My son challenged me to name 10 birds that start with p. I named some that I’ve seen in our backyard and when birding. And, out of curiosity went down the rabbit hole to learn about more, well in case he ever asks me to name 30 birds beginning with p.
Anyway, from popular penguins to lesser known pastel birds, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this list as much as I do. And if you are into bird watching, it’s time to get out your birding journal.
Birds that start with p
Parrots are a type of bird that is found in many different parts of the world. They are known for their brightly colored feathers and their ability to mimic sounds.
Parrots can be found in many different sizes, with the largest species being the macaw. In the US the different types you’ll find include:
- Thick-billed parrot
- Feral parrots
- Monk parakeets
- Rose-ringed parakeet
- Chestnut-fronted macaws
Puffins are a type of bird that is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They are known for their colorful beaks and their ability to swim underwater.
Puffins eat mostly fish, but they will also eat crustaceans and other small sea creatures. Puffins build nests out of grass, mud, and seaweed, and they lay one or two eggs each season.
3. Pale vented pigeon
Pale vented pigeons are birds that are found in parts of Central America. They are a medium-sized bird, and they have a pale bill.
Pale vented pigeons are large birds that prefer open areas, marshy savannas, and riversides. They are mostly pinkish with brownish central tail feathers. They eat seeds, fruit, and insects. These birds can be found in forests, woodlands, and gardens. They build their nests in trees or on buildings.
4. Peruvian booby
Peruvian boobies are seabirds that are found in the Pacific Ocean. They are large birds with a wingspan of up to five feet. Adults have distinctive white heads while the are black with white tipped wings.
They have a long, pale bill. Immature birds are duller with a grey head. Peruvian boobies are known for different sounds including honks and quacks. Breeding takes place throughout the year with females laying up to four eggs. Like other birds in the booby family they feed fish and other marine creatures, which they catch by diving into the water.
5. Parakeet auklet
The Parakeet auklet is a small seabird that is found in the North Pacific Ocean. They are a member of the alcidae family and are related to the common murre. These birds are typically between 8-10 inches in length and have a wingspan of 13-20 inches.
They have a black head and body and white below. Their most distinguishing feature is their bright orange beak.
Parakeet auklets breed in colonies on offshore islands and use their beaks to excavate burrows in which to lay their eggs. After hatching, the parents care for the young by feeding them regurgitated food. Parakeet auklets feed on small fish and marine invertebrates.
What is special about the partridge bird? They are larger than the common quail, making them a favorable game bird and can live up to three years. Partridge birds are ground-dwellers with strong feet and beaks that make them excellent hunters.
There are several different types of partridges, and they can vary in size and color. Partridges are unique because females initiate courtship; they also lay their eggs in different nests to protect against predation. Each parent is in charge of a specific nest with chicks hatching after about three weeks.
How many species of penguins do you know? I can list about seven species but there are more. Penguins are a bird that is found in the Southern Hemisphere. They are well adapted to the cold, and can survive in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Penguins have a layer of fat under their skin that helps keep them warm, and they also have a thick coat of feathers. They are a flightless bird that are unique because they are able to swim in the ocean and also live on land. They eat a variety of things, including fish, krill, and squid. Penguins are important to the ecosystem because they help to control the populations of prey species.
Related Read: Learn about birds that start with letter I
Are potoos owls? No. Though these birds are nocturnal they are not related to owls. This bird species is made up of seven species including the Northern potoo whose natural habitats are found in parts of Mexico.
These birds are known for their large, owl-like eyes and their distinctive calls, which can be heard from far away. Potoos typically live in dense forests, where they hunt other flying insects and small prey. Unlike most birds that start with p they do not build nests but instead use depressions in branches.
Puffbirds are a group of tropical birds that are found in Central and South America.These birds are easily recognizable by their large, puffed-up chests. The species includes the buff barred puffbird, black nunbird, and brown nunlet.
These birds measure up to 11 inches and are known to be secretive. They use to make loud, hooting calls. They are mainly insectivorous, but some species also eat fruit.
Pelicans are large water birds that are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They are usually gray or white in color and have long necks and beaks.
Pelicans can weigh up to 30 pounds and have a wingspan of up to 10 feet. They live near water and eat fish, which they catch by dipping their beaks into the water. In the US you can find the American white pelican and the Brown pelican.
From the hooded pitohui to the crested pitohui to rusty pitohui, there are different types of pitohui birds. These birds that start with p are small, brightly-colored bird that is found in New Guinea and some parts of Australia.
What makes the pitohui so interesting is that it is one of only a few animals in the world that contain poison in its skin. The poison can make you very sick if you eat it, so the pitohui has developed a clever way to avoid being eaten.
It covers its feathers with foul-tasting compounds that deter predators from eating it. Despite its poisonous skin, the pitohui is not considered to be a dangerous bird and is not known to have ever harmed a human.
12. Pied flycatcher
How big is the pied flycatcher? These birds are up to 5 inches long with black upperparts and white below. Notice the white wing patches. This migratory bird can be found in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Pied flycatchers typically eat insects, but will also consume fruit and berries. These birds are monogamous and typically return to the same mate each year. Pied flycatchers build nests out of twigs and grasses, which they attach to tree branches or other objects. The female lays 4-10 eggs, once the chicks hatch, the male feeds them for about two weeks before they are able to start catching their own food.
13. Purple swamphen
Another large colorful bird that we’ve included on this list of birds with P is the purple swamp hens. The purple swamphen is a large beautiful water bird that can be found in parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The species is divided into six different groups. They are usually seen near marshes, swamps, or other wetlands areas. They have a long neck and reddish-purple feathers on their head and body. They also have a red bill and legs. Purple swamphens feed on insects, amphibians, fish, and other small creatures. They can also eat some plants. These birds are shy and usually stay away from people.
14. Plain wren
The Plain Wren is a small songbird that prefers open woodlands and fields. Like the species here this species is divided into categories with the Cabanis wren being the most common of the three.
They are very active, constantly searching for food, and are known to build their nests in a wide variety of locations. The Plain Wren is an excellent singer, and its cheerful song can often be heard echoing through the woods.
15. Pied myna
Pied mynas are beautiful birds that can be found in many parts of the world. These birds are known for their bright black and white plumage, which makes them easy to spot in the wild.
These birds are very adaptable and they can thrive in a variety of different environments. Pied mynas are very social birds and they often flock together in large groups. They are also known for their loud, musical calls, which can be heard from far away.
Pied mynas are cavity nesters and they often build their nests inside of trees or other large objects.
Also read: Birds with W
16. Pacific monarch
Pacific Monarchs are migratory birds that nest in trees along the west coast of North America. They migrate to Mexico and California in the fall, and return to their nesting grounds in the spring.
These small birds are endangered and are mostly pale blue.
17. Purple gallinule
The purple gallinule is a bird that is found in parts of North America, Central America and South America. It is a large bird that has a long neck and legs, and can be identified by its bright purple plumage and a red-yellow beak.
The purple gallinule is a wetland bird and can be found in marshes, swamps, and other wetlands areas. It feeds on insects, amphibians, fish, and other small creatures that it finds in the water. They are migratory birds, wintering in warmer climates.
18. Pied crow
Pied crows are medium-sized black birds with white patches on their chest and white collars. This distinctive marking makes it easy to identify. Endemic to Africa, these birds that start with p are known to nest on isolated trees.
Breeding season starts from September, lasting for three months, to November, They are common in urban areas and can be seen scavenging for food in garbage dumps and along roadsides. Pied crows are also known to raid crops and steal eggs from nests. They are considered pests by farmers and other residents of rural areas.
Native to different parts of the world, peacocks are some of the most stunning birds in the world. These birds are known for their colorful feathers and elaborate tails. The feathers are intricate and colorful.
Peafowls are usually around three feet tall and weigh between six and eight pounds. They eat different things such as fruits, and seeds. Peacocks are considered to be very friendly birds and make great pets. Many people think it is one of the most beautiful birds in the world.
20. Pine siskin
Pine siskins are small brown streaked birds that are native to most states. They are usually around 4-5 inches in length, the same length as a house sparrow, and weigh around 0.5 oz.
Pine siskins typically eat seeds, but will also eat berries. They live in coniferous forests and breeds in the northern parts of North America. The nest is made of twigs and lined with grass or hair. There are usually 4-5 eggs in a clutch.
Do pine siskins stay in winter? These birds prefer cone seeds, so they’ll migrate to states where the cone crop is in season.
21. Palm Lorikeet
The palm lorikeet is a green colored parrot found in the tropical forests of the Solomon Islands. They are very vocal birds, and can be heard singing throughout the day. Their song is a series of high-pitched whistles that vary in pitch and intensity. Their notes include “tsee” “tsit”.
These birds are social and playful, and can often be seen playing together in flocks. Palm lorikeets feed on nectar and fruit, and have specially adapted bills that allow them to extract nectar from flowers. They are also known to eat insects on occasion.
22. Purple martin
The purple martin is the largest American swallow. They are so large that they are sometimes mistaken for a small hawk. Males are entirely blue-black while females are brown in color.
They are migratory birds and can be found in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. They breed in colonies of up to several hundred birds. The male builds the nest out of mud, straw and other materials. The female lays 4-6 eggs which the male incubates for about 2 weeks. The young birds stay with their parents for about a month or two.
23. Peregrine falcon
Is the peregrine falcon the fastest animal? Hitting speeds of 186 miles per hour, this falcon is one of the fastest birds in the world. Peregrine falcons are birds of prey that you can find in different continents except Antarctica.
It has a wingspan of up to 4 feet and can weigh up to 3lb. The peregrine falcon feeds on a variety of small animals, such as rodents and birds.
24. Piping plover
The piping plover is a small, sand-colored bird that breeds on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America. These birds are very difficult to see as they stay low to the ground and move quickly through the sand. Piping plovers eat small invertebrates such as crustaceans, insects, and marine worms.
These birds that start with p form monogamous pairs for life and use aerial displays to communicate with each other. After mating, the female builds a simple nest on the ground out of pebbles, shells, and sand. For 26 days, both sexes take turns incubating the eggs. The chicks are able to fly shortly after hatching but remain with their parents for several weeks.
25. Pacific screech owl
The Pacific screech owl is a small owl that is found in western North America. It is a very common owl and can be found in many different habitats, including forests, woodlands, and even urban areas.
This owl is mostly nocturnal, but can also be seen during the day. It feeds on a variety of prey, including small mammals, and birds. The Pacific screech owl is a fairly vocal owl and has a number of different calls that it uses to communicate with other owls.
26. Pelagic cormorant
Pelagic cormorants are sea birds that can be found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They feature black plumage with a green sheen and have a long tail.
They eat mostly fish and can dive up to 30 feet to catch them. They build their nests on cliffs or in trees near the water. Pelagic cormorants are social birds and usually nest in colonies.
27. Painted stork
The painted stork is a large wading bird that is found in tropical Asia. These birds are easily recognizable by their white plumage, which is adorned with black markings on the wings. Notice the pink plumage on its lower back.
They have a long, pointed beak and a yellow bare face. They also have gorgeous long pink legs. Painted storks use their bills to probe for food in the water. They eat mostly fish, but they will also consume amphibians, and small reptiles.
Painted storks build large nests of sticks in trees or on cliffs near water. The female lays two to four eggs, and both parents help to care for the young.
28. Pygmy falcon
Pygmy falcons are rare birds that can be found in parts of Africa. Females have pale brown color with some darker markings on their wings and tail while males have gray backs. Both sexes have white spots on their back and wings.
The pygmy falcon feeds mainly on small prey, such as rodents and other small mammals. It is a solitary bird, which means it prefers to live alone. The pygmy falcon is not often seen by people, so it is considered to be quite elusive. In Africa, it is the smallest bird of prey.
29. Pink pigeon
With a cute pink head and red bill, the pink pigeon, also known as the rosy pigeon, is a bird that is found in Mauritius. These pigeons are a beautiful shade of light pink and have a rose-colored breast.
They are the national bird of Mauritius and can be found in many different habitats on the island, including rain forests, dry forests, and mangroves. The diet of the pink pigeon consists mainly of fruits, but they will also eat insects, seeds, and flowers.
These birds are monogamous and mate for life. The female builds the nest out of twigs and then lays two eggs.
Both parents share the responsibility of incubating the eggs and caring for the chicks. Pink pigeons are very social birds and can often be seen in large flocks. They are considered to be very good parents and their chicks are typically very successful at fledgling.
30. Pileated woodpecker
The pileated woodpecker is a large North American woodpecker. It is the second largest woodpecker in the United States, only being surpassed by the ivory-billed woodpecker. The bird is easily identified by its characteristic black and white plumage, and its large red crest. The pileated woodpecker lives in mature forests, where it feeds on insects and other small animals.
31. Pacific koel
The Pacific koels or Eudynamys orientalis are small birds in the cuckoo family. Also known as Eastern koels, they are resident breeders in tropical Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia and the Philippines.
This species is considered by experts to be a brood parasite. Unlike other birds, pacific lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. The Pacific koel is about 13 inches long and has predominantly dark plumage with stunning red eyes. Females are mostly brown and heavily barred. Juveniles are similar to the female but have more barring on their wings and body.
32. Purple starling
Large, short-tailed and gorgeous, the purple starling favors open habitats across sub-Saharan Africa. A member of the weaver family, it is related to the European starling.
The purple starling has dark plumage with a metallic sheen, and short tail. The sexes are similar in appearance, but juveniles are paler than adults. These birds nest in holes and are very noisy.
33. Plumbeous ibis
The plumbeous ibis is a wading bird found in open wetlands, floodplains and rice fields in tropical South America. It is a large bird, measuring between 28 and 30 inches in length.
It has a long neck, slender bill and yellow eyes. The plumage is mainly gray with pinkish feet. The sexes are similar in appearance, but juveniles are paler than adults.
34. Pinyon jay
Where does the pinyon jay live? This small bird is found in the western United States. They are typically around 10 inches in length and weigh around 3 ounces. They have a blue head, back, and wings with a whitish throat. They have a black “mask” that goes across their eyes and a black beak. They eat mostly pine nuts, but will also eat insects, fruits, and seeds.
35. Pheasant cuckoo
The pheasant cuckoo is a migratory bird of the cuckoo family. It is found in open habitats in Africa, from Sudan to South Africa. These birds feature glossy black plumage with a long tail. Both sexes have white tips on their feathers.
The pheasant cuckoo feeds on insects and other small animals. It lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, such as the reed warbler, and the young are raised by their hosts.
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