The world is full of amazing creatures, and among them are birds. Birds come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be found in every corner of the globe. Some birds are more well-known than others, but there are many that remain relatively unknown. This article will focus on birds that start with s.
From the common swan to the lesser known samar hornbill, there is plenty you’ll learn from the list below. Let’s start birding!
List of Birds Starting with S
1. Sacred kingfisher
The Sacred Kingfisher is one of Australia’s most beautiful and well known birds. These brightly colored birds can be found near water, where they dive for fish. This bird is mostly turquoise blue on the upperparts and buffy-orange underneath.
Sacred Kingfishers are monogamous and share parenting duties. These birds are also known for their impressive singing voices, usually “kek-kek” notes. They are also known for their habit of nesting in hollow branches and river banks.
2. Saffron siskin
Some birds are extremely rare to spot even for experienced birders. One of these birds is the saffron siskin. Often found in arid areas of Peru, this bird is mostly yellow with a black head.
Its bill is stout and pale while the wings are mostly black. Females and males share similar plumage, but young ones are duller. The saffron siskin is a monogamous species that forms breeding pairs for life.
3. Saffron-crested tyrant-manakin
Saffron-crested tyrant-manakins are small birds from the manakin family which includes other birds such as golden-winged manakin.
These rainforest birds are almost similar to the green manakin but paler. They are fruit feeders and very hard to notice in their natural habitat. These species of birds beginning with letter S are very vocal.
4. Sakalava rail
Rail birds are a group of birds that make up the family Rallidae. This large family includes nearly 270 species including the sakalava rail of Madagascar.
The Sakalava rail is named after the Sakalava people who inhabit the region where it is found. They are easily distinguishable because of their stunning red eyes and feet, dark bluish-black body and sharp yellow beak.
Sakalava rails are omnivorous, and eat both plants and spiders. They build their nests in dense vegetation, and lay between two and four eggs.
5. Saker falcon
Remember the elf owl we discussed on the list of e birds? The saker falcon features the same plumage; a brown heavily streaked body. This medium-sized raptor that ranges from Europe and Asia to North Africa and Arabia. These falcons have a wingspan of up to 50 inches with sharp talons that make them some of the best hunters in the bird world.
Sakers typically hunt hares, pheasants, and other game birds. They are also known for their aerial acrobatics. Their calls are a series of “kyak-kyak” or “kiy-ee”.
6. Sabine’s gull
Sabine’s gull is a small white gull with a beautiful wing pattern. Measuring about 12 inches in length, this waterbird is a common feature in shores of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans.
Like other gulls it feeds on fish, larger insects, eggs and other birds. It is named after Sabine, a French naturalist who first described the bird in 1807. Sabine’s gull is closely related to the herring gull and ring-billed gull, and is sometimes considered a subspecies of the herring gull.
7. Saffron finch
The saffron finch is a small, sparrow-sized bird that is found in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The saffron finch is a common bird and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and scrublands. This bird has a short bill, and is mostly bright yellow for males while the females are grey-yellow.
These birds are common around human habitation and can be seen in flocks of up to 100 birds. Saffron finches feed on seeds and insects and build their nests out of twigs and grasses.
8. Sandwich tern
Why are they called sandwich terns? Their genus name is thalasseus which is derived from Greek words Thalassa and sandvicensis which when translated to english mean sandwich.
These terns measure up to 17 inches in length and are mostly white with black caps. They nest along the coasts with females laying up to three eggs.
9. Samoan starling
One of the most dull-looking birds in the world is the Samoan starling. This bird is found in Samoa and surrounding islands. They are about 8 inches long with dull brown feathers.
These birds are very friendly and enjoy being around people. It’s also one of the rare birds that lay light blue eggs. These birds that start with S are very active birds and love to play in the trees.
10. Salvadori’s fig parrot
Salvadori’s fig parrot is a small, green bird that is found in Indonesia. It is a member of the parrot family and is related to the Amazon parrot.
The Salvadori’s fig parrot is a social bird and lives in groups of birds. It is a monogamous bird and pairs for life. The male and female share responsibilities for raising their young. It’s known for its high pitched notes “tsiik-krrrk”
11. Saint Lucia oriole
Oriole birds are beautiful. Most of them are mostly black and bright yellow which makes it easy to spot them and the Saint Lucia Oriole is no different.
This beautiful bird is widely found on the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. It is a member of the icterid family, which also includes blackbirds, meadowlarks, and grackles. Saint Lucia orioles mostly feed on fruits. Their songs include harsh “chwee” notes.
12. Saipan reed warbler
Acrocephalus hiwae also known as reed warbler is a bird that is quite noisy. From warbles to whistles, the bird is always communicating with other birds in its group.
It is endemic to the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands and is mostly pale brown. This warbler is a very small bird, with a length of 6.6 inches (14 cm).
13. Santa Marta parakeet
There are lots of green birds in the world. The Santa Marta parakeet is a brightly colored bird that is found in the rainforests of Colombia. These birds are mostly green with red patches on their face, chest and undertail.
Notice the blue on their wings. Simply beautiful. These birds are social and playful, and they make good pets. They are also known for their loud, high-pitched calls. They build their nests on dead palm trees.
14. Santarem parakeet
Another bird you’ll enjoy seeing is the santarem parakeet. With similar plumage to the Santa Marta parakeet, this bird is found in the Amazon rainforest. One feature that will help you distinguish it from other parakeets is the blue forehead and dark red belly and tail.
It is a common pet in South America, and is also known as the Santarem conure or the Hellmayr’s parakeet. These birds are social and playful, and can be taught to do tricks. They make good pets for people who have experience with birds, as they can be difficult to tame if they are not used to being handled.
15. Sand martin
One of my favorite types of birds to watch is the sand martin. These birds are typically found near water, and they make a distinctive sound as they fly overhead.
What I love most about watching sand martins is their aerial acrobatics. They can twist and turn in the air with ease, making them a joy to watch.
16. Sand patridge
With a stout body that measures about 8 inches in length, the sand patridge is a bird that begins with letter s and is known for its colorful feathers and playful personality. These birds are native to Africa and parts of Arabia.
They can be found in many different habitats, including rocks, grasslands, and plains. Sand partridges are omnivorous animals and eat a variety of things, including insects, fruits, and seeds.
17. Sandhill crane
Ever heard of the sandhill crane? Sandhill cranes are one of the most beautiful birds in North America. With gorgeous long legs and an equally long neck, these ground birds also start with letter S.
Mostly grey, these birds can be found in fields and marshes, where they eat insects and other small animals. These birds are known for their song, which is often described as haunting. Sandhill cranes typically migrate south in the winter. They are monogamous birds, meaning that they form pair bonds and mate for life.
18. Salvadori’s teal
Another big bird that starts with S is the salvadori teal. found in New Guinea, this bird is closely related to other water ducks. They are black with white bars and a yellow beak.
They have yellow webbed legs and black heads. These birds are usually found near water, and can be seen swimming or diving for food. They are also known to be very social birds, and can often be seen in large groups though you’ll hardly hear them quack. Its note includes a series of “whip” sounds.
19. Samar hornbill
The Samar hornbill is a critically endangered bird that is found only in the Philippines. It is a large bird with a long, curved bill that is used for digging out insects from under tree bark.
The Samar hornbill is black with a white belly and has a black patch on its cheek. This bird has a long banded tail and a strong weird-looking beak.
20. Samoan whistler
Pachycephala flavifrons or Samoan whistler, is a passerine bird of the family Pachycephalidae. It is mostly found in Samoa, where it favors forests and dense scrub. It favors tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical moist montane forest.
The male has a beautiful song, which gave it its common name. It is about 5 inches long and mostly black, with a yellow throat, breast and belly. The female is duller with a grey head.
21. Sangihe pitta
The red-bellied pitta family includes various birds such as the bismarck pitta and the pitta we’ll look at in this article, the sangihe pitta.
Found on the Sangihe and Talaud Islands in Indonesia, these small birds have a blue-green back, red head and belly. They are ground-dwelling birds, preferring forested lowlands. They are usually seen in pairs or small groups, and they eat insects and fruit. Sangihe pittas are endangered due to loss of their habitat and hunting.
22. Santa Marta tapaculo
Another dark colored bird of the Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia is this tapaculo. It is a small dark grey bird that has a distinctive white patch on the head.
It measures about 4 inches, slightly smaller than the house sparrow. The Santa Marta tapaculo is a timid bird that is rarely seen by humans. It is a secretive species that prefers to live in dense vegetation.
23. Sapphire flycatcher
The sapphire flycatcher is a bird that is found in parts of Southeast Asia. It is a small bird, and has a blue color that gives it its name.
The sapphire flycatcher is a member of the flycatcher family, and is known for its aerial skills. It hunts for insects in the air, and eats them whole.
24. Saffron toucanet
The saffron toucanet or the Pteroglossus bailloni is a bird that is also known as the banana toucan. It is a member of the toucan family, and is found in tropical rainforest and woodland from Brazil to northern Argentina.
The saffron toucanet is about 15 inches long and has a bright green-yellow body. The thick beak is mostly yellow with some red. Notice the yellow eyes and red patch on its back. It feeds on fruit, insects and other small animals.
25. Sage thrasher
With a wingspan of 12 inches, the sage thrasher is a bird that can be found in the western part of the United States. It is a robin-sized bird that has a short tail and with spotted underparts and gray upperparts.
The sage thrasher is known for its beautiful song, which can be heard from far away. This bird feeds on insects and berries, and can be seen perched atop a bush or tree.
26. Sand lark
The sand lark is a small brown bird that can be found in open areas near sand or gravel. These birds are well adapted to living in hot environments, and can be seen running around on the ground in search of food.
Sand larks eat a variety of things, including spiders, seeds, and berries. They are also known for being very vocal, and can often be heard singing.
27. Scaly thrush
Using montane forests and hills as breeding grounds, the Scaly thrush is an exciting bird found in the Himalayas. This small, spiny thrush is related to the Eastern robin.
How can you tell this bird apart from other birds on this list of birds that start with S? This bird is black and whitish and has a scaly appearance. This thrush is known for its dull green eggs.
28. Scarlet ibis
Ever seen a strikingly beautiful bird? I think the scarlet ibis is the most beautiful bird on this list. With its bright red feathers and long, slender neck, this bird is a sight to behold. The scarlet ibis also has a long beak and legs.
These birds inhabit swamps and marshes. The birds are usually monogamous, and both parents care for the chicks.
29. Scarlet tanager
The scarlet tanager is a beautiful bird that is found in eastern North America. This bird is a member of the tanager family, and is easily recognized by its bright red color.
Scarlet tanagers typically live in forests, and can be seen flying through the trees or perched on a branch. They are known for their song, which is a series of high-pitched notes that can be heard from a distance.
30. Schalow’s turaco
With a gorgeous long crest, the Schalow’s turaco is a species of bird that is found in Africa. It is a member of the cuckoo family and is related to the common cuckoo. The Schalow’s turaco can weigh up to 0.5 pounds. It has a long blue tail and bright red eye-ring. The Schalow’s turaco feeds on fruits and seeds.
31. Sedge wren
One of the features that really standout about the sedge wren is its corked tail. But, there are other things you’ll love about this bird. The Sedge Wren is a small, secretive bird that is found in open wetlands throughout the eastern United States.
It is one of the most difficult birds to see because it stays hidden in the tall grasses and sedges. Sedge Wrens are very skittish and will usually fly away if you get too close. They are best identified by their song, which is a series of high-pitched trills.
32. Seychelles blue pigeon
Where are blue pigeons found? The Seychelles. The blue pigeon is a critically endangered bird that measures about 10 inches in length. They have striking dark blue plumage and gorgeous gray necks.
The red patch on its forehead also makes identification easy. The population of these birds has declined significantly in recent years due to habitat loss and hunting.
33. Shiny cowbird
The shiny cowbird is a medium-sized black bird that is found in high altitude areas. These birds with S are sexually dimorphic. Males are all black while females are mostly brown with a short black beak.
Both sexes have a long tail. These birds are omnivores and eat a variety of insects, fruits, and seeds. The shiny cowbird prefers its own company but sometimes they make small flocks. The shiny cowbird is not considered to be threatened or endangered.
34. Smew bird
The smew is a small, white bird that can be found in Eurasia. This lesser known sea bird is a member of the duck family and is known for its distinctive white bushy crest on male and chestnut crest for the females.
The smew feeds on small fish and other aquatic creatures. This bird can be found near bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, and rivers.
35. Snail kite
Are snail kites rare? If you are a birder, you can see these birds in parts of Florida, especially close to marshes. But it’s worth mentioning that their numbers are declining and the government has put measures in place to protect the remaining birds.
The snail kite is a slender, dark-colored kite distinguished by its long, rounded wings which is specially adapted for flight . Snail kites usually hunt by flying low over wetlands in search of prey, but they can also hover in place to pluck snails from plants or trees. In spite of their name, snail kites will also eat fish, frogs, and small reptiles.
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