From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
“Take cover, team! Nitpicker beaks are poisonous.”
Kevin Keene, Captain N: The Game Master
DKJ Nitpicker Artwork.png
Artwork of a Nitpicker for Donkey Kong Jr.
First appearance Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
Latest appearance WarioWare Gold (2018)
Bird (toy)

Nitpickers, also referred to as birds, are flying avian enemies that make their debut in the Donkey Kong Jr. arcade game. Ever since their original appearance, Nitpickers and their successors remained largely unchanged in behavior.


Donkey Kong series[edit]

Donkey Kong Jr.[edit]

DKJ Arcade Nitpicker Sprite.png

In Donkey Kong Jr., a flock of Nitpickers[1][2][3] (also known as Stookybirds[4]) is released by Mario to impede Donkey Kong Jr. from progressing in stage 2. The birds are depicted yellow, having a distinct magenta coloration on their wings and beaks; likewise, they are slender and bear an unflinching attitude. They proceed in flying in a straight line after being sent by Mario, traveling along a wide platform. They then descend into the a small opening in the platform, continuing their flight thereafter in the opposite direction, under the platform. Occasionally, Nitpickers drop eggs when turning the other direction. The eggs, as well as the birds themselves, are harmful for Donkey Kong Jr. and can drain one of his lives upon coming into contact. On the other hand, Nitpickers can be defeated by having fruit dropped on them.

Along with Snapjaws, Mario employs another flock of Nitpickers (also known as Birds) in stage 4.

Nitpickers, referred to as birds[5], return in the Game & Watch Donkey Kong Jr. They only follow a straight path from left to right and pass by a set of vines located at the bottom of the screen. They spawn at the left side of the screen, do not drop eggs and do not steer back like they did in the original game, merely disappearing after encountering the right side of the screen.

Donkey Kong (Game Boy)[edit]

DKGB BirdNest.png

In Donkey Kong for the Game Boy, Nitpickers are succeeded by several birds that retain and mix their behaviors. In order of appearance, these consist of Hawks, Kaibādo, and Kuro. They spawn from nests that are mostly placed high above the ground, subsequently performing three flights across the room. The end of one flight is marked by their encounter with one of the room's margins, after which they descend a little and change direction. They occasionally drop lethal eggs on Mario, provided the protagonist walks underneath it.

Kuro is notable in that it appears to be the other bird enemy from the original Donkey Kong Jr.

Captain N: The Game Master[edit]

Nitpickers in Captain N: The Game Master.

Nitpickers are featured as minor impediments in the episode "The Lost City of Kongoland" of Captain N: The Game Master, where they resemble vultures. They are depicted with long tubular beaks, tapering heads, and bulging eyes, as well as straight and focused looks. In the show, Nitpickers are summoned after Simon Belmont blows into a flute from Dr. Wright while he and the rest of the N Team are cruising down a river in Kongoland. Their beaks are said to be poisonous, and Kevin warns his crew to take cover. The birds immediately show and try to raid the team's vessel, but as they swoop down, Princess Lana draws a bazooka and counter-attacks them with large cork projectiles.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong series[edit]

While the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series does not feature the original Nitpickers, it does feature a toy-based variation.

WarioWare Gold[edit]

In WarioWare Gold, one Nitpicker has to be avoided by Donkey Kong Jr. as he climbs two ropes in the second difficulty of the Donkey Kong Jr. microgame. It flies on a straight line from left to right, across the ropes.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ニットピッカー[6]

Bird (Game & Watch and Famicom Remix)


  • The name "Nitpicker" is shared with the red bird enemy from the game Ice Climber, also by Nintendo.[8]


  1. ^ Donkey Kong Jr. NES instruction booklet, page 5.
  2. ^ Instruction manual for Atari 8-bit computer conversion
  3. ^ Instruction manual for Atari 7800 home conversion
  4. ^ Instruction manuals for ColecoVision and Intellivision home conversions
  5. ^ Game & Watch Donkey Kong Jr. English instruction.
  6. ^ Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten. Page 143.
  7. ^ Game & Watch Donkey Kong Jr. Japanese instruction.
  8. ^ Ice Climber instruction booklet, page 5.