Five Unique Birds That Start With Q

Birds often come with wonderfully unique names, and some even start with the letter Q.

Five Unique Birds That Start With Q

If you’re wondering what kinds of birds you can expect to find under the Q section of your birdwatching guide, then look no further.

We have found five species of birds that all start with the letter Q. 

1. Quail


The Quail is the most common bird that starts with the letter Q, and you’ll have likely heard of it before.

There are more than six species of Quails found in North America alone, including the Montezuma Quail, Mountain Quail, Scaled Quail, California Quail, and the Gambel’s Quail.

Let’s take a look at one of these Quail species. 

Montezuma Quail

The Montezuma Quail is a bird residing within the mountains and woodlands of Mexico. It is rarely found within the United States, but if it were to be found then it would be in the southwest. 

This game bird is characterized by a short tail and rounded wings. It has an incredibly short neck which gives it the appearance of having a plump plumage.

They are also commonly known as the Fool Quail due to their behavior, and they mainly eat grasses and plants. 

The Montezuma Quail is the shortest species of all the Quails. They are territorial and have an assembly call made from between six and nine notes.

These notes fall in pitch, one after the other. This call can be heard from very far away and is often described as whiny. 

2. Quailfinch Indigobird

Quailfinch Indigobirds are nest parasites that lay eggs in nests made by African Quailfinches.

During the rest of the year, they live in grasslands and other open lots of land, often with easy access to water.

Their beaks are incredibly sharp and strong so that they can eat grains and seeds with ease. 

Much like Cuckoos, Quailfinch Indigobirds are parasitic breeders. This means that they use other bird’s nests for their own eggs.

They won’t harm the eggs already in the nest, but simply add their own eggs in with the existing ones. 

The Quailfinch Indigobird exclusively use the nests of African Quailfinches. They are also excellent mimics, and they mimic the African Quailfinch’s song perfectly. 

3. Queen Victoria’s Riflebird

The Queen Victoria’s Riflebird is a species falling under the category of bird of paradise. It is a large bird with a bill that curves downwards.

The male Queen Victoria’s Riflebirds are almost completely black, but with a blue and green metallic sheen on the belly, plumage, and head. 

Female Queen Victoria’s Riflebirds are brown all over, with a scaly area on their belly and plumage. Their eyebrows are also lighter than that of a male.

Their call can be heard from far away as it is a big and abrupt blast of noise, repeated a few times. 

To display themselves proudly, the male will stand on a wooden stump with their wings above their heads.

This will flash their yellow gapes as they lift one wing up at a time. They will sway as they do this repeatedly.

The Queen Victoria’s Riflebird is the smallest of all of the riflebirds. The males have a blue or green crown on their heads with a bronze breast and belly.

The upper part of their body is also covered in an iridescent purple color. 

These birds are non-migratory and can be known by a number of different names, such as the Victoria Riflebird or the Lesser Riflebird. 

4. Quebracho Crested Tinamou

This bird can be determined from their voice alone as it is very distinctive. It is described as two whistles, both at a low pitch, before increasing the pitch right at the end.

Imagine a voice like “Coooo-wee! Coooo-wee!”

The Quebracho Crested Tinamou is a grounded nesting bird and can be found in certain areas of South America, in countries like Paraguay and Argentina.

These birds are not the best flyers, and therefore are most comfortable on the ground.

This means that they have learned how to run fast and avoid predators by running instead of flying. 

5. Queen Whydah

The Queen Whydah is a small bird that has red or orange coloring on its legs and head.

Throughout the breeding season, the male Whydah will have an orange portion on its neck and belly. Its tail will be dark with black feathers reaching up to 17 centimeters. 

During the rest of the year, both male and female Whydahs will have a streaky look to their back and shoulders, while their bellies will be buffy.

Breeding males will carve out their own territory in a dry scrub and remain there for optimal privacy.  

However, when the breeding season is finished, the males form groups with other seed-eating birds. This Whydah will lay its eggs in the nests of violet-eared Waxbills.

Queen Whydahs can also mimic the Waxbill’s songs perfectly. 

Queen Whydahs are seasonally sexually dimorphic, so the female and male birds will look different during mating season.

The males develop a long tail and a brightly colored plumage in mating season, while the females remain brown and sparrow-like. During off season, male Queen Whydahs look very similar to the females. 

Other Birds Starting With The Letter Q

There are many other birds with names starting with the letter Q, so we have created a short list of some other birds that you might be interested in.

There is plenty of information about these birds online, so you can spend hours researching them if you’d like!

  • Quail-Plover
  • Quelea
  • Quetzal
  • Quelea, Read-Billed
  • Quatro
  • Quilla 
  • Quintana
  • Querida
  • Queenie
  • Quinlan
  • Quennell
  • Quintina
  • Quyen


And there we have it – five uncommon birds that all have names starting with the letter Q, as well as 13 others that also start with the same letter .

All of these birds have different qualities and appearances, and it can be fascinating to learn about all of the different species! Which is your favorite?

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