Skip to main content

6 simple tips: How to pick a great name for your new bird

“Does Polly want a cracker” might have a nice traditional ring to it, but we know when to leave behind a label that’s over. Names for pet birds should reflect their personality and yours. Whether you’re into history or books, music or pop culture, we have a name that will capture the essence of your bird with a little piece of his owner thrown in. Here are a few guidelines and suggestions to use when deciding what to call your bird.

Two affectionate birds on a branch
Jondolar Schnurr/

Try a literary name

While Iago may be a classic, we think Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy would make an excellent set of names for a pair of lovebirds. Make sure to have some nicknames ready as calling those out each time you come home will turn into quite the mouthful. Liz and Fitz work great, too, if you want to skip straight to the shortened versions. Or give Romeo and Juliet a shot to christen your star-crossed lovers.

Use historical influence

For the history buff, think of the memorable mononymous figures like Napoleon, an excellent name for a bird whose personality doesn’t match his size. Charlemagne or Rasputin work if your bird seems like the ruler of the household. For a lady, test out Cleopatra or Boudicca, especially if she knows that she’s the boss.

Cockatiel sits in human hand

Listen to their favorite song

Your bird probably loves to sing, and choosing a name based on his or her favorite artist can bring an extra thrill. If you aren’t quite sure what he’ll like, or she seems to sing along to everything, try a few of the classics like Van Halen. On the flip side, go really modern with your Queen Bey or Taylor. Take it far back to Mozart or Beethoven, especially if he seems to dig the classical. Don’t be afraid to hone in on icons of the last century as well like Elvis or Marlon, which really work fine for either gender.

Stick with a popular name

Feel free to steal from movies or pop culture; we think Ripley and Captain Marvel make great names for your colorful pet. Sisters might become Elsa and Anna or Thor and Loki for brothers. But if you’re traditional at heart, you can look to the more common bird names such as Tweety, Woodstock, or Blu. After all, your bird thinks his name has never been used before.

Bird looks quizzically at stone

Have fun with it

We love a good pun and can’t help but throw out a few suggestions that play on words. Maybe you’re a bookworm with a sense of humor? Then you should try Excalibird or Birdicus to start. If you envision your pet to be quite the detective, stick with Hercule Parrot or Edgar Allan Crow. Does your budgie like to communicate? They’re probably writing a hit song or a salty column, so call them Carrie Bradcaw or Paul Macawtney. Extra points if you can teach your bird to say his humorous name. We want him in on the joke, too.

Find something easy

Still not satisfied? Name your pet after a state or city, including Dallas, Montana, or Jersey. Ponder a few jobs as well. A bird who’s always looking out for his friends becomes Doc. One who leads the group (even in bad behavior) can be Admiral or Colonel. Your pet’s favorite snack makes a suitable moniker, too — play with Apple, Turnip, Pepper, and Blossom. It’s okay to change his name a few times a day while you’re still working on it. He won’t mind.

Choosing your pet bird names might rank low on the list of necessities when acquiring an animal, but his or her handle may end up sticking around a long time — remember, some birds live over 50 years. Start with a long list of your favorites based on popular bird names and a few to reflect your interests. It’s best to begin this brainstorm before you even bring a bird home. Then narrow it down and experiment with a few different ones when you have your bird. You never know when something might stick, or he may decide to respond to one over the others. Once your pet learns to recognize or repeat a name, you know you’ve come across the right one. 

Editors' Recommendations

Rebekkah Adams
Rebekkah’s been a writer and editor for more than 10 years, both in print and digital. In addition to writing about pets…
Why do birds bob their heads? The answer is pretty complex
Birds bob their heads for a very interesting reason. Here's what to know
Two parrots tilt their heads to see better

Birds are some of the most popular pets for many reasons: They're funny, smart, and pretty. But they also intrigue us because they do a few cool things that us mammals don't. One well-known trait is the iconic head bob, which might make you instantly reach for your camera every time you see it. It's certainly worth watching, but what does it mean? There's actually a very scientific — albeit somewhat complex — reason behind this.

So, why do birds bob their heads? Basically, they do this to see better, but it's a little more complicated than that. 

Read more
How to tell if your guinea pig loves you – some ways may surprise you
These are the signs your guinea pig loves you as much as you love him
A happy guinea pig hangs out in the grass

We know how much we love our pets. The question is if they love us, too. It can be tricky to tell how animals feel since they can't tell us about their moods. But that doesn't mean we can't ever figure out what's in the minds of our furry friends.

Guinea pigs in particular make a lot of interesting noises and show postures that help us decipher their thoughts and feelings. By paying close attention to your little guy and learning a bit about how he thinks, you can get a pretty good sense of his inner goings-on. And you won't have to watch very long to confirm that your guinea pig loves you.

Read more
Wondering what to feed baby birds? Here are 5 things you should never offer them
Don't add these foods to your baby bird's meal plan
Hatchlings in a nest begs for food

Even though baby birds look like little dinosaurs, they aren't quite as tough. Since they're not actually velociraptors, you can't throw just anything down their gullets. Chicks have very specific food needs that will change as they age and also vary from species to species. While it can be tricky to manage your brand-new birdie's diet, we're here to tell you what to feed a baby bird. When choosing your avian's menu, avoid these five foods that may harm the little critter.

What can you feed a baby bird?
In the wild, newborn birds eat basically what their mamas and papas do, only all chewed up. You probably shouldn't go through the regurgitation process, but you'll replicate this type of feeding in your home without the ick factor. The tiniest of birds eat formula when they live away from their parents. In addition to being their favorite food (well, actually their only food), this will help you bond with your pet.

Read more