There are many different types of birds that start with W. Some are more well known than others. In this article, we will be discussing 33 birds that begin with letter w.
From well known birds like woodpeckers to lesser known birds like the waigeo shrikethrush, there is plenty you’ll learn from this list. And as a fellow birder, I know you’ll find some interesting birds to add to your watch list. Let’s learn about W birds.
List of Birds that start with W
1. Wahlberg’s eagle
Our first bird that begins with letter W is the wahlberg’s eagle. Found is Sub-Sahara Africa, this medium-size raptor is mainly brown and can measure up to 24 inches and boasts of strong, straight wings measure up to 57 inches.
Wahlberg’s eagles prefer small birds, mammals and reptiles like snakes. During breeding season females lay one or two eggs in the stick nests which take up to 35 days to hatch.
2. Water rail
Across wetlands of Europe there resides a bird that is shy and secretive. Water rails are long-legged birds that prefer marshy sites where they can find food and cover. Most juveniles are black in color while adults feature olive-brown upperparts with black streaks. The underparts have a dark-blue hue.
These birds are very vocal especially during breeding. They produce a series of “tyick” sound when wooing female rails. Also, females incubate eggs for up to 21 days. Water rails feed on insects, snails, crabs, amphibians, and small fish. They catch most of their prey by sneaking up on it in the water or in the mud.
3. Wattled crane
I think the wattled crane is the most unique bird with letter W and here is why. One, this bird is large and tall, up to 5 ft 8 inches, yes you read that right! And can weigh up to 20 lb (9 kg), same weight as a fully grown turkey.
Two, wattled cranes have a wattle, or flesh-looking patch on their face. The hanging skin can change depending on their mood; long when excited and shrunk when nervous.
They have an ashy gray back, white neck and throat, and black underneath. They eat mostly plants, but also insects and small animals. Wattled cranes are monogamous and stay together for life. They build nests out of sticks and lay 2-5 eggs. When the chicks hatch, both parents help care for them.
4. Wakolo myzomela
The Wakolo myzomela is a small, bright-red colored bird found in the forests of Indonesia. These birds are active and playful, and are known for their cheerful songs. They belong to the honeyeater family, so it comes with a long curved bill that allows them to reach for nectar comfortably. Wakolo myzomelas are monogamous, and both parents work together to care for their young.
5. Wallace’s owlet-nightjar
Wallace’s owlet-nightjars are small birds that are known for their simple whistles “pweet pyuut”. They are named after a British naturalist who first described it in 1869.
This little bird is difficult to see during the day, as it spends most of its time perched high up in the trees. Plus, their dark brown plumage allows them to blend in with the dense background. Like other owls, they are most active at night, when they hunt for insects and small animals. Wallace’s owlet-nightjar is a relatively common species, and does not face any major threats.
6. Warbling doradito
Preferring to stay hidden in grass mashes, warbling doraditos are small birds that have yellow underparts and olive-brown upperparts. These birds can be difficult to see because their plumage enables them to blend in with tall grass.
The warbling doradito is a vocal bird, with a melodic song that has been likened to the sound of a tinkling bell.
7. Ward’s trogon
In a recent article of birds that start with O, we looked at an orange-breasted trogon that is in the same family with the Ward’s trogon. Ward’s trogons are beautiful birds that are found in parts of Asia.
These brightly colored birds are sexually dimorphic. Females are brownish with a yellow cap and belly. Males are really gorgeous. They feature a sleek purple back, pink-red belly and head, and a long deep red tail and back. Notice the blue ringed eyes? Simply beautiful.
8. Waigeo shrikethrush
The Waigeo shrikethrush is a medium-sized bird that is closely related to the white-throated shrikethrush. Waigeo shrikethrushes prefer lowland forests where they hunt insects and small invertebrates. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are paler than adults.
Remember the invisible rail on the list of birds beginning with letter i? The watercock shares a similar plumage, especially the male watercock which is all black with a yellow bill and red horn. Females spot speckled brown plumage with no horn.
They are usually seen near water, where they get their name from. Watercocks eat a variety of things, including insects, aquatic plants, and small fish. They forage by picking food off the surface of the water.
Watercocks breed in springtime. The males build nests out of reeds or other materials near water, and then court the females by singing and dancing.
10. Western Screech-Owl
The Western Screech-Owl is a small owl that is found in western North America. These owls are mostly nocturnal, and they hunt small mammals, insects, and other birds.
They are well camouflaged in their natural habitat of woodlands and can be difficult to see during the day. Western Screech-Owls have two color morphs: gray and brown with a dark streaked belly. They are typically 7 – 10 inches in length and have a wingspan of about 21 – 21 inches.
11. Whooping Crane
Weighing about 15 pounds, whooping cranes are known for their loud calls “whoop” that can be heard several miles away. These cranes have long necks and legs. They have a white body, red cap and a graceful walk.
These gracious birds can be found in several parts of North America. Breeding mostly takes place in April and May with the female laying one or two eggs. Females incubate for about 30 days and both parents tend to the young.
12. Wood Stork
Wood storks are large wading birds that have a long neck and curved bill. Their bodies are covered in white feathers with a black tail. Juveniles are mostly grayish. Wood storks live in swamps and wetlands, where they eat fish, amphibians, and invertebrates. They are migratory birds, and they winter in southern Florida and South America.
Wood storks measure about 45 inches in length and can weigh up to 90 lbs. Wingspan ranges from 59 – 70 inches.
13. White-tailed Eagle
Intelligent, powerful and an excellent hunter, the white-tailed eagle is a large bird that can be found in North America. These eagles are known for their white tails, which give them their name.
White-tailed eagles can grow to be up to 35 inches long and have a wingspan of up to 7 feet. They weigh between 6 and 12 pounds. These eagles live near water, where they can find food such as fish, amphibians, and small mammals. They also eat birds and reptiles. White-tailed eagles build their nests high in trees or on cliffs. They lay 2 to 4 eggs, which both parents help incubate. The young eagles stay with their parents for up to a year after hatching.
Woodpeckers are a common sight in many parts of the US. These birds get their name from their habit of pecking on wood to find food or create a nest.
Woodpeckers can be identified by their unique black and white plumage, as well as their long, pointed beak and red caps or crests There are different species of woodpecker which can be found in every continent except Antarctica. In the US the common woodpecker species include:
- Pileated woodpeckers
- Northern flicker
- Ladder-backed woodpecker
- Hairy woodpecker
- Downy woodpecker
- Acorn woodpecker
15. Wattled ibis
The wattled ibis is a wading bird that has a long, down-curved bill, and a conspicuous fleshy wattle or dewlap on its neck.
The sexes are similar in appearance. Juveniles are browner than adults. This ibis feeds mainly on insects, earthworms and other invertebrates, which it catches by probing the mud or shallow water with its long bill.
It typically nests in colonies near water, laying 2-3 eggs in a simple platform of sticks on rocky cliffs. Breeding starts from March to July.
16. Wallacean whistler
Wallacean whistlers are unique birds that can be found in the Wallacea region. They are songbirds that are known for their distinct whistle-like call, which is why they were given their name.
Wallacean female whistlers are usually brown with white underparts. Males are grey and have a long tail. They are typically found in forests and woodlands, and can be seen climbing through the trees in search of food. These birds are also known to be quite territorial, and will often sing or call to warn other birds of their territory.
17. Weka bird
New Zealand is home to some interesting birds and the Weka bird is one of them. Weka birds are about the size of a chicken, and are rich brown with black streaks. They are omnivorous, and eat a variety of things. They are also known to scavenge for food.
Weka live in forests and grasslands, and build nests out of twigs and other materials. They lay eggs that hatch into chicks. Weka are considered to be pests by some people, as they can damage crops. However, they are also considered to be a national symbol in New Zealand.
18. West African batis
The West African batis is a small passerine bird. It is a member of the family Platysteiridae, which also includes the white-tailed shrikes and pygmy batis. The batis is endemic to Africa, where it occurs in a wide range of habitats, from open country to dense forest. It is usually seen singly or in pairs, foraging for insects on the ground.
19. West Himalayan bush warbler
West Himalayan bush warblers are small passerine birds that are endemic to the western Himalayas.It is closely related to the European warbler, and like that species, is insectivorous.
The West Himalayan bush warbler measures 3.7 inches in length and has a wingspan of 5.5 inches. It has a short tail, and its plumage is generally gray with darker sides. The sexes are alike, but juveniles are slightly darker than adults.
20. West Peruvian dove
The West Peruvian dove is a tropical bird that is brownish- gray with white patches on their wings and a pinkish hue on their heads.
They have a long tail and a distinctive blue ring around their eyes. These birds live in pairs or small groups, and feed on seeds and insects. They are monogamous, and both parents take care of the young. They produce a cooing song like other the white-winged doves.
21. Western bowerbird
A rich brown marked bird that is found in parts of Australia. Western bowerbirds are known for their unique mating behavior, in which the male builds a bower, to impress the female.
The bower is usually a small structure made of sticks and twigs, and is decorated with colorful objects such as shells, stones, or flowers. The Western Bowerbird is a polygamous species, meaning that the male mates with more than one female.
22. White hawk
White hawks are some of the most beautiful birds in the world. These large raptors are found in open and semi-open habitats in North America.
This species is easily identified by its snowy white coloration, which is unique within the North American bird community. They also have a black tail band and black patches on their wings. White hawks are opportunistic predators that feed on a variety of small prey, including rodents, birds, reptiles, and insects.
While they are not typically considered common, they can be locally abundant depending on the availability of food. White hawks are mostly sedentary birds, but some individuals may migrate short distances during the winter.
23. Western bluebill
Spectacular, stout-billed, western bluebills are medium-sized birds that are easily recognizable by their bright blue bill, which is tipped with red.
Both sexes are almost the same size and share the same plumage on their backs (black) and red chest. The key difference between the sexes is females have black-white spotted bellies while males are all black. Western bluebills are known for their high-pitched calls.
24. Western fieldwren
Preferring to stay hidden in grasslands of Australia, western fieldwrens are small songbirds that feature a pale-brown streaked back and chest and a cocked tail. Their color makes it easy for them to hide in the shrublands.
The Western fieldwren is a very active bird, always moving around searching for food. It eats insects and spiders, as well as seeds and berries.
25. Western gull
Large wingspan, up to 26 inches in length western gulls are large seabirds that are found on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America.
These birds are gray – white in color and have a black tail and yellow bill. They are well-known for their noisy behavior, and their diet consists mainly of fish, crabs, and other invertebrates. The Western gull nests on the ground or in trees, and the female typically lays two – three eggs. Western gulls are versatile swimmers.
26. Westland petrel
Another swimming bird that starts with W is the westland petrel bird. This seabird is found in New Zealand. It is a pelagic bird that spends most of its time at sea, coming to land only to breed.
The Westland petrel is one of the smallest petrels. This dark brown bird has a slender bill. The Westland petrel feeds on small fish and squid, which it catches by diving down into the water.
The Westland petrel nests in colonies on offshore islands. The nests are made from dried grass and other materials, and are lined with feathers. The eggs are laid in late winter or early spring, and incubated for about 57 – 68 days. Both parents help to care for the young birds.
Whinchats are small passerine birds that are typically found in open country. During warmer months they can be found throughout Europe but during winter they migrate to Africa where it’s warmer.
Whinchats are brownish on the upperparts with a peachy throat and whitish belly. The Whinchat feeds on insects which it finds while foraging on the ground.
28. Whistling kite
Sharp talons, large wingspan, whistling kites are buff colored with females being slightly larger than the males. Weighing up to 2 lbs, these birds are capable of bringing down small prey with ease.
They are usually seen soaring high in the sky, often circling close to the ground looking for prey. They make a loud, whistling noise while flying.
Also known as the whistling eagle, this bird’s diet consists mainly of small mammals such as rodents, bats and bandicoots, but they will also take birds, reptiles and insects. They hunt by soaring overhead and then diving down onto their prey.
The breeding season for the whistling kite is from July to October (Australia). The nest is a platform of sticks built in a tree or on top of a building. Bluish-white eggs hatch after 35 – 40 days.
29. White-bellied tit
Mostly black, white-bellied tits are small, passerine birds that are found in open woodland and scrub throughout Africa.
They are a member of the family Paridae, which includes other tits and chickadees. The white-bellied tit is a sexually dimorphic species, with the male being slightly larger than the female. It has a black head and throat, white underparts, and a long tail. Their wings are black with white streaks.
30. White-collared jay
Simple plumage yet beautiful. The white-collared jay is a mostly blue bird in color with a white collar around their neck.
They have a black beak and legs. Part of their face and throat are black in color. White-collared jays are omnivorous, and eat a variety of items, including insects, nuts, seeds, fruits, and eggs. They are social birds, living in flocks of up to 50 individuals. They are monogamous, and both parents care for the young. They produce nasal calls as well as soft whistles.
31. White-naped crane
Another group of birds that start with w are the white-naped cranes. Standing at 4.3 ft, this crane is a large bird that is found in parts of Asia.
They are gray with a white neck and red face and tail. They have long legs and necks. They prefer feeding on plants, but also some insects. White-naped cranes mate for life, and build nests together out of sticks. The female lays eggs, which are incubated for about 30 days. Once the eggs hatch, both parents help raise the chicks until they are able to fly and care for themselves.
Small, plump, and beautiful, wrybills are small black and white birds found in the braided rivers of New Zealand. They are one of the species of birds in the world with a right-turned bill.
The wrybill uses its bill to probe beneath the water for food, sweeping it from side to side as it goes.
Wrybills are monogamous birds, forming long-term pairs that stay together until one dies. They build their nests out of sticks and lay 2-4 eggs. Both parents help to incubate the eggs and care for the chicks once they hatch. Wrybills are considered to be vulnerable to extinction due to their restricted range and low population numbers.
33. Wood duck
Wood Ducks are a beautiful duck native to North America. They are easily identified by their colorful plumage and crest on their head. They are sexually dimorphic with the males being more colorful than females.
Wood ducks live in wooded areas near water, where they can find food and safety. They eat a variety of things, including insects, aquatic plants, and small fish. Wood ducks are cavity nesters, meaning they build their nests in tree cavities. The female lays 8-12 eggs, which the male helps to incubate. After hatching, the young ducks stay with the parents for several months while they learn how to find food and avoid predators.
34. Wreathed hornbill
The wreathed hornbill is a very unique rainforest bird. They are easily identified by their black plumage. Another unique feature that will help you identify the bird is their bare skin around their eyes. Also, males have a yellow patch around their throats while females have a blue throat patch and red patch around their eyes. These impressive birds can grow up to 30 inches in length and weigh up to 8 pounds.
Wreathed hornbills are omnivores, feeding on both fruits and insects. They use their impressive bill to crush hard fruits and nuts, as well as to extract insects from tree bark. They are also known to eat small lizards and rodents.
Wreathed hornbills are monogamous birds, mating for life. The female lays 2-4 eggs in a tree cavity, and both parents help to incubate them.
35. Whooper swan
Whooper swans are large, white waterfowl that are found in the Northern Hemisphere. These birds are migratory and can be found in many different countries during different times of the year. They are one of the heaviest flying birds in the world, and can weigh up to 25 pounds.
Whooper swans are highly social animals and typically travel in pairs or small groups. They are carnivorous and eat a variety of aquatic creatures, such as fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.
Whooper swans live near water and eat aquatic plants and insects. They are monogamous, and both the male and female take care of the young.
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