Meet the weirdest birds in the world

By Stef Zisovska
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Meet the weirdest birds in the world

Stef Zisovska
 
 
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Our planet is abundant in flora and fauna species of all kinds. There are different types of mammals, reptiles, fish, underwater creatures, and birds. There are bird species that you will have never heard of, but they actually exist. Weird-looking avians with strange characteristics are roaming the skies, and we are hardly aware of them.

Some of these strange birds are very rare, and it’s almost impossible to find them in nature. Here’s a list of some of the world’s strangest bird species.

Marabou Stork

Marabou stork in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda – Author: Charlesjsharp – CC BY-SA 4.0
Marabou stork in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda – Author: Charlesjsharp – CC BY-SA 4.0

The Marabou stork belongs to the stork family of birds, and it’s a massive and tall bird. A grown Marabou stork can be 5 ft tall and around 20 lb. What’s strange about this bird is that it has a face that only a mother could love. The bald, burnt looking head looks very striking, and if you ever see one, you will never forget it.

Marabou stork lives in Africa, south of the Sahara. It nests mostly in flat fields close to human habitats, and it has the same food taste as the vulture. Often, their heads are covered with white hair which adds another level of weirdness to their appearance.

Sri Lanka Frogmouth

A young bird (middle) with adult female to left and male to right – Author: N. A. Naseer – CC BY-SA 2.5 in
A young bird (middle) with adult female to left and male to right – Author: N. A. Naseer – CC BY-SA 2.5 in

One more ‘beauty’ among the birds, but this time quite a bit smaller and on the other side of the world. The Sri Lanka frogmouth lives in India and Sri Lanka and has the color of dry leaves. Each individual bird has its favorite branch, and if nobody disturbs it, it will spend a long time in the same tree. The Sri Lanka Frogmouth has a wide bill and a large head. They are nocturnal birds, with good camouflage qualities, pretending to be a broken branch when a predator is near.

California Condor

California Condor at San Diego Zoo, USA – Author: Stacy – CC BY 2.0
California Condor at San Diego Zoo, USA – Author: Stacy – CC BY 2.0

The California Condor is the largest North American land bird with a wingspan of three meters. They can live up to 50 years, and feed mostly on carrion. Sometimes they fly more than 160 miles in the course of the day in search for food. Their head and neck are featherless or with few feathers. The California condor has perfect sight, and it’s the neatest among the carnivorous birds, spending hours cleaning the feathers. This large bird can fly three miles without flapping its wings.

Ribbon-tailed astrapia

Male with long tail feathers – Author: markaharper1 – CC BY-SA 2.0
Male with long tail feathers – Author: markaharper1 – CC BY-SA 2.0

The ribbon-tailed astrapia is an endemic species in Papua New Guinea and can grow up to 13 inches not including the tail, which in the male can be 40 inches long. The males are polygamous, attracting the ladies with their long tails.

Kagu

Juvenile kagu – Author: frank wouters – CC-BY 2.0
Juvenile kagu – Author: frank wouters – CC-BY 2.0

The only place on the planet where you can still see a wild kagu is in New Caledonia, near Australia. Kagu males and females spend their lives separated, and they only meet during the mating season when they come together to co-incubate a single egg. What’s weird about this bird is that it’s the only bird species that has “nasal corns,” small structures over the nasal openings. It’s believed that these nasal corns prevent dirt from entering into kagu’s nose.

Our planet is home to more than 10,000 different bird species and most of them we will never see in our lifetime. Many of them are endangered or living in places that we can’t visit. Learn as much as you can about our planet and travel to a different destination every time you can. Good luck!

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