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Hebrew Time #15 - Birds

Hello everyone!

שלום לכולם

Welcome to Hebrew Time #15! For those of us who are joining now – Hebrew Time is a series of weekly posts about the Hebrew language, Israel, and the Jewish people.

You can see the previous post here.

On a quick, serious note - this Thursday is Holocaust Memorial day. Please do take a few minutes to remember everyone who lost their lives during this sad time.


Today we’re going to do something fun - we’re going to learn bird names! As well as you, our loyal followers, this will hopefully satisfy bird enthusiasts, and possibly even native speakers might learn something new:) All of these birds can be found in Israel. Some are native species, some migrate, and some might have wandered in by accident:) The word for bird is ציפור, plural ציפורים (Tsiporim).

No audio today because it’s not really worth it...some of the more common bird names can be looked up on forvo.

Got your binoculars? Then let’s set out on Mae’s Birdwatching Trip...

Farmyard birds

אווז - avaz - goose

ברבור - barboor - swan

ברוז - barvaz - duck

תרנגול/ת - tarnegol/et - rooster/chicken. The word for the chicken that you eat is עוף (off). If you say אני אוכל/ת תרנגולת that means you are eating a live chicken. So don’t say that, unless you are really eating a live chicken and felt the urge to tell someone about it in Hebrew.

תרנגול הודו - tarnegol hodoo - turkey. Literally “india rooster”.

Birds of Prey

עקב - akav - buzzard

בז - baz - falcon

דיה - daya - kite

ינשוף - yanshoof - owl

נשר - nesher - vulture

עיט - ayit - eagle

Other Birds

דרור - dror - sparrow

זמיר - zameer - nightingale. This means “a singer” from the word זמר - zemer - tune.

חצוצרן - chatsotsran - finch. This literally means “trumpeter” haha.

נחליאלי - nachlieli - wagtail. This is an unbearably cute name for a very sweet bird. I quite often see a pied wagtail bobbing around my garden, wiggling its tail. You don’t get the pied wagtail in Israel, but you do get some other flavours, like the grey, yellow, white and citrine wagtails.

סלעית - sla’eet - wheatear. From the word סלע - sela - boulder

שלדג - shaldag - kingfisher

בולבול - boolbool - bulbul. Yes, this bird is really called that. I always thought that it was called so because it makes a really unattractive noise, but apparently it comes from the Persian for nightingale, even though it’s not actually related.

דוכיפת - doocheefat - hoopoe. This is a hilarious-looking bird that looks like a piano fell on its head. It also happens to be the national bird of Israel.

יונה - yona - pigeon/dove. This is the bird that brought Noah the olive branch after the flood and is the symbol of peace and stuff. I was very disappointed to learn that the beautiful dove everyone always talked about was the same as the irritating birds that sat outside my window and hooted at me every day at 4 in the morning.

עורב - orev - crow/raven

פיפיון - peepeeyon - pipet. I included this one because it has a funny name:D

קוקיה - kookeeya - cuckoo

שחף - shachaf - gull

אנפה - anafa - heron

חסידה - chasida - stork

And a special mention to…

בז נודד - baz noded - peregrine falcon (literally “migrating falcon”). This is my most favourite bird ever. It’s small (like me!) but it looks super-suave and can reach the highest speed of any creature on earth when diving. So. Cool.

אנפית בקר anafeet bakar - cattle egret. This is my second-favourite bird, only because it looks so stupid:D It’s white and extremely fluffy, looking like it flew straight out of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, and spends its time hitchhiking on cows. I can’t help giggling every time I think of or see one.

פשוש - pashosh - graceful prinia. This bird would be referred to in the bird world as an LBJ (Little Brown Job) but I’m especially fond of it because it was my dad’s nickname for me when I was younger, and is often used as a sweet nickname for little kids.

קיכלי סהרון - ring ouzel. I saw one of these once and apparently that’s a big deal or something because they are quite rare and don’t like people.

טווס - tavas - peacock. You don’t get these in Israel at all, I only mention it because when trying to create the alphabet skill for the He/En course, it was the first word we both came up with that started with ט. Needless to say, it was not included:D

Finally, to finish, a childrens’ song about birds in Hebrew:) It’s about all the birds in a town meeting up to form a choir and basically, the bulbuls mess it all up:D See if you can spot the names of some of the birds we’ve learned in the song!

We can't finish without telling you: להתראות! See you later!

That was Hebrew Time #15, thanks for joining us! Hooray!

Be up-to-date with our progress on the Hebrew for English speakers course by checking up our incubator page here!

Join our facebook group here! Thanks DvirBartov for helping me write this post!

That's it!

עד שבוע הבא!

Until next week!

April 14, 2015



תודה רבה! אני מאוד שמחה כי בעוד ארבע חדשים אלך לארץ לגור שמה... זה היה החלום שלי לפני הרבה זמן


את/ה אומרת שאת/ה אלך לארץ? כמו ארץ ישראל?! אני שמח לך! אולי אחד יום אני אהיה גר בישראל. בחצלחה!


תודה! חזרתי משם אתמול, אני כל כך רוצה לחזור כבר! נו, עוד 13 שבועות


מצוין! אולי אחד יום אני גר בישראל.


תודה! What a great idea for a Hebrew Time. With the weather getting better in the UK at the moment I might have to see how many of these I can spot in my own garden :)

Also, to add to your mention of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) I'll just say that tomorrow, Weds 15th, is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen camp. Occasions that put life into perspective.


נושא מעניין, יש הרבה שאני לא מכיר D:


Hebrew Time: Teaching me English AND Hebrew names for birds I can picture but never knew the names of, since 14 April 2015! ^_^ תידה!


חחח הכרתי את המילים האלה מבדיוק אותו שיר. וגם אמא שלי קראה לי פשוש/פשושית :)

אה ואני אוהבת את הנחליאלי--כי השם שלי ליאל!

PS--peregrine falcon is my favorite bird too <3 for the same reason!


כל הכבוד!


You guys should all join the incubator team, because that's some pretty fluent Hebrew...

at least I think....

I don't speak Hebrew....

Waiting for the course to come out. :c



barvaz comes from bar-avaz, son of a goose. tarnegol has a Sumerian origin tar-lu-gal , king bird. dror is freedom. shaldag: shal-dag, pulls fish out

עד השבוע הבא

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