What Is A Female Bird Called? A Detailed Look At Female Bird Terminology

Birds are one of the most familiar and beloved animals that share our world. We see them outside our windows, hear their songs, and enjoy watching them take flight. Birds come in a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, colors, and behaviors that never cease to delight us.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: female birds are most commonly referred to as hens. However, there are many specific terms used to describe female birds of different species.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the terminology used to describe female birds. We’ll look at the general terms used, as well as specific vocabulary pertaining to female birds of different species. From chickens to ducks, finches to falcons, we’ll cover it all.

Read on to learn more about what female birds are called!

General Terminology for Female Birds

When it comes to identifying female birds, there are a few commonly used terms that are used to describe them. These terms vary depending on the species and can sometimes be confusing. Let’s take a closer look at two of the most commonly used terms: hen and female.


The term “hen” is often used to refer to female domestic birds, such as chickens or turkeys. It is a widely recognized term and is commonly used in the context of poultry farming. Hens are known for their ability to lay eggs, and they play a vital role in the production of eggs and meat that we consume on a daily basis.

While the term “hen” is primarily used for domestic birds, it can also be used to refer to female birds of other species. For example, female pheasants are often referred to as hens. However, it’s important to note that not all species use the term “hen” to describe their female counterparts.


The term “female” is a more general term used to describe the gender of a bird. It is not specific to a particular species and can be used to refer to female birds across different types of avian species.

The term “female” is often used in scientific contexts or when discussing birds in a more general sense.

Unlike the term “hen,” which is often associated with domestic birds, the term “female” can be used to describe female birds in both domestic and wild settings. It’s a broader term that encompasses all female birds, regardless of their species or habitat.

It’s worth noting that while the terms “hen” and “female” are widely used, there may be variations in terminology depending on the specific species or region. It’s always a good idea to consult reliable sources or field guides for accurate information on the specific terminology used for female birds.

To learn more about bird terminology and identification, you can visit websites like All About Birds or Audubon. These websites provide comprehensive information on bird species, their characteristics, and their proper identification.

Specific Terminology for Female Birds by Species


When it comes to chickens, the term used for a female bird is “hen.” Hens are known for their ability to lay eggs and are an essential part of the poultry industry. They are also known for their nurturing instincts and can often be seen caring for their chicks.


Female ducks are called “hens” just like chickens. Hens are known for their distinctive quack and are often found swimming gracefully in ponds and lakes. They are excellent mothers and will lead their ducklings to safety, teaching them how to find food and avoid predators.


When it comes to geese, the term used for a female bird is “goose.” Female geese are known for their strong bond with their mate and their ability to fiercely protect their nests. They are also excellent navigators and can migrate long distances with their young.

Pigeons and Doves

Female pigeons and doves are called “hens.” These birds are known for their gentle cooing sounds and their ability to navigate long distances. Pigeons have been used for centuries as messengers, delivering important messages during times of war.


Female finches are referred to as “hens.” These small and colorful birds are known for their cheerful songs and beautiful plumage. They are popular pets and are often bred for their vibrant colors and unique patterns.


Female parrots are also known as “hens.” These highly intelligent birds are famous for their ability to mimic human speech and their vibrant feathers. Parrots are social creatures and form strong bonds with their owners.

Eagles, Hawks, Falcons

Female eagles, hawks, and falcons are known as “hens” or “female raptors.” These birds of prey are known for their incredible hunting skills and powerful talons. They are at the top of the avian food chain and play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems.


Female owls are called “owls” or “owlets.” These nocturnal birds are known for their silent flight and exceptional hunting abilities. Owls are often associated with wisdom and are a popular symbol in many cultures.


Female penguins are known as “hens” or “female penguins.” They are known for their strong maternal instincts and their ability to withstand harsh Antarctic conditions. Female penguins take turns incubating their eggs and caring for their young while the male penguins go out to hunt for food.

It’s important to note that while these are the commonly used terms for female birds, some bird species may have different terminology. If you’re interested in learning more about specific bird species and their terminology, you can visit https://www.allaboutbirds.org/ for more information.


As we have seen, there is diverse and specific terminology used to describe female birds across different species. While ‘hen’ is the most common generic term, each type of bird has its own vocabulary when referring to females.

Being familiar with the proper labels for female birds helps us talk and learn about them accurately. It also reflects an appreciation for the distinctions between the many amazing species that exist.

So next time you see a female Mallard duck, Rock Pigeon, or Broad-tailed Hummingbird, you can correctly call them by their proper name. Exploring the diverse world of female bird terminology opens our eyes to their beauty and how language unites our understanding of nature.

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