Birds That Start With J




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Among the endless avian wonders that dance upon the breezes, there’s a jubilant group whose names joyfully jump with the letter ‘J’. These journeymen of the jetstream offer a juxtaposition of colors, calls, and charisma. Journey with us as we jaunt through the world of these jesting and joyous birds, unveiling the jewels they add to our vibrant avian tapestry.

List of Birds That Start with J

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

  1. Juniper Titmouse
  2. Jaeger (There are three species of jaegers that can be found in the U.S., mainly as migrants or winter visitors, namely: Long-tailed Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, and Pomarine Jaeger)
  3. Japanese White-eye (Introduced to Hawaii)
  4. Java Sparrow (Introduced to Hawaii)
  5. Jungle Nightjar (Rare, spotted occasionally in the western Aleutian Islands)

Jamaican Crow

The Jamaican Crow (Corvus jamaicensis) is a striking bird with a distinctive appearance. It has a sleek black plumage that glistens in sunlight, giving it a glossy sheen. You will notice that it has a sturdy build, with a strong beak and sharp claws. Its wingspan can reach up to 3 feet, making it an impressive sight to behold. Overall, the Jamaican Crow has an elegant and intimidating presence.

Habitat and Range

The Jamaican Crow is endemic to the island of Jamaica, and it can be found throughout the island in a variety of habitats. It is most commonly found in forests, woodlands, and agricultural areas. This adaptable bird is known for its ability to thrive in both natural and human-altered landscapes.


Physical Characteristics

The Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) is a majestic bird with a unique appearance. It is one of the largest flying birds found in the Americas, standing at an impressive height of up to 5 feet tall. The Jabiru has a white plumage with black wingtips, and its long legs and neck provide a striking silhouette. Its broad wings enable it to soar gracefully through the sky, making it a sight to behold.

Habitat and Distribution

The Jabiru is mainly found in wetland habitats such as marshes, swamps, and flooded grasslands. It is widely distributed across the Americas, ranging from Mexico to Argentina. This magnificent bird is known for its ability to adapt to various water-rich environments, and its presence adds to the beauty of these habitats.

Jamaican Owl

Size and Plumage

The Jamaican Owl (Pseudoscops grammicus) is a small to medium-sized owl that measures approximately 12-14 inches in length. It has a distinctive facial disc that helps it focus sound and locate prey with precision. Its plumage consists of various shades of brown and gray, allowing it to blend seamlessly into its surroundings. The Jamaican Owl is known for its captivating yellow eyes, which add to its mystique.

Habitat and Geographical Distribution

The Jamaican Owl is endemic to the island of Jamaica, where it can be found in a variety of habitats. It is primarily found in forests, woodlands, and thickets. This owl prefers areas with dense vegetation and ample prey, as it relies on its keen hearing and hunting skills to survive. Its distribution is limited to the island of Jamaica, making it a unique and important species.

James’s Flamingo

Coloration and Features

James’s Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi) is a visually stunning bird with a vibrant coloration. Its plumage varies from pale pink to deep coral, with contrasting black flight feathers on its wings. One distinguishing feature of James’s Flamingo is its long, graceful neck, which allows it to feed in shallow waters effortlessly. Additionally, it has a slender body and a unique downward-curving beak that aids in filter-feeding.

Habitat and Geographical Range

James’s Flamingo is native to the high Andean plateaus of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. It predominantly inhabits salt flats, saline lakes, and lagoons located at high altitudes. These specialized habitats provide the ideal conditions for the growth of the algae and other invertebrates that serve as the flamingo’s main food source. James’s Flamingo is perfectly adapted to its unique environment, making it an integral part of the Andean ecosystem.

Jamaican Woodpecker

Physical Characteristics

The Jamaican Woodpecker (Melanerpes radiolatus) is a small to medium-sized woodpecker with a striking appearance. It has a black head, back, and wings, with a white belly and distinctive red crown on the nape of its neck. The male and female Jamaican Woodpeckers look similar, although the male may have a slightly larger red crown. Like other woodpeckers, it has a strong bill and sharp claws that allow it to cling to tree trunks and excavate for insects.

Habitat and Distribution

The Jamaican Woodpecker is found exclusively in Jamaica, where it occupies a variety of habitats such as forests, woodlands, and coffee plantations. It is particularly adept at foraging in dead or decaying trees, where it can find an abundance of insects. This woodpecker species is well-adapted to the Jamaican environment and can be spotted throughout the island.

Jackson’s Hornbill

Appearance and Size

Jackson’s Hornbill (Tockus jacksoni) is a charismatic bird with a striking appearance. It has a large and curved bill, which is yellow in color. The male’s bill is further adorned with a prominent casque on the upper mandible, giving it a unique and impressive look. The overall coloration of this hornbill is a combination of black and white, with a black body and wings, contrasted by a white belly and tail. Jackson’s Hornbill is medium-sized, measuring around 20 inches in length.

Habitat and Range

Jackson’s Hornbill is found in the woodlands and savannas of East Africa, specifically in Kenya and Tanzania. It thrives in open habitats with scattered trees and prefers areas near water sources. This species is known for its adaptability to both natural and human-altered landscapes, making it a resilient bird that can be spotted across its range.

Javan Hawk-eagle

Physical Features

The Javan Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi) is a majestic raptor with impressive physical features. It is a large bird of prey, measuring approximately 20-24 inches in length. The Javan Hawk-eagle has a dark brown to black plumage, with a distinctive crest of feathers on its head. Its powerful hooked beak and sharp talons are well-suited for capturing and immobilizing prey. Overall, the Javan Hawk-eagle exudes power and grace in its appearance.

Habitat and Geographical Distribution

The Javan Hawk-eagle is endemic to the island of Java in Indonesia. It primarily inhabits forests and wooded areas, often found at higher elevations. Unfortunately, the Javan Hawk-eagle is considered endangered due to habitat loss and degradation. Efforts are being made to protect and conserve this majestic bird, as its survival is crucial for maintaining the biodiversity of the Javan ecosystem.

Jambu Fruit Dove

Appearance and Coloration

The Jambu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus jambu) is a beautiful bird with a vibrant coloration. It has a compact and plump body, with a relatively small size compared to other doves. The male and female Jambu Fruit Doves have distinct color variations. The male bird flaunts a stunning combination of pinkish-red plumage on its head, neck, and underparts, while its upperparts are olive-green. The female, on the other hand, has a predominantly green plumage with a pale pinkish head and neck. Both sexes have a bright red beak, adding to their overall allure.

Habitat and Range

The Jambu Fruit Dove is found in Southeast Asia, specifically in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. It primarily inhabits lowland rainforests and montane forests. Being a fruit-eater, this dove prefers areas with abundant fruit-bearing trees and dense vegetation. It is known for its habit of perching in the middle or upper canopy of trees, making it a challenge to spot in the wild.

Jacobin Cuckoo

Physical Characteristics

The Jacobin Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is a unique bird known for its peculiar appearance. It has a long and slender body, measuring approximately 15-16 inches in length. The plumage of the Jacobin Cuckoo is predominantly gray, with white underparts and a black head. It also features a prominent crest, which adds to its distinctive silhouette. This cuckoo species has a sharp, slightly downward-curved beak that enables it to capture a variety of insects, caterpillars, and small reptiles.

Habitat and Geographical Range

The Jacobin Cuckoo is widely distributed across Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and parts of Southeast Asia. It can be found in various habitats such as forests, woodlands, and open country. This species avoids dense forests and prefers more open habitats with ample prey availability. The Jacobin Cuckoo’s range is extensive, showcasing its adaptability to diverse environments.

Japanese Bush Warbler

Size and Plumage

The Japanese Bush Warbler (Horornis diphone) is a small bird with a modest appearance. It measures around 5-6 inches in length and has a slender body. The plumage of the Japanese Bush Warbler is primarily olive-green, allowing it to blend effortlessly into its surroundings. It also has a relatively long tail, which is often held upright as it moves through the lower understory of its habitat.

Habitat and Geographical Range

The Japanese Bush Warbler is native to Japan and is found throughout the country. It inhabits various habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. This warbler species prefers areas with thick undergrowth and dense vegetation, where it can forage for insects and small invertebrates. Its range is limited to Japan, making it a cherished bird among the country’s avian enthusiasts.

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