Glossary of Bird Names


A Congo African Grey – CAG.

While abbreviating names can be much faster to write or type, sometimes it can get confusing even for people who are used to doing it! That’s why I’ve compiled a glossary of the most common abbreviations of bird names.

Cockatoos are the easiest, although they sound more confusing at first. Quite simply, the ‘too’ of cockatoo is abbreviated into numerical form, 2. Then the first letter refers to the actual species or sub-species. Note that cockatoos are also often referred to as ‘toos. Like this:

U2Umbrella Cockatoo, also referred to as white cockatoos

M2Moluccan Cockatoo, or salmon-crested cockatoo

G2Goffins Cockatoo

C2Citron-Crested Cockatoo

S2Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

T2Triton’s Cockatoo


Umbrella Cockatoo – U2.

Next, most other species tend to abbreviate by the first letter of the species name. Thus:

CAGCongo African Grey

TAGTimneh African Grey

GCCGreen-cheeked conure

PGCCPineapple mutation green-cheeked conure.

BCCBlue-crowned conure

MCMitred conure

GWMGreen-winged macaw

B&GBlue and Gold macaw

MMMilitary Macaw

BTMBlue-Throated Macaw

BFABlue-Fronted Amazon

IRNIndian Ringneck Parakeet

DYADouble Yellow-Headed Amazon

YAYellow-Headed Amazon

Blue-fronted amazon parrot 'Barney.'

Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot

A brief note about the beloved Budgerigar – often called a budgie. In America, budgies are often called parakeets. While they are indeed parakeets – or ‘keets’ – I think it’s important to mention that parakeet is not restricted to budgies. It means ‘long tail’ and covers a wide range of species. Conures, Quakers, Indian Ringneck Parrots, and Mountain Parakeets all belong to the parakeet family. There are actually quite a lot!

Hopefully that helps in case anyone ever gets confused.

Sarah Stull is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a photographer, violist, and violinist who has plans of opening her own avian sanctuary on the east coast of America.


Honi Anderson

This is great info! I knew some of the abbreviations, but this was very informative!

Honi Anderson
barbara DeFiore

thanks for the glossary I also was confused with abbrevations

barbara DeFiore

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published