26 Birds That Start With I




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Amidst the boundless blues above, a particular set of avians intrigues with their unique identities and idiosyncrasies. Those beginning with the illustrious letter ‘I’ introduce us to tales interwoven with imagination and insight. Join us as we investigate these intriguing icons, illuminating the wonders they instill in our infinite skies.

List of Birds Starting With I

Here’s a list of birds found in the U.S. that start with the letter I:

  1. Iceland Gull
  2. Inca Dove
  3. Indigo Bunting
  4. Ivory Gull
  5. Ivory-billed Woodpecker (historically found in the U.S., but now considered possibly extinct or very rare)

Iceland Gull

The Iceland Gull is a beautiful bird that can be found in the northern parts of the world, particularly in Iceland, Greenland, and parts of North America. It is a medium-sized gull with a white body and wings, and it has gray-speckled feathers on its back and wings. The Iceland Gull has a yellow bill with a red spot on the lower part and pink legs. Its eyes are dark, giving it a striking appearance.

This gull species prefers to inhabit coastal areas, including rocky shores, sandy beaches, and harbors. During breeding season, you can find them nesting in cliffs and on remote islands. However, during the winter months, they migrate to more southern areas where they can find open water and food sources.

One unique characteristic of the Iceland Gull is its ability to survive in extreme cold temperatures. They are well-adapted to the harsh Arctic environment, where they can endure freezing conditions and find food sources despite the icy surroundings. They are opportunistic feeders and will consume a variety of food, including fish, insects, crustaceans, and even carrion.

The Iceland Gull is currently listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. However, due to climate change and habitat degradation, their populations may face future challenges. It is important to continue monitoring and conserving their coastal habitats to ensure their survival.

Imperial Woodpecker

The Imperial Woodpecker was once considered the largest woodpecker species in the world, measuring up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) in length. It had a distinctive appearance with black and white plumage, a white crest on its head, and a red crown. Unfortunately, this majestic bird is now believed to be extinct, with the last confirmed sighting in the 1950s.

Historically, the Imperial Woodpecker was found in the pine forests of Mexico, particularly in the Sierra Madre Occidental range. It preferred areas with dense tree cover and large, old trees, as it relied on these for nesting and foraging. The unique characteristics of the Imperial Woodpecker included its ability to create large, square-shaped holes in trees while searching for insects. It had a powerful beak and tongue, allowing it to access its preferred food sources effectively.

The main reason for the decline and possible extinction of the Imperial Woodpecker is habitat loss and fragmentation. The destruction of old-growth forests and the conversion of land for agricultural purposes have drastically reduced their preferred habitat. Despite extensive search efforts, there have been no reliable sightings or evidence of the species’ existence in several decades. Sadly, it serves as a stark reminder of the importance of conservation to prevent the loss of other unique and iconic bird species.


The Ibisbill is a peculiar wading bird that can be found along the stony riverbanks of Central Asia. It has a distinctive appearance with a long, down-curved bill, a white body, and a dark back. Its head is adorned with a black crown, and it has black and white wings. The Ibisbill’s legs are long and pale pink, allowing it to navigate the rocky terrain and shallow waters with ease.

The Ibisbill is primarily found near fast-flowing rivers and streams, particularly in the Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, and parts of China and Mongolia. It prefers habitats with gravelly or pebbly riverbeds where it can find its primary food source, small invertebrates such as insects and crustaceans. During the breeding season, the Ibisbill constructs its nest on the ground, typically near the water’s edge. Its unique characteristic is its billing behavior, where it probes the riverbed with its long bill to uncover prey.

Despite its unique characteristics, the Ibisbill faces conservation challenges due to habitat degradation and disturbance. Water pollution, dam construction, and overfishing in their habitats can disrupt their food sources and nesting areas. Additionally, human activities such as recreational use of the riverside and livestock grazing can further impact their breeding success. Currently, the Ibisbill is considered near-threatened on the IUCN Red List, emphasizing the need for conservation efforts to protect their fragile habitats.

Indigo Bunting

The Indigo Bunting is a vibrant and striking bird found in North America. The male Indigo Bunting boasts a brilliant blue plumage, while the female has a more subdued brown color. They have a small, conical bill, black legs, and dark eyes. The Indigo Bunting is known for its sweet and melodious song, which it uses to communicate and attract mates.

The Indigo Bunting can be found in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, brushy areas, and grasslands. They prefer areas with dense shrubbery and thickets where they can find protection and nesting sites. During migration, they will travel long distances, often crossing the Gulf of Mexico, and can be spotted in different parts of Central and South America.

One unique characteristic of the Indigo Bunting is its ability to navigate using the stars during migration. Research has shown that they can determine their direction of flight by sensing the Earth’s magnetic field and using the stars as a reference point. This remarkable adaptability helps them successfully complete their long and arduous journeys.

The Indigo Bunting is currently not considered at risk and is not classified as a threatened species. However, it is essential to protect its habitats from deforestation, habitat loss, and pesticide use to ensure its continued population stability and conservation.

Ivory Gull

The Ivory Gull is a stunning Arctic bird that stands out with its pure white plumage and black eyes. It is a medium-sized gull, slightly smaller than other gull species, with a delicate appearance. The Ivory Gull’s bill is black, and its legs are blue-gray. During the breeding season, it acquires a faint pink or yellow hue on its breast.

This gull species has a circumpolar distribution, meaning it can be found in the Arctic regions of North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia. Unlike other gulls that primarily utilize coastal habitats, the Ivory Gull spends much of its time on pack ice and is well-adapted to the harsh polar environments. It feeds mainly on fish and marine invertebrates, but will also scavenge for carrion and hunt for small mammals.

The Ivory Gull is facing conservation concerns due to climate change and its reliance on sea ice for foraging and breeding. With the shrinking of polar ice caps and the reduction of pack ice, their habitat availability and food sources are threatened. Due to their specialized ecological niche, any disturbances in the Arctic ecosystem can have severe consequences for this unique bird species. Currently, the Ivory Gull is classified as a vulnerable species, underscoring the urgent need for conservation efforts to mitigate its decline.

Inca Dove

The Inca Dove is a small and charming bird native to the southwestern part of the United States, Mexico, and Central America. It has a subtle appearance with pale gray feathers, intricate scaling on the wings, and a distinct crescent-shaped mark on the back of its head. The Inca Dove’s bill is short and slender, and its legs are a pale pinkish color.

This dove species prefers a variety of habitats, including semi-arid regions, open woodlands, agricultural areas, and even urban environments. They can often be seen in small flocks foraging on the ground for seeds and grains. The Inca Dove is known for its soft, melodious cooing sound, which adds a tranquil touch to its surroundings.

One unique characteristic of the Inca Dove is its reproductive strategy. They are known to breed year-round, and their nests are often hidden in dense shrubs or trees for protection. The male will present nest materials to the female, who then constructs the nest. Together, they share the responsibility of incubating the eggs and raising the hatchlings.

The Inca Dove is not considered at risk and has stable populations in its native range. However, habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanization and agriculture expansion can impact their foraging and nesting habitats. It is important to implement conservation measures to protect their natural habitats and ensure the continued well-being of these delightful doves.

Indian Peafowl

The Indian Peafowl, also known as the Peacock, is a majestic bird and a symbol of beauty and grace. The male Indian Peafowl is famous for its extravagant plumage, consisting of iridescent blue and green feathers, a long, sweeping train with intricate patterns, and vibrant eye spots. The female, known as the Peahen, has more subdued brown plumage and lacks the train.

The Indian Peafowl is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America and Europe. It prefers a variety of habitats, ranging from dense forests to open grasslands, where it can find both food sources and roosting sites. The Indian Peafowl is omnivorous, feeding on grains, fruits, insects, and small reptiles and mammals.

One unique characteristic of the Indian Peafowl is its ability to display its elaborate train during courtship rituals. The male will fan out his train, vibrating the feathers and creating a mesmerizing visual and auditory display to attract a mate. This vibrant courtship behavior is a testament to the evolutionary significance of sexual selection in shaping the extravagant features of this species.

The Indian Peafowl is not considered at risk and can often be seen in parks, gardens, and wildlife reserves. However, with increasing human activities and habitat destruction, the Indian Peafowl’s populations may face future challenges. It is crucial to preserve their natural habitats and protect them from hunting and trapping to ensure their continued existence in the wild.

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker, also known as the Lord God Bird, is a captivating bird that was once found in the southeastern United States and Cuba. It was one of the largest woodpecker species in the world, measuring up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) in length. The Ivory-billed Woodpecker had a distinctive appearance, with black and white plumage, a large ivory-colored bill, and a vivid red crest on the male’s head.

This woodpecker species inhabited bottomland and swamp forests, particularly those dominated by mature hardwood trees. Their unique characteristics included their ability to create large, rectangular holes in tree trunks as they searched for insects and larvae. They also had a loud and distinct call, often described as a double-knock or a series of nasal calls.

Tragically, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is believed to be extinct or on the brink of extinction, with no definitive sightings since the early 20th century. The main causes for its decline were the extensive logging of its original habitat and the conversion of the forests into agricultural land. Despite occasional reports of sightings or possible evidence, no conclusive proof of its survival has been obtained.

Efforts to search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker have been ongoing, but as of now, its conservation status remains uncertain. It serves as a powerful reminder of the consequences of habitat destruction and the importance of conservation to protect and preserve our most remarkable and rare bird species.

Indigo Bird

The Indigo Bird, also known as the Indigo Bunting, is a small and captivating songbird that is native to North America. The male Indigo Bird has a striking appearance with vibrant blue plumage and a contrasting black bill and legs. The female, on the other hand, has more subdued brown feathers, allowing her to blend in with her surroundings.

The Indigo Bird’s preferred habitats include open woodlands, thickets, and brushy areas where they can find ample food sources and nesting sites. They feed primarily on seeds and insects, using their sharp bill to extract small invertebrates from flowers and leaves. The Indigo Bird is known for its melodious song, which consists of a series of high-pitched, buzzing notes.

One unique characteristic of the Indigo Bird is its ability to undertake long-distance migrations. During the winter months, they will travel from their breeding grounds in North America to Central and South America, crossing vast distances and facing numerous challenges along the way. The Indigo Bird’s successful migration relies on their navigation skills and their ability to find suitable stopover habitats.

The Indigo Bird’s populations are currently stable, and they are not considered at risk of extinction. However, habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change can all have detrimental effects on their preferred habitats and food sources. Conservation efforts should focus on protecting their breeding sites and ensuring the availability of suitable stopover sites during migration.

Indonesian Honeyeater

The Indonesian Honeyeater is a unique and captivating bird found in the tropical rainforests of Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia. It has a small and compact body with a slender bill, allowing it to glean nectar and insects from flowers and foliage. The Indonesian Honeyeater has a greenish plumage with yellow and black markings on its wings and tail, blending in perfectly with the vibrant rainforest environment.

This honeyeater species prefers lowland rainforests and mangrove swamps, where it can find a diverse array of flowering plants and insect populations. It feeds extensively on nectar from various floral sources, making it an important pollinator in its ecosystem. The Indonesian Honeyeater also consumes small arthropods and fruits to supplement its diet.

One unique characteristic of the Indonesian Honeyeater is its adaptability to varying habitats. It can thrive in both pristine rainforests and disturbed areas, displaying a certain level of resilience to habitat degradation. However, like many other tropical bird species, the Indonesian Honeyeater faces challenges due to deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, and habitat fragmentation.

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