Birds are one of the most beautiful creatures on Earth. It is said that there are 40 to 60 birds per person which in other words mean that there are 200 to 400 billion birds compared to 7.44 billion people on Earth.
But while the population is growing for human beings, birds are getting extinct due to climatic changes and deforestation. There are over 194 different families of birds, and within each family, there are so many species of birds that even scientists have failed to estimate. Today, we are listing the top 15 largest birds in the world that rule the bird kingdom.
Check the list of the largest birds
Length: 210 cm
The ostrich is the largest living bird in the world. It has acute hearing and seeing senses and can run up to a speed of 70 km/hour. When provoked, it can cause serious injury with their powerful kick. The birds mature when they are 2 to 4 years old and feed on grass, fruits, flowers, and insects. In the ostrich species, it is the male which incubates the egg. The ostriches are also listed in the list of birds that cannot fly, but the running speed makes it escape from its predators.
2. Dalmatian Pelican
Length: 183 cm
The Dalmatian pelican is a short distance migratory bird and is elegant soaring in nature. They have deep vocalizations which include hisses and guttering. In winters, the bird changes their plumage and sometimes gets mistaken as white pelicans. They are highly social breeds and live in a colony of up to 250 pairs. They are found near water bodies as their diet comprises only of fishes.
3. Sarus Crane
Length: 156 cm
The sarus crane is the tallest flying bird which forages mostly on wetlands. They form long lasting pair-bonds and breed during the rainy season. They are non-migratory birds and found primarily in India and Southeast Asia. They eat insects, fishes, and other aquatic plants. During courtship, they make loud trumpeting calls. The diameter of the nest is usually 2 meters in length.
4. Southern Cassowary
Length: 155 cm
The southern cassowary is a large bird which is very aggressive in nature. It has the capability to digest toxic fruits and usually dwells in the forest. It can kill humans and other small sized mammals when aggravated. They are solitary birds, and the male is responsible to incubate the eggs and raise the chicks. The flightless bird is listed as a ‘vulnerable’ species by the IUCN.
Length: 153 cm
Being the second largest bird, emu shares its relationship with the ostrich. They are flightless and have vestigial wings. They have sharp claws and the plumage varies depending on the environment. During hot days, they can maintain their body temperature by making their lungs to extract heat. They are good swimmers and settle down at sunset. Their diet comprises of insects and grasses.
6. Kori Bustard
Length: 150 cm
Coming from the bustard family, the kori bustard is arguably the heaviest flying creature to live today. They live in grasslands or areas which have fodder plants or vineyards. They are gregarious, and males do not mix with female groups. Breeding happens usually in March, and the incubation of the eggs can take up to 28 days. Their average lifespan is 10-15 years, and the bird is omnivorous which can also eat other birds, reptiles, rodents, and seeds.
7. Greater Rhea
Length: 134 cm
Greater Rhea is a large flightless bird which stays in the flock of 10 to 100. During breeding season, a single male and up to 15 female get away from the group. Males often chase each other to get the right to mate and breed. The greater has got three toes and prefers to stay in an area which offers tall vegetation. They feed on grasses, fruits, insects and also small rodents and reptiles.
8. Andean Condor
Length: 130 cm
The Andean Condor comes from the vulture family. In terms of the average weight and wingspan, this is the largest bird to exist today. It is a scavenger and feeds on the carcasses of other animals. It has a hooked beak which is used for tearing meat. The birds reach reproductive age at 5-6 years, and the female usually lays 1 or 2 eggs in the nest.
9. Domestic Turkey
Length: 125 cm
Domestic turkeys are other large birds which are used by humans for their meat. They are poultry birds and are as same as the wild turkey. They are highly social birds and can feel distraught when isolated. Turkeys can create a lot of nuisance as they are highly vocal. Male turkeys display their sexuality by erecting all the feathers of the body.
10. Mute Swan
Length: 120 cm
The closest relative of the mute swan is the black swan. They build their nests at the edges of rivers or lakes. They are monogamous and prefer to eat seeds. They are less vocal and make noise only to call cygnets (swan chicks). They are very defensive of their eggs and can even attack the predator. Young cygnets take about 4/5 months from birth to fly.
11. Wandering Albatross
Length: 117 cm
The wandering albatross is a seabird with the largest wingspan in the world. They spend most of their time in flying and come on the ground only to feed and breed. They form a breeding pair for life and will start to breed until they reach 11 to 15 years. The bird has a lifespan of over 50 years, but they are being hunted for their meat and long bones.
12. Cape Vulture
Length: 115 cm
It is popularly known as Cape Griffon, and it is one of the oldest species of vultures found in South Africa. It is very tall, has sharp eyes and picks up preys instantly. It lays only one egg annually and hence, currently classified as endangered. It loves to eat the decaying meat of the dead animals as well as fresh meats of small birds, small ground animals and it even eats the venomous snakes also.
13. Emperor Penguin
Length: 114 cm
The largest of all the penguins is the emperor penguin. They can live up to 20 years and can breed in the coldest of the environment. They are very social and can forage up to 500 km to find food. They are highly skilled swimmers with the ability to remain underwater up to 18 minutes. They are also the only breed of penguins to breed in the Antarctic winter.
14. White-Backed Vulture
Length: 100 cm
They are strictly scavengers eating only on dead bodies of animals. It also takes away scraps from human habitation to survive. They are not really aggressive and looked very aged by the color of their necks. They are also endangered but to laying of egg only once a year. They stay in one area or too long and suffer climatic changes.
15. Verreaux's Eagle
Length: 96 cm
These are generally found in hilly areas of the Middle East and Africa. Females are larger than male. It is also called black eagle in some places. Surprisingly, these eagles are very silent and have very high range of vision.
16. White-Tailed Eagle
Length: 94 cm
It is popularly known as sea eagle as they like to prey to sea fishes on the go. They are also the most admired eagles in the world. They are highly efficient in picking up fishes from the surface of water bodies at a very high speed, and they are cunning and opportunities.
17. King Penguin
Length: 92 cm
It is the second species of Emperor penguin, and they mainly feed on small fishes. There are very less in number, and they are one of the fastest swimmers among their species, and they are present in several zoos.
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