The birds listed below are some of the most interesting birds in the world, known for their unusual looks, names, behavior or abilities. Read on to learn about some of the most fascinating birds in the whole world.
The ʻakiapōlāʻau is a species of honeycreeper found on the island of Hawaii, being distinct among the birds of the Hawaiian islands as the only bird to fulfill a woodpecker niche. The ʻakiapōlāʻau has a unique curved beak that allows it to feed on insects that hide deep within tree branches. The bird’s curved beak can peck open the bark of a branch to reach the larva inside.
The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock is a bright red species of cotinga found within the Andean cloud forests of South America. The bird is sometimes said to be that national bird of Peru. The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock is one of the more notable examples of sexual dimorphism, as the males and females of the species look quite different. The female birds tend to be a darker red/brown in coloration while the males have a bright red head and a mass of plumage that creates a disc-shaped crest.
Christmas Island Frigatebird
The Christmas Island Frigatebird is a rather large seabird found around Christmas Island, within the Indian Ocean south of Sumatra and Java. The frigatebird has a bright red gular sac that it can inflate in attempts to attract mates. Only the males have this gular sac, and the females are black with a white breast. The frigatebird feeds mainly on flying fish and is considered critically endangered by the IUCN.
The firewood gatherer is a small bird found across South America in Argentine, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. The bird is called the fire-wood gatherer as it builds large nests out of spiky dried out twigs, which would make good firewood. The birds are most commonly found in lowland grasslands.
The golden pheasant is a pheasant found in western China, though certain populations of the pheasant have spread out to many other regions of the globe like Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Canada, Germany Belgium, and Australia. The bird is known for its bright yellow-golden crest and its red body. Its red-orange cape can be spread out in displays that are intended to attract mates.
The Hoatzin is sometimes called the stinkbird or skunkbird, and it is primarily distinguished by its spiky crest. The bird’s crest is orange-brown in coloration, while the bird’s wings are a dark soot-colored brown. The bird is also known as the stinkbird because it gives off a particularly noticeable foul odor, the source of which is the bird’s digestive system which ferments food within it. The species is also known for communicating in a strange series of grunts and croaks.
The invisible rail is native to the island of Halmahera in Indonesia. The bird’s habitat is dense sago swamps, and these dense patches of swamp make the bird very difficult to see and study. The bird is known to have a dark grey body and bright orange bill and legs. There are few confirmed sightings of the bird, with photos and footage of the bird being extremely rare. The bird is suspected to be vulnerable by the IUCN.
Similar to the Anred Cock-of-the-Rock, the Long-wattled umbrellabird is a cotinga. The bird has an egg-shaped crest on its head, as well as a large wattle hanging from its throat. The wattle can be retracted when the bird is flying and its length controlled in general. The bird is endemic to southwestern Colombia.
The kakapo is a species of large, flightless nocturnal parrot found in New Zealand. The kakapo is sometimes called the owl parrot or the night parrot. It is the only flightless parrot in the world, and unlike most parrots it is nocturnal. It is also the heaviest species of parrot in the world. The kakapo has green feathers that help it blend in with the New Zealand forests it lives in. The bird is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN.
King of Saxony Bird of Paradise
The King of Saxony Bird-of-Paradise is a bird endemic to New Guinea. The bird’s most distinguishing feature is the extraordinarily long plumes that grow from the bird’s head. These plumes can be erected at will and are found only on the male birds. The bird engages in complex courtship behavior, dancing utilizing the long plumage on top of its head.
Kiwis are a species of flightless bird found in New Zealand. Kiwis have small, stubby legs and lay eggs which are very large relative to their body size. The kiwi’s long beak lets them sense predators from far away, which is necessary for their survival as they have one of the smallest visual fields out of all birds. Kiwis are primarily nocturnal and subsist on small grubs, seeds, and invertebrates.
The oilbird is a bird found in the northern regions of South America. Oilbirds are nocturnal and they live in large colonies within caves. The oilbird has the distinction of being the only fruit-eating nocturnal bird in the world that can fly, as the kakapo cannot fly. The oilbird is also one of the few birds to navigate their environment with echolocation as bats do. The bird can be found throughout Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil.
The peregrine falcon is capable of reaching incredible speeds, around 320 km/h while diving to attack prey. This makes it one of the fastest animals alive. The peregrine falcon has 19 different subspecies, and these subspecies can be found all around the world, from South America to Arctic regions.
The Philippine Eagle, sometimes called the monkey-eating eagle, is found in the Philippines and known for its unique crest. The bird’s crest is a collection of brown and white shaggy feathers. The bird is quite large and powerful, able to eat animals like flying lemurs, flying foxes, small monkeys, other birds, and giant cloud-rats. The bird has been declared the national bird of the Philippines.
Ribbon Tailed Astrapia
The ribbon-tailed astrapia is a kind of bird-of-paradise, found in the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. The bird’s most distinguishing features are its iridescent, turquoise and bronze head feathers. The males of the species have two extremely long white tails, and the bird is suspected to have the longest tail feathers in relation to its body size out of any bird.
The satanic nightjar, sometimes called the diabolical nightjar, is a medium-sized nocturnal bird found on the island of Sulawesi, southeast of Malaysia. The satanic nightjar gets its name from the belief that the bird would tear out the eyes of sleeping people. However, there is little evidence to support this belief.
The shoebill is also known as the whalehead, and it can be found throughout east Africa. The bird is tall and large with an average height of between 10 to 140 cm (43 to 55 in). The most distinctive thing about the species is its large, curved bill that resembles a shoe. The shoebill has the third longest bill out of extant birds, coming in after storks and pelicans. The bird is known to stay still for long stretches of time, waiting to prey on fish.
Sri Lanka Frogmouth
The Sri Lanka frogmouth can be found in southern India and Sri Lanka, its most distinguishing features are its wide mouth, which resembles the mouth of a frog. The bird has a coloration that resembles dead leaves and bark, and this makes it difficult to see in its native habitat. It has large, forward-facing eyes that give it a wide field of vision. The bird feeds mainly on insects and calls out at dusk, signaling for mates.