Skip to Content

Top 10: Fish With Bird Names

Peacock Bass

There are fish with a bird name but not too many birds with a fish name.  Is something fishy going on?

Here are 10 fish, some quite strange, that have a “bird name.”


1. Peacock Bass

Peacock bass is a large freshwater fish, native to South America. Although they are considered to be an invasive species in some places, this species has been introduced in Florida. Their range has expanded from their original spots, but there is nothing to worry about. Peacock Basses are considered game fish.

Although their names hint at Peacocks, there are not many similar features between Peacock Basses and their bird namesakes.

Peacock Bass


2. Parrotfish

Parrotfishes are a group of about 95 species. Many are colorful and often seen by scuba divers near reefs.

Like parrots, they are known for their vibrant colors so it’s not hard to imagine how they got their names!

parrot fish

Photo by: Ewa Barska


3. Eagle Ray

Eagle rays are a group of cartilaginous fishes in the family Myliobatidae, consisting mostly of large species living in the open ocean rather than on the sea bottom. The image below is a Spotted Eagle Ray.

This fish species even resembles eagles in a way – it looks like a soaring eagle.

spotted eagle ray


4. Avocet snipe-eel

This fish uses the names of two different birds.

avocet snipe eel


5. Cuckoo wrasse

Cuckoo Wrasse is native to eastern parts of the Atlantic Ocean, which happens to be quite near to the Common Cuckoos range. Although a nest parasite, these birds have made their way to many hearts with their interesting songs.

There are not too many similarities between the fish and birds, though.

Cuckoo wrasse


6. Bombay duck.

This is not the name of a duck – it is the name of a lizardfish. Seems they can not decide if it is a bird, lizard or fish.

bombay duck

Photograph by Hamid Badar Osmany


7. Sea Raven

Sea ravens are in the family of scorpaeniform fishes. They are bottom-dwelling fishes, living in northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

parrot fish


8. Sea robin

Sea robins or gurnards are a family of bottom-feeding scorpaeniform fish. They are found in temperate and tropical seas.

sea robin


9. The pelican eel

Pelican Eel, Eurypharynx pelecanoides, is a deep-sea fish rarely seen by humans. In this case it is easy to see how it was named.

pelican eel

10. The turkey moray

Turkey Moray (Gymnothorax meleagris), also known as the guineafowl moray. Seems they are stuck on naming it after a bird of some kind.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

Let others know your thoughts or ask an expert

Would you like to get new articles of birds (Once a month?)

No SPAM! We might only send you fresh updates once a month

Thank you for subscribing!

No thanks! I prefer to follow BirdZilla on Facebook