Category: bird names

It’s been a while now since automatic go-to single-syllable middle names like Ann and Lee and Lynn and Beth were found on the majority of girls’ birth certificates, only to be followed by the suddenly and almost equally ubiquitous Rose and Grace. But now we’ve entered a new era of greater diversity—with forgotten favorites and fresh new, more individualistic, choices abounding. Here are some of the coolest, including a few drawn from nature.

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By Brooke Cussans, Baby Name Pondering

Animal and bird names seem a lot less strange as given names than they once did. But what if you want an animal inspired name that is a little less literal? Maybe something a little more traditional. Or maybe something a little more light hearted and whimsical. So here’s a look at a select group of daring names that reference animals and are full of quirky charm – all with the benefit of a cute, inbuilt animal nickname, but carrying less of an aggressive edge.


This variant of the Old French/German name Bernard has the bear reference but is still a legitimate name with history. It means ‘strong, brave bear’, which is hard to go past if you’re looking for names related to fierce animals. Bearnard has never charted in the U.S. but Bernard was a top 100 for many years and only dropped out of the top 1000 in recent years.

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Bird names are flying onto baby name lists, and guest blogger Kristen Gregg, of the popular blog marginamia, finds a flock of rare species to add to the aviary.

I am absolutely chirping with delight to be here today on Nameberry! I’m almost equally delighted to watch an ever growing trend in the world of babynames. Nameberry wrote on the trend in 2008, and since then there have been some noteworthy babes named from within this alluring category of nature-inspired names.  Yes, bird names are definitely ones I expect to see much more of.

We may have little Agnes Lark Bettany to thank for making bird names seem more approachable, but Agnes Lark isn’t the only lovely chirper in our midst. Popular blogger Miss James, of Bleubird Vintage has a Gemma Bird.  And who could forget Sparrow James Midnight–is his name sounding a little less out there to your ears yet?  The rockn’ Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes really freshens this one up for a little boy, and I love the aptness of his sweet name. If you envision a sensitive, bearded son, with the voice of a songbird, this might be a great choice for your baby boy!

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Today’s Question of the Week is another two-parter:  How do you feel about nature names in general and what are your particular favorites?

This subject obviously covers a broad field, encompassing botanical and zoological names, water and weather, earth and sky. Is there one that particularly conjures up for you a special  beachy or prairie landscape, a favorite flower or bird?

Many names provided by Mother Nature have become so widespread and accepted as people names  that they’ve moved a step away from their direct association with their origins–Lily, say, or Laurel or Willow, so that perhaps  most flower names might be exempt from the discussion.  Unless maybe there’s a line to be drawn between Rose and Primrose,  Daffodil and Daisy?

Then there are those green names that still retain the groovy-hazy-Hippie-Flower-Child aura of the sixties (eg Sunshine, Rainbow), which they’ve never quite managed to shake off and which might make them offputting to some.

So where do you stand?  Do you like nature names as a genre?  Just flower names?

What is you favorite nature name?

Would/did you use one for your child?

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Nameberry commemorates Earth Day with this guest blog contributed by Elisabeth Wilborn, creator of one of our absolute favorite blogs, You Can’t Call It “It” Elisabeth, a writer, artist, and mom,  lives in Brooklyn, New York

April 22 has rolled around, and we remind ourselves yet again to care for the Earth— lest it forget to care for us. If you’d like your child to be ever mindful of the planet, consider sourcing his or her name from Earth gods and goddesses, from the Earth’s bounty itself, or from one of the great conservationists (with conveniently attractive surnames, no?).

Happy day!  Be good, and enjoy it.



Anona– Roman goddess of the harvest

Avani– Sanskrit, “earth”

Ceres– Ancient Roman, “to grow”,Roman goddess of agriculture

Demeter– Greek, “earth mother”, Greek goddess of agriculture

Flora– Roman goddess of flowers

Francis– Italian saint reknowned for his connection to animals

Gaia– Greek, “earth”, and the goddess of the earth

GeorgiaGeorginaGeorgianna– Greek, “farmer”

Kun- Chinese, “earth”

Luna– Roman goddess of the moon

Perpetua– Latin, “continuous”

Terra– Latin, “earth”

Vita– Latin for “life”

Zoe– Greek, “life”

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