How to Say Bird in Japanese

I recently stumbled upon a fascinating topic that had me intrigued: how to say bird in Japanese. As someone who has always been captivated by different cultures and their unique languages, I was eager to uncover the Japanese word for this enchanting creature. Little did I know that my exploration would take me on a delightful linguistic journey, revealing not just one, but several ways to express the concept of a bird in the beautiful language of Japan. Allow me to share with you the captivating discovery I made on this linguistic adventure.

Basic Japanese Vocabulary


Common Animal Words

In Japanese, animals are referred to as “doubutsu” (動物). Japan is known for its diverse wildlife, and it is useful to know some basic animal words to enhance your understanding of the country’s culture and nature. Let’s explore some common animal vocabulary, starting with the fascinating avian creatures.

Naming Birds in Japanese

Birds, with their colorful plumage and enchanting songs, have captivated humans for centuries. In Japanese, the word for bird is “tori” (鳥). Just like in any language, specific names are used to refer to different bird species. Understanding these names allows us to better appreciate and communicate about the beautiful birds in Japan.

Bird-related Vocabulary

If you are passionate about birds or simply want to expand your knowledge of the Japanese language, learning bird-related vocabulary is incredibly rewarding. From the different parts of a bird to their behavior and sounds, let’s delve into the captivating world of feathered creatures.

General Word for Bird

Japanese Word for Bird

The Japanese word for bird is “tori” (鳥). This term encompasses all types of birds, from the majestic flying raptors to the tiny, chirping sparrows. Remembering this general term will help you navigate conversations about birds in Japanese.

Katakana Transcription

In the Japanese writing system, there are three scripts, and one of them is called katakana. This script is used for transliterating foreign words, including names of birds that are not native to Japan. For example, the word “penguin” is transcribed as “pengin” (ペンギン) in katakana.

Species-specific Names

Names for Different Bird Species

Japanese culture values precision and detail, which is evident in the specific names given to different bird species. Here are some examples of bird species with their corresponding names in Japanese:

  • Sparrow: “Suzume” (雀)
  • Crow: “Karasu” (烏)
  • Swallow: “Tsubame” (燕)
  • Hawk: “Taka” (鷹)
  • Crane: “Tsuru” (鶴)

These are just a few examples of the countless species found in Japan. By familiarizing yourself with these species-specific names, you can better appreciate the unique characteristics of each bird.

Common Birds in Japan


The sparrow, known as “suzume” (雀) in Japanese, is a small bird that can be found throughout Japan. With its brown plumage and cheerful chirping, the sparrow is a common sight in both urban areas and countryside. They adapt well to their surroundings and have become emblematic of Japanese wildlife.


The crow, or “karasu” (烏) in Japanese, holds a special place in folklore and mythology in Japan. Often seen as intelligent and mysterious creatures, crows are symbolic and believed to possess supernatural powers. They are known for their distinctive cawing and sleek black feathers.


Swift and graceful, the swallow is called “tsubame” (燕) in Japanese. Swallows are highly regarded in Japanese culture for their elegant flight patterns and their presence being associated with the arrival of spring. They are symbols of good fortune and love.


Hawks, or “taka” (鷹) in Japanese, are majestic birds of prey known for their keen eyesight and impressive hunting skills. They symbolize strength and power in Japanese culture. Hawks can be found in various regions of Japan, soaring through the skies with their broad wings and sharp beaks.


The crane, known as “tsuru” (鶴) in Japanese, holds deep cultural significance and is often associated with longevity and good luck. The Japanese red-crowned crane is a famous symbol of the country, and their elegant dance-like courtship rituals have captivated people for centuries.

Wings, Feathers, and Beaks


In Japanese, a bird’s wing is referred to as “tsubasa” (翼). Wings enable birds to take flight, soar through the skies, and navigate their environment with agility. Appreciating the beauty and functionality of a bird’s wings is an essential part of understanding these enchanting creatures.


Feathers are integral to a bird’s identity and play an essential role in their survival. In Japanese, feathers are called “hane” (羽根). Whether it’s the vibrant plumage of a peacock or the soft down feathers of a baby bird, feathers are remarkable structures that provide insulation, aid in flight, and dazzle us with their diverse colors.


A bird’s beak, or “kuchi” (嘴) in Japanese, is a remarkable adaptation that allows them to consume food, build nests, and engage in various behaviors. The shape, size, and strength of a bird’s beak vary depending on their dietary preferences and habits. From the slender beak of a hummingbird to the powerful beak of a raptor, each serves a unique purpose in the avian world.

Bird Behavior and Characteristics

Flight Patterns

Observing a bird in flight is a fascinating sight, and the study of their flight patterns offers valuable insights into their behavior. Japanese language provides various terms for different flight patterns, such as “tonbiri” (飛び立ち) for takeoff and “hanebashi” (羽ばし) for flapping wings. Understanding these terms allows us to discuss and appreciate the unique flying styles of birds.


Migration is a natural phenomenon where birds undertake long, arduous journeys to find suitable breeding grounds or escape harsh weather conditions. In Japanese, migration is referred to as “tori no ryoko” (鳥の旅行), which directly translates to “bird travel.” Knowing this term enables us to discuss the incredible feats of endurance and navigation that birds undertake during their journeys.


Birds build intricate nests using various materials to protect their eggs and raise their young. In Japanese, nesting is referred to as “tori no suzume” (鳥の巣作り). Understanding this term allows us to appreciate the dedication and craftsmanship involved in the creation of these temporary homes.

Bird Sounds and Calls

Tweeting and Chirping

Birds communicate with each other through a wide range of sounds and calls. The delightful tweeting and chirping that we often associate with birds is known as “kotori no nirami” (小鳥の鳴き声) in Japanese. These melodic sounds are not just pleasant to the ear but also serve as a means of communication and territorial marking among birds.

Singing and Melodies

Birdsong is one of nature’s most mellifluous and enchanting sounds. In Japanese, the term for singing or the beautiful melodies produced by birds is “tori no uta” (鳥の歌). Birds use their songs to attract mates, establish territories, and communicate with others. Recognizing the distinct melodies of different bird species enhances our ability to appreciate their unique vocal talents.

Distinct Calls

Birds also produce various distinct calls, each serving a different purpose. In Japanese, these calls are referred to as “tori no sakebi” (鳥の叫び声). From the piercing alarm calls that warn of potential danger to the soft, gentle cooing sounds of doves, being able to identify these calls enriches our understanding of bird behavior and their interaction with the environment.

Learning the essential vocabulary related to birds opens the door to a deeper appreciation of the stunning avian wonders found in Japan. By understanding the Japanese names for birds, their characteristics, and their behaviors, we can foster a greater connection with these magnificent creatures of the sky. So, go ahead and explore the captivating world of birds in Japanese – it’s a fascinating journey waiting to take flight!





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