List of historical and fictional birds

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This is a list of famous birds, real and fictional.



  • The African grey parrot Alex, who, in studies by Dr. Irene Pepperberg, demonstrated an ability to count; differentiate categories involving objects, colors, shapes, and materials; and understand the concept of same and different.
  • Booming Ben, a solitary heath hen who was last seen on his traditional lekking ground between West Tisbury and today's Martha's Vineyard Airport on March 11, 1932.
  • Bubi, a Eurasian eagle-owl that lives near the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. His appearance at soccer games is considered a good omen for the Finland national football team, which has taken the nickname of "Huuhkajat," the Finnish word for the species. Bubi was named Helsinki's "Resident of the Year" in 2007.
  • Challenger - the first bald eagle in history trained to free fly into major sporting events during the National Anthem.[1]
  • Cher Ami, British-bred homing pigeon who, in the autumn of 1918, delivered 12 messages for the U.S. Army during World War I, among other things helping to save the Lost Battalion.
  • Commando, DM,[2] was a pigeon that carried out more than ninety missions carrying crucial intelligence during World War II for the British armed forces.
  • Gertie, a mallard duck who nested on some pilings under a bridge in Milwaukee in 1945.[3][4] She (and her brood) are immortalized in RiverSculpture!
  • G.I. Joe, DM,[2] was a member of the United States Army Pigeon Service. On 18 October 1943, the village of Calvi Vecchia, Italy was scheduled to be bombed by the Allies. He carried the message that British forces had captured the village, thus averting the attack and saving the lives of over a thousand people, both the local Italians and the British occupying troops.
  • Greater the greater flamingo, the oldest flamingo on record, who died in 2014 at the Adelaide Zoo, aged at least 83.
  • Incas, the last Carolina parakeet, who died in 1918 at the Cincinnati Zoo, reportedly of grief after his mate Lady Jane died a few months before him, in 1917
  • La Lechuza, a barn owl who lived in the Estadio Metropolitano de Barranquilla, was kicked by a football player and died from subsequent stress, believed to foresee the home team's victory when it flew over the field.
  • Martha, the last of the American passenger pigeons, who died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. Species Requiem Day, September 1, marks Martha's passing.
  • Mike, the Wyandotte rooster of Fruita, Colorado who lived for 18 months after his head was cut off. The botched decapitation in 1945 missed his brain stem and jugular vein. His owners fed him thereafter with an eyedropper, and took him on tours of the West Coast. He died in 1947.
  • Nils Olav, a king penguin, mascot and colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian King's Guard.[5]
  • Pale Male a red-tailed hawk living near Central Park in New York City.[6]
  • Mr Percival an Australian pelican and notable film actor.
  • Sara and Sota, a pair of ospreys who built their nest next to, and in plain view of, the local Sarasota, Florida, ABC 7 television station's "Tower Cam" weather camera and have become viewer favorites, with live shots of them in their nest appearing on the news nightly.
  • Sirocco, a hand-reared kakapo, an ambassador for his species and conservation in New Zealand.


Owned by famous people[edit]

  • Mrs. Ballard's parrots, whose owner, Alba Ballard, dressed them up in costumes and had them photographed in miniature scenes she made. Sherlock Holmes, General Patton, and Sonny and Cher were just a few of the people portrayed. They appeared on several American late-night television shows in the 1970s and 1980s, and Mrs. Ballard, along with one of her birds, appeared briefly in the Woody Allen film "Broadway Danny Rose."
  • The parrot who sailed with Thor Heyerdahl on the raft Kon-Tiki.
  • Ulysses, Gerald Durrell's pet owl when he was growing up in Corfu. Ulysses appeared frequently in Durrell's books about living on the Greek island.
  • Ava, Amy Winehouse's pet bird, whose death inspired the song "October Song" from the album "Frank" (2003). Its name is a reference to the classic Hollywood actress Ava Gardner.

Extinct species[edit]





  • Huginn and Muninn, the Norse god Odin's pair of ravens. Huginn ("thought") and Muninn ("memory") travel the world, and bring the information they have gathered back to Odin.
  • Athena's owl.[8]


Fictional individuals[edit]

Fictional species[edit]

  • Firebird, a bird with glowing feathers. (Russia)
  • Jayhawk, symbol of the University of Kansas including mascots Big Jay and Baby Jay
  • Oozlum, a bird that flies around in ever-decreasing circles. (England, Australia)
  • Phoenix, a bird that self-combusts and is reborn from the ashes. (Egypt)
  • Roc, a gigantic bird that feeds elephants to its young. (India)
  • Simurgh, an intelligent and benevolent bird of monstrous size. (Persia)
  • Thunderbird, an intelligent, but dangerous giant bird that creates storms. (North America)

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Moore, Roger (November 3, 2007). "How much can one football fanbase take?". Stillwater News Press. Archived from the original on November 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  2. ^ a b Awarded the Dicken Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
  3. ^ Gertie the Milwaukee Duck
  4. ^ Gertie the Duck: Symbol of Hope
  5. ^ "Norwegian Knight". Scandinavian Press. 15 (4). Fall 2008. p. 9. 
  6. ^ Pale Male - the Central Park Red Tail Hawk
  7. ^ But see here.
  8. ^ In the film Clash of the Titans, the bird is named "Bubo," but this is anachronistic as that is merely Latin for "owl." (See here.)