Birds That Start With K

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Perched high above in the treetops and soaring across the cerulean sky, there exists a kingdom of birds kissed by the captivating letter ‘K’. These kaleidoscopic kings, with their kaledic colors and keen senses, kindle our curiosity and keep us keenly gazing upwards.

Come kite with us on this kinetic journey as we uncover the knowns and unknowns of these ‘K’-crowned avians.

List of Birds Starting with K

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

  1. Killdeer
  2. King Eider
  3. King Rail
  4. Kingbird (There are several species, including Eastern Kingbird and Western Kingbird)
  5. Kingfisher (The Belted Kingfisher is common in the U.S., but other species like the Green Kingfisher and Ringed Kingfisher are found in southern parts)
  6. Kinglet (There are two primary species in the U.S.: the Ruby-crowned Kinglet and the Golden-crowned Kinglet)
  7. Kirtland’s Warbler
  8. Kittiwake (Two species: Black-legged Kittiwake and Red-legged Kittiwake)
  9. Kōlea (Pacific Golden-Plover, especially noted in Hawaii where it’s known by this name)
  10. Kentucky Warbler
  11. Kaua’i ‘Elepaio (a species of monarch flycatcher found in Hawaii)

1. Killdeer The Killdeer is a distinctive plover recognized for its double breast bands and notable call that sounds like “kill-deer.”

  • Appearance: Killdeers have a brown back and white belly, with two black bands across their chest. They possess a long, pointed tail with an orange rump that is visible during flight.
  • Diet: They primarily eat insects and other small invertebrates.
  • Reproduction: Killdeers prefer to nest on open ground, often on gravel. The female lays a clutch of about 4 to 5 eggs.

2. King Eider The King Eider is a large sea duck renowned for its striking appearance.

  • Appearance: Adult male King Eiders have a mostly black body, a pale blue head, and an orange bill. Females are brown with a slight patterning.
  • Diet: They predominantly feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and other marine invertebrates.
  • Reproduction: The nests are built on tundra, close to the sea, and are lined with down. The female lays around 4 to 5 eggs.

3. King Rail King Rail is the largest of North American rails and is notable for its secretive nature.

  • Appearance: They have a reddish-brown body with barred flanks and a long, slightly curved bill.
  • Diet: King Rails feed on small fish, crustaceans, and insects.
  • Reproduction: They nest in wet meadows or marshes. Females lay about 6 to 14 eggs.

4. Kingbird Kingbirds are tyrant flycatchers and are aggressive defenders of their territory.

  • Appearance: Eastern Kingbirds have a gray body with a white underbelly and a black tail with a white tip. Western Kingbirds are gray above and yellow below with a black tail.
  • Diet: They predominantly feed on insects, capturing them in flight.
  • Reproduction: The female usually lays around 3 to 5 eggs in an open cup nest in a tree or shrub.

5. Kingfisher Kingfishers are known for their striking colors and their fishing ability.

  • Appearance: The Belted Kingfisher, common in the U.S., has a blue-gray body with a white collar and a white underbelly. Males have a single blue band across the chest, while females have an additional chestnut band.
  • Diet: They mainly feed on fish, diving headfirst into water to catch their prey.
  • Reproduction: They nest in burrows dug into earthen banks, typically along water bodies. The female lays 5 to 8 eggs.

6. Kinglet Kinglets are small songbirds known for their active movements.

  • Appearance: The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is olive-green with a hidden red crown. The Golden-crowned Kinglet has a black and yellow striped head with a fiery yellow-orange center.
  • Diet: They primarily eat insects and spiders.
  • Reproduction: Their nests are cup-shaped, usually placed on tree branches. They lay around 5 to 11 eggs.

7. Kirtland’s Warbler Kirtland’s Warbler is a rare songbird with specific habitat requirements.

  • Appearance: Males are blue-gray with a yellow belly and dark streaks on the sides. Females are similar but duller.
  • Diet: They predominantly feed on insects.
  • Reproduction: These warblers nest on the ground in young jack pine forests. The female typically lays 4 to 5 eggs.

8. Kittiwake Kittiwakes are gulls typically found in colder northern areas.

  • Appearance: Black-legged Kittiwakes have a white body, gray back, and black wingtips. Red-legged Kittiwakes are similar but have deep red legs.
  • Diet: They mainly eat fish and marine invertebrates.
  • Reproduction: They nest on cliff ledges, and the female lays 1 to 3 eggs.

9. Kōlea (Pacific Golden-Plover) The Kōlea is especially celebrated in Hawaii.

  • Appearance: They have a golden-yellow and black pattern on their backs and white underparts. Breeding adults have a black face, throat, and chest.
  • Diet: Their diet includes insects, crustaceans, and berries.
  • Reproduction: They breed in the Arctic tundra and lay around 4 eggs in ground nests.

10. Kentucky Warbler This songbird is known for its bright olive-green upperparts and yellow underparts.

  • Appearance: Kentucky Warblers have a black crown, a black face, and a bright yellow throat.
  • Diet: They primarily eat insects.
  • Reproduction: They nest on the ground in dense woods, laying around 3 to 6 eggs.

11. Kaua’i ‘Elepaio This monarch flycatcher is native to Hawaii.

  • Appearance: It has a varied pattern of white, black, and brown, depending on the subspecies and individual.
  • Diet: ‘Elepaio feed mainly on insects.
  • Reproduction: They build cup-shaped nests in trees, and the female typically lays 2 to 3 eggs.
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