Into The Air

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What Do You Call Baby Birds?

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We all love baby birds.

Those squeaky, cute little creatures are so helpless and adorable that you can’t help but stare and smile when you come across them. But when you rush to tell your family what you saw, what do you say? I saw three cute baby birds today? I saw a nest full of chicks today?

Most people know that a baby cow is called a calf and a baby cat is called a kitten, but what do we call baby birds.

Let’s find out.

General Terms

Chick: We’ll kick things off with probably the most frequently used term for a baby bird. A chick is used to mean any type of bird that’s still relatively young.

Hatchling: These next three terms have to do with baby birds at different ages. A hatchling is a bird that’s no more than a few days. They’re typically naked with closed eyes (though certain species are born with feathers).

Nestling: After a few days, a hatchling becomes a nestling. A nestling is usually covered in down (fine feathers that almost look like fur). It’s completely dependent on its parents for food and does not leave the nest.

Fledgling: When the baby bird is ready to leave the nest, it becomes a fledgling. This is what you occasionally find on the ground near a nest, hopping around awkwardly. A fledgling has developed most of its flight feathers, but it’s still learning to fly. Its parents will usually take care of it still.

After these three, the next four stages are juvenile, immature, subadult, and adult. However, these are not usually considered baby birds.

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Species Specific Terms

The above terms are applicable to any bird species, but once you start talking about certain species, things get a little more specific. (Species that aren’t listed are usually just called chicks)

Dove: squab, squeaker

Duck: duckling

Eagle: eaglet

Falcon: eyas

Goose: gosling

Grouse: poult, squealer, cheeper

Guineafowl: keet

Hawk: eyas

Owl: owlet, fledgling

Peacock: peachick

Puffin: puffling

Swan: cygnet, flapper

Turkey: poult, jake (young make turkey), jenny (young female turkey)

Let us know if we missed any.

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16 Comments

  1. Leah

    Great little story, thanks! I noticed something in the 2nd paragraph that I don’t think you intended however. I think you meant to write that a “baby cat is a kitten” and not “a baby cat is a chicken”. If however, baby cats are called chickens where you come from, well then that’s just fine, (if a bit confusing.)

  2. ma

    jake is a make turkey or a male turkey?

  3. Amadi-mina justina

    Thanks for the exolanationas on birds the little mistakes have bn taken care of

    • Random Person

      No, all of them haven’t. The ‘make turkey’ mistake is still there.

  4. Jyoti Sabharwal

    Very informative thanks for sharing

  5. Galen

    Full grown turkey is called dinner

  6. Adult turkey is called dinner

  7. Nixon luseno

    a good piece though some mistakes have been noticed. birds do not give birth.their young ones just hatch.refer to your explanation on hatchlings

  8. Lucy Aketch

    Thanks but i didnt c for a crow,hero etc

  9. Infant

    for crow?

  10. LOURDEZ FONTANILLA

    Thank you very much for the education on baby birds. Very informative and interesting.

  11. Elizabeth Scott

    For homework my grandson was asked to name a baby bird that ends with ip. Or name what a baby bird is called that ends with ip. I have searched, and searched and can’t find anything. I am questioning the validity of the question (I am thinking there is a typo somewhere) but in case the question stands does anyone know the answer?

  12. children do not forget what they have learn or seen espessially the pictures of certain animal e.g nestling

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