
  • American avocets are highly social birds and are often seen in large flocks, feeding and migrating together.

American bittern

Scientific Name: Botaurus lentiginosus

The American bittern, scientifically known as Botaurus lentiginosus, is a large, solitary bird species found in wetlands across North America. It is known for its camouflage and unique vocalizations.

Habitat

American bitterns inhabit a variety of wetland habitats, including marshes, swamps, and rice fields. They are most often found in areas with tall vegetation, where they can blend in and remain hidden.

Interesting Facts

  • The American bittern is a master of camouflage, with a brown and buff plumage pattern that closely resembles the surrounding vegetation. This enables them to hide from both predators and human observers.
  • These birds are known for their unique vocalizations, which include low, booming calls often compared to the sound of a foghorn.
  • American bitterns are skilled hunters, using their long bills to catch fish, frogs, insects, and other small prey.
  • Despite their large size, they are highly elusive and can be challenging to locate and observe in the wild.

American coot

Scientific Name: Fulica americana

The American coot, scientifically known as Fulica americana, is a water bird species found across North America. It is recognized by its dark plumage, white bill, and distinctive lobed toes.

Habitat

American coots inhabit a wide range of wetland habitats, including lakes, ponds, marshes, and rivers. They are highly adaptable and can tolerate both freshwater and brackish water environments.

Interesting Facts

  • The American coot is often mistaken for a duck due to its aquatic lifestyle and similar appearance. However, it is not closely related to ducks but belongs to the rail family.
  • These birds are known for their distinctive lobed toes, which are adapted for swimming and walking on floating vegetation.
  • American coots form large migratory flocks, with thousands of individuals gathering in certain areas during the winter months.
  • They have a varied diet that includes aquatic plants, small invertebrates, and even small fish. They forage by diving and are capable of staying underwater for extended periods.

American crow

Scientific Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos

The American crow, scientifically known as Corvus brachyrhynchos, is a widespread and familiar bird species found throughout much of North America. It is known for its intelligence and adaptability.

Habitat

American crows are highly adaptable and can be found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, woodlands, urban areas, and agricultural fields. They are often seen perched high in trees or foraging on the ground.

Interesting Facts

  • American crows are highly intelligent birds and are known for their problem-solving abilities. They can use tools, recognize individual human faces, and even engage in playful behavior.
  • These birds have a varied diet, which includes fruits, grains, insects, small mammals, and carrion. They are opportunistic feeders and can adapt their diet to available food sources.
  • American crows are social birds and often gather in large flocks, especially during the winter months. They communicate with a wide range of calls, including characteristic cawing sounds.
  • Despite being common and widespread, American crows are susceptible to West Nile virus and habitat loss, which can impact their populations.

American dipper

Scientific Name: Cinclus mexicanus

The American dipper, scientifically known as Cinclus mexicanus, is a unique bird species found in fast-flowing streams and rivers across western North America. It is known for its aquatic lifestyle and distinctive behaviors.

Habitat

American dippers inhabit mountainous areas with clean, fast-flowing water. They are often found near waterfalls, rapids, and other areas where the water is turbulent. They build their nests on rocky ledges close to water sources.

Interesting Facts

  • American dippers are specialized for an aquatic lifestyle and have several unique adaptations. These include dense plumage that provides insulation and waterproofing, nictitating membranes that protect their eyes underwater, and strong legs and claws for gripping on slippery surfaces.
  • Unlike most birds, American dippers can swim and dive underwater. They have the ability to walk along the streambed, searching for aquatic insects and other small prey.
  • These birds are known for their distinctive bobbing behavior, often observed as they stand on rocks or logs in the water. This behavior is believed to help them locate prey and establish territories.
  • American dippers are highly territorial and will defend their nesting sites vigorously against intruders, including other dippers.

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