23 Adorable Native American Bird Names 

Are you seeking cute Native American bird names? You will find this post useful. We took the liberty of doing in-depth research to figure out powerful Native American bird names for your reading pleasure. Learn what names Native Americans call diverse birds. 

It’s no secret that the Golden Eagle is sacred to the Native Americans. They consider these birds sacred to their religion, traditions and cultures. In addition, they show the deepest respect to the Eagles, and treat them with care. 

Eagles represent diverse things to the Indigenous Americans. They represent courage, wisdom, power, majesty, truth, honesty, majesty and freedom. 

Here are adorable Native American bird names you should know. 

Native American Bird Names

1: Turkey – Firkee. Early settlers heard and interpreted it as “Turkey.” And we all know how the story goes today.   

2: Chicken – The Cherokee calls chicken Tsitaga. 

3: Owl – According to Cherokee, “Tsgili” is known as the great-horned owl and it’s what many classify as the hoot owl, thanks to its hooting calls. “Uguku” is the barred owl, while “Wahuhi” is the screech owl. The Lakota word for owl is “hinhan.” However, a snowy owl is called “hinhah ska.” Furthermore, a short-eared owl is called “hinhan gi” 

A Handy Tip: To the Navajos, an owl represents a bad news. When an owl appears or when a Navajo person sees an owl, they believe something terrible is about to happen. 

When Navajos encounters an owl, they quickly besiege a Navajo Telerays for intervention, guidance, and protection. 

4: Blue Jay – Did you know seeing a blue jay near is an indication of good luck according to Native American lore? They believe whoever crosses the bird’s path has attracted good luck. So “Blue Jay” is the opposite of “Owl.” Encountering a owl is a sign of bad news or bad luck, while Blue Jay is a sign of good luck and good news. In Ojibwe, the word for Blue Jay is “Gwiingwiish. “ The Cherokee calls blue jay “Tlaiga.”

5: Hawk – The Cherokee tribe calls hawk “Towodi” and it’s pronounced as “Toe-wo’-dee.” 

6: Dove – The Cherokee Native American tribe calls dove, “woya” and pronounced as “wo-yah.”

7: Raven – The Quileute Native American name for Raven is Báyaḳ. And it’s pronounced as (By-yuhk). And don’t forget Quileute indigenous Americans were the southernmost group that domiciled along the Pacific Coast. Their mythology also includes several stories on Raven. Furthermore, the Cherokee calls Raven “Golanv” pronounced as “go-lah’-nuh.”

8: Hummingbird – In the Cherokee Native American tribe, hummingbird is called “Walela.” In Navajo, Dah yi’itihi refers to hummingbird. This bird is an important figure to most Native American tribes. For example, the Hopi people believe the hummingbird intervenes on their behalf to convince the gods to bring rain.

On the other hand, the ancient Mayans view the hummingbird as the sun in disguise. They believe the sun disguised to court the moon. In other words, the hummingbird is the sun, but in an Aves body. 

9: Cardinal – The cardinal bird is called “Totsuhwa” in the Cherokee language and pronounced as “Toe-chew’-hwah.” In Native American folklore, cardinal birds are viewed as messengers that carry both good and bad news. 

10: Woodpecker – The woodpecker is called “dalala” and pronounced as “dah-lah’-la.” In Navajo, woodpecker is called “tsin yiłkaałii.” The word “tsin” means tree/wood while “yilkaalii” means pecker. Many Native Americans consider the woodpeckers as lucky birds, particularly in the western tribe. These birds are also associated with happiness and friendship. 

The Cherokee Indians also considered woodpeckers as war symbol and the plain tribes, in particular, used their heads as battle ornaments. 

11: Robin – This bird is called “Tsisquoga” by the Cherokee Indians, and it’s a symbol of peace. When robins appear in a village, then there’s a big chance that the village is free from any possible attack. 

Other Native American tribes have a specific name for the robin. It’s called “peyetchew” by the Cree, and “opitcki” by the Ojibwa. Finally, the Nipissing calls it “pipitshi.”

12: Buzzard – This bird is what the Cherokee Indians call “suli” which is pronounced, “soo-lee.”

Most Native American tribes view buzzards negatively.  In fact, finding a buzzard flying is a sign of danger that’s about to happen. 

In Native American legend, it will interest you to know that buzzards are portrayed as an aggressive troublemaker that enjoys lying, cheating and don’t mind hoarding resources belonging to everyone.

13: Crows – This bird name has a twist. Crow is called Absaroka or Apsarokee. The North American Indians particularly those of the Siouan linguistic stock call themselves Absaroka or Apsarokee too. The name implies “children of the large big bird.” For the Cherokee tribe, crow is called “Koga.”  

14: Chickadee – The Chickadee is a non-migratory and small North American songbird. In Native American, it’s called “Tsigili’i”” by the Cherokee, whole the Arikara calls it “škipipi.”

15: Bald Eagle – Eagles have a special place in the hearts, religion and cultures of the Native Americans.  The Native Americans have deep respect for the bird because they believe it hears from the gods since it can fly across the globe. They also have unique names for this creature.      

In general, the name Dyami means “eagle” and it’s a Native American name. The bald eagle is also called “migisi” by the Ojibwe and “mikisiw by the Cree Native American tribe. 

The Cherokee name for the eagle is “wohali” while the Cheyenne calls it “ma’xevé’késo.” 

Here are other names eagles are called by Native American. 

  • The Hidatsa: In this tribe, the eagle is called “iphoki.”
  • The Lakota: The Lakota Native American people call the eagle is “Wanbli.”
  • The Osage: This Native American people call the eagle “Hon’ga.”
  • The Yakama: This Native American tribe has a special name for the two types of eagles, which are the bald and golden eagle. The names are k’ámamul (for the bald eagle) and xwayamá xwaamá (for the golden eagle).
  • Apache: The Apache people call eagle “tsa-cho.”
  • Navajo: This tribe has the shortest name for eagles. They call the eagle “atsa.”
  • Shawnee: The Shawnee people of Native American origin calls the eagle “pelaethee.”
  • Mohegan: The Mohegan people also have a special name for the eagle. It’s called wómpissacuk.

16: Mallard – The Native Americans have special names for each bird. The mallard is called “sisib” by the Cree people, while the Ojibwa calls it “shiship.”

17: Sharp-tailed grouse – This bird is called “šiyó” (echoic of “Shoo!”) by the Arikara tribe. It also has other names and meaning. For example, “šiyóša” (pheasant) derives from this. Also, another name is “šiyóka” (greater prairie chicken)

18: Brown thrasher – The Arikara Native Americans call the brown thrasher “čhehúpaglagla gí” and it means “to-chatter-with-one’s-own-teeth brown.”

19: Quail: This category of bird is called gügwë’ by the Native Americans. 

20: Yellow Mocking Bird – The Indian Americans call the yellow mocking birds “huhu.”

21: Goose – The goose in Native American language is called the sa’sa.’ 

22: Turtledove – The Indigenous American people call it gulë’-diska`nihï’.

23: Meadowlark – This particular bird is called näkwïsï’ and this means “star.” And for the indigenous Americans to give a bird such a name, it means it has some value. 

Popular Birds And Spiritual Meaning To The Native American People 

Birds represent several things to the Native American people. The appearances of certain bird or encountering of certain birds is a sign of war. On the other hand, some birds signify good luck. 

In general, birds are a symbol of freedom and eternity, given how they soar high into the sky. Besides Native Americans, birds have different meanings in other tribes. In other words, each bird might mean something different a tribe.

But the button line is, birds have spiritual, religious and cultural meanings. They mean different things to people of certain religion, culture and ethnicity. 

The focus in this post is on Native Americans. But don’t forget that birds also have diverse interpretations in other places. These include Greek mythology, Egypt mythology,   

Birds are widely regarded as symbols of freedom and eternity due to their ability to soar into the skies. Bird symbolism exists all over the world as part of different cultures, religions, and traditions. Every bird is uniquely breathtaking and symbolizes certain aspects of our lives, nature, and the unknown world. 

1: Eagle

Native Americans considered eagles sacred animals (especially the bald eagle). One of the most common aspects of bald eagle symbolism relates to wisdom, bravery, and a connection to the spiritual realm. 

Eagles’ feathers were widely used in certain religious rituals. Today, there are numerous sculptures, statues, and carvings of eagles throughout the Americas. Read more:  

2: Heron

Native America Certain Native American tribes associated herons with good luck. Fishermen believed the sighting of a heron would bring a successful fishing trip. The bird was also associated with wisdom, determination, and curiosity. 

3: Nightingale

Native America The bird does not appear much in Native American culture. However, where it does, it is depicted as having a sly character. Certain subcultures considered the nightingale as a trickster. 

4: Cardinal Bird:

Native America among Native Americans, the cardinal has strong ties to other realms and, as such, acts as a messenger from the ancestors. The southeastern tribesmen associated cardinals with the sun as well as with good fortune. 

6: Wood Pecker

Native North America Native North Americans recognized the woodpecker’s home-making traits and thus associated the bird with protection. Additionally, the bird’s beak drumming was taken to symbolize the beginning of ceremonies, processions, and in some cases, war. Read more:  

Which Bird Is A Symbol Of Good Luck And New Life? 

A swallow is a common bird that is often seen as a symbol of good luck and new life. This is because swallows are migratory birds, often seen returning to their nesting grounds in the springtime to mate and give birth to a new generation of birds. This is seen as a sign of hope, renewal, and the promise of a new start. Bird symbolism is undoubtedly a fascinating aspect of various cultures and religions. Bird symbolism often represents freedom, creativity, and a fresh start. Birds are messengers of hope and a reminder that the sky is the limit. 

What Bird Has A Partner For Life? 

Many birds form monogamous relationships and stay with their partner for life, including swans, geese, bald eagles, and penguins. These birds are known for their strong pair bonds and they usually mate for life; even if one of the birds dies, the other will often search for a new mate. 

What Do Birds Symbolize In Culture? 

In many cultures, birds have been associated with the divine, representing a connection between the heavens and the earth. They are often seen as messengers between humans and the gods and may have spiritual significance. In Chinese culture, the crane symbolizes longevity and luck; in Native American cultures, birds are seen as spiritual messengers. 


The Native American bird names are truly inspiring. These names prove the Native American people’s affiliation and religious believes towards birds. To some tribes, certain birds represent bad news. And an example is the owl. Whenever an owl appears, the Navajos believe something terrible is about to take place. 

However, the eagle isn’t viewed this way. Instead, it is treated with respect and honor. The Native Americans respect the eagles for its strength, courage, tenacity, and vision. They also believe eagles have seen the gods, thanks to their ability to fly so high. 

Francis Stein
Francis Stein
Francis Stein is a writer and traveler who has already traveled most of the states of America. He loves to explore new places and meet new people, and he hopes to continue traveling the world in search of adventure. Francis enjoys writing about his experiences as a way of sharing his love for exploration with others.


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