OK, we have to admit it: We’re not sure we ever saw a picture of a stork before that wasn’t rendered in cartoonish shades of pink and blue, flying along with a baby slung from its beak. Come to think of it, there was one just like that on the cover of at least one of our books.
But this picture of an in-the-flesh stork puts us in mind of the new flock of bird names winging our way. (All right, all right, we’ll stop.) Not Robin, though that long-time favorite feels fresh again for boys. Or Jay, tired for boys but livelier as a short form for any girls’ name that starts with J.
We have in mind the less familiar bird names, starting with a handful heard occasionally over the past few years, sometimes as a celebrity or starbaby name: Lark, Raven, Phoenix, Birdie. Bird name enthusiasts will want to check this list of possibilities — though these are only the beginning.
A few names with bird-related meanings from the list: Merle, Paloma, Avis, Deryn. More intriguing, though, are the choices that are truly unfamiliar and more blatantly birdlike: Wren, Sparrow, Finch, Starling, Heron, Dove.
For our taste, Hawk and Talon are a bit too aggressive. Eagle can go either way: Though as the national bird it has a noble image, Benjamin Franklin campaigned against its elevated status on the grounds that it was a bird of prey and a scavenger, stealing food from smaller, weaker birds. Franklin‘s nomination for national bird: the Turkey, which we don’t see making it as a name anytime soon. Or, for that matter, ever.
Push further, though, and we come up with some more intriguing possibilities. Names that mean eagle include Andor, Aquilla, Arden, Arno, Ezio, Paco, Peta, and Vega, all of which may prove more attractive than Eagle itself.
There are several beautiful names that mean dove, which carries the added message of peace: Callum, Colm, Columba, Culver, Dova, Jonah, and Jemima, along with Paloma. Sparrow-related names include Galvin and Sequoia (who would ever guess?).
Raven-related names include Branigan, Branson, Branwen, Brenna, Corbett, and Corbin, any of which might make a provocative choice for a black-haired, brown-eyed, or dark-skinned child. (Or perhaps for the offspring of an Edgar Allan Poe fan.)
Why choose a bird name for your baby? Birds are graceful and free, transcending the bonds of earth. As symbols, they may well prove inspirational for a child. And a bird or other animal name can be a unique choice as a middle name.
So what do you think: Would you choose a bird name for your child? Which are your favorites — or do you prefer another kind of animal name? Or is this kind of name….for the birds?