About animals

The biggest birds in the world: top 10


The larger the bird, the more impressive must be its wingspan so that it can fly, but the question is which bird has the largest wingspan, the answer is very ambiguous.

The albatross is considered the bird with the largest wingspan (up to 3.7 meters!), But the adult albatross weighs a maximum of 15.8 kilograms and it is far from the hardest of the birds capable of flying.

The heaviest bird in the world of those who know how to fly is a large bustard (the maximum weight of the bird is almost 21 kilograms), but its wingspan is less than that of the albatross - “only” 2.7 meters. The magnitude of the wingspan and weight of other large flying birds is given below.

Wandering albatross

The vast majority of this family boasts chic sizes and great looks. However, it is the wandering albatross who has the undisputed leadership among them. It is believed that it has the largest wingspan in birds - 325 cm. Adult representatives of this species are distinguished by snow-white plumage with small black patches in the back of the body. These albatrosses live long enough: up to 30 years. The age of some centenarians sometimes reaches half a century. It feeds on mollusks, fish and crustaceans. It is famous for its ability to fly against the wind.

African Great Bustard

Among other birds, it is considered the owner of the largest weight. With a growth of a little over a meter, her weight often reaches 20 kg, so she was awarded the exceptional honor of being recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. As the name suggests, the heaviest flying bird in the world lives on the endless African savannahs. To take off, such a heavyweight needs a “runway” of more than 30 m in length. The bustard's wingspan is also rather big - often exceeds 250 cm. Its daily menu includes rodents, leaves and various insects.

African ostrich

It is well known that not every bird can fly. A striking example is the African ostrich, the largest bird on earth. They are considered the most "big-eyed". The organs of vision in ostriches weigh more than their brain. Due to the extremely elongated thin neck and flattened shape, ostriches have a very comical appearance. Their growth sometimes reaches more than 2.5 m with a weight of 175 kg. The ostrich fully compensates for its inability to fly with the ability to run fast.


Many of us know the crane more like a fabulous animal: it brings children and discusses with the fox. Meanwhile, these birds are quite real champions in their size. Most people will envy their growth. Often it reaches 190 cm. The wingspan of beautiful wings is up to 2 m.

What is the largest bird in the world?

This large exotic bird is well known to many people. Initially, ostriches also included other closely related species of birds - nandu and emu. However, now they are referred to other separate units. In this regard, today there is only one species - African ostrich.

Well, the so-called ostriches, rhea and emu left their old names (American and Australian ostriches), although they do not correspond to the modern status of these species.

It is curious that ostriches occupy almost the first place in the world in terms of speed and endurance among all terrestrial vertebrates. They are able to develop speed when running up to 50 km / h and run without stopping for about half an hour. If necessary (rescue from predators), the speed can develop up to 90 km / h (at a shorter distance).

Ostriches Habitats

The largest bird on earth lives in almost all parts of Africa. It does not occur only in its northern part and in the Sahara.

Previously, ostriches were seen even in the territories of Asia adjacent to this continent (the Arabian Peninsula and Syria).

They do not inhabit dense thickets, deserts with quicksand and marshy plains due to the fact that in such places they cannot run at high speed.

Ostriches usually live settled, but in small groups. Rarely, but large flocks can form - up to 50 individuals. Often they can be seen grazing with zebras and various species of antelopes.

A hierarchy reigns in the pack, but there is no permanent composition. Birds of the so-called higher rank keep their neck and tail up, the weaker ones - obliquely.

Description of the appearance of the ostrich

Huge, unusual for most birds, the size of an ostrich is immediately evident. The height of this great giant is not inferior even to a large horse. From the tips of the paws to the very crown of his head - from 1.8 to 2.7 meters, and his weight on average is 50-75 kilograms. There are males reaching a weight of up to 131 kg. Very long legs make up most of the bird's height. And the head does not match the size of the body, very small.

Ostrich is a flightless bird. They are characterized by underdeveloped pectoral muscles, the skeleton is not pneumatic.

The ostriches are underdeveloped and wings, but the hind limbs are quite long and strong, with only two fingers. One finger ends with a horn-like hoof. When running, the ostrich leans on him.

Primitiveness of birds

The largest bird has numerous primitive features in both the external and internal structure.

Feathers in ostriches, as a rule, grow exactly throughout the body, while in most birds they have an arrangement along specific lines - pterilia. It is the same arrangement of feathers that the nanda with emu, cassowary, kiwi and penguins have.

Ostriches do not have a sternal keel. Due to the fact that their pectoral muscles are practically not developed, these birds have absolutely no ability to fly.

Other features

Another little-known, but rather unique, feature of ostriches is the removal of urine and feces from the body. In all existing birds, they are excreted simultaneously - in the form of semi-liquid litter.

And ostriches have a feature, what? The largest bird displays these substances separately. They, the only birds in the world, have a bladder.

There is also no goiter, but their tensile long neck allows swallowing large prey as a whole.

Excellent development in ostriches and vision.

Males in these birds are larger than females and have a black color, with white tips of feathers on the wings and tail. Females are smaller, gray-brown in color.

Different subspecies can also differ in the color of the paws and beak.


Ostriches are usually active at dusk, and at noon and at night they rest. With a good night's sleep, the bird lies on the ground with its neck extended, and during periods of half-nap, it sits with its head raised on its long neck, with its eyes closed.

The largest ostrich bird is stupid, but also cautious.

During feeding, the bird often, looking up, looks around. She sees moving objects at a distance of a kilometer.

As soon as the ostrich notices danger, he immediately leaves, not allowing rapprochement with the enemy. At the same time, during a quick run, he is able to sharply turn his head, without reducing speed. Also, he can calmly suddenly lie down on the ground.

The ancient Greek famous scientist Pliny the Elder claimed that ostriches hide a small head due to their long necks in the bush, suggesting that no one will notice them like that. This statement is a complete lie. However, it took root and turned into a belief, which says that in case of danger the ostrich buries its head in the sand. In reality, nothing like this happens during close danger in the behavior of ostriches.


And also an African ostrich - which bird?

The largest bird in the world, it turns out, is also the bravest.

To begin with, the bird tries to just scare the enemy, revealing its wings. If this does not help, the ostrich rushes and tramples the enemy with its powerful legs. A paw of a male can break a skull even to a large predator (lion).

It should be noted that not one of the African animals enters into an open battle with the ostrich, however, there are those who use its primitiveness. For example, jackals and hyenas, during a group attack on an ostrich, distract his attention, and their accomplices at that time take away eggs from the nest.

About the chicks

And what about ostrich family? The largest bird takes care of the family, the chicks. Especially male ostriches are caring parents. They carefully protect the young from predators and protect them from the strongly scorching sun, revealing wings over the nest. In turn, their chicks are very friendly and live in a dense flock.

Adult ostrich feathers appear only in two years old, and they reach sexual maturity by about 3-4 years. The life expectancy of ostriches is on average about 30-40 years, and age in captivity can reach 50 years.

Predators such as lions, leopards and cheetahs can attack chicks.

Ostriches are grown on farms in many countries around the world, mainly for feathers. Their skin, one of the most durable, is used to manufacture various products. The meat is eaten (similar to beef). It has a low content of fat, cholesterol and a large amount of protein, calcium and iron.

White Stork - tenth place

The white stork is a typical inhabitant of temperate latitudes. The peculiarity of these birds is a peculiar type of migration, namely, a very quick flight from nesting places to recreation places in East Africa. This is about 4.5 thousand km, which birds overcome in 18-19 days, being daily on the way for 8-10 hours. Long stops, more than a day, are done only in bad weather conditions.

Andean Condor - ninth place

Condor is rightfully considered a giant, as it is superior in weight and size to all birds in the Western Hemisphere. The bird is an inhabitant of the Andes mountain range. It settles mainly on open plateaus.

The condor belongs to scavengers, and is respected among birds of this type of food due to its powerful beak, it often starts the first meal. He eats for a long time, as his stomach holds up to 4 kg of food at a time.

Small godwit - eighth place

The habitat of these birds is very large. They nest in the tundra and forest-tundra, in the territory from the Scandinavian Peninsula to Alaska, in some areas of the European part of Russia. The place of their wintering was the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic coast of Africa, the Red Sea, the coast of India, Australia and New Zealand.

These birds are champions in continuous overcoming long distances. The length of the migration path of these birds exceeds 11,000 km, and the speed of its overcoming is only 7-8 days.

Mallard - seventh place

The most recognizable type of wild duck nests in different climatic zones: both in the Arctic latitudes and in the subtropics. Despite its clumsiness on land, it can travel long distances in the air. Even cases of collision of ducks with an airplane are known. A peculiarity of the flight of birds is the characteristic sound made by the wings of ducks, so before they see the birds in the air, hunters calculate their proximity.

Gray geese - fifth place

Sizes: 70-90 cm
Weight: 2.1-4.5 kg
Wingspan: 147-180 cm
Maximum flight altitude: up to 8000 m.

The habitat of geese are bodies of water with stagnant water - swamps, lakes, reservoirs. The usual flight of the gray goose is significantly different from seasonal flights. So flying low with a rare flap of the wing, during migration, birds rise to great heights and soar in the air. Despite the outward harmlessness, they desperately defend their offspring. Able to damage a small predator or hunting dog.

Whooper Swan - fourth place

This type of swan is quite common - it lives in the middle of Eurasia and Europe. Migration sites are the coasts of the Black, Red, Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.

The bird got its name for loud trumpet sounds, usually made in flight. A leisurely swimming swan, with the approach of danger, is capable of developing high speed. Not every boat can catch a frightened bird.

Mountain goose - third place

This species of birds inhabits the mountainous water bodies of central Asia. Mountain goose can cover a distance of 1600 km with low atmospheric pressure in one day. It is worth noting that the mountain air is so diluted that the helicopter does not fly to such heights, however, these birds are able to fly over the Himalayas in winter.

Gray Crane - second place

Cranes nesting sites are seen in Northern and Western Europe, also almost throughout Russia and China, and in places in Turkey, Altai and Tibet. Migrates through the Himalayas to the southeast of China, on the Pacific coast. Today it is an endangered species due to the reduction of habitat.

The highest flying bird in the world

The highest flying bird in the world is the African vulture.. The habitat of the bird is Central Africa. Poultry can withstand extremely low oxygen levels. The reason for this is a special type of hemoglobin contained in the blood of the neck. It was established that the rise to such a height is necessary for the bird for a better view of the territory and timely detection of prey.

Highest flying birds

Birds have been and remain the only masters of the sky. TOP 3 includes mountain goose, gray crane and African vulture. Scientists can only guess how, without aerodynamic drawings and complex mathematical calculations, nature managed to create such unique creatures of its kind.