Birds That Start With Z

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher and want to get a better idea of what you’re looking for, or if you just want to learn more about these beautiful sky-roaming creatures that we see outside our windows each and every day, because there are so many types of birds all with their own unique appearances and behavioral traits, a quick and easy way to learn more about them is to categorize them.

Birds That Start With Z

This is why we have made a list of several fascinating and interesting birds that you need to know about, all starting with the letter ‘Z’, so with that being said, it’s time to learn more about what kind of birds really do occupy our skies. 

Zapata Wren

This medium-sized light brown bird is very unique since it can only be found darting around the Zapata Swamp located in the southern province of Cuba.

This area is actually one of the most important natural parks in Cuba, specifically because it is home to so many rare and endangered animals, including the Zapata wren. 

These miniature birds will therefore inhabit the often flooded freshwater seagrass marshes of the swamp where they will live off insects along with snails, spiders, berries, and even small reptiles for some of the bigger birds who can stomach it. 

While this bird was thought for a long time to be endangered, recent surveys have actually suggested that this species might be a lot more common than was previously feared and could be making a gradual recovery as its number rise.

Zebra Dove

The zebra dove is known not only for the dark bars covering its breast and back that replicate the look of a zebra, but also for its extremely expansive range with the bird first appearing in Thailand and Laos before being introduced to Hawaii in 1922, Tahiti in 1950, and has now been reported to be commonly seen around the Chagos Archipelago and even China. 

The zebra dove is, therefore, very widespread across Southeast Asian countries and is even now branching to other corners of the world, however rather than being very territorial, zebra doves are well known for being very pleasant, soft, and friendly birds that can even be petted without them flying away.

Zimmer’s Tapaculo

While this bird can only be found in a select few humid forests located in a small area of Argentina, they are not actually considered endangered or even threatened, even though they also stand no taller than 7.5 inches, making them far less threatening than the more predatory Argentinian birds surrounding them. 

While it has been estimated that there are plenty of these birds roaming around the Andes Mountains and the surrounding Argentinian forests, because they are so small and hard to analyze since they dart around so frequently, there is actually a lot we still don’t know about these birds, and that includes information on their diet or their weight. 

What we do know is that these birds have a very bold and striking appearance with a gray body alongside a white throat and tiny white stripes across the forehead, making them fairly easy to spot. 

Zigzag Heron

This heron bird is small, short-tailed, and black-crested and is generally found in dense South American forests where it will regularly hunt for fish, invertebrates, and flying insects which it can track down incredibly easily using its abnormally long beak. 

There is actually a fierce debate surrounding the systematic position of the zigzag heron, and more specifically, whether it is most related to the tiger herons or to the bitterns, however after molecular studies were conducted, it does seem that they are closer to the bitten since they also have 10 tail feathers, a long inner toe, and white eggs, unlike tiger herons who lay splotched eggs. 

With that being said, the three powder-down patches are a part of their appearance that is also shared with tiger herons, which has caused them to adopt the name for the time being. 

A loud and high-pitched “Kreeik” is the alarm call for these small and agile birds, however if they are marking territory, they will instead send out a shrieking “Ooop” which is slightly similar to calls by other forest herons.

Zitting Cisticola

These Old World warbler birds for a long time were only regularly seen in Europe, however in the last few decades, they have expanded their breeding range across parts of Africa and even Southern Asian countries. 

While they are very recognizable due to their very bright throat and chest paired with a deep brown mottled back, these small birds are most well known for their “zitting” calls which are commonly described as sounding like snipping a pair of scissors repeatedly. 

The males will let this noise off when it’s mating season while flying in a zigzag pattern, and since this period lasts between March and September for these birds, you will be hearing a lot of it whenever they take to the skies. 

Zosterops Gibbsi

The gibbsi is just one member of the fairly large Zosteropidae family of birds, however the reason it stands out from its relatives is that its appearance differs quite a lot from the others, with it possessing a much longer bill and a different eye ring, which is why it is also commonly referred to as the Vanikoro White-eye Zosterops. 

It has a very vibrant yellow color across its back and feathers with a very bright chest, and while this bird has an incredibly small global range with it being exclusive to the Santa Cruz and Solomon Islands, they have not yet qualified for the ‘Risk’ category of endangerment.

This bird is also named after famous British naturalist David Gibbs who is very well known for his influential works analyzing the lives of insects, birds, and animal relationships within ecology.


Next time you engage in a conversation about weird and wonderful birds, try and see if your friends have seen or ever heard of some of these exotic birds, all beginning with the obscure letter ‘Z’.

Finally, checkout the entire series of birds that start with or begin with the letter: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.

Olivia Kepner