Bird Species H through J

Read our huge list of the most popular bird species. We cover all the main bird species here excluding parrots. We have a different section for that. 


Listing of Parrot Species

Birds A-BBirds C-DBirds E-GBirds K-MBirds N-OBirds P-QBirds R-S – Birds T-Z

Either scroll down or type in name in the search engine above to pull up pages that contain information about your bird species.


Hamerkop akas Hammerkop, Hammerkopf, Hammerhead, Hammerhead Stork

Its plumage is a drab brown with purple iridescence on the back. The bill is long, flat, and slightly hooked. It looks similar to those of the Shoebill and the Boat-billed Heron, probably because of convergent evolution. The neck and legs are shorter than those of most of the Ciconiiformes. The Hamerkop has partially webbed feet, for unknown reasons. It middle toe is comb-like (pectinated) like a heron‘s. Its tail is short and its wings are big, wide, and round-tipped; it soars well. When it does so, it stretches its neck forward like a stork or ibis, but when it flaps, it coils its neck back something like a heron.



Harriers are birds of prey that feed on small mammals, reptiles or birds, often hunting them by flying low over open ground,


Hawks: Interesting Facts and Species Information

Hawks have a near worldwide distribution. They are members of the same family as kites and eaglesFalconsospreys, and vultures are close relatives.

The color of their plumages range from grey or reddish brown on top and pale whitish below. Often they have dark spots or streaks on the beck, chest and legs, and dark wing and tail bars. In most cases, the bills are black, and the feathered legs and feet are yellow, and the talons (claws) black.



Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be colourful species with the distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name.


Herons – wading birds in the Ardeidae family

The herons are large wading birds in the Ardeidae family. Some species are referred to as egrets or bitterns.

lthough herons resemble storksibises and spoonbills, but in flight can be differentiated by the fact that they fly with their necks retracted, rather than outstretched.

The largest heron is the Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath) – which measures between 1.4 – 1.5m; and the smallest is the Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) – which measures between 27 – 36 cm and weighs between 46 – 86 g.

The plumages vary amongst the different species – from white to black, through more or less dark grey, blue or brown.

Day herons and egrets are medium-sized to large birds, with long neck and legs. Their bills are long and dagger-shaped, enabling them to hunt their aquatic preys, as well as catch small mammals and reptiles.

The Boatbill – a member of the night-heron group – has a broad and heavy bill.


Hoatzin aka Hoactzin, Stinkbird or Canje “Pheasant”

The Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), also known as the HoactzinStinkbird, or Canje “Pheasant”, is an unusual species of tropical bird found in swamps, riverine forest and mangrove of the Amazon and the Orinoco delta in South America.

It is the only member of the genus Opisthocomus (Ancient Greek: wearing long hair behind, referring to its large crest), which in turn is the only extant genus in the family Opisthocomidae.

The taxonomic position of this family has been greatly debated, and is still far from clear.



The Honeycreepers are found in the tropical New World from Mexico south to Brazil, where they are usually seen in the forest canopy.

As implied by the name, these birds feed on nectar retrieved with their long curved bills. These birds have colorful legs, long wings and short tails. The males are typically glossy purple-blue and the females greenish.



The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family of small to medium sized birds most common in Australia and New Guinea, but also found in New Zealand, the Pacific islands as far east as Hawaii, and the islands to the north and west of New Guinea known as Wallacea. Bali, on the other side of the Wallace Line, has a single species.

Honeyeaters and the closely related Australian chats make up the family Meliphagidae. In total there are 182 species in 42 genera, roughly half of them native to Australia, many of the remainder occupying New Guinea. Like their closest relatives, the Maluridae (Australian wrens), Pardalotidae (pardalotes and thornbills), and Petroicidae (Australian robins), they originated as part of the great corvid radiation in Australia-New Guinea (which were joined in a single landmass until quite recent geological times).

Hooded Parrots

Hooded Parrots

The Hooded ParrotPsephotus dissimilis, is an Australian endemic; specifically, it inhabits to semi-arid areas of northeast Northern Territory. Though this species has disappeared from most of its original range, it remains common in protected areas.

The Hooded Parrot occupies the very northeastern region of the Northern Territory while the nominate Golden-shouldered Parrot is limited to the Cape York Peninsula.



The Hoopoe is classified in the Coraciiformes clade, a group that also includes kingfishersbee-eatersrollers, and woodhoopoes (forming a clade with this one according to Hackett et al. (2008).

A close relationship between the Hoopoe and the woodhoopoes is also supported by the shared and unique nature of their stapes. In the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, the Hoopoe is separated from the Coraciiformes as a separate order, the Upupiformes. Some authorities place the woodhoopoes in the Upupiformes as well.

The fossil record of the hoopoes is very incomplete, with the earliest fossil coming from the Quaternary. The fossil record of their relatives is older, with fossil woodhoopoes dating back to the Miocenes and those of an extinct related family, the Messelirrisoridae, dating from the Eocene.

It is the only extant member of its family, although some treatments consider some of the subspecies as separate species.



Hornbills (Bucerotidae) are a family of bird found in tropical and sub-tropical Africa and Asia.

They are characterized by a long, down-curved bill which is frequently brightly-colored and sometimes has a casque on the upper mandible. Both the common English and the scientific name of the family refer to the shape of the bill, “buceros” being “cow horn” in Greek. In addition, they possess a two-lobed kidney. Hornbills are the only birds in which the first two neck vertebrae (the axis and atlas) are fused together; this probably provides a more stable platform for carrying the bill.

The family is omnivorous, feeding on fruit and small animals.

They are monogamous breeders nesting in natural cavities in trees and sometimes cliffs.

Horned Parakeets

Eunymphicus – Horned Parakeets

The Horned Parakeet got its name from the two black feathers (crest) with red tips that protrude from the head. It averages 12.5 – 13 inches or 32- 33 cm in length (including tail). The plumage is mostly green. The breast, abdomen and under tail coverts are yellowish-green. The lower back is greenish-yellow.

This parakeet has a yellowish nape with a black and red face and bluish wings and tail. The forehead and crown are read. The lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and frontal cheek area are black. The outer webs of the flight feathers are violet-blue. The irises are orange-red; the feet dark-grey and the bill pale bluish-grey with blackish tip.

Young birds look like adults, but their plumage is duller. They have dark irises and the bill is horn-colored.


Information about Hummingbirds: The Tiny Jewels from the Americas

Hummingbirds are the second largest family with over 340 species – 29 of them are on Birdlife International endangered list.

They are predominantly nectarivorous and are only found in the Americas (New World). They are found as far north as Alaska and as far south as Chile. An (introduced?) population has been reported as being common on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Old World ecological equivalents include the Australian honey-eaters and the African sunbirds. They have specialized bill shapes and foot types to help them retrieve nectar from flowers; and many of them have a colorful or iridescent plumage.

One of the rarest is the Marvelous Spatuletail which is only found in a small area in northern Peru.


Ibis Species Information

The ibises long-legged wading birds with long down curved bills that are usually found in group, probing mud for food items in the sand.

They resemble herons and share many of their habitats and behavioral traits, but unlike herons, ibises fly with necks outstretched and often in V-formation.

Indian Ringneck Parrots / Indian Ring-necked Parakeets

Indian Ringneck Parrots

The Indian Ringneck Parakeet is a medium-sized parrot that measures between 14 – 17 inches (36 – 43 cm) in length – about half of which are the long tail feathers alone. The wings are 6 – 7 inches (153 – 180 mm) long. They weigh between 4 – 5 oz (115 – 140 grams).

This parakeet has a long tail and a hooked beak. The upper beak is orangey-red with a black tip; the lower bill is blackish with a paler tip. The irises are pale yellow. The legs and feet are ashy-slate to greenish-slate.

The original plumage coloration (and the color mostly found in the wild within their natural range) is green with a yellowish or bluish-grey hue to the lighter-colored under plumage. The nape (back of a bird’s neck) shows a blue suffusion that can at times extend to the back of the head. The outer tail feathers are green. The blue central tail feathers have yellowish-green tips. There is a black stripe running through the chin area.


Indigobirds and Whydahs

The Indigobirds and Whydahs are part of a bird family known as Viduidae. These small, finch-like birds are found in Africa.

The dominant color of their plumage is either black or indigo, which gives the first group its name. The “Whydahs” were named for the long or very long tails of the breeding males.

These brood parasites lay their eggs into the nest of estrildid finches, without destroying the hosts’ eggs, as many other brood parasites might do. They simply add 2 – 4 eggs to the eggs laid by the hosts. The host eggs and the eggs of the Indigobirds or Whydahs are all white, but the eggs of the latters are slightly larger. The Indigobirds typically use fire finches as hosts, whereas the Paradise Whydahs favor pytilias.

Indigobirds and whydahs also imitate their hosts’ song, which the males learn in the nest. Even though females do not sing, they learn to recognize the song and chose mates with the same song. The nestling indigobirds also mimic the unique gape pattern of the nestlings of the host species.

Intermediate Parakeets

Intermediate Parakeets

This parakeet averaged 15 to 16 inches (~36 cm) in length — half of which is the tail.

The plumage was generally yellowish-green with a slaty-purple head bordered below by a broad black cheek stripe which becomes a narrow band across nape. The forehead, lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and eye area had a pronounced pink tinge. The nape had a faint bluish-green ting.

There was a reddish-brown patch to wing-coverts and the under wing-coverts were bluish-green. The upperside of the tail feathers was purple with yellowish-white tips. The underside was yellow. The upper beak is reddish with a yellow tip, and the lower beak is yellowish. The irises were yellow and the feet grey.

The female had a smaller red wing patch and a more slaty head.



These small to medium-sized slender perching birds measure between 5.5 inches 13 inches (14 -34 cm) in length and weighing between 0.6 – 2.6 oz (17 – 75 grams.) They have mall feet, rounded wings, and very long bills. Their plumage varies from brightly colored and iridescent to fairly dull.


Jacanas aka Lotus Birds, Lily Trotters or Jesus Birds

They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, inhabiting freshwater ponds, the margins of lakes, swamps and lagoons where it feeds on insects, small mollusks and seeds of aquatic plants.

Eight species, placed in six genera, are found in both the New and the Old World tropics. There are 2 species in the Americas; 3 species in Africa and 3 species in the Far East down to Australia with 9 subspecies in Central America and 3 subspecies in Australia. Most species are sedentary, but the Pheasant-tailed Jacana migrates from the north of its range into peninsular India and southeast Asia.


Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

The Jackdaws (Corvus monedula) – also commonly referred to as Eurasian Jackdaws – are small crows found from North West Africa through virtually all of Europe, Iran, north-west India and Siberia, where they inhabit wooded steppes, woodland, cultivated land, pasture and coastal cliffs. They have also adapted well to urbanized areas.

They are mostly resident, but the northern and eastern populations migrate south for the winter.



The skuas are seabirds in the family Stercorariidae. The three smaller skuas are called jaegers in North America. They have even been sighted at the South Pole.

The name skua comes from Faroese skúgvur (Stercorarius skua), and the island of Skúvoy is renown for its colony of that bird. Jaeger is derived from the German word Jäger, meaning hunter.

“Skua” is also a slang term at American Antarctic research stations such as the McMurdo Station or the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It is named for the bird, and it means to salvage or scavenge for equipment or gear.


Japanese White-eyes

The Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) – also known as the mejiro – is native to much of east Asia, including Japan, China, Vietnam,Taiwan, and the Philippines.

It has been intentionally introduced to other parts of the world as a pet and as pest control, with mixed results.

As one of the native species of the Japanese islands, it has been depicted in Japanese art on numerous occasions, and historically was kept as a cage bird.

Introduced to Hawaii in 1929 as a means of insect control, it has since become a common bird on the Hawaiian Islands, and has become a vector for avian parasites that are now known to adversely affect populations of native birds such as Hawaiian honeycreepers, as well as spreading invasive plant species through discarded seeds.

Java Moustached Parakeets

Mustached / Moustached / Java-moustached Parakeets

The Mustached / Moustached Parakeet is a medium-sized parrot, averaging 13 – 16 inches in length (33 – 40 cm) and weighing it at 100 to 130 grams at maturity.

Its most distinguishing feature is its moustache-like markings on the sides of its face, resembling a moustache. In most subspecies of Moustached Parakeets, the males have red beaks and the females have black.


The Colorful Jays

The jays are medium-sized, usually colorful and noisy species of birds that are members of the crow family Corvidae.

These intelligent birds have complex social systems.

A group of jays is often referred to as a “band”, “cast”, “party” or “scold” of jays.



The Juncos, members of the bird genus Junco, comprise three to eight species of small American finches. They belong in the same Emberizidae family as the North American sparrows,

The species’ Latin name “hyemalis” translates into “winter;” and the genus name, Junco, roughly means “bird of bushes or reeds” – referring to their preferred habitats.

The Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) are also referred to as “Snowbirds” as they breed in North America (i.e., Alaska and Canada) and migrate in large flocks to the lower United States, Mexico or Central America for the winter.


Jungle Fowl

Junglefowl are a group of four living pheasant species which occur in India, Sri Lanka and south east Asia.

These large birds have a colorful male plumage, but they are usually well hidden in dense vegetation.

The female alone incubates the eggs and raises the young.

The junglefowl are seed-eaters, but insects are also taken, particularly by the young birds.

The Red Junglefowl is believed to be the domesticated chicken.

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