Birds are perhaps one of the most fascinating topics of the animal kingdom. Sure, lions and tigers often look royal, and tiny rabbits are cute and adorable. But with birds, you don't often know what you're getting. There's such a variety that it's enough to send you spinning—water birds that spend most of their life floating, birds whose wings are purely decorative and they struggle to get off the ground; there are small ones with beautiful colors and giant birds that look like a sentient storm cloud. And then there are some that clearly took the brunt of the overflowing number of species, and that's clearly reflected in their names.

Twitter user stu_bot3000 created a thread that went viral featuring birds that seemingly were named by people who dislike them, as poor ornithologists likely ran out of majestic-sounding names and had to settle (but at least now we know that the "birb" memes certainly have enough foundation). With 73.4K views and 19K retweets, the discussion on the names of winged creatures took off running. 

#1

Satanic Nightjar

Satanic Nightjar

Regardless of the name, satanic nightjars don't run cults or offer sacrifices. It's just a medium-sized, greyish brown spotted bird. It was discovered about 90 years ago in Sulawesi (and then re-discovered in 1996). It earned its name because locals believed it was a demonic entity due the sounds it lets out at night.

stu_bot3000 Report

William Faulk
Community Member
1 month ago

XD it looks so cute/Derpy!

View more comments
#2

Boobies

Boobies

Boobies are the bird species that can be singled out for their bright blue feet (a feature only the males have, and the bluer they are, the better!). The feet are used to attract prospective mates by performing a high-stepping strut, so the species incorporate a performance with the visuals.

stu_bot3000 Report

Mae (just add water)
Community Member
1 month ago

Clearly these were named by a fifth grade boy.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Little Bustard

Little Bustard

Little bustards are one of the larger birds on this list, despite what its name might suggest. Usually fairly quiet and unobtrusive, males preparing for breeding have distinctive plumage with a black neck and double V-shaped white collar. However, the population of these birds is decreasing.

stu_bot3000 Report

cassiushumanmother
Community Member
1 month ago

In France we are more savage. "Outarde canePETière", "pet" means "farts", because this bird make fart noises. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmLPXeY2HT4 Maybe it's for the same reason that they are little "bustards" in English.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#4

Dickcissel

Dickcissel

Dickcissels typically can be found in the North American prairies. They eat seeds and are ground foragers, and when it's time to migrate, they can flock in large numbers, sometimes reaching thousands, and while wintering, those flocks can number in the millions.

stu_bot3000 Report

William Faulk
Community Member
1 month ago

is it pronounced d**k sizzle?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Tiny Sky-Tyrant

Tiny Sky-Tyrant

stu_bot3000 Report

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
1 month ago

Sic semper tyrannis

View more comments
#6

Go-Away-Bird

Go-Away-Bird

Go-away-birds are known for their long tails that flop up and down while in flight. They tend to stick to small groups and like to perch on trees and bushes. But their name comes from their nasal sound that sounds very much like “go-waaay,” which earned them the name.

stu_bot3000 Report

glowworm2
Community Member
1 month ago

So basically Oscar the Grouch if he was a bird.

View more comments
#7

Penduline Tit

Penduline Tit

Penduline tits live up to their name, making elaborate bag nests which they hang from trees near water. They even use spiderweb, animal hair and soft plant materials to create the nest. The construction even has a false opening that leads to a false chamber, and the true interior of the nest is hidden behind a secret door.

stu_bot3000 Report

Adriana Coppage
Community Member
1 month ago

tits are also called chickadees

View more comments
#8

Horned Screamer

Horned Screamer

National Geographic aptly titled horned screamers the unicorns of the bird world. It's the only horned bird in the world, but the horn is not used for fights—it's only ornamental. The horn is loosely attached and will snap off when it grows too big, and then later, it grows back.

stu_bot3000 Report

BlackPearltheSeaWing/NightWing
Community Member
1 month ago

That bird is terrifying

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Fluffy-Backed Tit-Babbler

Fluffy-Backed Tit-Babbler

The fluffy-backed tit-babbler is a near-threatened species found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Their preferred habitats are facing deforestation or similar forms of conversion, causing the species to decline.

stu_bot3000 Report

Pazuzu
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

hey isn't that a rappers name?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#10

Sad Flycatcher

Sad Flycatcher

Despite the name, the sad flycatcher is not sad in any way. It does have a small bill, but that's not enough to discourage this woodland species. These birds are native to Jamaica and prefer to stick to various forests.

stu_bot3000 Report

Eileen Fang
Community Member
1 month ago

awwwww! Don't be sad, little flycatcher! We're all here for you! :)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Smew

Smew

Smews are diving ducks that live in northern Europe and Asia. They are migrating birds, meaning they will leave their natural habitat to spend winters somewhere else in order to escape colder climates. It is male smews that have the distinct white-and-black plumage.
Tiny sky-tyrant

stu_bot3000 Report

BookCrazyTeen
Community Member
1 month ago

✨Smew✨

Computernaut
Community Member
1 month ago

Sounds like a creature from Harry Potter.

Load More Replies...
glowworm2
Community Member
1 month ago

Cool name and cool looking duck.

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
1 month ago

They’re arctic birds, as are all eiders.

Load More Replies...
William Faulk
Community Member
1 month ago

It looks so cool!

Ila Chakravarthy
Community Member
1 month ago

gun go pew pew, birb go smew smew.

Daniel Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

I thought smew was a slang word for dicksizzle.

Tye Dye Llama
Community Member
1 month ago

My new favorite word

Arenite
Community Member
1 month ago

Great crossword puzzle word.

Everydayhuman83
Community Member
1 month ago

smew you

Crycket
Community Member
1 month ago

Sounds like a cat named it...

Dhukath
Community Member
1 month ago

Made me think of Shmoo, I feel old!

Fixin'Ta
Community Member
1 month ago

This name is great! (Not complaining for once.) Related to the Dutch and German words for "small wild duck".

meow point1
Community Member
1 month ago

Who asked their cat to name a bird?

View more comments
#12

Sombre Tit

Sombre Tit

The sombre tit lives in southeast Europe and southwest Asia. These birds make their nest in the holes of the trees, such as juniper or willow, and they lay eggs twice a year. The species also appears to be somewhat stationary, with slight local movements, and they don't migrate half a world away.

stu_bot3000 Report

Adriana Coppage
Community Member
1 month ago

"it's not a phase MOM"

View More Replies...
View more comments
#13

Typical Swift

Typical Swift

The typical or common swift follows its name to the letter. Their feathers are in dark colors, with no outrageous features, but it lives up to the swift title, spending as much as ten months per year in continuous flight. Germans even call this bird "wall-glider" as a tribute to its ability to cling to vertical surfaces.

stu_bot3000 Report

Mae (just add water)
Community Member
1 month ago

Meh... typical

View more comments
#14

European Shag

European Shag

European shags can be found in western Europe and northern Africa. There are three subspecies: living in the north (like Iceland), in mild climates (such as the central Mediterranean), and those preferring warm weather (like the coasts of northern Africa).

stu_bot3000 Report

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
1 month ago

Who’s shagging the birds? Kinda weird ngl

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Rough-Faced Shag

Rough-Faced Shag

The rough-faced shag is a rare species from New Zealand. For close to 200+ years, their small population was confined to four islands in the Marlborough Sounds area, and due to this, these birds are considered vulnerable. And instead of exquisite singing, this bird lets out croaking noises.

stu_bot3000 Report

Lucy Skinner
Community Member
1 month ago

WHY though

View More Replies...
View more comments
#16

Common Loon

Common Loon

Common loons are water birds, often found near coastal waters. They catch fish underwater, using their feet as a propeller. They are fast swimmers and equally fast fliers and can reach speeds of 70 mph. Fun fact: in order to fly, these birds need to have a running start, not unlike a plane that's about to take off.

stu_bot3000 Report

JennyBee
Community Member
1 month ago

Stop Bullying The Birds

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Fashion Life
#17

Red-Rumped Bush-Tyrant

Red-Rumped Bush-Tyrant

The red-rumped bush-tyrant can be recognized for its dual coloring. The upper body of the bird is gray, while the belly is bright. It also has extensive rufous webbing on the tail feathers. The species likes a humid environment with plenty of trees.

stu_bot3000 Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

Do they fight with the Sky Tyrants?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

Noisy Pitta

Noisy Pitta

The noisy pitta can be found in areas of Australia and New South Wales. They are known to use anvils (which can be a polished stone stuck in the ground, a tree stump, or even a broken bottle) to break up food such as snails, which are some of their favorite foods. Some anvils can be used for years, like a long-lasting tool.

stu_bot3000 Report

Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
1 month ago

What a pretty bird!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#19

Noisy Miner

Noisy Miner

Noisy miners are not the biggest of birds, but despite that, they aggressively attack larger birds such as hawks. They stick to their aggressive strategy so much that there are very few (if any) other bird species in their territory.

stu_bot3000 Report

Daniel Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't think this thread is appropriate for miners.

View more comments
#20

Spangled Drongo

Spangled Drongo

The spangled drongo has glossy black plumage with iridescent blue-green spots (spangles), hence the name. Its blood-red eyes also stand out from the otherwise dark plumage. These birds are not against working together, as often they flock together to 'hawk' flying insects for food.

stu_bot3000 Report

Theo C
Community Member
1 month ago

the perfect name

View more comments
#21

Hoary Puffleg

Hoary Puffleg

Hoary pufflegs are rare South American hummingbirds. They can be found in areas of the Andes and northwest Ecuador. They prefer evergreen forests at a 1,100-2,500 m altitude. Due to their limited range and declining population, they are considered a threatened species.

stu_bot3000 Report

Marcellus the Third
Community Member
1 month ago

Hoary is a perfectly cromulent word! When Ubuntu named their versions as alliterative adjective+animal pairs (like Breezy badger and Maverick meerkat) there was Hoary Hedgehog so I had to look up the word.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#22

Swallow

Swallow

Swallow is a very broad name encapsulating approximately 90 species. These birds are not very big, and often have dark plumage. They are very agile and spend much of their time in the air, catching insects. They can be found worldwide, and more distinct features depend on specific species.

stu_bot3000 Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
1 month ago

If only there were a bird named the Spit

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

Ruddy Pigeon

Ruddy Pigeon

Ruddy pigeons can be found in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Brazil, and they prefer higher, 1500-meter altitudes. They can be recognized by their unpatterned and mainly wine-purple color of the feathers. The species can often be noticed in pairs, searching for fruits and berries.

stu_bot3000 Report

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
1 month ago

Doesn’t ruddy mean red?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Drab Seedeater

Drab Seedeater

The drab seedeater is found in South America, typically in Ecuador and Peru, and luckily, they are not facing any form of extinction. They like subtropical or tropical shrublands, and the birds themselves don't have any distinct features, hence the name "drab."

stu_bot3000 Report

"Simo Häyhä"
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow....

View more comments
#25

Perplexing Scrubwren

Perplexing Scrubwren

Perplexing scrubwrens live in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, preferring moist lowland forests. The species' perplexing name arose due to the difficulty it causes while trying to classify it, since living in some areas, this bird interbreeds with larger scrubwren species, and while living in other regions, it doesn't display this behavior.

stu_bot3000 Report

Nico Di Angelo
Community Member
1 month ago

Im perplexed

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

Monotonous Lark

Monotonous Lark

The monotonous lark earned its name due to the males insistently singing a croaking, gurgling, distinctive four-note song every 3-5 seconds for hours, regardless of whether it's day or night. While singing, the bird will puff out, stretch its neck, and raise a small crest.

stu_bot3000 Report

Marcellus the Third
Community Member
1 month ago

Given that larks are renowned for their fanciful singing, this isn't that weird a name for the black sheep of the family?

View more comments
See Also on Fashion Life
#27

Noisy Friarbird

Noisy Friarbird

Noisy friarbirds are sometimes referred to as "leatherheads" because of their bare black head. However, despite this species' appearance, they are honeyeaters and you can often spot them in the outer canopy of flowering trees, especially eucalypts.

stu_bot3000 Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

In my part of the world, the only birds without feathers on their heads are carrion-eaters. It's interesting to know that there are some birds which aren't! At first glance I thought it was a teeny-tiny Turkey Vulture.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#28

Noisy Scrub-Bird

Noisy Scrub-Bird

The noisy scrub-bird earned its name for the loud song it performs. Its territorial call starts pleasantly enough, and ends with an ear-splitting finish. It can be found in Western Australia, but its habitat greatly decreased because of the wildfires.

stu_bot3000 Report

JennyBee
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't want no scrubs a scrub is a boy who won't get know love from me. Hangin out the passenger side of his best friends ride tryin to holler at me. First thing that popped in my mind XD

View more comments