Bird Names for Girls and Boys
Bird names for girls and boys are one of the hottest of the hot nature categories, all the way from Birdie to Wren. Bird names can work as unique first names or meaningful middle names and are often appropriate for both genders.
While many bird names come straight out and announce themselves, as Robin or Hawk, others are more subtle, carrying bird meanings. Cool bird names for girls include Paloma, which means dove, and Vega, which means swooping eagle. Unique bird names for boys include Corbin, which means crow, and Lonan, which means blackbird. Along with Paloma and Wren, other bird baby names among the US Top 1000 Baby Names include Arden, Ava, Callum, Gavin, Jay, Jonas, Mavis, and Robin. Up-and-coming bird names to listen for include Adler, Astor, Dove, and Lark. If you love nature names and animal names, you may want to search more deeply into the new genre of bird names for babies, with many choices that work for both girls and boys as well as dozens of gender-neutral names. You may also be interested in our list of Pet Bird Names or Animal Names for Babies.
Origin:Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
Meaning:"life; bird; water, island"
Description:In medieval times, Ava was a diminutive of Germanic names beginning in Av-, in particular Aveline, from which the name Evelyn would eventually arise. It may derive from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "island" or "water". However, the medieval name eventually fell out of use entirely, only to resurface in contemporary times. This suggests that today’s Ava may be a modern variation of Eva. Alternatively, Ava could also derive from the Latin avis, meaning "bird." Ava has separate Persian roots as a name meaning "voice" or "sound."
Origin:Scottish form of Columba, Latin
Description:Callum was derived from Latin Columba, a unisex given name meaning "dove." Callum was popular among early Christians because the dove was a symbol of purity, peace and the Holy Spirit. St. Columba was one of the most influential of the early Celtic saints.
Description:Wren, a lilting songbird name, could be the next Robin. It makes a particularly pleasing middle name choice, as does her newly discovered cousin Lark. Wren entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2012 and is among the new wave of popular English names for girls.
Description:Jonah, the name of the Old Testament prophet who was swallowed by the whale, only to emerge unharmed three days later, is increasingly appreciated by parents looking for a biblical name less common than Jacob or Joshua, yet not too obscure. Plus, Jonah comes with a ready-made nursery-decorating motif.
Description:Birdie was until recently a middle-aged Ladies' Club member wearing a bird-decorated hat --but now it's just the kind of vintage nickname (think Hattie, Josie, Mamie, Millie) that's coming back into style in a big way. Actress Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West.
Meaning:"valley of the eagle; high"
Description:Arden, the name of the magical forest in Shakespeare's As You Like It, is a stylish A name with a strong, straightforward image. Another reason to love Arden: its similarity to "ardent." Arden is solidly unisex, with the current gender distribution running about 60 percent girls and 40 percent boys.
Description:Though this feels like a modern invention, Jay has been in use for centuries. Early Jays often were named in honor of founding father John Jay, whose surname derived from the jaybird. A popular mid-century choice, Jay was in the Top 100 from 1956 to 1970. In the last couple of decades he was replaced by such more elaborate forms as Jayden, Jaylen, and Jayce. But Jay could make a comeback in tandem with cousins May, Kay, Fay, and Ray.
Description:Gavin, a name with Scottish roots, has stepped into the spotlight, replacing the dated Kevin, thanks in part to pop-rock sensation Gavin DeGraw and Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale.
Description:Wren may not be as time-honored a bird name choice as Robin or even Lark, but it's more fashionable. Given to just a handful of children a decade ago, in 2021 there were over 1200 girls and nearly 200 boys in the US given this cool and quirky name.
Description:The eleventh brightest star in the sky has a celestial feel, but also could be the name of a commercial airline.
Meaning:"valley of the eagle; high"
Description:Arden is a gender-neutral name that's sleek and stylish but always seems to bob just below the surface of popularity, despite ticking all the boxes with its fashionable two-syllable, N-ending shape and its awesome nature-inspired meanings. In the 2021 US statistics, 41 percent of the babies named Arden were boys to 59 percent girls.
Origin:Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic
Meaning:"colorful, bird, sign"
Description:Simple names have their appeal, but Aya, barely more than a breath, maybe be too simple. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2012.
Origin:Word and animal name
Description:Bird name Raven, once a symbol of pride for both African-American and Wiccan parents, is finding new life as a superhero name. Raven Darkholme is the real name of Mystique, heroine of the X-Men films played by Jennifer Lawrence. And there is another Raven superheroine in Teen Titans. Some parents may still choose Raven to signal black pride or mystical powers or maybe even Edgar Allan Poe fandom, but we are guessing most inspiration is coming from the comics.
Description:In Greek myth, Circe, daughter of Helios, the sun, was a sorceress living on the island of Aeaea, who could turn men into animals with her magic wand, which is just what she did to Odysseus's crew in Homer's Odyssey, transforming them into swine. All was forgiven, however, as Circe and Odysseus later had a child together—Telegonus. The name and legend have appeared in countless forms, from a section of James Joyce's Ulysses to short stories by Julio Cortazar to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to films to DC comics to a dance by Martha Graham. So is Circe's seductive legend too powerful for a modern little girl to carry? Your call.
Origin:Greek variation of Jonah
Description:Jonas has a slightly more grandfatherly image than the English version of his name, but that only adds to its retro appeal. And though it may lag behind Jonah in this country, Jonas is riding a huge wave of popularity in Europe, where it ranks highly in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Norway.
Description:Mavis, another word for the song thrush, is also a relative of the Welsh word for strawberries, mefus. Mavis has something of a British World War II feel, a friend of Beryl and Doris, but it was quite popular in the U.S. a couple of decades earlier, peaking in the Roaring Twenties. With the renewed interest in names ending in 's'--and in bird names-- Mavis could make a return, especially with the new interest in Maeve, and in fact it reentered the US Top 1000 after a 50 year absence in 2016.
Some noted bearers of the name are r&b singer Mavis Staples, a member of the Staple Singers, Canadian writer Mavis Gallant and the feminist activist Mavis Leno.
Description:Peregrine is considered to be an elegantly aristocratic name in England, but has never made it to the U.S., where it has been seen as extravagantly eccentric. In the new naming climate, though, it's not beyond consideration — in fact it's already been chosen by at least one Berry.
Origin:Bird name; or English, diminutive of Robert
Description:Now that it's no longer fashionable for girls, Robin is rising for boys again. Robin Hood, Robin Williams, Christopher Robin, and Robin the Boy Wonder are all male namesakes, after all. It reentered the US Top 1000 boys namesin 2015 for the first time since 1999.
Meaning:"dove, a bird"
Description:One of the new bird names, like Lark and Wren, this one's associated with the billing and cooing sounds of love. Soft and gentle, Dove also has the admirable association with peace.