The Balloon Birds are a big part of the game. They are the only enemy that can be defeated. The name of these enemies could be disputed, as in different games they have gone by different names.
You must pop the Balloons of these birds and knock them off the stage in order to progress. These birds also will try to pop your Balloons. They are the only enemy that does not instantly kill you in Balloon Fight. They cannot be harmed by Sparks, but they can bounce off Flippers and be eaten by the fish if they fly too close to water. When knocked down into the water, in most games a Giant Bubble will float up from where they entered the water.
Balloon Birds appear in every Balloon Fight game, excluding the Game & Watch game. In Nintendo Land: Balloon Trip Breeze, the birds come in multiple types and all have a propeller on their heads. The types of birds are Boxer, Spear, Bombardier, and Magic. The Boxers try to punch your Balloons and pop them. The Spear Birds will line up with you and then charge at you. Droppers try to drop rocks onto you and pop your Balloons. Magic Birds have the ability to turn invisible and are only found very late in the game. Also, this is the only game where Balloon Birds can have up to two balloons. Birds in red eggs have two balloons. Birds in black eggs have two balloons and can change their ability. In Balloon Kid they appear as normal enemies, first appearing in Stage 3. Popping their Balloons instantly drops them into the water, as they don't have parachutes in this version. This is also the only normal enemy that can be defeated without a Power-up Balloon. In the credits, one also knocks Jim down into the water. In Balloon Fight GB, the color remake of Balloon Kid, the Balloon Birds actually are shown to have red Balloons and are Purple-colored. In Tingle's Balloon Fight, these appear with an updated design, which looks much more bird-like, with feathers around their head.
- When you and the bird are at the top of the screen, do not risk trying to bounce into yellow (Level 3) birds to move them downward to get their Balloons. Instead, wait for the bird to come down and then attack them.
- Balloon Birds cannot attack while pumping up their Balloons. Take off at the start of a phase to knock them down before they start flying. Make a path to get as many birds as possible before they start. You can sometimes get 3-4 out before they take off, depending on the level layout.
- If a parachuting Bird is near and over water, the Balloon Fish will eat it.
- In WarioWare: Touched!, these enemies are referred to as "enemy Balloon Riders". It is unknown whether it means here than these are called Balloon Riders or if this is just a term for anyone who flies using Balloons.
- In Balloon Trip Breeze, the Balloon Birds come out of eggs, instead of blowing up balloons.
- In Balloon Fight Vs., the Balloon Birds turn their heads, looking around, before blowing up their Balloons.
- In Stretchmo, level No. 11 of Papa Blox's NES Expo is a 3D version of a Balloon Bird from the NES game, and the level is titled "Enemy Flier (3D)".
- In the electronic manual of Nintendo Land, a somewhat rough-looking picture of a Balloon Bird can be found, but oddly, the picture has many differences to the final game's Balloon Birds. For example, the picture shows a Balloon Bird that isn't holding any weapon, has a rough bottom shell, and doesn't have an orange rim around the eyes.