Top 24 Bird Mascots:
Names, Colleges, NFL & More!

Does it often make you wonder which NFL or College Football teams have birds as their mascots? Read to find out some exciting details.

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Iñigo Navarro

October 31, 2021


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What’s This Post About?

The concept of mascots to represent colleges and professional sports teams is so popular that they have become an integral part of the identity of these teams around the country.

Whether they’re the actual creatures or fake anthropomorphic, mascots are one of the most significant sources of entertainment, always keeping the spectators indulged with their memorable antics and mind-blowing histrionics.

In addition to cheering for the home team, their presence at philanthropic and charity events plays an essential role in bringing a smile to the face of everyone attending.

Several colleges and sports teams strongly associate birds with their identity. This is one of the most cherished traditions of the colleges and athletic teams, whereby mascots create and capture all fun and thrills, making the sporting event come to life.

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Top Mascot Names

Becoming a symbolic representation of the institute or team, mascots are one of the most adored traditions in sports, leaving a lifelong association with the followers and supporters, as it forms an identity of the team.

Many informed sports fans know the names of the mascots associated with each college and NFL team. But do they know the tale behind the selection of the bird to represent them?

Read through this post to learn about the multitude of bird mascots and their performance in cheering their respective athletic teams.

Mascots are not just a source of entertainment but also an iconic symbol that forms the identity of the college and the professional sports team.

Making it essential to attach positive connotations associated with the college, the chosen mascot should be an amalgamation of courage, pride, vigor, and spirit.

When choosing the names of their athletic departments, the institutions go an extra mile to make sure they are incredibly amazing and resonate with their personality and mission. Following this, we can see how many teams have done fabulously with the many dynamic names out there.

A quick overview of the mascot names of the colleges across America shows that the birds’ genre is, in fact, one of the most commonly used titles, with around 15.5% names using a bird.

The Cats (15.9%) also fall in the same league, followed by others in the animal genre, including Dogs (7%), and then Bears (3%) and Horses (3%).

There are hundreds of gorgeous birds in the Kingdom, but when we look at the names of the mascots that colleges and football teams have assigned to themselves, there are some quite prevalent species.

The Eagle, undoubtedly, is the most common bird mascot used. After all, the mighty bird depicts incredible smartness, strength, and assertiveness, which rightly represents the sports teams.

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The Hawk stands as the second popular name among the bird mascots. From simply the Hawks to the Seahawks and Jayhawks, the bird’s extraordinary predatory characteristics make it a fierce fighter.

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The names of the most robust and fierce birds are typically used to represent the institutions. Apart from eagles and hawks, there are several teams that go by the names of Falcons and Cardinals, followed by owls and roadrunners, all of which are pretty powerful and majestic creatures.

Which NFL Teams Have a Bird Mascot?

Out of the 32 National Football League teams, there are 5 teams that flaunt themselves with a bird-themed mascot.

Each of these bird representations is unique in its own way, making sure to captivate the audience’s attention and add an element of glamour to their teams with their spectacular stunts.

Seattle Seahawks

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One of the professional American football teams, the Seattle Seahawks, is based in Seattle, assiduously competing in the National Football League.

Going with the logo of a fierce and competitive Seahawk, the team is known for its fantastic performance, having won 10 division titles and three conference championships.

Taima, the Hawk, stands as the current mascot of the American football team. The bird has a predominantly black head and tail, with a peculiarly patterned crème throat and a slightly streaked chest.

Known for its impressively dramatic entrance at the game, the hawk swoops through the field, flapping its massive wings to fascinate the large number of audiences before it lands on a steady perch.

In addition to this, Blitz is an anthropomorphic mascot, donning a voracious costume of the bird of prey. This entertainer ensures to make the stadium one of the loudest and exciting by constantly cheering the spectators.

Visiting all the community events and sports programs, Blitz can jump off the roof and skydive around.

Baltimore Ravens

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One of the very successful franchises since the time of their inception, the Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in the city of Baltimore.

Featuring a ferocious head of a raven in its logo, the Baltimore Ravens have multiple mascots. Apart from the anthropomorphic Poe, Rise and Conquer, there are two ravens that are mascots for the team on the sidelines of the home game.

Especially trained by cadets of Maryland Zoo, these ravens make an exhilarating entrance at the field as they aviate in the sky, fluttering their wings and then dive-bombing till they land on a perch.

After all, the raven is a reflection of utter smartness. One of the most intelligent birds, ravens are incredible problem solvers and can plan well for the future.

The trio of the human mascots, costumed as the ravenous ravens, depict similar traits. They constantly entertain and fascinate the audience with their performance and cheer the crowd with their dramatic presence.

Arizona Cardinals

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Epitomizing the glamorous cardinals, the Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team originating from the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

Being one of only three western states to host the ruby red Cardinals, the team is rightly called the Cardinal.

Featuring the feisty cardinal face on its logo, the name was derived in 1901 when used jerseys for the team were brought from the University of Chicago. The faded color of the jerseys was referred to as Cardinal red, and hence, the name struck.

Big Red, quite recognizable among the citizens of Arizona, and even beyond, is the sports team’s mascot. Serving the audience with its presence at every home game, the Big Red puts forward a fantastic performance as a cheerleader.

Quite a chic mascot, it has captured the love of its followers by making appearances at community events and even at schools.

Appropriately matching with its team name, the Arizona Cardinals are the third-ranked birds, with Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks taking the first two ranks.

Philadelphia Eagles

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The face of the fiercely pugnacious eagle marks the logo of the professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The eagles of the team assertively compete in the National Football League.

Being the epitome of courage, wisdom, pride, and determination, the eagle is a perfect mascot to showcase the team’s strength. Best known for their agility and strength, the eagles are, surefire, a perfect mascot choice.

A winged Mascot, the bald eagle, goes by the name of Swoop, dons a sports jersey of the team. During the NFL season, Swoop makes a regular appearance in the weekly kid’s show. In fact, it has been serving as the host of the show since its debut in 2005.

Devotedly entertaining its audience, Swoop is well known for his thrilling stunts, such as zip-lining across the field and parachuting into the stadium during the football games.

Atlanta Falcons

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Competing in the National Football League, the Atlanta Falcons are a professional American Football team from Atlanta. Since their existence in 1965, the Falcons have won several division championships.

Taking the name of the Falcons to symbolize Atlanta’s athletic team, they aimed to inculcate similar traits in the team members. A Falcon is regarded to be a courageous, dignified, and proud bird with phenomenal belligerent potential.

The Atlanta Falcon’s logo has undergone several changes. The current one was designed in 2003 to illustrate a sleeker version of the falcon with red and silver wings so that it appears in flight while at the same time exhibiting power and aggression.

At present, Frederick Freddie Falcon is the official anthropomorphic mascot of NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. This mascot has been entertaining fans for the last 35 years, rallying them at football matches, applauding the team, and participating in numerous philanthropic activities.

Which Colleges Have A Bird Mascot?

You’ll come across several colleges and universities across America that represent themselves with a bird mascot, whether fake or real. These valuable mascots have quite an entertaining potential and serve as inspirational members of the institution.

Sebastian The Ibis

Having curved, slender spoonbills, and bright spindly legs, and long necks, the wading Ibises dwell in the tropical shores, marshes, and lakes around the country. But, despite their gregarious nature, it’s intriguing to find out why the Miami hurricanes would choose a Bird as their costume.

Well, for one reason, it’s not quite simple to design a tropical Cyclone costume - at least not one that could be donned very impressively.

Choosing the imagery of an ibis to represent their athletic face has its long-sought reasons. The associations began nearly a century ago when the bird appeared in the yearbook of the University.

The mascot is a reflection of the undeniable bravery and grace of the bird in the face of an approaching hurricane.

Being a prominent symbol of the University of Miami for decades, Sebastian the Ibis became the official mascot in 1958. The ibis has since then exhibited its robust enthusiasm to become a rival mascot. After all, being friends with the hurricane, it totally accords with the Ibis being a representative of the University of Miami.

The swag of Sebastian is remarkable, making the most impressive entrances and jazzy moves to entice the audiences and acquire the love of the people.

Ball State Cardinals

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Representing the Ball State University, the Ball State Cardinals represent the university’s athletic teams located in Muncie, Indiana.

Adopting the most spectacular birds as their mascots in 1927, the Cardinals are not just known for their impressive beauty, but the mesmerizing energy, utmost passion, and a tinge of aggression that these ruby red birds bring along.

With Charlie Cardinal being the team mascot, the team’s song perfectly adheres to the Cardinal personality. The blazing Ball State Cardinals are leading players of home football and basketball games, with the mascots displaying their vigorous spirits at athletic events.

Louisville Cardinals

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Representing the University of Louisville in Kentucky, the Louisville Cardinals are a reputable NCAA athletic team.

The robust Cardinals have played several tournaments in the Atlantic Coast Conference and have won a number of contests.

Louise, the Cardinal is serving as the Mascot of Louisville University since 1913. The mascot represents the state bird of Kentucky, while the black, white, and ruby red colors incorporated in the costume are the school’s official colors.

Dressed up as the spectacular cardinal, the mascot makes a mind-blowing appearance at all sports events and some community events of the university.

Marking its entry by thrillingly skydiving into the stadium and rappelling in from the ceiling of the Basketball ball court, Loiuse has never failed to entertain his audience. With his high vigor and spirits, he cheerleads the team and takes part in the musical band.

There’s no moment of boredom with his exhilarating histrionics!

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

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If you’re wondering what exactly are chanticleers, you’re not the only one eager to find out. The athletic department at the University of Carolina is often posed with this question.

The Chanticleer is recognized for its splendor and majestic looks. A member of the rooster family, this proud and fierce cock dominates the barnyard with its mightiness, commanding all its mates as they greatly fear and respect the puissant bird.

Giving the Coastal University its unique identity, Chanticleer serves as one of the most impeccable mascots among the many. Following the characteristics of the bird, the Chanticleer mascot persists in overcoming numerous battles and supremely rule above others.

Since its inception in the 1960s, Chanticleer has proudly created its name and elevated the identity of Coastal Carolina University across the globe as it continues to win the hearts of its fans.

Oregon Ducks

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Instead of commissioning Disney for its assistance in designing the face of their athletic program, the University of Oregon has simply borrowed the entire, well-developed character of Donald to create their mascot.

In the initial days, the athletic team of the university was associated with Webfoot. This later transitioned into Puddles, an alive White duck becoming a regular attendee of the sports events at Oregon.

The illustrations of Puddles began to quite resemble Donald Duck. To avoid any suspicions, in 1947, the college’s director approached a Disney Cartoonist to attain his permission, making a formal agreement in 1973.

Today, the Oregon Ducks are well known among sports athletes, establishing a reputable image of the Duck and gaining applauding national attention.

Boston College Eagles

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Representing Boston College in American football sports, the team has aced the many athletic games played by the college sports team.

The anthropomorphic bald eagle - widely known as Baldwin, a combination of bald and win- is the stunning mascot of Boston College Eagles.

Previously being represented by a cat until 1920, the victorious members of the college weren’t fascinated to see Boston College representatives being resonated to a cat. Instead, they were hoping to feature a mascot that would celebrate and glorify their triumphant achievements.

In addition, what could be a better symbol than the magnificent eagles that cruise the pinnacles of the sky, an incredible icon of power, majesty, and authority.

The Boston College eagle would be commendably proud to clutch the trophy of victory with its sharp talons, flying aloft mightily after defeating the poor opponents.

Finally, Baldwin Eagle was chosen to serve as the spectacular mascot of the university.

Eastern Michigan Eagles

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Swoop - is depicted as an American Bald eagle with a large yellow beak, wearing an EMU sports jersey. The athletic team of the University of Michigan widely goes by the name of Eagles.

The name of the bird signifying power and majesty was adopted in 1991. Before this, the athletic team went with the nickname of Huron, but it seemed to promote racial stereotypes among the students.

After a bitter debate took place between the natives and alumni, a proposal was put forward to change the identity of the mascot. This was replaced with eagles on the recommendations of the committee charged.

After all, what could be a better choice than adopting the identity of the most rigorous, fierce, and powerful bird of the kingdom!

Georgina Southern Eagles

Gus - the Eagle, is an anthropomorphic figure of the athletic team of Georgina Southern University. The iconic bird exemplifies the spirit and pride of the university. The majestic soaring raptor is found along the coastlines and water bodies of North America

The Bald Southern Eagles mark their presence at the numerous football games and national championships events, kicking off the game with their acrobatic flights.

Freedom, a male American Eagle, has established a renowned tradition at the Southern University of Georgina. Taking a rapid flight before the commencement of each football game, it lands onto the field from high above to the cheers and applauds of a plethora of Eagle fans.

Making a dramatic and enthusiastic presence at the game, the Eagle Mascots are adored by the college students and alumni.

Air Force Falcons

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Representing the United States Air Force Academy, located in Colorado, the Air Force Falcons are the intercollegiate athletic teams.

The sturdy pilots of nature, professionally aviating in the sky, falcons are proficient in combating attacks in the air. Preying on the other birds around, the aggressive Falcons are the perfect fighters. Vigorous in nature, the falcons are an ideal fit for the mascots for the US Air Force.

The Falcon was selected to be the Mascot of the AirForce Academy by the first graduating class of 1959. Among many of the star performer falcons are the Ace, Apollo, Cairo, and Nova.

It’s intriguing to find out how the majestic Falcons can be trained to avidly present in front of thousands of cheering spectators. Unlike the popular opinion that they would panic and flee, the Falcons have stunned the audience with their incredible aerobatics, as they soar and dive, sometimes swooping down almost to the heads.

In addition, they have become so well trained under the supervision of cadet Falconers that they never fail to captivate the attention of the dynamic audience.

Bowling Green Falcons

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Never failing to grab the attention of the audience, and adding an enchanting spark to their appearance, Freddie and Frieda Falcons are the official mascots of Bowling Green University, Ohio.

The brother-sister pair of anthropomorphic Peregrine Falcons have been accredited as one of the ‘Best College Mascots in America’ and have recently been ranked as the 8th best in College mascots.

Renaming the school’s nickname from The Normals in 1927, suggestions for a new name were put forward. Exhibiting extreme athletic enthusiasm, The Falcons were proposed to be the mascots of the college due to their fierceness, speed, and courage.

Making the debut appearance in 1950, the duo-birds have portrayed such high school spirits, as they entertain their fans with their brilliant performances.

South Carolina Gamecocks

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The Fighting Gamecock, frequently enjoying a scuffle, has long been the mascot of the University of South Carolina.

It’s interesting to find out why the college chose the Gamecock as its mascot? A garnet and black rooster, quite aggressive in nature, empowers the athletic team of South Carolina University. Dating back to 1902, the South Carolina students almost faced a deadly blow at the hands of the rival.

The athletic sports team has been devoted to fiercely playing on the fields with the many Gamecock mascots representing it. The Rooster, Big Spur, and Cocky are among the college mascots, invigorating the students’ enthusiasm by donning Gamecock costumes made of fabric feathers and Styrofoam spurs.

Southern Miss Golden Eagle

The fierce mascot represents the intercollegiate athletic teams at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

The mascot of Southern Mississippi is quite recent relative to those of many other colleges. Going through a twining evolution, a number of nicknames were assigned for the university’s athletic team, but it wasn’t until 1972 that the name of ‘Golden Eagle’ was adopted on the recommendations of the alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

Cruising proficiently in the sky, the eagle is an emblem of courage, wisdom, power, and majesty, giving an all-new image to the athletic team of the college.

After the death of the first two live Mascots, known as Nugget and Nugget II, Seymour is now selected to be the new mascot. An individual donning a Golden Eagle Costume entertains fans at the Golden Eagle athletic events with its witty performances.

Florida Atlantic Owls

The Owls of the Florida Atlantic University compete in the American Football Bowl Subdivision of the NCAA. 

Mottled with sandy spots and speckles of white, the Burrowing Owl represents the spirited sports team of Florida Atlantics. Note the absence of ear tufts in the logo of the mascot.

Serving as the university mascot, the feisty burrowing owl is known for its wisdom and devotion. In fact, in 1971, the campus was designated a Burrowing Owl Sanctuary, strengthening the bond even further.

At present, Owsley and Hoot are the biggest fans of the college. Honoring the crowd with their presence at most home games and special events, they add a boost of energy to the stadium.

Just like the staff and faculty of the University, the owls depict elements of toughness, boldness, courage, and competitiveness. At the same time, these high-spirited mascots make each event fun and creative as they hang out at all the events.

Owsley and Hoot are the most rumbustious members of the college around.

Rice Owls

Deriving its name from the owls in Rice’s crest, the Rice University Athletic teams are known as the Rice Owls.

Sammy - the Owl, is the official mascot for the college. Choosing owls as the iconic symbol of the institute reflects the wisdom, courage, strength, vigor, and boldness of those associated with it. After all, the predatory owls are known for their sharp wit and intelligence.

The owl was adopted as the institute’s mascot in 1912 from the Rice Seals. Rice Owls continue to add a spark of energy to the sports events as the students dress up in owl mascots, and Great Horned Owls cruise above the premises along with large owl statues of fiberglass and canvas found around in the university.

Temple Owls

Ever since its founding in the 1880s, the voracious owl has been an iconic symbol and mascot for the Temple University located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

‘The Owl of the night makes the Eagle of the day’, focusing on the remarkable traits of the eagle along with the owl, Temple’s founder urged his students to be active during the night.

Initially established as a night school to facilitate the young people with limited needs, the Temple University glorified the owl, a nocturnal hunter, and an incredibly mighty creature.

The present mascot, entertaining and motivating the students and staff at the College, is Stella, a mighty great horned Owl. Along with Hooter, the official mascot at Temple, Stella braces the fields with their majestic presence.

During home games, they can be seen cheering the crowd and applauding the team.

Miami Redhawks

The Miami Red hawks represent the intercollegiate athletic team of Miami University, located in Oxford, Ohio, in college football.

The mystical bird of prey is significantly symbolized by the college, replacing its nickname in 1996. Since then, Red hawks, characterizing strength, power, and courage, have become a classic for the Miami University. It was in 1997 that the Red Hawks Miami’s logo was unveiled, and the mascot made its first appearance during a contest.

Swoop, the Redhawk displays its jaunty spirit dressed up in a white short-sleeved T-shirt over a red costume. Skating around with its conspicuous Redhawk face, the mascot is the charm of all the sports events.

UTSA Roadrunners

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Among the many birds in the Kingdom, the University of Texas at San Antonio features a roadrunner for its athletic team. Dynamic in nature, the robust and energetic Roadrunners compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the NCAA.

Notice the strength and fierceness evident in the muscular stride of the Roadrunner’s symbol. In addition, the striking facial expressions of the icon reflect its athletic demeanor, clearly showing the aggressive game face.

The current mascot at UTSA, originating back in 1977, is an anthropomorphic roadrunner, vigorously adding a ray of energy to the college sports team.

Rowdy - the Roadrunner, a culmination of white, blue, and orange color, makes a striking appearance at football, basketball, and other athletic events associated with the university.

Louisiana Monroe Warhawks

Representing the intercollegiate athletic teams of the University of Louisiana at Monroe are the Warhawks. The truculent Warhawks depict not just bravery and courage but are also fiercely assertive to win the contest.

Until 2006, the university went by the nickname of ‘Indians’, but this was considered as hostile and abusive by the native Americans. Thus, a recommendation was passed with a unanimous agreement to change the name. Using the imagery of the hawk, Warhawks was announced as the new mascot of the college in 2006.

Ace, the Warhawk, is the favorite of all the athletic champions at the college. He never misses out on any sports events, community events, or game day parades and keeps cheering the fans and children out there.

Virginia Tech University’s Hokie Bird

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Though not amongst the most robust flyers, the Turkey is an iconic figure of Virginia Tech University. Becoming the face of Virginia’s athletic program, what made Turkey the college’s symbol was how the athletic students voraciously consumed their meals.

More so, the Turkey made weekly appearances on the sidelines of the Virginia Tech. Transforming the pugnacious Fighting Gobbler into the Hokie bird in 1987 has led to tremendous mascot fame for the school.

As the school’s tradition follows, the Hokie bird walks around at the graduation with trademark orange feet. In addition, the mascot can often be seen cruising around the campus on rollerblades while it takes the stadium by its stupendous crowd surfing.

Keep Reading!

The list of sports teams and universities with bird mascots is extensive. From the Eagles to the Hawks and Falcons, not to forget the gorgeous Cardinals and the mighty owls, all have characteristics that make them outstanding figures to represent their respective institutions.

These iconic birds are indeed the epitome of courage, bravery, and majesty, as they play a vital role in delighting their team members and audience with their playfulness.

Curious to read more about birds? Don’t miss out on reading this post to know about 15 birds that could bring you good or bad luck.

15 Birds That Could Bring You Good (Or Bad) Luck

There are several superstitions associated with birds given their history, keep on reading to find out what they're about!

Iñigo Navarro Picture

By Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Iñigo Navarro Picture

Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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